Round Up: 10 Little-Known European Manufacturers Making Exciting Stuff

Jan 17, 2020
by Dan Roberts  



Previously we took a look at 10 little-know German manufacturers making exciting stuff. While Germany has a wealth of companies making cool things in-house, perhaps more than any other country in Europe, it's time to cast the net a bit further and look to the rest of continental Europe.




GARBARUK

Garbaruk Cassette

Garbaruk Jockey Wheels
Jewellery-like derailleur pulleys.
Garbaruk Chainring Detail
Long teeth engage the chain and the design also allows less space for crud to collect.

Garbaruk originated in Kyiv, Ukraine, but recently re-located to Krakow, Poland. Their portfolio consists nearly exclusively of drivetrain components. From things as small as jockey wheels to complete cassettes, each piece looks to be machined with exquisite detail.

Chainrings in all shapes, sizes, fitments, and colours use teeth profiles with extended heights and shapes to stop muck and grime collecting.

They offer cassettes for 10, 11 and 12-speed drivetrains on a variety of freehub bodies and also machine new derailleur cages to allow sizing up on your cassette with your current drivetrain. In most cases, their cassettes weigh slightly less than the SRAM or Shimano one it would replace. All but the largest cog is machined from a single block of steel and, according to RC, encroach so damn close to the performance of the top tier competitors.

Their derailleur pulleys look like pieces of jewellery and incorporate the mud shedding capabilities of their chainrings. If you’re at this level of bike component upgrading then these should be on your list for sure.

Garbaruk's website.





EXT

EXT Storia

EXT Storia Detail
Intricate machining on all the EXT shock parts.
EXT Storia Detail
Multiple metric and imperial sizes are offered with standard eyelets or trunnion.

Taking a short break from Germany and going over the border to pastures of outstanding ice cream and coffee we arrive close to Venice, Italy, and to EXT.

EXT are a suspension manufacturer with a deep history steeped in multi-discipline racing. F1 is often touted as the blue ribbon event that all other industries take inspiration from, but something must be said for the vast differences in inputs, packages and performance criteria that span the tarmac and off-road genres for everything from cars to lifting jacks.

Focussing on the MTB world, EXT offer a range of coil spring dampers, coil springs, fluids and lubricants. Their dampers feature unique adjustments such as hydraulic bottom out control and get away with using very low IFP pressures in comparison to other brands.

As is now commonplace on this list, and in keeping with Italian fashion culture, their products are definitely one to take a minute to absorb all the details before it gets mounted and covered in muck.

They offer shocks compatible for enduro, trail and downhill applications. There’s a multitude of sizes on offer for metric, imperial, and trunnion lengths and each damper is custom built according to the bike it will live on and the rider’s weight and riding preferences. Their shocks also come with two springs, allowing the rider to swap it out depending on conditions, terrain and how much send the rider wants to get involved in on that particular day.

EXT's website.





DA PILTEN

Da Pilten Cranks

Da Pilten Floating Piste Basher
A floating PistenBully project to break up lake ice for safe re-freezing.
Da Pilten Headset
Brilliant custom headsets with all the details for easy installation and a long life.

Da Pilten could be one of the least known brands here. But nestled away in the Val Müstair region of Switzerland is someone who could only be described as a mad scientist, Sergio Tschenett.

Val Müstair is often described by people not in words but in a series of fond and warm noises. Anyone who has ridden or spent time there will know. It’s an absolute gem of an area.

On the face of it Da Pilten only make some custom headsets to adjust the angle and reach, axles, and cassette spacers. Personal experience with Sergio and Da Pilten comes from some specific projects at Scott with custom headsets and drop outs for single speed bikes to take a rear mech. As soon as the parcels arrived you could always see the quality of craftsmanship and that someone had thought about the small details. One of his custom headsets still sits on my desk as a reminder, while another has been in and out of about 4 bikes.

Bike specific projects expand further into custom pistons for shocks requiring clock making tools to do the necessary machining, offset crowns, designs of custom shocks, custom links for adjusting suspension or geometry, locking axles for stiffening the rear triangles of bikes and even complete full suspension bikes.

However, also lurking in their online shop is a trailer extension for carrying up to 24 bikes, and this is where it gets really interesting.

Da Pilten is one part of a group of small companies that can literally turn their hand to anything. The Bikepatcher being their own bike shop and Tschenett Metallbau being their family run metal work and fabricating shop. Their collective work spans such projects as staircases, automation machines, excavator arms and even retractable floatation aids for piste bashers to break up lake ice to ensure a more solid freezing of the lakes in winter. The array of projects that they’ve done is mind bending, and the level of craftsmanship with each project is just as head hurting.

Da Pilten, and its surrounding companies, embody the title of this article more than any other – little known and making exciting stuff. And the cherry on the cake is that they’re a bunch of top people.

Da Pilten's website.





DUKE

Duke Manufacturing

Duke Manufacturing
Duke manufactures its carbon rims in-house.
Duke Manufacturing
A complete mould for a carbon rim.

Duke are a French brand and manufacturer of wheels in Chambretaud, France. What started as a side business of wheel building for Philippe Jacquinet soon grew to be his prime focus in 2009. As the business grew with more employees and sales, Duke Racing Wheels was formed in 2010 and by 2013 the business had grown sufficiently to warrant moving out of the garage and into bigger premises that enabled them to keep up with demand and even allow future growth.

Duke wheel have been the wheels of choice for athletes such as Julien Absalon and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot where they’ve been raced to success at World Cup and World Champion levels. They offer wheels for disciplines from XC, through trail, to endure and also for road, CX and gravel.

From early on in the company’s life it was clear that only way to fully control every stage of the process was to design and manufacturer their own hubs and rims following their own specifications. Duke look at a pair of wheels as a system, and not individual components. They utilise different rim sections, stiffnesses and rim offsets to suit front and rear wheel scenarios. They also feature rim shapes to help prevent burping by trying to lock the tyre in place. They also offer an array of hubs suited to any genre of riding and in either carbon or aluminium.

With such a knowledge of wheel building, a claimed 2,000 per year, they’ve been able to identify and refine the technologies available that actually work while adding in their personal French touch.

Duke's website.





FAST

Fast Fenix

Fast Charger Kit
Fast offer an upgraded complete cartridge kit for RockShox forks.
Fast Holy Grail
Their Holy Grail shock won the DH World Cup Overall in 2019 under Tracey Hannah.

Also based out of France, Plestan this time, Fast started with a familiar story of a person in a garage. This time it was with custom suspension tuning. In 2007 they started with data acquisition systems and even a suspension test bench to try and eke out as much suspension performance that they could.

Shortly after they became the French service centre for Cannondale’s Fatty and Lefty forks. The business grew, along with their headquarters and they began to invest in CNC machines to produce their own kits.

In 2015 they drew on their experience from the past almost decade to release their own shock, the Holy Grail, followed shortly after by their own kit for the Rock Shox Charger 1 damper. All manufactured in house. The growth continued, and ultimately they needed to outsource production given that they had reached the limits of their in-house production.

2019 was a great year for Fast with overall series wins in the Elite Women’s DH, podium finishes at the EWS and victories at the Trophy of Nations too.

While they still offer the ability to purchase all kinds of service items for your suspension, their standout products are their two shocks, the Fenix and Holy Grail, and their upgrade kits for Rock Shox forks. While it seems each suspension manufacturer has their own signature colour, if you spot some purple bits adorning the suspension of a bike it’s most likely this French brand.

Fast's website.





GALFER

Galfer Pads Example

Galfer Brake Testing MTB
Galfer do rigorous testing in-house in Barcelona.
Galfer Brake Testing Moto
A motorcycle brake experiencing extreme temperatures during testing.

The oldest brand on our list, Galfer was founded in 1952. They’ve been manufacturing friction materials and components for braking systems with products gracing the automobile, motorcycle and bike world.

It wasn’t until 1990 that they began development and manufacturing of their first disc pads for bikes. Before then they’d been heavily involved with cars and motorcycles supplying parts for SEATs in the 50s and 60s. They worked on projects to replace asbestos with aramid fibres and with manufacturers such as Ducati. They’ve also collected titles in pretty much every discipline of motorcycle racing.

As simple as their introduction, for bikes they focus solely on the braking system with pads, rotors and adaptors. Fixed and floating rotors in all sizes using high carbon steel. They’ve got 1.8mm thick rotors for non e-bikes and 2.0mm thick ones for e-bikes too.

Brake pads for pretty much all systems out there with compounds ranging from general all-around riding, extreme wet conditions, road riding, ebikes and even pads that require no bedding in period for race applications.

With DH race teams like Polygon UR, XC teams like KMC-Ekoi-Orbea and enduro teams like the Orbea Enduro team using their parts it shows their ability to span all disciplines with success in each.

Galfer's website.





GEMINI

Gemini Pollux Combo

Gemini Lamination
Gemini's carbon fibre combos are laminated in Barcelona.
Gemini Bladders
The internal bladders, which are inflated during the curing process to provide internal pressure.

Gemini are a Barcelona based outfit concentrating only on bar stem combos. The combination of two brothers, and their combined experience in the bicycle, motorcycle and composite manufacturing industries has led them to make some of the most eye-catching control pieces out there. The duo not only manufacture in Barcelona but they also make an effort to use European materials. With their desire to produce such high quality parts it was required that they have control over each and every step.

They offer three combo setups, one aimed at XC, one at enduro and the third at DH. Each combo is engineered to take advantage of the changing rigours of each discipline. While all feature integrated top caps and titanium bolts.

The XC combo, the Pröpus, uses a 12mm drop in the system over a virtual stem length of between 50mm to 80mm and is said to be designed around a 67˚ to 70˚ head angle, which should cover all XC bikes easily.

Their enduro combo, the Kästor, ranges from virtual stem lengths of 10mm to 50mm using a 5˚ upsweep and a 7˚ back sweep designed around head angles of 64˚ to 67˚. It comes in at a weight of 235g.

Their DH combo, the Pollux, uses the same angles as before but over a 20mm to 50mm virtual stem length that uses the standard bolt on pattern to the top crown of DH forks. The Pollux weighs in at a claimed 255g which gives it a weight advantage over the traditional 2-piece bar stem setup.

While combos might not be for everyone due to their lack of adjustability, many will find them attractive and the Gemini offerings are some of the cleanest best engineered out there.

Gemini's website.





YEP



Yep Uptimizer 2.0 HC Dropper Post

You can even add a bit of flair into your dropper too with anodised seal heads.

Yep are a Swiss company founded by Andrea Chiesa who has been a part of motor racing since he was knee high to a grasshopper. Humble beginnings in go-karts led all the way to being a professional race driver for Formula and GT cars. It is Andrea’s fascination with the technical and mechanical side that was transferred from automobiles to bikes and Yep was set up.

Being based out of the Ticino canton of Switzerland, close to the Italian border where the trains run on time but then the coffee is spot on, gives ample opportunity for riding all year round. Elite XC athletes often frequent this region for winter training programmes.

Yep design and manufacture dropper posts. While not winning the award for biggest drop, their posts are all crafted from top grade alloys of aluminium and feature multiple options for customization with anodized colours of the whole rainbow.

Their posts also work with lower internal pressures for the return spring in an attempt to out-live the competition when it comes to durability. A range of 120-180psi is considerably lower than the likes of some other big-brand seat posts.

Seeing as the posts are manufactured by Yep they also offer all the replacement parts you could ever need, just in case something goes wrong. For the dropper post equivalent of a lower leg service all the information is provided on their website for you to do it at home with tools that any proficient home mechanic should have. No custom tools needed here.

Their lever is also interesting in that it can be operated in any direction rather than the conventional single plane action of most other levers.

Yep's website.





LEONARDI

Leonardi cassette and biggest cog colour options

Leonardi SRAM Rollamajig
Leonardi offer a replacement roller for SRAM derailleurs to keep them running smooth.
Leonardi cage colour options
Strengthened cages for SRAM Eagle derailleurs.

To be fair, I’d never heard of Leonardi before. But they do everything from tools to even frames, and a whole host of other components in-between.

Relatively new, founded in 2014, they’re based in Madrid, Spain, and have their manufacturing done in Italy. Their main drive is to find the perfect balance of strength and weight, and reach that point where a product does its job well, for a long time, for the least amount of weight.

Cassettes, derailleur cages, SRAM rollamajig pulleys, cranks, chainrings, chain guides, hubs, bars and seat posts all grace their catalogue, as well as tools for servicing and installing their own parts as well as Cannondale Lefty dedicated tools. The Lefty is a staple of their work, with partner Michele Leonardi having an incredible knowledge of the forks and how to service and repair them.

For their cassettes, Leonardi go as low as a 9 tooth for the hardest gear with differing options from 36 to 45 teeth depending on application and preference. With the cassettes being a split of aluminium and steel between the block, there’s colour options available for the largest aluminium cogs.

While these roundup articles are focussing on the component side of things, it is worth mentioning that Leonardi frames are also made entirely in Italy, like their components, with pretty striking designs for both their hardtail and full suspension models.

Leonardi's website.





INGRID

Ingrid s teased 12 speed drivetrain

Ingrid 12 speed cassette
Ingrid offers 12 and 11 speed cassette options, and potentially soon their own drivetrain.
Ingrid Rasta coloured cranks
Rasta colourway cranks made possible by their crank manufacturing method.

Ingrid are based not far from Pisa, Italy. They focus on drivetrain components and a nice alternative to the mainstream if you like your bike to be adorned by rare components.

Currently they offer high performance crank sets, chainrings and cassettes for road to MTB, with gravel and cyclocross covered too.

Their crank sets are machined from separate aluminium pieces that are then bonded together to create a finished crank arm. This enables them to react and adapt their design to new lengths and fitments quickly. You can even have them in their unique Rasta colourway, made possible from their manufacturing method of separate parts.

Ingrid’s cassettes cater for 12 or 11 speed systems and are made up from steel for the lower cogs with the final three lightest gears being machined from 7075 aluminium. Both versions of the cassette utilise a SRAM XD driver body.

In 2019 Ingrid also showed off its complete 12 speed group set aimed at being adaptable from MTB to gravel and road use. It looks to feature all the necessary technology that the big players feature while. And speaking of big players, it’s rumoured to be compatible with 12 speed SRAM parts, so you can mix and match the components you prefer. Hopefully the group set will be officially released this year as was hinted by Ingrid back in 2019.

Ingrid's website.







While not a comprehensive list, we endeavoured to show the lesser-known continental European brands out there making cool parts. We know there will be some that we didn't cover, so let us know your suggestions in the comments. We're keen to discover more brands doing it in-house.






204 Comments

  • 58 0
 I run an EXT Storia shock and a YEP dropper post on my current trail bike. Both are not cheep but outstanding in quality and functionality. Support your LBS and support brands next to you!
  • 33 2
 The EXT acutally costs the same as a Fox DHX with 2 sls springs- or even less.
So I really dont get the fuss about the high price.

An 11-6 is expensive (1400€ in Europe)...
  • 14 6
 i talked to a suspension engineer for one of the larger european brands once and he said that the EXT Storia is hands down the best mtb shock he knows. he said it's better than 11-6 and head and shoulders better than the DHX (which according to him is actually worse than many of the cheaper options because of the twin-tube system).
  • 10 0
 @NotNamed: I fullly agreee. Here in Switzerland, the EXT (custom tuned to my weight, riding style and bike) costs less than a stock DHX with a steel spring. And as a bonus, the distributor is located in the same town as I live. Smile
  • 9 0
 @wowbagger: im interested why is DHX "downed" by twin-tube.
  • 6 0
 Another massive fan of EXT here. Outperforms everything else ive tried, and not by a small margin, either.
  • 3 1
 @Baba-Ji: well i'm lacking both the technical understanding and the eloquence to explain the details, i just remember that he made a solid case. maybe it was also not that he said twin-tube setups per se, but their application of it..
maybe "worse" was a poor choice of words by me - IIRC he simply said compared to others (and especially the EXT Storia) it's not worth the money.
  • 1 1
 I currenlty don't run a dropper post but if I'd get one at some point, that one seems nice. Being able to service it myself and the external cable routing are big plusses. The remote is clever too, seems like the best remote I've seen so far (and it is compatible with third party cable actuated droppers too).
  • 6 2
 @NotNamed: the DHX2 is hot garbage. The hydraulic bottom out tech on the EXT is great, but Ive ran a storia and 11-6 back to back for weeks on my wreckoning and prefer the 11-6. Granted, for the money, I think that the EXT is the better buy
  • 3 3
 totally sick. until you need service or you plan to resell or you need spare parts... its like owning a niche luxury car.
  • 1 0
 @BoneDog: Why do you think that?
  • 3 0
 @BoneDog: That's why you should buy local products and thats the reason I went with those products.
  • 6 3
 @Rucker10: Cause I live in Canada and if its not a fox or a rock shox, you basically shit out of luck contacting them yourself.
  • 3 1
 @Mathullah: totally, if they are in your backyard thats wicked.
  • 4 0
 @BoneDog: They have two service centers in Canada. Do you have experience with them and their service? I’m genuinely curious.
  • 7 18
flag ajaypate1 (Jan 17, 2020 at 6:45) (Below Threshold)
 What does LBS stand for?
  • 2 0
 I really like my EXT shock too, quality bit of manufacturing.
  • 5 0
 @ajaypate1: Local Bike Shop
  • 4 0
 @ajaypate1: local bike shop
  • 6 0
 @ajaypate1: you're joking, but if not, Local Bike Store.
  • 2 0
 @Gavalar66: Alright. We've got two for local bike shop and one for local bike store. Let's call it a draw.
  • 2 0
 @ajaypate1: local bike store
  • 1 0
 @Mntneer: I'm debating on a ext or 11-6 for my sb150, mind elaborating what you preferred about the 11-6? A lot of people seem to prefer the ext but its good to hear a differing opinion. Thanks
  • 2 1
 That's great but your shock and dropper cost as much as my whole bike
  • 6 2
 @BoneDog: EXT now have a Cdn service center. it's in Quebec so it might as well be back in Italy (if you've ever dealth with Quebec customer service you'll understand). i bet they will sell 90% of EXT shocks to customers in BC.
  • 4 0
 @BoneDog: @AlbaDistribution are the Canadian distributors, they've got all the spare parts etc you could ever need.
  • 4 0
 @jamesbrant: @AlbaDistribution handles EXT. They're in Whistler.
  • 1 0
 @NotNamed: I run an ext arma and love it but theres no way a dhx with two sls springs would cost £950
  • 1 0
 @BoneDog: you dont know what you're talking about.
EXT can be serviced just as easily as any other brand and holds resale value better than fox/rockshox
  • 1 0
 @jamesbrant: Who's the service center? S4?
  • 4 0
 @Rucker10: Canada is a big place. That's like saying there are two service centers in the US.
  • 2 0
 @oldmanjoe: It's pretty normal, actually. For example we have two RS dealers, both with two service centers, so there's four service centers for RS here. Fox has one currently. This doesn't include your LBS' ability to rebuild, just actual official service centers.

IIRC S4 can service just about anything.
  • 2 0
 @BoneDog: ext and formula have a distributor based out of Whistler fyi. Parts and service are easier to come by than you think.
  • 3 0
 @Baba-Ji: Not by twin tube as such but by poppet valves instead of shims.
  • 2 0
 @G-horseNoBrakes: When on sale maybe. Is it that hard to look it up though? TF tuned- Shock 689gbp, 2x SLS spring 309.90gbp, shock hardware 20gbp, total 1018.90gbp.
  • 1 0
 @Mondbiker: no one pays 689 rrp from tf tuned.
  • 2 0
 @Gavalar66: lmao i wasn’t joking i actually didn’t know
  • 3 0
 @G-horseNoBrakes: Doesn´t matter, that´s what they are asking for shockingly cheaply made shock in far east. Mojo were running sale on V2 storia/arma for less than RRP as well.
  • 1 1
 @Mathullah: wer ist der schweizer EXT Importeur? Ich habe nichts gefunden, und werde demnächst auch einen EXT dämpfer bestellen
  • 1 0
 @Wormfarmer: the 11-6 looks better, the ext is not as expensive. Performance i dont know. But i will go with an EXT for my next build
  • 3 1
 @oldmanjoe: Dude shit doesn't get around on horses anymore. You can fedex anything to anywhere overnight.
  • 1 1
 @Loris123: Ich hab mein Dämpfer von Interbike Roland Leiser aus Luzern. Die haben eine direkten Draht nach Italien.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: You don't run a dropper post!? But, how do you ride?
  • 1 0
 @G-horseNoBrakes: the EXT here costs 950€.
2 sls springs will be 250-300€ alone and 600€ for a DHX is normal price ( sadly)
  • 2 0
 @Baba-Ji: digressive damping curves
  • 2 0
 @pdxkid: I leave the saddle low, no need to raise it for the riding I do. But at least I have a frame now that is compatible with a dropper seatpost (previous one from DMR took a 26.8mm seatpost) so yeah, it is an option now. Just haven't felt the need to sit down on a high saddle so far.
  • 1 0
 @jamesbrant: There's one in BC now for servicing. Confirmed by EXT on Vitals post.. I have a Storia as well.
  • 2 1
 For sure support your local shop! My buddy's shop, Suspension Syndicate in Salt Lake City is the US distributor for EXT. He sells and services EXT and is really excited about how high quality the build and ride is compered to mass produced shocks. They'd be stoked to get you on a new shock!
  • 2 0
 @BoneDog: You can get EXT serviced in Whistler
  • 1 0
 @Wormfarmer: I had a pretty long and fast rock garden that I like to use for suspension setup. The EXT seems to fade and not hold up as well through the section, giving me a more jittery rather than planted feel. The 11-6 is supportive and seems like the damper circuit is able to perform better.

Maybe it's a shock tuning thing, but the storia is also supposed to be tuned for the wreckoning.
  • 6 1
 Thanks, we put a lot of energies and love into our work. We are now working on a brand new exiting product. Stay tuned
  • 3 0
 @jamesbrant: We proudly distribute and service EXT suspension in Canada! Located in BC with quick turn around and parts on hand to do regular service as well as size stroke/size changes.
  • 2 0
 @sherbet: We are located in Whistler, BC and can handle all of your servicing needs. Drop us a line if you have any questions info@albadistribution.ca
  • 1 0
 @justinhodgson: you are correct! Drop us a line at info@albadistribution.ca if we can answer any questions.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: We are based right in Whistler, BC. Spare parts and service kits on hand!
  • 1 0
 @YepComponents: Staying tuned.
  • 4 0
 Thanks for your nice comment, We are now very excited on a new project we will present on the coming weeks. It will be a small revolution. Stay tubed
  • 4 0
 @YepComponents: Most PB visitors here are strong tubeless proponents so now I'm really curious what you're up to!
  • 2 0
 @YepComponents: Oh yeah, other questions.
1. Is there a reason why the dropper for external cable routing is getting less travel than the one with internal routing? Is it technically harder to make one with external routing?
2. The stock dropper is being sold with black hardware, other colors are aftermarket. Is it possible to order one with different colors already so that you're not wasting the original components?

I do have a slight preference for external routing. One is just because I chose to not have a port for internal routing on my bike Wink . The other is that there is simply no dropper out there anyway that goes from fully slammed (where I leave it most of the time) all the way up to XC height which I may need if I'd really go on long full day trips with a lot of pedaling over moderate/easy terrain. That is about height difference in height. I can get that out of a rigid 400mm post (with typically 100mm minimum insertion) but there is currently no dropper offering that amount. So simply sliding a complete dropper post up or down the seattube by means of using the seatpost clamp seems like a much easier thing to do if you have external routing. Plus of course if I would get into that kind of epic riding, I may also want a good full suspension bike at some point so it is nice to be able to swap the complete dropper system (saddle, remote etc) in blink.

So yeah, just to point out that I like you making good droppers with external routing and I think there is good reason to do so.

As mentioned earlier I'm still the nutter who just leaves his saddle with rigid post slammed low for all riding but I'm open to try one at some point. But at this stage I'm fed up with all the waste being generated in and outside our sport. Reliability of current droppers have come way up from what I've heard of droppers from a few years prior. Solving issues typically involved replacing a pretty big part of the assembly. Even if that is affordable, I just don't like that kind of thinking. So looking at your service manual, everything can be serviced and you only replace what really needs to be replaced. I like that. So yeah, should I get a dropper at some point this one is way on top of the short list simply because of the fact that it can be serviced so easily.
  • 2 0
 I've been on YEP droppers for last 6 years. Not a single problem. Swiss watch quality!

I almost forgot I wrote kind of review back in 2014 about my first YEP Uptimizer ST:
forums.mtbr.com/general-discussion/yep-uptimizer-dropper-post-thread-~-italian-design-swiss-perfection-935313.html
  • 1 0
 @ajaypate1: little blue sausage
  • 3 0
 @ajaypate1: Local Bike Shop. No one should downvote you for not knowing. Everyone had to ask or see the acronym and it’s meaning in print contextually at some point.
  • 28 0
 "close to the Italian border where the trains run on time but then the coffee is spot on"

i admit, i chuckled a little.
  • 7 0
 me too - also, the trails are great in Ticino, especially if you love technical stuff
  • 2 0
 @vhdh666: never been there but totally want to. i live in Germany but i have two italian base of operation in Milano and Bassano del Grappa. It takes an hour from milano to get to the border Wink if this summer i'm around there i'll ask you for some suggestions
  • 2 0
 @vhdh666: You must like rough stuff and need reinforced tyres....
  • 1 0
 Such a great region, wonderful countries and people. Count yourselves lucky.
  • 20 1
 going over the border from germany to italy would save me a lot of time and money at the start and end of holidays.
  • 46 1
 Just invade Austria!
  • 59 0
 @Becciu: Been there, done that, didn't end all to well.
  • 2 0
 @Crossmaxx: Bummer.. or not !
  • 2 0
 @Crossmaxx: yep they f@cked up a lot back then. I'm glad it's very calm now
  • 3 0
 @Becciu: Mate, could we talk about that again ? Not sure if I'm very keen on that idea...
  • 1 0
 @Crossmaxx: But it would give us Canadians a reason to visit again Wink
  • 15 2
 Leonardi Racing is not relatively new and it not founded in Spain. It is an Italian company and it has been around for at least more than a decade. They were the first one to make the extension cassette for 11sp. They also manufacture cranks, frames etc.
They are pretty well know, they have been covered by all mtb sites, including pinkbike.

Other companies:
FRM
Extralite (the company all German brands have been trying to copy for ages)
Ari Corone (or Ari bike) (wolf tooth copies their stuff)
Alchemist
Cruel components
FM Bikes
Rdr bikes
Braking
Bright Racing Shocks (cool upside down forks)
CTK
Cyp wheels
Metalsistem (they make a unique chainring that self auto-adjust the chainline. Fm bikes sells it).
Etc etc

Most of these companies have been doing their stuff ie oval chainrings, cassette extenders etc etc years before others.
  • 3 0
 Thanks for this nice list!
  • 1 0
 Love Extralite components! Their stems are too notch.
  • 1 0
 Exactly! This is a fantastic list of yours! FRM and Extralite should be here for sure. ...to me some of the companies mentioned in the PB are second tier. Not in a sense that they are bad, they are just not hi-tech.
  • 1 0
 @RedRedRe Can you post a link to the Metalsistem chainring? Couldn't find it and am curios as to what you mean/what it looks like.
  • 1 0
 @bobthestapler:

www.metalsistem.com/metalsistembcd/metalsistem-presents-its-new-bicycle-division

I found this. If you solely search for Metalsistem all you get is endless results about shelving, I guess that's their primary industry.
  • 11 0
 Awwwwww Garbaruk!
I have a soft spot for their cassette (coming in kinda cheap too).
Maybe for the next bike (in 2035)
  • 3 0
 I have one on my bike, nothing to complain about
  • 3 0
 I've got one on my bike too and love it. You almost don't want to actually put it on the bike cuz they're such a beautiful piece of machining work fresh out of the box.
  • 4 0
 That's some serious CNC porn...
  • 2 0
 I think I’m going to try a Garbaruk cassette next time I change out. Seems like everyone is pretty happy with them.
  • 1 0
 I have a silver chainring from them and it is gorgeous
  • 10 0
 You had me at Rasta Colourway Cranks Smile
  • 5 0
 That's a great write-up, thank you Dan. As in the article regarding German brands, I can recommend the following channel for more coverage on bikeparts made in Europe: www.instagram.com/the.european.bike.project
  • 4 0
 Neutrino Components making impressive cranks - neutrinocomponents.com/index.php?id_category=19&controller=category&id_lang=1

And other drivetrain parts as well. Just ordered their chainring.
  • 3 1
 BOY components, another one russian local manufacturer. nw-chainrings and stems Great quality and design
  • 1 0
 Using these chainrings for more than 1.5 years, no problems since.
First one lasted almost a year of riding (~3000km) including winter rides.
Half the price and probably twice the durability.
  • 6 1
 It would take a lot for me to trust an integrated carbon stem for downhill. Hopefully Gemini have a hard fast rider who's willing to try snap one
  • 2 0
 i want that thing so much..
  • 1 0
 650euro?! now i want it even more
  • 4 0
 If they need a test rider, I'm all ears.
  • 1 0
 Scott have one as well and I think it is being ridden by racers.
  • 2 0
 Syncros, {Scott Bikes } have been running a fully integrated set up for nearly 12 months, Brendog and many other team and sponsored riders use them without issue, one of the draw backs is adjusting the rise.
  • 1 0
 @samalsop Brendan Fairclough uses the Syncros { Scott owned } set-up as do other Scott riders across all disciplines.
  • 1 0
 @Gavalar66: Huh, today I learned i guess! They're pretty rad for sure, only time i'd seen them prior was on wish*com adverts which i would neverrrrr trust
  • 1 0
 @Gavalar66: Isn’t Brendan sponsored by Deity? He’s got a signature bar with them.
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts: yes he is and he is running them, I´m sure he tested those weird ones though.
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts: He is, but, late in 2019 I was admiring his DH bike at a UK event where he was using the Syncros bar / stem combo, it was a brand new rig and hadn't swapped out the Syncros in favour of his signature Deity bars.
  • 3 0
 I love these articles. Not seeing any British companies listed, either they are all already well known enough or we're getting another series of lesser known UK companies. Would be cool. Once Europe is done, there are always the other continents to look into as well. Asia is probably massive, save that for last. Next up should be North America, considering the audience here.
  • 3 0
 UK is coming!
  • 4 2
 A few more weeks and we won't be in Europe anymore.....
  • 24 0
 @stumpymidget: Seriously? It seemed like it was only yesterday that we were all on Pangaea. Continents drift fast these days.
  • 2 0
 @dan-roberts: Was wondering that, as the UK is in Europe after all and has loooads of small makers - Superstar (are they too big now) Works Comp, Unite, Burgtec, Middleburn / BETD, probably some I have missed...
  • 3 0
 @stumpymidget: I thought Brexit was a political / economic / legal matter, I didnt think it was going to actually change geography?

Of course the UK are still going to be in Europe, they are just leaving the EU.

Edit - Vinay got in there first but stumpymidget may find the concepts of contients a little too complitacted to understand.....
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: Nah, didn't mean to bash him. Just to poke a little fun. I don't question his understanding of continents and tectonic plates etc.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: naaah, bash away.
  • 4 2
 @justanotherusername: I understand it all just fine, just moaning about Brexit is all. It's bloody depressing.
  • 1 0
 @stumpymidget: Sorry man, I thought you were bigging the whole situation up in a mis-quoted way- I am from the UK (dispite the flag) and feel exactly the same....
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: Pembre. They haven't really started yet but you can see how they develop.
  • 1 0
 @nowherenear: Not sure a company that hasnt started yet and doesnt have any products ready is much news but good to see another UK company manufacturing all the same, maybe a future article...

First product is a flat pedal though - how many more flat pedals do we need?!
  • 3 0
 This article looks like a jewelery. So many beautiful things! Thanks Pinkbike

Also a brand that I like and which is not mentioned in this article: Aivee, a french manufacture which mainly produces hubs, a bit of carbon rims, and professional wheel tools.
I ride an Aivee pair of hubs for 4 years now, beside the fact that they are wonderfully orange, they are ultra reliable, the free-wheel is very silent compared to the Hope I have on another bike, and the maintenance is super easy. Moreover, their website is well made and features video tutorials and maintenance supports, also those guys answer quickly when you ask them something by email; not like those wankers of BOS!

www.aivee.fr/en
  • 1 0
 Don't they also make the rear hub used in the Cavalier bikes (with the Effigear gearbox and usually no freewheel in the hub)?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Yes, well seen. They actually provide the rear hub; Seen on their website: www.cavalerie-bikes.com/home
  • 2 0
 "also those guys answer quickly when you ask them something by email; not like those wankers of BOS!"

It took me 5 months to find an adaptor for my Deville, they were not even answering to emails.

Now I am hunting for a 14mm to 12.7mm bushing for a shock, BOS does not use the 12.7mm standard...
  • 2 0
 @zoobab2: If it is hard to get, couldn't you just make or have it made on a lathe in a local machine shop? It doesn't sound like a really complex part to make. Not sure about the tolerances you'd need but if you accept up to 0.03mm smaller than 14mm outer diameter and up to 0.03mm bigger than the half inch inner diameter and have the ends chamfered slightly, you should be good.
  • 1 0
 @zoobab2: There is no such a thing, if eyelet is 14mm, bushing needs to be 14x12mm. Offset bushings will custom make you whatever you need for less than BOS OEM part.
  • 1 0
 @zoobab2: Godverdomme!!! Vinay is right: try to see if you can make that simple piece done by a local workshop properly equiped. Otherwise and as I said, I live 5km from BOS head quarters; I could visit them with a bazooka Wink
  • 1 0
 @softsteel: reply this morning from BOS: they don't have those bushings. Will hunt further on the net... if you have any good address...
  • 1 0
 @zoobab2: Dude, seriously, you are looking for something that doesn´t exist, what you need for your shock is 14x12mm bushing, every local supplier of igus bushings will supply that for less than 3 euro depending on what exact type you want, typically used iglidur G material costs around 2.50 euro here. If you need metal axle too and spacers, I also told you where to look for it, but once more...You are welcome. www.offsetbushings.com/collections/frontpage/products/standard-bushing
  • 3 0
 More articles like this are needed. Just because a product is on the other side of the world, doesn't mean it's not worth getting your hands on. Being within spitting distance of a mfg is great, if you like the product, but seeing drool-worthy components from all over the world (and your glowing reviews of most of them) only increases the want factor. Waiting at the start during my last enduro race, another competitor stated "wow, nice bike, but isn't it too euro?!" Its hard 'searching' for smaller or less-well-known mfg out there, which is why our PB overlords need more articles like this - I still have US based drivetrain that could go euro, and this article has helped give some ideas!
  • 4 0
 650 Euro for a handlebar... I don't care how good or light it is, it's a handlebar. Enough people with silly money around though I suppose.
  • 7 0
 handle bar AND stem Wink
  • 3 0
 @JonJonM: Maybe it even comes with stickers to put on your bike, car or laptop computer?
  • 1 0
 The YEP dropper is great. I like it better than the highly praised Bike Yoke. Both work great, but what makes the YEP stand out is that little, sensitive trigger that you can press from any angle you want. It might look "old fashioned" or small and weak, but it takes much less strength compared to a Wolf Tooth remote with a Bike Yoke.
  • 1 0
 Thanks, very appreciated comment. Our remote can be actuated by index or thumb and doesn't break in case of crash. But remote is kind of personal liking
  • 1 0
 @YepComponents: Well, I regret deeply that I left my YEP on my last bike when I sold it and decided to try out the Bike Yoke with a Wolf Tooth light action remote lever my current bike. Next bike will have a YEP again (or AXS, I must admit).
  • 3 0
 I was interested in a Fast shock. Contacted them on 3 different occasions, no response. Ended up with a Push 11-6
  • 1 0
 I think TFTuned are the UK distributor for Fast, was pretty interested but there's very little info about them.
  • 2 0
 @adclarke: Yes they are. I spoke to them first, but they didn't have a great deal of info on them. I needed to know if they would fit onto my frame (not all coils do) and talk about the springs they offer. Also Fast were offering a free first service.
They didn't get back to me, after i know they'd seen at least one of the messages id sent them.
Never mind
  • 3 0
 @railing-rutz: I think it's sadly a case of, they probably make nice stuff, but it's not just the product that's important. It's everything else. That's why everyone goes for Fox and RS. Look at BOS. Not even a small company. around 2010 everyone was saying they were the bee's knees. Now all you see is top spec forks for £200 on ebay that no one wants because you can't fix them, get parts, get warranty, anything. A DHX2 is so close in performance I'm guessing, and you know you have the backup.
  • 4 0
 @jaame: You`re right; BOS is a band of wankers unfortunately, despite their good products.
I live in Toulouse, France, where they have their head office and assembly factory, and 2 years ago I thought about buying a cheap fork found for sale on internet... except that their forks were known to have a problem with a play in the lower legs... which was actually simply solvable if this band of suckers would have answered my requests!!! They are 5 km far from where I live but it seems like they`re 10,000km away!!! I don`t get it.

... I finally bought a SR Suntour Auron RC2 designed and made in Taiwan, and I`m quite happy with that pretty cheap fork, also because the Suntour customer service answers you very professionally in less than 24hrs when you ask them something.
  • 1 0
 Fast products are great. I have had 2 Holly Grails now and their simple Yari Up damper (that is only available through Novyparts now). You can even get your shock resized and reshimed for your next bike and for a reasonable fee.
The only downside is that they are growing too fast and can thus not get back to everyone in a reasonable time frame.
  • 1 0
 I bougth a fast fenix shock for my stumpjumper LT. The contact was great. I changed many E-mails with the responsible enginner (Probably also the owner) and was convinced to buy it when he explained me that the new shock with standard head are also coming with the hydraulic bottom out control. After the shock was received I noticed that dials were not in the colors I ordered. I have sent 3 e-mails and received no feedback. I loved the product but do have concerns with the next time I need to contact fast. I wouldn't buy a new product from them and would also not recommend it to a friend.
  • 2 0
 @Happymtbfr: Yes, I`ve heard so many good feed-backs from these Fast shocks, and they`re probably victim of their success Wink

BTW: Novyparts aka Maxime Bouchez who is a neighbor as he lives 8km from my home is a absolute wizard when it comes to suspension enhancement/optimization. Nevertheless, I shoudn`t make any promotion for him because this guy is over-demanded, including the champions he works for.
--> www.novyparts.com
  • 1 0
 @softsteel: Max est excellent, en effet. Il est même super honnête avec ce qui est possible ou pas.
  • 4 0
 The YEP remote look similar to the X-Fusion one from a while back.
  • 4 2
 Duke carbon rims - have the got the wrong photo or is it another case of "Made in China, in France"?

Chinese workers making Chinese wages in a Chinese factory in France?
  • 1 0
 @NotNamed: are you seeing 3 different pictures?
  • 1 0
 Mmh indeed, according to the website, while the hubs are made in house, the rims are made by subcontractors and the wheels are then assembled in France. We're so proud of our castles and churches and paintings and blablablah that we french suck so much at industry cuz' industry jobs are not seen as valuable. Kudos to anyone trying to do it here, but the communication is then a bit misleading.
  • 3 0
 Galfer brake pads are bests hands down! Not cheap, but trully make a difference.
  • 1 0
 I cannot overstate how much better Galfer pads are than stock. they are 100% worth every penny.
  • 1 0
 @groghunter: I run Uberbike Brake Pads on my Guide RS brakes. English and a huge improvement on SRAM.

Amazing what alternative consumables can do to a well complained about setup.

Nice also to see drop in replacements for drive trains by the big boys from smaller players that are quality. Options are good.
  • 2 0
 i was over at da pilten only yesterday sergio lowered my fox 49er fork so i can run a mullet set up in my transition tr11 thanks dude you da pilten man!!!
  • 1 0
 Innovate or stagnate, fair play to those companies pushing the boundaries and helping to give us, the customer, options other than the usual suspects of Sram, Fox and Shimano etc
  • 1 0
 Leonardi has been around a while. The Cannondale Factory XC team used to run some of their parts, such as the Johnny inverse stem. I have one of these on my XC hardtail and it's really nice.
  • 1 0
 Kind of surprised to see Galfer and EXT on a list of little known brands. These where the first ones on my list when I spec'ed my latest build. Both excellent brands, but I might be a bigger geek than I thought.
  • 3 0
 Has my saddle raised...YEP!
  • 1 0
 Should do a feature on aussie and NZ companies. Wheelworks and Bouwmeester are both making beautiful wheels, just as an example. Stealth Bike Bags are excellent too.
  • 1 0
 I run YEP posts on both of my bikes for years. They never let me down. Constant and smooth actuation. Outstanding service by Andrea.
  • 1 0
 I'm very happy to have:
Garbaruck cassette with cage, great product with right price,
Fast suspension upgrade kit for RS transform entry level fork in superb fork!
  • 1 0
 Anyone here have experience with the FAST yari up damper?

It’s not far off in price from the charger dampers, and I’m curious how it compares.
  • 1 0
 yes i have the 3 way yari upgrade damper....it's fantastic . My Yary now it's better than fox 36 grip 2 of my friends!! Very easy to install , it' super plush feeling but you can stay hight on travel
  • 1 0
 I think that italian little manufacturers are much more than the three listed above.... Just think at FRM, Ultralight, Spada, Alchemist, Andreani and many others.
  • 1 0
 KA Engineering in Ukraine have pretty decent chainrings and pulleys specs as well
kaeng.pro
  • 1 0
 Except that it’s impossible to get anything shipped from them. My order from early November is still not shipped, at least I managed to get my money back for now.
  • 1 0
 @Crossmaxx: They had an off time for a bit since the structure has changed, they are back now in 2020. They're catching up the late orders, you should be able to order now.
  • 2 0
 @qreative-bicycle: yeah, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Nothing wrong with having an off time, but some information on the website about it would have saved quite a bit of frustration. The products look ace, so hoping they get the business back on track asap.
  • 1 0
 Galfer is little known?! I had their pads and rotors on my sportbike, and they're widely in the motorcycle industry.
  • 2 0
 Next article Pinkbike will go to China.
  • 1 0
 Since when is Galfer a 'Little Known European Manufacturer'?
They're HUGE in the brake business
  • 2 0
 Didn’t know I needed Rasta cranks until today.
  • 1 0
 The colors are kinda exciting, but I bet the prices won't be exciting at all!
  • 2 0
 Rideworks...
  • 1 0
 Reset Racing...
  • 1 0
 Ti amo Ingrid. Got any 9-speed cassettes?
  • 1 0
 i'm amazed it wasnt mentioned that Gemini is part of Unno
  • 1 0
 Sergio from Da Pilten is the man and a true genius!
  • 1 0
 Damn those pulleys from GARBARUK are beautiful!
  • 1 0
 Nice, I've always wanted to have my mom's name on my bike.
  • 1 0
 Ingrid LOL funny name for even nicer cranks
  • 1 0
 Why doesn't Canada make any cool bike stuff?!
  • 2 0
 Chromag, Blackspire, North Shore Billet?
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: I've never heard of NS Billet, but admit I've forgot about Blackspire, but associate them with smaller simpler items. Chromag is a great brand, but I can't come close to affording their Canadian steel frames, but all the other stuff is made in Taiwan (which I am not against) which doesn't inspire pride, necessarily. Devinci makes alu in house, but from what I understand they moved most to Taiwan, but build bikeshare bikes in-house, which are terrible, haha. But I may be wrong. Just doesn't seem like mtb bike manufacturing is thing here, but I should probably research more.
  • 2 0
 OneUp
  • 1 0
 WAO?
  • 1 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: Whats manufacturing like in Canada? (I am from the UK not Canada)

Maybe you do have a fair amount relative to your manufacturing base?

Im not sure if Straightline are still going too but thats at least 5-6 manufacturers when you start looking - not bad really unless you have a thriving manufacturing culture like Germany.

Put it this way, how many small manufacturers are manufacturing in the USA?
  • 1 0
 Straitline's discontinued half their stuff, and nothings been updated for a few years now.
  • 1 0
 I dont doubt that it's well made, but it's also over priced.
  • 1 0
 Gafer pads are $15USD for Saint?
  • 1 0
 For the standard ones. I haven't tried those, but the Pro pads are amazing. I won't ride anything else anymore.
  • 1 0
 Great article! I hope there'll be one for North America.
  • 1 0
 This is straight-up orthodontist level
  • 1 0
 Yep is by far the best operating and reliable dropper Post I ever used!
  • 1 0
 Unfortunately not my experience. My Yep has been in for service more times than I was hoping for. Service support has been great though, so you will be taken care of. My BikeYoke however is in a higher class than the Yep.
  • 1 0
 You have forgot Italin Carbon-Ti brand
  • 2 0
 Damn I wish I was rich.
  • 1 0
 Should I be concerned that this bike porn arouses me?
  • 1 0
 And what about HXR ? ????
  • 1 0
 Quality article, thanks PB.
  • 1 0
 Hey anyone else realise Ingrid Riding
  • 1 0
 Ridgni?
  • 1 0
 Garbaruk cassette/pulley users: how does the ano hold up to use?
  • 1 0
 Those Ingrid cranks!!!
  • 2 4
 Derailleur pulleys? You mean jockey wheels?
  • 4 0
 No, the pulley that the inner cable goes around.
  • 2 0
 @AlanMck: Ah, yes. Thanks.
  • 1 0
 @AlanMck: And now the Sram specific part makes sense!

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