The European Bike Project is one of our favorite Instagram accounts and his feed is constantly updated with everything from interesting curios from tiny manufacturers to inside looks at European manufacturing to analyses of the environmental impact of our sport. He's going to be doing a new regular column for us here at Pinkbike and Beta that will be mainly focussed on bringing you exciting products from small European manufacturers. Here's is his first edition that includes new suspension, brake modifications and "shiny things to keep the inner magpie happy."Fast Suspension Fenix Evo
While Brittany, a peninsula in Western France, might not be famous for its mountains, it is home to one of the most exclusive European suspension manufacturers - Fast Suspension. Born in a garage back in 2007, Fast initially focused on suspension servicing and tuning. They soon bought a dyno and a CNC machine and started to sell fork tuning kits in 2009.
Fast forward to 2015 and they released their first shock: The Holy Grail coil shock. While the Holy Grail was mainly aimed for DH racing, they released the Fenix, their first All Mountain / Enduro shock in 2019.
Just recently, Fast Suspension launched their new Fenix Evo shock. It shares a lot of similarities with its predecessor but is now compatible with a wider range of frames thanks to the new design of the piggyback.
The new Fenix Evo also has adjustable low and medium speed compression (high speed is set at the factory to your preferences) and features a bladder in the piggyback for improved performance. The stroke of the shock can now be changed without opening it.
However, what really sets the Fenix Evo apart is the build quality. I have recently received this shock as the latest addition for my "Project Maximum Squish" and it was apparent that the adjusters are very smooth with defined clicks, the purple anodized details look great and even the smallest details are very well executed and finished.
- Made in France
- Weight: 500 g for a 230x65 mm shock (excluding spring)
- Available as Trunnion or Metric version
- Price: €950 (includes one spring and first service after 1 year or 100 hours of riding)
- More info at fast-suspension.com/
Mooseville Performance Stem
Mooseville Performance was inspired by a car - a car that Tony Tegheim wanted to build himself, based on the Mazda 26B engine which was used in the 787B race car. As it was difficult to get spare parts for the engine, Tony started to machine parts of the engine as well as many other parts for the car.
Building his own car turned out to be a huge project and when he and his wife had kids, the idea was put on hold. A short time later, Tony got into mountain biking, got hooked and wanted to give his bike a personal touch. Luckily, he's been working as a CNC operator for his whole life and also likes to work in CAD. After making his own chainring and brake discs, he decided that it was time to get a clean stem with integrated Garmin mount.
After many hours in CAD, he 3D-printed a prototype and was satisfied. As his company has a 5-axis CNC machine, he was able to make this stem in only two setups. Tony says that he's not planning to sell these stems at the moment, but "only time will tell".
- Made in Sweden
- Length: 65mm
- Rise: -21°
- Price: Not available yet
- More info at Tony's Instagram: instagram.com/tegheim83/
Oak Components Root Lever
After too many broken brake levers and bent brake hoses, the team behind Oak Components decided to take things into their own hands. The result of their work is the Root Lever, a brake lever that offers a lot of adjustment options and features new kink protection.
The "Empty Path Adjustment" (EPA) screw allows for an easy adjustment of the free stroke and can partly pre-actuate the brake, so the bite point is reached more quickly. The "Contact Point Adjustment" (CPA) screw lets you adjust the bite point in 1/4 millimeter increments via detent marks on the screw.
Together, the two adjustment screws make it possible to adapt the brake to literally any preference the rider might have. Levers far away from the handlebar and a long freestroke? That's definitely possible. Levers very close to the handlebar and literally no freestroke? No problem. Anything in-between? Of course, that works too.
In addition to the lever, you also get a steel spring that replaces the rubber support sleeve which protects the brake hose. Oak Components say that their spring is more reliable in case of a crash and distributes the forces more evenly, which is why they decided to go this route.
Just recently I received a set of Root Levers for reviewing. If you have ever changed the levers of your brakes and know how to cut a brake hose, installation will not be a challenge. Bear in mind that you need to need to remove the brake hose from the brake lever in order to install the kink protection which is a vital part of the whole system - the Root Levers will not work without it, as the CPA screw relies on the metal socket as a support.
Please note that these levers are a third party tuning upgrade and are not sold by the brake manufacturer. They should be installed by a skilled mechanic.
- Made in Germany
- Currently available for Magura brakes, more options are in the works
- Price: 148 € for a set of two brake levers
- More info at oakcomponents.de/
Engineer and machinist at day, maker of fine bike jewellery at night: Mark Bentley from Bentley Components certainly knows what it takes to make bikes pop. While he designs, develops and manufactures bespoke scientific equipment for a University during the day, he uses his spare time to design and make "shiny things to keep the inner magpie happy" as he says.
His main goal with Bentley Components is to be a design/prototype/manufacture service to people in the world of cycling who are lacking the skills or knowledge to bring their mechanical ideas to life. Several custom frame builders cooperate with Bentley Components to get shiny parts for their bikes. However, Mark is probably best known for making absolutely outstanding top caps.
The first top caps were made from brass usually featured the Yorkshire rose - a nod to his home area. Later, Mark moved on to aluminium and multi anodized Titanium. Just recently he released his first batch of mindblowing Timascus top caps.
From time to time, Mark also makes unique carboloading tools and other quality brass products such as cable stops. His creations are usually made in very small batches and often include one-off products that sell very quickly. To stay up to date, have a look at Bentley Components' Instagram
- Made in UK
- Materials: Brass, Aluminium, Titanium
- Small batches of custom made products available upon request
- Price: varies
- More info at: bentleycomponents.co.uk/
Nonplus Components is a new company from the Stuttgart area in southern Germany - a region that has a longstanding history of precision engineering.
They say that their ratchet system has a significantly larger contact surface than similar systems, which means that it has maximal power transmission and minimal wear. The freehub and ratchet system (45 points of engagement) are hard anodised to ensure high durability.
The hubs are certified for all disciplines including eMTBs, but always have XC weight. A 148mm Boost rear hub with XD driver and 6-bolt disc mount weighs just 168 grams. It doesn't get much lighter than that.
Apart from being really light, the hubs feature an interesting "non-vacuum effect" holes that make sure no negative pressure can build up in the hub. This can be caused by changes in temperature and can help water to find its way into the hubs. The drillings mean that no water and dirt can be sucked into the bearings, which should improve the longevity of the whole system.
Nonplus hubs now also come with a refined self-adjusting bearing play technology. According to Nonplus, small torque variations when tightening the rear axle can cause varying compressions of the axle. Depending on the torque, the difference can be quite a bit more than 1/10 millimeter. This can be a reason for vibrations, noise from the brake discs and bad shifting quality. Their new endcaps can equalise these differences and also make sure the bearings are not deformed. Also, the 6 bolt brake mounts transition into the spoke flanges seamlessly, which saves weight and makes the hubs stiffer at the same time according to Nonplus.
- Made in Germany
- 45 Points of engagement
- Weight: from 86 g (Boost front) and 168 g (Boost rear)
- Price: from 170 € (front) and 420 € (rear)
- More info at: nonpluscomponents.com
Transparency: I received the Fast Suspension Fenix Evo and Oak Components Root Levers for reviewing and use in my latest bike project.