The European Bike Project: 5 Exciting Products from Small European Manufacturers - December 2021

Dec 13, 2021
by TEBP  
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


The new Fenix Evo shock by French manufacturer Fast Suspension.

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.

The Fast Fenix Evo offers a climb switch as well as external slow and medium speed compression adjusters.

Details
- 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".


Details
- Made in Sweden
- Length: 65mm
- Rise: -21°
- Price: Not available yet
- More info at Tony's Instagram: instagram.com/tegheim83/




Oak Components Root Lever

The Root Levers by German manufacturer Oak Components are designed and machined in Bavaria.

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.

The Root Lever by Bavarian company Oak components.

Details
- 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/




Bentley Components

Fine bike jewellery bike Bentley Components.

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.

If you want to win a bike battle you need to pay attention to the smallest details.

Details
- 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

The Nonplus Components ratchet system is hard anodised to minimise wear.

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.

The Non Vacuum Effect drillings makre sure no negative pressure can build up in the hub which can be caused by changes in temperature.

Details
- 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.


95 Comments

  • 70 2
 Those Bentley top caps just went to the top of my xmas list.
  • 4 0
 For real! Simply Gorgeous!
  • 6 0
 There are even better ones on his website for gifts to friends!
  • 13 0
 I had a look on his website, some of them are... interesting.
  • 22 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: I grew out of drawing a load of dicks on things quite some time ago, but there we are.
  • 13 2
 @tomhoward379: "circle of tallywhackers" is going to be my new term for the current administration.
  • 4 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: So you are saying you do or do not want the "Circle of Tallywhackers" top cap for Christmas?
  • 8 0
 @powderhoundbrr: I'm undecided, the Yorkshire Roses are more me but you can never deny the appeal of gratuitous phallic imagery.
  • 2 0
 @tomhoward379: dead inside
  • 2 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: Dick pics!
  • 33 1
 Oh come one Pinkbike, you know that’s not the top cap you really want to show: www.instagram.com/p/CXWe4chsRWg/?utm_medium=copy_link
  • 36 0
 There's Levy's christmas gift sorted.
  • 2 0
 Ba ha ha! The link did not disappoint!
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: This one seems to be designed specifically for @notoutsideceo
  • 22 3
 If you're breaking levers stop cranking down on the mounting bolts. Moto guys learned long ago to tighten just enough so the whole body can still rotate in a crash. You can even mount over a wrap of teflon plumbers tape to ensure rotation vs breakage
  • 6 0
 Teflon tape! That’s a good tip, thanks!
  • 9 0
 Magura levers are just particularly snappy mate.
  • 3 0
 you have obviously never used Magura's. I broke a spring by dropping my bike in the parking lot too hard. Literally keep bread ties on my handlebars in case one broke mid race. I have now ditched all Maguras which is sad because other than the levers they are great brakes.
  • 20 0
 if anyone is after some Shimano XT levers - Flo Motorsports, I use them and they are fantastic + no more broken levers
  • 2 0
 nice thanks for that!
  • 2 0
 Plus one on that
  • 2 0
 I broke two XT levers this year and could not find replacements. This is a Christmas miracle for me! Thank you!
  • 20 1
 Nice. So instead of breaking the cheap plastic Magura levers, you just end up breaking the master cylinder and/or clamp instead.
  • 4 1
 Arent Mt5 and mt7 levers made out of aluminium as well ?
  • 4 1
 @emptybox: yes! I don't know why people seem to think they're plastic.
  • 1 1
 @emptybox: They are metal and carbon options, but I'm not aware of any "plastic" options.
  • 5 1
 @militantmandy: Probably because every person I know that has Magura brakes has broken at least 1 lever.
  • 3 2
 @TEBP: There are the horrible flexy plastic ones on the cheapo or OEM brakes. They are probably very long lasting though given how much they flex. They are certainly coming with the Anti-OTB safety feature due to the absolute absence of any brakepoint Big Grin
  • 1 1
 @Almazing: I have 4 sets across different bikes and I've never broken anything on them.
  • 3 0
 @ESKato: Sounds like someone didn't follow Magura's (very easy) bleeding instructions
  • 1 0
 @mnorris122: Haha no I really like my Maguras and changed the plastic levers to the 1-finger metal ones. They work super well and the bleeding is indeed super easy.
  • 10 0
 "The freehub and ratchet system (45 points of engagement) are hard anodised to ensure high durability."

Wait, does that mean that the ratchet system is made out of alu?
  • 9 0
 That’s what I was wondering. It looks like it is, as in the first cutaway you can see that the freehub body and outer ratchet are a single piece which is anodized gold and is silver on the cut. The inner ratchet is the same color.

The business end of torque application seems like an odd place to spec aluminum no matter what the surface treatment is.
  • 8 0
 Correct, the ratchet system is made from aluminium (very good aluminium). Nonplus Components say that due to the large contact area there is hardly any abrasion in the ratchet system. They showed me photos of their ratchet system after thousands of kilometers of use and it still looks like new.
  • 9 0
 @TEBP: even very good aluminium has 1/3 the modulus of steel and is much softer. The hard ano protects the surface, if the underlying material deforms, the hard ano will just flake off.

Like mentioned, aluminium seems like a strange material for this kind of use.
  • 6 0
 Yes it does, and I've been wondering why they haven't made this a bigger part of their marketing. The big advantage(s) of their star-drive are that is self aligns axially (vs just radially) and that the additional surface area means that contact pressures on the teeth should be low enough to use (7075) aluminum. really clever way to save weight. If it turns out that they can manufacture them to the tolerances necessary consistently (i.e. if these are consistently reliable and problem free), this could be my next hubset.
  • 1 0
 Which also, BTW, means that the splines can be machined directly into the freehub body - which should stiffen/strengthen that component that takes a ton of torque and bending, and is usually geometrically just a hollow cylinder.
  • 5 0
 @ohio: your comment sounds like a line from one of those sci-fi movies where the head scientist is analyzing some alien spaceship and the genius of it’s design, and then trying to explain it to the other less intelligent characters in the movie. not to poke fun, you sound like you have a very genuine understanding of the way hubs are engineered. Just made me laugh.
  • 2 0
 I’m impressed with the number of people that read that sentence past 45 points of engagement.
  • 5 0
 laughs in onyx vesper
  • 1 0
 Holy smokes thats freekn hilarious dude

@Jordansemailaddress:
  • 3 0
 I've ridden every hub system from the top people; see King, Hadley, Hope, I9, Onyx, DT, etc. The simple steel ratchets in a DT Swiss 240 or 350 are not the most POE, but boy do they just work and work and work. At $225 for a 350 the price is unbeatable. The Nonplus look like a fancy DT, the aluminum worries me though...

-290lbs hub destoyer
  • 1 0
 @ohio:
RE: 7075 - For some more context, Black Diamond uses 7075 to make chocks and cams for rock climbing. It's very durable stuff.
  • 4 0
 @thomasjkenney1024: yeah, but no one cares if their cam gets a little chewed up under normal use. It’s job is to get jammed and stay put at all costs in the event of a fall and if any damage is incurred during that it gets retired. At that point the safety device is used up, like a helmet. And they need to be light enough that a climber can carry a bundle of them or they’ll never get used at all.

If this ratchet gets a little chewed up it will cease to function, which it needs to do tens of thousands of times without suffering any damage to be considered a successful design. If the design works then more power to them because aluminum is a heck of a lot cheaper to machine than steel, I’m just doubtful.
  • 2 0
 I was thinking if you're making a DT copy, shouldn't you at least out-ratchet the 54 they have?
  • 1 0
 @foggnm: I get the impression europeans aren't as sold on high engagement as americans. See EU made high end hubs like Newmen, Syntace, DT... and they're all in the 36T-54T range, with newmen specifically saying they don't want to go higher, even though they could have when they switched from a star to pawls. Different philosophy I guess.
  • 11 3
 drilling holes to prevent moisture from getting into the bearings...hmmm, seems like the middle of the hub shell will forever hold moisture after the first encounter with a hose
  • 6 0
 From what I understand the drillings aren’t exposed to any open part of the hub. They’re within the sealed part of the hub but allow the air in the hub to expand/contract without moisture condensing inside the hub.
  • 2 1
 yet another reason to not hose down your bearings with any sort of real pressure Wink
  • 1 0
 It sounds silly, but this they didn’t invent the idea. SON dynamo hubs have had a system like this for years. It’s particularly important in those because the internal volume of the hub is so large and the dynamo generates heat, both of which exacerbate the vacuum effect after a ride. Also because the bearings can’t be replaced without sending the hub back the the factory.

The SON hub has a long coiled tube attached to the inner opening of the vent hole. The idea is that cold air will cool down the surface of the tube first, causing any condensation to collect inside it. Then, next ride, it will be pushed out through both the turning motion of the hub and by the heat from the dynamo increasing the internal temperature (encouraging evaporation) and pressure (causing flow out of the hub).

Sounds Germanically over complicated, but it adds no moving parts and the bearings in those hubs tend to last 50k-100k miles.
  • 7 0
 If the brake lever pre-actuates the master piston for faster engagement, does it imply that it basically pushes the piston past the port between master cylinder and reservoir so that you end up with a closed system? Looking forwards to a short term review.
  • 2 0
 Yep...someone who gets it. Really dumb idea that will just pump out as brakes heat up and not self adjust as pads wear down. I know because I tried something similar on my Codes trying to reduce free stroke.
  • 5 0
 I’ve recently bought a couple different Garmin mounts in an effort to find the best setup. I really like the look of that stem, too bad they are not available for sale. I would prefer slightly different specs (zero rise, 50mm if possible) but that’s a really nice part.
  • 2 0
 www.williamsracingproducts.com/shop/p/stuart-integrated-wahoo-mount-stem-pre-order

I have a Williams stem and it a lovely little piece of Australian made bike jewellery. They have a new stem with Garmin mount that can be custom made to your specs.
  • 2 0
 @NickBit: Williams is nice! And for sale :-)
Mine is only a one of, or personal project at the moment.
Maybe my daughter will get one.
  • 2 0
 @Tegheim83: Nice work! Let us know if you ever consider making any for sale.

@NickBit: Thanks for sharing that. A custom stem is tempting..
  • 1 0
 @lj17 Which mount do you reckon is most crash proof? I've just stuck with the elastic bands one in the box, as I figured any of the others are either asking to get broken, or if they're solid enough, they'd just break the tabs off the bottom of the Garmin if they took a hit. I like the look of the knock block mounts, as that's pretty out of the way, or perhaps an adhesive version (using the lanyard!) 76projects.com/products/enduromount
  • 2 0
 @Tegheim83:
Sorry, I didn’t mean to take anything away from your article by linking to a different product. Congratulations on getting a shout out on a big site like Pinkbike.
Your stem is lovely, Not just as a solution to a problem but it’s a genuinely lovely looking and functioning piece of kit.
Im so impressed by people and small companies who can combine creative and technical talents to make cool solutions that we would normally look to big companies for.

The car sounds pretty sweet too!
  • 1 0
 @NickBit:

No problem!
I'm glad that both @TEBP and Pinkbike liked my stuff. As I'm not selling at the moment I have no issue with linking others. That my own fault :-)
  • 4 0
 I occasionally see bikes based off of cars. There was the Ferrari F40 Pivot Firebird, WorldWideCyclery posted on their instagram a bike painted to look like the Pink Pig Porsche, now with this connection to the Mazda 787b, I need to see someone do a bike in that iconic Renown green/orange livery
  • 1 0
 The only connection to the 787B is really that it's the same guy (me) who digs to deep in some projects :-)
I'm still a rotaryhead, but at the moment MTB is funnier and easier to do with kids and family
  • 6 0
 Waiting for the day someone makes a metal (steel/ALU) Magura master cylinder as an upgrade.
  • 3 0
 My current solution is using Saint levers… but I do miss that fresh bled Magura feel
  • 4 0
 They do! They’re called Saint levers, and they work awesome!
  • 1 0
 @enki: I knew someone would make this point :-D
  • 6 0
 Those levers are so amazing! Love the fast coil too. So sick!
  • 8 3
 Yes,but not 148€ amazing.
  • 6 0
 @nozes: true. but still...100% work of art that i want on my mt7's
  • 4 0
 @nozes: could you produce then cheaper? Design, test, machine (buy raw stock, have CNC mill, etc.), market and ship? If so, go for it!
  • 1 2
 I can buy a set of MT5 (no rotors) with that money, it's all that I'm saying.
  • 1 0
 @nozes: if you buy this and the Magura brakes, something is wrong.

Buy a Trickstuff instead.. , hahaha.
  • 5 0
 More of these pls! I love hearing about these cool and quirky products.
  • 5 0
 How many magura levers are there ? Oak components: not enough!
  • 1 0
 who else makes them?
  • 1 0
 @blaaaaaaaaaah: Magura make's to many different allready
  • 2 0
 I've been for a while eagerly looking to pick up a Fenix (the last gen) and their SC4 cart, although with no US service presence Fast is still a tough sell!
  • 1 0
 yeah that part is real tough! cant get much help for service
  • 6 0
 @andraperrella27: get in touch with them they are sound. If they can confirm that there isn't any proprietary seals or tools needed any decent suspension shop should be able to tale care of it. It is a well executed mono tune shock using shim stacks so nothing insane or out of the ordinary.
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: that was my original hope--I went through their documentation and it says authorized dealers/service centers only. I'm pretty sure I could do the service here at home if there aren't any unusual proprietary tools involved (jury's still a little out on that) but no easy to come by spares is still a gamble.
  • 2 0
 You can get buy and get service by S4 Suspension in Quebec. I was seriously looking at it. But I went for the new CC Kitsuma.
  • 3 0
 @shockwave: I picked up one of these on a Black Friday sale from S4 for like $800 USD, they were really great to work with and I'm good with sending it to them for service when it needs it.
  • 1 0
 Had so many rides ruined by negative pressure in my hubs, all we need now is holes in handlebars to correct the occasional positive pressure issues when you put new grips on, that can seriously ruin a ride!
  • 2 0
 it's the little things...
  • 3 2
 Does that Fast Shock really come with just 3 months of Warranty?... No thanks.
  • 1 0
 Where did you see that ? It literally says that first service after 1 year is included in the price.
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: www.fast-suspension.com/en/content/3-terms-conditions
here. not clear though if that only applies to repairs.
also, because of EU-law it should be 2-year warranty, as they are based in france europa.eu/youreurope/business/dealing-with-customers/consumer-contracts-guarantees/consumer-guarantees/index_en.htm
so it is probably still 2 years.
  • 5 0
 "GUARANTEE
In accordance with the European directive 99/44/EC, the FENIX shock absorber is guaranteed 2 years parts and labour against any defective parts or assembly problems.
The warranty applies only to the first owner and is not transferable.
The beginning of the warranty is from the date of purchase."
Quote from user manual of the shock.
  • 1 0
 @TomasK: thanks. Yeah at least 2 years or more (are there any shocks that offer longer warranty period?) I think is super important especially after blowing up my cane creek luckily within under a year (just before the warranty period ended)
  • 1 0
 Wow those levers remind me of Razor Rock levers. I hadn't thought of those in a dog's age. Wow those were cool.
  • 1 0
 wish that shock came in 190x51!
  • 2 0
 OAK Components 3
  • 1 0
 Those brake levers look really good, also loving the purple on that shock.
  • 1 0
 ooooo those magura levers look good!





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