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 second edition that includes a prototype Senduro frame, a very unique stem and more. Reichmann Engineering Senduro Prototype
Matthias Reichmann gained quite a lot of fame among German downhill racers for designing the RIP downhill frame. Over the years, the RIP saw four different iterations and, as the lines between enduro and downhill are getting more and more blurred, it's no surprise that his latest creation is a very capable frame that can be pedaled uphill. Since 2021, Reichmann Engineering is a part of EMRG (emerge), a new company that is working on several exciting products such as a virtual pivot headset.
The frame has not four or six, but some mind-boggling seven pivots and a suspension design which is based on a Watt's linkage. They say that the modified Watt's linkage helps them to tune the suspension exactly to their liking. Basically, their frame offers a lot of sensitivity in the first third of the stroke, support during the second third and a lot of progression towards the end of the stroke. Have a look at their Youtube
to see the linkage in action.
So is it long, low and slack? Yes, definitely. Currently, the geometry of the prototype frames is based on a 62.5° head angle and a 76.5° seat angle. Reach in Size 1 is 470mm and in Size 2 510mm, with a wheelbase of 1280 or 1330mm respectively. The EMRG team is planning to offer adjustable chainstays which can be set to 440, 450 or 460mm. While a 250x75mm shock will generate 195mm of travel, a 230x65mm shock will reduce the travel to 170mm. Recommended fork travel: 180 - 200mm. The frame can be built as a full 29er or mullet bike, bottom bracket drop for a full 29er will be -32mm. The current frame weight is 4kg.
At the moment, the EMRG team is testing several prototypes and they are planning to make the frame available by Summer 2022.
DetailsDH Sign HPX stem
- Frame made in Germany
- Weight: 4kg
- Fork travel: 180 - 200mm
- Rear travel: 170 or 195mm
- Pre-orders are planned to start in Summer 2022
- More info at https://emrg.bike/
Working in the marketing department of a stem manufacturer can probably be difficult: While most stems look more or less the same, it's not easy to find that one feature that makes the stem stand out from the crowd. This is not the case for DH Sign from Italy: Their stems are probably the only ones that use a steel sheet to clamp the handlebars.
DH Sign was founded back in 2013 in a small town near the Dolomites and today they offer a nice range of quality products including flat pedals, chain guides, this stem and a rim repair tool.
When designing the HPX stem, they really wanted to create something special and came up with a very clean looking product. They say that they wanted to ditch the "unsightly" front screws because they make it more difficult to mount GPS devices and they didn't want to interrupt the lines of the handlebar. As a plus, the pressure is applied to the handlebar very evenly, without creating stress risers. The steel sheet comes in either brushed steel or a new "black ice" finish. The aluminium stem body is available in several anodised colours. Obviously, the installation procedure differs from what we are used to, but it remains simple.
DetailsFrozen cool grips
- Made in Italy
- Length: 37 or 50mm
- Diameter: 31.8 or 35mm
- Various colours and finishes
- Weight: 95g for 37mm length / 118g for 50mm length
- Price: 140 - 160 Euro
- More info at https://dhsign.it/
The perfect grips for the Grim Donut
come from a new German company that has set out to bring you transparent grips with a customisable look.
One of the founders of Frozen also runs a custom motorbike shop where he was experimenting with transparent grips for quite a while. His goal was to create unique grips that would allow his customers to change the look of their bikes by simply switching between different printed stickers that go below the grips. What works for motorbikes usually can't be too far wrong for mountain bikes, so the Frozen team decided that they wanted to bring the customisable grips to the mtb world too.
The Frozen cool grips are locally made in Germany from a recyclable, Reach certified Thermolast plastic. They are sweat resistant, come with a polygon body shape, grip rips and a two-zone thumb area. According to Frozen, the grips are also hard wearing and won't get sticky over time.
The stickers can be purchased individually at the Frozen webshop for €5, while a set of grips including stickers will cost you €39. If you feel creative you can also print some stickers at home, but Frozen say that your self-made stickers should have the same dimensions as the original Frozen stickers.
Even though push-on grips can be really comfortable, they don't get a lot of love recently because their lock-on siblings are very easy to install and remove. However, the “how to mount video
" makes it look very easy, so let's hope that the cool technology allows for an easy installation.
DetailsPembree D2A pedals
- Made in Germany
- Weight: 90g (pair)
- Length: 133mm
- Diameter: 31mm
- 40A soft compound
- Price: 39 Euro
- More info at https://ridefrozen.com/
I've been running Pembree D2A pedals for 10 months or so on my Enduro and I'm happy to report that they're still running perfectly smooth and I've lost only one pin. While that doesn't sound extremely exciting, we all know that there are a lot of pedals out there that need a full rebuild after a season or even earlier. However, it's not just the quality of the products that makes Pembree stand out from the crowd, it is the way that the company is run.
Phil, the owner of the company, is aiming to create a very transparent company that acts responsibly. If you have a look at their website, you'll see that they share detailed information for every single piece of their pedals. For each component, they state where it is made, how it is made, which material it is and they also include some details sustainability and recycling.
As you might know, machining metal needs quite a lot of electricity. Luckily, Pembree's own CNC machines are run by 100% renewable energy. On top of that, Pembree also calculated the CO2 footprint of their pedals. They say that each set of pedals is responsible for 92kg of CO2 emissions - the full calculations can be found on their website. Pembree have partnered with Temwa to balance the carbon footprint of their products by planting trees.
Pembree started selling pedals in 2020, which was a very difficult year. Despite being a relatively small company, they really do go the extra mile and I have a lot of respect for that.
Details 720 Protections Awake helmet
- Made in UK
- Weight: 446g (pair)
- Several colours available
- Warranty: 5 years / 2 years for bearings
- More info at https://pembree.com/
While bike tech is constantly evolving, it's interesting to note that the vast majority of helmets are still based on the same principle as 30 years ago: styrofoam, some padding and a thin hard plastic shell. Yes, rotational impact protection has definitely been a huge advance in safety but no matter whether your helmet cost 30 or 300 bucks, the tech is mostly the same.
I'm not saying that these conventional helmets are bad, they've surely helped to save thousands of lives and have prevented many more bad injuries but at the same time, it's exciting to see that some companies are looking at new technologies that are different from the classic styrofoam helmets.
One of these companies is 720 Protections from Italy (South Tyrol / Alto Adige to be precise). The honeycomb structure is the core of their helmets and is made of H.E.A.P. (High Energy Absorption Polymer). H.E.A.P. deforms in the event of a crash and distributes impact forces over a larger area than usual helmets, 720 Protections say. Also - that's another key feature - it returns to its original shape.
In order to get a certification, European standard EN 1078 requires that helmets transfer a maximal acceleration force of 250g to a cyclist's head. 720 Protections say that from a medical point of view, 250g is more than your head can handle without sustaining severe injuries. Luckily, average helmets take that value down to ~170g, but obviously those values can vary quite a lot. The 720 Protections helmets offer a value that is as low as 115g, outperforming most helmets on the market. The Awake helmet is not for die-hard weight-weenies though, as it comes in at almost 500 grams.
- Made in Italy
- Weight: ~500g
- Patented Hexago technology with elastomer honeycomb structure
- Adjustable visor
- Fidlock magnetic buckle
- More info at https://720protections.com/
Photos: EMRG, DH Sign, Frozen, Pembree, own.
Transparency: I have received Pembree D2A pedals and the 720 Protections helmet for reviewing and use.