Throwback Thursday: 7 Cool Things From Eurobike That Never Made It Big

Sep 3, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
Across the Pond Beaver may allow us to report on all the exciting new tech that's coming out soon in the MTB world, but it does leave out some of the more weird and wonderful side of the trade show experience. Alongside shiny new kit, brands will often show off concepts and prototypes that we don't very often get a chance to see from press releases or product samples. To make up for that, we're looking back at 6 different ideas from Eurobikes gone by and trying to work out what ended up happening to them.
Canyon Dis\connect

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Ever since Gwin's legendary chainless run, separating suspension action from chain forces has become the goal of engineers in the mountain biking world. We've seen some simple solutions such as Gee Atherton's neutral gear and some more complex like the O-Chain chainring spider. Perhaps the most promising was Canyon's Dis\Connect system that was first previewed at Eurobike in 2016.

Eurobike 2016

The bike's modified hub is home to a DT Swiss Star Ratchet clutch, and the two Star Ratchet wheels are moved apart by a complicated system of three movable pawls that extend outward from within the special axle. Once the thumb paddle is pushed, the Star Ratchet wheels separate and the freehub and drivetrain have zero influence on the bike's suspension. Of course, this means pedaling will also result in nothing; it's as if there's no chain on the bike at all.

Four years and a new iteration of the Sender later, there has been no further news on the system so we're assuming it has been shelved at this point.

Scurra's Linkage Enduro Bike

Scurra

Move over Structure Cycle Works, move over Cannondale, move over any brand that has designed a mullet bike, Austria's Scurra was arguably well ahead of the curve when it brought its wild 2 Enduro bike to Eurobike in 2017.

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The 170mm Trelever linkage fork is driven by a Magura shock and then directly behind that is another shock that drives the 200mm of rear travel. Other cool features about this bike were a 29" wheel up front with a 27.5" wheel out back and geometry that's adjustable without removing a bolt. This frame would have set you back €5,000 (including both shocks) but unfortunately it looks like Scurra has closed its doors for now, with no updates on the bike and no posts on social media since 2018.

Scurra

We've seen plenty of linkage bikes down the years and there's yet to have been one that's really stuck. We've definitely found some interesting results whenever we've tested these wild-looking machines and would have loved to have given this one a go too.

Marzocchi's Espresso Dropper Post


In 2014, we were given a sneak peek at a dropper post that was in the works for Marzocchi. Aimed to be OE only, we saw two 150mm models with internal and external cable options. The 'Espresso' name came from Marzocchi's Kashima-esque coating, which was also featured on its forks and shocks at the time.

We saw the post again at Sea Otter and Core Bike in the next six months, but in July of 2105 Marzocchi shut its doors before being bought by Fox in October. When the brand resurfaced, it came back with a new look, new products, and no Espresso dropper. It wasn't until 2018 that the Italian marque would release a dropper and that was called the Transfer, which turned out to be pretty much identical to its Fox Performance cousin.

Brew's NitroShox

Eurobike 2015

Remember Nitro Shox? It's probably hard not to given that we've written three articles on it at various trade shows since 2015. At Eurobike 2015, we saw its first-ever shock and we've been getting a slow tease of it ever since.

The Nitro Shox works on the same oleo design as the Millyard Shock that has also been in and around the mountain bike scene for a number of years. It's a design that's carried over from airplane landing gear and is claimed to offer performance benefits without any of the adjustments needed that are found on traditional mountain bike shocks. There's a more in-depth look at how it works, here.

Sea Otter 2017
An updated version from Sea Otter 2017 with added external preload adjustment.

We saw an updated version of the shock at Sea Otter in 2017 and haven't really had any updates since. The company is still active, but a production version of the shock still doesn't exist. We'll continue to watch both Nitro Shox and Millyard's progress to see if anything ever hits the market.

Update: Nitro Shox have been in touch and are hoping to begin production in the next few months. We'll update you with more news when we have it

CeramicSpeed's Chainless Shaft Drivetrain


A genuine innovation or just a way to get journalists to visit your stand and take lots of pictures? We're still unsure as to whether CeramicSpeed has any serious intentions of developing this shaft drive concept, but there's no doubt it's an interesting idea.

Instead of a chain, the Driven drivetrain uses a shaft with a roller pinion on each end to transfer the power from the chainring to the cassette. To make it work on a full suspension bike, CeramicSpeed had to make it telescoping to cope with axle paths and changing chainstay lengths of a full-suspension mountain bike. Canyon also had to build CeramicSpeed a special frame with an elevated chainstay to accommodate the telescoping shaft.

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When we saw it last year, the concept was nowhere near production. The shaft could only travel a small distance, but CeramicSpeed claimed that there was theoretically no travel length that would be too long. The main drawback here is that the system will only work on a bike where the pivot is above the axle, so on something like a Horst link bike this simply wouldn't be possible. CeramicSpeed and Canyon also had to redesign the rear triangle of the bike to make the system fit, something that would have to be considered on most bikes if the product ever came to market.

It's only a year old but we'd be very surprised if we see an update to this project any time soon.

Brakeforce One's H2O brakes

Brake Force One

Brakeforce One has been floating around since 2010 and we reviewed a pair of its regular brakes in 2014 but it really caught our attention in 2015 when we spotted these brakes that use H2O (and anti-freeze) instead of traditional brake fluid.

Why use water? Well, BF1's engineers say that the only reason we use DOT or mineral oil is because of old technology taken from the automotive where fluid temperatures can get much higher than on mountain bikes, and that water is actually more heat resistant than a hydraulic fluid with two times higher heat capacity, five times better heat transportation and less heat elongation. It also has the benefit of being more environmentally friendly and sustainable than using oil. Still, given that the boiling point of water is 100° C, and the boiling point of DOT fluid is 260° C, it's east to understand why DOT fluid is the more common choice.

Brake Force One

BF1 still makes the brakes and they can be bought for €594.00 but they're an extremely rare sight and DOT and mineral oil still reign supreme.


111 Comments

  • 150 1
 H2Oh sh*t I'm not slowing down.
  • 4 0
 ha, nice.
  • 12 0
 brah if you get thirsty you got free water. It's a win win
  • 12 0
 Just bleed those brakes with your water bottle. Mid descent.
  • 6 0
 Trails riders used to use water in their brakes. Particularly the Magura HS series. Locking the wheel isn't the same as slowing down though I guess...
  • 12 0
 @DaFreerider44: No need for bottle cages after all.
  • 4 0
 @fullfacemike: Exactly. This man in big brain mode
  • 6 0
 i saw a review of those somewhere. they seem to be absurdly powerful. modulation however wasnt that great. They can be bought from R2bike. Theyre cool tho
  • 2 0
 @wisey: That was for responsiveness, not power. The mineral oils of the day were so thick it made the HS's lever feel very heavy and sluggish. With water (or the modern mineral alternatives) they're light and fast.
  • 2 0
 @wisey: That's Trials mate.
  • 2 0
 @glasvagas: Damn typo, I always to trials and trails the wrong way around...
  • 1 0
 @wisey:
Water in the Magura HS rim brakes was so much better that mineral oil. Brake lever had a better more precise feel to it. That was rime brakes though that did not have the heating issues like a disc brake.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, water is a bad idea. There’s a reason that most mtb brake fluid has a boiling point of 220-280 C, it’s the same reason that people replace Magura fluid with Shimano fluid (magura boils at 120 C vs 280 C for the Shimano stuff). On a long descent it’s easy to hit these levels.
  • 1 0
 Camelback really missed their calling
  • 47 0
 Can we please change title to: Cool Stuff From Eurobike That Never Made It Big but @mikelevy really wanted it to.
  • 25 0
 LOL but true
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy: it's ok mike, I too think about project dis/connect from time to time
  • 2 0
 Was thinking about those water brakes and what ever happened to them about a week ago.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: the grim donut would definitely suit some water brakes, nitro shox and a disconnect / shaftdrive...
  • 40 0
 Nitroshox are still going and will be in production by the end of the year! The units are currently with various media and top riders for feedback and assuming everything goes as expected we will start production very soon. We are also working on the after sales too so customers can be confident of support from the off!
  • 4 0
 Awesome! I can’t wait to try one.
  • 1 3
 Please don't make metric only shocks!
  • 5 0
 Interesting. I thought they optimized their technology for low temperatures and pivoted to the coffee industry: "Nitro Cold Brew".
  • 3 0
 @MtbSince84: slow clap
  • 1 0
 Various Media, but not pinkbike it seems!
  • 2 0
 @NickBit: we have contacted them but haven't heard anything back from them yet!
  • 3 0
 @Waldon83: we will make both types as our design makes it easy to build different sizes
  • 43 3
 More like Throw-Out Thursday.
  • 19 0
 More like bore-ophyll.
  • 32 1
 - Imagine riding out in the winter, taking a break and suddenly your brakes don't work, because the water in them froze.
- Espresso > Kashima
- I'd like to see the suspension more compressed on that shaft drive train, that guy barely moved it. (Also that's a bloody cheese grater and it will definitely bloody when someone gets their limbs anywhere near that in a crash.)
  • 12 1
 anti-freeze? Would raise the boiling point of water too
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: yeah, I seem to remember they recommended a 1/3rd antifreeze 2/3rds water mix if you were riding in colder temperatures.
  • 7 0
 propylene glycol Funny it's not mentioned,most anti freeze today use ethylene glycol , which is poisoning and would be somewhat weird. Propylene Glycol on the other hand is harmless but somewhat less effective as anti freeze and used to be found on low budget ant freeze. Maybe Glycerin could also be used...290.C boiling point.Both are also used in some tubeless sealants as evaporation restraining
  • 3 0
 @miguelcurto: can confirm. I used a Propylene Glycol based anti freeze for a batch of home made sealant a few years back. It actually worked really well, just got too lazy to make more.
  • 8 0
 And roadies were "aprehensive" of our pizza slicers!
  • 1 1
 @miguelcurto: propylene glycol comes with a nice sugar taste too!
  • 4 0
 Trials riders have been bleeding Magura rim (HS series) brakes with water for years. Super easy to do. The freezing issue is mitigated pretty well using anti freeze.
  • 3 0
 @fracasnoxteam: Ethylene glycol as well but your CNS will not like it so much...
  • 16 0
 I can't believe Marzocchi closes its doors in another 85 years! So glad QAnon gave us a heads up on this.
  • 13 0
 The Marzocchi Dropper is pretty cool. I had one of their Bomber forks from around the same time that had that same espresso color. Would've looked sick with the dropper.
  • 2 0
 380 TI on the front of my old TR450 was the absolute jam
  • 1 0
 @ahauck: I always wanted one
  • 2 0
 Pretty much all marzocchi forks said bomber lol I still don't understand how people get that confused as being the forks name.
  • 2 0
 This Dropper would be awesome!
I have the 350 fork and 053 shock on my Airdrop Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @Baghira: I have 350 NCR, but got piece with excessive bushing rub but still clocked few thousans km on it Smile the 053 shock just slayed the stock RS Monarch debonair on my Devinci Troy Smile
  • 12 0
 I think the Marz Espresso dropper would be seriously good looking. I wish it had made it out there.
  • 13 1
 Honestly I don't think Marz had many "misses" all their stuff visually stood the test of time.
  • 10 0
 The mad, back isles project products/concepts should be measured in re-mortgages and divorces.
I suspect that transmission idea may have led to multiples of both
  • 7 0
 I always felt Marzocchi was so so close to pulling through and surviving. That last generation 380ti fork and Moto rear shock were fantastic. Loaded with features, super light and remedied all previous QC issues. I still have them on my dh bike and they are superb. They were also hinting at a new inverted fork at the time. Plus being ahead of the curve with that dropper, and I bet they would have reestablished themselves as big players.
  • 9 1
 that Marzo dropper could really have made them millions if more manufactures saw the future of droppers on even Xc bikes back in 2015
  • 7 1
 Droppers were commercially available in 2015 from many other brands. I don't know if anyone has made millions on them yet.
  • 10 0
 @skerby: I’m pretty sure RockShox has made millions on droppers by now
  • 2 5
 @SonofBovril: i dont think so
  • 4 0
 @SonofBovril: made millions but how much for warranty returns
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: there is a difference between revenue and profit. If you sell a million $100 cost price reverbs for on average $250 a piece, you make $250 million in revenue. But if you have to warranty replace every Reverb twice, instead of a profit, you make a loss of $50 million.
  • 9 0
 That dual shock linkage fork bike is by far the most aesthetic version I’ve ever seen. Totally rad looking
  • 6 0
 I've never understood pedal kickback. I've personally never felt it and always thought that any force that occurs on the chainring would be negated by various means:

While moving forward the wheel rotating and the freehub would compensate for any (except extremely slow speed, high impact) force pulling the chain/chainring backwards... right?

Can someone explain how I'm wrong?

If you have any weight on the pedal and are actually rotating the bike wheel does any (real) kickback occur or is it just something that happens in these impractical lab environments.
  • 4 0
 1) You don't really need to feel "kickback" just try a run without a chain and you'll either feel a difference, or not.

2) For every suspension design there is an exact speed of rear wheel compression (at a given sag and gear) and a related forward speed that if you go any faster you won't feel any kickback.
The most kickback occurs when you go slow and have large impacts. You just might not be riding in these conditions.
  • 2 0
 @IluvRIDING: This is true. And even when you do feel it, it may not be a negative/bad/scary feeling. It's all marketing and opinion as "feeling" is very personal. When you take into account the tires/wheels/suspension and frame all slipping, bouncing, flexing and otherwise deforming a lot of these super minute details become a bit ridiculous. But if someone feels a little thing and it bugs them then there's your customer.
  • 6 1
 Maybe this will explain it a little better ?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws6HPTom2AY
  • 6 0
 @Waldon83: Thanks that definitely helped
  • 3 0
 Having ridden some chainless DH races, I would agree with Gwin that the chain does make a big difference. While you'd think a rotating wheel would negate kickback a look a slow-mo race video will show you that the wheel will temporarily slow down or even stop when it takes a big impact. If you land a big drop or smack a rock the wheel can come to a complete stop at the same time the suspension is compressing.
  • 3 0
 Last month i blew up another GX derailer, on my Enduro bike. An whilst waiting for the new parts to arrive, I took the bike out for a number of chain less DH sessions. Its very addictive, and to me feels like the difference between deep powder skiing, and carving ice groomer turns. The bike is silent, and rear end works divine. I now under stand why so many Whistler locals go chain-less, soo much fun.

PS: I've also done a water bucket bleed on the brakes on my trials bike. Its very weird mentally, to have brakes still work afterwards. But super clean!
  • 4 0
 @IluvRIDING: In addition, the clutch mechanism has an effect on the suspension too.
  • 2 1
 "While moving forward the wheel rotating and the freehub would compensate for any (except extremely slow speed, high impact) force pulling the chain/chainring backwards... right?"

This is correct. Even if kickback does occur while coasting, it will be only a tiny amount an only in extreme situations such as what you described.

Different story when the wheel is locked or while pedaling.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: if anything clutch has worse of and effect than kickback since it actually affect rear suspension sensitivity the whole time not most at slow speeds. Not sure the benefit of not having to use a chainguide anymore is worth it especially since we ride single ring anyway so keeping the chain on isn't that difficult.
  • 3 1
 @Balgaroth: Remove your shock and move your suspension. See if you can feel the effect of the clutch. The difference isn't literally zero, but it's close.

Now think of the huge forces that act on rear suspension.

I wouldn't worry about the clutch.
  • 9 0
 As a fisherman I am cringing at the knot tied to the H20 brake!
  • 4 0
 re: H2O brakes: my favorite part? "the benefit of being *MORE* environmentally friendly.
.
.
wow. I mean, I had no clue that WATER was more environmentally friendly than DOT fluid!!?? themoreyouknow.gif
  • 3 0
 Specialized put the ceramic speed drivetrain on a road bike last year and claimed some aero benefit. So, knowing how much roadies care about Watts, I wouldn't say it's dead just yet.
  • 2 0
 I recently saw that they finally developped a working shifting mechanism so they might become a thing for roadies sooner than expected. Last year I had a chat with the inventor at Eurobike and he was saying that Mtb application wasn't the main focus as it would need a lot more development, keeping the dirt away for exemple was one of his main concerns. But if it takes off in the Road World that might speed up the funding to bring it to us.
  • 2 0
 @Balgaroth: Good info. I started pondering what it would do to anti squat on a full-suss last night, but it was too late and hurt my brain...
  • 1 0
 With some sort of fairing covering half of the wheel, it will off course be aerodynamic. That's why uci prohibited fairings of any kind, even mudguards.
  • 1 0
 I don't understand how that prototype can even work as claimed. Shifting under load for example is probably going to be pretty interesting...
  • 1 0
 @boozed: quite simply actually, the gear on the shaft is split in half so when you shift the half tyat is not engaged move forward or backward, engages on the new "pinion" and then the second half align when it is not meshed anymore. I don't if I am clear if not just look it up there are some videos.
  • 2 0
 After only one year since the Ceramicspeed concept was shown to the world, isn't it a little early to say that it "never made it big"? Especially for inventions that are that unconventional and complex, we gotta give them time.
  • 3 0
 I desperately want to try one of those oleo shocks. Would really love to try the millyard version.
  • 2 0
 I don’t think you’ll have too long to wait.
  • 2 0
 He dropped a new video today of the bike
  • 2 0
 The best part about water brake bleed is being able to submerge the entire system in a tank, yes you could with any other but clean up would suck more than a normal bleed.
  • 1 0
 I mean you could do the same thing with mineral oil or DOT brakes, it's just a bit more expensive and messy. hehe. Nice user name btw.
  • 4 5
 I broke a four year old carbon fiber SUP paddle while surfing in August. It had an oval shaft which I really liked so I called our local paddle shop to see if they have either replacement shafts or new ones. It turns out that oval paddle shafts are now totally out of fashion and they only have round shafted paddles. I predict however that this is very like oval chain rings in which they will appear, get poo-poohed, disappear for a while and come out again. I had Shimano Biopace chainrings on my Richey Montare in 1984 and they've come out at least twice again since then. So I'll make do and wait for the oval paddles to come back in due course. More seriously I cannot believe how much of a revolution dropper posts have been and how recently they just swept over everything. I had a Hite-Rite in like 1989, and did early prototyping on telescoping seat tubes for Norco VPS type bikes, around 2000, but we never thought about how powerful it would be to have remote actuation. It's easy to laugh at wacky bike show stuff but you never know what's going to be completely revolutionary.
  • 2 0
 That's a lot of paddling between shafts I reckon by the time oval shafts come back around the paddle blades will be like 26 inch wheels.
  • 1 0
 @Brownsworthy: Ha the way paddle blade areas have been going up and down it makes bicycle wheel sizes look like a never changing monolith. At least changing paddle blade sizes don't affect anything else, they just make everyone doubt the size of the paddle they just bought!
  • 1 0
 Should investigate what happened to KS's wireless seatpost, has been listed in the past with some suppliers but never brought to market!
  • 1 0
 I know two people who have one in the 'wild'. Works pretty well if you only want a minimal amount of drop.
  • 3 0
 Anyone remember the Redalp?
  • 9 0
 I’m still trying to forget it
  • 2 0
 Is it possible to turn the Scurra bike or one must always ride straight ahead?
  • 3 0
 It steers via the normal headset and a universal joint that you can't see in the video between the black lever arm and the "lowers".
  • 1 0
 Ive often wondered why water isn’t used for damping? Can see no advantages from using oil other than its inherent slipiness.. water makes. things slippery too though.
  • 1 0
 Water in the brake lines? I’d love to try it but not about to spend $600 on them unseen and untested. Not sure how they would do on long steep descents.
  • 1 0
 Singletrack has reviewed them. Disclaimer: Theyre stupidly powerful.
  • 3 0
 Didn’t know that marzo closed in 2105!! Damn
  • 3 0
 that's because it hasn't happened yet Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @koldunuk:

Ohhhh that’s why!! ????
  • 1 0
 "but in July of 2105 Marzocchi shut its doors before being bought by Fox in October". Huh. you guys must be able to read minds or something
  • 3 1
 Those water brakes are amazing!
  • 2 0
 For brakes costing that kind of money, I'd say they've made it big enough. They're available, people have them on their bikes. Far beyond just a Eurobike specimen. Considering the lengths people go to get an immediate and non-wandering bite point (overfilling the brake, moaning in the comment section etc), I do actually believe there is a place for a closed system like this.
  • 1 0
 That CeramicSpeed drivetrain is so cool. Probably not for most people, but it's a cool technology.
  • 1 0
 Probably not for anybody,I would say.
It's been 5 years and where is it?
  • 2 0
 I want the old Marzocchi brand so bad...
  • 1 0
 Water Brakes? will they need proprietary bleeding tools or will water bottle caps work?
  • 1 0
 The boil long pints of the brake fluids are kind of irrelevant if you don’t take the specific heat of each into account.
  • 2 1
 lol all the shit no one wanted
  • 2 0
 What's #7 cool thing?
  • 4 6
 Chain influence on suspension is non existent when the bike is going at speed, maybe that's why Canyons complex system didn't made it to production.
  • 1 0
 This is not true. Have you ever ridden chainless? If you're a top-gear Jerry who dumps all the gears as soon as the trail points down, sure. But if you're in the correct gear to pedal out of corners, you can clearly feel the influence of the chain. That's not even mentioning effects under heavy braking.
  • 1 0
 @shredteds: But you wont be in any gear if you run chainless, so whats the point of not being a top gear jerry if you just rip your chain off to be like Gwin?

I have gone chainless out of neccesity a few times and mostly just noticed that my bike is quieter.
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