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 that will be mainly focussed on bringing you exciting products from small European manufacturers.
In this article, we'll have a look at a very boutique steel hardtail, wooden handlebars and a couple of smaller but very useful products. Rå Bikes .410
It doesn't get much more boutique than that - Pinkbike user @tomhoward379
really went the extra mile when he built this stunning hardtail.
Tom went for some custom options such as external routing for the rear brake, and no cable routing for the dropper and derailleur, as he uses wireless options - so why clutter up the frame with unnecessary fixtures? As everyone knows, red bikes are the fastest, so choosing the colour was simple. The finish not so much, after much agonising Tom went for "Ultimate Candy Red", which is chrome under red lacquer and over "Cosmic Fire" (which has some metal flake in it). He says that he couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
This started as a winter hardtail spares project, but after getting the fork in a charity auction, with proceeds going to World Bicycle Relief, Tom couldn’t just put them on an old frame, and with a nice frame, he couldn’t just use any old parts. The parts are essentially a mix of tried and trusted products and things he found rummaging around on the internet over the last year. Most of the kit is made in Europe or the US, and a high percentage are products where Tom has spoken to the maker, or the company owner directly.
Ralph from Rå Bikes uses Reynolds 853 and T45 steel tubing for this frame. The weight as pictured is 14.6kg (32,2 lb). It might not be the lightest hardtail out there, but Tom says that he'd rather have something solid than flex in the wrong places.
While the head angle is 63° (static) / 65.7° (sagged), the seat angle is 75° (static) / 78.5° (sagged). The reach is 450 mm (static) / 482.5 mm (sagged). While these numbers don't look very unusual, the BB drop of 80 mm (static) / 100 mm (sagged) really got people talking. Tom says that the actual BB height is about the same as most sagged enduro bikes. With 165mm cranks and thin pedals, strikes have not been an issue.
DetailsAtelier SUJI wooden handlebars
- Frame made in UK
- Head angle: 63° (static) / 65.7° (sagged)
- Seat angle: 75° (static) / 78.5° (sagged)
- Reach: is 450 mm (static) / 482.5 mm (sagged)
- BB drop: 80 mm (static) / 100 mm (sagged)
- Wheelbase: 1212 mm (static) / 1190 mm (sagged)
- Chainstays: 410 mm (static) / 405 mm (sagged)
- Travel: 150 mm fork with 30% sag
- Weight: 14.6 kg
- Price: from 995 £ (frame)
- Website: https://www.ra-bikes.com/
- Instagram Rå Bikes: https://www.instagram.com/ra_bike/
- Instagram Tom: https://www.instagram.com/toms_bike_project/
You might remember Atelier SUJI, a one-man company that specialises in wooden bike frames, as we featured the company's first hardtail
and hardcore hardtail
Recently the French brand released its first set of handlebars, including a riser bar (pictured) and a flat bar. The handlebars are made from ash which comes from eco-managed forests in France. According to Edouard from Atelier SUJI, ash has the ability to absorb vibrations and can handle big impacts without breaking.
The handlebars have passed ISO testing (which means that they've gone through 100,000 cycles with 50 kg load on each side). However, Atelier SUJI emphasizes that these bars are mainly aimed at city bikes, trekking bikes and gentle mountain bike use. They are not meant to be used on downhill or enduro bikes.
In an effort to limit the environmental impact of the handlebars, Edouard tries to find suppliers which are very close to his workshop and uses environmentally friendly manufacturing methods wherever possible. The glue is bio-epoxy, the varnish is eco-labelled and made in France and the screen printing ink is water-based.
Edouard prepares each "sandwich" of veneers in order to distribute the grain well. Once the gluing is done, each handlebar is machined with small portables machines and the transitions are done by hand. Each handlebar will have a different grain, with darker or lighter parts depending on the veneer.
The riser has a 15° backsweep and 6° upsweep, a 25.4 mm clamp area (31.8 mm adapter included) and it's available in 780 and 680 mm length. The weight is around 320 g. The flat bar has no rise at all, 15° backsweep and no upsweep. The length is 760 or 660 mm and weight will be approx. 290 g. r3pro tools and camera mounts
Have you ever broken something or lost a part that makes the rest of the part unusable? Phil from r3pro (re-pro) has, however since venturing down the path of 3D printing this has become less of a problem.
Some of Phil's first projects involved reproducing objects that were hard to find or a bit too expensive to purchase. 3D printing allowed him to be creative and design everyday things that he previously could not do. It soon became apparent that other people were interested in his designs and solutions to problems.
Today, r3pro offers a vast range of affordable, 3D printed tools, camera mounts, light mounts and more. Among the most popular products are the camera chin mounts. Many people think that chin mounts allow you to get the best videos, as your head works like a gimbal and the viewers will actually see what you saw - contrary to chest mounts, which always seem to be a little bit too low and they tend to bounce around quite a bit more. As many brands like to make subtle changes that alter the contours of their helmets, r3pro offers many specifically designed chin mounts, which match the contours of each brand, model, size, and year of manufacture of each helmet.
R3pro also offers a lot of brake tools, including bleeding blocks, piston release tools and caliper alignment tools.
There are more and more drivetrain tools added to the lineup as well, including a nice chain retention pulley tool that will slide on your rear axle and make sure the chain doesn't flop around when you've removed the rear wheel.
Make sure to head over to the r3pro website from time to time, as new products are added regularly. Panzerhülse wall anchor
If you want to make sure bike thieves have a hard time when they're trying to steal your bike, a wall anchor is the obvious choice. Having your lock / chain attached to a wall anchor means that thieves can't just take your locked bike and walk away with it. However, most wall anchors are designed in such a way that they are very, very difficult to remove. If you live in a rental property, these massive wall anchors might not be an option for you as removing them might damage the wall quite a bit.
The Panzerhülse (which can be translated to armoured shell or similar) is a wall anchor that can easily be removed if you have the keys for the padlock. It comes with an 85 mm screw, but you can also order a shorter 55 mm screw in case your wall is not that thick.
It might not offer the maximum security that some of the big wall anchors offer, but it will definitely prevent thieves from running away with your bike - which might really make the difference between losing and not losing your bike!
In their webshop, you will find different versions of the Panzerhülse. The most affordable option costs 25 Euro and comes without a padlock (you'll need to use your own). There is also an option to get two wall anchors and locks that use the same keys, in case you want to secure two bikes.44elf
Tim founded 44elf (44 eleven) back in the days when mountain bikes had three chainrings. The biggest chainring often had 44 teeth, the smallest sprocket had 11 teeth - the perfect combination for going full speed.
Today, 44elf offers some very nice bike-inspired furniture, pepper mills and even cookie cutters (these come in enduro, road and triathlon versions).
The wheel lamps are made to order - if you have a specific idea, get in touch with Tim and he will help you. All the production and the packaging takes place in Tim's living room, with his friends helping him.
However, the product that I like best are the hub to pepper mill conversion kits. You can order these for 35 Euro and transform a broken hub into a pepper mill - that's upcycling at its best. Unfortunately, some of his products are very low in stock, as 44elf was facing some supply chain issues.
Tim is currently looking for partners or investors to speed things up to full 44eleven speed and in order to offer new, high quality products. If you like the 44eleven spirit and you're interested in working with Tim, feel free to get in touch with him.
By the way: Did you know it's only 117 days until Christmas? Tim's products could be the perfect gift for your riding buddy who already owns dozens of bottle openers.