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 latest edition that includes a steel downhill bike, Swedish carbon and more.
BTR Fabrications "Gasser"
The "Gasser" was a custom project for longtime BTR customer Chris
, who already owned a Pinner and a Ranger frame. When Chris asked Burf from BTR what he thought about some of the steel DH frames available, Burf said "I think I should make you one instead." It was basically designed to be a bigger version of the Pinner
with a few tweaks to the kinematics.
Burf describes the whole project as an extreme challenge for him, he looks back on it "as a marathon or Everest type thing". Chris wanted the bike for a road trip that was planned for June 2020 - and we all know how the start of 2020 went. It was looking like the trip wasn't going to go ahead so Burf was hesitant to order a lot of the things needed and it wasn't until the last second that everything got the green light, culminating in a 36 hour shift to get the frame finished and off to the powder coaters. Burf documented the whole thing with Instagram stories and saved them in the highlights section so you can go and see the whole gruesome ordeal unfold in real-time.
The build took five weeks just as the first lockdown in 2020 was coming to an end. This includes the time it took to build the swingarm jig and a few other bits required for the building process.
The suspension design is a linkage driven single-pivot. Burf says that "although the flexible properties of steel are wonderful for hardtails, the flex does become a bit of an issue with multi-pivot suspension systems. So the single-pivot swingarm allows me to build it nice and stiff for the 'feel' and the durability of bearings and dampers. The linkage then allows me to tune the leverage ratios and whatnot to get the progression we wanted. We did look into one of those yoke type extensions for the damper instead of a linkage, shout-out to the crew at TF-Tuned for giving us a heads-up on the fact they destroy dampers."
Chris topped off this stunning frame with some very interesting Euro-parts from Intend, Extreme Shox, SBone and Hope. His custom frame has a 62° head angle, 500 mm reach, 440 mm chainstays and 27.5" wheels, but Burf could tweak the geometry within certain limits to your liking.
So far, there is only one Gasser frame in existence. Because of the layout of the suspension, Burf can only make frames with a minimum reach of 500 mm, so if you are in that size range you're in luck. Cörrent Carbon Components handlebar and stem combo
Cörrent Components is a small one-man show from Sweden that has set out to rethink every bike component. Karl, the founder of Cörrent, says: "There are many unexplored possibilities with carbon fibre when it comes to mountainbikes and bike parts. Sure, it's light and stiff, but what about the special flex properties and ability to withstand abuse if built properly?"
With complete inhouse manufacturing from computer modelling, high end CNC machining to prepreg autoclave, Cörrent Components have everything they need to do things their way. The workshop is located in Lofsdalen, a small mountain town in Sweden. Karl says that his workshop is so energy efficient that it is run on only one 10 A fuse - that’s fully operational in under 2,3 Kw including heating and lighting. "It might be impossible to call yourself environmentally friendly when producing new stuff, but I'm trying to limit the footprint of my products as much as I can" says Karl.
This handlebar and stem combo is Cörrent Components first product to hit the market and a proof that they really think outside the box. Cörrent Components wanted to create a bar that has this nice flex that’s not tiring to your hands and which is still able to take the beating of your bike life. They paid a lot of attention to the clamping area too, so you can mount your favourite brakes without the risk of destroying the handlebar before you're on your first ride.
To achieve this Cörrent had to rethink both the usual fibre orientation and the shape of the bar. The rectangular 30x32mm shape isn’t just to keep the nice flex in the right directions. It also gave Cörrent the possibility to create a very special stem. Instead of using a “built in” carbon stem "that messes up the flex", Cörrent created this very light one-piece stem that works together with the bar to create a good flex while keeping the weight down. Karl says that his handlebar and stem combo turned out even lighter this way then integrated bar/stem combos.
The stem uses only two screws that clamp around the steering tube. The top cap bolt adds the usual pretension to the headtube bearings and at the same time it adds clamping force to the bar.
Details Ingrid RD1 rear derailleur
- Made in Sweden
- Weight: 315 g (handlebar and stem)
- 32x30 mm rectangular bar shape
- 780 mm wide, 5° upsweep, 6° backsweep, 27 mm rise
- 32 mm stem length
- Cörrent Components is currently taking pre-orders for the first 50 handlebar and stem combos
- Price: 490 Euro (including Swedish tax and shipping to all EU countries)
- Delivery starts May 2022
- Website: https://correntcomponents.com/
- Instagram: @correntcomponents
"We wanted to build a derailleur, so we did it." That's how Giulio Mancini from Italian manufacturer Ingrid Components describes the company's motivation to tackle one of the most difficult tasks in the industry.
They started to work on the derailleur back in 2017 and sold the first batch about a year ago. Before that, they built a very good reputation for machining very light cassettes, chainrings and stunning cranksets, so designing their own derailleur came somewhat naturally.
The RD1 comes in 11 or 12 speed and according to Ingrid, all parts are replaceable and available as spare parts. The derailleur can be ordered with different cable fins that adjust the cable pull ratio, so it can be used with any shifter for drop or flat bars.
The Ingrid Team is also working on their own shifter, however this turns out to be a very difficult task considering the very crowded patent landscape.
As many small-scale manufacturers, the team at Ingrid opted for CNC machining and additive manufacturing to create these gorgeous works of art. Building custom tools for the production of the derailleur is not economic, as the derailleurs are more or less made on demand. Not using custom-made tools also allows for more flexbility in case Ingrid wants to make changes to the current design. When people tell Giulio that this is not "industrial", he replies: "No, in fact. But for us it is the coolest solution ever".
While the price tag is hefty, it's great to see a fully rebuildable and adaptable derailleur made by a small company. If you want to find an alternative to the usual offerings, this might be what you're looking for.
Details Bike Ahead Composites
- Made in Italy
- 11 speed or 12 speed
- Road and mtb compatible
- Max teeth: 52 (long cage)
- Weight: 270 g
- Price: 599 Euro
- Website: https://ingrid.bike/
- Instagram: @ingridcomponents
While German carbon specialist Bike Ahead Composites is best known for its remarkable six spoke wheels, it's worth noting that its product range goes for beyond that. Last year, Bike Ahead launched a series of new products that include some very interesting rims.
On the one hand, their new Two Six
wheelset is mainly aimed at XC racers and comes with 26 mm inner width rims, 28 holes, DT Swiss EXP 180 hubs as well as DT Swiss Aerolite spokes. A set weighs in at 1119 g and will set you back 2499 Euro. According to Bike Ahead, the rim works well with tires up to 2.4" and offers a comfortable ride thanks to its low 19mm rim height.
On the other hand, the new Three Zero
rims come with the new "Safe-Wing profile" that is said to offer several advantages. According to Bike Ahead, the shape of the rim flange minimises the risk of pinch flats. Moreover, the "Safe-Wing profile" has a completely circumferential laminate, so the material is closed at the rim flange. Quite often, the rim flanges are made in a way that makes them susceptible to delamination and Bike Ahead claims that their rim flange can take big hits without failing. As with the Two Six rims, Bike Ahead chose to opt for a rather low 20 mm rim height which is said to improve comfort. These rims are available with various DT Swiss EXP hubs and a set can be as light as 1380 g.
However, if you're looking for something extra, the Biturbo RS
could be the right wheel for you. It's a very versatile versatile six-spoke wheel with a 27 mm inner width and a 29" set weighs just 1249 g. People who were lucky enough to ride them describe them as more comfortable than you might think and very easy to accelerate. As these rims don't have any spoke holes, you won't need a rim tape and a tubeless setup should work very well.
Apart from building fine carbon parts for their own product range, Bike Ahead Composites also makes frames for frame companies such as Stoll and Last. Ride Works
Rideworks is a UK based company that has built a very good reputation in the field of CNC machined bike components. The Rideworks team is pretty small - two brothers and their dad, who helps out as the tool maker. Their products are well known for their good sealing and bearing quality, which makes them ideal for British weather and anybody who likes hassle free bike parts.
It all started with the idea to build a mechanical dropper post that was lockable at any height along its travel back in 2009. The small team made a few prototypes but realised that they were very costly, so they moved on to bottom brackets and chainrings instead.
Starting with their hubs (44 t ratchet system), more and more Rideworks products are currently getting the signature "bean can" look. They just recently added a "bean can" bottom bracket
to their range. Besides manufacturing products such as stems, seat post clamps and headsets, Rideworks is also one of the few companies that offer eccentric bottom brackets that allow you to run a single speed (or gear hub) setup in a regular frame.
Apart from the look and function, it's also the finishes and colours that make Rideworks products stand out from the crowd. They offer a really nice selection of colours, including rather rare options such as copper. Some of their products and colours are only available upon request, however they do generally stock black parts. All products are made in the small Rideworks workshop in Coventry.
I'm using Rideworks bottom brackets and headsets on several bikes and they have worked flawlessly, no matter the weather.
- Made in UK
- Bottom brackets come in various standards and colours
- Special colours and some products made upon request
- Website: https://rideworks.cc/
- Instagram: @rideworks