SDG's Eurobike display had more than seats in it this year, with the company expanding to cover a different contact point: your hands. Instead of a plastic barrel and slip-on aluminum collar, the new Slater grip sees both molded out of a single piece, with one inboard collar clamping the grip in place. SDG has employed some trickery to increase security, however, with a slight taper to the inner core from about the halfway point out to make for a tighter fit onto the handlebar. There are also small cutouts in the barrel so that the rubber makes contact with the handlebar for even more security, and to make the grip a bit more forgiving.
The Slater sports a small taper, going from 32mm at the ends to 30mm at the center, and they also have a slight oval shape to them to better fit hands.
Groms have a few pint-sized bikes to choose from these days, but all too often they're spec'd with adult-sized parts, including seats. SDG's grom-sized Fly Jr. isn't just a BMX seat or over-padded saddle that's been cut down but rather designed specifically for young'ns. The width measures 122mm, it's 235mm long, and SDG offers it in black, green, red, and cyan colors.
We saw photos of Box's revised shifter and new 7-speed downhill setup earlier this week via their press release, but I got to tinker with samples in their Eurobike booth today. The short cage One DH derailleur makes use of a massively stiffer clutch spring, and it's controlled with their fresh 7-speed Twin shifter that, like all of Box's shifters, features a more traditional two-paddle design over the PushPush system that we saw last year. There's also a matching 7-speed Box Two cassette that features an integrated spoke guard.
I expect downhillers to be more receptive to the idea of a non-Shimano/SRAM drivetrain than the average rider or racer, especially now that the brand has moved away from the PushPush shifter design, even if I think it worked quite well. Box might also be more likely to get some original equipment spec on the downhill side of things, or it's at least more likely to happen than them going up against a Shimano or SRAM for spec on all-mountain or enduro bikes.
Box's T-Channel gravity seat and post is sort of a cross between an I-Beam setup and a Pivotal BMX system, but with more angle adjustment than the former and more fore/aft range than the latter, according to Box's Toby Henderson. The seat's shell features a knurled slot that mates to the post's head, and the whole idea is to put ultimate strength at the top of the priority list.
There are no rails to bend or break, and Henderson said that the burly shell design means that there's not much in the way of flex, a fact that makes this particular seat better suited to downhill and bike park use than long days in the saddle. Just like Box's drivetrain components, the T-Channel seat and post come with a lifetime warranty.
Vee Tire Co.'s new Flow Rumba (no, I don't think it was named after the dance) has been designed as a do-it-all downhill tire that they say is "made with over 80% of downhill terrain in mind.'' The relatively closely spaced lugs look like they might make for a fast rolling tire, but also one that's probably not suited to thick mud - check the Flow Smasher pictured below for those mucky conditions. The Rumba is built with Vee's 52/48 'Tackee Compound' that they say is among the softest and slowest rebounding available, and that sticky rubber is laid over either their Enduro Core (1-ply combined with Apex) or Gravity Core (2-ply and Synthesis for three layers) casing, depending on your needs.
The Flow Rumba isn't yet available in huge widths, but the 2.35'' size can be had in both 26'' and 27.5'' diameters. Weights range from 1,150-grams to 1,250-grams.
A mud-specific tire can make all the difference in the world if you take the time to mount them up, but you probably have to be spending a fair bit of time in the muck to justify using them. The Flow Smasher is that kind of tire, however, with tall lugs that are widely spaced to penetrate and clear the goo. The same 52/48 Tackee Compound from the Flow Rumba is used to build the Smasher, but it's only available in a single 27.5'' x 2.4'' size and in the hefty Gravity Core casing. Claimed weight is 1,250-grams.