Friedrichshafen – Over the course of its 25 year history, the Eurobike has not only become a trade exhibition where the global bicycle industry’s market leaders present themselves. Above all, it is the platform at which young companies take their first steps into the public arena. Again this year, several interesting newcomers will celebrate their Eurobike premiere at the industry gathering at Lake Constance, which takes place from August 31 to September 4, 2016.
When the Finnish media introduce a new domestic bicycle manufacturer, it sounds something like this: “Jyväskylässä thedään pyöriä.” That was the headline that the daily newspaper Keskisuomalainen used for its report about the newly founded bicycle manufacturer Pole Bicycle back in early 2015. But the idea of a Finnish bicycle manufacturer is not as unusual as it might first sound. In fact, two of Europe’s oldest bike manufacturers, Helkama and Tunturi, are from Finland.
Now, with Pole Bicycle, a young bike company is also raising the Finnish flag, one that has specialized on the mountain bike segment by using its own design language. The Finnish startup was essentially born with design and mountain biking in its DNA. That’s because Leo Kokonen, one of the company’s two founders, cannot only look back upon a long career as an industrial designer, but also holds a Finnish championship title in MTB downhill. This shows in the bikes from Pole, which stand out from the masses thanks to their unconventional, elongated geometry. The result is bikes that are completely in their element when going downhill, without sacrificing any qualities out on the trail.
Attentive observers may have noticed the Bold Cycles brand at last year’s Eurobike: At that time, one of the young Swiss manufacturer’s models was exhibited as a winner of the Eurobike Award in the special show in the West Foyer. This year, Bold Cycles is represented with its own stand at the industry exhibition at Lake Constance for the first time.
Visitors to the stand will learn how the start up was able to use “Linkin” construction to completely integrate the rear wheel’s suspension elements completely inside the bike’s frame. This not only makes for a visually clean appearance, but also protects the sensitive shock absorbers against debris and moisture. This is the now second year in which the Swiss company has had this innovative concept out on the bicycle market. With its participation in the Eurobike, Bold is now taking the leap on the bicycle industry’s global stage.
Let’s return to Scandinavia. Already back in 1998, the Danish bike workshop Biomega proved that a bicycle cannot only be functional, but can also be a design object as well. There is a special reason why the design pioneer is returning to the Eurobike as an exhibitor after a multiyear absence: Biomega is bringing along its first e-bike, its OKO model.
Now, the announcement of a new e-bike may be nothing special in itself nowadays, but with their new model the Danes are really going to stand out in this segment. That’s because the OKO uses a carbon frame that not only completely integrates the battery in the frame design, but the mud flaps as well. And it weighs less than 19 kg (42 lbs.).
Bike to the Tango
At the next Eurobike, Monochrome Bikes will almost certainly be among the exhibitors who have traveled the farthest to get to the show. The young company from the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires is making the trip across the Atlantic for the first time. And that’s a good thing: The models from Monochrome Bikes exude the flair of the South American metropolis from every pore – or rather, spoke. One glance at the classic steel frame, which was designed and equipped with a love for detail and a good eye for color and form, and you are irresistibly reminded of Tango evenings on the Avenidas and Plazas of Buenos Aires.
Component manufacturer Kappstein has been active in the bike market since 2012. However, until now the company that was founded in Australia and later moved to the German town of Gotha has had more of a presence behind the scenes. That will now change with the company’s premiere at the Eurobike. With their Doppo bottom bracket drive system, the folks at Kappstein have ambitious plans for the bicycle market. Speaking of ambitious: Kappstein components will make their first big appearance on the international stage just before the Eurobike, namely at the Olympic Games in Rio, where they will be used on the competition bikes of the German track cycling team.
Young companies are more than just the icing on the cake among the Eurobike’s 1350 exhibitors from 48 countries. These startups not only bring new actors but also new ideas to the market.
This year, the Eurobike takes place from August 31 to September 4, 2016. The show’s first three days will be reserved for specialty retailers and other industry visitors. Saturday and Sunday will be the event’s new Festival Days, at which all bike fans will not only be able to see the innovations for the new model year, but in many cases to experience and try them out for themselves.