Aug. 28, 2014 — Cervelo, Open, and BMC turned our heads with new products at Eurobike on Wednesday. On Thursday, a few more caught our attention as we dug deeper and got a better sense of some trends at Eurobike 2014.
PRO Tharsis XC Di2 Bar and Stem: When the features behind XTR Di2 were announced it was quickly clear Shimano had saved its best for mountain bikers. A mini head unit displays gear, battery level, and shift mode. Shifting can simply be an electronic version of a mechanical layout, or done sequentially with a single shifter controlling both derailleurs thanks to Synchronized Shift, which optimizes drive train efficiency.
At Eurobike, Shimano released a new bar and stem from its PRO brand. The Tharsis XC Di2 bar and stem create the cleanest cockpit in cycling. The bars are predrilled for E-tubing and feature guides for wire management. The stem performs the neatest trick. A headset adjuster eliminates the need for an expander in the steer tube, making room for the battery, and without the need for a top cap, wires run under a tidy plastic cap. The breakout box can be hidden in the stem itself.
Why does this matter? These features are sure to make their way to the road very soon. While currently the stem is not compatible with carbon steer tubes, the Di2 battery itself could act as a reinforcement against the crushing force of the stem on a carbon steer tube. The evolution of Di2 continues.
The End of Matte Black is Near! While black is still the dominant color of carbon bikes at Eurobike, the prevalence of matte back bikes has dropped significantly. The majority are now satin or gloss finish, doing away with the difficult to clean and dirty, dusty appearance matte black bikes can present. Even more encouraging is a return to single, bold primary colors among many European brands. The end of cookie-cutter matte black paint schemes is near.
Why is this important? Well, maybe it’s not truly important but matte black is hard to live with and the easy choice for a bike finish. If the end of cookie-cutter matte black paint schemes is near we think the group ride will get a lot more interesting to look at.
SCOTT ITD Protec Fabrics: Most bike crashes don’t result in broken bones, but do result in a ripped kit and nasty road rash. Working with fabric supplier Schoeller, SCOTT has developed ITD Protec. Using carbon yard and a ceramic treatment, it has massively increased the abrasion resistance of fabrics with this blend. Already tested in the pro ranks, the fabric has performed incredibly well. The treatment also leaves the fabric’s breathability and wicking capabilities unchanged. Limited amounts of the new SCOTT RC kit using the new fabric at the shoulders and hips will be headed to the states.
Why is this important? If you have ever spent an hour in the shower picking gravel from your hip or back, then scrubbing a wound clean due to an unplanned high-speed dismount, you don’t need us to tell you.
SCOTT’s video below gives a graphic representation of just how much more resistant to abrasion the new fabric is versus traditional cycling fabrics.