Eurobike 2024, voici cinq nouveautés qui ont retenu notre attention

Eurobike 2024, here are five new features that caught our attention

Xavier and I spent three days at Eurobike 2024 Frankfurt. Although, as mentioned in this other article, nothing “turned our retinas”, we still made some discoveries. Technical innovations, reflections on environmental impact, a bit of audacity. Here are the five new features that most interested, surprised or challenged us.

ZF Motor, (yet) a new German player in electric assistance

ZF GmbH is a leading provider of technological solutions in the world of cars (and trucks and much more). Almost 170,000 employees worldwide, more than 45 billion euros in sales.

The company took advantage of the Eurobike show to present its new ecosystem, the “ZF Bike Eco System”. Everything is thought out. The pedal motor is called Centrix. It is barely bigger than a 33 cl can. The lithium-ion batteries have a continuous power of 250w; their capacities, at choice, are 504 or 756 Watt hours. They are slid into the down tube using an innovative and removable rail system for recharging. The control screen (touch) as well as the application complete the picture.

The engine is announced at 2.5kg and would offer either 90 Nm or 75 Nm of torque. For the moment, ZF is equipping two bikes: the Ultima Ying & Yang (gravel or fitness, depending on the finish) and the VTTAE which goes by the sweet name of Tarok within the R-Raymon range.

Under the pedal strokes

We were able to ride a few short kilometers with the Ultima model and the no-name demo bikes offered by ZF. The sensations are there. Silent (quieter on the Ultima than the mountain bike). Progressive. The different assistance modes are well-staged. The screen and the entire control system are ergonomic and intuitive. In off mode, no feeling of friction in the pedals.

What autonomy? What behavior in everyday life? What sensations in the city or in the forest? What price? Here are some questions that we cannot answer yet. ZF, to be followed closely (count on us). While waiting for a real longer test, go here for more information.

Hepha Urban 7, a very urban electric bike

HEPHA GmbH was founded in May 2021 in Germany by Alex Thusbass. One of the big names in design and the e-bike industry. Several years, several million euros were needed to develop this brand, which comes with its own electric ecosystem.

Central motor, battery, controller, software. Alex went to the Chinese motor manufacturer, Gobao (winner of a Eurobike award in 2023). The assembly of the Hepha is done on the Munich side. A whole range is presented at the show.

Soon in France

Philippe Delisle, the Country Manager France, confirms this to us: “ The enthusiasm for the brand is strong among bike dealers. Our bikes are very well placed in terms of quality/price ratio “. He adds : ” The test of our Hepha engine finally convinced them “.

We were not able to test the Urban 7 model, but quickly two other models equipped with the same engine, on the outdoor track of the show. It is true, the proposition seems attractive.

The Hepha / Gobao engine block and the (small) 6A charger (top of the photo)

The Hepha Urban 7 is offered at a retail price of less than €3,000 (and more in a more high-end configuration). Given the level of equipment offered on this model, we have the impression that the industry is beginning to understand that trees never reach the sky. To understand that you have to know how to keep a reasonable eye on the price of bikes. A brand that we will follow, for you. In the meantime, if you want to know more about Hepha, it’s here.

Hutchinson Touareg Green, a more eco-friendly gravel tire

Made in France, made in recycled product. The company took advantage of Eurobike to reveal its Touareg Green tire, its first eco-designed tire. Composed of 50% recycled or bio-sourced materials overall; 90% for the carcass and 64% for the tread.

The brief was simple: keep the same qualities on the Touareg whether it is in the green version or not. Keep the same grip, grip, drive; the same resistance to wear. Finally, do not put the consumer in a price dilemma. Responsible purchasing must not be more expensive. Thus, the Touareg Green (currently only available in 700×40) is sold at the same price as the classic version.

We found that while it is possible to manufacture a tire today that is 99% “green” material, this would sacrifice performance and increase costs.” Guillaume Trouvain, R&D Manager of the brand, told us on their stand at Eurobike 2024.

Xavier is busy putting them on his gravel bike and testing it all out to tell you more. In the meantime, we still have the impression that, when it comes to respecting the environment, when you really want to, you really can. Since Xavier is not going to test it halfway, if you are impatient to know more, it is here.

MONoPOLE, a compact double-belt cargo bike

The company was founded by Nicola Stäubli and Daniel Freitag (yes, the man behind the Freitag brand with his brother Markus). The company is based in Zurich. It offers this bike “Made in Europe”. It is even assembled in France at Milc.

This MONoPOLE cargo bike looks good. A bike presented as a “tool bike”. A bit gravel, a bit cargo; a bit of both. We like the steering solution. No more cables, no more rods, make way for the belt.

Another compact cargo bike. The model seen in Frankfurt is powered by the Pinion gearbox. In the catalog, when it is electric, it is the Mahle engine that sticks to it. It is exchanged for 7200 CHF (around 7400€). Otherwise, the 01 Bio version is equipped with the Alfine 11-speed hub and the transmission is provided by Gates belts. The Bio is less expensive since you will have to pay approximately 4940€ (4800 CHF). Available in three sizes, we find it very cool. To find out more, go here.

Skarper, an all-in-one module to electrify your classic bike

Converting your organic bike into an electric bike is a solution that seems to be gaining traction. The transformation often requires a trip to the workshop to assemble everything. It is more or less well integrated into the bike. Skarper has had engineers from the Red Bull Formula 1 team work to offer this kit. A box of approximately 4.4 kg, which clips onto the disc and the rear chainstay of your bike (the latter must therefore be equipped with disc brakes).

If you know how to fix a flat tire, you’ll know how to mount the Skarper on your bike.” Uri tells us. A special disc must be mounted (160 mm disc, Centerlock or 6-hole compatible). The Skarper system clips into the disc and the motor drives the brake disc! Yes, your brake becomes your motor in a way.

The company announces 33 Nm of torque, 250 W and 240 Wh for the battery. An autonomy of about 2 and a half hours. An autonomy indicated around 50 km (approximately, obviously it depends on several parameters).

As much as we are not really convinced by the electrification kits, for the transformations that it imposes on a bike; as much this solution seems interesting to us. Especially if you choose a muscular cargo bike. The Skarper could give you the assistance you need when you ride loaded. And stay at home when your cargo bike rides empty. Or, if you have several bikes at home. Just change the disc and your Skarper can be placed on any bike.

We were only able to test the system on a few meters on the Eurobike test track. It is a bit noisy but rather surprising in terms of power. The system deserves a more thorough test, on several bikes in different uses.

How does the 4.4 kg on the rear chainstay change the behavior when riding? Is it suitable for gravel or all-terrain use? Is the system perfectly compatible with most bikes equipped with disc brakes? Is it powerful enough for use on a loaded cargo bike? These are the kinds of points we would like to check. The only problem is that it costs around €1,800 each. That’s the price of a good, lightweight, muscular bike that will give you very good performance. To find out more, click here.

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