Eurobike, the world's leading tradeshow for the bike industry took place last week in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The upcoming E-bikes were one of the hottest topics but there's more to see. As usual, design is in the details, therefore a closer look at this year's trends in bikes and bike parts highlighting lightweight, comfort, computerization, and style!
1. Rise of the E-bike
Since the first E-bikes entered the market few years ago a lot has changed. Their engines have become extremely compact, sometimes invisibly integrated within the bike frame as demonstrated by the Sparta ION e-bikes. Also, their support range has improved to 80-90 kilometers. Being 3-4 times more expensive than a normal bike makes them a promising moneymaker for the bicycle industry. Of all spotted e-bikes, our favorite example is the lightweight and portable Gocycle, designed from scratch and awarded with this year's Eurobike award.
More trends and photos after the jump!
2. Lightweight for All
Lightweight bike frames are not reserved for professional racers anymore. We noticed mainly carbon and aluminum (or combination) frames becoming standard for everyday bicycles. Lightness of frames and parts are not only supporting the ease-of-biking but also supports ease-of-handling for folding bikes, or the children stroller that can easily be transformed into a carrier bicycle in a few moves by Taga.
3. Comfort, More Comfort
Double suspension, 21-speed gear speed - compare that with the gearbox in 1938 (top photo). Additional to smooth suspension, and built-in gearboxes with almost zero maintenance, comfort is also supported with lower friction such as enable by the LED lights by Reelight which are powered with induction that requires no mechanical contact.
4. Chips for Bikes
Miniaturization is making it almost invisible but the bicycle is becoming more computerized than ever. O-Synce's MINI free weighs only 18 grams and claims to be the smallest cyclometer without buttons in the world - and good enough for receiving this year's Eurobike award! More entertaining are probably MonkeyLectric's bike light that uses 32 full color LED's to turn your wheels into cutting edge visuals, or even videos. Less bold but definitely promising is the Shimano Di2 technology which houses a tiny engine that allows you to change gears as easy as clicking your left mouse button.
5. Bike with Style
Finally, Eurobike 2009 definitely featured the power of colors and patterns. U.S. brand Electra enters the European market with various design classics such as their "Amsterdam" lady-bikes in fancy designs. Nutcase Helmets says "love your brain" and are offered with many prints, safety is anything but boring! To pimp your bike from bells to tires, check out LIIX colorful catalog with colorful items.
Aart van Bezooijen is a Dutch optimist and motivator for materials in design. He lives and works in Hamburg where he founded Material Stories (2005) to inspire and enable the best use of materials to make design more competitive, creative and sustainable.
2011 he explored sustainable solutions from around the world during the "It's Not Easy Being Green" project with graphic designer Paula Raché. He co-organized the Materials Café exhibitions at the Hannover Messe in Germany, the world's leading trade fair for industrial technology. Since 2012, he works as Professor for Material and Technology Transfer at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle growing a new materials library.