Bikes, bikes, bikes…

The world goes eco, affordable tri bikes and a firm piece of leather

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After a glorious coach journey through Switzerland, Austria and Germany, we’re here in Friedrichshafen for the 2009 Eurobike (more on this two-wheeled pornographic event at www.eurobike-show.de).

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Eurobike is big. Actually, it’s ruddy huge. Any of you who have attended the TCR Show or Cycle at Earl’s Court, well, multiply that volume by 10 and you’ll still be nowhere near the space taken up by next year’s finest gear.

Innovation seeps from everywhere at Eurobike. Within 50 steps of entering hangar 1, we’d already dabbled with a pump that doubles as a light, electricity stored with each and every pump, and a German manufactured bike that again stores energy, which seamlessly connects and illuminates street lamps when pedalling has ceased. In fact, the symbiotic relationship between cycling and energy conservation/generation is clear, many of the prototypes for future mass production revolving around you and your leg power fuelling your home. It’s a simple but great idea, and one in the future that will save money and encourage a fitter generation. 

Jo at Ridley’s just taken time out to show us their new range of bikes, to be made available next month. (Note: treat launch dates with a degree of trepidation. We know from the past that these dates are changeable, especially when the sterling is suffering so much against the Euro.)

We tested Ridley’s top-end Robbie McEwan-powered Dean earlier in the year, but the Belgian outfit have seen a gap in the affordable tri range and brought out the Phaeton T. It’s similar to Cervelo’s P2, only with a higher headset for more comfortable handling and is made of alu instead of carbon. It features Ridley’s patented R-Surface, which is a rough layer (think tacky remnants when peeling off sticker) strageically placed around the frame. It’s all to do with airflow and creating micro tornados that reduce drag. With tests on the Dean in the wind tunnel drag came in 4 per cent less. We were actually shown the Phaeton R, the T’s sibling, whose seat angle is 73. The T will be a more tri friendly 76, and come in Campag Veloce instead of the R’s Dura Ace. The Phaeton T’s RRP is £1,550.

Brooks has won an award for their panniers. We’re testing 5 in our October issue, but none look as stylish as England’s finest purveyors of cycling style and substance. Their 120-year heritage drips from their range of leather panniers and will go down with the classier triathlete out there. We’re not but we appreciate the effort.

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Right, back to the halls. We’ve visited one. It took 2 hours. There are another 30-odd to get through. Coffee here we come…
JW, ed