Eurobike 2014: The Best Of The Rest, Plus More Fatbikes Than You Ever Thought Possible

Over the last week I’ve gone off on an unusually long tangent in the field of cycle touring equipment, mainly because I happened to be passing by the world’s biggest bicycle industry expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany, and thought it’d be rude not to drop in.

We’ve so far seen awards won by world tourers from KTM, an internal gearing system that hopes to rival Rohloff, a new range of extremely swanky panniers and luggage from Brooks, and new folding tourers from Tern.

Now, for those of you who’re bored of gear or were never interested in it anyway, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief to know that today’s post is the last in this little series.

I’ll run down, in no particular order, the remaining oddities and innovations that might be of interest to the adventure cycle traveller that I saw while Tenny was looking at clothes.

Clothes shopping at Eurobike 2014

Finally, to end on a light note, I’ll list every fatbike I managed to find on show at this year’s expo, in case anyone was under the impression that fatbiking was still a remotely leftfield niche of cycling. (When Scott are demonstrating a fatbike, you know it’s gone mainstream.)

Next week we’ll be back to something with a little more substance – namely, training for cycle touring. And it absolutely won’t be the kind of training you’re thinking of. Watch this space.

* * *

On with the show…

Surly’s Troll is now well-established as a top-notch all-terrain adventure bike with space for luggage. (Just ask Cass.)

This year they’re launching the World Troller, which is the same frame but with S&S couplings for ease of transport to far-flung wildernesses. Fun times.

Eurobike 2014: Surly World Troller
Eurobike 2014: Surly World Troller detail
Eurobike 2014: Surly World Troller detail

Burley were demonstrating their Eurobike-award-winning Travoy trailer, which could be a neat option for converting a road-bike into a light tourer.

Eurobike 2014: Burley Travoy light trailer
Eurobike 2014: Burley Travoy light trailer

Their well-known Nomad cargo trailer has been tweaked and is now as user-friendly as it’s ever been, with a very useful top rack, a fully waterproof cover, and lots of pockets in the interior. They’re distributed in the UK through Raleigh.

Eurobike 2014: Burley Nomad
Eurobike 2014: Burley Nomad

Poison, a small German outfit, had two Rohloff-equipped tourers on display, with chain drive and belt-drive options…

Eurobike 2014: Poison Zyankali 26 Rohloff
Eurobike 2014: Poison Atropin Randonneur IGH
Eurobike 2014: Poison Zyankali 26 Rohloff

Schauff, another small German company, make ‘heavyweight’ touring bikes (and tandems), designed for up to 200kg total weight…

Eurobike 2014: Schauff heavyweight touring bikes
Eurobike 2014: Schauff touring tandem

There were plenty of touring trailers on show with kids in mind…

Eurobike 2014: Kids Tourer
Eurobike 2014: More kids trailers

…and dogs…

Eurobike 2014: Doggy Trailer

…and if one trailer isn’t enough, why not take three?

Eurobike 2014: Hinterher trailer train

Ever thought of earning your crust on tour by working as an occasional taxi service?

Eurobike 2014: pedal rickshaw

Or parcel delivery service?

Eurobike 2014: e-cargo-trike
Eurobike 2014: e-cargo-trike
Eurobike 2014: front cargo nets
Eurobike 2014: Front-loading cargo bike

If you’ve ever thought it’d be interesting to cut open the entire Schwalbe Marathon range of touring tyres to see what’s inside, this’ll save you some money:

Eurobike 2014: Inside Schwalbe tyres (cross-section)

Vaude, being based just down the road from the show, were showing off their Ortlieb-equivalent luggage offerings:

Eurobike 2014: Vaude bike luggage

HP Velotechnik’s Scorpion electric-assisted trikes (with cargo racks) proved fun to ride…

Eurobike 2014: e-trike test ride

Folding semi-recumbent tandem, anyone?

Eurobike 2014: Hase semi-recumbent tandem

* * *

OK.

Fatbikes.

(The world’s gone mad.)

Here’s Scott’s take on the idea…

Eurobike 2014: Scott fatbike

Felt have gone for the road cruiser slant…

Eurobike 2014: Felt fatbike

SE Bikes’ offering is fairly traditional…

Eurobike 2014: SE Bikes fatbike

As are KHS’s, if a little curvier…

Eurobike 2014: KHS fatbikes

And Silverback’s…

Eurobike 2014: Silverback fatbike

And Author’s…

Eurobike 2014: Author Su-Mo fatbike

And Konstruktive’s…

Eurobike 2014: Konstructive fatbike

Belt-drive is really coming of age, and so of course there had to be a belt-driven fatbike on the way…

Eurobike 2014: Belt-drive fatbike

Long-haul touring on a fatbike is entirely within the realms of possibility, as Ortlieb (in conjunction with Velotraum) demonstrate…

Eurobike 2014: Ortlieb-equipped Velotraum touring fatbike

With the surge in demand, front suspension for fatbikes seems suddenly feasible…

Eurobike 2014: Yaroka fatbike

Norco also jumping on this particular bandwagon…

Eurobike 2014: Norco fatbike

But Salsa have outdone everyone in this department by launching the Bucksaw, the only full-suspension fatbike I saw at the show…

Eurobike 2014: Salsa Bucksaw full suspension fatbike

Salsa also do a range of more traditional fatbikes, such as the Blackborow

Eurobike 2014: Salsa Blackborow fatbike

Kids aren’t left out of the fatbike scene…

Eurobike 2014: Kids' fatbikes

E-bikes being the theme of the show this year, where would we be without e-fatbikes? (Or should that be fat-e-bikes?)

Eurobike 2014: Haibike electric fatbike
Eurobike 2014: KTM electric fatbike
Eurobike 2014: Another e-fat-bike
Eurobike 2014: Bulls fatbikes
Eurobike 2014: BionX fat-e-bike

Yes, fatbiking is such a ‘thing’ now that the 1st International Fatbike Festival is due to take place this winter.

Eurobike 2014: 1st international fatbike festival

But it’s probably Surly’s original Pugsley that’s done more for fatbiking than any other bike…

Eurobike 2014: Surly Pugsley

They’ve gone and launched a new one for good measure, though, named the Ice Cream Truck.

Eurobike 2014: Surly Ice Cream Truck

* * *

Sitting in the corner of the Surly stand – unnoticed by anyone, it seemed – was a Long Haul Trucker.

Eurobike 2014: Surly Long Haul Trucker

And you know what?

Innovation is all well and good, and that’s what Eurobike is all about.

But that timeless bike was still – for me – the best in show.

Because when it comes to do-it-all touring bicycles for tours of anywhere from a weekend to a decade in length, tried-and-tested wins every time.

14 Responses to “Eurobike 2014: The Best Of The Rest, Plus More Fatbikes Than You Ever Thought Possible”

  1. bob

    What’s the purpose of fatbikes? They do look exceedingly awesome, but aside from that?

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      Bigger contact area with the ground gives the rider the ability to ‘float’ on top of snow and sand, as well as on exceedingly rough ground. Snow biking was, I believe, the original purpose.

      Reply
      • bob

        Thanks for the info.

        Reply
      • Stephen King

        Tom, you’re a mine of information. =)

        I prefer the trad look, too. Psychologically, they just seem faster – but I could be tempted by some of those big bads…

        Reply
  2. Elio

    I am a bit disappointed with the Word Troller. I thought they would increase the headtube and chainstay lengths…and the white color is the cherry on the cake.

    Reply
  3. tommaso

    Hello Tom
    In the first pic of this report I saw a glimpse of the German Fahrrad Manufaktur production.
    I’m following them because it seemed to me that especially in the cheap zone (T 100, T 300), they made very good bicycles. Have you, please any review about them.
    Thank You, from Italy Tommaso

    Reply
  4. josh tk

    While biking down the PCH, we ran in to a guy who was traveling around the perimeter of the US with a fat bike (surly, I believe). His bike was mounted with multiple cameras and he had electrical tape wrapped super-thickly around the handle bars. I lost his contact info, and would love to see how far his trip has taken him. He said he was making a documentary of his travels. If anyone out there has seen, heard, or met this guy, feel free to share his website/contact info!

    ~ p.s. great list, but yeah… classic bike will always take a cheap, steel framed mountain bike from Craigslist over anything else.

    Reply
  5. Patrick Kelly

    Are you allowed to say/write “traditional fatbikes” ? Aren’t the nomenclature police gonna come and get you?

    Reply
  6. Ryan

    Fat bikes have such a cool look to them. The question is how good are they to tour on if you’re not planning on heading off road too often?

    Reply
  7. Cyclist Kabir

    There are a huge number purposes of fatbikes. Fatbikes were invented for winter trail riding and racing in sub-arctic Alaska and simultaneously. I’ve purchased one for my daughter. She was pleased to get it to ride on snow.

    Reply
  8. John

    I ride fatbikes, I have 3, and can say that although they were originally designed for snow and sand they are just great fun to ride. Some are more suitable for touring than others, due to geometry, mounting points etc, but I find myself choosing my fatbike more than any of my others on a daily basis. I have various other bikes including a disc trucker, which is remarkably versatile, but nothing provides the pure grin factor of a Fat bike…… All in my humble opinion anyway 🙂

    Reply
  9. Fatbike Surly Pugsley – pierwsze wrażenia! | OneMoreBike

    […] roku europa nie jest jednak bardzo w tyle i grube opony dało się zauważyć u wielu wystawców na Eurobike w Friedrichshafen. Historia początków fatbike’ów nie jest bardzo odległa i ma dwa główne zalążki na […]

    Reply

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