With the exceptions of wood and bamboo, bicycle frames usually aren't made from sustainable resources. And although some programs
do exist, we generally don't think of old bike frames getting recycled.
Italian design studio Eurocompositi is setting out to change that,
however, with its 3D-printed Bhulk mountain bike frame.
For generations, mountain bikers have had to make the sometimes difficult choice between affordable, nimble-climbing hardtails and fast, cushy full-suspension bikes. German company Altinsoy Manufaktur has a different idea. Its Bees Bike has a completely modular design that lets you quickly change over from hardtail to full suspension. You can also adjust sizing and positioning with ease.
Dropper seat posts are becoming increasingly common on mountain bikes – among other things, they allow the rider to drop the saddle down out of the way when they’re adjusting their riding position on steep descents, but then pop it back up again afterwards. They do, however, require yet one more cable to strung along (or inside of) the frame. At this year’s Eurobike show in Germany, Magura has presented an alternative – the Vyron eLECT, which is the world’s first commercially-available wireless dropper seat post.
While not everyone is wild about adding motors to all-terrain bikes, if there’s one sub-type of ATB that could sometimes benefit from an electric boost, it’s the snow- and sand-slogging fatbike. We’ve certainly seen some electric fatties before, but the Xterrain500 adds what is quite a unique feature – the ability to run a custom 10-inch-wide front tire.
While hub motors may be quite common on commuter e-bikes, they’re not so popular on full-suspension electric mountain bikes. That’s because they add unsprung weight, which nobody wants. Various companies have responded by developing motors that are located in the middle of the bike, near the bottom bracket. These solve part of the problem, although they have to actually be built into the frame. That’s why Germany’s Bionicon has created the e-ram – it’s reportedly the world’s lightest mid-mount motor, and it could potentially be installed on existing mountain bikes.
Last November we first heard about MagLOCK pedals – clipless mountain bike pedals that use magnets instead of springs to keep the rider's feet attached, and that can also be used as regular platform pedals. The product fell short of its crowdfunding goal, perhaps because the pedals were kind of clunky, but MagLOCK designer Dave Williams is now back on Kickstarter with a sleeker, lighter and less expensive version.
Thanks to continuing advances in LED and lithium battery technology,
it's now not uncommon to see mountain bike headlights putting out 3,000
lumens or more. Most of these high-intensity lights incorporate two or
three bulbs, however, requiring a separate battery pack to power them.
With this in mind, we were intrigued when we heard that Light &
Motion had declared its self-contained new Urban 850 Trail FC to be "the
most powerful single-LED bike light that exists." We gave it a try and
liked what it has to offer ... even if its claim may be a little hard to
Although suspension forks and rear shocks have certainly revolutionized
the field of mountain biking, many riders still don't know how to set
them up properly. This means that parameters such as preload, rebound
and compression tend to get left at their factory settings, resulting in
sub-optimal performance. That's why Australian startup Dusty Dynamics
has created the ShockWiz – it's an app-assisted device that advises
users on tuning their air-sprung suspension systems.
Tubeless mountain bike tires definitely have their good points, such as
lower weight, less flats and decreased rolling resistance. In order to
seat the things securely on the rim, however, it's often necessary to
use a compressor or a CO2 cartridge to deliver a high-pressure shot of
air. That said, there's now another option, in the form of the Airshot.
Usually when we hear about high-end automakers dabbling in bicycle design, the result is a road bike – recent examples have included bikes made in collaboration with companies such as McLaren, Jaguar, Aston Martin and Lamborghini. Joining the likes of Porsche, however, Mercedes‑AMG has decided to go with a mountain bike. The sports car and performance brand within Mercedes-Benz recently joined forces with German bicycle manufacturer Rotwild, to create the limited-edition Rotwild GT S.