Guests at the Eurobike Award prize-giving ceremony could be forgiven for thinking they were in Hollywood. The first day may not have seen Oscars presented to the international bike industry, but nevertheless an accolade that is hardly any less prestigious: the Eurobike Award distinguishes products and concepts at the world’s leading trade fair for the bicycle industry that stand out on account of their special innovations, new functions and outstanding quality. And for the crème de la crème there was further special recognition in the form of twelve Gold Awards and one Green Award.
When the Eurobike trade fair opened its gates for the 25th time in Friedrichshafen this morning, it also marked a quarter century of innovative zeal within the bicycle industry. For a number of years now, the Eurobike Award has served as a magnifying glass that pools and focuses attention on the new products and innovations from the bike sector. “In what is an innovative sector in any case, there are always companies with special ideas that help them to stand out from the crowd. Their innovations are far more than just the icing on the cake for the bike market: without the wealth of inventions within the industry, there would not have been such important stimuli for the market as mountain bikes or e-bikes, electronic bike components or fully sprung suspensions. In this respect, the Eurobike Award is not only a recognition of good ideas, but also a yardstick for the future viability of the bicycle industry,” explained Dirk Heidrich, Project Manager of Eurobike at Messe Friedrichshafen.
The field of entrants for the Eurobike Award 2016 shows that there is no cause for concern about the future of the industry: the 472 entrants are an impressive demonstration of the innovative spirit within the sector. In a two-stage decision-making process, a six-strong expert panel awarded a Eurobike Award to 51 new products after critical examination and intense discussion. Among them were twelve companies which in the expert judges’ opinion redefine the benchmark for innovations and are therefore worthy recipients of a Gold Award.
Uvex – Jakkyl HDE
This handy mountain bike helmet by Uvex transforms from half-shell to full-face helmet in seconds. “We like the look of this extremely lightweight helmet. It not only functions well, but also performs multiple purposes with its detachable chin protector that snaps firmly into place,” said the panel of judges for the Eurobike Award.
SRAM – Red eTap
By combining its wireless electronic shifting system with disc brakes, this component manufacturer is thus creating exciting future prospects for the racing bike segment. This is what the expert panel had to say: “The eagerly awaited wireless sequential shifting technology from SRAM has been augmented by hydraulic disc brakes to produce a truly impressive combination that is certain to change the market.”
Elite – Quick Motion
The Quick Motion is a roller trainer from the Italian producer Elite with a design and numerous practical details that convinced the judges of its merits. “This durable and well-made design with its outstanding freely rotating rollers folds away into an extremely space-saving format,” was their verdict.
WTB – Horizon Road Plus
Tyres in the plus format are extremely popular in today’s bike market. The American bike equipment supplier WTB is now transferring this idea to the racing bike segment. The Award panel was greatly inspired: “The newly invented tyre size produces an incredibly comfortable ride. These large-volume tyres with low rolling resistance equip gravel bikes for all challenges.”
3T – Exploro
Gravel bikes are road bikes with somewhat broader tyres suitable for use on dirt tracks. This new trend coming from America also has great potential in Europe, and particularly so when implemented as skilfully as in this product. The judges’ view: “This bike will open your eyes to a completely new segment: bike racing on gravel. A must for sports fans.
Parlee Cycles – TTiR
Fitted with disc brakes, the TTiR model heralds a new era in time trial and triathlon bikes. It is a development that was enthusiastically welcomed by the Eurobike Award panel: “This bike is extremely innovative with a sleek design. The enclosed disc brakes are aerodynamic and raise safety in this segment to a new level.”
Giro – Factor Techlace
With its combination of rotary closure and Velcro fasteners, this new racing shoe allows for quick and accurate adjustment. Yet other details, too, helped to secure the Eurobike Award: “This shoe features an outstanding closure system. Material and workmanship also received maximum points from us,” the judges explained.
by.schulz – Stem Twist SDS
For a number of years now, by.schulz has been supplying a popular solution for the space-saving transport and storage of bicycles. Now a number of smart details have been added. The judges were impressed: “This is a very useful innovation that allows you to adjust bikes for transport and storage in seconds.”
Rotor – 2INpower
In future, the Spanish supplier of sports cycling equipment is combining its highly respected drive technology with a system for power measurement. “This is a true high-end product that sets the benchmark with its power measurement on both sides. In terms of functionality, the price is extremely competitive,” said the Eurobike Award expert panel.
Supernova – Taster
With its Taster, Supernova provides a neat way of integrating the control buttons for light and horn on an e-bike. The experts considered it an all-round success: “A simple and useful innovation that provides a clever solution to a real industry problem with fast e-bikes.”
Lumen Labs – Lumos Helmet
The American producer Lumen Labs has integrated large-area front and rear lights into its bicycle helmet along with yellow indicators. The panel judged it to be a thoroughly innovative solution: “This stylish and highly visible helmet is a useful contribution to cycling safety.”
Bike Ahead – NSA
At Bike Ahead, NSA stands for No-Slip-Application and describes a new surface technology for carbon bike components that considerably reduces the torque settings required for assembly. “This is a great solution that significantly simplifies the mounting of lightweight carbon components and also makes them less prone to failure,” said the Award panel.
One entrant for this year’s Eurobike Award will also be able to celebrate a Green Award, which distinguishes innovations from the field of sustainable product design. This year the Green Award goes to the Taiwanese company Chien King Industrial, which has found an interesting raw material for the plastic in its CK-UB2RH FPC pedals: namely the husks of rice grains. “This commendable development in recycling impressed us a great deal. The result is a very robust and low-cost solution that uses waste from the rice farming industry,” said the judges.
With a broad spectrum of expert knowledge, the panel of judges for the Eurobike Award this year could again boast a wealth of specialist skills. The members of the expert panel for the final decision in Friedrichshafen were test engineer Marcus Schröder (EFBE Prüftechnik GmbH), the bike fitting specialist Lotte Kraus, top triathlete Thomas Hellriegel, the Italian trade journalist Marcella Crisanti (ciclonline.com), Dutch bike retailer Rik de Bruin (Gek van Fietsen) and the Canadian designer Kevin Quan.
The 51 winners will remain on show at the Bike fair until Sunday, 4 September, in a special display in the West Foyer of Messe Friedrichshafen.
This year the Eurobike show is taking place from 31 August to 4 September 2016. While the first three days are reserved for trade visitors, Saturday and Sunday will strongly feature the new Festival Days, where bike fans will not only be able to see the new products of this model year but also have a chance to test and try out many of the exhibits.