Europe’s leading bicycle industry event, the 30th edition of Eurobike took place from June 21 to 25 in Frankfurt. With its slogan “Hello Future”, this 30th edition was an opportunity for all the players in the bicycle industry to present their innovations and forthcoming products to the entire sector. Here’s a look back at some of the innovations seen at the show.
Sustainable development at center stage for the bicycle industry
Eurobike 2023 was under the banner of sustainable development, as evidenced by the numerous conferences on the subject. Relocation, Made in Europe, recycling and maintenance are just some of the topics that are gaining in importance on the cycling scene.
During this year’s event, Friday was dedicated to these themes, with the launch of the Guidelines to the German Sustainability Code (DNK) for the German industry, as well as presentations and workshops held in the “Future Mobility Forum” and the Eurobike Hub. Even if the bicycle industry is considered “green” by nature, many actions need to be imagined and implemented in order to limit the impact of energy and resources consumed during the life cycle of bicycles.
Among these, the relocation of production to Europe is central. While more and more manufacturers are making this choice, it remains a perilous and virtually impossible mission for frame production, for example. Recycling is also a major challenge, in which innovation has its place, as illustrated by tire manufacturer Schwalbe, very committed to inner tube recycling, which presented the first mass-produced recycled tire made from carbon black. Brose also presented its “Remanufacturing programme” for the reuse of components in new products.
Boch reveals its new VAE motor: Bosch performance SX
Bosch’s new Performance SX motor was one of the major news items at the show. Weighing less than 2 kg, it is the lightest motor in the entire Bosch range. In terms of performance, it boasts 600 watts. Powerful and lightweight, it’s a great asset for VTTAE and VAE Gravel bikes.
Thok uses 3D for its new ultra-light electric mountain bike
As previously mentioned, Eurobike is known as an innovation show! That’s why Thok Bikes unveiled its prototype electric mountain bike, featuring a lightweight, durable 3D-printed frame.
To design the bike, Thok Bikes teamed up with Belgian company Materialise, which specializes in 3D printing for the automotive, medical and aerospace sectors. To ensure the strength of the frame, the SLM (Selective Laser Melting) method was used, a first in the bicycle industry.
The aim of this method was to reproduce the characteristics of carbon as closely as possible. To achieve this, Thok used a combination of aluminum and silicon, materials that are well-suited in terms of strength and thermal properties. According to the brand, in addition to reducing costs, the use of 3D printing in the prototyping phase offers greater freedom and flexibility to design an innovative frame.
Greenway gives batteries a second life
Questions relating to sustainable development, and in particular the recycling and recovery of e-bike batteries, are important issues for the industry. With this in mind, Greenway, a supplier of lithium-ion batteries to major brands, is planning a second life for these batteries. Thanks to its inverter hub, it is possible to connect the electric bike’s battery to recharge it or use it to power other devices. According to the company’s representative, this is an excellent way of extending the life cycle of batteries. In fact, even though electric bike batteries are generally considered to reach the end of their useful life below 70% capacity, they can still be used for static applications.
Muli reinvents cargo with its compact cargo bike
Among the products presented at Eurobike this year, Muli Cycles’ cargo bike stood out for its originality and ingenious design. This modular bike is equipped with a folding front basket, offering great flexibility of use. When the rider needs a cargo bike, he can deploy the loading basket to transport bulky objects. Once use is over and the basket is folded away, the bike reverts to a standard bike, with a width in line with conventional standards. This ingenious design allows optimum adaptability to the cyclist’s use and needs, offering a versatile and practical solution.
Inflabi bets on folding inflatable helmets
Present at Eurobike 2023, Inflabi is a young start-up offering a key product: an inflatable bicycle helmet combining practicality, simplicity and reliability. Aware that helmets can be bulky for cyclists on their daily trips, Inflabi solves this problem by making its helmet 4 times more compact than a traditional helmet. Once deflated and folded, it can be compact enough to fit into a small pocket. Despite this reduction in size, the brand makes no concessions when it comes to safety. On the contrary, the Inflabi helmet is supposed to be more effective than a conventional bicycle helmet. Currently in the final stages of development, this inflatable helmet is due to go on sale in August at a price of €150.
Connectivity, a new asset for e-bike brands
Among the trends identified, connectivity seems to be the strongest. Indeed, throughout the Eurobike stands, brands demonstrated the use of their mobile applications, the new tool for attracting and retaining cyclists. Real extensions of the bicycle on the mobile, the mobile application offers a wide range of services enabling cyclists to enjoy a safer and more enjoyable experience with electric bikes. Thanks to a mobile application, cyclists can protect their bikes against theft (geolocation, audible alarm, notification of suspicious movements, remote actions), as well as track their use of the bike and improve their performance.
If connectivity appeals to brands, it’s because it represents a real marketing asset for them. Generally absent from the process of buying and using a bike, connectivity enables e-bike brands to refocus on the customer experience. Thanks to connectivity, they can :
Create a link with cyclists
With a mobile application, the e-bike brand can establish a link with its community of cyclists. Once a purchase has been made and an account created, it is able to accompany the cyclist throughout their use of the product and enhance their experience by providing maintenance tips, challenges, personalized communications, as well as complementary purchases according to their needs.
Understand how cyclists use their product to improve its performances
The data collected enables brands to understand how their product is used and to improve its performance. This represents a gold mine when it comes to decision-making, because with better visibility, the brand can offer products that correspond to cyclists’ expectations.
Velco Rider, an application to nurture the brand-cyclist relationship
In its software suite, Velco has a white-label application for cyclists: Velco Rider. Fully customizable with the brand’s colors, this application allows the e-bike brand to position itself at the heart of the experience by responding to cyclists’ needs. Cost-effective and rapidly deployable, our white-label mobile application enables cyclists to benefit from a host of connected services, as well as enhanced protection for their bikes.