Christopher Langer, our contributor on the ground for Eurobike 2014, was able to get us a first look at the new Challenge Tire lineup yesterday. He also made his way to Focus and Stevens to look at what they’re offering for the upcoming season.
As always stay tuned to cxmagazine.com for the latest and greatest cyclocross gear at Eurobike 2014!
Words and photos by Christopher Langer:
Being a cyclocross junkie at Eurobike is a humbling experience. Everything is buzzing with pedelecs and e-bikes, mountain bikes abound in all shapes, sizes and categories, and cyclocross bikes are hidden somewhere in between. A clear trend: the whole gravel/adventure race/endurance cyclocross segment is easing its way onto the market while cyclocross race bikes are rather rare. No big cyclocross hype at Eurobike – but if you look closely, a few jewels arise from the muddy waters of a vast bicycle industry.
Mike Kluge is the power behind the new FOCUS Mares CX. Although Rapha-Focus is gone, the colors live on. © Christopher Langer
One of the few really new cyclocross bikes at Eurobike, progressive German engineering. The omnipresent ex-world champ Mike Kluge is the power behind the new FOCUS Mares CX: It’s lighter, half a centimeter higher, disc-only and already sold out in the US. Too bad its the Rapha-Focus team is no more, but the color scheme lives on.
The RAT thru-axle by FOCUS was an award winner at Eurobike, and an interesting alternative. © Christopher Langer
The RAT thru-axle by FOCUS was an award winner at the Eurobike. Turn the axle 90° and you’re free. And you can adjust the rotation on the axle with that little bolt so that your quick release lever is at whatever angle you prefer.
Race locations on the FOCUS
we’re guessing they’ll want a few victories to display in rainbow colors soon. © Christopher Langer
Stevens: You can have any color you want, as long as its black! © Christopher Langer
STEVENS bikes from Hamburg; they used to sponsor BKCP and are everywhere on the German cyclocross circuit. This Super Prestige is the more or less the same as last year, except for the colors.
Stevens is Hamburg and they make a point of showing it on the frame. © Christopher Langer
Stevens, a German company, proudly display their heritage on the top tube. This is becoming a popular trend, and either rooting yourself with cyclocross’s past, or simply seeing the phrase on Niner’s new cyclocross bike, “Pedal Damnit!” might inspire you to dig a little deeper.
Stevens comes with a massive bottom bracket shell and downtube. © Christopher Langer
The bottom bracket shell is beefy, along with the downtube.
And speaking of beefy, that disc brake mount is not on a diet. © Christopher Langer
The disc brake mount on the Super Prestige looks incredibly large, and it will be interesting to see if Stevens takes advantage of Shimano’s new flush mounts being released soon.
The bridgeless rear end of Stevens’s Super Prestige Disc; 8.1 kg with Di2 and spec wheels. © Christopher Langer
Analysis: The German brand, Stevens, has displayed some beautiful models at Eurobike 2014, although this tried-and-true company offers few surprises for participants. Still, many Stevens defenders would wonder why anyone would need to mess with perfection. Of all the changes made, Focus’s rear thru-axle is perhaps the most dynamic upgrade alongside the shaved weight and higher geometry, and will send the other German company into a growing segment of companies, like Van Dessel and Giant, who are also pursuing the technology for cyclocross.
Stay tuned for more Eurobike 2014 press at cxmagazine.com.