New bike tech: Eight of the best bits from Cycling World


04.04.24 at 1:16 pm

Share this story

With spring finally here, Cycling World in Düsseldorf was worth a visit to Germany to check out some new tech. Hosted in Germany’s seventh-largest city in an old industrial complex, the show featured more than 400 exhibitors, and was a good opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new connections in the cycling world.  Here are a few products that stood out, and might improve your cycling life!

Tern Orox

There are two off-road cargo bikes in this blog, and they couldn’t be more different. Let’s start with the Tern Orox. This new model comes with one battery, a motor, fatbike wheels and tyres, and a loading capacity of 210kg. You can add a second battery to extend the range. And you’ll get the choice between old-fashioned derailleur or a Gates carbon drive/Rohloff drivetrain, but at a significant price difference. 

The downside – the bike weighs 31 kilograms, so be mindful not to plan any hike a bike section into your route. I got to test ride the derailleur fat bike version on the off-road course, and it handled remarkably well. Putting the motor on turbo, the steep ramp to get out was easy to climb.

With only getting permission to ride the Rohloff driven version on tarmac, I can’t tell you too much about that, but the price tag would make me think twice about the upgrade. If you are looking for the Land Rover of bicycles, then look no further.

Tern Orox cargo bike
Tern Orox

Pinion Smart Shift

Imagine riding your Di2 bike without having to change the chain or think about waxing it. The combination of Pinion Smart Shift, Gates belt drive and TRP levers is one to seriously consider for long commutes or bikepacking – or simply for having a bike that you can ride without thinking about it. 

Pinion smart shift internal bicycle gearing system
Pinion Smart Shift


Invented by former Porsche engineers and modelled after proven automobile transmission technology, Pinion Gearboxes use spur gearing with two subunits connected in sequence. The individual gear ratios are derived by matching the two subunits with various cog pairings. The Pinion gearbox is reliable, durable and low-maintenance. And it rides remarkably well.

Trp Brake lever
TRP Hywire lever


Until now the grip shifter used in most cases put me off, but that’s a thing of the past. With the new levers from TRP you can shift up and down on both brake levers. The battery, integrated into the frame, lasts for around 20,000 shifts, enough for a really long ultra-endurance race. I tested the internal gear hub with the speed sensor, which is another interesting feature. Imagine standing on traffic lights and your bike has already shilfted a few gears down to give you an easier start.

Evoc Musette

Producing bike bags is one thing, making useful stuff out of the production offcuts is another. Evoc’s range of bikepacking bags looks interesting, one of the only ranges of bags that comes with a BOA dial. I got to chat to Tobi, who runs the company headquartered in Munich, and in return for a copy of my Bikepacking Scotland book, I was gifted with the first of their musettes, made entirely out of ‘leftovers’.

When working in the arts I had a similar approach to deal with old PVC banners, recycling them into useful and unique bags afterwards, and Evoc’s musette follows the same approach.

an Evoc bar mounted storage bag
Evoc bar bag


No longer new, but still impressive is the Commute A.I.R. PRO 18, the world’s first bike backpack with integrated airbag technology. The downside – almost £900 is probably beyond most people’s budget.

Optimize Wax

I bumped into Felix Strieder, the founder of Optimize Wax, before the show.

Without going into too much detail, for everyone interested in or already waxing the chain, you’ll get three types of wax: Graphene chain wax, the most expensive of them all. Graphite chain wax, a more budget-friendly alternative. And as a third choice there is a wax that contains both graphite and graphene, but comes without the hefty price tag of the two.

The biggest advantage with Optimize – there’s a real person on the other side, helping out if needed. YouTube will give you the lowdown about the pros and cons of waxing. I am not sure if the shipping to the UK is easy, but I guess Felix will have an answer for that, drop him an email!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Optimize (


Sour Bikes

Bikes made in Germany: The Homebrew project from Dresden-based Sour Bikes is the biggest step they’ve made so far – moving 100% of their production to Saxony. 

Their bike names are fun too: Double Choc, Big Fun, Crumble, Bad Granny, PB & J, Pasta Party, Purple Haze, Clueless and Space Cake. 

And now there’s the Cowboy Cookie, a new full-suspension bikepacking machine, ridden by Quinda Verheul in ultra bikepacking races. Once in production, this will be a nice alternative to carbon or aluminium full-suspension bikes.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by sour.bicycles (@sour.bicycles)


Mason Macro

There is no doubt that Brexit had an impact on British brands who sell into Europe, but some seem to be defying the odds. Mason is one of them, and their presence in Düsseldorf was noticeable. Amongst other models, some of which I personally got to ride for a bit in the past, was the MACRO, the now tenth model in their lineup.

From the outset it looks like a really sensible bike for Scottish bikepacking. Sitting between the Bokeh and RAW, the MACRO features a full custom aluminium tube set from Dedacciai and the same innovative HotShoe2 carbon fork which is used on the ISO. 

The fork is unique, and features the interchangeable ShutterMudguard and CondenserRack. 

Sad news – if you are planning bikepacking adventures this year, you might have to wait, as the bike won’t be available until late 2024. Good news – you’ll have no issues buying it in the UK.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by MASON Cycles (@mason_cycles)

Alps Alpine Ride Safety System

My first ride on Friday was guided by the fine people of Schicke Mütze (English translation: nice hat), definitely an address you should visit when in Düsseldorf. I did bring my own Mütze but not my bike, and therefore was delighted to be matched with a Rose Backroad gravel bike. There’s not too much point getting into more details about the bike, as Rose has stopped shipping anything to the UK.

As a tester was needed for the Alps Alpine Ride Safety System RS 1000, I volunteered. This ‘digital rear-view mirror for bicycles with dashcam and brake light’ is an interesting feature for city cycling. It’s basically a backlight and camera, rain and dustproof mounted on the seatpost, communicating with an app on your smartphone, mounted on the bars. 

With the help of AI the app warns you of drivers that come too close or approach too fast, and automatically records video footage of dangerous drivers for up to one minute. Riding in a bunch with others there was limited scope to test it properly, but I liked the camera perspective for filming projects. The wide angle lens made for some interesting pictures from the ride – apart from providing a safer ride, it’ll also be a handy camera to spice up your Instagram feed on off-road rides.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Alps Alpine Bike (@alpsalpine_bike)

Hase Gravit Dust

Although I have tested the bike already on my cycle from Edinburgh to Erfurt via Route YC, it is still worth a mention. Compared to most cargo bikes on show in Düsseldorf, the Hase Gravit Dust is significantly lighter than almost any other bike on show, can be ridden for as long as your legs last and allows up to 200kg to be loaded on the bike, including the rider. 

But the most impressive feature is that you can take the rack off, push the front end in and fit it into your bike shed.

Apart from testing new gear – Cycling World Düsselfdorf simply had a great vibe to it. Hosted in an old industrial building on the Areal Böhler, the show included a large outside area to test bikes, a fixed gear crit race, a singlespeed exhibition and a cross race. 

I got to meet like minded people on the blogger stage, and the organisation was remarkably efficient. And they’ll expand – in 2025 Cycling World is going to New York City from 1 – 4 May.

Getting to Düsseldorf by air is the quickest way, but a more environmentally friendly approach is to take the ferry to Rotterdam and cycle the rest of the way, about 240km. I stayed in the Me and All Hotel in Düsseldorf Oberkassel, only a few tram stops away from the show. 

Share this story