Eurobike 2021: Gravel Bikes, Bikepacking Bags, A New 9-Speed Gearbox & More

Here’s your Eurobike 2021 round-up!

Eurobike is the world’s biggest bicycle trade show, but this year it was much smaller than usual given the pandemic.

Let’s take a closer look at the adventure bikes and gear that made it to the show, including a new 9-speed gearbox, a light mounted on a gimble, a wooden gravel bike and some ultralight bikepacking bags.

A special thanks to reader Marco de Wit for running around and taking these great photos while I’m stuck in Mexico. This event coverage wouldn’t be possible without him!


Acepac normally has a tonne of bikepacking bags at their stand, but this year, it seemed that the focus was more on backpacks and camping gear.


Aeroe had their new Spider Rear Rack on display that will firmly hold three large drybags on a bike without any rack mounts.

At the other end of the bike, the Aeroe Spider Cradle stabilises your front bag, separates your front bag from your cables, creates more hand clearance at the bar tops and makes for quicker bag installation and removal.

Busch & Müller

Busch & Müller were showing a new fancy front eBike light called the Leval, which uses a motorised gimble to keep the front light level with the ground at all times. You can now corner as hard as you like and your beam pattern will always be perfect!


Attention suspension seatpost aficionados who also like dropper posts. By.schulz make suspension dropper! You can see two more models in my suspension seatpost resource.

Centurion Bikes

The Centurion Crossfire 2000 EQ is a gravel bike that doubles as a commuter. It comes with dynamo lights, fenders and a rear rack – all for €1899.


Cyclite is a new company that were showing some ultralight aero bikepacking bags. The full ensemble you see here is just 705 grams (1.5lbs).

The handlebar aero bag is the most unusual bag of the lot, offering 4.9 litres volume and a dual access zipper that opens the bag wide like a crocodile’s mouth.


The most exciting thing at Eurobike this year (for me) was the new 9-speed Effigear Mimic gearbox, which is smaller and lighter than Effigear’s previous model.

While Pinion gearboxes are currently compatible with more than 100 different bike brands, Effigear never achieved the same broad adoption as they required a different frame mounting plate to house their gearboxes.

Until now…

We might start to see Effigear gearboxes appearing on many more bikes because the frame mounting plate is now identical to Pinion. This also means that if you have a Pinion bike currently and are not fully satisfied, you can shop around just like you would for a derailleur drivetrain. 😎

The Effigear Mimic gearbox has a 469% gear range with an average gear step of 21%.

Interestingly, the gear steps are different for each gear – they’re bigger at low speeds (24%) and smaller at high speeds (17%), which works out better for maintaining your cadence. I discuss gear steps in my recent Kindernay article if you’d like to understand this concept more.

Another big advantage to the Effigear gearbox is that it’s compatible with SRAM drop bar and flat bar shifters. Effigear had their new Mimic gearbox set up on a swoopy Caminade gravel bike, which is the first drop bar bike I’ve seen with an Effigear box.

You can read my in-depth resource on the Effigear Mimic gearbox HERE.


Kindernay had its new 7-speed gearbox and hydraulic trigger shifter on display. I’ll spare you the details – I’ve written an in-depth article about the Kindernay VII over HERE.


The KTM stand was showing a new X-Strada gravel bike with a fresh geometry, 48mm tyre clearance and internal brake and shift cables. This particular aluminium model is set up with lights, fenders and a rear rack.

The top-of-the-line KTM X-Strada model features a lightweight carbon frame (980 grams), SRAM wireless shifting and the new Rockshox Rudy gravel suspension fork.

My Esel Wooden Bikes

My Esel was showing off this interesting wooden gravel bike.

Wood is known to offer an incredibly smooth ride thanks to its excellent vibration dampening properties. They’re a little heavier than metal or carbon frames, but not by much – a My Esel road bike with disc brakes and Ultegra components is just 8.5kg/18.7lb.

My Esel complete bikes start at €1999 and custom geometry adds €800 to the price.

New Motion Labs

New Motion Labs are currently on a mission to develop low-friction, long-lasting chain drivetrains (they are claiming a 30% longer wear life).

Their Enduo Evolve Track drivetrain achieves its low friction by using half as many teeth on the chainring and cog, and a unique chain link design that prevents the chain from sliding into the gulleys of the teeth as they engage.

How much friction does it save? 1%. This is not much for us mere mortals, but it might be enough for the right athlete to win a gold medal at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Nicolai Bikes

Nicolai was showing the mack daddy of off-road electric touring bikes, the Nicolai GT1 Eboxx.

This enduro-style eBike uses top-tier components including a Bosch CX 85Nm motor, Fox 36 suspension fork, EXT rear shock, Rohloff 14-speed gear hub and Gates belt drivetrain.

The Explorer Kit gets you all the touring stuff – lights, fenders, panniers, and a rear rack and kickstand. Don’t expect any change from €10,000…

Niner Bikes

The Niner RLT9 was updated last year, but it’s still sweet!

This steel gravel bike will clear 700 x 50mm tyres and is available with seven different specifications. The bike pictured is the “4-Star” build that comes in at US $3700.

The Niner RLT E9 RDO is an electric gravel bike made from carbon fibre. With a 500Wh battery in the downtube, this bike will allow you to ride further, or faster, or up steeper hills than a regular gravel bike.


Nuseti had their carbon MTB prototype on display, complete with a 16-speed gearbox. This bike won a Eurobike Gold Award thanks to its unique frame design that completely encloses a belt drivetrain and gearbox system. The result is a 99.9% maintenance-free drivetrain.

Nuseti has been teasing prototypes of their Inner Drive System mountain bike for over a decade. They even ran a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 to get their project off the ground, but unfortunately, they didn’t achieve their goal of £500,000.

Between the Kickstarter campaign and now, I’d heard zero updates from Nuseti. I figured that was it for this small Polish company, but I was wrong.

An early prototype of the Nuseti Inner Drive System.

The Nuseti 16-speed planetary gearbox has been designed in-house with support from KISSsoft, who provide software and consulting services around gearbox design.

The gearbox offers a 580% range, which is the equivalent low and high gear of most 3X drivetrains. And like most gearboxes, the Inner Drive System uses even gear steps across its 16 gears.

The Nuseti hides the entire Gates Carbon belt drivetrain inside the chainstay.

As belts don’t stretch, don’t require any lubrication, and are completely silent – they’re a match made in heaven for this bike. In addition, the lifespan of an enclosed belt drivetrain should exceed the 30,000km some users get with their external belt drivetrains.

The rear wheel can be removed via quick release and it drops straight out for tyre changes. Nuseti is using trigger shifters on either side of the handlebar to shift up and down, which is a similar design to the gearbox shifters by Cinq and Kindernay.

The Nuseti gearbox mountain bike has gone through many aluminium and carbon prototypes over the years, but as of 2021, it’s a full-carbon monocoque frame. The weight of the complete bike will likely land somewhere between 10-12kg (22-26lb).

Nuseti stated in a recent interview that bikes with their Inner Drive System could be available late in 2022 or 2023.


At the Pinion stand was this neat Nicolai Argon CX gravel bike with a 12-speed Pinion C-Line gearbox and Gates belt drivetrain.

Pinion also featured a Santos 4.29 kitted out with the latest all-black Ortlieb bikepacking bags and a P-Line gearbox.

There was also a new aftermarket Pinion trigger shifter at the Instinctiv Bikes stand. This is the first thumb shifter for a Pinion gearbox that has both levers on the right side of the bar. It also has quite a neat integration with the Magura brake lever.

You can learn more about Pinion gearboxes HERE.

SKS Germany

Bike accessory company SKS have just released their own range of bikepacking bags. Presumedly they will be priced very competitively.


Stronglight was showing a very neat front rack for a suspension fork with fender integration. The rear rack and fender combos were looking great too.

Vaast Bikes

Vaast is the only bike company using magnesium to make gravel bikes, and they had their updated A/1 model on display. It now has more tyre clearance and it experiences less chain slap thanks to a change in the chainstay shape.

Magnesium is lighter than aluminium (this frame is 1200 grams or 2.6lb) and is said to offer a superior ride quality. James at CyclingTips seems to think so too. He writes in his review, “there’s a strange quietness and smoothness to how the Vaast A/1 rolls across coarse tarmac and rougher dirt roads”.

Magnesium is also more eco-friendly than aluminium – it takes half as much energy to extract and manufacture, it puts less wear on the tooling during the manufacturing process, and it’s easier to recycle.

The original Vaast A/1 did not have the capability to fit a front derailleur, but the latest version will run both 1X and 2X drivetrains, making it more appealing for those who ride a healthy mix on the road.

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