Interbike 2011: Thursday Product Highlights
Zach White shows you some of his favorites from the show floor.
By: Zach White
Mission Workshop Sanction pack
Sailboats are expensive. Mission Workshop’s new Sanction packs are expensive, too. But considering the entirely-US-made packs are manufactured from Dimension Polyant sail material to keep weight impressively minimal while maintaining bomber, lifetime warranty strength, the Sanction seems a bargain at twice the price. Well, at least compared to a sailboat.
Part of Mission Workshop’s “Advanced Projects” product development program, the Sanction is a small-run production pack made with the intention of pushing design limits more than appealing to the budget of masses. The pack features a waterproof membrane sandwiched between two layers of sail material, holds 1000 cubic inches worth of obscure LPs sandwiched between your sister’s jeans, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Not enough flavor in your helmet these days? Swing by the Bell Helmets booth and see if you can talk Skratch into whipping up a custom paint job for you. A handful of lucky Bell reps will be at the front of each day’s line for the original creations, but he seems like a nice guy, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask. Just don’t get too attached to having a “one of a kind” design, as any of Skratch’s artwork could make it to Bell’s production line.
Schwalbe Racing Ralph
Kelli Emmett is damn cute. And lucky for me, she’s damn fast on a bike, too. So, instead of being some creepy guy who stalks her from the shadows, I get to play the media card and talk to her about her bike and other bike-related stuff. For a bike geek, it’s really a win-win situation.
Earlier this season, Emmett was running a set of custom Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires at Downieville that both looked a little different than stock, and were said to consist of an unavailable compound combination. That tire is now in production, and will hit shops shortly.
Similar in design to their Hans Dampf, Schwalbe added a transition knob between the center and outside knobs of the new Racing Ralph to give a more consistent and predictable feel throughout turning. The outside knobs themselves also get straightened out a bit for improved cornering traction, and rounding out a trio of cornering improvements, the Racing Ralph is also now available in GateStar compound. Consisting of a harder, faster-rolling compound in the center, with a softer, DH-style compound for cornering traction on the outside, GateStar is the same rubber Emmett and some of the other Giant Factory team were running this summer.
MSRP “Around $10”
It took a surprisingly long time for this tool to surface, especially for how simple it is. Like the magical trio of peanut butter, jelly and bread, Park’s new AWS-7 combines a 4mm and 5mm allen key with a T25 Torx in one happy little package. Yummy.
Nite Rider Pro 3000
Need to signal spacecraft cruising outside our stratosphere? Maybe you want to be the first big-box store to provide “off the grid” parking lot lighting? Or maybe, just maybe, you’d like to light up the local trail with over 3000 lumens for your nighttime riding pleasure.
Having literally doubled the lumen output from last year’s top-tier Pro 1500, Nite Rider’s new Pro 3000 will easily handle any of the above, and then some. With a claimed 1.5 hours of run time on the brightest setting, the system comes with their DIY software that allows for up to 7 custom settings to tailor lumen output and run time to your night ride.
Yakkay fuzzy helmet
Though Yakkay assured us that the materials used in this “hat” option for their interchangeable fashion-influenced helmets is completely synthetic and that no harm came to any gorilla whatsoever while designing and/or producing it, we’re calling PETA just in case.
Sure, 2-millimeter thick, fleece-lined neoprene gloves with articulating fingers may not be for everyone. But for those who do ride in conditions that pin me and my hot chocolate to the couch, this glove is an impressive option. And for those dressing up as Scuba Steve this Halloween, think of it as a two-fer purchase.
Danny Hart’s Bike
If you ride mountain bikes and use the internet, you’ve seen Danny Hart’s phenomenal World Championship run in the last week or so. But two things you may have missed are his custom Danny Hart-branded Schwalbe tires, and custom carbon fiber caliper covers.
Although the tires on Hart’s bike look like Dirty Dans, Giant Factory mechanic Joe Staub hinted that they’re definitely not production tires. Unfortunately, that’s all he said. So whether it’s simply a compound that isn’t available to us mortals, or if there’s something cooler going on, we may never know.
The carbon caliper covers are custom built by Danny’s personal mechanic, Paul Miles, and were used on his World Champion-winning run to keep the Swiss gunk off his brakes. Chances are Danny would’ve killed it on a tricycle that day, but there’s no way he could’ve thrown that whip on the bottom of the course without them. Seriously, I know for a fact that those carbon caliper covers are the only thing missing from my ability to throw whips like that.
MRP Micro-drive prototype:
Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to single front chainrings and 29” wheels. Working on a guide option for this combination, and for spinners in general, MRP has a G2 SL in the works that’ll be compatible with 28-32t rings. Currently, the hurdle is getting around the average crankarm’s spider, which MRP has temporarily remedied with a custom-machined 32t ring that replaces the spider altogether.
Currently still in prototype phase, there’s no ETA on availability or price, and no word on if they’ll have to produce spiderless chainrings to make the micro-drive guide work.
Topeak Shock N Roll
Everyone knows that rider who carries a small shop in his pack, including, but not limited to, a shock pump. But for the masses, the ratio of use-to-pack-clutter usually keeps the suspension tool on the workbench. Topeak’s new Shock N Roll two-in-one tire pump/shock pump may offset the clutter ratio in your pack just enough to warrant springing $85 for covering all of your air pressurized bases out on the trail.