By Ryan Palmer and Jon Weber
Here’s a look at what we found on the second day of Interbike in Las Vegas:
Industry Nine Matchstix
Industry Nine’s slick Matchstix thru axle carries enough tools to get you home or keep you riding. O-rings hold the removable tool tube and lever in place. The tool tube holds steel torx, allen and screwdriver heads. There will be two versions of the lever, one with a chain tool and one without. The removable lever is compatible with both the front and rear axles, so riders could run only one lever and use it to pull whichever axle is necessary. Select sizes will be available within a month and pricing is yet to be announced.
You might think every rider who uses a GPS cyclometer wants everything from turn-by-turn directions to the effect of leg hair length on heart rate. The folks at Wahoo would tell you that you’re wrong: their new Elemnt GPS takes a less-is-more approach, limiting functionality within the unit to simplify use. If you do want to see more, the unit’s display is fully customizable via Wahoo’s app.
The Elemnt packs ANT+, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity that allows riders to view key ride metrics, navigate a route, track fellow riders’ locations in real-time as well as receive en-route call, text and email notifications. LEDs around the display provide visual indicators for alerts and data. Fully programmable, the indicators can be set to display metrics such as speed, heart rate, power, turn-by-turn navigation cues and more. The Elemnt will be available towards the end of 2016 for $329.99.
100% Aircraft Full-Face
100% has developed a strong presence in mountain biking, sponsoring athletes like Sam Hill and UCI Champ Loic Bruni. The full-face Aircraft has a carbon/Kevlar composite shell and sports intelligent features like easily removable lower pads as well as compatibility with inflatable emergency release systems, both of which ease the removal of the helmet in the case of a serious crash.
6D ATB1-A Helmet
6D’s floating Omni-Directional Suspension system is an interesting alternative to MIPS. The helmet is made up of two EPS shells that float relative to one another on hourglass-shaped rubber ISO dampers. 6D claims that the system offers an advantage over MIPS since it can move three dimensionally, while MIPS can only absorb rotational forces in one dimension.
Medium and large sizes are slated to be available in February or March with more coming soon after. The helmets on display at Interbike are pre-production, and final pricing and weight are still unknown.
Gravity’s Dropper Post
Available in Spring 2016, Gravity’s new dropper is focused on reliability and ease of service rather than lightweight. The posts’s head is beefed up, a feature which Gravity says has been requested by OEM customers. The $300 air-sprung post’s cartridge can be removed in under 5 minutes with an allen key and replacements will be available for $25. Gravity will offer 100mm and 125mm travel options in 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters.
ODI Elite Series Grips
ODI wanted to make a new line of grips that provided excellent cushioning without feeling too bulky. The result is three Elite Series grips, which use an asymmetric rubber layup to increase cushioning under the palm while still giving good bike feel where the fingers contact the grip. The rubber compound used on the Elite Series handles is softer than on most ODI gips and is intended to mitigate hand fatigue during long rides on challenging terrain. All three grips in the series secure to the bar with a single lock-on clamp and will retail for $28.95.
The Pro version pictured above has moto-style waffling for finger traction and a cushier raised zone that’s intended to sit under the palm. The outer end is reinforced for durability and is a bit taller than the rest of the 31-millimeter-diameter grip. An asymmetric flange sits inside of the lock ring.
Abbey Tools’ Top-Cap Socket
Abbey Tools manufactures precision hand tools for the working professional. These little green gems are exactly what you’d expect out of them. Ordinary sockets have a large chamfer that prevents a confident purchase on shallow wrench flats. This $150 Suspension Top Cap Socket set features a precision flat bottom interface to ensure solid engagement. A must have for any suspension tuner.
Leatt DBX Helmet
Leatt’s new DBX helmet comes in a whopping 8 sizes and is specifically made to absorb rotational impacts while maintaining a sleek profile. Its minimal volume claims to reduce excessive rotational forces. In an impact, the visor is designed to break off in order to prevent snagging.
Silica Hex Box
Josh Poertner bought Silca from the original owners in 2013, bringing the Italian company to Indianapolis, Indiana. Since then, he’s gone completely overboard making easily the most artful and beautiful pump in the world. Adding to the over-the-topness of the pump is the Silca Hex Box. The grip-coated hex keys come in a gorgeous wood case, and feature a unique quarter-inch bit holder that attaches to the 6-mil tool for endless fastener fitments. It would be nice to see 1.5 and 12-millimeter hex wrenches in the set given the $125-dollar price tag.
Yakima JetStream Bar
Yakima has completely redesigned its roof rack system, with sleek new feet to fit on all of today’s modern roofs, as well as aerodynamic teardrop-shaped load bars. The JetStream bar is extruded aluminum with channels for clean tower and accessory attachment, while the CoreBar is more basic. All the new feet will are compatible with both the new load bars as well as Yakima’s classic round bars.
Plus Schwalbe's overhauled "Super" series of casing options