Interbike’s Outdoor Demo moved from the dry, dusty desert trails outside Las Vegas to the still-dusty, still-dry but not-at-all-desert of Northstar at Tahoe’s bike park this year, and while its overall footprint felt smaller than the Bootleg Canyon years, the sentiment about the venue change was universally positive. Still, only a handful of mountain bike brands offered demos--namely Marin, Pivot and Mondraker--and their booths overflowed with kitted-up riders riders all day on Monday looking for a set of wheels on which to lap the park.
But there was plenty to see even if you didn’t suit up and load the lifts.
Here are a few things that caught our eye:
MRP Raven and Ribbon SL Forks
The Raven is a new, more affordable fork, with the same stiffness as the Ribbon, but at $800, costs $200 less. You sacrifice some tech for the lower price--there’s no pressure release valve in the back of the lowers, the rebound damper is low-speed only and it’s only available with a bolt-on axle--but it uses the same chassis as the Ribbon and promises the same performance. The Raven will be available next month. MRP is also expanding the Ribbon line with the SL, a short-travel, lighter-weight version of its namesake fork. It utilizes shorter stanchion internals and a smaller damper, and comes in just under 4 pounds. It will be available in 120 or 130 millimeters of travel in 29/27.5+ only. MRP is set to release its more progressive coil spring, which it first announced last spring, but delayed to make it even more progressive (illustrated in the photo above).
Fix Manufacturing Tools
Fix was showing a booth full of new tools at Outdoor Demo, including two different belts that can be customized for specific uses, whether you plan to use it working the pits or during a long ride. The All Time Belt carries any of Fix’s tools in its ‘Payload Pocket.’ It features a cam buckle and is made with anodized aluminum, nylon webbing and steel pivots with nylon, easy-glide bushings. The USA-made belt also includes a cheater bar for extra leverage on some tools. And perhaps its most important feature? A bottle opener. The All Out Belt has similar features but swaps the nylon webbing for an adjustable stretch webbing strap. With 20+ tools in one, the Wheel Wrench Pro won’t leave you stranded when a mechanical stops your ride. It includes spoke wrenches, a tire lever, chain breaker/spare links, valve stem/core wrench and a rotor straightener, along with the regular assortment of Allen and Torx wrenches.
One of the most storied products in mountain biking is back in the fold, 30 years after its last iteration. The Ritchey Ultra has been modernized for today’s hardtail demands, with a frame is designed around a 120-millimeter-travel fork and Boost spacing. It’s made with Ritchey’s steel tubing, precisely engineered dropouts and a forged-metal headtube for integrated headsets. The frame is compatible with 27.5 x 2.8 or 29 x 2.4 tires, can run either a one-by or two-by drivetrain and has a 30.9-millimeter seat tube with internal dropper-post routing. It’s being sold only as a frameset and retails for $1,000.
Kuat Transfer 1
Kuat made this one for fans of solo shreds and small cars. The Transfer 1 single-tray hitch rack holds one bike (though a second bike add-on is available for $109, in case you couple up or buy a bigger car). The tray is adjustable, and the rack is compatible with either inch-and-a-quarter or 2-inch hitch receivers. It retails for $219.