Day One coverage of all the latest and greatest from the trade show floor here at Interbike was delayed due to an urgent mission regrading the Shitbike. Stay tuned to the December issue for the full report, but suffice it to say the mission was a raging success.
Without further ado, here’s a double-dose of highlights from Interbike 2009.
Gore's Alp-X jacket will see some serious revisions for 2010. The jacket has a huge full-length vent that runs along side that zipper which is easily uncovered via a velcro flap. The Alp-X also features lots of subtle reflectors, a removable hood and a drop-down tail. The main body of the jacket is made from GORE-TEX PacLite material and the high abrasion zones, like the forearms, are made from GORE-TEX Performance Shell for greater durability.
Hydrapak's bite valve sees a welcomed revision. The Surge Valve twists to block water flow and the new bite interface is far less prone to leaking. The tube is now held in place with the Quantum Clip, which uses a magnet instead of jersey-eating Velcro.
Hydrapak is pushing hard into the high-end market with its $110, 800-cubic-inch Morro (pictured) and $130 1,100-cubic-inch Jolla packs.
POC's line of VPD knee, shin and elbow pads offer soft-shell comfort at near hard-shell protection. The VPD padding allows for easy flexibility when riding, but firms up during impacts.
POC's top-end downhill helmet, the Cortex DH, uses a new technology called MIPS, which acts like the brains natural protection against violent rotation. The helmet shell floats on the body of the helmet allowing it to move independently from the body, which dampens the rotational violence transferred to the rider's head. The shell is held in place by a replaceable shear pin so that it will only move around when impacted. The Cortex DH will retail for $600.
The Marin Attack Trail 6.8 comes stock with HammerSchmidt, weighs in at just over 31 pounds and retails for $4,500.
Marin Bikes' Quake XLT gets a boost in travel to 180 millimeters. The bottom-bracket shell is forged and has ISCG tabs for a chainguide or HammerSchmidt system (for which this bike's linkage has been optimized for). The rear dropouts are replaceable and spaced at 150 millimeters.
It was inevitable—Crank Brothers is at Interbike teasing a 29-inch version of its Cobalt wheels.
Crank Brothers Cobalt 29 wheels use the same TwinSpoke construction and 21-millimeter inner diameter extrusion as the 26-inch versions.
Bada-Bling. Pivot now offers "lunch boxes" of color-coordinated aftermarket fastener, Lock-On grips and suspension links. The carbon center of this link is structural, too, not just a carbon sticker.
In addition to fasterners, bolts and pivot axles, the aftermarket bling kit also includes a new Chris King InSet. This lunch box will set back Pivot owners $399.
GT is bringing the Ruckus…back. The Ruckus 7 will come in two different specs—this being the higher-end of the two, aimed at the $4,000 price point.
The redesigned linkage on GT's iDrive system uses four fewer parts than the previous configuration; the rest of the Ruckus's key components—the dogbone and 1.5-inch main pivot—come directly from the GT Fury DH bike.
This logo-mosaic look is *so* hot right now.
Fresh from FedEx, Turner had an early edition of its long-coming RFX freeride-lite/All-Mountain bike. Tapered headtube, DW-Link…. Yummy.
Thule's new $250 Raceway Platform trunk-mount rack includes this gem, which securely fastens via ratchetings steel cables and holds two bikes in the upright position.
Unlike nylons straps, which can stretch elastically, these steel cables hold the weight of two upright bikes tightly and securely, as once the rack is tightened down it can be locked in place with a Thule lock core.
The new Osprey Raptor packs use a rigid-frame bladder system for easy bladder installation, and an internal frame that holds the bladder in place, which prevents the SCUBA-tank effect that some other packs are prone to.
Osprey's new Raptor series comes in 6-, 10-, 14- and 18-liter volume options, which sell for $79, $89, $99 and $119, respectively.
KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. This helmet retention device latches on to just about any helmet with a vent big enough for this clasp to pass through.
Thule is doing away with its 400 XT tower system, replacing it with the new Traverse units, which offers easy-to-use features such as this integrated torque wrench that lets users know when the clamp is sufficiently tight.
Like previous Thule rack towers, the Traverse units ($179 for a set of four) will be lock-core compatible.
Prototype spotting at the Thomson booth. A not-yet-ready-for-primetime Thomson direct-mount stem.
Thomson seatpost collars will be available starting the first of the year. Expected retail cost is approximately $30 apiece.
Easton's new Haven trail/all-mountain wheels have a trick, shiny new hub, but the real story is in the discreet looking but innovative-as-all-hell spoke/nipple interface.
The $850 Haven wheels are UST compatible and weigh an impressive 1,650 grams a set, or 1,785 grams for you wagon-wheelers.
This may look like a conventional nipple/eyelet interface, but there's more than meets the eye with the new Haven wheels from Easton. Namely, the nipple is threaded on both sides—the inside for the spoke (of course), but additionally, the outside of the nipple is threaded into the eyelet, making for a turnbuckle effect by which every 1/4 turn of the conventional-sized nipple creates twice the actual spoke adjustment. Why someone hasn't thought of this before is beyond us.
Giro's new Section dirt jump helmet comes in a whole pallet of color options and provides lightweight, sturdy in-mold construction at a super-affordable $45 price point.
The Blackburn Flea light already was one of our favorites commuter lights, what with its deployable charging system that worked with any conventional AA battery. Now it's also available in a USB charger (attached to light in photo) which can plug into either any USB computer port, or into an included USB solar panel. (It doesn't work with iPhones, we asked, but will with most other USB devices)
The Dorado is now available in an alloy version. This 203- or 180-millimeter fork is race-specific, weighs just a hair over the 6.4 pound carbon version, and is expected to retail for $1749.99.
Park's new BK-1 sells for $260, which might seem like a lot for an empty box, but the construction of its tool-carrying features, its' double locking capability (combination and key) and hard composite plastic construction make it worth every penny for traveling mechanics.
The BK-1 is also available as a full-on ready-to-roll race kit, with a full complement of Park tools, as the EK-1, which sells for $650.
Park's new 100.3D repair stand clamp has a larger range than the old model and a shorter-height clamp surfaces, which is especially helpful for clamping onto the stubby shafts of Crank Brothers Joplin posts. This new clamp will come on pro models as well as the all-new Park PRS 25 collapsible race stand, which sells for $295 and is as sturdy a collapsible works stand as we've seen.
The Flow Meter attaches to a Camelbak hose and reads the amount of water that passes through it. In its basic setting it lets the rider know how much water he or she has left, and in its advanced setting the rider can enter body weight and the Flow Meter will give a suggested amount to drink per hour. After a goal is set it displays whether the rider is drinking too quickly or two slowly to meet that goal.
Camelbak is using aerospace material called Zero-Loft in its new Podium Ice bottle. This $20 bottle claims to have twice the insulating power of the Chill Jacket bottle.
Keep all that riding gear in one spot with the spacious $60 Dakine Rider's Duffle.
Dakine's $135 Blitz Jacket is a waterproof and breathable with ample ventilation and a hood that easily fits over cross-country helmets. A little grime won't ruin the aesthetics of the already dirty-looking Bomber color pattern.
The $125 Dakine Boundary Short features two-way stretch material and a removable chamois with an Italian-made Dolomiti pad.
Dakine's Mode women's freeride short offers loads of technical features for $85.
DT Swiss has unveiled a new tubeless/spoke interface system it calls Tricon. The hub flanges are separate from the actual hub. The flanges are held in place by setscrews and cement. DT Swiss claims that having the flanges separate eliminates tension around the hub bearings, allowing them to spin more smoothly.
The spokes of the Tricon wheels' modified crow's foot lace pattern attach to the rim via an insert that slides into the inside of the rim, allowing for a tubeless rim bed on the others side.
DT Swiss has redesigned the controls on its forks. Moving away from the free-swinging rebound control knob, the adjuster is now rounded and indexed for firm engagement.
Also new in the DT Swiss fork line are more affordable models with magnesium lowers. These lower-priced forks (lower priced than DT's carbon fork lineup) use an alloy cap construction to for a rigid box-like structure.
The Solo rack from Saris costs just $50, takes just two straps to attach to nearly any car, and is just about one of the coolest contraptions we've seen. KISS, indeed.
Modeled after the GP1—the grip that started it all for the ergonomically obsessed folks at Ergon—the $40 BioKork grips are all natural and even use a compressed grass material for their inner liner.
Ergon has extended a "green" theme to its packaging as well. Previously, packaging for Ergon grips used about as much plastic as 3 dozen milk jugs. Now, they're made from recycled paper.
The $130 Port-o-Shop from Lezyne is a perfect little pouch for stowing in the trunk. It comes with Lezyne's new "block tools"—one for Torx bits, one for hex bits (including straight and L-bend versions of the smaller hex bits)—as well as a pair of Saber tire lever/bottle opener/pedal wrench tools, plastic tire levers, a chain tool, patch kit and more.
The lightweight aluminum Kuat NV rack holds two bikes and has an integrated cable lock that stores inside the rack itself. Included in the $500 purchase price—an integrated repair stand.
The repair clamp on the Kuat NV rotates to eight different indexed positions and has a narrow rubber clamp for grabbing onto the bases of, say, height-adjustable seatposts. Kuat also sells $100 aftermarket kits to convert Yakima or Thule upright hitch racks to incorporate a repair stand.
Happy Hour at Interbike when the tequila comes out, the gloves come off and the Mexican thumb-wrestling thumb-socks go on!
While this might look like a conventional, if somewhat-bulky-looking, quick release lever, it's actually a trick little hide-away multi tool with 8 functions called the Tulio, which sells for $40 and will be available at the beginning of the year.
The Tulio weighs 99 grams (roughly double a standard QR lever/skewer). A small weight penalty to pay for the freedom of not having to carry tools in a pocket or pack. The Tulio includes 4-, 5- 6- and 8-millimeter hex wrenches, a chain tool, two spoke wrenches and a flathead for, say, trimming up limit screws.
This tire is so new it doesn't even actually exist yet, but the Slant Six from Kenda, another in the line of John Tomac signature tires, lines up between a Straight Eight and Nevegal, and will come in 1.95- through 2.5-inch sizes.