Interbike - Back indoors - Bike Magic

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Interbike – Back indoors

After two days in the desert, Interbike “proper” shifted indoors today. It’s certainly rather cooler in the Sands Expo centre than it is outside. Different people seem to tackle the challenge of covering the huge hall in the time available in different ways. Some exhaustively explore every aisle, pulling around trolleys that they fill with catalogues. Some know exactly what they want to see and just go there and some just amble around at random and rely on Fate. We seem to be combining all of these approaches. Except the trolley thing. That’s just silly.

If you think mountain bike suspension’s getting big, take a look at this Fox off-road truck shock – it’s got about three feet of travel.

Someone managed to steal a load of parts from bikes in the hall the night before the show opened, leaving some unlucky people to hunt around for new bits and try to reassemble display bikes from the ones they had left. Why they did it by the bins is anybody’s guess.

This is a neat gadget. Cambiatta’s universal data logger picks up signals from any HRM or cordless computer transmitter and stores anything it finds. Plug it into a PC and the supplied software lets you download, record and analyse the data. It should be a neat alternative to ditching your existing HRM for a posh new downloadable model. There’s also a fork transmitter if you don’t have a cordless computer. The matchbox-sized unit can mount on the bars or just drop it in your pocket.

Terry’s women’s saddles have all gone a bit Laura Ashley for 2005. Regular plain covers (and men’s saddles) are also available.

Supernova’s Law Enforcement light unit combines a 16W halogen lamp (with 12 an 8W settings via a bar-mounted microprocessor control doohickey) with a blue/red flashing 23 LED cluster and a 115dB siren. It’s all powered by a Li-ion battery pack and looks splendidly space-age. Supernova does a bunch of other lights including a mental twin HID unit with a choice of flood or spot 14W lamps. Run time is two hours at full chat.

Canfield Brothers’s Formula One DH bike gives 230mm of travel from a VPP-style suspension system. The chain runs over an idler sprocket so that chain tension acts in a more useful direction.

The Balance XC bike from the Canfields uses a similar design but without the idler. You’re getting 110-130mm of travel from the 6.5lb frame. Both frames are beautifully finished, with all of the machined bits being highly polished and lots of nice detailing.

Choppers and lowriders seem to be the big thing in the bike industry at the moment. This example is from Firebikes. Practicality just out of shot.

Legendary bag makers Timbuk2 have a bunch of new stuff, including its first rucksack-style messenger bag. The Pro series (also available as a traditional style bag) includes huge reflective panels. Timbuk2 also has a range of tote bags, laptop bags and all sorts of other bags. And its “Bag in a Box” programme lets people easily buy custom bags from bike shops, especially as gifts – the box contains a voucher that can be instantly redeemed on the company’s website. Choose your colours, punch in the number on the voucher and you’re done.

To attract custom to its stand, Timbuk2 had a pair of Soulcraft messenger-style bikes (although they were far too shiny to be authentically courieresque). This one was a two-speed, completely kitted out with vintage (but never used) Campagnolo parts.

Moots’s Snowbike runs 3in tyres on double-wide Snowcat rims for a super-wide floaty tyre. A Rohloff hub gives clog-free gears.

Likely to be of broader appeal is the new Cinco full-susser. It follows a rather more conventional design than some of Moots’s other FS bikes.

Convergence has given us cameras with phones in and all sorts of other things. Like, for example, a bike with a built-in skateboard. Or a skateboard with a built-in bike. Or something.

This particularly fine streamliner chopper features a fully-enclosed rear wheel and cream leather upholstery. Again, practicality isn’t high on the agenda.

NiteRider’s latest light system combines an HID with a triple LED. The LEDs can get you to the trailhead without too much battery drain, and act as a backup light source when the battery gets too depleted to fire up the HID. There’ll be a selection of Li-ion battery options going up to a pack with a nine-hour run time.

Production versions of Fox’s big single-crown 36 fork were to be seen on Specialized Enduro bikes. Don’t expect to see them anywhere else for a while, the Big S appears to have bought the lot…

Thomson’s new X4 stem manages to be 30g lighter than the existing Elite but is said to be stronger. The Elite’s internal clamp is dropped in favour of a more conventional twin pinch-bolt arrangement. Thomson’s publicity material includes a shot of a car suspended from an X4, which is certainly eye-catching.

The ever-growing SRAM empire was showing its wares on a single stand (with the exception of recent acquisition Truvativ). Avid has a couple of new brakes, including restyled cable levers and a simplified Juicy Five hydraulic disc system that does without the Speed Dial leverage adjuster. There’s also a “cut-down” mechanical disc that only has a pad clearance dial on one side.

This is the guts of RockShox’s new Motion Control damping system, as found in Reba and Pike forks (and a Trek-exclusive rear shock). The system has hardly any moving parts but combines compression damping and blow-off threshold adjustment to let you achieve pretty much any ride feel you want. Whether anybody’ll be able to get their heads around the different adjustments available is anybody’s guess…

Changes in the Kona range largely centre around more travel on the full suspension bikes – the Kikapu XCers are now 4in, the Dawg all-rounders are 5in and the Coiler light freeriders are 6. At the extra-long end, the DH race Stab Primo and heavy-duty freeride Stinky Primo seem to have come out as almost exactly the same bike. The Stinky’s considerably cheaper, though, so there’s a top purchasing tip.

At the opposite end of the scale, the frame-only King is a sort of Scalpel-esque super-short-travel XC race device. A 1in stroke shock delivers 2.5in of travel, while a Scandium front end and carbon/aluminium rear keep the weight down.

Turner’s Six Pack is a distinctly heavy-duty machine. It might only have an inch more travel than the Five Spot but it’s got a lot more metal in it. It’s still intended to go up hills (hence the triple chainset) but its strengths lie in a gravity-assisted direction.

If that’s not burly enough for you, perhaps a Highline would do the job? It’s got even more travel and even more metal, but can still run more than one chainring.

Ellsworth has returned to the lightweight hardtail market with the rather lovely Enlightenment. It’s essentially a reworked version of the old Sub 22, retaining such distinctive features as the one-piece chain- and seatstays. There’s also a singlespeed version called simply the One.

All Ellsworth bikes will now be available with a selection of custom paint finishes as well as the traditional anodising. This Id frame features the ever-popular hot-rod flames, while various glitter flip paints and things are also on the list.

Scott is a new entrant to the US market and was showing road bikes, hardtails and single-pivot freeride bikes. What it wasn’t showing was the Genius linkage full sussers. An ongoing patent dispute with Specialized means that the sole Genius on the Scott stand was concealed under this cover with “International Dealers Only” written on it.

That’s all for today, ‘cos it’s getting late. More tomorrow…


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