Interbike - Indoors Part Two - Bike Magic

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Interbike – Indoors Part Two

You have to move pretty quickly to see all of Interbike in the time available. Here’s today’s crop of Interesting Stuff…

Hope is almost ready to enter the light market with this HID unit. Electronically it’s the usual high-end combination of Welch-Allyn HID lamp and Li-ion battery, but the clever bit is the mount. A special stem faceplate has integrated brackets for the lamp unit and battery, which slides into a quick-release mount under the bar. Very neat.

Just as Hope started making hubs as a consequence of making disc brakes, so it’ll be making stems in order to fit lights to. Here’s the stem in “summer” mode with a conventional faceplate.

Also from Hope is a new trials-specific Mini disc brake. You can probably tell the difference just by looking at it – oversized pistons driven by the same lever let the brake lock up with very little lever pressure. No modulation to speak of, but for hopping about they should be just the ticket.

Hayes’s new El Camino brake features an Avid-style leverage adjuster on the lever. It’s a very sleek unit, and it’s still reversible from left to right.

The Foes Fly DH bike has been completely redesigned, with a new semi-monococque front end adding stiffness and saving weight. Travel is 8-9in. The FXR trail bike has also been fiddled with and delivers 5-5.75in.

GT and Mongoose are owned by the same parent company, and Mongoose’s Freedrive suspension platform is covered by the i-Drive patents from GT. It’s implemented in a slightly different way to GT’s version, though. We didn’t get a chance to ride one at the Outdoor Demo although those that did said good things. It’ll be available in two ranges, the Teocali long-travel XC (4.5-5.5in) and the Black Diamond freerider (6.5-7.5in).

The smaller brands are always good value at Interbike, often coming up with very niche bikes that the big guys wouldn’t bother with. Sycip’s Java Boy is a very elegant town bike – one gear, postie-style front rack, wooden mudguards, moustache bars.

Sycip has a range of hardtail MTBs too. These ace bullet-ended stays are from the Super Unleaded titanium model.

Retrotec is still building bikes with contemporary geometry but a classic cruisery look, although the frames always look a bit like the top half of a cruiser stuck onto the bottom half of a regular bike to us.

After being passed from pillar to post a bit, Syncros is back in full flow with a range of all-new products. These flat pedals look as if they may have been influenced by the Vortex out of the Adventure Game (and if that means anything to you, you’re officially old, well done). Removable pins all over the place give tunable grip and the open, webby design cuts weight. They’re available in aluminium and magnesium versions with various bearing options.

Syncros also has new stems using its hinge-front clamp. The internal steerer clamp has fallen by the wayside, though, to be replaced by a twin, opposing-bolt arrangement called the Bear Hug. Also in the product range are bars, seatposts, hubs, rims and tyres.

Crank Brothers has extended its range from pedals to the next bit along – cranks. The lovely-looking arms are made in two pieces, with a stainless steel outer section bonded to an aluminium inner section. There’s a steel insert for the pedals, they’re ISIS compatible and are claimed to weigh 600g including chainrings.

Mountain Cycle’s legendary San Andreas gets a new lease of life with the launch of the fantastic-looking DNA. The frame design shares the San Andreas’s monococque construction, single-pivot suspension and separate seat mast but it’s all-new, with a much smoother look. Travel is up to 6-7.5in. The old San Andreas carries on as the San Andreas Classic. The whole Mountain Cycle range has had a comprehensive graphical makeover and looks really good.

We’re not sure that there’s anything particularly wrong with the traditional saddle rail/seatpost clamp arrangement, but SDG has redesigned it anyway. The I-Beam system promises lighter weight and easier adjustment. And it gets rid of that bit at the top of the post under the saddle that fills up with mud.

FSA’s K-Force crank uses foam-filled, carbon-skinned arms mounted to a Mega-Exo 24mm axle that runs on outboard bearings in the style of Hollowtech II. This kind of system will be everywhere next year – everyone appears to be using the same bearings, although we’re not sure how interchangeable they’ll actually be. The K-Force MTB crank comes in at 750g complete – there’s also a road version. FSA has a whole range of Mega-Exo cranks for road and MTB, featuring additional bearing seals to stop any water that’s gathered in the BB shell from draining out through the bearings. ISIS isn’t dead, though – FSA’s developed a couple of new bottom brackets designed to incorporate bigger bearings for better life. One cunning one uses a conventional ISIS axle but with outboard bearings. To work with existing cranks the bearings have to be very narrow, so to make up for that the outer race of the bearing is the bit that threads into the BB shell (rather than just a carrier with the bearing pushed in) and they’re full-complement bearings for better load-carrying ability.

Ventana has tweaked its line of full-suspension bikes, shortening the shock linkages and extending the range of shocks that you can fit. It’s also getting in on the chopper act with this beast. The custom-machined rear wheel is a particularly nice touch – you can have any design you want as long as it’s physically possible.

The splendidly-named Sinister Bikes has this Splinter full-susser, offering 4in of travel via a sort of nodding-donkey linkage that’s intended to keep weight low in the frame.

Also from Sinister is the Ridge hardtail, designed to take a 6-8in fork. Surprisingly for a frame designed for that much fork it’s not a super-oversized device although it’s clearly pretty stout.

Bianchi’s long line of acronym-christened singlespeeds continues with the lightweight aluminium GUSS (Gene-O’s Ultimate Single Speed). It’s also very yellow.

Intense has gone VPP all over the place, with the Uzzi freerider and Tazer slalom bike now coming in virtual pivot versions to complete the set.

Marzocchi gets ready to rock.

Few companies take as much trouble over their stands as Oakley. The achingly cool eyewear makers was showing its wares in a custom-built military-style encampment, complete with branded weights to hold the canvas in place, ammo-box-style display cases and seating that looks like it came out of the back of a Hercules, complete with parachute-style backpacks.

Dear Santa… Park’s PK-57 Professional Tool Kit in all its glory.

Kryptonite has clearly picked up on the chopper trend with this V-twin styled lock. And yes, it uses a flat key, before you ask.

There’s still plenty of stuff to show you – watch out for further reports next week.


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