Sun, sand, and cycles - Bike Magic

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Sun, sand, and cycles

Saturday was Interbike Outdoor Demo day, an opportunity for showgoers to try out some of the shiny new bikes on display. With over 100 exhibitors and 4,000 retail staff visitors, in was America’s second biggest trade show (second only to Interbike itself). The Demo takes place at Blue Diamond village, 25 miles from Las Vegas. Needless to say, it was sunny and very warm…

Mind the thorns…

The organisers had waymarked five desert trails for the mountain bikers, two of them featuring super-technical singletrack. As usual, it was a good idea to take plenty of spare tubes – the sharp pointy rocks and cactus thorns take their toll on tyres. For the roadies there was a long stretch of super-smooth highway. And there were hundreds of bikes to choose from.

Mountain bikes were a lot more popular than road stuff amongst the US bike shop staff who made up most of the attendees, so you’d have a much shorter wait if you wanted to try out a road bike. Particularly sought-after were Specialized’s Epic bikes, with a permanent queue at the stand. And our ever-vigilant industry spies spotted a selection of nuggets…

New Fox Forx sees bumps coming, sort of
Pic:Andy Armstrong

The BRAIN inertial valve lockout technology used on the Epics has also found its way into these new Fox Forx, promising bob-free performance on smooth surfaces and almost instant switching to the usual Forx plushness at the merest whiff of a bump. Forx will also be available in a disc-only version with no V-brake bosses.

Segway: Cycling kit not strictly necessary

Fuji MTB team member Gerri Moriaty works for Segway, manufacturers of the much-hyped microprocessor-controlled gyro-stabilised personal transporter. There’s a lot of scepticism about, well, the point of it, but that didn’t stop Gerri drawing a crowd when she trundled out from the Fuji stand on the device. We’re told it’s actually at its most impressive when stationary, as the computers make it tilt slightly back and forth to maintain balance.

Bolt-on tandem adapter

There’re always a couple of slightly quirky products at the Demo. This remarkable construction is the Switchback Tandem Adapter. It’s a clamp-on half bike that replaces the rear wheel of a conventional bike, attaching at the dropouts and seat post to create an almost instant (installation time is claimed to be five minutes) tandem. Fitting is simplified by having the rear derailleur and rear brake operated from the Switchback, so you’ll need respectable teamwork skills. More details at the Switchback Tandem site.

Which way are we going again?
Pic:Andy Armstrong

Also in the quirky category was this back-to-back recumbent. There are presumably some aerodynamic benefits, but it’d be a boon to any tandem pairings who are no longer talking…

Story from BikeBiz
Additional reporting from Andy Armstrong


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