Posted by Editoress on 10/7/02
Interbike - Day One
You can click on the individual photo links below, or view all in the Photo gallery
We have finished Day 1 of the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. As always, this is a huge show, with both the exotic and the weird. Here are some notes from the Sin City.
Roland Green paid a quick visit, signing autographs for a long, long line of fans at the Powerbar booth ( photo). He was there with his agent, who is still talking with a number of bidders for the World Champion's services next year. Trek is certainly anxious to keep their star rider (and also Alison Sydor, according to a spokesperson), but the cost is considerably higher then the first time around. Other interested parties include Specialized and Giant, both of whom Green and his agent had quick meetings with before the Victorian headed off to catch a flight to Belgium for his time trial on Thursday.
bare aluminum is the finish of choice for frames, it appears. Everyone has a few models like this, with some companies doing their entire line this way.
not too, too many really radical things at the show, but among the most interesting were a new single speed by Cannondale and an unusual saddle design by a new company called Flow.
The Cannondale single speed solves the problem of chain tension that has restricted the use of disc brakes on this type of bike. By installing an eccentic bottom bracket (like on a tandem), chain tension can be adjusted by rotating the cam. This means a vertical dropout and a quick release can be installed also. The design is not completely new, but has usually been restricted to one-offs up until now. Kudos to Cannondale. photo 1, photo 2
The Flow saddle uses a mesh fabric instead of a shell for support. This means excellent airflow and weight distribution, according to the company. It is an intriguing idea, but we'll to wait for a real test (other then sitting on one in a booth) to be sure. photo
Argon 18 continues to push the envelope in road bike design. They were getting lots of attention for bounded composite and aluminum frames (photo). According Martin Rioux, the UCI has okayed the design for racing. Along with that, the Quebec company is shaping tubes in a number of different ways photo. As an addendum, steel is getting more and more difficult to find.
Giant is one of a number of companies that is daring to be different in a bid to attract the commuter and recreational crowd. Their Revive recumbent bikes (photo) are in interesting concept.
SRAM was showing a new shifting system called Dualdrive. Both shifters can be operated with one hand, and there is no front derailleur. Instead, a rear cogset is mated with an internal planetary gear system (sort of like the old Benelux drive). (photo)
plasma screens are a must have for the happening show booth, especially if you can hire someone to produce a video about your company. Most ambitous award goes to Rocky Mountain for their effort, which includes a guest appearance by God.
in addition to Roland, everyone and his brother is making an appearance in booths to sign posters. Everything will culminate on Tuesday with the appearance of Lance Armstrong (the real God...) at Trek.
very few innovations in suspension, making the Specialized Epic the most talked about. Lots of trickledown and refinement.
many new clothing companies, particularly for women. Unfortunately, few will survive and almost none will make it to Canada, based on past experience.
more European product is starting to show up at Interbike. It is hard to say whether this is because of the increased value of the Euro against the dollar, or just because the companies are becoming more aggressive about taking on the Americans on their home turf. Either way, it is good to see some new blood.
finally, the hot piece of swag is the Independent Fabrications thong. Sorry, no photo of this one...
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