From an obsessive cycling disorder solutions to brain protection, Interbike didn’t disappoint. Check out the top 10 things you missed:
1. Lazer road helmets with multi-directional impact protection system
Lazer has added a number of new products for 2016, including a new Z1 Road Helmet with MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System). One of the cool features of the Z1 helmet is the ability to add an integrated rear light to the helmet for evening/night rides.
We saw most of the helmet manufacturers coming out with MIPS helmet options because of the added layer of safety that they provide. More info on MIPS technology
2. OCD cyclist’s organizational dream – KitBrix
KitBrix is an OCD person’s dream. They’re essentially stackable, combinable, sports organizer bags that are extremely durable and easy to keep clean. I wanted to walk away with about five of these bags after seeing them on the display floor. For someone who is constantly driving 10+ hours in a weekend to race bikes, having something like KitBrix would make a huge difference keeping all of my travel gear organized and would eliminate the need to bring 100 different bags.
3. CO2 + tire lever all in one
The BarFly CO2 Inflator was one of the most cleanly designed products I saw at Interbike this year. Sure, it’s simple, but it combines two things that always seem to be randomly floating around in my bike bag – a CO2 inflator and tire lever. And, if you break the tire lever you just take out the mounting screw and replace it. This is another product I wanted to take home, but there were only three prototypes in the booth, and it won’t be available for purchase until later this year.
4. Grippy tire beads
I almost missed the Spank Bead Bite technology display, because I was staring at Spank’s new selection of mountain bike pedals and handlebars. For those mountain bikers who run a tubeless set up, the annoyance of burping a tire ranks right above dropping your chain. With Bead Bite, Spank essentially has added small bumps to the interior of the rim so that the tire bead has more of a grip.
5. SRAM eTAP eletronic shifting system
SRAM RED eTAP is worth the hype. Aside from the revolutionary step of ditching the shifter cables and wires, SRAM’s new electronic shifting system makes progressing through shifts intuitive and simple. The shifters run on simple watch batteries and communicate wirelessly with the front and rear derailleurs. Pairing the devices is as simple as pushing a couple of buttons and SRAM says that the front and rear derailleur battery packs (which are interchangeable) will get you through about 1000km of riding per charge. Why can’t they make iPhone batteries last that long?
6. Epic Rides new off-road race with series prize purse of $100k
Todd Sadow and Epic Rides announced the creation of The Carson City Off-Road, which will take place in June and will be the third stop in a new three-event series that includes The Whiskey Off-Road and The Grand Junction Off-Road. The expanded series boasts a $100,000 series cash purse for pro riders, which (as always with Epic Rides) is split evenly between the men and women. Epic Rides knows how to create events that capture the spirit of mountain biking and let regular riders race against stacked pro fields. We’re looking for this series to keep growing and to seriously compete with some of the more traditional UCI/USAC sanctioned races.
7. Custom is the new black
Custom everything. From Specialized, to Camelbak and Troy Lee Designs, large and small brands continue to offer customers the ability to customize their products. Gone are the days when you have to settle on a low-quality custom water bottle from a random online printer. Now you can get a high quality shop or team-edition product, because manufacturers are able to offer small minimum orders.
8. Women’s specific mountain shoes
Five Ten has gone big with their expanded women’s all mountain and gravity shoe selection. In the past, women had been stuck choosing from the bulky and color-limited men’s selection, which was a little like riding in moon shoes. That’s all changed for 2016, when we will be able to ride a shoe formulated specifically for women.
9. Stem caps for a cause
World Bicycle Relief is a non-profit organization that provides specially-designed bicycles to entrepreneurs, health-care workers and students across rural Africa. The bikes are locally assembled, and World Bicycle Relief trains field mechanics to maintain the bicycles. The goal is to promote education, health care and economic opportunity through bikes. This year, World Bicycle Relief has started a custom stem-cap program to raise funding for its programs. At $10, it’s worth it to support “The Power of Bicycles.”
Need we say more? This year, CrossVegas became the first UCI World Cup Cyclocross race in the United States, and it did not disappoint. The race is always rowdy and popular with racers and fans, but this year added a new dimension with absolutely stacked pro fields. The estimated crowd of 12,000 people watched Katarina Nash and Wout Van Aert ride away from the elite women and men’s fields. As if you need another excuse to get to Vegas, put this race on your 2017 travel calendar.