Interbike 2014 Best of Show
Now that Interbike 2014 is over and we’ve had to chance to recover from that hauntingly abnormal place known as Las Vegas, we can look back and appreciate all of the rad new gear we saw. From electric carbon fatbikes to pro level bike shop tools being offered to consumers, one thing is for sure: the bike world in 2015 is going to be a huge year with lots of weird innovations shaping the future of the bike landscape. Carbon and electricity getting thrown into everything will play a big part of that. Here’s what we saw as some of the best innovations for next year.
Transition has pulled out all of the stops for the TR500, it’s faster and lighter and even more customizable that the previous TR450. Everything from the chainstay length to the rear travel can be adjusted right on the frame. We talked with the guys at Transition and as suspected, carbon fiber is their next foray. Hopefully this includes their downhill bikes.
Lazer Magma with MIPS
The term MIPS or multi-directional impact protection system, is becoming more common in the helmet community and for good reason. Studies have shown that a helmet outfitted with MIPS can significantly reduce the chance of a rotational brain injury. The inside of the helmet breaks free from the outer shell and allows your head to rotate inside the helmet. This rotation helps to disperse the energy, keeping your brain from getting too scrambled.
Park Tool Cable Router
Internal routing provides a sleek look and makes the bike more aerodynamic, unfortunately, getting the cables inside is a miserable experience. Parktool has come up with a clever way to solve this by putting two magnets on the end of thin cables. You just send the cables into either end of the frame until they connect, then you attach the other end of the cable to the hose the cable you want routed and pull it through the frame. This magnetic system works well with carbon and aluminum frames but I can’t help to wonder whether or not it would work with a steel frame.
Thule Thru-Axel Rack
Balancing a bike on top of your car while attaching it to your rack is one of the awkward motions that many bikers endure. Thule has designed a new rack that accommodates thru-axle bikes and simply clamps to the axle once you have removed the wheel. While your friends are struggling to get their bikes on top of their cars and latched down, you’ll already be half way to the trail.
Outdoor Tech Orcas
It seems every maker of bluetooth electronics is getting into the open-necklace style wireless buds. The Orca from Outdoor Tech looks is their latest contender for what seems to be an irreversible tech-fashion trend. But these buds are Bluetooth 4.0 and anyone who is good at math knows that 4.0 is better than 3.0 (4.0 improves energy efficiency and wireless range). But let’s face it – the real reason I’ll shell out a hundo and change for the latest for Outdoor Tech is that they’re rad and they’re specifically made for the outdoors; the same of which cannot be said of other bluetooth brands.
Most optics companies keep their sunglasses and goggles completely separate. 100% crossed the streams – had a sword fight – whatever you want to call it, and combined the two divisions. Their signature raised midsection in the Speedcraft sunglass is not uniform in their goggles. The Speedcraft was designed as a high-performance sunglass for the attack position, or for everyday use.
Spank Vibracore Bars
As you smash rocks on descent after descent, eventually, your hands start to feel the vibrations from the handlebars. While some brands have have addressed this by producing more vibration soaking (but also more brittle) carbon fiber, Spank filled their bars with a special foam that almost eliminates vibrations completely. But not only that, the foam material makes the bars nearly indestructible. The story goes that Spank was stress testing the bars and the machine they were using maxed out (carbon fiber was getting to about 10% before breaking). So they had to turn the machine off.
The Enduro world shows no sign of slowing down and companies like Felt are racing hard in this category (see what I did there?). The Felt Compulsion is an eye catching contribution to the Enduro/All Mountain scene. It’s composed of Hydroform aluminum and is priced from around $2,700 to $4,500 depending on the package. The Compulsion 10 is new for this year and uses Felt’s award winning Equilink suspension technology to make the ride as smooth as possible without sacrificing speed.
Purefix Keirin Pro Track Frameset
The geometry on this frame is clean yet elegant and the color is indescribable – because it keeps changing. Purefix calls the color “Duochrome” but I think a better way to describe it is oilslick. There are holes in the frame to incorporate a front and rear brake into your build. And yes, track bikes don’t usually havebrakes but the wise folks at Purefix realize that some of their riders just want to enjoy this beautiful frame without racing track.
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