30 September 2009

interbooty 2: Accessorize!

We're back with another round of neat stuff from Interbike. We didn't see a whole lot that knocked our socks off, but there were quite a few cool solutions to everyday problems (some of which we knew we had, some of which we didn't...

Nalini were showing a nice looking line for 2010, but the highlight for me was their Mango jacket with QuickBurst zippers. The jacket itself was nice, with a windproof and insulating front and zip-off sleeves. What was different here, though, is the zipper. The red teeth at the back of the sleeves don't actually engage their mates. This allows the rider to pull on the little (maybe too little) reflective tab and have the sleeves just pull away. For anyone flexible enough to grab the tabs, that means no more stopping mid-climb to cool off- just tear the sleeves off and stuff them in a pocket.

With their Tricon linenDT Swiss have finally come out with proper road and mountain tubeless wheelsets. The gray bits in the rim are actually T-shaped from the side and fit into slots in the rim, leaving the spoke bed unbroken, making their tubelessness a given. To accomodate the high spoke tension that the Tracomp wheels are built with, the hubs' flanges are separate from the hub shell. This prevents the spokes from distorting the bearing seats. To ward off creaks, the sections are separated by a membrane and bolted together. Unfortunately, the wheels look set to land in the $1,300 range, which may be hard to justify despite their undoubtedly high quality.

For an altogether different customer, Cateye were showing a nicely integrated (if a bit pricey) solar- or battery-powered headlight, the $70 Hybrid, and a nicely executed spoke light, the Orbit. The idea behind the Orbit is not a new one, but it's hard to argue with the visibility its rotating light will provide townies. Better, it's not an obvious item to steal (and, selling for $10, wouldn't be a huge loss if it were stolen). The Orbit uses the same CR2032 as all of the company's computers, which can be bought cheaply by the sheet on eBay...

Showing some pretty convincing simulations of the brain during a crash, POC had their Cortex DH helmet on display. The shell-within-a-shell design allows the head to move naturally during a crash, dissipating more energy than with a standard helmet. The dual hard shells also reduce the liklihood of penetration by sticks, rocks or trailside nails. The helmet is said to be good for multiple wrecks, with a replaceable plastic pin aligning the inner (polycarbonate) and outer (carbon fiber) shells. All good ideas, but at $525, possibly out of reach for most riders.

Sampson had their reasonably-priced and lightweight bikes and groups at the show, including a nice-feeling shifter and deraileurs. Sexier, though, was this 107g cassette- a full 1/3 lighter than SRAM's Red piece. In the age of $328 mountain cassettes, it's $179 price seemed pretty reasonable, though not everyone will be able to justify a cassette that costs $0.12 for each of it's expected 1,500 miles.

Finally, the guys at GoPro were showing the company owner's Ford GT40 (replica?) in beautiful Gulf livery. Expect to see this color scheme when bikefix jerseys eventually become available...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Arrrrg. keep the interbooty coming!

bikefix said...

Sorry, Matey- too much time spent with reps and not enough snapping pictures of bling! It's back to opinionated reviews next week...