Day two at the Outdoor Demo was hoppin! This being my first year at the ODD, I definitely learned Monday is the best day to ride bikes. The majority of Interbike attendees show up on Tuesday, not Monday. Booths were packed and all bikes were ridden. There was barely room to walk most of the day.
The Cytomax booth kept me going all day long. Thanks again to Greg Sellers for showing me their Grape flavor. I hope it finds its way to more stores soon. Delicious.
I need about 4 of these at home!
As promised, I got to throw a leg over the 9ZERO7 Fat Bike and I loved every second.
Running 12psi for the desert terrain made small and even medium size rocks feel like marbles. The bike simply rolled over everything with ease. I found myself steering the bike off course in search of something offering more sand (not like I was going to find snow). I found a couple washes and was amazed at how stable the bike felt. The 29×2.1 tires on my Stumpjumper would have been all over the place.
A sloping top tube adding extra stand-over clearance as well as a taller head tube for a more comfortable upright position on the bike are a couple features that differ from other fat tire style bikes. I noticed the advantage of the sloping top tube as soon as I dismounted in deep sand. As the ground beneath my foot sank, so did my body. I can only imagine how important this clearance is in snow. I personally like keeping my parts away from metal tube, how about you?
The bike was a pure joy to ride and extremely stable. I have no business owning a bike like this in SoCal aside from occasional fun. However, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t own one. I’d love to ride one across the desert in the winter. Hell, I would ride this around all my local trails!
Argonaut Cycles had one of their handmade bikes on display at the Chris King booth. Each bike is made specifically for its rider. This is as custom as you’re going to get. There was no chance of riding it, but it certainly was a looker.
Another great handmade American bike company is Cielo Cycles (which is essentially Chris King). These bikes are made in small batches using all of Chris King’s popular components. Most people probably have no idea that Chris started making bike frames over 30 years ago. As his sealed bearing hub business took off, he laid down his torch. Cielo started back up in 2008 after Chris brought one to NAHBS. The bikes command attention and has found Chris back in the shop using his torch.
The Cielo mountain bike is the brainchild of the entire teams collective experience and desire. The bike is available in both 29r and 650b. Other features include; S-bend seatstays for additional tire and heel clearance, a 44mm taper compatible headtube for added handling stability, and Paragon Machine Works stainless rocker rear dropouts to provide the option of either an externally geared, internally geared, or single speed drive train.
If you were looking for mismatched components, today was your day.
Another bike I got to spend a little time with was the 2013 Redline Conquest Disx CX. Some of you may remember that Redline offered this disc bike a few years back before disc brakes became popular on CX bikes. With popularity on the rise, more wheel options and new UCI rules allowing disc brakes on cyclocross bikes, its back. The 54cm bike I rode felt a bit small to me as I usually ride a 56cm. They were all checked out. The components on the bike included Shimano Tiagra and Avid BB7 brakes. The frame is double butted 6061 aluminum with a carbon fork up front. The updated geometry for 2013 includes a lower bottom bracket (7cm lower) and a shorter chainstay of 42.5cm. Rear dropout spacing is 135mm.
The bike was very nimble and the steering was quick. Although I felt a little cramped on the bike, hoping on and off was welcomed with the smaller frame. Shifting was good even with the lower level Tiagra onboard.
Disc brakes on CX bikes are the future? It seems like that is so. However, these BB7 brakes leave something to be desired. I never felt confident stopping this bike and near the end of my ride had to think about braking before descending. Could always upgrade to a better brake later.
Plenty of mud clearance especially with the absence of brake parts looming above the tires. I’m pretty sure the guys from Redline quoted a retail price of around $1599 for this guy. Thats a solid price for this bike and a great way for someone to break into CX without breaking the bank.
Last year at Interbike I discovered the NOW Bar (No Opportunity Wasted). With all of my food allergies, I have a tough time finding bars I can eat. Their Honeycomb bars happen to fall on my CAN eat list! After last years show, I ordered 3 cases off their website. If you are also out there looking for a gluten and nut free bar, this is it. They also offer a peanut butter bar (orange box).
I don’t know if this bike is tied into the Africa Bike program out there providing bikes to Africa, but it sure looked cool. I will try and dig up more information on this bamboo bike at Interbike.
The crew from Fat Tire was serving Beer-Mosa’s. Yup, you read that right. I did not partake in one but the crowd around their booth must have meant they were indeed tasty and refreshing.
These bike shoes are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do. The new Pearl Izumi Flex-Sole X-Project mountain bike shoes are made for those long hike-a-bike days. I even caught Sonya Looney sporting a pair today. She is racing La Ruta soon and a shoe like this could be a perfect match for all those rocky miles. The shoes were designed or maybe I should say “inspired” by road shoes that feature very stiff carbon soles for maximum power transfer. Pearl Izumi wanted to capture that power while also giving the rider the ability to flex without sacrifice. Their solution resulted in a tapered carbon sole, fully rigid to keep power transfer up, but flexible under the toes where you need some flex to make walking comfortable. I’ll be asking Sonya her opinion on them soon, stay tuned.
Is it just me or does anyone else out there think of Benny Hill when they see a folding bike? That theme song is now running around my head. Damn. Brompton Bicycle had a few on display and I even caught a couple on the trails. Loved seeing the Ergon grips on them! The pink was sexy.
LOOK at these sexy bikes. CX bikes were aplenty today, the season is upon us.
LOOK has a new integrated stem called the ASTEM on certain models. More on this later.
FOX had their all-new Float iCD out today on display and ready to ride on a few trial bikes. The system looks great but it also seems like extra weight and a lot of technology for what seems to be a simple suspension lockout device. Yes, I know its electric. Maybe I missed something? I will have to talk a little more about this with the Fox guys at Interbike tomorrow. Are people really messing with their shocks that much on the trail? I rarely touched my RP23 and that was the beauty of it. Just ride and go, no fiddling around with buttons and levers.
Breezer Bikes was a new company to me this year. Their Lightning 29 Steel bikes seemed to be popular on the trail today. There isn’t much information about the bikes on their website and their Twitter is private locked. Are they trying to sell bikes or not?
I’ll bet this VW will be spotted on more websites and blogs after today. Vermarc USA grabbed a perfect parking spot right in front to showoff their ride. Nice.
They could nickname the Outdoor Demo to 29r Hardtail Demo. Seriously. Race-ready hardtail 29r bikes are in a huge majority this year. These Felt Nine 1 models were filled with stealthy goodness.
The Ridley X-Fire 1202C was looking mean. I love the fat fork and thick rear triangle. Looks like a stable ride. The carbon fiber frame uses a 1.5-inch oversized lower head tube bearing and fork crown to increase control and stiffness. The down tube has been proportionally sized down to make gripping the frame easier. I also noticed internal cable routing, mounts for both disc and cantilever brakes and a pressfit BB30 bottom bracket.
Spotted Sonya mid-day and grabbed a couple candids. I really wish we lived closer to each other she’s such a great person, always laughing and smiling and always creates a good time for all. I actually just got back to my room from a great dinner with her, Jeff Kerkove, Karen and Dave Weins. That’s a fast group of friends! Thanks for the grub guys/girls!
Well, that’s all folks. Tomorrow is Day 1 of Interbike. Lots to see, lots to do, lots of people to meet, lots of babies to kiss. Time for some shut eye.