Normally, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” but I have to share a LITTLE about the trip out west to the 2011 InterBike conference. Between missing a shuttle bus from the outdoor demo and almost getting stranded in the desert, a trip to the ER (don’t worry, nothing a few stitches and a splint couldn’t fix), and racing on kids’ Strider Bikes, I swear I was doing work, getting info on new products, and learning a lot. I swear.
The Bikes: A few new favorites…
For starters, the BMC Impec. Top of the line race machines like this are the stuff dreams (the kind where you’re winning races) are made of. With state of the art technology like the “load-specific weave” , this “hand made by machines” bike is something you’ve just gotta see (and ride) to fully appreciate. Combined with Di2 electronic shifting technology, this bike rides like nothing else, and you discover there’s a reason the price tag reads as it does. A real treat indeed.
Then there was Surly’s Moonlander. With the Big Fat Larry 4.7″ tire, the 100mm-wide Clown Shoe rim and the sturdy kind of CroMoly steel frame Surly is known for, this thing is a party with pedals. Surly took the Pugsley and went farther with it. With high bottom bracket clearance, the Moonlander is able to conquer all sorts of terrain, and the 135mm-spaced, 28mm-offset, rear-loading Surly horizontal dropouts enable you to ride it as a single speed or geared bike. There was simply no way to ride this without a smile on my face. I tried this out along with the Pugsley (a slightly smaller – and I use that term loosely — version of the big wheel monster bike). I can see both these rides taking you through snow, sand, and possibly the apocolypse.
The Ridley booth caught my eye immediately, as I’ve had a long-standing infatuation with the Damocles. BUT (don’t listen, Damocles) I actually found myself falling in love with another model – the Ridley Orion. A full carbon frame for under 3k is not an easy find, and this one is definitely a catch. While the Damocles feels a little stiffer and ideal for those big sprints, with geometry that likens it to criterium racing, the comfortable and reponsive Orion seemed like the perfect bike for long hours on a hilly road, and handled so nicely that I wouldn’t mind racing on this one next season. BTW, my birthday is in March. (Anyone? Anyone?)
A lot of great products caught my eye, including some really gorgeous jerseys from Colorado’s Primal, a great company that does a lot to support women’s racing, charitable events and just all around rocks. The artwork on the jerseys was what really caught my eye. Always a little turned off by the run of the mill butterflies and rainbows, pastel colors, etc. that dominate women’s cycling and athletic gear, it was refreshing to see an edgier, less traditional interpretation of “femine” as displayed by their various original designs. I’m eager to get my hands on some of these soon. Also worth mentioning was a line of clothing appearing from RaceFace, and Zoic had an offering of some great womens’ commuter and mtb gear that really stood out. Hoping to see more company’s follow their lead and offering greater selection of gear for female cyclists, without the cliches.
Article by Christa Zielke – Cincinnati, Oh