reviews
editorials
"how tos"
maintenance
race schedules
event reports
 
pageok

 

 


Interbike 2009

The annual Interbike Trade Show in Las Vegas is where the bike industry buys bikes.
Jim Holleman of Look Bicycles (left) meets with some of the nation's top dealers, our friends from Colorado Multisport here. The sensational new Look 596 is in the show case behind.

Shimano's new Dura-Ace 7900 Components stole the show, showing up in nearly every booth. This is the largest update to the Dura Ace ensemble in many years.

The aerodynamic category was among the most visible at Interbike in 2009. Some designs seemed more cosmetic than engineering based.

OEM Suppliers from Asia make deals for the 2010 Product lines. These non descript booths are where the big business at Interbike is often done, mostly behind closed doors. These are often the companies responsible for manufacturing the popular brands we recognize.

Argon 18 showed some nice looking new integrated aerobars. The hardware looks easy to use but a trifle cumbersome compared to new aerobar designs from Felt and 3T.

The unique graphics and aero styling of the Argon 18 grabbed attention as one of the first exhibitors in the show hall.

Fuji jumps on the Aero bandwagon with a design claimed to compete against the most aero bikes in the industry. This is the highest end version.

A downspec version of the same frame is offered in the sub-$4000 category.

Running shoe maker Avia doesn't sell bikes but their multisport heritage brought them to Interbike. They showed this custom tri bike as an attention getter.

Avia has developed a new running shoe said to more easily facilitate the transition from bike to run. They join Newton and Zoot as running brands specific to multisport.

Quintana Roo showed an all new aerodynamic triathlon bike, the Cd0.1. This bike uses the novel idea of redirecting airflow away from the drive side of the bike to decrease overall drag. A video showed the development of the frame in the wind tunnel.

Quintana Roo developed an asymmetrical bottom bracket to help redirect air flow and improve frame aerodynamics. Notice how the bottom bracket only protrudes on one side. Features on the fork also attempted to redirect airflow for reduced drag according to QR.

The new QR uses a clean, novel approach to variable geometry seat positions. This one bolt adjustment appears to be the simplest we've ever seen.

The 2009 QR Seduza uses Shimano Ultegra SL, Visiontech cockpit and a full carbon frame and retails for $1999.99 making it a category killer. The wheelset will be different on the stock bike, but under $2K for an Ultegra equipped all carbon fiber tri bike is an incredible deal from the company that invented the triathlon bike. If QR can deliver these bikes they will help renew the company's market share in the crowded triathlon category.

Quintana Roo has retired the "Kilo" but moves forward with the entry point Tequilo. Improved cable routing and a fresh look for $1499.99. The wheels shown are not stock but this is an extremely handsome entry with valid tri geometry and component spec at a very attractive price. Most manufacturers have migrated north of $2000 for entry price point tri bikes so this new QR represents a strong option for dealers and consumers alike.

The Litespeed Blade is reborn for 2009 with new design elements. Titanium fights an uphill battle against carbon for market share but the Blade is now a valid entry.

QR's Limited Edition Dulce with the Heather Gollnick color scheme. There will only be 100 of these unique paint schemes available. It will coordinate nicely with Sidi's new T2 Woman tri shoe. Legally Blonde!

Few people remember that QR did make road bikes a number of years ago. A newly inspired effort in the road category was shown at Interbike by QR.

 

An interesting video capture of a QR model being tested with a partially faired drivetrain. This concept apparently did not survive the wind tunnel tests and never made it to production.

QR Founder and Slowtwitch.com Publisher Dan Empfield (left) chats with ABG reps in the QR booth. Hey Dan- where'd you get that cool ST T-Shirt? Dan is a fellow I've always admired and respected as an industry leader and watchdog. His publication, Slowtwitch.com, is at the leading edge of on-demand, zero lead time sports publications leading the way in the new age of internet media. I predict slowtwitch.com with their new editorial staff becomes the largest triathlon publicaton in the world in under two years.

Look's lightweight 586 with SRAM Red and Zipp Vuma Quad cranks. This limited edition version uses a special ultra light "weight weenie" component kit. Only 200 are being sold in the U.S. We already have one of the bikes for testing.

The entire SRAM Red equipped Look 586 weighs 12.94 pounds including pedals.

The new Look 596 triathlon bike. It uses a fully integrated stem and crankset along with molded in seat mast cushioned on elastomers. It also looks stunning. Look has adopted several aerodynamic design cues that are contrary to previous aerodynamic thinking. Many of the concepts were tested in the Formula 1 wind tunnel facilities at Magny Cours, France.

 

The broad aero styled tubes are very narrow when viewed from the front. The bike employs a modular, integrated approach to cranks, stems, and seat mast.

Integrated stem with a high or low mounting option. We've already bought Look 596's for testing and are looking forward to seeing them in the next 60 days.

Looks 576 is a full carbon SRAM Force equipped tri bike for well under $3000. This challenges other popular brands with a different approach to aero design and an alternative brand. Look's composite manufacturing history is long and proven.

Giant showed a conservative, solid approach to multisport with their more relaxed geometry Trinity bikes. These bikes are well suited for larger, non-triathlon specialty dealers.

There were a number of somewhat cumbersome looking tube hydration systems on display. This large reservoir used a thick insulated drinking tube and an angled, fill-on-the-fly cap.

This one featured a long length of plumbing but used a clever funnel-emptying system. There is a lot of hardware on the bike detracting from overall bike aerodynamics.

It's a lot of gear to carry on your handlbars in the wind for a drink. Then again, it is right in your face where you'll remember to drink. This reminded me of the Three Stooges episode where Moe, Larry and Curly were plumbers. It looks convenient to use but compromises finely tuned bike frame aerodynamics. Then again- if you're dehydrated you can't perfrom well....

FSA Visiontech showed a prow-like carbon fiber drinking system reminiscent of the old HED aero drink system. The system uses two separate chambers and features a small trailing edge nutritionals bag.

Viewed from below the system seems to present a smooth, albeit rather large, shape. The load is also carried low on the bars which is a nice feature.

The crew from Nytro including boss man Walt Downey (center). Downey's store, Nytro in Encinidas, California founded by Craig Turner is the original triathlon specialty store. I stopped in during the summer and Walt and his crew were kind and helpful as usual and their store looked great.

A curious combination of front wheel cut out but external cable routing on this new DeRosa. This may be an example of aerodynamic styling trumping aerodynamic testing.

Cervelo showed fresh colors with bright metallic silver and sapphire blue on their popular P2 Ultegra SL for 2009. This bike will sell for $2700.

Shimano's new heat moldable triathlon shoe with carbon sole, the TR-70. This shoe joins another model from Louis Garneau in the interesting custom molded fit category. The Shimano model relies on a Shimano vacuum molding oven and trained technician for fitting, whereas the Louis Garneau model uses simple home oven molding.

The TR-50, TR-50W and TR-30 each get a face lift and carry forward in triathlon specific shoes.

Who decided all tri shoes should be white? The brilliant Sidi T2.5 Carbon will look out of place after Labor Day but features trim fit and a multi-flex carbon sole along with very light weight. .

A female specific version of the Sidi T2 would match QR's Limited Edition Dulce quite nicely.

The amazingly light, and incredibly rare, Speedplay Nanogram pedal.

FSA Visiontech showed a Profile-like aero extension but with a new wrist relief bend.

Felt's new "F" bend integrated aerobar is amazingly light and elegant. This bar stole the show in the aerobar category with its light weight and elegant, low hardware design that still facilitates a wide range of adjustment.

A unique rubber molded grip is perfect for cold, wet hands coming out of T1.

The amazing economy of hardware belies its impressive range of adjustability for length, grip axis or roll and for elbow pad placement.

Super Dave Koesel of Felt examines SRAM 's new Flashpoint wheels.

Time showed some beautifully built and configured road bikes right off the road of the Tour de France. These impressive bikes look more like Formula 1 cars than road bikes with racy graphics and incredible component spec.

Profile's new integrated carbon fiber handlebar goes back to the ski bend style extensions for greater comfort.

Ernesto Colnago showed this molded carbon fiber aerobike with a novel looking rear disk. The spoke pattern is a graphic applied to the surface of the wheel but is actually structural on the inside of the wheel. This disk is made by Lightweight, the famous high performance wheel manufacturers who also make the deep section front wheel.

Urban Lifestyle/Commuter bikes were abundant at Interbike due to inflated gas prices. This elegant Civia caught my eye. This is a bike I would ride everyday.

BMC continued to show sharp looking aerodynamic bikes with unique tubing configurations. Note the top tube section.

Once you've worn Assos you never go back. The new Assos line is unveiled including new distribution in the United States claimed to make the exclusive Swiss apparel brand more available to its fans than ever.

The Felt DA used by Michellie Jones. New Zipp aero cranks and SRAM Red. Custom paint scheme, ISM Adamo saddle.

Felt's new category killing B16: All carbon aero frame, Shimano 105 FSA mix, Felt aerobars: $2299 MSRP.

The nice looking Felt AR1 in Garmin Team livery with Dura-Ace 7900 and Zipp 404's.

The aero styling of the AR1 mimics the Felt DA including Felt's fine internal cable routing.

Our friends at Blue showed a pretty new T16 tri bike with variable geometry seatpost. Nice graphics and color.

A long day at Interbike. The show is fascinating but exhausting. The pace of business is fast and relentless for busy dealers and exhibitors. For the bike industry Interbike can be described as a month of work in three days. My trip to Interbike lasted seven hours, flying in the opening morning of the show and flying out that evening- a grueling schedule of 28 hours non-stop. I did win $3.25 in a slot machine in the airport though...

 

 

 
pageok