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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...