So I covered all the electronic whiz-bang of power in the last post (in case you missed it you can check it out here) so this post is all the things that left a lasting impression not related to power.
In general, this year seemed to be more about refinement than brand spanking new bikes and components. Of course there were some exceptions and the most notable has to be the electronic Campagnolo Tech 11 groupo. Teams have been riding it for over a year and the groupo is looking very polished. The word from Campy is availability should be some time next spring. No pricing set yet but I am thinking it is going to be pretty expensive…
I always liked the fitting options with Speedplay pedals and I was happy to see the long anticipated replacement to the Frog mountain bike pedal finally available. The Speedplay Syzr is a mountain bike pedal that looks very similar to a SPD pedal but the details are in the cleat on this one. They are utilizing a new cleat design that allows for a more stable interface with the pedal. It looks like a very good option for dirt riders looking for a very stable platform and want the flexibility of utilizing different width spindles which is available with all Speedplay pedals. Speaking of different width spindles, Speedplay was also featuring a new fitting solution called the determinator that allows for adjusting pedal spindle width on the fly while riding a trainer. This would definitely shorten the fitting process for riders needing and looking for the perfect q-factor. No word on official availability or cost.
Wednesday morning of Interbike I went to the Power Aero Breakfast Presented by SRAM that showed the research and development Zipp has put in to their new Firecrest wheels. The work they are doing in Computational Fluid Dynamics in the development of these wheels is pretty amazing. Their main focus with the Firecrest wheels is to create a very aerodynamic wheel that is incredibly stable by changing the center of pressure (i.e. where a cross wind is “pressing on the wheel”) to around the hub eliminating wind induced steering input. Jordan Rapp was on hand to provide his experience with these new wheels as well. To check out the entire presentation (including an interesting presentation by Jim Meyer from Quarq) you can check out the videos here. It is also worth mentioning that road wheels in general are getting quite a bit wider as we learn more about aerodynamics. Almost every wheel manufacturer was showing wider road wheels at the show.
With 29ers continuing to grow in popularity several tire manufacturers are starting to offer a lot more options for the big wheels. Maxxis was showing several new offerings from big 2.5 inch Minion F to crazy light Max light 29er. Maxxis is slowly becoming one of the leaders big wheel tires.
Kenda was not to be out done though. They featured several new 29er designs including a new Tinker Juarez designed 24Seven tire that looked to be a very fast rolling race tire. I have also been a long time fan of the Kenda Kaliente road tires and was pretty stoked to see a new high end road tire called the Kountach which is going to be lighter and more supple than the current Kaliente while still retaining great flat protection under the tread. I should also mention they come in colors if your in to that kind of thing…
Interbike also features some pretty cool events through out the week from the craziness of Circulus, the tiny wood velodrome that attracted fixie hipster kids (and some notable Pros) to race, to the awesomeness of Cross Vegas. I am not sure what was more impressive: the racing or the crowds. Cross Vegas is always a good time!