In case you missed it, I covered the latest on power meters and a few other technical items from interbike earlier this week here. This is the post on of the other fun things seen at interbike plus a few other bits of tech.
Between the fit symposium, technical power meter reviews, and discussions over new fitness products we are able to sneak in some time to check out some cool new bikes and products. This year didn’t disappoint either. There was plenty on convention floor that count our attention and we were stoked on to try. There were a few other things that had us shaking our heads as well. Here is a little bit of both.
Open’s U.P. (unbeaten Path) 650b cross bike with full 2.0 mountain bike tires, or 700c x 40 cross tires, was one of the first bikes to catch our attention. Not only was the concept of an adventure cross bike with more capable tires pretty rad, the attention to detail on this bike was amazing. Direct mount disc brakes, fully internal cables and hydraulic lines, top bag adventure mount, and through axles to keep the frame stiff all made this bike one of the top of the show for us.
More on the road side, the Merckx EM525 was another bike that really caught our attention. The disc brake DI2 bike had swoopy clean lines, with internally routed cables and hydraulic lines, as well as direct mount disc brakes (which is thankfully becoming the standard).
One of the more awesome displays was Bradley Wiggins hour record-setting TT bike on display at Pinarello. This had to be one of the sleekest TT bikes I have seen. Every detail was meticulous on this bike down to the 3-d printed custom aero bars used by Wiggins to set the record.
A bit more on the tech side, new GPS computers were everywhere at the show with Wahoo, Lezyne, and Garmin showing off new bar mounted units. The new Wahoo Elemnt is their first computer that can work as a standalone unit and doesn’t have to be paired with your phone, although there is some pretty awesome features on this one when you do have it paired including map integration with third-party services like Strava, and direct upload of workout files to Garmin connect, Training Peaks, or Strava. The Elemnt can also pair with power meters and heart rate straps via ANT+ or bluetooth.
Lezyne debuted a full suite of GPS computers including the mini GPS (10 hour of battery lift and 40 hours of recording), the Power GPS (22 hour battery life with 200 hours of recording time), and the Super GPS (22 hours of battery life with 400 hours of recording time). The Mini GPS is just a simple GPS cyclometer with no power or HR integration, the Power GPS has bluetooth connectivity but no ANT+ (ironically making the Power GPS not compatible with a lot of power meters on the market), and the Super GPS can do both bluetooth and ANT+. All of the Lezyne computers look like a nice option for a small, simple computer that can give you solid core functionality.
Last but not least, Garmin was showing off the compact 25. This being the smallest GPS computer I have seen, it was nice to see that it still has bluetooth connectivity for heart rate straps and works on the more sensitive GLONASS GPS system for better accuracy. At this point it doesn’t have any power meter integration (though they indicated that might happen for bluetooth enabled PMs through a firmware update at some point) not ANT+ integration.
One of the more ridiculous things I saw at the show was WTBs new lock on grip system that requires cutting your bars at a 45 degree angle to allow for the locking mechanism. To cut your bars you will need a special tool that fits into a standard Park Tool steerer cutting guide. Alternatively, WTB makes a special bar to use with these grips as well. I still don’t know why this is any better than a standard clamp on grip… A close second in the ridiculous category is Rotor’s hydraulic drivetrain. While impressive from an engineering standpoint, electronic drivetrains is where it is at…
A few other quick notes in general:
- Electronic integration in bikes is continuing to progress. Electronic drivetrains, wireless drivetrains, electronic wireless mountain bike dropper posts, and electronically controlled lockouts for dual suspension mountain bikes have continued to progress and finding their way on to more and more bikes.
- As a whole, the cycling industry has really stepped aerodynamic technology. No doubt driven by Specialized who has led the industry in aerodynamic advances (it helps having your own wind tunnel).
- Matte paint (preferably high vis and black) for road, cross, and mountain bikes is definitely the new trend. Norco bikes had some of the best looking bikes all with matte paint treatments.
- The better the shoe, the brighter the colors. At least that is the theme at Sidi, Scott, Giro, and Shimano. Also, laces are rad!
- Lastly, Cross Vegas is awesome and this year was made all the better with it being the opening round of the UCI World Cup.