September 18, 2011 cburnham

Interbike 2011

I am finally starting to feel a little recovered from the crazy week that is Interbike.  The combination of tech overload, walking 7 million miles, re-circulated air, and after parties that go way too late is more exhausting than any riding a gran fondo on a tricycle.  I made it though and here are all the little nitty-gritty details.  Like last year, I am going to focus primarily on training devices and other bits of shiny goodness that caught my eye.  It isn’t conclusive but you can check out the coverage from other great news sources here to see more.

It is amazing to see how mainstream power meters have become for the serious cyclist.  Every company that was featuring a power meter was packed this year and they are becoming standard on higher end bikes.  In fact, there were only 2 pictures in Road Magazine of people riding that didn’t have a power meter.  They have become lighter, more refined, and cheaper (OK, only slightly cheaper).  The Ant+ communication protocol is also growing like crazy as well.  Ant+ is the language that devices like powermeters, heart rate monitors, and countless other devices are using to communicate up to multiple types of data and more is on the way.  At interbike there were 32 companies featuring Ant+ devices including companies like Fox Shox who will use the technology to help riders setup suspension.  Technology is crazy and oh so good…

There was a lot new at Cycleops this year.  They were showing a completely revamped powertap hub this year called the G3 which is smaller and lighter weight.  They are also partnering with Enve wheels to create 2 new wheelsets in 45mm and 65mm depth in both a carbon clincher and tubular version.  They looked very nice and would make a good race setup.  Cycleops were also showing the new Joule GPS.  Just like the name implies this is basically the joule from last year with GPS added although the design is smaller and now without the funky little yellow joystick.  There is also a non-GPS Joule still available with same sleek design.  A nice feature for the new Joule is the option to have it in an integrated 3T stem.  While it is slightly on the big side it is very sleek.  Look for more from the partnership with 3T with wheels and cranks soon.

It was good to see a lot of familiar faces at the Quarq booth since they have integrated with SRAM.  The same great customer service is still with the company from North Dakota.  The new news at Quarq was that the Quarq Quatro (SRAM XO mountain bike crankset) was finally going to be shipping in late October.  It will be available with a 2 x 10 setup with 39/26 rings and will be compatible with GXP, Pressfit GXP, BB30, and PF30 bottom brackets.  The weight with bottom bracket (GXP) is reported to be 814 grams.  Also new from Quarq was a SRAM cyclocross crankset that was being ridden by Ryan Trebon Wednesday night at Cross Vegas.  I know a few people will be stoked to see a cross setup from Quarq!

Polar was displaying their Look pedal power system again this year.  Nothing really new with the system except they are now expecting a spring 2012 release.  It is still a ~$2300 system with no head unit that only works with Polar computers since it is not part of the Ant+ network.

The big news at SRM was the release of the Campy 11 speed crankset in both standard and compact.  Not including the bottom bracket they are weighing 780 and 727 grams respectively.  Judging by the number of people drooling over the Campy crankset I am pretty sure there were a lot of people waiting for the release on this one.

Probably the busiest booth at interbike was at Garmin.  There were a lot of people waiting to check out the new Garmin Vector and I will say it looks pretty sweet.  A $1500 power system that can report right/left leg balance, is light, and is easy to switch from bike to bike is hard to beat.  Although I have to admit I am going to take a wait and see approach on the Vector.  It looks to be very impressive but it is a very complicated system to measure forces in a 360 degree rotation, keep calibration the same between the left and right pedals, and account for changes in temperatures.  If it can deliver though, it will be hard to beat!

Garmin also announced a firmware update for the Edge 500 and 800 computers that will display Training Peaks metrics Training Stress Score and Intensity Factor during a ride.  The geeks like myself will rejoice…

Look for other interesting non-power bits from Interbike in my next post.


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