Interbike Day 1

Day one of Interbike was a flurry of missed connections, reunions with old friends and, yes, introductions to new must-have bikes and parts. Somehow the day was over before I felt I had done enough; so it goes.

One of my more interesting stops was at Ritchey. Their components have fascinated me for their simple form and function ever since I bought my first Ritchey stem in 1990. More recently, the company has begun to make a firmer style statement. This has really come through on their wet white and wet black components. Yesterday they introduced wet red and this photo doesn’t do it justice; think lipstick red. As cool as I thought the black and white were, the red was a real stunner. I’d love to see a full pro team on them; that would look PRO.

This may have been the best looking ‘cross bike I saw yesterday. The matching fork is a new graphic touch for Ritchey and really ties the bike together nicely. And though not immediately apparent, this is a Break-Away.

Ritchey worked with Reynolds on this carbon clincher rim. They say that with Reynolds blue pads stopping is much better than with some other wheels and heat dissipates better than with Swisstop pads. Weight for the set is 1410g.

I’ve been digging Twin Six stuff for a few years now and as much as like some of their jerseys, I saw some T-shirts yesterday that really caught my eye. This ‘cross design is from a watercolor one of the owner/designers did at home one night.

I don’t know how many non-Bostonians will get the Southie reference, but having spent time in Revere, this shirt may have been my favorite inside nod/joke I caught yesterday.

Larceny entered my head when I saw this $2499 as-equipped carbon fiber ‘cross bike from Bianchi. I think they are under-appreciated for their ability to deliver great-spec’d bikes for terrific value.

Hincapie showed some great new clothes and the new George Signature line caught my eye. It’s a more form-fitting Euro-style cut, meaning the jerseys and bibs don’t run so long and the seams are welded rather than sewn. If you dig the Giordana Formula Red Carbon, then you’ll love this stuff … and you’ll like the pricing as well.

Colnago introduced its new C59 frame. In it there are some surprising nods to the modern world, such as the slightly sloping top tube (not the first for them, but one gets the sense that each new bike could just as easily have been designed around a horizontal top tube). This bike is available either with cable guides or Di2 guides, but you have to order ahead.

I don’t ride Brooks saddles. I won’t criticize anyone else for doing it, but I’m just not built for them. I do, however, have great respect for their ability to work with leather. The bags I saw yesterday were the ultimate lifestyle pieces for the cyclist who wants to keep cycling clothing even when in street clothes.

Not only were these bags elegant and well-made, they were surprisingly functional. Once again, larceny was on my mind. And I don’t mind saying it.

Fi’zi:k introduced a seatpost last year to work with their saddles with carbon fiber rails. Yesterday I saw a new carbon fiber post. Being the geek that I am, what really caught my eye was that thing at the bottom.

Should you have an occasion to slip the seatpost out of the frame, say for travel, the ring serves as a much better way to remember your exact saddle height than electrical tape. I used a glider board in the back of my wagon for years and every time I headed off to a race, the seatpost came out. I took an unnatural delight in this little gizmo.

By now you’ve heard that Fi’zi:k is introducing a shoe line. The sail-cloth straps look stiff but were surprisingly flexible. What I most liked about what I saw was just how Italian the shoes look. The cut of the leather and more understated accents made them surprisingly gorgeous in person.

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  1. Robot

    Oh. My. Lord. It’s a good thing I’m not in Vegas this week. It’s like Santa’s Workshop crossed with the Playboy Mansion.

  2. Souleur

    I agree w/the Ritchey products. I have the wet black stuff and it has been one of the better products I have bought in a long time, in terms of looking new and holding that look in longevity. So, red..sure, why not, if your ride matches.

    The Fizik shoes are something I have sunk hook, line and sinker! Then again, I read the latest the boys at competitivecyclist wrote, and I sunk into a deep dark depression…hoping…that the show shoe is different than their production shoe. Will wait and see.

  3. Dan O

    Those red Ritchey components would look fantastic on a black matt carbon frame.

    I’ve always dug the Ritchey ‘cross frame. I’d want it without the Break Away feature however – not needed for me – and maybe would knock the price down a bit.

    Looking forward to more Interbike reports…

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  5. JK

    Glad to hear you liked the look of the Fi’zi:k shoes. Another famous bike shop owner/blogger dissed them as cheap-looking at Eurobike. I think they look pretty cool in photos.

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