Interbike 2011, Day 1

At some essential level, I’m a geek. For most of my life it was considered an essential personality flaw. These days, because I work in the bike industry, I can do things like walk into Interbike, see friends at the Ritchey booth and get excited about a tiny little stem. Now, this forged beauty shown above weighs a mere 105 grams. It features reversed out bolts and a 260-degree opening in its 31.8mm clamp diameter to maintain strength.

Dude, I’m excited about a stem.

My buddy Spencer at Ritte is something of a style factory. I had a pretty technical conversation with him about all the ways he’s working to improve his bikes and grow his business, but it’s touches like the stuff above that attract people to his work. Gorgeous sells. For good reason.

I meet people from time to time who are unwilling to wear (what they think are) the garish designs of many clothing companies. They ask me about stuff that’s calm without looking dorky. Honestly, I rarely have an answer. And while Hincapie is doing lots of stuff that’s right up my alley, what most stood out this year was this jersey because it made me think, “At last, I have an answer.”

I’ve been learning a lot about BH bike lately. I’m not sure who they are working with to actually produce their bikes, but they are using some very cutting edge technology. BH, if you don’t  already know, is a Spanish company, but Chris Cocalis, the visionary behind Titus Titanium and the carbon/ti technology called Exogrid, is the mastermind behind BH’s new products and the engineering for this new frame was done here in the U.S.

What I’ve learned from a variety of engineers has led me look for certain design cues when I see a new frame. Small chainstays (like so small you can’t get the can’t get the camera to focus on them), square shapes used sparingly and round shapes used plenty.

The Ultralight is the bike I’m most excited to ride of everything I saw this year. BH claims a weight of 747g for the bare frame.

If I’m going to run an errand on the bike, I wear a helmet, but I fully admit that I positively feel like a dork if I wear something like the Aeon or Prevail with cotton clothing. The new Giro Reverb does several cool things. First, it gives me a basic lid perfect for errands. Second, it’s safe enough to be worth wearing. Finally it gives a nice dollop of nostalgia for a helmet I was wearing back in the mid-90s. That may be the most impressive achievement of all; I don’t get nostalgic for the ’90s.

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  1. Peter Lütken

    In any other setting I’d agree with you, but we are talking bikes here! Weren’t you the guy who got excited over a stem?
    Maybe it’s the LBS-guy in me who dreads ever having to sell a “Bra” to a woman. (now that’s spoken like a true Lutheran)
    I’ll quit now, before I end up digging myself even deeper into this hole..

    1. Author

      Peter, please keep digging. You’re among friends and I’m really enjoying this.

      Noel: Find a matching skinsuit for me and I’ll get you a matching helmet.

  2. noel

    if you get that Giro Helmet.. we’re fully doing Tron week as soon as i get my skinsuit lights to work. And, I mean this in a good way. Also, Hincapie…. that jersey… clearly for dudes with small nips. Whoa.

  3. Peter Lütken

    And dig I shall: After I pressed “Submit” I realized that selling “Bras” to somewhat overweight dudes might be even more awkward. (Yet very fitting, man-boobs and all)

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