2013 Interbike, Part 9

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It’s in looking back through my hundreds of photos that I begin to gain perspective on what Interbike was such a whirlwind of brief encounters. I rarely took notes because often my visits were so brief that I had to choose either notes or photos. There simply wasn’t time for both. It helps me comprehend how I can be 10 days out from my return home and still be writing about the event. Even though I’m ready to move past it and back to reviewing some products that I didn’t get to before I left for the show, I saw so much that I liked and don’t want to leave out.

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I went for a ride on the Stromer, BMC’s electric bike. For those not familiar with it, the Stromer hails from the same category of throttle-less bikes as the Specialized Turbo.

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The battery, rather than being contained in a rack in back is ensconced in the down tube. It makes sense, as it’s huge and heavy. It’s hard to get that much weight down low to help the bike’s handling.

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The bike computer gives standard rider data and acts as the selector for which assistance mode the Stromer is in. The bike weighs more than a cargo ship, but it handles extraordinarily well. I wish my parents were younger; I’d introduce them to electric bikes.

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Shimano introduced a new fitting system. Fit purists knocked it for not being as advanced as the Serotta or Specialized systems. Parts of the system are based on somewhat antiquated views of fit.

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The fit system includes the ability to analyze a rider’s pedal stroke to detect leg strength discrepancies.

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Even if the Shimano system isn’t the ideal fit system, it strikes me that it could improve fit for many riders. Many riders out there would benefit from an improved fit. Forget perfect; many riders just need a better fit and given their incredible market penetration, Shimano could help many riders achieve a better position on the bike, which would improve their bike handling, their efficiency and their comfort.

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Feedback Sports, the folks known for repair stands and scales, introduced a new wall hook system that allows you to hang a bike and then swing it toward the wall to reduce the amount of space needed. Why has it taken so long for someone to dream this up?

 

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Abus was showing a series of locks that feature six pivots to allow them to accommodate unusual rack or bike configurations. I’ve been doing more errand-running by bike and have been amazed at the number of times I’ve needed to punt and just put the lock on the bike without securing it to a rack, sometimes because there was no rack, sometimes because the lock simply wouldn’t accommodate both bike and rack at the same time.

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Ritchey remains the leader in bar shapes. No one else offers more bends in both carbon and aluminum than Ritchey; why they don’t get more love from fitters baffles me.

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After getting out of the tire biz for a bit, Ritchey is back with a number of new tires at terrific price points. At $20, this is the least expensive folding tire I can recall seeing from a reputable brand.

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Guru showed off their new bike fitting system. Components can be switched quickly and CompuTrainer integration means that a rider can be asked to pedal under load or pedal stroke analysis. The saddle and bar assemblies are motorized so that adjustments to fit and fast and don’t require the rider to dismount.

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The system performs an anatomic capture without requiring reflective dots being placed on the rider’s legs, shoulders and arms.

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The system also provides the rider with the opportunity to pedal on a grade, so you can analyze how well they perform once the road tips up.

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Giro showed off some new pieces in their New Road line including new shorts and tops.

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Existing pieces got some new colors.

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One of my faves was this new polo shirt.

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This button down looks smart and won’t become a clammy cotton rag.

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6 comments

  1. vectorbug

    Its interesting that the folding lock is a Interbike 2013 thing (but its about time), I worked in the scooter/vespa world in 07 and we had some for sale in our catalog I think, or rather our buyer gave me an unbranded sample from a vendor so I don’t remember the make but it was probably Abus, I’m sure its patented.

    Anyway, it’s a very convenient lock. The pouch can easily be velcro’d to a seatpost (or rather, my seatpost, I’m 6’1″). Very heavy though and seemed easy to hack compared to a little u-lock (all those hinges), but deterrent is the name of the game here, not “panic-room”. They should make one from the same material as the Palmy u-lock!


    1. Author
      Padraig

      They say that no idea is new; that rack is a great example. What’s different is how Feedback actually has penetration so that people will be able to find and purchase this product. I bet it’ll be in REI by the end of the year. I’ve talked to a few engineers and they told me that hanging 14 or 15 lbs. that way isn’t a problem. If they were that fragile (unless you’re talking a wheel where there’s a nonstructural carbon fairing), they wouldn’t be able to support a 200-lb. rider.

  2. Ron S

    Padraig,

    Just a general comment. I understand your desire to add or enhance your advertising support by doing product reviews, and I enjoy your perspective and thoughtful comments. In fact I have purchased two items based on your recommendations. Buuuut, I’m missing “the soul of cycling”. I think we need a little more balance in the “soul” part. Perhaps Robot could do a few reviews for a different take and to give you a little more time for your style of writting.

    Take care,
    Ron

    PS any update on the Kickstarter project?


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Ron: Interbike happens but once a year. I saw a lot, so I am writing a lot. It’s just as simple as that. As for the many reviews of late, I’ve been playing catchup on reviews I’d hoped to have up (in some cases) months ago. I’m sorry you’re missing the “soul of cycling” part of RKP. However, I’ve become more sought-after as a reviewer, so just tossing more stuff to Robot isn’t what the manufacturers are quite interested in. So there’s that. Also, I need to be honest and say this has been an exceptionally difficult year for me, events that in some cases I’ve barely even alluded to. I couldn’t ride for six weeks and did my damnedest to hide that from readers. I’d not have gotten through this year without the support from Robot and generosity of RKP’s readership. Those “soul of cycling” pieces that are such a signature part of what RKP is can’t be turned out like burgers and fries. I do them as I’m able, when I’m in that space, and believe me, I’d love nothing more than to write those all day long. Finally, as to your rather cynical assessment of using product review to court advertising, do me a favor and let me know how that’s working out for us. Maybe you’re seeing checks that I’m not seeing. I do the work that I do. Period. If my only goal was to get advertisers, RKP would be a very different site.

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