Lugged steel road frames are more typically found at NAHBS than Interbike these days. So it was refreshing to see one, especially one with as storied a background as the Masi Gran Criterium. Haro continues to guide the brand here in the U.S. and the product manager is a dyed-in-the-wool roadie. To my knowledge, the bike is still using the same lugs and tubes as it did back in the ’70s.
Interbike wouldn’t be Interbike if there weren’t some really startling products. Stopping to find out the full details on this thing seemed a disservice to my slack-jawed amazement. What else could I possibly learn about this that you can’t already tell from the photo? It’s a tricycle. It’s a pedi-car. It’s guaranteed to get you laughed out of any parking lot. And it’s also oddly amazing.
TRP had to recall its Spyre mechanical disc last year and recently reintroduced the brake. Mechanical discs have had a lousy reputation—for good reason—because they usually drag and offer braking performance that doesn’t really improve upon calipers. The Spyre is the brake that is likely to change that due to smooth operation, great power, better modulation, all thanks to a two-piston design. Stay tuned for a review.
Thule has expanded its product line from moving bikes and skis to everything you might file under the cargo category. They entered the luggage space a few years back and make the single most popular iPad case in the Apple store. Should we have assumed that panniers were on the way? I didn’t, but they now offer bags and racks from full expedition offerings to lighter-duty bags for errand use.
Thule unveiled a new bike mount that is adjustable enough to work with any through-axle design. I’m not sure I could easily lift a 35-lb. bike on top of my car, but that’s a separate issue, one best addressed at the gym.
The new design is meant to work better with Firecrest wheels to make you faster than you’d be with a regular clincher. The Tangentes are available in two widths (23 and 25mm) and two casings (Course, at 120 tpi, and Speed, at 220 tpi). The Tangente Speed is $65 while the Course is $55.
Rolf Prima has taken its existing (and fast) Ares 4 rim and paired it with a less expensive pair of hubs and more budget-minded spokes to offer a more affordable carbon clincher. The Ares 4 ES brings carbon clincher performance to an $1800 price point. I don’t know of a better set of wheels for the money. Watch for my review of the standard Ares 4.
Rolf Prima’s Eugene, Oregon, address makes them a neighbor to Co-Motion, which helps to explain how they are producing the only tandem-specific wheelset I know of. While tandems are a tiny category, most tandems going out the door have either 145 or 160mm rear spacing; finding a set of wheels that can stand up to the weight requirements of a tandem and not weigh in at 2500g is next to impossible. These things are 1875g, disc-ready, are compatible with Shimano and Campy, feature 20 spokes front and 24 spokes rear and go for $1179. There’s a carbon clincher version as well.
This was my first chance to see the new Pioneer wattage meter in person. It’s an impressive unit if available in only a few configurations (Dura-Ace and Ultegra). The watt meter is really only the beginning. For $1850, you get the cranks with the watt meter, plus the head unit and the software.
It integrates GPS data into your ride data so you can check your pedal stroke in relation to terrain. I know lots of riders who have a great pedal stroke on a trainer when hooked up to a Computrainer, only to have it go to hell on a climb (I include myself in that).
The Pioneer unit allows you not only to do post-ride analysis, but can see your pedal stroke in real time. You don’t want to spend too much time staring at this thing, but it can tell you a fair amount about how you’re doing. I hope to review one soon.
Almost nothing at the show got as much buzz as the new Silca pump. Yes, this is the world’s first $450 floor pump. Clearly, it’s not a pump for everyone. Half of Silca’s distributors dropped them, but the other half ordered the pump by the palette. The story of the show was how none other than Chris King walked over, purchased a pump in cash and was so excited he was bouncing on his toes as he talked with Josh Poertner, Silca’s president. After that, the fact that the pump got Best in Show at the first-ever Interbike awards seems kind of anticlimactic.
Aside from being beautiful, the pump was designed with a cast-zinc base sculpted to be easy to stand on in cleats. The gauge is the world’s most accurate bike pump gauge, with a margin of error of +/- 1 percent. The chuck holder is magnetic, so there are no molded plastic pieces to stretch out and drop the chuck. And because it’s Silca, it’s completely rebuildable. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. You’d better be good.
Wishbone Design Studio is a new-ish company that is doing kids bikes and other similar products. They showed off a balance bike that can accommodate riders smaller than any other bike I’ve seen. That bolt in the center of the frame loosens and allows the frame to pivot at that point, dropping the saddle. You can essentially turn that into a lowrider balance bike. It’s an extraordinary design when you also consider that this can start as a tricycle.
Selle San Marco showed off a new system of saddles, called Dima, that uses existing names and freshened designs to give riders eight choices appropriate to their fit needs. The Mantra and Regale are flatter saddles. They come in two widths and either with a cutout or not. The Aspide and Concor are waved saddles (less flat) and also come in two widths and either with or without a cutout. Selle San Marco’s site will guide you through a series of questions to help you determine the ideal saddle for your needs. You can visit it here.