Alchemy Bicycles showed at Interbike for the first time and while that’s great news for a brand that has been more closely associated with the handmade/custom end of the market, they were in attendance to show off their first full-suspension mountain bike, the Arktos. The $3750 retail frameset comes with shock and two-color paint and is available in four sizes. It’s a six-inch travel bike that features a new suspension platform designed by Dave Earle (known for his work with Yeti) called Sine that’s licensed exclusively to Alchemy.
The new Ridley X-Trail, which we previewed at Press Camp is now in full production. The X-Trail is the Belgian company’s take on an all-surface road bike. Ridleys have been known for higher bottom brackets, and that’s not just true of their ‘cross bikes, but their road bikes as well. With the X-Trail they knew that calm handling would be important and produced a bike that is longer and lower than many similar designs. I can’t wait to get more miles on one.
The Lion King himself attended Interbike and not just for the fleshier attractions of the strip. The Cipollini line of bikes is getting some serious engineering attention (presumably by someone other than our hero) and is making a serious push for the U.S.
The RB1K is the signature model of the Cipollini line. It has a short head tube for an aggressive position and 57mm of trail to give responsive handling without being overly quick. Like the former champion himself, these are all-Italian bikes—engineered in Verona, laid up in Florence and painted in Pisa. The RB1K is a true, one-piece monocoque frame. (Insert Keanu Reeves going, “Whoa.”) The other frames are laid up in four sections—front triangle, two chainstays and then a wishbone seatstay; a medium frame is said to weigh 1050 grams. The RB1K starts at $6499.
Elby is a new line of electric-assist bikes. The founders are automotive guys who, I’m told, did some brainstorming about how transportation needs are going to evolve in the coming decades. That led them to ebikes. The Elby is a one-size-fits-most bike and uses the Bionx wheel for propulsion. So much do they believe in the Bionx wheel that they bought the company.
Not everything that gets shown at Interbike is fully in production. One of the more entertaining aspects of the show is watching guys with some janky, homemade device sticking out of a backpack walk around the show and try to convince sales reps to spec this on their wet dream bike.
Thankfully, the device above is not one of those. The Bootlegger was dreamt up by Zach Yendra in Fort Collins, Colo., and is a pretty fresh take on the utility bike. The Yendra Built Bootlegger has four-inch, independent swingarm suspension in the front with 29-inch wheels. The rear is a whopping 36-inches, while the basket here is 20-inches wide, perfect for a keg of beer, which his how this thing is used most of the time, delivering kegs for Equinox Brewing in Fort Collins. Yendra offers two other widths, both wider, as well as electric assist in case you’re thinking about moving people.