Interbike 2015, Part VIII

Interbike 2015, Part VIII

I ran across Wishbone Design last year and found their kids’ products to be both inventive and practical. This year they showed an add-on kit that converts the balance bike into one with a drivetrain and coaster brake. The model shown is is pretty top-notch with quality allow parts, but there will also be a more affordable version I’m told.

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Park showed off a fresh take on mini-tools. These new multi-tools are designed around the needs of particular riders, rather than just the number of tools they can fit in. Roadies get the smallest unit, with six tools (3, 4, 5 and 8mm Allen wrenches, a T25 Torx, plus a combination screwdriver). Triathletes get a unit with all those but adds a CO2 inflator. The commuter tools includes all those save the CO2 inflator and adds a 2.5mm Allen wrench, a T30 Torx and 8 and 15mm box wrenches. The mountain bike version, drops the box wrenches, restores the CO2 inflator and adds a chain tool.

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Park also showed off some new preset Torque wrenches as well as an adjustable one. The preset versions come in 4, 5 or 6Nm settings. All of the drivers include bits for 3, 4, and 5mm Allen keys as well as T25. The preset versions for for $40 each, while the adjustable version goes for $60. Most home mechanics would do well to pick up the 5Nm version.

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Cycliq introduced a new tail light/camera that you can think of less as an action cam than a security camera for your bike. The $169 camera started as a Kickstarter and has since taken off. It’s as innocuous as it is genius. We’ll be reviewing this device shortly. It features 720p video and six-hour run time.

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The Fly 12 is Cycliq’s combination front camera and light. It’s on preorder for $279, but when in full production retail will be $349. It’s a 400 lumens light paired with a 1080p camera.

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So this looks like just another footbed, right?

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Except it’s not. This is the first footbed to put wattage measurement inside the show. The RPM2 works with iOS or Android devices to measure wattage from inside the shoe. A pair plus a few assorted accessories goes for $599.

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The biggest news from Zipp wasn’t on the product side, though they do have some new tires I’m excited to ride, but the fact that the Firestrike wheels have come down $100 and the Firecrest wheels have come down $400.

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One of my very favorite announcements at Interbike was a new GPS unit from Wahoo. This is terrific because Wahoo’s products tend toward the ultra-reliable, unlike a those from a certain Kansas-based manufacturer. The Elemnt features a 4 gigabyte memory, has maps for the entire world installed, and allows you to push your phone, texts and even email to the unit. It’s got indicators that will point out your turns if you’re using it for navigation and has a 17-hour battery life, so it won’t die on you as you’re descending Carson Pass at the Markleeville Death Ride. Just sayin’.

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Panaracer showed off a new tire for off-road roadies call the Gravelking. It’s a 32mm-wide, 126 tpi tire with closely spaced blocks to balance quick rolling with traction. It’s only $39.99.

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The unlikeliest news of the show was that Santana was showing off a Di2-equipped tandem that they’d coaxed into shifting a triple. It’s something Shimano swears won’t work. Except it does.

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3 comments

  1. Les.B.

    Apparently Santana reverse-engineered Di2 firmware, then wrote their own firmware to make the shifter play with a 3-ringer.

    I converted from 3-ring to 2-ring when I upgraded to Di2 Dura Ace on my road bike. The problem that left me with is that with my arthritic knee I needed a 32 in the back, but Shimano claimed that Di2 DA would not work with a 32. So the wrench at Bike Effect solved this conundrum by getting an Ultegra Di2 long cage for the back and that plays well with the DA system and allows a 32 rear.

    I’m surprised that Shimano, having developed this tech, limits its application. In this day of hacking, a company needs to realize that when their product doesn’t quite meed customer demand that their products will be hacked to achieve the result desired. And who knows, maybe Shimano and others are okay with that.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Santana didn’t write any code. They just looked over the tech spec very carefully and made a few careful choices, but they did not hack code.

      There was a time when Shimano was pretty accommodating to the tandem and touring markets. Why those days are past, I’m not sure.

      Regarding your low-gear need, I’m told (though haven’t tried it) that you can run a SRAM 11-36 cassette with the Ultegra long-cage derailleur.

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