Interbike 2018, Part III

Interbike 2018, Part III

After my recent review of the Vittoria Morsa, I tire that I like … well, it’s been a long time since I last liked a mountain bike tire this much, I heard from a couple of industry friends that the Morsa isn’t the winner, the Martello is.

I met up with Ken Avery who is the point man for Vittoria here in the U.S. He designed the Martello and walked me through how the length of the sipes and the shape of the blocks make the Martello a fast rolling tire with superior control. I’ll be checking them out some time soon.

The sealant wars are heating up with yet another entry, this one from Muc-Off. This entry is interesting because it contains a dye that shows up under a UV light. It comes with a tiny light and it can show any puncture that might cause problems in the future.

Castelli is synonymous with advanced design and new fabrics for cycling clothing, but they don’t often get credit for their graphic design. I saw some new pieces that just had summer day written all over them. Of course, there are some new technical pieces I’ll be reviewing in upcoming posts.

Ebikes were all over the place. This Riese & Muller, which uses the Bosch system, was one of my favorites. The rear deck can seat someone who can hold onto the stoker bar and pegs mounted near the dropouts give the passenger a place to put their feet. There’s a mount for the Abus lock and a front rack to hold groceries or other bag.

While not exactly bike-specific, Ortleib showed off a new backpack that does something I’ve wondered why backpacks don’t do for close to 30 years.

Made in three different sizes, these backpacks, which aren’t exactly what I’d want to use for bikepacking, but are terrific for traveling with a bike in a case, open up like a duffel. The zipper is waterproof, just like the rest of the bag. Internal compartments allow for some organization of small items.

Primal showed up with a display meant to emphasize their custom clothing. What I find remarkable is how many huge events have shifted their orders. I’ve been hearing about how fast and well-priced their kits are, so we will be working with them to produce a Paceline kit.

Thule has created a rack to compete with the 1 Up USA. It cradles the front and rear wheels but unlike the 1 Up USA, the lever to operate the arms is in the arm itself rather than down at the base of the rack, which means a bit less leaning over to put bikes on the rack. I’m curious to see if it can handle 20-inch wheels, which would make it more accommodating to families.

The Panaracer Gravel King SK now comes in colors. In the past, colored tires haven’t faired well because the pigments used to color the rubber compound raised the tire’s durometer, meaning the color caused the tire to sacrifice traction. With the Panaracers no such loss of traction occurred, I’m told. They come in green, white and teal in every size and with a choice of either black or tan sidewalls.

Panaracer has been making some big changes to its mountain bike lineup. A few years ago I reviewed the driver, a cross-country trie that was incredibly fast, but held little ambition for traction. Panaracer has redesigned it and it now comes in 2.4- and 2.6-inch widths.

The Romero is an all-new tire from Panaracer; I saw it in the 27.5 x 2.4-inch size. The interesting news here for former readers of Bicycle Guide is that the tire was designed by former pro roadie, former pro downhiller and former Bicycle Guide contributing editor Derrin Stockton.

Floyd’s of Leadville has expanded into other products for cyclists. Hydration Fuel is a fresh take on fueling on the bike. I find it intriguing because the presence of CBD will fight inflammation during your rides, which will be helpful to anyone battling tendonitis or similar ailments (arthritis?). For those of us who deal with nerve pain, it could very likely make longer rides more comfortable.

This transdermal CBD cream is formulated to deliver CBD to aching and inflamed muscles as well as angry nerves. The container is shaped in a way that makes it a good fit for a jersey, something every other container of a CBD cream has failed to achieve. Honestly, of the many items I saw at Interbike, nothing else excited me as much as this. I’m surprised that this would be my favorite product from Interbike, but when I think about how many people have given up riding due to spinal issues, this product is no small deal.

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  1. Toddster

    That Romero sure looks a lot like the classic Nevegal. That was an amazing tire just too damn heavy. Are these essentially lighter versions of it since the tread pattern is tried and true?

    1. Author

      I can’t speak to weight on the tire just yet. Striking the right balance of tire durability to weight is a tough calculus. I’ve decided that I’ll just deal with whatever weight penalty there is to get the tire that bites where I need it to and rolls well while remaining durable. If it gains 400g in the process I figure that’s preferable to ending up on my hip because I washed out in a turn, which is how all my recent falls occurred.

  2. Slappy

    maxxis minion 29 x 2.5 dh casing with cushcore is where I’ve ended up not wanting to have tyre issues shredding high alpine scree and the like, not light, but sure is fun running 12 psi and hauling ass

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