Interbike 2018, Part I

Interbike 2018, Part I

Walking around the first day of Interbike here in Reno, Nev., reminded me of when Interbike used to offer an East Coast show, originally in Atlantic City, and then, later, Philadelphia. The main show floor can be walked in a half hour if you don’t stop to chat with anyone. There are additional areas that I really haven’t had a chance to look at, but the effect of seeing the smaller footprint carried the faintest scent of relief—relief because I didn’t feel so utterly overwhelmed at how much I needed to accomplish in three days.

My day began with a breakfast meeting at Pioneer where they announced a seamless integration of features from Pioneer power meters with the Wahoo Elemnt GPS units. The upshot is that if you want to see the force vector data from your pedal stroke, you can now view it on a computer that is a bit more user friendly than Pioneer’s existing head unit. This isn’t earth-shattering, but the fact that they’ve created a seamless and backward-compatible integration of these two units is pretty cool if you happen to be someone who has issues like a leg-strength imbalance. No names mentioned. *cough cough*

For anyone who has elected not to buy an indoor trainer due to noise, Wahoo has an answer for you. The latest revision of the Kickr is now remarkably silent. Like so silent all you hear is the drivetrain. I don’t even see how they managed to eliminate so much noise. They also increased the weight of the flywheel to 16 lbs., making the feel of the trainer all the more natural.

The new Kickr Headwind fan may seem overkillish, were it not for the fact that how fast it turns can be regulated by several methods, including your cadence; higher cadence results in more fan. The fan goes for $249, but hey, it’s bluetooth compatible.

While Wahoo is gradually becoming the best-respected manufacturer of GPS units that don’t break, Pioneer refuses to be left behind on head units. I’m told this will improve functionality as well as offer greater speed and location data.

Last year Clement Tires were re-branded as Donnelly Sport. Donnelly is the first name of Donn Kellogg, the company’s owner who originally licensed the Clement name. He dropped the license when the fees became so large that it hurt the company’s growth. So while the hot patch announcing the company name has changed, none of the tire quality has been affected.

They showed a new tire, the EMP (for Emporia, Kansas, the location of Dirty Kanza), which uses their most aggressive tread pattern yet. It’s a tire with some burl to it. It comes in 38 and 45mm sizes and goes for $72. It looks idea for the Flint Hills.

They have also revamped one of my favorite tires of theres, the USH. Originally, it was only available in 35mm and wasn’t tubeless. The 35 is now tubeless and it is joined by a 32 and a 40mm width, as well as a 650 x 50. They go for between $70 and $75, depending on the size. I can’t wait to try the 40. It looks perfect for our variety of multi-surface riding.

This was also my first chance to see Donnelly’s ‘cross and gravel bikes in person. Above is the carbon fiber cyclocross bike.

Effetto Mariposa, which has produced one of the best torque wrenches on the market for bicycles has introduced a new version more appropriate to most of our needs. It has an effective range of between 1Nm and 8Nm. The torque wrench without bits goes for $115, while the version with a full complement of bits goes for $160.

Every show always has some throwbacks. Sometimes they are throwbacks that are ridiculous and laughable, like helmet covers, while others evoke a degree of nostalgia even as they are perfectly rideable and sellable.

The chrome work on this Bottechia takes me right back to the 1980s. I don’t know of anyone clambering for a bike with a quill stem, but something this beautiful deserves to make you late for an appointment.

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  1. JBW

    Are there less exhibitors than in Vegas, or is the physical space just easier? Any remarkable companies that came back to the show, or who left?

  2. Vern Niehaus

    The Donnelly bikes are very good looking and the cx bike was ridden to victory at the Reno Cross race Wednesday night. The photo you have above is of the cx bike, not the gravel version, as the gravel version has mounts for fenders and the show model was a different color. Were you able to see the PDX that was made for the AmyD foundation? It had orange tread and was very striking in color.

    1. Author

      Not to lock horns, but Donn Kellogg himself told me this was the gravel bike. I wish I’d had more time with both bikes, but there’s a lot to see. The Amy D. tire in question is sitting on the platform in front of the bike.

    2. Author

      So I stand corrected. I heard from Donnelly Sports confirming your assertion, Vern. I might have mistaken which way Donn was pointing. The bike in the post is the cyclocross bike.

  3. Bing

    The torque wrench without bits goes for $115, while the version with a full complement of bits goes for 160mm.

    You mean $160 right?

    1. Author

      OMG. That’s what I get for typing at 11:30 at night.

      It would be so great if I could pay in millimeters. Correcting in 3, 2….

  4. Fuzz

    It was funny to read your comment about GPS units that don’t break. I’ve had my Wahoo Bolt for a year, and except for false off course warnings, it’s been pretty much flawless. But the riding buddy that first introduced me to the Bolt is on his 4th – all screen failures as I recall. His buddy is on his second, due to an intermittent GPS receiver that started straightling parts of his rides. I bought mine as a replacement for a Garmin 520, which was a great unit, but was unfortunately designed with a woefully inadequate battery. Still, the Elemnt interface is the future. It makes even the latest Garmins feel like 10 year old car navs. I hope Garmin is paying attention.

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