The Much Anticipated Interbike Points of Interest, Part 1

So you’ve all been asking me what was great about ibike this year – the parties, the product, the sneak-peak-latest-and-greatest. And to be honest, my mind went completely blanked when asked; all I could think about anytime ibike was mentioned was the excel spreadsheet residing permanently in front of me on my desk filled with to-do’s, ad research, follow ups…

But its Friday and in lieu of entertaining myself, I’ll genuinely revisit the stuff I found interesting at the show. Sorry, it’s probably pretty mtb specific. I also apologize for not inserting as many photos, my camera is probably in the mitts of some Vegas floozy in a pawn shop on the strip somewhere…

  • Hope Tech wow do these guys have a thick British accent! I haven’t had the opportunity to visit the UK yet, but I’m jonesing to check out Barnoldswick – home of HOPE and mens accents that sound like they’re hung over from Friday night’s fish n’ chips and still have a pint o guinness in their throats. With 90% of their employees living less than 3 miles from the factory, all of Hope’s components are designed, built and tested under one roof; engineers are also warranty techs, assemblers are also testers. No wonder why my mono minis work so beautifully so consistently, rain or shine. Hope has made a few design alterations for 09, specifically the TECH X2 brake which is pretty much a replacement for the great mono mini yet is “entirely new”. Flip flop design, on the fly reach adjustment and bite pt adjustment that’s still low profile (not like Avid’s), sprung lever with a glossy smooth pivot pt for the lever. The caliper’s smaller and thinner but has bigger pistons than the minis. Through the rep’s accent, I believe the pink and pro editions of the mono mini are going to continue to be available. My co-worker, who previously felt the avid juicys were the cats ass immediately took a liking to the working display at the booth! Oh yea the skewers are lower profile with a much nicer ergonomic dsgn too. 
  • Assos “Roadie” “Swiss-made” “snug” “pricey” “the gucci of cycling wear”. Words that those not-in-the-know associate Assos cycling apparel with. Well, they’re partially right. But only partially. I’m also writing this because we now carry the entire line.
    Before you make judgements, stop in a shop and touch the garments…you know quality when you see it. And there is nothing worse than  relying on your gloves/shorts/winter jacket only to have it rip mid-ride or mid-season, leaving you to wait while your LBS gets it warranted. I rode the fleece roubaix knickers all last winter mountain biking (yes, the ones with the center clasp for ladies!) and they held up fabulously and were warm as hell. Not to mention Assos chamois’ conform to your own butt-bones after a number of rides. It’s similar technology to that which is found in Formula 1 Le Mans race car seats. No kidding. COMFY.
    Anyhow, the Assos line-up continues with their homeruns of previous years, still following their layering motto. My favorite pieces were the glove 3-pack and the flak-jack winter jacket with a built in backalava that can be turned down into a fleece scarf. The glove 3 pack takes you from mid fall through mid spring, with a lightweight/liner glove, mid-weight wind protection with light padding mid glove, and finally a water proof (on the back side) and wind resistant lobster shell which is designed to fit over the first two layers. Can most certainly be used for xc riding and obviously for road. This glove system is simply, a no-brainer. A great, easy gift to tell mom to buy you for xmas. They even come in colors.
  • Fox Racing Shox these guys had a sweet booth. Forks were mounted on the wall where you could touch them, test-displays were on the interior of the set-up, and exploded-diagram cut-aways of the real thing were all there to be educated upon.They’re also some of the nicest, most approachable guys at the show. Alas, no photos. Check out the links to the write-up in Cycling News and read about the new remote lockout! The lockout will be found stock on select 09 bikes (aftermarket to come in ’10), and is a fool-proof design. Right hand only (what else would you want?), simple engagement thumb lever, low profile silver “tab” you knock your pointer finger against to release. Imagine dropping into some gnarly xc decent only to  realize mid drop-in your f80rlc is still on lockout – just slide your right hand in 1/2″, knock against the tab, and descend away. I think I could go on about the Fox stuff all day, but will leave it to the real writers atCycling News and MTBR.

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