Saturday, September 17, 2011

Interbike 2011

Interbike 2011 is a wrap - Yet another year at Interbike (my 27th year!). This year seemed like more of an evolution year with very little in the way of major announcements. I think part of this is the way many companies are revealing their products well in advance of Interbike, even as early as events like Sea Otter.

This year power meters are still part of the buzz. Garmin, Look, Brim Brothers, Rotor etc...all had new or updated versions of their power meters on display. However, none are shipping. I am still waiting for the rumored Shimano integration of power into the Di2 system. I wonder when that will happen.

Another trend that continues is the expansion of tubeless road wheel options. Easton, American Classic, Fulcrum, and Notubes, among others, showed several new wheelsets. The American Classic wheels seem to offer a nice wide wheel, with a interesting bead hook and they are very light weight (1179g Aluminum, 1108g mag). Prices are a bit high in my opinion and it will be hard to justify $1600 for the Magnesium wheels over say a HED or ZIPP carbon clincher. I would love to see American Classic offer just the 310gr Aluminum Clincher Rims for custom wheel builds, but based on their history of not offering their rims separately I don't see this happening. The Easton EA90RT wheels also are a great wheel for the price $850 and would be a good choice - even though they are much heavier at 1550g.

Unfortunately there is little in the way of new Tubeless Road tires - Hutchinson still has their 3 products; Fusion3, Intesive, and Atom, while Maxxis had their Padrone tires that are a bit expensive at $120 retail. Still waiting for more alternative tubeless tires and some lower cost options.

Some other trends included more disc brakes for cyclo-cross, hydraulic shifting, BB30, PF30, and BB86EVO on more bikes, official introduction of Ultegra Di2, and tons of wider and deeper carbon wheel options.

All in all it was a good show, but with less and less product introductions.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 New Years Resolutions

I was thinking about everyone and their "Resolutions" for the new year and I thought I would mention a few things cyclists in 2011 should try if they haven't yet.

Tubeless Road Tires: I personally have been running tubeless road tires since 2009 and have yet to flat while running them - knock on wood!. The ride is just better, and with a splash of sealant from NoTubes or CaffeLatex you have even better insurance against flats.

Regular Spoke Nipples: With the rash of carbon wheels, aero wheels, and other lightweight wheels now on the market I suggest that you pick a set of wheels with standard components - especially normal nipples. If you are hard on you components having an easily serviced wheel makes life much easier. Plus, when you convert normal clincher rim to to tubeless it is a pain to do simple repairs and truing if you don't have regular spoke nipples. I suggest a good set of custom wheels from your favorite local builder - We can help with that also.

Lower your tire pressure: Weather you are running road tires, cyclo-cross, or mountain tires, try running them at a lower pressure for a week or two to see if you see a difference. I see people running much higher pressures than they should in many cases.

Enjoy riding your bike in 2011