Okay folks, believe it our not, this show is about to happen! Here is a take on what I'm hearing and thinking will be the big "big wheel" stories as I go to Interbike. This will be the first of many reports to follow, (I hope) so stay tuned. I'm thinking that much of the non-big wheel stuff will end up here, but since I'm such a 29"er nut case, I'm sure I'll sneak some of that in too.
Invasion of the "B" bikes: As you probably have read over and over here, 650B- or "B" bikes/wheels, as I am going to call them- are going to be a big deal (supposedly) at the show. Look for my takes on them and even first ride impressions. I am aware that Haro, Carver, and maybe one other company will have ride able rigs to check out. I'll also look at the rims and the possibility of more tires. Currently, only White Brothers is making a suspension fork specifically for the "B" wheels.
Sub Grand 29"ers: This category is set to blow up in '08. Especially of interest are the lower priced geared hard tails, although budget single speeds will also be part of this. Of course you need some 29"er specific parts to go with that, so I'll be on the lookout for anything new there too.
Big Rubber Circular Thingies: Yes folks, more 29"er tires are going to be introduced at Interbike. We'll see the U.S. introduction of the Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.4". This tire has a casing that is said will strike fear in the hearts of narrow 29"er chain stays. In fact, I've been told it probably "won't fit a lot of 29ers out there" due to it's voluminous size. I'm lusting for one to be on the front of my rigid single speeds. Other tires to make their bows at Interbike will include models from Continental and Hutchinson. (Although the Python was introduced at Sea Otter, most will be seeing it for the first time at Interbike.) WTB has some new, as yet unseen tread(s) to show too. I suspect that there will be a few surprises yet to see as well.
Long Bouncy Telescopic Thingies: Suspend it! News on the fork front will be huge if the rumored Reba U-Turn fork actually makes it's debut at Interbike. Rumor has it that Niner will be specing it on it's bikes for '08. Also we are looking forward to the White Brothers stuff, which is ever evolving. Of course they have the "B" forks as mentioned above too. Mainitou, which hasn't made much noise lately due to their whole production line being moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Valencia, California, should be there with their Minute forks. I'm not expecting anything new from them, since the move has disrupted their manufacturing. But.....you never know! Budget forks from Spinner, RST, and others will surely be around to check out. Fox is in the game now too and will be talking up the 29"er forks that they have going on sale everywhere in October.
Two Wheeled Boingy Thingies: Yes, full suspension plushness! It's coming from more and more companies in '08 in 29"er size. Plus the "B" bikes will certainly be getting some play as a longer travel option for companies looking for the cheap and easy way to get a "big wheeled" FS bike out there. Niner will have some FS news, as will some other companies like KHS, Kona, and others.
Hoop Dreams: New wheels and rims will be a big story for 29"ers. Ellsworth's new wheel line will include a 29"er hoop. What's the deal with Mavic's C29ssmax wheelset? That question will be looked into, since they seem to be rather scarce. Look for other complete wheel sets to be shown and a few new rims, as well. Wider rims will be a big story at Interbike. (Trust me!)
The Rest of The Stuff and Shenanigans: The "other stuff" that is bicycle related will of course be fodder for this blog. Then their is the "lifestyle" section, which I hope to bring to light a bit better here too. Crazy after show hours stuff that doesn't get seen in the mainstream media. If it happens where I'm at, I'll either photograph it, or at least write about it. Who ever said "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?" Not me!
Okay, it's going to be a crazy week next week. Hold on tight, cause the posts will come at random times and will be pretty sketchy due to my busy schedule. We'll sort it all out once I'm back.
Over the Mountain
19 minutes ago