Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Some Cool Things I Saw At Interbike

I realized I hadn't posted anything I saw that was somewhat impressive to me from Interbike. Here's some eye candy from the show then (and a few other things from Vegas)......

Super-Suit: This was right out of the "Incredibles" as far as I was concerned. But let me back up just a bit...

Alpinestars is an Italian company heavily into NASCAR, F-1, and Moto GP, amongst other motorsports, and cycling as well. We got to go to a fancy suite in the Venetian to look at some cycling duds, but this Moto GP suit is what got my jaw to drop.

It has micro-processors, accelerometers, armor, and air bags built into it. Riders are protected when the electronics discern a crash is occurring and it then sets the air bags off to protect the rider. The suit self arms when it detects motion from acceleration on the motorcycle. It can even re-arm itself after an initial crash in case the racer gets back going again after a first crash.

We asked if this sort of thing might make its way to down hill cycling, and the answer was it is being looked at, but no specifics were available as to how, when, or what the product might look like.

What we did get to see was maybe less "wow", but Alpinestars does have some pretty cool cycling gear for mountain bikers. In the future, there may be some tests on Twenty Nine Inches of Alpinestars clothing.

So, after that I saw some cool shorts, jerseys, gloves, and even some urban/commuter gear that was pretty high tech. Definitely things I was impressed by. Okay, now for some trivia: Anyone remember what Alpinestars was famous for in the cycling world in the 90's? (I'm thinking of two things. Let's see if anyone guesses both.)

Rolling Ad for "babes".
Sex Sells: I've told folks about this before, but I finally caught this on camera. Rolling trucks with billboard ads for female "escorts".  (Click image to make it bigger- and it is safe for work, by the way.)

This happens 24-7 on the Strip and at night, the trucks have their own spotlight systems to light up these things so you can't miss them. Of course, the rolling ads are not the only way women are reduced to less than dirt in Vegas. (Well, all humanity, really, is degraded by this.) There also are the people hawking escort service cards on the sidewalk that they want you to take. These generally have pretty racy pictures on them. They flip the cards, making a "snap" noise to get your attention and then they shove them at you when you look. Other ads are in newspaper dispensers and of course, there are the traditional billboards on the street.

Great place to take the kids, apparently. It never ceases to amaze me every time I go to the Strip. I always see mothers pushing babies in strollers, holding toddlers, and walking their kids down here. Weird.

Pinarello Dogma XC 29"er
Italian Carbon Wonder-bike: This  thing was outrageous. The Italians are said to be all about style, and this bike certainly did nothing to dispel that notion.

Crossed seat stays, a unique seat post binder, a steering stop integrated into the down tube, and "Onda-like" chain stays were just a few of the things I noticed when I looked closer at this black and white themed rig.

But it was obvious that this wasn't all just show-boating either. The down tube was shaped to get the maximum width at the bottom bracket for stiffness. The tire clearances were huge, and the geometry looked dialed in.

I could be wrong about the price, but I remember it being somewhere well north of 3G for the frame alone. What price style? I guess it's pretty high! Still, I wonder how it rides with all these out of the box ideas. You also have to hand it to Pinarello. They are not known for their mountain bikes these days, but this sure got my attention!

TommiSea Fat Bike tire
Fat Bikes For The Beach: I saw the TommiSea booth at Interbike, and they have been making fat tired beach cruisers for quite a while now. They introduced a new tire last year, but it was pretty rare, by all accounts, so when I saw it at Interbike it caught my eye.

It reminds me a bunch of a Big Fat Larry, and on the 100mm rim it was shown on, it looked pretty close to a BFL in width too . Not only that, but the tire probably acts a lot like a BFL as well.

The continuous center  strip obviously is similar to a BFL, and instead of "darts" along each side, it has rounded knobs, but they are similar in height. Unlike a BFL this tire has those goofy skulls in the tread though. Ah well.......a bit of fun thrown in for extra measure, I suppose.

This was mounted to a titanium frame, by the way, so apparently there are some fairly serious beach cruisin' folk out there. TommiSea also displayed a pretty rad camouflaged beach cruiser fat bike with rims to match.  This one even had a handle bar mounted gun rack. (Is there an option for a rebel flag sticker too?) The bike also features dual front disc brake caliper mounts on the fork, cause, you know.....you may have to stop real quick like from 90 mph, or something.

That one was dubbed the "Beast Stalker" and comes with a Shimano Alfine drive train for about $1349.00. Not too bad, really, when you consider that it weighs about 36lbs, (claimed), which is reasonable for undrilled rims and an internally geared hub set up.

I think the only thing that rivaled this was the whitewall tired fat bike cruiser in the J&B booth which sported the new Vee Rubber tires.

Velo Orange's "Campeur" frame/fork
Retro-Gravel Grinder: Of course, way back when, gravel roads, dirt roads, and stone paved paths were the norm, rather than the exception, and the bikes used then reflected the nature of these rougher paths.

Velo Orange has a frame and fork they dubbed the Campeur which harkens back to such times. This particular one I found interesting in that the tires were similar to something a lot of gravel grinder guys are using.

The handle bar mounted water cages only make the theme work even more for me, as one could easily mount a frame bag on this and go run the Dirty Kanza 200 or some other self supported long haul gravel event just as it is set up.

I'm not real big on non-aero levers, nor do I like the traditional deep drop, Belgian style handle bar, but this bike is pretty classy and it probably would still get someone down the road quite nicely despite the retro take on the set up here.

Well, I could go on, but this post is getting a bit into "epic-length" already, so I'll shut it down right here.


Anonymous said...

I remember the Alpinestars white shoes that had neon "graffiti" all over them.

Guitar Ted said...

@JYB: You get one of the two things! Now, what was the other?

Iowagriz said...

Elevated Chainstays - I think that my brother has he Haro version hanging in his garage.

Guitar Ted said...

@Iowagriz: Close, so close.... You referenced a characteristic of a mountain bike frame, and that's the answer I was looking for. Yes- Alpinestars did mtb frames in the 90's.

MG said...

Love the look of that Velo Orange...

GRR75 said...

i tested the dogma xc. hard to describe the ride. very neutral and natural. smoothest hardtail ever.

GRR75 said...

BTW, I rode both the XTR and the XX equipped bikes. Was really surprised of what a huge gap there is between the two.