Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Some Cool Things I Saw At Interbike: Part II

Yesterday's post got a wee bit long, so here is another installment of the coolest things I saw at Interbike......

Keeping up with the Jones's...
Alt Bar Action: I should start a magazine called "Alt Bar Action". That'd be cool..... Okay, maybe not, but this bar looked pretty cool to me. Surly's new "Moloko" Bar.

It may or may not have certain attributes of "that other alt bar", but Surly's copy says it is a version of the Open Bar with a closed front loop. It'll be offered in a rise or no rise version.

These bars are cool because you can use the front part to mount accessories, or carry your best bud home from school. I'll be thinking about these for one of my fat bike setups, possibly.

Notice anything different?
Hey! Whatta 'Bout Me? Here's a bike you've seen before, but there is something different now. Can you guess what it is?

This bike was shown in the Phil Wood booth at Eurobike. But due to a few details, no one really connected the bike with Phil Wood & Co, who did the custom drilled hubs and custom triple clamps for the fork.

Lots of folks thought it was a new Santa Cruz model. many figured out pretty quickly that the rear swing arm was built by Sycip.  But that isn't so obvious now that the bike showed up in the Phil Wood & Co. booth at Interbike.

Can you see it now? (Or shall I say, Can you see what's not there?)

That's right, all the logos have been painted over, and even the trademark Sycip coins were painted over, with Phil Wood livery added instead. I guess the attention was focused elsewhere at Eurobike, and PW wanted to fix that. Funny stuff right there.

Too bad it was another one of those, "Oh yeah.....I've seen that already" deals at Interbike. The marketing damage already done.

Canadian Gambling?

Handbuilt Freshie: Interbike had a downstairs again this year, and this time I actually got down there. In a main central aisle there were several spotlighted products and a few custom bikes. This one hails from Canada's own DeKerf.

While I am not partial to the theme of this rig, (gambling), I will say that it was well done. Very well done. The paint detail was stunning on this rig, as was the typical segmented fork/seat stay arrangement, which is a signature DeKerf frame joinery technique.

Also noteworthy here is the triple "Bullmoose" style stem/ handle bar construction. The bike is a stand out example of a DeKerf, but it was weird seeing it in the lower level of Interbike's show.


Polished Goods: It isn't that I dislike black anodized parts, but for years it was about the only thing you could get in components, especially rims. Now, more and more, it seems manufacturers are getting stuff out that is polished aluminum.

Velocity USA is one of the rim makers leading the charge for polished rims and silver polished hubs. I have a set of A-23 wheels that are done up in a classy looking polish. Now Velocity is also offering it's 3rd generation tubeless compatible Blunt rims in a polished look. (Plus various anodized hues as well)

Get these and some classic White Industries hubs and you'll have a sweet, classic looking wheel set. Or....go crazy and get anodized bits from Chris King, Industry 9, or others, and bling yerself out. Either way, it's fun to have a choice other than black these days. Even stems, seat posts, and other items are showing up polished and in color. I love it.

Titanium goodness
Wait.....Is This Interbike, Or NAHBS?

 In another weird juxtaposition, I found this sweet titanium rig thanks to Chad of FSA, and was blown away by the fact this was in the basement, and that it was at Interbike at all. Definitely hand made, and way custom, this hard tail was simply stunning.

It is a Cysco Cycles rig built by Richie Moore of Tennessee. He used to work for Litespeed and Lynskey, and you can see it in his work.

The down tube is shaped three ways to Sunday, and the integrated seat mast is expertly crafted. It is a single speed rig, and Mr. Moore said he was paying special attention to getting a good, solid feel without sacrificing the titanium ride.

Well, I may never know how it rides, but I can say it was one classy looking rig stuck down in the nether regions of Interbike's oddities. This and the DeKerf really should have been upstairs, where more folks could have witnessed their artful designs.But then again, Interbike isn't a handmade bicycle show. Hmmm....come to think of it, why doesn't Interbike have a hand made bicycle show concurrent with the trade show? It sure would be fun to see all the great craftsmanship of the handmade guys in Vegas.

I was down stairs for a good hour, and I thought I'd plied every aisle, but I missed this rig somehow. If it hadn't been for Chad, I would have. Glad I didn't, because this was a very interesting bike, and Mr. Moore was a super nice guy to us as we gawked at his workmanship.

And Finally.....

This one is from the Outdoor Demo, obviously. Former Downhill Champion, Greg Herbold works for SRAM these days, but back in mountain bike's hey day, when he was still competitive, H-Ball squirreled away lots of cool, vintage mtb stuff. His garage contents are stuff of legend.

Well, this one is something from the dark recesses of that garage, no doubt. A Foes built, small wheeled trail bike. This comes replete with dual suspension and early Rock Shox cable actuated hydraulic disc brakes.

Conclusion- Well, Interbike was kind of a ho-hum deal from the perspective of a gear freak. But we have only ourselves to blame for that, since the internet and the "instant coverage" it provides of any company's releases pretty much allows any company its own time in the spotlight. By the time Interbike bows, the curtain raises to reveal stuff we've all seen multiple times, and read about ad nauseam.

But otherwise it was easy to see that attendance, (at least for the indoor portion), was higher than last year, and every vendor I spoke to was pleased. The Outdoor Demo seemed more empty, especially the first day, than last year, (although Interbike claims a 10% rise in attendance), and there were definitely less bikes to demo for sure.

That all just made the order of the day business, and really, isn't that what a trade show is for anyway? If business was done, I guess you have to say Interbike truly was a success this year. My take is that is exactly what happened.

1 comment:

Steve Fuller said...

That's a much better photo of the Moloko bar than Surly has on their site. I might consider one of those for the Mukluk if the price is right.