Bicycle, Travel

Interbike recap.

Just returned from Interbike and once again I made it out alive. Barely. This was the fourth year that Go Means Go has attended, and thankfully we had a little help this year. Byron and Brad were able to make it down with Go Means Go so we had some different eyes, with different ideas on the floor.

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If by now you don’t know what Interbike is, it’s the largest cycling industry tradeshow in the US. Over 750 companies representing 1200+ brands come together in Las Vegas for a week of product releases, order placements and liver destruction. Being an “industry show” means that it isn’t open to the public. It’s open to shops, exhibitors and media. It’s unlike the Seattle Bike Expo in many ways, most obvious is that it’s not a discount sale for overstock and blowouts. It’s new stuff- much of which is lined up to be released the following year. It’s a great place to see what you can’t in shops. Years ago, Interbike took place in Anaheim, CA. There was talk of moving it back there earlier this year, but a couple months ago Interbike announced that a 3-year contract to stay in Vegas was signed (the contract was signed with Mandalay Bay Convention Center- which means bye-bye to the Sands Expo Center and to Treasure Island being known as the “industry hotel.”) I for one am happy that Interbike has extended it’s stay in Las Vegas- as it is a cheap place to stay, to fly into and has the necessary parts needed to make for debaucheries industry parties. Anaheim… not so much.

I arrived Monday morning, picked up my pass, checked my bag in at the convention center and headed on the shuttle to the Outdoor Dirt Demo. Dirt Demo is pretty great if you don’t mind the heat. Myself- I spend my time either in Seattle or Alaska, so it isn’t very comfortable at all. Don’t get me wrong- I love the heat when I can go swimming. But walking around in the desert gets pretty damn warm.

Attendees can jump on one of the many bikes that companies bring to show- tool around either on the pavement, the dirt, or even hop on a shuttle that takes you up the hill so you can get a little trail time. There are often show specials, and I have taken home some gems in the past. Last year I picked up some Chris King hubs and Crank Brothers pedals. This year I got fitted with some Fizik R1 road shoes. I also picked up a GoPro camera during the Interbike days at The Sands to replace the Contour that I wasn’t very impressed with.

Fatbikes have been on my mind quite a bit lately- with my time in Alaska and all. Fatback Bikes is making some pretty great ones. They didn’t have a booth, but they brought their bikes out and I took a few photos. They had a stainless model in addition to a belt drive and their stock aluminum. I’d love to get on one of those bikes by next year.

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And now for some more photos…

Here you’ve got the Spot Brand Cream.  Single Speed with a Gates Belt drive.  Though my Gates Center track has not run perfectly for me, I’m looking forward to riding it for CX this season (2 races in already.) Come the muddy season- we’ll see how it fairs.

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Look at how clean that split at the dropout is to accomodate the Gates belt drive.

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Surly has been holding down a huge portion of the Fatbike market.  This year they are offering the Bud and Lou.  More aggressive and a pinch larger than the Big Fat Larry.  4.8″ front and rear specific. Wow!  But make sure your frame can handle it!

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Osprey had some great packs for XC and free riding.  The Zealot has room to carry your helmet and pads and still be able to access the inside.  Really great design, lightweight and super breathable.

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This thing is beautiful.  I used to really like the 9:ZERO:7 brand- but they have moved their warehouse to Oregon and don’t make anything in the US.  That makes it not very Alaska in my book.  Either way- Carbon for dayz.

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Cielo.  A house brand of Chris King.  Still doing amazing stuff after all these years.

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Got a gravel road racer that you want to make buzzzz?  These hot little numbers will get you there.  WHEN they become available.  The R45 Disc.

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Salsa Cycles offering of the Beargrease.  Salsa has been pushing design in offroad touring and fatbikes for a number of years.  They aren’t afraid to try new things.  And I like that.

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This is really what it comes down to.  The future.  The next fixed gear.  No, but really…. no.

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In an email I received today, Interbike grew by 5% attendance in 2012- capping out at a record of 25,536 people. That includes a 5% increase in stores that attended (4,160 store count.) During the week, there were more than 60 educational seminars, tech clinics and panel discussions, ArtCrank in the Chrome “Urban Yard” and more than 250 new exhibitors.

Interbike returns to Las Vegas in 2013 at its new home, the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The show begins with OutDoor Demo in Boulder City, NV on September 16-17, 2013, followed by the Interbike Expo from September 18-20, 2013.

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