Interbike 2013, the biggest cycling trade show in the U.S., officially kicked off yesterday, and we roamed the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino convention center checking out the new products for 2014.
The Vegas venue was overrun with fat bikes and bizarre tricycles, and you had to be careful that the free coffee signs didn’t lure you into the e-bike zone…
Yes, there is definitely some weird stuff on display at the show, but there are also some very interesting products we’re excited to learn more about.
The biggest trends?
27.5″ wheels are taking over. Quickly. Many of the companies we spoke with have brand-new bikes sporting the mid-size hoops, while 26ers are rather scarce around here. We also checked out some of the new safety tech on the market, from Smith Optics’ Forefront to the POC Octal.
So without further ado, here’s a bit of what we’ve seen after our first 8 hours on the floor.
Lapierre Spicy Team
Lapierre is new to the U.S market, but the company has been making bikes in France since the mid-1900s. This year, they’re showing off the 2014 Spicy Team, a 27.5″ wheeled bike with 150mm of rear travel.
This enduro racer designed for Nicolas Vouilloz has a carbon monocoque OST+ frame, an e:i Shock, (which uses a system of sensors that monitor bump forces to automatically manage compression and lock-out settings of the rear shock). The Spicy Team weighs 12.5 kg / 27.5 lbs., and comes with a Rockshox Pike Solo Air 160mm, a Rockshox Monarch 3 RTS Relay, and Avid X0 Trail brakes.
The bike costs … $8,000 … and will go to dealers in January.
The XX1 build kit just got a bit less expensive. Actually, SRAM’s X01 is a whole new group that costs about $200 less than its big brother, with only a few subtle changes.
“What we’ve done with X0 is bring that 1x technology from XX1—in just one year, we’ve completely convinced the market that you no longer need dual rings on the front of your bike,” says SRAM MTB PR and Media Coordinator (and 2-time National Downhill Champion / World Cup racer) Duncan Riffle. “We’ve gone from people saying ‘Dude, you’re chain’s going to drop,’ to ‘Why is there a derailuer on your bike?'”
SRAM made a few minor adjustments on the XX1 group to lower the price of the 1X11 drivetrain. The BCD has changed from a 74 to a 94 (the 74 BCD is only available on the XX); the X0 cassette has a less expensive finish; and you can get the rear cage and the shifters in either plastic or carbon.
The X01 starts at $1,273, and will be available mid-September this year.
Bern Morrision Helmet
Bern just released the Morrison, the company’s first helmet designed specifically for mountain bikers. The helmet weighs 15 oz, has 16 vents around the dome, and will retail for $99.
It also features Bern’s Zip Mold Plus, an internal structure made from six nylon ribs molded into the polyurethane foam and covered by a PVC micro-shell. Cap it off with a detachable hard visor, and you have a helmet that keeps to the company’s style profile.
The Morrision will go on sale spring 2014 and will come in three sizes and five colors.
Smith Optics Forefront
Another helmet that grabbed our attention was the new Smith Optics Forefront.
These lids with their big vents and striking honeycomb (a tubular core construction of Koroyd material) have gotten a lot of press recently as a helmet that supposedly doesn’t sacrifice safety for comfort, style, and venting capabilities.
The Forefront’s dual density is part EPS and part “aerocore” technology, or Koroyd, a series of polymer straws that boast a 30-percent energy transmission reduction over standard EPS foam. That essentially lets Smith dig out much of the foam of a traditional helmet, and thus reduce weight and increase venting. (The Forefront has 21 vents on the dome, and the size Medium weighs 295 grams).
The helmet will be available in March for $220.