Interbike, Vegas, 2011 Pt. 2

I’m still here. Not gonna lie, feeling a little strung out after day 1. My feet hurt, my head hurts. I think I’m dehydrated, but I keep drinking caffeine anyway. It seems like the only way I can keep up with everything.

I saw Danny Hart this morning. I couldn’t help but smile. That tailwhip, man. That run. So sick. And there he is. His pants were tight, but not as tight as Semenuk’s.

This only feels appropriate in Vegas. Even then, it's a little weird.

Yeah, I know, I’m babbling. Time to shift gears, so that I can now start babbling about gear.

Fox: The kingpin of the suspension world is hellbent on keeping it that way. The company is trying to make their ridiculously wide array of products easier to use. Multiple Fox employees told me that many riders are afraid to adjust their components. It seems too foreign, apparently. Fox is trying to resolve this in two ways, and first is the hard example: the new RP23 that will be featured exclusively on all 2012 Specialized Stumpjumper bikes with Autosag technology.

Autosag button (in red) on a Stumpjumper.

Essentially, this product makes setting the sag as easy as possible. Open the compression, set the the proper PSI for your weight, sit on the saddle, press the Autosag button, and then cycle the shock. You’re good to go. This takes all of about 30 seconds. It’s not really necessary for tinkering masters, but for the average Joe or Jane, it’s certainly helpful.

The second is more nebulous and is only in the “concept” stage. Kind of like concept cars (Yeah, this is Fox). Anyway, their concept is basically a more techy Autosag setup. Essentially, you can hook up your smartphone to the Smart Suspension setup, which then communicates with the Garmin GPS and Ant1 technologies that are connected. The smartphone then walks you through setting up your sag and rebound while doing the hard work for you. Not only could this be handy for people who don’t know their way around nuts and bolts, but it could help out in shops. Bike techs could have the perfect setup every time they sent a bike out the door. Easy.

A Fox tech setting the perfect sag and rebound.

Shimano: Shimano’s another juggernaut of the bike world. It shows. I’ve loved their components for quite some time. I also love bars. I’d prefer a bar that serves beer, but a Tech Bar that explains bike components is almost as good. Their Ice Technologies looks pretty nifty: the rotor blade is a sandwich of stainless steel (the bread) and aluminum. Combined with a radiation fin made of resin or metal compound this stuff claims to dissipate some serious heat. You can use it with their rotors or other’s, doesn’t matter; they claim it’ll improve braking performance either way.

Shimano's Tech Bar. Get drunk on gear!

X-Fusion: If Fox is the undisputed suspension king, X-Fusion is the upstart, and they’ve been busy. Their 2011 Vengeance and Vector certainly impressed us this year. For 2012, they’re dropping Vector and Vengeance Air Shocks. The Vector is gravity-oriented (it doesn’t feature a lock out) but it does look rad. X-Fusion claims they’re half the weight of a coil shock at (450 grams) and über-adjustable with bottom out pressure, reservoir air volume, high and low speed compression, and rebound damping. They’ve also added more adjustability to the Vengeance.

Vector Air HLR

Surly: I love geeking out on techy stuff, but deep down I love simplicity. Surly takes simplicity and stout building to a new level. Their Long Haul Trucker is a staple in the touring world, and the rest of their road frames are elegant and simple. Then there are their Fat bikes. These things are out of control. They’re made for ridiculous conditions like sand, snow, and mud. I’ve seen them before, but for some reason, I couldn’t stop looking at them. I want to ride one. Now. Super curious.

Surly Pugsley

Magura: BLISTER just picked up a set of MT8 brakes from Magura. They make some serious claims in the weight (279 g) and power categories, and we’ll let you know how they perform. The Thor 150 Lift Select fork is another beauty we’ve got our eyes on. She’s remotely adjustable from 150-110mm, allowing for on-the-trail adjustment.

Thor 150 Lift Select

Marzocchi: Marzocchi is another suspension company to challenge the status quo. Their RC3 Evo Titaniam V2 shock claims improved adjustability during rebound as well as added sensitivity and compression. With 200mm of travel, this thing is ready for some serious beatings.

Marzocchi RC3 Evo Titanium V2

And there she be, day 2 of Interbike. Be sure to check back Monday, when BLISTER will offer full coverage of all things Bike World, from the great to the What Were They Thinking?

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