Now that one of our other writers has waxed on and on about InterBike leaving Las Vegas (see what I did there?), I am not going to bring up the glorious days of yesteryear.
I wasn’t there at the beginning because the show actually predates my existence. And because I’ve only actually attended a handful of times, three to be exact.
But what I will say is that there were still plenty of neat things to be found scattered all over the show floor inside Mandalay Convention Center. I am going to split the coverage into a three-part series with the first installment being all about the bikes.
Perhaps the first eBike that I really really really want to try and man, does this bike look good. Focus was mum on the exact specs of this prototype, but certain is that the bike can be ridden without its one-piece removable motor and battery unit as a regular road bike. The bike comes in at about 26 lbs total with the 250W power unit installed and 8 lbs less without it, essentially making it one of the lighter eBikes out there. The flat mount disc-only carbon frame also comes packed with design cues from the German firm’s lineup such as a 148x12mm Boost thru-axle out back and 110x12mm up front with its proprietary Rapid Axles Technology (RAT), plus full internal cable routing to keep it clean. Please hurry up and release it already.
Pivot Cycles has been on a roll lately and their latest offering, the Mach 5.5 10th Anniversary Edition, is as good as putting the cherry on the cake. At its core, the 140mm DW-link equipped frame is the same as the regular Mach 5.5 which was updated earlier this year. The only difference is its bitchin’ blue paint job plus color-coordinated parts top to bottom from its blue-railed WTB Volt saddle all the way to matching Industry Nine hubs laced to Reynolds rims with of course, custom graphics for what many feel is one of the best trail/do-it-all bikes currently on the market. Only 300 of these will be available so better jump on it.
With the GSD, Tern proves that one doesn’t have to juggle between mobility and load capacity. Despite it’s lanky looks, the GSD’s wheelbase is comparable to many full size eBikes. I was able to do a very short spin inside the convention center (don’t tell Mandalay Bay) and it felt lively, even with a full-grown rep sitting on the cargo rack. The disc-brake equipped GSD is designed to carry two Thule Yepp Maxi child seats with room to spare, up to 400lbs of cargo, and the Bosch powered drivetrain with dual-battery will provide enough juice up to 150 miles in one charge. The compact step-thru frame also allows multiple riders between 4′ 8″ to 6’4″ to operate the bike. Furthermore, true to Tern’s reputation as a folding bike company, the GSD’s telescoping seatpost and steer can be folded which effectively reduces its volume to half and it can also be placed vertically (like in an elevator) thanks to the built-in stand on the rack. Even the German-made Hebie kickstand is designed to support up to 80kg. Could this be the X5 of cargo eBikes?
With many of the large companies abandoning InterBike, it was great to see the boutique builders such as Denver’s Alchemy on the floor. The Atlas disc isn’t new but that sparkly orange on black paint job with matching graphics on pretty much every place imaginable goes to show how good their paint work is and what it’s capable of. Still trying to find out why it doesn’t have a rear fender though.
While the Alchemy Atlas got me all like ‘damn, that’s nice,’ I had to backtrack to take this one in. Bianchi has been offering their race-proven Specialissima for a few years now with its 780-gram frame and a proprietary Countervail vibration reduction system to soak up the unpleasantries. The bigger story is that the bike is painted to the classy Bianchi celeste and Mercatone Uno yellow identical to the one Marco Pantani used to dominate the 1998 Giro AND Tour. If there’s any paint that automatically connects to a Bianchi, this paint job has to be it. Much like how people associate Colnago C40s with Mapei (and Johan Museeuw). Also happy to know Bianchi didn’t carry over any of their structural foam injections from the Il Pirata days.
Look at those curves. I mean, look at them. The Van Dessel Country Road Bob, last produced in 2005 is back in the Van Dessel lineup. This aluminum single-speed adventure machine comes with TRP Hylex S hydraulic RS brakes/levers, plus 650b WTB’s fast-rolling Byway tires straight of the box. It’s $1,499.99…for the complete bike that I had to do a double take on to make sure that’s not the price for just the frameset. The Country Road Bob is compatible with a rear derailleur and a 700c wheelset should you decide you need a change of pace.
Walking down the Italian isle of InterBike is always something to look forward to every year. There are usually a few booths that show nothing but chamois and so many colored fabrics you’d swear they have the whole RGB color model covered. Then, there are bright Italian shoes, helmets… and of course, bikes. Not to be outdone, Wilier Triestina teamed up with Chef Matthew Accarrino of San Francisco’s SPQR restaurant to give out proscuitto-wrapped breadsticks with truffle butter in the middle of the booth next to some especially shiny rigs. The Cento10NDR combines the aerodynamic quantity of the Cento10AIR, but with a more forgiving endurance geometry and what Wilier calls ACTIFLEX. ACTIFLEX employs a small elastomer and a tiny aluminum linkage between the seattube and the seatstay to absorb vibration from the road. The frame and fork are designed with interchangeable dropouts to accommodate either traditional quick release or thru-axles. You can even choose to run direct-mount caliper rim brakes (with up to 28mm tires) or flat-mount hydraulic brakes (with up to 32mm tires). The choice is yours.
Speaking of the Cento10AIR, The metallic burnt orange finish on the Cento10AIR IS SO FREAKING SHINY. Turns out the finish is electroplated and will come standard for 2018.
We first reported the Strada during PressCamp in July when it was just a black, unmarked machine. 3T’s idea of building a dedicated single-chainring road bike has remained the same since and we now know the two dedicated 9-32 cassettes called the Bailout and the Overdrive with different gear spacing (but keeping the same 356% range) to compliment the sole chain ring. The show bike is coated in a sweet coat of red paint as it prepares to be released to the public. The final red paint job will be less pinkish and closer to the 3T red found on their logos but I actually don’t mind this slight pinkish hue. It’s different. The Strada will be raced by UCI Professional Continental Team Aqua Blue Sport next year so it’ll be interesting to see a pro team race exclusively on a 1X drivetrain.
Ahhh, titanium, the once uber material of the future, only to be now dwarfed by carbon fiber. There isn’t as many titanium bikes at InterBike as there once was when even companies like Mongoose (yes, the very same Mongoose brand available at Target) had a Titanium line (and attended the show). While the Vamoots Disc RSL shown is more or less a carrier to showcase Campagnolo’s H11Super Record EPS groupset, there’s something to be said about a meticulously welded titanium frame with nothing but a brushed finish. See that trick one-piece dropout? It’s 3D printed titanium. So fresh, so clean.