Relive InterBike

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Welcome to InterBike 2016! Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly

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PURPLE PURPLE MORE PURPLE PLEASE Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly

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Everyone seems to be making their own cycling computers these days but one thing that caught my attention about this Stages Dash computer is its claim of 30-hour battery life. Hey, you can now record your entire 24 hr bike race in one charge! Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly

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Shouldn't this fall under the e-motorcycle category? Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly

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Otso Voytek got a good buzz throughout the show. Carbon frame that can take 27.5+ or 29+ AND up to 26 x 4.6” tires on 70 mm rims? Sign me up. Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly

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Lightweight's amazingly light Meilenstein has finally gone disc. The Meilenstein C Disc is a thing of beauty but was a bit disappointed to find out the rim width is still 20mm external and 17.8mm internal. photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Giro's Factor Techlace sure looked different but it made a lot of sense after checking it out at the booth. Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly

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I have to admit I was drawn to the Orbea booth by the dazzle paint job on this prototype Terra gravel bike. Looks even better in person. photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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A 3D-printed Syntace FlatForce stem and a real Syntace FlatForce stem photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Let's admit it, skinsuit is a pain to put on. But Giordana might have an answer with their Quick On zippered suit system. More aero than a bib/jersey combo but easier and more versatile than a traditional skinsuit. photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Dario Pergoretti's paint work never ceases to impress and this Responsorium in Ravenna finish is just so fresh. photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Just can't get enough of this 3T Exploro. photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Slovenia-based Unior tools might not be a household brand here in the States, but they've been around since 1919 and chances are you will see the tools a lot more in the States this coming year. photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly

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Australia-based Knog brought their newest Oi bell to Interbike. It's dramatically different than one's image of a bell, but it's an interesting take just like their line of LED blinker lights. photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Old-school-esque e-bike, anyone? photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Poor tire, its one and only job is just to be poked. Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly

We had a glitch on the site in the days after InterBike, so this post is way past due but the unplanned slow down also meant more time to relive this year’s InterBike

While the gallery above is going to highlight all the fun stuff… Below are the observations from the show floor.

– First, the appointments. I got smart this year and did a bunch of appointments in advance to check out offerings from various brands. So my InterBike was more structured, with shots of adrenaline from random drive-bys to booths I didn’t know much about.

– The buzz I kept hearing was “it’s pretty quiet this year.” Well, that was true. The show was smaller than last year’s. I honestly could have just spent a day there. One industry veteran commented on how he/she was checking out people’s badges and noticed there weren’t as many buyers at the show as there used to be, and he/she would be pretty pissed if they got a booth… All about the ROI, guys.

– On the outskirts of the show floor was arguably where the fun was… I got a pitch about a solar USB charger stating “looks like you can use one of those” during day one. At the other end of the hall was also a booth that sells handheld electric massage devices. The massage device booth definitely saw an uptake in traffic on Thursday, possibly due to the walking from day one on the floor + CrossVegas hangover collab.

It's true. Someone tried to sell me this solar usb charger during the show. Photo:Stephen Lam/ element.ly

Really thought the days of scantily-clad booth women were a thing of past. But I was wrong. I mean, okay, sex (allegedly) sells. But wouldn’t money be better spent on making a better product instead of having models promoting shitty products (and offending the female attendees while at it)?

Amount of broken arms/legs: It dawned on me during day two that there were quite a few people in slings/braces. Guess adventure shows must have a few of those around. As one rep put it “they’re getting after it”.

Reception of e-Bike: Last year was all about e-bike bashing and all of a sudden e-bikes are the future this year.

Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly

The international aisle. Probably the quieter, less buzz sections but everyone there was pretty cool to talk to (knowing Mandarin and Cantonese definitely helped) and they really deserve more recognition for their efforts of travelling across the globe to Las Vegas to showcase their products, whether it’s the gazillion lights, matte carbon fiber parts, or aluminum parts in all the imaginable anodized colors one can possibly dream of.

Three spokes, five spokes, no spoke, the international isle have got you covered. photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

Best snack from the show: Vanilla Ice Cream at the Skratch booth made with their new recovery drink mix. Not only was the line 4,000 times shorter than the Starbucks line outside but it was also freaking delicious. Way different than the typical “come by our booth for free booze” hook too.

Last thing I did at the show: tried an e-bike at the rep’s prudent suggestion, only to make it 30 plus feet before a security guard rolled up and warned “no biking on the show floor”. Returned the bike to the booth, walked down the aisle, and was greeted by two bros zipping past on motorized scooters.


Interbike Survivor:
Highlights From the Three Day Bike-Geek Bash

Interbike Outdoor Demo

For the VIPs of Outdoor Demo. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

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Didn't expect Outdoor Demo to be overcast with clouds and rain but it sure made for a nice pretty photo. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Interbike: Speedplay

Road? Aero road? Light action? Mountain? Platform? Speedplay has got you covered. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Interbike: SRAM RED eTap wireless drivetrain

Everybody loves the new SRAM RED eTap wireless drivetrain. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Interbike: Hans Rey (L) shakes hands with Vittorio Brumotti after Brumotti's trials show

Hans Rey (L) shakes hands with Vittorio Brumotti after Brumotti's trials show (on a road bike) at the Crank Brothers booth. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Interbike: Camelbak Palos 4LR

Camelbak Palos 4LR pulling double duty as a water gun holster. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Interbike: Camelbak's Outdoor Demo pool party.

Camelbak's Outdoor Demo pool party. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

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There's a pump track at Outdoor Demo if you want to jump around ... Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

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... Or you can take the shuttle to shred. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Interbike: Alchemy Arktos

Alchemy Arktos: More than happy to take one home. It's beautiful. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Interbike: Tufmed

Tufmed's athlete body care products. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Interbike: Torelli lugs

Lugs! Who doesn't love lugs?! From the Torelli booth. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Interbike: Wahoo's new ELEMNT computer

Wahoo's new ELEMNT computer: A new entry to the bike computer segment. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Interbike: Maya helmet from Keli Protectives

Flexible and adjustable visor on the Maya helmet from Keli Protectives. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Interbike: CYCLIQ Fly 6 taillight with integrated camera

The CYCLIQ Fly 6 taillight with integrated camera ... was the bike cut in half for this demo rig? Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

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Going to Interbike is a fun job but it's still a job. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

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Really digging that comic jersey/bib combo. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

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Riding for a cause. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Interbike: Thule's Chariot CX

Thule's Chariot CX: You can put wheels and skis on it AND it comes with disc brakes for all you outdoor lovers with a little one. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

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I think he was selling fog-resistant sunglasses. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

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The Element.ly crew Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

I survived my first Interbike.

If you’re a bike nerd, Interbike, or IB for short, is one heck of a bike show. New gear is displayed, deals are made, swag is given (and taken). Plus, free beer. I love bikes and gear just like many of you but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by a three-day bike show. Now that the dust has settled, here is my recap in bullet points.

E-Bikes

Whether you like it or not, e-bikes are going to be around for a while. Plenty of e-bike exhibitors, an indoor test track, plus they somehow work their way into just about every conversation.

Socks

Just a small glimpse of the hundreds of different kinds of socks on the Interbike floor. These are from the SockGuy. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly
Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Oh so many different colors. I am pretty sure I could wear a different pair a day for a year straight if I was given a pair of everything.

Abbey Tools

Abbey tools are totally drool-worthy. It was a small booth off to the side but I actually want every single one of the tools shown. Great guys to chat with too!

Ortlieb bag

Ortlieb's Urban day pack: It doesn't have a gazillion pockets with fancy theatrical names on them but what you get is a minimalist yet highly functional design for your daily commute. Plus, it's made in Germany. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly
Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Roll-top messenger backpacks have been around for a while but what I dig about Ortlieb’s latest offering is its clean lines and simplicity. No more gazillion pockets. It’s waterproof too. (Check out their current bags here.)

Convertible mountain bike helmets

The latest rage for the mountain bike world. Is today a full face or a regular helmet day? Bell, Uvex, and Lazer have got you covered. So enduro, brah.

Vittoria Corsa Speed tubeless

Vittoria's new G+ Isotech tire compound with graphene Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly
Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

The G+Isotech Graphene tire compound is said to be faster, grippier and more resistant to wear. The other cool story is the fact that Vittoria has figured out cotton casing for tubeless road tires. Yes, it looks classy badass but perhaps it’ll be one step closer to bringing the tubular “feel” to tubeless. Can’t wait to test them.

Sir Bradley Wiggin’s hour record Pinarello

Sir Bradley Wiggin's hour-record Pinarello Bolide HR. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly
Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Absolutely gorgeous.

Strong Lanyard Game

Manual For Speed Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly
Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Manual For Speed has the best decorated convention lanyard.

Questionable Products

Not going to name names, but it’s a hard sales pitch when your electrolyte supplement is essentially rebadged sea water (no lie, I read the label).

Sapim CX-Carbon spokes

CX-Carbon spoke from Sapim. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly
Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Time will tell whether carbon spokes are here to stay. Priced at about $16 for a 3 gram Sapim CX-Carbon spoke, it’s probably the most expensive way to shed grams off your bike and the quickest way to lighten up your wallet ’cause who buys a single spoke anyway. But my, they are pretty and cool.

Schindlehauer Ludwig

A Schindlehauer Ludwig chillin' against the wall. Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly
Photo: Stephen Lam/Element.ly

Totally stumbled upon one that was leaning against a wall on the last day. Maybe it’s the Brooks saddle, maybe it’s the seattube cutout. Not only did it look stylish but it was also packed with plenty of tech like a belt drive and your choice of an 8 or 11 speed shimano Alfine hub. Slick.


CrossVegas brings first cyclocross World Cup to America

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Always appreciate late starts. Better yet, super late afternoon starts.

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Reigning US Cyclocross Champ Katie Compton (R) chatting it up before the Wheelers and Dealers race.

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What's not to love when there's a shark racing on a bicycle and a Jack Daniel's handoff?

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RV awning makes a good place to stash the stationary roller.

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The BKCP-Crendon boys relax by the CrossVegas cooler

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Plenty of wheels for the Telnet-Fidnea cycling team

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Custom paint job and custom shoes for the legendary Sven Nys. Oh and check out that slick chain guard

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Warming up on the new Feedback Sports Omnium portable trainer

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Erica Zevata of Maxxis-Shimano waits as her mechanic does a last minute adjustment

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Sometimes the best viewing spot is away from the main crowd.

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A pro man checking out the pro women's race

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High-speed high-fives during course inspection

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Ellen Van Loy warms up between RVs

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Noosa Professional Cyclocross team mechanic Daimeon Shanks power washes one of Meredith Miller's race bikes minutes before start.

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A well-organized tool case is crucial for a smooth running pit.

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Photographers getting ready to shoot the women's start

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Sand pit!

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Meredith Miller (Noosa) and Georgia Gould (Luna) push through the sand pit

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A spectator-friendly run-up

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Waiting for the racers to come.

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Katerina Nash solo to the first CrossVegas World Cup win

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Boulder Cycle Sport / YogaGlo's Crystal Anthony rests on the grass after finishing 7th

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An exhausted Arley Kemmerer at the finish

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The winners of the women's CrossVegas World Cup

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And here comes the pro men.

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The always chaotic start

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The pit at CrossVegas saw much less action compared to a typical Cyclocross World Cup which is usually held in colder and wetter conditions (and in Europe), but teams took zero chances and had multiple backup bikes and wheels

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The king welcomes the racers and dusts through the sand pit with open arms.

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... Another reason to have a backup at the pit.

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Corne Van Kessel gives chase through the barriers

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Eventual winner Wout Van Aert leads Sven Nyst through the Raleigh Ramp...

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While reigning US Cyclcross Champ Jeremy Powers opts to ride on the grass instead

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The top of the Sram race truck makes a nice race vantage point.

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Anti-doping controls. Don't ever miss this.

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The winners of the men's CrossVegas world cup

Over this past year or so I kept asking myself what draws me to want to photograph cycling. I love riding my bike and thanks to my understanding wife (love ya babe) I was able to do some very cool projects. Gravel Worlds, Tour of California, and now CrossVegas.

The beauty of photographing cycling is the access and the creative freedom it allows. With the amount of PR and handlers involved, access to pro athletes is such a rarity these days. But at CrossVegas, you can just walk up to pro guys like legendary Sven Nys and Katie Compton and say hello, check out their fancy super bikes, talk more trash, and make fun happy snappies. Trying to do that at a NFL/MLB/NBA game will result in your credential getting pulled and never to be seen again.

We at Element.ly were fortunate to go behind the scenes with Team Hincapie at this past Tour of California and we’re stoked to photograph CrossVegas given that it’s the first time that a WorldCup Cyclocross race is taking place in America.

Shooting CrossVegas after spending a day on the show floor at the annual InterBike convention is really akin to working a second job after a long day at the office. But the crowds! The crowds were amazing and the racing was straight up badass. Wout Van Aert and Katerina Nash drilled it.

Anyways, time to head back to the InterBike show floor. Enjoy the gallery and stay tuned for our InterBike coverage!


American Cyclocross Kicks Off at CrossVegas

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Photo: Mark Bibbey/Element.ly

In just a few short days, most of the American bicycle industry will be mulling about a Las Vegas casino convention center at Interbike, drooling over products already seen at Eurobike or on the interwebs. A more entertaining lot, however, will convene at a municipal soccer complex just a few miles west of the Strip. “Soccer?” you ask. No. Not even “futbol.”

CrossVegas has been seen by many as the start of the American cyclocross calendar. Yes, some national promoters have held cyclocross races earlier, but CrossVegas is considered the first real event. What used to be a race for Interbike attendees and U.S. elite racers has exploded into an international phenomenon that attracts racers from all over the world, including the cyclocross motherland of Belgium, and even Cuba.

This year’s event is a particularly big deal because it’s the opener for the UCI Cyclocross World Cup. That’s newsworthy because there has never been a UCI Cyclocross World Cup race outside of Continental Europe.

Every National Federation that cares about cyclocross will be sending their best athletes to race. The United States received a bonus “double” and is allowed to send 32 athletes, men and women. Many spectators will look to the Belgian and Dutch teams to dominate, but the current Women’s World Champion is French. The United States has several racers who have “home turf” advantage.

So, don’t sleep on this event if you’re anywhere in town. The best cyclists in the world are going to light up the grass like Jerry Garcia could have only wished. Plus, it’s at night, under the lights, and there is beer. And Elvis.