8 Components Worth Looking From InterBike

All the KMC chains for your needs. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

Besides rows of beautiful bikes for all to see, one of my favorite things to do at InterBike is to walk (semi) aimlessly around the show floor and see where it leads me to.  Often even the most mundane booth can have something cool out in the open. There’s nothing better than seeing the product in person. I liken it to going on a treasure hunt on nothing but bikes.

Here are eight components that caught my eyes:

White Industries Headsets

Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

It has been teased over the past year or so, but the White Industries headsets are finally here. Stainless Enduro bearings match the U.S.-made aluminum cups and hardware in six different colors, plus 3 top cup sizes and 3 bottom cups to cover the majority of the popular headset standards. The headset will range from $100-160 depending on sizing and colors. If their hubs are any indication of their performance, then these beauties should work very well for a very long time.

DT Swiss Hubs

Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

The market is flooded with hubs these days. If you’re curious about all that goes on inside a hub, then this box of DT Swiss cutaways should give you a sense of that. Various freehub bodies, hubcaps, and their upgradable ratchet engagement system in three flavors: 18t/20 degree, 36t/10 degree, and 56t/6.6 degree.

Kenda Nevegal 2 Pro

Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

Kenda first showed the update to their lauded Nevegal tire under embargo back in July but alas, it’s finally out. While previous generations of Nevegal had a solid rep of being a grippy tire, they also have a good amount of rolling resistance to them. The Nevegal 2 pro is out to change that. Kenda claimed the Nevegal 2 pro by redesigning the tread pattern and incorporating what they call EN-DTC dual rubber compound to reduce rolling resistance by half. Cornering, climbing and braking traction are said to be just as grippy and predictable. The tire casing, dubbed K-ACT, is tubeless ready with an additional layer of K-Armor puncture band that allows it to use less rubber as it adheres better than kevlar, thus resulting in a lighter and more supple casing. We tried the Kenda’s Valkyrie with K-Armor and it proved to be very effective. Also worth noting is that the Nevegal 2 is approved to be used on e-mountain bikes up to 30mph. The Nevegal 2 pro will be available in 27.5 x 2.4/2.6, as well as 29 x 2.4/2.6

Landyachtz Reform Saddle

Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

There are heat moldable insoles and shoes but now Landyachtz is making moldable saddles. The Canadian longboard company surprised quite a few with the reform that incorporates a USB plug at the underside of the shell to allow the integrated heating unit sandwiched between the carbon shell and high-density foam to warm up, thus making it pliable. Molding is then done with the rider using the saddle atop a stationary trainer and is ready in about twenty minutes time. Landyachtz will offer three different saddle shapes for $299 with molding session available at participating shops.

Stages LR Powermeter

Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

In short, Stages is finally offering a dual-sided option of their powermeter after years of teases. Existing Stages users will be familiar with the measuring pod on the non-drive side crankarm. What’s new with the LR is the drive-side measuring unit, a mere 20 gram addition that is situated below the crankarm for those who want bilateral power monitoring. Functionality wise, it works just like their original unit with 2% accuracy at 100 watt/90rpm, ANT+ and Bluetooth compatibility, updatable firmware, plus 175 hours of use on a user-replacable battery placed within an IPX 7 water resistant pod. It will be available this fall with Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 ($1299) and Ultegra R8000 ($999) cranksets.

TRP TT Hydro levers

TT hydro disc brake with SRAM eTap Blip. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

Brake specialist TRP showed off their new TT hydro disc brake system specifically made for time trial/triathlon bikes. The lever is (of course) carbon connected to an asymmetrical body wrapped in a grippy replaceable rubber hood. As TRP is not in the drivetrain business, their engineers have come up with a design that can integrate either SRAM eTap blips or Shimano Di2 remote climbing switch (below). The levers then connect to their Hylex calipers on non-toxic mineral oil with quick connect hoses for ease of maintenance. The brakes will sell for $199 each.

TT hydro disc brake with Shimano Di2. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

Ergon ST Core Ultra Saddle

Ergon ST Core Ultra Saddle
Looks plush! hoto: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

When I first saw the Ergon ST Core Ultra Saddle I immediately thought that foam layer looked awfully similar to some popular German running shoe. Turns out my suspicion was correct. It is a layer of expanded thermoplastic polyurethane called Infinergy. It’s a lightweight closed-cell elastic foam developed by chemical giant BASF which has been made mainstream by the Adidas Boost series of shoes. To implement into the saddle, Ergon employs a layer of Infinergy foam as a damper between two hard shells (instead of one) where the rigid bottom shell bears the load and connects to the rails while the flexible upper shell supports the padding which allows the foam beneath to better respond to pressure.  The ST Core Ultra will be available for $149.99 this coming Spring.

Phil Wood 1×13-speed concept

1×13! Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

The idea of a 1×13 drivetrain isn’t new as it’s been floating around since 1×9 grew to 1×12. There isn’t anyone making production runs of 1×13 (yet) but the 1×13 drivetrain at the Phil Wood booth is sure cool to gawk at. It’s a bit of a hodge podge mixture consisting of a Shimano 11-40 11-speed cassette added with OneUp 46t and 50t cogs which are then mounted to a custom freehub body on a 150mm wide hub. The drivetrain is driven with a modified XTR mechanical derailleur with an upgraded OneUp Shark cage mounted to an offset adapter to accommodate the extra required cable pull. No word on pricing or whether it’ll ever make its way to production.

Have extra kidney, need Bontrager Aeolus 3 TLR D3 Wheels


The Bontrager Aeolus D3 TLR Carbon Clinchers. Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly


The Aeolus D3 uses Bontrager hubs with DT Swiss internals throughout and it has been buttery smooth and problem-free this past year. Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly


Subtle AND removable graphics on the rims mean you can go totally stealth if you so choose. Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly


At 67g front and 70g rear, the included Bontrager skewers are not going to win any weight weenies battle anytime soon, yet they are very comfortable in hand with a smooth and sure-footed cam action that's close to the venerable Shimano Dura-Ace offering. Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly


Still have plenty of cork left after one year of use. Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly


Dried sealant and an inverse-patched tire patch. That's what the inside of the Bontrager R3 TLR Hard Case Lite looks like after one year of riding. Photo: Stephen Lam/element.ly

Let me make this clear: I did not expect myself to like tubeless road tires. My tubulars work just fine.

Plus, I have plenty of spare tubulars (intentionally) aging in my garage waiting for their turns.

Unfortunately, their call-ups might take longer now that I find myself enjoying, well, smitten over these Bontrager Aeolus 3 TLR D3 carbon clinchers that we’ve been playing with this past year.

But my love for tubeless road tires didn’t begin this way. In fact, it was like that very first shitty first date.

When the box showed up this past spring, I was as excited as kids running to their gifts under the Christmas tree on Christmas day. Coming in at 1,439 grams  (644front/795rear) with the tubeless strip pre-installed and with the tire valves, skewers, and brake pads included, the Aeolus 3 was ready to rock straight out of the box. A bit of elbow grease and voila, got some 26mm Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite TLR tubeless tires installed and off we went.

Then I got a flat on the first ride. Boo.

A 2mm cut from a piece of glass went through the tread and I had just enough air to limp back home thanks to a can of Vittoria Pitstop and pumping more air whenever I could.

It wasn’t pretty and the cleanup aftermath was a pain. Nevertheless, I was able to ride home instead of walking home.

Frustrated but undeterred, I repaired the tire following instructions from Stan’s NoTubes and the tire worked like a charm. When I finally replaced the tires about 10 months later with Schwalbe Pro One , the tires had three major repairs and a handful of cuts that would normally spell the end of a clincher tire. But each time I was able to ride home without having to put in a tube (still have to pack a tube and repair kit with tubeless). And in a few instances, I didn’t even know I punctured until I stopped for my mid-ride coffee.

They have won me over since then and they’re now my go-to wheels. Yes, I reckon my tubulars are still lighter and arguably smoother, but I did find the extra peace of mind and the convenience of road tubeless tires pretty hard to beat. I can pick and choose my tires for the ride/weather without worrying about gluing in advance.

But what about the rest of the wheel? Well, one year of abuse did not do anything to the DT-Swiss internals. They’re still smooth and quiet while the wheels remained true the entire time. The 35mm tall OCLV carbon rim also proved to be durable and comfortable throughout the test. One word of caution: the rims on the Aeolus 3 are significantly wider, measuring at 27mm on the outside with a 19.5 mm inner diameter, so make sure your bike has adequate clearance.

In the crosswind, the Aeolus 3 TLR D3 was easy to handle due to its lower rim height and rim shape, but my oh my, these wheels felt just as fast as some of the taller-rim hoops I’ve been on. Regarding the braking department, Bontrager recommends using their own cork brake pad with the wheels. While cork might lack absolute immediate stopping power, it makes up for its shortcoming by providing a very consistent and manageable lever feel that’s not so bad after getting used to it.

I also love the Aeolus’ overall minimalistic graphics. Big enough to show its maker yet not overly obnoxious as if I was a rolling billboard. And for those that want even more stealth, rejoice my friend, the decals on the rims can be easily removed since they are not water transferred decals with a clear coat on top.

If there’s any cleft with the Aeolus 3 TLR, it would be its $2,400 price tag. Pricey, yes, but a worthy prime candidate for those who are looking for those holy grail hoops for both training and racing with the added benefit of being tubeless. This is a set of hoops that could go fast without beating up the rider. I am addicted.