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.


Hot Steeds Straight Out Of InterBike

Wilier Cento10Air
Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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.


Focus Project Y

Focus Project Y eBike
Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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 Mach 5.5 10th Anniversary Edition

Pivot Mach 5.5 10th Anniversary Edition
Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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.


Tern GSD eCargo bike

Tern GSD eCargo bike
Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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?


Alchemy Atlas

Alchemy Atlas
The Alchemy Atlas. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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.


Bianchi Specialissima Pantani Anniversary

Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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.


Van Dessel Country Road Bob

Van Dessel Country Road Bob. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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.


Wilier Cento10NDR

Wilier Cento10NDR. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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.

Wilier Cento10AIR. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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.


3T Strada

Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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.


Moots Vamoots Disc RSL

Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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.


Inter(ospection)Bike was beautifully sad

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InterBike can be a real grind. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Sort of like a frat rush but here's a view of registration on day one. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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All the stickers you'll possibly need. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Willier easily wins the best booth snack category with SPQR Chef Matthew Accarrino giving away prosciutto breadstick freshly sliced with a manual Berkel slicer. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Cargo eBike testing. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Yes, you can demo a downhill bike with six-spoke wheels, an inverted suspension fork, and a motor. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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You can chill on a chair, or you can chill on a bicycle-powered charging station. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Aero is everything. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Pioneer showcased an updated version of their Expanded Sensor Network now with cameras for even better analysis. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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We even ventured out to the last CrossVegas in Vegas for a few snappies because why not. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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Announcing the winner of the 2017 InterBike Mechanics Challenge. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

Attending InterBike this year was a little bit like going to any Burning Man after the very first one held on the beach in 1986.

Everyone in attendance was wandering around, muttering about how great it used to be and lamenting what has happened to “their” event.

I, oddly, had the opposite reaction.

Sure, the almost complete lack of legitimate big name bike brands and the proliferation, like rabid rabbits, of TIG-welded e-bike “brands” was a little jarring.

And the fact you could, as I did, walk the entire show in one day and feel like you missed nothing. It seems like an indication the bicycle industry is in serious trouble. That, of course, is assuming Interbike is a microcosm of the bicycle industry and as it suffers, so goes the industry.

It is possible the majority of the industry stayed clear of Vegas this year, as the trade show transitions to the more rider friendly venue in Reno?

Well, for whatever reason the show was a little thin on “wow” and pretty heavy on “woah.”

But I have to say, even though I was only in Vegas for 7.5 hours I still got my fill of sweet looking rigs, hugs from my friends and my stoke for all things bicycle is higher now than before the show.

It may just be me getting old, but as far as I can tell, these are the good old days.

So here is my brief and unscientific rundown of what you missed while sitting home lamenting how great the show used to be. Or as Peter Flax so eloquently said on Twitter: “Interbike is like that boyfriend or girlfriend who was exhausting and sometimes annoying but now that you’ve broken up you kind of miss them.”

Somehow we landed in the middle of e-bikeville almost immediately after entering the show floor. And I’m neither a lover or a hater of the e-bike segment of bicycles, but once you strap the motor on it I don’t see the point of discussing the rest of the specs. Everyone says they are “a lot of fun” to ride and I’m sure this is true. Sadly for me, I’m not really riding to have “a lot of fun.” I’m ride for so many more reasons than just fun and I kind of prefer to do it under my own power. It might be more fun to do it on an e-bike, but then I would miss all the other stuff.

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e-bikeville. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

Having said that, I caught the sweet video Pivot Bicycles did with their new e-whip and Jimmy wants that. Sadly, I’m not Aaron Chase and this steed is not available in the states. I’ll probably have to settle for one of those Pivot Mach 5.5 chariots.

If the bike business is not exactly booming, the bike rack business appears to be raging. There were well over a half dozen bike rack companies displaying at the show, with sweet racks from Thule, Yakima and the aesthetic frontrunner Kuat. But the Best in Show has to go to SeaSucker with their sucked-on 9 bicycle roof rack. It looked like a gimmick, but this sucker is an actual team-car-ready setup. Seeing it displayed with a fleet of new Cervelo bicycles did not hurt the presentation one bit.

The Aaron Gwin gunshow autograph session. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

The new 3T Strada was front and center in the main hall and did a pretty good job of reminding me we are in the heyday of bicycles and bicycle technology. Although, these may be tough times for the industry, this is a great times for bike riders.

And you didn’t have to look much further than the Alchemy booth to see this displayed again. They were displaying bikes in super matchy-matchy paints jobs which made you consider, just for a moment, knocking someone over the headed and running for the door. If I could have only remembered which way the exit was in the stupid convention center.

I always enjoy hangin’ with the hipsters in the Kali booth, the Moots road bike with full EPS sitting in the Campagnolo booth was nothing short of stunning and Clif, as always, had a myriad of tasty bites to stave off show floor starvation.

If e-bikes are the new hotness, the run for power supremacy has still not been decided. With Shimano still not delivering their power cranks, Stages doing dual leg, Garmin having finally removed the giant growth from their power pedals, the choices continue to be multiple and confusing. This might be the only case in history where more choices are not driving down the cost or making things clearer for the consumer. I guess you should all just go with your gut and power on.

There were countless other booth with various versions of bags, blinkies and baubles, of which, I paid no attention. But I did see one dude wearing his “Las Vegas” bicycle jersey, spotted a pair of 6 foot-plus tall booth babes in angels wings, experienced a quality Worthy-sighting, talked Mark Riedy into giving me his watch, partook of several bowls of peppermints and saw countless people standing in the line for free beer (somethings never change).

Something really doesn’t change. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

Overall, it is hard to know how I would have felt about the state of the bicycle industry, and the much loved and maligned Interbike, had I stayed in Vegas a moment longer. But I can tell you without a hint of sarcasm, I am looking forward to seeing what happens in Reno next year and I continue to be a fan of all things bicycle. Especially the crazy, zany and intensely fierce people who call the industry home.

InterBike 2017
So long, Vegas. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly

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.