We’ve covered bikes and components that we really like and now it’s time for the final piece (cue the original Iron Chef suspense): Accessories.
I didn’t forget them. How could that even be possible? It’s not that there wasn’t enough accessories to look at, but it was the sheer amount of crap stuff that needed to be filtered out. It could get a bit daunting at times, especially after basking in all things bicycle for a week before parachuting into a tech conference on Cloud immediately after (yay day job). Alas, it’s time to put ’em together.
The media preview pregame night has always been fascinating to attend because it’s like a mini Interbike within Interbike. It is where I usually get to catch up and talk shop with buddies while looking at some cool and also some really shitty parts that would leave many people thinking why on earth would you even put that on your bike. Feedback Sports was there and their new Range torque ratchet combo was one of the very few accessories that I truly enjoyed seeing. While traditional torque wrenches are mostly made specifically to torque a bolt to a given value and not to be used as a wrench to loosen bolts, the Range is both a torque wrench and a ratchet wrench. Hold the anodized red handle to loosen/tighten bolts with one of the 14 most commonly used drive bits made with durable S2 steel bits which are included. Grab the Torque Knob at the end of the wrench to activate its torque-measuring function from 2-10Nm. The $79.99 wrench combo also comes with a molded foam protective case for traveling convenience.
After launching a full line of helmets in the States earlier this summer, LEM came to Interbike with a few more tricks up its sleeves. Besides the slippery MotiveAero TT helmet with a removable tail attached by magnets, MotiveAir, the soon-to-be flagship road model, looked really good too. The helmet is said to weigh about 215 grams with an extensive carbon fiber shell, plenty of vents for ventilation and their own micro-adjustable FS3 retention system to dial in the fit. Price has yet to be determined but it will be available spring 2019.
If you’ve been around bikes for a while, chances are you probably already know about the Park Tool Pizza Cutter that seems to make its way into at least one cycling holiday gift guide every year. But did you know Park Tool makes a spork too? I didn’t either, but there it was hidden in plain sight at the massive Park Tool booth. The Minnesota firm didn’t just bum some stainless steel off their production line, but this dishwasher-safe SPK-1 spork is made out of 316 food-grade stainless steel for its high resistance to acids, alkalis, and chlorides (i.e. salt, remember chemistry?) one might encounter in everyday food items. Its handle is also predictably, vinyl-dipped in Park Tool blue. And it’s only $7.49.
As if the Park Tool spork didn’t surprise me already, the petite Phil Wood hub did also. It’s got 16 holes, 61.5mm spacing, 32.5mm flange height, and weighs 26 grams… I am not sure what rim size this is for, but I know for a fact that this is a $30 machined, made in US aluminum tree ornament that could live a double life as one heck of a conversation-starting keychain. My holiday gift guide just got a lot more interesting.
Premium Australian apparel brand MAAP teamed up with Swiss shoemaker Suplest and the shoes from the collaboration are just so damn gorgeous. Based on Suplest’s flagship Edge3 pro featuring dual Boa dials, a stiff carbon sole, microfiber uppers, a custom insole by Solestar, a wrap tongue construction to accommodate a larger range of foot shapes, plus a thin carbon shield that sits between the upper and laces to distribute pressure more evenly, these shoes are high tech and they look great in both white and red.
This is not your grandparents’ old foot pump. Stompump is a miniaturized, high volume aluminum foot pump capable of inflating a tire three times faster than a hand pump. This $99.95 pump is just a tad smaller than my Snow Peak coffee mug and is designed to be mounted on the bike frame with its dedicated bracket. The fully rebuildable pump comes with a removable hose compatible with both presta and schrader valves, an integrated air filter to filter out contaminates that would otherwise roughen up the pump action or fail a pump altogether. And believe it or not, it even has a small storage compartment for parts like patches or tire plugs.
I know, I am including a second torque wrench in a roundup. But Effetto Mariposa’s Giustaforza 1-8 torque wrench deserves a shoutout for its +/- 4% measurement accuracy down to as low as 1Nm. The Italian-made, calibratable click-type 1/4″ drive torque wrench is available either as a tool only for $115 or with its tool roll plus with S2 steel bits in 14 common sizes for $160.
First time Interbike exhibitor Patch Book occupied a booth that consisted of pretty much a table and these flexible eco-friendly glueless tire patches packaged like a matchbook. Each package includes four patches plus a piece of sandpaper. The San Diego-based husband and wife team was also eager to point out the graphics on the package which can be easily customizable for a bike shop, or if you just want to give a very unique gift to your riding friends.
It’s like a u-lock, but it’s not, so I am going to call it an u-lock inspired rectangular lock. It consists of four parts: two cylinders each with a locking mechanism connected to two steel cross bars to complete the lock. With its modular design, the entire 3.5lb lock can be disassembled into smaller pieces for travel in the included case while the dual locks will sure provide more options of locking and unlocking. Option Lock will be available for $69.99 in November.
Smith had a number of new products at the show and the Ignite is the firm’s newest aero road helmet for 2019. The competitively-priced $250 helmet incorporates sections of Koroyd crumple-zone cylinders in high impact areas to absorb harmful kinetic energy and a MIPS layer to reduce rotation energy in the event of a crash. On the aerodynamics side, the helmet employs eight strategically-placed vents for ventilation while the overall design is made to support changes in speed. It is also sunglasses friendly too in such that there’s a place to secure your precious shades. The Ignite will be available in five colors this coming February.
There are many backpacks out there, and this backpack is by no means cycling-specific, but Ortlieb’s new Atrack series backpacks are different. Besides the fact that it’s made of lightweight and waterproof material, I particularly liked the robust, adjustable harness and how the main compartment opens like a duffle bag with one central waterproof zipper between the harness which creates a very minimal appearance and prevents any unintended openings while traveling.
A trio of colors (mustard yellow, black or red) will come along in three sizes: 25L, 35L and 45L. Despite its capacities, the packs also don’t take up a lot of space when not in use. There are also plenty of internal pockets, compression straps and mounting points for additional accessories such as a hydration pack.
We were told Peter Sagan approached 100% a few years ago looking for some unique sunglasses that would stand out from the rest of the Peloton. 100% went to work and one of the more radical designs from the Italian firm is the Speedcraft Air. The Speedcraft Air shares a similar lens shape as the regular Speedcraft sunglasses, with the biggest difference being the fixed rubber nosepiece being replaced with an adjustable one called the AC Systems that controls nasal dilation for better breathing. It’s a similar concept to the breathe right strip. Adhesive tape is placed on both sides of the nose. Embedded within each tape is a small piece of metal designed to connect to corresponding magnets on both sides of the Air’s temple. Once connected, users will be able to pull their nostrils open by turning a small dial on top on the sunglasses. Each of the $325 Speedcraft airs will come with a kit of nose pads and pre-application cleaning towelettes. Replacement pads are available for $15 for a pack of 20.
Assos introduced a cross-country specific XC collection during Sea Otter and they are expanding the efforts further with the new Trail collection. More than just branded jerseys and baggie shorts, the Trail collection incorporates what Assos calls trailFit, a relaxed fit designed to fit the more upright body position better without the excess bulk and heavy fabric that inhibits breathability. While the collection features a circular-knitted short and long sleeve jersey, we were particularly interested in the $149 long sleeve version for its proprietary reinforced dyneRope fabric on the forearms for abrasion protection against the elements, or that crash you would never admit to with your friends.