Interbike 2018 went back to its roots, returning to Reno as it had been in the early 1980s, after a 17-year run in Las Vegas. In it's new home, Interbike Marketweek took advantage of the Reno-Tahoe area with two days of OutDoor Demo at Northstar California Resort followed by two and a half days of expo at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.
BikeRoar missed out on what many described as a wonderful OutDoor Demo, but we did hit the expo floor to witness and get our hands on the bicycle industries latest and greatest. Here are some photos and info on some of the things we discovered.
Be sure to check back as we'll be taking a close look at, testing, and reviewing many of these products in the future.
Allite 'Super Magnesium'
Allite™ Inc. introduced its 'Super Magnesium', a material previously only authorized for classified military and aerospace applications. Now its available for private use, and it appears poised to make an impact on the bike industry and many others much like the introduction of carbon fiber did.
Magnesium isn't new to cycling - it was the original material of Pinarello's famed Dogma and the bike of Oscar Pereiro's Tour de France win in 2006. But carbon fiber got better and magnesium had its flaws: it's prone to corrosion and it's energy intensive to manufacture. Allite claims it has solved these issues with its proprietary alloy created with high purity grade magnesium and rare-earth elements. The result is a material that is 50% lighter than titanium, 56% stronger than grade-one titanium, 20 times more shock-absorbing than aluminum, 21 percent stronger than 6061 aluminum, and 75 percent lighter than steel. Oh, and it is "100% recyclable" and considered "the most eco-friendly and sustainable metal in the world."
For us cyclists, this means bike frames and components that are lighter than aluminum while maintaining high tensile strength and damping capabilities. Weight won't be as light as compared to carbon fiber, but Allite Super Magnesium comes closer than other metals and is expected to be priced comparable to aluminum, making it an incredible performance and value proposition.
Allite is a materials company, not a bike company, so you won't see "Allite" brand bikes and gear directly. Instead, they want to put their alloy into the hands of engineers and manufacturers to use in many applications, with a callout to the material, much like you see for jackets and gear made with Gore-Tex fabric. More: alliteinc.com
TwoPointZero – Phoenix Hub System
TwoPointZero, formerly iRT Wheels, has stuck to traditional materials (in this case, 7075 aluminum), but is otherwise looking to revolutionize the bicycle hub with their Phoenix Hub System. It features a patented design that allows for the removal of the cassette and freehub body as a module to swap in a different module or incorporate into different wheel sets. Why? Ray Asante, Co-owner and President, explained that it makes cassette changes faster and easier and can save users a significant amount of money.
Instead of a traditional wrench and chain whip, the Phoenix modular freehub slides out with the cassette in place after removing the lockrings with the provided tool. It can then be easily re-fitted to another wheel built with the same Phoenix Hub System shell. Those who are less mechanically inclined may choose Phoenix for the simplicity of changing cassettes amongst wheels. If you're looking to use it on multiple wheels, then they'll need to be built or re-built around the same hub system.
The cost savings they claim seems to be in swap time and hassle, lower cost for hub shells for additional wheels without traditional freehub internals, and compatibility for rim and disc brake applications with a simple change of end caps. On the other side of the equation is added weight (100 grams), reliance on and wear to a single freehub mechanism and cassette (unless you purchase more), and what amounts to trading existing methods and readily available tools (the chainwip and lockring) for a different, proprietary tool and system. A complete Phoenix hub will sell for $680, an extra shell for $150, or a package of both plus lock ring tool for $749. More: twopointzerousa.com
Bollé – FURO and EXO helmets, Shifter sunglasses
FURO MIPS is Bollé's latest advanced road helmet. Designed for aeroness, it features a kamm tail and a NACA duct (like a car hood scoop) to slice the wind and keep adequate ventilation. Included vent panels can be popped into place when extra wind cheating is required. There's also a roll cage design and MIPS 360° fit system for requisite comfort and safety. FURO MIPS comes in black, white/black, and orange/blue, for $229 RRP.
EXO matches Bollé's helmet family looks while dropping in lightly for weight and cost - just $99 for the non-MIPS version. EXO comes in black, red, and white, and EXO MIPS in black, matte storm blue, and white/bronze.
Both helmets also include Opti-Dock, construction that allows sunglasses to be easily stored, which leads us to...
Shifter sunglasses – they debuted on the faces of the AG2R La Mondiale team at this year's Tour de France and will be available to the rest of us before the year is done. Shifter's single piece shield lens, called Phantom, is made of NXT material with photochromic filter, high contrast filter, and water and dirt repelling hydrophobic teatment . We've seen this material and features similarly in the Ryder Fyre and it compares well against Oakley's Prizm. Bollé ups the ante by offering a range of lens tints to accommodate different light conditions at a likeable pricepoint of $179, or $99 for polycarbonate lens option. More: bolle.com
Patchbook pre-glued patch kit
Even if you're not someone who patches tubes regularly, you should carry a patch kit when you ride just in case your number of punctures exceeds the number of tubes on hand. It happens, right?
Enter Patchbook, a pre-glued patch kit in a cool, compact matchbook form factor – four patches and sandpaper included. We've always had mixed success with pre-glued patches, but Patchbook founders Jen St. John and Frank Johnson assured us theirs is top-notch. They also said response to their product was very positive, especially since Patchbook's printed design is easily customized, meaning that you'll probably be seeing PatchBooks in self-branded, co-branded, or custom branded graphics in bike shops or in your next event swag bag. More: patch-book.com
Batch Bicycles is a new line of bikes by United Wheel and a sister company of Huffy. When you hear Huffy, you probably think mass-merchants like Target or Walmart. Batch bikes come in with better quality spec's to fill the gap between those department store bikes and what's typically available in a bike shop. Batch bikes will be available in those bike shops, applying the company's overall buying power to the expertise of those local bike shops for well-priced and value bicycles.
Batch displayed five categories of bikes including comfort bikes, commuters, a beach cruiser, mountain bikes, and kids' bikes.
One of the displays was of kids' bikes featuring licensed graphics from Disney's Frozen and another of Marvel's Spider-Man.. Batch thinks is the first time such licensed graphics bikes will be available to bike shops.
Batch bikes are all made with aluminum frames and equipped with Shimano drivetrains and double-walled aluminum rims. More: batchbicycles.com
Tannus – airless bike tires
Terrible photo, we know, because we were in a hurry to jump on and try. Tannus makes airless bike tires for road, hybrid, cruiser, and kids bikes. We've heard many a pitch of airless bike tires and the last time we road tested them (from another brand) we walked away disappointed and back to our regular tires and tubes.
Tannus might have us, now. They guarantee 5,000 flat-free miles with minimal wear, but more importantly, they say we'll get great ride quality and comparable weight.
We took a Tannus tire road bike out for a few laps of the "Open Air District" circuit, including a few sharp corners at speed, and were impressed – enough that we're going to give them a try over the next few months in real riding conditions and see if they make sense. At the very least, it will be fun deciding which of Tannus' 12 colors to roll. More: tannusamerica.com
BULLS Bikes – Alpine Hawk EVO
BULLS is a German e-bike company especially known for their extensive range of e-MTBs. It's no surprise, then, that a sleek e-road bike stood out in their large booth display.
The Alpine Hawk EVO is a concept road e-bike model with FAZUA Evation 255W drivetrain system. It's a light, compact, integrated battery pack and motor that adds about 10 lbs (4.6 kg) to the full carbon frameset.
The bike is equipped with Shimano Ultegra R8000 and hydraulic disc brakes – yes, mechanical shifting on an e-bike. It's probably because BULLS wants to reinforce how an electric motor can enhance the road biking experience, not replace a rider’s effort entirely. Consistent with that is the ability of the FAZUA system to be manually disengaged completely, on the fly; a rider can choose to ride with varying levels of assist or completely on their own power and without any system interference.
The Alpine Hawk EVO is expected to retail at $6,599. More: bulls-bikes.com
We get rollers, but the pitch from Crown Roller was counterintuitive to what our eyes and brain were thinking, so we jumped on to test for ourselves.
Crown Rollers uses engineering and physics to create a roller that is naturally stable. The crown shape of the roller offers the least amount of resistance where it's largest diameter (the center), and more resistance where it's smaller (the sides). The result is stability and smoothness unlike you first expect.
The folks at Crown Roller indicated they're only selling full roller sets at the moment, so for now you won't be able to buy a single crowned roller to fit onto your existing rollers set. More: crownroller.com
Bryton – Aero 60
Bryton continues to deliver great value bike computers – more features at digestible pricepoints.
The Aero 60 is their new road bike-specific GPS cycling computer. It is built around a 2.3" black and white display with a slimmer height, dimple design, and out-front Aero mount, all to be better at cheating the wind. The Aero mount is a departure from the now standard quarter-turn (Garmin) style mount, and is instead slide and lock to keep a low aero profile.
On the functionality side, there's the typical stats you'd expect and a bunch more: support for ANT+ & BLE sensors; connectivity to Di2, eTap, and EPS electronic shifting systems; GNSS full support incorporates GPS, Glonass (Russia), BDS (China), Galileo (Europe) and QZSS (Japan) satellite systems. The Aero 60 supports up to 78 functions and syncs with Strava, Training Peaks, and Selfloops.
This and more can be had in the Aero 60 E for 200€, including Aero out-front mount. C Bundle adds cadence sensor for 220€, and T bundle adds all that plus heart rate monitor and speed sensor for 270€. More: brytonsport.com
Tailwind Nutrition – Rebuild recovery drink
Tailwind Nutrition, out of Durango, Colorado, is designed for endurance athletes. They started with "Endurance Fuel," a fuel, hydration, and electrolytes drink, and have now expanded to include the post-ride recovery drink "Rebuild."
Rebuild is different from other sport recovery drinks because it's based on a patent-pending, perfectly complete protein specially designed to restore energy and repair damaged muscle tissue after exercise. Like other products, it has the other essential ingredients - carbohydrates, amino acids, electrolytes, and protein. Where it also stands out is in its its organic rice and coconut milk-based formula. We sampled both chocolate and vanilla Recovery at their booth and were pleasantly surprised by their smoothness and taste. More: tailwindnutrition.com
Lezyne – Mega C, Lights
Lezyne's new Mega XL and C are larger, color versions of the GPS cycle computers. They've got the fundamental features you'd expect from today's cycle computer, yet come in at an affordable $200 for either one.
Probably more well known for their tools and lights, Lezyne kept is going with a new, wired Remote Switch that will allow you to power on/off and toggle through output modes of select Lezyne lights. The Remote Switch is available bundled with Lezyne's Super Drive 1500XXL, Micro Drive 1100XL, Lite Drive 800XL, Micro Drive Pro 650XL, and Power HB STVZO.
Multi Drive is a small, high-performance multi-purpose LED bike light powered by a separate battery pack (sorry, not photographed), which can also fuel your other tech items from its Mirco USB port. The battery packs gives the light 3 hours at full shining glory of 1000 lumens, or 18 hours at an economic 150 lumens. More: lezyne.com/
Pioneer – CA600 Cycling Computer
Pioneer made two computer announcements to tie to their power meters. The first one is their newest head unit, the CA600, a smaller form-factor with 2.2-inch color screen and buttons instead of a touch screen. It's packed with features, turn-by-turn route navigation, and, of course, nicely displays Pioneer's Power Meter Monitor metrics. RRP $359.
The other computer announcement is Pioneer's partnership with Wahoo, adding it's power metrics to the Wahoo ELEMNT and BOLT computers. This is the first time head units other than Pioneer's will be able to capture and display the Pioneer power meter data. The new functionality will push out to those computers as a firmware update in October. More: pioneerelectronics.com
SENA – R1 Smart Helmet
Sena showed off their newly released R1 Bluetooth integrated road cycling helmet, including one with an integrated camera on top. We lost info on the camera, but the rest of the quick spec on the R1 is that it has built-in microphone and speakers to listen to GPS directions, music, take phone calls, or two-way communicate with other riders. The R1 is available in black, blue, or orange for $229 RRP. More: sena.com
Skratch Labs – new energy bar flavors
Skratch Labs has some new Anytime Energy Bar flavors: peanut butter and strawberries, raspberries and lemons, and parmesan and black pepper.
Peanut butter and straberries is like a PB&J sandwich, but won't get squished in a jersey pocket. Raspberries and lemons is a nice fruit tart. As to parmesan and plack pepper, it tastes like it says, but we're not sure it will be for our taste buds on a long ride. More: skratchlabs.com
Feedback Sports – RANGE torque and ratchet wrench and kit
RANGE is Feedback's torque and 2-way ratchet wrench and kit. At 5.25 inches long, it's easily dropped into a pocket should you need it on the go, and not much more tucked inside of the included 6.75" case with 14 commonly used Hex, Torx & Phillips bits. Ratchet away as needed, and when it comes time to measuring torque, press on the end knob and activate the Nm dial to get to your needed spec, from 2-10Nm. $79.99 RRP. More: feedbacksports.com
LEM is new to bicycle helmets as of this year, though the brand has been around since 1972, earning its helmet chops in Italy making motorcycle helmets. They've jumped into the cycling scene with a full range of road, mountain, and commuter helmets, all looking sharp and at affordable pricepoints.
Especially catching our attention were two yet-to-be-released helmets, a max-vented road/XC helmet, MotiveAir, and a modular tail aero helmet, MotiveAero.
MotiveAir is a breezy style with compact profile and carbon shell construction. It's lightweight at 215 grams. RRP $TBA.
MotiveAero uses an optional tail that is magnetically attached. The idea is you can ditch the tail altogether when you don't need it, or add the short tail or a longer one for more aggressive, aero positions. The integrated Zeiss optics lens is also removable and mangetically attached for easy on and off. RRP $TBA.
LEM's full collection of helmets, aside from the two above, will be available for purchase online mid-October. They're building out their dealer base now, so also look for LEM in your local bike shop soon after. MotiveAir and MotiveAero are due in early 2019. More: lemhelmets.com
Bolero – Advanced Hydration
Bolero was just one of the many drinks on offer, and there are so many more that weren't there. It was refreshing that the gentleman at the booth didn't strain to make Bolero out to be incredibly different. Bolero is a powdered drink, sugar free (sweetened with Stevia), gluten free, and free of GMO's. What did stand out for us was Bolero's huge array of flavors, 50 in three categories: Clasic (fruit flavors and colas), Ice Tea (black tea extract mixed with fruit flavors: lemon, passionfruit, peach), and Isotonic (orange flavored with electrolytes.) From acaia berry to rose to carrot and orange, there's bound to be a flavor to suit almost everyone.
Isotonic is the Bolero's sports oriented product, fortified with mineral salts and vitamins. All are low calorie and low carbohydrate, making them a good, tasty way to hyrdrate in general and for those who exercise less strenuously and need hydration, but not extra sugar for fuel. More: bolerousa.net
PowerBeat – G3 2x2 Power Meter
PowerBeat continues to learn and innovate and its 3rd generation power meter is evidence. The PoweBeat G3 2X2 is a dual-sided unit that comes with two comp units swappable between four sensors; a two-sided power meter for two bikes (2x2). The unit measures power, cadence, and balance, and grants torque efficiency and pedal smoothness.
The comp units slide into the sensor pods and slide out with a push of the quick-release button and a tug. The video below is a demonstration of the comp units swap. The black one is the comp unit and the blue one is a dummy placeholder.
You can get PowerBeat G3 2x2 now for $599. As with PowerBeats before, the cost savings is largely in the DIY installation, supported with their refined tools and instructions. They make it fairly easy, but if you're not sure you're up to the task or simply don't have time, they offer installation service in the U.S. starting at an additional $99. More: watteam.com
BicBuddy – Separate & Together Tandem Bike
This is a prototype bike that is separate bikes with special attachments making them joinable as a tandem. The folks at the BicBuddy booth didn't have much info to share, but we snapped these photos and wondered how practical this will be and how it will feel when ridden? As Crown Roller proved, what you expect isn't always how it works. More: togetherbike.com
100% – Glendale Sunglasses
Peter Sagan wasn't there, but his newest collaboration with 100%, the Glendale sunglass, was unveiled.
Expected in October at $175, the Glendale has a lightweight cylindrical shield lens with a lot of coverage and extra venting to prevent fogging. More: ride100percent.com
Floyd's of Leadville – CBD Hydration & Recovery
Floyd's of Leadville has added Recovery Protein drink powder to their lineup of CBD products that includes hydration fuel, softgel caps, tinctures, and creams.
(CBD is not THC, the well-known compound in cannabis that causes a euphoric effect. Instead, CBD oil is extracted from hemp, which is non-psychoactive – it must have less than 0.3% THC to be legal.)
Floyd's says Recovery Protein with CBD will take the edge off of post-cycling pain, reduce inflammation, and provide the necessary muscle recovery nutrition. More: floydsofleadville.com
And that's the end of our Interbike 2018 coverage from Reno.