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Interbike: The holy grail and other finds from Day Two

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 24th, 2010 at 1:15 am

It was a busy day on the show floor. Here's the stuff that caught my eye...

Hutchinsons flatless tire system

First, Hutchinson claims to have solved one of the bike industry's biggest unsolved mysteries — the flat-proof tire. Their new "Serenity" system looks very promising. It consists of a specially made tire and an "insert" developed by what the Hutchinson rep called a "proprietary solid polymer developed by our aerospace division."

The result is a tire that weights just 1/2 pound more than a conventional tire/tube combo, but you never have to pump it up and it will never puncture. A company rep said the system was designed to ride like a tire pumped to 50 psi. The tires will last 5-6,000 km and the inserts will last 30,000 km (yes, you can replace the tires). Currently, 20, 24, and 26-inch tires are available and a 700c (road bike) version is due next spring. The Serenity system retails for $70 and they'll be available in November.

Kryptonite at Interbike

Kryptonite has a new security system dubbed "Modulus." It consists of cables, a locking mechanism and a separate bracket. The bracket can be strapped to any tube or via water bottle cage bolts. The locking mechanism slides onto the bracket and the cables plug into the lock. What's cool about this is the versatility. You can buy longer cables if you need to lock up a bunch of bikes, or if you want to loop them around your entire bike. Another benefit is when traveling with your bike on a car roof rack you can mount the lock onto the roof rack cross bars and then loop the cables through your bike. The system retails for $30. Extra brackets are $7.95.

Koki EVA foam pannier at Interbike

Boogie bikes is a Hood River, OR based brand of compact urban bikes imported from Taiwan. Owner Guntram Jordan traveled to Taiwan where he found that people buy folding bikes for their size — not to actually fold them. The bikes have 20-inch wheels, a step-through frame and a comfortable, upright position. An internal Shimano Nexus 8-speed equipped model is $729 and an external 9-speed goes for $895. There's also this speedier version...

Koki EVA foam pannier at Interbike

Guntram's booth also featured the EVAlution pannier ($60). Made out of EVA foam with 60% recycled materials, he described the bag as "Crocs for your bike."

Boogie bikes at Interbike
"Crocs for your bike" — a soft,
hard-shell pannier made
out of EVA foam.

Many of you know I have a soft spot for Dutch city and trekking bikes, so you won't be surprised that I spent a long time at the Batavus booth today. I'm surprised no Portland shops are selling more of this line. They've got a distributor based in Toronto (Fourth Floor Distribution) and Batavus offers everything from the archetypal, classic steel Dutch bikes to updated (lighter) and much sportier versions. Check out my Batavus booth slideshow...

The Raleigh One-Way sure has come a long way since I rode the first incarnation several years ago...

Raleigh One Way at Interbike
Raleigh One Way at Interbike

And then there was the Electra booth. I loved this booth. The bikes were gorgeous of course, but the graphics that adorned the walls were equally eye-catching. See what I mean below:

Electra booth at Interbike
Electra booth at Interbike
Electra booth at Interbike
Electra booth at Interbike
Electra booth at Interbike
Electra booth at Interbike

Yakkay helmets made quite a stir when they first popped up on the web a few months ago. I tried one on today and checked out a few of their designs. They're stylish hats, but they're still big stylish hats...

Yakkay helmets at Interbike
Yakkay helmets at Interbike

That's it for now. We've got one more day at the show, and there's a lot more to see. Stay tuned for more coverage. You can browse all our Interbike 2010 stories here and check out more photos from Day Two in the slideshow below...

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Comments
  • Nick V September 24, 2010 at 5:54 am

    I am ALL OVER those Hutchinson tires. $70 and an extra pound on my Surly are small prices to pay. Want.

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  • Jack September 24, 2010 at 8:17 am

    I'd be interested to feel how firm the Hutchinson tires are. If they're pretty rigid (or if they offer a variety), it seems like they could become the cornerstone of commuter bikes.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 24, 2010 at 8:31 am

      I've added some info to the story. There's no "goo" involved, they're designed to ride like a 50psi set up and you can replace the tires.

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  • Elliot September 24, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Add me to the list of folks who want to know more about the Serenity tires. Is a bunch of polymer goo going to spill out when they remove those screws? Can you buy replacement inserts, and will you be able to swap them out at home? If the insert lasts 5 times longer than the tire, can you keep your old inserts and just buy new tires when your tires wear out?

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  • Jack September 24, 2010 at 8:25 am

    @Elliot

    I don't think there is any liquid involved. The insert is probably a solid ring of foam.

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  • h September 24, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Maybe too soft for roadie use.

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  • Elliot September 24, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Thanks Jack & Jonathan. Shows how much I know... I hear "polymer" and I think green space goo. I guess I need that Bike Science column up and running soon, to tell me that polymer does not equal goo!

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  • Dave September 24, 2010 at 9:23 am

    It seems like some variation on airless tires has appeared every few years for a century. Maybe Hutchinson figured out something new, but I wouldn't part with my money till I'd ridden one.

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  • Uncle Muscles September 24, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I'm betting these tires ride like run-flats in cars... horribly. Although 140 bucks for a set of really heavy commuter tires seems like an awesome deal. If you set your regular tires up properly, you're not really going to have flats anyway.

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  • Perry Hunter September 24, 2010 at 9:29 am

    It would be interesting to see how they do when it's cold, as well. 50 psi equivalent is pretty soft.

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  • PDXbiker September 24, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Those Serenity tires would definitely lower the flat worry factor on the commute to work. As for the added weight, I could work off a pound before I bought 'em. On the Kryptonite Modulus Lock, a cable lock is a cable lock. I value my ride and will stick with a quality U lock. That Raleigh is beautiful.

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  • PDXbiker September 24, 2010 at 9:40 am

    #9 "If you set up your regular tires properly, you're not really going to have flats anyway". Not with the street punks breaking glass on the bike path every other day.

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  • Lance P. September 24, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Does any place in town sell the Yakkay helmets?

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  • Tim September 24, 2010 at 10:18 am

    #9, How do you set up your tires properly? I'd love to never have to worry about flats again.

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  • spare_wheel September 24, 2010 at 10:37 am

    "you're not really going to have flats anyway."

    ride much?

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  • BURR September 24, 2010 at 11:30 am

    love the mini velos!

    but those helmets are fugly...

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  • West Cougar September 24, 2010 at 11:49 am

    So the tires are proprietary as well as the inserts? You told us the available BSD, but what is the width? I assume when they say 50psi, they mean 50psi for a tire of identical width?

    Hey, if it rolls like a Schwalbe Big Apple at 50psi, I'm a buyer. Though I actually run my Big Apples closer to 40.

    Oh, and when is the 650B due? ;-)

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  • dag September 24, 2010 at 11:52 am

    For 70 bucks you can already get a decent set of tires, such as schwalbe marathons, that won't get flats from thorns or broken glass.

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  • Marid September 24, 2010 at 11:53 am

    My wife and I run 26" Marathon Racers, which aren't particularly rated for durability. We've had three flats in about 10,000 commuter miles. At least for us, Serenity tires probably aren't worth it. The added weight is also in one of the worst places.

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  • Todd Boulanger September 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    This product sounds similar to the dual chamber tyre Specialized (?) put on the market about 2002. Foam outer tyre casing with narrower inner tube.

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  • cold worker September 24, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    i'm sorta with uncle muscles here. roll on good tires, don't roll through patches of smashed bottles, keep your tire pressure up, and you're set. i honestly don't remember the last flat i got. and i bike a lot, daily. (spent this month on a tour, good conti tires, no flats)

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  • GlowBoy September 24, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    The airless tire has been the bike industry's holy grail for 120 years.

    So far your best bet is the many existing "trekking" tire models that are already available with pretty beefy anti-puncture belts. These won't get a flat unless -- maybe -- you run over a drywall screw.

    And here's the catch: they roll quite a bit slower than regular tires. In my experience, the beefier the anti-puncture protection the slower the tires roll; personally, I've had better luck with tires with tread thick enough to ward off flats, but NO formal anti-puncture protection.

    My guess is the Hutchinsons are going to be REALLY slow.

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  • spare_wheel September 24, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    @16
    marathons are bricks and handle poorly on wet pavement.

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  • BURR September 24, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    depends which Marathons, there are at least three or four different versions (Racer, Regular, and Plus)

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  • Dan September 24, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    With my roadie hat on, I'd say that a heavier tire will slow acceleration noticeably (more than adding a pound around the waist, for instance), but shouldn't affect speed once you're at cruising speed.

    I also get so few flats when commuting that this would be a tough sell for me. I wouldn't want it on my road bike either because I think the extra weight would make a difference in a performance-sensitive setting.

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  • Mike B. September 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    great idea, Hutchinson has several models of these tires. Great road tire as well IMO, they do roll a bit slower but with less tire pressure. Less tire pressure means more contact with the road, which in turn could balance out the slower rolling because of the weight.

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  • Marid September 25, 2010 at 12:13 am

    I don't really follow that. A heavier tire takes more effort to accelerate and increases braking distance. The lower pressure means more energy wasted unless the tire has higher rigidity than the pressure would indicate. On the other hand, if you get a flat every couple of weeks it may just be worth the downsides.

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  • spare_wheel September 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Burr, yeah you are correct. and i'll apologize for being pedantic in advance.

    both the marathon and marathon plus are heavier and have (imo) way too much tread for rainy pdx pavement. marathon racer does not have a kevlar/aramid liner. i prefer conti gatorskin and bontrager race-lite hard case. you can find both in the $30-35 range online. a little trick that really minimizes flats is to regularly inspect your tire and use superglue to seal any nicks or punctures in your rubber.

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  • GlowBoy September 25, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Marid (#27), you're right that It's not the weight of the tire that slows you down that much. It's the rolling resistance. In my experience, puncture-resistant tires have much more rolling resistance for their tread pattern and the psi used. Specialized Armadillo tires are notorious for this.

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  • Paul Tay September 26, 2010 at 2:58 am

    Does Yakkay make the Aretha Franklin versions?

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  • Dabby September 26, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    An extra half pound eh?

    Not for me....

    Because rolling weight (wheel weight) is the heaviest of weight.

    At least it is not like some of the goo/slime products of yore.
    Where the rolling weight is increased yet again due to the liquid moving during rolling.

    Unstable wheel weight.

    I have had that nightmare before.

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