As promised, here are more notes and photos from Interbike…
If you’re concerned about the safety of wearing headphones or earbuds while biking, you’ll be glad to hear about the Tune Bug. This little device turns your helmet into a speaker by using a “surface exciter” that vibrates the surface. You just attach it to the outside of your helmet and it can communicate via Bluetooth or an audio cable to your MP3 device. Retail price is $99.
Most of you are probably familiar with tag-along bikes, but the i-Go from Weehoo Inc. is something totally different. It’s more like a tag-along recumbent. The company rep told me they see tag-alongs as 15 year old technology and that, “It’s time to catch tag-alongs up to the modern times.” With the lower center of gravity, the product won’t pull you side-to-side like some tag-alongs do and the child is also free to relax. The reclined riding position also gives kids more power to pedal… and if they don’t want to, they can take a nap or just chill out and watch the world go by (it’s “meltdown free riding” says the guy from WeeHoo).
Venerable bag company Timbuk2 unveiled an interesting new waterproof bike pannier set dubbed the “Tandem”. The bags are waterproof thanks to Tarpaulin fabric and they come as a pair that drapes over a rear rack. There are little magnets embedded near the top of the bags to help it keep from slipping off your rack and to make the two bags snap together when you lift it off. Far from tour-ready, these bags are made for commuters who want something they can quickly grab and take with them. Retail price is $110.
Bionx is a Quebec-based company that makes what many consider to be the best electric assist technology on the market (Trek specs Bionx on some of their new bikes). Available in three different kits with varying motor sizes, this is primarily a “pedelec” system — which means it offers a power boost proportional to your pedaling as opposed to an on-demand, throttle induced boost. The Bionx system provides a range of assistance from 35-300% of your power output. The Bionx system is distributed by Quality Bicycle Products and kit prices range from $1,700 to $1,950.
Civia, a commuting bike and accessory brand owned by Quality Bicycle Products, has come a long way since hitting the market with just one model (the Hyland) back in 2008. Now they’ve expanded to eight models and added a range of handlebars, forks, fenders, and even clothing to their line-up. Civia unveiled several new bikes at Interbike, including the Halsted cycle truck, and the Kingfield and Prospect drop-bar commuter bikes.
Yepp child seats from Holland are something you’ll definitely be seeing around Portland soon. This distinctive looking seat is made out of a soft but sturdy foam material which should be easier to clean and more comfortable than plastic seats with fabric inserts. The Yepp Mini ($140) is for kids weighing up to 30 pounds and it attaches via a quick release behind your stem. The Yepp Maxi ($170) attaches to a rear rack and can carry kids up to 49 pounds. Another cool thing about these seats is that you can swap them between bikes thanks to their quick release attachment systems.
Ergon is a German company that sprung onto the scene several years ago with their signature handlebar grips. They’ve made a name for themselves by designing very comfortable and well thought-out accessories. At Interbike they debuted the PC2 pedal. For a flat pedal that’s made for everyday riding, it sure got a lot of attention at the show. What’s cool about it is the concave profile which forces the ball of your foot to be centered on the pedal spindle (instead of pedaling with your toes or with your heels). The other nifty feature is the large bed of grip tape that prevents your foot from slipping. This could be the ultimate commuting pedal in the wet Northwest. Retail price is around $70 and it’s expected to be available in May or June.
— See all our Interbike 2010 coverage here.