Interbike 2017 show report: Trends and new products

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The bicycle industry’s annual trade show sets up in Las Vegas each year.
(Photos: James Buckroyd, usually)

James Buckroyd is a professional product designer who happens to be addicted to cycling and is always seeking out the perfect route and the perfect piece of gear. He blogs at BuckyRides.com. His last review was Chrome’s Hondo backpack.

Last week I headed to Interbike Vegas 2017, where cycling industry veterans gathered to show off the latest trends and technology in cycling. The first two days of Interbike were the “Outdoor Demo,” where cycling industry pros get to view and ride new bicycles, followed by three days of trade show. With three exhibition halls full of gear, Interbike gives you a glimpse of the future.

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Portland ‘rolls deep’ at Interbike

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A bike made by Portland-based
Signal Cycles helps complement Brooks’
new panniers in a booth at Interbike.

— Story and photos by Carl Larson

Last night at Interbike happy hour, veteran New York Messenger and Transportation Alternatives employee Kevin “Squid” Bolger looked around at the people to whom he’d just been introduced and said, “Portland rolls deep!”

That’s the way it feels here in Vegas.There are familiar Portland faces, brands and bikes around every corner.

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Dispatch from downstairs at Interbike

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— Story and photos by Official BikePortland Interbike Correspondent Carl Larson

Downstairs at Interbike (the annual bike industry trade show happening right now in Las Vegas) is no-man’s land. If you want to see Specialized’s new bikes, meet with an Italian clothing maker, get a poster signed by a famous racer, or check in with major manufacturers and distributors, upstairs is the place to be.

If you want to visit the “Health and Fitness expo” (read: treadmills) or explore the vast emptiness of the E-bike test track, downstairs is your spot. I’d bet that at least half of all show goers never venture down to Interbike’s lower level and, if they do, they don’t spend long. This year, that’s their loss.

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The ‘Joust’, a professional polo bike that will transform America?

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Fleetvelo's polo bike

The Joust bike polo bike
from Fleetvelo.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The Joust is a new bike from the Fleetvelo brand for those who are serious about bike polo. For Richard Schwinn — the founder of Waterford Precision Bicycles, father of Joust designer Tucker Schwinn, and great-grandson of the legendary Ignaz Schwinn — the bike is not just a tool for polo, it’s a symbol of the potential bike polo has to transform America. But before I get into that, here’s what makes the Joust such a great polo bike.

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Final Day at Interbike: Notes from the floor, Part Two

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Interbike Day Three-20

The Tune Bug.
(Photos © J. Maus)

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.

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Final day at Interbike: Notes from the show floor, Part 1

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Interbike Day Three-4

It’s an e-trailer.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Here are the products and bikes that caught my eye today (I’m splitting this into three parts)…

Everyone’s been talking about e-bikes, and there’s a dizzying array of bikes and products for that growing market; but the Ridekick electric-assist trailer stands out from the crowd. The idea with the Ridekick is to put the battery in a trailer instead of on your bike. The added benefits are that you get some added cargo space and you can attach it to any bike. The battery drives the wheels of the trailer and the power goes right to your rear axle. Ridekick uses a cheaper lead acid battery which makes this system considerably cheaper than others (MSRP $549). The lead acid battery is also heavier, but with the weight just inches from the ground, it actually improves the stability of the trailer and doesn’t have the same negative impacts as having it attached to your frame or a rear rack. The whole unit weighs 39 pounds.

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Chamois cream for him and her: DZ Nuts and Hoo Ha Ride Glide

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Care for down there.

J.R. and I saw a lot of interesting things in our four days at Interbike, but there are two products whose names we just can’t seem to get out of our heads: DZ Nuts and Hoo Ha Ride Glide. Both products are creams that keep you comfortable you know where.

DZ Nuts promises that they use “only the finest ingredients for your goods” and they’ve got pro racer and uber-sprinter Mark Cavendish as one of their poster boys. The cream is meant to tame saddle sores and keep you feeling good down there no matter how many miles you put in. It’s a mix of tea tree oil (for its anti fungal properties), evodia (a Chinese herb with anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties) and masterwort (another wound healing agent from the Swiss Alps and used by the ancient Greeks).

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Interbike: The holy grail and other finds from Day Two

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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.”

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Interbike: A look at what’s new from Surly

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Surly bikes at Interbike

Have a seat at the Surly booth.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Surly Bikes has made a solid name for themselves over the years by offering well-built, versatile, and affordable steel bikes. You can hardly ride for five minutes in Portland without seeing one. I took a tour around their booth today with employee Emily Richard to find out what’s new.

The big news from Surly is their new Trailer (capitalized because that’s actually the model name). The Trailer is a bare-bones, heavy duty chunk of steel that’s rated to carry 300 pounds. Check it out…

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A $550 longtail and other interesting bikes from Sun Bicycles

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Sun bikes at Interbike

These two bikes show the range of
bikes made by Sun Bicycles.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Day Two here at Interbike and I’ve got lots of new product information and photos to share. I’ll start with Sun Bicycles, which was one of the more memorable booths I visited today in part because of their $550 (estimated retail) longtail “Atlas” cargo bike. In addition to that low-priced longtail, they’ve also got a sand bike and some interesting tadpole trikes and a handcycle.

At a show filled with lots of carbon fiber race machines, it’s great to see a company serving folks who want to ride but have special needs (the City of Portland purchased trikes from Sun for their Senior Cycling program).

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Interbike: Dispatch from the show floor: Day One

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Interbike-3

Colorful front racks from Basil.
-Slideshow below-
(Photos © J. Maus)

I’ve got to get back out onto the show floor, but I wanted to share some of the bits and bikes I checked out yesterday.

Basil bags from The Netherlands are very solid and attractive. They’ve got a full range for daily riding. Their business “Select” line is water resistant (comes with rain cover) and has a new hook system that has an extra lock for security. They also make colorful baskets and sturdy front racks.

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