October 4, 2005 – It’s that time of year again when Las Vegas shifts from Sin City to Spin City as bike companies, retailers, media, and some of the biggest names in cycling converge on Interbike – the largest bicycle trade show in North America. Over 700 exhibitors with gear ranging from brilliant to bizarre filled the mammoth halls at the Sands Convention Centre, and provided the more than 10,000 attendees with enough stimulation to keep them off Red Bull for months!
Carbon was once again the biggest trend noticed at Interbike as the fibre frenzy continues to infiltrate every aspect of cycling. Shoes, stems, helmets, headsets, bars, brakes, and of course bikes all seem to be oozing the sleek synthetic. But CF wasn’t the only material catching the eyes of the masses. There was no shortage of companies displaying their masterful manipulation of titanium, steel, and aluminum into some of the sweeter bikes and components on display.
Specialized’s newest road warrior is the new super-light, 100% composite, Tarmac SL (895g), while the super sexy TriCross, with carbon forks and seat tube, is Specialized’s Cyclocross entry for 2006 that’s sure to turn some heads, especially with its optional wodden fender kit.
Kona has partnered with Dedacciai producing the Zing line for roadies of all levels that features Shimano drive trains and Dedacciai carbon forks – the King Zing is full on carbon from head to toe. The road line also includes the women’s specific Kona Lisa RD, and the Kona Sutra touring bike. The Lisa RD is also joined in the MTB line by the Lisa HT (hard tail) and the Lisa DS (dualie).
Giant’s FormulaOne Composite technology will be available on even more road models for ’06. The TCR competition line expands with TCR Advanced, TCR Advanced T-Mobile, and TCR Trinity aero models. Giant’s two new Maestro mountain lines – the 3.5″ Anthem 1, 2, and 3, and the 8.8″ full-on DH racer, the Glory.
Norco’s carbon crusade continues with their popular CRR race models, and this year Norco expands their road line with the addition of the Diabolique 2, a dedicated pro-level time trial model, and the CCX, a competitive cyclocross model.
Rocky’s 2006 highlights include their Solo custom Road Program, re-design of their Switch line to 7″ of travel, their ETSX to 5″ of travel, and the introduction of a new Slayer with LC2R optimized Suspension. Rocky’s top of the line full Carbon offerings for 2006 include the Solo 70CR and 50CR. The Solo line also includes the 50ST Cromoly/Carbon combination, the 50AC and 30AC metal/carbon frames, and the Solo 50, 30, and 10 Aluminum/Carbon frames.
Toronto-based Cervelo’s success continues for 2006 introducing a brand new Soloist Carbon race bike with full Dura Ace and aero design. There is also the R3 carbon race bike and an updated P2 Carbon time trial bike.
Canadian brand Guru was showing off its Maestro at Interbike, a full carbon bike with custom geometry and a Dura-Ace kit, along with a time trial version called the Crono.
Another Canadian company, Argon18, was showing off its Arsenic carbon cyclocross frame, as well as their titanium-framed road bike – both available with full build kits as well.
Felt’s cool Retro Bike drew plenty of onlookers and their 2006 carbon closet contains five road models for the pro racer to the weekend warrior. The F1C and F2C will be joined by F3C, F4C, and F8C (kidding, it will be F5C). Felt is also offering mountain models for 2006, including the RXC Elite, a 7000 series Aluminum frame with carbon seat stays.
Bamboo even made an appearance in the form of a tandem from Calfee Designs, and while the tandem is only a prototype, road and track bikes are ready to ship if you have the desire and about $3,000 US.
In components SRAM had the biggest news with their foray into road and a new head-to-toe road kit, which includes a brake lever shifter system that they promise will be the simplest functioning shifters in the market. SRAM’s other top hit for 2006 is their new X.0 triggers offering high-tech simplicity with adjustability out the ying yang as they can mount on your bars inside or outside of the brake levers allowing customized trigger-to-finger alignment.
Race Face also announced their sortie into the road realm with the introduction of the X-Cadence crank which comes in standard and compact, and the X-Type bottom bracket.
The big news from Shimano in 2006 is that its 105 group has been completely re-engineered with a more ergonomic, mechanically refined design, and is lighter and more efficient. The 105 includes ST-5600 Dual Control Levers featuring an improved internal shifting mechanism, 10-speed compatibility, SIS-SP41 cable housing with silicon grease to reduce friction by 10%, and double and triple compatibility.
For 2006, Campy presents three new Ultra Narrow 10s chains for Record, Chorus, and Veloce. Their Ergopower Flat Bar shifters have a new indexing mechanism making all shifting noticeably easier and smoother. And Campy also presents its first Linear Pull Cantilever brakes for 2006 in Veloce and Mirage only. Campy’s entry-level Dual Pivot brakes are now 10% lighter.
While tech talk, and gear geeking seems to take up most of the time at Interbike there is also the superstar social side of the show. It was never too difficult to track down a feverishly hand gesturing Bob Roll, an ever-smiling and ever-classy Phil Liggett, a stoic Eddy Merckx, or a hand-cramped David Zabriskie, Floyd Landis, Freddie Rodriguez, and Levi Leipheimer, all belting out autographs at heroic paces. Canucks Gord Fraser, Geoff Kabush and Mathieu Toulouse were in signing frenzy as well at the Maxxis booth. And we even had the chance to sit down and interview an excited Ryder Hesjedal at the Ryders booth. Hesjedal has just been picked up by Team Phonak – stay tuned for our report.
Of course there were tons of Video premier parties, like New World Disorder VI:Unchained, Chain Reaction Megamix and a whole host of fund raising activities. In fact fundraising seemed to be at an all time high for Interbike. Chris King had produced a small run of pink anodized headsets to coincide with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month; Cannondale was collecting donations for survivors of hurricane Katrina by giving away prizes for any donations over $5; and SRAM was promoting their World Bicycle Relief program which is meant to increase the speed of recovery for people affected by poverty or disasters in less developed countries.
All in all it was a show full of more bike biz than you can shake a stick at and once we sift through the piles of information we gathered up during our Interbike excursion we will bring it to you in all its glory – the wild, the wow, and the weird – in Pedal Holiday 2005, our final issue of the season.