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Interbike 2008 Report and Photos

September 26, 2008 (Las Vegas, Nevada) — While the Lance Armstrong effect was felt in a big way at Interbike 2008 in Las Vegas as the show opened there was plenty more to get pumped about. From exciting 2009 products to top Canadian riders such as Ryder Hesjedal, Catharine Pendrel, Geoff Kabush, and Mathieu Toulouse we were caught up in the Interbike shuffle.

The show opened with a bang Wednesday morning as Cervelo pulled the wraps of its P4 time trial/triathlon bike. The new frame is far more aerodynamically integrated than the P34 model and comes in at about the same weight. The most obvious new aspect is an integrated water bottle that fits in the bottom of the front triangle between the seat tube and down tube. Cervelo says the bike is faster with the bottle than without it. The bike also has a Cervelo-branded hidden rear brake IN the frame, and a new aero fork. Pricing is expected to be $4,800 US for the frame and will be available late this year.

Another big buzz at the show was in the way of drivetrains. Shimano was showing its new electronic Dura Ace System, SRAM had its Hammerschmidt front transmission MTB system on display, and Campagnolo had its gorgeous Super Record 11-speed system in the spotlight. It’s fair to say the drivetrain wars are ON. Here’s a snapshot look at some of the 2009 new products coming to a bike shop near you… stay tuned for more updates.

Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
With a price tag of over $4,000 you would expect that the new Dura-Ace Di2 would blow every other type of shifting on the market, out of the water… you would be right! The shifting on the Di2 was incredibly smooth, in fact it is the kind of shifting that would probably take place if your cerebellum was hard-wired directly to your derailleurs – well for some. The Di2 required very little movement at the shifters and shifted with such precision that you could hardly tell anything had actually happened in your drive train.

Shimano believes that the electronic assisted shifting is the technology of the future and if our ride on this system at Interbike is any indication, they are right on. For most the price will need to come down, and eventually it probably will, but for now you will have to pay a hefty price for perfect shifting – a price Shimano points out is mainly due to the electronics.

The new Groupo is mainly made up of standard 7900 components but is tech’d out with hard-wired STI Dual Control levers, front and rear derailleurs and a small (68 gram) battery pack. Shimano states that the 7.4V Li-ion battery will last for approximately 1,000k (621mi) of “heavy use” and will recharge in only 1.5 hours.

The Front and Rear derailleurs are self-trimming and self-correcting in the event of a knock or crash. Shifting is not only smooth as silk with the high tech electronics, it is precise and monitors chain position at all times. The front derailleur cage does not remain in only one of two position, as on a mechanical unit, but constantly positions itself in relation to the rear derailleur to ensure no chain rub.

Truvativ Hammerschmidt
For all mountain and freeriders, front shifting will ever be the same, thanks to Truvativ’s instant front transmission. The HammerSchmidt offers superior ground clearance, seamless shifting under any load, instant shifting while coasting, chain stability, and simple maintenance. A Freeride and All Mountain version are available, both offering 22T or 24T chainring options with a 22/36 and 24/38 gear range. The All Mountain is available in 170 and 175mm crank arm lengths while the Freeride model also offers a 165mm arm.

The “Schmidt’s” magic is in it’s planetary gear system that offers two gears: 1:1 and Overdrive. In 1:1, everything is locked and spins together allowing for one pedal stroke to equal one chainring revolution. In Overdrive, one pedal stroke actually equals a 1.6 revolution of the chainring providing all the strengths of a two-ring system with none of the weaknesses.

Spinal tap references were flying at the Campy booth as the new Eleven was unveiled with its innovative 11-speed drivetrains. The “Elevens” feature Ultra-Shift 11-speed front derailleurs, Ergopower ultra-shift controls, 11-speed rear derailleur, a 5.5mm wide chain, new aluminum frame sprocket, and ESP (Enhanced Shifting Performance) crankset. The 11-speed groupsets are offered in Super Record, Record and Chorus. Incredible technology and incredibly sexy looking the new Eleven is state of the art and has raised the bar on road transmission for 2009.

One of the highlights of Maxxis’ 2009 line is their new Ardent with an aggressive tread in a high-volume casing in both a downhill and All-Mountain option. The large block-style side knobs offer numerous edges for high-speed corners while ramped centre knobs offer minimal rolling resistance without the loss of braking or acceleration traction. The Ardent All-Mountain features a lightweight single ply casing and come in foldable 26×2.25, 26×2.40, and 29×2.25. The downhill version features 2-ply DH casings with butyl-protected sidewalls, and 3C triple compound technology options on the two sizes available – 26×2.40 and 26×2.60.

Park Tool
Every year this tool powerhouse shows up at Interbike with a plethora of new gear and this year is no exception. Park is showing 25 new products for 2009. Among the highlights are a new work tray for its stands, two new books, three crank pullers, a new small tool roll for trailside repairs, a hydraulic brake piston press, new spoke wrenches and two new torque wrenches. There is also a new digital caliper and tabletop scale.

The folding bike maker has a number of new models in the lineup for 2009. On the request of a European dealer, the company designed a clean-looking singlespeeder. It has a coaster break and flat black colours, so the bike is incredibly sleek and cable free. The Mµ has 20″ wheels and Dahon’s coupling system. MSRP is $599 US. Also new is the Curve SL. The SL stands for lightweight and it achieves that with lighter components and 16″ wheels. At the top end of the line is the Mµ EX, which features a SRAM Red drivetrain. It weighs just 8.8kg and retails for $2,999.

Elka Suspension
This Quebec-based company has been in the motorsport suspension business for some time, but is making its debut in the bicycle industry. Elka’s focus will be on the freeride, downhill and all-mountain crowd and the first model to be released is the Stage 5. The $495 rear shock has a dual high/low-speed compression adjuster, rebound and preload adjustments. The Stage 5 has hi-tensile alloy springs and comes in several length/stroke combinations. The company plans to add three more models down the road.

American Classic
American Classic has undergone a complete makeover. With new logos, much bolder on-wheel graphics and 13 new products, this wheel manufacturer bears little resemblence to the company it once was. For the first time, American Classic is offering a full carbon disc wheel (tubular) as well as 58mm carbon clinchers. Also new are the Victory 30 road wheels, as well as new 26″ and 29″ all mountain offerings. On the hub side of the business, American Classic has four new models, including a front hub that takes advantage of the new 15mm thru axle standard.

Wheels Manufacturing
This Made-in-America company had four new products to show at Interbike. The most notable are new Bottom Bracket shells that use ceramic bearings. They’re compatible with Shimano and Race Face road and mountain bike cranksets and carry an MSRP of less than $100. Also new from the comapny are lightweight chainring bolts, BB30 Shims and white headset spacers, which are surprisingly rare. Wheels Manufacturing has also expanded its replacement derailleur hangar line.

Some Cool New Products — Part 1
Among the unique new products on display at Interbike include”¦

Sqivvy This is a portable folding change room that pops up in seconds and is big enough for anyone. It has a removable floor so it can also be used for outdoor showers. MSRP is around $80.

SipStream First shown as a prototype at Interbike 2007, the SipStream system is now available to the public. The system uses an inverted-mounted bottle on the downtube and a hose that runs up to an arm mounted to the stem. A straw then sits just above the handlebar, making for easy access to hydration.

Fibre Flare Quite possibly the coolest new product at Interbike, the Fibre Flare is a new lighting system that uses two LEDs shining light down a fibre optic tube. This makes for a bright light that can be viewed perfectly from the sides or back. Because it’s flexible, the light can be mounted anywhere on the bike or rider. The lights will retail for around $45 and will be availabe in red, green and blue. A white light will be added later.

SMHEART Phone – Tech company iTMP paired up with Polar to make a link module that connects Polar products with the Apple iPhone. The company has designed an iPhone application that allows you to use the phone as a HR monitor and all-around cycling computer.

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