Interbike 2012 - Day 1
images by Nick Salazar
Sep 19, 2012  hits 148,476

This is one of the REALLY exciting pieces from this year's show. It's the Stage One, from a brand new company called Stages Cycling out of Boulder, Colorado. And their product is about to turn the power meter market on its head. The new Stage One power meter is a tiny little pod that attaches to the inside of a crank arm, adds a mere 20 grams to your bike, and has a user-replaceable CR2032 battery that lasts 200-hours. The only drawback is that it has to be used on an alloy crank (meaning no carbon crank arms). That's because their technology is based on measuring the deflection of the alloy arm, and carbon doesn't have the same predictability of deflection that aluminum does. Oh, and did I mention the best two parts? Their pricing starts at just $699. That's not a typo - for just SEVEN HUNDRED BUCKS, you can have a crank-based power meter that will last you through bike build after bike build. And the BEST part ... this is no pipe dream prototype. The Stage One was actually on display with working units, and the first production cranks will start shipping IN JANUARY. In my opinion, the rest of the industry has just been put on notice. Stages is here to rock the boat.
This is one of the REALLY exciting pieces from this year's show. It's the Stage One, from a brand new company called Stages Cycling out of Boulder, Colorado. And their product is about to turn the power meter market on its head. The new Stage One power meter is a tiny little pod that attaches to the inside of a crank arm, adds a mere 20 grams to your bike, and has a user-replaceable CR2032 battery that lasts 200-hours. The only drawback is that it has to be used on an alloy crank (meaning no carbon crank arms). That's because their technology is based on measuring the deflection of the alloy arm, and carbon doesn't have the same predictability of deflection that aluminum does. Oh, and did I mention the best two parts? Their pricing starts at just $699. That's not a typo - for just SEVEN HUNDRED BUCKS, you can have a crank-based power meter that will last you through bike build after bike build. And the BEST part ... this is no pipe dream prototype. The Stage One was actually on display with working units, and the first production cranks will start shipping IN JANUARY. In my opinion, the rest of the industry has just been put on notice. Stages is here to rock the boat.

Every year, I hear predictions that Interbike is going to be a boring show, and that all the major innovations are already public knowledge. But every year, those predictions prove to be wrong. I'm consistently dazzled by what I actually find on the showroom floor, and that's never been more true than it has been this year. Over the next three days, I'll be showing you some of the most exciting gear to come out in a decade. This is stuff that is going to redefine how athletes equip themselves to train and race, and there are several pieces that I'm really, really excited to use. So buckle up, because here we go!



  • This is one of the REALLY exciting pieces from this year's show. It's the Stage One, from a brand new company called Stages Cycling out of Boulder, Colorado. And their product is about to turn the power meter market on its head. The new Stage One power meter is a tiny little pod that attaches to the inside of a crank arm, adds a mere 20 grams to your bike, and has a user-replaceable CR2032 battery that lasts 200-hours. The only drawback is that it has to be used on an alloy crank (meaning no carbon crank arms). That's because their technology is based on measuring the deflection of the alloy arm, and carbon doesn't have the same predictability of deflection that aluminum does. Oh, and did I mention the best two parts? Their pricing starts at just $699. That's not a typo - for just SEVEN HUNDRED BUCKS, you can have a crank-based power meter that will last you through bike build after bike build. And the BEST part ... this is no pipe dream prototype. The Stage One was actually on display with working units, and the first production cranks will start shipping IN JANUARY. In my opinion, the rest of the industry has just been put on notice. Stages is here to rock the boat.
  • See that tiny little pod? That's the entire power meter. Seriously. No magnet, no wires, NOTHING. All you need is this thing, and some kind of device to collect data from it, which can be any ANT+ unit like a Garmin watch or computer, or any Bluetooth 4.0 device like an iPhone. Now can you see why I think this thing is so amazing? Yeah, and it costs less than a PowerTap Pro!
  • From above, you can see just how tiny this thing is. And because it sits on the inside of the crank arm, it's mostly shielded from the wind.
  • The major limitation of the Stage One is that it must be paired with an aluminum crank. For triathletes, that likely means either a Shimano Dura-Ace crank, or a SRAM Rival. Either one comes in 165mm, so I'm happy with both. Dura-Ace is lighter, but the Rival is very economically-priced.
  • From the outside, there's no way to know there's even a power meter on board.
  • I'm a bit envious of the BMX/street bike world - they seem to have a virtually unlimited repository of cool helmet colors from various brands.
  • Praxis is an aftermarket chainring manufacturer that used to be an underground hit, but is making its way to the mainstream. I personally haven't used their products, but many people swear by the performance of their pin and ramp timings.
  • Giro is quite serious about the Air Attack, and had a bouquet of color options on display. I'm foaming at the mouth waiting for them to become available. This helmet is awesome.
  • I tried it on again, and was sorely tempted to abscond with this sample. But I don't think Giro would take kindly to me after that.
  • Stick around long enough, and you'll find plenty of industry big wigs on the showroom floor. Here's Speedfil co-founder David Dietterle was chatting it up with Ironman World Champion Michellie Jones.
  • Michellie remains a beloved brand ambassador even though she's retired. She brought her bright pink Felt DA over to the ISM booth to promote their new saddles, which we will show you on Friday.
  • So, there is no good Shimano-branded solution at the moment for using hydraulic brakes with Di2 components. So Magura produced this thing, which I consider monstrously ugly, to convert hydraulic fluid pulls into cable pulls.
  • Here's the RT8TT brake, which is definitely tiny, and is a centerpull brake. Those things I like about it. But hydraulic seems like a solution looking for a problem, and I don't particularly like the way this thing looks from the side.
  • So I have a real bias (I sell the Omega brake, which competes with the RT8TT). But I'm sure most of you will agree with me that this contraption is less than beautiful.
  • Shimano was using a de-badged Orbea Gold to promote the Ultegra Di2 TT group. In my opinion, it's a really good-looking bike, and I look forward to testing one.
  • One of the benefits of the new E-Tube platform for the next-gen Di2 groups is how small those cables are. Here's an E-Tube wire next to a standard brake housing. That's tiny! See our article from last month from the Ultegra Di2 launch for more information on the group, and why E-Tube is so darn cool.
  • The front junction boxes for Di2 come in a three-port and five-port version, which can be swapped out on your bike at any time. When you add new hardware, you just plug it straight into the junction box - no more need to look over SKU charts trying to figure out which wiring harness to buy - that problem is a thing of the past.
  • Pearl Izumi definitely knows how to make some cool orange stuff. But I've never been able to talk to any of their marketing guys, who are always too busy for me, so no Pearl stuff has been reviewed on TriRig yet.
  • Specialized brought some pretty cool prototype equipment to this year's show, including these SLA-printed versions of the new MacLaren helmet.
  • I love seeing stuff like this, which gives you a glimpse of the design process.
  • From the underside, you can see the lines which are a result of the printing process.
  • The final product is this beautiful lid, which was recently raced to a Team Time Trial UCI World Championship win.
  • Spez had some nifty shoe prototypes too, which are precursors to the current S-Works road shoe.
  • Now THIS is something else I really enjoyed seeing. It's a raw, unpainted, unfinished Roubaix SL4 frame. I REALLY wish bikes like this would just get sanded down and covered in clear coat. I LOVE seeing raw carbon, even when it's not 'pretty'. To me, this is the most beautiful paint scheme that any bike could ever have.
  • CycleOps has partnered with ENVE to make some lust-worthy PowerTap-equipped hoops that will have a place on high-end tri bikes. In my opinion, crank-based power is usually the better option, because it leaves you free to choose your wheelset based on the optimal conditions, rather than being married to a specific rear wheel.
  • CycleOps PowerTap hubs are now wireless, and on the cheaper end of the pricing spectrum for power meters. But it appears that Stages Cycling is going to pose a serious threat to CycleOps and everyone else in the power meter game, assuming their product delivers as advertised.
  • There are always some builds with real character, like this antler-equipped piece from Surly.
  • HED brought wheels with the custom decals that the Lululemon team rode. The decal has the names of each team member above that swirling pattern.
  • The HED Vanquish has been the subject of much discussion, and is going to be released early next year. It's the company's first carbon clincher, poised to compete with products like the Zipp 404 Firecrest. The wheels share a lot of similarities, particularly when it comes to the overall shape of the wheels.
  • The Vanquish 6 will be the first depth offered. HED says they are taking 'baby steps' to make sure their products work as expected, and deliver the aerodynamic superiority the company claims. More depths will probably be available later on, but for now, it's just the 6. This is the most popular rim depth for most aero rim manufacturers including HED and Zipp.
  • HED's wall of wheels continues to grow as the company adds more models to the lineup.
  • Pad manufacturer SwissStop is bringing a new carbon-specific pad to market called the Black Prince. After partnering with Zipp on the Platinum Pro pad, SwissStop continued to develop the technology and came out with the Black Prince, which will be sold alongside the beloved Yellow King pads. Personally, I find the Platinum Pro pads to be the best carbon-specific pads ever made (even better than the widely-recommended Yellow King), so I'm looking forward to testing out the Black Prince to find out whether it truly carries on that legacy.
  • Wahoo is another company doing some AMAZING things that I think will rock many athletes' worlds. First off, they've updated their standard bike accessories to communicate via Bluetooth, so that you can hook up your iPhone directly, without the need for an ANT+ adapter. Brilliant.
  • The new Wahoo RFLKT computer is a 'dummy computer' that will communicate via Bluetooth to your iPhone, and just display all the data your phone is collecting. So it would work like this - let's say you're doing a ride (whether indoors or outdoors), using your iPhone as a head unit. But you don't want to mount your huge, heavy phone out there on the bars where it could get damaged or covered in Gatorade. So instead, you mount up the miniscule RFLKT, which shows you all your data, and your phone stays safely in your pocket. Another fantastic idea. The data screens are all user-configurable using the app.
  • But Wahoo's killer product this year has got to be the new KICKR trainer. This thing is a beast. It starts with a direct-drive mechanism very similar to the Lemond Revolusion. The difference is, this thing is DEAD QUIET. It's probably the quietest trainer I've ever heard. The feel of the resistance is AMAZING. But it also has an amazing feature set that's going to blow other trainers out of the water. It's power-based, meaning it works like a Computrainer - you can tell it that you want to push 200 Watts, and it will adjust the resistance accordingly. Is also works with a number of applications to maximize its versatility, and it has an open API, meaning developers can write applications for it easily. It's going to retail for $999. That makes it expensive for a trainer, but much cheaper than a Computrainer.
  • The Wahoo Kickr has an open API for software makers to integrate with, and already has support for TrainerRoad, Strava, and Kinomap.
  • Nathan Pearson of TrainerRoad demonstrated how you can use the Wahoo Kickr right with TrainerRoad. The software has a lot of new features getting ready to roll out for this Winter, and we'll be doing a big feature on TrainerRoad in the coming months. Stay tuned!
  • This is the TrainerRoad main screen, which can be minimized to a small horizontal bar so that it's still there while you watch, say, your favorite movie in the background.
  • SRAM always has an enormous presence at Interbike. They are currently pushing WiFli, their component groups with mid-cage derailleurs and wider cassettes, now available in every SRAM road group, and ridden by Contador during every stage of this year's Vuelta en route to victory.
  • Zipp brings along a huge set of wheels to be ogled over. It's effective.
  • Of course Quarq, now part of the SRAM family, gets ample space in the booth. See that gorgeous larger-than-life print of Luke McKenzie on his Plasma 3? Well, that's a lovely shot from the TriRig archives that's licensed to SRAM. It looks great, if I do say so myself.
  • Kristin Armstrong brought one of her Felt DA bikes to the SRAM booth. It's a fantastic-looking rig, and very well-built and well-appointed.
  • Armstrong's cable runs are impeccable, and kept together neatly with zip ties.
  • A K-Edge piece links her front shifters and provides a spot for a computer.
  • Rotor will now be producing their own power meter specifically for their cranks. It's very small, and has a unit on both sides, for left-right power measurement.
  • Here's the part on the non-drive arm. No word yet on pricing or availability, but I'd love to test one when available.
  • Confused about bottom bracket standards? Rotor does a great job of telling people which BB they need to mate any of their cranks to a specific frame.
  • The Flow crankset is meant to be a tri-specific product that has lower drag, but given that it isn't powermeter-compatible, and they can barely show it saves a single Watt, I highly doubt it will be much of a success.
  • Our parting shot today will be a front-on picture of those RIDICULOUS helmets that POC made for its Olympic athletes. Yeah, it's orange, which is cool. But I don't think I would be caught dead wearing one. Ever. Okay, that's it for today. Come on back tomorrow for another collection of images from Interbike 2012.

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