Sep 12, 2011 article & images by Nick Salazar

Felt's big news this year is that their top-end DA frame will be available at four distinct levels, each at a successively lower price point.  This is the DA2, as shown on the top tube, which specs Di2 and carbon clincher wheels at $8,999 - pricey, but still significantly lower than the $12,999 DA1.
Felt's big news this year is that their top-end DA frame will be available at four distinct levels, each at a successively lower price point. This is the DA2, as shown on the top tube, which specs Di2 and carbon clincher wheels at $8,999 - pricey, but still significantly lower than the $12,999 DA1.

The Outdoor Demo portion of Interbike is one of its treats. Vendors bring a lot of product to be tried out, played with, and discovered. And although much of what is out in the sand is big-name brands offering their experience to the masses, there are always a couple little surprises tucked away between booths, just like at the indoor show, which starts two days later. I'll be there covering the showroom floor just like last year. But for now, enjoy this gallery of images from the desert hills.

Tags » argon118,  bmcracing,  campagnolo,  felt,  mavic,  oakley,  smith,  v90shades
  • Felt's big news this year is that their top-end DA frame will be available at four distinct levels, each at a successively lower price point.  This is the DA2, as shown on the top tube, which specs Di2 and carbon clincher wheels at $8,999 - pricey, but still significantly lower than the $12,999 DA1.
  • Here's the Felt DA3, with SRAM RED, at $4,999.
  • The DA isn't the cleanest bike around when it comes to hiding cables, but ...
  • ... It still looks pretty good from the front. I just wish that front brake was a center-pull to hide that cable a little better.
  • The Women's paint scheme on the DA4 is awesome!  I think plenty of men will want to ride this version.
  • Felt even anodized the brake shoes to match the paint scheme, and ...
  • ... even the bottle cage bolts get the matching color treatment.
  • See that? Definitely Felt-branded bolts.
  • The standard battery placement on the DA is beneath the down tube, just forward of the bottom bracket.  It's covered by this fairing for better aerodynamics.
  • Super narrow flanges on Felt's TTR2 wheelset keep the spokes out of the wind, but compromise stiffness a bit.
  • All-in-all, a stunning bike.
  • The DA is available with this forward-set seatpost that achieves a 78-degree seat tube angle, good for most triathlets.
  • You can't walk five paces at Interbike without running into nude carbon. I love it.
  • LOOK didn't bring any tri product to Outdoor Demo.  I wonder if they're thinking of launching something new in the near future.
  • Um ... I think Giant brought enough demo bikes for everyone and their extended family to ride.
  • Here's one of those little niche products I mention below.  It's the Sonic Walk wearable audio system.  You wear this thing like a backpack (except the model closest to camera, which straps onto an existing backpack), plug in your iPod, smartphone, etc, and the speakers play music right at shoulder-level, giving you tunes without compromising your ambient hearing.  I think it's a great way just to carry your phone while running, as pockets and belt-worn systems always bounce for me.
  • The Sonic Walk's speakers are USB-chargeable for convenience.
  • Vision is now producing wheels as well, under its Metron label.
  • These wheels are v-shaped, and don't have the fancy pedigree of the wider wheels being shown by most cutting-edge wheel brands.
  • You can also get a Vision disc, which is just narrow, flat sidewalls, no shaping.
  • The new Vision bars are nice in that they have adjustable reach and roll for extensions.
  • Just two small bolts let you adjust (and swap) extensions. I believe these are based on the 22mm standard, but no confirmation from Vision, who hadn't brought their tech sheets.
  • Travesty!  The wonderfully minimal Vision aero brake levers have been changed, making them beefier, heavier, and less aero.  On the plus side, they are now compatible with more bars (the old ones were finnicky).  I'm not thrilled with this change, but there's always the 3T levers.
  • Campy had their new tri line out for demo.  These are their Return-to-Zero shifters, nearly identical in function to SRAM's R2C shifters.  The ergonomics and feel are great, pretty much the same as their SRAM counterparts. So if you're a Campy fan, now you can have good shifting as well.  Available in 10 or 11 speed, but only the 11s ones are carbon.
  • The biggest difference between Campy's lever and SRAM's is the shaping, which is meant to give you a more ergonomic grip on the lever blade.  Personally, I prefer the SRAM version's feel, but maybe only because I'm so used to it.  Either way, it's really splitting hairs - the Campy lever feels good.
  • Campy's new aero brake lever has a quick-release built right in, making it easier to take your wheels out without needing to access the brake itself, which is becoming a trickier task on next-gen bikes.
  • Quintana Roo had their Project Illicito out, with its massive chainstay and missing seatstay on one side.
  • A closeup of Quintana Roo's zany rear triangle.
  • I definitely like to see novel thinking, and QR is doing that with its bikes, thumbing its nose at UCI rules and trying things differently.
  • One very nice feature on Quintana Roo's seatpost is the ability to tell your approximate seat tube angle at a glance.
  • The Illicito also has a massive downtube, far in excess of the UCI's 3-to-1 ratio requirement.  But it's probably a little harder to handle in crosswinds, I'd imagine.
  • You can tell Oakley was here by the insanely huge truck they brought.  It's not much closer to camera than those other vehicles in the background.  It's MASSIVE.
  • Oakley brought a large complement of testable product, and decided on some pretty loud colors to make a statement.
  • Loud colors are one reason I love Oakley so much.  Just look at that!  Beautiful.
  • The new Fast Jacket is basically just a revised Flak Jacket.
  • Argon 18 brought their new E-118.  It's definitely different, even if not as refined as some other bikes coming out. The bike DOES come in a Di2 version, but you have to order the right frame for it - no backward-forward compatibility like some other frames have.
  • Viewed from above, the E-118 does have some cool-looking sharp lines.
  • Okay, I think the bar on the E-118 just looks weird.  But it does have a function - you can flip it upside down to achieve rise instead of drop.  The frontal profile here is pretty clean ... other than that front brake cable.
  • Hm, can you see the brake cable sticking out in the wind?  Stop with all the side-pull front brakes, Argon!
  • The Argon's stem is pretty clean, but it doesn't allow for any rise.  You achieve that through armcup spacers.  It does have two fore-aft positions for reach adjustment.
  • Rear cables exit through this port, nice and clean.
  • Flippable seatpost on the Argon E-118.
  • TRPs new bottom bracket V-brake is getting very popular among new manufacturers, and I can see why.  It's easy to implement, and hides the brake well.  I haven't had a chance to thoroughly test one yet.
  • Here's the SRAM RED version of the BMC TM01 I tested earlier.  See that article linked at the bottom of this page.
  • The SRAM and Di2 versions of the TM01 together.  I LIKE this bike.
  • BMC had their new Impec bikes out on display, with all the glorious nude carbon.
  • The entire Impec frameset is woven together at BMC's factory - that weave you see isn't cosmetic, it's the structure of the bike.
  • At long last, Madfiber has announced the availability of the clincher version of their wheels.  It's not carbon though - it's a metal rim bed kept inside a carbon structure. But the brake tracks are still carbon.
  • The Madfiber Carbon Clincher will weigh in at around 1220 grams.  Still VERY light.
  • Okay, now here's a product I'm thrilled to have stopped for.  It's Smith's Pivlock V90 sunglasses.  These thing are a triathlete's dream.  Not only are they light, and the fit fantastic, but no rims on top or bottom means excellent visisility in the aero position. Smith had some stock on hand and were selling these, so naturally I picked up this set in TriRig orange. Watch for a thorough review later on.
  • The Smith Pivlock V90 comes in several wild colors, including this purple for the ladies.  Every set comes with THREE lenses (!!!) and a hard case, all for just $139.  Great value, great features.
  • The Smith Pivlock V90 also comes in a MAX version, with a slightly taller lens for even better visibility in aero.  What's better, the frame components are the same - only the lens is different.  So you can easily swap from one to the other depending on your needs.  This product is awesome!
  • SRAM's Beyond Black RED group is pretty darn sexy.
  • Zipp had all their new product on hand - this is the 2012 version of the 404 in Beyond Black.  Black logos, spokes, and hubs.  Awesome.
  • The new 303 Firecrest is a game-changer. The shallow wheel has insanely-good handling, weighs almost nothing, yet has aerodynamics better than just about anything else in its depth class.  Smaller riders, or those not used to aero wheels will want to seriously consider these hoops.
  • The Firecrest line now includes 303, 404, and 808, all in Tubular or Carbon Clincher versions. I'm looking forward to testing them all.
  • Bontrager is now making a brake lever with a built-in barrel adjuster, to make it easier to fine-tune wheel fit on integrated-brake bikes.
  • The Mavic Tri Helium shoe is sick light, and sick bright!
  • Can you see a trend here?  Lots of wheels!  Reynolds now makes their exotic RZR wheel in a 92mm depth, to complement the 46mm version.  It retails for a staggering $6,000.
  • The RZR series is known for its funky triple-layer hub design.
  • Whenever I see the Liger logo, I think of Napoleon Dynamite.
  • The Liger is a less-known but still exotic-looking bike.  They've got a new model that will be on the showroom floor on Wednesday.
  • Rudy Project now makes the Wingspan helmet in some very vibrant colors.  Thanks for visiting this gallery, and be sure to check back in on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for the indoor show!

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