Interbike 2018: Showroom Floor, Pt. 1
images by Nick Salazar
Sep 18, 2018
Interbike is a whole new animal this year. The trade show has found its new home in Reno, Nevada, after its final outing in Las Vegas last year. And although the overall participation seems a bit higher than last year, MANY major brands were completely absent, especially as it relates to triathlon. Trek, Specialized, Cervelo, Felt, SRAM, 3T, and many others all sat this one out.
This year's show has a much more casual-consumer vibe to it, with a plethora of e-bikes, lower-end rigs, gravel bikes, and just a generally non-race focus. It was a struggle to find much that was new and innovative as it relates to aero road in general, much less the triathlon market specifically. We may bite the bullet and head to Frankfurt in order to cover Eurobike next year, rather than continuing to cover the much more local, but increasingly irrelevant (to TriRig) domestic show.
That being said, there were still some interesting things to see on the showroom floor, and we always do our best to take a unique perspective on the show. We will have one more gallery tomorrow, so check back for the last bits from Reno.
Vision + FSA
Vision's high-end bars have always been called Metron. The new Metron aerobar is a lovely bit of design work from designer Ron Correa. The bar features adjustable stack, and a nice tilt mechanism, the company's first bar to do so. It also has a small storage compartment for electronic junction boxes. I'm never a fan of downward-swooping base bars, but that's a minor gripe for an otherwise excellent aerobar.
Yes!! After following this startup company for the past three years, we've been excited at the direction they've taken, but never felt like they had finally and fully arrived. That changes with the new product slated for 2019 release: a fully UCI-compliant, road-length saddle, that can basically replicate any split-nose shape on the market, and then some. The new saddle toppers rest on a 70g carbon fiber frame/rail structure, and have dramatically improved everything about the fit, finish, and function of the finished product. I'll be very excited to get one of these in to review. This might be my favorite discovery of the show this year.
Tannus Airless Tires
Ok here's something else I'm genuinely interested in. Tannus Airless tires. The solid rubberized compound has unique features to prevent rolloff and spoke compression, two common weaknesses of previous airless tires. The system has weight comparable to pneumatic tires, decent CRR, and lasts 5,000 miles or more. It's definitely not as fast-rolling as the best pneumatic tires out there so it's not meant for racing. But this looks like an AWESOME option for training, so you don't ever have to worry about getting a flat or pumping air. We will definitely be reviewing these in the near future.
K-Edge improves their fit and finish every year, with multiple new color options and very slick shaping on their CNC-machined parts.