Interbike 2018: Showroom Floor, Pt. 1
images by Nick Salazar
Sep 18, 2018  hits 45,343

It's the Batpod!
It's the Batpod! Misc » 

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.



Tags » bisaddle,  interbike,  interbike2018,  stac,  tools,  vision

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.

  • Vision Metron aerobar
  • Storage cavity for electronic junctions.
  • The cable cover for the Vision Metron bar doubles as the stem's top cap
  • An amply-sized port on the bottom of the bar makes room for brake cable routing.
  • FSA's WE (Wireless Electronic) group is definitely a puzzle to me. It combines the headache of full Di2 wiring with the headache of multiple battery replacements, with no apparent advantage at all. The ONLY wire you save is the one connecting the rear parts with the front parts. That's ONE wire. And now you have multiple batteries, potential dropout issues, etc to deal with. I can't quite see the draw of this group, but maybe I'm missing something.
  • One redeeming feature about the otherwise troubling WE drivetrain is that the brake lever shifters are very neatly incorporated into the lever itself, adding no frontal area.
  • The WE aerobar shifters look nice, very minimal.
  • FSA recently bought Power2Max, and has rebranded it as the FSA PowerBox. It's a solid dual-sided power meter.
  • Vision's other bars have also adopted a pad-spacer setup, though only the Metron bar gets tilt.

BiSaddle Shapeshifter 

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.

  • BiSaddle Shapeshifter
  • BiSaddle Shapeshifter
  • BiSaddle Shapeshifter
  • BiSaddle Shapeshifter

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.

  • Tannus Airless Tires
  • Interestingly, the tires are directional.

K-Edge 

K-Edge improves their fit and finish every year, with multiple new color options and very slick shaping on their CNC-machined parts.

  • K-Edge
  • K-Edge
  • K-Edge
  • K-Edge

Misc 

  • Another really nice surprise find was the Samox 7-Series road cranks. These replaceable-spider cranks are carbon, and come in lengths all the way down to 150mm! Defintely awesome, not enough short crank makers are out there, and I will definitely be reviewing these in the near future.
  • Another really nice surprise find was the Samox 7-Series road cranks. These replaceable-spider cranks are carbon, and come in lengths all the way down to 150mm! Defintely awesome, not enough short crank makers are out there, and I will definitely be reviewing these in the near future.
  • Millner tools has been exhibiting for a few years, and always has very impressive live demos of the stout drill bits they sell. This year, they unveiled a set compatible with hex drivers! I'll be excited to give these a spin (no pun intended).
  • Oakley exhibited their 'Aro' helmets, cycling apparel, and increasingly-funky sunglasses. The Aro 7 is their TT/tri lid, but while the lenses come in very nice vibrant colors, I've found it really difficult to use. The magnetic visor is a big pain to put on and off, nothing like the latest Giro lids which have perfected the mechanism.
  • Praxis showing off the benefits of good cold-forged construction.
  • Praxis showing off the benefits of good cold-forged construction.
  • Praxis 'wave' tooth profiles for 1x drivetrains, a good alternative (and patent-workaround technique) to SRAM's X-Sync rings.
  • Praxis 'wave' tooth profiles for 1x drivetrains, a good alternative (and patent-workaround technique) to SRAM's X-Sync rings.
  • Misc
  • It's the Batpod!
  • It's the Batpod!
  • Sherlock is a really neat product, and as far as I know, unique in the industry. It's a covert GPS tracker you slide into a bar end, which gives you about 2 weeks of real-time tracking of your bike. Handy for when shipping a bike to a race, or if your bike is at risk of theft.
  • Sherlock is a really neat product, and as far as I know, unique in the industry. It's a covert GPS tracker you slide into a bar end, which gives you about 2 weeks of real-time tracking of your bike. Handy for when shipping a bike to a race, or if your bike is at risk of theft.
  • Tacx has created a standalone trainer that still uses standard saddle AND handlebars (the latter being a rare feature in a standalone trainer), and the direct-drive mechanism from their high-end trainers. Looks very nice.
  • Tacx has created a standalone trainer that still uses standard saddle AND handlebars (the latter being a rare feature in a standalone trainer), and the direct-drive mechanism from their high-end trainers. Looks very nice.
  • If this bike looks incomplete to you, that's because it is. This bike is meant ...
  • ... to be used on a pontoon-style watercraft. Funky!
  • Hey guys, guess what? The Pioneer power meter is waterproof! Groovy.
  • STAC has refined the finish of their absolutely lovely Zero trainer. We wrote a complete review of the trainer earlier this year.
  • STAC has refined the finish of their absolutely lovely Zero trainer. We wrote a complete review of the trainer earlier this year.
  • Both indoor and outdoor exhibiting took place in Reno, but none of it was really 'juicy' in terms of good tri tech.

Related Articles
Some more interesting things we spotted on the showroom floor of Interbike's 2018 edition in Reno, Nevada.
Interbike is back! And now it's in Reno. Enjoy our early gallery of Outdoor Demo, and check back tomorrow for lots more once the indoor show starts.
Our first catches from the showroom floor at Interbike 2016.
Possibly my favorite thing from Interbike was an incredibly smart and innovative new saddle - and I almost walked right past it.
Unveiled at Interbike 2014, FSA is designing some very fit-minded and function-rich front end products, though just at the concept stage right now.