Ten things I liked at Interbike this year
I attended my first Interbike this year. The annual bike show in Las Vegas is the biggest industry gathering outside of Europe and comes just two weeks after EuroBike. It was a massive event and a bit overwhelming to be honest. But since the event takes place two weeks after EuroBike commenced, the latest technologies and newest gear had already been premiered, reviewed and written about. Sure, I was excited to see and try it for myself, but I didn’t want to write about old news. Instead, here are the top 10 things I saw, did or liked at Interbike.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper rocked the Industry Breakfast Keynote. He, in no uncertain terms, stated his love for cycling. “Biking is a effing great thing!” he exclaimed before announcing a plan to spend more than $100 million over the next four years to make Colorado “the best state for biking.”
America’s first UCI Cyclocross World Cup
History was made on Wednesday night, when Las Vegas hosted America’s first UCI Cyclocross race. And a good night it was. All the very best riders in the world were present save world champions Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Mathieu van der Poel.
The women’s race was won by Katarina Nash who, with two laps to go, made a brilliant attack on the course’s tiring climbs and quickly opened a gap on the lead group of Sanne Cant, Catherine Pendrel and Eva Lechner. In the last lap, Lechner also broke free of the chase group, but was unable to bridge up to Nash whose advantage was too great. Nash and Lechner both soloed to the finish. Cant took the sprint for third.
The men’s race was dominated by the Belgians. While the course wasn’t technical per se, the headwinds, bumpy grass and climbs sure made it demanding and no one was eager to make an early move. On the third lap, Michael Vanthourenhout went off the front, gaining a gap as big as 30 seconds. Two-time former world champion and two-time CrossVegas winner Sven Nys started the chase. Wout van Aert followed. Vanthourenhout was caught before the end of the fourth lap. Then, it was Van Aert’s turn at the front. He attacked hard and dropped Vanthourenhout and Nys. Nys in turn dropped Vanthourenhout and the three would each solo to the finish.
I am a huge sucker for cool cycling socks. I have an entire drawer dedicated to them, and one can never have too many. I left Interbike with six additional pair from Handlebar Mustache and Sockguy. I just can’t help myself!
Park [Kitchen] Tools
Park Tool is branching out. They’ve got you covered for all your bike repairs as well as kitchen essentials. They’re now featuring bottle openers, a pizza cutter and spork.
This Go Pro mount
This dog was stealing the show on day one. I dubbed him Enduro Dog. Sporting the GoPro Fetch dog harness, he’d be you’re perfect trail companion.
Gravel is so hot right now
We already saw this at EuroBike, but gravel grinding is on the rise and manufacturers are all over it. Norco, Jamis, Scott, Sarto Antonio, Fuji and others all proudly displayed their take on this ‘new’ category of bikes. Related: Read about my first gravel race and tips for going out and doing one yourself.
This artist painted Specialized Amira Vogue
This gorgeous Amira frame caught my eye. While Specialized was notably absent from Interbike, they did have a booth promoting their custom bottles. In the corner stood a small display of their artist designed frames. This Amira Vogue is part of the Specialized S-Build program, and only 25 of them were made available for sale in the U.S.
The Nite Ize cell phone mount
Having tried various mediocre or plain faulty cell phone holders, I was critical when a Nite Ize employee insisted on me trying their “Handleband.” The HandleBand is universal smartphone mount that allows you to securely attach your phone to the handlebar or stem with or without a case using a single band that wraps the mount’s aluminium base, your bar or stem and phone.
I tried it for three days to navigate me through Vegas and I’m impressed. It’s extremely easy to attach and surprisingly sturdy. It’s didn’t move a milimeter! It won’t replace my Garmin anytime soon but it is great for directions when you’re in a new place and want turn-by-turn navigation.
Bonus: it functions as a bottle opener, too!
I had read numerous articles on SRAM eTAP but I hadn’t yet seen it in person. I simply had to see what all the buzz was about. Points for creativity: At the SRAM booth, they had turned the wireless technology in games in which you used their shifting in a similar manner of a computer game controller. The booth was popular with attendees and not just because they got to play games.
With its fast-paced and high trafficked roads and swarms of pedestrians, cycling to and from the convention center around The Strip was pretty uncomfortable. But once away from the tourist attractions and into the desert, the riding was actually quite spectacular.
Located just 27 kilometres west of The Strip, Red Rock Canyon is a magical area to ride with its vast desert landscape, unique red rock formations, Joshua trees and wild burros.