Interbike 2018 highlights: Ceramic, aluminum, rubber, and foam goodness

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The 2018 Interbike show has closed its doors, and all of the exhibitors and attendees have scattered from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada. But does that mean we’ve already shared everything that caught our interest there? Hardly.

Featured in this round of follow-up coverage are: a wealth of neat go-fast upgrades from Enduro Bearings, Alto Cycling’s foray into carbon mountain bike wheelsets, Assos’s new S9 bib shorts, helmets from Abus, interesting new tires from Donnelly Cycling and Maxxis, and more.

Be sure to also check out the rest of our coverage from the Interbike trade show.

Enduro Bearings’ premium derailleur pulleys roll with minimal friction thanks to the outstanding XD-15 cartridge bearings, but they’re also stiffer than all-plastic wheels thanks to the two-piece hollow aluminum core. But unlike all-aluminum pulleys, the Delrin outer sections will still run quieter and wear longer.
Enduro Bearings also offers a cartridge bearing-equipped cable pulley upgrade for SRAM Eagle rear derailleurs. Fun fact: note the old Avid roller on the pulley housing, which is apparently some sort of patent-related requirement.
Why bother with a cartridge bearing pulley upgrade, you ask? Because the stock pulley is just a hunk of basic plastic, and has a tendency to bind once the cable tension builds at the lower end of the cassette. It’s a difference you can legitimately feel in your thumb.
Enduro Bearings now has XD-15 pulleys for nearly every make and model of rear derailleur on the market.
Also new from Enduro Bearings is a more user-friendly version of its XD-15 angular contact bottom bracket, which now requires less bearing preload than the original. The standard angular contact XD-15 bottom bracket is still the preferred option for ultimate performance, says Enduro Bearings, as it’s more tolerant of side loading and rolls with a touch less friction.
Assos showed off its new flagship S9 bib shorts at this year’s Interbike show. We’ve got a pair in for review, so stay tuned for a firsthand report soon.
One of the key details on Assos’s new S9 bib shorts is the unique straps, which anchor further down the back to provide more stability and support for the chamois. According to Assos, this makes for greater rider comfort over long rides.
Interestingly, the new Assos S9 bib shorts use just two panels for the main body of the garment, thus minimizing irritating seams. The anatomic fit is achieved through very careful patterning.
Alto Cycling recently expanded into carbon fiber cross-country and trail wheelsets to complement the company’s wide range of road, cyclocross, and gravel models.
Alto Cycling uses its trademark high-low rear hub design for its new mountain bike wheels. According to Alto, the large-diameter driveside flange helps even out the bracing angles between the non-driveside and driveside spokes to help balance spoke tensions.
Bearing preload is easily adjusted with a threaded collar on the one-piece aluminum axle.
Alto’s hub design supposedly minimizes how much additional preload is applied to the bearings when the thru-axle (or quick-release) is tightened.
Alto Cycling’s “Plus” wheelsets feature a generous 36.4mm internal width. The design of the tire bed only requires that the center of the channel be taped.
Alto Cycling offers a wide range of color customization for its wheelsets, including 16 different rim decals and a choice of six different anodized finishes for the hubs.
Maxxis’ new Velocita AR looks to be a good option for riders who regularly find themselves on hardpacked dirt roads or bad pavement, but still want a tire with low rolling resistance. Maxxis offers these only in a tubeless-ready 700x40c size. Claimed weight for the 120TPI version is 380g.
The Maxxis Rambler is one of the company’s most popular gravel tires, and now it’s available in a higher-volume 700x45c size.
Are you a Maxxis fan looking for the ultimate in all-conditions traction? The Assegai combines features of several different Maxxis favorites to provide predictable grip at a wide range of lean angles.
Maxxis has displayed the 26×4.8″ Moosetrak studded fat bike tire before, but it still hasn’t really made its way to market. It sounds like Maxxis will have them ready for this winter, though, but in a DIY version that requires buyers to install the included studs themselves.
Hope Technology’s aftermarket road disc brake calipers aren’t new, but they’re still incredibly striking, especially in one of the optional anodized colors.
Versions of Hope Technology’s road disc brake calipers are available for both SRAM and Shimano levers.
Donnelly Cycling recently launched the EMP gravel tire (right), featuring a burlier tread design specifically aimed at rougher courses like what’s found at Dirty Kanza in Emporia, Kansas. Also fairly new are tubeless versions in several tread patterns and sizes, along with tan sidewall options for riders that want a more classic look.
Donnelly Cycling already had the Amy Dombroski tribute color for its C/C carbon cyclocross frameset, and now it’s completing the trademark blue-and-orange color scheme with some experimental tires. Sorry, folks: they’re only for team riders for the moment.
The Abus Moventor mountain bike helmet isn’t new, but it’s still a rare sight in the United States, where the brand is slowly making inroads. This particular model looks to be a decent option for cross-country and trail riders who are particularly keen on value.
The two-piece shell on the Abus Moventor allows for some fun color combinations. The extra coverage on the back is very much appreciated, too.
Abus introduced the enduro-focused Montrailer ACE helmet just a few months ago, and it’s certainly one of the most progressively styled options in the segment.
Note how the helmet appears to wrap down and around the lower part of your skull while still leaving lots of open space for ventilation. Also, check out the novel strap adjustment system that should make it easier for riders to get their desired fit.
The Abus Montrailer ACE is the first helmet I’ve seen to use a translucent visor, which should minimize the harshness of bright sunlight, but without feeling too confining. The adjustment range is very generous so you can tuck your goggles up on the shell as needed. Unfortunately, the forward-facing vents end up mostly obscured either when goggles are stored or when the visor is pivoted downward.
The Abus Viantor barely breaks the US$100 mark at retail, but it certainly boasts a much more premium appearance.
The Abus U-Lock 770A SmartX features Bluetooth connectivity so your phone can act as a key, as well as a built-in alarm to ward off potential thieves.
Some companies advocate that you should only use liquids to rehydrate, and instead ingest calories with solid food during a ride. In contrast, Infinit Nutrition has always believed that higher-intensity efforts require liquid calories for easier digestion, and has a full range of products to suit.
Tool nerds, rejoice! Dualco has developed a new version of its classic grease injector gun, featuring a more ergonomic trigger-style mechanism. The new tops will fit on current canisters.
If you use a lot of anti-seize compound, and have ever cursed about how the stuff somehow manages to get on everything, get your hands on Dualco’s tidy anti-seize tube and screw-on applicator. This is very, very high on my want list.

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