Interbike: Farewell to Vegas

This was Interbike's farewell to Las Vegas. What was notable?

The most notable omissions from this final Vegas installment of the Interbike trade show were the bikes. Where were the bike companies? Argon 18 was there, and Cervelo returned for a final Vegas appearance, otherwise there weren't many true upper end bike brands in attendance compared to years past (with exceptions: see Parlee below).

But I was more interested in the hellos than the goodbyes. Slowtwitchers are very likely to have been personally impacted by the fertile minds of these two fellows, cofounders of Cervelo, Phil White and Gerard Vroomen. If he wasn't before, Phil is now officially better looking than either Gerard or I.

Speaking of good looking, here is an ISM saddle that is purely carbon. Made at HED's Twin Cities factory, it's got the silhouette of a PN series saddle and Steve Toll, ISM's owner and brains (and himself a natty fellow) maintains it's very comfortable. I'll be writing more in the short term about some of the initiatives and ideas behind this company, of which you the end user are almost certainly naive. As you might guess this is a very light saddle. Will it be sold? Yes. When? I'm not sure about that.

This is Bob Parlee, behind his eponymous bike. I feel comfortable saying that the delta between the attention a tri bike should get and what it does get is greatest with the Parlee brand. If you want a bike that will undoubtedly check all the boxes that you should require be checked when you buy a high-end bike, Parlee's attention to detail and excellence means these bikes are safe purchases.

Parlee is the only company that fairs the disc calipers. Above is what this looks like if you look up in behind the front fork. This company does the best job of being a double diamond frame without being only a double diamond frame.

Above are superfitters Ian Murray and Jon Blyer in the GURU booth. Are you unhappy with your tri bike fit? Was your fitter one of these two fellows, who live on either coast? No?

In this video they demonstrate something not yet quite for sale: a quick-change saddle gizmo like one that I take to Slowtwitch Road Shows. This one is more spare, with almost no height added to the rider (meaning it's great for fit bikes). The one I use is a SwitchIt, from Bikefit.com, and they also debuted an upgraded version of their product. These gadgets are the state of the art in saddle selling and in 5 years every (remaining) pro shop will have one.

What you're looking at here is a stand. That tablet is sitting on it. The company is iOMounts and they make mounting solutions for your iOS devices. Here's something to consider: When I polled you all, 1 in 4 of you Zwifted (or Trainerroaded, etc.) using a tablet or a handheld.

These iOMounts make a very slim metal disc that epoxies to the back of your device, and it mounts via a magnet to either a stand (the first pic above) or to a magnet that twists into your head unit holder (in the image just above). The prices are quite reasonable.

And in closing, as we all pack up and get ready to move 400 miles north to Reno and North Lake Tahoe for next year's Interbike, if you made me excise from this show either the products or the people, that would be an easy choice. Above are the Dan Rishworth (Endurosport, Toronto), Steve Fleck (needs no intro), Cid Cardoso, Jr. (Inside Out Sports), and Mr. Vroomen, making a point.

I will in closing make my own point, which I hope Interbike will heed. A large part of why this show was vibrant for exhibitors this year were key influencers brought to this show by brands that held their own events adjacent to the show. Cervelo gathered its own dealers to its own Brain Bike event in Las Vegas, most of whom then stayed for the Interbike show. Brain Bike dealers are the A+ dealers the other Interbike exhibitors want to see.

Slowtwitch brought 25 coaches to its Coaching With Power workshop, and every power meter company exhibiting at the show spent 20 or 30 minutes explaining its own product and tech to this other important group of key influencers.

If I might digress, and as the point person for the upcoming Triathlon Business Intl conference in late January in Tempe, Arizona, I am likewise inviting groups like this to hold their events adjacent to our TBI conference. What the industry needs are more, not fewer, groups attending these events, which is why the Bicycle Leadership Conference pushes its event right next to the Sea Otter Classic. Accordingly, I hope Interbike reaches out to many groups who'll push their proprietary events up against the Interbike show, ensuring a healthy impression on Interbike's exhibitors next year.

I don't think Interbike could have chosen a better location than Reno/Tahoe for next year's event. Most in the industry don't remember that the Interbike show stopped in Reno once before, almost 30 years ago I exhibited there when I owned Quintana Roo, and I always considered it the best trade show host city for Interbike.