Interbike is a smaller show than it used to be, yes, but this year it was a high-quality show. Best show in years said Speedplay's Richard Bryne. I concur. The high quality retailers attended. Less fluff, more substance.
But there was fluff, in the best sense, and let's start with it.
This was the third year of the Interbike banquet and awards ceremony. Last year attendees were treated to a surprise visit by Dennis Quaid and the rest of the cast of Breaking Away, one of cycling's two iconic movies. This year, why not the other movie, American Flyers?
We didn't see Kevin Costner, and David Grant was a last minute scratch. We did see Luco Bercovicci (Muzzin, the bad guy), and more importantly the two "girlfriends," Alexandra Paul and Rae Dawn Chong.
Ironically Ms. Paul (longtime Baywatch girl and, lest we forget, The Virgin Connie Swail) has gone on to be the athlete neither of the two male leads ever hoped to be (Ironman finisher and most recently finisher of 9- and 14-mile open water swim events).
I had the pleasure of sitting next to Ms. Chong during the ceremony. She presented an award on stage alongside Olympic silver medalist Nelson Vails, who was wearing a helmet for a preplanned skit. She is a high quality deadpan ad-libber, throwing out black lives do matter! at the end of Nelson's helmet safety message.
When someone on stage asked if e-cycling was a sport, from the seat next to me shot out, "It's like a vape!"
But her biggest crowd cheer came from what she did 30 years ago. A montage from American Flyers played on twin screens which included the wheel change, which attendees appreciated as a work of performance art. Google Rae Dawn Chong wheel change and point your browser to the Youtube video. Yes I asked, and she got it on the first take.
This was, by the way, not her first but her third Interbike show, the other two attended as an enthusiast.
Now to items more mundane. What are we seeing above? Just scraps of things on a table. Tubeless strips. Rim strips. Round thingies. It's from Effetto Mariposa's booth and this is one of the companies that keeps on making useful stuff, like the Caffe Latex sealant I put in my latex tubes.
Rim strips because this is one of the hidden reasons you get multiple flats and don't know why. Your rim strip has moved during the course of all your riding, exposing part of a spoke hole. Tire pressure pushes the tube into the hole, causing it to blow.
The round thingies? This company, and Silca, have each caught onto the notion of wheel balancing. Effetto Mariposa has simply taken its valve silencers and offered them in a sheet. Each weighs a gram. Spin your rim very slowly. When it stops, does it roll back in the other direction? Your wheel is out of balance. Place a valve stem silencer on the top of the wheel. Spin it again.
How important is it to have your wheel balanced? Maybe we'll talk about that at length at a later date.
Here are Speedplay Syzr pedals, for offroad and CX. I'll be riding in these offroad over the winter. What you're looking at here are pre-shimmed pedals for those with leg length discrepancies. You can order these pedals as a set, one without shims one shimmed as you need.
Look at these Kask Infinity helmets. Upper left a sliding vent is closed, at right it's open. Lazer has the same thing going on, sliding vents for aero and road helmets. Helmet companies are going to this motif more and more often.
TRP makes a fancy direct mount center pull brake, to compete with TriRig's center mount but specifically for frames with direct mount bosses.
But TRP also realizes that the tri bike market is now moving to disc brakes for a lot of the new intros, and here is a really nice pursuit bar brake lever just for discs.