The shorn-leg “industry” folks once again bombarded Sin City for Interbike this week, on the lookout to see what’s new from their favorite companies, and also hoping that luck would lead them to the must-haves for next year. We were there attending the show in full-force, spotting lots of good, some bad, and many impressive new products. Here’s a quick rundown of five items that had me slowing my step a notch or two.
Perhaps it was purely coincidental that several of the booths that constantly had the biggest crowds all week were also dressed in wooden/industrial/urban-ish enclosures. Or maybe it was that the workers at these “lounges” were actively engaging and interacting with the show-goers through services and product demos. Either way, Giro, Mission Workshop, and Chrome seemed to have the recipe dialed for getting people’s attention, and it wasn’t without good reason.
Sometimes it takes a pop of color to stand out from the crowd. Or, paradoxically, a little camouflage with natural greys and browns. Hell, why not just combine the two, as that seemed to be the modus operandi of many companies this year. The color scheme commonly associated with hunting was everywhere. Add to this a fresh lineup of commuter-friendly, yet still technically apt road apparel, and you have a combination that gets heads turning. Giro took over in this category, as its New Road collection included helmets and lifestyle-esque gear that adds a new twist on what’s capable in this rapidly growing sector.
Provide pour-over coffee, some hypnotic beats, a small photo gallery, and a fashionable crew of youthful Californians, and they will come. Well, at least they did for Mission Workshop. Long known for its innovative, dare I say “bombproof” bags, Mission was on hand in full-force, keeping the hip caffeinated as they showed off their new technical apparel and weatherproof pack collections. The Orion stands out as one of its hallmark products, taking inspiration from clean-cut streetwear and combining full-protection from the elements to create a single, unassuming jacket design.
While we’re on the topic of softgoods, Chrome also made quite the splash at this year’s show. In addition to recreating what resembled some type of city park hangout parlor, the gang brought on-site screen-printing, bag-sewing, and shoe-making demonstrations with it. A group of skillful gals were on hand throughout the week, diligently sewing limited edition Barrage Rolltop bags for attendees. The demos Chrome put on also seemed to help break things up a little, acting as a refreshing timeout from the rest of the event, with more “showing” and less “telling” involved.
It was only fitting that I found myself trying to catch a glimpse of Look’s new pedals through a congregation of loud French men fondling the carbon beauties. The Keo Blade 2 was spotted on bikes of several select riders earlier this year, and they were on display for all to admire at the show. The design relies on a new blade retention system, features a fully-shrouded aerodynamic profile, and weighs a mere 90 grams. Overall, it looks to be a sound and simple new pedaling platform.
Yellow was also the color of the show, not as an emerging trend but as a statement — at least for one company, that is. That’s exactly what Pinarello had on display, complete with a bus, booth, and bicycles to match. It seemed a fitting color for the event, with a banner reminding everyone that its machines have claimed 10 Tour de France titles — two of which occurred in the last two editions of the race. Mr. Pinarello himself was also on hand, sharply dressed as always, and taking questions from attendees. The highlights included the new Dogma XC, complete with its innovative new rear triangle construction, as well as that world-renowned yellow Dogma 65.1 Think2 that we’ve all started to grow accustomed to seeing.