Whereas Interbike was once the king of American bicycle industry trade shows, it now signals that the season of new product launches is winding down. The first two days of the event take place in Boulder City, Nevada, (Outdoor Demo) and are a little quieter this year than in years past. That said, we still found some shiny bits calling to us through the waves of heat gripping this dusty desert. Here are some of the new components that we checked out on the first day of Interbike 2016.
DVO Garnet dropper seatpost
Suspension maker DVO is set to introduce a dropper post of it’s own (shown here is a prototype). The cable actuated post is air sprung and hydraulically damped with an external air valve to control rebound speed. Choose from either 30.9 or 31.6 diameters, routing will be availableinternally or externally and travel will be 125 mm or 150 mm. Claimed weight is 585 grams and cost is projected to be $400.
Pinion, which is available in Europe, is making its debut in the U.S. This 12-speed internal gear box is housed in the bottom bracket area to keep its weight low and centered under the rider. What’s interesting is that the design is based on a mini-motorcycle transmission, meaning its gears are lubed by 60 ml of synthetic oil. According to its designer (who formally designed transmissions for Porsche) you only need to change the oil once a year or at 6,000 miles, whichever comes first. To do that, just open the drain then refill with the supplied, pre-filled syringe.
This design is claimed to have a wider gear range than SRAM Eagle available with no overlapping gears found on typical double ring drivetrains. Gear ratio is also claimed to remain identical through the whole range. Pictured here is the Gates belt drive version but a standard chain option is also available. Obviously this is an OEM product but expect to see it popping up as an option from many small to mid-range builders.
Imagine that! New glasses from Ryders. All joking aside, these are more than just new shapes, these are pretty crazy new lenses. They are photochromic, but they not only change from light to dark incredibly quickly, they also change tint color as they get darker, helping to increase contrast and help highlight terrain changes.
I put these on and kept taking them off and putting them on again. The optical quality is incredible. I was tempted to create a diversion and walk off with a pair. But, I didn’t. It was still early in the day and no one had offered me enough beers make bad choices yet.
The lenses are highly impact resistant and have Ryders’ excellent anti-fog coating. All this super pacific northwest tech is not coming cheap, so expect to shell out around $230 when these go on sale soon.
Shimano ME 7 shoes
Shimano has introduced the new ME 7 shoe to replace the previous M200–the ME stands for mountain/enduro. The biggest news is a new Michelin rubber outsole. It’s aggressive and sticky with a high grip compound for off-the-bike maneuvers but Shimano stressed it’s still a still sole designed with pedaling performance in mind first and foremost. The sole also has a new pedal interface specific to Shimano pedals for optimum performance and ultra quick click-in.
Other upgrades include a more toe box reinforcement and toe box volume that’s increased by 15 percent. It also has a quick lace mechanism under the main Velcro closure and a reverse buckle near the ankle that inserts into another Velcro strap to eliminate excess dangle.
The shoe will retail for $200 and is shipping to dealers now. It will also be available at all REI locations in grey rather than black in two months.
Hutchinson 27plus tires
The 27plus tire market continues to grow with two new-ish, tubeless-ready entries from Hutchinson. The Taipan and Toro all-conditions tires grew in girth with the “Koloss” models. Hutchinson made the tire sides more rigid to reduce the chances they will roll off your rims at low pressures. The rubber that contacts the ground was made softer and more flexible to better respond to terrain, again instead of popping off a rim. Both tires also feature Hutchinson’s “Hardskin” — a puncture resistant aramid fabric barrier.
Ready to #enduro? Put a Taipan on the back and a Toro on the front. These tires run around 900 grams per tire and will sell for $95, each.