We’re in Vegas for the last Interbike in Sin City and here are a few interesting and/or new things we found on our first day wandering the show floor.
Pearl Izumi MTB shoes
Pearl Izumi debuted three new models of mountain bike shoes for spring 2018, all of which are designed to be easy to walk in (because let’s face it, hike a bike is a reality). The X-Alp Launch is a flat pedal shoe designed for all-mountain riding and features a Vibram Megagrip sole for pedal engagement and extra durable rubber on the heel and toe and reinforced toe cap. The Launch is full lace-up in a lightweight package that looks more like an around-town casual shoe than a mountain bike shoe. It comes in two colorways each for men and women and will retail for $150. The Launch also comes in an SPD version for $160.
The X-Alp Elevate is Pearl’s other new SPD offering, featuring a grippy Vibram sole with aggressive tread and a Boa closure. A carbon composite midsole provides stiffness for pedaling efficiency while flex at the heel and toe allow for easy walking. The Elevate also comes in two colorways each for the guys and the gals and retails for $180. Both will be available in early 2018.
Bike transport solutions from Yakima
The BackSwing adapter from Yakima converts almost any hitch rack with a two-inch receiver into a swing-away rack (even those that aren’t Yakima). It will hold up to a four-bike rack with bikes (or about 250 pounds), will retail for $299 and will be available in April.
The SingleSpeed one-bike rack is designed for folks who tend to travel solo (or don’t have any friends) and want a minimalist hitch rack. It is compatible with a variety of sizes of bikes from 20-inch BMX to fat. It will also be available in the spring and will retail for $259.
The GateKeeper truck tailgate pad will be available in two different sizes (fitting five or six bikes depending on the size of your truck) and features individual straps to hold each bike in places as well as a cutout to allow use of a backup camera with the pad in place. The larger of the two (62 inches wide and holds 6 bikes) will retail for $149 while the smaller (54 inches wide and holds 5 bikes) will cost you $139. They’ll be available in February.
Box continues to push their way into the mountain bike drivetrain scene by updating their 11-speed One drivetrain groupset and adding both a lower tiered 11-speed Two and 7-speed downhill groupsets. The biggest change is the transition away from single paddle push-push shifter actuation to a ‘Shimano style’ double paddle design for all groupsets.
The Box One drivetrain rear derailleur weak points are now forged to improve on the strength and durability woes of the prior generation model. Additionally, the clutch mechanism is now capable of being fine-tuned to help with finding the optimal balance between crisp shifting and the desired chain retention. The whole setup is going to run your $175 for the derailleur and $70 for the shifter.
Now, Box is available at a lower price point with the Box Two drivetrain which drops the rear derailleur from $175 down to $110 and the shifter down from $70 to $40. The overall feel and quality felt similar to the One however, a few bells and whistles were absent, such as the adjustable clutch mechanism.
Box also offers a 7-speed drivetrain, similar to the Box One 11-speed drivetrain but with a shortened cage and available for $175. It’s capable of running up to a 28T cassette but matches up perfectly to the Box 7-speed 11-24 cassette that’s available for $50.
MRP’s Ramp Control Cartridges allow you experiment with your fork’s end-stroke and bottom-out force on the fly without having to fart around with bottomless tokens or spacers. MRP has expanded its current lineup of RockShox and Fox Float forks to include 34 mm X-Fusion forks as well.
Tifosi is offering five new sunglass styles for 2018. The Hagen 2.0 ($49.95 – $69.95) offers timeless classic styling with an all new hinge design and available in a larger frame design as the Hagen XL 2.0. The lenses are constructed from a polycarbonate shatterproof and scratch resistant material. The Brixen ($69.95 – $79.95) is Tifosi’s new lightweight frameless design which come with three interchangeable lenses.
Stan’s NoTubes wheelset
Stan’s unveils its lightest wheelset yet, the $1,995 Podium SRD (Stan’s Racing Development). Optimized for a 2.0 – 2.25” 29er tire at 23 mm internal rim width this wheelset features Stan’s Neo hubs and weighs in at a svelte 1287 grams. The Podium SRD is wider and more shallow than the Valor which helps retain the strength of the Valor while offering 15% increase in lateral stiffness. The Podium also offers a revised carbon layup which is part of Stan’s new impact absorbing technology that resulted in an increase in vertical deflection for a more comfortable ride.
Stan’s Neo hub also recently saw a minor update with the freehub body now including two bearings opposed to the single bearing on the inside of the hub. The retainer seal is also a nice touch which I must tip my hat to Stan’s on. This seal keeps all your springs and pawls nicely in place when you remove your freehub, I think we’ve all experienced spending far too many moments of crawling on our hands and knees searching for a spring on your garage floor.
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