Press Camp: Sun Valley Part Two

Seven half-hour appointments, each in a different condo room of the Sun Valley Resort.We’ve never been interested in regurgitating the company line when it comes to press camps. I mean, sometime there’s something interesting to report, and sometimes not.As I headed to the first of seven morning appointments on Wednesday, I wondered what I might learn in each of the half hour sessions. Would the company have something new and exciting to show me, or would it be a drag? I went in with an open mind, hoping to take something salient from each meeting.My 8:30 was with the Delta 7 people; they make those bikes with the carbon fiber tubes that look like spider webs. IsoTruss technology it’s called. A single hand-laid strand of carbon creates one tube out of many three dimensional triangles. I’m told that this is a stronger and redundant structure that won’t fail catastrophically. If you need a bike that hardly anyone else in the world has, the few hundred a year that they are making can be had starting at $7500 complete. Interesting thing that I took away from the meeting was the many other applications this technology can be applied to, like ultra light utility poles and towers.
An IsoTruus tube
Nine was time for Clif Bar’s presentation, where we learned three things. One that the Builders protein bar comes in a new flavor, Lemon, and it tastes yummy. Two that the Shot Bloks energy chews have a new, skinny package that allows you to squeeze ‘em out one at a time. And lastly, that Clif has entered the liquid refreshment, excuse me, Hydration market with its Quench sport drink, which “Contains the optimal balance of electrolytes and low carbs for maximum hydration”. The bottle is made from recycled PET plastic, and the label is recyclable as well.
Clif Goodies
Blue Competition Cycles (9:30am) is a five-year-old, Atlanta-based company, which started based on a road team’s need for bikes to race on. I learned a little about time trial bikes (As a mountain biker, I start at zero) and the passion to start a bike company from scratch. Here’s something new, purchase of Blue’s Triad comes with an hour in the A2 wind tunnel in Charlotte, NC. Veddy interestink. But Blue makes a mountain bike as well. I’m told Seth Wheeling was Xterra champion riding a Blue Ryno full-suss racer.
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Next I had two Gore appointments. Gore has been pushing all things polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) since 1958, and has grown to an 8400-associate company with manufacturing around the world. This, as well as the fact that those associates have ownership in the company impressed me.Impressive to all cyclists was 1985 introduction of Gore-Tex and Gore Bike Wear. Yes, waterproof, breathable fabrics. Gore Bike Wear has been the number one brand in Europe for some time, so in 2005, the brand was brought to the United States.New from Gore is their Fusion Jacket and Fusion SO pants, which feature Gore’s “Comfort Mapping Technology”, a patchwork of technical fabrics that serve a variety of functions depending on placement within the garment, whether it’s for venting, comfort, warmth or flexibility. Look for Fusion this fall.On the cable side, Gore is back. These slippery wonders were available from 1993 to 2003, went on hiatus, and became available again in 2007 mainly due to demand that never went away. The line has been expanded and the coating is now much more thin and durable, I’m told. But I’ll tell you, I rode an Ultegra road bike equipped with Gore cables and it shifted better than another Dura Ace bike with other cables. Good stuff. Here’sa company-supplied shot of the pants!
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Now for a short half-hour at Cycling Sport Group. That’s Cannondale, GT, Mongoose, Schwinn and Sugoi. There was no way to take this all in, but there were a couple of standouts. One was the Cannondale Hooligan, a non-folding folding bike for getting around town while taking a small space in the cubicle or BART.Then there’s Mongooses all around bike, the Sobrosa, available as an 8 speed internal or single speed, it also offers flip-away pedals and a handlebar that can easily be turned 90Ëš for easy access to smaller urban spaces. here’s the Hooligan, presented by the official presenter.
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Lastly, before lunch and a ride, there’s Saris, another notably independent American manufacturing company, bless America. They make racks, and the rack they were showing today was the T-Bones, a rack designed to hang your bike in the living room as well as the back of your car. The whole thing weighs ten lbs, and folds into a handy bag for moving from auto to abode.
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Now to ride. Back at River Run chair, I grab a GT  Force mountain bike for my first run. I’ve ridden there before, the Force offers a swell mix of long travel gas while still remaining a capable climber. Fortunately we were able to find a little uphill to test this funktion, it felt good to stretch the legs.
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My second run would be on the Cannondale RZ120, which proved to be a far better climber, while desending just as quickly as the longer-travel GT. Here’s a picture of Singletrack Chipps riding one. Know the dude for years and yet this was perhaps the first time we had ridden together.
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Yea, good times were had. Here’s “Chopper” before wiping out.
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