What’s new at Interbike: part five

Interbike’s indoor show is truly overwhelming; getting lost and being late and forgetting to eat are par for the course, as is the feeling that you can’t possibly cover everything. Here we bring you the most interesting things our editors saw from each day of the indoor show.

Thule/YEPP child seats

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Thule has long made child carriers for bikes but this year it now has YEPP of the Netherlands in its wheelhouse and the two companies are beginning to collaborate. YEPP borrowed helmet technology for this bike seat that actually looks a lot like a helmet, indeed.

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Notable is the magnetic closure system that’s quick and easy to engage, but required a two-point maneuver to open–something your kiddo probably won’t be able to figure out. This particular model has adjustable foot rests, attaches to almost any rear rack and can accommodate up to 48 pounds (it weighs 6.6 pounds empty) and will sell for $220.

Primal Wear urban clothing

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Primal was one of the many companies at Interbike broadly expanding the types of products it has on offer. Long a company focused on custom cycling clothing and mostly oriented toward more serious road riders (if you go even farther back you might remember Primal being known for wacky jersey designs), it seems to be trying to re-orient its brand reputation. Primal still sells tribal ink, Pink Floyd and military-themed jerseys, but has jumped into the urban cycling market with a rather ambitious collection.

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“Collection” is the word for it. The clothes, part of the new “Happy Trails / HTA” line, were designed by Rok Jung. Jung took design cues from high fashion and worked to create hybrid cycling pieces that are useful and technical without being obvious. The pieces clearly won’t appeal to everyone but after inspecting them up close, I came away impressed with the details and impeccable quality of each garment.

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Almost every piece is packed with features like seamless double stitching, mesh panels, reflective detailing, deep pockets and classic style. The HTA line is being described as “active casual” with several pieces that will work just fine beyond cycling. Expect to see this line grow significantly in the future.

Ritchey Logic bikes

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This is the new Ritchey Ascent BreakAway. The steel Ascent has been out for a while as a commuting, touring, adventuring or whatever-ing bike, but the travel ease of the two-piece BreakAway frame is new. The Ascent has mounts for lots of cages, racks and fenders and can run up to 700×40 mm tires or 27.5×2.1 mountain tires. It takes quick release wheels, 160 mm disc rotors and will cost you $1,700 for the frameset. Leopard-print bag not included.

Tires from Schwalbe and Panaracer

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Tires aren’t always the most exciting show items becasue they all start to look alike. But these G-One AllRound Schwalbes caught our eye immediately both for the tread pattern and the size: 27×2.8. Turn your 27plus bike into a commuter or gravel grinder.

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Also notable, and in a similar vein, are the new G-One Speed tires that come in 29×2.35. These tires have existed for the 700c gravel set, but will now likely work on your 29plus rims. The options for bike and tire combos are literally approaching endlessness.

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This one is simply a public service announcement: The excellent Panaracer Gravel King tires are now offered with tan walls. YES. (Pictured are 700x32c tires.)

Co-Motion Cycles

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The Co-Motion Cycles Siskiyou Pinion is a bike for exploring, touring and traveling. It features 650b wheels, thru axles, room for 50 mm tires, Reynolds 725 steel tubing and plenty of rack/fender mounts.

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What’s new with the Siskiyou is an 18-speed Pinion gearbox with Gates Carbon Belt Drive for clean, quiet, low maintenance shifting. The shifting is accomplished by a grip-style shifter machined by Co-Motion. If you don’t want to spend $6,400 on this one, there is also a standard 2×10 available. Or, go with a Rohloff hub.

 

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What’s new at Interbike: part four

Interbike’s indoor show is truly overwhelming; getting lost and being late and forgetting to eat are par for the course, as is the feeling that you can’t possibly cover everything. Here we bring you the most interesting things our editors saw from each day of the indoor show.

Banjo Brothers bags

Banjo Brothers has long been able to meet your bike bag needs at a lower-than-most price point. This year, it launched three new offerings: two, waxed canvas frame bags and a bikepacking-style seat bag (“saddle trunk”).

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The XL Waterproof Saddle Trunk is 800 cubic inches / 13 liters (can be compressed down to 350 cubic inches). It features a removable waterproof liner and a rigid hull inside the bag for secure support even when the bag isn’t full. Retail is a wallet-friendly $65. Look for it to be available in February.

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The canvas frame packs are made of heavy-duty, dry-waxed canvas for weather resistance. Cut-t0-length straps fit most frames. The large is 200 cubic inches and the medium is about half that size. Prices are $45 and $40 respectively.

CatEye lights

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CatEye continues to expand its line of cycling lights, including the Rapid X2 Kinetic (above) which has a built-in accelerometer. It is basically the same as the Rapid lights we liked very much after a testing period, but this one brightens when you hit the brakes. It’s not a perfect system (not a reliable “brake light”) but adds a little layer of security. CatEye recommends using it on the seatpost, only, as it doesn’t work as well if mounted somewhere on the frame.

day-three-52The new Volt 500 XC gets you 500 lumens for $50–a great value. CatEye’s goal was to offer a commuter light at a reasonable price and light level, so it stripped down its popular Volt series and simplified it for you.

Green Guru Gear bike bags

We’ve long been a fan of Green Guru Gear, which is all made from recycled materials (check out the tour we took of the company’s Colorado shop). This year they brought a bunch of new, fun stuff for your everyday cycling adventures.

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Right on trend, Green Guru is offering a small hip pack with some bike-specific touches. The rear has straps to both hold the waist belt out of the way and attach the pack to your handlebars.

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This is exactly what you want it to be: an insulated top tube bag shaped just so for beverage cans, sub sandwiches and whatever else. Price is $40.

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If you prefer glass bottles, check out this carrier that slings over your top tube. It Velcros together underneath and also attaches with a strap to your bike’s head tube. Price is $40.

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This little mini frame bag is just big enough for your phone, wallet and keys. It has dual zippers and multiple attachment options. Price is $30.

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The Double Dutch panniers will go for $100. Like all of Green Guru’s stuff, they are made in the USA from upcycled materials. It is ready for your groceries and can be easily removed and carry with a strap.

Surly handlebars

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Surly showed off its new Moloko bar at Interbike and it has all of the bends! It’s made of ChoMoly steel and weighs 709 grams. Bar clamp diameter is 31.8 mm, width is 736 mm, rise is 27 mm and sweep angle is 34 degrees.

Thule racks and bags

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New to the U.S. is Thule’s ProRide roof rack (it’s “big in Europe” like that band you’ve never heard of). This rack has tool-free attachment, a down tube clamp that makes securing bikes of all wheel sizes very easy, a torque indicator to prevent over tightening the padded clamps on the frame, and rear wheel trays to accommodate bikes of all persuasions. Thule says this model is more secure than those with an arm clamping down on the front wheel.

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Also on display at the show is Thule’s new Double Track Pro, a less-expensive hitch rack ($349) with trickle-down technology from the company’s high-end models. It fits both 1.25 and 2-inch receivers and includes a bolt that actually locks the rack to your hitch. The padded claw-like clamps swivel and slide to adjust for easy positioning on your bike’s frame, no matter if it has a weird shape or not. You’ll notice that adjustment and tightening levers resemble things you’d see on a bike, like quick-release skewers. That’s on purpose–Thule wants to make securing your bike a familiar operation. Weight is 35 pounds.

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Thule also updated its Chasm duffel bags, which will interest those of you who travel with your smelly, dirty riding gear. They are waterproof and include backpack straps. There are snaps on the sides of the bag that hold down the handles for when you check it with an airline. Those snaps also keep the handles out of the way when you’re using the backpack straps. The bags come in four sizes (40-130 liters) and multiple colors.

Feedback Sports tools

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These tools have been teased for awhile, but the wait seems to have been worth it. The T-handle hex set is lovely to look at and feels great your hand. The set is a cool $130 but for most home mechanics these are the last hex wrenches you’ll ever need to buy.

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The ride Prep tool kit is also $130. It looks small, but some of the dual-purpose tools really pack a lot of function into this small TPU case.

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The big boy tool kit is the Team Edition. Other than a set of hex keys/T-handles, this is a incredibly complete set of tools packed into a small space. It also mounts to a work stand and is held very solidly in place with a few straps. This set might be the one the gets me to get rid of my collection of old, random tools and start over.

Origin8 handlebar

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Origin8 significantly expanded its product line this year to include tires and other sundries like more bar tape options (including the camo color pictured). What caught our eye most was the updated Gary handlebar: another option in the small-but-growing field of “dirt drops.” The Gary Ergo Sweep OS has a 620 mm drop width and 480 mm top width, 31.8 mm bar clamp diameter, 110 mm drop, 76 mm reach and 21 degrees of flare.

 

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What’s new at Interbike: part three

Interbike’s indoor show is truly overwhelming; getting lost and being late and forgetting to eat are par for the course, as is the feeling that you can’t possibly cover everything. Here we bring you the most interesting things our editors saw from each day of the indoor show.

Brompton

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While the basic Brompton shape hasn’t changed, that doesn’t mean the brand isn’t continuously refining its products. New this year is a revised cockpit with a new handlebar shape with new shifters tucked underneath it.

The new handlebar shape makes space for the shifters, while also allowing room for full-size grips. Many riders want to equip their Brompton with off-the-shelf lock-on grips, and now they can. The shifters themselves are integrated into the brake levers, as is the bell.

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Another new accessory is the USB powered taillight, developed in partnership with Cay Eye, that attaches to the specially designed port in the Brompton saddle. The saddles are now available in standard (147 mm) and wide (167 mm), too.

Pearl Izumi

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I don’t know about you, but I’m over the super stiff, duck-walking cycling shoes of the past. Pearl Izumi must agree with me, because all of its shoes are designed for both cycling, and standing/walking comfort.

Shoes like the new X-Alp Elite have a super grippy sole, a stiff shank for pedaling and a super flexible toe box for comfort. The BOA closure system is ideal for getting a perfect fit dialed in and can adjust on the fly. This is the kind of shoe you can wear for road, touring, commuting or just cruising with your riding buddies.

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The X-Alp Drift shoe is something you don’t think you need until you try it. The super ventilated, mesh upper sheds heat and water for those tropical, summer rides. Wear them without socks to get some of the cooling benefit of riding with SPD sandals without the beard and fanny pack required.

Tern Bicycles

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We spotted these new, non-folding bikes in the Tern booth. The concept was to develop a series of smaller stature bikes for Asia built around 650c wheels, and they looked so good they are bringing them to the U.S. The smallest sizes go all the way down to 42 cm and top out at 54 cm. There are four models starting at just $500 too.

Schwinn

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Schwinn is doing its best to shake the big box store reputation with new models available only at your local bike shop. The Sivica is a brand-new city cruiser available in either singlespeed or seven speed versions at less than $500. The best part is the candy colored rainbow of paint choices you get. The geometry is relaxed as you might expect, with a super slack seat tube that puts the rider in an almost reclining position.

Blackburn

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Blackburn knows a thing or three about racks and touring, but now it’s bringing its #basketpacking game with the new Outpost basket. Built with many of the same adjustment features as the Outpost touring racks, it’s a great mid-step between a wire mesh basket and some of the super pricey versions on the market. It has a built-in U-lock holder and includes a mesh cargo net. Look for it to sell for $70.

Ortlieb

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We tested Ortlieb’s new bikepacking bags and featured our review in the current issue. Next up is the frame bag, which will be available in two sizes: 4 liters and 6 liters. It has all the same heavy-duty, waterproof construction you’d expect from Ortlieb’s classic, indestructible bags.

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There’s also a new truck rack bag with a roll-top closure that uses a similar attachments system as the classic panniers. A series of four, adjustable feet grab onto any rack, and the system is opened with a “key” of sorts, that you can remove and take with you. It’s not theft-proof, but it prevents a quick grab-and-run.

Calfee Bikes

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We’ve reported on these bamboo frame kits before, but they are super cool, so I cam going to talk about them again. This seems like a great winter project. For $200 you get a full materials kit (Bamboo, headtube, bottom bracket, dropouts, pre-preg fiberglass tape).

Obviously you’ll need tooling to get it all together, so you can rent a set from Calfee, It is free to rent, but you will need to leave a deposit of $600. Or just buy the materials and tooling for $800.

We hope to get one of these in for review. It seems like a perfect winter time project, and a good way to introduce my kids to building things that doesn’t involve welding torches and grinders.

Wheels Manufacturing

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There seem to be a lot of tools at the show this year, including a few from Wheels Manufacturing. The bottom bracket tools are $22 a piece and come in sizes to fit all of the company’s extensive range of bottom brackets. The universal bottom bracket bearing press comes in home and shop versions for $35 or $75.

King Cage

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These might be the most labor-intensive set of chopsticks ever made. I got the lowdown on the many steps it tool to weld and shape these things, I knew they weren’t ever going to be something King Cage would sell. Although who knows? Maybe Ti Chopsticks will be the next hot accessory to hang next to your Ti camping mug on your bikepacking rig.

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Speaking of bikepacking, if your bike is in need of some more mounting points, these little doodads might be your huckleberry. A small threaded stud is welded onto a pipe clamp, and that clamp goes almost anywhere on a bike. Sold in 1 ½, 1 ¾ and 2 inch sizes for $6 each. Pipe clamps might not be the most pleasing thing to look at, but they are about a secure an attachment as you’ll find.

 

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New: Co-Motion touring bikes

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Co-Motion Cycles is well-known for its tandems, but it also has an impressive range of single-rider bikes, all made right in its own factory in Oregon. Co-Motion also makes all it own steel forks, and the majority of the dropouts, brake mounts and other small frame building bits.

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The new Ochoco touring bike is built for shorter-than-average people. While it could easily be called a women’s bike, it is available from sizes 42 to 58, all with 650b wheels. This means people of many heights that are in need of a shorter top tube and an upright position might be in luck here.

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The stock tires are 650bx35, but the frameset can fit up to a 40 mm tire. The drivetrain uses a Tanpan pully to allow for proper cable pull between the Shimano STI road shifter and SLX mountain rear derailleur. Combined with the FSA 46/36 crankset, the 11-40 cassette offers at least as much range as the average triple crank setup. You also get Rever’s  high-quality, easily serviceable mechanical disc brakes.

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Moving from a taller 700c tire to the 650b size helps to keep the geometry sorted, but Co-Motion takes it a step further. To improve steering geometry, Co-Motion makes its own 60 mm offset fork for this bike. Combining that with a 70 degree head angle should make for stable handling with and without a touring load.

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The Ochoco is like most of Co-Motion bikes: there are both stock and custom options for paint and sizing. Frame price is yet to be determined, but complete bikes start at $3,595 and go up to $4,295.

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There is also a new entry-level touring bike coming out–the Deschutes. This one comes in at $2,495. It has a single color, no custom geometry and less expensive frame tubing, but the same great touring geometry that Co-Motion is famous for. The parts kit is still quite nice, including Shimano 105 shifters, SLX derailleur, a 44 mm headtube and Alex/Formula wheels.

The stock color is called “lusty red” but, in person, it is more wine-colored. Size range is 46-60 cm, and these should be ready for sale soon.

 

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What’s new at Interbike: part two

Interbike’s indoor show is truly overwhelming; getting lost and being late and forgetting to eat are par for the course, as is the feeling that you can’t possibly cover everything. Here we bring you the most interesting things our editors saw from each day of the indoor show.

Altor Locks 560G

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If you’ve invested some hard earned cash in a new dream bike, you deserve a new dreamy lock to go with it. At $180 the Altor lock isn’t cheap, but it’s built from Grade 5 titanium and anodized in a soft blue. The patented folding design pivots on flexible joints that can adjust in any direction and it weighs just 584 grams.

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The lock is assembled in the USA and comes with a bike attachment to take it with you. I think it would be cool to find someone to make a custom leather pouch for it or something.

DT Swiss

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Need new wheels? The DT Swiss PR 1400 DICUT OXiC is a new lightweight clincher all murdered out. The hubs are die cut to save weight and use a 36 tooth ratchet. The brake track is coated in ceramic oxide to be extra durable and provide even more stopping power. Yes, special brake pads are required, but they are made by Swiss Stop and you can easily find replacements (your first ones come with the wheels). The PR 1400s come prepped to go tubeless, and those rims are 18 mm wide. The set weighs 1,435 grams and rings the cash register at $1,286.

Rocky Mounts

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Rocky Mounts launched a swing-away platform hitch rack that would be perfect on the back of your truck + truck bed camper shell. The MonoRail Swing fits a 2-inch receiver and holds bike wheel sizes from 20-29 inches. It provides clearance for fat bikes (including those with 197 mm rear spacing) and eliminates frame contact. The rack will sell for $530 (for two bikes–add a third bike tray for an extra $150) and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Kryptonite

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The mainstay Kryptolok line gets an update this year with double locking shackles for even more security. The squared-off shackle ends prevent the lock from twisting, even if one end of the “U” is cut. Plus the protrude all the way through the body, so it can’t fill up with snow or ice. Yes Floridians, that happens.

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Kryptonite has a folding lock of its own too. The Keeper line is available with either 6 mm links or 8 mm links, and is wrapped in a soft canvas cover to prevent scratches. Unlike some folding locks, the Keeper can pivot in any direction, making it easier to reach around awkward bike racks. They both come with a carrying case that attaches to the bike and will retail for $57 or $67.

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Kryptonite has been keeping your bike safe for years, but now it’s branching out to keeping riders safe with its new light lineup. The range covers small, be-seen lights to powerful 250 lumen headlights. The naming convention is wonderfully simple: “F” for front, “R” for rear, and a number for the corresponding lumen count. The small Boulevard lights pack an F-14 with an R-3 for $30, the Avenue chip-on-board series (above) has a F-35 and a R-20 for $35 and the Alley headlamp (below) pumps out 275 lumens for just $35.

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Shimano Shoes

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Shimano makes a ton of high performance road and mountain bike shoes, but there are a lot of riders out there (we’re picturing you, Bicycle Times readers) who don’t need or want the stiffest, flashiest SPD shoe on the market. The latest kicks from Shimano’s growing apparel lineup are perfect for commuting, touring, sportif riding or just cruising around town.

The sleek R4 shoe has a soft, synthetic leather upper with full laces for a timeless look and mates to a nylon sole with a two-bolt SPD cleat. It rates a 5 on Shimano’s 1-12 stiffness scale, so you can actually walk around in it.

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Another cool option for touring or commuting is the SH-MT3, which is in the “mountain touring” line, but looks pretty much just like any other lace-up shoe. If you ride SPDs on your commuter or around-town bike, these would be a perfect choice to go with it.

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Finally the RT5 is designed for road riding, but has a 2-bolt SPD cleat instead of a traditional 3-bolt road cleat. The extra tread means you won’t have to walk like a duck in it either, plus it too measures a 5 on the stiffness scale. I don’t know about you but I hardly ever ride road shoes with 3-hole cleats any more, so this type of road shoe is perfect for me.

Rolf Prima

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There aren’t many Made-In-USA wheels these days, but Rolf Prima is now building almost all its rims in its Eugene, Oregon, factory and pairing them with California-built White Industries hubs. The new Hyalite wheels feature the brand’s trademark paired-spoke design with 20 spokes front and rear. It comes in all the usual axle and freehub styles, and prices start at $899.

Rolf Prima also offers this really cool “ballistic armor coating” on select wheel models that let’s you choose from various colors for the rims and hubs. Add in some colored decals and you can really dial in a look to match your frame.

Osprey

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The 2017 line of commuter backpacks from Osprey is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, but we have to give special shoutout to this Radial model and its integrated “kickstand” that keeps it upright when you set it down. If you’re used to working out of a backpack with a computer, you know how annoying the floppy bag is.

Light & Motion

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The American-made lights from Light & Motion are finding new homes on e-bikes, where the new Nip and Tuck models are designed to wire directly into the battery. Since they have minimal draw they don’t dramatically affect battery life, and keeping them on all the day definitely improves visibility.

Gebla Rohbox

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One of the coolest things I saw isn’t even new but it seems like a solution many folks have been looking for. The Rohbox is designed specifically to allow SRAM road shifters to operate a Rohloff hub. If you’ve seen the less-than-elegant ways Rohloff hubs have been fitted to drop-bar bikes over the years, you can appreciate how nice this is. Like the hub itself, the Rohbox ain’t cheap ($243) but if you’re putting together your dream build, this is the ticket.

Link Bicycles

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Envisioned as a “gateway drug” to the wonderful world of internal geared hubs, Link Bicycles is a new brand that brings Gates Carbon belt drive to the masses. Starting at $900 for a singlespeed, the line includes cyclocross, road and mixte models with various drivetrain setups: Go 2×1 with a Schlumpf crankset that you shift with your heel. Build a 1×8 with a Shimano Alfine hub. And if you can’t decide on how many gears you need, spec a Nuvinci 360 continuously variable transmission hub.

This ‘cross bike can fit up to a 45 mm tire and has the usual rack and fender mounts, but no derailleur hanger. The eccentric bottom bracket is used to tension the belt for trouble-free wheel removal. The production version will also have three-pack eyelets on the downtube and both fork legs.

Topeak Bikamper

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Topeak’s tent is unique in that it uses no poles, one side secures to your bike’s handlebars using a fork mount staked to the ground and the other his held up by the front wheel (27.5 0r 29er) and then it’s all tethered down by straps to make a long, light and comfy one person tent. Retail price is $260. Also, Topeak’s vast collection of bike camping pack’s stand out feature is that they don’t rely on racks so you can outfit pretty much any bike.

 

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New: Yuba Supermarché and Sweet Curry

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Yuba is jumping into the frontloader market with the new Supermaché model. Built from aluminum, its two-piece frame can come apart for storage or shipping, and it keeps the weight of the full bike under 60 pounds.

The steering operates by a double redundant cable system that relies on a double-ended brake cable. The tab you see on the fork is from an early linkage-driven steering prototype. When it goes on sale next summer it will be available with a modular box system build from marine-grade plywood or a set of soft-sided carriers. Naturally kids seats will be available both front and back.

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While Yuba said an e-bike version will probably eventually happen, for now it is equipped with a simple 1×8 drivetrain, though you can add a front derailleur if you’d like. Look for it to sell for $2,599.

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The Sweet Curry is a spinoff of the Spicy Curry e-bike model we sampled last year. Essentially the same bike, it eschews the motor for a 2×9 drivetrain to keep the price down to $2,199. Unlike Yuba’s other longtail bikes, it shares the 20-inch rear wheel with the Spicy Curry to keep the payload weight down as low as possible.

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Look for the Sweet Curry to go on sale in the spring.

 

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New: Merckx Strasbourg71 Carbon

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There aren’t many names in cycling as recognizable as Merckx. Undoubtedly the greatest male bike racer of all time, Eddy’s namesake bicycle brand naturally offers up some performance-oriented models.

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According to the Merckx Cycles website, at the 1971 Tour de France, Eddy Merckx won the first stage in Strasbourg that ended on a gravel track where Merckx narrowly beat Roger De Vlaeminck in a sprint. This new bike is an homage to that win with ample tire clearance and high performance disc brakes.

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We saw the aluminum Strasbourg71 last year, and checked out the new carbon version at Interbike. It’s not just for racers, either, it has full fender and rack mounts as well as some unusual extra bottle cage mounts along the downtube to mount whatever you’d like. Under the down tube is another bottle cage, as well as a protective barrier just like many carbon mountain bikes have.

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The carbon frame allows Merckx to use a BB86 bottom bracket that is truly massive, and the tire clearance fits a big 40mm tire as well. The build kits include SRAM Rival, Shimano 105 and Shimano Ultegra.

The Strasbourg71 Carbon will start at $3,999.

 

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What’s new at Interbike: part one

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 bikes and components that we checked out on the first day of Interbike 2016.

Van Dessel

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We couldn’t help but notice this updated WTF model in the Van Dessel booth. A true monstercross design, it’s built for drop bars and big tires, a popular theme this year at Interbike. With 29er wheels it can fit a 2.1 mountain bike tire plus any racks and fenders you might want to add.

The 4130 steel frame features a distinctive split top tube and replaceable dropouts that come in versions for quick release or thru axles.

Customers can configure the bike on the new Van Dessel website or order a frame/fork/headset for $699. Complete builds start at about $1,799.

SKS

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Our friends from Germany had some cool accessories in their booth. First up are these smart strap-on bottle cage adapters. It’s not a new idea but it’s well executed. They can also daisy chain together to attach larger items like Nalgene bottles, locks, pumps, etc. They sell for $25 a pair.

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The Ride Air is an air can cylinder that helps you seat tubeless tires. Getting the bead to seat is tough with just a floor pump, so instead you can fill this $69 canister with air, up to 200 psi, and then release it all at once to set the bead. It’s about the size of a water bottle so you can keep it in your gear bag or the trunk of your car. Look for it to go on sale in January.

Otso Cycles

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Otso is a new venture from the engineering team behind Wolf Tooth Components. The company, whose name means “spirit of the bear” in Finnish, launched this year with two bikes. One of them is the Warakin, a stainless steel frame paired with a carbon fork in the familiar and currently popular category of gravel/road/cyclocross/adventure/do-it-all bike.

Unique to this one is the use of Wolf Tooth’s flip-chip adjustable dropouts. We haven’t had a chance to fiddle with the mechanism yet, but it supposedly takes 2-5 minutes to adjust your chainstay length from 420 mm to 440 mm, with subtle changes to head tube angle and bottom bracket height, as well–all of which will affect how the bike handles. And because the rear disc brake mount is attached to the flip chip, its alignment self-adjusts.

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Numerous braze-ons will accommodate various rack/fender setups and three bottle cages. The Warakin frame will take up to a 29×2.0 tire and has “traditional” rear hub spacing, meaning you can install your “old” 29-inch wheels on the bike, if you wish.

The Warakin will sell for $3,199 with a Shimano 105 build. You can customize the build online or also just order the frameset for $1,799. We took one for a brief test ride and will bring you that first impression story soon.

SQLab

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We’ve been fans of SQLab’s ergonomic designs for a while now, and it keeps rolling out new products that help keep you comfortable on the bike. These InnerBarEnds are… well, you can probably guess. They go inside your grips for an extra hand position. You’ll have to maneuver them around your shifters, brakes and other controls, but if you find yourself wanting some more hand positions to stay comfortable, this is one option. They sell for $45.

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The SQLab saddle line continues to grow as well. The 611 is an all-purpose line of saddles with a flat top, relief zone and wide nose. Between the rails and the shell is a damping material that reduces vibrations and allows for a tiny amount of natural side-to-side motion. If you measure your sit bones with the SQLab device, or have a good idea already, you can choose from one of four sizes and in various trim levels starting at $140.

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The 604 line is built for city, commuter or comfort bikes with a more upright riding posture. It has thicker padding and a massive damping bumper for comfort. It allows a bit more of the natural rocking motion as you pedal too. It retails for $100.

Masi

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Masi has been offering some of the coolest bikes on the road recently, and we’ve been waiting to see the production version of the new Randonneur. Constructed for 4130 butted chromoly it has 650×47 WTB Horizon tires for a plush ride, and though the bike will ship with tubes, the rims are tubeless compatible for easy setup. The metallic paint is accented with steel fender and triple bottle cages.

The handlebars have a 12 degree drop for a bit more comfort and sport a full 10 speed Shimano Tiagra drivetrain with… wait for it… a threaded bottom bracket. Look for the Randonneur to sell for $1,300.

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The Giromondo is a beefed up version of the modern touring bike, and is available in both on-road and off-road flavors. The road going version has 700×40 Clement MSO tires while the off-road version pictured here has 27.5×2.1 knobbies.

The drivetrain is classic mountain bike, with 3×10 Shimano Deore gearing operated by Microshift bar-end shifters. We especially like the addition of a pump peg, spoke holders and the shifter bosses on the down tube. Look for the off-road version to sell for $1,200 and the on-road version is $1,100.

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We also spied a new dirt drop handlebar from WTB, though curiously it has a 26.0 mm clamp.

Terrene

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A new brand from the folks who brought you Advocate Cycles, Terrene is all about making no-nonsense tires for people looking for another option. In addition to some mountain bike and fat bike tires, the Elwood is a touring/commuting tire available in both a Tough casing and a Light casing. Many folks will like the 700×40 version but there’s also a 650×47 version for “road plus” experimentation.

Look for it to go on sale around Christmas for $65.

 

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