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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Tech News – February 15, 2008

Edited by James Huang & Paul Verkuylen

Got tech? Send press releases, news, and tech questions to the Cyclingnews tech desk.

Interbike considers move

The Interbike OutDoor Demo
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

The 2009 Interbike show may be the last one held in Las Vegas, Nevada for a while as a replacement venue was discussed as part of a breakfast meeting during the Bicycle Leadership Conference (BLC) held last month. The current long term contract with North America's largest bicycle trade show and the hosting Sands Expo and Convention Centre is set to expire after the 2009 event.

The relocation of Interbike has been a hotly debated subject over the past few years as its current setting has proven to be fairly contentious among the show's participants. Even so, the size and scope of the show greatly limit the list of potential candidates and force practical realities to overshadow emotion. Interbike's Industry Consultant, Lance Camisasca, outlined host city requirements as the following:

Contiguous exhibit space of at least 65,000 square metres (700,000 gross square feet)
A large and diverse selection of hotels, restaurants and entertainment options conveniently located to the events
An international airport located within close proximity to the event
An outdoor demo site with great weather, extensive cross country/downhill trails and a closed road loop, and
An event market that is recognized as a cycling culture destination.

"This year's BLC was an ideal place to continue our discussions about potential host cities for the Interbike show," said Camisasca. "The audience included some of the bike industry's best leaders."

Topping the list of potential new host cities were Anaheim, California, Interbike's previous location before moving to Las Vegas, and Denver, Colorado. Both cities have the contiguous space needed, would provide a diverse selection of restaurants, hotels and entertainment options, are located in areas that would maximize attendance and are recognized as cycling culture destinations.

"Denver is a much more bicycle-friendly city than Las Vegas, Salt Lake City or Anaheim, and the Outdoor Demo options near Denver are excellent," said Tim Blumenthal, executive director of the Bikes Belong Coalition.

"From a Denver standpoint, however, I'm concerned about the hotels and transportation as Denver has not handled a show of Interbike's size before. So at this point I would say yes to Anaheim for the next three or four years, with a plan to move to Denver after that."

"I have to admit a personal bias that the Anaheim shows of previous years were not all that great," said Tim Jackson, brand manager for Masi Bikes. "But given the needs of the show and the industry, Anaheim is looking a lot better."

Interbike has not made a decision about moving the show just yet; however a decision will need to be made by mid-2008 according to Camisasca.

"The feedback I received regarding the potential host cities and the very engaging question and answer period following the presentation exceeded my expectations. We have now completed the first of several rounds of research in order to make the best decision possible."

The dates for next year's Interbike trade-only events begin with the Outdoor Demo September 22-23, 2008 in Boulder City, Nevada, immediately followed by the Interbike Expo September 24-26 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. Interbike will also add a supplemental Outdoor Demo East event October 21-22 at Roger Williams Park in Providence, R.I.

Catch a CamelBak

During the Tour of California, which starts this Sunday, February 17, riders from Team Saunier Duval - Scott will be tossing their re-usable bottles into the crowds along the route, as part of CamelBak's sustainable bottle campaign, Choose to re-use.

Some 250 bottles will be thrown into the crowd, each containing a unique competition code, which spectators are encouraged to email to an address specified on the bottle. Each bottle is redeemable for a prize, with the main prize coming in the form of a 790 gram Scott Carbon Addict SL One frameset.

Other prizes include 5 pairs of Scott Pro Carbon Road shoes and assorted CamelBak gear. The competition closes at 12pm PST, Friday February 29, 2008. For more information see camelbak.com.

Zipp releases new brake lever

Zipp's new Vuka brake levers.
Photo ©: Zipp
(Click for larger image)

Zipp may have recently been acquired by SRAM, but that doesn't mean that it has stopped developing and redefining existing products.

The latest addition to the stable is the time trial/triathlon-specific Vuka brake lever, which is claimed to be the lightest, all carbon plug-in style lever on the market at just 110g per pair. The blade-like center-pull design mimics that of Zipp's fully integrated VukaAero and routes the brake cables directly into any compatible base bar with the aim of improving rider comfort, cleaning up the cable routing and thus improving aerodynamics. An internal return spring offers a snappier feel and Zipp says the new lever has passed the highest fatigue standards.

Astana team liaison to hold information session during Tour of California

Trek's team liaison to the Astana Professional Cycling Team, Ben Coates, will host an interactive session at the Trek Bicycle Store in San Jose during the Tour of California. Scheduled features for the evening include "a behind-the-scenes look at the Tour de France, recent developments of the Astana team, and tales from the Pro Tour Circuit."

Coates was head mechanic for the Subaru-Gary Fisher mountain bike team before moving to his current post with Astana (then Discovery Channel) last season. In addition to the racing-related anecdotes, Coates will also discuss product development at Trek and how the latest technologies are being used to propel the Astana team.

The information evening will take place on Wednesday, February 20th at 8:00pm. Reservations are required and bookings will be taken by phone only at (408) 264-2453. More information is available at www.sanjosetrek.com.

Venue set for 2009 North American Handmade Bicycle Show

This year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show enjoyed a superb atmosphere and record-shattering traffic in Portland, Oregon with 156 exhibitors from three continents and over 7000 attendees wandering the halls of the Oregon Convention Centre. In spite of the resounding success, though, show organizer Don Walker will stick to his original goal of a travelling event that highlights local builders of various regions. Next year's NAHBS will move eastward to Indianapolis, Indiana.

"The industry needed a place for everybody to gather and talk about hand made bicycles from their particular perspective, that's really what it's all about," Walker said.

"Now [that] it's gotten popular, we have to keep moving because it's only fair to bring the show to within a day's drive of each of the major cycling centres around the nation." Indianapolis easily satisfies that requirement with over 100 million people within a one-day's drive, but it will make for an easier trip for builders located in the Midwest and Northeast portions of the nation.

"I may not be Hemingway, but I still think of the show as a moveable feast," he said.

JuicePlus+ to ride Van Dessel for 2008

American women's elite cycling team JuicePlus+ has penned a deal that will see its riders aboard Van Dessel bikes for the 2008 season. The team, which includes the likes of Holli Steelman, Gina Voci, Laura McCaughey, and Rachel Warner, has had several top performances including a pair of podium finishes earned during last season's NRC US Crit Series. Van Dessel will supply them with its Rivet road machine and All Systems Go time trial bike.

"Our team rode the Drag Strip Courage track bike in 2006 and it was by far the best track bike I had ever ridden," said Bill Short, team director for JuicePlus+, whose experience was the basis for the decision to change.

"With all the girls either on a 47.5cm or 50cm frame, there is nobody else out there that offers such a perfect fit like the one you get with Van Dessel's geometry," Short explained.

The JuicePlus+ Women's Cycling team kicks off the racing season at the Jacksonville Cycling Classic on March 22, with race calendar highlights including the Tour of Somerville, the Liberty Classic and the Tour de 'Toona.

Dahon goes greener

In an attempt to reduce not only its own carbon foot print but those of Taipei cycle show goers, travel bike specialist Dahon plans to maximize the use of reusable materials in its booth design and will also offer a free shuttle bus to the show.

Dahon's booth will be made up of aluminium scaffolding, printed banners and Schwalbe 'carpet' made up of recycled tires which Dahon has been using for three years now. Each material was chosen in an attempt to reduce waste.

"The huge piles of wood and plastic destined for land-fills after every Taipei show has always been something that has really bothered us, especially since we work in a "green" industry," said Dr. David Hon, founder and CEO of Dahon.

"It doesn't take much to design a booth based on reusable materials. Ironically, it's often the largest booths at the show that end up using the fewest reusable materials. In the past, we've been guilty of this. But we're making a change and we'd like to challenge all show participants to change with us."

In addition, Dahon has chartered a 'Last Mile' bus to provide transport for all showgoers from the nearest mass transit stop to the show grounds in an effort to reduce the number of individual taxi trips.

"We all, as individuals and companies, need to step up and reduce our environmental impact on the planet," Hon said.

"Small steps, like those we are taking for the Taipei Cycle Show, multiplied across billions of people, millions of companies, and over many years, will make a big difference. There are lots of companies in the bike industry doing great things and we want to do our part."

The Last Mile bus will operate between the show and Kunyang MRT station, with departure for the free bus from the station expected to run at 15-20 minute intervals.

Pegoretti named frame builder of the year

Maker of boutique frames, Dario Pegoretti was named frame builder of the year at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show recently. The Italian who is battling cancer, worked through his treatment producing new graphic effects for his frames that were inspired by his disease and the treatments he underwent.

"It is an extreme honour to be recognized in this way. It is my hope that the frames I make are used on the roads and not hung as art on the wall," he said, upon hearing he won the award.

Pegoretti became well known for the frames that he made for some of the biggest names in the pro peloton throughout the 80's and 90's. Nowadays his frames are now more sought out by cycling purists seeking a unique machine.


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Images by Zipp