Las Vegas, USA, September 26-30, 2005
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Road coverage, Day 1: Outdoor Demo
Bootleg Canyon, Boulder City, Nevada, September 26-28
By James Huang
Photo ©: James Huang
Interbike's Outdoor Demo not only had a wealth of high-end off-road machines
ready to roll, but also a host of premium road machines available for viewing
and riding. The prescribed road test course was short in length, but at least
it was closed to traffic and was fully supported by the Mavic neutral support
Naturally, the main objective of the companies that had set up booths was to
highlight their new bikes, but if one were to look carefully enough, the Outdoor
Demo also provided a good opportunity to preview 'new-for-2006' componentry
with which those bikes were equipped. Many smaller companies either didn't have
official booths set up or shared space in order to minimize costs, but there
was plenty of boutique stuff to be seen.
Serotta is launching their first full-carbon
frame for 2006
Photo ©: James Huang
Cervelo provided plenty of 'wow factor' with their P3 TT machine and Soloist
carbon frame, always a hit among fans, particularly considering Dave Zabriskie's
stint in yellow during the Tour de France aboard one of the Cervelo steeds.
Serotta made sure wish lists grew longer with their new carbon fibre number,
the Meivici, making use of traditional-style lugs so it's instantly recognisable
as a Serotta. It's the company's first all-carbon frame, weighing in at about
1100g, which is extremely competitive considering their 'rootsy' methods of
Zipp and Race Face gave us a look at their crankset offerings for 2006, both
of which made impressive viewing. Race Face has gone for additions like externally-mounted
BB bearings, whereas Zipp has upped the weight stakes with a complete crankset
package weighing in at 450g. Sweet but very pricey.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
The hot and dry climate out at Bootleg Canyon was made a little less brutal
by Chris, Rich, and Cliff of PacificHealth Laboratories who were kind
enough to bring nearly 100 ice-cold gallons of their new Accelerade sports
drink, with fatigue-fighting and recovery-enhancing whey protein.
The mega-aero ďseat tubeĒ
is tightly tucked around the rear wheel in an effort to reduce aerodynamic drag to an absolute minimum.
Cerveloís Soloist Carbon frame
uses an absolutely massive amount of carbon fiber in the BB area.
The Soloish Carbon is the frame of choice
for much of Bjarne Riisís CSC team and offers an aero frame that is light enough for climbing stages.
The Epiphany is a new 5.25Ē travel frame
from the folks at Ellsworth. Ellsworth promises frame weights comparable to their 4Ē travel Truth, but with an extra bit of travel and better lateral rigidity out back.
The German folks at Ergon are paying an awful lot of attention
to hand physiology and pressure points. Their grip design allegedly provides nearly 100% palm support to alleviate nerve pressure.
Like many other carbon frames
Feltís F1C uses an immense amount of carbon fiber at the bottom bracket for efficient power transfer.
incorporates a tidy looking headtube assembly.
Feltís top of the line road frameset
is the carbon fibre F1C. US$5600 buys you roughly 15lbs of go-fast goodness.
Feltís RXC Team
is built around a Scandium frame with carbon seatstays and serves as yet another reminder that the hardtail is alive and well.
The Flybar is certainly not your granddaddyís pogo stick
at up to $230 for the top-level model. Bounce around as high as you can muster all day if you likeÖ
Öor just pull a backflip in mid-flight
as Flybarís Chewy Call neatly executes here!
One of Giantís crew displays their Trinity TT/Tri bike,
which is essentially the production version of the frames that the T-Mobile squad was running last season.
Race Face enters into the road crankset market
with their new Cadence model.
As with their other X-Type cranksets
Race Faceís new Cadence road crankset uses externally-mounted bottom bracket bearings and a huge hollow spindle.
Rotorís Eggrings promise increased power output
at the sweet spot in your pedaling stroke while minimising the dead zone. Unlike other elliptical chainrings currently out on the market, Rotorís rings are tunable to match a riderís particular power output profile. Thankfully, the Eggrings are also pinned and ramped to retain quality shifting. Road and mountain versions are both available.
The Salsa Primera
is the first production frame using True Temperís stellar S3 tubeset. At less than 3lbs for an average-sized frame, US$1540 seems like a veritable bargain, especially when you consider that it also includes an Alpha Q carbon fork, too!
Even though the lugs are carbon fiber
Serotta still manages to make them look pretty.
Serottaís Meivici uses a traditional separate head tube-plus-lugs construction
unlike many other carbon frames, which allows for a nearly limitless range of head tube lengths.
The Meivici lugs are internally CNC-machined
to not only provide an accurate mating surface for the tubes, but the internal machining is also what affords Serotta the ability to do custom frame angles in full carbon.
Serotta is launching their first full-carbon frame for 2006
with completely customisable geometry. Carbon tube-and-lug construction offers manufacturing flexibility at about 1100g for an average frame.
Slingshot has quietly continued to chug along all these years
with their unique mid-frame suspension design. For 2006, we finally see the release of their aluminum-framed version which should be both stiffer and significantly lighter than earlier steel versions.
Might I recommend the new Zipp 300 carbon crankset
if youíve got $750USD burning a hole in your pocket? At 450g, complete with rings and mounting hardware, this may very well be the lightest production crankset around. If youíve got another $250, you may also want to pick up one of Zippís matching ISIS splined bottom bracket, complete with superwide roller bearings and titanium spindle.
Zippís ZSL bar offers an ergonomic fit in a 165g oversized package.
Iíll take two, please...
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