Competitive Cyclist
Chain Reaction
Full Speed Ahead

Interbike show

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 22-26, 2008

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Part 11 - October 1, 2008: Shiny bits from Interbike

By James Huang

More carbon gear from Race Face

Race Face showed off a prototype of its new Next SL crank
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

Race Face will augment its current Next carbon cross-country crankset with two additional models. Singlespeed riders will get the Next SS which uses the same hollow carbon arms as the Next but with a single 34T chainring, an outer bashguard and shortened granny gear bosses for more clearance.

A removable granny gear spider will be included though, and since the overall profile of the crank won't be changed, users will still be able to run three rings if desired. Claimed weight is 700g complete.

Unfortunately, buyers will have to wait a while longer for the upcoming Next SL as projected release isn't until the end of 2009. Once that day comes, though, Race Face will treat us with a complete crankset weighing just 695g that, again, shares the current Next's hollow carbon arms but now mates them with a titanium spindle and lighter alloy hardware.

The prototype we handled at the show was actually even lighter than projected at just 679g.

Also new on the carbon front from Race Face is a pair of 3/4 Riser bars that neatly slot in between the existing low-rise and flat bars. As the name suggests, rise is a modest 19mm (0.75") and is coupled with a 9 degree rearward sweep.

Race Face will offer two 3/4 bars: the Next SL 3/4 is 660mm wide with a 4 degree upsweep and 170g claimed weight while the standard Next 3/4 is slightly wider at 685mm, a bit heavier at 195g, and with a more pronounced 6 degree upward sweep.

Lots of new headset sizes and models from Cane Creek

Check out these trick top caps for Cane Creek's revamped DoubleX headsets!
Photo ©: James Huang
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Cane Creek's excellent 110 headsets have been well-received and the line will expand for 2009. New for the coming season are the 1.5" XX II and ZS (Zero Stack) to supplement the current Classic (1 1/8") and IS (Integrated System) models.

The new variants will share all of the standard 110 performance features including hand-polished and anodized 7075 alloy cups, supplemental split-lip seals and a 'captured compression ring' that centers the steerer tube within the headset and locks it in place (something which many other headsets don't really do). All 110 models will also use press-fit stainless steel bearings with dual-lip seals save for the XX II which uses black oxide races instead.

Cane Creek will offer the 110 in black, silver, red, blue, and yes, now even purple. 17.5mm of matching aluminum Interlok spacers are also included.

The new 100 headset platform is nearly identical to the 110 but a few material swaps bring the price down to just US$100. Black oxide bearing races are used in lieu of stainless steel, the cartridges themselves are now a drop-in fit instead of press-fit, and the cups are machined from 6066 aluminum.

The 100 will only be offered in black and silver but both will still come with 17.5mm of matching aluminum Interlok spacers.

Cane Creek's new Frustum line addresses the growing trend of tapered steerers. More precisely, the new Frustum models aren't really all-new headsets so much as they are reconfigured top and bottom cups from existing models. Even so, the new configurations will still make things easier for consumers and shops alike and will include a variety of sizes including 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" and 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" in traditional, integrated and internal cup styles.

The oversized Double X line has been completely revamped for '09 and will include three models: the aforementioned XX II, the XXc II and the XXc Flush II.

The XXc II shares the XX II's lower cup but allows users to run a standard 1 1/8" fork within a 1.5" frame by virtue of a conversion crown race and flush-fit upper assembly. Stack height is substantially reduced as compared to last year's Double Xc and Cane Creek says the weight has dropped by 35 percent, thus bringing it down to about 160g or so.

Stack height is reduced even further with the XXc Flush II which also allows use of a 1 1/8" fork in a 1.5" frame but with flush cups at both ends.

Cross-country chain guides from MRP and a new fork prototype from White Brothers

White Brothers showed off this one-off fork prototype
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

MRP caters to the Lycra-wearing crowd with its XCG line of chain guides. While not really a chain guide in the way we're used to, the XCG Triple does place an aluminum plate on the inboard side just below the front derailleur that helps prevent dropped chains. In addition, the XCG Triple also adds a sturdy stationary bash plate down below to protect against impact and the entire assembly easily mounts behind the bottom bracket cup.

For single-ring users, there's also the XCG Single which retains the bash plate but deletes the upper section.

Fans of MRP's G2 chain guide system that use smaller chainrings now have a new version called the Mini-G. The Mini-G keeps the original G2's stationary bash plate design and adjustable lower pulley and upper cage but resizes things to work better with 32-36T rings.

Meanwhile, MRP's White Brothers fork division has been busy, too, with a prototype 29er fork with 6" of travel and upsized 35mm-diameter stanchions instead of the company's usual 32mm pipes. Unfortunately, we don't have much in the way of additional tech info other than to say that it uses White Brothers' usual machined aluminum construction but this may be a sign of what's to come.

Stunning 'cross stoppers from the makers of Zero Gravity

It's 'cross time, baby!
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

Ciamillo Components showed off a fantastic looking new cyclo-cross cantilever brakeset called the GX that is claimed to weigh just 198g including a pair of arms, pad holders, a dual-ended straddle cable and carrier and all associated hardware.

The GX sample on display was impressively slop-free but instead of cartridge bearing pivots, Ciamillo opted for a precision-milled titanium sleeve that slips over the standard canti boss and a matching precision-milled bore on the aluminum arm. By eliminating pivot slop, Ciamillo says the GX can provide more power and better feel and also squelches chatter that is all-too-common to lightweight 'cross equipment these days.

Suggested retail price on the GX is a surprisingly reasonable-sounding US$318 for a complete set and production units will begin shipping this week.



For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

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