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Las Vegas, USA, October 5 - 8, 2002
By Paul Mirtschin
If Interbike vibe and attendance is anything to go by, the 2003 retail season will be a huge one. With show numbers eclipsing previous years, and general excitement from both sides of the booths at an all time high, the cycling industry should be looking at a bumper year.
Now what does that mean for the average punter in the street? A lot more new toys to salivate over (and to give your Chief Financial Officer heart palpitations) is what it means. And it doesn't matter what form of cycling you enjoy, new products are everywhere. New suspension designs for mountainbikes, new frame manufacturing techniques for road, and a lot of new entrants in the track and 'cross retail market.
This bike would have to be one of the biggest drawcards this year. Specialized's booth has had a line-up from opening time to last drinks, and the hourly demonstrations are always well attended. The jury is still out as to whether the system works as good as marketing claims, but with this much excitement from the shops, expect to see quite a few at your local purveyor of fine bike goods.
The new Liquid from Trek takes all the good parts of the Fuel, and beefs the frame up for some extra travel. Five inches of travel actually. And with the top of the range Liquid 30 featuring the Fox TALAS forks and rear shock, with on the fly adjustment, the Liquid will be perfect for those all day rides as well as general messing about.
To obtain a Liquid 30 you will need a spare US$3000 to spend . The cheaper Liquid 20 and Liquid 10 come in at US$2200 and US$1800 receptively.
The boys at Independent Fabrication have decided to follow Gary Fisher down the 29" path with the Eric Roman Pink 29" single speed they had on display. More suited to cruisy rides on the trails than cross country riding, Independent Fabrication's 29'er should see some sales to the more relaxed riders in the community. How relaxed they will be after riding a bright pink bike all day is another matter.
The UK's downhill scene is growing daily, and Orange Bikes are part of the reason for that. Strong, dependable, home-grown bikes that everyone wants, enough do tasks that are less than legal it seems. Orange's stand was six bikes smaller than it should be, after someone managed to replace the bikes with a few dozen bricks somewhere between the UK and Vegas.
But the show must go on, and Orange saw the humour in the situation, so people visiting the Orange stand managed to see some very nice mountain bikes, and a display of very dodgy bricks. Hopefully those shifty bricklayers are caught and Orange gets their bikes back.
Farmer John was at the stand that bears his name, and so were the bikes that he helped design with Doug Bradbury. The Tomac range now includes the all-new Revolver series. Designed for the XC racer who wants a little bit of bounce, the three inch travel bike can be bought off the shelf in a 25 pound build-up. The 98 Special is a four inch travel trail bike that comes in under last years price while the 6 Shooter is Tomac's answer to the growing "freeride" market.
Images by Robert Gilbreath/www.TexasBikeTrails.com
Images by David Visintainer/www.bikecafe.net