What's Cool In Road Cycling

Interbike 2009: Still Rolling

Hell no, we’re not done with Interbike. Bottom line, there’s too much stuff to try and cram it all in to a week or two. What was the coolest thing this year? It’s inside… along with a lot of cool stuff from Serotta, Capo, Scicon, Sidi, Genuine Innovations, and TRP Brakes.

Wait… So the coolest thing at Interbike is a Ford?!

Well it mates well with the coolest…

Ford gets props for both rejecting Government stimulus and also adding a little stim to Interbike, partnering with Serotta and showing its Transit Connect.

This thing comes in a few different build outs starting at a reasonable $20K and made in Cargo (with multiple storage options) and Van (seat 5) configurations that allow for lots of different storage combinations from team (or show off individual) race day rigs, general business haulers and the like with racks, shelves, stands etc (way more than just bike friendly) to a set up that takes the cake as the nicest mobile fit lab on the planet.

Inside this van is the single coolest product at this year’s show (at least for a geek like me). SICI’s new fitting / testing bike.

The Transit holds loads of different gear beyond this

What do you want in the ultimate fitting rig? Well the ability to move most of the fitting points on the fly! Take note of the large crank and screw-drive mounts…

If you’ve been in industrial machine settings you might recognize a system like this as a widely held standard for moving heavy equipment. On this rig the system is used to micro adjust the rider’s position in as smooth a fashion as possible while a rider is on board.

The saddle height is also adjustable while riding and even the saddle tilt gets the oversized screws to adjust tilt easily and quickly…

And what fit bike with shift on the fly geometry would be complete without a fully integrated CompuTrainer?

This unit comes with a swivel screen computer also built in so that fitter and rider can see the spin scan, power and efficiency changes as the geometry is tweaked.

The new Fit Bike combined with Serotta’s standard craft to make for a pretty dang busy booth.

I was pretty much left alone to browse and almost missed a nice little Meivici that was simply left leaning against the van waiting for its owner…

I noted Gravitas brakes and a few other nice touches and came to the conclusion that some folks deserve bikes as nice as this…

And 10 feet away our own Meivici sat as proof that some folks don’t deserve bikes this nice…

Regardless of how worthy Serotta’s owners are, the company keeps pushing forward developing both bike tech and the tools that help people well beyond the brand. Serotta’s fit bike sits side by side with its fitting courses to allow every shop working with them to make customers happy no matter what bike they buy.

That sits in stark contrast to bike companies that demand that retailers limit what they sell, and the system goes beyond the half measure fit systems that a few companies are presenting now. More education isn’t always better when the teaching narrows the minds of the students rather than expanding their knowledge…

Anyway, I say Serotta’s fit bike (and it’s hauler) is Interbike 09’s coolest kit.

NEW FROM CAPO For 2010 – Inline & Custom
Custom kit has become so popular in recent years, that many top tier brands actually sell more custom orders than they do inline kits. And where there is demand, the smart guys also offer supply, like Capo’s Super Corsa Cut bibs and jerseys that take custom kit to a level previously offered only to pro-level teams.

These in no way lessen the quality of Capo’s previous and still offered models of custom kit (like PEZ’s own kit based on the Corsa style), but for teams and clubs who want a very fitted, more aero-looking design, this could be for you.

The GS Capo “Super Corsa cut” is available in both custom and inline, and presents tighter-fitting race cut garments, and sleeker cuts, all in fully sublimateable fabrics.

The men’s inline Cima kit is based on the Super Corsa cut, and shows longer, snugger sleeves, a mesh panel under the arms and on the body sides. Sleeves are longer by 2cm, while the bodies are cut shorter, and more fitted than other ‘custom’ styles. The super smooth polyester fabric is lighter and form fitting (think skin suit), and is available for custom orders – but you gotta ask for it by name.

The GC Capo Super Corsa series bib shorts come in higher compression fabric, and stay snug around the legs with an 8cm band, sans gripper. They are cut longer, and fully sublimateable – so whether your design is awesome or ugly, you should at least feel pretty damn fast.

New for 2010 (and inline only) is the Capo Anatomic Light EIT Insert, direct from chamois kings Cytech. Being anatomic means it’s pre-shaped to curve with the body, an the seamless one piece of material that contacts yer privates should make for smooth riding on even the hardest saddles (which tend to accentuate even the slightest bumps in the groinal region). The different thicknesses of foam mean better comfort, and the anti-microbial silver ion threads reduce bacteria growth. Look for these on Capo’s inline and custom kits by early Spring.

No serious line of kit should be without their own compression sock, and Capo reports these are holding up to more than just on-bike use, as a couple of their homies wear ‘em all day long. It’s made from a blend of Merril Skinlife & lycra yarn which is anti-odor and anti-microbial.

The Men’s “Recicli” jersey is made from 100% reclaimed plastic – cut is standard cut on top, while the bibshort is made by 100% recycled Power-Lycra and uses their Anatomic Light EiT chamois with lateral back panel. The Short is also made from low water consumption lycra, which uses less water to dye it, and therefore less junk flushed back to the earth.

Men’s jersey will retail at $119.00 and the bibshorts at $159.00

The Recicli Donna is specifically cut for women, and made from the same fabric as the men’s – by their Italian supplier in Italy – which means the fit is pretty much guaranteed to fit well – very well.

Ladies’ jerseys will retail at $109.00 and the shorts at $129.00.

Sci’Con cases through Albabici are always on the menu for Pez at Interbike.

If I am flying home with someone’s uber-bike, There is simply no way in flying hell I am using a soft case and Sci’Con’s Aerotech Evo case is an easy answer for fancy flying.

The outside is ABS and features wheels that actually work, several handles and 5 locks (combination). And look at the wheel shapes in the case. Note carefully the dimples inside the shape and you can see that there is a place for your QR to hold your wheels perfectly in place.

Inside the case is another lesson in packing. Again note the QR spots are reinforced. There are also padded bags for everything as well as straps to safely and softly (but firmly) hold things in place.

That makes this case this year’s biggest Interbike disappointment. I’m not disappointed in anything about the case, but pissed because I didn’t get by in time to buy the floor demo!

Sidi Shoes are at the top of my stock shoe tree. Shoe fit is critical and Sidi’s range of sizes is the largest in cycling with wide, standard and narrow fit on offer. They also make the footwear I use at 180 mph on two wheels… The latest at the top of the range are the newest Ergo 2 Carbon Lite.

New colors in the range this year, including the very unassuming Red, but the most notable feature change this year is a sole that is ribbed for your pleasure…

The new Carbon Lite sole obviously has a different shape, end to end, with the most pronounced feature being the ribbed pattern, but there’s more here than eye candy as Sidi have taken a hard look (and feel) at sole stiffness tech and come to realize (much like many frame makers) that you can have too much stiffness. The new base plate has very stiff areas but also key flex points. They’ll put down the power but move well enough not to brutalize your feet…

Sidi have actually changed several things in the range including their leading women’s line…

And they do what EVERY good shoe company should (but many don’t) and provide a whole range of replacement parts.

Of course Sidi make shoes that last long enough to make replacement parts a reasonable thing, which is maybe what explains why others don’t…

Unsung hero? That would be Genuine Innovations. You just never give these guys credit until you use someone else’s neat looking but crap-made knock-off product…

Take the new and old simple C02 head (above). The old one (r) wasn’t portly and the new version rounds the edges and takes away material pretty much everywhere but does nothing to harm the effective use of the product… It’s just going to work every time you need it.

There are actually several kits and different cylinders from Innovations like the bottle type…

And smaller pack type loaded with basically similar kit…

Less is better for me, and in Arizona I’m not giving up hydration for inflation, so I go with less than a full kit. But Genuine Innovations also play well with water bottles…

And if you want a combination gas and people powered tool for those nasty days, their new Second Wind Carbon Mini pump is a pretty nice combo kit.

Genuine Innovations manufactures most of their kit in the US and the quality on everything (they make a lot more than just air carriers) is very good and that’s important because nobody should take a good blow job for granted.

And last on the block, TRP’s R970SL. Yes, they’re white,

And black…

And look damn cool, but the claimed 104grams per caliper makes ‘em damn light too – though at $599.00 a set, the one thing they ain’t is damn cheap.

That price point is due in no small measure to the fact that under the color is detail-machined Magnesium, making these things tip the scale right around 104 grams. More important than the weight being low is that the function is high. There is no shortage of stopping power and the design is made to suit the different pull ratio of Shimano as well as SRAM and Campy and they use the same nifty and well functioning slot-QR as their also very good 960…

They’ll be on over-the-top spec OEM bikes from Specialized and Blue, but your first stop should probably be TRP’s website for more info on local dealers. They’ll be rolling any day now…

Have Fun,

Charles Manantan

Thanks for looking. If you have other experiences with gear, or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews, or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

PezCycling News and the author ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products we test here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper use and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.

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