The massive bike love-in in Las Vegas that was the Interbike Expo 2010 ended a week ago. But most of the products displayed on the show floor — from high-end road bikes and 29ers, to locks, lights, track bikes and single-speeds — won’t be available for sale until next year. Here’s a final sneak peek at this future gear, some of the best the bike industry has to offer. —Stephen Regenold
Chinatown Backpack. Named after the neighborhood where it is made in Seattle, startup company Velo Transit’s Chinatown Messenger bike backpack has a radio-frequency-welded waterproof liner. Paul Larson, founder of Velo Transit, has designed packs for the likes of North Face and REI for more than two decades. For his company’s new line of waterproof bike packs — which are made and designed in Seattle where it rains a lot! — Larson borrowed design cues from the world of outdoors backpacks, including ergonomic back panels and harness systems specifically designed for men and women. Available now on the company’s website, www.velotransit.com.
Light Bright. Do you bike at night? The Seca 1400 from Light & Motion surpasses even the brightness level of some automobile headlights, the company touts. The handlebar-mounted blazer costs an astounding $699 but can pump out enough white light to turn night into virtual day. It runs for 2.5 hours on its rechargeable battery pack. Available now. www.bikelightingsystem.com
Three-Seater Bike. Built by Brown Cycles of Grand Junction, Colo., the Triplet is an oversized bike made for one adult and two kids. The bike has a steel frame and 24 speeds. It works with the adult controlling the ride — steering, braking, gearing up — and the kids in front aiding in pedaling for speed on the road. Available now for $3,500. www.browncycles.com
Carbon Bike Seat. In the running as the priciest bike seat ever made, Selle SMP’s Full Carbon model costs $650. It is made of carbon fiber and weighs a scant 105 grams. With an open central channel and an “eagle-beak” nose, the seat is touted as anatomical as well as aerodynamic. The unpadded seat, made for pro-level racers, is “suited for thin people with narrow pelvises,” the company advises. www.albabici.com
Knog Lock. These funky new flexible cable locks from Australian bike-paraphernalia purveyor Knog twist up and fit in your rear pocket. Called the Party Frank lock, the thin, 4mm cable has a seamless silicon over-molding. Its guts are a braided, loose-bound steel cable with a fiber core that the company touts has the strength to hold up against bolt cutters. Color coordinating with your outfit? No worries, hipster. The Party Frank lock comes in black, red, white, sky blue, lime green, grey, orange, royal blue, army green, yellow, and hot pink. $19.95, www.knog.com.au.
Energy Waffles. Yes, those are mini packaged waffles. And, yes, they taste dang good! Honey Stinger used Interbike to introduce its Stinger Waffles, a new breed of energy food that will give the best bar a run for its money. The Stinger Waffles, which are thin, crusty shells with organic honey in the middle, were suggested by Lance Armstrong, a co-owner of Honey Stinger. They have 160 calories per serving and come packaged individually for $1.39. Available in stores October 15. www.honeystinger.com
No Gears Needed! At a Demo Day during Interbike, the Gear Junkie crew rode multiple bike models equipped with Fallbrook Technologies’ latest “continuously variable planetary transmission” (i.e., internally-geared hub). We were mighty impressed! The NuVinci N360 hub is a slick, completely-encased drivetrain technology that transmits pedal power with spheres spinning inside a hub instead of gears. It has an unlimited number of ratios and adjust with the twist of a handlebar-mounted shifter. Bikes with the NuVinci N360 hub can get rid of all their gears (except the front chainring) and ditch the rear derailleur, too.
The NuVinci N360 will be available for custom bike build-ups as well as on production models like the 2011 Rare Earth Carbon Ellsworth Enlightenment hardtail, a mountain bike that looks like a single-speed but has some “continuously variable planetary transmission” mojo hidden up its sleeve! www.fallbrooktech.com
REI Single-Speed. The Novara Buzz One bike, a single-speed available only at REI, has a steel frame and 700c wheels. A flip-flop rear hub offers a fixed gear on one side and a freewheel on the other. It comes with puncture-resistant Kenda tires, a “moustache-style” handlebar, and Tektro linear-pull brakes. Available in 2011 for a reasonable $399. www.rei.com/brand/Novara
Complete Interbike 2010 coverage on Gear Junkie. . .
> 2010 Show Preview
—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.