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Bike Gear for 2012: Interbike Expo Sneak Peek

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The GearJunkie crew will be in Las Vegas next week to kick tires and ogle the latest in cycling equipment for 2012 at the annual Interbike International Expo. Today, we offer a sneak peek at some of the more unusual items coming from the Interbike press previews, a smattering of apparel and gear that’ll be on the trade show floor ranging from e-bikes made for mountain biking, to chamois-equipped bike skirts, to “energy” peanut butter in tiny squeezable packs. —Stephen Regenold

Moonlander Fat Bike — Behold the fatness! Like its popular Pugsley frame, Surly Bikes has unveiled another obese-wheeled bike with its Moonlander. The frame combined with 4.7-inch monster tires float over rocks and bumps, and many riders love the fatness in snow as well. This frame (also sold as a complete bike) has 135mm spaced hubs in front and rear, and it works with Surley’s 100mm Clownshoes rims and its 26 × 4.7-inch tires. The frame goes for sale this month for $700, and the complete Moonlander bike will cost $2,350 when it rolls to stores before Christmas this year.

Fat tires and beefy frame: Surly Moonlander bike capable in snow and sand

Ratchet-On Bike Shorts — Belts, snaps and buckles are so old school! These bike shorts from SUGOI ditch tried and true waist-cinching methods and instead use a Boa mechanical closure system. Tiny steel cables are tightened by turning the Boa knob, a device more often found on stout trail-running shoes and snowboarding boots. The SUGOI Gustov MTB shorts will cost $135 when they ship to stores in early 2012.

Belts are out, micro-cinches are in! Boa system on SUGOI shorts

New-School Bike Bottle — Touted as a “top-to-bottom redesign of water bottles for cycling,” the patent-pending Relaj Water Bottle has an aerodynamic shape and a flexible nozzle to let cyclists drink without changing head or body position.

New style of bike bottle, the Relaj model

The company, based in Florida, says the bottle’s tapered shape and easy-drink nozzle let riders sip with the bottle angled away from their face and eyes, ostensibly adding safety by not interfering with line-of-sight. For cleaning it out, the bottle opens at the top and the bottom for a scrub. BPA-free, dishwasher safe, and capable of carrying 23 fluid ounces of your fav drink.

Relaj bottle on a bike

Kid Safe-T-Seat — Playful and downright Pee Wee Herman in its cartoon aesthetic, the center-mount safe-T-seat from iBert Inc. is by no means a toy. We have been using the company’s first version of the kid seat for years. We love it, and so do the kids who get to ride up front in this “captain’s chair” as mom or dad rockets along. The new version for 2012 has an improved mounting system, a padded kid “steering wheel,” and a bright pink color scheme sure to turn heads — kids and adults alike. $110; ships in October.

Kid-eye view: The iBert seat lets your little one ride up front

Under-Seat Egg Bag — The Sci’Con Egg Saddlebag houses a tube and a couple tires levers for flat repairs. Its unique case has a stretchy rubber cover — no zippers or Velcro needed — to gain access to your tube and tools.

An under-seat pod for your tube and tools

Small, low-profile, and aero, the Egg case is made for discerning roadies and anyone else who needs a stealth solution under their butt. Made in Italy and distributed in the United States by Albabici for $39.

Low profile: Sci’Con Egg Saddlebag snapped in place

Bike Skirt with Chamois Pad — The Damsel Skirt, made by ZOIC Clothing, attempts to balance comfort and performance along with good looks. The lightweight skirt hides a removable Spandex liner with a chamois pad. Comes in multiple color options and pricing starts at $69.

Bike skirt has hidden shorts with chamois pad

Peanut Butter GU — Made the old-fashioned way (by crushing peanuts into a paste!), GU Energy Labs’ to-be-released PB packs will be sold as a “savory alternative to the vastly sweet dominated gel landscape,” the company claims. $1.35 per packet.

Salt, not sugar, is the overriding flavor of GU’s new PB packs

Cruiser E-Bikes — They may or may not in fact shoot rainbows as you ride. But a new line of electric bikes from Pedego offers a sleeker look and cruiser features to set it apart.

Lithium rainbows? E-bike from Pedego runs on rechargeable battery pack

The Interceptor, pictured in white here, comes with a classic top bar or a step-thru design, and it features a six-speed Shimano gear system combined with a hub motor run on 500 watts of power. Its Schwalbe Balloon tires offer cushioning and suspension on bumps. The 10-AMP lithium battery pack is removable in case you want to pedal power-free. $2,295.

Cruiser style with an electric option for a boost

Magic Energy Bike Apparel! — The respected Swiss fabric maker Schoeller Technologies AG has come to market with a line of fabrics touted to emit energy into the body. Whacky? For sure, but we should let the company explain. . . . The Energear fabric will be used by various bike-apparel companies in 2012. The theory is, quoting Schoeller press materials directly, that all living beings constantly radiate energy into their environment in the form of “far infrared rays.” Energear fabric uses a “titanium-mineral matrix” material blend designed to “ensure that part of the body’s own far infrared rays are reflected back to it” and that “this additional energy can lead to enhanced performance and the avoidance of fatigue.” Schoeller bike athletes are currently racing in the magic stuff. By next year, you too can reflect far infrared rays back as you pedal down the road!

Diagram of Energear fabric in action

Electric Mountain Bike — With a weird double-chain system and the look of a toy, Santa Monica Electric Vehicles will show off its electric mountain bike at Interbike. The company, which makes tiny electric cargo trucks that can go 45mph, will incorporate a tried and tested electric motor in the to-be-named mountain bike. It will cost about $2,000, and the company cites an “innovative transmission technology featuring seven gears that are each optimized to a specific speed range” that result in up to “double the efficiency and 40 percent more torque and load capability than” comparable motors. Impressive, we think. . . .

Dual chains, 7 gears, and mucho power are touted on this e-mountain bike

Super Strong Bike Rack — Quebec-based Urbana Bikes Inc. will introduce “the strongest rack bar none” in the industry. It is called the RNR rack, and it is made to support up to 150 pounds.

RNR rack holds up to 150 pounds on a reinforced plate

The secret is in its “reinforced lateral plate.” The rear-mount rack can haul copious amounts of lashed-on groceries, hardware items, or gear. Humans sitting on or “surfing” atop the rack, as pictured here, are less recommended uses, the company says.

Stand-up bike surfing on the Urbana rack!

Snow Tires For Your Bike — Minnesota’s QBP has another in-house startup brand, 45North, and its winter-oriented line launches at Interbike with a showcase beefy snow tire.

Hüsker Dü tires have siping and uniform tread to grip snow

The Hüsker Dü tire is made for all-terrain “fat” bikes like the Surly Pugsley and the Salsa Mukluk. The tire is 26 inches around and 4 inches fat. What makes it different is siping in the rubber (tiny gripping slits) and a uniform tread depth across the tire for “enhanced tracking and steering” in a variety of conditions, the company touts. The Hüsker Dü tire will sell for $120 when it ships before the snow flies this year.

Typical winter riding conditions in Minnesota, where startup brand 45North is based

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com. Connect with Regenold at Facebook.com/TheGearJunkie or on Twitter via @TheGearJunkie.

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