We’re on the ground in Las Vegas this week for the annual cycling extravaganza that is Interbike. For now we’re outside and in the sun, riding desert trails at the show’s OutDoor Demo event (see image above) and scoping new gear. It all moves inside on Wednesday, when the trade show begins and the bike world bows down to new gear coming to market for 2014. Here are a dozen hot products we’ve come across so far.
—Thomas Puzak and Stephen Regenold contributed to this report
Borealis Carbon Fat Bike Frame + Tubeless Wheels — The founder of Borealis Bikes tells us that his first-to-market tubeless carbon wheels shave more than 2.5 pounds of rotating weight off of a fat bike. That’s so light that if they hold up we expect a major exodus of fat riders going Borealis-way soon.
Specialized SWAT — It stands for Storage, Water, Air, Tools, and the product line is made up of a line of hideaway tools from Specialized. It’s about time that bike engineers admitted that every rider should carry what they need with them on the trail. With ingenious design, such as doubling the stem cap bolt as a chain-break tool, we want this on every bike we own.
DeVinci Newton Commuter — Built in Chicoutimi, Quebec, the Newton is fast city/commuter bike with integrated, rider-generated LED lights. Super slick, stealthy lights build into the fork and frame, no batteries needed. Power is generated as you ride. Pricing starting at $1,399 is spot on for a bike with hydraulic disc brakes and quality components.
Pinarello Goes MTB — Italy’s road bike force Cicli Pinarello S.p.A enters the full-suspension mountain bike market with its XM model. Frame and fork ONLY at $7,500! But with its high-end carbon and radically asymmetrical rear suspension design it will turn heads and likely get riders to plunk down cash. Full name is the DOGMA XM 9.9 Carbon, and the brand’s slogan is “Stiff as a road bike, suspended only when needed, without any remote control.” Studio glamour shot below. No, this rig is not really from outer space.
Winter Bike Boot — Last year Minnesota-based 45Nrth launched a winter biking boot, the Wolvhammer, which we rocked for months of snow-riding. The news this month from 45Nrth is a bike shoe made for autumn and mild winter days called the Fasterkatt. It’s a shoe/boot that is SPD-compatible and made for days between 25 and 45 degrees F.
Power Pedals — Power meters are the tool of choice for cyclists in need of an accurate measure of output. The products come in crank-arm, bottom bracket, and hub-based setups. At Interbike, Garmin shows off its long-awaited option — a power meter contained completely in the pedal. The company showed us a prototype about three years ago, and now the pedal, called the Vector, is finally coming to market. Pro-level price: It will cost a cool $1,699.99 for the set.
Bike Helmet Lock — To prevent bike theft, this “casual” lock from Lazer is a neat solution. The Cappuccinolock clicks onto helmet straps and turns your lid into an ad hoc lock — clip the straps around your frame and to a post to secure the bike. Granted, a scissors can cut the helmet strap and let a thief steal your bike. But for preventing grab-and-go theft where your bike is in sight Lazer has an interesting option.
Urban Lid — Bell cites “unprecedented fit” with this urban-aesthetic helmet. Called the Intersect, the $60 hard hat has a segmented foam liner and an internal frame that allows the helmet to “flex and confirm to riders’ heads.”
High-End Shimano Shoe — They cost $370 per pair. We demo’d the SH-XC90 mountain bike shoe this week and can say they are sick. The high price tag comes from Shimano’s Dynalast tech, which the brand cites “enables a 5% improvement in pedaling efficiency by reducing braking loss in the pedal stroke.” Custom-fit heat moldable upper, interchangeable lugs and toe spikes, and a slim carbon fiber outsole are additional hallmarks of the race-ready shoe.
Neo-Bike Packs — Osprey’s Rev Series of lightweight hydration packs looks to be something different. The made-for-biking line uses a unique harness setup the brand touts “provides a fit that is more like a shirt than a traditional backpack.” Media pockets give access to a touchscreen device through a TPU shield. They come to market in January for $110.
Gravel Grinder — Raleigh jumps onto the gravel-biking wagon with its Tamland 2.0. With a longer wheelbase than a road or cyclocross bike, the steel frame is made for the special environment of dirt roads and long gravel tracks. This setup includes a lower bottom bracket, longer chainstays, and a slack head tube that’s taller than traditional road bikes.
Fat Bike Hitch Rack — Thule will sell a Fat Bike conversion kit for $40 made to work with its T2 hitch rack. The kit supports the wide tires of a fat bike, which are often tough to transport on a normal rack.
Computer-Controlled Suspension — Rear suspension on the Spicy Team 27.5 from Lapierre is regulated by accelerometers and cadence sensors that tell the system how to adjust in an instant. The bike takes a reading when its front wheel hits a bump, assesses the data, and then instantly adjusts the rear suspension to best handle the terrain as you pedal and crank. Bike will be sold in North America starting in January for $8,000.
—Editors Thomas Puzak and Stephen Regenold contributed to this report.