I haven’t done a cull of new-bike-gear for ages now, so with Interbike 2015 having been the latest orgy of new-bike-gear, let’s take a look at what caught my eye, shall we?
Now, by “caught my eye” I of course mean both the good and the bad, as I take special pleasure in criticizing things, because I am a terrible person.
Let’s start on a good note, though. Like this super classy, and dangerously hot steel frame from Willier, the Superleggera. Columbus SL tubing, lots of chrome, and that eye-popping paint. Yes please.
(Yes, it of course needs Campagnolo, but no, not the new version, nor those wheels – for a bike like this, Neutrons are the only Campy option, or something chrome, shallow, and hand-built)
And how about this from Open, the coolest brand I’ve never heard of? It’s orange, has a few really cool lines, carbon, thru-axles, “gravel plus”, and fits up to 2.25″ tyres. What won’t it do?
This is a collection of decent parts put together to make what I’m sure is a perfectly fine bicycle, but there is no excusing the bar position in this photo. They took the time to set the cranks up just-so, but those bars. It’s just wrong, and someone should be punished.
Italy has some of the most beautiful design, and some of the most horrifying. While there is probably worse, this is a pretty good effort from Alfa Romeo. You see, “the style of Alfa Romeo 4C inspired the dynamic and fluent lines of the frame that reveal a stylized “4”. The section of the frame recalls the letter “C” and introduces a world premiere carbon fibre semi-tube section, the same as the frame of Alfa Romeo 4C.”
That’s wonderful, but I wonder if any of them actually saw the result of those ideas? Steel tie-rods? And where have the shifters gone?
If you are worried about any of this mess getting on your face, you may be in need of a Windeflectᵀᴹ. This ingenious new product will allow you to recall such good times as grade 7 woodworking or science classes. Don’t put up with annoying trips to the chemical eye-wash station after your rides – simply wear a full face shield over top of your protective eye-wear to ensure you never look as hard as this guy.
Speaking of dirty, that’s what Scottoiler’s Cycle S1 automatic bike chain lube system will take care of for you. They have over 30 years experience working with chains on the motorcycle side of things. Such experience has revealed that running their lube, delivered by their automatic system, will result in “approximately 5% gain… vs the dry chain system”, giving you “up to 12 watts” additional power, resulting in (mathematically) “6 minutes and 58 second time-saving over a 160km ride.”
If it’s only about 5% better than running a dry chain, I think I’ll stick to periodically lubing my chain the old-fashioned way.
Also, if we’re talking about marginal gains over a long distance, what about the marginal loss of hydration due to the loss of one of your water bottles, or the additional weight of the oil reservoir, or the compromised aero efficiency over such distances when carrying both water bottles, or…
Still, it looks like a perfect, bulky, messy, and expensive way to oil my chain with a lube that washes off with water. Just what I never knew I wanted.
Chains in cars and on motorcycles (I’ll assume?) may need such systems, but on a bike…
Next, move over Pinarello, this is how you do a suspension road bike:
Who needs decency, anyway? The actually-pretty-good-paint-scheme and Super-Record is trying to mess with my ability to write this off as a bit of nonsense, but then the fact that you’ve always got a bike rack with you to lock your friends bikes to would be kind of handy.
It’s nothing a few shots of rum can’t fix, though, and what better way to deliver it than on this Rum Runner?
That’s just plain cool. Go here for more of Huntington Beach Bike Company’s creations.
Customizing metal in other ways – for anyone into their titanium, there is now a new way to make it into shapes: injection molding.
Shaping metal into hexagonal shapes of various sizes and bending them at right angles has never got me all that excited before… until now. Silca, who have been bringing out some pretty cool stuff lately, have managed to make the simple hex key set something to aspire to with the smartly presented HX-One kit.
Whahoo has been making moves for a little while now, and this not-yet-released computer could be the business. Could this be the best computer yet? Could the ELEMNT be the cycle computer that finally takes a big bite out of Garmin’s market? I know I’d be keen to give it a go (a bit big, though, no?).
People never get tired of putting flashing lights in things to make cyclists more visible, and Lumenus is giving it a red-hot go. Their jacket has all kinds of stopping, turning, and flashing LED’s in it, connected to an app that tells you where to go once you’ve told the app where you want to go. It’s a neat idea, I guess, but if you don’t live somewhere cold or don’t want to wear a jacket in spring, summer, or autumn…
What makes me automatically not want to buy something, however, is being sold something using claims that are anything other than the objective facts (whereas I’m allowed to convince myself of anything I want using even the most ridiculous of unconvincing arguments…).
Firstly, it appeals to fear, which is a pretty textbook selling tactic, so no biggie there. Cyclists are dying at an “alarming” rate, and we are led to believe that this is mostly happening at night because motor vehicles can’t see us. We are told that 21% of these collisions happen between 6-9pm, which is supposed to sound high, but if 1/5th of the collisions are occurring at the busiest time of the day on the roads, and you subtract 8 hours for sleep, then you’re not left with a rate that would be much higher than any other 3 hour block of the day. But then we are reminded of “the growing risk associated with just riding a bike”, so I guess we should be afraid after all.
Finally, you should definitely not run with scissors, but you should most certainly cycle with them. Vancom brings us the Linear inner tube. Basically, it’s a tube with a join in it that allows you to change the tube without removing the wheel. Observe:
It’s a neat idea, actually, the best context for use being bikes with belt drives, internally geared, etc, where removing the rear wheel is a bit more of a pain (thanks for the reminder, Ian), but I’ll stick to using regular tubes with my regular chain lube, I think.
So there you have it. An assortment of the weird and wonderful from Interbike 2015. Giving us what we want, what we need, and what we never knew we wanted or needed.
Header image: source