Saturday, September 26, 2009

cool stuff at Interbike

I've never been to Interbike. It's always a question of "if I take a day off from work to attend Interbike, that's one less day I can take off for (SuperTour, riding in Europe, flying out to see World Championships, traveling to any place more interesting than Vegas...). Days off are too precious. But honestly, this year I wish I'd been there.

Favorite stuff I wish I'd seen at Interbike:
  1. MetriGear Vector: Well, actually I was at their open house "dry run" immediately prior to Interbike, so I'm very familiar with what they showed there. But Metrigear are all great guys, I really love their product, and it would have been fun to see how they were received there (by all accounts quite well).

  2. the Guru Photon: Wow! A sub-700 gram custom carbon fiber frame. Incredible. It totally fails my $3.50/gram saved test versus my 860 gram Fuji SL/1 frame. And I think I'd be intimidated ordering a custom bike. After all, when I got my Fuju SL/1, I thought the slack 71 degree head tube yielding a crazy 6.75 cm trail would result in really poor handling. Yet I discovered when I'd actually ridden the thing I liked the increased stability in corners when descending. The thing just holds a line. My Ritchey Breakaway is a more racer-like 5.62 cm head tube angle. Better handling, right? Yet I prefer descending on the Fuji. Anyway, the Guru Photon is really, really cool.

  3. The Reynolds 92.2 clincher rims: see the Velonews article on these. I find this really notable not because it's the first approach to carbon clinchers which makes any sense to me. Typical clincher rims have walls on each side with a hook at the top of each. Beads in the U-shaped tire fit under the hooks, keeping the tire from popping out. These rims have no hook, avoiding the need for the material to support such large bending moments. The tire is held in place because the tire is round, the rim is round, and the rim diameter exceeds the diameter of the tire bead. In other words, the tire would need to expand its radius to come off the rim. I thought this was quite outside-the-box thinking: using three dimensions instead of just two. But then it was pointed out this is how car tires work. I've never owned a car much less reseated a car tire, so it's no surprise I find the concept a new one.

  4. The Quarq Qollector: This is a "sniffer" for ANT+ wireless signals. It pulls data out of the electromagnet spectrum and records it. This is totally cool. It means if I run multiple power meters, speed sensors, whatever, it will record them in synchronized files. Running a tandem with multiple power meters, for example a two pairs of MetriGear Vectors? No problem. These Vectors are prototypes and are sending out data related to force parameters none of the head unit manufacturers have anticipated? No problem. Someone rides past and I'm curious what their heartrate and power are? No problem. If they're in range, it records it. Very very cool.

  5. The Specialized SpeedZone ANT+ Sport Head Unit: the weight-weenie solution for displaying power data from the Metrigear Vector. Basically it gives me displayed power numbers for under 100 grams total. For Old La Honda, not so useful: I don't need power data for pacing there. But it would have been useful on Mount Diablo where there were flat sections preceding the main climb and I suspect I went out a bit too hard. No way to know in hindsight, because I didn't want to lug my beefy PowerTap wheel and Cervo head unit up the side of the mountain. A hit of around 100 grams would have been quite tolerable, however.

  6. The ride demo. I'd have loved to give a spin to some of those bikes there. In particular the Tarmac SL/3, the Gary Fisher Superfly, the LiteSpeed C1, and the Fuji SST-1.0, and any of the latest time trial frames would have been high on my personal list.

Di2 doesn't make my list. For some reason, it just doesn't excite me.

Anyway, enough of that. One of these years I'll go. Life is too short to not go see in person something I end up devoting so much attention to from afar. And among Interbikes I recall following, this is one of the most exciting years.

1 comment:

Ron said...

Dan :

The Metrigear Vector fulfils one of my dreams in REM sleep :). My dreams for some new product ideas were documented last year on my blog, in two parts.

Part 1

Part 2

You'll find some interesting ideas (or maybe not) in the articles that I was playing around with. Ofcourse, easier said than done right?

Reading your post, I think we're quickly moving in the direction of realizing a commercial "smart bike", one with embedded sensorsthat tell a cyclist possibly everything he would need to know about his interaction with the machine.

Hence, I like it when companies look at the electro-mechanical side of things rather than just the mechanical, which I think has reached saturation point.

And, greetings from a fellow car free blogger. Never owned one in my life.