Saturday, September 17, 2011

Interbike: Details...

Three days of looking at cutting edge carbon-fiber frames, others of aluminum and steel, who knows how many wheel sets, braking systems for road and mountain, tires, pedals, all kinds of other little bits and pieces, active wear, shoes, and more, everything starts to blur together. I figure that by now the big players have it pretty much all figured out, the playing field is mostly even, one 7 pound frame flicks across the road as quickly as the next, bearings in one high performance hub seem to spin as smooth on an American Classic rim as on a Campagnolo, or WTB rim. Bicycles built at equal levels would be pretty much the same to me if I were to compare them with my eyes closed. I am sure an engineer could go on and on about differences and advantages, and compare unique structural characteristics. But not me. Therefore, more and more, I find myself considering other things, differences that I can actually see. Things like finishing, color and graphic schemes, fine details and little surprises that you only notice upon close inspection. Even though differences such as these are far less important than performance, because they are a matter of aesthetic preference, they are easy for me to judge. So, what are some of the details I noticed:

these folks were still setting up when i went by their booth, and unfortunately i didn't make it back over there. they didn't have any literature out yet, and i can't remember their name. instead of using a typical dropout, they use (on this model) a slideout. don't know if that is what they really call it, but that describes the function. the kind of detail i look for

Volagi is a California-based company who produce an interesting frame targeting endurance cyclists. note that the seatpost is attached to the top tube, but not the seat stays, which swoop up into the top tube. they call this Longbow Flex Stay Suspension and it is claimed to increase vertical flexibility, while maintaining horizontal rigidity. i would love to see how it (and my back) responds on a 100 mile ride

forget about performance for a minute, this Ritchie creation is meant
to be seen while ridden. it is pure, unadulterated sexy

try as i might, i could not get a good photo of this. different angles, different lighting, no good. what you are looking at is a Raleigh cyclocross bike, or more specifically, the driveside chainstay. Raleigh put this generally unused space to good use by welding on a little spoke holder, which can accommodate two spare spokes. now, i very rarely break a spoke, but this is one of those surprising little details that i am interested in

yes, my friends, this is a Pashley. there are various blogs i enjoy, whose writers are Pashley owners. they are women who commute, run errands, and tend toward slower social rides on upright bikes. that is the image that i have always had of Pashley. never again, my impression of the company has been broadened. combining a stainless steel frame with Campagnolo Record components was brilliant. you will not find it winning the Tour of Britain, but it certainly makes a statement

of course a Bianchi painted in the Italian national tricolors
needs a green/white/red painted chain. i do think a gold chain,
to match the chainring bolts would have been pretty hot too

this is a Montante Cicli, out of Italy. the company was at the show with a number of elegant, urban models on display. they all have little added touches making them stand out. this particular one has a cool little magazine, or newspaper holder, attached to the handlebar. a simple but functional detail

i actually took an interest in clothing at the show. there was some creative and good looking stuff, like this Brompton Oratory Jacket. i don't care for the fold-out high-viz flap that covers your rear (you can just make one out in the lower right corner), otherwise it's me

Since I am on the topic of clothing, I want to also acknowledge a company called Club Ride, who are making great looking casual wear for cyclists. I didn't get a photo at their booth, nor did I make a purchase, for which I am now kicking myself. Those who know me, also know that I rarely ride without a team/club jersey but, I would most definitely wear the Club Ride shirts and shorts into town for dinner, a concert, to a gallery, what have you. "Stylish and functional" is kind of a given when speaking about cycling clothing - Club Ride has got it all worked out.

Next up: Steel at the Show

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...