Posts Tagged ‘Interbike 2013’

Interbike 2013: Shopping list

September 26, 2013
The Klatch is an all-day endurance machine, made of Reynolds 853 but with a carbon ENVE disc fork.

The Klatch is an all-day endurance machine, made of Reynolds 853 but with a carbon ENVE disc fork.

BIBLEBURG, Colo. (MDM) — Selling shit is what Las Vegas is all about.

There are no drinking fountains, just $6 bottles of water, and the only chairs to be found sit in front of slot machines and gaming tables, or in bars and restaurants, where thunderous “music” discourages unproductive conversation while encouraging speedy consumption and departure, thus clearing a space for the next sucker … er, customer. What stays in Vegas is mostly your money.

If you’re not spending, Sin City has no use for you. Move along, move along.

My room at the Luxor was unexceptional, though I will say that unlike Mike Creed’s squat at the Excalibur it lacked burglars. It also lacked HBO (“Quit watching “Breaking Bad” and buy a ticket to Carrot Top!”) and wireless Internet (“Quit downloading porn and rent a hooker!”).

As befits a shopping-mall food court, the eats were overpriced and underwhelming, and I never got out of Starbutt’s for less than 12 smacks. (that’s the tab for a grande Americano, a fruit cup and a tip, in case you’re wondering). A short chat with Scot Nicol of Ibis Cycles added value to one of those purchases. For me, anyway. I’m never sure how the other side of a chat with me dollars up on the hoof.

But bitching about Vegas is pointless. Anyone stupid enough to bunk in a casino hotel deserves everything he gets and then some, as I learned back in 2006 while rooming at the Riviera on Bicycle Retailer‘s dime. That pushed me over the edge, and I skipped the show for the next four years.

The Cinelli Bootleg Hobo just jumped out at me on the last day of the show. If the price is right, we should all buy at least two of them.

The Cinelli Bootleg Hobo just jumped out at me on the last day of the show. If the price is right, we should all buy at least two of them.

I’ve enjoyed myself more since returning to Interbike under the aegis of the Adventure Cycling Association, mostly because I no longer have to help produce BRAIN’s Show Daily. Instead of cranking out the word count in some windowless concrete cell I get to wander the show floor, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at all the toys and asking may I play with same, please.

And with that longwinded introduction, allow me to present my top three bikes from Interbike 2013: the Co-Motion Klatch (mentioned previously); the Cinelli Bootleg Hobo; and the Chris King Cielo Tanner Goods Edition.

Of my top three, the Klatch may be the bike best suited to the type of riding I do here in Dog Country. It’s a gravel grinder — or as we oldsters might call it, a “bicycle” — with a Shimano drivetrain. The Reynolds 853 frameset is capable of running 40mm rubber, and Co-Motion’s jet-black show model was nicely spec’d; among the goodies was TRP’s dual-piston Spyre mechanical disc brake, a stopper I have yet to try but have heard nothing but good things about, if you happen to like disc brakes, which I don’t, much. Expect to pay $2,195 for frame and fork, $4,460 for a Shimano 105-equipped bike, and $4,995 for an Ultegra machine. Co-Motion is taking orders now, and lead time is six to seven weeks.

The Chris King Cielo Tanner Goods Edition is a lovely bit of bicycle. Total eye candy.

The Chris King Cielo Tanner Goods Edition is a lovely bit of bicycle. Total eye candy.

The Bootleg Hobo, meanwhile, looks like just the ticket for the adventure-cycling crowd. You’ve got to love PR copy that draws a pair of Jacks — Kerouac and London — when pitching a product. Columbus Cromor tubes, triple crankset, bar-end shifters, bosses for three bottle cages. Tubus racks, fenders, clearance for 45mm rubber, spare-spokes holder, and (gasp!) cantilever brakes! What’s not to like? Santa Fe’s Bicycle Technologies International (BTI) has ordered the Hobo in limited quantities, and I expect it will be an insanely popular piece of machinery with the go-anywhere, do-anything crowd, if only because of the price: $1,850 complete. Yeah, I don’t believe it either. But that’s what the man said. …

Finally, the Chris King Cielo Tanner Goods Edition (man, is that ever a mouthful) is a beautiful commuter-slash-bikepacker, with Tanner Goods saddlebag, handlebar bag and frame bag, the last of which doubles as a shoulder bag. The $2,895 price includes frame, fork, bags and Honjo fenders; the show bike was tricked out with Chris King headset and hubs (duh), Thomson seatpost and stem, and Paul’s Neo-Retro and Touring canti’ brakes. It’s a goddamn work of American art on wheels, is what.

Other bikes worth a look:

The Tern Eclipse S18 looks to be just the thing for the person who wants to hop a plane to someplace nifty and then explore it by bicycle.

The Tern Eclipse S18 looks to be just the thing for the person who wants to hop a plane to someplace nifty and then explore it by bicycle.

• Tern Eclipse S18

• Norco Indie Drop

• Surly Straggler

• Redline Metro Classic

• Raleigh Tamland 2

• Jamis Bosanova

Interbike 2013: Leaving Las Vegas

September 26, 2013
As has become traditional in these outings, a storm chased me out of town, finally catching me in Santa Fe.

As has become traditional in these outings, a storm chased me out of town, finally catching me in Santa Fe.

BIBLEBURG, Colo. (MDM) — After all these years you’d think I would know better than to try to blog from Sin City. I should just post a “Closed Until Further Notice” sign and save us all the aggravation.

I attend Interbike for three primary reasons: First, to gather salable intelligence for my various employers; second, to reassure said employers in our one get-together per annum that, despite all published evidence to the contrary, I am not a rabid dog hellbent on biting the hand that feeds me; and third, to reassure the reading audience that I am a rabid dog hellbent on biting the hand that feeds me and somehow getting away with it. Which I am, of course. (Don’t tell my employers.)

It’s quite a tightrope to walk for an antisocial old drunkard who has trouble navigating a wide sidewalk after happy hour. And it’s particularly sketchy when I’m bunking in a casino hotel with all the ambience of a Donna Summer retrospective in Hell. Never again. It was a 20-minute walk from my room to the show and I never left the building.

When I finally hit the door running I was very tired of the sound of my own voice and desperate for a smoke-free environment, proper music and the open road.

As I battled traffic on Flamingo a roadside political scientist announced via hand-lettered poster that Jewish communists control the media. He never met the crowd I work for; a variety of faiths, creeds and religions, but capitalists one and all. Racing the commuters through Henderson I saw a disintegrating paceline fighting a massive headwind on a gradual climb. Glancing at the dash I noticed it was 96 degrees outside. Who’s crazy here? I wondered.

Me, of course.

Editor’s note: Coming up — a few bikes from Interbike 2013 that an adventurous cyclist might find interesting.

Interbike 2013: FaceTime

September 19, 2013

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (MDM) — Before FaceTime, there was face time, and now that I no longer help cover Interbike for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, that’s generally what I spend my first day of the show collecting.

Tuesday evening was the traditional pre-show meal with the BRAIN trust; on Wednesday, I was doing some light trolling for toys with editor Mike Deme of Adventure Cyclist and his trusty sidekicks Josh Tack and Rick Bruner. Tech editor John Schubert joined us later for dinner and drinks.

Mike and I also appeared briefly on Diane Lees’ Outspoken Cyclist radio show, to be aired later this month. You’l be pleased to hear that I successfully avoided the accidental deployment of my favorite monosyllabic Anglo-Saxonisms.

The change in venue from the Sands to Mandalay Bay proved something of a shock to everyone’s navigational systems, and so we spent an inordinate amount of time playing Where The Hell Are We Going And Where The Fuck Are We Now? As a consequence, I didn’t take any pix, an oversight I’ll correct today.

But be on the lookout for some new do-it-all steel bikes, among them the Klatch from Co-Motion (someone decided they wanted to do a gravel race and needed a bike) and the Straggler from Surly (don’t call it a gravel bike or they’ll hurt you).

More later from the show floor, or slightly above it.

Interbike 2013: The lap of Luxory

September 18, 2013
The road to Mandalay (Bay) continues this morning from the Luxor, which is named after a famous Egyptian laxative.

The road to Mandalay (Bay) continues this morning from the Luxor, which is named after a famous Egyptian laxative.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (MDM) — It figures that the first familiar face I would see this morning was draped over the skull of Bruce Gordon, who like me is a perennial contender for the title of Grumpiest Old Guy At the Show. I’ve spared you the mugshots. You’re welcome.

We were standing in line at dark-thirty for a cup of Starbutt’s finest and got straight to the kvetching, as a guy will before java is made available in a 20-year-old shopping mall masquerading as a casino-hotel. And afterward, too, come to think of it.

Well, some of us, anyway. One of these years Bruce and I should bring a small square of Astroturf and a couple of patio chairs to the show and while away the hours hollering at people to get the hell off our lawn.

I don’t feel like standing in another Vegas queue this morning — one thing America’s paean to the Triumph of Capitalism shares with the defunct Soviet Union is the requirement that one queue for everything, no matter how worthless and unsatisfying — so breakfast today consists of a grande Americano and a Larabar.

And now I got to shake a leg. Mandalay Bay awaits. It’s showtime.

Interbike 2013: Swimming to Santa Fe

September 16, 2013
The scene outside the passenger window near Wagon Mound, N.M.

The scene outside the passenger window near Wagon Mound, N.M.

SANTA FE, N.M. (MDM) — I arose this morning to partly cloudy skies and images of my old friend Jennifer Buntz on the TV, discussing some bikey issue on KOB-TV out of Albuquerque.

I chose to regard both of these developments as good omens, having left Bibleburg under threatening skies and surfed a couple of gully-washers en route to The City Different, the traditional first stop on the Road To Mandalay (Bay). It’s still raining back home, Herself confirmed this morning.

I expected more of the same in Santa Fe, but managed to sneak in a quick soak and steam under the clouds at Ten Thousand Waves, poaching the editorial kinks out of my moth-eaten carcass.

All my usual dinner haunts are closed on Sundays, so I grabbed some disgustingly healthy grub from Whole Paycheck and took a brief assay of what was on the electrical babble box. Not much. I can’t believe people pay American money to watch this shit. I likewise gave myself a day away from the Innertubes, being weary of that particular monsoon, too.

This morning it’s an overdue dose of green chile at Tia Sophia’s and then off to Flagstaff. See you along the road.

Countdown to Interbike

September 10, 2013
On the Road to Mandalay (Bay).

On the Road to Mandalay (Bay).

It’s rare that an upcoming trip to Sin City feels like a vacation in the making, but sheeeeeeeeyit, will I ever be glad to get the hell away from business as usual for a week.

You read the news this morning? Having shit the bed on Syria, the White House has turned to a Russian laundry to clean up the mess. An anonymous dossier makes Pat McQuaid look like Leo O’Bannion from “Miller’s Crossing.” Turnout is expected to be heavy as Bibleburg decides whether to recall Sen. John Morse for offending the penis-extension segment of the electorate, whose idea of a full magazine is decidedly not The New Yorker.

So, yeah. A nice long drive through the desert to clear the head (with the radio off); a few days of wandering about unfettered in Santa’s Workshop; eating meals I don’t have to cook — it all sounds like a little slice of heaven to me.

I’ll be providing daily updates from the show — or that’s the plan, anyway — so keep the dial tuned to WDOG for the latest and greatest from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center once the doors open a week from tomorrow.

Don’t expect me to come home with any $519 bibs, though. If that’s not an invitation to stack it on a rocky trail I never saw one.

Fryday

September 6, 2013
A section of the Edna Mae Bennet Trail, which leads to the Templeton Trail.

A section of the Edna Mae Bennet Trail, which leads to the Templeton Trail.

Man, it got hot again all of a sudden.

We went from a pleasantly damp monsoon season straight back into summer, no matter what the calendar says.

This is good news for Manitou Springs, whose residents get a chance to chisel all the dried mud out of their basements, autos, and nostrils, but it makes for some steamy afternoons here in the office, which sits on the hot end of the house.

A little rain might help keep me in that office, which is where I need to be, having a few deadlines to beat before toddling off to Interbike. But the rule is that when the sun shines, vigorous exercise shall be taken, and outdoors, too.

By the time that’s over and done with, I feel a tad fatigued for some reason and crave a frosty beverage, a nosh and perhaps a nap. Thus work suffers. No wonder the economy is in such a parlous state.

Looking upward from the Templeton Trail, just east of Union and Austin Bluffs.

Looking upward from the Templeton Trail, just east of Union and Austin Bluffs.

Lately I’ve been alternating rides with hikes, generally in Palmer Park. I used to run the trails there quite a bit, but the knees don’t seem interested in that sort of thing anymore. So I hike instead, which is an acceptable substitute. I seem to trip and fall down a good deal less, anyway.

And if you pick the right trail, you can get plenty of vertical gain, as you can see from the pix. I can’t believe we used to ride these things back in the day.

And when I say “we,” I mean, “somebody else.” I was walking them even then.

• Late update: Herself and I did our part to rein in the idiots this afternoon by voting not to recall state Sen. John Morse, who fell afoul of the gun nuts. Lord, single-issue fuckwits give me a brain cramp with their political temper tantrums. You don’t like the way the man works, vote him out in the next regularly scheduled election — that’s why we have ’em. These pissants remind me of a toddler screwing up his chubby little mug right before spitting out the creamed spinach.