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InterBike’08: Last Savory Treats From Showtime
Out with the show season and into the holiday season, here’s the last of Interbike’s hot stuff. Colnago, American Classic, Museeuw (“just the flax”)…, Calfee and a few more…

One of the brands first in the heart at Pez has to be AMERICAN CLASSIC. This was a pretty big year for the Florida roller and part house as they bring more proof that white never cared what the new black was…

They also keep black alive in a way that Cervelo’s Gerard Vroomen spent some time oogling the new hoops.

They still have a 420 and a 350 and the lightest production metal clincher around in their Magnesium 300…

And of course they still roll out a host of carbon, from disc to mid depth…

BUT the beauty is in the details at American Classic with all of the new wheels spinning on new hubs.

The cut away version of the rear shows a lot…

Including a new fatter axel and blown up bearing size and placement… And look a little closer at the ratchet and pawl set up.

That’s 24 teeth inside the hub and the pawls have 6 double contacts. That’s 12 contact points making for rock solid engagement as well as spreading the stress more evenly when power is applied…

All that beef still leaves their standard road hubs as some of the lightest around as well…

COLNAGO came with another standard display of what’s right in the cycling form.

The king of Cambiago now have not only the widest standard size range in cycling, but arguably have the most complete road line up available period.

They’ve always had a leader in the C series but recently they decided to play the weight / stiffness focus and go directly at the molded bike competition and have hit it well with the new CX-1.

This one tipped in well under UCI limits and in typical Colnago fashion, they give you 8 sizes in a type of bike that some manufacturers are satisfied with 5 or 6…

Head in the other direction from the hype of weight and stiffness and you find Colnago with one of the best examples of classic cycling available. The Master X-Light.

And if you’re wondering where the heart is at for the North American Distributor, this Molteni version is actually the personal bike of Veltec Sports Colnago boss…

Colnago also have their new Flight TT bike rolling.

This is a fully aero manipulated rig that comes in both TT and Triathlon based geometry.

And Colnago wouldn’t be Colnago without a red hot limited edition. This year it’s a tip of the hat to last year’s Formula One driver and constructors’ championship for their “relatives” over at Ferrari.

This special edition is based on the all new EPS.

Everything in the EPS, from tube set to lugs is new for Colnago. Its roots are in the C series and Extreme Power bikes but Colnago have some great support in carbon fiber (Using some of the same minds as Ferrari and others) and they also know a little about bicycles…

Someone else that cut his teeth on more than a few Colnago’s now also has a card to play.

JOHAN MUSEEUW has gone green, er brown and rolled out Flax (some folks know it as linseed) as part of a carbon matrix for a new line of bikes.

The idea’s not purely new as folks in Auto and other manufacturing have used the process, but this is the first time for bikes. And the ratio of flax to carbon is relatively high compared to some “additives” for frames that seem to be a bit more hype than hardware.

At a glance they seem to be similar to a lot of newer designs with some nice curve and tube shaping.

But get close enough and the frames have a unique weave pattern…

Some time down the road we’ll hopefully have some better info on production and material character, but I did note one thing at the show. A pretty simple hit to the tube of a standard carbon bike sounds VERY different from hitting one of the Flax-Carbon tubes and while I was skeptical that the demonstration might simply have been the guy doing the demonstration holding and striking the tubes differently… Not so as they handed me the tubes to strike. I can say that the damping is also different with these tubes…

Another guy known for quite a while for going brown is CRAIG CALFEE.

They’ve been rolling plants for quite a while, though bamboo is the preferred fiber…

But they also still make exceptionally nice bikes from plain “old” carbon…

While the bikes are worth the visit and look, the thing that really caught my eye was their carbon repair service.

I’ve known about it for a while, but I had not seen an example of the work first hand and was frankly surprised at how exceptional the finish is.

The Orbea shown was broken in two and other than a twill direction change, the finish is virtually the same as new. The graphics are right and unless you’re looking for the spot, you really couldn’t tell there was even a repair. In fact, even if you knew, you can’t tell the frame was fixed from any sort of distance beyond “close up”…

RETUL are last but as the best fit set up at the show, they may be the furthest thing from least, as fitting is the most important decision you’ll make with regard to any cycling purchase.

Basically this is motion capture which is simply better than simple video work for fitting because it takes all of the speculation out of what movement you’re seeing by plotting it for you.

You start by putting wired dots on key points on your body…

Then another unit basically reads what’s happening with the dots and provides plotted info that you can clearly both see on your computer screen and save and compare as you start to make fit changes.

Part of the system is also an exceptionally nice rotating bike stand that allows rider and bike to be turned for front and both side views as needed…

At the end of the day you still have to be going to a fitter / Physio guy that understands what he’s seeing and how to make changes that can correct what’s wrong. That’s no easy deal. But there’s been a real “art” to trying to determine what it is that fitters are actually seeing in the first place (and I have seen first hand how bad guys can be at it, even at good shops). Retul make it more a repeatable science than an art.

(Big thanks to fit God Paraic at Serotta for pointing me at Retul).

So our hangovers have ended just about the same time as the show coverage, and just in time for you to take what’s left of any of your investment portfolio and splurge now!

Have Fun,

Charles Manantan

Thanks for looking. If you have other experiences with gear, or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews, or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

PezCycling News and the author ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products we test here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper use and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.

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