PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : InterBike 08’: More Snaps From Sin City

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InterBike 08’: More Snaps From Sin City
A few more big shots of new gear from Interbike 08 on post… Ergon, KCNC, Park Tool, Hudz, Power Cranks, Fizik and Air caddy.

A lesson learned this year was that one of my first stops should be with the guys at Fairwheel Bikes. While they’re simply nice guys, the last two years I stopped in after lumbering around looking for what’s cool, only to discover that they had several of the better high end parts sitting in one place. While they’re a Tucson Arizona bike shop, they frequently get prototype gear from manufacturers for review and feedback, some of the past stuff was on display…

Along with several bits of weight envelope pushing parts from the past…

Fairwheel also have a pretty substantial bit of gear from a company I have under rated till recently… KCNC.

The brakes are one of the more economical of the newer light weight offerings. And KCNC also knock out flyweight cassettes that you’ve seen on lots of the super bikes we’ve prepped and tested.

But the line is far deeper, with a substantial amount of pimp parts, from pulleys to posts to QR’s…

And unlike most “high end” shops, Fairwheel actually have a substantial stock of the uber kit on hand instead of having an out-of-stock excuse handy…

One of the main slobber spots for me, every year, is the Park Tool show floor. This is pretty much everyone’s choice as the top tool manufacturer in cycling and it’s pretty simply because their stuff is made to tight tolerances to begin with, but made from good stuff so that it’s still at those tolerances for years (which is why they’re in virtually every professional shop around…). The display this year had all the normal stuff…

But a closer look showed a few new model things…

Like the New BB30 tool that will hopefully become the new standard (so custom frame makers working on a few Pez Projects will get cracking!).

They also have a host of pocket and travel tools (and hopefully a Campy 11 chain tool shortly) as well as some weenie gear like digital Calipers…

But the core of the line is no nonsense, pro-grade tools that your kid’s kids will still be using. Something as simple as a spoke tool, built with some heft, can make a job surprisingly easier as it allows you to get enough grip to make slight adjustments easier than flimsy tools do…

I’ve been using Park bits on my motorcycles for years, simply because they’ll take the abuse and keep their shape (meaning your fasteners and gear also stay in shape longer) long after the cheap stuff strips raw…

Speaking of stripping raw, more saddle solutions popped up from Fi’zi:k. Starting with a solution that every saddle maker should have in a demo program.

Several saddle shapes mean you can likely get a booty match without spending an arm and a leg.

Fiz also bring the Antares out…

to fill the void between shape and size of their Arione (flat and narrow) and Aliante (wave shaped and wide).

Pretty simple to see the dif in dimensions both length and width versus the Arione…

But what you don’t see is that the Antares, despite its exceptional low weight (145 grams), has a substantial amount of padding versus other saddles at similar weight.

Ergon popped in again and of course they had what is easily the nicest backpack available where freedom of movement is concerned.

The little green ball is the trick, as your entire upper body is free of the well placed waist pads.

Ergon are also ready with the first of a few models (Look, Shimano etc…) of cleat placement tools…

It pretty simply allows for positioning and repeated accurate replacement with a simple grid system allowing for marking your spot…

I had to chuckle listening to a couple of Asian gentlemen talking about “Power Clanks”. As I was walking over to the Power Crank booth. While they were discussing extremely tight tolerances and how solid the part was and complex the internals and machining must be, they may not have been far off in naming the latest invention…

Power “Clank” is close as these are not the typical units. They work by having just a hint of float / play in the turning circle (not side to side at all). And if your pedal stroke isn’t consistent, they simply make a noise as you engage pedal force.

For those with a bad spin, they will simply provide audible cue and teach you better mechanics while maintaining a more traditional pedaling action than their brutally efficient counter parts. They’re also a HELL of a lot lighter. All in all I am really looking forward to some time on these…

Something that absolutely nobody from any country can mispronounce (unless they’re from those islands where they click and whistle to talk) are HUDZ.

The multi colored replacement Hudz are now available for Campy, SRAM and Shimano and come in a crap load of colors… Including that one color that goes so well with a summertime glass of champagne…

They’ll also come in two different densities, because your hands’ job is a personal thing…

But wait!

For the ultrageek (eh…me) HUDZ now roll out colored cable bumpers available in shop kits (down to a 30 count minimum for not a lot of money…).

HUDZ also made these from a specific density material and molded a smaller hole… Not a HUGE developement, but these little buggers stay fixed in place better than anyone’s stock cable bumpies. (see what I mean about “ultrageek…”)

Leave it to me, on the first year in a long time where I’m not shipping a bike home, to find what is probably the best “box”-type bike box around. Air Caddy.

Colnago, and a few other Top flight type companies use Air Caddy because they combine very good protection…

…with extremely simple and effective packing, because the box shape and internals (including a fork mount plate and fastening bits) allow for the closest thing to a drop in and ship set up…

These things are reusable and the shape also makes for better likelihood that your shipper will sit the box the right way up. The only gasper is the 99.00 price tag for what is, well, a box… But it should be good for 4 trips and they’ll sell a replacement outer box for less than half price.

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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