As I mentioned in an earlier post, I attended my second Interbike last week. I wasn’t nearly as dazzled by all the cool bike stuff as I was last year, but it’s still (in my eyes) the world’s biggest toy store. Here are a few random thoughts on what I saw.

  • The new Cervelo P4 is not a pretty bike. The P3 took some getting used to as well, but I eventually came to appreciate it. I don’t see that happening with the P4. Look’s new TT bike, however… hubba hubba.
  • The Quarq Cinqo is a compelling alternative to the Powertap. Unlike the hub-based Powertap, the Cinqo replaces the spider on the crankset. Consequently, you can use whatever wheel you like (including a disc wheel). On the other hand, it’s not easily transferable to other bikes. The cost is comparable to the new ANT+ compatible Powertap, so I’ll have a tough decision ahead of me next season.
  • Those first two notes notwithstanding, there seems to be an anti-technology movement shaping up in the bike world. I saw more steel bikes at this year’s show, along with normal-looking, non-lycra clothing. Older brands like Bianchi and Masi seem to have recognized this trend and responded with bikes that emphasize their history and classic style.
  • There is an amazing array of companies making backpacks, messenger bags, hydration packs, and other such bags. Timbuk2, Chrome, Crumpler, Rickshaw, Dakine, and Ergon are a few I can recall off the top of my head. The one that got my vote (and my money) was Rickshaw – by far, the most thoughtfully designed. I can’t wait until they start selling their beercan bandolero strap.
  • Electric-assist bikes seem to be popping up all over. I’ve noticed a few around town, but the next-gen models I saw at Interbike were much more elegant looking. Still, none of the major bike manufacturers seem to have gone for it. Puzzling.
  • The Selle Anatomica saddle is the most comfortable saddle I’ve sat on but not ridden. And it’s made in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. I want one.
  • Schwinn is offering a 20th-anniversary lugged steel Paramount. And it’s made in Waterford, Wisconsin, as it should be.
  • Everyone is making a ‘cross bike now. Many of them are ridiculously pretty and expensive. Have these people ever ridden a ‘cross race?
  • Word on the street was that Shimano’s new electronic Dura-Ace is impossible to defeat, no matter how poorly you shift.
  • Shimano was selling their top-of-the-line road and mountain bike shoes for $100. I might have bought a pair or two had the line not always been over an hour long.
  • Rudy Project has a new helmet that is super-light, though it lacks the faux-suede liner of last year’s luxury model. They’ve also got some nice-looking new shades. I got to meet Chris Lupo, the sponsorship coordinator, and thank him for his support of CZ Velo.

That’s enough for now. I’ll go through my pictures soon and augment this post with some visual aides.