SE Bike Expo Roundup 1 – Roundtail, Catlike, Rolf, The North Face, Bikeray & More
The first annual SE Bike Expo was a hit. With great attendance by both consumers and industry, the turnout was impressive for a first year event put together in just five months. Thanks to support from major brands like SRAM, Shimano, Niner, Trek and Specialized alongside numerous other bike, tire, component and lifestyle brands, riders had plenty to fill their two days with. It didn’t hurt that the trails at Conyers’ Georgia International Horsepark are phenomenal and that the days were sunny and bright if a bit windy.
Above, founder Lou Tortola shows off the commuter version of his Roundtail bicycle concept. A venue like this is perfect for giving people a chance to try something so different, and the riders I saw coming back in had smiles on their faces. Click ‘more’ to check detail pics of these and other brands’ goodies…
The commuter version gets disc brakes. The circular tube shape absorbs road shock and certainly turns heads.
The downtube has a very angular shape.
Plenty of tire clearance, could make for an interesting ‘cross bike or fat tire urban bike.
SeaSucker kept this road bike stuck to the side of their vehicle to show off the system’s staying power. Presumably, they drove to and from the event with the bike on top. On the back window is a rear mount version that’s a bit more traditional, and on the opposite side they had a stick-on wine bottle holder! On the door here is a stick on water bottle holder that could be a good tool for solo endurance riders lacking proper race support.
Trek Bikes had about 100 demo bikes, ensuring you’d be able to find the model and size you were looking for. Word is they turned about 200 demos around each day. Niner reported they did about 80 each day, and everyone seemed pretty happy with the turnout. Even better, all proceeds went directly to IMBA.
Everytime I’ve seen The North Face at a cycling expo, I’ve glanced then moved on. Usually their goods are hidden inside a giant base camp tent that, while cool, makes me think it’s mostly camping stuff and my time is better spent rushing around to bike-related booths. Not so here. Their new casual and performance cycling clothing was out in the open and it looked darn good. Above is a super lightweight wind/water proof shell. Underneath is a casual short-sleeve shirt with rear vents and mini-pocket, chest pocket and reflective threads woven into the plaid design. During the day you’d don’t see them, but at night they light up. My flash didn’t quite do it justice, but you can see the white stripes in the design…those are all reflective.
The women’s casual and mountain bike collection (left) was impressive. All of the materials felt top notch and their rep said a lot of them are made with the same stuff as their mountaineering collection. On the right is their mountain bike and free ride stuff. The black shorts were thick and heavy duty feeling and came with a padded liner with protective panels throughout. Pretty bomber looking.
Rolf Prima’s local sales rep had their new Ares aero wheels on display. They offer the Ares 46, 66 and 80 rims, all clincher. Built up with Reynolds rims and White Industries hubs using their patented paired spokes. Rims are 21mm wide, which is 2mm wider than what they’ve offered in the past. Retail is $2499 per set for 4 and 6, add $100 for the 8. Also available individually. Claimed weights are 1590g for the 6, 1790g on the 8. Available now, and custom color decals are an option.
We saw Catlike’s helmets at DealerCamp with promises they’d soon hit our shores. They’re finally here.
The Whisper road helmet (left) has large channels under the padding (removed for the pic) to channel air from the front vents over your head and out the back. The mountain bike helmets use an air filled tube inside to keep the helmet together in an impact without adding much weight.
One of the coolest parts is the fully adjustable floating retention system. The straps run through the retention mech, letting you slide it up or down to fit comfortably. Once placed under the base of my skull, it was securely on my head even without snapping the chin straps shut. It was different feeling, but quite comfortable.
Bikeray, along with Niterider, Light & Motion and LuminTrek all had lights available for night ride testing. Bikeray sponsors our friend John Moorehouse, who’s prepping for his annual ride from central Florida up to Athen’s Twilight in Georgia. They’ll be following him and a few others in a support van and documenting the ride. Their lights range from $100 to $200 and use Cree LED bulbs, making them a very affordable way to start terrorizing deer and other varmints.