Posts in the category Interbike

IB14: Level Nine Already Makes Others’ Components, Soon They’ll Make Them Just For You


Level Nine is the consumer facing brand from Precision Bicycle Company Limited, a major Taiwanese manufacturer that makes a huge amount of components for OEM brands (think major bike companies that have house-branded cockpits) and other component companies. The parts are all made and tested in house, and they’re trusted by quite a few big players. Now, they’re rolling out a select group of components with Level Nine branding hoping you’ll trust them to. And why should you? Because they’re one of the largest high end component manufacturers around, and they’re offering a five year warranty on both carbon and alloy parts.

Why else? Because you can help design the products you want to ride, and they’ll make them.

U.S. distributor Kenny Roberts says he was tired of hearing so many great ideas for features, tech, shapes, sizes and colors, then watching that great feedback getting lost in the shuffle of bureaucracy before ever reaching the product managers and designers. So, they’re opening their ears to riders, dealers, distributors and product managers to see what people really want, then work those ideas directly into the development program.

The Team AM stem (above) is the first product to come from their user feedback. They wanted something that wasn’t so blocky or bland. So, it’s designed to have flowing, shapely lines that look just as at home on a svelte carbon frame as on a modern hydroformed alloy frame. It’s forged 6061 aluminum then CNC’d, polished, anodized and finished off with titanium bolts. Available early Spring 2015 for $95-$99. Sizes are 40-70mm in length. This one’s a 50mm long prototype with a claimed weight of just 125g.

There’s plenty more for the rest of your bike, too…


IB14: Sidi’s Road & Mountain Bike Shoe Collection Grows, Gets More Colorful


Camo is in, but it’s mostly been left to the softer side of soft goods, namely shorts and socks. Now, Sidi lets you complete the look with the new camouflage version of their Dominator Fit shoe for $249.

In front of it is the new Fluo Yellow Drako, which is their top of the line race mountain bike shoe. Features include their replaceable cleat plate and Tecno 3 dual wire ratcheting system. Retail’s a hope-you-are-sponsored $499.

From there, they’ve got a range of performance oriented models across the price range, a new winter boot and plenty more for road and mountain…


IB14: Tasty Treats Roundup – New Flavors & Goods from Powerbar, Clif, Power Pancake, RAP & More!


Bar and drink samples around the show is pretty much what keeps us fueled at Interbike (and Eurobike, and Sea Otter), and there’s always new flavors to try from the big boys. Fortunately, there’s usually some treats from new and smaller brands, too, and Phil’s Power Pancake was one of the better ones I found.

It’s basically a muffin top, baked from real ingredients and available in a few flavors. Toast it, nuke it or just warm it in your jersey pocket for a delicious little snack. Chomp on through for plenty more to make you hungry…


IB14: Falco V Triathlon Bike Mutes Graphics But Keeps Its Edge, More

2015 Falco V Wing carbon fiber triathlon bike

Last year, Falco had just launched the V Wing bike with a very Tron-inspired paint scheme. This year, the paint was toned down a bit and the frame refined, but nothing about it was any less sharp.

Using a v-shaped “wing” frame design, it eliminates the seat tube and seatstays to reduce drag. The numbers, weights and pricing are all in that link above, but here’s the basics: 1700g frame, 550g fork, NACA 6-series tube shape profiles and it was designed in conjunction with four different universities and facilities that the military used to design fighter jets. Hence the look.


IB14: Blue Competition Cycles Unveils All-New Axino Lightweight, Aero Road Bike – Plus New Wheels & More

2015 Blue Axino lightweight aero road bike

Blue Competition Cycles has seen turbulent times of late. They changed ownership in December 2012 when they were sold to a group of investors. In the middle of 2013, the main investor, um, well, let’s just say they had to close their doors at the end of last year. Then, on January 1, 2014, the factory that had been making their bikes bought out the remaining investors and took full ownership. Daniel Stallings, Blue’s Sales Manager, says that’s put them on the best financial footing they’ve ever had and they have now moved through virtually all of the 2014 inventory. That means it’s time to bring in the 2015 inventory and really kick things off again.

The bikes coming in now are all freshly spec’d even though most models carry over with existing frames. The Triad and AC1 carbon frames are unchanged, but spec is updated. The Axino (above) used to be their premium race bike but had left the line over the past few years. For 2015, it returns as their lightest bike they’ve ever made, and it gets extensive aero shaping and plenty of attention paid to comfort. In their words, it’s a “super fast, super comfortable all day race bike.”

The frames are exactly the same for both the SL and EX and come in at just 850g. The only difference is spec, with the SL getting a full Dura-Ace mechanical group and the EX is Ultegra mechanical with FSA cranks.

Their house brand Aerus component line has had cockpit parts for years, but their factory has made wheels for quite some time, too. So, it’s only natural they’d start making their own hoops to offer lighter, better wheels on all their bikes without jacking up the prices…


IB14: Null Winds Reinvents the Aero Spoke

Null Winds AeroTaper aero bicycle spoke

Earlier this year, Null Winds introduced their upper wheel fairing concept to block wind from the top section of spokes that typically push into the wind, creating multiples of drag compared to other parts of the bike. Aesthetically that device left quite a bit to be desired, but it looks like their new AeroTaper spoke could be just the solution.

The design works like this: A round spoke profile is used closer to the hub where the spoke is moving slower in relation to the wind. Because they’re round, they don’t impose as much penalty in a cross wind and have minimal aerodynamic penalty for the headwind. Closer to the rim, where the spokes are moving relatively faster, it flattens out to create an aero shape where they need to slice through a head wind better. Thus, an optimized cross sectional profile.

It’s not dissimilar to the idea of deep section aero rims, and you’ve got plenty of choices in rim depths to suit conditions. Likewise, Null Winds founder Garth Magee says they’ll have different taper depths to suit varying degrees of cross winds. No, you won’t rebuild your wheel every time. Rather, you’ll have a rim that you really like and have several different wheels built with different AeroTaper spokes and choose according to the day’s conditions.


IB14: Club Ride Expands Inner Wear Line, Shows Open Road Casual Roadie Apparel & More

2015 Club Ride Open Road casual road cycling apparel for men and womenInfused with a fresh round of financing, Club Ride has steadily expanded from their western-style mountain bike clothing origins. They now offer a full range of casual gear to fit virtually any type of riding you’re doing, including road and commuting.

The new Open Road line shown at left fits a bit slimmer than their mountain bike kit, with features more suited to the pavement.

Both men’s and women’s versions have a jersey and short, and they share key features like a seamless gussetted crotch, abrasion resistant fabric, side waist adjustment strap and zippered pockets on the shorts and reflective bits and UPF20 on the jerseys. The men’s Phantom shorts are made with DurX, a four-way stretch wicking fabric with DWR finish and 11″ inseam. The women’s Zest shorts have a lighter weight fabric with 2-way stretch with an 8.5″ inseam.

Likewise, the jerseys sport different materials, with the men’s being a bit heavier and having an extra pocket on the rear. The women’s is lighter with a single storage pocket on the back, but both get media ports for headphone wires. Pricing is $59.99 to $79.99.

Take a peek at what’s underneath, below…


IB14: New Co-Motion Disc Brake Road Bike, Gravel Grinder, 29er & 650B Touring Bikes & More!

2015 Co-Motion Camino disc brake road bike

C0-Motion has a way of making steel look really, really good, and their latest new and updated frames continue to make the classic material modern.

The Camino is their all-new disc brake road bike. They introduced disc brake cyclocross and gravel bikes over the past couple years, and now there’s a proper pavement pounder in the mix, too. Its geometry is a bit more relaxed, like a Gran Fondo bike. It’s paired with a new tapered, full carbon fork with 47mm rake.

The frame is Reynolds 853 with a tapered headtube. They built in fender and rack mounts front and rear along with a frame pump tab. The dropouts are particularly interesting…


IB14: Hiplok Gets Tougher By Going Gold, Adds Cable to U-Lock

Hiplock has added two new models to their lineup, the Hiplock Gold and Hiplok DC.

The Gold, shown above in their limited edition Camo cover with orange buckle, ups the diameter of the chain links to 10mm thick hardened steel. That locks into a 12mm shackle, and it all wraps conveniently around your waist while riding with a seatbelt-style strap.

It’s given a top rating by Sold Secure, an independent testing firm. More picks of that and their new DC edition U-Lock below…