Archived General DB Blogs
Interbike Report 2009
Posted: Sep 25 2009
The DB crew made our annual pilgrimage to Interbike to take a closer look at our 2010 product lines and to get a better idea of trends for the coming season.
Interbike is a huge industry-only trade show for all things bicycle (and many things only vaguely bicycle!) that is held in Las Vegas.
To those who love bikes, it can seem like a dream trip, being able to check out so many beautiful bikes, new parts and accessories, as well as the latest in clothing, helmets and shoes – all from a wide range of suppliers from all over the world. However, like Las Vegas itself, it can also become a bit overwhelming and even a bit of a blur.
Our attendance is mostly business – a concentrated blitz of education about all the new products that will be available to us for the next season. We focus mostly on the bicycles as that is such a key part of our business, but also spend time with our major distributors looking at new and improved versions of everything from technical clothing to pocket pumps. We also take the chance to share a meal or a drink as a team, which happens less than we would like when we are all busy back in Vancouver. And the show usually provides other fun opportunities like pro races, movie premiers and a chance to chat with industry friends and partners. Sleep is at a premium, voices become hoarse, and for a couple of days your world really revolves solely around bikes.
As far as great new products go, don’t worry – in this case “what happens in Vegas does NOT stay in Vegas!”
Here’s our take on a few highlights from the industry and from our key bike suppliers’ new offerings:
Rocky Mountain 2010 http://www.bikes.com
RMB has been investing heavily in the depth of their products in recent years and 2010 sees more strong steps forward in many parts of the offering. Here’s just a few examples.
- All-new line-up of “city bikes” – commuters designed for urban commuting, transportation and mobility. Named after cities around Canada and the Pacific Northwest, using airport call codes like YVR (Vancouver), YYZ (Toronto), YUL (Montreal), SEA (Seattle) and more the line looks good and appears well speced for the target use.
- Very strong road bike line-up – building on the momentum of the redesigned 2009 line-up, the new road bikes are clean looking, well priced and very competitive in every price point.
- All new downhill bikes – Flatline World Cup and Pro. The same bike that in prototype form has won numerous world cup and national downhill races is now available to the public in two different models. These bikes will be made in limited quantities in Vancouver and have been drawing a lot of media attention since their unveiling at Crankworx in August.
- New 29’er offerings in both hardtail and full suspension. Looking to ride the big wheel wave in mountain biking, the new Vertex and Altitude 29’ers from RMB are versatile and well executed entries into this segment.
Norco Performance Bicycles http://www.norco.com
Norco was only showing a selected few of its bikes at the Interbike Dirt Demos, but we have had a chance to see the 2010 bikes at Norco’s Vancouver area offices in previous weeks – here’s a few highlights:
- added models in the “Forma series“Women’s specific bikes across the mountain bike and asphalt line-up to complement the success of the 2009 Vixa, Fae and others.
- revised versions of the popular Fluid and Fluid LT models to deliver better value, broader use across more types of riding and more
- new 29’er models in the Jubei line, plus a unique and very cool belt-drive 29’er singlespeed. Belt drive is also found on other urban and fixie models this year.
- All-new comfort urban bikes in a line called “City Glide” – very European city bike inspired
- many other improvements and additions in virtually all parts of the wide Norco line-up
A unique company with an interesting and proven line of bikes, we’re always keen to see what is new with the Kona folks. Here’s a couple of notables:
- All new model in the all-mountain line of mountain bikes -the Cadabra and AbraCadabra. Built on a new “magic link” platform, these bikes look like very promising choices for BC riders! The new magic link platform is also found on the longer travel CoilAir platform for 2010
- Fresh graphics across the line with strong, Shimano-based component offerings and excellent value in nearly every segment
- updated cyclocross bikes including a new singlespeed model the Major One
- broader 29er offering including full suspension, front suspension and single speed
- updated urban and asphalt line-up with the usual mix of interesting, utility, style and reliability
A small local company with a big and growing reputation for excellent mountain bikes continues to innovate and surprise!
- Unveiled the design and name of a new downhill-race oriented frame, the “Podium”. Much anticipated, most seemed to think it was worth the wait!
- Not expected, but nonetheless welcomed, was an all-new version of the very popular “Delirium” light freeride frame. We expect to be backordered on this one!
- A new, lighter XC-oriented prototype based on the Endorphin was also displayed?
We also saw exciting new stuff from Wilier-Triestina, Moots, Titus, Niner and other high end brands that we offer. It should be a great season in 2010!
- 29’ers – Mountain bikes with 29” (700c road size) wheels are not new, but their popularity is growing incredibly fast in many areas of North America, and the offerings from all suppliers are becoming very broad and interesting. We think this wave may hit BC in a bigger way this coming season…
- Electric-assist bikes – While we don’t sell these bikes (other than one offering from Norco), it seems there are more and more choices for both dedicated electric bikes as well as electric assist for conventional bikes. Perhaps driven by high fuel prices, this trend is OK with us as more bicycles on the road is a good thing!
- Electronic shifting – now available to all, the much anticipated Shimano DuraAce DI2 shifting system for high end road bikes does away with cables and goes electronic. It works very very well, and we expect this technology may eventually migrate into mountain bikes and downstream into more basic bikes over the coming years.
We saw lots more while there – send us a note or post on our Shop Talk forum if you have questions about the 2010 products or the madness that is Interbike!
As a little postscript, here’s an example of the type of more weird than wonderful stuff that is found in an area we called “the land of misfit bikes”
Read more Archived General DB Blogs »