by Bryan Boyhan
Interbike is the Mecca of the cycling world and this past week Bicycle.net embarked on the annual journey to Las Vegas to check out the industry’s latest products and announcements.
Everything is Vegas is larger than life. Upon arrival we were bombarded with flashing lights, the sounds of slot machines, interesting characters, and bikes – lots and lots of bikes! The Interbike expo itself is held in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, which is a massive space and becomes a maze of vendors excited to show off their new toys.
Some highlights of the show:
– Speedplay releases new Zero Aero Cleats and pedal system plus the new Syzr mountain bike pedal system
– M.I.P.S. Technology in helmets, with offerings like Smith’s Overtake and Giro’s Savant
– Norco’s Threshold CX bike with disc brakes and thru axles on both wheels
– Prototype hubs from IRT and Lightweight
– Tubeless-ready road tires from IRC
– BSX’s non-invasive lactate threshold tests
– Honey Stinger’s new caffeine-loaded gels
– Giro’s feather light Empire SLX shoes
– Electric bikes and scooters – the Ion smart scooter was great for getting around the showroom
– The first daytime-specific lights from Cygolight
– New Lazer Z1 helmets with magnetic glasses that attach to the straps
– Road bikes with disc brakes like Giant’s new Defy and Guru’s Photon-D
– Carrera’s new SL730 road frame
– The new black and orange 2015 Scott bikes and shoes, their new Carbon infused indestructible kits, and a rumor of a new Scott CX bike with disc brakes
And there was so much more!
This being my first Interbike, I went into bike-shock. The expo was an overload of awesomeness. Even though the show closed by 6pm each day, the festivities never stopped. There were industry parties each night and lots of racing too.
Wednesday night the BNET gang attended Clif Bar’s Cross Vegas, one of the biggest cyclocross events of the year. Two days prior to the race Vegas received some unexpected rainfall which flooded the park and made lots of tires sink into the nearly 100% grass course. The guys and gals that raced in these conditions are truly amazing. World champ Sven Nys grabbed the elite men’s win with a perfectly timed attack on the last lap and Meredith Miller snagged the win at the line for the women’s elite race. Beer hand-ups were a plenty!
Thursday night called for more racing. BNET rolled down the strip to Freemont Street where they were holding the Pedalpalooza Criterium. I had not heard about this race until earlier in the day and was interested in racing. I went to the registration booth to sign in for the CAT 2/3 race but they weren’t accepting on-site registration. Bummer. However, it was fun to watch 15 year-old Sean McElroy race after coming back from his winning streak in Belgium (maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t race). We also saw Brian Forbes chase down what would have been a winning break in the men’s 35+ race and attack the leaders to take the win with a monster effort. Unfortunately, during the Women’s pro race a spectator caused a crash and that race as well as the men’s pro race was cancelled.
Since we didn’t get our full helping of bike racing we then rode back down the strip to the Luxor to check out the King of Vegas alley cat race. The race consisted of taking selfies at certain Vegas landmarks as checkpoints and then getting back to the Luxor via any route you think is fastest. We didn’t race but we rode alongside the fixie foos that didn’t hesitate to run every red light down Las Vegas Boulevard causing mass chaos. I believe five racers got hit by cars, luckily none badly injured. I think I’ll keep my brakes and gears.
All accounted for, we packed our bags and headed home. Three days of Interbike made for a gnarly bike hangover but I can’t wait for next year. We made lots of friends and Bicycle.net Racing Team looks poised for a fantastic 2015 season.
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Photos by: Einhard Photography