The best, and worst, of Interbike

Just because you can... doesn't mean you should

With more than 750 brands exhibiting for a record 25,000 attendees, Interbike had a fair amount of remarkable stuff this year - both good and bad.

Here we tip our hat to the best of the show, and also give a few dishonorable mentions to some pieces that never should have seen the light of day.

The best

Before we get into the straight tech, let us first salute a great cause. Miir has been making stainless steel water bottles for a couple of years now where the sale of each one supports clean-water charity. Every bottle purchased gives one person in need clean water for a year, the company says.

For 2013, Miir has expanded into bikes with a similar proposition. Buy a good-looking city bike (for between US$699 and US$899 ), and Miir will donate more than $100 to World Bicycle Relief and the Boise Bicycle Project.

Miir's High 5 features a Sturmey Archer 5-speed hub, a split top tube... and a great cause

We like innovation at the high-end, but we have to salute good technology at a good price, too. It's great to see Shimano get into the inexpensive road tubeless game with the new WH-RS61 at US$499 a set. While a bit heavy, they pack in Shimano's proven hub reliability and wheel build quality. Also, the growing availability of tubeless road products at this end of the pricing spectrum should remove some anxiety for newer riders.

Along the same lines, US$699 seems like a great price for a true direct-measurement power meter, and Stages Cycling delivers just that with its StageONE crank-arm-based device that works with ANT+ and Bluetooth computers.

On the top end, Parlee's new Z-Zero gloriously shows off that disc brakes can be a viable option for high-performance road bikes right now, despite the fact that proper hydraulics still aren't available. Beautiful, light and lustworthy. Bravo.

Bob Parlee and crew make their carbon bikes just outside of Boston

Sometimes, a good show bike is just that - a show bike. Phil Wood and Sycip teamed up for a one-off Santa Cruz V-10 snow bike. Practical? Nope. Awesome? Yes.

Another sharp-looking show bike: the Wilier Cento 1 SR with burnt-red Mad Fiber wheels feature half carbon, half red Kevlar.

The Volagi Viaje XL, with a Columbus steel frame and disc brakes, looks good for anything from fast commuting to gravel racing. It stood out and we liked it for that.

Dario Pegoretti will not become rich selling bikes like the Marcelo. But the is not a textbook business case - it is art, executed lovingly on a tubular steel canvas.

Turns out handpaint creates a slightly different look than stickers

The worst

The Stringbike features a drivetrain powered by high density polyester cords. This looks neither cool nor beneficial to a bicycle rider.

The Tour de France-branded Stringbike. Not coming soon to any Tour de France

At the Outdoor Demo, Tretta showed two-wheel-drive bikes, a concept has been tried before to little success. Now had this been a snow bike...

Marriages not made in heaven: A Candy Cruiser and a Ferrari folding bike.

Finally, with Interbike hosting scores of young (and not so young) men in the Sin City that is Las Vegas, some less-than-admirable qualities are revealed. As with branding folding bikes Ferrari - just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Why don't more women come to Interbike again?

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