It's carpet and fluorescent light time at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, as the Interbike International Bicycle Expo opened for business Wednesday morning.
New faces, new products and excitement in the air breathed heavily on dealers, distributors and the media from all corners of the earth, and BikeRadar was there to capture the fun, glitz and glamour.
Civia is a new transportation-specific house brand from Minneapolis-based Quality Bicycle Products (who also own Surly and Salsa). The hydro-formed aluminium Hyland packs in several recognizable features typically found on curious-looking but chic bikes parked on cobbled sidewalks near European cafes: aluminium fenders, internal drivetrains, functional rear racks, even a chainguard.
The plan is to offer four drivetrain build configurations: Rohloff, Shimano Alfine, traditional derailleur or singlespeed. Frame and carbon fork are disc-brake specific. Availability: spring 2008. www.civiacycles.com
Not a company to rest on its time trial-winning laurels, FSA introduced its aero bar hydration fairing via its VisionTech brand. The boat-shaped carbon add-on has two reservoirs, one for water and the other for an electrolyte replacement mix, offering two bendable drink "straws" for hands-free hydration. Look for a December 2007 release, and expect to pay about US$100. Whether it's legal for UCI races remains to be seen. www.visiontechusa.com
The FSA OS-99 stem, forged and CNCed from 7050-grade aluminium, weighs just 98g and retails for US$99. Its carbon sibling, the OS-99 CSI, is the same product, but carbon wrapped with a gloss carbon 3K weave (extension and face plate). The ultra-stiff cosmetic and structural embellishment adds 20g and another US$65. www.fullspeedahead.com
Gravity is FSA's dirt brand, and its newest wheelset, the Gravity SLs, mimics the standard Gravity wheelset with 6061T6 aluminium rims, direct-pull 14-guage spokes, steel freehub body, and heavy-duty CNC hubs with sealed cartridge bearings. The difference is 28mm wide rims on the SLs versus 32mm for the standard. Options include a 135mm standard quick release or 150mm through-axle rear hub. www.ridegravity.com
The Lynskey family has regrouped and reopened for business after selling Litespeed in 2000. As one of the first commercially successful titanium bicycle manufacturers, the Lynskeys are known as maestros of titanium, and the 2008 line includes several models to flaunt their skill: Road Sport Class - R120 Blend (3Al/2.5V titanium that's double and triple butted), R220 Blend (3Al/2.5V titanium, double and triple butted, bi-axially shaped and cold-worked); Road Performance Class - R320 Blend (3Al/2.5V titanium, double and triple butted, Force Vector shaping), R420 Blend (6Al/-4V-3Al/2.5V oversized titanium, Force Vector shaping).
Other models include Triathlon/Time Trial, Cyclo-cross, Touring, and Mountain (26-inch and 29er). Lynskey has chosen the 31.6mm seatpost diameter, departing from the standard 27.2mm. Look for more information in the coming weeks. www.lynskeyperformance.com
Steve Bauer: Team R.A.C.E. Pro
Canadian road racing legend and multiple Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Steve Bauer will be continuing as director sportif of Team R.A.C.E. Pro in 2008, taking the team to the Continental level. Bauer, who rode for La Vie Claire, 7-Eleven and Saturn after winning the 1984 summer Olympic silver medal in the men's road race, is attending Interbike to secure sponsorships for the team, with a purpose of Racing Against Cancer Everywhere. www.teamrace.com/pro/team_road.asp