16 September 2014

Interbike Recap: Pt. 1

"The party's over and the road is long
The party's over and we're moving on
The party's over and the road is long "

This song aptly came on the radio as the wife and I were driving out of Vegas after spending most of the week at Interbike (I spent most of the week at Interbike, my wife spent most of the week visiting friends and family and hanging out by the pool).

Several times at the show - and after, I was asked if I had seen anything that I thought was exciting. With the exception of the Lauf suspension fork that I mentioned on last Tuesday's post, there was nothing that I would consider "innovative" or extraordinary. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy the show. I enjoyed riding and seeing the latest offerings from the exhibitors at the show, and I very much enjoyed catching up with friends that I haven't seen for a while, but the "Ooh, wow!"'s were in short supply.

As I dig through the press releases, catalogs, and product samples that I came home with, reviews will be forthcoming. Until then, here is my Interbike 2014 experience distilled down to several pictures.

If I had to distill Interbike 2014 down to a couple of bullet points, They would have to be e-bikes and fat-tire bikes. E-bikes were everywhere, mountain, road, fat-tire, folding, the list goes on... As far as fat-tire bikes, it seemed that every bike manufacturer was introducing at least one fat-tire model at the show this year.
I caught the tail end of a trials exhibition with a road bike. Mad skills this one.

Today's helmet provided by Bern. Their Morrison helmet (I have the Allston) has been updated with a new fit system and better fit.
You may notice that there is some growth on the top of the helmet in the second picture. Well, I borrowed a camera from Sony, and took some footage during one of my rides. (I also borrowed a camera from GoPro during another test ride.) Unfortunately, I have misplaced the micro SD cards. I'll post the videos once they have been located.

Today was all about the test rides. Here we have a Borealis Echo hardtail fat-tire bike. Carbon frame, carbon rims, and a nice ride. I still think that fat-tire bikes are a blast to ride.

Since I am mostly covering and reviewing products that relate to commuting by bicycle, I had to take out a couple of folding bikes on the paved trails up at Bootleg Canyon. First one was a Brompton. Of course it attracted its fair share of stares and comments, but the ride was surprisingly stable and quick. It also folds and unfolds quickly and easily into a very compact package.

I had to take a Lauf-equipped bike out for a test ride after seeing it on the first day. The ride did not disappoint. The weight of the fork is only a few grams more than a rigid carbon fork, and you can definitely feel the lack of weight while riding. I also deliberately tried to make the fork bottom out, and couldn't. It would take a serious hit to make the fork use all of its travel.

The other folding bike I took out, Tern.  Also a very stable and quick ride. More on Tern bicycles to come.

A big block of the Aerocore Koroyd material that Smith Optics uses in their road and mountain helmets to provide ventilation and protection.

I'm not much of a mountain biker, but this bike could change my mind: Ellsworth Absolute Truth a great riding full-suspension XC rig.
Next up: Part 2: The Show...

10 September 2014

To Be Continued...

Due to the fact that the internet connection at my hotel sucks, posts will be delayed until I get back home.

09 September 2014

Interbike Outdoor Demo: Day 1

The weather started off peasant, but by early afternoon, the rains came in. Still, there was plenty to see and ride.

One of the more unique suspension systems that has been shown. Lauf uses carbon fiber leaf springs in a fork system that weighs little more than a rigid carbon fork. 

The first of two fat-tire bikes that I rode today. Surly's Ice Cream Truck. More agressive handling and geometry than the Surly Moonlander. Also, my latest want.

Bern has new colors and a better fit system for their helmets. I am liking the camo on the Morrison.


I unfortunately left my helmet home. (yeah, smart move). Fortunately, I was able to demo a couple of helmets. Laser - which I loved the fit (it perfectly fit my narrow head). And Smith Optics upcomming road helmet, the Overtake. Hopefully I will be able to provide more information on both helmets in the future 

The other fat tire bike I rode today, the Salsa Mukluk. Fat tire, suspension, and a blast to ride over the trails. 

Sunglasses. Who's surprised that I am looking at sunglasses.  New colors for the Smith Optics Pivlok V2 Max. The colorways match their Overtake and Forefront helmets. 

One more day at the Outdoor Demo before we move indoors. 

19 August 2014

A Positive Response from the City

Salt Lake City has been making serious strides to become a more bicycle-friendly city over the past few years. One of those steps has been to install protected cycle lanes on some of the lower-traffic streets.

Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to deal with the protected cycle tracks and it is not uncommon to find a car parked up against the curb where they are normally supposed to park.

I was, however surprised the other day to find a city utility vehicle and trailer saddled up between the curb and the row of parked cars, right in the middle of the bike lane.

The truck was vacant, and I couldn't see any city workers anywhere in the immediate vicinity. Not finding anyone to complain to, I snapped a few pictures, and proceeded to post them to the various social media outlets for a little public shaming.

A city utility vehicle parked smack dab in the middle of the protected bike lane.

Unfortunately, the internet is anything but subtle. Along with the suggestions to smash windows and slash tires, was the more subtle and reasonable suggestion to send the picture to their supervisor, which I did.

Not expecting any sort of response - remembering my last bicycle-involved interaction with the SLC Police dept. - I was pleasantly surprised to find the following email in my inbox this morning:

Subject: RE: Utility truck parked in the bike lane

Good morning, Ms. Hill, (I didn't specify Mr, or Mrs. and I know several women named Kendall. An honest mistake)

Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention, we apologize for the inconvenience. We have followed up with the Parks and Public Lands Department regarding this and the reason why the truck was left unattended was the employee mows Taufer Park, Liberty Senior Center, and Beldon Park which are all in close proximity. The employee leaves his truck and trailer at Taufer Park, and drives his mower to the other sites. The employee has been instructed in the future to not park in the bike lane or at Taufer Park.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Cxxxxxx Oxxxxxxx
Customer Service Liaison and Special Projects Coordinator


TEL   xxx-xxx-xxxx


Small victories are still victories.