LAS VEGAS — If you need proof that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the bike industry, look no further than Interbike. The massive bike show here is an undeniable indication that innovators are still plugging away in their garages, trying to build the next big thing and prep it for Kickstarter.
Independent innovators are making cargo bikes one at a time, marketing lightweight welding masks to protect riders from the rain, and dreaming up helmet inserts for the world’s great sweaters. Cult of Mac takes one more lap around the convention center hall …
Hand-painted DeRosa SK road bike (above)
This DeRosa SK road bike sports a special paint job by Pininfarina that really has to be seen to be believed. There’s not much else to say about this stunner from the Italian frame builder, who’s been making drool-worthy bikes since the ’60s, other than we tried to get DeRosa to loan it to us for a long-term “test.” No luck.
Bordo Centium by Abus
Abus has been securing things for people since 1924 and in celebration of this long-held tradition, the German company is releasing the Bordo Centium. First attracted to this folding lock because of the cool box it will be delivered in, a deeper look at what Abus is up to across its line got us even more excited.
Buy this lock, then call Abus with the code on your key, and the company will make you a U-lock and/or a cable lock (or any other bike lock) that uses the exact same key. For $149.99, you get the lock and the box, plus all the security for which Abus is renowned.
Spring Classic jacket by Showers Pass
The Showers Pass Spring Classic jacket might be the perfect outerwear for roadies looking to hammer through spring showers or any other horrible weather the world can throw at you. The seam-sealed Spring Classic sports stretch fabric on the side and packs down into its rear pocket. If you are fit and fast rain or shine, you owe it to yourself to check out what Showers Pass is up to. Even if you just aspire to this type of all-weather dedication, you will still like a little Showers Pass.
Uno hydraulic drivetrain by Rotor
With all the buzz buzzing around the SRAM booth over the company’s new electronic derailleur system, we would be remiss if we didn’t at least mention the new Rotor Uno hydraulic drivetrain. Rotor has been making beautiful cranks, power-meter systems and ovalized chainrings, but has been being pushed out of the pro peleton by the bigger drivetrain players. So the Spanish component maker decided to launch its own drivetrain and sponsor a pro team (specifically MTN-Qhubeka) for 2016.
The Uno is far more complicated than just about any other system out there, but early reports indicate it works beautifully. If you are tired of giving money to the big boys, you should take a look at the new player on the street.
Synthe helmet (with MIPS) by Giro
Giro is doubling down on its excellent Synthe helmet and adding Multi-Directional Impact Protection System technology. Better known as MIPS, this new liner tech is being added to existing helmet designs to address concerns about rotational forces.
Helmet manufacturers have been addressing impact protection all along, but MIPS has brought concerns about rotational forces to the forefront in a very short time. MIPS is available in 19 brands at the moment, but is headed for 60. The tech adds minimal weight (and somewhere around $30) to the current price of available helmets. With MIPS, the already excellent Giro Synthe is better than ever.
Chariot CX1 kid hauler by Thule
If Thule has anything to say about it, having kids is not going to keep you from any of your favorite outdoor activities. The Thule Chariot CX1 is designed to be your running, jogging and skiing kiddie transportation solution: Just pull off the disc-brake-equipped wheels and replace them with the optional cross-country skis and push off into the fresh powder. The add-ons almost seem endless, and the build quality is excellent. Equipped as pictured, this beast will run you close to $1,500, so you may have to work straight through your workout.
Bike vacuum mount by SeaSucker
SeaSucker’s new top-of-the-line bike mount is designed for the zoomie sports cars and convertibles favored by air-in-your hair bike lovers. The body is milled from one piece of aluminum, all parts are UV-protected, and all hardware is made from stainless steel and fully adjustable on balljoints.
Vacuum mount this beauty onto your auto, load on your bike, stomp on the gas, and feel fully relaxed that your fancy carbon fiber whip is stuck to your car. This version will set you back close to $1,400, but you can get the entry-level SeaSucker with the same security for $270.
Lightweight hammer by Abbey Tools
Of all the cool stuff we saw at Interbike, we can’t stop thinking about this featherweight hammer. At $180, it might be more expensive, ounce for ounce, than some of the carbon fiber bikes on the show floor. But the shockingly lightweight Abbey Tools hammer is so elegant and so thoughtfully designed that anyone who is serious about wrenching on their bike, at home or on the road, would consider it a worthy upgrade to their toolkit. Abbey makes other lust-worthy tools, too, including a new pedal wrench.
PowerBlock adjustable dumbbell system
Trying to get buff without the benefit of a gym membership or a home gym? The PowerBlock dumbbell system might just be the answer to your prayers. The PowerBlock systems comes in variations starting at 3 pounds and ramping all the way up to 175 pounds per hand, all fitting all into an 18-inch-by-22-inch space. The set pictured above goes from 5 pounds to 70 pounds and will run you $547.