Interbike 07'

jdog

Shop: Halter's Cycles
Shop Keep
This is my 1000th post.. Why not make it my longest??


I spent the last few days in las vegas for the big Interbike bike show.

I am in Cali on a tiny laptop and very hungover.. I have no spellcheck so just deal for now.

Here are my findings.

-Las vegas is all about $$$. You will spen more money in 3 days than you could ever plan. I have been there 5 times and i hate it more each time. If you like wasting money you should go here. The highlght of my time in vegas was my meal at Bobby Flay's Mesa resturant in Ceasars. This $100+ per head meal was actully worth the $. Crazy good and crazy fun.

-Boulder city dirt demo.. Perhaps the most fun I have had riding in a long while. I rode over a dozen bikes and met and rode with some really really cool folks. I sat on the shuttle bus and chatted with Nat Ross. This guy just looks fast sitting still. Just a normal guy who happens to be a super cyclist. I spoke at length with Matt Lee who is perhaps the most aprochable rider I delt with. He had more ?'s for me than i had for him. He is a huge 29er proponet and the big reason that c-dale makes and sells 29" wheeled bikes.

I said Hi to Mario Chipolini although he looked at me like i was from mars. I saw miguel martinez chatting with the Luna ladies.. He had their attention. I saw Ned Overend Riding a 29ER.. He loved it. This was neat since Specialized had said a year ago that they would NEVER make a 29er bike.

I had a great chance to ride with Jeff Lenowski and Lance Trappe. Both these guys can handle bikes in a way that could impress anyone. We were riding in a desert landscape that had jagged rocks and very big dangers everywhere. I was riding on a borrowed bike and pushing myself to the literal edge but I kept Jeff in my sight on the downhills. He probablly wasn't even trying but i was impressed with myself..

I was on a mission to ride and flog every 29er i could find.

I rode a 29er Moots 4" travel bike. This was a 1/2 ti and 1/2 alloy bike that will be ready for 08'. This to me was a well balanced and very very cool bike. I very shortly forgot that it was a 29er and just enjoyed it. This was the one bike that i didn't want to give back. In my mind this is the future of mt biking. 4" travel and big wheels. The rocky terrain was erased on this bike. i was with riding with Chuck-E-Chillout and he was on a y-b-beat version with a blown reba 29er. He hated that bike.

I rode the Titus 29er Racer-x. This was my 2nd fav of the show. Shorter travel than the moots but really well balances, great traction and predictable handeling. I could own this bike and be happy. It was a bit heavy but it still climbed well and I had no ill feelings for this bike. The guys at titus were the best at the entire show. i am not a dealer but they went out of their way to make sure that the bikes were dialed to my needs. This was important to me because an hour on a bike with the saddle pointed up your taint totally sucks. I also rode the Moto-lite. This was a good bike but not my style really. It was smooth, plush, and predictable but since I am so sold on 29 I could only find the constant faults of 26. I found myself getting caught up on rocks and getting knocked off the bike on sections that I had cleaned at speed on the 29er bikes just minutes before.

Next came the Intense Spider x. This was the bike I wanted to like but I just could not. The rear suspension felt too firm when climbimg and too soft while decending. I know the Rp-23 really well and i had a shock pump with me but i just couldn't dial this bike in. The New Manitou 29er tpc fork felt fimsy and loose and the dual control shifters made me want to throw this POS bike in the woods. (keep in mind there were no woods or trees anywhere nearby).. I spoke with the intense guys a bit but since they didn't know me they gave me little or no attention.. kind of a bummer since I was a potinetial dealer. i guess that will never happen..

I wanted to ride the Turner Sultan 29 but they only had 2 larges with them and they were always out. They did not seem to embrace the 29er bikes as most of the other companies there did. They tried to get me on their 26" wheeled bikes but I wasn't having it. I am sure they thought I was an ass.. oh well. These guys seemed to be lost at the demo. They didn't seem to want to be there and they did not have any enthusiasim for the event. I tried 3 times in 2 days to get on a Sultan but no go.

I know that I am rambling but whatever.. I saw about 20 people riding down the hill on flat tires. These guys were basically ruining tires and rims but since it was a demo they could care less. What a-holes. This place was pinc-flat heaven but sine i had ridden here before I brought 4 tubes. I never had a flat but I gave away 2 26" and 2 29er tubes each day. I also got tons of use of my mini pump as no one else seemed to have brought one.

coolness:

Spot bikes had a big fleet of bikes that all had belt drives on them. In my minnd this spot was going to be no fun in a hurry on a SS bike so i passed on the chance to ride one. This is a promising technology.. Keep an eye on this.

-Felt had a all carbon 29er hardtail prototype there. It had 29er Shimano XT tubeless wheels on it. This wheelset marks the next level of legitmacy for 29ers. I am very excited about these wheels.

-In a huge surprise to me I actually favored the shifting of the new shimano XT group over the SRAM xo stuff. I also foung the new XT servo wave brakes to be far better than the Juicy brakes. I like the magura Loiuse brakes the best but that was no surprise as i am a Magura guy to the end.

- The SRAM Red group is sick. Shimano might be f'd after this. I have owned a Sram force bike but this stuff is WAY better...

-Props to the yakima guys for making hot dogs in hot dog outfits. It was way too hot for this but it was funny.

-I did a really fun road ride with Ted from Van Dessle down to lake mead. I have never ridden in such wind. I hope to never do it agian. I was climbing like a champ on this day. I won't soon forget this ride.

The last bike I rode of the demo was a Rush Carbon. I am a c-dale dealer but I have never ridden this bike. This bike is sick. After riding many loose feeling overly pivoted and complicated bikes this bike felt like home. It was stiff in all the right places and it tracked the best of any bike I rode. It was also the only tubeless bike that i rode. It had minimal treaded tires but I felt better on this bike than any other. I left wishing for this bike in a 29er. C-dale had what seemed to be 500 bikes for demo and the most pro demo setup going. They had a bar coded bike fleet and they took very good care of us. I am biased for sure but man these guys had it down. They opted out of the indoor show this year so the efforts put into the outdoor demo were evident.

I got a killer sunburn, dehydrated, ate a ton of dust, rode with slow/rude asses and still left feeling lucky as hell to work in the bike industry.

I think I drank and ate more random energy bars/drinks in 2 day than I will ever again. I drank too much, slept too little and walked over 20 miles by my count.

peas

J_

 
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J-Dro

Well-Known Member
Hey Bdog. :D Vegas is one of those places... you either love it or hate it. I'm with you in the 'hate it' category.

It must be pretty cool to sample a new bike every hour for a few days though. We're all very jealous.
 

jdog

Shop: Halter's Cycles
Shop Keep
Not that intense..

You didn't like the Intense Spider? Oh dear.

Yeah.. I really wanted to like this bike. The headtube angle isn't right and the front end seemed to flop instead of steer. I have never liked the VPP bikes as they seem to overwhelm the rear shock. The suspension setup is very critical with vpp as it's personality changes thru the travel. The bike is more complicated than it needs to be since the Rp 23 can more than handle pedal feedback. This design can be sumed up as a solution looking for a non-existant problem.

The guys at this company seem to act like they were sent by the gods and that we should be happy that they will even talk to you.

Not really a good vibe. Intense has a goos following but man I was put off by the whole experince. They did not win me over one bit.


j-:(
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
In all seriousness great report man, especially the bike-by-bike description.
 

jdog

Shop: Halter's Cycles
Shop Keep
any photos?

I didn't bring a camera this time. The dust totally fk's with it.

I did however eat lunch with Francis, the guy who owns mtbr. His site will have much better pics than I could take. We sat next to Richard from Ergon who got lots of praise from me as well..

I have already seen stuff on cyclingnews.com and velonews.com that I missed while there.

In reality you can learn more on the interweb than you can in vegas. I doubt that I will go again for a few more years.

j-
 

jdog

Shop: Halter's Cycles
Shop Keep
In all seriousness great report man, especially the bike-by-bike description.

Thanks!!

What is most interesting to me is how very different each bike is to the next. In reality I could learn to love each one. As a dealer it is helpful to spend time on so many bikes and push them to the limit.

In the end my opinion is just that. My opinion.

I am a guy who likes a bike that climbs as well as it decends. One that can take 4 foot drops and rip through corners. My expectations are pretty high but I don't think that it is crazy to want everything in one package. Especially at the asking prices we are talkming about.

j
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
killer write up Bdog, thanks!

as a new to the "bike industry" guy, i think someone like me would benefit tremendously from going out there...at least once...which i'm planning on next year if everything falls into place. being able to compare bikes side by side would be a fantastic way to see what i really 'should' be riding. which, i've said on numerous occasions, is probably a tricycle.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Thanks!!

What is most interesting to me is how very different each bike is to the next. In reality I could learn to love each one. As a dealer it is helpful to spend time on so many bikes and push them to the limit.

In the end my opinion is just that. My opinion.

I am a guy who likes a bike that climbs as well as it decends. One that can take 4 foot drops and rip through corners. My expectations are pretty high but I don't think that it is crazy to want everything in one package. Especially at the asking prices we are talkming about.

j

While your opinion is just that, if I get on bike X and then compare it with something you wrote, maybe I get a better feel of where you're coming from and it helps me in some way. Maybe I can understand what you're referring to which only helps me make a better decision. Maybe I should then check out bike Y or Z but not bike L-M-N-O-P. Or maybe I decide that everything you say is exactly the opposite of what works for me.

I agree about asking a lot of a bike. These things are expensive.
 

jdog

Shop: Halter's Cycles
Shop Keep
:drooling:
Great write up, thanks for the effort.

By any chance did you ride a Niner R.I.P. 9?


I did not get a chance.. I walked by their booth and all of their bikes were out every time. They have a longer travel 29er which seems good. I am not sold on doing a brand in my shop that has such a narrow line but they seem to have earned some real attention.

Judging by booth traffic the big hits of the on dirt were:

DT (they had beer)
Fizik (They had Gelato)
Felt (they had many black bikes../best location/ or something)
Orbea (They had Luna Chicks)
Cannondale (They seemed to have the most bikes to ride)
Cytomax (free burgers and cytowhatever)
Yakima (Men in hotdog suits w/ free weiners)
SRAM (the new RED road group is groovy)
SPOT (belt drive SS bikes for everyone!)


j
 

jbogner

NYCMTB: President
JORBA.ORG
I've ridden a Rip9 and a Lenz Behemoth. Both are incredibly great bikes (the Lenz is amazing with its 17.3" chainstays- never ridden a 29er that's so easy to wheelie). But more than the frame and the suspension, it's amazing what a great set of wheels and a thru-axle fork can do for any 29er. The WB 130 on both had crappy damping, but didn't flex at all. The I9 wheels with Stans Flow rims were rock solid as well. I had grown accustomed to my lightweight Bonty Race wheels that flex all over the place, so it was a joy to ride those and experience a lighter weight XC'ish ride with the front-end solidity of my freeride bike.

I'm on a Spider 29er right now (anyone's welcome to try it if they dare), and the Reba at 100mm sucks (much flexier than it was at 80mm on my hardtail- less bushing overlap?). I'm dying for a longer fork with thru axle to slack out the front and firm it up.

New Niner 165mm travel freeride bike is an interesting concept bike. Even crazier are the WTB dual-ply 29er DH tires! Put those on the new Salsa 35mm wide rim, and you'd actually have a legit 29er freeride machine.

The other interesting 29er on display was the KHS Flagstaff- a horst-link 29er with a decent spec for around $2k.

You didn't get a chance to ride the new Fisher 29ers with G2 geometry, did you?
 
P

Phatbiker

Guest
my interbike observations:

Niner sir9: One of the best handling bikes out there. I now own a size medium mated to a reba sl set at 100mm and configured with no gears. I agree with jamie, it's a bit flexy.

Niner rip9. I like this bike but find that it was just not enough travel for me as an all mountain bike.. too heavy to be a race bike.. i'll stick with my racer x 29er ti at 25.5lbs.

Spot Belt drive. Wow. it just works. great handling and the drive trail is soooo smooth.

Lenz Behemoth: 29er with 5" of travel on both ends. VERY NICE.. my second favorite all mountain 29er. Manitou 20mm through axle up front was a big improvement over the noodle feeling reba i've become used to.

Lenz Lunch Box: Basically it's a Behemoth with 6" of travel up front via a White Bros 20mm through axle and a 20mm through axel in the rear. This was a prototype that belonged to one of Devin's personal friends. THIS WAS MY FAVORITE BIKE FOR MY RIDING STYLE. PERFECT.

Lenz Milk Money Prototype: 29er full suspensioin SINGLE SPEEED in size LARGE ONLY. I did not ride this bike but i really wanted to. A friend of mine that happens to be an awesome rider did and was blown away.

Pivot Mach 5: 5" travel DW link bike. The guy that started this company is the same guy that started Titus so I was expecting big things. I'm sorry to say that i was very dissapointed. The bikes was simply too twitchy for a 5" travel bike. if you like old school handling this might be a good match for you.

Titus El Guapo: I rode a medium titanium. Overall, I liked this bike but felt that it was not a good fit for me. It just felt like it had less travel than the 6" it was advertised at.

29er forks: I did not get a chance to ride the fox 29er but i'm hearing good things. the manitou 29er with the 20mm through axle was buttery smooth and laterally stiff. The reba needs some updates.

Photos attached.
 
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