Interbike Thoughts...

In an effort to get more content on here (and post more often) I am posting a few quick thoughts that I had in my notes following Interbike

  • Spent some time with the guys at Prologo. According to their system, I should actually be on the Scratch, not the Nago Evo shape. Interesting because I am happy with the Nago Evo. Would the Scratch be even better? I am curious to find out.
  • I tried out a Fizik Kurve saddle on a short ride. It seemed really comfortable. Would consider that route if the price wasn’t an issue. The updated shoe line from Fizik looks promising
  • Really curious about the Rotor UNO hydraulic shifting group. Lots of other coverage on other sites, so I won’t go into the technical details. The hydraulic lines are very thin (can fit into Di2 holes) and quite stiff. They feel sort of tinny, fragile (whether they are or not remains to be seen). The feel at the lever was not great, with high lever effort and vague indexing. The caveat here is that these are still early production/prototype, so maybe the retail versions will be more refined. On that note, the fit and finish was lacking. For example, the rubber on the hood was quite thick where it met with the bar (not a smooth transition). Also, the hoods seemed like they were quite long; not like the tall ‘horns’ on the SRAM hydraulic levers, but a long ‘neck’, increasing the reach (bike fitters take note). According to the reps, weight should be between Dura Ace Di2 and SRAM Red (once you take cables and housing into account). All things considered, it is an interesting concept, and I hope that Rotor sticks with it enough for a second generation. Braking and hydraulic expertise coming from Magura
  • Nothing new from Campy. Still rumors about disc brakes coming out soon, but nothing confirmed yet.
  • New Schwable Pro One TL looks great, in terms of weight and rolling resistance. Looking forward to trying them out.
  • POC is really putting together a nice line of good looking, functional products. Great overall aesthetic.
  • Checked out the KASK helmets. The Protone’s large front vents really seem to highlight receding hairline (grin). Fit seems nice and the leather strap is a nice touch.
  • GIRO line of shoes look great.
  • With so many different wheel companies out there doing different (or similar things), there is so much choice on the market that it is easy to be overwhelmed by all the marketing on the merits of each. There are tons of carbon and aero options out there, with more and more all of the time. I can imagine that this pushes more people to the established brands as a 'safe choice'
  • Thru axles are still not on every disc bike. Seems like 12mm front and rear is going to be the standard. I don’t know if I would consider buying a disk bike without thru axles... I am not a racer, so super-fast wheel changes are not an issue for me. Wheel security would be the most pressing issue (not that QR isn’t good, thru just seems better). Won’t take long for more to adopt, and I imagine by next season, the majority of bikes will have thru designs. Perhaps modular drop outs (a la mountain bikes) is the best solution, if it can remain sleek and light.
  • Regardless of the drop out system, I have to confess that I am now a road disc believer. I have been on the fence for that past few seasons, but it is clear that my next road bike (whenever that will be, grin) will very likely have disc brakes on it. A few recent experiences have pushed me over the edge. As I have said in the past, I feel that good calipers on aluminum braking surfaces are more than adequate for my needs. However, once you go away from aluminum, I have yet to experience anything that I would rate better than ‘manageable’ (not good or superior). This year, I had a few fast descents in technical sections on carbon rimmed wheels that were a little scary. There was a lot of screeching involved (mostly from the wheels, grin) but I made it through. It should be noted that conditions were weighted against the carbon braking: 38 degrees C, 200 pound rider, steep twisties (yes Virginia, I was using alternating braking technique to ensure maximum cooling). Discs just seem more consistent in all conditions.