I am not even going to try to point out all of the cool new products at Interbike, but like most of you I am following the daily coverage on VeloNews, Pez, Cycling News, MTB review, and any other source I can find. Many of the trends at this year’s show seem to be just what everyone expected. If last year was “the year of carbon fiber” as some dubbed it, this show will have to go down as the year of even more carbon. The sleek new bike from Seven was one of many carbon fiber road models that really stood out to me. In the past, I have not been a big fan of their titanium bikes, but this new carbon one is pretty interesting, particularly at the head tube junction. I am curious to find out just how it is made. While I am plugging designs that I like, I’ll mention the new Giant TCR Trinity. That bike really does look great. I was also glad to see Ibis back in business with a couple of nice bikes. They have a blog too. If you haven’t seen it yet check it out at http://www.ibisbicycles.com/blog/.
There seems to be a lot of new cyclocross bikes and fixed gear road models this year. Many of these, especially the fixed gears, are budget priced. Since consumers are usually purchasing these models as 3rd or 4th bikes (or in the case of fanatics like myself as 8th bikes), the lower prices probably make sense. Of course, not all of them are budget priced. Some of the high-end cross bikes look great, but I still don’t understand why many of them don’t have mounts for at least one water bottle cage. Yeah, I know that true cross racers don’t use water bottle cages, but I personally wouldn’t buy a cross bike without them. I don’t think most people use the bikes strictly for racing, so why not include a couple of cage bosses on the downtube. On the other hand, maybe people who spend close to 4 grand on a cross bike do use it strictly for racing. Weigh in if you have an opinion on the subject.
A lesser theme that I noticed was the growing number of road bikes with top tubes that curve upwards. What is up with that? When Specialized first introduced the S-Works Tarmac with a gently curved top tube, it was a novel design element for a compact road frame. This year it looks like DeRosa and Merckx, Look, Giant, and others are following suit with similar designs. Even smaller companies like Sycip have curved top tube designs. At first glance, I thought the Litespeed Ghisallo had a curved tube, but I think it was just the effect of the fish-eye lens that the Velonews photographer used. I still think the Tarmac is the best of the curved frame bunch; I guess we will have to wait and see if this trend continues.
The one road bike that I really just don’t get is the new DeRosa Tango. I like fluid curvy designs as much as the next guy, but that wave shape in the top tube is a little much for me. It reminds me of the wavy carbon fork on the Pinarello Opera a couple of years ago. Oh well, Italian design has always been flashy. I’ll be curious to see if the Tango design stays around.