Interbike 2011 – Pastajet’s Walkabout

by Brian Mullin on September 30, 2011

The bike rack company kuat, had a couple of new items in their booth. They have a downscale version of their fancy NV rack, and the new NV CORE, forgoes the NV’s integrated cable locks and bike stand Trail Doc attachment, and come in a flat black color scheme. They added two roof baskets, the Vagabond and Vagabond-X, the former has a built in skewer, and the latter is deeper and has fancier colors and graphics. The most interesting item was their new Bottle Lock, which is a water bottle that has an integrated 5 foot long x 8mm cable that locks back onto itself. The bottom of the Bottle Lock has a compartment for the keys or other paraphernalia (college memories), and it comes in white, black and pink. The cable wraps around the inside circumference of the bottle in a sort of helix pattern, and it was easy to snake in and out. This would be a great item for commuting, going to the grocery store, etc., albeit not in a high-crime area.

The 2Toms booth has a large placard for their ButtShield product, that immediately cut my eye and attention. I spoke with the rep for a while on the products, and was pretty intrigued. The product is silicone based, and prevents unwanted friction that can lead to saddle sore and rashes. I applied some to my fingertips (not my butt), and it leaves a very thin layer of what feels like lubricant, but it’s not greasy, is waterproof, and doesn’t rub or come off unless soap and water are used. It would be an excellent product to add to the travel bag or pack, especially when you are doing long rides, big adventures or any activities on hot days. I love their product spiel “Do you suffer from Butt Irritation while participating in your favorite sport?,” and I think it will definitely prevent getting the dreaded monkey butt.

The company 180S is known prominently for their behind-the-head ear warmers, but they are entering into the biking and running apparel world with their new QuantumCool products. The concept behind the QuantumCool material is that it provides a cooling effect when the material wick’s moisture into its pores, and it is supposed to help cool the body by 3%. I got a mini test of the product on some arm sleeves, and when they dropped water on the material, you could feel a sort of air conditioning effect on the skin, and I will be interested in how it works in real-world activities. The material has UPS+ 50 sun protection, is anti-odor, reflects the sun’s rays and has what they call pulse point cooling. The latter feature, is that cooling elements are located at particular pulse points, which help increase the cooling rate of your skin. They’ll be making jerseys, arm sleeves and headband out of the material, and I am looking forward to trying some of the gear out, and putting it through the wringer and sweat box. They created the material to help with spring and summer activities, and assist athletes with overheating, overexposure to the sun and decreased performance due to some of the former issue. Their bicycling line includes a Compression Arm and Calf Sleeve, Head Band, Wrist Band, Cycling Jersey and Packable Cycling Jacket, which utilize varying designs and features, but all of them feature the QuantumCool system.

QuantumCool Specs:

  • Activation -Occurs as soon as you begin to sweat, cooling your skin up to 3%
  • Thermal Ray Protection – The fabric reflects the sun rays adding to the overall cooling effect
  • Pulse Point Cooling – The cooling element is located on pulse points at the wrist and inner bicep, increasing the cooling rate of the body (arm sleeve – 17020)
  • Advanced Moisture Management – Quickly absorbs moisture allowing the body to naturally cool itself
  • Anti-Odor – Provides a virtually odor free garment
  • UPF 50+ – Provides added protection from the harmful rays of the sun
  • Bike products – Compression Arm Calf Sleeve, Head Band, Wrist Band, Cycling Jersey, Packable Cycling Jacket

The long awaited SYZR pedals from Speedplay should finally be available in 2012. The new pedal has some interesting and innovative features in its design, and it appears, they have gone to a more traditional system. The pedal itself has good mud shedding capabilities, and has been beefed up for more robustness, which is always a good thing in the tough world of mountain biking where rock and pedals get bashed together regularly. The plastic or rubber outer body should greatly aid in protection for the innards of the pedals. The cleat contact area is quite large and offers foot stability, and the interface keeps it above the shoe’s bottom, to remove interaction issues between the sole or lugs of the shoe.

The cleat can be adjusted to allow float from zero to 10 degrees, and inboard and outboard rotation is independently tunable. In the floating mode, the outer portion of the cleat rotates. I poked around with a prototype at the show, and it looks very promising, although I am unsure of its durability when doing lots of hikes-a-bike forays, or when it fills up with mud or dirt? It was easy to click in and out, and the float was pretty smooth, with a good solid interface with the shoe. Spring release tension is rider adjustable, for additional tuning per personal requirements. They should retail for around $120.

They were hidden over on the very back wall of the Sands Convention center, but this very innovative and secure bike carrier was well worth seeking out. They created a hitch mounted bike carrier, that is simple to use, highly adjustable for various bike frame geometries, durable and strong, and utilizes an integrated theft prevention locking bar for the utmost in safety. The carrier is made in the USA at their Spokane Washington factory, and uses cold steel for strength and flexibility, stainless steel for corrosion resistance and hardness, and the trays use soft and durable rubber padding to protect the bike’s frame.

The Bonelocker only weighs 21 lbs., so it’s easy to carry around and install. The unit consists of the main hitch, which connects to the vehicle’s receiver (2 inch or 1 1/4 inch options), the theft prevention locking bar, and the adjustable frame trays for three bikes. The main bike carrying bar has a round shape, and the three rubber padded trays, which have a seat tube stabilizer (shown above as the drooping prong) for anti-sway purposes, can move forward and backward and rotate 360 degrees on the bar, for maximum flexibility. The theft prevention locking bar connects over the top of the bike, and locks up on the backside of the hitch, and when the bar is not needed, it can be stowed within the carrier.

The Bonelocker is simple, easy to use, rugged, and will help prevent common theft (a determined expert criminal not withstanding).

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