We're still digging through our notes from Interbike. In addition to our Gear of the Show picks, a flurry of cool new bikes, and stacks of interesting-looking accessories, we also saw lots of good looking new apparel in Vegas. Here's a sampler of what we can't wait to wear.
RAPHA LONG SLEEVE BREVET JERSEY ($300) Just in time for autumn, Rapha unveils a sharp, new full-length rendition of its pavement-tested Brevet jersey. That's brevet, as in 200-kilometer-plus randonneuring rides, which explains the voluminous storage, including the standard triple back pockets and two zipper compartments, front and rear. The high-vis pink and white stripes are stylish but tame enough for most riders, while the included matching pink vest might be a bit much for some. We love the looks of both, and we'll be riding in them all fall to see if they're as comfy as they are fetching.
Though the complete bikes are the lowest hanging fruit at Interbike, the show floor is full of parts and components bling. Here's a collection of small bits and pieces that we're most psyched to try out in the coming months.
STAGES CYCLING STAGE ONE ($700) Newcomers to the cycling market Stage One have unveiled a power meter poised to revolutionize the market. This direct-measure unit (as opposed to other similarly priced devices that extrapolate data based on an algorithm) is just 20 grams, comes installed in a slightly modified left crank arm (with more than a dozen models available), and will retail for just $700 (less than half of other similar meters). And given the in-crank placement of the device, gathering data in both training and racing should be as simple as flip-flopping left cranks between bikes.
Bold, fun, functional, hot. That’s what Shredly is all about: performance sports shorts—and tops—that women will reach for first when they're heading for their bike, skateboard, paddleboard or backpack.
Good looks and functionality are the anchors of the Shredly brand. Each Shredly fabric is painstaking created for athletic women. Designs are carefully constructed to hold up both on and off the trail. And none of Shredly's clothing takes itself too seriously. The prints are playful and the details are stylish, like the faceted faux onyx snap on the Basic Shorts cargo pocket—a small detail that shows that founder Ashley Rankin knows her audience.
On a September afternoon in 1992, roughly 50 San Francisco cyclists pedaled together down the middle of Market Street, leaving congestion in the wake of an event they dubbed "Commute Clot." The unfortunate name highlighted the negative consequences of the ride for motorists, rather than raise awareness of a growing movement of cyclists. Eventually, the group changed the name to "Critical Mass."
Today, hundreds of cities around the world hold Critical Mass gatherings on the last Friday of every month. Many credit the movement for helping to improve cyclists' rights on city streets. Others say the riders are unrepresentative of commuters in general and decry the traffic jams, occasional arrests, and rare violent confrontations that have occurred during the rides. In 1992, a cyclist in San Francisco smashed the back window of a family's minivan. Last year, a driver in Porto Alegre, Brazil, drove his black Volkswagon Golf through a gathering and injured 30 cyclists.
To commemorate their 20th anniversary, Critical Mass of San Francisco put out a book titled Shift Happens. Rather than spending time to critique that title, I compiled a reading list that offers a brief history of the movement and some perspective on cyclist-driver confrontations.
We're back from the festival in the desert and still swimming through the flood of new bike gear. There's tons of interesting new products on the horizon, including a rash of 650B mountain bikes and more than a few disc-brake road bikes. Check here for our Gear of the Show picks, the five most compelling things we saw in Vegas. But because five slots isn't really enough space to capture all of the interesting bits and pieces, here's a sneak peek at some other bikes that have us fired up.
BMC GRANDFONDO GF02 The "endurance" bike is one growth category this season, with manufacturers offering more comfort and stability than on their flat out race bikes by way of taller head tubes, long wheelbases, and slightly slacker geometries. The most interesting one to our eye is BMC's new Grandfondo, which uses strategically placed kinks in the stays, fork, and seatpost to create flex points and therefore bump-eating compliance. Given just how comfortable we found BMC's top-shelf race bike, the TeamMachine SLR01, we have to imagine that the GF is going to be a Cadillac-like ride. Yet BMC says not only is this bike their most comfy, it's also the most efficient. And while the GF series will come in what's sure to be awesome carbon, we're just as excited about the aluminum GF02, which is almost as light as the carbon version and, when built with Shimano 105, will come in at an incredibly affordable $1,800.