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.
Here's one of those brilliantly simple "Why didn't I think of that?" ideas. Florida-based 110 Percent, which got its start helping NFL players recover, has crafted a line of recovery apparel for cyclists and runners that melds restorative benefits of compression clothing with the healing properties of icing. Simply pull on the appropriate garment, stuff the external pockets with the included ice inserts, and start recovering without hanging out all day on the couch. We especially like the thermal packaging, which doubles as insulation for transporting ice inserts to races.
WHISPBAR WB200 ($250)
We were impressed when Yakima acquired and relaunched this premium rack system last year with a collection of sleek crossbars that it claims cuts down on drag between 40 and 70 percent over standard crossbars. But this year's four new accessory mounts (one bike, one ski, and two boat) made us truly lust for one. All the accessories use an elegant quick-mount system that allows them to be taken on and off (as well as locked) with the press of two levers. And in addition to the wind-cheating properties, the WB200 bike mount has a nice smooth action on the fork mount and accomodates both 9QR and 15mm thru-axle forks without an adapter. Brilliant!
BELL FULL-9 ($400)
Full-face helmets aren't our normal fare, but given the profusion of bike parks and the need for big pads, that is about to change. Besides, this Aaron Gwin design is about more than just head protection. With an all-carbon exterior, the moto-inpsired Full-9 is shockingly light and well ventilated thanks to huge air ports over the brow. It's goggle compatible, has an integrated camera mount for both Contour and GoPro, and is wired with speakers and an audio port for iPods. Eat your heart out XC weenies.
MISSION WORKSHOP R6 ARKIV FIELD PACK (from $209)
It looks like your standard-issue burly, weatherproof urban commuter backpack, and if that's all there were to it the Arkiv Field pack would probably still be worth the money. But what really sets this modular system apart is the ingenious webbing and Velcro rails, onto which you can add and remove a whole slew of modular pockets. There are specific accessories for laptops, cell phones, and folios, or just trim roll-top designs to handle all the other sundries. Each one can be added and removed as you need, making the Arkiv the Swiss Army Knife of packs.
ERGON CF3 PRO CARBON
Known for making cycling more comfortable, Ergon's new CF3 seatpost brings better compliance and sensitivity to roadies by way of a graceful dual-piece wishbone design. Using bearings to keep the saddle parallel to the ground through the range of travel, the post's facing carbon leaf springs flex when the bike hits a bump, absorbing the impact so you don't have to. The post is rated for road riding (not trails), and Ergon unveiled the SR3 Series of road saddles to complement the post, with trimmer silhouettes and narrower noses than its mountain line.
Targeting novice cyclists and recreationalists still using flat pedals, Shimano's new Click'R line is an integrated shoe and pedal system that makes clipless technology easy and affordable. The Click'R pedals look like others models in the line—a plastic cage built around an clipless pedal—but here the SPD is trimmed down and canted upward off the cage. Shimano says the design makes engagement and release 60 percent easier than with standard SPD pedals. The company unveiled two versions of the pedal, an entry level model for $70 and a performance model with XT partw, as well as four corresponding shoes ranging from $90 to $120 that have flat soles and recessed cleats. This should be a boon for riders who were previously anxious about making the switch to clipless.