As we do each year, Week 2 of our post-Interbike coverage features a rundown of many of the other noteworthy products we saw at the show. I'll give you a taste of my "Best of the Rest," and Sheri Rosenbaum does the same in her article, below. Sheri also follows up on the technology behind one of the trends she discussed last week.
Skulpt Performance System
Evolving out of ALS research, this interesting little system is a fast and easy way to, in effect, measure muscle quality. Using a hand-held scanner the size of a small mobile phone, paired with the mobile app, you can measure your actual muscle quality and fat percentage directly, at 24 locations throughout your body. The Skulpt Scanner uses a Composition Myography (CM) to make the calculations.
You can effectively map the areas of strength and weakness in your muscle composition throughout your body, determining what needs work and your areas of "strength." $99 for the Skulpt Scanner, includes the app and training advice. www.skulpt.me
Most of us are fastidious about keeping our bikes clean. But when we have to load them up on the roof rack to drive to a ride or event, all manner of muck (bugs, grime, dust) can find its way onto our clean machines.
Enter BikGlov, a nifty covering system made specifically to stretch over your bike (versions for front-wheel-off or -on) while it's on the rack in transit – keeping the muck at bay.
The small Melbourne, Australia, company says a waterproof version is in the works for those rain rides you might drive to. $130AUD ($99 US).http://www.railroadtracks.com.au
NDVR Cycle Co.
For any roadie looking for the convenience of toting a folding or collapsible bike on a business trip, tour, or trip abroad – but who wants a full-size, full-featured road bike – there's a new choice for you: NDVR Cycling Co. (Think: Endeavor.)
Based in Athens, Georgia, the company makes titanium travel bikes that come apart into 2 triangles to fit into the custom travel case that comes with the full-featured bike. And I do mean full-featured, as these bikes come in SRAM eTap and both Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting versions.
The company bills itself as maker of "the world's finest titanium travel bike." A full bike weighs in at about 17.5 pounds, probably not that much different from your "one-piece" road bike. You can customize the build on the company website. Full bikes start at $6,500. http://ndvrcycle.com/
Roll Recovery R8
If you've ever used a foam roller for massage and recovery – especially a "knobby" one that really seems to get deep into your muscle tissue – you understand the benefit. When I happened upon the Roll Recovery booth and saw this portable massager being used, I was intrigued and asked to try one. Despite its small size and portability, it provides much the same feeling as a knobby roller.
You grip the R8 in both hands and simply roll it back and forth across your quads and hamstrings, or either side of your calf muscles, and the 8 skate wheels (yes, they're just like Rollerblade wheels) work themselves into the tissue to provide that "working it out" feeling. It's an impressive amount of pressure in a small, easy-to-use unit.
Especially if using a foam roller is difficult for you, or undesirable, the R8 is an alternative. And to be able to drop it in its carry bag and take it along to any event with you makes it even more worthwhile. $119. https://www.rollrecovery.com/r8/
Nutrition products on display at this year's Interbike were a diverse lot, to say the least. I saw two products that really hit home for me: Nature's Bakery Fig Bars, which I buy at Sam's Club and typically prefer over most other cycling nutrition bars; and Gu's new Stroop Wafel, the company's version of the famous Dutch syrup waffle, typically made by street vendors and in cafes. I've had them on the street in Amsterdam, and they're super tasty.
Huma Chia Energy Gel offers chia-based "natural electrolytes" in the form of typical gel packets, with various flavors, with or without caffeine.
The Right Stuff is a "NASA-developed" (for the space program, I was told) electrolyte replacement also in the form of a gel pack, but is to be mixed with at least 16 ounces (500ml) of water. Each pack is loaded with 1,780 mg of sodium, the electrolyte lost in the greatest quantity through sweat.
MNRL (think: mineral) is perhaps the most unique of the bunch. Not much bigger than a pack of gum, it's an electrolyte supplement spray meant to be sprayed directly into your mouth. Six sprays equals one serving. Each container holds about 45 servings.
Known for its line of racks, Rocky Mounts introduced an entirely new full line of bike locks at Interbike – in addition to a few new racks, one of which especially caught my eye.
First, though, the locks run the gamut from typical U-locks in various materials to cable locks and chain locks in numerous varieties to stainless steel padlocks to various combination locks. The price range runs from $9.95 to $149.95 for the goliath Compton Large U-lock, which may weigh more than your road bike. It was impressive to see a brand launch an entire line all at once vs. a couple of products to get things started. It doesn't appear that the locks are yet available, but look for them early next year.
The Monorail rack, though, really captured my attention. Available in early 2017, it's a 2-bike hitch rack designed such that it can hold any bike type from a road bike to a fat bike to a 29er with up to a 48-inch wheelbase. In other words, it's quite versatile. With wheel-holders akin to what you might see in a trainer front wheel block, the holders basically have a built-in slot for road bike tires that widens out to allow for the tires of fat bikes and such. $369. http://www.rockymounts.com/
Boyd Cycling Altamont Alloy Wheelset
I stopped by Boyd Cycling for a quick run-through of their newest offerings and was happy to see that some wheel-makers, at least, haven't forgotten about how great a nice set of aluminum alloy wheels can be. Boyd offers plenty of carbon hoops, to be sure. But the company's newly updated Altamont set of alloys has some nice features and are just the sort of all-around performers that make good alloy wheels great for recreational roadies.
With a depth of 30mm for just a bit of aero, and an external width of 24mm (20mm internal), the wheels feature Sapim CX-ray spokes and can be built in 20/24, 24/28 or 28/32 front/back spoke counts depending on your needs. A cool new feature is a ceramic coating on the brake track to match the color of the rims (no more shiny bare metal) and provide additional wet stopping power. The wheels ship with Kool Stop ceramic brake pads. Mated with Boyd's standard Prime Road hubs, the set runs $850. Upgrading to White Industries hubs, the set goes for $1,200. The same configurations are available in the Lite version (25mm rim depth) of the wheels. http://www.boydcycling.com/
ArroWhere Jackets and Apparel
The concept behind the simple highly reflective arrow graphic on ArroWhere's waterproof and windproof commuter jackets, vests and backpack covers is equally simple, according to the young company: Drivers who see the arrow psychologically, subconsciously know they need to move over.
With arrows pointing both left and right, for drive-on-the-right and drive-on-the-left countries, respectively, the company says its apparel has been tested as visible up to 1/3 of a mile.
The simple arrow motif came about based on the fact, says the company, that their research showed that reflective elements captured the attention of drivers but didn't elicit the wanted behavior. The drivers would react upon seeing a cyclist wearing reflective gear, but the drivers didn't know what to do. The arrow "tells" them what to do.
Really, this concept makes perfect sense to me, based on my own experience. On every ride, I witness drivers who "freeze up" when they see me or other cyclists. The do see us (usually), but they simply don't have a thought about how to handle the data they're processing, i.e. go around us.
Arrowhere waterproof jacket: $90; windproof shell/vest: $50; backpack cover: $25. http://www.arrowhere.com/
John Marsh is the editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of "less than podium" talent, he sees himself as RBR's Ringmaster, guiding the real talent (RBR's great coaches, contributors and authors) in bringing our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That's what we're all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John's full bio.