Interbike 2011 – Day 1 Quick Hits

Pavé’s Erik Mitchell was present last week in Las Vegas, NV for Interbike. He brings back with him a number of items of interest, including CrossVegas coverage, including a look at the bikes the riders raced on and a very candid interview with Hans Van Kasteren, the Telenet-Fidea team manager. Below are some quick highlights from his time in Vegas.

The 2011 Interbike show in Las Vegas, NV kicked off with a bang on Wednesday. With nothing significantly revolutionary being debuted (i.e. 12 speed or brain chip powered shifting), the show has become more about refined technology and unique advancements in bike and component design. With hundreds of vendors covering thousands of square feet, day one was all about figuring out where everyone was and looking for those rare finds.

The big three (Shimano, SRAM and Campy) had large booths with plenty of product to display. SRAM had a full array of 303 Firecrest tubular and carbon clincher wheelsets on hand, as well as several Quarq power meters, which we’ll cover in more detail in a power meter roundup. Shimano continues to push electronic shifting, this time with the Ultegra level of components. With a very simple and elegant display, Campy showed off a bevy of components and wheelsets, including 11 speed electronic.

Beyond the big three, there were several cool day one finds. BH unveiled a Super-light bike, weighing in at a mere 10.56lbs. The bike uses a stock Ultralight frame along with their new BB386EVO bottom bracket system. However, the rest of the bike is custom and will not be available to consumers – although those with deep pockets could easily build up a similar bike.

Cinelli had an extremely limited edition Laser Nostra bike in their booth. Only four of these retro style fixed gear bikes will be available in the US. At a price of $10,000 for the frame and fork, the bike is more a functional piece of art. The Laser Nostra is hand made out of steel and has a very classic look and feel.

In the world of time trial shifting SRAM has return-to-center (R2C) and Shimano has Di2 buttons. Now Vision is entering the market with a unique bar end shifter that will work with 10 speed Shimano and SRAM drivetrains. While it looks like a bar-end brake, the “brake lever” downshifts, while a push of the unit itself upshifts. The idea is that riders will never have to change hand positions to shift. Rumor has it that Kestrel has asked for several of these shifters already – possibly for one of the pro-teams serviced by ASI?

Those are just some of the highlights from day one at Interbike. Check back for coverage of other interesting items from Interbike!

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