25 September 2012 - 9:17Vegas – Part II (Electric Boogaloo)
On with the show. The Sands Convention Center, one of the most wretched hives of scum and villainy, and also free beer and tequila if you know where to look.
As I said before, I had sat out the last few Interbikes, I’m not really a fan of being cooped up indoors, breathing conditioned air with a bunch of people milling about and touching everything. I’m not a germophobe by any means, I just have little patience for annoying and deliberate gawking in artificial environments. There are also the constant interruptions when you are talking with people, the butt-ins, the “hey, real quicks…”. I find that to be especially annoying, and completely counterproductive. Especially because I have such a short attention span and I am likely to forget what I might have been talking about. I’m of the firm belief that if you are going to discuss serious business with someone, you give them 100% of your attention, and the hi-5s with passers by should wait until said business is concluded. Just an observation, and a bit of a rant. This happens all the time.
The purpose of my visit was very focused, I had a couple of “important” meetings that I had scheduled, and those took place away from the isles and potential interruptions. This ain’t my first rodeo… they were productive, and I came away from them feeling like it was a good thing I had made the plane ride. This left me with a lot of well organized free time to mill about and gawk.
Unfortunately, my point and shoot camera has decided that it is going to take mostly lousy pictures from now on. Most likely a result from being jammed in my jersey pockets on hot sweaty rides over the last few summers. It has outlasted all the others I’ve owned, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. The flash does send up a puff of smoke when it is used, which is rather exciting.
Up first is this new crabon bike from Ellsworth. This bike fits in the trail category, along with bikes like the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC, and the new Niner RIP RDO.
I didnt get any good pictures of the RIP RDO, thank you camera. So you’ll have to go here to see them. It’s a neat looking bike for sure. And I’m sure anyone glued to Facebook or MTBR last week has seen and read up on it already.
There wasn’t much in the way of awesome new tires out there. I, like The Dickness, feel that anything named for viral video sensation that was over long ago, lacks long term relevance in the market place. Besides, when the tire company in question actually has such tires in stock, it will be 18 months from now, making them even less relevant.
The only cool thing I saw was this:
The white compound is supposed to provide a more supple ride. Whatever, it looks cool and I want them.
There are some new 29er suspension fork choices out there now.
Then there was this. I really want one, just like this one. Anyone want to hook me up? It’s a damn good thing it was bolted to the ground…
There were quite a few 650B bikes out there. They looked cool too, but reports coming back from the on dirt demo from trusted sources say that they either rode like 29ers or 26ers, begging the question, do we really need another wheel size?
The overall vibe of the show seemed pretty subdued to me, almost sleepy. There wasn’t much going on that had people buzzing. I think it might be time for the Marzocchi girls to come back…
Many of the regular players weren’t at the show, instead choosing to hawk their wares at the Outdoor Demo. Interbike is pretty expensive for an exhibitor, I imagine that hard choices have to be made as to which eggs are going into which basket, especially in this uncertain economy. I mean, you could literally do 5 or 6 events in a targeted environment, reach more consumers and have better results for the same cost of being stuck indoors at Interbike along with most of your competitors. There’s a reason why there is a Trek World.
That being said, I don’t regret going at all. It was great to catch up with friends, old and new, and making sure to enjoy some of the local “real”, off Strip flavor really made the trip for me. Vegas is no longer my least favorite place on the planet.