Is this the final Interbike update? I certainly hope so! I've put together all that remains into one tidy package for you to look through and dream. Inside you'll find photos and info on:
• A new carbon bar and stem from Shimano's PRO Tharsis lineup
• A young centaur, which is not to be confused with a minotaur
• Speaking of half man, half animal, we also have Mark Weir's carbon Nomad
• New wheels and carbon railed saddles from WTB
• Fresh tools from Park
• Formula's new hybrid rotor
• Chub Rub for your meat
• Shiny parts from e*thirteen, Chub, and The Hive
Yup, there is no doubt denying that the new PRO Tharsis stem looks unique, but with so many different stem options out there why not make it stand out a bit? This guy is part of the Shimano PRO Tharsis Trail carbon component lineup that is intended to be used on those all-mountain or everyday steeds. The majority of the Tharsis stem is made from carbon, with only the faceplate, bolts, proprietary top cap, and the thin internal skeleton being made of metal. The steerer clamp bolts have been placed off center and the back of the stem is smooth to limit pain if and when your knee hits it, and the body is built with a 6 degree rise/drop and designed to be flipped if you so desire. The Tharsis stem is pictured here with titanium bolts, something that may put off some, but they are able to go this route due to the shape of the faceplate that takes much of the load off of the bolts. I've read some criticism of the new Tharsis stem using titanium bolts and the reason why wasn't clearly explained. Now you know! All this adds up to a 130 gram final product.
There is a Tharsis bar as well, done in carbon, naturally. It uses the same matte finish as the stem and post and is made using unidirectional carbon with a titanium reinforced center section. If you don't have enough titanium or carbon on your bike yet, these bits would be an easy way to remedy that! The 710 mm wide bar has 20 mm of rise, 8 backsweep, and 4 upsweep. Total weight of 195 grams.
Who knew that there is so much going on in a shoe?! Besides doing complete drivetrains and brakes, as well as too many other components, tools, and accessories to list under the PRO name, Shimano also has a complete shoe lineup. Included in their catalog is everything from triathlon and road shoes, to kicks made for flat pedals and full-on carbon soled SPD numbers. This display is of their top tier MTB shoe that includes a custom forming foot bed. I can count 30 different pieces that need to be put together to make a single shoe, how many do you see?
I'm not sure what relevance this teen aged centaur had to the rest of the Surly booth, but I'm sure he played an important role in one way or another. I did take a photo after all, right?
WTB had pro badass Mark Weir's carbon Nomad up on display in their booth. Equipped with Fox Kashima goodness and a mix of WTB and Shimano XTR parts, this was one impressive ride. Word is that he is training exclusively on a single 76 tooth chain ring throughout the winter.
Also on the WTB grounds was their new Stryker All-Mountain wheels. These hoops look very promising and feature a 23 mm internal width for use with all of the high volume AM tires out there now. The rim bead meets the strict UST standard, meaning that you can run stupid low tire pressures without having to worry about tearing the tire off in the middle of a high G corner. They'll come already taped and equipped with a tubeless valve stem from the factory which will make setup that much quicker and easier, and should make for a reliable setup when paired with WTB's TCS tires that use a UST bead with a standard casing. Pour in some sealant, which you'd do even if it was a full tubeless tire just to be safe, and you have a system that is not only lighter than a complete UST setup, but more reliable than a standard tubed system as well.
Are you a Syndicate fan? WTB has got you covered with their latest Silverado team replica seat. You may be half the age of Peat and not even close to half as fast, but at least you can look the part.
Mmmmmmm, carbon. This is the new WTB Valcon saddle and it's really cool. Oh, you want real info? First off, don't think this is some leg shaving, skinny guy road-only saddle. Weir has been running one on his steed (see photo above) and has had zero issues. It is light as hell though at only 165 grams. The important numbers are 133 mm wide and 274 mm long.
You'll feel silly for not thinking of this one earlier. There you are in the shop, wrenching on a customer's bike that doesn't have pedals on it (something that is common when working in a shop) when you need to run the bike through its gears. You either have to turn the crank arm with your fingers or thread in a pedal - I always had some old ratty platform nearby to do the job - but this inexpensive tool makes things quicker and easier. The tip is tapered and sized just right as to fit into the pedal hole and it spins on the rubber handle, just push it in and you have a make believe pedal. I'm sure some of you are questioning the need for the Park DP-1 Dummy Pedal, but with a MSRP of only $10 USD and in a shop setting where speed counts, it makes complete sense. Am I a nerd if I want one for home use?
Torx head hardware is slowly catching on, which is a good thing in my books. As high end parts are getting lighter and lighter, the limits of the bolts are being pushed as well, with smaller and shallower heads or softer metals like titanium being used. Making the move to Torx will frustrate some for sure due to needing yet another tool, but this is one change that I can get behind. New for '11 from Park is the TWS-3 Torx wrench. You'll find T10, T25, and T30 bits on it, which are the sizes you'll need adjust most Torx equipped parts.
Park again, this time with a mini sized chain tool that is sturdy enough to double for use in the shop. There are a ton of pint sized chain tools out there, but most of them are not anything one would brag about owning (who brags about their tools anyway? Oh wait, I do...), but the new Park CT-6.2 uses a cast steel body with a folding stainless steel case that doubles as a handle. The business end of the 6.2 features a shelf to make loosening tight links easier and it will come with a spare pin as well. Is it weird that I like tools more than bikes?
There are important tools, and then there are tools that are mandatory. This Park pizza cutter falls into that category, but just below the all important blue handled wobbly pop bottle opener and BBQ utensils.
One of only a few in existence, this brand new hybrid rotor from Formula was kept under glass. The floating rotor design uses steel rivets to attach the braking surface to the aluminum carrier, which is said to do a better job of dissipating heat, as well as being much more robust than a thin steel spider. Also, it looks really freaking cool!
e*thirteen with colorful rings in pretty much any size that you'd like.
The e*thirteen crank isn't exactly new, but it's spindle is impressive enough to show off again and again. The polygon spindle is said to be 200%+ stiffer than 24mm steel spindles commonly used in external bearing cranksets and the interface provides 100% surface contact between spindle and crankarm. I was told that the same sort of system was employed on the drive shafts of massive tanks - pretty cool stuff! The new DH version is shipping now as well.
This is where I'd usually tell you to stay tuned for more Interbike coverage... but not this time. I hope you enjoyed our Interbike updates this year because we're done! Let us know how you think we did below!
Not like I need an excuse to eat steak more often than I already try to, but this meat rub certainly needs to be tested asap. Steak for breakfast tomorrow?