You don't need a flashy Interbike booth if you have a bike like this to show off. Alchemy's 150mm-travel Arktos is available in two flavors: the Asian-made frame that sells for $2,999 USD, and the American-made Arktos that costs $3,799 USD for the frame and Fox Float X shock. Alchemy also has an in-house paint facility at their Colorado HQ, and they're happy to do up your US-made Arktos however you want. The red bike pictured here is an example of a no-holds-barred approach, with the Fox fork, and ENVE handlebar, stem, and rims, all done up to match. Even the lock-on collars for the grips have been painted in the same glossy red finish.
How much does a paint job like this go for, you ask? If you wanted your Arktos done in the same fashion, expect to part with only a few hundred dollars less than what the frame and shock itself go for, making this thing one of the more expensive bikes inside the convention center.
ODI released the AG1 lock-on grip, designed with input from Gwin, a few years ago and now they've teamed up for a new version. Any guesses as to what it's called? Yup, the AG2. The new model is heavily revised compared to its predecessor, including moving up from the AG1's 28mm to a slightly thicker 30mm diameter. But this increased size isn't the same all the way around, with an offset design that let Gwin position the extra padding where he wanted it under his mitts. There's no right or wrong way to set them up, but a small arrow on the endcaps lets you know when the raised material is in the most commonly preferred spot.
The AG2 is built with ODI's Soft Pro Compound that feels, well, really soft, and they've also gone to a much coarser knurl pattern compared to what they used on the AG1. This is said to provide more traction for when things are sweaty or muddy, and also more vibration damping, especially when combined with the 2mm thicker diameter. The slightly raised fins on the grip surface are still present, but ODI has gone from four to two and positioned them to line up with the joints on your fingers.
But wait, there's more. The very outboard end of the grip sports a raised and ramped section that is said to provide both extra comfort and to help keep your hands from being exposed when hanging off the end of the grip. And, finally, the differently colored inboard end of each grip has an eagle molded into it that increases both patriotism and comfort. Or maybe just comfort. The new AG2's are 135mm in length, and they retail for $35 USD.
Bike racks usually aren't the most interesting things around, but Yakima had one of those ''why didn't I think of that'' new products in their booth: the BackSwing rack extension. The name is pretty self-explanatory, with the add-on hinged arm allowing your rack to swing way out from the vehicle, giving you a massive amount of access to the rear door or hatch. The BackSwing fits in 2'' receivers on your vehicle, and any 2'' hitch rack can be bolted onto the opposite end, not just Yakima's offerings.
The BackSwing has a 250lb load capacity, so it'll work just fine with four-bike racks, and it'll go for $299 USD when it's available this April.
Next up is the Party Pad, aka Shuttle Sheild, real name GateKeeper. Yakima's tailgate pad will be sold in two widths to match your truck and number of bikes (five or six) that you want to carry, with each of them sitting on individual padded cradles and held in place by large hook-and-loop straps. The GateKeeper is made with heavy duty Nylon to resist tearing, but the inside face sees a much softer fabric used that's friendly to your vehicle's paint. The opening at the center of the GateKeep is so you can still reach your tailgate's handle, but it's also large enough so that you're not kept from seeing that tree that you're about to back into through the camera.
The GateKeeper will be in stores this coming February, and the five-bike model will sell for $139 USD. Another $10 USD will get you the six-bike version.