Specialty online retailer’s team of cycling gurus offer a sneak peek of what’s hot for next season.
The annual Interbike Expo in Las Vegas is more than a trade show – it’s an experience that melds bike manufacturers, retailers, media and more in an effort to show off next year’s product lines from all of the top brands. Before most seasons end, consumers are already thinking ahead to next year and salivating over the potential changes and upgrades to their favorite bike gear. For those unable to attend Interbike, no need to worry. The seasoned GearHeads at online specialty retailer of premium cycling gear Competitive Cyclist were there and have complied a list of the best of what’s hot for next season.
Here, the crew at Competitive Cyclist shares their top gear picks for all things bike – apparel, bikes, footwear, etc. – that stood apart from the rest. Have a look and read what caught the eyes of gear experts David Fike, Katie Stewart, Chris Mackay, and Jose Maldonado at Interbike.
Gear Expert: David Fike | Buyer Bikes/Frames
Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon – “The year 2014 is a great year to be a bike consumer. On the mountain-side of things, we see the industry fully embracing the 27.5-inch wheel size, and in my eyes no one has done this better than Santa Cruz Bicycles. They have taken their unrivaled carbon construction and VPP suspension and fine-tuned it for the new wheel size. The result of this work is the 125mm travel trail bike, 5010 Carbon (formerly known as Solo Carbon) $2,899 frame w/ Fox CTD Adjust Kashima rear shock – complete $9,796 offered with SRAM XX1 ENVE. If you are looking to buy one bike that can do just about anything this is for you.”
Bianchi Infinito CV – “For the skinny tire set, mountain-bike technology has now been adapted to provide you with better braking in all conditions and allows wheel manufacturers the opportunity to develop even lighter aerodynamic rims without having to worry about excessive rim heat. Bianchi has taken their Infinito model and given it an all-new carbon layup along with vibration-dampening layers. Couple this with disc brakes and you have the new INFINITO CV ($3,499 frame – $7,999 Shimano Ultegra Di2 Disc Complete). BIANCHI has crafted one of the finest machines on the road for 2014.”
Gear Expert: Katie Stewart | Bike Buyer
Lake MX331 Cross Shoe – “Lake Cycling is the first company to recognize the growth of cyclocross by launching a cyclocross-specific model. The new, Lake MX331 Cross Shoe is outlast-lined and has goat leather uppers, two Boa enclosures, and a heat-moldable carbon insole and carbon sole. Other features include: removable spike and cleat options.” $379.
Garmin VIRB & VIRB Elite Cameras – “The VIRB and VIRB Elite cameras are new high-performance true-HD 1080p action cameras. Featuring an incredible Chroma display that stays on when the camera is on but uses minimal battery power, VIRB is the ideal outdoor adventure HD camera. Use it and mount it virtually anywhere – whether it’s on your helmet while mountain climbing or on your handlebar during a bike ride. The VIRB has endless possibilities. Plus, VIRB Elite adds premium features like GPS and Wi-Fi for even more options.” $299.99.
POC Octal Helmet – “The biggest take away from Interbike for 2014 accessories (and maybe apparel) is POCs new road line. The Octal road helmet comes in at 190grm superior ventilation, fully wrapped uni-body shell, inner molded straps, temperature regulated padding, eye garage that keeps your glasses in place and scannable ICE Tag.” $269.95.
Gear Expert: Chris Mackay | Bike Apparel Buyer
“Interbike affirmed that the new thing going on in bike land is from the elusive mountain category ‘Enduro.’ Whether this segment is an ‘event’ or just a way of riding, the industry has found a home for the lightweight/long-travel bikes everyone always wanted to ride – they just now have a reason. The Mavic Crossmax Line combines new items with solid carry-overs to create a clean package that the ‘Enduro’ rider can identify with.”
Mavic Crossmax Short-Sleeve Jersey – “Updated graphics, featherweight wicking fabric, chest pocket.” $69.95.
Mavic Crossmax Short – “Trail tech and Trail Tech ST fabrics combine stretch and durability to create a bombproof short that you can actually pedal in.” $119.95.
Mavic Crossmax Shoe – “Super-stiff carbon chassis, same as the Fury XC racer, combined with extra “Enduro” protection and a borrowed Contragrip sole from Salomon’s trail shoe line.” $189.
“My second takeaway from Interbike and Eurobike is the conscious divergence from the traditional Motocross and Euro road racer aesthetic. One industry player leading the way in this category is Giro, and by leading I mean creating something that has never really existed.”
Giro Jersey’s (M’s Ride S/S Jersey & W’s Mobility V-Neck Shirt) – “Heavy reliance of natural fibers and an earth tone color pallet. The line also sticks to a more relaxed fit of crew necks, polo’s, and 3-pocket jersey styles.” $119.95.
Giro Bottom’s (M’s Ride Classic Short, W’s Mobility Tailored Short) – “Over shorts focus on tailored cuts and contemporary textured fabrics, combined with undershorts, and bib-undershorts, that are designed to breath well and fit like standard road Lycra.”
Giro Outerwear (M’s Neo Rain Jacket & W’s Wind Guard Hoodie) – “Design resembles lifestyle and outdoor market, while the cut stays true to cycling and relies heavily on fabric manufacturer Schoeller.”
Gear Expert: Jose Maldonado | Apparel Buyer
“POC’s known in the bike industry for their innovative helmets. They’ve managed to couple paramount safety standards with one of the most recognizable helmets on the planet. In March 2014, with much anticipation, Competitive Cyclist will launch POC’s new road apparel featuring the AVIP concept which stands for Attention-Visibility-Interaction-Protection. We are thrilled to be one of the select few partners to bring POC’s stylish and innovative clothing line to cycling enthusiasts.”
For more about Competitive Cyclist, visit: www.competitivecyclist.com.
Images courtesy Competitive Cyclist