For the last couple of years I’ve been trying to get the kind folks at Interbike to invite me to come to their show, since I do a little public speaking as part of my work and I’ve spoken at other trade shows just like theirs with great success. Negotiations went well this year, but came to a bit of an impasse when Interbike offered me show access but declined to pay for my airfare to Las Vegas. I was crushed.
There’s always next year though, and in the meantime I am scouring the much-vaunted Interwebs for reports about the show. As you know, Interbike and the Internet are a great fit for one another, as either can easily be metaphorically reduced to just a series of tubes.
The first news I found was that Cannondale has come out with a brand new premium aluminum race frame called the CAAD 10, which replaces the CAAD 9 by being 200 grams lighter, having its tubes shaped differently for some supposedly awesome reason, and having a paint scheme in the rolling retina burn colors of Team Liquigas.
Not bad for Cannondale, which, as you may recall, is a company whose founders had to take night jobs in an all-male review to make ends meet back in 2003 when their ill-fated move into the motorsports world put the whole company into a tailspin. Who can forget the world famous Cannondales?
I read a full review of the new CAAD 10, and it had the usual hallmarks of a bike review, which is to say that it marveled at the bikes stiffness-yet-compliantness but didn’t really tell me what I wanted to know. In fact, no bike review or equipment review ever really satisfactorily answers this one important question for me, even though it is the one thing that all racing riders read reviews to research.
That being “if I spend money on this, will it make me faster?”
After all, if you can spend money on a new frame and be faster next season, that means that you can drink a few more beers this winter and still kick ass, your pot belly jiggling triumphantly over the finish line like a single enormous breast. Already the new CAAD 10 is 200g lighter, which translates to around one extra beer per month over the off season.
But as amazing as the bikes were, and as tantalizing as The Cannondales all-male floor show may have been, there were other matters at hand at Interbike. I watched a video over at Velonews that asked people on the show floor what they thought was the coolest thing at the show. Apparently there was no lack of self-admiration to be found, as this gentleman was impressed most with his own mustache.
His soliloquy starts around 55 seconds, and he also takes time to compliment Phil Wood on the eccentric bottom bracket cups that allow any external bottom bracket bike to become single speed without a chain tensioner. As anyone cool knows, nothing deflates an ironic handlebar like the shame of spring-tensioned chains.
Long story slightly less long, I’m sad once again to have missed Interbike, but still hopeful that I can find my way there next year. I should probably start working on my handlebar mustache right now, in fact.