In late September, the North American cycling industry will gather for the last time in Las Vegas for the annual Interbike trade show, which in 2018 will be moving to Reno, Nevada. Thousands of cycling companies bring their latest products to put on display for media and retail buyers. As part of the lead-up to the show, Interbike has announced the Most Innovative Product winners for both the road and mountain categories.
Product Innovation: Road
For quite some time now, the church of aero has been evangelizing its gospel, and everyday riders are converting in droves. One of the latest to thump the aero bible is the 3T Strada: a fat-tired speed machine with disc brakes, a 28mm tire clearance and a controversial 1x drivetrain. Some are calling it the future of road cycling. Prophet or not, the 3T Strada is a gorgeous, forward-thinking bike, and the award is well deserved.
Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Shimano’s first Dura-Ace groupset to feature both electronic shifting and hydraulic brakes. Also, the overall ergonomics have been subtly tweaked to perfection (levers are smaller, junction box can be tucked inside the handlebar end, etc.), and synchronized shifting comes optional, as do a number of other enhancements.
Cannondale SAVE Cockpit
Cannondale’s own SAVE SystemBar is a two-piece aluminum system, that looks like a clean integrated system, and allows for easy bar and stem swaps. It also has a down tube port for cleanly managing unsightly cables and has a computer mount compatible with Garmin and Wahoo systems. Best of all, it’s built to absorb road noise for a more comfortable ride. The SAVE SystemBar won’t be available until 2019 on Cannondale’s Synapse.
Product Innovation: Mountain
Pivot Cycles Mach 5.5
The Mach 5.5 is the ultimate trail bike. 140mm of travel in the rear and 160mm up front. It’s a bike that climbs with the best of them and begs for more on the descents. It also features Pivot’s new tweaked trail bike geometry that moves more into the long and low category.
Marin Wolf Ridge 29er
Narin’s Wolf Ridge 29 is unlike any mountain bike we’ve ever seen. At first glance, its rear suspension linkage looks heavy, clunky and just plain weird — though all reservations are shattered with a quick lap on this enduro-focused machine.
Leatt 3.5 Neck Brace
Leatt is aiming to protect your neck with its latest in lightweight protection. The Neck Brace DBX 3.5 is constructed with a semi-rigid chassis and is adjustable to fit most youths as well as adults. It’s also designed with a cutout that works with a helmet to protect the collarbone in addition to the neck. The brace is certified as Personal Protective Equipment (an OSHA certification) and weighs in at 17.6 ounces.
Shimano XT Di2
Mountain riders jealous of the electronic drivetrains used by their road-cycling counterparts can finally rejoice: Shimano has adapted its Di2 for use far from pavement. For the unfamiliar, Di2 — Digital Integrated Intelligence — is an electronic gear-shifting technology that trades pesky cables and levers for electronic switches. It’s fast, it’s responsive, it has 1,000 miles of battery life, and it’s compatible with 1×11, 2×11 and 3×11 setups.