Category: Events

This is a followup to our earlier gravel bikes article. Once we made it onto the show floor at the Mandalay Bay convention center, it was time to capture pics of some other hot new gravel bike models (and an old favorite).

First up is the Raleigh Tamland, new for 2014 and in two models:

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(Editor’s note: a reader corrected us on the photo we had described as the Tamland One, when it was actually the Roper. I only got a poor background shot of the Tamland One, so simply imagine a different color scheme from the above bike — sky blue with yellow and white accents — and a slightly different component spec.)

The Tamlands sport a Reynolds 631 steel frame, slightly longer chainstays and a lower bottom bracket shell than typical cyclocross bikes. They’re lookers…but I can’t remember what differentiates one from the other. They’re so new they don’t yet appear on Raleigh’s website, and I neglected to take detailed notes. I believe it has something to do with the component spec, with the Tamland Two having Ultegra rather than 105 (but don’t quote me).

The updated Roper also has the gravel-grinding goods:
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Here’s a detail shot of the rear dropouts…lovingly sculpted and ready for racks and fenders:
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Next is the Co-Motion Pangea…billed as a monstercross/offroad global touring machine with 26″ wheels and a ton of clearance for fat rubber:
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Here’s the Surly Straggler, described by the company as a disc-braked version of their very popular Cross-Check. It comes in a very lovely shade of metallic violet:
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Finally, the granddaddy of them all, the Bianchi Volpe. Introduced in 1996 as a touring bike, the Volpe has slowly evolved into Bianchi’s “do everything” bike — a prime candidate for commuting, beginner ‘cross racing, gravel adventures, and more. The Volpe is still equipped with rim brakes rather than discs, but we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see discs in a future model. It does come with every mounting option a commuter would want…rack mounts front and rear, fender eyelets on both ends. The Volpe is one of my favorites in the Bianchi lineup:

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What do you think — are gravel bikes the new “ultimate commuter platform”? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this burgeoning segment of the bicycle market.


Interbike 2013 Coverage Proudly Sponsored by Black Tiger Jerky
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Let it be known that 2013/2014 is the year of the “fatbike”…these things were EVERYWHERE at Interbike, both indoors at the show and at the Outdoor Demo. We saw a dozen different brands, and even got to ride one. Let’s take a look at some of the fatbike hightlights:

When we first walked up to the entrance gate at Outdoor Demo, we spotted a young lady wheeling in what turned out to be a prototype KHS fatbike. The finalized version will be a different color and will have some different features, and is scheduled to be released in the first part of 2014 (hopefully before the snow comes):

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RL and I stopped by the 9:Zero:7 booth at Outdoor Demo — with so many bike companies and attendees coming from the Southern California area, the guys at 9:Zero:7 were pretty stoked to meet someone who actually lived in a snowy winter climate! They sweet-talked us into checking out one of their bikes, the aluminum 190 with 190mm rear dropout spacing. This one will swallow the widest fatbike tires available (up to 4.8″).

We hustled this orange-and-white beauty over to the Bell Helmets pumptrack and let it RIP. What a blast this thing was…smooth over rough terrain and surprisingly nimble for such a massive machine. One loop around the pumptrack and I was sold!

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RL followed up with some flow of his own:

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Aluminum not your thing? 9:Zero:7 is also rolling out a new carbon frame. Colorado Springs-based Borealis Bikes had their new carbon Yampa frameset on display, too:

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We even spotted a couple of fat e-bikes. Here’s a Felt with a Bosch assist kit:

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Inside the indoor show at The Mandalay Bay convention center, there were more fatbikes than you could shake a stick at. There were quite a few frame and component makers with fatties on display; even Phil Wood had a custom full-suspension downhill model in their booth.

The highlight for me, though, were these glorious fatbikes in the Boo Bicycles booth. This one is made from the “holy Trinity” of frame materials…carbon, titanium, and bamboo, with a Gates belt drive and Rohloff IGH. The front end sports a titanium springer-style fork:

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Here’s a racier model with bamboo tubes surrounded by what I believe to be titanium assemblies:

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Winter warriors, take note: fatbikes are here and they open a door into a snowy wonderland of riding. These bikes also happen to be quite fun in summery conditions…sand, gravel, and obstacles are no match for the balloon tires and wide footprint. With some smooth tires (or a quick switch to 29″ wheels/tires — most are a direct swap), these might even make formidable all-season commuting rigs!


Interbike 2013 Coverage Proudly Sponsored by Black Tiger Jerky
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Companies try to attract attention at Interbike in many different ways. Some have celebrity appearances, others have crazy givewaways. Some do loud music, others design glamorous displays. And some wear costumes…a time-honored tradition, even rocked by our friends at Banjo Brothers from time to time.

Ryders Eyewear took the cake this year, though…a “Back to the Future” theme complete with gullwing DeLorean motorcar and metallic lame’ costumes!

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These guys were a hoot, and were good sports when we asked to take their picture. And, judging by the volume of people and activity in the Ryders booth, those costumes were paying off.

You may remember a couple of Ryders sunglasses reviews we’ve posted in the past. Good quality eyewear!


Interbike 2013 Coverage Proudly Sponsored by Black Tiger Jerky
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We stopped by the Velo Orange booth to take a look at their offerings…the allure of polished stainless steel and gleaming aluminum alloy drew us in like moths to a flame.

VO had a few of their framesets built up with a full complement of their components, including wheelsets, handlebars, brakes, cranks, bags, racks and fenders. The overall effect was staggering: beautiful bikes tailor-made for commuting, long-distance touring, randonneuring, or simply going for a spirited ride out in the country. Take a look for yourself!

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I may have drooled a little while photographing these bikes…luckily, I don’t think anyone noticed.


Interbike 2013 Coverage Proudly Sponsored by Black Tiger Jerky
Black Tiger Jerky

We had the pleasure of running into our friend Adam Ziskin, the creative force behind O2 Rainwear. He and his father were manning their booth on the show floor, and we had a great conversation:

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Adam mentioned that he has leveraged his manufacturers a bit, and in fact is able to lower the prices on some of O2’s products! You may remember our review of the excellent O2 Rainwear Calhoun jacket a while back. The product line is great, and we wish Adam the best of luck!


Interbike 2013 Coverage Proudly Sponsored by Black Tiger Jerky
Black Tiger Jerky