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Interbike 2001

September 29th through October 2nd, Las Vegas, Nevada hosted the biggest bike trade show in North America. With BMX, Road, Mountain and everything in between, it became THE Mecca for bike enthusiasts that weekend, and one of the only times you'd find that many outdoor enthusiasts . . . inside. Interbike 2001 gave us riders enough eye candy to last until we can finally get our hands on the stuff next season. Here is a sampling of what we saw:

5th Element -

Move over FOX, Progressive Suspension now wants a piece of the Mountain Bike market. After Roy Turner left RockShox and bought the rights to the Curnutt shock patents used by the Foes racing team, he headed over to Progressive Suspension and convinced them to develop the shock.

The result? The most advanced shock on the planet. It's design allows for 5-way adjustability, an increase in power and pedal efficiency, complete bottoming control, the ability to run lighter springs and get a smoother ride, and the widest range of adjustments of any shock on the market.

And if you weren't sold yet, Santa Cruz and Intense are now using the 5th element on all their high end downhill bikes to replace those of FOX. I almost wish I had waited to buy my Bullit.

Rocky Mountain RM9

With a ton of new bikes to see, you'd think it would be easy to miss the best looking bike coming out next year. No way . . .You couldn't miss this baby!! It hung on the wall like a fat moose head in a Yukon bar. It didn't need a 6 foot rack when, in the words of my cousin Tyler, "IT HAS FLAMES!!!???" "HAAAAAA!!!".

It's hard to go wrong with a nice paint job, but to quote Rocky Mountain's 2002 catalog: ". . . no matter how sweet a bike looks - when it's leaning there against the wall, or on display in the bike shop, it is just what it is - a hunk of flashy metal with wheels." Rocky Mountain doesn't just build good looking bikes, they build some of the best performing bikes on the planet.

The RM6 is replaced by a gorgeous RM7 with a triple chain ring that will make riding uphill less of a chore. The classic Pipeline seems to be regaining it's slot over the Slayer's position as and all around freeride bike with up to 6" of travel and stronger tubing along with a redesigned seat stay yoke. Probably the most popular seller among the freeriding community will be the new Switch. It comes with yet ANOTHER new suspension system by Rocky Mountain. The rear Fox Vanilla RL gives a plush 5" of travel and can be locked out. The Manitou Black up front can be switched on the fly between 4 and 5 inches of travel.


Didn't catch these guys till the last day, and I'm glad I did. They were hiding out by the BMX crowd, in a small Avalanche booth along side Brooklyn Machine Works and Canfield. I have to say, next to the Santa Cruz VPP, this was the coolest thing I got to ride.

Forget the fact that the design allows for zero pedal induced action for the rear suspension. And that it still supports HUGE suspension. The Nicolai Nucleon DH/FR had a transmission system that worked better than my grandma's Chrysler. I'm going to have a hard time buying a normal drivetrain when I get my next bike.

The totally sealed transmission system allows you to change gears whenever you want!! And FAST!!! I flew through 14 gears without any loss of power or chain movement over chain rings. You can even shift the thing without pedaling and completely stopped!!!!! If these guys weren't from Germany I'd be test riding one right now. When there USA rep told me he was late and couldn't make the outdoor demo, I could've killed him. If you have the opportunity, I HIGHLY recommend trying one out!!

Santa Cruz V10

This is the real reason why I left Utah at 10:30 at night, continued past Mesquite, Nevada and camped in the desert about 45 minutes outside of Vegas at 3:30 in the morning. To ride the best new technology in mountain bike frame design.

The Santa Cruz V10 with VPP technology was one of the biggest attractions at the outdoor demo. Even though they wouldn't put pedals on the thing and let you ride it!!! @#$@#% I had seen pictures and I had hopes of the actual bike looking less complicated then what I remembered. No luck. It still did. Though, when I sat on it, It didn't seem to matter. It had the most amount of sag of any bike I had sat on . . . ever. I quickly questioned if it was ride ready, and was responded with "It's supposed to sag like that" "4 inches of sag".

According to Santa Cruz, even with 4 inches of negative travel, the V10 still pedals without any bobbing and accelerates faster than any downhill bike has a right to. Couple that design with a 5th Element shock providing 10" of rear travel and you have my new dream bike.

Camelbak vs. Platypus

This one is getting to be more of a toughie. Although Camelbaks have been more popular, many would trade in their bladders for those of Platypus. Stating that the bladders were taste-free, had a larger opening and the bite valve was better. For 2002, the packs are a lot more competitive.

Platypus: Platypus bladders can be accessed and filled with out removing them from the pack. They still come with a large ziplock opening at the base of the bladder to allow for easily adding ice cubes and cleaning. Their bladders are still taste-free and for 2002, so will the drinking tube. Platypus claims the new reservoirs are twice as flexible and durable as those of previous years. That says a lot for a bladder that was already the best out there. The Platypus reservoirs are now fully insulated and more ergonomic and aerodynamic than ever before. Add the drinking tube insulator accessory and you have an awesome pack for a few dollars less than Camelbak.

Camelbak: A totally redesigned pack comes with wider shoulder straps to ensure more comfort and strength, more pockets on some models, a ventilation system of pads to help keep you back cool, and a super large opening for the bladder allows for easy filling and adding ice. Only their smaller models up to the Razor allow for filling of the reservoir without removing it and no word on their plans to remove the "flavor memory" plastic used in their packs. Camelbak took and still retains a large majority of the market for hydration packs. Some of the changes for 2002 are going to make it even harder for companies like Platypus to catch up quickly.

Outdoor Demo

Interbike - Part I

Interbike - Part II

Bike Deals