September 30/05 3:05 am - Las Vegas Day 2
Posted by Editoress on 09/30/05
|Interbike is a place to run into riders - sitting in booths signing autographs and wandering the aisles. Canadians were well represented, and we ran into Gord Fraser, Geoff Kabush and Mat Toulouse all signing posters in the Maxxis booth.|
We asked Gord about the various rumours swirling around his future, and he was able to confirm that he had been in discussions with T Mobile but could not finalizing things, so will be returning to Health Net to "finish my career". Finish? Does this mean 2006 will be Fraser's last year of racing?
"It's time to move on" he said. "I will still be with the team, as a consultant, so it doesn't mean I will stop riding entirely."
From Geoff and Mat we learned that Geoff will not be defending his national cyclo-cross title at Hardwood Hills. Kabush will be doing a couple of 'cross races in the next couple of weeks and then finishing his season. Mat Toulouse will attend Nationals, hoping to keep the title within the Maxxis team. Both Kabush and Toulouse have signed multi-year deals with Maxxis - Kabush through 2008 and Toulouse through 2007.
- The American Bicycle Group (Litespeed, Merlin and Quintana Roo) have revamped their lineup considerably. The biggest change is probably the first carbon bike in the Litespeed line - the Pavia. This marks a considerable shift for the brand that was built on titanium. However, there is still lots of Ti in the line - Litespeed was displaying a fully built up Ghisallo that weighed in at less than 12 pounds (5.4 kilos) for the 770 gram frame. Another booth (MD, who makes ultra light components) had the same bike at 7.9 pounds (3.6 kilos). Too bad neither is legal for racing... The suggested retail on the Ghisallo frame is $4200 US..
- SRAM was showing a prototype high end road group, complete with brakes, derailleurs and cranks. Very polished and lots of carbon on the crank. expected delivery date is next spring.
- Ibis is back in business. Scott Nicol, the high end U.S. builder of mountain and road frames had, in his own words, "taken a break" for the past couple of years, but is showing a collection of carbon bikes. The company will only open approximately 35 dealers across the U.S. for 2006. At this time Nicol is considering the possibility of opening 1-3 Canadian dealers in major centres. The Silk road frame weighs in a less than a kilo and has a U.S. retail of under $1400.
- Dekerf is back. Well, Chris Dekerf never really exited the biz, but he does admit that he pulled back for the last couple of years and has only been doing local custom stuff. Now he has decided to get back into the industry in a bigger way and was displaying some new bikes at Interbike. Two new road bikes are front and centre, a touring bike in steel (which can be used for 'cross also) and a Scandium racing bike (Prodigy ScC) with a carbon wishbone seatstay; suggested retail is in the $2000 range. In addition, Chris has introduced a rigid fork for the hardcore and singlespeed crowd called the Tuning Fork - aftermarket price will be $550. Of course, all feature the exquisite paint jobs that Dekerf is reknown for.
- GT was showing what is reputed to be the world's first internally geared production downhill bike. Note the word "production" ... the Honda team is racing on internal geared bikes but they are not for sale.
- The 'skank' factor is higher on the meter this year, with lots of scantily clad women in the booths. This seems to go along with Las Vegas' new slogan" "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". The 'winners' for the most tasteless award go to the Ergomo people, who had two young ladies wearing a bunch of body paint and not much else. Retailers were lining up to have their pictures taken with the two women draped across them.