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Before he even got on the plane to ’Vegas, tech editor Zack Vestal found some cool new tech bits to share

By Zack Vestal

2009 Interbike preview: Hand-wrapped carbon frame junctions on new Boo bamboo frames get the visual inspection.

2009 Interbike preview: Hand-wrapped carbon frame junctions on new Boo bamboo frames get the visual inspection.

Photo: courtesy

It’s here! Interbike: everyone’s favorite tradeshow, after-hours party, celebrity sighting, and schmooze-fest, all rolled in to one grand, cacophonic riot under the hot sun of Sin City.

We’re planning to have six editors on the ground to bring you all the action, but before we even got to the airport, press leaks started rolling in. Here’s an assortment to whet your appetite, in no particular order.

GURU Cycles to launch two new bikes

The new GURU Photon road frame will likely be a showstopper: at a claimed 747 grams for a 54cm (weight of the first production frame), it looks to be feathery light, and as a bonus, it’s fully customizable for both geometry and carbon layup.

2009 Interbike preview: The new Photon frame from GURU retains basic frame tube shapes as the most structurally efficient.

2009 Interbike preview: The new Photon frame from GURU retains basic frame tube shapes as the most structurally efficient.

Photo: Maurice Richichi

In a press release, Rob Rossi, director of marketing and communications at GURU, let us in on the story of the Photon and also the Chrono 2.0, another new release from the Montreal, Canada-based bike company.

Regarding the Photon, he said achieving the super-low weight required careful application of aerospace grade HS 40 carbon fiber and an ultra-simple, elemental design based on round tubes and as few joints as possible. For example, dropouts and frame hardware are carbon in-molded to maintain strength, and a one-piece seat tube and BB junction maintains stiffness. The project was made possible by GURU’s in-house manufacturing capability, in which carbon lay-ups are done by hand and GURU’s own molding method results in a high fiber to resin ratio.

The Chrono 2.0 is a total redesign of GURU’s aero bike. Tube shapes have been revised to optimize aerodynamics without sacrificing stiffness or ride quality. As on the Photon, in-molded frame hardware and minimization of frame joints helps reduce weight.

Newcomer Boo Bicycles to show bamboo/carbon frames

Nick Frey of Boo Bicycles sent us a few photos of some of the bamboo frames that he’ll have on show in ’Vegas. He’s a mechanical engineer, pro cyclist, and framebuilder based in Fort Collins, Colorado.

2009 Interbike preview: Each Boo frame requires over 50 hours of labor to create.

2009 Interbike preview: Each Boo frame requires over 50 hours of labor to create.

Photo: courtesy

“Boo Bicycles will have four complete show models (road, cross, singlespeed, touring) as well as 10 frames for direct sale to new dealers or customers,” said Frey via email, from somewhere on the road between Colorado and Nevada. “Road is our top frame — hand-wrapped unidirectional carbon joints (T700) and Strictus bamboo hand bored for weight savings. It will be built with full Edge Composites (wheels, bars, stem, fork, post) and SRAM Red.”

In addition, Frey plans to show a cyclocross bike with heavier-duty frame joints, more stable geometry and a higher BB, built with a single chainring and a SRAM XX 11-32 cassette. His singlespeed will have an integrated seatmast and a bamboo flat bar, while the commuter bike has an integrated bamboo pannier rack and relies on a Gates Carbon Drive Systems belt plus a Shimano Nexus 8-speed internally geared rear hub.

Getting ready for the show has been no small feat. “Each of our stock frames requires 50 hours of labor, and these IB show models even longer,” said Frey. “All tubes are selected and cut from a grove of the stiffest bamboo in the world, right in Vietnam.  They are aged and dried for 6 months before being bored out to a specific wall thickness depending on which frame tube it will be used for, as well as the frame size,” he added.

We’ll try to take one for a spin when we get to the Outdoor Demo.

From the UK, Muc-Off bike care products keep getting better

2009 Interbike preview: UK bike care brand Muc-Off has revised the packaging on the popular NanoTech bike cleaner spray bottle.

2009 Interbike preview: UK bike care brand Muc-Off has revised the packaging on the popular NanoTech bike cleaner spray bottle.

Photo: courtesy

Famous in the UK for the original, signature pink bio-degradable 1-litre bike cleaner, Muc-Off has evolved its range into an incredible 200-plus premium care products for bicycle, auto, motorcycle, dirtbike, electronic, snow, marine and motorhome markets.

At Interbike, Muc-Off will be showing an array of new products including a collection of premium bike wash brushes. The 1-liter NanoTech bike cleaner spray bottle, which made the brand famous for its biodegradable pink bike wash solution, gets a new look and revised trigger for easier application. All Muc-Off aerosols are CFC free and fully recyclable and the majority of the products are biodegradable, with the new range of lubes developed using naturally derived ingredients. All packaging is fully recyclable and many bottles are refillable, ensuring riders are contributing to a greener world.

From Germany, SKS to debut a range of new products

2009 Interbike preview: The new D.A.D. fender from SKS promises easy installation and good coverage.

2009 Interbike preview: The new D.A.D. fender from SKS promises easy installation and good coverage.

Photo: courtesy

SKS plans to display new tools, pumps, bags, and fenders, among other accessories for riders. The Germany company, founded in 2000, has a reputation for solid, functional accessories for cyclists of all levels, from commuters to professional racers.

The all-new SKS Bag Line was developed in partnership with Deuter, another German brand with a solid background in bags and packs. SKS’s new seat bags come in a range of sizes and shapes, and some feature a quick release seat rail or seat post attachment to make mounting easy. Color options are in the brand’s distinctive black and orange, and include reflective detailing.

2009 Interbike preview: The SKS Supershort mini pump is just that, but promises to be functional as well.

2009 Interbike preview: The SKS Supershort mini pump is just that, but promises to be functional as well.

Photo: courtesy

Also new will be a 107-gram mini-pump, appropriately called the Supershort at just 164mm long. The Supershort has a presta/Schrader convertible head, and a t-handle for fast, powerful pumping. And for winter, check out the new fenders, Grand M.O.M. (Mountain Oversized Mudguard) and Grand D.A.D. (Dual Adjust Dirtboard). Both have wide coverage for fat 2.5-inch mountain bike tires, and a more durable and secure quick release mounting system.

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