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By the editors
The Interbike International Bicycle Expo is wrapping up in Las Vegas Tuesday afternoon.
As VeloNews editors fold up their laptops and lend a hand breaking down our booth, we thought we’d put up a few more shots of items that caught our interest today.
Cervelo – When the Toronto-based frame builder signed on as bike sponsor of the CSC-Tiscali team, Cervelo earned the distinction of being the smallest manufacturer supplying the Division 1 peloton. The company doesn’t reveal its precise numbers, but its safe to say that annual production is somewhere in the mid-four figures. Precise numbers or not, we’re not talking Bianchi, Colnago or Trek here.
But CSC’s Bjarne Riis is “something of a bike nut” and, according to company founder Gerard Vroomen, he liked the Cervelo enough to give the edge to the Canadian company in negotiations. Cervelos made early appearances at the Tour this year, albeit disguised as something else, though Laurent Jalabert’s P3 TT bike was easy to spot despite the stickers.
“It was Riis and the fact that he liked the bike,” said Vroomen. “We were going up against some deep, deep pockets and we came away with a pretty good deal and for a lot less than a big company would have paid.”
Be careful what you wish for… now the company has the “privilege” of cranking out 125 bikes for the 25 members of CSC: Each rider will get two aluminum Soloists, one steel Prodigy, one R-2.5 carbon bike and a time trial frame – “a Dual or a P3, depending on the rider.”
It’s a formidable task, but Vroomen insists the company is ready to supply and support the team.
Parlee — Another bike that made a disguised appearance in the European peloton this year was produced by Massachusetts carbon wizard Bob Parlee.
Parlee got his start in the racing yacht business where precise work with exotic materials is a requirement. He began building bikes just a few years ago, but he slowly becoming something of a 21st century equivalent of the old Italian master frame builder from whom racers ordered bikes and then stickered them with the appropriate sponsor’s decals.
In 2003, Parlee is expanding his line-up to include two new hand-built models, the Z3c, compact frame and the Z2, featuring a more traditional geometry. Both models retail for $2300 – and price includes the frame and nothing else. A custom job will run you about $3000 and there may be a while before you get through the waiting list. From the looks of it, though, it may be worth the wait.
DeSalvo — Interbike also provides a good opportunity for new frame builders to show their wares. Former United Bicycle Institute instructor Michael DeSalvo has gone off on his own and set up shop in Ashland, Oregon. He offers custom and “semi-custom” frames in steel and titanium.
DeSalvo was showing some his handiwork in Vegas and got some well-deserved attention for his classic steel track bike. The complete rig was for sale for just around $950. We doubt the show price will carry over too long, though. You can more information at www.DeSalvoCycles.com.
WinterXBike – A ski-to-bike conversion kit for those looking to expand their winter outdoor fun. Creator Matt Hanson claims to have fostered the idea for over 20 years, culminating in a $300 package, complete with foot pegs and removable ski-boards, that transforms any bike into a ski-bike, allowing riders to maintain their original stance and position without the use of foot skis.
Instead riders can fly down the slopes boosting BMX-style airs, or opt to leave the rear tire on and pedal cross-country using a raised-front adapter.
Burley Wolf Creek and Runabout – New from Burley, the Eugene, Oregon, cooperative that ‘s produced bike trailers and tandems for over 20 years. Now longer content with their tandem niche, the folks at Burley have produced four stand-alone rides this year, including the Wolf Creek, a $3000 road racer equipped with Dura-Ace components, on a lightweight True Temper frame.
Also from Burley is the Runabout, a slick commuter bike that comes with either a 38-tooth, 7-speed SRAM internal hub drive-train or a 27-speed Shimano triple. Shimano Disc brakes, 700c wheels, and a space-age Hsin Lung Arc handlebar trick out this townie.
ITM — Okay, okay, tools are a specialty item, especially things like torque wrenches. But these days, with those delicate bolts on stems, seatposts and even crankbolts, investing in a good torque wrench is more than a luxury.
The benefits of not snapping a little 4mm Alan bolt on a $200 stem will quickly justify the expense. So, if you gotta buy one, you might as well pick one up as easy to use and attractive as ITM’s new model. Hey, tools gotta have style, too, no?