Interbike this week

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Monday, September 26, 2005
By Yokota Fritz

I couldn't make it this year, and if you're reading this neither did you. I know a few bloggers who are there, I'll be browsing Flickr, the blogs, and the news for info about Interbike and post links here.

My predictions

Because of increased interest in cycling from the Lance Factor and gasoline prices, I predict the press will cover Interbike much more closely than they have in years past.

While there still will be plenty of amazing bling and technology for racers and weight-weenies, I predict an emphasis on bikes that are marketed to commuters and newbie cyclists -- hybrids, comfort bikes, utility bikes, trailers, HPVs and perhaps even cycles and scooters with small motors and not-so-small motors on them and other car-like features like turn signals and bright lights.

I think we'll see some interesting product introductions from Pacific Cycle brands. GT, Mongoose and Schwinn have their roots in innovative, good quality bikes, but they all were snapped up by low-end Pacific Cycles and ended up in the mass retail market. All of these brands are returning to their high-end legacies with some nice products, and I'm guessing we'll see some good things from Pacific at Interbike.

There seems to be a resurgence of small framebuilders in the U.S. Hopefully some of them have managed to scrape up some cash for the trip to Vegas to show off their wares.

Finally, because of the current bike boom, we'll see plenty of junk from people who don't know the first thing about bikes. We'll get the usual crop of airless tires, clunky automatic transmissions and chainless drive systems. It should be interesting to see what other "innovations" will appear this year.

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Wow, you seem pretty optimistic about an emphasis on tranportation oriented bike products at Interbike. I really hope you are right. Your mention of bikes with motors reminded me of the Specialized Electa Globe from the nineties. Though electric assist bikes were popular in Japan at the time, the US market wasn't ready for such a bike. Maybe now is the time.

Thanks for a great blog.

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