I am doing a couple of short Walkabout entries from the Interbike show, that are from my occasional meetings and sometimes random wanderings. Part 1 includes: Garmin Edge mount, American Classic 650B wheels, Polar bottle, Formula 650B fork and new Clif Bar treats.
Garmin didn’t have any new computers at the show, and the only newer product was their Out-front Bike Mount. The handlebar mount is meant for the Garmin Edge 800, 500, and 200 GPS bike computers, and it offers a stable and secure attachment, and enhances viewing with a more forward placement from the bars. It weighs 26 grams, is made of Derlin plastic composite and retails for $39.99. The forward placed mount joins the ranks of some third party companies, including Bar Fly and K-Edge, and the latter is made from aluminum. The mount clamp is hinged for easier installation, and the female receiver can be rotated for their 310XT and 910XT Forerunner watches.
It seems as though everyone is jumping on the 650B bandwagon, and although American Classic did have one model last year, it was missing some of their better technology. This year they’ll have three 650B models, the All Mountain, the Race and the Terrain.
The All Mountain 650B Tubeless wheelset retails for $850, and utilizes their Disc 130 and Disc 225 hubs, butted 14g/15g stainless steel spokes and their innovative aluminum alloy nipples. Company wizard Bill Shook extended the body of the nipple so that the threads go slightly past where the nipple is cradled in the rim, so that the nipple is held in compression instead of tension, which reduces fatigue and breakage. The front wheel weighs 784 grams, the rear 889 grams, combining for a total of 1673 grams. The aluminum rims have a 28mm external width and a 24mm internal and are 23mm deep, and they’re tubeless-compatible using their bead barb technology, which secures the tires in place without burping.
The MTB Race 650B Tubeless wheelset retails for $999, and utilizes their Disc 130 and Disc 225 hubs, Race Round 14g/16g stainless steel spokes and their innovative aluminum alloy nipples. The front wheel weighs 642 grams, the rear 753 grams, combining for a total of 1395 grams. The aluminum rims have a 28mm external width and a 24mm internal and are 22mm deep, and they’re tubeless-compatible using their bead barb technology, which has a very shallow bead hook. In comparison to the All Mountain rims, they’re cut shallower and are made with a thinner extrusion.
Lastly, the budget-minded Terrain 650 Tubeless, retails for $470, and uses their heavier Terrain hubs and rims, brass nipples. The front wheel weighs 868 grams, the rear 977 grams, combining for a total of 1845 grams. The aluminum rims have a 26mm external width and a 22mm internal and are 21mm deep, and they’re tubeless-compatible using their bead barb technology.
They had a beta version of their 650B 35 forks on display, and its stats and technology look very promising. The fork is meant for the 650B wheel size, and has 35mm stanchions, magnesium lowers, hard anodized aluminum uppers and will only be available with a 15mm thru axle and tapered steerer. What I really like about this fork is that the travel will be internally adjustable from 120-160mm. The final production details are very sketchy, but I would assume the internals will share some technology from their 33 fork? They had some controls for adjustment on top of the legs, but their functionality is currently hush-hush.
Polar Bottle introduced their new 22-ounce lifestyle insulated bottle, the ERGO. The bottle is made from HDPE plastic #4, making it a great vessel for both hot and cold liquids. Usually plastic bottles are a big no-no for hot fluids, so this will be nice for tea or coffee. The reflective insulation technology provides the same benefits as our original Insulated Sports bottle. With its functional and aesthetically pleasing design, the ERGO is the perfect bottle to carry with you 24/7. It uses their Half Twist Cap technology, which works by giving the top cap a half twist for drinking, and another half twist in the opposite direction for sealing. It’s sort of like an adult sippy cup! It comes in several colors and patterns and retails for $18.99.
CLIF had a couple of new releases that I got to sample at Interbike, including Chocolate Cherry CLIF SHOT BLOKS and Kit’s Organic snack bars.
CLIF’s SHOT brand manager, Chris Randall, gave me an in-depth walkthrough of their new products. The Chocolate Cherry BLOKS marks a departure from their usual fruit-only flavors with a delicious combination of subtle chocolate and ripe black cherries. Each three-BLOK serving also provides 50 mg of caffeine and 100 calories, for quick energy and light buzz. The Chocolate Cherry BLOKS was extremely tasty, with just a light hint of chocolate to go along with the sweet cherry. I usually find most chocolate gels and drops too powerful for my tastes, but this product has an excellent blending of the flavors. Black Cherry is their top selling BLOKS flavor, so they wanted to expand on that same taste theme.
CLIF Kit’s Organic is a snack bar made with 100 percent organic fruit and nuts, and was inspired by Kit Crawford, co-CEO of Clif Bar. The bar’s a blend of organic fruit and crunchy nuts draws upon Kit’s life experiences on her family farm and in her kitchen, where she developed a passion for organic ingredients and handcrafted food. Kit’s Organic is gluten-, soy- and dairy-free. The snack bar comes in four delicious flavors, each offering a three-fourths serving of organic fruit and just 200 calories or less. In addition, Kit’s organic has no added sugar, is low glycemic and is a good source of fiber. The four great-tasting flavors of Kit’s Organic are Berry Almond, Cashew, Chocolate Almond Coconut and Peanut Butter. Like all food from Clif Bar & Company, Kit’s Organic is free of trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, preservatives and ingredients sourced from GMOs. I tasted the Peanut Butter, and found it palatable, tasty, lightly crunchy, with a nice combination of nuts and fruit, that wasn’t overtly sweet.