We did make it to Las Vegas for Interbike in the end. It was a one-handed trip and shaking hands was done with the lefty but at least we were there. I'm glad too that I made it. The bike show is more of a reunion of BMX-ers/friends than anything else. Oh yeah, there was new stuff to be seen too, we'll make that the reason for our trip. Go through the show with us. We've collected some pics and we'll make up some text to go along with the photos. Ready, set, go!
Chrome is back. Believe it or not, but it was out of fashion for so long that it's cool again. GT is feeling the vibe and had this chrome complete bike on display.
2-Hip was strictly business this year. That is if you can take the salesman wearing a goat vest (Ron) seriously! They're still around going strong an one of these days the owner will make that big move to his private land in Costa Rica and laugh back at all of us.
John Paul Rogers has been working on a (BMX) shoe company for 18 months. It is now a reality. To say it in his own words, he is "Pshyched" how the samples came out. The name of the shoe company is Caste and John Paul will be doing the distribution for the USA himself for the time being. JPR did not have a booth at Interbike but was using MacNeil's wooden floor for more than one press photographer to shoot the kicks.
System Cycle had a big set-up in the BMX Zone. The BMX zone was also named "The Amsterdam of Interbike" by ACS' Keith Stephens. Riders and industry people without suits were hanging out in the BMX zone all day and at 4pm a keg party started or a new video was played. It was a loose scene but a perfect fit for BMX. DK showed the new Dayton complete and put it on the wall.
talk of the show was this frame from Eastern Bikes. It had holes in the seatpost tube, head tube, bottom bracket and apparently was "light". The frame has been tested for strength but if it will come out with all these extra vent holes remains to be seen. It was an eye catcher though.
The Beard was around to represent Failure Bikes. His frames were shown at the System Cycle booth. Made in Taiwan (no more DirtBros welding them up in their garage) but high quality like everything else that comes from over there. Matt Bisschof has started thinking about making a complete line of his brand just because he can start telling people about his Complete Failure bike. Funny dude. Matt's backyard should look a whole lot better today with all the RedBull ramp building going on. Stoked.
A while ago we made fun of FBM for stepping into flatland. Steve Crandall showed up with a new frame design that is as wack as some of the flatland frames out there today. Good thing they've got Leif Valin on their team to keep things into check. The A1 headtube was a nice touch. If Flatland can be saved, leave it up to the FBM posse. FBM also came out with this stem design that has a slide in gyro plate (if you need it). Just when you think everything has been done, you find something like this. Good stuff.
The people at FELT actually design most of their own product at their offices across the street from Etnies in California. This strengthened wishbone is an example of FELT's attention to detail. Felt's BMX racing pro Paulie Lange rides this aluminium frame in the color "Paulie Pink". It's got a hydroformed top tube and Euro BB. The frame is called the Sector and the XL and 24" version come in Pink so Paulie can ride them (he doesn't want to ride anything else). On a side note, Paul ran into "Hollywood" Mike Miranda at the Hardrock one night. The man who introduced Pink to BMX racing, when he was on factory Hutch, was dragged around the circle bar for an hour by Paul who was stoked to meet him. The last time he saw Mike was at Slagharen in 1984 (when he raced for Torker).
FlyBikes have become a company that will strongly work on innovative parts. Although not a new idea, the Cobra tire is new to BMX. No need to take your wheel off when you get a flat when you're out street riding. You still need a way to cut the old tube off (unless you run a Cobra tube already) and a pump to get some air in it (unless you got a flat right at the gas station).The Fly Grips have some features too that are usually overlooked. Everything is explained on the walls next to the product which I personally like. Click on the photo and read all the craziness the Fly people came up with for this product. If you put Ruben's name on a product it will sell, or maybe puts so much detail in his signature products that the bikepart is actually really good. Mr. Alcantara is known to be picky when it comes to bikeparts and this surely helps make the best product out there. New from Fly Bikes are these Ruben pedals. They've been in the works for a while now and although postponed, they should be available in the beginning of 2006.
David Wooten of Greasy Comb Distribution is an industry veteran. He used to live in Maarssenbroek, The Netherlands when he worked for Tioga. When it was time to pack the bags and move back to the USA (where he's from), he started something on his own. The choice was a distribution company and we must say that Dave and his crew have come a long way. GSD distribute a.o. Revell Bikes, Inopia, Super****, Stolen Bikes and Proper Bike Co. Dave Mirra shuts up all wanna be bling bling riders with his 24K Mirra Pro bike. When I took these shots Matt Berringer was checking out the bike as well when I realized that the bars on the bike were actually Berringer bars, and gold ones to be exact! Matt is not really one of those bling bling guys but he would be stoked to have some real gold on his thrashy looking S&M. Mirra's X-Games bike was up at the HARO booth and drew some serious attention. HARO also had a HARO Sport replica on display. Too bad Brian Blyther (who owns one) and Joe Johnson were not around to sign some autographs for the old school fans. The bike is legendary and is actually for sale. The '88 Sport actually has today's Mirra Pro geometry so if you want to take it to the pipe, you can. The bike comes with silver 48H rims. And by the way, that toptube platform is waiting for some framestands.
Hoffman Bikes had a bunch of new stuff out. Big banger was the Seth Kimbrough BAMA (AlaBAMA) signature frame. No fuss, just straight up BMX street. Hoffman's new pedal was hidden so people couldn't steal it and they only had one sample. We shot a photo of it using a yellow Hoffman shirt as the background. The shot actually looks quite professional for an amateur with one hand. The H*B seatpost that Mark Owan has been working on looks the shit. It's short (no need to cut it) and has interesting tubing going on on the inside. See the detail shot in the picture to understand what we're talking about here. Damn, that shot looks professional too! Right on! The Hoffman crew had a couple of bar stools around that we borrowed when our feet were killing us and we'd like to thank them for that.
At the Interbike show you have to use the Union people to move things inside and out of the building. To give you an idea how much this costs, Mark Owen showed Paul the bill for moving a pallet inside and out of the building for the Hoffman Bikes booth: $ 798,= USD!!!! Ridiculous!
We don't know much about LOTEK shoes since we missed our tour with Tip's Dave Davenport. I'm sure they have been tested in fountains.
The wethepeople crew was in da house and had a display at their distributor Tip Plus. The 06 line was introduced at the Rebel Jam back in June/July so real new stuff was not available at Interbike at the end of September. Klaus and Harry did have news though that we're not sure if it's top secret or not. It involves their hometown Cologne, Janosh, shop, BMX. Don't say you read it here.
MacNeil had announced that Animal were going to use their seat/seatpost idea before the show. After the show Jay Miron was stoked on how many companies signed on to the licencing deal for the strong seatpost/seat innovation. Darcy could not make it to Vegas but he would have been stoked. MacNeil also had a new stem out where they saved weight wherever possible. Gary de Jong's signature frame was present but did not have the right decals yet. And did we say that the booth had a stylish wooden floor?
Mutiny had Morgan Wade's signature frame on display (at the Sparky's booth) and it's in Orange which we (the Dutch) like very much since it's our national colour and we're going to the Soccer World's in Germany to kick some ass.
Odyssey was also going Orange but a bit too neon for the Dutch. UK's George French was also working the booth with his G-Sport parts.
Premium Products' freehub had the product people talking at the show. What looks to be a regular cassette hub is in fact a freecoaster hub. In other words, the pedals don't pedal back when you roll backwards. After giving the hub a quick test Adam Banton was convinced; "I want one." Premium Frames in different coloures were also on display as was a new pedal that was designed with the help of Metro BMX Jam winner Josh Harrington. A prototype Premium Products stem was mounted on the Premium bike that was available to test the cassette free hub (that fits Odyssey drivers). The stem was missing a whole lot of aluminium making it hella light. Check out the detailed shot.
On Saturday morning after the trade show when everything was almost packed up, 6 bikes were stolen from the HARO booth. The bikes were locked up but the chains were simply cut. Trade shows are a feast for thieves. Be aware of it and protect your products as good as you can.
It's always good to see Josh Stricker. His signature bike at S&M is still going strong and comes in Baby Blue. I'm sure Hollywood Mike Miranda rode that colour too at one point in his career. The S&M booth was jam packed all three days.
Another company that loves the baby blue colour is SE Bikes. Todd Lyons is making sure that the heritage does not get lost now that FUJI owns the company. Scott Breithaupt is looking after that too. TL is moving back and forth between Huntington Beach and Chicago where he has a car and another apartment. He's keeping his HB house but travels back and forth to SE offices for work. The 2006 line has some TL influences but come 2007 it's all designed by Todd Lyons. In the picture we see Doug Hatfield, team USA mechanic, who once owned an SE as well.
Rachel Bonner explained the Shadow Conspiracy ad campaign to me and now it makes a bit more sense, or at least I understand what they're trying to say. Shadow got some new product out. Each rider received a signature seat. All of them are very different so pick your favorite. We got lucky taking a photo of the etching that is on the side of the Shadow stem. One photo and voila, bingo! It's a nice feature for all Shadow fans who believe in the Conspiracy. Click on the photo on the left to get an enlargement so you can see it in detail.
Did you know that a keg of beer at the Interbike trade show costs a few hundred dollars depending on the kind of beer? This sounds like a rip-off. Then again, trade shows tend to get expensive and adding another few hunnies to the bill isn't going to make a difference for some companies, only a few extra friends. The poor BMX-ers had to go somewhere else to grab a cold one. At one point we walked over to the Thule booth with 5 people, grabbed a beer, said "Thule rules!" and moved back to the "Amsterdam of the tradeshow" (BMX zone). Do you know how many minutes a keg will run if you just open it up?* Answer at the end of this article.
Spinners were a new thing at the trade show. These versions go on the side of the wheel. Maybe Thorne should score some.
Suelo is Fly Bikes' flatland brand. The colours are neon-ish or purple. Leave it up to the Spaniards to start a trend.
Jim Cielencki is a person we wanted to talk to all week but did not get the chance. His Sunday stuff was on display at Black-Out-Distribution. 3 days of Interbike can be too much but at times it's actually too short to see it all and to meet everyone. Yes, there's that much to see. The show runs from Wednesday till Friday at 6pm with Monday and Tuesday being Demo days where you can try out the new 2006 bikes in Boulder.
The Garrett Byrnes signature model was on display at the T-1 booth "across the street" from System Cycle. Joe Rich was manning the booth in Las Vegas while Taj was keeping up the fort back in Austin.
Tioga was celebrating the 25th year of the Competition 3 tire and had a few vintage models at their booth all with Comp III tires on them. One of the was a Moosegoose, the bike with the tall headtube and the 43 plate. Billy Griggs' GT was on display too and so were a Redline, a Blue Hutch in mint condition and Perry Kramer's baby blue SE. They sure have some history over there at Tioga.
Jean Luc Ferrari and Alex Barret made it over from France to back up their TwentyVeloCross bikes. Sparkys is their USA distributor and here is the Celeste frame (Alexis Desolneux signature model). For some reason Chinese people were not allowed to take photos but FATBMX got full access.
Robert "Afro Bob" de Wilde was around all week shopping for sponsors, meeting up with the media and hanging out with his current sponsors. At the Troy Lee Designs Booth they had a mannequin in Robert's gear on Robert's 77 bike but the only thing missing was the Afro which Robert points out in the photo.
Will Smith was in da house "Gettin' Jiggy wit it" or was it Mike Gross who came in pretending he was the Fresh Prince of Bell Air?
For those who want to know how long it takes to empty a keg if you open it up and keep it going, read on. Now what do you think? How many minutes?
25 (according to the people at MC).