After all the fun in the hot sun at Bootleg Canyon, Grannygear and I went to the air conditioned halls of the Sands Convention Center to check out what we could find indoors at the show. Some of what we saw we have touched upon earlier, but this will be a bit more detailed look at some things. Enjoy!
Besides the Spearfish and the new Fargo, Salsa Cycles did show some other interesting items at the show. Here are a few things we checked out with a bit more detail for you all….
Titanium: The big deal at Salsa Cycles booth was all the titanium being shown in the booth. Now you will be able not only to get the El Mariachi and the La Cruz cross bike in the grey metal, but Salsa added to the range a titanium Fargo, Selma single speed, and Vaya light tourer/adventure bike. All frames are being made in the U.S.A. at Lynskey in Tennessee, and will be available by spring 2011. It was a refreshing change from all the carbon fiber wonder bikes we were seeing everywhere else at Interbike.
The titanium version of the Fargo might be the epitome of Salsa’s “Adventure By Bike” theme so far. Now suspension corrected for 80mm of travel, the bike features all the braze ons of the steel version, but does not have the capability to run the 185mm rear rotor, like the steel version. Note also that the new Salsa Fargo forks have provisions to mount their new “Down Under” rack or “Minimalist Rack”, (or both!). Geometry of the Fargo was necessarily tweaked to make it more compatible with suspension forks, should you choose to run one. It is still a drop bar specific design though.
We were also shown the new 25 degree rise stem in the Pro Moto flavor. This will be a great addition to those looking for a nicer drop bar stem, or for those who just want a classy stem with some serious rise. We also were shown the Cro Moto Grande Maxle fork, which is going to be available soon. It is Salsa’s 20mm through axle rigid fork! It will make wheel swapping easier for some folks and bring precision in rigid bike handling to new heights, we presume. Look for a review of the fork when they become available.
Salsa Cycles also remains committed to bringing accessories to kit out their bikes for the bicycling adventures they advocate. it isn’t just a nice marketing turn of phrase with these guys! Things like the Everything Cage, (right) and the Down Under Rack, (left), along with the Minimalist rack, (not shown), really make getting a Salsa Cycles rig and setting it up for an epic adventure easier to do.
Ellsworth Handcrafted Bikes: During the indoor portion of the show I was able to meet with Tony Ellsworth and chat with him concerning everything big wheeled that Ellsworth produces. First up was the Enlightenment 29 carbon “firm tail” bike, (as Ellsworth likes to call it), and Tony walked me through the ideas behind the design.
Essentially, Ellsworth wanted to be in control of the processes of making the carbon fiber and right on through to the end product before they would commit to doing a carbon frame. Called “Rare Earth” carbon, Ellsworth uses the carbon in the Enlightenment 29 and other Ellsworth models. Tony also said that refinements are made when riders provide feedback regarding how the frames ride or if any damage occurs from everyday usage. He said that he is constantly trying to find ways to improve the model based upon this feedback, so i expect that the Enlightenment will see small refinements over time that should make this unique bike even better. It is also worth mentioning that the Enlightenment uses internal cable routing for a great, clean look, and especially so when converting the bike from geared set up to single speed using the swappable rear drop outs which also allow for a belt drive set up.
Next up was the all new Evolution 120mm travel 29″er. This model, which features Ellsworth’s trade marked ICT, (Instant Center Tracking), suspension is aimed at XC and all day epic trail riders. the model will come in one of three standard Ellsworth anodized finishes, blue, black, and a silver that Ellsworth is calling “Nickle”. Custom anodization is available for a slight up charge in one of several brilliant anodized colors. You can even have the swing arm anodized in a contrasting color, which really can be a dramatic look, given the size of this massive link. The new model, along with the Evoke, features a semi-integrated head tube that accepts tapered steer tubes. Finally, the Evoke and Evolution feature a “super-formed” pivot integrated seat tube. Ellsworth uses heat instead of hydro-forming, which they claim maintains control over the wall thicknesses better.
The Evoke, (shown at the left in a custom anodized color), is now Ellsworth’s 100mm travel model with 29″er wheels and features a half degree steeper head angle than the Evolution has. Aimed at the XC rider, this model features all the new frame refinements as the Evolution and also comes in the same three anodized colors standard.
Ellsworth also does wheels and when I asked Tony why, he explained that he felt he could do something better with regards to the rim, and then lace that up to a high quality hub which would out perform traditional wheel sets. His 29″er XC wheels feature a wider rim than most, (28mm), that is quite light, then is laced by hand to high quality straight pull hubs that feature full compliment Japanese EZO bearings. Claimed weight for the set of 29″er wheels is 1745 grams.
Niner Bikes: As we stated in our earlier coverage, (found here), Niner Bikes showing at Interbike reflected refinements and color choices. Plus, there was the surprise of the R.I.P.9 based hard tail AM rig that they showed as a concept bike.
Refinements included a relaxing of the WFO 9’s head angle to 69 degrees, the RIP 9’s head angle to 70.5 degrees with a 120mm fork, (approximately 69.5 degrees with a 140mm fork), and both models are making a running change to internal tapered head sets, (InSet). Most models received some color choice changes and in the case of the RIP 9, you can get a RAW finish with a “Luminos” clear coat.
Finally, in the news on color, the Carbon AIR 9 and the JET 9 will both have color matched fork options with selected models from Rock Shox. Other Niner models may get this option in the future.
The concept bike, loosely based on a RIP 9, was a Niner take on what we have noticed is a trend towards short chain stayed/long travel 29 inch hard tails aimed at All Mountain use or dirt jumping. You can see that Niner allowed for a possibility of using a very short chain stay length with the bent seat tube and huge yokes at the bottom bracket and seat tube/seat stay junction. Massive clearances were formed by these yokes as well. (That is a Panaracer Rampage there in the photo). No word as to what might become of this idea, but judging from the reactions we witnessed and heard about later, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this debut at Sea Otter in 2011.
Look for one more Indoor Report and then a final look at Interbike 2010 before we get back to normal around here!