Day two of the OutDoor Demo started in the most glorious way that any day could: with a beautiful bike ride with over 300 of your closest industry friends. Left the hotel at 6am to head out to Boulder City with an awesome Felt AR2 (with new Dura Ace group) in the back seat. Ride started easy with police rolling closure and then turned onto the insanely fast downhill to Lake Mead Park. Happy to say i wasn.t dropped on the descent like last year. Stayed with the lead Wayne Stetina (of Shimano) group to the turn around at the lake. They just spun around and headed right back but I stopped to have a drink and mingle with other riders on the ride. Good times. Refreshments at the turn around courtesy of Hutchinson Tires.
Camelbak was serving up their Elixir hydration drinks to attendees in a fun loungy tent with great music all day.
One of the big stars of this year’s show will definitely be the new electronic Dura-Ace. While we were setting up to film a video presentation of the new group by Shimano’s Wayne Stetina, Zap and the guys from Road Bike Action stopped by for a demo. Prediction: the (very) cool sound that the front derailleur makes when shifting to the big ring will be one of the reasons people will buy it. It sounds like a high tech Star Wars sound effect and just screams “I’m riding electronic Dura Ace” to your riding buddies(for you geeks out there, think AT-AT leg moving sound in Empire Strikes Back). Big crowds in the booth at the Demo for eDura-Ace.
You’ll see tons of photos of the new DA group all over, but I had never seen one of the control panel under the bars. Monitors battery life and allows you to trim the derailleur ala normal barrel adjusters.
The DA group is great, but the SRAM Hammer schmidt was awesome. Really wasn’t expecting to be be floored by it but was convinced after a test ride. The planetary drive system (don’t ask) allows for 2 “virtual” chainrings with just one small cog. What you get is near instant shifting even under pressure. Shift speed and eases felt like shifting to a smaller cog in back. The small cog allows for much better ground clearance. You have to check this out if you haven’t seen it yet.
Michael Zellman of SRAM showing off the new SRAM wheels for our camera crew. Look for our videos soon on the site.
Wandered the show floor at the Sands for a while doing final setup at the Media Center. Saw all the exhibitors doing their final building and decorating of booths. Noticed that Campagnolo have a totally new (and huge ) booth this year. Met with Cervelo guys and they said they will be having a big product launch ceremony in their booth today at 9:30.
Good Morning Interbike show kicks things off this miorning at 8:30. If all goes well with our systems, it should be live on interbike.com’s Media Center Live page for all to see around the world.
Gotta go to the Sands now. I’ll leave you with the Michelin man (did you know his name is Bib?) welcoming all to the show. Hope you enjoy following along back home if you’re not here!