A little late but here are some thoughts from Interbike, Leaving Las Vegas.

About six weeks ago Beth and I attended Interbike, the annual bicycle industry trade show in Las Vegas. There’s not much I can add to all that’s been written about this city other than I have validated myself as a terribly boring person. Me in Vegas is kind of like Jed Clampet in Beverly Hills, without the oil money of course.

On another note, going to Interbike helps open my mind to new ideas in bicycles that I would normally have written off. The first example is SRAM eTap shifting. SRAM has beaten the 800 pound gorilla Shimano to the punch with wireless electronic shifting. I was skeptical when it was announced, but seeing it work makes set up and shifting so easy. Just like their 1x mountain bike shifting, I didn’t want to like SRAM eTap, but this stuff works. I’ll give it a year for them to work out the bugs but this could be the future of high end shifting.

Next, the Turbine. Nothing to do with windmills and a heck of a lot simpler. These are the small yellow nasal inserts that Chris Froome has used on occasion. They make it look like you pierced your nose but couldn’t afford a real nose ring. The idea is they open your nasal passages for increased air flow. Now being called “Big nose” on occasion and having a deviated septum, I figured I would give them a try. The result, instant airflow! We ordered a case on the spot.

A notable highlight of Interbike was our favorite mountain bike, the Pivot Mach 429sl being named best mountain bike at the show. As a smallish mom and pop shop, it is satisfying seeing a small company take top honors from the Giacannontreksilized of the world. Sure they all make great bikes, but I know I’m always smiling when I’m on my Pivot. Win one for the little guys!

Other takeaways, Campagnolo, always classy; Finish line, my new favorite work gloves; Shimano service seminars, Merckx, lots of new tubeless tires, Sealskinz socks, a new Terry saddle, Lizard ski tape and the outdoor demo to really test ride bikes.

My proudest moment of the show was seeing Beth speaking as a panelist at a forum on “Catering to the female market” It was an honor having her rewarded for her hard work and having the CycleLodge nominated as one of the best female friendly shops in the country.

Some downers of the show were the absence of companies we wanted to see, smoking, and those guys handing out trading cards on the strip.

I also finally road an electric bike. Though fun, I think we are a few years away on improving the technology and seeing prices drop. As an aging baby boomer though there may be hope, or I could just buy another motorcycle.