It's the biggest bike show in the country, with every manufacturer bringing out their latest models. But it's not only the bike makers who show up. Star riders were there; not only factory team champions like Brian Lopes, but even Lance Armstrong, who held a press conference at the huge Las Vegas event to announce his racing plans for the 2009 season.
It was a very interactive show. There were bike demos galore, take your choice and give it a spin. There were "team rides" with honchos like Tinker Juarez, Aaron Chase, Chris Dine and more. Olympic medalists Mike Day and Jill Kintner showed up to sign autographs at their sponsor's booths. There was a cyclocross clinic taught by 'cross champion Tim Johnson. It was a dream for every rider or racer who likes bikes, whether road race models or beach cruisers.
The big trend is, of course, the commuter bike. Even if gas goes down in price, this is not a momentary trend of economics, but looks like a lasting trend for convenience and health. The century-old bike-everywhere tradition of Europe, Japan and China is coming to America because compared to cars, it's easier to park a bike and less expensive to maintain one. Not to mention that biking helps work your butt off; literally.
Of course, status symbol transportation isn't going away just because it has only two wheels. The talk (and to some, the joke) of the Interbike show was the Moots "Comooter" model, made of titanium and priced at---sitting down? $8750!
It's a beautifully built bike, and a lot of show attendees wanted to demo it, but not too many retailers were lining up to order the big money bike for their shop.
American company Scott unveiled a plethora of bikes that fit the new trend: high tech on two wheels. Adrian Montgomery, Marketing Director for Scott, said bikes from his and other companies are lighter, more durable, and better looking.
Montgomery explained that the new commuter model bikes from most manufacturers take a fashion from century-old bikes and bring it up to date.
"There are new rack mounts and panniers that make it easier to use a bike for small trips like going to the grocery store. Bikes are available that don't look so industrial. Some manufacturers are building bikes like a piece of art, like a fender fitting in with a bike better so it has a nicer line and doesn't look like it was bolted on as an afterthought," he said.
The new bikes shown at Interbike introduce such concepts as improved aerodynamics, more comfortable seats, fancier and more brightly colored pedals and other cosmetic innovations that retailers hope will keep the bike boom going.
"Manufacturers are doing a great job of improving the look of the product," Montgomery said.