Interbike 2014 Videos and Updates

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi guys! I'm moving some content off of the main site and into the most relevant categories of the forum. This post was originally made on November 1st 2012:

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This is the third year I’ve been able to attend Interbike in Las Vegas, NV USA and ebikes were more plentiful and sophisticated than ever! There’s more at the show than just new or upgraded electric bikes though, this is a showcase for the latest gadgets and services that cater to the cycling world (electric or otherwise). I saw lots of cool brands, old friends and participated in some interesting events at the show and tried to capture video of stuff I found interesting. Posted below are updates from the show in video and written form with links to the people and products referenced. Feel free to add your own memories or questions and suggestions in the comment section below or the forum here.

Video from day 1 :: Outdoor Demo Day, Interbike 2014


Started out a bit slow after arriving in Vegas late Sunday night, my Sister was married the day before and I caught a red-eye in from St. Paul Minnesota and shared a cab with a girl from QBP Quality Bicycle Products who I also chatted with on the flight. Registration at the Luxor hotel was smooth and the line wasn’t too large. While waiting I met a guy from Boardman Elite who was coming from the UK and had just attended Eurobike… we were all pretty tired, I finally got to bed around 3am.

The next day I caught a shuttle from the Mandalay Bay to Bootleg City (about a half hour drive) where the Outdoor Demo Day events take place. On this bus ride I met a guy who works with Wellgo and also has his own startup called BMXICAN. We talked about pedals… which was cooler than it sounds.
The first thing I noticed at Outdoor Demo Day 1 was a custom “urban camouflage” painted fat bike from Felt with the Bosch Gen 2 Centerdrive system. There were lots of fat ebikes arriving this year including models from Surface 604, IZIPand Polaris. I’ll be posting reviews soon.

I picked up a ProBar then ran into Justin from Justin’s Natural Almond Butter and got to hear about how his company was started in Boulder Colorado. He also gave me a sample of the newest flavor “Vanilla Almond Butter” which was pretty amazing. Next I ran into Wojtek who’s a fellow video blogger and we chatted for a bit. Sounds like he’s become a brand ambassador for Stromer which is neat. A bit later I came across a Sony booth that had Action Cameras which they were loaning out. I decided to take one and film for a bit to do a comparison of audio and video quality. At this booth I got the chance to meetup with Chandlee from Certified Electric Bike Specialists in Chattanooga, TN. He and I chatted a bit and experimented with different camera adapters for helmets and bikes.
Later on, Chandlee and I saw some new paint on a Surly Karate Monkey bike which was semi-clear (called spray tan) and showed off the weld points. Chandlee has been talking about converting his own Karate Monkey to electric and debating between the 8Fun BBS02 or the BionX D-Series. Sounds like you need a special drop out adapter to convert from thru-axle to standard skewer to make it work with the BionX system. Later we ran into a random dude who was demoing the new Nine-E electric bike from Felt and Chandlee geeked out about it for a while.

We then metup with a rep from Rhinomed who were showing off the Turbine which is a nose expansion plug thing that makes it easier to breathe when doing sports. Chandlee tried one out for the camera and was impressed. Basically, these things have a built in ratchet so you can flare your nostrils more or less depending on your comfort and air intake needs. The package comes with a medium and a large and the guy suggested that you start with the medium, we were also told that Rhinomed is working on a slow-release fragrance that will help clear your sinuses.

A little while later we ran into a rep from Xtracycle that was showing off the Edgerunner with an 8Fun mid-drive BBS01motor attached as well as a NuVinci N360 continuously variable transmission CVT. The motor and CVT are items that you can add yourself to an Xtracycle (and many other ebikes) but there is also a new purpose-built edgerunner with the Bosch system built right in. The nice thing about the Bafang/8Fun motors is that they offer pedal assist and throttle mode vs. Bosch which is only pedal assist.

Later I met some reps from Santana which is a well established tandem bicycle company. They had a BionX electric drive system installed on one of their tandems which offers good balance and regeneration models. One of their tandems had some extra large tires and 10 inch (254 mm) disc brakes for off road riding. Looked awesome, we thought about riding it but passed.

I scooted over to the Polaris tent and asked their lead product manager, Carey, about the new “Shift Speed” technology that listens to which gear you’re in as well as how fast you’re pedaling. It’s a neat setup and I reviewed several of their bikes which will be up on the site here soon. Just next door was the ElliptiGO tent and I asked about their updated models. I was told that with one of their bikes you actually get more cardio (33% more cardiovascular workout). It’s a blend of running, cycling and elliptical training. with these you don’t have to sit and you also don’t get the same knee impact as with running. You can get an ElliptiGO with 8 or 11 speed internally geared Shimano hub that can be shifted at standstill.

Next I visited the Surface 604 booth and learned a bit about their name. The 604 stands for the Vancouver phone area code which has beach and snow features that their fat bikes can handle. Places like Tofino for beach riding and Whistler for skiing. Their old bike was called the “Element” and the new model (while similar) comes in several different flavors and motor sizes and is called the Boar.

A bit later I ran into Chris Nolte from Long Island Electric Bikes and we talked about KTM (which had some European model ebikes with the 250 watt Bosch centerdrive) as well as his trip to Eurobike where he had already seen a lot of the new stuff… I teased him for this. Chris arrived to Vegas a little early and toured the Zappos factory for fun. Later Chandlee told us about the Beaverdam Blitz which is an annual ebike ride for East Coast enthusiasts (it happens in Georgia). Last year was the first ride and I was unable to make it but I’ll be there next time :D last year it happened in August and this year it will probably happen in July and is put on by Certified Electric Bike Specialists.

Next I visited the Brompton booth and while they didn’t have an electric bike on display they did mention that NYCeWheels offers a pretty good conversion. Richard and Kathryn mentioned that Brompton may have an ebike in the future but is primarily known for their light weight designs that fold extremely small, have great accessories, a rear bumper suspension element and several handle bar styles. They also showed off the braze work with their “raw lacquer” premium finish that’s a powder coat you can see through. Brompton ebikes are designed, built and assembled – they ship it completely ready to go in a box. Brompton was founded in the late 1970’s.

Towards the end of the day I ran into Pete prebus from ElectricBikeReport.com walking back to the busses and we swapped stories about the show. We both got rained on but it felt good because the day was so hot and dry. That was it for day 1!

Video from day 2 :: Outdoor Demo Day, Interbike 2014


Day 2 was much hotter than Day 1 but I got a bunch more electric bike reviews in. I was losing my voice from being up so late both nights and traveling but I soldiered on! Got some cool footage of the bus ride there as well as Ride 2 Recoverywhich was on its way to the show.

My first stop was the GoPro booth where I spoke with a rep about future improvements and how their hardware differs from the Sony Action camera I had tried the previous day. He talked about a new “fetch mount” that Kaya was demoing around the show. They’ve also got some new dive filters and a three way mount (grip, tripod and sportsman). Sounds like they are working on processing power, lens improvement and battery life. He told me that GoPro usually offers higher resolution and frame rate than Sony’s product right now.

Just after I left the GoPro booth I saw a Scratch cooler (which makes a Gatorade style drink mix… but way better). Then I noticed that the GoPro booth was powered on Solar using a Goal Zero setup. It was impressive to see a TV going as well as multiple GoPro chargers all being powered by the sun and a large battery pack. The setup was using four 30 watt panels (120 watt total). The company does sell smaller setups for $500 with just one 30w panel as well as a backpack designed to charge your accessories.

Next I visited the ProBar booth and was told that they’re introducing some new bars. I really love these bars because they are vegan, organic and non-GMO. They taste great and don’t have extra sugar or unhealthy stuff. In fact, I brought some of these with me to the show to carry around.

Later on I ran into Peter from NYCeWheels and we talked about the Tern electric bikes that were being showcased at Interbike. This year they have two models that are purpose built and can fold without having to remove the battery. This was Peter’s first show and I saw him several times exploring different models. Their store is in Manhattan NY.

Next I chatted with a Magura representative who explained what their relationship with Bosch as a service partner would mean. They train dealers and help deal with returns etc. at the show they had some training clinics. A bit later I found the GoPro puppy and enjoyed petting her. Then I saw a beautiful LOOK bicycle (non electric) and helped a guy who was stranded on a High Roller adult-sized big wheel tricycle by pushing him up the rest of a hill.

Just after that I swung by the BionX booth and hung out with Michael DeVisser who founded OHM bicycles. They primarily build frames and work with drive system manufactures like BionX. He’s been working in the space since 2005 when he first tried an ebike in Asia. OHM is a Canadian company and there are lots of hills in and around Vancouver where Michael is from.

A bit later I met Steve Peace who was riding a tricycle style road bike with aero wheels. He had just completed the ride to recovery and was relaxing in the shade. steve started riding trikes around 2009 after he suffered a stroke. He has been working with Dave Levy and BMC to craft these custom rides and is the owner of two test bikes. It sounds like more trikes are used in England but the US is beginning to see growth in this segment. They are trying to get Dave to build some more :)

Next I visited the FreeCross booth which also makes outdoor elliptical bicyles (similar to Elliptigo but with three wheels instead of two). Their products are very high quality and work with a program in Europe to reduce insurance costs through physical activity. This is where I metup with Ravi Kempaiah who is a member of the EBR Community forums. He was excited about the new Felt electric bikes as well as those from Haibike and others.

Video from days 3-5 :: Exhibition Hall, Interbike 2014


With so many ebikes to cover this year I decided not to do separate videos for day 1, 2 and 3 of the Exhibition Hall portion of Interbike. Instead, I’ve compiled footage from all three days here with a few references to which day specific footage was captured. It is all shown in order. The footage at the very beginning was actually shot the day I flew in but I forgot to include it there so I stuck it on this video :p

I kept bumping into Joe from Ashland Electric Bikes of Oregon and he actually helped me shoot some footage which was very nice. We chatted for a bit on our way to the convention center area of Mandalay Bay. Joe was staying in the Motel 6 and loving it! Or… at least saving some cash money by doing so.

To start off I just filmed everything I saw while walking through. I passed the J&B Importers booth then saw an exhibit on the history of fat bikes. Randomly after that I saw Jason Kraft from E-BikeKit and we spoke a bit. I had tried one of his trike kits on this fat tire trike called the Atlas from Sun Bicycles the day before at Outdoor Demo Day 2.

Next I visited the Topeak booth which had a bunch of new fenders with lights and a bottle cage with a built in light that makes the entire bottle glow like a lamp. Later in the show I actually met the founder of Topeak and he showed me some cool bicycle pumps that act as a stand for your bike so it won’t tip as you inflate the tube. Cool stuff all around. As I left the booth I saw a bicycle trainer machine that was designed to provide biometric feedback about riding. I also saw another Skratch drink booth.

A few booths away I saw the entire lineup of Hiplok bicycle locks designed to be wearable and easier to carry. They have a small u-lock that latches on to backpack straps across your chest as well as a long chain lock that can be worn as a belt. Then I found the Virtue Bikes booth that had several electric bicycles (a normal bike, a cargo bike and a velomobile). One of the booth attendants explained that Virtue had been around since 2010 and was planning to introduce the velomobile ebike I saw in late 2015, it is called the Pedalist and will retail for $3,500+. It reminded me of the Organic Transit ELF velomobile ebike.

A bit later I saw some Ortlieb panniers that looked similar to older models. Just clean, durable and highly reflective waterproof designs. Unfortunately I didn’t get to speak with a rep, just explored them on my own. Then I visited the HP Velotechnik booth which had a bunch of customizable recumbent trikes that could be electric powered. I like that one had a vertically adjustable seat for comfort or users with mobility challenges. It reminded me of the Outrider Horizon trike.

Cruising over towards the ebike section of the showfloor I ran into Chris and Kyle from Long Island Electric Bikes again and they let me interview the lady from Yepp, egg and Gazelle! She showed me how you can add a “skin” to change the style of a “naked” helmet to make it more fun for kids. Just after this I cruised past the Leisger booth (it’s a German ebike company) which had a bunch of new ebikes that I didn’t get to try but looked pretty cool.

Next I saw the eMazing Ebikes booth and chatted with the staff. I’ve reviewed these bikes before and they are very light, fairly affordable and available in several sizes for a good fit. Not the most powerful systems but not too bad given their mix of cadence sensing and torque sensing. Next door was the EG Bike booth which is also a more affordable ebike manufacturer and one of the only ones I know of with a full suspension folding ebike called the Vienna. I also visited the Juiced Riders booth and saw a bunch of new models (a short cargo bike, a mountain bike and an extra large capacity cargo).

Then a gentleman named Bob said hi to me and took me over to see an electric bike wheelchair add-on for people who are handicapped. His son is a quadriplegic and he was excited to show how this thing adapts to a standard wheelchair. The company is called Davinci Mobility and their systems go from $3 to $5K.

A2B has several new models for 2015 that are designed to be more affordable while still maintaining the hiqh quality that they have built their reputation on. I tested these out and should have reviews up in the A2B section of the website soon.

I had some lunch and then visited the Innovation Lab area of Interbike which features products from “up and coming” producers. On my way I saw the Revolights booth and got some footage of their rim-mounted LED lights that automatically sense forward and backwards (using an accelerometer) and cast a headlight and tail light for visibility and rider safety. They are really cool in their current form but I was told that future versions will have stronger mounting points and better batteries with a mobile app as well. This company began on Kickstarter.

I slowly passed the BESV booth (later got to try their ebikes out, fancy designs but very expensive). Then I saw some Kayman electric bikes which resembled the new ebike from Jetson that I tested out later in the show (review coming soon). I saw some kids helmets and then visited the ProdecoTech booth where they were displaying a bunch of new, more powerful ebikes. The Outlaw 1200 has a 1,200 watt motor that is for off-road use only. Aside from the motor size, it closely resembled the Outlaw SS that I’ve reviewed here. THey also have a new Mariner folding ebike with a rear hub motor vs. front that I really enjoyed.

A bit later I saw the new smaller Sony Action camera and got to say hi to their reps. This was the last thing I saw for day 1. The next day I shot some footage of the Mandalay Bay halls and crowds pouring into the exhibit hall. One of the first things I saw was the GenZe ebike which is a new affordable bike being built by the Mahindra group (an Indian company) debuting in Northern California. Their bikes cost ~$1,500 and are very basic, reviews coming soon. I had actually wanted to say hi to Chip Foose but he left just as I was engaging with GenZe, bummer!

Right across the hall I saw Motiv and was able to speak with Cameron about the “Stout” fat bike. After finishing with Cam I walked back to the Innovation Lab area and toured some startups. One was called FULGAZ and they’ve got an app that lets you use a bicycle trainer in tandem with video footage to practice routes or just make training more fun. They showed me some awesome footage from a Bay Area Marin Headlands ride in Northern California and we had fun chatting. For the demo I saw they were using a standard road bike in combination with a Wahoo KICKR which costs ~$1,200 and the app uses a monthly subscription rate that gets as low as ~$13/mo if you subscribe for a year.

Some of the other booths I visited in this area include MYBELL which offers two recorded audio messages (digital horn) as well as LED lights (up to 110 lumens) and it mounts to most bike handle bars. Next I saw Velo Sock which has a cool “sock” for your bicycle to keep your carpet clean from dust and dirt and also make the profile of your bike more aesthetically pleasing (you can print anything you want on these so you an match your wallpaper if you want). A bit later I found ZEW and met the founder, Corbin from Corbin Fiber Electric Cycles. Next I visited the Spinlister booth and they showed me their bicycle borrowing service… it’s basically Air B&B for bicycles so you can rent your bike or find one in the community to use vs. having to buy. In addition to bikes they also do surf and snowboard stuff :)

I kept moving through the Innovation Zone and found some adult sized training wheels from a company called EZ Trainer. They looked pretty solid but I didn’t get a chance to go for a test ride. For people who might be struggling with mounting their bicycle or balancing this could be a useful product. Next I saw the Flybar which is like a giant pogo stick that you can actually do flips on! Pretty amazing product that goes form $150 to $300 depending on the size. You can also adjust the spring for your weight. Just down the aisle was Bouclier, a company that makes visors that can be attached to most helmets (using a sticker that has a magnet inside). These are designed to be easily removable but when left on, provide excellent protection from harmful sun rays that can lead to skin cancer. The Bouclier visor costs ~$45. Just next door to them was another face protection company that had a product more like giant sunglasses than a visor. This company was called Raygear and the product is Xshield which comes in full size, helmet size (it cuts off so you don’t bump your hat or helmet) and glasses size that’s just a bit larger than traditional sunglasses.

On the other side of the row I spotted the Lock8 which is a fancy bicycle lock designed to mount directly (and semi-permanently) to the frame and then work with a cable. If the cable is tampered with, an alarm goes off and if the bike is completely stolen you can recover it through the use of integrated GPS tracking. This is another company that started on Kickstarter, future models may actually have cables that retract into the bike frame but the one I saw had a removable cable and retails for ~$250.

Back at the main showfloor I stumbled across the Daymak booth (a more traditional company that has been using Kickstarter in recent years to explore solar powered ebikes). These guys have a large scooter called the Beast and an all in one wheel which both use solar energy for charging. The all in one wheel actually uses solar panels on the controller and and uses a wireless communicator so it’s very easy to install. I was told this will launch on Kickstarter for ~$699.
Towards the end of the day I met with Don DiCostanzo from Pedego and was allowed to go up onto their booth to shoot the entire showfloor. Interbike 2014 had more electric bikes that I have seen at the two prior shows I attended. Aside from the lack of sleep and last minute travel from my Sister’s wedding it was a lot of fun and I’ll be posting bike reviews here in the following weeks and months.

Award Ceremony Video :: 2014 Interbike E-Bike of the Year Award


On Thursday Interbike held an award ceremony banquet where Gary Fisher announced the Electric Bike of the Year. Above is a short video I shot with the award winner coming up on stage and then a few clips of the winning model. This was the first annual E-Bike of the Year Award to be given out at Interbike in the USA and it was exciting to see a recognized figure such as Gary Fisher voicing support for the industry.
 
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Court

Administrator
Staff member
Following are some of the original comments that were made on that post:

ARNOLD MARSUPIAL
Any info/reviews of Shimano STEPs bikes?

COURT
Hi Arnold, great question! I missed the Raleigh ebikes at Interbike that had the STEPS system installed but plan to check it out later this year during a visit to Currie in LA. Here’s a video interview with Larry Pizzi that Pete Prebus shot. Hope that helps!

PAUL
I love your reviews….Anyone ever tell you you sound Cabin Boy?

COURT
That’s awesome… is this the Cabin Boy you’re talking about? He’s not very good at spotting ice bergs :p

FRANK M JAMES
Court, can you give me some advice in choosing a bike. This will be a car replacement, sole transportation. It seems that the conversion kits are too weak for serious hill climbing and the capable bikes are pricey. I recently read and saw your video on the Surface 604 (w/discount) and thought maybe. My price range is between 1 and 2 thousand. Thank you.

COURT
Hi Frank! Depending on your transport needs an ebike could be a great option for car replacement – especially if you have friends or public transport to cover longer trips and transporting large items… You can always rent cars pretty affordably as well. Anyway, I’d love to help guide you but might be able to help more with a bit of background. How tall and heavy are you, how far do you intend to ride and what is the terrain like, what style of riding would you prefer (forward or more upright, high step large frame or something that’s easier to mount like low-step but not as stiff).

FRANK M JAMES
Court, thanks for your response and need to say you do an incredible service to the electric bike industry, extremely helpful. I am 63 yrs, 5’7″ and 155 lbs., and my knees are feeling tired from yrs. of construction and hiking. Cookeville TN is not a bike friendly town (no bike paths or safe shoulders) and very hilly. I ride lots on the sidewalks which are pretty rough my commute to work or groceries is about 2 miles each way. Thanks and much appreciated. I forgot to include: high step frame, forward. I presently ride a Haro Urban MTB Objekt single speed. Thanks.

COURT
Hi Frank, thanks for sharing your details! Given your details here I think the Surface 604 ebike actually could be a decent option (especially with the sale through EOY). It will easily get you 5 miles round trip, has a rack pre-installed for hauling groceries and is designed with that forward feel you talked about but will ride smoother on the bumpy sidewalks or streets thanks to the large spongy tires. It fits your budget and will do well off-road or in the snow and sand if/when you ever encounter those kinds of ride conditions. The big downsides to this model are the size (harder to transport with your car) and the higher cost of replacing tubes if/when you get a flat. There are lots of models that could work for you at this price range and given your relatively short distance needs. Basically anything on this list of affordable ebikes. One model I really like is the iGo Metro but it isn’t available at many shops here in the US and is more upright than you might want. Note that it has a suspension fork which will smooth out the ride along with padded grips and larger balloon tires. I would advise against most of the ProdecoTech bikes (although they also have suspension and are affordable) because the rear rack is not usable with bags and panniers. Voltonmakes some excellent ebikes but they are going to be a bit high in terms of cost for what you expressed. I hope this helps you out! Let me know what you end up going with, I’d love to hear how it works out and you can always get a second opinion in the electric bike forums here.

MARK
At one point in one of your videos, you were talking about which size motor/battery people who weigh over 200Lbs should buy. Can you please advise me on which size motor/battery i should buy to carry me (210Lbs) plus my camera gear (25Lbs) up a long steep hill?
thanks!

COURT
Hi Mark! I think I was recommending to go from a 36 volt system to 48 volts with a 500+ watt motor if you are transporting over 180 lbs. These videos are a bit old and newer strong (and more efficient) systems are being produced all the time. There are so many variable to consider abut I actually like the Pedego ebikes because they come in several sizes and styles and most now offer 48 volt batteries and 500 watt motors. These bikes are heavier but have large soft tires, comfortable saddles, grips and puffy grips and people seem to like them. They also have pedal assist as well as throttle. You might have to go into a hill pedaling and help along the way but these could be a good option to consider. I personally like mid-drive electric bikes for climbing because they let you shift to a lower gear and this makes it easier for the motor and you vs. a hub. You could check out Kalkhoff or Haibike for quality mid-drive ebikes.