If you’ve not heard of Interbike not to worry, most people that are not directly involved in the bike industry have no idea about the largest annual gathering of the bike industry in North America. Over 750 companies representing more than 1,200 brands gather in Las Vegas annually for an opportunity to connect. Among the exhibitors are the likes of Five Ten, Kenda, Santa Cruz, Giant, Rocky Mountain, SRAM, Shimano and many more. It’s a great event for retailers and media that want to test new products, chat with the manufacturers and connect with industry colleagues and friends.
The first two days of Interbike, referred to as the OutDoor Demo, are held at Bootleg Canyon. Bootleg is a great riding destination located near Boulder City, offering road, downhill, all-mountain, and cross country options for testing new and existing road and mountain bikes. The remaining three days are held indoors at the Sands Convention centre, downtown Las Vegas. bikepirate was on hand once again this year to connect with our sponsor Kenda, chat with our friends at Five Ten and to test and explore new products for 2013.
Day one began with the huge OutDoor Demo held at Bootleg Canyon. It’s like entering an amusement park, but instead of roller coasters the area is filled with bicycles of all sorts from most of the major bike brands, allowing the retailer and media to test current and new 2013 models on the fun singletrack trails of Bootleg Canyon. Surly, Giant, Specialized, Pivot and more are here for us to test. In most cases the designers are on hand to answer questions about their models and provide all in attendance the chance to take their brands out for a spin on the surrounding fun and twisting desert singletrack trails. And for those testing out the new downhill rigs, there are several shuttles capable of holding 40 plus bikes offering a free ride up to the trailhead. Awesome!
We started our day out on the Giant Reign X and the Giant Trance XW, followed by the Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon. Here’s what we thought about the bikes tested.
Giant Reign 0: I found the bike to be reasonably responsive, but being an aluminum frame it did have a bit of flex to it when climbing and cornering. The bike is light and nimble, easy to throw around and pedals up reasonably well. The standard package comes with the Fox 32 fork, which I’m noticing is becoming the norm for all-mountain rigs. My personal thought on this is why not go with a Fox 34 if you’re riding an all mountain rig? I’m not fussed with weight, a Fox 34 is not much heavier than a 32, and would rather have a bike that I felt could handle all that is thrown in its path. The one nice addition to the Giant Reign 0 and X is that both models now come with an MRP 2X chain guide, fixing some of the chain retention issues of old.
Type: All Mountain
Suggested Retail: $3,999 (CDN)
Giant Trance XW: One of the many bikes from Giant’s female specific line – “Liv/Giant.” A lightweight all mountain bike that climbs well and is pretty responsive on the descent. The lightweight and female specific geometry (reduced stand over and reach) made the bike feel super comfortable to ride, which is hard for my 5’2″ frame. I did feel that the overall maneuverability of the bike was a bit average; it did not make me ooze with confidence. However, with a price tag of around $3000, this would be a great option for someone who is has been riding for a season or two and looking to step up their riding on some technically challenging trails with small Technical Trail Features. The hot pink and black colour combo, make this one beauty of a bike.
Type: All Mountain (female specific)
Suggested Retail: $3,000 (CDN)
Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon: What is there not to love! Lightweight, fast, and responsive. The bike handles great, climbs extremely well and descends like a dream. Introduced last year, it’s quickly becoming one of the favourites all mountain rides out there. Again, a Fox 32, but I’m sure you can always upgrade for those that would rather be on something with a little bit more travel. How about the Fox 34, not much heavier, but offering 6 inches of travel. For those that are in the market for an all-round, all mountain ride, and do anything bike, ladies and gents, this ride is seriously worth checking out.
Type: All Mountain
Suggested Retail: $5,700 (CDN)
Manufacturer: Pivot Cycles
Day two brought us back to Bootleg Canyon and the OutDoor Demo as we continued testing a few more bikes; it was a bit of slim pickings as day two of the OutDoor Demo is typically a zoo. As the afternoon wore on, we had the chance to demo the Wilson from Devinci and Glory from Giant. Here are our thoughts:
Devinci Wilson: Devinci has been getting a lot of positive press lately thanks to Steve Smith’s many wins during Crankworx and on the World Cup scene; two of which have been on the new 2013 Wilson Carbon bike. We were hoping to get on the new 2013 Wilson Carbon bike, but were unable to due to the huge line-up. However, we were happy to take out the 2013 Wilson in a medium and small.
The Wilson received carbon seat stays last year, shedding some weight and stiffening the rear end. We found the bike very plush with just over 8″ of travel and ready to take on anything the trail threw our way. I found the bike easy to handle and especially loved how well it cornered; due to its low and balanced frame set. The large travel ate up everything and anything in its way, and made the bike quite forgiving. We both loved it and would love to get our hands on the Carbon version for review; next time.
Suggested Retail: $3,800 (CDN)
Giant Glory: I found the Glory to be a fun ride for the everyday resort rider, but serious enough for the avid downhill racer; it’s what Danny Hart rides after all. The new 2013 Glory features a few improvements based on rider input, including Danny Hart’s feedback. The plush, always-active Maestro Suspension eats up rocks and ruts, while drops onto rough landings were supper smooth. I found the bike to handle extremely well. While the overall weight of the bike has come down, making it easier to throw around.
Suggested Retail: $6,200 (CDN)
Two days of riding in the desert with 35 degree Celsius temperatures, testing a variety of bikes, was a blast, but also took a toll and wore us out. We may have not ridden as many bikes as we were hoping, but had a great time on the bikes we did.