Interbike 2013: Digging Up Some Dirt...

We are on the verge of the opening of cyclocross (CX) season here in Southern California, so I imagine most people have been going out to one or another local weekly practice rides, and have already got their bikes dialed in. Certainly they know by now what they will be riding. Never-the-less, does anyone not like to ogle what they don't have, but might like. There were many CX bikes on display that would appear to be fantastic performers on both the race course or the local gravel road. The two that stuck out to my eyes this year were the Raleigh RXC Pro, and Norco Threshold,.

with American Classic wheels, disc brakes, enve fork, carbon frame, and electronic shifting is fully decked out with bells and whistles. this would be an incredibly fast and fun ride, hopping barriers at a single bound, skimming across deep grass, but man, I might be too hesitant to get that nice finish muddy.

You know, I almost feel guilty about doing a write-up about the mountain bikes this year. Why? Because there is a massive glaring absence. I walked through the Santa Cruz booth twice during the show; the first time, I looked around at everything. I rather quickly surmised that there was just so much I wanted to take a closer look at, and decided to make it my final stop on the way out. I did just that. Unfortunately by that point, as I mentioned before, the camera batteries were played out, and no amount of coaxing and threatening would change that. Therefore I am going to have to leave it to you to check out their bikes where ever you can find them. The entire Santa Cruz lineup, including the new spin-off, the women's specific Juliana (who were just across the aisle, and in the same no-photo boat) are ride and race worthy. That's not new information to anyone, though, is it?

Of the others, a few that I especially liked were the Look 927, which comes in two models, one carbon/aluminum, the other full carbon with total integration A-Stem. Either of these would be capable of taking you on some serious riding adventures. Curiously, Look decided to go with the rather odd (at least at this time) 27.5" wheel size, believing that it delivers the best qualities of the more typical 26" or 29" sizes, without their drawbacks.

Next up is the Pinarello Dogma XC, a hardtail bike with that very noticable ONDA XC Twin Arms Asymmetric design. Pinarello says that raising the rear triangle higher in relation to the main triangle, coupled with the bifurcated rear stays reduces shock from the rear of the bike, improving handling and stability. As someone who loves the climbing characteristics of a hardtail but not the bouncing during rocky descents, this is a bike I would have loved to try out during Outdoor Demo.

What story about the dirt would be complete without a look at touring bikes? Velo Orange has had a number of models capable of transitioning from dependable urban commuter to rugged outdoor adventurer, able to go off road when necessary. New this year is the Camargue; it fits right in with the Campeur and Polyvalent frames.

As with all these reviews from Interbike 2013, I have not received any prior compensation, nor promise of later compensation, from the above mentioned company, nor am I connected to them in any way. Views expressed are the result of my observations and subsequent research only.