IPMBA's intrepid industry liaison reports back from the industry's largest show
by Monte May, PCI #262T/EMSCI #009T
IPMBA Industry Liaison
Kansas City PD (MO)
The 2003 Interbike trade show in Las Vegas revealed some new "toys" for public safety cyclists as well as some improved ones. Here are some of the items that are likely to have an impact on public safety cycling in the coming year.
Giant Public Safety Bike
After several years of research and development, Giant has introduced a public safety special edition bike that has a lot of promise. The bike is based on their popular Giant Rainier Mountain bike frame and includes a pretty good parts spec. The only complaint I can anticipate with the bike is the lower-end front suspension fork. Overall, though, it is not a bad value. Keep watch in IPMBA News for a full product review in upcoming months.
Marwi Public Safety Headlight Set
Marwi has introduced a public safety headlight system that has merit. Their latest foray into the Public Safety Market is a three light system: one red, one blue, and one white. The white light acts as a traditional headlight while the red and blue lights oscillate in a flash pattern. Look for more on this item in a future review also. Marwi is a long-time participant in IPMBA's Product Purchase Program, contact Jennifer at 642-401-1335 or email@example.com.
Sram X-Series Impulse Shifters and Derailleurs
Sram has introduced their new impulse shifters. These shifters are similar to Shimano's rapid fire shifters, except they use an upward motion of the thumb instead of a backward one to shift to a smaller chain-ring or cog. The XO derailleur is very large and similar to the older 9.0 and 7.0 models. It doesn't include a rear barrel adjuster; however, it does provide cable routing that really forces the cable to stay straight, creating the environment for more dependable shifting. Both the shifters and derailleurs are based on Sram's one-to-one ratio. Also, I was told that the shifters will be available in the Rocket series, which is compatible with Shimano derailleurs. Look for more on these items in future issues.
Bontrager Hardcase Punture-Resistant Tires
This product looks very promising. The tires are designed with triple puncture protection. This includes protection from pinch flats, cuts in the casing, and punctures. The tires feature a full strip of kevlar belting on the contact area; other brands use particles and pieces of kevlar in the belting. While the tire is slightly heavier than some competing items, its puncture-resistance will more than make up for the added weight. Look for these at your local bike shop soon for about $40.
Niterider "Commuter" Lights
Niterider is marketing their new "commuter series" of lights. This lower-priced product line includes several AAA battery-operated headlights and tailights. They also introduced a new, more versatile headlight mount to be used with their traditional systems. This product I like.
Gravity Dropper Seat Posts
This company makes a seatpost that a simple flip of a switch on the handlebar adjusts the seatpost height either shorter for aggressive terrain or higher for a more smooth spin. We're currently testing this product and will get a review of it out in an upcoming issue.
Monte May is a police officer with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. He has been part of their bicycle operations for seven years. Monte is currently serving as the Industry Liaison for IPMBA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2004 IPMBA. This review first appeared in the Winter 2004 issue of IPMBA News.