Interbike 2014:  No Disappointment!

by James Englert, PCI #1081, Arapahoe (CO) County Sheriffs Office, IPMBA Industry Liaison

The 2014 Interbike was no disappointment.  This year I attended the country’s largest bicycle industry trade show with IPMBA VP Bob Hatcher.  I have attended Interbike in the past, so I had some idea of what to expect, but this was Bob’s first time.  I think he was overwhelmed.

It pays to plan for Interbike, so, prior to going, we reviewed the list of our Product Purchase Program participants and other supporters to see who was going to be there as we wanted to thank them for supporting IPMBA.

Just to mention a few, we talked to Corporate Member Cygolite, WTB, Swagman, Lift and Storage Systems Inc, SockGuy, Zoic Clothing, Cateye Bicycle Electronics, Tifosi Optics, Five Ten shoes, ProGold Lubricants, Kenda USA, Duro Tire, and Detours. Most of these vendors participate in our Product Purchase Program, offering terrific discounts, often as much as wholesale prices.

A few new products really grabbed our attention.  WTB’s Speed Saddle (left), designed for recreational mountain biking, and the Silverado, more for road, retail at $89.95, but WTB currently gives IPMBA members 15% off wholesale. 

Serfas has created a headlight for law enforcement use:  the TSL-Police Head/Tail light.  The white light shines at 1100 lumens, and there are some other nice features.  They let us demo the light, and one of the Industry Relations Committee members tested it.  Review soon to follow.  The MSRP is $440. 

Serfas also showed me their Trax Shoe (MSRP $90), an SPD-compatible shoe with lace-up and Velcro strap closures.  They also showed me their wide variety of grips, ranging from standard grips to ones with ergonomic designs for added comfort.  Most of the grips are priced from $15 to $25.  I have ordered products from them in the past they are very easy to work with, but they do not yet participate in the PPP.

All the vendors we spoke with are supportive of public safety cycling.  It’s great to work with a vendor who really supports us by making products for public safety cycling use and makes changes to the product based on suggestions from our members.

One of those companies is Cygolite (right), one of IPMBA’s Corporate Members.  They developed the Cygolite P2-800 Police light, which they debuted at the 2014 IPMBA Conference in Tampa.  Students taking night operations were able to demo the lights during the classes and workshops.  All the comments I heard about the lights were positive.  I liked how it was easy to put on and take off, simple to use, and very bright.

During the conference, it was suggested that Cygolite add a rear light that would be controlled by the buttons on the top of the main light on the front handlebars.  Well, it was no surprise that by the time we saw them at Interbike, they were already working on a rear light based on our suggestions (see picture). Thank you, Cygolite!

In addition to thanking current vendors for supporting us and looking for new products that we can suggest to members,  I try to get a feel for the new trends in cycling.

Last year, fat bikes were “all the rage”; this year, E-bikes seemed to be the big deal.  I realize these aren’t new, but it seems the technology is really improving.  One of the E-bikes I checked out was Bosch eBike Systems (above).  The motor is down near the cranks.  Their performance line generates “sportive support that dominates every terrain and every gear”.   I have to be honest, I don’t know a lot about how these systems work, but based on their growing popularity, I may have to learn.  I think the majority assist the cyclist to make cycling easier for longer distances and up hills.

Another E-bike was the BionX hub motor kit (below). With this system, you can add it to your current bike by changing the rear wheel.  BionX attended the IPMBA Conference in 2010 and it would be great to welcome them back. 

At first I wasn’t a big fan of E-bikes, but the more the technology improves in terms of weight, durability, and longevity, I can definitely see a use for some people for personal and public safety cycling use. 

On a side note…at the end of each year, I contact the PPP participants to verify the accuracy of their listings and make sure they want to continue to participate.    I also ask how many people have contacted them from IPMBA.  Some of the more well-known vendors hear from IPMBA members regularly, but many report only a few sales to customers identifying themselves as being IPMBA members.     It is disappointing to hear this from companies which give us a great deal on their products because they support what we do. 

So please…support those who support IPMBA.  Shop the PPP often, and when you do, always be sure to say you’re with IPMBA!

James is a school resource officer in Centennial, Colorado.  He was certified as an IPMBA Instructor in 2008 and currently serves as the Industry Liaison on the IPMBA Board.  He can be reached at jenglert9926@gmail.com.

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