by Ramon Colon, PCI #825
Metropolitan (DC) Police Department (retired)
On September 16-18, 2015, the Interbike Expo was held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thousands of vendors, representing bicycle frame builders, nutritional products, clothing companies and distributors of bicycle equipment and parts makers from all over the world were present. I was honored to have the opportunity to represent IPMBA at the “show of the year”.
From the frame building industry, Specialized displayed their new line of mountain bikes and road bicycles, including their new Venge. They put a lot of work in refining the Venge for 2016, and claim it is more aero, lighter, and faster than the predecessor model.
In addition to featuring their 2016 line, Pinarello also displayed the bicycle used by Bradley Wiggins while smashing the hour record. The bike has the thinnest frame I have ever seen. If you look at it from the rear, you won’t see more than three inches in width from the skewer left edge to the right edge and maybe an inch from the seat tube to the saddle. We are talking about a real blade.
In my visit to the Korean bicycles section, I saw a unique bicycle made by Bygen. This bike is designed for commuters. The handle bar folds in half for better storage, and it does not have a crank or chain. There is an arm on both sides that is directly connected to the rear hub. The hub is an integrated Shimano four speed gear system. It looks more like a mountain bike, but with thinner tires and 24” size wheels.
During my walk, I saw famous bicycle and components builders like Valentino Campanolo and Tulio Sarto as well as reps from Pinarello, Cannondale, Basso, Bianchi, Argon 18, Specialized, Boteccia, Trek, Cipollini, and DeRosa, just to mention a few.
In my journey through hundreds of vendors, I was able to distinguish some companies that make products that can be very practical for our daily jobs. Sealskinz makes gloves and socks that are 100% water proof. Fabric makes a water bottle with an indented cavity to hang in the down tube and seat tube by just placing a plastic screw rather than a bottle cage. Interlock Co., makes a seat post with wires and a lock stored inside the seat post. Just pull out the lock and cable and then shove the cable back inside the post once you are done using it. Very practical. Thule Company is debuting an extensive line of backpacks and panniers for the cyclist and the bicycle. Some are 100% waterproof, retro-reflective to the light, and available in bright colors.
Bell Helmets is expanding their helmet line and offering the MIPS protection system in some of the new helmets. They are also are using the ICE Dot lifesaving gadget attached to the helmet that connects directly with your telephone and calls emergency services if you crash and are unable to call for help. Emergency services are also able to locate the person by tracking the telephone location. Other helmet companies, including Kask, Specialized, Giro, Lazer, and POC are also using the ICE Dot system. A couple of helmets that captured my attention were the Bell Super 2 and the Bern helmets. They look very strong and practical.
Gator Garage/Storage Elevator is a company that makes bicycles storage lifters to open more space in a garage or at a storage facility at a police, EMS, or fire station. They are very practical, save space, and can lift from 170 to 270 pounds of bikes and equipment, depending on which model you buy.
All the above mentioned companies and companies like Qore Performance, Gita Sporting Goods, Osmo hydration, Bonk Breaker nutrition, Blue Sport anti-chafe cream, RST GreenEnergy Suspensions, Albabici, 4id safety lights, Triatir USA, Recon Instruments, Boom! nutrition, FZ Imports, Bell Helmets and Thule Co. expressed an interest in our Product Purchase Program and may soon offer very attractive discounts to our membership. Since the show, Albabici and Storage Elevator have already joined the program.
Ramon recently retired from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington DC. He was certified as an IPMBA Police Cyclist in 2002 and as an IPMBA Instructor in 2005. He has also completed the IPMBA Maintenance Officer Certification Course and other advanced training. He is an avid road cyclist and was a multiple medalist in the 2015 World Police and Fire Games. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) 2016 IPMBA. This article appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of IPMBA News.