IPMBA Product Review

Interbike 2004:  Candy from Interbike:  It was a Good Year

by John Medford
IPMBA Industry Relations Committee
Denver PD (CO)

It was a fun year at Interbike.  Most of the companies I contacted reported that the past year had been good.  Product development and streamlining seem to be a common thread.  Chopper cruisers were popular this year – they were everywhere, and a few had potential for duty bikes. 

All joking aside, there were a few products that caught my eye.  I have not had the chance to test these in the real world because  of availability issues, but I have been promised test units when they arrive.

One item that had me excited – not for work but for Fruita or Moab – was the PolarPak Hydration system.  See page 5 for a full article about the Pak.  The PolarPak caught my eye because it tries to meet my desire to carry cool water for extended periods.  The backbone of the system is in the design of the bladder, which contains the same blue gel that you see in flexible ice packs.  You freeze the pack between shifts, and the water stays nice and cold for a good part of the day.  In addition, the carrier can be customized for a small fee.  Now, on to business.

Lake MX 255 LE
In the Lake booth, I was very happy to see that a much-needed, updated patrol shoe is being added to the product line.  The MX 255 LE, which is not yet available, is the same as the MX 255 with one exception – the yellow writing does not appear on the LE model.   My favorite update is the Vibram Trail V outsole.  The sole still is SPD-compatible, but now there is a tread pattern like that on hiking or combat boots.  The cleat is recessed a little deeper into the tread, which allows for tactical approaches on foot.  The toe is now protected with a Helcor abrasion resistant toecap – but rest assured – it can take on a semi-shined appearance.  The MX 255 is also available in women’s sizes and fit.  Visit www.lakecycling.com for more information.

Reflectek Helmet by Kuji
Later on I discovered an interesting concept in reflective safety gear.  Kuji Sports was displaying a new helmet design featuring a reflective shell.  White will be the first on the market and from what I saw at the show it virtually glows.  The Reflectek helmet line will eventually contain dark colors, including black and navy, which were not as reflective by nature of their color, but the safety enhancement was excellent.  I should have a couple to test in a few weeks, so look for a future review.  A demonstration video can be viewed at www.kujisport.com.

There is always something new at Interbike, and each year I look forward to discovering new products and services, and sharing my findings with you.  Stay tuned for upcoming issues containing reviews of the above products and more! 

John is a police cyclist with the Denver Police Department.  He rides both road and mountain bikes recreationally and works part-time at Collins Bicycles in Denver, specializing in law enforcement sales and general repair work.  John can be reached at collinsbicycles@aol.com.

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