Interbike 2016 Videos and Updates


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Hi guys! I'm moving some content off of the main site and into the most relevant categories of the forum. This post was originally made on October 8th 2016:


2016 was the fourth year I got to attend Interbike but this is only the third guide posted about it… and that’s because I got really sick in 2015 after eating a taco (served by a sick person) just before the week began last time! For those who don’t know, Interbike is a week long trade show and industry event where manufacturers from all over the United States (and some from other parts of the world like Europe and Asia) travel to Las Vegas and showcase their latest and greatest upcoming bicycles, accessories and some tangential exercise equipment. It’s a chance for IBD’s (Independent Bicycle Dealers) and IEBD’s (Independent ELECTRIC Bicycle Dealers) to choose what they’ll carry in the coming year and negotiate deals. Thankfully, it’s also a space where individuals who work in the media, like myself, can take pictures and make videos about those same new products. There’s even a special media event that happens just before the show where we get a sneak peek at what’s coming out. For me, Interbike is a special time where all the people I’ve met traveling and doing reviews gather in one place to connect. It’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s also a lot of work because Las Vegas can be loud, dry and hot!

This year I did not film updates at Outdoor Demo Day but was able to shoot several reviews. Some of the major brands who used to attend, like Trek and Specialized, were not present and as a result I think Haibike got a lot of extra attention. The event lasts two days and is held at Bootleg Canyon which has some awesome mountain bike trails and a paved path for people to test bikes on. There are actually big trucks that carry riders back into the canyon so they can coast down and try several bikes without getting exhausted climbing… Which I think is cheating! Oh, the irony ;) There are usually some great food trucks, the nauseating smell of gasoline and the jarring sound of generators keeping everyone’s booth up and running. I hope in the future we see more solar electric generators that run quieter and smell better. Highlights this year for me at ODD were the Surface 604 bikes, some new models from Eprodigy and a custom built full suspension fat bike from Nomad Cycles using the EcoSpeed motor. One of the ebikes I got to review as the show was starting up was the SmartMotion Pacer shown below.

In the past, I’ve created compilations from Interbike where I just walked around and combined lots of little bits into a “day of” video. This year, I filmed individual videos with vendors that I felt either had a cool product or were friends that I’d worked with in the past. I wish I had been able to see everyone but time was limited so we simply did the best we could. My girlfriend Monica came along and can be seen and heard adding perspective along the way. All of these videos (and prior-year footage) can be watched in a new playlist I created on YouTube called Videos From Interbike. The embedded video below is from Riese & Müller, makers of some of the most polished and unique bikes I saw at the show. They’re a German company with over 23 years experience working on bicycles, focusing in on electrics for the past 8 years and becoming exclusive in 2012. I expect to see some of their bikes at premium dealers in the US this year such as The New Wheel in San Francisco and Propel Bikes in New York.

Some of the other brands you’ll find videos for in the playlist (and linked directly below) include Haibike, Big Cat, Bosch, Tempo, Vintage Electric, BESV, SmartMotion, Tern, Raleigh, IZIP, COBI Connected Bike Interface, Biomega, Volton, Skyway, OHM and BionX, Enzo Ebike, Magnum, Ariel Rider, Scott, Yamaha and Easy Motion as well as some informal conversationwith a dealer friend who runs Cynergy E-Bikes and Jason Kraft who created the Liberty Trike. Once the trip was finished, Mony and I hit the road traveling through Utah and Colorado where we made a fun Vlog (video blog) showing our time exploring the wilderness, meeting new friends at AirBB locations and demoing a couple of Yunbikes with a full time RVer we met randomly at… you guessed it! a taco shack, where I did NOT get sick :D That video is posted below in case you’d like to join in on our little adventure.

Until next year, we’ll be on the road, filming electric bike reviews and producing interesting short videos of people, events and places that pique our interest. If you live somewhere cool and want to host us or just say hi feel free to comment below. We tend to drive for a day or two then settle for several days to meet with companies and film. If you have suggestions for what to film at future Interbike events or later this year or just questions about what we saw in 2016 feel free to shout out below :)
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Following are some of the original comments that were made on that post:

Court, thanks to your great video coverage of Interbike 2016, I was able to spot the 2017 Enzo folding e-bike with the mid-mount 350 Watt Bafang motor. I bought the white one sitting on the Podium, which I heard you charmed by actually test driving it on-site! So I’m the first person in the US to own that model. I’m very happy with the balance, ease of transport and the quiet motor. I will come back to you with a fuller report after I get used to the trigger shifter and get a few tweaks done at the shop. Lisa Schulz

Excellent! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the bike Lisa, so glad you’ve enjoyed the video footage and this little guide from Interbike. I was impressed with the new mid-drive on the Enzo so it will be cool to hear your thoughts and hopefully get to test ride it myself later this year :D

I’ve put 60 miles on the 2017 Enzo folding bike. I have to say… I miss not having a throttle. I can only go 8.5 mph on a 12 degree slope with optimal tire pressure, in top assist level 5, and I’m pedaling like mad. I encounter hills like that in the neighborhood and on stretches of the Katy Trail, and leading up to overpasses. To be fair, it may not match the potential speed of a standard bike with 28″ wheels and 21 speeds, but it beats a bike like that on hills. Even 8.5 mph is better than 5mph, which is all my husband could do on a bike like that in granny gear with full muscle power. I do appreciate the 20″ wheels though. The compact folding size is easy for me to lift into my car, and it makes for a better ride than 16″ wheels. I’m looking to swap out for metal pedals, (to prevent slippage) and am very tempted by the large platform MTB pedals I see, but am not sure those would be compatible with a folding bike… advice?

Hey Lisa, thanks for sharing your experience with the Enzo bike! I agree that larger pedals are a great upgrade to consider. Yes, they probably will work fine with the folding bike (in terms of threading them on) note that you twist both towards the back of the bike to loosen… this is how pedals are designed so you don’t unscrew them as you pedal! MKS does make a metal folding platform pedal that looks pretty good but I haven’t tried them in person, this would stay compact while improving stiffness and perhaps grip over the ones you currently have? I really like the larger metal BMX pedals from Wellgo like this but one downside is that if you turn sharp and lean and have the inside pedal down it can drag on the ground and sort of jolt your bike. The ones linked there have adjustable pins that are awesome but can really chew up your shin if you slip… this model has non-adjustable less sharp pins that still work alright and cost a bit less.

1 year ago
Hey, Court- sorry that this is something of a derail. I’m getting pretty close to deciding on a Specialized Turbo (base). I stopped in to a dealer yesterday to ask a few questions about it (could I buy one there and swap out the base battery for the more expensive Bluetooth- enabled one? Etc) but was surprised to find the salesperson somewhat unimpressed with the Turbo (range, and other concerns). Instead, he pushed me fairly hard towards the Giant Quick-E, which on paper (despite its unfortunate name) looks to be a reasonable alternative. He felt the quickie had a more authentic bike feel, was lighter, etc. unfortunately, I can’t find reviews of this bike or, really, even mention of it outside Giant’s website. Any comment on why this bike is so invisible? Any plans to ride one soon? THANKS

Hi Carter! Interesting… I have not tested or even seen a Giant Quick-E in person. Just conducted an image search and it looks fancy but I couldn’t tell which drive system they’re using? I like the Specialized Turbo models for their style, availability and good warranty. If you’re getting the street version of their bike I think you should get a discounted price since we’re heading into winter and they are changing models for 2017. Good job asking about the Bluetooth battery etc. not sure why they were resistant? Could be inventory or just not wanting to screw around or maybe they get a better margin? I’m not sure on the details but both Giant and Specialized are well known companies. Feel free to post around in the EBR Forums, sorry I can’t be more specific. Try test riding both if you can :)

Thanks, Court. Yeah, the surprising thing about the salesperson’s preference for the Giant was that he felt it did a better job of feeling ‘like a real bike’, with the motor kicking in more seamlessly, whereas he thought with the Turbo a rider would notice the motor turning on. That’s interesting because in your review- and others I’ve seen- that was an aspect of the Turbo that people thought Specialized had done an especially good job at! He also pointed out that the mid drive motor allowed Giant to use two chain rings in front, which would allow for lower gearing and easier hill climbing. I did wonder if the Turbo’s 10 speeds would feel sufficient in hilly Seattle. Thoughts?

Hey Carter! I’m curious what motor the Giant uses? Usually mid-drive motors don’t have multiple front chainrings (unless it’s Brose or Yamaha). Indeed the Turbo has a limited range of gears but the range is still pretty good. I rarely if ever shift my front chainring unless I’m mountain biking and doing a long very steep trail. For city use, I bet either bike would do the job and yeah, the Turbo feels very smooth and responsive with its torque sensing assist. For me personally, sometimes it comes down to style and price. The Giant looks awesome and seems to have a lot of features but I don’t always need or want extra features… The Turbo Levo is a great example of less is more where there isn’t a display at all and it’s super simple to turn on/off. But that’s a mountain bike. I have heard about some issues with the joystick controller thing on some of the older Turbo street models but otherwise people seem pretty happy. Have you explored the Specialized forums much for feedback from others?

Hey Court, If you’re ever in Hawaii (Kona), come check us out at Big Island Electric Bike Co. Mai Tais on me :) Aloha

Now that sounds awesome Jason!! I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii, I love surfing and swimming in the ocean (was a dream of mine as a younger guy). This is how I get around now, affords me the opportunity to visit the beach from time to time ;)