SRAMs booth always stands out from the crowd at Interbike. It may be the giant red banner hanging over the booth, or the pristine white carpet that they roll out for attendees. Then again, maybe it’s because SRAM also owns Zipp and Quarq, and between these three companies, you have some of the most coveted cycling gear at Interbike.
SRAM Red eTAP
This year the booth was dominated by Red eTAP. And while we got our first chance to play with eTAP at the Day 2 Media event, that didn’t stop us from checking out the displays SRAM set up in their booth.
To demonstrate both the robustness of their eTAP components and the strength of the wireless transmission, SRAM dropped a front and rear derailleur inside a fish tank and set up a pair of road bars for the crowds to play with. This resulted in two very wet (and operational) derailleurs, as well as a thoroughly fascinated group of onlookers.
SRAM Force 1
Force 1 utilizes SRAMs X1 technology to bring single-ring riding to triathlon. SRAM had a Scott Plasma built up with its Force 1 group set (along with a full set of Zipp wheels).
And one of the details you can’t help but notice is the fact that there is only a single shifter on the extensions.
Zipp Vuka Aero
Zipp had a number of displays set up on the SRAM floor. First up was their aerobar display, specifically the new Vuka Aero. We originally covered the Vuka Aero in June, and this was our first time seeing the bars in person.
The Vuka Aero is based on the shape of the SL-70 aero road bar, resulting in an aero bar that’s stiff and streamlined, while maintaining the UCI’s 3:1 aspect ratio requirement for time trial. To work with standard stems, a removable center cap is placed in front of the bar clamp that both integrates seamlessly with the shape of the bar and adds 5% stiffness.
One of the big pre-Interbike announcements was an update to the hubsets on the Zipp Firecrest line coupled with a price drop (yes, we did say “drop”).
The new hubsets, named 77/177 (77 for the front and 177 for the rear), were designed to improve stiffness, durability, simplicity, and versatility. Based on customer feedback, Zipp has removed the bearing preload adjustment, and gone with a factory-set bearing preload.
Additional changes include optimized flange geometry and spoke hole attachment pattern with Sapim® CX Sprint spokes to optimize torsional and lateral stiffness and robustness. Zipp also added newly designed quick-release skewers with a wider more ergonomic handle to provide more leverage for opening and closing. For those looking for a wider gear range, or tackling especially extreme terrain, an XD driver body for 177 is sold separately and easily installed to allow for more cassette options including a 10-42. The hubset is designed to swap driver bodies without re-dishing the wheel. Interestingly, the hubs had been originally designed for disc brake applications, and then moved to rim brake wheels.
For those who have avoided Zipp wheels in the past due to pricing, the entire Firecrest line has dropped a few hundred dollars in price. A 404 wheel set will now set you back $2100 – $950 for the front and $1,150 for the rear. If you are looking to go deeper, the 808 wheel set is $2,400 – $1,100 and $1,300, respectively.
Quarq Race Intelligence Qollector
Quarq Race Intelligence is an integrated hardware and software system that captures and interprets race performance and delivers that data in real time to spectators, commentators, race officials, and third-party analysis software. The system isn’t meant for individual ownership, instead it is meant for races to provide a new level of insight to spectators to see where their favorite competitors stand.
The Qollector is built around an onboard GPS sensor and barometric altimeter coupled with the ability to read from ANT+ sensors. It then outputs that data via a cellular communicator to provide real-time race details. Data is sampled four times a second and transmitted at 1-minute intervals.
Battery life is a claimed 24 hours, and the case itself is waterproof. Athletes can throw it in a pocket before the start of the swim and only need to remember to turn it in at the end of the race after the run. Dimensions for the transmitter are 99mm x 55mm x 22mm with a weight of 114 grams.
Mirinda Carfrae’s Felt IA
Rinny’s IA was one of the featured bikes in the SRAM booth. Featuring SRAM Red eTAP, Zipp wheels, and a Quarq power meter – this a bike that any triathlete would consider selling off an organ to own.
The Rest of the SRAM booth
The remainder of the booth was filled with all manner of items you will find in the coming year at your local bike shop, including chains, bags, and skewers.
They also had the full line of Quarq power meters available to check out, including the Riken and Red.