MTB Products on the Fringe: Shocking Interbike Finds

This has to be my favorite post from Interbike each year because I get to highlight some of the strangest, most interesting products seen at the show. To be honest we didn’t have much time to just look around this year but we still managed to find a few oddities to share.

Louis Garneau Ice-Fil Technology

Here’s how the company describes the Ice-Fil technology featured in their latest insoles and cycling gloves:

The insoles have Ice-Fil’s moisture control technology. The fibers react to perspiration and convert sweat to a refrigerant to keep your feet cool and dry.

If you’re like me, the word “refrigerant” is a little unexpected in this context so I had to dig deeper. It turns out the fibers are from xylitol, a natural sweetener known for its “pleasant cooling effect”–in your mouth (think toothpaste and sugar-free gum). The idea is the xylitol mixes with your sweat and produces an alcohol which feels cool as it evaporates off your skin.

No word on whether the xylitol gets used up over time but Louis Garneau isn’t the first to experiment with xylitol; it’s been tested in other athletic products like arm warmers coolers as well. Now your feet will stay cool while smelling minty fresh!

Long Travel Fat Bike

Fat bikes seemed to be everywhere at Interbike this year but what caught our eye was a long travel fat bike on display at the Phil Wood booth. Apparently the company needed a way to pound their fat bike hubs so they built up an aggressive test rig to put the hubs through their paces. It’s hard to imagine this thing bombing down the slopes but it certainly is a good looking bike. And we suppose this is as good a way as any to test those hubs!

Anti-Lock Bike Brakes

I’ve always been curious whether anti-lock brakes could work for mountain bikes; after all, a locked-up wheel reduces control and damages the trail. So I was super excited to see SABS at Interbike with their anti-lock bike brake pads.

As you can see in the photo above, these replacement pads are designed for V-brake systems and feature a battery-looking cartridge that vibrates the pads as the rider applies braking pressure. I’m guessing there’s some sort of weighted spring inside but I don’t know for sure.

Will we see this popping up on mountain bikes anytime soon? Absolutely not, but I love seeing people trying to come up with innovative products. Now if this worked effectively AND it could be applied to disc brakes we might have something…

Car-like Helmet Grilles

Syd pointed out the grilles on some of the new THE full face helmets look sorta like retro, art deco car grilles which seems like an odd inspiration for bike gear. It sounds like one of the designers is a bit of a car buff so perhaps that’s actually where the idea came from… Love it or hate it, this is certainly a unique design.

Free (Permanent) Tattoos!

Swiftwick was giving out free logo tattoos at Interbike and the booth was literally buzzing with excitement! Yes, tatts are expensive but who would’ve thought people would line up for a free tattoo just because it’s free? I suppose there are a few diehard Swiftwick fans out there but this seems a little extreme.

If you were at Interbike this year, what other weird stuff did you see?