Bike Show Report

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Anonymous's picture

"I'm an omniverous digester of the news and no fool when it comes to toothpaste and authority figures, so I knew to not fly to San Diego a few days ago with toothpaste.

Once there I walk up and down the cavernous toothpaste aisle of what used to be called a drug store. California drug (and grocery) stores define their art.

No small, travel sized tubes are to be found. So, there not being a smallest, I look for the cheapest. It's a SpongeBobSquarePants tube of Colgates. 4.3 oz. And therein is the problem. While in San Diego, the Great Toothpaste Threat diminished to the point we are now able to board with 3 oz.

And now I'm about to fly from San Diego to, ugh, Las Vegas, for the annual bicycle trade show. I'm pulled aside by my very own TSA agent and confronted with my having 1.3 oz. too much toothpaste.

I petition her: That's what the tube says, I say, but I've been using it for four days in the course of which, I'm thinking, I've used 1.3 oz. of toothpaste.

Nope. Not good enough. The container says 4.3.

""Do you have a scale?"" I ask.


""Can you just watch me squeeze out half the tube into that trash basket?""

TSA agent is non-plussed. I summon the TSA supervisor, confident he is a man of greater reason and reasonableness.


""It's a garbage bag. It's lined.""

""It's only for containers.""

I decide it's not worth it. I turn over ownership of my SpongeBobSquarePants Colgate toothpaste to the TSA supervisor. He proceeds to trash it in the very trash I wanted to trash half of it.

I proceed to the gate, find I have time, return to the scene of the trashing of the Great SpongeBobSquarePants Dump.

After World War II, when there was an acute shortage of gasoline, the Army Air Corps sold off its unneeded, unwanted planes. A man bought a number of them, emptied them of their fuel, and simply left them in place. Man was said to have made a fortune on the gas.

So I returned to retrieve my SpongBobSquarePants Colgate toothpaste. It was a walk of a very short distance and no more than two minutes later. There being no crowd behind me, and being an educated class of people who were behind me and who therefore knew to bring no over-sized containers of toothpaste in their carry-on bags, I volunteered to the supervisor to do the fishing. No, it was right on top and he fished it out, handed it to a non-supervisory TSA agent and had the agent walk me and the SpongeBobSquarePants Colgate toothpaste out the exit, beyond the check-in area. And only then, once safely beyond the entry area did the agent hand me the SpongeBobSquarePants Colgate tube of toothpaste.

I squeezed three days worth of SpongeBobSquarePants Colgate toothpaste into two of those small cream containers at a bar, wrapped it in paper, and passed through security after being checked again.

I write this on board Southwest Flight #7411, I think it is, waiting to take off.

In my heart of hearts, I feel I've done my part to make this nation safe and secure tonight because I dumped an ounce of SpongeBobSquarePants Colgate toothpaste. (Don't do the math: certainly I used .3 oz. in four days.)

And now I'm on my way to the bike show.


Anonymous's picture
bill vojtech (not verified)

Good to see the flying public is safe.

Anonymous's picture
chris y (not verified)
safe and minty fresh (or spongy fresh)

most importantly your smile will shine, and teeth are safe and minty fresh (or spongy fresh).

Anonymous's picture
LynnB (not verified)

Richard, you are so funny- a typical JWT creative, I can spot them a mile away.


Anonymous's picture
Rob Marcus (not verified)

Actually tooth paste will shine your tires and prevent them from decay

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Uh, as it happens, fired twice by JWT, ten years apart. (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Claudette (not verified)
Sponge Bob?

"I've always thought of you as more of a ""Pokemon"" kinda guy."

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Show Report #2

"The ugliest thing at the bike show is a top tube on a DeRosa model whose other tubes are only marginally less ugly. I don't recall the name of the model--it starts with a ""T."" How can a tube be ugly? I know I'm baiting you by not describing it, but in all the years we've known one another, have I ever once lied to you?

I think it was Cervelo, for all their hyper- aero-shaped frames, that had a frame with a broad, boxy underside on a down tube. If aero shapes are the The Thing of Our Time, what is the benefit of this?

I was speaking with the owner of the company that imports and distributes Orbea. It is based in Little Rock. I remarked Orbea seems to have gotten good penetration into the NYC market, that I had seen his frames at Bike Workshop/Tenafly, Piermont Bicycle Connection, and Conrad's. ...Whereupon his NY area rep. saunters over and I learn I'm wrong in all three cases. Those shops did stock them but no more. The first NYC shop that came to his mind as a stocking dealer is in Ft. Lee, NJ.

Giant has a giant space. Neither Trek nor Specialized is showing bikes, having entertained their dealers at get togethers. I didn't see Canondale. They may not be here either. (Have I looked at the magazine listing the exhibitors? Ahh, no, I haven't. It's across the room. Maybe I will tomorrow. Nah, no I won't.

Calfee showed a bike made of bamboo and a handlebar that was an actual horn. The people at this booth insist it performs on a level with the best carbon or ti bikes. Craig Calfee was at the show in spite of his first born having been born just two days ago.

The Lynskeys who created Litespeed but have since left it, had a booth with their Lynskey frames.

Alpha Q, which is not a frame maker, had a 7 lb. 6 oz. complete and rideable (single speed, only one brake) bike dangling from a scale to show its carbon components. It truly was a marvel to hold.

For the most part, how can one choose between frames except on paint? (I liked a Co-Motion deep and irridescent purple tandem with six--count 'em, six--S&S couplers.)

I like the look of the new Campy Record brakeset. A mass is cut out of their arms, giving it a skeletal, minimalist look. It is black as is the gruppo, and that's in addition to carbon-everything: no more silver in this group.

There were, of course, all the usual clothing manufacturers: Nalini, Santini, Verge, Garneau, Descente, Canari, et al. Santini has two gorgeous ITALIA jerseys. Or was that Nalini? They're right across from one another in an area of Italia products.

I like enormously an Addidas (now part of Mavic) windbreaker that is literally paper thin and paper light, or lite. Drop flap, rear pocket, in yellow and red, and so small when compacted it can easily be contained in the palm of your hand.

I made the acquaintance of several custom apparel manufacturers whose printing is done in Colombia, Mexico, and Vancouver who produce fine looking work on fine fabric for $20 less per jersey than the club paid and pays for its jerseys from Louis Garneau.

EWR is showing wonderful wool jerseys and riding sweaters, wonderful in that the wool doesn't itch. But there is no real design to it.

In a word, the story of the show is WHEELS. Great, I master wheelbuilding and that dries up as none of these dozens of wheels would appear to ever need truing. There is some wayyy exotic stuff out there. The new Dura Ace makes me gnash my teeth at the prospect of truing it. The left rear flange has two rows of nipples at the flange: one outside the flange and the other inside it. Yes, the nipples are at the hub flanges, not the rim, so when you have the wheel on a truing stand and see the rim blip at its brake surface, you have to feel your way to where the proper spoke to adjust is. And just getting a spoke wrench on the inside nipples and turning it without banging your fingers seems to be no"

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Show Report #3

"Yesterday I reported the story of the show was WHEELS. Here’s the second story: PINK.

Jagwire is selling packages with pink housing (and cables, brake pads with the proceeds going to fight women’s breast cancer. Speedplay and Crank Bros. have pink pedals. Continental has a tire with a pink sidewall. Vetta has a replaceable pink computer cover. Giro has a pink helmet. (Help me recall the name of the Audrey Hepburn movie“Think Pink” is from:mousey NYC bookstore clerk turns elegant model.)

All this pink resonates with me as I recently changed the name of my so-called company to Maglia Rosenthal. Oh, woe, how many people here, in the bike industry, didn’t get the wordplay! You do…don’t you?

I told you you could trust me. I revisited that DeRosa top tube I described yesterday as the single most ugly thing in the entire show. I returned to the scene of the obscene and, looked at the catalog statement of the bike it belongs to. Model name “Tango.” Here’s what the catalog says about it: “There are no half measures for the Tango: you either love it or hate it.” After a night’s sleep, and careful consideration, to mix TV metaphors, I’ll stick with the second suitcase and that’s my final answer. If I knew how to put a picture on our message board, I would put this on it. I asked the salesman what was the reason for it, hoping for some reason in physics. He hemmed. He speaks fluent Italian but little English. While I hoped it would have something to do with physics, I, nevertheless, offered him, “Aesthetics?” He lit up. Yes, exactly! What do I know? Long before I dropped out of law school, I dropped out of art school.

Let me also resolve my written wonder yesterday: yes, it was Cervelo that has that boxy down tube underside. Upon further inspection, the entire down tube is boxy, a rectangle. In fact, so are all the other main tubes. The reason? Beats me? Not aesthetics. But what do I know? Long before I dropped out of law school, I dropped out of art school. (sic)

BMC has models whose junction of top and seat tube design mystifies me. It takes a pretentious person to recognize a pretentious design: this is a pretentious design. If I knew how to put images on the message board you wouldn’t have to take my word. You’ll have to take my word for it. But what do I know? Long before I dropped out of law school, I dropped out of art school. (sic)

I finally found a shoe to love again. The last one, which I still wear, is a Carnac Lemond, probably from eight or more years ago. It has laces under its straps—sort of like man continuing to walk with his knuckles on the ground, just for old time’s sake, after he learned to walk upright; or like men who wear both suspenders and a belt at the same time—and yes, there are such men. Because it has laces, it has a tongue that, when opened, makes the shoe far easier to slip into than more recent shoes.

The second reason I like that Carnac Lemond is it is leather, and kangaroo leather at that. (I am not unsympathetic to PETA and gulp as I realize what I've written.) I did pay a terrible price for liking leather biking shoes thirteen months ago. I descended the Grimsel Pass in a grim, grim rain, and was up literally—I mean LITERALLY—all night with the hotel’s hair dryer drying my shoes. They never did quite dry by the time I was all but pushed out of the hotel at check out time. There was still a drenching rain. A synthetic material would at least have let me sleep a bit before getting drenched again.

The shoe I’ve found to love at this show is also kangaroo leather. Very thin and exceedingly comfortable. Because the leather is so thin, it shouldn’t take so long to dry. There appear to be very small ""holes"" in the leather—think jerssey material—and air intakes in the carbon sole. The shoe opens wide for easy entry and exit. It has its own binding system. Yesterday I mewled about over-engineered shoes. The closure here is"

Anonymous's picture
Sienna (not verified)
De Rosa Tango

"Here's the De Rosa Tango:

And in yellow, with the description, ""The De Rosa Tango is as beautiful to ride as it looks!""

Thanks for the entertaining reports, Richard! And yes, we all caught the Maglia Rosa wordplay. Very clever."

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
"Cervelo ""Squoval"" tubes"

"""The downtube and chainstays of a bicycle frame mostly see lateral bending, even if the frame as a whole is in torsion. Yet virtually all frames on the market sport round or oval downtubes and chainstays. Excellent shapes to counter torsion of those tubes, but not lateral bending. A box section is the best shape to counter lateral bending, which is why we use a box-inspired shape on the Soloist Carbon chainstays (of course the downtube on the Soloist Carbon is TrueAero-shaped for aerodynamic reasons). On the R3, we squared off the box shape even more, leaving only a small ovalization of the shape to boost its buckling strength. This squared-off oval, or Squoval, significantly increases the stiffness-to-weight ratio (STW) of the shape in lateral bending and is used in the chainstays and the downtube. The front and rear of the toptube also use the Squoval shape, but it transitions to oval in the center to counteract the torsional loading in that section.""

Anonymous's picture
Sonny (not verified)

"Hank is of course the proud owner of a Cervelo with those ""Squavol"" tubes."

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
De Rosa Tango

There was a worker at a Milan pizzeria a couple of years ago who absent-mindedly leaned his carbon-fiber De Rosa against the coal-fired oven. (In Italy, you see people of all income levels riding expensive race bikes, wearing matching team kit.) Before he realized his mistake, the oven had been heated to 900° F, and the plastic tubes of his frame were now in a semi-molten state. He brought the bike to De Rosa to see if it could be repaired. It couldn't, but Cristiano De Rosa was so taken with the liquid look of the frame tubes that he was inspired to make something like it. Hence the Tango.

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)

The Maglia Rosa wordplay went over my head. Rosenthal means rose-something in German but that is as far as I can get.

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Thanks for the report, Richard

"""Think Pink"" is from Stanley Donen's ""Funny Face"" (also starring Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson).

This is an example of the BMC design that you're referring to:

I also have a pair of the Lemond Carnacs, with kangaroo leather upper; very comfortable shoe, and I like the laces under the straps. It's good to see that after everyone, including Carnac, seems to have abandoned leather for synthetics, Lake is bringing it back."

Anonymous's picture
Ellen (not verified)

Great report Richard!
Those EWR jerseys look interesting.
Did you see Etxe Ondo or any other Basque clothing outfitter?

Anonymous's picture
Tony Mantione (not verified)
bike report

"Great job Richard, as usual , you have an excellent command of the English language ( at least from my perspective ) . I still say you missed your true calling as a writer, and a witty one at that.
In closing I have only three words , mostly to enlighten Hank, "" Gazzetta Dello Sport "" . Of course, when you first told me of your ""new "" company name back when, I immediatly picked up on it , but to be fair, I was born in Italy ,Or as my grandfather would proudly claim, "" NO!!, Sicily.""
ciao , Tony M."

Anonymous's picture
David Schlichting (not verified)
Interbike '06

"Great Report, Richard
. . . and to add a few items:
You all remember from Soviet times when those out of favor were eliminated from history. So too with Interbike '06: no Floyd, no Phonak no place. The BMC stand which should have flaunted a TdF winning team bike, etc., had only a collection as Richard has descibed.
I attended the Campagnolo technical seminar where the presenter narrated a video of the assembly of their new crankset. It is a beautiful design and easily assembled. Usual Campy finish quality. DIY people might as well order the required 10mm (!!!) allen wrenches now. The new Ultra Torque system is sold as a conventional double and compact. No triple at least in 2006 --old design is still used. We Campy-philes know that Campy is good about spares and they promise to keep manufacturing replacement parts, e.g. tapered BB's, as long a demand requres.
A lot of new bikes are spec'd with the new SRAM Force group and the buzz seems to be quite positive about it. You wonder if another complete group dilutes the market so much that nobody suceeds, but that's for the marketing folks. The demo bike I ""rode"" on the rollers shifted great (naturally --it was a demo bike) and not to 'dis any other manufacturers, but it felt comfortable / natural. IMHO, the finish was not up to Campy standards, but better than Shimano.
Exte-Ondo was there with a small stand, alongside the other Spanish companies, including Orbea. The usual Italian clothing companies where represented, SMS Santini, Castelli, Naliini, Biemme and Giesseggi. They all brought much less product than in previous years and I really saw nothing new / noteworthy. Oschner brought very little Assos product and seemed to ahve nothing new to tout, either.
FSA and Cervelo jointly presented a seminar on shop issues with carbon fiber frames and components. It was an interesting discussion of manufacturing of CF frames and parts and as well the assessment (well, what is prudent for a shop to assess) of damage to these items. With my size and weight, I'll probably never own a CF frame, but after this discussion, I am much more comfortable owning other CF items.
My sense is that this year's Interbike was the largest ever in terms of space taken in the Sands Convention Center. The private dealer events now used by such big names as Trek probably reduce some attendance, but the exhibit space once used by the Trek's and others has been absorbed by many smaller newcomers."

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Show Report #4: Uninformative, too long, and too personal

Completely fictitious, wholly made up, utterly imaginary dialogue #1:

Man: Who is your marketing director?
Very young woman: Why?
Man: I do advertising for the high-end of the industry. I’d like to do yours. I think I can give you better advertising.
Very young woman: We do it in-house.
Man: Oh. Well, I’d still like to speak with your marketing director. Will you point him out to me?
Very young woman: You can talk to me.
Man: Are you the marketing director?
Very young woman: No, I do the ads.

Completely fictitious, wholly made up, utterly imaginary dialogue #2:

Marketing director: We’ve got someone doing it in-house.
Man #1: An ad person?
Marketing director: No, but he knows a graphics program.

Completely fictitious, wholly made up, utterly imaginary dialogue #3:

Ad director: We’ve got an agency.
Man: Can I at least show you my work? I can do it in three minutes.
Ad director: It would just be a waste of time.
Man: But what if I can give you better ads? Ads that increase your sales?
Ad director: No thank you.

I’ve probably alienated prospects in the past by writing them critiques of their literature, pointing out misspellings, errors in grammar, improper words, and sentences and paragraphs that don’t track. You can imagine the degree of appreciation with which this is met.

I’ve barely glanced at any of the literature from this show, and, in fact, took only a scant, few printed pieces, mostly those of prospects—which is another way of saying I took very few.

For a number of years, Seven has had the classiest, best produced, most informative of the lot. This year's is a bit less so; perhaps what I see is cost-cutting.

For years Campagnolo seemed incapable of going more than ten lines or one paragraph without saying “Thanks to…” or “ensures…” Every ad and every page of their catalogs remarked on some technological breakthrough that ensured something or other thanks to something or other. I turned to page 66 of this year’s catalog to read about their new Record brakes which, as I wrote in Report #2, I admire for their looks; it appears form truly does follow function here…dare I say ensuring a lighter weight and greater stopping power thanks to the ever present in the industry and infinitely cited finite structural analysis? Page 66, “Record Brakes,” informs us of a “considerable nominal 35 g weight reduction.” How’s that? “Considerable nominal”?

Sigma computers is coming to market in the spring with a bike computer that has altitude readings. I know that’s not remarkable, but it does give me the tissue thin pretext to continue to tout the entire Sigma line for its quick, clean, and easy method of attaching and removing their computers and pick-ups. No one else uses their method of attachment. No plastic ties. I hate plastic ties. So why don’t they feature it in their ads? It’s a real product difference with a clear benefit and advantage; in ad parlance, it’s a USP—unique selling principle: yet they don’t use it. Schmucks.

Can you spend $2000 and more on a handlebar? Yes. From Oval Concepts, a Swiss company. If you want that same ulta-pricey name on your bike, you can have it for around $300.

It turns out the heel and toe rubber, walking tips on that Lake shoe I touted so enthusiastically in Report #3 are not replaceable. Too bad, but I’ll still buy the shoe, and if those tips wear out, trust a cobbler will have some sort of shoe glue to fashion a replacement.

The only things I bought or will buy as a result of seeing them at the show are the Jaywire pink cables (Report #3), Velocity pink rims (made, I was surprised to learn, in Australia), and, if I can get over something very personal against Continental, their GP 4000 tires with pink sidewalls. If I’m confident enough in my own sexuality, I may also

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Interbike pics with amusing captions
Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
That terribly funny fat model in WC kit can be seen here...

I wrote in Reports ##3,4 of a very funny, very fat male model at the Elite trainer booth. He was bulging out of a World Champion jersey and shorts.

I just saw the No. 18 Velonews with Hincapie on the cover behind the headline All-American. This followed his winning the US Pro. And there, between pages 26-27 is a tip-in for Elite with this model. He was funnier in three dimensions than in two, but it's still a pretty good sight.

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