Interbike 2013 Cool Bike Gear-Part 3

After five days in Las Vegas for Interbike, I have seen anything and everything bike related.  There was so much to see that it took all three days at the show and both days at the Outdoor Demo to take it all in.  I felt like a kid in a candy store and there were many things that caught my eye.  This is the third installment of four posts highlighting some of the cool new products at Interbike 2013 that are now available, available soon or are coming to a bike shop near you.

Hiplok V 1.50 & Lite

Hiplok is a unique lock and chain from the UK that is designed to be worn around the waist while riding.  The original Hiplok V 1.50 has an 8 mm hardened steel chain, a 10 mm hardened steel shackle in the buckle and weighs about 4 pounds.  It is adjustable, should fit waist sizes from 20 to 46 inches and has a Sold Secure Silver rating.  Retail price around $100.

The Hiplok Lite has the same design but in a smaller package with a 6 mm hardened steel chain, an 8 mm hardened steel shackle in the buckle and weighs in at around 2.2 pounds.  It fits waist sizes from  24 to 44 inches and has a Sold Secure Bronze rating.  Retail price around $65.

Both of these models have a flat padded nylon sleeve over the chain to provide a comfortable fit around the waist and prevent scratches when locking your bike.  They come in a variety of colors with a reflective Hiplok logo for extra visibility at night.  Both can be purchased on Amazon or select bike shops.

Camelbak Podium & Podium Chill

The Camelbak Podium Series of water bottles have been re-engineered for 2014 with a new bottle shape and a new jet valve cap.  The bottles are shorter and now have twisted velocity ridges making them easier to grab and squeeze.  The improved larger diameter opening on the jet valve cap now contains the blue valve unlike the previous design and has tabs for easy removal for cleaning.  Look for the Poduim & Podium Chill models to start showing up in bike shops in late October or early November.   

ESI Grips Silicone Wraps & Grips

From ESI Grips comes a line of colorful 100% silicone washable grips and bar wraps that are easy to install and provide plenty of shock absorbing grip.

The RCT Wrap for road, cyclocross and triathlon bikes has opposing bevels for easy installation and they are reversible.  They conform to your hands for comfort and provide excellent grip while reducing vibration.  Each set comes with two long and two short silicone wraps, two silicone tapes and two end caps.  I tried wrapping the demo bars at the ESI booth at Interbike and found it very easy to do.  Each set retails for $39.88 and can be purchased from the ESI website or at select bike shops. 

The ESI line of mountain bike grips come in a wide variety of colors and several styles to choose from.  The "Extra Chunky" (for those that like an extra chunky grip) has an installed diameter of 34mm, weighs about 80 grams and retails for $22.99.  The "Chunky" ($18.99) has an installed diameter of 32mm, weighs about 60 grams and can be used with grip shifters.  For those that like a thinner grip there is the "Racer's Edge" ($16.99) that weigh in at around 50 grams and has an installed diameter of 30mm.  These were my favorite, but a thin grip is my personal preference.  Custom models are also available in "Chunky" ($20.99) and "Racer's Edge" ($18.99) in a variety of two and three color combinations.  All mountain grip models can be purchased from the ESI website or at select bike shops.

Serfas Thunderbolt

A new addition to the Serfas lighting line is the USB rechargeable Thunderbolt.  It comes in a front (USL-6) and rear (UTL-6) model that has a light silicone body and unique mounting system.  The Thunderbolt Headlight throws 90 Lumens of  non-directional light from a strip of micro LEDs and has a run time of 1½ to 9 hours depending on the setting.  The Thunderbolt Taillight emits 35 Lumens of  non-directional light also from a strip of micro LEDs.  Run time for the taillight is 1¾ to 9½ hours depending on the setting.  Both models can be seen from a long distance and have High, Low and two flash modes.  These lights have the flexibility to be placed in many locations on a bike.  Each retails for about $45 and can be found at local bike shops and the Serfas website.

Smith Optics Forefront 

Smith Optics has created a lot of buzz by entering into the helmet market with the introduction of its new mountain bike model at Interbike.  The Forefront is very lightweight at 285 grams and is said to have a 30% reduction in energy transmission (than traditional EPS foam helmets) with its patented honeycomb material called Koroyd.  This honeycomb design transfers air through hundreds of holes all around the head to help keep you cool.  It has an integrated mount for a camera or light on the top and GoPro and Light & Motion are said to be manufacturing mounts specifically for it.  The Forefront is scheduled to hit bike shops in March, 2014 with three sizes, ten color choices and will retail for $220.


  1. Chris, the ESI grips could be cut to length, since they're silicone?
    Thank you for your time!!


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