The annual Interbike, trade show for bicycle manufacturers wrapped up last week in Las Vegas. Interbike showcases the latest developments and trends in the cycling industry.
At the conclusion of the show, one thing was clear. Bicycle manufacturers have embraced space age materials such as carbon fibre like never before, with all major manufacturers having carbon fibre framed bikes or components on their stands.
Prices for carbon fibre bikes have also dropped. Giant for example had a carbon fibre model on sale for only $1800.
Other components to benefit from the carbon fibre revolution include wheels, handlebar stems, seat posts, shoes, cranks, helmets and chain rings.
Despite the boom in carbon fibre offerings, sceptics warn that quality may vary, with only precious few manufacturers possessing the skill and technology to produce high quality carbon fibre components. They also noted that carbon fibre components would fail abruptly and catastrophically.
Further to this it was interesting to note that of the two highest profile component manufacturers, Italy’s Campagnolo had displayed a range carbon fibre based components, while rival Japanese firm Shimano opted to draw attention to its largely aluminium 10-speed shifting system.