Riding This Week


Chainbuster MTB Racing Series - Georgia's friendliest MTB racing. 6 & 9 Hour Endurance racing for solo or teams.

Dirty Spokes - Duathlon and Trail running series. Love these guys. First class events.

Monday, March 4, 2013

2013 Southeast Bike Expo

I bought four tickets to this expo with the intention of taking my family. But when the week of the expo came the weather was polar. With wind and spitting overcast misty rain it must have been what it feels like in Seattle during the winter. So I invited some friends to go. Craig Tinsley and Alex Fuentes came over to my house and hitched a ride. Our goals? Clearly we wanted to see the new hotness from each vendor. And score some cool swag. And maybe even ride a demo dream bike. To make that possible we brought some riding clothes. It was going to be fun no matter what!

When we got there they gave each of us a Camelbak Polar water bottle just for showing up. Craig was blown away by that. He loves those things.
The first thing I did at the expo was enter the Bike Tours Direct giveaway. A trip to Italy! Oh yeah! The folks in the tent were really friendly and completely honest. I know this because I tried to bribe them and it didn't work.
We started visiting each tent and talking to everyone. Some were ready, some were getting ready, some were still hung over and didn't know why they were there. I stopped at a tent where a guy was selling clothing and hats with bikes and gears on them. A particular brown hat caught my eye. I thought it would look good on my wife. But I decided to keep going in case something better came along.

Once I found the guys again Craig had hijacked a bike with big fat tires. He rode it around for a while and laughed. Bikes are so fun. And this one also had shifting built into the hub.
Craig loves Continental

We moved on to the Continental tent. These are Craig's favorite tires. He took time to thoroughly inspect each tire. He and the tire salesman swapped stories of undying love for them and I have to admit I was impressed. But my allegiance is to Maxxis for all the support they give to local racing in North Georgia.
We left there and found the GIANT bikes tent and the sales rep there in. He showed us the new Propel road bike that GIANT says is faster than any road bike in the world. And they can prove it! Or it could be some genius marketing spin.
GIANT Propel

But I was more interested in the GIANT XTC Carbon hard tail 29er. I had my eye on test riding the Large with SRAM gearing. But we wanted to check everything else out and come back.
Oh and if you're wondering about the twisted handle bar... that's just in case someone tries to steal it. Imagine trying to bolt out of the expo with the handlebar like that.
They make you surrender your drivers license when you test ride a bike. Just FYI.

Then I met Warren Schimizzi and his wife. They own a company called QRide. It's an advanced emergency ID for riders. You sign up on a website and input all the information you want emergency personnel to know. You receive two highly reflective and very sticky stickers that they recommend you place on your helmet. The QR code on the sticker can be scanned by a smart phone which takes the user to your emergency page. Unlike the RoadID I tend to always forget at home, this would be a no brainer. And instead of calling the number on the bracelet or trying to navigate a website this QR code takes you to the page in a matter of seconds. I liked it so much I got one for myself. And I liked the Schimizzi's too.

We moved on to my favorite glasses company TIFOSI. I've been wearing their glasses for years. I have a pair of Tyrants and some polarized Jets and my wife loves the DEA style. I went through an Oakley phase a few years ago and learned my lesson. Tifosi have always been quality and worth the money. Now with polarized lenses I can buy two sets for what I used to spend on one. Another no brainer.

There were several surprise lubes at the expo. Let me explain. Did you know that WD-40 has a bike lube specific line of stuff? Me neither. What interested me most was the Frame Protectant. So I got some and plan to try it on my carbon GIANT TCR. I'll let you know how it works.

Then there was Skanunu MotorLine. This guy really made me smile. His RV was straight out of National Lampoons. He was very passionate about his chain lube. Or should I say his Earth Safe Chain Degreaser Protectant Lube. We stood and listened to his presentation and then he offered to clean our chains with it if we brought our bikes over. I could kick myself for forgetting to.

CamelBak HAWG
We visited the Camelbak tent where he showed us the latest super cool stuff from them. I have three Camelbaks hanging in my basement. My favorite is the HAWG which is the one he showed us. The new one has these really cool vent things that keep your back cool. And it looks cool too. He also had the GoPro video cameras to demo and offered to let us try them out as well.

KMC Chains was interesting. Not sure I want a colored chain but if your into some serious bling they had all you could handle.

We got to meet the Owner and Builder from Cysco Cycles, Richie Moore. He has some of his custom Ti work on display that was really cool. He uses all the latest industry technology like BB30, electronic shifting, 12 mm thru-axles. I tested a Ti road bike he created with disc brakes and DI2.
I was so enamored I didn't take a single picture. But I did take one of the bamboo bikes?

Bamboo Bikes

We talked to others like the Bike Athens people. They were great. I love Athens so it wasn't hard to impress me. They have a great map of the city which highlights each road and it's vehicle traffic.

And then it happened. We made our way back around to the GIANT tent so I could ride the XTC carbon mountain bike of my dreams. The bike that will slice through single track like hot butter. The bike that I want to ride more than any other bike at the expo was under the undeserving butt of Dustin Mealor! He stole my bike! Stole it! And I called him my friend!

But I'm not bitter. I moved on to the Niner tent. Where I could find a ride on par with the bike stolen from me. Only to find that there were no Larges left there either. We had waited too long. The good $5,000 plus bikes were gone. And who wants to ride an old 3,000 dollar bike... right?

Anyway, we moved on to the SeaSucker exhibition. I first saw these things in Athens at Twilight and loved them. They're kind of expensive and I wasn't sure about them then but now I've seen all the cool iterations they've come up with and I may try them.  At first you think they won't stay put but the design is great. A little indicator on the side of each one tells you if your loosing any pressure. If so you just pump them up a little.

SeaSucker has a great product.
After that we checked out the SRAM tent where I took a look at the new XX1 single chainring crank and gearing. This new 11 speed mountain bike group has my attention because it's design keeps the chain on without the need for a chain guide. And I got a cool SRAM hat.

After that we took our bags of swag and headed over to C-Town Bikes. I've wanted to get over there for a long time. They sponsor nearly all the races in North Georgia and I like to give back. But like a dork I didn't take any photos so you'll just have to use my link if you want to see the shop. Nice place with great people inside to help. I bought some wool gloves.

After that we headed home with some Zaxby's. We had a lot of fun and met some great bike people. I will definitely be going back next year. But the first thing we're doing is ride. I won't be taken advantage of again.

Next up is the Dirty Spokes Duathlon at Fort Yargo in Winder, Georgia. I'm racing with my friend Kelley Edwards and my daughter Molly is racing solo. Should be a great time.

Others are heading to the Historic Brooks races in Brooks, Georgia. Wish I could guys! Go get'em!

Thanks for reading!

Chad Hayes

1 comment:

  1. It's a creative idea to stick qr code image on the helmet or autobicycle. That help cyclist get assistance easily from emergency page.