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By Lennard Zinn
“So, what’s the coolest thing you’ve seen?” is pretty much the standard greeting at the Interbike trade show. With bike industry types from all over the world wandering the aisles of the Sands Convention Center opinions and answers can vary on that question. For me, I figure I’d start with five bikes I would love to see hanging in my garage some time soon.
Kestrel limited-edition Tiki KM40
The KM40 is distinctive in its smooth lines and lack of a seat tube, but its monocoque construction makes it cost-prohibitive to make a lot of sizes, so only two were ever offered, namely 52 and 56cm. The KM40 is being phased out in favor of the Airfoil Pro, which carries on the overall shape and seat-tube-free concept of the KM40 but in a modular construction. The Airfoil Pro is available in six sizes from 49 to 59cm incorporating six possible front ends with two possible rear ends and featuring 650C wheels on the smaller sizes and 700C wheels on the larger bikes.
But the swan song of the KM40 is not yet over. The Tiki paint job, designed by a native Hawaiian and guaranteed not to anger the island gods, would be one wild thing to have between your legs. Despite being completely hand-painted, the Tiki pattern only adds a couple hundred dollars to the price of some of the last available units of this legendary bike. This limited edition comes in 52cm size only.
This frame features Parlee’s method of building the lugs over the mitered carbon tubes at time of frame construction. The connection through the lugs to the tubes is more direct than with a bonded frame, which loses something in the thickness of the resilient glue bond separating the parts. This frame, on the other hand, essentially becomes one uniform piece, as the resin and carbon in the tubes is the same as the resin and carbon forming the lugs and holding the whole thing together.
Unlike Parlee’s custom frames, on which all of the cable stops are carbon, the Z3C has aluminum stops but otherwise shares the same construction methods of a custom Parlee without the $3600 price tag. The Z3C is a compact-geometry brother of the level-top-tube Z2, comes in five sizes from 51 to 59cm, uses stiff, oversized tubing, weighs a mere kilogram, and costs $2500.
I am no recumbent rider, but this is no ordinary recumbent. Craig Calfee has built the coolest recumbent frame I have ever seen. It is long, yet incredibly light. The top tube is free to flex down toward the bottom tube with an adjustable stop to vary the amount of travel.
Even though I already saw this in Milano, this white carbon beauty is still incredibly stunning and cool. The white carbon ITM Unika bar and Uniko stem complement the white carbon frame, seatpost and cranks.
Even though it is a cyclo-cross bike, at under 16 pounds the PsychloX-SL may be the lightest bike in the Moots booth! The clean and elegant frame is welded out of Reynolds 6Al/4V butted titanium tubing. The bike hits its sub-16-pound weight equipped with Reynolds carbon Stratus deep-section wheels and carbon ‘cross fork, Campagnolo Record group, and (what else) hand-made Dugast tubular ‘cross tires.