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Interbike 2015: Adventure Cycling Continues to Expand its Segment

Interbike, the annual convergence of cycling enthusiast from around the world, just wrapped up the 2015 show this week. Although many people including myself feel this show is dying a slow death as a trade show, it is still a place for manufacturers to showcase their latest offerings. For this year, the biggest advancements fell within the world of plus-size tires, particularly in the new 27.5-inch wheel diameter. The other interesting element to the show was the unbelievable number of electric-assist bikes on display. As it relates to our crowd, the adventure set, there were several new products worth keeping on the radar.

 

 

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The Surly Pugsly was the fatbike that launched the big-tire revolution and after many years of needing a healthy update, finally got it this year with the Wednesday. With a new fork and rear dropouts, this bike will undoubtedly be quickly adopted by many as their preferred adventure steed.

 

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POC has been my favored lid for a couple of seasons and their newest helmets have shed weight, added more vents, and still offer unparalleled protection.

 

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2016 is the year for 27.5+ bikes. Offered in full suspension and hardtail variations, this mid-fat platform will dominate the next couple of years. The science has proven with a reasonable amount of data that 27.5 wheels with a 2.8 tire provide the magic balance of swift rolling efficiency with the most optimal tire contact patch.

 

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Imitation is the nicest form of flattery and this Bombtrack bike is about as much of a Salsa Fargo clone as it gets without putting the words, Salsa Fargo on the top tube.

 

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What can I say, this is still one of my favorite bikes of all time. The Salsa Bucksaw is amazing.

 

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Long time accessory maker, Blackburn, has not just dipped a toe in the adventure cycling market, they’ve made it a central component to their 2016 lineup. With bar, frame and seat bags priced at almost half of the boutique brands, they’ve made bikepacking bags affordable and feature rich.

 

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Lazer’s new Revolution helmet is aimed at the enduro mountain bike segment, but it has excellent potential as a bikepacking lid with a large visor, great ventilation, and full head protection.

 

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The Long Haul Trucker is a touring favorite for many. Outfitted with Frost River waxed canvas bags, it looks retro but capable of any adventure.

 

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Giant Bicycle is entering the adventure bike segment with both feet. Their Tough Road 29er is designed to shoulder a full compliment of bags in either bikepacking or traditional touring format. They’re even offering their own seat, frame and bar bags at prices that will be sure to introduce new riders to touring. With a $1300 price point for the bike pictured above, the value is tough to beat.

 

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All City had this beautiful touring rig on display. Classic and elegant, it looks ready to cross a continent.

 

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A fresh name on the scene, Heller is a new addition to the QBP brand family that includes All City, Foundry, Salsa and Surly. Although currently the only model in the Heller line, this all carbon fatbike clocks in at only $2300. This will be a popular machine when it hits dealers this fall.

 

 

 

Christophe Noel is Expedition Portal's Editor and the Senior Editor for Overland Journal. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.