Urban Velo

About Krista Carlson

A regular contributor to the print edition of Urban Velo, Krista Carlson is a cyclist obsessed with bike polo, baking, pickles, and all things bike-y. She is a native Angeleno and is madly in love with the city and everything that makes it the beautiful, crazy place that it is.

The Mechanics of a Crash

Less is more, and helmets are sexy.

Interbike’s Best in Show

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Photos by Mikey Wally

We came, trekked the show floor for hours each day, talked specs until our throats went hoarse, and invaded Las Vegas with bikes for a solid week.

In many ways, Vegas is a strange place to hold a bike show, but when you consider how indulgent we cyclists can be, it kind of makes sense. Viva Las Interbike!

It’s great to see companies have fun with their booths at Interbike, especially the ones that bring something interactive, because navigating through the labyrinth that is the Mandalay Bay convention hall can be daunting, and checking out all the latest in bikes and gear is the ultimate tease when you can’t hop on and go for a quick spin.

Here’s what made our Best In Show shortlist from Interbike this year:

  • DZR – Most Creative Display – DZR went wild with Rita the bearded dragon, a few goldfish and a furry little tarantula.

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  • Abus – Most Fun Booth – with a box full of poker chips behind a lock without a key, Abus had people scurrying back and forth to partner booths near and far to pick up the key that might unlock the jackpot. 

Abus booth

  • Ryders Eyeware – Most Disturbing Display – Is that a dead horse? Uh…rider down!
  • Mission Workshop and Acre Supply for Best Recreation of an Outdoor Setting – The smell and feel of actual grass below your feet really made us wonder what the heck we were all doing inside a convention hall.

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  • Chrome Industries for Best Spot to Chill – As if churning out shoes and custom bags on-site wasn’t enough, the DJ’s, karaoke, beer and plenty of picnic table seating made the Urban Yard the ideal spot to be – a respite amid the clusterfuck of angles that made up the show floor.

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  • Gary Fisher for Best Dressed  Plaid is rad.

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Interbike Flash Report

_MG_9965All of the bikes! All of the shiny! Bestill my heart, Ritchey! I’m weak in the knees, Van Dessel! Oh Fairdale, how fair you truly are!  Interbike is best place to really do a good pulse check on what people are asking for, as the industry responds to the market with new and updated bikes, components and accessories. While the skittle-colored track frames have settled into their rightful place in the bike world, with muted tones and refined designs, bicycles made with the commuter or casual rider in mind are really coming to the forefront now.

At least a dozen different brands had city bikes on display this year, reasserting the look and feel of classic Dutch bikes, with swept-back bars, upright positioning and beautiful paint jobs. The trend is a direct response to what the riders want – with offerings from the likes of State and Pure Fix’s younger sister company, Pure City, it’s clear that the streets will soon be flush with handsome frames topped with fresh-faced cyclists. My favorite from the show were from Creme Cycles, a Polish bicycle maker that has recently entered the U.S. market.

What else is new, you ask? Here are 10 tidbits to whet your appetite:

  • State is releasing a single speed cyclocross bike in November that will go for around $500. CX Explosion in 5, 4, 3, 2…
  • Hero Bike unveiled its bamboo/carbon track prototype. Every bike in their line is custom by order and all bamboo is sourced locally in Greensboro, Alabama, where Hero Bikes is headquartered.
  • Brooks is releasing a helmet line in collaboration with Carrera. The collapsible helmets will come in seven colors and compliment the Brooks aesthetic seamlessly.  “We weren’t prepared to make our own but we wanted to do a collaboration,” said Gianmarco Maorni “Thinking about a normal commuter, something that can go in your bag and is easy to carry is a better option.”
  • Green Guru has added locking bolts to its panniers, and its 2015 product line will include the FreeRider fold-up carry-anything pannier that was successfully funded on Kickstarter earlier this year.
  • DZR has released a version of their Marco clipless shoe for women. Rejoice little feet!
  • Bern’s newest helmets made with Zip Mold Plus are 18 percent lighter than before. In addition to a lighter foam, they also found little ways to reduce weight by removing the plastic Y-dividers that held the two side straps together and replacing it with stitching.
  • The makers of The Interlock are developing a more secure version. The current design features a cable lock that extends from within a seatpost, so that a rider never need make room or forget it. “It’s the perfect lock for a low-risk area and a secondary lock for a high-risk area.”
  • Terry is turning 30 and re-releasing their classic Butterfly saddle, redesigned with Poron XRD for better shock dampening than foam. The biggest brand in women’s cycling began when Georgina Terry set to work in a basement welding shop fabricating a bike frame fit for a woman’s build; today Terry is the leader in women’s saddles, and have a men’s line of saddles as well. 
  • Linus is expanding its line to include a 29er made with the city in mind – the Rambler will be out in 2015, along with another crossover-style bike on 700′s called the Rover.
  • Boombotix will have a new product release in October. Couldn’t get them to spill the beans yet, so we will just simmer in anticipation for the next few weeks.

Wolfpack HP Grand Prix – Registration Open

The Huntington Park Gran Prix was a great success last year, and HP is becoming the new place to race. The Gran Prix will finish off the 2014 Wolfpack Hustle Unified Title Series in an all-out sprint for the finish. With the Marathon Crash Race neutralized in March, the Gran Prix will end off the series with a second sprint on September 27.

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Registration is live now. Schedule and standings here.

 

Andy Sparks l Dreams

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Dope bike, dope moves, dope tunes.

Bike Hack: Presta Valve Adapter

Obviously.

Stunning Photos from the 2014 London Open

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Will Melling’s photos are frequently gorgeous — this latest set from the 2014 London Open touches a whole new level of stunning, and really captures that inexplicable spirit of bike polo. Click here to see the full set.

Clitoral Mass 2014

On August 16 all Womyn-identified folk are invited to ride with the third annual Clitoral mass in Los Angeles. More information at OvarianPsycos.com.

What Should They Do?

bikecarThis short survey is part of a study designed to evaluate interactions between cyclists and motorists from North Carolina State University. It takes less than five minutes, and the results will be published in October 2014. The study is intended to contribute towards improving roadway design in the United States. You must be 18 to take the Bike Car survey.

Fyxation Open Fixed Gear Criterium

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Move over alleycat, track criteriums have taken over, and the next chance to race track bikes around hairpins is at the Fyxation Open in Chicago on July 26. Men’s and women’s races will take place in downtown Chicago as a part of the Intelligensia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series.

“Back in the day, fixed gear road racing was a bike racing staple with classic events like the 50 mile Elgin to Chicago race,” said Intelligentsia Cup co-founder and former U.S. professional criterium champion Tom Schuler. “We are excited to host this high-energy form of bike racing, once again reminding us that everything old is new again.”

The fixed gear races will be held on the same course as the Chicago Criterium and is open to all classes; equipment check will be required on the day of the race. Standard rules apply: track bikes with drop bars and no freewheel or brakes. Cash, prizes and race primes from Fyxation, All City Cycles, Chrome, Nutcase and Abus.

City Reports