All 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.
Let’s not mince words here….this is a coke commercial more than anything else, and there are glaring hypocrisies to be found throughout, but hell, let’s just look at the value of the bikes in this context for the time being. I’ll leave the critiques up to you in the comments.
There is a new saddlebag on the scene made by Cyckit out of New Zealand. The idea of the Aeroclam (P1 & P2) is to offer a saddle mounted carrying case for all the basics, but that is aerodynamic, integrated into the seat in a way that eliminates all movement, and is aesthetically seamless with no zipper. The Aeroclam claims to hold 1 tube, 1 CO2 canister, 1 CO2 inflator, 1 small multitool, and 2 Cyckit tire levers….the basics for a tube change. Dangling zippers are eliminated by a snap closure and the Areoclam fits over 30 seat designs, though the saddle may need to be removed from the post for proper one-time installation. The Aeroclam P2 was created to fit larger saddle designs. The kits retail for approximately $50 and can be purchased on their site. Other products by Cyckit are currently in design stage as well.
Yet another mention, on this site and elsewhere, of the growing fun ride that is Slow Roll Detroit. By now you’ve probably seen the commercial Apple has created using Slow Roll, but they also gave a more extensive feature on their site, as seen here, explaining how the iPad was used in the organization and implementation of the ride, along with various apps. Call it grassroots appropriation, or just mutual aid, but Slow Roll Detroit is going full speed ahead with this push by Apple, well…full roll ahead anyways.
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.
Trek has upgraded their commuter line with the Lync, a commuter ride decked out with integrated lighting and bluetooth compatible monitoring. Instead of buying a commuter and having to select various lighting, phone mounts, and software additions, new purchasers can have a ride that is ready to go without aesthetic adjustments.
The Lync retails around $900 to start and fully loaded models run for $1200. Trek utilized some clever solutions to keep the bike functional, but aesthetically clean, such as lighting adjustments burrowed beneath the top tube and subtle rear lights embedded into the seat stays. The decals are also reflective and the wiring internal. For those just entering the commuter lifestyle and looking to buy from a name brand, there is a lot of value and safety to be found in the Lync.
July, 26th marked an important milestone in the history of Brest, a city on the southwest of Belarus, right at the EU border as there happened to be the first-ever cycling festival. The date was carefully chosen as the festival happened simultaneously with the City’s Day, when Brest celebrated its 995th birthday. The event didn’t come out of the blue as cycling community of Brest started promoting it late winter, but it was a brand-new experience for Belarus. If bike riders want to make a step beyond urban commuting or weekend countryside tours (which are extremely popular with the youth) – why don’t we grant them such opportunity? That is probably what the city’s executive committee and the regional sports club thought when organizing the festival.
As the hosts claimed, the festival was truly international: apart from the local riders, cycling lovers came from countries nearby – Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. Want to feel global to a bigger extent? The hosts later said there were a couple of participants from Switzerland and even Australia (though I failed to meet them).
I wonder if the central railway terminal has ever seen so many bikes at the same time – more than a hundred people came from Minsk, the capital city, which is around 215 miles away. The first riders began to arrive early morning, so that they could get some feel of the old Brest and warm up before the event. However, it was neither a marathon, nor a serious race – pure joy filled every inch of the 6.5-mile main route and every moment of the opening, which took place in the 19th-century Brest Fortress. Teenagers on a fleet of MTBs, middle-aged men on road bikes (almost no hipsters on polished fixies, though) – the fortress and its surroundings looked much more vibrant than on a typical weekend.
The hosts were aimed to get at least 995 participants in honor of the city’s birthday, and they did: the number of cyclists who officially registered exceeded 1300 people. Which is all right as the first experience for a city with about 330,000 inhabitants in a country that is less bicycle-friendly than most of Europe, let alone Denmark or Germany.
Some people claimed to be disappointed due to the absence of workshops, entertaining competitions or performances of professional riders. I hope these points will be included into the next big event in Brest, which is due to kick off in September, on the World Car Free Day.
Words and images contributed by Pavel Mylinkov, currently based in Smolensk, Russia, a day’s travel from Brest, Belarus.
When I think of bikes, I think of antlers. Bar ends on bar ends flying down the path, skipping through the trees with the grace of a moose.
Along with skittle thug, the latest in Eurobike style is antlers or horns, the perfect branding accessory to set yourself apart from the rest of the same. Show your organic roots and love of nature’s design with a single accessory. Throw the horns, sell some stuff. Put some antlers on it.