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Interbike: Dispatch from the show floor: Day One

Posted by on September 23rd, 2010 at 12:20 pm

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Colorful front racks from Basil.
-Slideshow below-
(Photos © J. Maus)

I’ve got to get back out onto the show floor, but I wanted to share some of the bits and bikes I checked out yesterday.

Basil bags from The Netherlands are very solid and attractive. They’ve got a full range for daily riding. Their business “Select” line is water resistant (comes with rain cover) and has a new hook system that has an extra lock for security. They also make colorful baskets and sturdy front racks.

Another bag company I like is Arkel . From Quebec, Arkel is well known among tourers for their excellent quality, features, and durability. The Dauphin 48 is a case in point. It’s made out of a durable nylon with seams that are taped, sealed, and laminated. This (and other tricks) makes the bag waterproof without the design constraints of typical waterproof bags (like Ortlieb), meaning it can have tons of pockets and other useful features.

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Also from Arkel is a very cool rear seatpost-mounted rack ($89 retail). They use just a strap on the seatpost and and the real clamping happens up on the seat rails via a quick release lever. This means your seatpost won’t get damaged and the rack comes on and off in just a few seconds.

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Nutcase helmets debuted a few new things yesterday. They had several new designs to show off, as well as a new buckle system. Thanks to a magnet, the new buckle can be snapped with one hand. And for those of us with little ones, the new buckle is also pinch-free and lockable (awesome!).

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Linus bikes from Venice, California continue to impress me. I’ve seen them at Clever Cycles, but yesterday I got a chance to take a closer look and learn more about the company.

I actually ran into Clever co-owner Todd Fahrner at their booth. He said he loves Linus too because of their “design restraint” which he explained as them not pretending to be more than they are and keeping their designs simple and basic.

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Linus bikes at Interbike-41 Linus bikes at Interbike-44 Linus bikes at Interbike-46 Linus bikes at Interbike-40

The result of this approach are not only bikes that look elegant, but that are also low-priced (they’re made in China which helps with that a bit too). A company rep explained that their bikes are inspired by French bikes from the 1950s and 1960s. Their basic three-speed “Dutchi” bike sells for $589 and their single-speed “Roadster Classic” sells for $409. The new “Gaston” ($789) is a looker with its whitewall tires, mustache bars, leather saddle, brass bell, and five-speed Sturmey Archer rear hub.

And now, for a few random sightings..

A nifty bike-part chair in the Keen booth:

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The Knog (a light and accessory company) booth was bubble-wrapped. Hmmm…

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This hand-painted track bike was a thing of beauty:

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This is how some folks deliver mail in the U.K.:

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And finally… Sharrows in Vegas!

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Lots more to cover and I’m running out of time… so off to the aisles to find more neat stuff. Check out more shots from the aisles of Interbike — including clothes from Swrve, bikes from Globe, and more — in the slideshow below:

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7 Comments
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    Spiffy September 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    those bikes are so damn stylish… that must be such a fun show!

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    Did I miss it? Again? September 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Unfortunate that the things getting the most exposure are made in China (or Brazil). It’s only affordable now, before we completely sink manufacturing in the US.

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    Curtis September 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Great photos – wish I was there.

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    LoneHeckler September 23, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    My wife and I bought a couple of Linus bikes this year. We are completely in love with them – so much style at an amazing price point.

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    Todd Boulanger September 23, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    From my past experience at Interbike…it is pretty tough to find anything made in the USofA once you have visited the niche parts makers Paul, King etc. – especially now that Cannondale has shifted production.

    Interbike is just not that type of event…and that is why the handmade frame shows have taken off.

    On a similar thread…as I visit bike shops shops around the world I am always surprised at how much bike gear is still made in Germany and Japan…given their similar labour costs to the US (perhaps not health care costs). It shows that it can be done. I remember when Vistalight shifted production to China from the US in the late 1990s…I was still paying the same for a China light as I had paid for a US light…it did not make sense…other than pure profit (unless the move was more expensive than planned – perhaps this is now a business school case study somewhere?). This is not an isolated example.

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    Matt September 23, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    From what I’ve seen I’d say Basil makes great looking, but rather poor quality bags (which are likely NOT made in The Netherlands).

    Arkel on the other hand, is very high quality stuff, made in Canada I believe.

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    Michael M. September 25, 2010 at 8:27 am

    So that Arkel rear seatpost-mounted rack is something you have to take off everytime you lock your bike anywhere in public? If it can come off in just a few seconds, seems like it would be an easy theft target.

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