The Joust is a new bike from the Fleetvelo brand for those who are serious about bike polo. For Richard Schwinn — the founder of Waterford Precision Bicycles, father of Joust designer Tucker Schwinn, and great-grandson of the legendary Ignaz Schwinn — the bike is not just a tool for polo, it’s a symbol of the potential bike polo has to transform America. But before I get into that, here’s what makes the Joust such a great polo bike.
As promised, here are more notes and photos from Interbike…
If you’re concerned about the safety of wearing headphones or earbuds while biking, you’ll be glad to hear about the Tune Bug. This little device turns your helmet into a speaker by using a “surface exciter” that vibrates the surface. You just attach it to the outside of your helmet and it can communicate via Bluetooth or an audio cable to your MP3 device. Retail price is $99.
Here are the products and bikes that caught my eye today (I’m splitting this into three parts)…
Everyone’s been talking about e-bikes, and there’s a dizzying array of bikes and products for that growing market; but the Ridekick electric-assist trailer stands out from the crowd. The idea with the Ridekick is to put the battery in a trailer instead of on your bike. The added benefits are that you get some added cargo space and you can attach it to any bike. The battery drives the wheels of the trailer and the power goes right to your rear axle. Ridekick uses a cheaper lead acid battery which makes this system considerably cheaper than others (MSRP $549). The lead acid battery is also heavier, but with the weight just inches from the ground, it actually improves the stability of the trailer and doesn’t have the same negative impacts as having it attached to your frame or a rear rack. The whole unit weighs 39 pounds.
J.R. and I saw a lot of interesting things in our four days at Interbike, but there are two products whose names we just can’t seem to get out of our heads: DZ Nuts and Hoo Ha Ride Glide. Both products are creams that keep you comfortable you know where.
DZ Nuts promises that they use “only the finest ingredients for your goods” and they’ve got pro racer and uber-sprinter Mark Cavendish as one of their poster boys. The cream is meant to tame saddle sores and keep you feeling good down there no matter how many miles you put in. It’s a mix of tea tree oil (for its anti fungal properties), evodia (a Chinese herb with anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties) and masterwort (another wound healing agent from the Swiss Alps and used by the ancient Greeks).
It was a busy day on the show floor. Here’s the stuff that caught my eye…
First, Hutchinson claims to have solved one of the bike industry’s biggest unsolved mysteries — the flat-proof tire. Their new “Serenity” system looks very promising. It consists of a specially made tire and an “insert” developed by what the Hutchinson rep called a “proprietary solid polymer developed by our aerospace division.”
Surly Bikes has made a solid name for themselves over the years by offering well-built, versatile, and affordable steel bikes. You can hardly ride for five minutes in Portland without seeing one. I took a tour around their booth today with employee Emily Richard to find out what’s new.
The big news from Surly is their new Trailer (capitalized because that’s actually the model name). The Trailer is a bare-bones, heavy duty chunk of steel that’s rated to carry 300 pounds. Check it out…
Day Two here at Interbike and I’ve got lots of new product information and photos to share. I’ll start with Sun Bicycles, which was one of the more memorable booths I visited today in part because of their $550 (estimated retail) longtail “Atlas” cargo bike. In addition to that low-priced longtail, they’ve also got a sand bike and some interesting tadpole trikes and a handcycle.
At a show filled with lots of carbon fiber race machines, it’s great to see a company serving folks who want to ride but have special needs (the City of Portland purchased trikes from Sun for their Senior Cycling program).
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.
Last night, after a full day roaming the aisles of the Interbike trade show, I hopped on a shuttle bus and headed a few miles off the strip for Cross Vegas. Cross Vegas is a major cyclocross race that draws international pros and America’s top talent. But, since it’s in Vegas and since it happens when (nearly) the entire U.S. bike industry is in town, it’s just as much a spectacle and a party as it is a bike race.
From the Elvis impersonator who posed for photos, sang the national anthem, and then did a bike-inspired rendition of “Leaving Cross Vegas,” to the VIP Players Club area with a metal praying mantis dance club that spit fire, it was an amazing night. And, did I mention there was a full moon?
I’ve been following Puma’s entry into the bike world with some interest since the release of several models back in June. My interest is because of Puma’s position as a popular global shoe brand with a strong foothold in the urban market. As such, they’re taste-makers to some degree. So, what if they used that leadership to get more people excited about bikes? Mainstream brands embracing bikes is a good thing — isn’t it?
But what if Puma is just hopping on the latest trend, hoping it leads to more shoe sales? Is the whole thing a publicity stunt? Bike-washing perhaps? I stopped by the Puma Bikes booth at Interbike yesterday to find out.
– Slideshow below/gallery
(Photos © J. Maus)
To say urban biking has arrived on the radar of the bike industry is a major understatement. The products, the bikes, the magazines — urban biking has all the trappings of a bona fide segment segment of the industry. Another major part of urban biking is fashion. In the past few years, the selection of stylish and functional clothes made for people that bike has skyrocketed. Also in the past few years, Momentum Magazine has made a name for themselves by organizing fashion shows (they brought one to Portland back in October of 2009).
The Ready to Ride fashion at Interbike this afternoon did not disappoint. Check out some of the fashions and the faces in the slideshow below:
U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer has never been to Interbike, so he used his first appearance to implore leading members of the U.S. bike industry to make more noise about the the economic boost the bike industry gives to America. In addition to dollars, Blumenauer told the crowd that selling bikes makes sense for many of our country’s greatest challenges. Here’s an excerpt from his remarks: