This week we found ourselves in the Mile High City for the Frostbike Expo, the annual Winter Bicycle Celebration.
We were superstoked to get the invite from Quality Bicycle Products.
The event gave us the opportunity to share Kali story with a pack of bike shop folk and reconnect with a whole bunch of our friends in the industry.
Nothing like a little time in the dead of winter to talk bikes and drool over bicycle bits and bobs. The show floor was filled with plenty of lights and tires and bikes and trainers and kits and wheels and saddles and lubes and grips and racks and components and, of course, Kali helmets.
We thought we would take a break from the booth to walk the expo floor and share with you a few of the products we wish we could have snuck out of Denver in our suitcases.
We now dream to warmer days, hero dirt, fresh blacktop, crushed gravel and the opportunity to actually put some of these things to the test.
Saris wants to make your Winter training a little more pleasant with their new MP1 Nfinity Training Platform. Just mount your trainer, preferably a smart trainer, onto the platform and away you go. Saris claims it makes the riding more comfortable, recruits more muscles and enriches the indoors riding experience. We are not sure it will make trainer rides fun, but anything designed to make riding indoors less torturous seems like a smart investment to us. And speaking of investment, the Nfinity trainer is $1200 without the trainer.
Our very own Alain Lanusse recomends you get rid of the riding backpack and go as minimal as possible. If you are in agreement, then Wolf Tooth's Encase System Bar Kit One should be right up your alley (or handlebar). Just stuff these beauties into your bars and you are ready for any and all emergencies. The Bar Kit One retails for $120 and have 14 functions, up to and including a chain tool and a valve core wrench.
A clean bike is a happy bike and happy bike is bike worth riding. We have to admit we don't maintain our bike as well as we should, but having a little Muc-Off in the house makes getting our whips whipped into shape that much easier. The Muc-Off bike cleaner works great and is not horrible for the environment. And it's pink.
It is almost impossible to figure out whether form or function comes first in the design of Kuat racks. They look amazing and work as good as they look. And if wasn't bad enough to drool over bicycle racks, now they are making snowboard and ski racks. The Grip (bottom) and Switch racks are designed with the same attention to detail and bombproof construction as everything else Kuat makes. The Switch comes in at $240 and the Grip $400 and they make us want to go find freshies.
Who's not running inserts? We aren't. We've thought about it. We're read about it. We're pondered it and pondered it. And now we know of another option. The Tannus Armour offer 15mm of puncture protection on the top and another 2mm on the sidewalls. Tannus inserts claim to offer puncture protection, added comfort, extra grip and the bonus of the piece of mind that you will be able to make it home even if if you flat. They go for 40 bucks a pop (pun inteneded). So what's stopping us. Maybe nothing now.
Park Tools are like those spinner thingys for adults. We don't really need anymore, but everytime we see something new from Park Tools we can't help but pull out our plastic and have at it. These little Sliding T-Handle Hex Wrenches were on display in their booth and those little blue sleeves are free to rotate. We mean come on Park, just stop it already.
Most of us have gone tubeless on our mountain bikes, our road bikes and our gravel bikes and now along comes Tubolito with an advancement in bicycle tubes. While we love the idea of lighter, yet tougher (see Kali helmets) in anything, we did have an initial reaction akin to a yawn for the Tubolito. Then our in-the-know source told us this is the perfect spare tube for any ride or rider. The Tubolio is a third the weight of regular tube and tougher. Our spare just got much more interesting.
If you're riding in the cold this Winter, or riding big old fat tires anywhere, and haven't checked out the offerings from 45NRTH, then do yourself a favor and click on over to their website. They are doing some really great things in cold weather footwear, clothing and studded tires. We don't live where is snows (thankfully), but if we did we would be decking ourselves and our whips out, from head-to-toe, in 45NRTH.
Paul's Components makes all the things. We want one of all the things Paul makes. In every color he makes it in. Please and thank you.
We felt a little sad to see this All-City Cosmic Stallion Force sitting racked up on the floor at Frostbike. She deserves so much better. The Cosmic Stallion will take up to a 700x47 tire (without fenders) and comes to your door at just under $4000. We wished to free her from her earthly bonds and ride off into the universe, but alas, security didn't agree with our Cosmic assesement.
Last, but not least, the Kali Invader. We were super proud to have the new Invader on the show floor and we were even more floored by how many people stopped by to pick up this lightweight, well-ventilated trail helmet. It was great to have so many head pull this lid on and then shower us with positive feedback. Viva la Invader.