This weekend I visited the lively and surprisingly warm city of Minneapolis. With record breaking February temperatures t-shirts and shorts were seen on the streets while I was in town for Quality Bicycle Products’ (QBP’s) Frostbike. Held annually in QBP’s impressive headquarters this event brings together dealers, suppliers, and media for a weekend of midwestern hospitality meets bike love.
Minneapolis is one of the top rated cities for cycling in North America and with both city officials and the local bike industry stepping up to show their support it’s a rating the city rightfully deserves. Arriving a day early gave me the opportunity to explore the city’s network of bike lanes and visit a couple of bike shops. Making pit stops at One On One and Angry Catfish for a coffee and a chat you begin to recognize the presence of QBP brands in the bike shops and on the streets.
QBP is more than just a distributor, they are a part of the social fabric of the bike industry. Their work goes beyond distribution of bicycle gear and includes advocacy projects and educational seminars. All in the name of getting more people on bikes, something we at Momentum Mag can get behind. Frostbike is not just about the innovative brands and products QBP is bringing to market, but an opportunity to share knowledge and learn from one another. Speak with enough Minneapolitans and they’ll have you convinced bikes were made for riding in snow and ice. No matter how cold the conditions a bicycle is still the best way to get around, you just need the right attitude.
Anna Maria Diaz-Balart spoke further to QBP’s commitment to bettering the bike industry. Anna Maria had never ridden a bike as an adult but her after purchasing a step-thru to get around her neighborhood it sparked a passion for bicycles. She launched Pretty Damn Fast, a cycling magazine for women, and was the recipient of the Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship. The scholarship is a joint effort of QBP and bike industry partners to advance specialty retailers through education and training of women in the bike industry. The scholarship inspired her and gave her the confidence to open Sun And Air bike shop in Brooklyn.
Thanks for throwing a great event and inspiring everyday cycling QBP!
Check out some of bike gear we discovered at Frostbike 2017.
Burley: The Minnow Trailer
The Minnow is the latest bicycle specific trailer from Burley. Loaded with many of the features you will find on their other products, it’s the price that really impressed us. The Minnow accommodates one child or hefty load of groceries. While this trailer does not have the ability to convert to a jogger or stroller it will retail for only $250. Burley has shown us they can build quality products without you needing to empty out your pockets.
Timbuk2: Alemany Pannier Timbuk2 has a goal of making bags that help you get across town easier and they are leaving no type of cyclist out. From bike messenger’s to casual Sunday riders we’re excited to see their lineup of top quality bags include the Alemany Pannier. This stylish pannier features an easy attachment system and grocery-friendly organization that’s perfect for city riding and keeping your eggs in good condition.
Price: $129.99 USD / $139.99 CAD Available:Online or in-store When: Now
Civia: Lowry & Venue Civia is all about putting the joy back into your ride. This year they are launching a new line of bikes called Venue as well as increasing their range of sizes. Finding a bike if you’re short can be difficult but Civia’s XS frame size accommodates people 5’0. Now shorter people have some seriously stylish options without being ushered to the kids section. The Lowry is an upright bicycle and the soon to be launched Venue will appeal to city commuters looking for a slightly more aggressive riding position. Add fenders and a rack and these bikes aren’t just made for cruising but getting stuff done.
Price: Lowry 1-Speed: $399 USD/$525 CAD | 8-Speed: $469 USD/$617 CAD Venue 8-speed: $479 USD/$630 CAD | 24-speed: MSRP $519 USD / $683 CAD Avaialable: USA Bike Shops When: Lowry available now. Venue available May 2017.
Axiom: Oceanweave There may not be a ton of innovation around panniers but Axiom is getting creative and we love it. Their Seymour series of bags which includes, panniers, handlebar bags, seat bags, and trunk bags uses abandoned fishing nets and recycles them into a lightweight and durable material. Fishing nets make up ten percent of all ocean pollution and every bag in the Seymour series helps to reduce the amount of plastic in our oceans. Round of applause.
Price: $29.99 – $119.99 USD / $34.99 – $149.99 CAD Available: Find a dealer here. When: Now
Planet Bike: Touch 800 Touch technology has made it’s way to bicycle lights which comes in handy when you need to adjust brightness mid commute. I use a bright light (700 lumens) because when it comes to safety being seen is my number one propriety. As I ride I adjust brightness depending on the streetlights, terrain and to avoid blinding other commuters. The simple touch allows to switch through all the modes quickly and easily while riding your bike.
We are big fans of foldable locks and what makes Kryptonite’s stand out from the rest is it’s 360 degree link rotation. Typically foldable locks feel more like a u-lock when putting them around your bike due to the lack of flexibility but the Keeper acts more like a chain while still being made out of hardened steel. At 100 cm long it’s extremely compact when folded so carrying it around town is easy.
Price: $66.95 USD / $99.99 CAD Available: Bike Shops in USA & CAN When: Now
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