Held during the frigid depths of winter, the annual Frostbike bicycle trade show by QBP temporarily warms the hearts of the bike industry with new releases and envy-inducing bicycle gear. We visited the show in frosty Bloomington, Minn., this past weekend to find the hottest goods of winter 2014. Here are a few of the highlights. —T.C. Worley
Surly Ice Cream Truck — Minnesota-based Surly Bicycles introduced yet another offering for fat-bikers. The Ice Cream Truck model is a “trail geometry” fatbike, built for those who like a more aggressive riding style, no matter the surface. Borrowing geometry from the brand’s Krampus model, the Ice Cream Truck is “a trail bike with massive flotation,” a company spokesperson told us. A 190mm rear hub (symmetrical frame) allows the use of up to a 4.8” tire, but it accepts a 4” as well. Starts at $2,450; available in July.
ENVE Composites SES Aero Road Bar— Aero road is a fast growing segment these days and ENVE Composites showed us its hot looking SES Aero Road bar. The flattened, wide top area not only reduces drag, but it also acts as a foil to push air up and over a rider’s thighs, ENVE cites. The SES weighs a scant 250 grams, fits a 31.8mm stem, and is offered in three widths. $400; available now.
Banjo Bros. BackPack Pannier — The transition from commute to indoors at a building (your place of work, school, etc.) just got easier. The waterproof BackPack Pannier from Banjo Brothers has shoulder straps hiding under the outer flap, out of weather. When it’s time to go from bike to a building inside, a simple transformation allows hands-free transport of the pannier. A replaceable waterproof liner keeps things dry on wet days and Banjo’s adjustable quick-attach rack hardware holds the bag secure. $80; available in April.
TRP Spyke Mechanical Disc Brakes — Mechanical disc brakes were a bottom-shelf item, replaced by the smoother, more powerful hydraulic systems. Then came the booming fat bike market and a need for strong, mechanical brakes. TRP took a double-piston design from its high-end systems and adapted it to an affordable mechanical brake named the Spyke. Users can expect improved power, more even pad wear, and easier adjustment. $90 per wheel (rotor included), $40 Spyke lever; available in April.
Park Tool Power Lift Shop Stand — The Park Tool Power Lift Stand is sold as “the ultimate shop stand.” Switch operated, electrically powered arms effortlessly lift bikes to the desired height. Daily lifting of heavy electric bikes or fat bikes can be a strain for the shop rat, but this motor-driven stand lifts from 6”-78” and up to 120lbs per bike. Integrated work tray and accessory bar offer options for keeping tools handy, hanging wheels, or routing air hoses. The stand either bolts to the floor or an optional base-plate. Sold in single or double arm versions; $1,900 single, $3,400 double; available now.
All City Macho King LTD CX — In the “object of desire” category, All City Cycles debuted its Macho King LTD CX bike. A snazzed-up version of its new Macho King model, the LTD is limited to only 50 builds. Well above the price-point AC normally plays in, the LTD brings a Reynolds 853 tubed frame, a Whisky carbon thru-axle fork, SRAM Force 22, Thompson seatpost/stem, and a dreamy fade paint job. You’ll need to act fast to own one, but that’s the price of royalty. $3,500; available this summer.
Cogburn Limited Edition Snow-Camo Bike— Cogburn Outdoors, the all-terrain bicycle company that has models made for hunters, released a limited-edition snow-camo version of its CB4 bicycle. As many regions have snow on the ground during hunting season, it only makes sense. The brand also showed us a prototype Cogburn Frame Bag from Revelate Designs. The bag has a proprietary fit to the CB4 frame and features a curved zipper for easier access to contents. $2,199 for the bike; available in March. Around $150 for the frame bag; available in June.
Dillinger 5 Tire From 45NRTH — The winter-bike brand 45NRTH beefed up its popular Dillinger studded tire. The Dillinger 5 model is wider than the previous version so it has additional floatation, stability and traction. The tire is available with and without carbide studs if you want to save some weight or aren’t concerned about icy surfaces. $250 with studs, $175 without; available fall 2014.