Cross bikes, plus-size “Monster Cycles,” standout shoes and parts … the Frostbike show has some of the sexiest new bicycling products coming to market soon, and GearJunkie was on hand to get the scoop.
The annual Frostbike weekend, held at the Bloomington, Minn., headquarters of cycling distributor Quality Bicycle Products, is a de facto trade show for dealers and vendors alike, bringing together a core of the bike industry to make deals and see new product debuts.
With unseasonably mild temps this year, it was anything but “frosty.” We suited up and biked to the event, a 10-mile burner from our HQ in Minneapolis to the show floor. Here are 10 new products that brought on the heat.
#1: ‘King Of ‘Cross — Foundry Flyover Ti CX Bike
Titanium tubes, thru-axles front and rear, and internal cable routing for stress-free shifting and braking, plus gobs of mud-clearance shout pure ‘cross race performance with the Flyover.
Is $4,695 affordable for this kind of titanium steed, as the brand hinted? Titanium is pricy, but I don’t think so. Regardless, the Flyover is a stunner of a bike. (Also available in a frameset at $2,595.)
#2: Urban Roots — All-City Cycles Log Lady Single Speed
Are fixie kids graduating to dirt? After getting a taste of the trails on its ‘cross bikes, All-City thinks so, and this single-speed mountain bike has an A.C.E. up its sleeve… the frame is made of air-hardened, custom, extruded (A.C.E., get it?) tubing that gives the lightweight Log Lady nimble manners on technical singletrack.
The 27.5” wheels keep the traction high. Bonus points if you’re a Twin Peaks fan for the bike’s otherwise mysterious namesake. Complete bikes are $1,499 or build your own for $899 (frameset).
#3: Plus-Custom — Whisky Parts Co. ‘Six Select’ Project
Wide is where it’s at, and Whisky commissioned six frame-builders to create a radical mix of models, including a Yamaha RM-250-inspired Salsa Pony Rustler, along with Rock Lobster, Moth Attack, Retrotec, 44 Bikes, and Engin, to showcase Whisky’s new 41W(ide), 50W(ide) Plus rims, and GOAT carbon gravel/cx rims, along with 840mm wide handlebars.
#4: Dropper Redux — RaceFace Turbine Dropper Post
A combination hydraulic and mechanical locking device supports the rider for better durability, but it is still cable-actuated and not sensitive to temperature fluctuations. All this makes the RaceFace Turbine Dropper Post ideal for fat bikes and winter riding, at least if you can swallow the $469 price tag.
#5: Plus-Size Monster — Heller Bikes Shagamaw
A carbon-fiber hardtail with 27.5+ tires, this Heller should deliver all the deftness and cunning on the trail of its namesake Shagamaw from American lumberjack lore: a “fearsome critter the size of a horse with the front paws of a bear and the hind parts of a moose” able to walk on either front or back legs. Complete bikes start at $1,999.
#6: Anatomical Uber-Shoe — Bont Cycling Vaypor+
Vegans need not apply. Kangaroo leather and a heat-moldable footbed and upper make these high-end bike shoes stand out.
They weigh a scant 225 grams but are stiff, streamlined, and highly-refined, including BOA closures, carbon soles, and craftsmanship that screams “pro-level” the moment you put them on. The quality comes at a price, with the Vaypor Plus shoes retailing for $499.
#7: Rubber Refined — Teravail Tires
Teravail says its treads are for “off-road,” “all-road,” and “gravel.” While that may sound like so much hyperbole, the brand has been tested in such demanding events as the Tour Divide, and the 700 x 38c Cannonball is the official tire of the indomitable Dirty Kanza 200 gravel race in Emporia, Kansas.
The line is all tubeless-ready tires with pyramid file tread for traction on loose surfaces as well as an edge-to-edge aramid casing for preventing punctures. Starting at $65.
#8: Urban Style (and value) — Civia Lowry City Bike
The new Civia Lowry should appeal to design-savvy urban dwellers. It could be the colorful palette of simple, stylish (standard and step-thru frame) bikes for casual city riding, but I was most impressed at the low prices, starting at $399.
#9: Clip-In (or not) — iSSi Flip Pedals
Despite its think-tank level naming convention (*sarcasm), iSSi’s Flip pedal does offer double-sided convenience with both an SPD-compatible “clip-in” side and an elongated platform side for cruising in standard footwear. Color choices abound for customizing your ride. Starting at $50.
#10: Heritage Lock — ABUS Bordo Centium
ABUS is celebrating its heritage with the new Bordo Centium folding lock. At 1250 grams the Centium does possess a sort of menacing elegance. It’s forged from stainless steel by German craftsmen and comes packaged in a cool wooden box that is reminiscent of high-end whiskey. Expect to pay $149 for this teutonic high security.
BONUS: Frostbike 2016 … a few more photos from the show floor.