Editor’s Note : Sven and I somehow didn’t make the guest list for QBP’s dealer show that went down, a couple of weeks back. Frostbike would become part of Operation ‘Black Magic’ with the assistance of two Bike Black Ribbon sleeper cells. Our ‘frostbike’ team of agents came from the high plains of the Dakota wilderness. The job called for a couple of pixel cowboys with a deep passion for las bicis gordas.
Eric Dabbert and JR Johnson are part-time gauchos at Two Wheeler Dealer out of Sioux Falls South Dakota. Through messages broadcast on our weekly radio show, these two highly trained agents would become key players in our coverage of fat-bike products and ideology behind curtain number 3 of the ‘Big Three’ US Bicycle mega-corporations – DBA : Qualty Bicycle Products aka QBP; Q; Q Mothership. The following is the Sit/Rep filed by what we’ve entitled the Eric & JR Show. Take it away Vatos!
Location: Bloomington, MN. Home of the Q mothership. Hosted by the largest bike parts and accessory distributor in the United States, Quality Bike Parts, Frostbike is a wonderful little break in the deepest depths of winter. But with close to a 60 degree day, it felt more like it may have been time to dismount the 4.8” tires for 3.8”s or even b+. It’s where folks from across the country and other continents converge to partake in new products, beer, trade show swag, whiskey, good conversation, great company and BEER!
A wonderful weekend that starts, for most part on Friday, downtown Minneapolis with food, drinks and camaraderie over the love of bikes and the outdoors. The main event moves, south on saturday, to the QBP headquarters in bloomington, where vendors from around the globe come to showcase what’s new in, not only fatbikes, but road, mountain, touring, camping, electronics, nutrition, clothing and anything else you can think of when it comes to exploring the planet. But our eyes, for this weekend, are on the the look out for the new hardware and gear focused on the fatbike realm of the bike universe.
The Heller Bloodhound
HED makes the best carbon fat wheels in the world!
Now available in Aluminum
Awesome new anodized color way for the HED Big Deal alloy wheels, available in 80mm wide.
DT Swiss Hubs – Like a swiss Watch
Nemo was very excited to show off how they are able to pack their complete sleep and shelter starter kit into a bike packing system. Sleeping bag was tucked away in the saddle bag while the sleeping pad, tent and rain fly where up front in the bar bag, leaving the frame bag open for the rest of your kit.
Its nothing new but for anyone still running the “old school” 135mm offset rear disc hub up front and want to save a little weight, MRP has a carbon option for you.
Did you know oval is back in Style? Wolftooth has developed some elliptical chain rings that have been dished, in and out, to accommodate those big ol’ tires.
Still Groovy in so many ways – Mango Salsa Mukluk
Taste the rainbow – Salsa Skewers – Adventure by Bike!
Sven’s favorite Salsa – The Blackborow
Tio Gomez’s Favorite Salsa – The Ponyrustler
Sram’s new NX drive-train is an inexpensive choice for anyone looking to switch to a 1×11. Best parts is that the new cassette will fit on a standard 10 speed HG spline freehub body, so no need to find and XD driver to fit your current hub.
Salsa is Adventure by Bike
If you are looking for a nice, snow shedding platform pedal, Crank Brothers has two different size shin busters for you. They know that no one person has the same size foot so they offer the new Stamp pedal in a small and large size.
Crank Brothers also have the Double Shot, a hybrid, half clip-in, half platform in two color options.
Eric and Dusty, from Revelate Designs, made the journey from AK to come show off some cool new gear they have created for their comrades in bike adventurer. They wouldn’t be really specific, but they said keep an eye out for some cool new hardware coming down the pike.
They were really proud of the new Snow Camo print option and we totally know why.
And the much anticipated Wampak is just as killer in person as it is in pictures.
45NRTH Tires and Grooming Implemnts
Its always fun to drool over some tasty carbon bits. Raceface Next Components are very cool!
Rather than putting brand new bikes in the both, Surly thought it would be cool to display some of their unique employee’s unique bikes. This MRE green Pugsley is owned by Dave gray and was ridden at this years Arrowhead 135.
Don’t tell me that this isn’t fat enogh
Surly, always on the cutting edge of fashion, has the new Canvas V2 ridding jacket. Perfect platform for any patches you may not have a home for yet.
Needs a banana seat.
Hauntingly similar to Adventure by Bike
Did you know that Onyx can print just about anything you want on their hubs?
Thule joins the fat rack fray with the new T2
Thomson Bars and Droppers and posts – bike bling
Quality has an amazing facility, but by far, in my opinion, the wheel department is the most impressive. Rims, spokes and hubs as far as the eye can see. Nimble fingers lacing hubs to rims for hungry robots that have insatiable taste for trueing wheels.
Vee Tire had the full line up on display
Whisky was also displaying a few other new products, like their new fatbike fork and new 100mm rims. Whiskey worked with six frame builders to showcase their wares. 44 Bikes and Retrotech are featured in the photos above.
Frostbike this year was all that was expected except for frosty, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Summer can be a great time for covering new ground on a fat bike. But at the end of a long day talking shop, collecting stickers, munching on samples and dreaming of the next new off season build, I couldn’t help but already be longing for some fresh powder on some local trails. There are plenty of new thing to look forward to, showing up at your local bike shop, this summer to tide you over until winter. Things to keep you tinkering and ever improving your rig. And maybe by the time the cold comes back around, your trusty ride will be dialed and ready for all that heavenly glory.