It’s been a long time since I’ve walked the floors of a convention center filled with the latest and greatest products from the bicycle industry, but earlier this week, I laced up a pair of comfortable shoes and drove down to Schaumburg, Illinois to explore the aisles of the CABDA show. CABDA isn’t open to the public. It’s a show for independent bicycle shops so I was partially there as a photo-journalist and partially looking for winter bike gear to stock at the Bicycle Doctor. Let’s get right into what caught my eye!
The first thing that caught my eye was this WoolyBear Adventure Trailer in the Thule Booth. Is a WoolyBear some kind of caterpillar? It’s a goofy name for a pretty cool trailer, even though I get the whole butterfly coming out of the cacoon symbolism. I’d call it the Money Badger!
Reid had an old banner with one of their fat-bikes frolicking in the snow, although they didn’t have a fat-bike in their booth. I didn’t have the gumption to ask these two ladies to move out of the way so I could take the photo.
Willier knows how to put a trade show booth together and had some sweet rides on display. The Ultra SLR (above) and the Jena (below) – https://wilier.com/en
Wildsyde eBikes had an array of retro-shaped bikes on display with names like – The Wild Side – The Hunni Bunni and Shadow. The show featured an indoor riding corral for test rides. You can test ride one on the interwebz at – https://wildsyde.com/
Cinelli had this lovely gravel bike in their booth called the Hobootleg GEO. Companies must be running out of good naming protocols. The Cinelli website lists every one of their bikes as ‘sold out’ – https://www.cinelli-usa.com/
Kuat had their new Piston Pro X hitch rack on display. Julio reported about this new “Cadillac of Hitch Racks” in his coverage of the Outdoor Retailer show in Denver last month. This rack poises the question – can your several thousand dollar bicycle find a rack that can gently cradle it as you rip down the interstate at 80 miles per hour and can that rack ever be manufactured with the highest quality? More here – https://www.kuat.com/product/piston-pro-x/
I don’t know if Knog can ever make up for their lame ass Kick-Starter bell operation but these tiny, yet powerful Blinder blinky lights are pretty sweet. I’ve been using one this summer and I like it a lot. – https://www.knog.com/category/products/bike-lights/
Here’s the new Scape bags from Brooks that will definitely find their way onto one of our test bikes. Half-Frame, H-Bar, Top Tube, Big ole seat-bag and Panniers all available in Brtish Racing Green! – https://www.brooksengland.com/scape/
I wonder if Crank Bros platform pedals break as regularly as their clipless pedals? The Pink ones would look nice on Otis! https://www.crankbrothers.com/
Dirwin had a load of eBikes in their booth with this curious looking 4-pack of heavy-duty cargo nips clustered on the headtube. I asked a Dirwin representative what they were for and he guessed that they were for a basket. Wasn’t Dirwin what Endorra used to can Darren Stevens in Bewitched? Sweet Dirwin Bro-Brah! https://dirwinbike.com/
These Bikase bar bags caught my attention. Bikase is a Wisconsin Brand so that’s always nice. You can check out the goods at https://bikase.com/product-category/handle-bar-bags/
Vittoria has a nice tweener season clipless shoe available called the Polar – https://vittoriashopus.com/
The Kenda Krusade will have your kid fighting a holy war against snow and sand. Kenda is still offering the Juggernaught fat-bike tire as well – https://bicycle.kendatire.com/en-us/
Jamis has a couple of levels of gravel bike and the Dragon hardtail (below) was also looking pretty tempting (if you’re into that sort of thing).
We’ve all seen Dorothy’s ruby-red slippers, but get ahold of Sidi’s Saphire-Blue bike shoes! The color is prismatic so it changes and sparkles. The copper colored version is also pretty dapper. I also like the centered location of the Boa knobs but haven’t tried a pair on (yet) to feel how that might affect fit/comfort. https://www.sidi.com/en/75-cycling
SQLab had a few things that looked interesting. I ride a pair of the SQLab grips (above right) on my singlespeed and I reviewed their seat a few years back. The innerbarend (above left) felt really nice and I think that it could work out to gain an alternate hand position on big wide bars. They’d also (probably) work well with pogies in winter. – https://sqlab-usa.com/
SKS Germany continues to innovate their fender game. The seat-stay mounted fender and the little beavertail unit look like winners. – https://www.sks-germany.com/en/
If you want to strike up a conversation at a bike gathering, a good icebreaker is ‘what kind of chain lube do you use?’. I use Squirt because it’s a dry lube and sand doesn’t stick to my chain with Squirt. They even have a chain lube made just for eBikes. The Squirt booth also had a new Tire Sealant with little ceramic balls in place of glitter. I’ll be giving that a spin in the near future. https://squirtcycling.us/collections/chain-lubricants
The other lube in regular rotation is T-9 (“I put that Sh*t on Everything!) Plus kudos to my T-9 Primos for rock’n a fat-bike with matching bike-luggage in your Booth! https://boeshield.com/bike/
Camelback makes a 10 Liter bladder and an insulated pack so you can jet around with two and half gallons of margaritas or water (if you need to hydrate a platoon). They also had a cool kids hydration pack with a sweet ‘Hot Wheels’ racing stripe down the middle.
That’s all that I’ve got from this year’s CABDA Midwest show. You’re all CHAMPIONS! Happy Trails Amigos!