Frostbike: It’s always sunny in Minneapolis

Minneapolis is always a good place to be. I’d say MPLS or minneapplepuss or whatever you wanna call it is the city with the strongest bike culture in these United States. Geno at One On One Bicycle Studio , Hurl at Car R Coffins Coffee Bar and Cykel Garage and so on, well ya can’t go wrong, even in the middle of a close-to-arctic winter. These guys make the rest of us look like pansies. I’m talking the whole MPLS community mind you. While MPLS has a luxurious system of bike paths as well as singletrack, just take a look at what we’re dealing with here on the ride home from a party at Angry Catfish, the latest in the Bikes and Coffee bizness. Solid, glaring, black ice…

Somehow I managed to not fall down on that ride home. This gave me a feeling of great self-satisfaction I’ll tell ya. Man’s got skills. But this piece is supposed to be about Frostbike, an annual mini-Interbike held at Quality Bicycle Products in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington. “Q” distributes bicycle parts to bicycle shops who then distribute the parts to you. They have grown from a few page catalog (1981) to one that is five inches thick and encomapasses two volumes. Here’s a display of the history of “Q” catalogs…

Many of QBP’s suppliers were in attendance. Salsa (A brand owned by QBP) showed off their line of Titanium hardtails, available in 2-six, 2-nine and cross. Sweet graphics lazer-etched into the downtube. Made at the Lynskey factory and retailing for $1800…

Salsa also showed a sweet rigid fork with a Maxle thru-axle. Here Ed from SRAM shows the fork and it’s required damping cartridge….

Speaking of Sram, they have a sweet new road kit for the budget minded, Apex…

I took a few photos mind you, not too many, so I’m just showing you a few things that I thought or someone told me were interesting. Like this Swingline Office Hauler garment pannier from Pacific Outdoor. You can put a fine suit in there and arrive at the office looking like a pro, as long as you have somewhere to change…

Lazer has a new helmet with an integral water feed device. Designed to cool your jets without getting water in your eyes.

The Hive has these sweet looking cranks that remind me of the old Grove Innovations design back in the day…

Ever look inside a Rohloff hub? Sweeeeeet….

And Andrea from Brooks showed off their sweet Oxford Rain Cape. While completely waterproof, it rolls up to take a very small space under your saddle. $300 retail…

The Surly booth is still the place to be. Although the prohibition on alcohol made happy hour patrons unhappy…

So those are a few things I saw at Frostbike. Here’s a shot of the QBP building. While miles from the city it is about as bike friendly as it can be…

Much like Minneapolis. The Midtown Greenway I rode home that one night has a very expensive bicycle and pedestrian bridge. Sweet Infrastructure stuff like this makes all the difference…

Bib and I wish you good day!

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