Frostbike is an annual dealer gathering hosted by Quality Bicycle Products (QBP), the parent company behind several brands such as All City, Foundry, Salsa, Surly and others. The event takes place at QBP headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in late February and allows shop owners and media types to gather, drink beer and talk shop.
With the Taipei International Cycle Show and Sea Otter looming, not to mention the countless company-specific product launch events now usurping big trade shows, there was not a glut of new product to be explored. Here are some of the new and noteworthy products we stumbled upon.
Whisky 9 Carbon Handlebars – $140/$150
Whisky Parts, QBP’s carbon components brand, used a slate of custom, one-off bikes to showcase its new wheels, seat posts and handlebars, including its new 840 mm carbon mountain bike bars that are ready to be cut to size. Models will be flat or feature a 25 mm rise with 31.8 or 35 mm clamp diameters. The bars are estimated to arrive in June.
Manitou Machete fork
A new Manitou fork, the Machete, was spotted hung on Heller Bike’s entry-level Shagamaw hardtail (we previewed the bike last week). Not much was said about the Machete at Frostbike—Heller said its new carbon plus bike is the first to be spec’d with the fork. The version on the Shagamaw is 130 mm with an air spring and 6 mm bolt-on axle. The whole bike pictured here retails for $2,000, so we imagine the Machete will offer a reasonably priced option for plus-tire bikes. Look for more information on this, soon.
Five Ten Freerider EPS with Primaloft – $140/$150
The Freerider is a waterproof, insulated flat-pedal shoe designed for rides on cool, wet mornings and cold, snowy days. The Primaloft insulation is found on the shoe’s fully gusseted tongue and from the instep forward. The heel, instead, features closed-cell neoprene to retain heat and repel water. The sole is Five Ten’s Stealth S1 tread. Men’s U.S. sizing will go from a 14 all the way down to a 5, which is roughly a women’s 7. Available in standard rise for $140 or as a high-top for $150. Look for the shoes in August.
Bont Cycling is best known in the skinny-tire world, but these fresh, ultra-lightweight kicks caught our eye immediately. They feature a carbon sole that can be molded and re-molded to your feet multiple times and a fairly aggressive tread. Since these shoes are prototypes, we don’t know much about them yet. Expect to spend about $400 for a pair when they become available.
Surly Dirt Wizards in 27plus and 29plus – $80/$90
Mountain bikers have a love-hate relationship with these aggressive-tread tires. When the Dirt Wizard was introduced as a 26 x 2.75 tire, it was a rare 26plus(ish) option. Our web editor happily runs them on her old Surly Pugsley with 65 mm rims in all conditions. They have phenomenal grip but the original versions are infamous for weak sidewalls.
Now, the Dirt Wizard is available in 27.5 x 3.0 (60 TPI with Nylon sidewall protection) and 29 x 3.0 (60 and 120 TPI with Kevlar beads). The tires feature a new rubber compound that is designed to be more durable while still offering the grip and feel of a softer tire. Extra protection has been added to the sidewalls and the tires are now tubeless ready.
Rever mtb1 brakes – $164.99 (complete kit for one wheel)
Rever’s mechanical disc brakes are not brand-new, but they were updated for Frostbike and we simply like the idea of high-end mechanical disc brakes that are designed to be easy to service. Why? If you’re riding in extremely cold temperatures, extra-grimy conditions, foreign countries or doing long-distance bikepacking, hydraulic disc brakes might be more fuss and trouble than they’re worth. Rever’s brakes feature dual-piston design for better adjustment, stopping power, modulation and easy installment. The brake pads can be swapped without removing the wheels or disconnecting the cables. Each kit has everything you need to set up one wheel, including a 160 mm brake rotor and a beautiful, machined lever.
Problem Solvers Super P-Nut
This little guy was designed to improve single-wall tubeless setups. The oversized nut is intended to enhance the valves stability to eliminate leaks. It’s also easier to tighten by hand. Available soon.
All City Log Lady – $900 (frameset), $1500 (complete bike)
The only new mountain bike to be debuted at the show was the first dedicated dirt beast in All City’s lineup. All City is probably not a name familiar to mountain bikers—it’s a sister brand to Surly and Salsa under the QBP banner and has long made steel-only cyclocross, road and track bikes.
The quirky Log Lady, named for a character on the early 1990s TV show “Twin Peaks,” was heavily hyped in the run-up to Frostbike. The bike is a full-rigid singlespeed made from All City’s proprietary A.C.E. steel tubing. It utilizes 27.5 wheels and can fit up to 2.8-inch tires (depending on your rims; max tire width is officially 2.4 inches).
The frame is corrected for a 100 mm suspension fork, has a 44 mm headtube, disc brakes, short chainstays and a 30.9 seatpost diameter. The bike ships stock with a 32 tooth crankset and 18 tooth rear cog. Tires are 27.5 x 2.25 Schwalbe Rocket Rons on tubeless-ready Alex VOLAR rims. The bike is expected to arrive in shops in June. Geometry chart below: