The new and interesting at Frostbike ’17.

Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) is an overarching parent company behind brands such as Salsa, Surly, All City, Foundry, and Civia. They also work as distributors for a host of other companies, acting as the middleman between brands and bike shops.

Every February, QBP hosts Frostbike, an industry trade show in their headquarters in Bloomington, Minnesota (just outside of Minneapolis). This show is mainly directed at dealers and retailers, providing an opportunity to form face-to-face relationships and offering a chance for buyers, shop owners, mechanics, and bicycle salespeople to gawk at new products and a plethora of brands all in one place.

But QBP does invite media as well, and thus, I kicked off my 2017 travel season with a trip to what was supposed to be a very “frosty” place. Minneapolis happened to be in the middle of a winter heat wave though, so with temps in the 60s, the name Frostbike wasn’t exactly fitting this year.

Anyway, on to some of the new and/or cool stuff I saw on the show floor.

New clothing brand: Ketl 

There wasn’t a ton of brand new things to be explored, but the clothing brand Ketl was one of them. They’re coming out with their first line of apparel for this spring.

The brand appears to be focusing on mountain bike apparel that doesn’t look like mountain bike apparel. In fact, it looks more like urban commuting wear than anything. The stuff looks and feels pretty nice, like it would be comfortable to wear on the trail but also be fashionable enough to wear out to grab a bite and beer after.

Offerings include sleeveless and 3/4 sleeve jerseys for women, long or short sleeve jersey options for men, and baggy overshorts, long-sleeve button-downs, and bibs for both sexes. The women’s bibs include a flap for “easy nature breaks,” and both bibs feature rear pockets.

Women’s clothes come in sizes XS-XL, and men’s come in S-XL. These threads should be available for purchase next month.

ketl


Various bits from Problem Solvers

In similar fashion to companies like Wolf Tooth, Problem Solvers creates innovative little oddball pieces that…well, solve problems! They were showcasing four new products at Frostbike:

problemsolverszinger
The Zinger easily converts a SRAM XD driver-compatible freehub into a singlespeed, and includes spacers for simple chainline adjustment. The kit comes with both 18t and 20t cogs as well, and retails for $74.99.

 

Front Boosters allow for use of a standard hub in a Boost-sized frame. The 10mm spacer adapts a 100 x 15 front hub to 110 x 15. The kit also includes 5mm rotor spacers and hub cap spacers. The set retails for $24.99.
Front Boosters allow for use of a standard hub in a Boost-sized frame. The 10mm spacer adapts a 100 x 15 front hub to 110 x 15. The kit also includes 5mm rotor spacers and hub cap spacers. The set retails for $24.99.

 

MisMatch 2.2 allows for Shimano and SRAM brakes and shifters to be mounted together on one clamp. You can buy them as a pair for $40, or right-hand only.
MisMatch 2.2 allows for Shimano and SRAM brakes and shifters to be mounted together on one clamp. You can buy them as a pair for $40, or right-hand only.

 

Bubs: FIrst of all, I love the name. Bubs are little 10 mm-long rubber bits that fill in frame holes. This allows you to take the bolts out and save your frame bags from the abrasion, or save weight, if you're into that kind of thing. A pack of 10 is $7.99.
Bubs: FIrst of all, I love the name. Bubs are little 10 mm-long rubber bits that fill in frame holes. This allows you to take the bolts out and save your frame bags from the abrasion, or save weight, if you’re into that kind of thing. A pack of 10 is $7.99.

New tires from Michelin

As we at Dirt Rag got invited to a Michelin press camp that’s coming up in a couple weeks, we knew they had to have some new treads on the horizon. They had some examples on display at Frostbike, and while they wouldn’t reveal specifics, I did get to gawk at them. Be sure to stay tuned for our ride impressions in a few weeks!

michelintires2
New developments include the Wild AM (pictured in front), which will be offered in a variety of sizes including 27.5 x 2.6″

Surly Moloko Bar 

You can always count on Surly for the different and weird, and nothing is different with the Moloko Bar. This 735 mm-wide CroMoly steel bar allows for the mounting of many accessories and plenty of hand positions. MSRP: $95

surlybars


Smaller bike sizes from All City

The bike industry could generally improve on its inclusivity of really small adults (aka generally women) with bikes that fit properly but don’t compromise on quality. It’s nice to see some brands coming around and offering extra-small sizing with smaller wheels to retain the same ride quality as on larger sizes.

All City is now offering extra-small sizing on a number of its models, and spec-ing the two smallest sizes with 27.5 instead of 700c wheels to provide reduce toe overlap and provide a more maneuverable and fun bike for the vertically-challenged.

allcitysmall


Heads Up Helmet Design Contest 

Unfortunately, these sweet lids are the results of a design contest and not production models, but they’re fun to look at anyway.

allthehelmets

helmetsfuzzy

So there you have it. Just a few of the new things I saw on the show floor at Frostbike. As press camp and trade show season ramps up, stay tuned for plenty of new stuff coming your way here on our website. Sign up for our e-newsletter and get the coolest stories of the week delivered directly to your inbox every Tuesday!