The Golden Wrench

A blog about bicycle repair and maintenance by the mechanics at Freewheel Bike.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Frostbike Frenzy

Over the weekend Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) opened their headquarters in Bloomington, Minnesota to an onslaught of bike shop employees anxious to see what both in-house and outside vendors had to offer for the upcoming cycling season.  For most of us, it was a chance to get our hands on some of the latest and greatest that we will be able to stock in our shops and service departments this year.  Lucky for you, I brought my camera and here are some of my favorite things from the show: 

Campagnolo Record 11 Speed Electronic

First thing Saturday morning, I found myself in the front row of the Campagnolo demonstration and hands on for their brand new Record 11 Speed, and my pictures just don't seem to do it justice.  I enjoyed the hands on-time because I know that if I'm really, really, lucky our shop will get to install one or two systems tops this year.  
This initial year is going to be a very limited run of parts, so if this is in your price range, be prepared to order early, or wait for a long time.  The good news for you is that Freewheel is certified to work on this stuff.  

Surly, Surly, Surly.

One fun thing with a brand like Surly is that they make bikes that are made to be ridden, customized and personalized in just about any way that you can think of.  While some other brands, showed off stock bikes that I could easily see online, Surly took the occasion to show off some of the stuff that their employees have Frankensteined together.  My favorite was the "Fat Bike Lite" that they were showing off.  A 1x1 Frame, Moonlander Fork, with Large Marge Lite Wheels and Schwalbe Big Betty Tires.  This one really had my gears turning for a winter bike build for next year.     

Another eye catcher from Surly was their Ultra New Hub.  So what has actually changed from the New Hub?  A lot.  While we love Surly products, their previous hub design left a lot to be desired.  Anything other than a perfectly adjust hub could result in some quickly worn bearings which needed replacement.  With the Ultra New Hub, the entire axle system has been revamped and gets two-thumbs up from the service department!  For the consumer the big bonus is that it can be either quick release or bolt on without changing the axle.  For the cherry on top of the chocolate sundae, current Surly hubs and be upgrade simply by purchasing a new axle set.

Speed Round:

Salsa: No need to rub your eyes, what you see in the picture is exactly what you think it is, a full-suspension fat bike.  Unfortunately this isn't yet a reality, just a prototype from Salsa, but with as polished as this was, you can bet that this will be coming soon.......
45 North: Speaking of fat tire bikes, 45 North showed off a studded fat tire, of course is was frozen into a real block of ice... not sure how much of that was left by Sunday...

Problem Solvers: Having regrets about that track frame?  Wishing that you could shift gears like all the cool kids?  Problem Solvers has your back.  This chain tensioner with a derailleur hanger will turn that Nature Boy into a hill-climber in no time.