Tag Archives: shopping for cyclists

Velodome, Belgium. Arguably the best looking bike shop I have seen

During a recent trip to Belgium, I had a chance to sit down with Philippe van Eekhout of Velodome in Antwerp.

You know you're doing things right when The Cannibal shows up shopping for bikes.
You know you’re doing things right when The Cannibal shows up shopping for bikes.

See the full Velodome interview here.

We discussed how he and his partners built a concept store and restaurant in the former stables of the De Koninck brewery, how they turned a 200 year old building into a modern bike shop.

Velodome was the exclusive Rapha dealer for the entire Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg. We look at the new brands they found and promote since Rapha decided to end their presence in retail stores.

Another interesting subject was the enormous rise of e-bikes in Europe, how they took over the majority of bike sales in a shop that was mostly aimed at road and mountain bikes. We look at how the EU supports people with tax benefits to get them out of their cars and onto e-bikes, but at the same time is struggling with regulating these hyper fast bikes on public roads.

Modern bikes on a centuries old cobblestone shop floor. Velodome is a travel destination.
Modern bikes on a centuries old cobblestone shop floor. Velodome is a travel destination.

Thanks to all partners: Philippe, Stijn and Maarten for their time in producing this video and for bringing better bikes to the people. See the interview on the Kogel Bearings Youtube channel

Ard

The best products we found at the Interbike Outdoor Demo

We visited the outdoor demo at Interbike with the intention of shooting a lot of video and interviews, but unfortunately a strong wind disagreed with our plans.  Instead we collected some photos from the coolest new products we found. In no particular order, here’s lowdown:

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It sure got windy, destroying every opportunity to shoot quality video. Stay tuned for footage to come from the indoor days at Interbike.

Alchemy Bicycles Oros paint job
Alchemy Bicycles won the best carbon lay-up at the most recent edition of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. The hardtail frame on display at outdoor demo was painted in a mix of matt and shiny black. The shiny parts were sometimes transparent, exposing the raw carbon and sometimes full of sparkles. I spent a good couple of minutes moving around this frame.

www.alchemybicycles.com

alchemy bicycles oros
raw carbon seen from one side
alchemy bicycles oros
a subtle black glitter when looking from another vantage point.
kogel bearings Alchemy Oros
The frame has an amazing looking one piece rear triangle and fancy looking derailleur hanger.

M1 Spitzing 75km/h mountain bike

Walking from the parking lot to the entrance of Outdoor Demo, e-bikes were flying by me left, right and center. Seriously, they’re everywhere. This brute caught my eye, it looks like it fell straight out of a Batman movie.

The friendly German men in the booth told me it was an 880 watt motor that can run 150km on a single charge on a flat road and hits 75 kilometers an hour (In miles per hour that means Scary Fast).

Unfortunately the batteries did not make it on the flight so I could not take it out for a burn-out session. The batteries were supposed to be delivered later that day, so I might go back for some action.

The website of M1 seems to be down, but here’s their Facebook.

Have a look at the end of this video, it sure looks like a lot of fun.

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Tufmed recovery products for athletes

The Tufmed booth had so many people standing around it, it made me turn around and have a look at what they had to offer.

Comes out it is a relatively new company that makes recovery creams for people that deal with muscle soreness and bruises from training. As a person that, according to my wife, grabs every opportunity  to bash  my head in, this seems like a product I have been waiting for. It’s all odorless and natural, no chemical ingredients, so it definitely won’t hurt to give Tufmed a try.

www.tufmed.com

kogel bearings tufmed recovery products
Tufmed’s promise to athletes is to heal bruises, soreness and injuries quicker to get you back to training as soon as possible. Sweeeeeet!

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Enve Composites carbon hubs

These hubs have been featured on several media, but actually holding them made me realize how crazy light they are.  Weighing in at 73g for the front and 160g for the rear, according to the bikerumor.com scale it is just unreal. The popular combination of matt and shiny carbon makes them look extra fast, the wavy flanges look unlike any hub on the market. They run  on DTSwiss internals and  Ceramicspeed bearings for that little bit extra speed.

Availability should be in a few months. Just take my money, OK? All 1350 dollars of them. Wheel sets built with these hubs are going to take $3.5K out of your wallet, which seems like a better deal.

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Stay tuned for more amazing finds in the next few days!

Ard

Presents for the cyclist that has everything

With the holiday season fast approaching, lots of family members of avid cyclists will have an easy job deciding what to buy for their spandex clad friend: something for the bike. BOOM! That was easy. Reality sets in when said family member walks into a bike shop. Picking only one or two of the shiny bits and knowing you get the right thing is about as easy as getting an engineering job at NASA.

For all family members and friends of cyclists, Kogel’s Ball Bearing adventures have made a list of six things that any cyclist will be happy to find under the Christmas tree. We tried to represent all price levels.

Power bars, gels, nutrition: Price level $2 and up.

This sounds like a totally boring thing to buy, but believe us: almost every cyclist uses these and the purchases get expensive over time. It’s a sure shot, every cyclist will love a bag of Skratch or some Hammer.

 

Skratch Labs hydration mix is a popular choice for cyclists

Clothing hangers made of bicycle rims: Price level $25.

Some wheel companies make products from their rejected parts in production. Reynolds cycling makes clothing hangers out of their faulty rims. We have not seen these in many cyclist’s closets yet.

Lightweight also makes hangers out of faulty rims, but since their wheels typically run $6000 per set, expect these hangers to cost top dollar.

Lightweight carbon garment hanger, ca 100 Euros

 

Chris King coffee tamper: Price level $85 – $125.

Most cyclists love their coffee, so don’t be surprised if your shaved legged friend owns a manual espresso machine. This tamper from Chris King is again made out of production parts that were not good enough to sell for their intended purpose. They still make great eye candy for any cyclist’s kitchen.

These espresso tampers are made of rejected headset parts.

Wooden Bike Shelf: Price level $150.

Cyclists love to show off their rides and some bikes look good enough to be displayed as art. There are several companies offering bike shelves made out of wood, our favorite is Urban City Bike shelves, although their Facebook page recently announced a hiatus in the production. Bri+Co also gives some good shelf recommendations.

Urban City Bike Shelves makes beautiful bike racks in their Queens, NY workshop.

Casual Clothing by Pavé, Upright Cyclist and Panache: Price level $22 – $250.

There are quite a few companies that make casual clothing for cyclists. These can be jeans with a little extra room in the thighs for cycling legs, plaid shirts with technical fabrics or little cycling features to look smart off the bike. Here are some of our favorites:

Upright Cyclist is a Colorado company and is on a mission to design functional apparel that performs like bike clothing, but looks like every day clothes.

Upright Cyclist Fishtail Parka $229 and riding denim $119

 

Panache Cycle Wear is mostly known for its racing kits but they have a great casual collection.

Pavé is another favorite. The brand is not officially launched yet, but has been generating a lot of media attention with their pre-Kickstarter campaign. US Pro cyclists Alex Howes and Kiel Reijnen have been endorsing the brand.

 

Gravel bike: Price level somewhere between $800 and being in need of a new mortgage

This is only if your significant other has been a VERY good boy or girl this year. There is literally nothing on the planet that makes a cyclist happier than a brand new bike.
Gravel riding and racing is a segment that has been growing explosively in the last year. It is basically taking road bikes and riding them on a combination of asphalt and gravel roads. For this new segment a new bike is an absolute necessity (cyclists refer to this as the ‘n+1 rule’). Just go to a bike shop, say ‘I am looking for a gravel bike for my husband/daughter/friend/aunt’, swipe the Visa and prepare to never have to get up out  of your chair to get anything from the kitchen come Christmas time.

 

The GT grade is a fantastic go-anywhere-bike, prices range from $800 to $3600

 

 

If you are really a family member of a cyclist and read this article all the way down to here (we expect 95% of readers to be cyclists, asking themselves how to bring this article to the attention of their significant other), we have another piece of advice. Take a trip to your friend/partner/parent’s local bike shop and talk to the employees. There is a good chance they know your receiving friend by name and know what he/she owns and likes. If anything, they have kept a record of previous purchases and can advise you what to buy.

From us at Kogel Bearings, we wish you happy shopping and an amazing holiday season.

 

**If you have any questions about Kogel Bearings, ball bearings in general or our Ball Bearing Adventures, please ask them either in the comments section below, one of our social media channels or by email via info@kogel.cc. We will answer them in a highly professional, but not always scientific way. We do not shy away from many subjects. Please ask, we are here to answer.