Interbike 2013: Ergon Bike Ergonomics

We had a chance to swing by the Ergon booth while we were in Las Vegas. Let’s take a look at some of their new offerings, shall we?

First off, Ergon has greatly expanded their saddle line…with saddles for road and mountain and disciplines in between, there’s one for every butt out there! The new road saddles (SR3 series), new cyclocross saddles (SRX3 series), and enduro-racing saddles (SME3 series) were getting all the attention. I had the chance to test-ride one of the very first SR3 saddles in the U.S., and I can say it was VERY comfortable for a racing saddle.



There were plenty of grips to choose from…ergonomic styles in rubber, cork, and the really stylish leather ones, a collaboration between Ergon and luxury cycling shoes maker Quoc Pham:


Ergon has expanded its range of backpacks, too. While these were developed for the mountain bike/marathon bike market, they serve admirably in a commuter capacity. You may remember that we have a BX4 pack on test right now (review coming soon):


Of great interest was the display of products from Phorm, a subsidiary of Ergon’s parent company (RTI Sports). Using ergonomic and comfort features developed for Ergon, Phorm is aimed at the recreation/urban/commuter market with a wide range of saddles and grips:



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Interbike 2013: Axiom Performance Gear

Axiom Performance Gear is probably not a household name in U.S. bike circles…but it should be. They make a HUGE variety of bike products and accessories, but may not have the same brand recognition here in the U.S. as other bike accessory companies. That’s a bit of a mystery to me; for as you will see, the products they make are well-designed, stylish, and readily available through the major bike shop wholesalers like QBP and Seattle Bike Supply.

Prior to our trip to Las Vegas, we’d be Facebook-chatting with Andrew Belson, the product manager and designer behind a lot of Axiom’s products. He gave us an extensive tour of Axiom’s display, focusing on commuter-friendly items we could share with you.

Axiom specializes in products designed to fit a wide range of bicycles, particularly their panniers and cargo racks. Let’s take a look at some of them first:

From the modular Grandtour Series, these panniers feature a host of high-tech features like adjustable pannier hooks, load management straps, and streamlined shaping. The best part of this series of bags is that they are totally modular, with a main bag and detachable accessory pockets. Strap on tent and toiletry pockets for long overnight or cross-country tours, then strip off everything but the main bag for errands and commuting. What a great setup!


The Grandtour Series comes in three sizes: 60 liters, 45 liters, and 30 liters, with accessory pockets that bump up the cargo capacity.


Here’s Axiom’s “Journey” series…panniers for front and rear, grocery bags, rack-mountable briefcases and even a handlebar bag for your iPad!


Need a rack to carry those bags? Axiom has you covered with a wide variety in both expedition-grade steel and aluminum flavors:


A LOT of thought went into the mounting hardware for Axiom’s racks. Most had offset mounts to prevent heel strikes, and they all had a huge range of adjustability to accomodate bikes of several wheel sizes. Take a look at their Uni-Fit mounting plates, which I referred to as “dial a size”. Find the appropriate holes for your wheelsize and bolt into place:


That’s pretty cool right there, and is a perfect example of the details sweated out by the folks at Axiom. With their mounting options, one would be hard-pressed indeed to find a bike these racks wouldn’t fit!

Axiom also makes a line of travel and floor pumps…some of the best-looking ones I’ve laid eyes on, and packed with great features.


These pumps have knurled aluminum bodies, extendible hoses and the “ReValver” that twists to adjust for Schrader and Presta valves. Slick!

Perhaps my very favorite thing I spotted at Interbike was this gorgeous floor pump called the Annihilateair G200A. It was a work of art, with a mirror-polished aluminum body, Headrush dual-valve head, replaceable MTB-style grips and traction pegs on the base. This pump just oozed quality, and if I had a spare $135.00, I’d run out and buy one right now! RL can attest to my interest in this pump…sort of an odd thing to get so excited over, but hey, I’m a bike geek with a serious tool problem:


Axiom showed us so much more…other waterproof panniers with ultrasonic-welded seams, great commmuter accessories, etc. We really had an enjoyable time with them in their vast display. And, we may be able to get our hands on some of Axiom’s products for the purposes of reviewing, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, swing on over to their website for further details on these and their many other products.

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Interbike 2013: Banjo Brothers

We met up with our pals Mike and Eric from Banjo Brothers in Las Vegas. They were gracious enough to spend a good chunk of their time shooting the breeze with us and telling us about some of their new products.

But first, the costumes. As you may remember in years past, Mike and Eric often had the very best costumes on the show floor…from tracksuits to loungewear. This year, they went with what I am referring to as “hayseed chic”:


Their most exciting new product is this convertible backpack-to-pannier:



The top flap swings both ways, serving to cover the pannier hooks on one side, and the backpack straps on the other. Presto changeo!


This bag will retail for around $89, if my memory serves.

Banjo Brothers also had a couple of very chic dry-waxed-canvas bags…urban style and lots of functionality in a sleek package:


Let’s not forget their Minnehaha Bags line, too — classic styling in waxed canvas and leather:


It was great to talk to Mike and Eric — they’re good guys who are passionate about what they do, and they are always SO nice to us! Check out their full lineup by visiting their website.

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Interbike 2013: New lights from Planet Bike

One of the highlights of our Interbike trips every year is to visit the kind folks at Planet Bike. They’re always happy to show off their new products, and they ALWAYS fill our sweaty hands with great swag (we got t-shirts and PB-branded Sockguy socks this year). And, we finally got to meet Mark LaLonde in person…he’s been our contact at PB for a couple of years and has been instrumental in donating products for RL’s Mobile Bicycle Repair Unit.

Here’s Mark at the PB booth:


Planet Bike’s big news was a couple of new microlights and some updates to the ever-popular Superflash series of lights. Let’s dive in and take a look, shall we?

First up is the Superflash Micro…the same great visibility as the original Superflash, but in a smaller package. These lights take “N” size batteries, and a USB option may be coming soon:


Speaking of USB, Superflash now comes in a USB-rechargeable version…handy for quick juice-ups at work:


Here are a couple of Superflash Turbos, but in the new mini-size:


Planet Bike has updated their popular ALX floor pump…new wooden handles and great features that make these rock-solid for home or shop use:


Planet Bike has a giant collection of commuter-friendly accessories for almost any application. Head on over to their website for a full look at the many light, fender, and pump options and a whole lot more.

Interbike 2013 Coverage Proudly Sponsored by Black Tiger Jerky
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Interbike 2013: Park Tools

Every cyclist worth their salt recognizes the distinctive blue vinyl coating of Park Tools, arguably the largest bike-specific tool manufacturer in the world.

We swung by their large display at Interbike and marveled at the myriad of professional- and consumer-grade tools there. For folks who are out on the road all the time, some hand tools can be lifesavers. You ARE carrying a basic toolset, aren’t you? If not, Park Tool has you covered; they make a really wide variety of take-along tools for every budget:




New to their lineup is the SPK-1, a tool guaranteed to help the hungry lunchtime commuters among us:


No self-respecting commuter travels without a spork, amirite?