Interbike 2013

First look: Ergon BX4 Backpack

A few weeks back, the good folks at Ergon USA sent over their new BX4 backpack after I reminded them of a review we did a few years ago. The BX4 is designed for “bike weekends” and MTB expeditions, with a cavernous cargo capacity and a drool-worthy checklist of features. It also happens to make a pretty fantastic commuting backpack.


Back when we looked at their BD1 pack in 2008, the only real complaint was the overall size/carrying capacity of the bag. With a rated cargo capacity of 30 Liters, the BX4 offers the commuter plenty of room to carry work items, and then some.

We’ve just started the review process…lots of weighted-down rides with it to see how it shakes out. Since there are so many features, however, we wanted to offer a “first look” to show you what makes the BX4 tick. First, the construction: Ergon borrows a page from the ultralight backpacking craze and specs light materials for the BX4. Lightweight ripstop nylon instead of heavier Cordura for the main bag, airmesh padding on the back panel and shoulder straps, mesh interior pockets and lighter strapping makes this bag, despite its complexity and size, weigh in at just a hair over 2 lbs. That is LIGHT!

The back of the bag is stiffened by a light plastic internal framesheet and supported by two moldable aluminum strips. Both offer great structure to the bag and protect the wearer’s back from pointy objects inside the bag. The aluminum strips further offer the user the ability to bend the bag to follow the contours of the back for a truly custom fit and decent air flow.

Coupled with the stiffening features, the shoulder straps are attached to the bag by means of a nylon-covered plastic sheet (Ergon calls this “Perfect Fit”). This one is adjustable for a user’s torso length by a hook-and-loop strap running up the centerline of the bag. Ergon calls this setup Perfect Fit:


Ergon’s Adaptive Carrier System consists of the shoulder straps and load compression. The tops of the shoulder straps loop through a pair of green anodized sliders that act as sort of a “living hinge”…giving the shoulder harness and cargo load the ability to float and find its own perfect place on the user’s shoulders. It’s hard to envision, and sounds hokey, but it works like a charm.


For organization freaks (such as myself), the BX4 offers plenty to soothe the soul. The bag is divided into four major compartments, each with additional pockets. At the back is the hydration bladder sleeve, which just so happens to fit a laptop inside. Ergon claims a 17″ laptop will go in there, but my old fattie wouldn’t. A 15″ model slid in there with room to spare.


Next up is the full-depth main compartment, with plenty of room for books, lunch, spare clothing or shoes. The main compartment has a couple of mesh organizer pockets sewn into it.


The third compartment is a sort of “half compartment”, with a depth of about half the bag. It has room for smaller items, tools, and the like. It also has several organizer pockets made from mesh and covered by a nylon flap.


The last, outermost compartment is the helmet cradle. It is mostly open, with a nylon outer and generous mesh corners. The straps that secure it in place also serve to compress the load in the main bag. There’s even a small zippered stash pocket in there! You can see how the helmet fits up there in the first photo of this article.


Alright, alright…that is a LOT of detail to sort through. So, in the review (to be published when we get back from Interbike), we’ll talk about how it fits, how it carries a load, and all the other juicy details. For now, the Ergon BX4 shows great promise as a very capable commuter backpack. Stay tuned for that review!

T-shirt blowout! Only $15.00 shipped!

Deep in the recesses of HQ, we found the very last of our signature green t-shirts. We’re blowing them out in advance of Interbike (see our beer money post here).

$15.00 USD gets you a t-shirt shipped to anywhere in the U.S. (shipping IS included)*. The caveat: there are only 4 shirts available…3 smalls and 1 XL.



*Goofy facial expression and wee child NOT included.

Help us buy beer for Interbike

Ok folks in less than a week we’ll be at Interbike providing you show coverage of the latest and greatest bicycle products for 2014. But we need beer money. So that means we’re putting the remaining wool caps on sale for a measly $18.00 SHIPPED (US ONLY)!

This is Ghost Rider Jr holding the sign. We were hoping that he would tug on your heart strings and cause you to place an order for a cap.
beer money

We only have 1 left: large/XL

Large/Extra Large:
23 1/2″ – 25″
7 1/2 – 8

**All sales are final. No exchanges or refunds. Please make sure you look at the sizing info above and order the correct size.**

Please keep in mind if you order the cap while we’re at Interbike, your item will be shipped once we get back the following week.

Thank you for your support!


Interbike 2013: To Vegas in one week!

The crew here at is gearing up for our annual trip to North America’s largest bicycle tradeshow, Interbike! We’re planning on bringing you a ton of coverage from the show floor and beyond.

We’ve got a couple of things we’re on the lookout for…some emerging technologies and overall trends in bike commuting circles. But, as always, we’d like to ask YOU what you want to see: Have you heard of anything that you would like to learn more about? Particular vendors or brands you want to see? Please let us know in the comments below — your feedback helps us focus our efforts, and without that feedback, the show floor at Mandelay Bay can be pretty daunting, even for seasoned attendees.

We hope to hear from you. Rest assured, we’ll sniff out the cool, the groundbreaking, and the unabashedly weird while we’re in Las Vegas!

Interbike 2013: Electric Bicycles

As we prepare for the ever so wonderful Interbike show in Las Vegas next month, I can’t help but wonder what might be some of the trends we’ll see. In the last few years we’ve seen more and more brands start to offer e-bikes. Every year that goes by brings more improvements in the technology used, from longer lasting batteries that deliver up to 30+ miles of travel per charge to bikes that can hit up to 50mph. Some e-bikes even qualify for a deduction at tax time; who wouldn’t be happy with a variety of free tax calculators that could be found online ? After seeing this video below, I reached out to Cameron Pemstein, owner of Motiv Electric Bicycles to gain his perspective on what people should expect at Interbike.

BC: What do you anticipate seeing with the trend of ebikes?

Cameron Pemstein: The electric bike trend will continue to grow because smarter IBD’s can see the potential growth in this segment.

BC: What have you seen in your business that people want more of or hope to see in the future with e-bikes?

Cameron Pemstein: We hear this all the time: “I love my bike, but I want to go further!” Our “LR” (long-range) battery offers 28-30 miles distance per charge, so when I hear that customers want to travel even further on our bike, it thrills us to know we have a solution.
motiv electric bikes

BC: Is the possibility of ebikes traveling over 50 miles per charge coming soon?

Cameron Pemstein: Yes, definitely, it is just a matter of time. Battery technologies are changing at a rapid pace. For example, 5 years ago the batteries that we currently use weighed in at 15lbs, and now they weigh around 9lbs. I am excited to see what the future holds for the e-bike battery.

With that said, perhaps a trend that we might see this year at Interbike in the electric bicycle segment would be longer range e-bikes and probably a few brands offering kits or complete bikes that can go as fast as 50mph. Whatever it may be, I’m looking forward to seeing all that goodness next month!

interbike sponsorship