These five pieces of equipment and bike gadgetry are our favorite finds from Interbike 2014.
Feedback Velo Hinge
Here’s one of those, “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?” strokes of simple genius. Like any standard bike hook, this wall-mount device lets you hang a bicycle to save floor space. But the savings is greater than normal (by 50 percent, according to Feedback) thanks to the built-in hinge mechanism, which allows the bike to be swiveled toward the wall like door. Each unit comes with a wheel shim, which provides an axis point for the back tire, and the hinge can be oriented to both sides, so bikes can swing either left or right. Brilliant. ($25)
Having built its reputation on protective gear for skiers and gravity sports enthusiasts, this Swedish company pushes the safety message into road biking with a line of cycling apparel. At the heart of the collection is the Octal, which looks different than everything on the market (a good thing in our opinion) but has the specs and features to compete with other high-end lids. The 20 vents are massive and airy, it’s surprisingly light (202 grams for our size medium), and safety is top priority, with high-visibility colors only (no black) and a rear mount for an ICEdot sensor (not included) that automatically notifies your family with GPS coordinates if you’re in an accident. Best of all are the rubberized “eye garages” on the widest two vents that hold sunglasses in place when you aren’t wearing them. ($270)
Ergon Pro Setback Seatpost
Leave it to the Germans to engineer a graceful, clean, and innovative answer to the tired, old suspension seat post. With twin carbon leaf springs capped by ball bearing-equipped pivots, this takes the shock of our rough roads by absorbing hits, vibrations, and road buzz. On impact, it allows your saddle to move in a downward arc while still remaining level, but otherwise stays rigid. It’s available in 27.2mm diameter only, weighs around 220 grams (which isn’t much more than a lightweight carbon post), and can easily be flopped between 13 and 25mm of setback. A non-setback version is also available. ($300)
Blackburn Central Pannier
The accessory manufacturer is trying to make a comeback with a re-launch of its branding and a major overhaul of its product line, and our initial impressions are good. One of the smartest looking pieces is this rear rack bag, which is constructed of a heathered fabric that is sharp enough to pair with business casual but is still plenty rugged and also includes a built-in rain cover. The quick-clip system makes it easy to get the bag on and off the bike, and, when used in conjunction with Blackburn’s Interlock Rack ($120), the whole thing locks to the rack to prevent thieves from snatching it. There are small stainless steel cables built into the bag to keep zippers secure, too, a magnet system to ensure that the shoulder strap doesn’t get hung up in your rear wheel, and solid organization within, including a laptop sleeve and assorted pouches. ($100)
Yurbuds Adventure Series
With thousands of plugged-in miles a year, we beat up on our earphones and have long appreciated tougher models. Enter the new Adventure Series from Yurbuds, which are waterproof, have Kevlar-wrapped water-resistant rubberized cords, and basically look as bombproof as a pair of ear buds can be. They come in four models, with in-ear buds or behind-the-ear wrap-style and either with or without a mic for making and receiving calls. And wisely, there’s a in-line remote that both controls music and answers calls. And even if the flat cords don’t fully combat tangling, if they flat resist turning into a maddening bird’s nest like standard cables, we’ll love them.