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Live from Interbike

Trade shows. They’re a chance for companies to show off new products, build hype, fill plastic bags full of crap and hopefully get free drinks…I mean stuff. For gadgets, it’s the Consumer Electronics Show, for Mac users it’s the Mac World expo and for us bike nerds, its Interbike.
(photo from belmont distribution)

I had a my foreign corespondent Nona Varnado on the scene in Las Vegas. (Right, actually she was already going, just to dispell any rumors that I have any kind of staff what so ever.) Nona was on hand to promote her line of cycling apparel for woman, she filled this report on the current state of bike fashion from Interbike central.

Interbike 2010 Fashion Report

Interbike is overwhelmingly “back” according to the number of exhibitors and attendees after last year’s ghost town. From components manufacturers to apparel there seems to be a big gulf between companies updating existing lines and companies pushing out innovative new stuff, largely in response to the huge growth in new cyclists and fashion conscious urban riders.

Not surprisingly the coolest stuff seems to be coming from small new companies trying to make a name with stand out products. And where fashion is the usual all male concentration becomes decidedly more female. I’m at interbike to launch a fall/winter line of women’s cycling apparel (nonavarnado.com) and it has been awesome to meet a bunch of super talented young women producing gorgeous quality products; from Po Campo’s bags to DZR’s amazing street cycling shoes (originally designed only for women, but they were so hot she added a men’s line).

Dzr….. Shoes that everybody who rides wants Now. from James Adamson on Vimeo.

Riyoko from Canada had some very cute pieces.

Spandex, pink stuff and more floral prints were strongly represented, so for ladies who joy those established looks, have no fear of a total revolution in bike chic. For that category, Dude Girl is my clear favorite. Sticking to the comfortable classics my favorite jersey’s were from Swobo; comfortable fabrics, minimal (but cute) details.

Men’s choices, being a far more developed business, are both more varied and nuanced. Campagnolo, unsurprisingly has the most minimal garments – from spandex to outerwear with both the men’s & women’s lines coordinating. Chrome has some gorgeous men’s apparel and accessories out now that will be classic enough to look great a few years from now too. Wheelmen’s bags & shirts looked whimsical & fun.

Speaking of bags, there are a few companies (Ortlieb. Timbuktu) making small rectangular backpacks that are gorgeous. They look comfortable & hip even outside of a bike context.

For high tech garments, the Mavic shoes and apparel look great, incredibly well made and super minimal. Their shoes & jackets are all one color, plus the yellow logo. Showers Pass had some really lovely rain jackets for men and women in the fashion show that were attractive enough to be worn to work or on a date.

Chrome & Swrve have some great bike specific pants for both men & women, though I can’t speak as to the fit (soon hopefully!) Swrve has a pair of riding pants that seem insulated enough to be worn on your next commute through Siberia.

With a few worthy exceptions apparel seemed to be a low point amongst all the bikes and components. The most intense fashion experience seemed to come from accessories, such as the gorgeous BASIL bags from the Netherlands. Between those and some of the new commuter bike lines (Linus, Globe) you could probably wear a plastic trash bag and still look good.

Lazer helmets seems to have heeded the call of ‘helmet covers’ and has come out with a really attractive plaid helmet that comes pre-covered.

It’s a significant leap from some of the DIY craftsmanship but with all the styling. Nutcase has also upped their offering to include the really silly (watermelon?) to the simply pretty (Gold & sparkles).

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