Search Results for: "qbp"

Fat tire wheelie courtesy of Chris
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Frostbike–A bicycle non-professional at a bicycle industry trade show

A guest post by Laura Colbert of Loose Nuts Cycles in Atlanta, GA

So, I know my byline up there says that I represent Loose Nuts Cycles when I write.  The truth is that I am by no means a bicycle industry professional.  I ride my bike to work and around town, love a mountain bike ride, help out at the local velodrome and am marrying a bike shop owner, but I have never been paid to ride or work on bikes or to be knowledgeable about bicycle-related things.  I am a bicycle non-professional.

This weekend, my partner (owner of Loose Nuts Cycles) and I flew to Minneapolis so that he could attend Frostbike 2013–QBP’s annual conference and trade show.  I originally signed up because I have some family in the city and wanted to visit with them, but I was also curious about what went on at bicycle industry gatherings.  I’m in public health, so I’m used to peer-reviewed abstracts, break out sessions, suits, and networking events when I go to a conference.

Before we even left Atlanta for the frigid northern lands of Minnesota,  I knew I was in for something different than the expert-packed, abstract-ridden, brain-overwhelming days of public health conferences.  Chris forwarded an email to me with the subject line “2013 Frostbike Beer Hunt”, which described a scavenger hunt-type activity that you could complete at the vendor expo in order to earn “a 22oz. bottle of limited-edition Frostbike beer that was brewed and bottled by the QBP Vendor Sales Team”.  It’s not that we public health folks don’t have fun at our conferences, but we’ve certainly never hosted a Beer Hunt.  I could tell that Chris’s “professional” trip was going to be a very different kind of professional than I was used to.

Essentially, our schedule was this:

Friday–arrive in Minneapolis and find hotel.  Go to All City Bikes party (via a party bus called the Night Rider) and have beer- and bike-related fun.

Saturday–Go to QBP headquarters.  Check out the vendor expo for the morning.  Eat delicious lunch provided by Thompson and QBP.  Ride Surly fat bikes in the snow.  Back to expo.  Return to hotel for dinner.

Sunday–More expo. Take tour of QBP headquarters.  Eat more delicious lunch.  Ride more fat bikes (Salsa this time).  Win stuff at a raffle.  Back to hotel.

Monday–Sit on butt.  Fly back to Atlanta.

After4 bicycle packed days, these are the things that stuck with me:

  1. Fat tire bikes are awesome, especially when used for their intended purpose–snow.

    fat tires

    fat tires

  2. QBP likes girls.  My name tag said “Dealer” which probably helped, but all of the brands and bike professionals with whom I spoke treated me very equitably, like I knew as much as Chris did.  They made sure to look at both of us when talking about products.  I liked the feeling of not being talked down to and treated knowledgeably, even if I wasn’t actually knowledgeable.  I hope that Frostbike 2014 includes seminars for bike shop owners about how to make women cyclists feel like that in their shops.  It seems pretty rare in the bike world.
  3. The bicycle apparel industry apparently hates women–I’ll rant more about this in a later post, but women’s bicycle clothing continues to be made to look exactly like men’s cycling apparel but with an added flower or ruffle.  I saw not one piece of clothing at the entire show that I would be excited about wearing.
  4. POC Helmets look awesome–awesome enough to reduce how dorky I normally feel when wearing a helmet.
  5. Brooks still makes beautiful, drool-worthy leather products–I fell in love with this Brooks bag.  Oh yeah, and this bag is pretty amazing in the grape color.
  6. The Surly display.  They had obviously put a lot of thought and design into their space, even though it was just temporary.  Plus, the new Big Dummy cargo system premiered, which was exciting.
    Custom painted Moonlander just outside the Surly display area

    Custom painted Moonlander just outside the Surly display area

    New Surly Big Dummy bag and top plate

    New Surly Big Dummy bag and top plate

     

  7. There is a common sense of purpose between the Frostbike attendees.  Even though people didn’t know each other, they shared a priority and experience that connected them.  It sounds like hippy talk, but it made Frostbike feel welcoming and warm.  The feeling helped to re-energize a lot of attendees (including myself) about riding, even in the middle of winter.
  8. Kenda’s new tube vending machine–this is being tested in several pilot areas before it will be available to the mass market.  Pretty fun product.

    For all those times when you need a tube and your local bike shop isn't open to help you

    For all those times when you need a tube and your local bike shop isn’t open to help you

I was prepared to come back and report that professional bike trade shows are just an excuse to have a good party and talk about bikes all weekend.  While partying and talking about riding bikes and actually riding bikes was essentially all that we did for 3 days, I was surprised at how much actual business got done.  Vendors with whom I spoke were really excited and helpful when talking about their new products.  Bike shop owners were stoked that these new products met the needs of their customers (with the exception of women’s cycling clothing–ugh! Still unreasonably pissed about this).  Everyone wanted to ride bikes and generally the atmosphere at Frostbike fueled that fire.  It was fun to come home and be stoked to get on my bike and know that thousands of other people were doing the same thing as they returned home from Frostbike too.

QBP Logo

QBP Logo

Frostbike - Feb
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Frostbike Introduction

Frostbike - Feb

Starting last night through Sunday I am at a tradeshow called Frostbike. Much of my content and typery for the next few days will be wrapped around thoughts, concepts, product and conversations that come out of this tradeshow. Because of this I would like to quickly explain what it is and why it matters to me – which means also why you should continue reading. This is my version of what Frostbike is, I am biased as I am paid by the company that puts the event on, so that is my FTC warning. Also, all thoughts are my own and not of Frostbike or Quality Bicycle Products. (BLAH)

What is Frostbike?

Frostbike I believe started as an open house for distributor Quality Bicycle Products. To show off their main products and to give bicycle dealers (bike shops) the chance to come see and touch stuff that you only would normally see at Interbike. It has grown from an open house to really a mini Interbike that sells out rather quickly. You must be a Quality Bicycle Product dealer with an active account, and bla bla bla but the benefits of a smaller and more intiment settings with really the QUALITY bicycle products in the industry is very unique.

Why is Frostbike Different?

One thing that Frostbike is also is a bicycle dealer education show. There are seminars running the whole time from running your business, to marketing, to financial planning, to hiring, to merchandising, to brand education, to category education and so on. What is so unique about this is that for a good amount of it, it isn’t about product we (QBP) sells, it is about making the bicycle dealer more successful and profitable.

Finally it is also often used as a stepping stones for brands that QBP solely distributes or owns to launch at. The much anticipated 2013 Ridley Cyclocross will be shown off later this weekend, the official US launch of Campy’s EPS groups and several other things coming down the pipe that I would be in deep crap if I mentioned.

There you go, in a nutshell as best as I could without asking the lawyers or marketing geniuses!

 

Jonny Sundt
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Interbike ’12: Day One Recap

Keep up to date with the Bike Shop Girl coverage of the 2012 Interbike Trade Show with coverage, previews, exclusives and interviews.

Day one of Interbike was many things. Early morning of travel, a couple plane rides, seeing old friends, meeting new, check in, credentials, Treasure Island, dessert dehydration and simply getting my bearings after no sleep. Day two of Outdoor Demo is today, look for a good amount of product and photos being pushed out through the day!

Fox Racing Women's Reflex Gel
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Recently Spotted: Fox Racing Women’s Reflex Gel Gloves

There are a couple very important parts of your bike that you shouldn’t skimp on, these are your “touch points”. Saddle, shoes/pedals, and grips/handlebars/gloves.

Recently Quality Bike started stocking some women’s Fox Racing gloves with gel that I am looking to pick up. What’s unique is there is a short finger mountain bike version.

Fox Racing Women’s Reflex Gel Full Finger Glove $32.99

Fox Racing Women's Reflex Gel

Fox Racing Women's Reflex Gel  Fox Racing Women's Reflex Gel

Fox Racing Women’s Reflex Gel Short Finger Glove $29.99

Fox Racing Women's Reflex Gel

Almost every bike shop in America will be able to get this through my employer, QBP. 

Oh yes, I wasn’t paid or bribed, and I may make money off of these if you buy them through your bike shop who buys them through my employer, and that shop is in the southeast. That’s my disclaimers. Thank you for listening.

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