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PHOTOS & COMMENTARY

Highlights From The 2019 BC Bike Show

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Mar 5, 2019

BC Bike Show

From the outside looking in, Seamus and the crew at the BC Bike Show did a great job this year. All the exhibitors I talked to were impressed with the turnout and interactions, Airrecenter put on a great show with a host of riders showing off on the ramps, and there was lots to see for the bike nerd and more casual observer.

The only complaint I heard, and mainly in jest, was about the sheer volume of e-bikes from the high-end, to the slag, and from the true pedelec to the pedal-less e-motorcycle. Three thoughts on the subject:

  • I am one of those pragmatist non-smokers who had no problem with the Benson & Hedges Symphony of Fire and Du Maurier Jazz Festival - and so on.
  • There is some truly epic sh*t out there in e-bike land. If I was Specialized, Giant, Trek, Rocky Mountain, etc. I would not be worried.
  • The coolest bikes on hand at the whole show were the 'devil's advocate' specials from Bowhead. There's a level of creativity, with design and materials, and mad science in the world of adaptive bikes that simply doesn't exist in the optimized pedal-bike world of 'it looks like a Trek'.
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Like a moth to a flame... "I need some of these kids' pedals!"

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Chromag - always sweating the little details.

With an abundance of time and money the one thing at the show I'd add to the list of my personal possessions, and experiences, is a flat bar commuter bike made by me. I wouldn't trust my own handiwork hammering down local trails but I like to think that with Paul Brodie's saintly patience and keen experience I could make something I'd be proud to ride.

Looking for something different? Check out the frame building program at UFV.

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Learn to weld your own frame,

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or braze your own frame,

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from nice guy and master builder Paul Brodie.

I'll hopefully never need to actively peruse the adaptive bike market for myself but a roll through the Bowhead booth is an impressive experience all the same. The Trust Performance linkage fork is a bit 'meh' compared to the steering systems on these machines.

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In house 3D printing

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Independent linkage suspension

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Complex chain drive system

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Beyond impressed with the creativity behind Bowhead's adaptive bikes.

Chromag, We Are One, Paul Brodie, Toxik Design, and Dekerf were holding down the handmade section. I'd personally love to see a section truly dedicated to handmade bikes, and hopefully the show's growth would encourage more small builders to attend and bring more examples of their craft.

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Finishes - Toxik Design Lab brought the bold.

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Finishes - Nomad Vanz brought the brutal (in a good way).

I'm not into bike packing, but it's quite notably alive and well although I'll have to wait at least another year to fulfill my dream of meeting the crew from Porcelain Rocket. I admit it's a bit of a pedal from Calgary, AB.

Brodie had a cool tent setup in their booth and a strapped-and-dirty 2019 Romax Adventure looking wicked in stock pink.

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Keep an eye on the newly invigorated Brodie Bikes. They live all kinds of pedaling, sell what they ride, and appreciate value. I'm anticipating lots of thoughtful evolution from Bruce, Andrew, and Co.

The SuspensionWerx booth was close enough to the Airrecenter jump setup that everything shook when a rider hit the deck. It was a fun display of riding and really well received by the crowd. James and James were unshackled from their work benches and out answering questions - and A LOT of those questions were about coil forks and shocks.

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Despite being a lot less visible in the press there is still a notable hunger for coil forks and shocks.

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I don't own a bike with 'Onion' mount but if I did I think this Ohlins TTX would be my shock.

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Reinventing the flat pedal? Maybe not. But the Squidworx modular system looks sweet and the price is comparable to other performance pedals.

We Are One brought along their full selection of rims and had them laid out for folks to pick up and examine at their leisure. They also had a prototype bar on hand - it's pretty easy to imagine that one step beyond making rims will lead to another.

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Carbon handlebars made in Kamloops, BC, Canada. What's next?

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Check out the We Are One custom decal program; let the whole world know you love your cat(s).

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Carbon super bikes aren't normally my cuppa but the Forbidden Bikes Druid is an awesome looking rig.

With a solid turnout and positive reviews from the exhibitors and visitors I'm looking forward to seeing the show grow in attendees as time goes on. If the trails are frozen over again next year, and even if they aren't, I'd suggest checking it out.

More information at BC Bike Show.

Comments

JBV
+2 Rob Gretchen Andrew Major
James Vasilyev  - March 5, 2019, 11:55 a.m.

i see WAO composites is releasing new rims and wheelsets. i'm not sure how the heck they are going to improve on what they've got out there. this must be coming very soon.

Reply

nouseforaname
+4 Adrian White upandown Rob Gretchen Andrew Major
Nouseforaname  - March 5, 2019, noon

They said they are dropping their prices to $1250 for the DT 350 wheelset. Which is INSANE. Literally blowing my mind that a couple of years ago a decent handbuilt alloy wheelset would run you $1000, and now these disruptors are flogging made in Canada carbon wheels at world beating prices.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+8 Shrockie person person Mammal Adrian White Skyler Rob Gretchen James Vasilyev Niels
Andrew Major  - March 5, 2019, 1:45 p.m.

I feel like I need to preface this by saying I have neither owned or tested any We Are One product, don't own shares in the business, don't have any carbon in my bikes other than brake levers, and they don't have any incriminating evidence about me that I know of - just in case, this sounds to any cynics like I'm blowing smoke.

When I first started working in the bike industry there was a decent amount of Canadian and indeed BC manufacturing and it was driving a lot of progression in the sport. Sugoi, Rocky Mountain, Cove Bikes (Yess), Race Face, Syncros, Core Rat, Roach. Now that torch is very concentrated with a handful of small steel frame builders, some nice machined goods from the likes of North Shore Billet and Chromag, and now carbon fibre from We Are One.

We Are One aren't just making products in BC, they're competing on quality and aftersale support with the biggest names at prices that are not a stretch from rebranded factory seconds and thirds.

More importantly, I really hope they drive more people to figure out how they can manufacture awesome products in a way they're proud of, in a town they want to live in, and with a groundswell of rider support for their brand and product. It is a really cool story that I hope to see repeated.

Reply

JBV
+2 Shrockie Andrew Major
James Vasilyev  - March 5, 2019, 6:28 p.m.

no doubt. looking at a WAO rim in the flesh is impressive. especially compared to oh, anything else. they look like an image of a carbon rim. like they were spontaneously formed in a vapourizing machine, you know, from carbon vapour. it's hard to detect nary a seam or strand. it's freaky. i don't lust over carbon frames at all, dunno why, but i do these rims.

Reply

GladePlayboy
+4 Sandy James Oates AndrewR Andrew Major James Vasilyev
Rob Gretchen  - March 5, 2019, 6:41 p.m.

Our shop is signing up as a stocking dealer moving forward... let's throw our support behind WAO and show the rest of the world that $3,000+ carbon wheels are unneccessary.   Not pointing fingers at anyone... but I don't envy the competition.... See what I did there?

Reply

Brigham_Rupp
0
Brigham_Rupp  - March 6, 2019, 11:51 a.m.

I’ve been on the Agents for the past year or so and have had a lot of interaction with Dustin. The product and the company have been awesome by all accounts.

Reply

nouseforaname
+1 Andrew Major
Nouseforaname  - March 5, 2019, 11:57 a.m.

I was happy to spend a couple of hours wandering the hall on Sunday. Maybe it was the time of day, but it seemed like the bike half was teeming with people and the 'travel' side was a desert in comparison.

Glad I went - last bike show it went to was years ago.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - March 5, 2019, 1:46 p.m.

Apparently, the Saturday was busier in general but the consensus is attendance was only down a bit in the bike area Sunday but it was obviously more active riders from the quality of questions being asked. Glad I went too and will certainly go next year.

Reply

T-mack
+1 Andrew Major
T-mack  - March 6, 2019, 6:37 p.m.

Yup lots of awesome things coming down the pipe from WAO. The show this year was much better than the last few years, just seemed to have more energy or something.

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