Written March 1rst 2011
Last weekend the entire NCC crew made the trek up to the massive QBP compound near the Twin Cities for 5 days of Frostbike. With only 1 stop for Coffee and New Glarus during the drive we made it in no time, passing the miles with great conversation and companionship, and if anyone reading this knows how to milk a bat contact us…..anyway….
Upon reaching our our hotel island in the snow we quickly got some whisky and brews and after a great dinner lounged in the hot tub and sauna, which was a common theme, and one that left you wondering what industry veteran was sitting next to you. The relaxed and personal element of Frostbike & QBP is amazing and is like nothing the sterile enviroment of Interbike could hope to achieve. We spent hours talking and hanging out with the guys who designed the bikes we ride so many miles on, most of the NCC crew knew them all pretty well already but i met alot of new people in person.
The exhibit floor had a good mix of brands, they only have so much space to use so only certain brands are able to present. I feel like they had a great balance of established flagship brands along with new to Q brands for people to learn about. There was def some products that even i a web junkie, hadn’t known about setup on display. Some of the standouts were a newly redesigned Salsa Mamasita without the Carbon stays, that comes in even Lighter and with a tapered headtube and sexier dropouts, and seeing the rest of the salsa line in general, they are all sexy. The salsa crew had some personal bikes on display too, which is cool to see how the guys actually ride them and gear them up. Surly took this theme a step further and had nothing on display except personal bikes, and some of them were quite(very)odd, but you could tell they were bikes that got loved and rode alot. All City unveiled a new zona tubing nature boy frameset, which has internal cable routing and looks amazing. I have this on my short list of cool, affordable, i want to own SS CX bikes.
While in town we had to spend a day checking out the bike shop scene. Angry Catfish was the first stop and it left us amazed. It’s a coffeeshop/bike shop that brews Intelligensia and stocks about ten thousand dollars of Rapha and De Marchi clothing, along with custom bikes from Moots, Indy Fab, Salsa, Pivot, BH, BMC, and more. I grabbed a double espresso and walked around for half an hour as if it was a museum, getting great satisfaction from both. Some of the other bike shops were great but none left us with the impression A.C. did.
Pizza Luce. Caffrey’s.If you are in Minneapolis check these places out. The Mashed Potato Pizza is unreal.
Frostbike 2011 was so good it made being stranded by a 17″ blizzard no big deal. Thanks to the crews at QBP, Salsa,Surly, and all the other companies that were involved. See you next year.
**Also see Ari Andonopoulos’ Blog post from Frostbike, with more photos.