What I Saw At the Bike Swap Pt. 2: The Gear

In Part 1 of my Chicago Bike Swap Wrap-Up, I talked about the great bikes I saw at the show.  Today, I”m talking about the bike gear.  From cool t-shirts, to lights, reflectors, and really cool bike bags, it was all there (and much of it on sale at great prices).  Here’s my own short tour of the gear of the 2013 Chicago Bike Swap.   (Click on any photo below to see it larger).

bike_swap_shycog_tshirts

Spotted this great t-shirt at the ShyCog table –  a local bikey design shop that has some great shirts, patches, notebooks and so forth.  “Live Fearless, Ride Serious” is their motto, but hey, they’re just some really nice guys.

lightweights_power_reflectors

Lightweights reflectors and reflective tape had a booth at the Bike Swap – and I mosied on over and bought me some black reflective tape for my Omafiets. Yep – it’s black and it’s reflective. I haven’t added it to my bike yet, but you know I’ll write all about it when I do. And who knew these guys were based in Chicago?

On to bike bags! The plethora of Detours panniers on sale at the Cycle Bike Shop display definitely caught my eye, since I have  set of Detours Toccan Panniers that Mr. Ding gave me a few years ago, and that I love.   Besides the faux bamboo that cover mine, you can get them quilted in blue, olive green etc.  They had most of these colors at the Bike Swap, and when I looked them up later online, it appears that Detours no longer sells/makes them!? Odd, since I know so many women cyclists who love these bags. Snap them up why you can!

Bike_Swap_Detours_bags

Lots of Detours panniers on sale – love these bags.

She snagged some blue Detours Panniers on sale. Score!

She snagged some blue Detours Panniers on sale. Score!

Boulevard Bikes was also at the swap, and they were carrying a wide variety of panniers and bike bags as well.  One brand of cool pannier was new to me – Koki!  They have these very lovely Bagaboo panniers that have covered hooks and big shoulder straps.   Love them!

(Stock photo of a Koki canvas pannier.. better than any photo I took)

(Stock photo of a Koki canvas pannier.. better than any photo I took)

Boulevard bikes had a lot of other great panniers as well, including your always reliable Jandd grocery panniers.  It was the first pannier I ever bought -and I still have it.  It fits on my mountain bike, my Dutch bike, and every rack I’ve ever need to put it on. It folds up, holds a full-size grocery bag, and has a sturdy rubber shoulder strap that I still have and use.

A happy Boulevard Bikes customer with her new Jandd pannier.

A happy Boulevard Bikes customer with her new Jandd pannier.

Of course, any bike gear event in Chicago would not be complete without some bags from Po Campo. I was dying to check out one of their newest bags live and in color, and see one of the new fabric patterns too.  I was not disappointed.

Checking out how the bright Po Campo bags look on my Omafiets. The fish pattern suckered me in.

Checking out how the bright Po Campo bags look on my Omafiets. The gold fish pattern suckered me in – the discount bin helped.

Po Campo recently released their “Weekender Bag” as well as a bright new blue & white strip fabric.  The bag is not a bike bag per se I guess, as it has no straps for bike racks, but I thought it would fit nicely on the front rack of my bike. It has a separate zippered compartment on the bottom for shoes which I think makes this a great summer work bag since I don’t always ride in the shoes I”m going to wear to the office. I do not always want to bike in dainty sandals or flip-flops through the Loop during rush hour.  I think it looks good on my bike – what do you think?

po_campo_new_weekender_bag_on_my_Omafiets2

Along with the lovely bikes I featured in my previous post, Heritage Bicycles also had some great bags and other accessories in their booth too.

These retro bowling bag style bags look great AND they have backpack-style straps too.

These retro bowling bag style bags look great AND they have backpack-style straps too.

 

The brand of bike panniers shown below was a new one for me – I had not heard of Natril Gear – and to think they’re from Fort Wayne, Indiana!  Very colorful, bright panniers, or ‘Luggers’ as they call them.

Great bags for touring as they're lightweight and flexible. They hold about 10 lbs. Unfortunately I need the 25lb capacity of the Detours panniers for commuting.

Great bags for touring as they’re lightweight and flexible. They hold about 10 lbs. Unfortunately I need the 20+lb capacity of the Detours panniers for my commuting.

 

Another great Chicago bike accessory company was on hand at the Bike Swap as well – Kozie Prery Cycling Caps!  Mr Ding, Little D, and myself all wear their winter cycling caps under our helmets – they’re soft, warm, cover our ears, and go in the washer AND the dryer.  They were debuting (?) their new (non-winter) Chicago cycling caps at the Bike Swap and I convinced a customer to model one for me.

kozie_prery_collage

What else did I  score?  Well, here’s me doing my best to show off a thermos from the people at Pedal to the People – the best mobile bike shop in Chicago! My panniers have a great elastic pocket that will hold this when it’s full of coffee very nicely.

Ms-Ding-and-the-thermos

Andrew – aka Mr. Ding – also did a  little shopping at the Bike Swap, and got himself a new belt made of old bike tires from  Ride the Belt.  No website for them , but they will do custom orders and sizes upon request (773-712-970 – ask for Ross ).

Mr_D_and_the_bike_tire_belt

I got him to model this right when he came in from riding back and forth all day – hence his dark glasses and red face.  (Thanks honey!)

bike_tire_belt_collage

Those are my highlights of the gear of the Chicago Bike Swap.  If you missed on this year, you gotta get it on your calendar for next year.  Great fun, great gear, great time had by all.

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