BP4 Handlebars got some great feedback from a very cool women who, by her own admission, said cycling saved her life.
Review by Halley from Bikeleptic.
I was given the opportunity to go to Las Vegas for 4 days to go to Interbike. This is an annual bike industry experience to preview the 2015 innovations, network with other people in the cycling industry and more. This blog entry is part of a series. Be sure to check in for them all!
I set my alarm for 8am just in case but ended up waking about an hour earlier. Time is fluid in the casinos. Sometimes it goes very fast and sometimes it creeps by at a snail’s pace. When you are inside with no windows and air conditioning it is impossible to tell. Even walking across a sky bridge I noted the heavy tinting tricking you as to the time of day.
After throwing on some clothes, we wandered downstairs from the 15th floor and were immediately greeted coincidentally by a couple industry folks that we knew from Portland who let us know that House of Blues was relatively empty. This was refreshing considering the text I had received from another friend saying that they were in the “four-mile Starbucks line” and the similar one we passed at the buffet. Despite the menu being designed by famous chef Aaron Sanchez, both Brad and I found the food bland. My assumption is that they don’t overly season food in Las Vegas due to the wide variety of dietary restrictions that visit the city; high cholesterol, low sodium, diabetes, etc. Whatever the reason, even Brad who never salts/peppers had to use the shakers.
And then I walked around Interbike Day 1 for about 6 hours straight.
You probably want to hear more deets right?
The six of us discussed later that if we were to all come back again, we would do it differently. We’d actually check out the map and plan how we would traverse the event. We’d set up our day to meet with our reps and dealers more efficiently, set aside time for meals, and avoid running back and forth across the building. Needless to say that is not how we planned it out this year.
I walked in with Brad and made it about ten feet into the convention before the overwhelming swell of anxiety began rising within me. The absolute vast sea of exhibitors was crushing.
But no time for panic, my child-like wonder took over and I quickly remembered my objective. As you are probably aware, bicycle industry is predominantly male dominated and the bikes are often advertised as a luxury sports item for a wide variety of companies. “Ride Harder!” “Pedal Faster!” Photos of sweaty lanky dudes clad in lycra hammering it down winding European hillsides. There’s a place for racing and that stuff is shiny and pretty, but what I was focused on is transportation. Specifically women and children. I am all about making cycling accessible to everyone and right now, especially in this economy the $10k+ bikes aren’t really practical or in my spotlight.
Furthermore, Interbike has had a reputation in the past of being a little bit of a chauvinistic sausage-fest to say it in the crassest way possible. This year there was a big push to have a larger women’s selection and seminars regarding marketing to women, etc. It seemed as if the organizers were at least making an effort at least.
I personally experienced that while walking around by myself that first morning. I would get pushed out of the way of products so that men could get better views. I even got asked very pointedly by one exhibitor if I had gotten my entry comped by a spouse. (I did, but that’s not the point. If I had been a business owner that would have been a slap in the face, and regardless it was.) On the 2nd day, while walking around with Mary, I overheard two guys gushing about us while we were obsessing over the Phil Wood hubs comment to each other that; “Chicks that are into bikes are hot.” While I agree, not professional or appropriate.
So what did I like? I am going to break this into a couple entries. Day 1 I walked around some by myself and Day 2 we walked around as a big ol’ team so I want to talk about those days separately.
By far my favorite item at the event was the Warbird carbon fiber handlebar by a company out of California called BP4 Design.
This goes into my “there’s a time and place” category, because I generally don’t like drop bars, but I gotta tell you, these are comfy as hell. They had a bike on a trainer set up and while Brad hopped up, I think the guys were surprised when I popped up there and checked them out myself. But these guys are great. We chatted with them for quite a while, found out about their product design, how they came up with the concept, etc. One of the designers, a professional trainer actually suffered from childhood epilepsy. Just mentioning that because it came up in conversation. He also does a weekly podcast on people improving their lives and seizing the day. But going back to the handlebar, it’s got a ton of hand positions, reduces fatigue, great for smaller frames like myself, so female-friendly but that doesn’t mean that it’s meant for smaller people – Mikey who’s over 6′ tried it out and was loving it. It’s all-around really comfy. And that’s coming from someone that doesn’t like drop bars!