In addition to manning the booth at The Little Bike Shop, our hand-crafted cycling accessories pop-up with Adeline Adeline at last weekend’s Second Annual New Amsterdam Bicycle Show, we shopped the aisles of Skylight Soho in Manhattan where vendors displayed the latest in bicycles, accessories and apparel for urban riding. Here are some of our favorite finds to dial up city cycling style, keep you safe after dark and carry your necessities with ease.
We-Flashy – Reflective Clothing
Mindy Tchieu (above) and Alex Vessels produce a line of reflective clothing with an urban fashion sensibility. As cyclists whose busy lives often brought them home late at night, the duo began experimenting with retro-reflective materials in 2010 while studying at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. A Kickstarter campaign last spring enabled them to launch their collection of T shirts, pullovers and — new for summer! — tanks, all adorned with reflective patterns. The fitted Houndstooth T, $55, and the Polka Pullover, $88.50 (center background), caught our eye.
Nutcase – Bicycle Bells
These new bike bells from Nutcase charm not only for the way they match the company’s popular protective head gear — for example, the pink hearts bell (bottom front row) matches the Nutcase Love helmet — but also for the way they’re packaged in a specially designed egg carton. Coming soon: $15 each.
Brooks England – World Traveler Bicycle Saddle
At the Brooks booth, we got a peak at the new World Traveler edition, which features an intricate laser-cut design. Part of the company’s popular D17 line, the leather saddle is due out in early summer and is expected to retail for $290.
Electra Bikes — Pannier
In addition to showing accessories such as T-shirts, totes and bells that match some of their bicycle models, Electra introduced a coordinated line of bags to suit a variety of transport needs. The large pannier (below) is said to accommodate a 12-pack of beverages (think spring picnics!) Also offered in this color and style, and well-suited to commuting, are a backpack and a smaller pannier that converts to a tote. They’ll be available this summer; pricing for the large pannier is expected to be in the $80 to $100 range.
Lazer – Armor Bicycle Helmet
With it’s Armor line, Lazer Sport has stripped the commuter helmet down to the essentials. What remains is a compact profile, light weight and simple good looks in basic matte colors. It’s part of Lazer’s commitment to improve the comfort of bucket-style helmets that urban cyclists favor, according to brand manager Michael Pederson. Front and rear vents, along with interior channels, encourage ventilation, while top vents allow heat to escape. The Armour weighs a feathery 275 grams, comparable to many performance helmets for road cycling. Armor Helmet, $70.
Po Campo – Bags
Po Campo, based in Chicago, has added proprietary prints to its popular line of cycling bags for women. The roomy interior of the Logan Tote (left) in the Feathers pattern, $94.50, attaches to the rear rack of a bicycle or to the handle of a stroller. It’s sized for an iPad and features multiple interior pockets to organize necessities. The Streeterville Clutch (right) in the Fanfare pattern, $85, attaches to your handlebar with adjustable straps for a secure fit. Loops on the back accommodate a scarf or other tie-on, an exterior pocket keeps a cell phone close at hand, and a magnetic closure makes it a snap to access what’s inside.
Truce – Mark 2 Drop Liner Pack
For sportier use, the Mark 2 Drop Liner (right) from Truce of Portland, Oregon, packs a remarkable array of thoughtful features into one versatile bag. An excellent choice for commuters, this pack, available in small, medium and large sizes, contains a free-floating waterproof fabric liner to keep belongings dry. It’s Cilogear strap system allows you to compress the pack, or to carry items on the outside. Reflective tape along the bottom helps keep you visible at night, and the buckle that adjusts the sternum strap even doubles as a whistle. Truce bags are constructed of mostly reclaimed high-performance materials ranging from sailcloth to Kevlar. Customers can specify lining and side panel colors. Medium Drop Liner: $230 to $255, depending on fabric selections.
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Dromarti – Corio Leather Cycling Gloves
We’re smitten with these Napa leather cycling “mitts,” particularly with the quality of the stitching, the placement of the padding and the elegant zippered red wrist detail that makes them easy to slip on and provides a snug fit. Sure you can pair them with your road cycling kit, but we’re envisioning them as the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful coat or a sharply tailored suit on a chilly morning commute. Made in the U.K., $175.