A couple of years ago I thoroughly enjoyed Veloswap in San Francisco. I was thrilled, then, to see that there is also one in Colorado. So how does the Veloswap Denver compare to the SF show?
Well, for one thing, I think the Denver one is larger. At least it was far more crowded! In all there were over 260 booths at the National Western Complex.
In the front area of the complex were the manufacturers. I briskly walked around (while munching on free energy bar samples) from booth to booth looking for new or novel products I have not seen before. These included:
- BionX electric motors: Okay, so the idea is hardly new, but I had never heard of this manufacturer before. The motor housings looked slick and compact; not sure how much they are going for.
- KED helmets: Seems like helmet design has stagnated if the only thing companies can do to differentiate their products from other companies is by adding flashing LED lights to the rear straps. (Not a bad idea, by the way.) Personally, I am still waiting for a company—any company—to incorporate something like the rear-view mirror in my European Reevu helmet, which is not made anymore. (Reevu seems to be focusing its resources and technology exclusively on rear-view motorcycle helmets now… guess their bicycle helmets did not sell very well.) As it is, it looks like I will be hanging onto my highly unfashionable (but reassuring due to the great rear view coverage) Reevu helmet, which I’ve been using since 2003…
- Folding bicycles like the ones from Downtube. Again the idea is far from new (Bike Friday and Moulton has been making them for decades) but it is nice to see some more affordable alternatives. In the future I may consider something like this for an airplane-friendly travel bike.
Aside from looking at the latest and greatest products, the main reason people go to Veloswap is to find new and used parts for cheap! When I arrived at about 10:30am there were already many people walking out with fancy wheelsets and bikes. Lots of good deals are to be found especially if you arrive early.
I almost purchased a 1″ threadless Time carbon fiber fork for just $60, but did not have enough cash on me. Unfortunately, the line for the ATM was about 40 people deep and I did not have the time to wait since I was going to have lunch with my friend Adrienne in Boulder afterwards. (Too bad I did not realize there was another ATM at a 7-11 nearby, or—better—had came to the show with enough cash in hand already.) Oh well, there will be other opportunities…
Notable services at Veloswap Denver included a Suburu Shuttle Program (in which Suburu Tribecas helped shuttle Veloswap attendees to and from their own vehicles), a storage area for one’s purchases, VeloLounge (a place where one could rest on couches while watching cycling and sports movies), some book signings by people lilke Andy Pruitt, a Computrainer Semiar, and a bike maintenance clinic. Sadly, the Fossil Fool (“the world’s only bike rapper”) who was at Veloswap SF two years ago was not present.
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