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Berliner Fahrradschau 2017 – Our Experience from This Year’s Show

After last year’s Berlin bike show, we already signed up for 2017 in June. 2016 had been deeply positive, we got some good resellers, a lot of interest, a steady stream of sales throughout the year that followed and some genuine fans. Obviously we had some expectations going into 2017’s edition – and Berlin did not disappoint.

KP Cyclery at Berlin Bike Show
BFS 2017 was great fun – we just need to get a bigger booth next year.

How was it for KP Cyclery?

As mentioned, 2017 was similarly positive, we had a ton of interest in the Sidecar and nice Bike Hanger sales. I must admit, I thought that since our Sidecar is so different from all other cargo bike variations, there would be some that would say ‘that doesn’t make any sense’. But the notoriously engineering-minded Berliners and Germans seemed really impressed by our ingenuity. The Sidecar turned heads at our booth and even more so when out for a test ride. The tilting function amazed people with a constant crowd of cameras pointed at it. Surely there ought to be a few of them riding around Berlin soon.

KP Cyclery Sidecar Bike At Berliner Fahrradschau Berlin Bike Show
Danny showing off the Sidecar Bike – what a crowd pleaser it turned out to be. Photo credit: René Zieger / BFS

Our friendly neighbours

One might expect that all of the exhibitors at the fair would be competitors and thus not overly friendly towards each other. However in the bike industry, it is the complete opposite. We we’re lucky enough to be neighbours with other remarkable visionaires – Halbrad (half-bike in English) and Brix / Sandwich bikes.

At first sight, we thought Halbrad we’re exhibiting a type of a foldable bike. After close inspection, it turned out to be what I called an unfoldable foldable bike. Designed to be allowed on trains without bike ticket, this nifty little thing is quite fun indeed.

Halbrad Halfbike at Berlin Bike Show
Halbrad (Half-bike in English) looks like a foldable bike, but isn’t.

Across from our booth, were the Dutch geniuses from Brik and Sandwich bikes. Brix bikes stood out with their crankshaft technology and Sandwich is a bike, with a frame made from planar surfaces – you can have the fun of assembling the whole thing.

Shaft Drive Bicycle at Berlin Bike Show 2017
Brik bikes makes classy bicycles with shaft drive instead of a chain.

Our two favourites

Other than our own stuff turning heads, there were some real gems to look at. Our own personal favourites were the PonyJohn bike by Retrovelo’s founder Frank. The bike features hydraulic steering, electric motor, and electric gear. As the man himself said – ‘that’s the maximum you can get out of a bike.’ The hydraulic steering really blew my mind.

PonyJohn Cargo Bike at Berliner Fahrradschau 2017
PonyJohn Cargobike features hydraulic steering, electric motor and electric gears – wow!

The 2nd favourite of the two was KleinLaster. This bike just stood out from the rest by the sheer passion that is seen in the craftman-ship. The whole frame is beautifully brazed and later filed down for an outstanding finish. What we loved is that the frame is kept without paint, only a clear coat goes on top of the raw frame, displaying the welds in their natural beauty. And of course the chain that connects the handlebars to the front fork is just cool to look at.

Kleinlasten beautiful raw cargo bike at Berlin Bicycle Week
KleinLaster is beautifully crafted cargo bike with a chain between the handlebars and the fork. One of our two favourites from 2017.

What’s next?

As said, 2017 edition of BFS was once again a hit. We will certainly be present again in 2018. Aside from that, the life in a small and young company is always a rollercoaster and turbulent. We are hoping to do at least a few more shows this year – let’s see how things play out in the near future. Keep following the blog, Instagram and Facebook and we will surely pass on a message of other shows where you can find us.

Cheerio,
KP, Danny and the team

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Cycling – the healthy choice of transportation

 

Cycling to work
Commuting to work by bike? Your body will thank you.


Whether it’s to get to a friend’s house or school in the morning opting to go on a bicycle could perhaps be the best decision you make all day. Apart from the perk of having a good looking bicycle, riding on it can help you in ways that you didn’t think possible; especially in terms of your health.

When you ride a bicycle you’ll be surprised to know that your body is actually hard to work, and cycling involves a lot of muscle movement both in your arms and legs. Cycling regularly can increase the strength and flexibility of these muscles. With a constant stimulus your muscles not only grow in size but also strengthen up. After only a few months of cycling you’ll find extra strength in your legs that you didn’t have before. This can help you in sports other than cycling as well, for example soccer.

Cycling is also very good for your heart, not only does it strengthen your heart rather it keeps it young and healthy. The heart is the most vital organ in the human body responsible for pushing blood to each and every single muscle in the body. When you ride a bicycle, your heart rate increases and your muscles demand more blood. In this way the heart receives its daily exercise that is incumbent for a long and healthy life.

Riding for health and fun!
Riding for health and fun!

People who want to lose weight and want to do it fast can also opt for cycling for it is one of the surest ways in which you can lose weight within days. The amount of exercise the body goes through during cycling helps your body break down fats which automatically results in low fat levels in your body. It also helps maintain those of us who want to maintain our bodies and works as a perfect tool for fitness as it increases you stamina.

Cycling is also optimal if you want to increase your brain power. It lightens up your grey matter and helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus (the region responsible for memory). It also boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain which fires and regenerates receptors which adds to the basic health of your brain.

You can also expect to live a lot longer if you decide to take up cycling as a habit. King’s College London compared over 2,400 identical twins and found those who did just three 45-minute rides a week were nine years “biologically younger” than their counter parts. What we take from this is the fact that those who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from a cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, all types of cancer and obesity.

With cycling, you can do no wrong and there is absolutely no reason for you not to take up this habit for it can lead to a better and healthy life that ensures a bright future for you and your kids when you grow up.

Staying healthy up to high age
Staying healthy up to high age
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Critical Mass – a phenomenon on two wheels

Critical Mass Hamburg 2012
Critical Mass Hamburg 2012

 

Some of you might have already heard about “Critical Mass” events. However, for those not in the know, they are an excellent way to join in with the cycling community in your town or city, and take back the roads from the backlog of cars that often prevents people from getting on their bikes more often.

Held on the last Friday of each month, Critical Mass now takes place in hundreds of cities all over the world. However, the event has humble beginnings- it started off in San Francisco in 1992, when a small group of cyclists sought to take back the streets from cars. Just a few dozen people showed up to what was then called “Commute Clot”, as it was intended to make a stand by reclaiming rush hour roads. Afterwards, they all retired to a local bike shop, where a documentary about how Chinese road users worked together, queueing up at intersections until one side had reached “critical mass”, when they would then move forward. From this inspiration, a whole new movement was born.

Critical Mass Budapest 2013
Critical Mass Budapest 2013

Just how big each Critical Mass event is depends on where it is held, and who turns up. Sometimes there isn’t really any organizational structure to things and it is more of a spontaneous event, and whoever takes part simply goes with the flow. But in other cases there are highly dedicated people who put a lot of work into organizing it. Some groups choose to plan a route beforehand, and pass out flyers to show riders where to go while others even put up a live GPS to track the current position of the mass. These more regular rides tend to be a lot smaller, with a dedicated group who frequently get together, but in major cities like Berlin (June 2016: 2800 riders) or London (May 2016: 1000+ riders) they are massive. In some places, such as Budapest, Hungary, there are just two Critical Masses per year- on Earth Day and International Car Free Day (April 22 and September 22 respectively) tens of thousands of people join in, making for quite a spectacle. These are great opportunities for people to join together, make new friends, and show the world just how powerful the cycling community can be.