Under the guise of employment for a major mtb magazine I penetrated the snowy fortress known ominously as QBP, Quality bicycle products. Once I made it past the flying monkeys and bitter hipsters that guard the doors to its LEED certified facility, I marveled at the facility and perks available to employees. Normally entrance to Frost Bike is a show up, the day of, kind of thing. But this year it sold out really early so I had to resort to calling all sorts of favors, and before I knew it I was Josh Pattersons photographer. I sort of know how Chumlee on Pawnstars feels on a day to day basis
Josh would not even let me hold the camera.
The coolest part was when Kim Brown gave us a tour of their distribution floor. No like products are ever grouped together. A size 7 Mavic Fury shoe is next to a Cane Creek 40 headset, which us underneath a non-drive side FSA crankarm, which is to the left of a XTR jockey wheel, which is under 276mm DT Alpine spokes. There is no order whatsoever. But this is so that sizes or like items do not get mixed up when the pickers are filling orders. They also have certain items that have especially high sales volume located in a center row so its easier to fill stock. I found this particularly interesting since this is essentially a indicator of whats hot in the bike world. I saw a lot of things that did not surprise me (King headsets, Stans sealant, CB Eggbeater pedals, and kickstands(apparently they never go out of style)), but there were a lot of other things that really caught me off guard (Ergon grips and HEED).
After that we sat down to a scrumptious lunch with the Apels, of Big Poppi Bicycle Company. After lunch Aaron and I went scouting for new technology. I got the see Challenges new tubular mtb tires, the new Slant Six tires from Kenda, and the Cane Creek guys hooked fellow North Carolinian with a new headset.
We also got toe see where QBP does their Handspun wheels. They were doing a LOT of Hope Pro2's laced to Arches, but I also imagine that this is also related to building wheels in batches. Pretty cool.
This time on the bus leave me with time for more important things on the homefront.