Interbike: Urban gear for hauling and looking sharp

Useful commuter stuff from Vegas

Urban riding means transportation, and the necessities of commuting come in all shapes and sizes. From bags, storage compartments, locks and lights to chainguards and multi tools, the recent Interbike trade show in Las Vegas provided BikeRadar with rows of choices, most of them affordable and all of them practical.

As more Americans and Brits take to the streets on bicycles, choosing the right gear for the right job for the right price is becoming easier. Racerboy technology pushes the envelope for drivetrains, components and textiles, so the next time a Lycra-clad hairless roadie zips by you on your daily commute, give them a nod of gratitude.

Chrome

The urban bag and clothing makers from San Francisco have one of the world's most messenger-heavy cities as its testing ground, so you know there's always something for everyone. BikeRadar was sporting the camoflauge Chrome Ivan in the Sands Convention Center, a 1,680 cubic inch waterproof backpack with room for our MacBook Pro, two cameras and gobs of 2009 catalogs.

Keen

The iconic shoe maker has branched out into backpacks, and the Newport bag matches our two-year-old Newport shoes perfectly. Keen also makes a cycling-friendly pair of sandals with cleat-compatible soles.

Ortieb

Commuting and touring cyclists can appreciate the over-engineered and durable Ortlieb bag line from Germany. It's simple waterproof concept covers the entire line, and according to Ortlieb USA president Jeff Scully, sales have never been better for the spendy-but-good line.

Planet Bike

Founder Bob Downs saw an opportunity to develop a line catering to commuters and messengers in the mid 1990s, and after leaving Trek Bicycle Corp., started Planet Bike in the cycling-mad city of Madison, Wisconsin, with a promise to donate 25 percent of profits to advocacy. Nearly US$625,000 later, with a goal of reaching US$1 million by 2010, Planet Bike is branching out to include dynamo-driven headlights and cargo storage.

SKS

For those of us needing a retrofit chaingaurd protector or the right size portable pump, SKS offers that and most everything necessary for safe and fun commuting. The Tom18 multi-tool is a nice addition, and includes a spare chain pin drawer.

Look for more urban and commuting products from BikeRadar.com this week!

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