How we got there
It was a rainy morning when we set out for our journey, and on the train ride, we watched the landscape change from muddy gray into winter wonderland. Slowly rolling hills and cute little alpine houses in Allgäu reminded me of childhood skiing trips with my family. Immediately, I was wondering how people in this area cycle outdoors.
Let me quickly acknowledge something before I continue: We couldn’t have made it to ISPO without the help of my sister Larissa and her family! They let us stay at their home in Starnberg, which is close to Munich, so we were able to get to the fair easily. We were super-spontaneous to ask about coming over, and they knew we would bring the dog, too. So, thanks to you guys, you are awesome!
Starnberg is a beautiful town to stay in. We walked along the Starnberger See to the Sissi Castle, had some Krustenbraten at a nice restaurant and drove past villas that would’ve made home-owners in the Hollywood Hills jealous.
It started to snow heavily Saturday night and continued throughout the next day, so getting to the ISPO must’ve been rather difficult for a lot of visitors. But not for us! They drove us there on Sunday morning - and honestly, I don’t remember having seen the highways covered in so much snow, ever. It was scary, but we made it early enough to avoid the masses and to pick up our press passes.
Ready to check out some cool products? But first…
About the ISPO 2019
This year’s ISPO Munich, the world’s largest trade fair for sporting goods, had about 80,000 visitors from 120 countries. Big topics were sustainability, digitalization and, for the first time, eSports! It was a great chance for new and upcoming, as well as established brands to show their potential! Although a big part of the fair was about winter sports, we certainly found enough companies that produce exciting stuff for cyclists!
So, here we go.
Sleep with Samaya
Samaya was one of the first booths that we looked at, and I immediately had to think about our future bike-packing trips through Europe. Although I’d like to save up enough money to stay at cheap hotels from time to time, sleeping in a tent somewhere in the middle of nowhere is definitely part of the plan!
The Samaya ultralight tent only weighs 850g/30oz, is waterproof and fits at least two people. How cool is that? It can also withstand winds of up to 70km/h and temperatures lower than -20ºC. Not saying that I’d like to camp under those conditions, but you never know where the road takes you, right?
Click here for more information!
Let rain showers pass by with Showers Pass
We’ve all heard of Merino wool socks to keep our feet warm, and waterproof socks to keep them dry. But one pair of socks that does both jobs? That’s exactly what we found at Showers Pass!
This brand specializes in waterproof and breathable rain gear for cyclists. They want people to get out on their bikes, no matter what the weather’s like. Perfect for crazies like us, right?
I tried on their Women’s Refuge Jacket in pacific blue, and was amazed by how good it felt. Their clothes also seem to have a lot of convenient details. Some of them are reinforced shoulder patches to keep your backpack from wearing down the fabric, chest pockets with audio port, a removable hood, and 360-degree 3M Scotchlite reflective trim. Even the zippers are waterproof!
They also offer waterproof bags, base layers, jerseys and shorts. Plus, it’s made by athletes for athletes! I’ll definitely write more about Showers Pass once I get to try some of their gear!
Until then, feel free to check out their webpage for more information!
Go backpacking with Vaude
I’ve always been a big fan of Vaude, ever since my brother told me to stop by the Vaude Outlet in Tettnang, Germany. Their clothes and backpacks seem to be versatile and long-lasting, and they make sure that their outdoor products are environmentally-friendly and fairly produced!
I got to see a lot of their products for the summer and fall/winter 2019 collection at the ISPO. I was especially interested in their backpacking gear, and thus found out upon the Aqua Light Series for summer 2019!
It’s is a trio of robust, waterproof bicycle bags - the Aqua Light Box, the Aqua Light Front and the Aqua Light Back.
They feature easy access due to roll closure, can be compressed when not full, and weigh significantly less than conventional models. It also sounds like their super easy to take on and off the bike, especially the handlebar bag.
Sounds like the perfect solution for our bike travels, right?
Although I haven’t tried their bags yet, I can say for sure that my Vaude Women’s Cyclist Padded Jacket and the Women’s Resca Tricot are doing a great job so far. They were not even labeled as “thermal” and surprised me by keeping me toasty when layered properly - even below freezing.
I’ll probably write a dedicated review at some point, but don’t forget to check out what else Vaude has to offer: www.vaude.com
Stay warm and protected with Brubeck
BRUBECK BODY GUARD is a brand I’ve never heard of before the ISPO, but I started to like them at once. They gave us a warm welcome at their booth and showed us their wide range of thermo-active sportswear, which is their Active Line. They also have a Comfort Line with cotton and Merino wool underwear.
The cool thing about their products is that they use 3D printing to get rid of seams! That’s also how they create double layer material with open holes, ventilation mesh, and much more.
Their Balaclava is one example of this process. Although it fits quite tight around the head and covers most parts of the face, it’s still comfortable to wear. And breathing - no problem!
Same goes for their neck warmer. It’s 54% Merino wool, and I can breathe quite well when it covers my mouth. Usually, my neck warmers are either too thin (and drench easily) or too thick. Brubeck seems to do the trick.
Here you can find more information about the company.
Tired of socks and shoes? Try Skinners!
Skinners is a Czech project that was brought into life by a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. They produce footwear that is neither sock nor shoe, but you can wear them for all kinds of activities: Hiking, running, fitness, or even roller skating!
They’re made with antibacterial fibers, have a water-water-resistant underside, fold down super small and can be worn barefoot. It’s basically like walking around in super comfy socks, but way more protected from the ground. At the same time, their RealFeel™ technology lets your feet experience everything that’s underneath as if you were walking barefoot.
One thing I could imagine using them for is on a long cycling trip. I’m sure you know that feeling when you ride to a beautiful spot, and all you want is to walk around a bit, maybe sit down on the river, or whatever floats your boat. But you’re wearing cycling shoes, and everyone knows how annoying it is to walk in them. Since the Skinners fold down so small that they fit into a jersey pocket, it would be the perfect companion to turn to when you wanna ditch those cleats for a bit. It’s something I’ll try out and talk more about once spring comes around!
For more information about Skinners here.
Although it’s always great to see and try out new products, there was another important aspect to the ISPO 2019: Meeting new people and making friends. And what place could be better than a fair with tons of people who are excited about cycling?
Mitch and I were lucky enough to be able to hang out both days with our friend Patrick from Augsburg, (we recently published our first guest post about cycling in LA on his blog, Born2.Bike), and video producer Luca, whose YouTube channel you can find here .
On Monday, there was also a fun blogger breakfast sponsored by The North Face (which we almost missed because the S-Bahn stopped and didn’t move for 20 minutes), with a tour to see the most exciting new brands at the ISPO. Talking to other bloggers and exhibitors was very inspiring, and I’m sure there’s a lot of great collaborations coming up in the future!
Thanks so much for reading this far, and thanks to everyone who was somehow involved in making the ISPO 2019 such a great experience!