16 Cool, Mostly Bike-Related Things From the Outdoor Retailer Show

Gear Shoes
12. Ace Camp’s tiny Flame Stick fires things up even when wet

Ace Camp’s Michael Beverly sets a waterlogged Flame Stick alight. The small, lightweight sticks make a great pack item.

An ounce of prevention, the old adage goes, is worth a pound of cure. In the case of Ace Camp’s Long Time Flame sticks, that ratio is reduced to a few grams and costs just five cents. Along with the lighter or strike-anywhere matches that belong in your pack, these waterproof, odorless firestarters each burn for 6-8 minutes, giving you time to ignite materials and get your fire going. A box of 100 sticks cost just $5. acecamp.com

13. A little bit of everything among OR displays, demos

The OR show featured many unique displays and activities—among them, venerable thermos-maker Stanley’s classic Airstream, knife-maker Gerber’s murdered-out Honda CB-90, and people doing yoga on standup paddleboards. I don’t make up the news, I just report it.

14. Nau perfects techy threads that don’t scream ‘Fred!’

Nau’s forthcoming Tripoly jacket ($255) looks denim but works synthetic, while their Utilize pant ($100) has zippered pockets and a hem that reveals reflective tape when rolled. The lightweight Mojave Dez-Shirt ($98) brings some welcome breathability to the business-casual Friday commute.

Clothing-maker Nau (“now”) is known for blending tailored looks with technical function…the kind of stuff an adventuresome sort could wear to a nice restaurant without looking like Crocodile Dundee. And while cyclists adopted Nau early on, the company got more purposeful in their approach to cycling a couple years back. They didn’t go the cycling-specific route so much as make regular duds with some biking functionality—a subtle but significant difference. Shirt arms and tails got longer to cover when stretched out on a bike, a hidden zip vent got added here or there for some airflow, polyester was blended in to wick more and stink less—those kinds of things.

If you’re beyond the expiration date for fixie kid skinny jeans—and can afford a few shekels—Nau might be the ticket for townie jaunts, commuting, and even the occasional urban freeride session. nau.com

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry that landed him at his current gig with Santa Cruz bicycles. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.

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