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Detroit Bike City 2014

Detroit Bike City 2014 took place on March 29th, at Cobo Hall.

This year's expo was held in the same room as last year's, although now the room felt a little less empty. One reason was that there was about a dozen vendors selling DIY Fest style items. It didn't really seem to fit, but it was better than a lot of vacant space.
Another reason was that a section was cordonned off for a BMX stunt demonstration.
The swap meet section had more sellers this year, with used parts and tools also being put up for sale.
The usual bike companies that you see at every local event were there. Detroit Bicycle Company with their shiny road bikes, and Shinola with their trendy cruiser bikes, but neither had models for the public to test ride. Shinola let people ride them last year, but now they were trying to rope you into going to their retail location in Cass Corridor. Detroit Bikes was the local company this year that was allowing the public to test their wares. The bike above is a three speed with rear coaster and front side-pull caliper brakes. Getting accustomed to coaster brakes felt odd, but it was necessary since the front brakes weren't effective.

A unique offering from just one company were these comfort bikes with highly cushioned seats. The steering was very odd, but it was as comfortable as it looks.
There was a larger then expected showing of cargo bikes. This must be a segment that's blowing up in other parts of the country, because we don't see many of them here. There were some with two wheels on the front axle; more of a tricycle really, but it probably supported more weight. I rode a test model like the one pictured above, and the steering felt surprisingly normal.
On hand was a company making "human-electric-bikes". They modify existing bikes with a battery and an electric motor that powers the rear wheel from the side opposite of the derailleur. They have a range of 10-18 miles, and they go faster than you'd think.
Tech Shop was there with their big truck, and this time they were doing brief welding tutorials. They were exhibiting the method called TIG welding, which is the most common form used for the production of bike frames. I managed to try it without burning my hands or damaging my retinas.