Practicing barriers is a regular part of cyclocross practices everywhere, and new products from up.bike want to help make it easier to transport and assemble your practice barriers that stand in for the secure wooden planks seen on race day.
Up.bike is a Michigan-based company that has historically focused on bike storage systems, but with its Portable Barrier and Flandrien Barrier sets, it is now hopping (see what we did there?) into the cyclocross realm.
The company’s Portable Barrier uses a PVC pipe to provide the “barrier” and offers five different heights to allow you to practice bunny hopping or running over faux planks of varying heights.
We received a set of the Portable Barriers for review and put them to the test during ’cross practices this fall. Take a closer look in this New Product Spotlight.
up.bike’s Portable Barriers
These barriers are cleverly-designed to turn any dirt path or grass field into cyclocross practice. The Portable Barrier comes with two sturdy metal supports and a three-piece PVC pipe that’s held together with a shock cord.
The whole setup fits nicely in a messenger bag for those practice leaders who like to get extra miles in riding to practice. Two would also fit, although the load would start to get a little heavy. Each metal leg weighs 2 pounds, 6 ounces, giving the set a total weight of around 5 pounds.
The metal supports offer five different heights, going all the way up to 16″ (the full 40cm for folks in Canada and Belgiefiles here in the U.S.) at the very top. The slots are designed so should you trip on the PVC pipe or land on it during a botched bunnyhop, it will roll out of the slot. Moving up one slot requires rotating the metal supports 180 degrees so the slots face the right way.
The points at the base of the supports easily penetrate firm soil. Get stuck using your hand? Just apply a bit of foot pressure to get ‘em down and secure.
The barriers also feature a built-in bottle opener, because hand-ups at practice are not a crime.
The Portable Barrier set comes in either yellow or pink, the latter of which pays homage to Ellen Noble’s #bunnyhopthepatriarchy movement.
The up.bike Portable Barrier set costs $50 and is available online from up.bike.
Up.Bike also features its Flandrien Barrier that also features sturdy metal supports and five different heights, but it swaps the PVC pipe for a 2×4 (that you supply), for a more secure barrier for serious hot laps. The Flandrien Barrier also costs $50.
It’s worth noting that if you’re going to have riders of all abilities practice bunnyhopping the barriers, you may want to pad the top edge of each support. Riders will hopefully be hopping in the middle, away from the supports, but thin metal edges in areas where you someone might tumble may not be the best. Two cut tennis balls might work to blunt the edges.
More Info: up.bike