With a design background, the Japanese company, Crops, makes bicycle-related accessories like locks, lights, tools and computers. We took the opportunity to speak to Keiji Taiga, Crops’ General Manager, and got to know more about their current product line-up and upcoming product developments.
According to Taiga-san, the Crops brand has been around for about 11 years with an emphasis on function and design. Looking beyong the Japanese domestic market, Crops is looking to tap upon a burgeoning worldwide interest in bicycles and cycling, and explore opportunities in markets like Europe and North America.
The 2013 Product Range and Features
Most of us will have impressions of clunky, heavy and ungainly bicycle locks (not ‘aero’ for roadies). But with the Crops range of locks, reality is exactly opposite of that old perception: Crops locks are compact, lightweight and practical. One such example of this, is the new Crops Lock Q5.
The Crops Lock Q5 in action at the Crops booth
The Crops Lock Q5 with a 180cm cable is a high-end model of the company’s multi-use lock. The hexagonal shape of the lock embodies stylish usability. It is long enough so a user can secure the front and rear rims, frame and saddle at once.
Another notable development for 2013 is the Smart Lever bicycle toolset. As the name suggests, the tool works very much like a quick-release (QR) skewer for the adjustment of the tightness/strength of the various Allen tool keys as it is common for slippages to happen during roadside repairs/adjustments for conventional bicycle toolsets.
The Crops Smart Lever Bicycle Toolset
On the light(er) and brighter side (puns fully intended),I found the QR mounted bicycle lights by Crops very interesting. On most occasions, front bicycle lights are mounted on the handlebars but given the limited ‘real estate’ space on the handlebars, there may not be enough space for them to mount the lights. As such, the QR mounted bicycle lighting system is useful for such riders. The system is easy to use: simply replace the standard 9mm QR nut with the given ‘nut extension’ piece and pop in the light.
This is where the bicycle light is mounted. Nifty, eh?
A wheely practical solution for dirty or muddy wheels (especially for mountain bikers who want to keep their bikes in their cars after a muddy ride) is the wheel wrapper, not unlike the wheel warmers we see on F1 cars or GP motorbikes. It is also useful for riders who commute in the rain and need to move their bikes indoors.
Taiga-san wrapping things up with the wheel wrapper...literally
We would like to thank Taiga-san for taking time to speak to us on the latest developments with Crops!