Zit Bitz: these cheap, completely unnecessary accessories bring me so much joy
A review of Portland Design Works’ Zit Bitz frame bolts
Purely decorative, these bolts serve no purpose other than making you, and others, smile and that's just fine.
sleek, flat profile
they serve no real purpose
Portland Design Works has a knack for making everyday bicycling more fun. Founded in 2008, Erik Olsen and his pedal-happy crew develop products with the aim of inspiring people to get out and ride. As someone who bikes for commuting and recreation alike, I’ve been a longtime user of PDW products and not just because I (now) live in Portland — though a little local pride never hurts. The products tend to be practical, durable and definitely fun.
Geared toward the lifestyle cyclist, PDW products include everything from solid metal fenders and racks to owl- and otter- shaped bottle cages and bar tape with donuts or tacos depicted on them. All the practical items you could need to add comfort and utility to your bike with an added touch of personal flare.
I recently purchased a set of the new Zit Bitz Frame Bolts for no other reason than the fact that they made me smile.
Released this summer, the Zit Bitz Frame Bolts are decorative bolts to replace the standard frame bolts of any unused eyelets.
These days, gravel and adventure bikes come with an increasing amount of mounts to attach fenders, racks, bags, additional bottle cages and general cargo. They’re great to have when bikepacking or touring, but they’re not always in use. My gravel bike, for example, has no less than 14 eyelets, not counting the standard four bolts used for water bottle cages.
So why not replace these standard 4mm Hex bolt with something a bit more fun. These Zit Bitz are made from an anodized black, machined alloy bolt sporting a laser engraved design on its flat head. There are currently five design sets to choose from with four bolts per set. Designs include various face emojis, character emojis like aliens and unicorns, hand symbols and, this is Portland after-all, weed leaves.
Fun graphics aside, I like the sleek, flat profile of these bolts as well as the fact that you can screw the Zit Bitz in tool-free. Anodized and laser engraved, the bolts appear durable. The color and designs have thus far survived plenty of dust, dirt, mud and a bike packing trip. To that end, if you do have any unplugged mounts on your frame, these bolts would be an easy way to keep dirt and water out.
Again, these bolts have no function other than being decorative, are not intended for fastening accessories. However, with the holidays fast approaching, the Zit Bitz would make for a great stocking stuffer for a bike lover in your life.
A set of four bolts retails for $15 USD.
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Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.
Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.
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