Monday, September 23, 2013

Interbike 2013: The Verdict

I am glad to be back from Interbike 2013. It was quite the trip, once again, and I can say that I have some definite conclusions coming out of the trade show. Some having to do with the new venue, some with Interbike itself, and some about what I saw there. Here we go....

From the show floor...
The Venue: I spoke to some of this last week here, but I think overall this move will be a good thing for Interbike. It can be tweaked to be better, a lot better, but for a first time run, they have shown this place has potential and the basic set up that should be seen as a big improvement over The Sands Convention Center. Now if they could only get rid of the exorbitant union driven set up fees for the show, the event might even be seen as better from the vendors standpoint as well.

Trends: No news here coming out of the show. You all knew it going into the deal: Fat bikes, 27.5"ers, and gravel bikes. Those were the big chatter makers at Interbike, and maybe you could add in the electric that is, into that conversation as well. Fat bike stuff was seen all over the show floor. Specific fat bike companies, booth decorations, and bikes being wheeled about made the enormous tires the talk of many attendees, and not all were flattering, or approving of the obese wheeled set.

While 27.5 inch wheeled bikes were everywhere, you just didn't hear anything being spoken about them. It was as if they were being merely tolerated, not being seen as something "buzz-worthy". But let's be honest here, 27.5 inch wheeled bikes have been shown yearly at Interbike for the past six years. It is not anything new. Not if show goers were paying attention.

Salsa wasn't at the show, but a Beargrease was!
Gravel stuff was all over the place too. I saw where tire and wheel companies were quietly putting "gravel" in their marketing speak. For instance, several of Reynold's wheels were marked as being good for gravel. Some tire companies were marking their wares as being good for gravel surfaces as well. While not being overt about it, you could see that "gravel riding" as a category is being thought about and marketed to.

Of course there was some definite "gravel" marketing that was right out there in the open, namely Niner Bikes own RLT 9 bike, and if you were observant, Raleigh had a Tamland sitting prominently in its space and it was being touted as a gravel specific machine.

Other things that were interesting, like all the electric powered rigs, and Greg LeMond's return to the cycling business, were mildly interesting things, but overall, this show was.....uh.....not very exciting. If it were not for Steve Hed's gravel rig built by Peacock Groove's Eric Noren, which I saw at the HED wheels booth, this show would have been a real yawner.

Again, just like last year, all the pre-Interbike dealer camp, press camp, and dealer only shows pretty much made Interbike an "also ran" in terms of excitement and buzz for the industry. Honestly, it makes you wonder that, if not for the getting together with the industry people, why Interbike has to happen at all. Maybe even companies that go there are thinking this as well. I noticed several that were not showing their entire lines, or even major portions of it. Specialized, Giant, and Marin come immediately to mind here.

I've got more Interbike stuff to wade through here, so don't be surprised to see at least a couple more mentions on it....

1 comment:

Steve Fuller said...

Big show, high setup fees, and expensive hotel rooms. Putting on a smaller, private event is a much better way to get your message out. It would be easy to get lost in the crowd product-wise at IB.