Reflections on Interbike 1
The show was a little more low key this year and i would suspect that the economy kept perhaps 10- 15 less vendors from coming. Interbike will tell you that the numbers were the same from last year but i think that is creative counting to save face. There was a whole side wall empty and uninhabited. It actually became the testing grounds for strange "run to bike" bikes, skateboard variations, recubants and other oddities. There were less of the Stars and Signings. Only once or twice did we come across lines for autographs that stretched "around the block" as it were. In years past seeing that was a thrice daily thing.
On the plus side, There was no shortage of things to look at and be impressed by. 13 lb road bikes dont draw the oohs and ahs like they used to, but there were still many tech. advances that showed the bike industry is vibrant as ever. Although i will say that there are too many companies making shoes and carbon wheels. Only the top 10% of each catagory actually shows innovation and uniqueness.
Also on the great side were the races that were associated with the show. They were more popular than ever. Cross Vegas did not disappoint. It was probably the strongest field EVER at a cross race in the states. And show management did a good job of bussing everyone without a car out to the race locale. They just have to find a way to make the race more dirty and muddy. The crit at Mandalay Bay again was fantastic and a true spectacle to behold.
Next up is Interbike-East toward the end of the month in Providence. This will still be an industry only event, which means that companies will probably ease up a little with the “on-edge-ness”. If it were a public event, expect less reps and insiders and more bike shop people with less nice stuff to handle and show-off. The event will be mid-week, which may or may not be a good thing. And it will be outside in the October chill… I expect less people will be ready to tear it up out on the bikes.
Here are 3 things that can ensure that the east coast event is as successful as the west coast daddy:
In the next post, I will discuss the bikes ridden and the highlights of the dirt demo days while out in Vegas.