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September 4, 2012
NEWS & RACING BROUGHT TO YOU BY CHAPTER2 BIKES
My good friends Pat & Grace have been stationed in Europe throughout our winter and made their way over to Eurobike on the weekend to get a sneak peek of all the 2013 goodies. As it’s been described to me, Eurobike is the Tour de France of bike expos so seeing it all is nearly impossible. But here are some highlights of what they saw…
Eurobike 2012. Aug 29th – Sept 1st
This year we were lucky enough to be able to finally take a side trip to Eurobike. A spot opened up in our calendar, so a quick drive up from Nice, through France, Switzerland and Austria had as at Eurobike in Friedrichshafen Germany.
Accommodation was fully booked for miles around, so we based ourselves in the small Austrian village Hörbranz, 30km away from the show. We really enjoyed the pace of our small village and the authentic Austrian food and in house craft beer at our Gasthaus was superb.
Everything about Eurobike is overwhelming from the traffic jam that transports 64,000 visitors over 4 days, to the size of the 85,000 sqm exhibition halls that are filled by 1250 exhibitors. Very quickly, it was information and sensory overlaod. However the giant pretzels, sausages, hamburgers and just about every kind of meat you can roast kept us sain, all washed down with a huge stein of beer, got us refocused and ready for more action.
The show itself is part bike show, part bike festival and part Eurotastic adventure. Cycling celebrities past and present are on hand to sign autographs and chat about good times. The sheer number of exhibitors and products is beyond belief. We mooched through the halls for two full days and still didn’t see everything and everyone on the list.
It’s incredible how Eurobike brings all of the niche cycling divisions together under one roof. There are exhibitors of all the high performance brands we’d expect to see, then right next door you’ll have recumbent bikes or the coolest looking stand with floral pannier bags for your Eurotastic upright bike.
Highlights of this year’s event:
· Shimano’s prototype Bike Fitting system is brilliant. It includes sensors in the pedals to display where your power is being transferred. If the power is transferred right or left of the pedal centre, the cleat can then be adjusted to centralise the power transfer through the cleat/shoe. The engineers from Shimano were nice enough to give me a test run on the system and it brilliantly provides instant feedback on what you need to change to optimise your bikefit.
· Fan boy poster signings by Thor Hushovd, Ivan Basso & Danny Macaskill [MTB / Trials riding phenomenon]. I imagine these kind of special guest appearances are really hard work for elite bike riders, but to there credit these guys were incredibly professional and seemed to relax and enjoy themselves while they posed for photos, signed posters and represented the brands who support them. Bravo gents!
· The Italian exhibits were a standout. They were all done with class, colour, passion and flair as you’d naturally expect from the red, white and green brigade. The Italian bike companies were at Eurobike in force and made a great impression.
· The traditional German food, drinks and service was first class. The event staff were super nice and helpful in everyway.
· This year only 8 gold medals were awarded at the show. The sole winner in the road Racing Bike category was Cannondale’s Super Six EVO. It was judged the winner as it is the, lightest production frame available on the market at 700g, but has the best stiffness to weight ever recorded. For the boffins among you that’s a figure of 142.3 Nm/deg/kg
The overall vibe from this year’s event was positive and everyone is looking forward to strong growth in the cycling industry in 2013. If you’re in the neighbourhood next year, be sure to take a look at Eurobike 2013, it will take place from Tuesday August 27 to Saturday August 31. Wednesday to Friday are Trade and Media days and Saturday is Public day. Be sure to book you accommodation as early as you possibly can.