Interbike has closed its doors, the distributors have packed up their gear (or sold it off at special show-only prices), the retailers have returned to the real world of stock levels and monthly sales figures, while all the media representatives are still trying to make sense of it all. The Cyclingtips team had a great time at Interbike this year and even had the chance to take in a Cirque de Soleil show before heading out of town. Here’s a grab bag of bits and pieces and my final impressions of Interbike.
I hope that after reading our earlier posts, you have some appreciation for the size of Interbike. The convention centre was a vast space, but once in the midst of all the booths, it was easy to get lost and often difficult to find a product that caught our eye the day before. One of the difficulties with using the floor map was that there was no index for products, just the names of the distributing companies. In some cases, this was a close match, but in others (eg Gita Sporting Goods is the U.S. distributor for Pinarello, Pegoretti, Eddy Merckx, and Giordana), we had to resort to circling the floor to find a product of interest. I’m sure we overlooked a few products as a consequence.
It’s also worth noting that while plenty of brands were on show at Interbike, not all brands elected to have a booth. For example, Trek and Giant were absent, explaining the lack of coverage for their new products. For the rest that were there but ignored by our coverage, there’s only so much so much we can do to catalogue the products on show.
I met a lot of sales reps and many of them were very good at their job. They had no trouble taking me through an entire range and answering both general and specific questions. In some instances though, the reps were poorly prepared and/or poorly informed to help me appreciate their products. The great reps really made a difference to my perception of a brand.
Cyclocross is very hot in the U.S. at the moment. The size of the market has grown incredibly in the last couple of years. CrossVegas provided the best illustration for the sport’s growing popularity, it was a stunning extravaganza that was fuelled by the potent enthusiasm of the fans (and still, I’m told, it has yet to rival that seen in Belgium). On the floor at Interbike, there were plenty of new CX-specific products such as wheels, rims, disk brakes and forks to feed the growing appetite for CX. While it’s difficult to predict whether this trend will ever extend to take in the Australian market, it’s definitely becoming a growing force that is shaping product development.
Finally, there were quite a few whacky products on display. The industry caters to a wide range of interests, so I don’t want to judge a product harshly, but some stuff left Wade and I shaking our heads in wonder, and here FitWet’s exercise bike in a bathtub deserves special mention. Regardless, we had a great time, and I hope we’ve been able provide the kind of coverage you appreciate. By all means, let us know what was missing, so we can improve our coverage next year.