Happy New Year

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Eurobike logo

The year begins on 1 January for many but that’s not the case for plenty of people around the world, including the cycle trade. For many in the business of selling bikes, it’s 2012 already with the advent of new products and the trade shows Eurobike and Interbike. Maybe your local bike shop is having a sale to clear out “last year’s” models in time for fresh stock?

Eurobike is on now and Interbike follows in two weeks’ time. There are many other trade shows too. These allow manufacturers and distributors to show their wares to prospective buyers. Sometimes this includes individuals, the shows can be valuable ways to promote new products in front of a captive audience. But usually they are for the trade, a way for bike shops and importers to look at new products and maybe take on new lines. It’s business, all part of the fierce consumerism that stands behind the often simple pleasures of cycling.

In addition there’s the free advertising via the media. Prospective customers get to drool over teaser photos of new products, with each year bringing new and improved products although perhaps the age of lightweight parts is over?  Suddenly your bike looks old.

Ted September 1, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Have we seen much innovation? Looking around there’s no new groupsets and nothing special from the major frame manufacturers, same for wheels and other components.

The Inner Ring September 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Ted: I was half-expecting SRAM Electronic but no, there seem to be more gradual improvements than radical new offerings from the major manufacturers.

Larry T. September 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm

As a long-time veteran of the “bike biz’ I believe one of the worst things has been the concept of model years. When I started in the biz, bikes became “NEW” (not meaning unused of course) when something was truly new…a new tubeset, construction technique, component group, etc. Everything else was just a running change as things evolved. My guess is the model-year idea came from the auto industry where the same old Ford or Chevy was “this year’s model” with little more than a different color, making the previous model obsolete, or at least lower in value. I have a tough time seeing how this has benefited anyone. How many consumers enjoy scoring a deal on “last year’s model”? especially when those are quite often the leftovers in odd-ball sizes. The bike dealer gets screwed when his current stock is suddenly that last year’s model and discounted heavily by the importer to get rid of their remaining stock, making it difficult to get any profit out of the bikes he paid the earlier, higher price for. I attend Interbike mostly to see my industry pals (especially the Italian ones I don’t have time to visit while running our tours) and still (mostly) enjoy it, but it’s hard to work up much excitement for “NEW” stuff when it’s little more than last year’s stuff with a new decal or color scheme. As to electronic shifting I still see it as an answer to a question yet to be asked.

Gillis September 2, 2011 at 1:02 am

@ Inrng: These shows have also been places where pro riders of various disciplines show up to sign autographs, schmooze, and sometimes make deals for the coming year.

haps September 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm

this comments is from the Eurobike computeroom – and this is my 2nd visit – so without much experience to compare – I find this place somewhat regular – a lot a biz going on which is allright becuase that is the purpose – but few interesting innovations – few creative ideas – seems to a pattern high-end products developed and produced “at home” – philwood – white industried – son hubs – Nitto/MKS from Japan – gilles berthoud from france— which is cool to see –
shimano-Sram and Mavic same strory(or very similar) as last year besides helmets and electric shifters
I like chicks – but when a big brand name need girls in hot pants and bodypainted breasts in order to create attention for their product it makes you wonder…..
most stuff from carbon/alu frames to colourfull cranks/hubs seems to produces at the same productions sites in Taiwan/China – where have the risk-taking and playfullness gone???

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