Friday, September 12, 2008
EuroBike Part 1
With little time for a proper follow-up on my Blog, forget even trying to write something during the show!, I have been surfing the coverage from the show on various sites around the net. If you were to follow what the main websites (VeloNews, Cyclingnews…) and many of of the smaller guys are reporting, you would think the show was about more carbon light bikes, new grouppos from S,S&C and bikes from pros, particularly the Olympians (as it seemed everyone was showing an Olympic bike, even if they were off the podium. For the most part, you would be correct, however there was also a riptide in the halls that the media and internet did not register.
Steel – Ti bikes, especially of the handmade sort are back. Maybe as a exhibitor for IF I am looking through a bubble, but if you looked closer at the show, there were sweet bikes all over the place. Our ‘official’ friends at Fixie Inc. were sort of leading the charge, taking 3 Eurobike awards for their creations. Seven, Lynsky, Serotta, Baum and a plethora of other small European builders all had representation at the show. Then there was IF.
Relegated to the Zeppelin Hall (you have to do the ZH proving your worth before getting into the big time show in one of the main halls – look out in 2009!), we had 5 beautiful creation packed into a 10x10’ space. I had planned on a bit more for the show space, but after several plans and using my uncle’s terrace over here as a reference (being it was the same size), I went simple, black carpet and two corrugated metal walls to frame the stand. Joe Ingram from IF flew over to help out, and we ended up testing our wall papering skills last minute as the section of wall behind us was not finished – way ghetto.
Demo Day kicked things off, Joe and I delivered some rides to Hutchinson, and they sent out my ti 26’er and Achim’s 29’er – to the delight of many riders. One guy had the 29er for a long time riding around with perma-grin (he would stop by the booth during the show and is wanting a 29er now). I ran into Elyana from FOX, it is always great to see her and she has one of the best jobs around hitting some fun events. After cutting the steerer on my new 29er, we walked the demo day with our two new IF’s which drew a lot of attention from the show goers. We threw the bikes back in the van, and went out on some bikes for our own demo day. We tried Focus (Mike Kluge’s band) and Look, neither were impressive. I just can’t wrap my arms around carbon bikes, particularly the off-road set.
After baking in the sun all day, we made our way back to the show, and tidied up our booth for the first day. Staying 45min away from the show kind of sucked, especially for the post-show daily social hours…
Day one: Suprisingly, it was very busy out of the box, well for ZH parameters. Little did we know of the craziness in the main halls. The good news was is that media previewed us for the show and people sought us out in the Eurobike Guide. We also had bikes in a couple of other booths. The first three days were for the dealers, the last for the public. As I have tried to focus on direct sales, I was surprised that so many dealers were looking and finding us. I spent a lot of time talking about the bikes and EDGE who we are also distributing over here.
Our booth had my new lime green 29er, Phaty’s YoEddy inspired single speed, my SSX, Sandi’s Ti Deluxe and a Sweet XS from IF. AS people rolled through, they would study the workmanship and details, combing over the bikes in awe. Catalogues, business cards and price lists were flying out the door. I also took two orders the first day from big IF fans. Following day one, we rolled over to the Mavic stand for a happy hour, too bad my friend Dan Crean did not make it over, but we stilled enjoyed some good wine and appetizers.
Day two was more of the same, busy. Actually besides the public day, it was our busiest. Jason from EDGE stopped by and was checking out our stand. It was great to meet with him and talk about new products, and projects for the future… Besdie our stand was a café with standing tables, it became our parcours for demoing my two-niner. IF cranked out an amazing ride that turns on a dime – but more on that in another post… Once again we had dealers requesting catalogues and pricelists, lots of IF love was being spread around. Funny thing was, people would stop by and would be back later. Time and time again I heard how great it was that IF is in Germany and Europe. Someone even gave me an old Fat City Cycles YoEddy T, only to be stolen out of our booth (along with tires, a saddle, and other items…)
More to come.