Monday, May 11, 2009

EHBE

IF @ EHBE
Carsten's tribute
Owners' frames on display
Very slick Fixie Inc seatstay coupler for belt drive
Crisp w/ BB30 & Cannondale 2x9
Crisp Titanium
In a flury of activity, it is nice to have such a show as the EHBE in the middle. The European version of the NAHBS took place over the weekend in the sleepy community of Schwaebisch Gmuend near Stuttgart Germany. It was small gathering of not so big, small (and very small) frame builders, and companies focused on the bike.

For us, it is our tradeshow this year as we are passing on an official presence at Eurobike. Instead we are doing many more grassroots events, trying to give more back to the IF fans out there. For EHBE we have a delectable showing of our range of frames along with a couple of fresh customer rides (thanks to Conni and Carsten...). We also had some sweet eyecandy courtesey of Waridi and KING in our stand, creating a setting one could endulge themselves in sheer bike porn for a long time.

Attendees and other vendors poured over the love be exhibited, making note of the craftsmanship and detail of our rides and parts. So often I was told of how much people loved our bikes, and were IF fans, something very few other companies can boast. It was flattering to hear of the respect and positive feedback, and more so to hear the distances people traveled just to come and see us.

On Saturday evening, together with Waridi we threw a big BBQ with all of the fixens for over 130 party goers. There was an assortment of grilled meat with me be the Grill MC that evening, 4 kegs of beer were made empty and a good time was had by all. My new friends over at RetroVelo lit up the portable bike DJ turntable to provide the ambiance, and the conversations flowed over the whole setting like a spring flood, it was awesome.

Afterwards the fine people of Daily Bread, RetroVelo, Ulrich Vogel, Waridi and myself all went out for a nitecap on the Altstadt of SG. I heard other stories of even later nights, but I was glad to have found my way home by 1am...

With the prior evening consumption of beverages still lingering in my head, it was another great day of talking about all things bikes. It was interesting to meet and see the offerings of the European bike community, there is some definite talent and innovation happening here, and I have developed some ideas out of the show myself. The openess of the builders and open forum on the bike there was inspiring and great to see. Something you will get anywhere else I think.

We had a great show, and look forward to the next edition, and yes we will be back with the BBQ, but bigger, and better. For now, it is off to the states, bis bald.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Closing thoughts on Gardasee

another brand on the urban-bike assault front

As I sit in a cafe around the corner from our new place (as we are currently internet challenged), I am reflecting on my time at the 2009 BIKE Festival in Gardasee. My last time there was on behalf of Brodie and FOX apparel back in 1996. To be honest, my recollection of that trip is fairly blurred, so it was like being somewhere new for me.

The spectacular views are the perfect backdrop for a season kick-off party, and I was fortunate to hook up with the Italian Single Speed Mafia, supper nice hardcore group of riders who appreciate fine bikes and cheep beer. They also happen to know a lot about Jackass... We swore next year the stars will align and ourselves and Biciclista will colaborate on a stand there (hopefully much more).

did I mention this is paradise...

One ride was all I got in flying solo on behalf of ifbikes.de. Partnering with the ISSM and with wife and kid in tow, I hope to see much more of what the valley has to offer in singletrack commodity. I also hope to have a stand that doesn't smell like unrine, it seems the tree (and the side of my tent) was a popular place for persons to relieve themselves.

An Italian girl is a terrible thing to waste...

The car is already loaded agina, this time EHBE, stay tuned, should be another good weekend...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Gardasee Day Two

the thing about attending such a festival is not just to be seen, but to see. See what the consumer is doing, and to observe the market in a 'real world' setting. Granted, real world is dependent on where you find it, you will not meet the same public at a single speed meet as you will at one of the main stream events, but both are equally important and interesting.

Thus far I have been positively surprised by what I have observed and seen at the Gardasee Fest. Today was especially sweet for me as not only did I meet more enthusiasts and fans, but I saw some bikes I actually lust after. First was an Italian who will be a customer of ours in the near future, with his beautiful, near fully retro Yeti with elevated chainstays. There are few symbols of mountain biking's heyday, and this is one of them.


Yeti Ultimate


Yeti Headbadge

The second symbol is none other the a Fat City Cycles Yo Eddy, and yes, there was one of those in its full green to blue faded glory, albeit this one was slightly modernized. But it still had a sweet Mag21 Ti mounted for front end suspension duties also painted to match, nice.






Fat City Cycles

Yo Eddy

I think it is appropriate that we are tucked away in a little corner of the festival, it fits the fact people are still getting know us and many still do not know we exist, I guess I have my work cut out for me. Given the overwhelming positive response here, it will be an enjoyable task to continue to build the brand.

Another observation I have made is that I am astonished how many people 'associated' with the bicycle industry smoke cigarettes... Well atleast here in Europe. I have seen people in their respective booths, riders and spectators smoking all around the festival grounds. For a healthy outdoor sport, if I were an unaware outsider looking in, I would have a poor view of the sport giving the lack of regard for one's own health.

Girl Smoking...



...Smoking Girls

The flip side is the top European rider's have always amazed me with their level of fitness and that also shows. Tanned, muscular legs on both the boys and gals rolled up and down the expo promonade, showing off tan lines of people with out day jobs or short trips to Mallorjca.


Yes, I would like something sweet...

Tomorrow is race day and extended hours for us, 9am to 10pm, I am curious what the day will bring...