A few years ago I wasn’t really sure what Interbike was and going into this past week I really didn’t know what to expect. For those of you unaware of Interbike (like I was), think Consumer Electronics Show (CES) but for bikes. Its the largest bicycle industry trade show in North America that takes place in good ol’ Las Vegas, Nevada. Its a chance for vendors to show off their new stuff for the year and gives us retailers a chance to get our hands on the product. Kristie and I are finalizing our list of cool products to carry for you guys in the store, and this was a good opportunity to check out the new products and find some that we didn’t even know about.
Day 1 started very early with a 6am flight getting into Vegas before 7am. Its rare for me to see the city with such clarity so early in the morning. We were accompanied by our good friends Sean and Melanie Clancy who you know as the pack leaders of Bike Friendly Deep Ellum and Active.com. Our first order of business was Outdoor Demo Day. This event takes place about 30 minutes outside of Las Vegas in Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park.
All of the major vendors are out there with bikes to test ride in all kinds of terrain. Mountain, Road, Cross, Recumbent, Triathlon, Fat bikes, any thing you could think of was available to test ride. Kristie and I grabbed a couple Surleys and made our way to the dirt track.
It was a great way to test out the bikes in real terrain where they were meant to be ridden. We also decided to find one of the most expensive bikes we could and take those out for a spin. Argon 18 road bikes fit the bill. These bikes were pretty impressive and now makes me want to buy yet another bike. Sadly, we won’t be carrying these in our store. Even though we will focus on urban / commuter bikes we still enjoy going fast on the open road. 🙂 Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend as much time at Outdoor Demo Day as we would have liked. It was time to head back to the conference for some afternoon classes. Next time we go back we’ll make sure we have a full day to dedicate to this.
Day 2 was mixed with classes and checking out the massive expo. I’m not sure how other years compared but Interbike scheduled a good lineup of classes for education on the bike industry, retail trends, retail management ect. Boring to most I know but, valuable to us. So, back to the good stuff. The expo is the main event of Interbike. Its filled with just about every vendor the bike industry has to offer. Its a massive room that takes hours to walk around and check out all the products. It was a good opportunity to visit with our friends at Brooklyn Bicycle Company, Raleigh, Giro and others while getting a chance to meet a few new faces too. More to come on those new vendors in later posts.
That night we, along with 12,000 other bike race enthusiasts, had the privilege to check out the first-ever North American UCI Cyclocross World Cup race. There was a slight chill in the air for being in the desert, which I’m sure the riders enjoyed. However I’m sure they didn’t enjoy the 15-20 mph hour wind gusts which made for a brutal headwind on some parts of the course. There were riders from all over the world flying around the track and both the men and women’s races came down to the last few seconds to determine the winner. It was a great setting for the event and coincided well with the Interbike conference.
Day 3 – The last day was much of the same as the second. We had a few classes in the morning followed by a final walk through of the expo to meet with a few more vendors. We could have used another day to check out some more things that Interbike had to offer but 3 days in Vegas is usually enough for me.
If you’re up for it next year and happen to be in Vegas the last day of the conference is open to consumers. In the meantime, you can just come by our shop when it opens to see some of the awesome things we found at Interbike and brought back to Dallas with us. Here are is a taste of the things you can see at the expo: