FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN)—Eurobike, the global industry’s largest and most important tradeshow starts Tuesday, drawing 40,000 visitors to the shores of Lake Constance in Southern Germany during its four-day run.
With such a large presence from all sectors of the industry, the show, now in its 21st year, is the time to highlight 2013 product, hold meetings to discuss spec for 2014 models and gauge the general business climate around the globe. This year, the industry is likely to feel the coolness of Europe’s selling season due to decreased consumer spending in a sluggish economy and a rainy spring and summer, which kept riders out of bike shops. On top of that, the euro fell in value against the U.S. dollar by nearly 20 percent in the last year, which is expected to result in price increases at the show.
Those factors have already started to surface as reasons for dips in revenue from Europe in recent quarterly earnings reports from companies like Derby Cycle, Dorel Industries and Easton Bell.
In terms of product, 650B, or 27.5” mountain bikes, and accessories will be present on the massive show floor, which covers a footprint of more than 1 million square feet. The resurgence of the category has been driven in part by European brands that waited too long to jump onto the 29er bandwagon, and don’t want to miss the boat on what could become another important trend.
Focus and Scott will each have bikes with the “meet in the middle” wheel size, and Continental is rumored to be releasing a tire at Eurobike. Other brands debuting new product here include Thule, Zipp, Fuji, Kestrel and Rotor, which is showing a new power meter crank.
Cervélo is on hand with its new Rca and P5 time trial bikes.
Electric bikes will also take up significant real estate on the show floor, as that category continues to thrive in Europe. This year, speed pedelecs—models that travel up to 45 kilometers per hour with 500 watt motors as opposed to 25 kilometers per hour and 250 watt motors—have picked up in popularity, and at least a handful of brands will be showing the faster, more powerful options.
New this year, Eurobike hosts the first Advocacy Summit, building on a group formed last year by CEOs from Accell Group, SRAM, Trek, Schwalbe, Selle Royal, DT Swiss and Trelock with the goal to double cycling in Europe and drum up funding for bike infrastructure.
The group is modeled after the Bikes Belong Coalition in the United States. At Eurobike the group will meet to discuss the role advocacy plays in growing cycling and ultimately bike sales in Europe.
Speakers include René Takens, CEO of Accell Group and president of Colibi; Stan Day, president of SRAM and the creator of the SRAM Cycling Fund; Manfred Neun, president of the European Cyclists’ Federation; Burkhard Stork, chief executive of ADFC; and Tim Blumenthal, president of Bikes Belong.
All told, 1,250 exhibitors from 45 countries will set up booths in 14 huge halls at Messe Friedrichshafen. A noticeable absence will be Trek, which stepped away from the show this year to host its owner version of Trekworld for European dealers.
Eurobike starts Tuesday with Demo Day with 100 exhibitors offering test bikes to retailers and media. A consumer day closes the show on Saturday.