TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Ride On hosted two fewer exhibitors this year, but that didn’t seem to slow the steady traffic up to the 27th floor of Taichung’s Hotel One, where the spec show has been held for the past two years. By Wednesday afternoon, about 150 people had visited the event, and a total of 350 were expected by the end of the week, organizers said.
Exhibitors reported a more laid-back feel because the dates were more than a week earlier this year, meaning North American product managers didn’t have to rush to Taiwan immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Everybody is way more relaxed from what I can tell,” said Tyler Meyers, who heads global OEM sales for Hayes Bicycle Group. Meyers said meetings were just as busy this year as last, with between 45 and 50 attendees listening in on the day’s first two presentations. Meyers said he doesn’t think Ride On had any less pull with two fewer brands in the lineup this year. Gore cables had been a supporter of Ride On, but the company exited the cable business earlier this year. Hutchinson, another former Ride On exhibitor, joined Taichung Bike Week instead, setting up a booth at the Evergreen Hotel.
Lance Bohlen, attending his first industry event as the new managing director for FSA North America, said he was impressed by this year’s turnout.
“It’s been packed,” Bohlen said, noting a standing-room-only crowd for FSA’s presentations. Other exhibitors are Crankbrothers, Vittoria, Mavic, Magura, Fox Racing Shox and Fizik.
Ride On is similar to Taichung Bike Week, but slightly more structured as each exhibitor commits to a full day’s schedule of prepared, hour-long presentations as opposed to the more laid-back wander-by-whenever feel at Bike Week. The two events are run by separate organizers but typically occur the same week as a convenience to travel-harried product managers. Ride On moved into the city from the remote Freshfields Resort last year, much to the pleasure of both exhibitors and visitors who grumbled over the 45-minute drive to the isolated venue.
It will be at Hotel One until Friday.