FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — A wet and cold spring and summer dampened bike sales and inflated supplier inventories in Europe and globally, leading to rampant discounting. And with many dealers still sitting on 2013 bikes as 2014 models begin shipping, suppliers may find buyers reluctant to take on big orders and the overall mood a bit soft at Eurobike.
Still, the industry’s largest trade show is an important event on the global calendar and in Germany. Taking a quick look at the show stats, there’s no disputing Eurobike’s dominance among industry trade shows. This year, organizers expect:
- More than 1,250 exhibitors from 49 countries, who will occupy 14 exhibition halls spanning more than 1 million square feet
- 147 brands at Outdoor Demo, up from 133 in 2012
- More than 40,000 trade visitors from 100 countries, 1,800 journalists from 36 countries and several thousand consumers (More than 20,000 paid to see the latest wares from suppliers last year.)
One segment that continues to flourish in Europe—and Germany in particular—is electric bikes, and several drivetrain manufacturers including Bosch, TranzX, Panasonic and BionX all plan to show new systems here.
Bosch, the European market leader, will unveil its Performance Line for mountain or trekking models—available in 25 km/hr and 45 km/hr versions—and the Active Line for leisure e-bikes. Both systems feature an optimized sensor for quiet operation.
“With these two lines we can address the different requirements of e-bikers from sporting to leisure cyclists even better,” said Claus Fleischer, head of the Bosch eBike Systems product division.
The German Bicycle Industry Association (ZIV) estimates that sales of electric bikes will top 450,000 by year’s end, about 70,000 units more than last year. Manufacturers are capitalizing on that market and many will be introducing expanded or revamped e-bike lines. Cannondale, for example, plans to launch its new E-Series of electric bikes to the press and Gates will be demoing new carbon belt drive electric bikes and unveiling new sprocket integrations with all major e-bike motors including SRAM, BionX and Bosch.
Also expected to take up real estate on the show floor are 11-speed and disc-brake-equipped road bikes and 27.5-inch mountain bikes.
Many international brands have released 2014 product earlier in the summer to press or at private dealer shows, but some still hold out for Eurobike. Hayes, Rotor, Breezer, Zipp, Rudy Project and Dahon, among others, were set to debut new product.
It also is a key place for brands to meet with European dealers and distributors.
"I look forward to Eurobike every year," said Paul Lew, director of technology and innovation at Reynolds Cycling, which will display its 2014 line of road, triathlon and mountain wheels. “It's a unique opportunity to show our newest products and interact with key European customers.”
But perhaps stealing the headlines this year more than the product will be the first-time visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will open the show on the first day, then tour Eurobike’s expansive grounds.
Preceding the four-day trade show will be the seventh edition of Demo Day, which will offer five courses for retailers to test bikes in the foothills of the Alps in the Allgäu region, about a 35-minute drive from the main exhibition grounds. Companies showing outdoors for the first time include De Rosa, Hercules and Thule. Last year, close to 2,000 visitors and more than 700 journalists took bikes out for demo.
Demo Day will take place Aug. 27 this year and will be followed by the indoor show, Aug. 28 to 30.