ARGENBUHL, Germany (BRAIN)—More than 100 companies rolled out their best under a bright blue sky as hundreds of retailers and their staff flocked to this rural town’s elementary school to test bikes.
This was Eurobike’s third year hosting a Demo Day and Stefan Reisinger, ducking out of the noonday sun and into the Dahon tent, said he was pleased with the turnout.
“This is a very, very good crowd,” said Eurobike’s project manager, recalling Eurobike’s first Outdoor Demo where it had rained all day. Retail traffic was light and mountain bikes that made it onto the trails came back caked with mud. “This weather is perfect,” Reisinger added.
Josh Hon, Dahon’s vice president, was smiling as retailers stopped to ask questions and take bikes out for a spin. “It’s a lot busier than it was last year. It’s quite a bit more like Interbike’s demo days with the size of this crowd. We’re very pleased with the traffic,” Hon said.
Vaude representative Fabio Laub said he found the venue useful to tell customers about products such as its new line of mountain bike shoes. But, he added, it is a difficult environment for dealers to try soft goods. “It is much easier to borrow bikes,” Laub said.
Skip Swain, vice president of sales for Norco, which exhibited at Eurobike’s demo day for the first time, said Norco in the past had not participated because it struggled to have samples ready. This year it had 16 bikes available for retailers to test ride. “This is a really civilized dirt demo,” Swain said. “This is all about brand awareness and letting people see the bikes.”
Swain said Norco had seen a handful of dealers from South Africa and retailers from across Europe. “It was a slow start, but it kicked in around 11 a.m. and it has been steady all day,” he said. “The Americas don’t really come here, they go to Interbike, but you have people here from all over the world.”
If there was any grumbling, it was about the seemingly long wait for buses taking visitors to and from the demo site—a 35-minute ride one way depending upon traffic. But once on-site, those grumbles gave way to grins as retailers hit the road or the trails.