BOOTLEG CANYON, NV (BRAIN)—One look around Outdoor Demo and it’s apparent that bikes are being thought of as much more than just a recreational tool these days.
Electric and utility bikes seem more popular than ever at this year’s Demo. Perhaps it has to do with the separate paved demo track for retailers to test pedal-assist bikes. Or perhaps it’s American consumers finally coming around to these utility type bikes.
“It seems America is really turned toward bikes for utility, and for use other than sport recreation,” said Ed Rae, North American sales agent for Brompton. “More people are looking at a bike for everyday use.”
Suppliers not tied to utility bikes also report strong sales numbers.
“Summer sales have been great because we released this RocLoc 5 Helmet Retention System in late July and that’s been an overwhelming hit,” said Dain Zaffke, brand manager for Giro Bike. “It’s better in every way. It’s lighter. It’s more comfortable. It’s been a slam dunk for us. That was a great boost for us to have mid-summer.
“And our new shoe line coming out in spring is going to be fantastic,” he added. “The response so far has been overwhelming.”
Chris King’s strong sales numbers are tied to having a more diverse product range. “If you look at the King product releases in the last three years, we’ve gotten much broader in our mix,” said Jeff Menand, sales manager for Chris King. “People used to think of us as just a standard headset company, and we’re so much more than that including the Cielo bikes.”
Outdoor Demo continues today at Bootleg Canyon, while the indoor part of the show starts tomorrow.