Interbike… that word conveys so many different things for all types of cyclists. For racers, CrossVegas is on their mind. For bike nerds, Interbike 2013 means all new technology about to be revealed. For manufacturers, it is the time to convince shops and online merchants to buy and sell your gear. And for a lot of people, it is a fun week in Vegas. For those that don’t know, Interbike is the largest bicycle tradeshow in North America. All the major manufacturers in the bike world convene in Las Vegas every fall to give dealers a full rundown of next year’s product.
Getting Around Interbike
Interbike begins with a lot of walking. Getting there seems to take eons sometimes, especially depending on your state after last night’s activities. The Mandalay Bay Convention Center is neatly tucked away down a labyrinth of hallways, hidden cleverly behind the smog-choked casino. Then when you reach the convention of all things bicycles, you walk around a lot more.
Okay, walking aside, Interbike is pretty cool. It is huge! I swear, to make more space this year, they made all of the hallways between booths thinner to fit in more bike brands and manufacturers. While your tired legs are screaming for you to just sit down, your eyes are racing around trying to soak in all the details. All the major players from Fox clothing, Fox suspension, Sram, Shimano, Trek, Specialized, Santa Cruz, are there to show off all their shiny new bits and pieces.
Bicycle Industry Stuff
My experience this year was meetings with some of our major brands like Scott USA, Shimano, Smith Optics (they have a sweet new bike helmet), Troy Lee Designs and more. In the name of good business, we forged ahead and strengthened our partnerships to bring some of the best bicycles, parts, and technical riding gear to you through our White Pine Touring and Jans retail stores and of course, Jans.com. We also did a bit of research into some of the raddest new brands out there. In between meetings I walked and I walked and saw what I could. Companies like 2XU and Sugoi are killing it in 2014. I’m excited to see their product in our stores and on our riders. Shimano also recently purchased www.Bikefitting.com and has created a model bike fitting room for any and all bike shops. This is very high tech stuff. The gains to be had from the ideal bike fit are something that my co-workers and I at Jans heavily believe in. If you’ve never heard of bike fitting or maybe you have a sore back and neck after riding, check out our bike fits for more information.
Interbike at its core is a great place for the industry to come together. Racers from different bike teams, shop employees, industry media, and manufacturers are really all there to teach and learn. We need to learn if we are going to sell great product. So why not come together as a community and learn from each other?
Fun Stuff from Interbike
The big event at Interbike is the famed CrossVegas cyclocross race. The name is even a funny pun if you think about it. Some of the most successful racers in the world along with wheelers and dealers alike all meet up at a big outdoor soccer field complex to race head to head. Major sponsors like Raleigh and Shimano build big wooden bridges and berms to keep things interesting. And the best part: Everyone goes to CrossVegas. It’s a great chance to meet new people and get a little networking in. And if you can swing it, the VIP sections are loud and fun and overflowing with beer and food.
Last Bits of Interbike
To throw in a bit of my own opinion, I definitely think Interbike needs to move from Las Vegas. I’m not into the whole party scene and Las Vegas has almost nothing to do with bicycles, and not to mention little bicycle commuting opportunities (Again, all the walking). And because I’m biased towards Utah, Salt Lake City would be a much better option. Salt Lake has the necessary amenities to make it happen – Salt Lake City already hosts the summer and winter Outdoor Retailer conventions. And who wouldn’t want to have the On Dirt Demo in Park City?
Having gone to Interbike more than a few times now, you think I would understand all the walking. I still don’t and I still make the mistake of trying to walk around in crappy, uncomfortable, flat skate shoes with no support. I found that the key to walking around Vegas and Interbike are shoes like the Salomon XR Mission trail running shoes. Nice and comfy with lots of support. FYI, for when you get to go to Interbike in Las Vegas.
By Paul Boyle, Marketing Specialist