Interbike 2009: Good times

The Interbike OutDoor Demo and International Bicycle Expo, held in Las Vegas Sept. 21-25, wrapped up a successful week of product demos, launches, business meetings and events while reflecting the upbeat outlook of the bicycle industry as a whole.

“The buzz of business Interbike 2009and enthusiasm on the Interbike show reflected a resilient marketplace place determined to maximize opportunities in 2010,” said Andy Tompkins, Interbike show director. “Interbike provided a critical meeting place for more than 1,100 brands to connect with thousands of buyers, media, athletes and industry professionals to share ideas, garner business education and network as a community. Combined efforts of the entire industry made the show a resounding success.”

Interbike’s week-long trade event began with buyers and media testing the latest in road, downhill, cross-country, all-mountain, electric, and commuter-style bikes and accessory categories at Interbike’s Outdoor Demo, held Sept. 21-22 in Bootleg Canyon, Boulder City, Nev. Anxious to get the real product experience with 2010 bikes and accessories, overall attendance at the two day event increased over last year.

The attendance and enthusiasm of the dealers did not go unnoticed by the majority of exhibiting manufacturers.

“It’s only noon today and I’m already pleased with how many retailers I’ve seen this morning,” said Chris DiStephano, spokesman for Chris King. “I’m amazed with how many people are here with backpacks, helmets hanging off of them, ready to ride.”

Attendees also participated in the Tour de Lake Mead, a 24 mile road ride hosted in conjunction with the Demo, boasting 394 riders, up more than 100 riders from last year.

Once in the Sands Expo and Convention Center for the indoor portion of the show, more than 22,500 exhibitors and attendees filled the hall to see products from more than 1,100 exhibiting brands.

Exhibiting brands showcased full 2010 product stories with the latest bikes, clothing and accessories. According to exhibitors, viewing products and talking with their sales staff helped retailers solidify inventory decisions for the coming year and strengthen business relationships.

“Attending Interbike is always worthwhile, especially in an environment where dealers are less likely to have all their orders finalized before Interbike,” said Shane Winn, dealer relations for Colnago. “This year – more than ever – people are coming to Interbike to touch, feel and drool over products before they write their orders.”

“I am really pleased with this year’s traffic and the number of new dealers we have been able to meet with,” said Blair Clark, senior vice president for Smith Optics. “I wish that we had brought a bigger presence and a broader product line. Our meetings with retailers confirmed the number of potential cross over markets that are represented here.”

Preliminary attendance figures show the number of unique stores represented increased to more than 4,000 and the number of total buyers increased to more than 11,300. International buyers also increased as 1,300 Interbike attendees represented 64 countries outside of the United States. The growth in stores in attendance can be attributed to the steady increase in cycling participation and to an increase in outdoor recreation, performance and ski retailers. International buyers from Canada, Mexico, China, and Australia and a growing base of dealers from central and South America bolstered buyer attendance figures.

Despite the challenges of the economy and cautious expectations going into the show, attending retailers were optimistic about the event and exhibitors’ new 2010 product offerings.

“I was very impressed with the excitement at Interbike. With the economic crisis weighing down on us I was not quite sure what to expect from the show,” said Brandon Fell from Bills Bike Shop, Idaho Falls, Idaho. “Everyone I met with had an upbeat and excited attitude about this upcoming year – the bike show for me was a recharge.”

“Our store typically attends Interbike only every three years, but boy, this was the year to break out of that cycle and attend,” said Joe Russell, Russell’s Cycling & Fitness, Washington, Ill. “Not only were we able to accomplish what we needed to but the level of excitement from both dealers and suppliers was well evidenced on the show floor. We were also encouraged by all the new product innovations from our suppliers.”

To view video coverage of the many features and events held in conjunction with Interbike including the OutDoor Demo; S&M Bikes BMX Rail Jam; Urban Legend Fashion Show sponsored by Giant, inspired and styled by Momentum Magazine; the Interbike Expo Demo Area; Cross Vegas; the USA Crits Finals and product highlights from exhibiting manufacturers, please visit

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