Despite the 12+ hour days, 7 hour plane ride to Germany and mountain of e-mail to respond to upon getting home, having the opportunity to go to Eurobike, the largest bicycle industry trade show in the world, was more than worth it.
It’s nearly impossible to describe the event in one blog post but here are a few highlights. A few stats to put it into perspective:
- 100,000 square meters (that’s almost 25 acres!) of indoor exhibition space spread over 12 enormous halls, plus even more outside.
- 41,000+ trade show exhibitors and attendees over 3 days
- An additional 22,000 cycling enthusiasts attended the public day on the last day of the show
Montague was there to show the cycling world our bikes and components. In addition to our line of full size folding bikes, we also have a patented quick release system called CLIX and an adjustable stem that doesn’t require tools called the Octagon.
We’ve been making high performance cycling products for more than 20 years so there were lots of people who were already very familiar with our bikes and wanted to check out the upcoming changes for 2011. During the public day we had a couple from Germany stop by our booth who have been riding their Montague folding bikes for the past 15 years touring all over Europe. They were checking out the Montague Swissbike X70 as a possible upgrade for their next European touring adventure.
There were also lots of people who have heard about us and sought us out to get a first hand look at the quality of our folding bikes and the patented folding system. We also had the opportunity to meet with several of our existing distributors and speak with potential new distributors all over Europe who are interested in selling Montague bikes in their country. There were 42 countries represented at Eurobike and it was great to be able to speak to people from all over the world about the one of many things we had in common – a passion for cycling.
A few of the highlights for 2011 we shared with the world, and now you include:
- The Boston 8. Building on the success of the first ever full size single speed folding bike, The Boston, we introduced an 8-speed that features the Shimano Nexus internal hub.
- The Paratrooper Pro. We’ve made the best even better with the addition of the Paratrooper Pro. In addition to the matte black finish the Paratrooper Pro also features SRAM X7 drivetrain and upgraded forks with lockout.
- The FIT. Already the highest performance full-size folding bike on the market, we’ve raised the bar for 2011 with a carbon fork, FSA cranks and Shimano Tiagra rear derailleur.
European Cycling Culture
Cycling is an integral part of the European culture. While racing bikes is a significant portion of the cycling world in Europe, an even bigger segment is the mobility market. It seems as though everyone owns a bike and uses it on a regular basis to get from place to place. The cycling infrastructure thorughout much of Europe makes cycling very easy to do. Seeing dedicated bike lanes separate from roads and bike specific traffic signals was commonplace.
Every day on the ride from our local apartment to the show hall we saw cyclists everywhere. It seems that everyone rides a bike. And it wasn’t racers decked out in their spandex racing kit. It was whole families riding together in their everyday clothes, kids going to school, parents going to work or going to get groceries. We saw all ages, shapes and sizes riding their bikes.
Let’s hope more communities in the US follow Europe’s lead and make the cycling infrastructure as strong in the US as it is in Europe.
Stay tuned to our blog for more pictures and video from Eurobike, and also Interbike which begins in just a couple of weeks.