Having competed with more retailers than ever for access to brand managers on Cycle's trade day, BikeBiz gives a thumbs up to the NEC location

Comment: Cycle Show’s midlands gamble pays off?

LAST MONTH EUROBIKE very much dominated this column and rightly so, there was an abundance of highlights to squeeze into this space. This led me to travel to the Cycle Show with the notion that I was bound to have a few unproductive days revisiting the product seen just a few weeks prior – I vaguely recall stating: “I’ll eat my hat if I come back from the NEC with plenty to report on.”

So, pleasantly surprised and with a mouthful of trucker cap, I’m glad to report that the Cycle Show feature within the latest issue is jam-packed with product debuts, brand launches and those looking to do fresh business domestically.

Unmentioned in the feature are the efforts that the organisers have seemingly put into drawing the crowds to the NEC following the show’s journey north this year. On the show floor, I have to report that, genuinely, I’ve never seen so many retailers on the trade day.

Taking a cheeky test ride on the outdoor test track, helmet cam clad and aboard the talk of the show – RAW’s Bamboo Bike – I’ve got to say that consumers were provided a treat on the test ride front this year. The NEC now has a permanent singletrack path complete with pumps, berms and rock gardens. The resulting video can be viewed at BikeBiz.com under ‘Cycle Show Test Track’.

Historically, shows in this business have a habit of losing their steam after moving location, yet despite the absence of some big names normally needed to prop up such exhibitions, the Cycle Show looks to have moved in the right direction, running contrary to pre-show mutterings of vast swathes of unsold space.

Minus certain trade giants, smaller fish were given the chance to make impressions. Allow me to pick a few highlights:

Zaboo Bikes: New to the UK and 29er exclusive, this brand is looking for up to ten dealers – giving each a large exclusive territory.

Urban Kreation: Tired of tearing jeans on the bike? Yep, me too. That’s why Urban Kreation have stepped up to the mark, offering garments made out of the same material used for airbags by NASA.

EBCO: Two new brands join the electric-exclusive EBCO stable: AVE Bikes and KED Helmets.

Jungle Products: Isaac is back on the map having avoided going under. Jungle Products has picked up distribution rights in the UK and is understandably happy.

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