If previously you’ve been hesitant to make the trip to London’s Cycle Show, this year is without doubt, 100 per cent unmissable, no matter what cycling discipline you favour.

RETAIL COMMENT: Going to the Show

Even if you despise bikes, but love the business, this year’s trade day offers a plethora of reasons to get stuck in. Here’s just a few:

Conquering new markets: It has always been the show’s goal to be attractive to each and every niche, from unicycles to tandems and beyond. And this year the presence of several electric bike and BMX exhibitors take the show’s organisers much closer to being truly universally attractive. That leads me onto…

New exhibitors and expansion: Event director Andrew Brabazon confesses to having a hit list of companies he’d love to see book space. This year his list has got a little smaller with the signing of Hotlines, Seventies, IMG, GoCycle, Cyclodelic and Cooper Bikes, among others. Of course, there are still brands to come on board, but then again, there’s still space on the floorplan and the show consistently gains more appeal by the year.

It’s worth noting too, that several distributors have doubled, tripled and in one case –quadrupled their floor space year-on-year. Most of this is on the back of portfolio investments. Is it foolish to conclude the bike trade skipped over the recession with only a few stock shortages to complain about?

Interactive features and investments: Having cruised around the test tracks each year I’ve been in attendance, each did seem to be lacking in thrills (probably for insurance reasons…). However, this year the North Shore inspired test track features a man-made mountain! Tell me that doesn’t instantly up the show’s appeal!

The ramps also return and will once again no doubt have the terraces filled. This time around, rider input has gone into the course design. You should see the list of riders set to grace the course too; the names featured alone are enough to draw crowds.

Retail Zone banks 100 per cent of the takings: This feature may be geared toward the consumer. However, for the first time in the show’s history, those companies selling within are entitled to 100 per cent of the takings with permission granted to bring your own till. What’s more, sale product is no longer limited to clothing, helmets and accessories; retailers may now offer lighting gear.

If you’re in the trade, don’t forget to pre-register at www.cycleshow.co.uk/bikebiz

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