September 23/97 22:50 pm - Canadian Bike Industry Trade Show Report
Posted by Editor on 09/23/97
This fall, we invited a hard core bikie (but non-bike industry person) to attend the Canadian bike industry trade show. It was an interesting experience for both him and us. Below, you will read Kevin Willeyâ€šs (extremely) free-form account of going to a bike show. For us it was refreshing reminder that, although we sometimes get jaded (I will be going to my 6th show of the year next week...), there is still an excitement to the whole process that we should not forget. After all, we are here because we love bikes and biking, right?
Confessions of a Trade Show Virgin
Hey little boy, wanna do a Bike Show?... I shoulda known better, BUT...
Remember that first trip to the bike store to buy your first bike? Full of expectations, you get there and it's all so shiny and bright. Bikes everywhere - you get the "can't see the forest for the trees" feeling. That's what the Toronto Dealer Show was like. Walking around, mouth gaping (excuse the drool). Wow! So many great looking bikes. So little time.
Shiny yes, new? Well...not a lot when you really get down to it. Great colours, sparklies, flames, even purple. Still some dayglo fade too.
Would you believe a carbon fibre cow tongue, full boing MTB?! Lots of carbon this and that. From the ho-hum thermo-injected alumo lug Julie Who bikes to "Y" for the road, very yummy. Really neat Canadian fibre as well. Not a nice thing to make a saddle out of, however, in my opinion.
Accessories? Why buy a complete bike when you can get all these great bits. I could trick out my baby with hydraulic disk cable actuated v-brakes. Full Suspension, Hardtail, suspension posts, springs, elastomers, foam. Lighting systems have smaller lights, better batteries, and the whole package is lighter. Lots of fringe wear, baggie this and that, 60's style yuck, not another rerun! Hello Lucy you've got a lot of 'splaining to do! My poor little mind reels, there's just too much stuff (and my feet hurt from the concrete floor).
Helmets are another thing that there are lots of. There seems to be so many to choose from, funny there aren't many people out there wearing them.
You would not believe the number of different sunglasses there are, I stopped counting at eight booths. There's gotta be a thousand different ways to cover your peepers!
As I walk around, I think: shouldn't there be more people here? Oh wait, there's the Body Glove booth. Ooh, there's models and all, that's where everyone went to! There's plenty to be said about models wearing stretchy synthetics and air conditioning, but I'm a very bad boy.
Lucky I left the kids at home. This is better than a toy store! I got a whole whack of stickers. Everyone has stickers, lots of stickers.
Day Too...Oops, Two
Not quite as green as yesterday, but slightly more jaded. Beginning to pick the trees out of the forest, and there are not quite as many trees in this forest as it first appeared.
Some of the guys havenâ€št changed anything other than the paint. Some of the names I knew as Riders Bikes - that something special, Built by People Who Care - have turned into Knock It Off In the Orient Super Factory, Slap Our Name On It and Weâ€šll Sell Thousands of the Suckers. Very Disappointing. (Donâ€št get me wrong, some of the small manufacturers, most of them Canadian, have some really trick bikes.)
At the other end of the spectrum, the Mega Modern U.S. of A. Bike Corp has some thing(s) to get excited about. Tell me - just what is this Free Ride Bike thing anyway? Bar ends on a DH bike? Oh! I know! Itâ€šs Everymanâ€šs Bike. One for all, all for one. Blah, blah, blah. Yak, yak, yak. Yadda, yadda. Cashgrab. No imagination, and there ainâ€št no such thing as a free ride.
Back to the Cool Factor, which is more Fun, and Strongly Satisfying.
Remeber Lugs, Sexy Bends in the Stays, cork tape, Real Leather Saddles? Theses bikes are truly yummy Eye Candy Extreme, evoking great Bike Lust. I want one of these beauties - these are the Bikes of the Show. Yes, they are the Schwinn Paramounts. (Oh ya, but how do I get another bike past my wife? Ouch, reality check...)
Lots and lots of cruisers - read Beach Bike. I figure that with studded tires a Snow Bike canâ€št be far behind - and far more sensible here in the Great White North. Maybe a spot on the steerer tube to hook our dog sled team to...
However, this is still Bike Weenie Heaven - Good, Bad, Silly and otherwise. What a great way to spend a weekend...