Eurobike’s Been Cancelled For 2020. Here’s Why We’ll Miss It.

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Chipps gives us his reasons why he’s very sad to hear that Eurobike has been cancelled. And it’s not just about the shiny new bikes…

Traditionally, Eurobike – to me at least – always signified the end of summer. Falling at the end of August/beginning of September, if you’d not done that big mountain trip you’d been planning before Eurobike, then it was unlikely to happen. Eurobike was the summer-ending event that showcased everything that the bike industry had been working hard on all year and it was often the first time to see next year’s models under one roof. However, early in the pandemic, the Eurobike organisers decided to be cautious and postpone the event to ‘safer’ dates in November, just to be sure. But, as we heard today, the 2020 Eurobike Show is cancelled for this year and we have to look forward to late sumemr 2021 instead.

Eurobike 2017 - Brake Force One
Er, no, we don’t know either – but that was/is Eurobike’s charm.

But why the fuss about a cancelled Eurobike? Who even needs trade shows any more when there’s a whole internet full of new product launches going on?

Eurobike 2017 - The Weird And WonderfulEurobike 2017 - The Weird And Wonderful
Where else would we find 250mm dropper posts?

There are other reasons we’re sad to hear that Eurobike is cancelled…

There are many reasons why Eurobike has always been dear to me. I probably went to my first one, perhaps 25 years ago, in 1995, when it was little more than a German national bike show, but it was important enough – both geographically and in terms of timing (coming a few weeks before Interbike in the USA) – that there were things you’d see there that you’d never see at Interbike. It was a chance to see companies like Orange and Hope, who rarely showed their wares in the US, as well as seeing the excesses of the nineties German market – with companies like Trickstuff, Nicolai and more oddball firms like Checker Pig and Centurion showing the continental love for innovation and weight saving.

Eurobike 2017 - Extreme Racing Shox
And see that this bit, does that? Hard to do on Zoom…

Over the years, Eurobike started eclipsing all of the other global bike shows. It came earlier than Interbike and right at the time that companies were happy to launch their new-year models to the trade and to the public (and, depending on which anonymous-looking meeting room you snuck into, you could see the year AFTER that too…)

And then, some of the bigger companies broke away, with giants like Trek, Specialized and, er, Giant, happy to do their own launches to the trade. It made better financial sense to pay to fly all of your dealers to your central hub and wine and dine/indoctrinate them for a few days there, rather than pay for a giant exhibition stand along with 30 staff members’ hotels and meals so that they could have stilted ten minute conversations in the buzz of the show hall.

There were 15 or so halls full of stuff…

For me, though, it was always a chance to meet up with the entire UK bike (and global) bike industry in one place. Early on, there used to be a direct Stansted to Friedrichshafen flight and on the day before the show, perhaps half of the plane was taken up with assorted UK bike industry figures – from company owners to journos, product designers and sponsored riders. It’s a good job that one never fell out of the sky… And even if some of the bike companies were no longer exhibiting, you could bet that half of the R&D, marketing and OEM staff were at the show regardless. After all… the whole bike industry was there…

Eurobike 2016: Sixpack Racing
Oilslick? New? We brought news of the future back in 2016…

Eurobike Cancelled? Postponed…

But what now? Well, we’re seeing the weekly, almost daily launches of bikes that would have launched at Eurobike, or at cancelled dealer launches around the world. But what we’re not getting is the interaction – the riders looking for sponsorship for next season or the sponsored riders appearing on behalf of their sponsors. We’re not seeing those random introductions where a bike company engineer meets a journo they’d briefed at a press camp a couple of years ago, who happens to be talking to the marketing guy of a clever new shock-absorbing compound that subsequently becomes that bike company’s new chainstay protector. Or the after-show hours, where you see a slightly-overwhelmed, young Danny MacAskill buy a beer for his idol, Hans Rey. Or where you see the whole UK bike journalist cabal, or rival team managers, or the management of SRAM and Shimano, chatting as if they were all old friends – because they are, but the only time they ever get more than ten seconds of in-person interaction is at shows like Eurobike.

Despite being 12 miles away, Orange always saved something secret for Eurobike…

Eurobike will be back in 2021 and, hopefully we’ll have sorted our global act out by then, but I do wonder if it’ll ever return to the hugely inclusive, global gathering of the bike industry that it once was. After all, you can do it all online over Zoom now, right?

Right?

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Comments (3)

    I’m missing the shows. I’ve spent the best part of the last decade regularly on a stand for a friend – we worked hard & we played hard…..never has so much caffeine been drunk by so few in such a short space of time!

    I get that there’s a question around them these days but where else do you get the chance to press the flesh & have a yarn, pick up a deal & catch up with old friends? There’s always something to catch your eye…….

    For me it’s a love hate relationship. I love the excuse to ride a motorbike across Europe. I love catching up with friends. Even getting chased through the halls be a dozen security guards and hiding under the “Scotland” stand with a liberated bottle of whisky is fun. Camping And BBQing with a mixed bunch of euro folk on the little hill overlooking the roundabout is cool. But the heat, the crowds, and the food are hard work.

    The magazine’s carbon footprint must have shrunk this year with the lack of shows and launches, little silver lining for ya 🙂

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