The bike industry is gearing up for the new season. It’s an exciting time for everyone because it means new bikes, accessories, gear, tech and clothing. The new bikes have been filtering into the bike shops already, normally the entry level models are here first, I guess the more technology the longer it takes to reach us. It’s always interesting to see what the next “big” thing is. Last year it was definitely the 650b buzz with a number of manufacturers going that way quite heavily. It should be remembered that these innovations are based on a global perspective and that our local distributors spend a lot of time making decisions regarding Southern Africa’s conditions to determine what is being brought into our market. As I write Eurobike is taking place. It’s a huge event on distributors’ calendars and is Europe’s quintessential trade show (one day is open to the public). Some 50 000 industry delegates from all around the world visit the show to see, demo and order for their specific markets. Looking at their site and some info filtering back from Eurobike, electronic gearing seems to be big on the agenda (certainly in MTB) and the top spec bikes appear to have this as an option – as it becomes more mainstream and more cost effective innovations such as this start to filter down to the more reasonably priced rides – imagine cable free trailing! Fat bikes are a current rage with almost every brand having a fat bike offering. They seem to be a lot of fun and also reasonably prices; Mannnie Heymans proved that they are durable and can be ridden anywhere, having done this year’s CapeEpic on his 9:Zero:7 fattie. 9:Zero:7 is the dialling code for Alaska and the bikes are an Alaskan brand that was born out of snow endurance racing. Ok so I got a little side-tracked (but it’s a great story which we will surely cover at another time). The point is that as we go into summer the bike shops are going to be filled with lots of new goodies – a great time to upgrade and of course to find a bargain or two if you’re happy with last year’s model.
Distributors have to gamble on what we are going to want, what they see as a product that will sell and whether they would put budget towards marketing the new offerings. At the end of the day we really determine the success of the product, we decide on whether we think its good value for money, hype aside – whether we think it will work for us and finally if it looks cool! So talk to your LBS and get a feel for what’s coming. Go and have a look at Eurobike’s site and get excited about the new cool goodies and save (cause the good stuff don’t come cheap) – I know that I am!
This issue offers some great advice, excellent trails and once again a host of stories written by you guys! We have always said we are written for all South African mountain bikers – it’s your content! Keep the writing coming in, don’t be shy to contact us about a great story you want to tell and we promise to keep printing them. Check out the Big Orange make-over – now there’s a story close to my heart.
Finally we are super stoked to have Full Sus in the Sportsmans Warehouse chain, thank you to Sportsmans for seeing the value in our newspaper and now offering it as added-value to your customers. 35 stores around the country! This has of course impacted on our print run, taking us to 15 000 copies each edition – well and truly on top of the MTB pile! Of course a further thanks must go to all of you – keep collecting your copies and much the same as on our FB page don’t be shy to share!
See you on the trails!