Eurobike celebrates 20 years (many of them at the top)

EUROBIKE 2011: Industry VIPs attend Eurobike birthday party. Eurobike-branded fondant fancies were also in attendance
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20 years ago, the IFMA bicycle show in Cologne ruled the roost. But many members of the bike industry were annoyed with IFMA's prices and off-hand attitude.

Shimano led the exodus from Cologne, taking massive stands at a new show in Friedrichshafen. BikeBiz talked with Shimano's Hans van Vliet earlier today.

Back in the 1990s he was the marketing director; now he's the company's corporate communications office, with a wandering brief.

He said the industry still wasn't offering the best products for an aging population but said Eurobike was much more a success than he could have ever dreamed of when he advised moving from Cologne to what was then - and still is - an out of the way expo destination.

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One of the prime movers behind the Eurobike show - and the person who gave the show its name - was Markus Storck of the Storck bike brand. He scoped out Friedrichafen with Eric Reiss, who first suggested the location (mainly because it was a magnet for cycle tourists thanks to the plethora of bike paths around Lake Constance).

Storck was on the advisory board for the putative Eurobike and BikeBiz caught up with today as he was about to tuck into a Eurobike-branded fondant fancy.

Eurobike started as a southern German trade show with a leaning towards mountain bikes. Today, it's wall to wall mountain bikes, road bikes, accessories and electric bikes. It's the world's biggest bike show.

And the cakes are nice.

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