IceBike preview: product debuts and seminars galore

Mercedes Ross and Jay Townley to return, Cervelo mid-season launches due and Shimano experts to handle your questions
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IceBike* Summer has rolled around again, hopefully signalling the imminent arrival of warmer weather. Whether that materialises or not, retail will plan its purchases in anticipation of sunshine. With perhaps the most diverse line-up of adventure sports brands available, much of the UK bicycle business will be rounding on Madison's Milton Keynes headquarters come February 21st through 23rd. (Register here)

It's no wonder the distributor's exhibition is popular too, with a whole host of big name brands bringing exciting product to market for the first time– from GoPro's world famous helmet cameras to the staple of any bike shop, Shimano.

As is often the case with IceBike, debuts are abundant and Shimano's Tech Zone will provide a must visit for anyone with a workshop business. Brand managers and experts will be on hand to go over any technical queries and discuss improvements to its product in recent years, such as the introduction of IceTech and Shadow Plus.

According to Madison communications officer Ian Carter: "Last year we had 1,100 dealers attend from over 450 shops. In terms of offers, I’m afraid we can’t give out the offers prior to the event, but needless to say there will lots of exclusive show offers."

Fans of Madison's complete bike offering, for both skinny and big tyres, will be pleased to hear there's plenty to look forward to. The highlights come in the form of the Cervelo mid-season launches, a redesigned Saracen Ariel with 160mm of travel becoming available and a first chance to see the new Fortitude 29er and CdF (little brother to the Croix DeFer).

Madison's own branded mountain bike-suited clothing line has undergone a thorough testing, having adorned the increasingly unavoidable Madison Downhill Team. The summer and winter lycra lines will also make an appearance.

Sticking with clothing, Pearl Izumi's new Kissaki shoe will debut, as well as the entire Giro footwear catalogue, which now spans both men's and women's models for on and off road, bringing with it some unique footbed comfort technology.

If, like BikeBiz, you're increasingly taking note of the opportunities available to retail in the outdoor sector, checking in with Easton Mountain Products', which plans to debut a brand new 1KG tent dubbed the Kilo, will be time well spent.

As is often the case with IceBike*, there will be a number of guest exhibitors too. ATG Training will be present, giving those in search of Cytech accredited training a chance to ask questions on anything from funding criteria, to what each course module covers. Bookings for courses can be taken at the show.

Meanwhile, Gait analysis specialist MAR Systems joins the party on the back of a trade trend for proper bike fitting and tailored analysis. In addition, Mar Systems will also be displaying their new analysis software that has been specifically designed to calculate the ideal bike set-up for any rider.

There's still time to register for the show, so if you've yet to express an interest in visiting, see www.icebike.co.uk

IceBike* Summer seminars
Hit speakers Mercedes Ross, a merchandising expert and all-round industry expert Jay Townley return to IceBike, hosting often quickly filled daily seminars.

Townley has a three day schedule packed full of fresh content based loosely around trends crossing the Atlantic. Day one kicks off with a lecture on 'discontinuous change, which discusses responding quickly to local trends as and when they emerge.

The second day discusses the 'inflexible supply chain' and lead times. Townley discusses how to simplify the ordering process, working with suppliers in order to achieve the best for your business.

On the final day, Townley will discuss moving with the times as online retail becomes a whole new, frightening beast. Social media and competing with the likes of Amazon will be discussed.

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