iceBike* returned to the Marshall Arena:MK in Milton Keynes last week, with a plethora of brands and products on show…
With endless demands on time and often many excuses not to go to a trade show, this year’s iceBike* was keen to reward visitors investing their time away from their shops, offering a wide range of new brands and products, and a full schedule of seminars – with one talk from cycling royalty Sir Chris Hoy.
iceBike* 2020 was its “busiest show ever”, with a 17% increase in overall retailers from 2019, and attendees were up by 11%. The in-house show took place from 18th-20th February at the Marshall Arena:MK in Milton Keynes, with over 60 brands out in force once again.
“I would like to thank all of our customers and suppliers for attending iceBike* last month and making it one of the best I can remember,” says Dominic Langan, Madison and Sportline CEO. “The atmosphere was really great over the three days and the supplier and customer feedback so far has been really positive.
“Despite challenging weather conditions across the country, our daily numbers were higher than expected and all visitors came to the show with a great attitude. It has definitely given us some renewed optimism for 2020 and we are excited for what the future holds for our suppliers and our customers.”
Making its iceBike* debut in 2020 was ODI, which was signed up to the Madison portfolio in October last year. The brand had its full range of grips available to order for retailers, and founder Colby Young was around to chat to visitors.
Genesis shifted its focus and went back to its roots as the ‘Original Adventure Bike Brand’ with a focus on gravel and all-road riding – with ex-world tour star Adam Blythe at the show on 19th February.
Saracen launched its new Dirt Jump range and the Amplitude, AL Team, CR3, CR2 and ALX frameset all made their 2020 debuts at the show. Ridgeback has added ten new e-bikes to its range, to bring the total MY21 offering up to 18. Two e-cargo bikes have joined the range for 2020 – after feedback from last year’s iceBike*.
“It’s great to have so many new bikes on display at the show this year, and we are incredibly excited about this new direction from Ridgeback particularly,” says Kellie Parsons, marketing director at Sportline. “This is a seriously compelling offer from the brand and is a direct answer to the growing appetite that we are seeing from the market. We don’t always have many new bikes at the show as the timings don’t work out, so this adds a new layer to iceBike* for 2020.”
Also exhibiting at iceBike* was DT Swiss’s brand new 232 One platform, designed to push XC suspension “further than ever and set a new benchmark in terms of performance to weight”. With a F232 fork and a brand new D232 dropper post, it’s the “perfect suspension to take on the challenge of ever-evolving XC courses”.
Finish Line was also at the show – launching a new programme which is exclusive to IBDs. Named the ‘Finish Line LUBEexperts’, it has been designed to offer committed retailers more workshop and shop floor support, helping them to increase sales and get a better margin.
Bikefitting.com, meanwhile, hosted master trainer Niels Booth, who runs the bike fitting unit at the Shimano Experience Centre and was not only demonstrating how the Bikefitting.com system works, but was also there to give advice and insight on how integrating bike fitting into services can benefit businesses.
A sneak preview
In an iceBike* first, visitors were given a unique, hour-long MY21 preview from Shimano, after having signed a non-disclosure agreement. This presented a rare opportunity to learn about the latest market trends from the component brand, presented by international sales manager Boy Oudenampsen.
On the technical side, head of training Julian Thrasher was on hand to answer training, education and Shimano Service Centre questions. Thrasher was also presenting Shimano’s 2020 Training Calendar and giving a presentation on what it takes to become part of the Shimano Service Centre Network.
Focus on service
One of the central themes at this year’s iceBike* was retailer education and assistance, with the business services area proving a popular part of the show. It was expanded this year, with even more external partners called in including the ACT, the Aylesbury Training Group, the Bicycle Association, Bikmo and Citrus-Lime. The ACT focused on three core initiatives at the show – Ride it away, Local Bike Shop Day and Cytech.
The Bike Shop also returned to iceBike*, taking up a central position to help advise retailers on POS and merchandising best practice. Daily seminars To complement The Bike Shop, there were seminars that ran daily on in-store best practice, including POS and merchandising advice.
Retail consultant Mark O’Dolan spoke about shop floor layout, talking about how to drive demand, visual merchandising, highlighting promotions, USPs and point of sale.
Other seminars included Peter Eland, Bicycle Association’s technical manager, on likely consequences of Brexit and how it will affect the bike industry, Richard Robinson, Garmin sales manager on getting the most out of the Garmin Myagi platform, and Peter Slijkhuis, Freewheel e-commerce manager, on how to become a Freewheel dealer.
Hoy was at iceBike* on 19th February for a new SiS product workshop.
Finally, the evenings saw entertainment in the form of three themed nights – with Madison urging attendees to stay for food and drink to round off the show.