Right, pay attention at the back. For those who haven’t been following it, the story so far is that Bike Expo is a significantly revamped Bike & Triathlon Show. In a nutshell the event now stretches over three days, including a dedicated trade day for the first time. And, perhaps most significantly of all, the show has broadened out beyond its road and triathlon roots to include all disciplines of cycling.
You’ll be able to see the vast changes for yourself at Bike Expo in March 2015, from 20th to 22nd (Friday 20th is the trade day). Only don’t head to its old location as Bike Expo also has new digs, still in Manchester, but now at Event City. So you’re now in the loop.
How has the trade reacted to the news of the vast changes? They’ve given it the thumbs up, particularly the bit about the show being much broader, says Lucy Dixon of Bike Expo organiser Hamerville Media.
“It’s been extremely well received, which we’re delighted about as it shows we have a huge amount of support for our plans.
“The change has meant we can offer visitors a wider choice of cycling – from mountain biking and road to kids and commuting – which can only be a good thing for the trade as we bring more and more cycling enthusiasts together.”
But not only has the new Event City location provided the space and opportunity to widen the show, potential exhibitors will be pleased to hear there are cost implications.
“The biggest benefit for exhibitors is the cost – the move here has allowed us to offer a reduced rate for exhibition space, seriously increasing the value for money. Other benefits include the free parking, for both exhibitors and visitors, as well as a much bigger venue that means we have more space for features such as the Premium Road Test Track. The changes also mean we have the capacity to launch our first trade-only day, on Friday 20th March.”
Naturally the team at Hamerville have their noses to the proverbial grindstone in the build up to the show, as Dixon explains: “We’ve been exceptionally busy preparing for the new format of the show – it’s all going very well and our marketing campaign is now in full flow, making the most of the extensive advertising opportunities offered by EventCity as a venue. And as the dates get closer, we will be able to confirm more big brands and celebrity names, so do watch this space.”
Let’s get down to brass tacks, what exactly will you be able to see at Bike Expo? As you’d expect there’s still quite a few details to be confirmed (seeing as we went to press before Christmas) with exclusive trade-only offers and attractions still being pinned down. But we can confirm a few of the more consumer-y features to provide you with a flavour of what Bike Expo will be offering, including that Premium Road Test Track. Partnered with Bike Swanky, there will be around £150,000 worth of bikes for visitors to try out.
Aspiring younger cyclists will be catered for too, with a kids’ zone comprising games and challenges designed to boost confidence and improve balance. Last year the show had the likes of Sir Chris Hoy, Jo Rowsell and Chris Boardman pull in the crowds and once again there will be a Central Stage area with cycling stars answering visitors’ questions. Names are still to be confirmed, but we’ll bring you more on that nearer the time.
Bike Expo promises more seminars than its Bike & Tri predecessor too, with a full programme of workshops some of which have something for consumers and trade alike. That seminar line-up includes nutritional advice for fueling cycle rides from USN and talks from Cyclefit explaining how specialist bike fitting can improve the performance of riders. Wattbike will have words of wisdom regarding pedaling technique and Beaconfell will be showing off their new team as well as shamelessly tapping into the popular BBC series with Beaconfell’s Great British Bike Off.
At time of press we’re over three months away from Bike Expo kick off, but there are plenty of exhibitors and brands signed up, including the aforementioned Beaconfell, Wattbike and Cyclefit. Joining them will be some heavy hitting names including British Cycling, Trek, Cervelo, Cannondale and Schwalbe. Media types like Cycling Weekly and Cyclist will be there too, as will the likes of Cycleguard, Isla Bikes, USN, Swift Scooters, Bike Swanky, Royles, Primal Europe, Starley Bikes and Wheelbase Lakeland, among others.
Also presenting at the show will be WyndyMilla, particularly its latest variants of the Foo Fighter aero bike and Massive Attack SL, with proprietary tubing developed in partnership with its artisan builders in Italy and road tested all the way from Box Hill to Mt Ventoux.