Of course, sales won’t immediately leap into the tens of millions but it’s clear some market movement can be expected and it would be somewhat against the grain if this movement was downwards.
The only way is up and, if the buzz around this show is anything to go by, bike suppliers and IBDs are chomping on the bit, eager for the pro-bike message to start hitting home.
This year’s Cycle & Leisure Show is the biggest bike trade event in years. Suppliers say there are probably going to be more IBDs here than ever before (gleaned from pre-show call rounds) and everybody is expecting big things of both the show and the year 2000.
The show looks set to be an unqualified success (just look at the number of professional looking stands and the range of brands present, from low to high end) but the year 2000 won1t deliver millions of new customers overnight.
For Raleigh, the real year of growth will come in 2001. That’s not to say there won’t be growth this year but it probably won1t be earth shattering.
However, after months of promotion by Sustrans, the CTC and their various partners, steady and marked growth will be on the cards.
During the build-up of the show, Raleigh1s Jayne Davies said:
"I know lots of people in the trade have been saying for years that the ‘next big thing’ will be comfort and leisure bikes but I think this time it’s about to come true.
"The feedback we1re getting from suppliers and the feeling you get from the experience of other countries all points to market growth in this area. Mountain bikes are static at best but comfort and leisure bikes is an already growing sector and this growth will accelerate for 2001 and 2002. The market is already growing at a considerable pace."