Interbike 08 Best in Show

With all the exhausting booths, parties, activities, and same old thing every year, it was refreshing to see Hed Cycling invent a Sunscreen Headset Cap and for me it was the “best in show.” And why’s that? Cause here’s a legendary dude that puts wheels under the top cyclists, constantly innovates in the wind tunnel, and he was totally excited about this plastic cup of sunscreen. It was infectious and cool to not hear someone describe in marketing mumbo jumbo how their carbon layup is better than everyone else. Seattle Cyclist are vitamin D defficient, so I rarely use sunscreen and was thinking that I’d put some Nuun tablets in there and use it like a salt lick on long rides.

This year, Bike Hugger brought more bloggers with the mission to go find cool stuff. I focused on our existing partners, the Mobile Social, and the next one — the mother of all Mobile Socials at SXSW 09 in March (more on that later).

hed_suncreen_cap.jpg

Mentionable

  • Crumpler had the best booth — I wanted to camp out there during Interbike and shield myself from the overwhelming show floor.
  • Cool Civia — thanks for letting a bike designer build his dream bike, you can tell that bike didn’t get distilled much from concept into production.
  • Xtracycle – Props for graduating from a great idea and a movement to expanded product design with industrial designers.
  • Museeuw – talking Flax with Museeuw. As it was told to me, Johan didn’t want to buy another China carbon frame and built his with flax. Works for me.
  • Specialized — as I snapped in Twitter, why are you such assholes? Your profits so good, you don’t need anyone else? Even Apple isn’t that arrogant and I’m an iPhone-toting fan boy. I was going to try and work my way into their top-secret booth, I’ve got some skills at party crashing and then thought, why spend valuable trade-show energy on them? For what, to see a zertz insert in a chainstay? Whatever. I’d rather spend an hour talking to Nuvinci all about CVTs and how they brought their marketing in house to better market their hubs. I guess you’d rather spend an hour not talking to bloggers.
  • Cool fashion show, but the ramp-riding format was difficult to follow. I’ve got some ideas on that and sharing them with Momentum. We’d like them at the Mobile Social SXSW with us.
  • Batavus was noticeably absent and that just sucked. We’ll have to hit Eurobike 09.

Observations

Old Media & New Media — fascinating at times to watch the old and new interact in the Media Center. At any given time someone like Cervelo’s designer, Mark Cavendish, or Lemond can walk into the Media Center and the bloggers are all, “wassup, wassup, be on my podcast,” while old mag people grumble about readily available press passes and point and shoot cameras. It’s like a time has come and gone. The mass amatuerization has occured. While we were are at USPro, I learned that back in the day, reporters used to call races with Satellite phones. We did it with iPhones.

Ironically the best bikes are in the Bike Lock-up — the bikes the industry rides and urban/plain-clothes consumer wants are sitting in there, but not really on the show floor. Why is that? I don’t know.

The Social Media Panels were well received and I wrote a reflections post about them. Going forward, I think attendees would like a seminar series on Web 2.0.

3 Interbikes and counting, we haven’t met Stevil, but as I noted on their blog

… at some point, Bummer Life and Bike Hugger will meet and it’ll be like firing up that that collider thingy in Europe: with subatomic blog particles blowing up all over the place — the world might never be the same, it’ll be the trackback of destiny. That or we’ll just sort of shrug our shoulders and walk away.

Also, I’m either a dumbass or Interbike was especially hard to navigate this year. What can bloggers do to help that? Hire us to write guides to Interbike focused on genres and put them on kiosks. Have greeters placed strategically to help attendees. Something please.

Finally, riding down the strip, in an urban peloton was like a neon-lit episode of “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Next year, I think we’ll step it up with Industry VIPs and police escorts.



4 Comments

Johann says he is going to send us some of his flax material to see how it works in wheels.  Pretty exciting stuff, and then we can go off on “my flax/carbon layup is way better than yours”
(disclaimer: I work at HED)

Well - at least you didn’t say the Cervelo P4.  My god that things is ugly.

See now that’s a good one, “we’ve got the strongest flax lay up.” And then like Specialized you can invent your own test that proves it. Of course that’s not a test done by any standards organization, just your own.

All this talk of flax…edible bikes? Can’t be that far away and a serious concern for all of us in the enrgy bar business. (Do we have to leave a disclaimer? I work at MuleBar)

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