I took the family on a quick trip down I-5 to see the show. My little guy made it a little “interesting” as he was on a mission to turn every crank and wheel he could reach. At most bike shops, this is cute and fun. At the show…not so much.
A couple impressions:
Lots of people complaining that it’s $18 to get in the show, and yet they are oogling at $10k bike frames. The detail on these bikes is certainly amazing, but it seems that this doesn’t make sense as a business model. The pricing on even the lower-end frames at this show are well over $1k, but it’s not the doctor/lawyer set clamoring for these things. I hope there’s enough folks out there to pay for these amazing rigs.
Bike parking was a mess. I was rather surprised to see this in Portland where all the locals rode there. There was even a sign saying that if you locked your bike to a tree or a handrail, that it would be “towed”. Ridiculous. My wife did mention that “man there are a lot of Surly’s”.
Paint these days is truly incredible. Vanilla Cycles has a new group called “Coat” with some amazing work.
Racks are big - I was surprised to see how many clever options were shown by the various builders. There were even a couple guys just pitching racks.
The trend is City bikes, and not necessarily commuter bikes. I take a pretty common route that’s ~20mi each way. There is a large group of folks who follow the same route, and I can’t say that many of the bikes there met the needs of the longer-run commuter set. I mostly wanted to see comfortable road bikes with fatter tires, disk brakes, etc. I only saw 2.
Somebody needs to invite Robin Williams or some other loaded bike nut to this thing to buy up all the stock to keep these guys in business. The creativity in the room came up with some really innovative work and hopefully there is enough dollars to keep it rolling.