As the world’s third largest Bike Trade Show, Interbike in Las Vegas has retailers and distributors from all over the globe come to showcase their new products. Interbike had an outdoor demo for the first two days at Boulder City in Las Vegas and I had the chance to test out a few road bikes. Being a cyclist myself and testing out the bicycles, I could really tell the difference between a decent everyday road bike and a professionally designed bicycle built for racing. One of the sales managers, Pascal Navarro, at Look is a triathlete and he rides the Look 675 Endurance Road Bike. He has been working with Look for thirteen years now, and loves it. He first got the opportunity to start working as a sales manager through a good friend who happened to be the president of Cannondale of Europe. It goes side by side with Pascal’s passion, so it’s a great job, hands down. Pascal and the rest of the Look team are really trying to revolutionize the way people see a bike with the rider’s best interest in mind. “People are dreaming something and we want to bring that to them.” says French Triathlete Pascal Navarro. If there is such a thing as transforming the bike industry into a whole new market, it’s the integration of electronic mechanisms into the geometry of the bicycle. Look recently launched the 695 Aerolite with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic shift buttons in late June, and I was able to test ride the bike. The first thing I notice, when I ride down the hill for the demo course, is how remarkably light the Aerolite is. It felt as if I would just lift off from the ground and fly into the sky with help from the force of the head winds. On my way back up, I noticed how smooth the shifting was with the Di2 electronic shifting system. The buttons automatically shifted to the next gear swiftly. The 695 Aerolite is built with an integrated brake system to reduce drag and is a magnificent road bike for racing.
Walking around the indoor Interbike Tradeshow, the moment I step onto the floor I am thrilled to see how many bikes are under one roof. Left and right stands of products are being introduced, consumers and retailers from all across the world are meeting for the first time, and professional athletes are sharing their stories as they shine like the bright stars they are. I met with Professional Mountain Biker Sonya Looney, and I found out a little bit about her story. Sonya Looney has been biking for about fifteen years, but she didn’t start with mountain biking, she began with cross country cycling. She switched to mountain biking because she was tired of all the expensive entry fees, and to Sonya, it wasn’t very inspiring riding for miles upon miles with similar landscapes. She has entered many races, and her favorites are the 100 mile and 50 mile races. She loves the competitive energy that drives the competitors because it’s the best push for motivation. Riding a bike is completely different from a car, you can feel the wind in your face, the ground that is underneath your feet, and every little thing around you, the sounds the smells and the feeling, it’s such an experience. Try out mountain biking for once in your life, “It’ll change your life in ways you could never imagine.” – Sonya Looney
A few businesses caught my eye as I wandered around the convention show. BionX, which was established in 1998, has been creating electronic systems that make a bike ride an enjoyable experience ridden with ease. They have fifteen years of experience in creating their systems and twelve in marketing. BionX has created a bicycle drive system that allows one to ride a bike without pedaling. They have a few mountain bike models with the integrated electronic drive system, it lets the rider to enjoy coasting the entire trail. On everyday commute bicycles, the drive system would work like a motor for the bicycle, so the rider can ride with ease down a hill and use BionX to ride up hills with ease. One of their systems is their lightest model yet, it’s 3.7 kilos, that’s 8.1 pounds! BionX is all about making the ride easier.
Just a few aisles down, I ran into an entrepreneur, Kilian Saekel. Kilian was at Interbike to expand his market from Asia and Europe to America. His offices for Fangyan Electric Co., LTD are based in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Kilians market is functional garments and accessories for bicycles, with a specialty in pumps. With over twenty years of experience in creating pumps, every pump is designed with absolute perfection, and 500 out of 500 pumps come off the line ready to use with no malfunctions. That’s over twenty years of perfection, if you ask me.