Thursday, September 24, 2009

Interbike Schminterbike

As a regular reader of many bike blogs, I always know when Interbike is on. I couldn't possibly care less. Sure, I buy bike stuff, but not bleeding edge new fangled stuff, and I can happily wait for useful innovations to prove themselves and come down in price before making a purchase. I have lost any desire to buy a complete bicycle since I started building them up for myself, so new models don't turn my crank either.

I do realize that Interbike is at its heart a tradeshow aimed at retailers and those in the bike industry. I guess I just don't understand why normal people would care, which many really seem to. There are, of course, "early adopters" in every kind of consumer activity. The people who had cell phones when they required a shoulder strap, for example.

image from

Does Interbike hold interest for you? If so, please tell me why. I'm not being facetious here... is there something I'm missing about the experience? Perhaps it is the chance to hang with people who love cycling more than anything else. I've always been a loner cyclist. Is it my antisocial ways that are making me fail to see the attraction?

When it comes down to it, like many trade shows, I feel like Interbike is nothing more than a materialistic orgy coupled with a nice dose of self-indulgent debauchery. Hey, wait! I love self-indulgent debauchery! I love bikes! Self-indulgent debauchery centred around bikes! Never mind, I get it now. I don't have the time or money to do it, but I get it.

Remember, what happens in Las Vegas gets re-broadcast all over the place.



ChipSeal said...

The next one should be named SID-CAB, the Interbike Trade-show. (SID-CAB: Self-Indulgent Debauchery Centered Around Bicycles)

Kinda catchy, wouldn't you say?

I rarely laugh out loud for real in front of my computer, but you gave me a true belly laugh on this one! Thanks Rantwick!

Rollz said...

I always thought interbike was something you did to your bike when you really loved it. Who knew it was a trade show?

RANTWICK said...

CS - Hey, thanks. I didn't it was that funny. You never how things will strike people!

Rollz - That's just creepy.

Big Oak said...

I get it: "Materialist orgy, self-indulgent debauchery" that's why it's in Las Vegas!

I'd bet if you and I were a bike manufacturers we'd be there too. But since not, you've captured my sentiments exactly. Thanks!

Todd S. said...

While I've never been to Interbike, I imagine the main draw is the same as it is for all trade shows.

Swag bags!

I think the biggest thing about it for me is it's when Surly rolls out the new colors. I hate that they kept Truckaccino and replaced the OD green with a bright blue. At least I got my OD Trucker. I love the new British Racing Green pacer though. Pacer framesets are pretty cheap, too. I may have to get a green one and keep it on ice until one of my current bikes bites the dust.

Steve A said...

So, what's the newest in fanny packs at Interbike this year?

I had a cell phone that looked a lot like that one. Later one, I abandoned the things altogether until my wife said it was either get one or give up riding and leaving the house by other means.

Bike Lemming said...

Absolutely no interest in Interbike either. Although I would go to take pictures of the booth women, you know, for the prosperity of others who can't make it.

cafiend said...

Funny. I was thinking about doing a post about the awesomeness of the average rider set against those who breathlessly follow the races or the technofascists.

I had fun at the eastern editions of Interbike, when they had two shows, Philadelphia and Anaheim. We could drive to Philly. It was great fun to take my country-mouse boss on an urban ride. The first year he practically wore a bullet-proof vest and chain mail gloves.

It was the 1990s. The mountain bike boom had turned the bike industry, particularly retail sales, into a nasty, cutthroat business. Yet at Interbike we could pick up full specs and wholesale pricing from all the lines our competitors sold. When someone asked us to price match we could tell generally how much margin the other shop was sacrificing. If the deal was suicidal, we'd tell the customer to go for it. We picked up all the service work and the other shop went out of business.

Interbike also allowed me to distribute subversive cartoons about Shimano. I identified them as a key factor in the technofascist, hyper-competitive cancer that was warping the industry.

The bike biz has fragmented too much to make the trade show worth it anymore. If they can't provide genuinely useful information, forget 'em.

Keri said...

"...a materialistic orgy coupled with a nice dose of self-indulgent debauchery"

That's a keeper!

ToddBS: Swag bags! Yeah, I happened to visit Schubert after last year's interbike. He proudly showed off the swag.

I'm so glad I got my green Trucker too! Lisa is pretty excited about the blue one though. Looks like that's what she's going to build up for her touring bike.

My interest in a trade show like Interbike would be to see the cargo/utility bike designs. There are no shops around here that carry things like Bullit, trioBike, etc.

Post a Comment