Eurobike's organizers regard Derby Cycle's return to Friedrichshafen this year as an encouraging signal for the bicycle fair, as it continues to adjust to the e-mobility trend and prepares to shift to July dates as a trade-only event from 2018.
Germany's largest bike maker had decided last year to give up its large stand at the Eurobike, organizeing its own buying event instead. But Derby Cycle, which is owned by the Pon bicycle group, apparently found that the buzz of the fair could not be replaced. The company behind brands such as Focus and Kalkhoff may also have been receptive to various efforts by organizers to draw specialist retailers to Friedrichshafen with initiatives such as the Eurobike Academy on Tour.
Several leading bicycle brands were missing from the exhibitor list last year, particularly Trek and Specialized. The organizers confirmed that two other large exhibitors had not registered for this year's show: Giant from Taiwan and Cannondale, part of Dorel Sports' Cycling Sports Group. On the other hand, some brands that were not at the show last year, such as Oakley, Pirelli, Tex-Lock and Leggero, will be there this time.
Eurobike's organizers tried a five-day format last year, comprising three business days and two festival days. The Demo Day that previously preceded the fair was replaced with facilities to try out bicycles at the show itself. This year Eurobike will again he held at the end of August over four days until Sept. 2, with three days for trade visitors and one for the public. The organizers are expecting about 1,350 exhibitors from 48 countries.
This year's Eurobike is anticipated to focus on the continued rise of e-bikes and digital integration. It has become common for a rider's performance to be measured through electronics on the bike and to sync with various tracking apps. But this year the fair will feature more outlandish bicycle designs with extensive system integration.
Eurobike's organizers said the rise of e-mobility and the “connected bike” is making some of the most established players less relevant. Some of the industry's focus has been shifting to the components, services and infrastructure that can be built around these developments – including ways to optimize traffic flow.
The growing demand for e-bikes has formed a substantial category for specialist retailers. Based on figures supplied by Eurobike, the German bicycle retail association estimates that e-bikes made up about 35 percent of sales last year. The number of units sold was up by 11 percent and the turnover derived from e-bikes jumped by 17 percent, as the average retail price of e-bikes jumped to about €2,500. The Accell group earned more from e-bikes than other bikes for the first time in 2016. Its sales of sports e-bikes surged by about 70 percent, and the strongest growth came from Germany.