As the e-mountain bike (eMTB) category continues to be one of the bright categories for North American retailers, Interbike, the largest bicycle industry trade show in North America, announced a new feature of OutDoor Demo (ODD) where retailers will have the opportunity to test and review eMTB’s from participating brands, with the results being published in Electric Bike Action and Mountain Bike Action magazines (Hi-Torque Publications) following the event.
A limited number of brands that exhibit at ODD will have the opportunity to participate in “The Shootout on E-Mountain,” which will be held in a sectioned-off satellite area at ODD. Only 6 brands in the full-suspension, and 6 in the hardtail category will have bikes available to test. Retailers who choose to participate will receive a special wristband giving them access to the Shootout, as bikes in this section will be designated for this featured area only.
Interbike, Hi-Torque Publications and Bootleg Canyon will create a specifically-designed course for the test rides to occur. This will help retail test riders with their model-over-model comparisons at specific points along the course, which will include an uphill climb among others.
Retailers will test as many of these bikes as they’d like, and will answer 4-5 closed-answer questions regarding the performance of each model on a tablet following each ride. After the event, the results will be published in both Electric Bike Action and Mountain Bike Action magazines, along with commentary from magazine editors. Test riders will also be rewarded by how many bikes they ride and test. For each bike they ride, retailers will receive an entry to win a host of giveaways from sponsors. The more bikes they ride from the Shootout, the greater their chances to win. Prizes include a trip to Fall CycloFest in Charlotte, NC, VIP passes to Cross Vegas, product from sponsors and more.
“Industry sources have told us that the eMTB segment likely makes up about 1/3 of the U.S. total of ebikes sold – and is growing,” said Pat Hus, Vice President of Interbike. “I’ve personally heard stories from retailers who’ve told me that ebikes (eMTB, specifically) saved their year in 2016. That’s a seismic shift to hear that a fairly new category saved the year of a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer. The idea behind the Shootout was to give retailers the chance to evaluate the latest eMTB offerings, to show the public that IBD’s are behind them by publishing the results in the magazine, and ultimately to help increase participation in our sport.”
“When brands like Specialized, Trek and Giant invest in the e-MTB category, we can’t ignore the impact that it will have on cycling in-general,” said Zapata Espinoza, Editorial Advisor for Hi-Torque Publications. “We have to look at e-bikes as helping the overall cycling ecosystem. The category brings a new participant into our sport, a new customer to the bike shops and a new sale for both the retailer and brand. We saw the opportunity to work with Interbike at the Shootout on E-Mountain as a way to not only encourage retailers to test and get behind the category, but to also show our readers that e-bikes are a viable option for people that may need (or want) a little help in the dirt.”
Interbike returns to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center beginning with OutDoor Demo in Boulder City, Nev., September 18-19, 2017, followed by the Interbike Expo, September 20-22, 2017.