BIke Show Commentary

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17 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

Just some thoughts and add your views if you went there.

I took time out after my early ride and 3 kids softball games to get to the Armory at 4:30 Sunday. Sure it was late, but a small show usually only needs an hour or two.

The promoter was nice enough to let me in Free, since it looked like a few vendors were packing up since the show ends at 6 pm and the pace was slow.

I do shows myself and some people love to exit early if this occurs, no fault to the promoter.

That said, it looked like many vendors did not even show at all.

I got a few items for a steal that made it really worth it and saw the NYCC booth. However the few booths selling bikes were gone or never showed.

Can anyone add to this?


Anonymous's picture
Eileen (not verified)

I arrived on early Saturday afternoon. Have been going to the Bike show for years, I always visit our friend Aldo & Elaine from Ride Noho who has a booth there anually. Many sponsors did not show and not that many people there or even cycling energy in the air. I assumed it was because the show is always on the same weekend as the '5 Borough bike ride', and since the 5BBC ride already occured, a lot of patronage from the tour was tremendously reduced as well as sponsors/vendors.

Anonymous's picture
Chris T. (not verified)
No Big Players at the Armory

"I went to the Bike show a couple of years ago.
Speedplay, Trek, and Cannondale were there, along with other vendors.

This year, the number of Bike Clubs + associations + advocacy groups was greater than actual vendors. The only ""national"" vendors that I remember were Polar and Finish Line.

The word for the show was: Underwhelming...zzzzz

Maybe the show needs to have a big ride associated with it for pull. Maybe a different venue -- using only 40% of the floor space does not indicate a ""happening"" event. But you can't have a successful show without the major players"

Anonymous's picture
JC (not verified)
The show was disappointing at best.

We attended the show Friday night. Very disappointing, a total time waster. Nothing to see (except for the bike blender and Pea Picker). Vendors that did not show up. Bait and switch?
Steer clear for next year.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Got my money's worth

The NYCC table was fabulous! Excellent presentation by the personable Mark Gelles and volunteers to give newcomers an idea of what the club is about. Ellen Jaffe's photo panels were wonderful. I really needed to replace my scuffed up NYCC water bottle with my favorite Liberty logo.

Enjoyed the colorful bike paintings by the guy at the booth next to the NYCC.

Bicycle Habitat had its usual great inventory reduction sale. I missed the knickers but got several pairs of smartwool socks at a bargain price.

Spent a half-hour talking with local design genius Peter Reich (at the Recycle-a-Bicycle table) about his new aluminum frame Swift Folder. Guess what my next bike is gonna be! (A rebuild, actually)

Also got some new jewelry from RAB--a bike-chain bracelet, complete with grease, for $5.

Test-rode a single-speed from that Brooklyn place. You can get a city-worthy bike for a little more than $500.

Glen was letting people test his recumbent trike. I didn't get around to it.

Caught up on the latest news at Time's Up well-stocked table.

Got a new NYC bike map from the DOT. Spent a few minutes berating the helpless staffers about the death of Jerome Allen.


Even if vendor turnout was smaller than usual--maybe due to the absence of Bike New York--it's worth supporting Glen Goldstein's years-long effort to put NYC on the map for bike retailers and manufacturers. As his loyal fan to the end of time, I look forward to a stronger turnout next year.

As for the absence of national vendors, is this the fault of Glen for not doing a good enough job, the vendors for being tightwads, or the local market (that is, us) for not making the trip worth their while?

Why should Terry, for instance, schlep all the way down from Rochester to sell their quality clothes at bargain prices? They can do that online, or at the local flea market. As for other bike manufacturers, are visitors expressing enough interest in their products, regardless of whether they buy, to make them think they're getting new customers they couldn't get otherwise? What's in it for them?

Every year, the slings and arrows rain down upon the Bike Show, regardless of how well-attended or informative it is, how many unusual nuggets of bike culture there are to find. It makes me wonder why anyone, Glen least of all, would want to serve this market. The vendor/organization would have to stand to get really big bucks, have very low expectations, serve an exclusively local market, or be a self-sacrificing idealist. Which probably explains the turnout this year.

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Anonymous's picture
optimist (not verified)
'Display only'

Lets not forget,the NYCC lack of brochure/literature of the 'Escape NY' event that they could not hand out because it had not been printed up yet.

Anonymous's picture
kreskin (not verified)

wow...wish I had read your thread before I got there. Not withstanding, I was interested in visiting the vendors that were advertised that did not show up.

Anonymous's picture
Maura (not verified)
Very Disappointed

I went to the Bike show on Sunday at 4:00 pm because I heard you could get some great deals on clothing. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Not only that, but I paid $8 to get in!! I chalked it up to going on the last day, but haven't decided if I'll try again next year.

Anonymous's picture
Adam Pollock (not verified)
lame, but...

For me, seeing Craig Calfee's bamboo bicycle, and getting to ask him about it, was worth the price of admission.

Anonymous's picture
hal eskenazi (not verified)
bike show

this show, if you can call it that, is resting [make that sleeping] on its laurels.
it is dead before it starts. it used to have a packed venue with a lot of manufactures and national leaders. so let's call it like it is, a sad excuse for an event/show.
all the reasons and excuses as to why people didn't come are just that, excuses. if the show were good, they'd find the time and have the reason to come over a 3-day period.
the show seems to have lost its edge as a “value added” event and can no longer compete for people’s attention. one sorry way to run a business.

Anonymous's picture
hal eskenazi (not verified)
we want to see success

"as an added thought, glen is a good guy [well liked and respected] and provides a valuable and important venue for all of us. we all want the bike show to succeed so i hope and trust that he will reach out to ""people in the know"" to restore it to its old glory.
we live in a tough and competitive environment for people's attention and it requires one to continue reinventing ""themselves"" and their business.
glen, we're with you."

Anonymous's picture
here, here (not verified)

Couldn't agree with Hal more, with the Staten Island ferry(5BBC ride)lack of co-operation, LIRR, last minute decision(?)not to honor tickets back to the babylon station and the Armory bike show scheduling. Maybe reaching out wouldn't be a bad idea, amongst many.

Anonymous's picture
Glen (not verified)
Owner of NYC Bicycle Show Speaks

"Holy Moly -- a lengthy debate on this topic, and I didn't even know it was going on until Carol tipped me off! (Why is the father always the last one to know?)

For those interested in a serious discussion on this topic, here we go! (And as is our consistent business policy, whiners will be treated in the harshest manner possible.)

The NYC Bicycle Show (at least the one I own...) started in 1999. The idea came earlier -- I was helping out with BIKE NEW YORK (also known as the Five Boro Bike Tour) and trying to convince them to add a bike show to the event. They thought about it for a couple YEARS, and I finally said that I was going to go ahead and do it. I hoped they would join me, but I was going ahead anyway. (To this date BNY has not become a formal part of the show, but they have been EXCELLENT and supportive partners).

I went to the OLD Interbike in Philadelphia (the wholesale-only show, now in Las Vegas) and the Chicago show, and asked everyone I could find if they would exhibit at a NYC show if I created it. Just about everyone said yes, and I was off.

Con Edison was supposed to be the big sponsor the first year, but they backed out at the 11th hour (make that 11:59), and I put the whole thing on the shelf for a year. Con Edison DID pause just long enough to steal the idea I presented to them about raffling off bikes at their BNY rest stop for those who could answer the question, ""Who is the Presenting Sponsor of BIKE NEW YORK?""

When I stared that first show in 1999, I learned the hard way that each and every sale of an exhibitor booth was a struggle. (I had foolishly thought that all I would have to do is open the sales office and take orders on the phone from all those companies that said that they woud exhibit in NY). Nothing quite like calling up Trek or Shimano or Cannondale and having someone say, ""Nine hundred dollars? Where on earth are we going to find $900? Can't you give us a discount?"" (What did you guys earn last year... something like $40 million? Ugh.)

I've rarely been so scared as when I opened the doors that first year at the World Trade Center -- would ANYONE be there to come inside? (Just like throwing a big party at your house -- you buy the beer and chips, you spread the word, and then you pray that someone shows up!)

By the end of the second year at the World Trade Center, things seemed to be going OK. I wasn't making any real money yet (especially with hall rental at $20,000, not including the rental of the actual booths themselves, labor, etc. etc.) but the show seemed to be on its feet.

Foreshadowing: At the end of that second show, I stopped to chat with the crew from Crank Brothers. (In those days they had just two products -- the Speed Lever for removing tires from rims, and the small portable pump -- no pedals on the horizon yet). They said, ""We go to a lot of shows, and this is the best one we've ever been to. We'll always come back."" Right after that I spoke to the rep from Kryptonite: ""I don't think the show is working for us. It was a waste of time."" Of course, Crank Brothers never exhibited with us again, and Kryptonite exhibited for the next four years straight.

The World Trade Center rep told me that they were raising the rent from $20,000 to $25,000, and I made it clear that there was NO WAY that I would pay that -- they'd back off or I'd find another hall. And then the towers went down. I doubt I can add anything to that dark story, other than to say how grateful I am that none of our team was inside at the time.

I went back to Interbike that fall to reassure all of the exhibitors that there would DEFINITELY be a NYC show that spring... I just had no idea where. I scrambled for months -- the Javits Center was being used as an emergency site. The Passenger Ship Terminal (where the flower show is held) was being used as an emergency site. Ditto ditto for Madison Square Garden, both armorie"

Anonymous's picture
jerrymaguire (not verified)
I guess its all in presentation.

If you put a steak on top of a garbage can, its still a steak on top of a garbage can. Reach out and touch base...

Anonymous's picture
Glen (not verified)
RE: I guess it's all in presentation

""" Reach out and touch base...""

I have no idea what this means, but would be happy to respond if it were clarified...

Glen Goldstein/owner
New York City Bicycle Show"

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Ignore it


The posts by ""jerrymaguire,"" ""here here,"" ""kreskin,"" and ""optimist"" were all sent by the same troll (note same IP address). Just meaningless noise.

Thanks for the informative background. I knew a lot of hard work and bootstrapping was behind the show, but not quite how much.

I have enjoyed the show every year and look forward to 2006.


Anonymous's picture
Chris (not verified)
Telling like it is

"Glen, thanks for giving us all the low down on the low turnout. I feel bad for the number of times you've been screwed.

I liked the show that was accross from MSG at the Hotel Pennsylvania, although the space there was a little convoluded as I recall.

Maybe taking a year off from doing the show will demonstrate that ""you don't what you've lost till it's gone"", and generate renewed interest for a 2007 show. But somebody else may come in and steal your event if you don't put on the show. Still, if the local reps and retailers from the big players aren't interested -- do you want another show like this year?

Sorry that I have no answers for you, but I sympathize with your difficulties"

Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)
Here is a thought

Well I started this thread and I did get some things out of the little time I was there.

#1) Timing is everything, Perhaps earlier in April BEfore the rush. This way LBS may want to show up.
2) get the LBS to use their co-op dollars for advertising the bikes, parts they sell. Maybe they do not even know what that is.
3) Forget the big Manufacturers and stick with the local
4) Education - Freebies, such as Repairs, Traffic Law,
5) Demos of trick riders, unusual bikes.
6) Local Team competition.
7) Oh yeah, Do not let the exhibitors leave early. I do shows, Keep The main elevators closed until show ends.
Penalties for early exit. Discount for signing for next year.
8) Freebies, give aways, drawings for a bike tour etc.


Good Luck


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