What can we really expect from bike shows these days? With vast halls, giant marketing campaigns and horrific traffic jams, most bike shows are just so packed that it is nigh on impossible to capture the charm of cycling, the thrill of new product launches and entice visitors to check out smaller quality businesses that are perhaps less marketing-savvy. We headed to the Berlin Bike Show 2016 to see how things are done differently.
Over the last few years the Berlin Bike Show has continued to grow and attracts global attention precisely because it has succeeded in offering exactly what’s missing from the majority of other trade fairs: sure, you have the big players from the bike industry exhibiting, but these slot in with their creative booths alongside a hugely diverse mix of individuals, small manufacturers, international designers and creative minds. And much like the city where it’s held, the BBS draws you immediately into its cocoon of creativity.
The best thing of all is that – much like Germany’s somewhat haphazard capital – the Berlin Bike Show is not about the size of anyone’s package when it came to the stands and marketing buzz, because quite simply Berlin doesn’t revolve around money – but creativity. And visitors found this aplenty. From frame building demonstrations to best build contests, visionary-looking stands in every direction, innovative bike events such as Last Man Standing and the fun Trek E-Derny race; the former train station’s hall created a great canvas for the current buzz around bikes, plus you could get your fill of slow food (and fast if that’s your thing) and first-rate coffee.
Words: Robin Schmitt Photos: Klaus Kneist
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