Editor's note:The following article is part of a package of stories on the Chinese bike market than ran in the April 15 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News.
NANJING, China—Asia Bike will double its exhibition space in the show’s second edition this summer in Nanjing, China, a city of 5 million about 200 miles west of Shanghai. The show takes up one hall of the Asia Outdoor show, and this year will measure 24,000 square meters (258,333 square feet), said Knut Jaeger, who handles marketing for Asia Outdoor and Asia Bike.
Asia Bike drew 138 brands in its first year, many of which were well-known international names such as Specialized, Shimano, Campagnolo and Fizik. A handful of brands have already made first-time commitments to this year’s July 26-29 show, including KTM, Bergamont, Lapierre, Corratec and Five Ten.
There is plenty of interest in China’s emerging performance-driven bike market among Western brands, but show organizers are still working on spreading that interest to consumers.
Eric Koh, who heads up operations for Specialized in China and was an early supporter of Asia Bike, said the show still needs to attract more dealers interested in selling high-end bikes, as well as consumers who would buy those products.
“Instead of thousands of people we got a couple hundred of consumers or so to our booth,” Koh said. Show organizers had banked on crossover from the outdoor show from both the consumer and sales side, but that was limited.
“It takes time and China is so big. To expect everybody to show up at the Shanghai show [China Cycle] and the Nanjing show is not practical. The distance involved and also the interest isn’t that overwhelming interest you see in the West. We still have to push very hard to create this awareness,” Koh said.
Another new show targeting China’s high-end bike business, Beijing Bike Week, also intends to return for a second year in 2013, but in a new location. Beijing Bike Week will move to a famous Beijing shopping street heavy with foot traffic in hopes of making the show more appealing to a greater number of people. In its first year, exhibitors saw about 1,000 consumers over four days at the location inside Jinbao Place, a high-end Beijing mall. The idea behind Beijing Bike Week is to expose a limited number of premium brands to Beijing consumers so they could understand the spending power and the market dynamics. BMC, Cervélo, Avanti, UCC and Swift Carbon took part this year.