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Outerbike Moab carves out a spot on the calendar

Published March 16, 2015

MOAB, Utah (BRAIN) — Katri Annast came to Moab's Outerbike with a mission: find the perfect replacement for her 2007 Intense Spider, which is showing its age.

Two days of riding rocky trails under a warm spring sun, on seven different bikes with varying wheel sizes, and Annast found her next mount: a new Pivot model. She plans to buy one from a shop in her hometown in Colorado as soon as possible.

Annast is the kind of visitor that Outerbike and its exhibitors like best: a bike shopper. They make up the majority of the visitors to this weekend's Outerbike, which marked the first time organizers have held the event in the spring. There have been four Outerbikes held in the fall in Moab.

The spring event attracted about 500 consumers, only about half as many visitors as Outerbike's recent fall editions, but few exhibitors complained about the quality of the turnout.

"We were jamming, all our bikes were out all of the time — there were a lot of happy people," said Yeti's Joe "Big Joe" Hendrickson. Hendrickson estimated Yeti sent out bikes for about 300 test rides during the event.

At the nearby Pivot booth, Kalen Boland said the brand registered about 240 test riders during Outerbike, many of whom test rode more than one bike. Pivot brought its Eastern and Western demo fleets to Outerbike, for a total of 76 demo bikes available.

The testing wasn't confined to bikes, either: Osprey sent out hydration packs for about 52 demos at Outerbike. The company doesn't sell merchandise at Outerbike, but instead gives interested consumers a coupon for a discount at their chosen retailer.

Event organizer Ashley Korenblat wants to make Outerbike Moab a regular stop on the industry's spring bike event calendar. This year the event slotted in a week after a demo event hosted by Moab's Poison Spider Bicycles in Moab — a few of the exhibitors at Outerbike attended both.

But this year Outerbike conflicted with some dealer events, which Korenblat said prevented some large bike companies from attending. Korenblat said the 2016 edition will likely be held the weekend of April 1, allowing it to slot in after an event in Sedona, Ariz., and the Poison Spider event, but before the Sea Otter Classic.

Outerbike also plans a second spring event, which will be held in Whistler, British Columbia, June 4-7.

Durango Bikes, a three-and-a-half-year-old mountain bike company, will attend all three Outerbikes this year, as well as Sea Otter, said company owner Jeff Estes.

"This is the best thing we can do, because at an event like this we can put our bikes head-to-head with the competition, and that's where we shine," Estes said.

Outerbike visitors enjoyed prime bike testing weather for three days.
Topics associated with this article: Consumer Expos and Rides

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