- By RAI Amsterdam
- In Events
- Posted: March 18, 2015
First National e-Bike Test Days enthusiastically received
Bicycle sector looking to the future with confidence.
The first National (E-)Bike Test Days were a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience of e-bikes, and the Dutch public grasped it with enthusiasm. Held during the cycling exhibition FietsVAK, the three test days were a big hit with both visitors and exhibitors. The nearly 7,000 bike fans who made their way to Amsterdam’s Expo Haarlemmermeer made for three lively days. In addition to the literally thousands of test rides made on the 1.5 km test track and a well-visited Workshop Theatre, there were the NK Slowbiking Battle Rounds. The presentation of the Bicycle Awards and mobile fashion shows featuring cycling and wet weather gear added an extra dimension to the event.
Strong desire for information from consumers
The e-bike is a product that consumers clearly have a need for more information about. Visitors to the National (E-)Bike Test Days demonstrated great interest in the range of products and information on the stands. The curiosity about e-bikes and speed e-bikes was most clearly demonstrated on the Test Track. Thousands of test rides were made on the many new models brought to the event. Manufacturers were on hand to answer questions afterwards.
“There is a huge desire for information among consumers about the various types of e-bike and their associated electrical systems and technologies,” said Ferdi Ertekin, from manufacturer Koninklijke Gazelle. “The focus of the National (E-)Bike Test Days is really on trying out the bikes, which we see as very positive. In this way visitors can judge what best suits their needs and make the right choice accordingly. The location of the event lent itself perfectly for this.”
Pieter Jan Rijpstra, commercial director of KOGA noted “visitors were very interested and well informed in advance. They were focussed on looking for an e-bike. Visitors primarily were here to try them out for real and to chat with manufacturers.”
“I’ve spoken to a lot of visitors and all of them had spent the best part of a whole day at the exhibition. They tended to have tested 10 to 15 different bikes in order to arrive at the right choice to purchase,” added exhibition manager Cécile van Hattem.
Information and demonstrations
In addition to new products and the testing of bikes, lots of attention was given to providing information and demonstrations. The Workshop Theatre in the middle of the hall, where informative sessions were held about topics related to e-bikes, was also very popular. The various fashion shows spread throughout the hall offered the visitor inspiration for a matching cycling outfit.
Innovation was given a high priority during the whole event, a fact further underlined by the presentation of the Bicycle Awards. Batavus won Bike of the Year 2015 with its Zonar model. The Contro-E Headshok from Cannondale was awarded E-Bike of the Year and the first Speed E-Bike of the Year Award went to the Sparta ION® E-Speed. Schwalbe Nederland (Schwalbe Procore), Sparta (Google Glass and Sparta ION®) and Shimano Benelux (Shimano STEPS) were all given bike Innovation Awards. More information on both the nominations and the winners is available (in Dutch) at www.fietsawards.nl.
Quality FietsVAK day
After the two consumer days over the weekend, there was a FietsVAK day reserved for those in the industry. Professional visitors also made enthusiastic use of the test track to try out the many e-bike models. And the workshops, organised in collaboration with the trade magazine Tweewieler, on topics such as lithium battery technology and electronic gear systems for bikes, were also heavily visited.
“The FietsVAK day was a successful and dynamic day for us in an extremely suitable location for such an event,” said Michel Krechting, director of Yepp. There was also an excellent attendance and we were barely able to cope at times!”
Bike manufacturers were also in agreement that the event was great for the morale of their dealers, the bicycle stores, which was more positive than in recent years. The recovery in the economy seems to be being reflected in the bike industry, which was clearly noticeable by the optimistic mood at the exhibition.
About the National (E-)Bike Test days and FietsVAK trade day
The National (E-)Bike Test Days are a new bicycle event with a major focus on e-bikes, featuring large and small manufacturers, importers and wholesalers. It is followed by the FietsVAK trade day, a national networking event that is exclusively open to the bicycle industry. The event is organised by RAI Amsterdam under the auspices of the RAI Association, and provides a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in the field of bicycles, bicycle parts and accessories. The Royal Dutch Touring Club (ANWB) is a partner in the event for the consumer days, while trade magazine Tweewieler is partner in the trade day.
About the RAI Association
The RAI Association for the Bicycle and Automotive Industries promotes the interests of over 700 manufacturers and importers of cars and trucks, (semi-) trailers, bodywork and special vehicles, motorcycles and scooters, mopeds and bicycles. Members also include suppliers of parts for these vehicles and garage equipment.