March 10, 2008 (Toronto, ON) – Despite huge snowfalls that ravaged the region and kept many people indoors all weekend the 2008 Toronto Bicycle Show, held from Mar. 7-9, still drew reasonable crowds that surprised exhibitors. “Attendance is down but we’re all still happy to see the number of people that have braved the elements to come to the show,” said Shimano’s JoÃ« Layno.
That sentiment was echoed by many exhibitors who had to deal with the treacherous conditions themselves – luckily the big snows came after the show set up was complete. The doors opened on Friday to the usual enormous lineup as people poured in. Saturday and Sunday are usually the biggest days and while shovelling snow became a priority for many a couple from Oshawa made the journey in to the show. “There was too much snow for skiing so we were happy to come to the bike show today and plan to go skiing on Sunday,” they said.
The show’s popular events rocked all weekend with Toronto’s BMX Jam, X-Track, Flatlands racing and Meta Bikes Trials show keeping fans wowed with great racing and stunts.
Many event organizers, clubs, the Ontario Cycling Association, and charity rides including Ontario’s biggest, the Becel Ride for Heart, were also on display to let showgoers know about the latest schedules and what’s new for 2008.
New exhibitors included west coast DH legend Andrew “Shanyman” Shandro promoting his Gravity Camps and sharing a booth with Bike Parks BC that showed off their awesome Whistler Bike Park. Local road racer Don Zuck was displaying his newly launched road bikes the Don and the Mob. Pedalite from England, with distribution out of Winnipeg, MB, was excited about their creative lighting system built into pedals that promote safety and visibility. And Misfitpsycles is fast becoming a Canadian legend for their beautifully crafted single speed bikes.
As mentioned in an earlier report many attendees and exhibitors were happy to see Duke’s Cycle, Canada’s third oldest bike shop that was recently burnt to the ground, at the show – see our coverage here.
Many of the show’s long standing exhibitors were showing their 2008 products including Shimano Canada with new road shoes, Pro accessories including Disc wheels and Missile TT bars, new XTR and Ultegra. Specialized Langster with four models in the line was very popular as was Scott’s top of the line Addict R with $8,999 price tag which drew lots of attention including Kuota’s futuristic Kueen. Stevens Prestige cross bike with triple butted 7005 ultralite aluminum with carbon blade fork was on display as well as Opus’ lightweight Vivace with 800g frame. Recently retired top Ontario racer Heath Cockburn’s Guru Geneo was also one of the show stoppers.
Many retailers reported that sales were good and clothing was a big hit this year. We saw lots of product going home with show attendees so all in all the 2008 event was another success despite the snow… but most agreed not to put your shovels away yet.