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Montreal Bike Show 2017 Wrap-up Report – Cycling is HOT in Quebec + PHOTOS

by John Symon

March 08, 2017 (Montreal, QC) – Large crowds were evident at the 15th annual Montreal Bicycle Show / Salon du Vélo held from February 24-26 at Place Bonaventure. According to the show website, some 20,133 visitors attended the 2017 event.

Busy Montreal Show  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
“I am happy,” said organizer Jan Dubé on the final day of the show which touted 250 exhibitors/brands in attendance. “The Quebec City show is in two weeks time (March 11-12) and then I will take a little vacation.”

Organizer Jan Dube (r) with Quillicot's Marc-Andre Lebeau  ©  John Symon
This year’s show featured a test track for customers to try product and even a swimming tank for triathletes. The event is often used as a launch pad to show-off new products in the marketplace including services and teams.

Legendary Giuseppe Marinoni, founder of Cycles Marinoni who turns 80 this summer, was on hand and promoting his upcoming one-hour world record attempt for his 80+ age group. Marinoni established the 75+ world record on the bike he once built for former superstar Jocelyn Lovell (1950-2016) in 1978.

The new 75+ would speed record holder  ©  Marinoni Collection
He plans to use the same bike, now adapted with aero bars and carbon wheels, for his next attempt on August 19 at the Milton velodrome where attendance will be free for spectators. To raise funds to cover the attempt, which includes $3,000 to rent the track, Marinoni has sold 10 handmade frames with any leftover proceeds going to a Jocelyn Lovell memorial. Lovell, who once dominated Canadian road and track cycling before a tragic accident made him paraplegic, died last June.

Marinoni  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
“My dad just bought his racing license,” said his son, Paulo who showed us their new Svelto TT bike. “He’s gone off to Italy for training.”

Marc-André Lebeau of Les Bicycles Quilicot, established more than 100 years ago, was eager to tell us about his 5th store that is due to open later this month near Mt. Tremblant. Last year, Lebeau opened Vélo Branché, to focus on electric bikes for younger urbanites. Then he showed us his brand new mobile repair van.

“I first bought it to offer deliveries of e-bikes and technical support at races; now I also offer mobile repair services. There is space here for two technicians to work at once.”

Paolo Marinoni and Stephane Roy  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Stephane Roy of Apogee Sports Inc., best-known for their custom team uniforms, is now offering carbon wheels and is looking at expand south of the border with a new store likely opening this year in USA.

At the Louis Garneau Sports (LGS) booth, we spoke to Louis’ son, Edouard. LGS is among the largest sports apparel manufacturers worldwide and also carries its own brand of bicycles. On display were four models of fatbikes with the tongue-in-cheek name of “Gros Louis” (fat Louis).

Garneau  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Granfondo Garneau Quebecor, with a start line in Trois Rivieres on Aug. 13, was nearby along with others like Granfondo Ottawa now in its 6th year and slated for July 15 this season.

Also on display was Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant on May 27 which will offer more waves within each distance category to allow participants more options and speed levels. There are various distances including 45km, 80km, 125km and 150km routes. “We were filled to 95% capacity in 2016, so those interested probably want to reserve early,” said Marie-Elaine Boudreau.

Momentum Solutions Velo has grown since its first location opened in 2010. Owner Yannick Guimond now has 30 employees between three stores, carrying BMC, Marin, and Specialized bikes. Prominently displayed was the 2017 Marin Hawk Hill, a full-suspension mountain bike.

Dominique Faure of Spherik  ©  John Symon
Spherik  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Spherik  a Quebec City-based manufacturer, is a new kid on the block. Owner Dominique Fauvre explained that he has some 20 years experience in the industry, but that his Spherik brand is an emerging name in the market and first gained notoriety with its fatbikes some four years ago. Since then, road bikes (TT, triathlon, and hybrids) have been added to the menu.

Caroline Belliveau of Centre du Quebec  ©  John Symon
Tourisme Centre-Du-Quebec continues to offer good riding destinations in this rural region between Quebec City and Montreal. Apart from part of the Route verte intercity bike path going through Victoriaville, Caroline Belliveau talked about gourme circuits, two mountain bike sites, and two local hotels that are part of the “bienvenue cyclistes” network, a cyclist-friendly accommodation program developed by Velo Quebec. The prestigious Auberge Godrefroy is one of these hotels.

Ontario by Bike  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Ontario by Bike was at the show including other popular regions such as Laurentides, Outaouais and Mont-Tremblant which feature The P’tit Train du Nord bike path that is a model for the rest of North America in terms of harnessing tourism infrastructure around bicycling.

Blade wheels  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Blade Carbon Wheels was back again showing state-of-the-art wheel technology that’s affordable for cyclists at all experience levels. Kuota, a top Italian road and triathlon bike manufacturer, was also at the show.

Frog Bikes  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Frog Bikes Canada was new to the Montreal show but has seen lots of success with its quality kids bikes. Their lightweight, colorful models have been carefully designed to make children’s experience enjoyable on bikes.

The Montreal Bicycle Coalition was also on hand asking people to sign a petition to keep the Jacques Cartier bike path open 12 months of the year. Montreal recently hosted the international Winter Cycling Conference earlier in February.

FQSC booth  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Cycling artist France Malo was at the show with her paintings at the FQSC booth and Louis Pollack of Fairwear drove up from Philadelphia to show off his formal cycling shirts at the show. “Canadian Customs grilled me for two hours,” commented Pollack who quipped that perhaps they thought he was a wannabe Canuck fleeing the land of Trump.

Dubé’s Quebec City Bike Show runs this coming weekend March 10-12 at the Centre des Congrès de Québec. For more information visit here.

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