Text & Photos: Daphne Chen
In the wake of 2022 Eurobike, most exhibitors and buyers expressed support for the show's move from Friedrichshafen to Frankfurt, and there was a widespread feeling that Frankfurt's transportation, lodging, amenities, and political atmosphere made it the more suitable location. Participants explained that this year's Eurobike was more diversified, politically-conscious, and urbanized; it no longer mostly focused on sports bikes, but also embraced exercise, commuter, cargo, and city bike categories. In spite of the uptick in Covid, this year's show attracted 1,500 exhibitors, and its indoor and outdoor display areas combined covered an expansive 140,000 square meters.
Eurobike focused heavily on e-bikes and related parts and components this year. The show highlighted the evolution of e-bikes toward lighter weight, sleeker lines, greater smarts (IoT), and better safety (ABS), and e-bikes with "SUV" functionality attracted special attention. Because of their power-assist, e-bikes are particularly compatible with multifunctional designs incorporating wireless, anti-theft, Internet, online cycling, and vehicle finding functions. In one notable case, Apple's AirTag Bluetooth tracking technology was used to to make e-bikes smarter, safer, and more user-friendly.
The e-cargo bikes that are gradually proliferating in European cities were another center of attention at the show. Many European families are finding more and more ways to use e-cargo bikes, such as for carrying children, carrying pets, shopping, and travel. In response, manufacturers are continuing to optimize their e-cargo bikes' convenient everyday functions. But because cargo bikes' large carrying capacity, parking and storage can be a problem, which has given rise to numerous e-cargo bike rental services. Because of climate change and the need to achieve net zero emissions, many companies are using environmentally-friendly materials to develop environmental, recyclable products, and some even claim that their thermoplastic e-bike frames are recyclable. The time will soon be here when "environmentally-friendly" and "sustainable" will be the gold standards for bicycle and e-bike products.
This year's Eurobike featured a major increase in new startups, most of which focused on e-bike solutions of various kinds. In line with the polarized development of e-bike batteries and motors, apart from the large-horsepower, high wattage models, there was also a major trend toward e-bikes with lighter weight and more compact batteries and motors.
Although crowds on the show floor were thick during the first two days, there were noticeably fewer showgoers on the third day, which was because ZEG held its members meeting at that time. Eurobike was opened to consumers during the last two days, but the number of visitors was a bit disappointing. In addition, many vendors voiced their opinion that a four-day show would be most suitable, and five days is too long. The 2023 Eurobike will be held 6/21-6/25.
Over the five days of the trade fair, 33,780 trade visitors made their way to the new Eurobike City of Frankfurt, with 27,370 bicycle enthusiasts visiting the fair at the weekend (2021 in Friedrichshafen: 18,770 trade visitors and 13,424 bicycle enthusiasts). Coming from 105 different countries, the audience in Frankfurt demonstrated the industry’s pent-up demand for meeting in person to experience global cycling trends and look to the future together.