Eurobike 2022 bicycle trade show rides into Frankfurt
After a 30-year run at the shores of Lake Constance, the bicycle trade fair Eurobike is now happening in Germany's financial capital for the first time. Here are some of the highlights.
A 'quantum leap'
"It's really a quantum leap," says Stefan Reisinger, head of Eurobike. He is hardly exaggerating: The annual bike show houses more than 1,500 exhibits in seven large halls. The vast scale of this year's event marks a clear shift toward metropolitanism and promises visitors a vision of a future on two wheels.
Boom punctured by supply-chain disruptions
The fair is taking place following what has been record-breaking two years in terms of sales for the German bike industry as people increasingly opted for personal mobility during the pandemic. Bike sales remain stable this year, but some of the optimism is fading amid supply-chain disruptions, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
Eurobike's move to a metropolis mirrors a broader transition wherein more and more cities are promoting bikes as a cheaper, greener way of commuting. Even in Frankfurt, dedicated "Eurobike lanes" have been created to allow quick access for cyclists to the fairgrounds. Organizer Katja Richarz says the ambition is to make Frankfurt "Germany's bike capital."
The future is electric
The e-bike stands out as a rising star at Eurobike. After an unprecedented boom in 2021 saw 2 million battery-powered bicycles sold in Germany alone, e-bikes continue to grow in popularity. By 2032, 70% of sold bikes will be electric, Bob Margevicius, executive vice president at the US producer Specialized Bicycle Components, told reporters.
Alongside the newest bicycle models, Eurobike is showcasing the most recent innovations in safety equipment. And rightly so. Accidents involving e-bikes on German streets have increased seven times in the past eight years. Electric bike crashes are often more severe — even lethal — than those involving normal bicycles.
Eurobike would be incomplete without representation from the world of tech. Much to the delight of tech enthusiasts, the fair is practically overflowing with gadgets. Among them is Apple's AirBell (above) — a bike bell that can double up as a fitness tracker.
A range of experiences
With more than 200 planned events through July 17, the 30th annual Eurobike trade fair has something for every bike aficionado. Among the top draws is 24-year-old slopestyle star Erik Fedko, hailing from Germany's Ruhr region, who will be entertaining visitors with impressive stunts and exclusive interactions with mountain bike lovers.
A future on two wheels
The triumphal entry of Eurobike into Frankfurt, the former home to the International Motor Show (IAA), shows the growing popularity of bikes in urban centers. However, there is still a long way to go before bikes become a transport of choice. Cities need to do a lot more to incentivize people to ditch their gas guzzlers, including building dedicated bike lanes.