Shimano is serious about electric bikes and to make that point they recently stepped up to become the presenting sponsor of “The Circuit”, which is a new e-bike and conventional bike indoor test track at Interbike.
Interbike is the largest bicycle trade show in the Americas and it will be held this year at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas on September 16-18.
I recently had a chance to talk with Dustin Brady who is in charge of marketing for Shimano in North America to learn more about their focus on the electric bike market.
Dustin said that with the success of the Shimano STePs mid drive system in Europe and the recent launch of the system here in the U.S. that the time is right to sponsor “The Circuit” at Interbike to raise awareness among bike brands and dealers.
Dustin believes that it is important for people to ride an electric bike to truly experience and understand how useful and fun they can be and that is one of the reasons they are excited to sponsor “The Circuit” at Interbike.
The new Shimano STePS system made a splash in the U.S. earlier this year with the launch of the new Raleigh Misceo iE. The Misceo iE features the Shimano STePS mid drive with full integration of the Shimano Di2 electronic shifting system with the internally geared Shimano Alfine 8 speed rear hub.
Shimano is a dominant bicycle component brand in the traditional bicycle world and they see a bright future for the electric bike market. There are a lot people who can enjoy cycling with the addition of some electric assist.
Shimano has an extensive network of distributors and dealers who carry their parts and know how to work on their components. Shimano focuses on supporting their bike brands and dealers with proper training in the field and online. Having Shimano involved in electric bikes adds a highly recognized brand that traditional bike dealers can relate to.
Dustin Brady from Shimano doesn’t see the competition as other component and drive system companies in the bike industry. He believes that the competition is TV, video games, and other things that keep people from enjoying their free time outside. He sees the electric bike as a way to encourage more people to get out and ride by lowering the barrier to entry with some electric assist to help with the hills and headwinds.
“The Circuit presented by Shimano” at Interbike will be in a new hall at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and it will have a number of terrain features so that riders can test the hill climbing and agility of bikes.
Here is a video to give you an idea of layout of this new indoor test track at Interbike:
Companies interested in having their bikes available for test rides at “The Circuit presented by Shimano” should contact Andria Klinger at: [email protected] or 949-226-5745.
The Interbike trade show is only open to those who work in the bicycle industry on September 16 and 17, but on September 18th it will be open to the general public. This will be a great opportunity to see the new electric bikes on the Interbike show floor and spend some time test riding them on “The Circuit”.
Extra Energy Services North America will be managing “The Circuit presented by Shimano” at Interbike and promoting the new Electric Bike Expo multi city test track tour that starts in January of 2016. Here is more information on The Electric Bike Expo.