We wouldn’t dare complain about going to Interbike–there are way worse ways to earn your keep than reporting on 300,000 square feet of awesome bike stuff. Thing is, trade shows have a certain generic sheen to them no matter how cool the industry. Same-ish displays, same-ish photography, a certain polyester carpet smell–you get the picture. Fortunately, some of the booths at this year’s Interbike went above-and-beyond. Here’s a look at some of our favorites…
Vermarc’s 1967 Split-Window VW Bus
The first very first thing we saw at Outdoor Demo on Tuesday was clothing-maker Vermarc’s gorgeous 1967 VW bus. Painted in the Belgian brand’s classic livery, the bus features a Porsche engine that belies its bread loaf profile–this thing can haul ass!
Ryders Eyewear Saloon
We have to hand it to Ryders–they come up with clever booth ideas year-after-year. In 2013 it was “Back to the Future” with a Delorean DMC-12 in the booth, and this year it was an Old West saloon theme complete with expired faux horse. To fully execute the theme however, Ryders pasted up wanted posters of media people they wanted to see (yours truly included, below), and offered a bounty to anyone who brought us in.
Rocky Mountain’s Pallet Booth
If there were a MacGuyver award for trade show booths it would have to go to Rocky Mountain. After torrential rains washed out Interstate 15 and delayed their booth’s arrival, Andreas Hestler (above) and team called an audible and borrowed pallets, lumber and tools from trade show neighbors and constructed this self-built display. At the end of the day, the bikes looked great and the bike industry did itself proud with the likes of competitors Felt, Marin and others lending a hand to help get Rocky in the game. That’s good karma.
Efficient Velo Tools’ Ringmaster
When the guy running the company is the animated Brett Flemming, your booth really just needs to be a place to put the props. We profiled the main man behind Efficient Velo Tools last year and it was great to see him once again holding court at Interbike.
Nutcase Helmets Art Gallery
Helmet brand Nutcase brought artists Sandra Ramirez (above), Ray Moore and Todd Standish to Interbike to paint canvases for auction as part of their Unframed project. The trio each have designs on helmets and messenger bags in Nutcase’s 2015 line, and proceeds from the paintings will benefit World Bicycle Relief.
Huntington Beach Bicycle Company’s VW Flatbed
OK so maybe we have a VW fetish, but you still must admit this early-’60’s Type-II flatbed is pretty cool. It also brought some life to cruiser brand Huntington Beach Bicycle Company’s pipe-and-drape booth.
Blackburn‘s “Out There” brand positioning aligns with cycling’s adventure bike zeitgeist well, as did their camp-themed trade show booth that included a faux campfire, faux trail dog and a real bear box.
Chrome’s Industrial Complex
Chrome‘s industrial complex was a hub of activity in Interbike’s Urban Yard, with a constant stream of crowd-grabbing activities. Seamstresses sewed custom messenger bags, a vulcanizer molded rubber shoe soles, and barkeeps served coffee in the morning and beer in the afternoon much to the approval of show attendees. Perhaps even more impressive, Chrome took all but two of their San Francisco employees to the show to self-build their booth.
Bell’s Mini Pump Track
At first we thought Bell was serving dessert, only to find what we thought was cake is actually a model of the Bear River Bike Park in Steamboat Springs, Colo. that company helped fund as part of their Bell Built grant program in conjunction with IMBA.
This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2014 Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. For more from Interbike CLICK HERE.