Mixed Response to New Melbourne Bike Show

Melbourne, Victoria

A new consumer bike show was held in Melbourne on the weekend of 10th – 11th September at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, on the south bank of the Yarra River and across from Melbourne’s CBD.

The event was organised by Javier Tellez. At just 20 years of age, this was the first event of this type that he had run. He was backed by a consortium of seven silent investors, most of whom come from industries outside the bicycle trade.

Please refer to the footnote at the end of this article for further disclosure regarding events.

Javier explained: “It was an idea that myself and a few colleagues had back in 2018 but we were pre-occupied with a lot of different things at the time, then Covid came around in 2020. Since then, we came to the idea, ‘Okay, it’s a good time to put something together’. We booked the venue and it’s been 12 months in the making. We’re kind of happy with how everything’s going and we look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow as well.”

There were approximately 50 bicycle related exhibits, plus a few from other industries and charities. Most of the exhibitors were smaller, newer, local companies, joined by some international companies looking to establish local distribution. Unfortunately for them, this was a strongly consumer-oriented event, with only a handful of industry members visiting.

In terms of brands and names that most retailers would recognise, none of the larger bicycle or P&A wholesalers took part in the show. The largest/best known exhibitors with existing dealer networks included Leon Cycle, Dutch Cargo Bikes, GripSport, Ride Electric and Quad Lock.

I attended on day one, Saturday 10th September. There was confusion in the entrance foyer as to the exact start time of the show. Some visitors thought 10.30am, others 11am. Meanwhile at the ticket office, which opened well after what those patrons thought was the start time, they could only accept cash due to ‘technical difficulties’. After paying $20 cash and joining a queue, I entered the show at approximately 11.30am.

In addition to the exhibitors’ booths, there was a trials rider doing demonstrations, a small test ride area and a seminar area where retired pro road riders Robbie McEwen, Phil Anderson and Simon Gerrans gave presentations. These were well attended by people who were clearly road cycling fans, but some of these visitors made comments about there being ‘not much to see’ at the expo, because with the possible exception of the booth featuring Alchemy Cycle Trader, which sells second-hand bikes, I was not aware of a single carbon road bike to be seen at the expo.

Consumers can be unforgiving but the Google reviews initially posted during and after the event were particularly scathing, followed by some more recent, much shorter, five star reviews.

Instead, the flavour was very much about e-bikes, scooters, skateboards and niches such as low riders. Some exhibitors also complained to me about a lack of organisation and communication in relation to logistics such as supply of power and lighting and last-minute requests for seminar presentations. But others were happy with the attention they received from visitors, particularly during the initial rush.

Overall, the show was quite busy, during the first few hours in particular. Estimating attendance is always difficult and I wasn’t present for the last two hours of the day. I would estimate 1,500 – 2,000 attendees visited during the first day, but I haven’t found any official figures from the event. One exhibitor later reported that day two was much quieter, while two others said they were busy on both days. Here are some of the people and products that were on show …

Emmy and Jurgen Heikamp from Dutch Cargo Bikes
Emmy and Jurgen Heikamp from Dutch Cargo Bikes had one of the biggest exhibits at the show.
Frey Bikes show exhibit
Frey Bikes is a new business based just east of Melbourne in Lilydale. They’re importing the Frey bike brand from China and initially only selling direct to consumers. Through their Cycle Addiction business, they’ve also been customising e-MTBs.
Ignite show exhibit
Ignite is a new brand created by owners Glen Avery and Jay Flavell based in Braeside, in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs. The company also sells gym equipment, mirrors and shower screens. They started as an e-commerce business and have now added a store / showroom to their existing warehouse premises.
Nicole Kotaric of Kidvelo
Nicole Kotaric of Kidvelo proudly displays one of their convertible balance bikes. As you can see from the sprocket on the rear hub, by adding a pedal kit, the bike can be turned into a regular kids’ pedal bicycle. Kidvelo is offering models with a range of wheel sizes, saying not every kid is ready to transition straight to a pedal bicycle after they’ve outgrown a standard 12-inch wheeled balance bike. Kidvelo is based in Sydney.
Avocado E-Bike show exhibit
Avocado E-Bike was one of a number of international exhibitors primarily looking for local distribution and not so interested in engaging with the public who attended the show.
LUL Korea show exhibit
LUL Korea was another international exhibitor testing the Australian market.
low riders show exhibit
Celebrating the diversity of bicycles, this was one of two low rider displays at the show. Low riders were always a part of the former Interbike show in the US, where they have a niche cult following, particularly within the southern California Hispanic community.
Ming Ye Australian CEO of Mearth Technology
Ming Ye is the Australian CEO of Mearth Technology that specialises in e-scooters. Ming said Mearth distributes through mass non-bike retail outlets, plus about 40 to 50 bike dealers. He said they employ 30 staff.
Milkbar show exhibit
Milkbar bikes and its neighbouring Impala roller skates display were right up there in the ‘most creative display’ stakes. Not surprising when it turns out these are brands owned and created by Globe International, which is a huge skate / footwear / fashion brand founded in Melbourne and now in multiple countries. Vice President Marketing Steve Douglas said they’ve developed the Milkbar brand in part to appeal to nostalgic adults who either rode or longed to afford the old Malvern Star Dragstar bikes of the 1970s. They’ve developed the Milkbar range themselves, which includes a Bafang-equipped e-bike for around $2,500 and regular bikes for around $699, like the one pictured here with their Victoria/Tasmania sales agent Mark Nielsen.
Phil Anderson chatting with Robbie McEwen.
Former road cycling champions … Phil Anderson chatting with Robbie McEwen.
Queue of people for Melbourne Bike Show
There was quite a queue before the doors opened, in part due to uncertainty among visitors as to when the show actually started.
Ride Electric show exhibit
Jamie Bongiorno (left) and Ian Legarth from Gold Coast-based Ride Electric were promoting their wide range of e-bikes and e-scooters.
S One exhibit
S One, also known as S1, is an established brand of skateboard and BMX helmets imported by Trinity Distribution. They’re looking to expand into the wider cycling market. Until now, the vast majority of their distribution and focus has been towards skate shops and skate products.

The Melbourne Bike Show is in no way connected to the Micromobility Conference & Expo to be held at Randwick Racecourse, Sydney on 25th-26th November. Bicycle Lane P/L, publisher of The Latz Report, The Latz Report Yearbook, and Micromobility Report is running the Micromobility Conference in conjunction with Interpoint Events P/L, who are running the Micromobility Expo.

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