Roughly 25 million bicycles are produced and sold in China each year, with another 8 million or so being imported. Shanghai’s ‘China Cycle’, the largest annual exhibition of its kind on the mainland, offers a snapshot of a growing local bike market bustling with brands that are probably off the radar of most western consumers.
Armed only with an iPhone and a few spare minutes between meetings, Cycling iQ set off on a brisk ‘Tour de Halls’ to capture a selection of – road cycling oriented, as is the nature of this blog – images which hopefully would let readers get a feel for what’s happening “over there”.
Not quite as many halls as Eurobike, but just as daunting a prospect to walk around in a short amount of time. The pointy end of the “V” was the place to be – a brand’s visitor rate naturally plummeted the further away its booth was from here. Incidentally, the Shanghai New International Expo Center, where the show is held each year, is a 10 minute stroll from Pudong’s Longyang Road station.
The business end of the show. Between them, Giant and Merida are set to sell approximately 5 million bikes in China. Domestic sales are this year expected to account for more than half of Giant’s local annual production of 6 million units.
Great weather to be indoors.
China Cycle attempts to accommodate consumers along the industry’s entire supply chain – this exhibitor, a factory from Indonesia, had a booth promoting its “full in-house services” to new or existing bike brands looking to produce in that country.
The tagline couldn’t be much more self-explanatory really, but props are there all the same to visually underline the message.
Gammax Bicycle has not publicly disclosed how much it paid ex-NBA superstar Yao Ming to peddle (aw haw haw) its bikes, but his image still wields enormous influence. Who is Gammax? Click on the image to jump through to the road bike section of their website.
As garish as it may be to some, I found myself oggling this CKT 589 bike – as ridden by French UCI Continental team La Pomme Marseille.
Yep, I really liked this bike.
Giant’s global catalogue is comprised of over 700 models, but you will never see all of them in one country. The ‘Crave’ is a female-specific version of the popular ‘AnyRoad’ model which was launched in Taiwan last year.
Giant’s offer to its community goes well beyond simply supplying bicycles. Package tours are a growing part of its business in NE Asia.
Nope, definitely not approved by the UCI…
…but this one is! UCC has been the exclusive sponsor of the ‘Tour of Beijing’ since its inauguration in 2011. Each year, the company supplies 300 bikes for government officials and VIP’s to ride during a short parade which takes place before each stage.
Lansing’s sales representative assured me the company’s chromoly bikes are hand-built by expert local welders. The price of this machine is USD6,000; 15-20 times more expensive than the CNY1,500-2,000 price bracket in which most bicycles are sold in China today.
Tour of Qinghai Lake sent a rather fitting mascot to promote its billing of “Asia’s highest UCI stage-race.”
Soon to be worn by the GC leader of this year’s Tour of China.
Tour of Hainan leaders jerseys. Not for sale, I asked.
The house brand of a Taiwanese OEM, ‘Ranking’ supplies its helmets to several UCI teams, including AG2R, Tabriz Petrochemical Team and 361° Cycling, as well as being sponsor of every UCI AsiaTour race in China. This helmet was made especially for the 2012 Tour of Azerbaijan (‘Tour of Iran’ for 2013)
Many local brands prominently displayed their sponsorship of UCI AsiaTour races in, or in this case above, their booths.
Chinese cycling website/forum Biketo.com released a 1,000 page ‘Bike Bible’, explaining the history of cycling, servicing, bike fit, equipment, and other “how to’s”.
A sweet steel number from Japan’s Bridgestone.
Freelance photographer 视界 released a book with images captured over five years of shooting UCI AsiaTour races. It weighs a tonne.
CNY2,499 (USD400) will get you this road bike from Phoenix. It still costs 20% more than what most Chinese consumers will spend on a bike this year.
Held in May every other year, China Cycle will move to April in 2014. Whether it means there will be MY2015 models on display remains to be seen; some brands showed “MY2014″ models at China Cycle this year, but this is only superficial considering groupset manufacturers have not released their new products yet….