THE CONVENIENT CYCLIST

Discoveries and a winner from Bike Expo NY

New York City does everything in a big way. Its streets, from 5th Avenue to Broadway, are nationally recognized brands. Wall Street even has its own newspaper. So Bike Expo NY is naturally the most-attended bike show in the United States. Because…NY.

On May 5-6, we had the opportunity to connect with nearly 400 folks who had never seen full-size bikes that fold in half…
Despite its size, New York is one of the top 5 cycling cities in the US, with many miles of physically separated bike paths and bike highways like this one.
Of the 100+ vendors, Flatbike was perhaps the only one that brought all its bikes to the show on the F Train.

The highlight for me was watching people look back and forth from the unfolded CHANGE bike to the folded one, trying to figure out how one turned into the other–and watching their faces when I did it in seconds. My favorite comments from both days came at that exact moment:

  • Friday. A couple of ultra-casually dressed guys stared at each other with dropped jaws: “Whoa! That’s dope!”
  • Saturday. A man stood with arms crossed, emotionless except for a slight nod as I unfolded the bike, then said casually, “That’s the best thing I’ve seen at this show.”

Even Andrew Gould, the CEO of Bike New York came by for a meaningful visit. This is a place that knows how to put on a quality event, and we are definitely coming back next year.

My top vendor picks

With a show of this size, there are bound to be some exciting finds among other vendors as well, and here are some of mine:

No more tire tracks in the living room thanks to VELOCOVER, even without a CHANGE bike. (If you do have a CHANGE bike, just use the complimentary cover.)
I haven’t investigated this product yet, but if the Pinhead system works as promised, it’s the end of stolen quick-release wheels and seats.
These folks were just two booths away, and we sent at least a half-dozen visitors over there. Ship a CHANGE bike anywhere in the country for $50.
Every day can be a sunny day when you ride a (simulated) outdoor course on an indoor bike!

Three common questions we’re closer to answering…and one we’re not yet.

  1. Can I see a demo near me? Two separate bike store reps visited and initiated discussions about how to combine local CHANGE bike demos with purchasing through Flatbike, relying on our 12-point quality check to serve their customers. Intriguing…
  2. Do you have a hard case? At the beginning of this trip, nothing but the box it comes in. But we made interesting discovery on the way back home.
  3. Can you build be a bike around a CHANGE frame? We can’t do full build-outs, but velotooler.com would like to become “the Uber of bike mechanics.” My wife said this is more like Geek Squad for PC, but the point is the same–it’s easier than ever to reach out to experts to make your visions come true.

The message about the need for a pop-off pedal in SPD came across strongly both days, and it’s on our shipping list…

And finally, the BIG question of the day.

So…who won the drawing for a free CHANGE 702 commuter bike?

Congratulations to Arlene Mehlman. Your bike has shipped! Everyone else, stay tuned for a Bike Expo NY special discount, and feel free to connect with us any way that works well for you, as we look for ways to make biking easier:

And whatever you ride, thanks for biking.

Bob Forgrave's Signature

Bob Forgrave
President, Flatbike.com

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