A farewell to Friedrichshafen

A farewell to Friedrichshafen

As Eurobike 2021 draws to a close, ending a 17 year run in Friedrichshafen, we celebrate one of the most enjoyable and spectacular locations for a bike show.

Visits to the annual Eurobike show are nothing new for LITELOK, CEO and founder Prof Neil Barron has trapesed the vast halls of all things cycle related for many years, since starting out on the premium bike security journey 6 years ago.

The stunning location of Friedrichshafen is not only a perfect location for the event - Nestled between apple groves and Lake Constance, bordering 3 countries of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, Friedrichshafen is also a mecca for all things outdoors and active, whiling away the days cycling, yachting, walking and camping.

The show space is a vast network of airship hangars, but the event feels so much more than a trade bike show. Whether you are geeking-out with fellow brands or exploring the latest and greatest the bike industry has to offer in the halls, or refuelling in the outdoor courtyards that punctuate them, tucking into a currywurst and apple juice. Despite the changes the industry has seen or how the event has evolved over the years it has a feeling that it is almost an annual pilgrimage for bike-junkies from far and wide. One thing that has always remained constant is the spirit of friendly collaboration and fun. The atmosphere has always been so positive and collegiate and so it has always felt more about hanging out with friends than doing business.

This year is the final year that all things pedal-powered will be presented at Friedrichshafen as 2022 sees the event taking on a new home next year in Frankfurt.

As you can probably tell, we are big fans of Eurobike and Friedrichshafen itself. And as a farewell we wanted to capture and share some of our personal highlights from this year’s event…

Mid-week we stepped out beyond the show, dodging the flow of eclectic bikes being tested on the track that snakes out and around the show ground, with riders from across the globe checking out the latest engineering excellence first-hand. Outside we met up with the awesome guys from FARA bikes, who kindly let us borrow a couple of F/Road bikes for us to showcase just how perfect our LITELOK GO is for their riders.

Whilst taking in the picturesque event hall surroundings of rural Germany it is impossible to miss the vast Zeppelin factory opposite, which is still operating today. Every now and again the airship majestically drifts overhead as it lands to take visitors on a scenic ride over Lake Constance. The Zeppelin felt so fitting in so many ways – not only a feat of engineering excellence but also a symbol of weightlessness in its own right.

Back in the halls, whilst walking through the massive, polished Shimano stand, one bike instantly grabs our attention. The blue hues of the glittery paint finish of Team DSM’s SCOTT race bike drew us in. Not just because of its sharp looks but mainly because of our recent partnership with Team DSM (Formerly Team Sunweb). Having partnered the elite global cycling team for the first time in 2021, as a sponsorship deal making us the team’s official security partner, it was great to see the bike up close. And we just had to mount a LITELOK and take some snaps!

At the other end of the scale, nestled in the busy startup hall, brands such as the new kids CYCLITE can be found. CYCLITE allow the serious road bike packer to carry all of their gear in 36 litres of well designed, solidly secured luggage which wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery of design. So well resolved in every detail; bike packing has never looked so good. Of course we couldn’t resist exploring how our LITELOK GO could complement the carry system without compromising the weight.

Many of the most recognisable big bike brands have long since abandoned Friedrichshafen and the Messe presumably choosing to spend their marketing monies elsewhere or maybe not at all as the world has come to them to buy their latest and greatest.

What remains are the most exciting challenger brands jostling for position but also helping one another. Brands like VELLO Bike who make the most amazing and desirable yet delicate folding urban bikes that are equally at home in their native Vienna as in the streets of Tokyo or New York. As a fellow Red Dot design award winner, we absolutely love their considered folding bike design, balancing both form and function perfectly – something we appreciate everyday at LITELOK.

At a moment when the pandemic has created an almost unbelievable boom in cycling, it’s hard to imagine a more positive commercial backdrop to a trade fair when demand is far outweighing supply and the spotlight is on innovation and design and the next big thing.

2021 has seen the consolidation and proliferation of ebikes and other personal mobility solutions in all shapes and sizes from retro to the positively futuristic.

Looking forward to 2022, we will see the fair move to Frankfurt and with that we wave a fond farewell to the beautiful location that is Friedrichshafen and look forward to future years of Eurobike in a more urban setting. Hopefully this will be accompanied by something closer to normality as we move out of the unprecedented times of the past year.

Friedrichshafen, ‘‘wiedersehen’‘ and ‘chapeau’, it has been a pleasure!

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