Outdoor brands expand at Interbike

Several outdoor brands, such as The North Face, Osprey and Keen, were in Las Vegas at the Interbike trade show, Sept. 14-16, 2011, expanding their presence and products to the bike community. SNEWS was there to report on what’s new for 2012.

Several outdoor brands, such as The North Face, Osprey and Keen, were in Las Vegas at the Interbike trade show, Sept. 14-16, 2011, expanding their presence and products to the bike community.

For The North Face, it was the company’s first year at the show, building on its third year in the bike category under its action sports division.

“The feedback has been great… we’re out of brochures and business cards,” said Nick Hau, a TNF sales rep for California tending the company’s Interbike booth, which was quite a bit smaller than its dominant booths at shows like Outdoor Retailer. “Obviously there’s a lot of curiosity in what we’re doing here.”

The North Face debuted several new products specific for bike including its men’s and women’s Hayes bike commuter button-down, short-sleeve woven shirts (MSRP $75; photo, right), which incorporate 3M Scotchlite yarn into the plaid pattern for reflectivity at night. There’s also a jacket and shorts sewn with the same reflective yarn.

On the mountain bike side, The North Face partnered with its sister brand Pro-tec, to develop the Downieville Colab men’s shorts (MSRP $190). The shorts are made to withstand freeride beatings with a 400-denier fabric exterior and a Pro-tec interior liner with pads over the thighs, hips and tailbone.

Osprey, in its second year at Interbike, introduced three new pack lines at the show, including one for the growing sport of bikepacking where cyclists travel overnight in the backcountry. The new Escapist 20-liter (MSRP $99) and 30-liter (MSRP $129; photo, left) packs provide tried and true comfort and carry features the company has learned are valuable in packs for the outdoor customer, said Osprey bike marketing manager Jeff Fox.

“For a lot of bike companies here, a pack is a secondary item, but for us, we’ve always been focused on how best to carry a load,” Fox said. “What bike consumers want is lightweight and comfort, so it’s not too different than outdoor.”

Osprey also debuted the Zealot Series, 10- and 16-liter packs (MSRPs $129, $149), with easy access to biking gear through a pull-out tool pocket at the bottom, a shoulder strap pocket, hip belt pockets and a padded front compression pocket for body armor.

Keen, in its fourth year at Interbike, updated its Pedal collection of footwear (fitted with cycling clip-in soles) with some new materials and colors, but no new lines. The company sees a good fit with its culture and the commuter bike crowd, sales rep Jim Purdy told us at the show.

“We’re not trying to be super hardcore technical,” he said. “We’re more focused on lifestyle with technical aspects that are relevant to the cycling community.”

Preliminary figures from Nielsen Expositions, which operates the show, said about 24,000 people (including retailers, exhibitors, press, etc.) attended the event this year. That’s about on par with the previous year and also includes attendance to the Health + Fitness Business Expo held concurrently with Interbike, officials said.

--David Clucas



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