Last weekend the Van Tour headed to Philadelphia, Pennslyvania, to participate in the Philly Bike Expo. The event is unique to many expos because of the strong focus on frame builders and businesses that create handcrafted works, including new technologies that push the boundaries of the cycling industry. It was genuinely our pleasure to have a booth and have a lot of WTB products showcased on many of these extraordinary bike designs.
The show takes place in the heart of downtown Philly in the Massive Convention Center that takes up four blocks of the city. Philadelphia is known for being the City of Brotherly Love, drenched in Amerian History, and of course, the creation of the Philly Cheesesteak. This Northeast city is one of my favorites to visit for many reasons, but it most predominantly makes my list for the friendly folk that grace these streets. Breaking east coast stereotypes, Philly is full of kind-hearted and neighborly residents, and the bike scene is no exception. Hundreds of people came to the show from Philly and surrounding areas. With day tickets being only fifteen dollars, it made it easy for anyone to stop by. The show brought a wide variety of viewers. Everyone from bike shop employees looking for the next cool thing and passionate local cyclist to tourist and residents that just wanted something fun to do for the weekend.
Although the event takes place inside, they still allow consumers to demo bikes. The show created an indoor loop around the show so that customers can nevertheless get a feel for a bike. They also made a tiny course for kids to play around on Pello kids Bikes.
The coolest part of this expo is its priority to showcase craftsmanship. Most of the booths at the venue are handmade bikes, each with there own unique take on the bicycle. Our WTB booth was no exception. We had two east coast builders build us a custom bike for display. One bike was made by Beard Man Bikes, who created us a bright purple bike with multiple racks and plus-size tires that looked ready for a day of running errands or days out on a bike-packing journey. Beard Man Bikes are out of Wrentham, Massachusetts, wielding their frames, forks, and racks for any need a customer might have.
The second bike on display at our booth was a yellow gravel bike hand made by 44 Bikes. This bike stood out in the dark lights of the convention center. 44 Bikes are handmade in Lyndeboro, New Hampshire, and are crafted to fit whatever the customer's needs are. Both bikes at are booth were incredibly fabricated and made our WTB tires and saddles look amazing.
Although we could only fit a few bikes at our booth, there were several custom bikes kitted with WTB products around the expo. It was interesting to see the designer's aesthetic shine through making little decisions such as a tan wall or black tires that all added up to make one unique design.
The Philly Bike Expo is an excellent experience for anyone. The entire event is full of passionate people and feels more like an art exhibit, then your typical bike expo. With delicious local food nearby and a short drive to bike trails, we want to make sure that we see you all next year at the Philly Expo because we will be back for more.