Cycle Show to move to the NEC for 2011

Bigger and better for 2011 with better test tracks and more stuff, say the organisers

by Dave Atkinson   October 9, 2010  

Cycle show logo

There's some interesting news coming out of the Cycle Show today, specifically that there will be a new venue for 2011: it will be leaving the capital and heading to Birmingham and the NEC. Event Director Andrew Brabazon said of the news, "With huge support from the worlds best brands and our features dramatically up scaled, we are really excited to be delivering a show the likes of which has never been seen in the UK"

So what's going to be new for 2011? Well, possibly the biggest plus could be that the new location will allow the organisers to run demo tracks out of doors. Earls Court has many good points but it's stymied by its location and providing space for people to actually ride bikes has always been hard. The NEC show promises a "new outdoor try out tracks where visitors can try commuter and mountain bikes in their natural habitat through forest and on tarmac for a real demo experience". Sounds good, and there is a decent sized wood out the back of the show halls as well as plenty of tarmac.

Other benefits will include the arena, which will be a 1000-seater at the new venue. There's also the intriguing prospect of an 'indoor triathlon' at the 2011 show, although we don't have any details about how that will work.

The announcement isn't an unexpected one; there's been a lot of talk about how the Cycle Show would react to the news that Madison, the UK's biggest distributor, had switched their allegiance to the new London Bike Show at Excel on 13-16 January. The new show looks like it'll be more of a consumer-based selling event; it's at a better time of year for companies like Madison who don't have much 2011 stock by the time the Cycle Show comes around in October. It also looks like it might be a better fit for big online retailers such as Wiggle and Chain Reaction who haven't generally had a presence at Earls Court

Historically the October show has grown from a trade event, but some of the brands we've talked to over the last year have been unhappy about the trade/consumer split over the last couple of years, some to the extent that they've pulled out of exhibiting altogether. We don't have any information as yet as to what the balance will be in Birmingham but we'd be surprised if the Earls Court model of one trade day and three consumer days wasn't carried over; that may not be enough for some people, especially as an NEC show will be considerably bigger. Compare that split to the Eurobike show at the same time of year, which has four trade days (including the demo day) and just one for the public.

The new venue will make the Cycle Show a lot more accessible if you don't happen to live in the South East; the Show pulls about 75% of its attendees from within the M25, as we understand it, and though there's a lot of good things happening in cycling in London right now it isn't necessarily the heartland of cycle sport, which still makes up the majority of the London show. We'd expect Londoners in the trade still to attend, but we're guessing that the average London cyclist will head down to the Excel show instead. Or maybe do both.

So what do you think, readers? Would you rather have the bigger new show in the midlands or are you happy with the way things are? Let us know what you think below!

18 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

About time it started being less Londoncentric. Earls Court ( or Excel , or Islington) might be good for Southerners but its a real trek for those of us outside of the M25 and the NEC is a great location.

Not sure on the trade/ consumer split. I think the organisers need to decide what kind of show it is. Theres been complaints from consumers about not being able to buy anything at the London shows, which admittedly they've started to address with the shop area over the last couple of years, whilst marketing itself to consumers.

The motorcycle show managed a good balance between "show" and "sell" by having a seperate market area for sales stands, and some greast show bargains could be had. The likes of Wiggle might get much more interested if that idea was adopted.
All in all good news though!

posted by Aidan [52 posts]
9th October 2010 - 21:34


I went to the cycle show yesterday - and rode there. Sorry, but there would have to be something very very special going on in Birmingham for me to attend.

Ribble had some pretty amazing kit on show. That was principally the reason I went!

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
9th October 2010 - 21:37


londonplayer - yes it is easy for londoners to get there but there are plenty of people who are north of, say manchester who wouldnt even think of going that far for a show but because there is relatively little in the way of sports shows north of London (tcr, bike show, run show are all london based) it may attract a more varied crowd. It may also attract different exhibitors.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
9th October 2010 - 21:47


As the owner of a business which has in the past looked into taking a stand at the show I doubt if the move to the NEC will change matters for ourselves.

Maybe the majority of the public are unaware that the cost of exhibiting at the cycle show is twice the cost of Eurobike and other comparable shows in mainland Europe. Until the organisers address this matter, then ourselves and many other companies will continue to stay away or find alternative channels of promotion for the UK.

To put it bluntly we refuse to be subjected to extortion and won't be ripped off.

posted by Fixie Fred [4 posts]
9th October 2010 - 22:26


OK, why not 2 shows, one in London and one in wherever outside London?

"Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints".

LondonCalling's picture

posted by LondonCalling [146 posts]
10th October 2010 - 0:41


Easier and cheaper for me to get to. I will probably go next year.

demoff's picture

posted by demoff [344 posts]
10th October 2010 - 7:12


As Fixie Fred says the charge to exhibit is a hell of a lot of money.

As a Londoner gutted it'll be leaving the capital and after attending yesterday I don't think a trip Birmingham could be justified.

posted by gazzaputt [187 posts]
10th October 2010 - 8:34


Anyone else noticed that the NEC has its own railway station that can be reached in just 1 hour 10 minutes from London Euston, or less than an hour from Watford Junction?

Just thought I'd mention it Wink

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8967 posts]
10th October 2010 - 12:47


Interesting times ahead on the show front.

There will be another show in London from next year (in fact it's just a few months away) - a combined Boat Show, Outdoor Show and Cycle Show, which I think will take over nearly all of Excel.

I really like the current Cycle Show but if history is anything to go by any move to the NEC needs to be as temporary as possible - the NEC has ended up killing all the bike shows that have been staged there simply because it doesn't pull in the crowds the way London shows do + it's expensive to exhibit at.

As someone pretty much equidistant from both the NEC & London, I can much more easily rationalise the cost of going to London, because there are so many other things to do on a trip there apart from just go to the show.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4178 posts]
10th October 2010 - 13:47

2 Likes Earl's Court or the NEC...decisions, decisions Thinking

Earl's Court £4 for a sausage roll, or nearly £10 to park at the NEC plus admission!

posted by BikerBob [115 posts]
10th October 2010 - 15:55

1 Like

I'll bet the sausage rolls aren't much cheaper either, at least at Earl's Court there are loads of places close by that you can fuel up without being ripped off. I got my grub at the M&S food place on Warwick Rd.

Denzil Dexter's picture

posted by Denzil Dexter [141 posts]
10th October 2010 - 17:56


Denzil Dexter wrote:
I'll bet the sausage rolls aren't much cheaper either, at least at Earl's Court there are loads of places close by that you can fuel up without being ripped off. I got my grub at the M&S food place on Warwick Rd.

Good tip that........unfortunately not possible at the NEC Sad

posted by BikerBob [115 posts]
10th October 2010 - 20:59


Mind you, you'd probably want to stock up before you got to the Excel Centre too cos that's the closest London's got to the NEC in terms of being cut off from the rest of the capital, last time I went there wasn't much in the way of shops - just standard issue rip-off food concessions and equally over-priced restaurants.

As someone who spent a lot of time in that part of London in the 80s - I find the whole Excel experience rather bizarre, although nice to know that some of life's eternal verities still survive in to the 21st century and from personal experience at the last Cycle Show to be held there I can say that if you stray the wrong side of the dock once the sun goes down you still stand a good chance of having your head kicked in by the friendly locals Smile

Even so, it's better than the NEC IMO

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4178 posts]
10th October 2010 - 21:14


There is a new Bike show in town, cheaper entrance a full day experience, with 3 like minded shows under the same roof. The Boat Show and The Outdoor Show as well as the New London Bike Show
A selection of brands on show.
Rolf Prima Wheels
Moda Bikes
American Classic Wheels
Exposure Lights
Rose Bikes
Kask Helmets
ZeroRH Clothing
British Cycling

posted by frazer72 [4 posts]
11th October 2010 - 10:32


Check out this new show for 2011 - Perfect for any cycle enthusiast North of Manchester and beyond Smile

rajkhunt's picture

posted by rajkhunt [2 posts]
11th October 2010 - 11:05

1 Like

anyone else got a bike show they want to shamelessly plug?


Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7679 posts]
11th October 2010 - 11:18


Maybe we should do one… a show that is Thinking

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4178 posts]
11th October 2010 - 11:23


… on second thoughts

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4178 posts]
11th October 2010 - 11:23