MOAB, Utah (BRAIN) — With a cheeky event title that played off Interbike’s largely indoor setting, Outerbike has now lasted 10 years — officially into the post-Interbike era as of last month.
In 2009, Ashley Korenblat, Outerbike founder, wanted to give consumers a chance to demo bikes on Moab’s iconic trails. It started in Moab with Korenblat trying to convince brands to bring their fleets eastward after attending Interbike in September.
With Emerald Expositions canceling the 2019 Interbike last year, Outerbike has only continued to grow, becoming a destination all its own.
Korenblat said a record 70 exhibitors attended the three-day show that concluded Sunday. About 800-900 consumers visited, “about max,” she said, with the main draw being mountain bikes and e-mountain bikes from the big companies. Giant, Scott, Cannondale, Pivot and Ibis among others had long-travel and short-travel bikes for the taking to sample some of the country’s most picturesque trails nearby. Shuttles to nearby trails ran continuously and drew long lines of riders eagerly waiting to demo bikes of their choice or bringing their own.
“The demo concept is still fairly new to many consumers, as the word gets out that you can ride real bikes on real trails at Outerbike, we expect more folks will want to attend both in Moab and around the country,” she said.
Outerbike also produces long-weekend demos at Sun Valley in Ketchum, Idaho, Crested Butte, Colorado, and Bentonville, Arkansas. It traditionally holds the event in Moab in spring and fall.
While the buzz around the tents centers on the demo fleets, plenty of component manufacturers attend. For example, Trust Performance, founded by suspension guru Dave Weagle, was there for the first time with its Shout (178mm) and Message (130mm) forks on bikes ready to be test-ridden. Skullcandy featured its newest earbuds, ready to be demoed as well.
Korenblat said Outerbike also appeals to non-bike outdoor products and noted the Version 2.0 Skydio drone was debuting at this year’s show.
Professional rider Jeff Lenosky of REEB Cycles was back, leading no-drop group rides each day at a different iconic trail system. Lenosky said he usually attends the Moab Outerbike stop and gets as much from the rides as he imparts when stopping frequently to session technical trail features.
“My whole career has been about technical riding, and you get to the point where you want to give that knowledge back to other riders, and this is a fun and interactive way to do that,” Lenosky said, enjoying a beer late Saturday afternoon after riding the Magnificent 7 trails with 12 other riders. “It’s a natural extension of what I’ve done for 20 years. I would do trials demos, and this is a chance to do a rolling demo and get out and have fun with people, teach them some skills. It’s also an extension of my YouTube channel. Half inspirational, but instructional, too.”
Despite its success after 10 years, Korenblat said there is still room to grow. “Stay tuned,” she said. “We are nailing down the plans for 2020 as we speak.”