75: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, Interbike, and the Disintegrating Lines Between Trade and Consumer Audiences

“There are a lot of industries that are a lot bigger than ours that have trade media that’s not nearly as good as ours. So, it’s not a factor of the size of the industry. It’s a factor of the size of the passion.”

– Steve Frothingham


Fresh from the SIA and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, today on the show we talk about the future of trade publishing and the viability of the trade shows. Trade shows and trade publishing have been undergoing a seismic shift for some time and the reason is simple: The legacy value equation of the trade shows and trade publishing is prehistoric.

The whole setup evolved to support the wholesale channel as the primary channel for consumers to learn about and acquire products, and it became a very big business. Today, as we know, the CONSUMER is our primary focus, yet exhibiting at trade shows eats a much larger part of the budget than other channels.

BRAIN is recognized as the world’s most trusted source for news and training in the business of selling bicycles and related gear and services. On Jan. 31, it was acquired by Pocket Outdoor Media, a consumer publishing and events company. The acquisition is an opportunity to break down the walls (or perceived walls) between what is consumer and what is trade. What will the future look like….tune in!


Steve Frothingham  

Steve Frothingham is editor in chief at BRAIN. He was here at the beginning in 1992 while still working for a bike shop in Santa Fe, N.M., and eventually becoming managing editor and then executive editor. After leaving BRAIN in 1997 he worked for several news organizations including The Associated Press and VeloNews before rejoining BRAIN as web editor in 2011. He is based in Longmont, Colorado, and is an enthusiastic (and slow) road, mountain bike and cyclocross rider.


Bike industry, Interbike, trade media, consumer and trade crossover, BRAIN sold to VeloNews publishers


“One of the things that led to the decline of Interbike was that the major brands stopped exhibiting there when they had their own dealer shows, which kind of creates a little silo.”

“My pet theory is that passion drives the interest in the trade news. I think that’s the reason why the bike industry and the outdoor industry have a relatively healthy trade media, because there’s that passion there.”

“There are a lot of industries that are a lot bigger than ours that have trade media that’s not nearly as good as ours. So, it’s not a factor of the size of the industry. It’s a factor of the size of the passion.”

“Sometimes I would like to see the bike industry you pay more attention to the fact that they are part of the outdoor industry, the outdoor sports industry.”



Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

Steve on LinkedIn

Kristin on LinkedIn

Kristin on Twitter


“Let’s redirect some of our trade show dollars to supporting what really matters,” by Maro LaBlance, founder of the Campfire-Collective, SNEWS Op/Ed (Feb. 8, 2019)

Pocket Outdoor Media

CyclingTips Podcast with Frothingham: “A gravel racer’s pursuit record and tariffs on ebikes”

Articles in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN): 

“In a shift, SRAM says its new AXS wireless parts are available today, the day they were announced,” by BRAIN staff (Feb. 6, 2019)

“As bid deadline approaches, motions fly in ASE bankruptcy case,” by Stephen Frothingham (Jan. 9, 2019)

“Social media explosion over Specialized’s Roubaix case,” by Stephen Frothingham (Dec. 9, 2013)



67: Arleigh Greenwald, Founder Of Bike Shop Girl And Owner Of Family Cyclery And Shift Up Strategies

63: How Mission, Vision, Values Can Move A Brand Closer To Its Customers, With Chris Sword

40: Meet The Bike Consumer Where They Are Today, With Larry Pizzi

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