Outerbike always draws a crowd and this spring is no different. Organizers expect 500 visitors this year, a number that is on par with last spring’s attendance. The three-day event runs from Friday, April 6 through Sunday, April 8 and will feature shuttles to several trailheads, product demonstrations and parties. Around 40 vendors will show up to show bikes and advertise bike-related products, giving event attendees plenty to choose from.
Outerbike site manager Chris Wamsley said that Western Spirit owner Ashley Korenblat created Outerbike as an alternative to Interbike, a Lake Tahoe-based show that only invites members of the mountain biking industry.
“[Korenblat] noticed that the everyday person also wants to go ride all the cool new bikes and see all the cool new products ... so she created Outerbike. She got all these bike brands together. Component brands, bikes, anything like that, and brought them into one central location where the everyday person can go pay some money to go ride all these cool new bikes and get invited to the party,” Wamsley said.
Spring is generally quieter than the fall event, Wamsley said. In the fall, many brands have just rolled out new products and bicycles. The upside of the quieter event is that event attendees don’t have to compete as much to try out the bicycle that they have their eye on.
“It’s cool because all the new bikes are out and everybody wants to ride them and it’s really popular. Springtime is a little bit more mellow and there’s a few less attendees and it makes it a lot better for the patron,” Wamsley said.
The event draws visitors from far and wide, Wamsley said, with last year’s Outerbike events attracting patrons from 40 states and three countries.
Moab is a prime destination for the event due to the wide variety of trails available, Wamsley said. The event is held at Bar M, known for its green [beginner] trails. Outerbike offers shuttles to other areas where patrons can test out new bicycles. They offer a shuttle to Navajo Rocks trailhead on Friday, rides to Mag 7 on Saturday and a trip to Amasa Back trailhead on Sunday.
“Outerbike attracts a crowd of enthusiasts who are looking to purchase new bikes in the near future,” said Scot Nicol, founder of Ibis Cycles. “Outerbike attracts the top brands in the industry, so consumers can try before they buy. The average cost of our bikes (and that of several competitors) is close to $7,000, so you can understand why the consumer would want to come to the one-stop shopping that the event offers … Year after year, we hear from our customers ‘I rode one of your bikes at Outerbike, then went out and bought one.’”
Andrew Lumpkin, co-owner of Spot Brand, another mountain bike company, said his company has been attending Outerbike for a number of years.
“The thing that’s fantastic about it is it brings us as the manufacturer directly in contact with the riders, the real enthusiasts, the consumers who buy the bikes,” said Lumpkin. “That passion on their side meeting with our passion on our side is a really fun event … Being a consumer-directed brand it’s incredible for us to do events like these where we can be right with the riding enthusiasts.”
Both companies will be bringing new products to Outerbike. Ibis will demo their brand new Ripmo bicycle, which launched on March 26.
“It’s a much anticipated long-travel 29, perfect for the rigors of the Moab trails. We are extremely excited about this bike and the press coverage has been phenomenal. We’re getting a lot of people ask us if this bike will be at Outerbike, and we are happy to say yes. We will also be demoing our other bikes, the HD4, Ripley LS and the Mojo 3,” said Nicol.
Spot Brand will demo their Rollik 607 bicycle, which Lumpkin described as a “27.5 trail-to-enduro bike, fantastic for the terrain [in Moab].”
Trail Mix Trails Coordinator Scott Escott said that Outerbike is a good steward of the trails they use.
“They clean up the trails after they use them. They’ve been a good partner with Grand County Trail Mix and good stewards to the Moab [trail system] and they always send out a crew right after the event to rake out any damage that’s done,” Escott said.
Outerbike will also hold a fall event in October. For more information, visit Outerbike’s website at outerbike.com.