Russia’s Velo-Park 2016 Bike Show in Moscow Reflects Struggling Economy
MOSCOW, Russia – Now the Russian society is struggling with a severe economic crisis the Velo-Park bike show, which took place last week, from March 11-13 in the country’s capital, was an important indicator of bike industry’s position at the start of the season. The 12th edition of Velo-Park took place as usual in the Crocus Expo exhibition complex just outside Moscow.
In the past Velo-Park always took place simultaneously with the Moto-Park. However this year the event moved to a smaller hall and the two shows merged to one while the moto section was reduced to a few booths only. The headliner of Velo-Park was Shimano, occupying a spot straight at the entrance.
More repair shops start-up
The Russian distributor of Shimano, Normark, expects an increase in sales in 2016 as more people will choose to maintain their bicycle instead of purchasing a new one. “Also a shift to more basic bikes with lower level components could add demand for parts during the season,” Shimano staff told us. “We have been approached by a number of repair start-ups, mainly from the regions with relatively lower income level compared with Moscow or other cities.”
Hardly any e-bikes were presented at the show by Russia’s largest bicycle manufacturer Velomotors, while last year we spotted a powered Stels e-bike at Moto-Park. Perhaps their marketing department does not consider the Russian market to be ready for e-bikes.
Other Russian companies involved in this product category, like Eltreco and Elbike are serious about expanding their market share. Sales managers of both companies estimate an annual demand at two to four thousand e-bikes, including conversion kits. In Russia e-bike drivers need to obtain an M-category driver license to operate a 250W e-bike. The reality is that e-bikes are not regulated at all.
More on the Russian market and Velo-Park in the April issue of Bike Europe.