Cycle Mode itself was split into two main halls with the first hall mainly covering road bicycle brands from Europe and accessories related to either road cycling or triathlon. Most of the big names were there showing of the latest in carbon fiber lightweight bicycles and by mid afternoon the area was packed with people test riding their dream bike on the large indoor circuit. Unfortunately I was far too busy meeting with our suppliers and checking out new models that I did not have time for any test rides , but I did take a lot of photos instead.
The other hall contained some of the brands I sell such as Surly, Salsa and Kona so it was nice to be able to check out their range , photograph some of the more popular models and speak to my sales reps re when particular models would arrive in Japan for sale. As once the bicycle companies update their websites with the photos and sometimes the prices of the 2014 models I often get people coming into the shop asking when they will be available for sale. Some of the new 2014 models are already on the shop floor , but others will not arrive until early 2014 . And as Niigata is usually covered in snow and low temps until late April often some of the more popular models are either sold out or there is low stock. Many riders in Niigata do not think about buying a new bike until May at the earliest when they should be buying it as soon as it comes on sale and storing it until the winter is finished. For people living on the other side of Japan can cycle all year round due to the lack of snow.
As I am a Surly & more recently a Salsa dealer we can now obtain a fantastic selection of fat bikes from both makers either in chromoly , Alloy , titanium or now even carbon fiber !. Niigata is the perfect place for fat bikes as we get a lot of snow and already this year I have sold quite a few to local riders looking for a winter challenge. As for me I really love the Salsa El Mariachi with its sliding drop outs, which makes it a fantastic fully geared 29 or a very capable single speed. I thought I might have seen more fat bikes and bike packing equipment , but I guess that will take a bit longer to catch on here compared to say the USA where it is very popular.