Raiding the 2016 Philippine Bike Demo Day

Every Sunday morning, Filinvest City in Alabang plays host to joggers, cyclists, and even the occasional Zumba dancing crowd. December 11, 2016 played out a little differently: the place was the venue for the second Philippine Bike Demo Day.

Moving to the south of Metro Manila from its inaugural holding in San Mateo, Rizal’s Timberland, I was told the event now also aims to attract a larger crowd compared to the previous mountain-bike-specific focus. As such, a huge smattering of cycling-related brands and their Philippine distributors were on hand to raise awareness, and even perhaps get riders to sample their wares on the saddle.

Registration was done either in advance online, or at the event itself, for PhP150. A large area was provided for visitor bike parking. You need to provide two government-issue ID cards to test-ride the demo bikes, though.

Quite notably, there were a lot of road bike brands in attendance. Aside from the big players such as Trek, Giant, Cannondale and Specialized, boutique manufacturers such as Storck, BH, Lynskey and Colnago had presence.

Even the clothing apparel brands were out and about, too. I saw Pearl Izumi Philippines in attendance, as well as local custom jersey and bib shorts tailor Podium Designs, offshoot of Manila’s RapidFire Cycles. I didn’t avail of the event shirt, but apparently Edlee Designs, another local name in custom jerseys and Lycra shorts, was responsible for those.

Perhaps the most distinctive exhibitor there was Gruppo Veloce Sportivo, which was on hand to promote Vintage Electric Bicycles instead of their boutique cycling goods. According to proprietor JP Cariño, these vintage motorcycle-aping, battery-powered electric bikes have enough energy density for 54 kilometers of easy riding at 35 km/h. They are capable of faster speeds, but expect a corresponding drop in battery life. Funny enough, I noticed that the bikes are equipped with Schwalbe’s fat 26″ tires and Shimano’s Alfine hydraulic brakes, so they do take from the bicycle parts bin.

I had shoehorned my visit into the time I had for my Sunday morning long ride, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to test as many bikes as I could. However, I did manage to try out Lynskey’s ProCross, the Tennessee titanium specialist’s cyclocross bike. Impressions to follow.

Shortly after my ride with it, I bumped into my buddy Mario Ramos, who was keen on trying out a titanium frame for himself as well.

Overall, the event was good, but it boggled Mario and I to no end that the organizers tried to keep holding back the demo rides until well into 9 am in the morning. They say it was in the interest of safety, but preventing the demo bikes being ridden defeats the point of the event, I think. Oh well.

I leave you with a few photos of things I found interesting at the event.

Gruppo Veloce Sportivo’s stall was located in between BMC’s and Colnago Manila’s. Most of the electric bikes on display were on slicks.

Right behind Lynskey’s booth was a smattering of the brand’s mountain bikes and even a fat bike. That’s a lot of titanium.

Newton, the Quezon City-based distributors of Cat Eye, Mavic and Cannondale, had this Minoura FG540 hybrid roller trainer on display. It has a 7-step remote-actuated resistance unit mounted to the Cannondale SuperSix Evo’s handlebars. Very cool.

The bike parking sticker on my TCX.

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