Come out and try the innovative (and fun) E-test Track June 8–11 During the (e)revolution Show in Denver.
By Eugene Buchanan
A lot of trade and consumer shows have educational tracks for everything from E-commerce to sustainability. This year’s Big Gear and (e)Revolution show, taking place in Denver’s Colorado Convention Center June 8-11, one-ups that with a world’s first test track for e-bikes.
Leading the effort is Christopher Zigmont, a 35-year cycling industry veteran who’s bringing all his expertise to bear in creating the perfect e-bike demo experience at the show. With leadership roles at SRAM, Mavi, Shift Active Media and the Global Cycling Network, he’s assembled a crack team to help him with the task, with a design accommodating all levels of riders. The layout will feature track for urban and cargo bikes, with straight runs, turns and elevation gains, as well as additional trail and elevation features for e-mountain bikes. A “B-line” will also be available for all technical sections, providing a safe alternative for riders.
“Chris’s industry experience and leadership are paramount to ensuring that our test track is professionally designed to be safe and reliable for all attendees,” says Lance Camisasca, (e)revolution show director, who has worked with Zigmont in the bike industry before. “He’s been breaking new ground for brands in consumer engagement and experiential marketing for a long time and this is yet another example of those efforts.”
“Chris’s industry experience and leadership are paramount to ensuring that our test track is professionally designed to be safe and reliable for all attendees” —Lance Camisasca, (e)revolution show director
In all, Zigmont will have more than 30,000 square feet to work his magic for the inside e-bike track, with a cast of experts on hand to help him. “The focus is how do we demo what the manufacturers want to showcase?” he says. “Zero-to-top speed is important, and so is braking time, elevation change and suspension. As such, the track will have S-turns, straight-aways, sections for climbing and descending, and more. But that 30,000 square feet will get gobbled up pretty quickly.”
The e-track will include six different prefabricated features. While in an outside venue they’d normally be anchored in soil, at the Big Gear Show they’ll be anchored in the concrete. They’ll consist of A-frames, leading about four feet up to short peaks; rollers; a zigzag ramp; and more. They’ll also have three-foot-wide wooden tracks elevated by a steel foundation, as well as two 20-foot shipping containers as “elevation” features. Everything will run in one direction, he adds, complete with pit lanes like a NASCAR course for manufacturers to help. And when it’s time to pack up and move it all on to the next event, everything fits inside those same shipping containers. “It’s pretty cool how it will all pack up,” he says, adding plans are already in place to use the track elsewhere and that he expects to get up to four years of use out of the track.
Zigmont has traction issues covered as well. “We’re putting grip surface—ribbons of a material similar to what you’d use on an adhesive skateboard deck—on the approach to all the corners,” he adds.
Since it’s such a new concept, he’s also planning to be able to make modifications on the fly, with master carpenters and some of the best park builders in the country on hand throughout the show. “To the best of my knowledge, something like this has never been done indoors before,” he says. “And I’ve been around the block a few times.”
Those blocks have also given him a solid perspective on the burgeoning e-bike craze, which will be well represented at this year’s e-Revolution show. And, like its followers climbing a hill with a little assist, it’s going nowhere but up. “the e-bike part of cycling is very much exploding right now,” he says. “While it’s had a much longer ramp-up in Europe, it’s taking off huge in the U.S.—it’s really the only significant growth area in cycling, except for maybe gravel. The growth and development in the category is amazing. No one is investing in any other category any more than they are e-bikes. It’s super exciting times. I’ve never seen anyone get off one without a smile on their face. It brings parity to the sport and exposes a whole new population to a sport we all know is great.”
Chris Zigmont is ready to get show attendees testing e-bikes on the innovative track he designed.
(e)revolution is the world’s first B2B2C e-bike expo focused solely on the needs of e-bike brands, dealers, suppliers, and consumers. A four-day event that provides brands and suppliers opportunities to engage directly with e-bike retailers and cyclists, providing education, demonstrations, and industry networking and social events. The show takes place in Denver, Colorado at the Colorado Convention Center in June 2023.