VELOFOLLIES BIGGER THAN EVER
Like the previous edition, in 2024 Velofollies can again count on the presence of the entire bicycle market. The fair will present a complete range of the latest road bikes, MTBs, gravel bikes, trekking bikes, hybrids, e-bikes, retro bikes and cargo bikes, including a strong offer of clothing, cycling trips, food and accessories. This edition, the sporty focus is additionally underlined, especially with the exponential growth of the gravel bike.
Gravel as the central theme
Since corona, the cycling industry has been spoiled with some very commercially successful years. Those peaks are now somewhat behind us and the market is quietly normalizing, but the current level still peaks above that of 2019!
Within the segments, it is clear that in the Belgian market the gravel bike, the E-mtb and the E-longtail are on the rise, and this is expected to continue in 2024. And this is also evident at the fair, where gravel is the central theme.
The advantages of comfortably tackling different surfaces not feasible with a road bike, and thus experiencing a greater sense of adventure, clearly appeals to a diverse cycling public. In doing so, some brands are seeking the ultra-sporty segment, while others are moving toward the bikepacking audience.
On the competitive front, the gravel discipline is also on the rise. The gravel paths in the Strade Bianche already often appealed to the imagination, but with gravel championships such as the BK, EC and WC Gravel, as well as a gravel ride in the Tour de France in 2024, the tone has been set.
During Velofollies you can not only see all the different gravel bikes, you can also follow a workshop about the optimal preparation for a gravel ride and attend a gravel debate with (ex)riders.
E-bikes, safety and aesthetics go hand in hand
E-bikes are also a must at Velofollies. You can test various brands on a real indoor test track, including slope and agility zone.
You will especially notice that there is clearly invested in safety. Thus ABS systems are increasingly provided on e-Bikes. Aesthetically, too, steps are being taken with a focus on concealing both the motor and the battery in the frame in a beautiful and stylish manner. The difference with bikes from, say, five years ago is striking.
You also notice that the e-bike with belt drive is gaining in popularity. The belt drive offers low maintenance coupled with simplicity, the bike with rear derailleur and chain offers a slightly sportier experience.
Sustainability, electronics and connectivity
The bicycle has always been a sustainable means of transportation, as one of the least polluting means of transportation. Yet even more efforts are being made toward wear resistance: manufacturers are doing their best to make parts more durable.
Electronics, too, have become indispensable within cycling circles, not just the earpieces in the race, or electronic shifting that has clearly become the norm in road bikes, but especially connectivity is booming: everything on the bike is connected to the user via apps.
In this context, Velofollies is launching a new cycling app, vf Clubs. It’s an easy and free app for managing cycling clubs, as well as for individual groups of friends who regularly cycle together. With vf Clubs you can easily set up a ride and activity calendar digitally, including uploading and sharing GPX files. You can automatically track attendance and view at any time statistics on the number of rides, kilometers or altimeters ridden per participant, an online and real-time club ranking. The app also allows to consult contact information per member, including emergency contact and (medical) data, in order to act quickly in case of possible accidents.
Alberto Contador, Greg van Avermaert, Jan Bakelants, Sven Nys sign present!
Experience is central at Velofollies, and the fair can therefore traditionally count on the presence of top riders and former riders from the cycling world. This year, no less than Alberto Contador, Greg Van Avermaet, Jan Bakelants and Sven Nys will be present for an interview or meet & greet, on the central stage, at one of the exhibitors or at Karl Vannieuwkerke’s Vive-le-Velo table.
In addition to these lazy conversations, at Velofollies you can also sharpen your knowledge on training with a power meter, prepare yourself optimally for your gravel challenges or learn about the sense and nonsense of the various (effort) tests to evaluate your fitness, and of course enjoy the after-party in the Kwaremont café.
Velofollies takes place on Friday 19, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January, from 10am to 6pm, with an evening opening on Friday until 9pm. Tickets cost 15€ in presale and can be ordered at www.velofollies.be. There you will also find the full list of fringe activities and all exhibitors and brands.
Friday, January 19: 10am – 9pm
Saturday January 20 & Sunday January 21: 10am – 6pm
15 € in presale.
Ticket sales start on November 20.
All info at: www.velofollies.be