The electric bike is king at the 15th edition of Velofollies

The electric bike is king at the 15th edition of Velofollies
Credit: Belga

Almost 40% of all bicycles sold are e-bikes, and one is bound to notice that this weekend in Kortrijk where, after a two-year absence, nearly 330 exhibitors have gathered to show off their latest models at the 15th edition of Velofollies.

The fair is being held from Friday to Sunday at the Kortrijk Expo complex.

That the electric bicycle is here to stay had been clear for some time, “but the range has become enormously diverse," says Pieter Desmet of Velofollies. "Foldable bikes, city bikes, cargo bikes…. everything also exists with a battery.”

Businesses are also increasingly looking at these types of bikes as an alternative to the company car.

'A total exhibition'

“Another clear trend in bicycle country is back to nature," Desmets says. "We see this in the explosion of gravel bikes. It’s a bike that actually replaces three others: the mountain bike, the road bike and the traditional two-wheeler. That combination of asphalt and offroad is clearly very much appreciated.”

Due to the corona crisis, the demand for cycles skyrocketed with the result that many manufacturers had supply problems, but these have since been resolved.

“Velofollies is really a total exhibition with numerous city, racing and other bikes, but accessories, clothing, and bicycle travel are also extensively covered,” says Desmet.

Interviews, Meet and Greet and 'Vive-le-Velo'

Sometimes innovation lurks in a small corner. For example, two exhibitors are launching their Pacing Sticker. With it, cycling tourists can neatly organise their races. “That way you avoid a hunger pang like Mathieu van der Poel at the 2019 World Championships,” they say.

Besides exhibitors, many past and present riders have also descended on Kortrijk for an interview or a meet-and-greet, or to share insights with participants in a training seminar.

And where there are bikes, of course presenter Karl Vannieuwkerke cannot be missing. His ‘Vive-le-Velo’ stand can be found at Velofollies until Sunday.

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