One of the best ways to get to understand any bike product is to talk to the people who made it, then go out and ride it. Other than exclusive manufacturer seminars put on by the larger bike manufacturers, the smaller players, component makers and products new to market have limited opportunity to engage the media. For more than five years, PressCamp has provided cycling and general media with the opportunity to get in depth information exchange and experience with cycling products. Hosted by Deer Valley resort, the five day event, held from June 20-24, 2015, showed its Utah roots and the strong relationship that Utah has to the broader cycling industry.
Almost every vendor, from GT to Pivot had a Utah connection and, as Lance Camisasca, president of Lifeboat Events and PressCamp organizer notes, “the great weather, proximity to an international airport and quality riding,” made it possible for Wasatch dwellers to show off their home turf. Tom Ghelli and Steve Spencer of GT Bicycles, in addition to others, seem to be turning Utah into GT East, with extensive race, sponsorship and technical support at events throughout the state. GT’s new Sanction was surprisingly capable trail bike, that felt comfortable at speed.
Also new to market was Pivot’s 429SL which rode confidently and, in this rider’s opinion, is a move toward the future when 29ers will look more like enduro bikes. Kevin Tisue, director of engineering for Pivot, didn’t even have to leave Summit County to show off the 429SL, which features longer travel and slacker angles than their current 29er dually. Smith Optics had a full range of product and their impressive race support RV showed off the increasingly deep bicycle product including the Overtake, a roadie take on the popular Forefront helmet.
With about one hundred attendees, Deer Valley PressCamp appointments between media and manufacturers are the source of all those pre-Interbike product sneak peaks that you are now seeing. It’s such an attractive opportunity, that the event regularly attracts the foreign media. This year, Chipps Chippendale, long-time occasional desert rat, of Singletrack, was one of several on hand from the U.K. and Australia. Furthering the international flavor was the broad mix of e-bike manufacturer and suppliers, to which, according to Camisasca, the “overall health of the bike industry is tied.” E-bike manufactures in attendance included: Bionx; Bosch; iZip; Besv; and, Kalkhoff each of which had bikes available for an uphill race among attendees. Camisasca says that despite some regulatory issues to figure out, “the pendulum has swung on e-bikes .” and from the looks of their presence at PressCamp, one should believe him. Next year will see PressCamp getting utilize the new trail and infrastructure development at Deer Valley, a feature that’s sure to attract even bigger attendance.