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Lennard Zinn: Mountain Bikes from Italy

Padua Show: Italian mountain bikes

The recent bike show in Padua, Italy, 35km west of Venice, has become the principal bike show in Italy, and it has hopes of becoming an important show for all European brands.

Shows come and go, and 20 years ago, the Milan bike show and the Cologne bike show were the biggest in Europe — huge combined bicycle/motorcycle shows that had a gentleman’s agreement to not compete against each other but rather to each only appear in alternate years.

When the Eurobike show came along, those shows both became annual shows in response, but it did not have the desired effect; the bicycle side of them has declined dramatically. Padua show organizers sensed an opportunity to provide a relevant show for the many proud Italian brands still in existence and created the ExpoBici show four years ago, which has doubled in size every year since.

Mountain biking in Italy is far behind its road cousin, but the Italian Alps and Dolomites are playgrounds for trail-riding enthusiasts. That said, mountain bikers you meet there tend to be German, French, Austrian or Swiss more often than Italian.

And while 29ers have been slow to catch on in Europe in general, they’ve been really slow to do so in Italy. Not any more, however; 29ers abounded at the Padua show this year.

As always, look to right of each photo, rather than under it, to find the associated caption.

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