Filling the south hall of the Cow Palace, and then some, the San Francisco Bike Expo has been described as the world’s largest bike shop. While this might or might not be strictly accurate in terms of square footage, few would dispute the scope of this fixture in the San Francisco cycling calendar.
Thousands come to the SF Bike Expo each year because it runs the gamut of just about everything that’s interesting to the eclectic community of Bay Area cyclists.
Show organizer and founder, Philipp Segura of the bike shop Ride SFO in Potrero Hill, looks at the hundred-plus exhibitors on the list and says, “In the bike business there are the huge companies and then there are the small businesses. We’re about the small businesses, and we’re back for our seventh year. This says something about how much the small companies in this industry are valued.”
The heart of the expo is the bike swap. Individuals and teams and clubs set up shop to sell- off surplus or used equipment to help keep them in the game for another year. Prices become more flexible as the day progresses, but wait too long and the part you wanted might be gone.
Publications mtbr.com and Bicycle Times will be present, and Bicycle Times will have some special gifts for its subscribers attending the show.
Souvenirs from the esteemed Paragon Machine Works – frame building accessories supplier to many of the top custom bike builders – will be on sale to raise funds to design the new McLaren Bike Park.
While on the subject of custom bike builders, San Francisco’s very own Bicycle Fabrications will display their latest downhill designs to help riders stay cool and controlled on any slope that gets between them and the bottom. Bicycle Fabrications are organizing a special ride on Sunday.
International brands show up from time to time, drawn by the heat of the Bay Area bike market, and this year Race Face, a highly regarded bicycle components manufacturer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, will attend, as will apparel company OZRacing Lifestyle from the Philippines.
Most years of the SF Bike Expo there’s been plenty of on-bike action, and this year local fixed-gear freestyle hotshot Josh Boothby, a Red Bull sponsored athlete, is producing the Great Rail Debate, a BMX and fixed-freestyle rail jam, that will impress even those that think they know a thing or two. The rest of us will just stand there slack-jawed wondering how the heck they even think of those tricks. Cash and prizes are offered.
Gates to the SF Bike Expo open at 11 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., so get there early or you won’t have time to cover the show floor. 4-5000 attendees are expected and benefit from the charitable price of $5. Of course we all love the Giants, but this is way better value!
At the time of writing, the rain forecast for Saturday is 75% chance at 10 a.m. and 25% at 11. So: rain fenders advised, and thanks to the generosity of Pedal Express Courier, there is a free indoor valet bike parking service, so your bike won’t be left out in the rain.
OZRacing Lifestyle – clothing
Abus – locks
Bicycle Times – magazine about town bicycles
Light and Motion – lighting systems
RoadBikeReview.com – road bicycle news and reviews
Dirt Rag – magazine about mountain bikes
College Cyclery – Sacramento bicycle shop
MTBR.com – mountain bike news and reviews
SF Bike Expo tickets are available at the door, cost $5
The street address of the Cow Palace is 2600 Geneva Avenue, Daly City, CA 94014.
Car parking is available for $10.