Uffe A Olesen

Notes from a trade show

As I pen this note, I’ve just returned from FIBO in Cologne. I have to say, it was great to see the event find its feet again post-pandemic. Challenges certainly remain for all of us, but the buoyancy we felt was hugely welcome and hopefully a sign of better things to come.

For me, a few key themes emerged. The first was notable interest in what I’m going to call body sculpting: not bodybuilding, but a definite quest for muscular definition among men and women alike, with long queues at the body composition stands.

Of course, developing a strong body is a good thing, but I do wonder if this risks becoming an aesthetic trend among the Insta generation. I would hate to see cardio and mobility slip down the priority list for the younger generations, just as holistic wellness moves into the mainstream for other sections of society.

With this in mind, I’m delighted to showcase Gundula Cöllen-Sorger in this edition of RIDE HIGH. The founder of BECYCLE and BEYOND, her rounded approach to fitness not only benefits members’ health but, she says, also saw the business through the pandemic.

Technology was another key theme at FIBO, with tracking and metrics now seemingly possible on almost every piece of kit. This is a topic we’ve given a lot of thought to at BODY BIKE, and I urge you to read our Mobile vs Console feature – a thought-provoking exploration of the future of onboard technology in indoor cycling.

For indoor cycling more generally, it was a story of two halves from FIBO attendees: boom markets characterised by innovation; other markets slowed by a lack of qualified, passionate instructors.

“Innovation is needed within the delivery of indoor cycling, and I’m very excited to see what AI brings to the table”

I certainly came away from the show enthused by delegates’ response to our sustainable vision and Smart+ Forest Green launch, but equally convinced that innovation is needed within the delivery of indoor cycling.

The Les Mills article shares six science-backed reasons why cycling deserves its place on the timetable. Yet for me, the continued relevance of this discipline will rely on there being some kind of fuel injection, and I’m personally very excited to see what AI brings to the table. Computer-generated programmes, animations, landscapes and avatars… all of this is unquestionably on the way, and soon. I’m excited to see what FIBO 2024 brings!

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