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Stay practical In these unprecedented times, it would be rather self-indulgent of me to expatiate on my personal circumstances and the inconvenience it brings. With that in mind, I’m lending it to something considerably more practical: The BA. In reaction to COVID-19, the organisation is building a ‘hub’ as a central resource to share official guidance and support information, to share ideas to reduce infection risk, and to showcase the initiatives those in the industry are taking to support NHS workers, for example. The group also agreed: • The BA joins all other major UK cycling organisations in forcefully urging cyclists to avoid group rides and to maintain at least two metres distance at all times. • That the BA should continue to make the case to Government that bicycle repair shops must remain open as long as possible, to ensure that transport for essential workers and last-mile deliveries is maintained. • The group commends and supports initiatives put in place by many IBDs to offer NHS staff in their communities free or discounted cycle repairs and services. • To continue to stress the role that responsible, socially-distanced cycling can play in maintaining health and well-being for those otherwise largely confined indoors. • The BA’s legal and HR support services are available to UK retailers and suppliers, free of charge, for an initial period of three months. To access the free legal advice, call Law Express on 01275 378 831. HR support is available via Avensure on 0800 015 50 30. In both instances, the BA must be quoted to access the free service. From all of us here at BikeBiz, please wear out those indoor trainers and stay safe! Should you wish to share your own best practice on tackling the outbreak, please feel free to get in touch.
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Points of View Backyard’s Nic Vieri, ZyroFisher’s Andy Budd and Revo Bikes’ Mark Almond weigh in on best practice and innovation in modern-day bike shops
E-scooters: A matter of when, not if James Groves sits down with Pure Electric’s Adam Norris and Peter Kimberley to discover how the wider e-mobility market could fuse with the cycling industry
A 125-year obsession Nick Bull, Michelin’s commercial market product manager for the UK, ROI and Nordics, provides some insight into the brand’s plans for 2020 and beyond...
What does the 2020 Budget mean for cycling? The chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the 2020 Budget earlier this year, including £27 billion for main roads and over £1 billion from the Transforming Cities Fund
Safety first Protected cycle space in London has tripled since 2016. Rebecca Morley meets with Sadiq Khan to look further into the Mayor of London’s achievement and what it means for the capital
Local Bike Shop Day Local Bike Shop Day returns on 2nd May. BikeBiz caught up with the ACT to find out more about what we can expect to see this year – should the current climate allow it
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POINTS OF VIEW
Set yourself apart from the rest In 2019, Backyard Bike Shop was awarded the BikeBiz Award for Best Independent Bike Dealer, sponsored by Citrus-Lime. Six months on, owner Nic Vieri shares his shop’s story along with some best practice...
ob and I opened Backyard Bike Shop back in 2017 with the view of creating a small workshop specialising in custom builds. We combined my own background in bikes with his in architecture and bars, making it somewhere we can service and build bikes, but also have a social atmosphere where people can come to hang out. The layout and branding was always designed around this idea. Our main business has always been the workshop, specialising in servicing, custom builds, and upgrades. We started with a coffee machine, but that quickly grew into a full cafe. By having the cafe, we’ve managed to attract customers throughout the day, even when they didn’t have any bikespecific needs. This is great for relationship-building, and keeps the shop fresh in their minds. We run as a cocktail bar at night, which also hosts private events. All the different aspects have helped us attract a variety of different people with different interests. It helps ensure that we always have people in as well as something happening. I appreciate, of course, that many IBDs aren’t looking to open up a cafe, but if I could offer any advice to fellow bike shops, it would be to look to see what is missing in your area – what can you offer to set you apart from the competition? Find something that will bring more people to your shop, and get them to keep coming back. Look for inspiration from other businesses, in other industries in your area. Speak to your reps.
8 | April 2020
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They usually have a very good idea of what is missing, and can help with ideas on how to increase your customer base. Make sure you get the basics right first. Your customer service needs to be spot on. Try to be helpful and enthusiastic wherever you can. Keep your overheads down. Look at the numbers, and react to what they are saying (Citrus-Lime has helped us a lot in this respect).
‘Don’t only focus on the big sales. Smaller transactions quickly add up’ Don’t only focus on the big sales. Smaller transactions quickly add up. Instead of pushing for a complete bike, maybe look at upgrading wheels or components. Most importantly, ensure your customers keep coming back for future sales. What’s next for us? We’re currently very happy with how things are going, and will be focusing on trying to improve what we are doing. Going forward, we will be working on our own clothing and doing more collaborations with other brands.
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POINTS OF VIEW
Back to basics As the industry waits out COVID-19, Andy Budd, director of IBD sales at ZyroFisher, casts an eye to the future to consider how IBDs can increase store turnover and profitability by revamping their approach to P&A
espite the well-documented concerns plaguing retail in recent years, we’re finding – drawing from a large sample of IBD feedback – that the total revenue from in-store bike shops sales is largely flat. Total sales revenue is often similar due to the increasing interest in e-bikes, which command a substantially higher RRP. That heightened intrigue from consumers delivers a considerable opportunity for the IBD, yet it’s not one I see shops currently capitalising on. The opportunity I’m referring to is P&A. Historically, bike shops have been very good at add-on sales, but in recent years we’ve started seeing employees selling rides and immediately moving onto the next customer. There is a fantastic selection of product that lends itself well to e-bikes, and it’s possible retailers are not making the most of these opportunities. To an extent, we need to go back to basics in terms of cross-selling and upselling those add-ons, be it locks, lights, helmets, shoes or pedals. All of this used to be part and parcel of buying a new bike. Even more concerning is the resignation of certain IBDs in this regard; so much so that they’re actually scaling back on their P&A investments. These shops are not only missing out on the opportunity of increasing those sales – they’re eradicating them altogether. Such is the mindset that consumers will simply go online to purchase P&A, shops are not even asking their customers whether they need lights, locks or helmets.
10 | April 2020
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We’ve got to get back to pushing those things as part of the sale or, at the very least, asking the question. Enhancing the shopping experience IBDs are still getting customers in-store and selling approximately the same number of bikes; they simply need to harness that face-time more effectively. This is one key area where we, as a distributor, would like to help. One strategy, for example, could be to incentivise in-store staff to sell one, two or three add-on products with a bike sale. If they don’t sell the additional item(s) on top of the bike itself, they don’t receive commission on it. There are lots of seemingly minor strategies such as this that the retailer could be thinking about. That said, if you sell a bike and then attempt to sell lots of additional individual sales, it becomes very difficult. In my view, what retailers need to be offering are personalised bundles based on the various types of customer that come into any given store. For example, shops could offer a ‘new cyclists’ bundle which may encompass some cheaper, basic tools and accessories to help an inexperienced rider get started. Equally, shops could build three or four different ‘performance’ bundles, offering a specific selection of products according to the customer’s cycling discipline.
POINTS OF VIEW
I often find that bike shops are keen to get customers back in-store as often as possible, but if you’re able to help people become self-sufficient – for example, including puncture kits as part of a bundle – then when an issue does arise, the customer is grateful to the IBD’s all-round service, and their overall experience and perception of the shop enhances considerably. There are lots of other basics to ensure you’re keeping on top of. As an IBD, you’ve got to make sure you’re a great place to go and buy a product – be it bike or accessory – in the first place. Sometimes it’s just as simple as the cleanliness of the shop, or more consideration of retail science. Merchandising products and making them easier to see and to buy is key, but the most important thing is engagement with the customer. Taking leads from others That said, it’s encouraging to see retailers thinking differently. I spend around one week per month out on the road, visiting stores. I see hundreds of IBDs over the course of the year, and there are some really fantastic, forwardthinking retailers attempting to improve their businesses. And with those that perhaps aren’t doing quite so well on that front, it’s usually the case that they are unsure how to change, as opposed to the negative, old-fashioned idea that some retailers refuse to modernise. Looking at how other traditional types of retailers work is a great place to start.
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A great quote from retail consultant Mary Portas highlighted that, no matter what shops do, there will always be those that want to shop online, and that’s an idea that we have to embrace. A percentage of people, she said, will always prefer the convenience of online irrespective of the effort physical shops go to. Equally, she noted that a similar percentage of people will always want to shop in-store because they want a real point of contact, or because they enjoy browsing. She predicted this was about a 20%-20% split, with the 60% in the middle open to buying from wherever they get the best engagement from. If a person walks into a store and isn’t acknowledged or engaged, they might be discouraged and go elsewhere. People talk about customers walking into a shop, trying something on and then ordering online, but of course they will if we don’t engage. Most people – if they’ve formed a connection with a shop employee and have already tried something on – will just buy it there and then. If they don’t, ask them what would help them make their buying decision. Speaking of learning from others, in the modern-day motor industry, you can take your car in for a repair and they’ll send you a text to let you know they’ve checked over your car. They may even provide a link to see what your car needs, and what the mechanic will be carrying out. This is absolutely something we can replicate in the cycle industry, and it’s just another reason for people to stay longer and come back more frequently. n
April 2020 | 11
POINTS OF VIEW
A hybrid future? By Mark Almond, director, Red Cloud Marketing and founder, Revo Bikes
t was summer 2015 and I was chatting with the team at Revolution Bike Park about its plans when a thought occurred to us – this place needs a shop. Now, imagine my surprise when I then found myself agreeing to open one just ten minutes later! As a bike industry marketer and PR specialist since 2007, the retail experience was new to me. Sure, I had helped bike shops with their marketing and events, but actually running a bike shop was set to be a steep learning curve. In 2016, Revo Bikes was born and the curve took off. Fast-forward to 2020 and, while I am still nowhere near as experienced as many of you reading this, Revo Bikes has continued to grow year-on-year and we have some exciting plans for the future. I’m still learning every single day. Best practice means different things to different people. It is largely governed by your own local market, your product and service offering, your skills and your business network. Running a bike shop at a remote bike park is very different to running one on a high street, for example. We do all have some things in common though. Our supply chain and the growth in direct-to-retail and direct-to-consumer brands, the changing marketplace and fast-moving changes in consumer behaviour and expectations. Of course, our competition is constantly evolving too, with the ever-present internet fuelling many of these. So if the web is fuelling so much that is changing in our world, isn’t it time we all embraced it and made it work in our favour? Pricing aside (that is a whole other subject for another day), the internet is an area where fear often overshadows the opportunity.
12 | April 2020
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Social media, for example, opens up direct customer interaction and opportunities for expanding your shop’s reach far beyond your local area, cheaply and effectively. E-commerce websites have never been easier to produce in-house (the recent rise in easy-to-manage headless commerce packages is also worth watching) and, especially for those of us who don’t have a large local market, they offer a fairly simple solution to growing revenue with the right product offering. But what of that pesky online competition? They’re not so pesky if you flip the way you view them. I know this will be seen by many as controversial, so please read this in the way it is intended, as something to provoke thought, nothing more. Direct-to-consumer brands are potentially helping to grow the overall market through their marketing and profile. Often, the public only find out about some of the smaller brands on the market and which you may have in your shop through the marketing efforts of the big online stores. However, pricing aside, we, as the IBDs of the UK, have a secret weapon that the big onlines don’t have. We have a store. We have specialists to talk to consumers face-to-face and we can offer the ability to try out the products for size and test ride. A lot of online brands value this. For example, go to any bike show or large cycling festival and you will likely see the online brands in heavy attendance as they know the power of speaking personally to our joint consumer. We have this power 365. Use it. Be a hybrid of the two – online and offline. Work with the online brands as opposed to against them, and who knows where it will take us and the industry we love. Is hybrid retail the future? You decide.
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E-scooters: A matter of when, not if Pure Scooters recently rebranded to encompass all e-mobility solutions, including e-bikes. James Groves sits down with CEO Adam Norris and international managing director Peter Kimberley – now of Pure Electric – to find out more about how this flourishing trend could fuse with the cycling industry
“It’s not the e-bike smile. It’s the electric smile” – Peter Kimberley
ike it or not, e-scooters are sure to play a significant part in the future of our country’s transport landscape. Irrespective of the vehicles’ current legal status, UK retailer Micro Scooters saw a 50% increase in sales last year, while Halford’s Q4 sales of electric vehicles reportedly rose 96% year-on-year. Whichever way you look at it, e-mobility is the future, and one company determined to make waves in this burgeoning sector is Pure Electric.
14 | April 2020
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Game-changing technology The brand – known as Pure Scooters as recently as last month – was launched at the end of 2018 by entrepreneur Adam Norris, father of Formula 1 star Lando. When he was just 26, Norris’ vision of pensions being sold by phone, post or online received the backing of financial services giants Hargreaves Lansdown. The resulting company, Pensions Direct, grew exponentially and was absorbed by the HL group, which is now worth approximately £8 billion.
In 2010, Norris founded Horatio Investments, providing around £53 million into over 33 companies and start-ups. Despite those accomplishments, he says, business is not his true passion. In his youth, he cycled for England B and moved to Belgium in an attempt to turn pro.
“If you don’t embrace an evolution in a market, someone else will pop up and take advantage” Adam Norris His passion lies in ‘new, game-changing technology that improves lives’ and he sees e-scooters and e-mopeds as the future in reducing car usage, air pollution and congestion in cities across Europe. “The whole world is moving toward micromobility,” says Norris. “Cities need it; people need to switch to smaller transport if we are to thrive.” While conducting his initial research for Pure Scooters, Norris decided that, due to its considerable parallels, the cycling industry was best suited to provide market insights.
A transport revolution Plans to allow e-scooters on UK roads have been unveiled by the Government. Requirements for both e-scooters and those using them are being explored, including a minimum age, vehicle standards and insurance requirements. The Government has launched the consultation as part of the Future of Transport regulatory review. It will consider how to make small changes to everyday travel decisions and whether we could choose to walk, cycle, bus or scoot instead of taking the car. Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are on the cusp of a transport revolution. Emerging technologies are ripping up the rulebook. This review will ensure we understand the potential impacts of a wide range of new transport modes such as e-scooters, helping to properly inform any decisions on legalisation.”
“People need to switch to smaller transport if we are to thrive” – Adam Norris
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April 2020 | 15
E-scooters could be ideal for short commutes to local amenities
“I immediately learned that it isn’t something that can exist purely as an online entity,” he says. “We need physical stores.” Norris eventually settled on the opulent location of Belgravia, London, and opened his first store in May last year. While its initial mandate was to supply the continent with high-quality e-scooters, the company’s transformation into Pure Electric represents a significant widening of the scope. “The objective, both for Pure Electric and the cycling industry as a whole, is to transport people in a healthy, eco-friendly and efficient manner,” says Norris. “I have no doubt that the cycling world will embrace e-scooters in the years to come. E-bikes are becoming more and more popular, and introducing e-scooters to complement them brings everything together to build a profitable business.” Capitalising on a trend Not content with its considerable expansion into the wider e-mobility market, Pure Electric hopes to make waves throughout Europe, too.
16 | April 2020
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The brand is currently looking at store locations in various capital cities, and has websites ready for launch in France, Italy and Germany. That’s where Peter Kimberley, former managing director of Tredz Bikes and Cycle Republic, comes in. Initially announced in November, Kimberley’s decision to swap bikes for e-scooters perfectly summarised an incessant 2019 trend. It was yet another sign that the movement is no longer embryonic; it has arrived. Kimberley joined the company as international managing director and will head up European operations while Norris focuses on the UK. “I’ve always been very passionate about e-mobility,” says Kimberley. “I’ve always had e-bikes, and now I ride an e-scooter too! Adam presented me with a really exciting opportunity to do something that’s never been done before. “Our streets and our cities need better mobility. The more populated the world becomes, the greater the need to transport people in a better, safer way. Public transport is already overcrowded. It’s really important that we do this for the environment, too; it makes for a happier life.”
E-scooters as they stand •
Electric scooters are legally banned from our footpaths due to the Highways Act 1835 Section 72. Widely recognised as being outdated, it forbids anyone from driving a ‘horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or carriage of any description’ on any footpath
Technically, unpowered scooters and skateboards cannot legally be used on pavements either, but the Department for Transport conceded this is not practical to enforce
Meanwhile, electric scooters – classified as a PLEV, or Personal Light Electric Vehicle cannot be ridden on the road, because the DVLA requires motor vehicles to be registered and taxed. Some electric bikes (EAPCs) are exempt
More than half (56%) of all car journeys are less than five miles in length and 6% are less than a mile, according to licence check firm Licence Bureau
Research released by Greater London Authority found over one third of all car trips made by London residents are less than 2km
Scooter rental company Bird – that operates in over a 100 cities around the world – was recently valued at $2 billion. Airbnb took one year and Uber four years to reach a $1 billion valuation
Rather than duplicating its business model across the continent, Pure Electric will assemble a bespoke strategy matching consumers’ predilections. “It may turn out that one form of e-mobility – be it e-scooters, e-bikes or e-mopeds – is more popular in one store than another,” says Norris. “Our approach will be flexible to meet those demands.
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“Retail trends vary from country to country, so we may also see differing ratios between online and physical stores.” Uncommon law When a British-born e-mobility company is hoping to establish itself as a leading e-scooter provider, it’s a fair assumption that the UK’s restrictive laws would provide ample concern for its directors. “It’s not really an issue for us,” says Norris. “We have a much larger strategy. Not only are we no longer limited to e-scooters, but we’re also venturing into many other countries. Our biggest market next year will be Spain. “There are only three countries – Holland, the UK and Ireland – where scooters aren’t currently legal. If you consider our entire consumer reach, including e-bikes and e-mopeds, it’s a small percentage.” Unperturbed as it is, Pure Electric is looking to open 11 new inner-city stores throughout the UK in Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Norwich, Nottingham and Southampton. Naturally, in the short-term, the UK strategy will focus on e-bikes and e-mopeds. “It helps that they’re allowed in public!” smiles Norris. “Interest in e-scooters will ramp up massively when they become legal, and we’ll have everything primed and ready for when that day comes.” The pair are keen to reiterate that while a profitable business model is always essential, providing a beneficial service “for the good of mankind” is paramount. “We want to make mobility as easy and affordable as possible,” says Norris. “We don’t simply want to flog something; we want to grow the market. To give customers what they want, be it e-scooters, e-bikes, e-mopeds or P&A. We’ll be working closely with specialist brands and distributors on specific gear, such as clothing and locks.” Kimberley, meanwhile, intends to work closely with TfL and the Government to lobby for the legality of e-scooters. “It’s not just the ‘what’,” he says. “It’s the ‘how’. What should a legal e-scooter look like? We have beautiful cities all across the UK, and look at them today; we’re getting electric buses, electric taxis. The whole world is focused on sustainability and reducing pollution, and e-scooters are a massive, massive part of that.” An electric future When I was first introduced to the industry a couple of years ago, e-bikes were still being met with considerable scepticism. Cheating. Lazy. Not real exercise. These were words I heard time and time again from the four corners of the world.
April 2020 | 17
Peter Kimberley, international managing director, Pure Electric
Ask the industry about e-bikes now. Inclusive. Healthy. Convenient. E-scooters, as a true departure from the bicycle, may take considerably more persuasion, but there’s certainly enough overlap that IBDs should not rule it out. “When e-scooters are legal to ride in the UK, I expect them to complement the bicycle, not rival it,” says Kimberley. “You can’t scoot for miles and miles, but they fold down much more quickly and easily, to the point where you don’t even need to lock them outside; you can just put it under your desk.
“Pedal bikes will be around for a long time, but one day we’ll look back on them like Penny Farthings” Peter Kimberley “But any further than that, and e-bikes are the best way to go. You get to work having exercised, but you don’t feel exhausted. “I’m a huge supporter of bike shops and it would be fantastic if I could work with them on this. It’s all about coming together, and if you do that and focus on the customer, that’s where everybody wins.”
18 | April 2020
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Is it something, then, that we could see stocked by IBDs in the near future? “Certainly,” says Kimberley. “As Pure Electric progresses, I expect we’ll begin to supply them with our own builds. The great bike shops of today like e-bikes, and you have to evolve with your customers’ demands and expectations. “Pedal bikes will be around for a long time, but one day we’ll look back on them like Penny Farthings. Electric gets you that little bit further while still providing exercise. I expect to see IBDs continue to evolve to reflect that.” Norris admits there is inevitable cannibalisation for those on the fringes. “There will always be those who buy one instead of the other, but it doesn’t make scooters the enemy,” he says. “Some people want to cycle because they’re a purist, and they love it. Equally, there are many people in highly-populated cities who live in small flats and want something extremely convenient. Even a folding bike is still sizeable when packed away, and if that’s a problem for someone, an e-scooter is the perfect answer. “If you don’t embrace an evolution in a market, someone else will pop up and take advantage. It’s better to be a part of it. 60-70% of bikes sold today are for leisure and commuting, so while some might prefer to cater to the true purists, their customer base is mostly made up of casual riders.” Quite simply, Kimberley believes that electric is the option for common sense. He concludes: “It’s not the e-bike smile. It’s the electric smile.” n
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Introducing the StormChaser
Rebecca Morley finds out all about ABUS’ new premium model
BUS’ new StormChaser helmet is designed to be a premium model at a low price. Much like the brand’s AirBreaker and GameChanger models, it is manufactured in Italy to help ensure it is the best it possibly can be. “We wanted to keep the Italian production and all the advantages that it brings,” says ABUS’ Roger Seal. “Working with our Italian production facility allowed us to make an endless number of minute adjustments, so we could really achieve the best helmet at this price. The aim was to hit a better value price point and reach more people, as our existing race helmets [AirBreaker and GameChanger] are both at the premium end of the price spectrum.
20 | April 2020
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“They’re both amazing helmets which do slightly different jobs, and we were able to introduce some new technology. The StormChaser allows us to bring most of that technology to a lower price point and hopefully reach a bigger audience in doing so.” The StormChaser is priced below the AirBreaker and GameChanger – but how else does it compare to other helmets on the market? “There is a classic that has been in the market for some years, which has been very successful in the UK,” says Seal. “We continue to work with our athletes to bring a high-performance, but well-rounded and complete range to market.
“Visually, the StormChaser is a very different helmet to the competition. While other brands are known for wellfitting helmets, we already achieve that with our top models, so we hope that having that great fit of our top-end models and other features at a lower price point will allow us to reach a bigger audience. “You’ve got quite a bit of space at the back to put a ponytail or long hair through, you’ve got the height adjustment, and one of my favourite features, from the GameChanger and the AirBreaker, is that you can vary the length of the helmet as well. “The adjustment system has different points at the side and the front of the helmet where you can anchor it, so you’ve got about 15-20mm of adjustment in the length of the inside of the helmet. You’re not just using the wheel at the back to tighten the helmet down to get a snug fit.” “You’ll see that the shape is particularly similar to the AirBreaker, in that it’s a very slim profile, making for a very sleek looking helmet,” adds brand manager John Harris. “It’s a nice fitting helmet and looks like it too. The version that we’re going to have in stock is version three of various prototypes. “ABUS has been very hot on finding the shape to make sure it is a premium-looking helmet as well as a premiumfitting helmet. That’s why it chose the Italians to produce it – because they can have that very quick turnaround in terms of updates and changes.” The helmet will also have custom colourways, something that can be done due to Italian manufacturing, Seal explains. “We can go down to 50 pieces across a range of sizes in Italy, and from the Far East that number is higher – 300 pieces per size. “It does become possible for a retailer or a club to consider going down this customisation route and having a colourway which is unique to them gives them a very different appearance and look if you’re supporting your local club. It takes it to a whole new level if you add a helmet to that look.” The StormChaser has been shown to some premium road dealers, and it fits perfectly in having a logical ‘good, better, best’ in terms of high-end road. “That’s exactly what this is achieving now,” Harris says. “It’s seen some good reaction so far, and I’m quite excited for when it does land. “The StormChaser is the road helmet, there is also a gravel equivalent which we haven’t ranged in UK stock. The only difference is it comes with a peak. We didn’t range that as a UK model because you go on gravel rides now and 99% of those riders are riding a road helmet. These will still be available if required, but simply not from our UK warehouse.”
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ABUS has been the official helmet and security partner of the Movistar Team since the 2017 season – a partnership that was extended further last year. In addition to brand strategy goals, aimed primarily at increasing international awareness, the cooperation has focused on product development. Martin Böckelmann, the sponsorship manager at ABUS explains: “Whilst team Movistar have been instrumental in developing these helmets, they will continue to ride on the AirBreaker, GameChanger and GameChanger TT for the coming season. Some feedback we received was the weight and fit are extremely close to the AirBreaker!” n
April 2020 | 21
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NUMBER CRUNCHING 23 BBApr20 Stats_Final.indd 1
Here are some of the latest stats and facts from around the web…
Local authority cycling spend is at just
per head over a ten year period
The highest spend per head of population was
Some authorities in some years made
on average across the ten years and the lowest was
in cycling infrastructure at all
Dr Aoife Allison of the University of Nottingham said: “There have been various promises made by the Government over the last ten years regarding cycling. This includes the Prime Minister’s recent pledge of £350 million to create 250 miles of cycling infrastructure in 51 target cities. However, it has been pointed out that this would deliver on average under five miles per city and is just .”
£1 spend per head “A single “cycling city” could be worth
in savings for the NHS”
A 125-year obsession
Nick Bull, Michelin’s commercial market product manager for the UK, ROI and Nordics, provides some insight into the brand’s plans for 2020 and beyond...
Can you provide us with a brief background on Michelin? The Michelin Group is a global company headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Founded in 1889, the Michelin Group provides tyres to over 170 countries and is a leader in innovation and sustainable development. Michelin was also responsible for the first detachable bicycle tyre in 1891. What’s new for 2020? It is an exciting time at Michelin and 2020 brings new ranges for both downhill and the eagerly-anticipated road tubeless ranges.
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Michelin is an iconic brand, but there are an increasing number of start-ups and small companies offering specifically-designed products in every niche. How do you stay ahead of the curve? Michelin tyre performance is the result of our 125-year obsession – we take our findings from our global research centre and elite athletes then apply it to our everyday tyres. Working closely with MotoGP also gives us unrivalled knowledge of rubber compounds and tyre performance which transfers in a cycling range and in turn inspires confidence, peace of mind and allows you to simply enjoy the ride.
Tubeless has long been considered the next chapter for the bicycle tyre. Do you agree with that, and do you believe 2020 could be the year it really starts to take a hold? There was a great deal of ‘talk’ within the industry regarding the emergence of gravel bikes and road disc bikes, both of which are now here to stay! We believe the same will happen with road tubeless tyres. The benefits that they bring with regards to durability, rolling efficiency and comfort are unsurpassed and really do improve the rider’s overall experience.
‘In the UK, Michelin is being very proactive and you can expect to see a lot more of us, especially at events both on- and off-road’
What other significant trends are you currently seeing in your sector? Initial interest and sales of the new downhill tyres has been incredible. With people riding even longer on travel bikes and the increase of uplift days, riders’ requirements have changed and the need for tougher tyres has increased dramatically. Couple this with the improved technologies and materials used has made this range ideal for aggressive enduro riding.
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Distribution partnerships have, for the most part, evolved beyond a straightforward agreement to move product. What is the relationship between Michelin and Silverfish, and how do they work together to both promote the brand and help IBDs? We made the decision to partner exclusively with Silverfish in January 2019 and have not looked back. Silverfish is very much committed to Michelin and is extremely active when it comes to communicating to the end user. The team is fantastic to work with and offers a very professional manner in line with Michelin’s values. Our relationship is very much two-way with regular communication and discussions on how we can simplify our proposition to the industry, while installing confidence to the dealers to partner with us. Silverfish is very active in supporting its existing dealer network and in developing new business where we see great potential, especially in the Protek City and new Power Road lines. What are your plans beyond 2020? In the UK, Michelin is being very proactive and you can expect to see a lot more of us, especially at events both onand off-road. We have some really exciting new products coming over the next 24 months to suit a wide range of riders, but that’s as much as I can divulge right now! n
April 2020 | 25
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What does the 2020 Budget mean for cycling? The chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the 2020 Budget earlier this year, including £27 billion for main roads and over £1 billion from the Transforming Cities Fund. Rebecca Morley looks at the impact it could have on cycling
aking it easier for people to travel healthy needs to be a priority of the Government for the long-term health of our society and economy – in order to fight climate change, rising levels of congestion, toxic air, inactivity and social isolation. The 2020 Budget, announced on 11th March, allocated £27 billion for main roads and over £1 billion from the Transforming Cities Fund, to deliver a range of walking and cycling schemes by 2022-23. It did not, however, commit to any new funding for active travel, says Xavier Brice, Sustrans CEO, despite the Government signalling in the past that it understands the role walking and cycling has to play in tackling these crises. “Research shows that at least £6 billion is needed to meet the Government’s targets of doubling cycling and increasing walking by 2025,” Brice says. “Many local authorities have comprehensive plans for walking and cycling ready to be delivered. But clarification and certainty on dedicated long-term funding are needed for them to deliver these plans and fulfil their potential. “The National Infrastructure Strategy and Spending Review will be the opportunity to make this happen. “We will continue to make the case for the significant and long-term funding needed in walking and cycling to transform our communities and create happier lives and healthier places for everyone.”
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April 2020 | 27
Active travel has been “completely overlooked”, says Cycling UK
The funding allocated from the Transforming Cities Fund will deliver a range of schemes by 2022-23, including: • £79 million for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, including four new cycle freeways • £161 million for Derby and Nottingham, including over £10 million for a new cycle route between Nottingham, Derby and East Midlands Airport • £33 million for Leicester, including £8 million for the development of a sustainable transport corridor from St Margaret’s to Birstall • £51 million for Plymouth, including £36 million for a new Central Park cycling and walking bridge ‘Huge disappointment’ Cycling UK has said it is “hugely disappointed” that active travel has been “completely overlooked” in this year’s Budget, with no mention of even the “woefully inadequate” £350 million ‘cycling and infrastructure fund’ promised in the Conservative manifesto. “[The chancellor] has announced a staggering £27 billion road-building programme which will only serve to increase the climate, air pollution, congestion, and inactivity related public health crises threatening this country,” says Paul Tuohy, who recently stepped down as Cycling UK’s chief executive. “By its own research, the Government needs to spend at least £6 billion to meet its target of doubling cycling and increasing walking by 2025, but sadly it’s become clear its commitment to active travel has been parked in this Budget and that’s a huge disappointment.”
28 | April 2020
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The Government said it also intends to deliver better local transport for towns, rural areas and other cities. In February, the Prime Minister announced £5 billion of new funding for buses and cycling, but further details of this won’t be announced until the Spending Review later this year. “[This] month, funding for active travel falls off a cliff, with no ring-fenced capital funding available to local authorities for cycling and walking,” adds Cycling UK’s head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore.
“Many local authorities have comprehensive plans for walking and cycling ready to be delivered” “The Government has asked them to produce local cycling and walking infrastructure plans, but there’s little chance that anything will actually be built when the question of funding keeps getting kicked into the long grass. “The Budget now sets the Government on a trajectory to fall even further behind on the delivery of its own targets for cycling and walking, targets it has admitted can’t be achieved without significantly increasing investment. “When dealing with climate, air pollution, congestion, and inactivity related public health crises, it’s immediate action that’s needed, not jam tomorrow.
The new fund to tackle potholes “may not be enough”
“Substantial investment to enable more people to walk and cycle, empower choice, and reduce car dependency particularly for short journeys, is one of the quickest, most cost-effective and obvious solutions to all of these crises, but tackling them through active travel has been ignored in this Budget.” Fixing potholes Elsewhere in the Budget, the chancellor announced £500 million per year from 2020-21 to 2024-25 to help tackle potholes and to stop them from forming. As a result, the Government will spend £1.5 billion in 2020-21 on filling in potholes and resurfacing roads. However, according to an analysis of the 2019 Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey – based on feedback from local authorities across England and Wales, the measures “may not be enough” and could leave more than two million potholes a year in need of repairs. It coincides with research published by Cycling UK revealing that only 10% of local authorities are meeting their own target times to fix potholes and road defects.
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The charity is calling on the Government to offer a long-term funding strategy, with the Asphalt Industry Alliance estimating that the current backlog will cost £9.79 billion to fix. The charity has said the Government needs to adopt a ‘fix it first approach’, to get the local roads in order. “While the Government talks about ‘levelling up’ the country’s infrastructure, the reality is that millions of miles of roads in the UK aren’t fit for purpose in the first place, and cyclists are being put at risk,” says Keir Gallagher, campaigns manager at Cycling UK. “The small increase in pothole funding in the Budget, from £1.3 billion to £1.5 billion in the next year, will do little to tackle the huge backlog of cases which have built up on local roads across the country. “The simple truth is that local authorities cannot deal with this issue without a long-term funding commitment from the Government, enabling them to plan ahead as opposed to constantly trying to play catch-up with the ever-expanding pothole crisis.” n
April 2020 | 29
The BikeLife movement has exploded and with celebrities like Stormzy getting involved, it’s hit the mainstream. Spring will see another BikeStormz event in London with up to 20,000 riders expected to take to the streets. Want your slice of the action? SE Bikes are leading the charge and we still have dealer opportunities available…
Focusing on the bikelife movement, the Rad Series bikes feature 6061 aluminium oval tubing and striking colours. These bikes are lightweight, comfortable and perfect for poppin’ wheelies in the streets or even taking out to the local BMX track or dirt jumps. Each bike comes equipped with Landing Gear forks, SE padset, number plate and, of course, #SEBIKESLIFE inspired flair.
With unique and ground-breaking bikes such as the original PK Ripper and Quadangle, along with sponsorship of legendary riders such as Stu Thomsen, Perry Kramer, and Mike Buff, SE Racing was at the forefront of the first BMX boom over four decades ago. The Retro BMX line was originally created for the old-school BMX enthusiast. But the audience for the SE Retro line has grown organically and the bikes are now in demand by all types of riders, regardless of age, history or knowledge of SE’s storied past. Get in touch today for a full price list. Bikes arriving from end of Feb onwards. firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 0131 319 1444
From concept to reality: VeloSkin on creating a cyclist-specific skincare brand Founder Chris Bairstow tells Rebecca Morley how VeloSkin stands out from the crowd
VeloSkin is the brainchild of founder Chris Bairstow
dentifying the best product to suit your needs can be challenging, especially when there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of difference between one option and the next. Skincare, in particular, can be a tricky category, with different products recommended for each and every weather condition. Launched in 2017, VeloSkin is the brainchild of founder Chris Bairstow. Discontent with the options on the market, he decided to create a cycling-specific, performance-based skincare brand. “When I was training in different weather conditions, I found that sometimes, the general products on the market weren’t performing as I expected them to,” Bairstow tells BikeBiz.
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“There were a lot of cycling-specific products on the market, but not many were very good. I began to investigate – I looked at what I wanted from different products and that’s when I started the development.” Premium quality The ethos of the brand was always to create performancebased products, Bairstow explains; one that is ‘better than the competition and is able to make a difference to our users’ lives’. Since launching and creating its chamois cream, VeloSkin has added four further premium skincare products to its range, including soothing gel and moisturiser, which are sold online and through a number of independent retailers.
April 2020 | 31
Chris Bairstow (centre) with Chris Iredale (left) and Andy Banks (right)
VeloSkin’s full range of products, including chamois cream, soothing gel and moisturiser “When I first created the brand, I wanted to ensure we provided a premium quality and finished product,” Bairstow continues. “I could have gone out and looked at plastic tubs, but it didn’t sit right with me. “People don’t recycle enough, and some simply don’t want to, even when it’s easy to do so. We looked at the options available, and felt the tins would be the best fit for our brand mission.” It was important for Bairstow that the full VeloSkin range accommodated vegan and plant-based lifestyles. “It’s something we’re looking to become recognised for, so we can endorse that on the various products we have,” he says.
“The IBD should be at the hub of any cycling community” A very British brand As with any start-up company, VeloSkin’s initial launch was not without its turbulence. “Customers never experienced any of those issues, but it was difficult to grow the brand to a level that I was happy with,” says Bairstow. By the beginning of 2019, many of those issues were resolved, and that’s when VeloSkin started to take off. “We’ve had really good growth on Amazon, and we’ve also taken on some new B2B customers,” Bairstow explains. “We like to support local bike shops, be it through social media, event promotion, or to endorse them as a retailer of ours. The IBD should be at the hub of any cycling community.
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“Bike shops are a place to start your ride – a place where you can get advice and maintenance. That’s what people need to understand, and that’s what we want to support as a brand.” One thing Bairstow is keen to improve is VeloSkin’s gender imagery. The cream is unisex and uses both male and female testers, and it’s something the brand is keen to make plain. “We have influencers and ambassadors of both genders using the product,” he says. “That was very important to us – I see the female racing and riders as a great growing market. “When we started, it was just friends helping us,” Bairstow continues, “and as a result, it appears quite male-orientated. Once we [had a more established business plan] we introduced female ambassadors straight away, and have an equal number of males and females. But we also need to improve our imagery, which we’re going to tackle this year.” VeloSkin is hoping to work with other brands that either share a similar ethos, or have a personal connection in one way or another. In December last year, having decided to sponsor a British continental team, it partnered with Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling with the aim of maximising the professional riders’ performance throughout 2020. Tom Timothy, Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling team principal, says: “We had a gap in our provision for a skincare provider and when VeloSkin approached us, as a passionate and forward-thinking British company, it felt like a great fit. With the range of VeloSkin products on offer, it will allow our team to be more comfortable during the day-to-day
All VeloSkin products fit in with a vegan or plant-based lifestyle
demands of training and racing, as we strive to continually improve every area of performance.” VeloSkin is, after all, a “very British brand”, says Bairstow, with everything produced in the UK. He adds: “We thought that getting involved with a British team would be really cool, and would raise brand awareness for us, and Ribble BB-APR20-CYCLE DIVISION:Layout 1 18/03/2020 14:00 Page 1 Weldtite came out as our favourite option.”
Future partners Bairstow says that because of the relative small size of VeloSkin, the brand is not yet “fixated on a certain path”. With that in mind, it’s currently in the process of growing its direct-to-business contacts, but is contemplating distribution partner options. “We’re considering avenues both in terms of how we can grow and how to best serve our customers,” explains Bairstow. “Late last year, we had some very positive discussions with one distributor, and those communications are still ongoing.” So, what else does the brand have in store for 2020? “We’re in discussion with various different local brands, such as Weldtite and OTE, about running competitions,” Bairstow says. “Yorkshire seems to be becoming a real cycle hub of different brands. “We’re looking to grow both our direct-to-consumer and B2B sales; we can certainly see that as being a really important avenue. We want to promote local bike shops within our various channels, and we’ve also got upcoming products currently in the R&D phase. Once they’re complete, we’ll look into how they can fit into the supply chain.” n
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April 2020 | 33
minutes with... This month, BikeBiz catches up with Premax founder and CEO Randall Cooper as the brand looks to expand its UK presence
Can you give us a short intro to Premax? Premax was established in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. I noticed that athletes would complain about the greasy sports creams available on the market at the time, so I decided to tackle the issue. Initially, we started with only a couple of massage creams. However, after a few years and some fantastic feedback from athletes, we started an athlete range with a core focus on cycling and triathlon. Where is Premax available? Premax is available in the UK and Australia. We do have limited distribution in Europe and Asia, however,
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we’re focusing on making sure we service our core markets well before we look to expand and become a true international brand. Our products are available online and in cycling, running and triathlon stores. What is your distribution model, and why does that suit Premax? We take a customer-centric approach and ensure that Premax is available both online and in store. Premax has an office and company registration in both Australia and the UK, and being ‘local’ in each country certainly helps us maintain strong relationships with our customers and trade partners.
What’s new this year? It’s a big year for Premax. We’re launching a brand new look, including an updated logo and packaging. We’ve moved away from white and clinical, to a sophisticated but sports-orientated aesthetic. Our new packaging also includes some new innovations. For example, our Anti Friction Balms are now in a slender tube with a slanted tip applicator allowing mess-free, highly specific application to body regions that get chafed. We’re also launching a brand new Warm Up Cream, with sodium bicarbonate, caffeine and magnesium in a skin conditioning based formula. There’s nothing like it so it’s pretty exciting. We also have another three products to launch before the end of the year so it’s a really significant time for Premax. What does Premax offer that its competitors perhaps do not? Authenticity is a big one. We’re one of the only true innovators in sports skincare, and we take a fresh approach to formulating every one of our products. We work with a large number of elite athletes and teams to ensure they’re the new benchmark. We pride ourselves on developing formulas that are not only effective,
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but a fantastic experience, nourishing and conditioning the skin. Our catchphrase is where ‘skin science meets athlete performance’. What is the target audience of the brand? We’re focusing on three key sports, cycling, running and swimming, and triathlon is the obvious fallout. We have some swim-specific products that we’re launching later this year, so we’re excited to build a complete performance skincare offering for these sports. How is consumer and IBD feedback for the current crop of Premax products? The feedback has been outstanding. Any product that is applied to the skin is personal, so it usually takes strong word of mouth and/or experience to have people try and change to our brand. However, when they do we’re finding the overwhelming majority of both IBDs and end customers stick with Premax. What are your plans beyond 2020? We feel sports skincare is a young and developing market and we look to continue to captain the category, working with our elite team partners and bring new, innovative products to market.
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Safety first Protected cycle space in London had tripled since 2016. Rebecca Morley meets with Sadiq Khan to look further into the Mayor of London’s achievement and what it means for the capital
Sadiq Khan meeting construction workers in Lambeth
stablishing adequate protected cycle space, both in London and around the country, is vital. If we’re to build greener cities and embolden more people to swap four wheels for two, people need to feel safe on the roads, and the constant traffic and congestion can be enough to discourage even the keenest of riders. In fact, according to a recent report by transport data firm Inrix, London ranked as the most congested city in the country in 2019, with the average commuter sitting idle for 149 hours per year. Across the capital, the total damage to
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the economy exceeded £4.9 billion, with the total cost to the UK economy at £6.9 billion. The need to convert more people into cyclists is apparent, and in February, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced that the amount of protected space for cycling in London – complete or under construction – has reached a total of 16km – more than triple the amount compared to May 2016. Marking this milestone, Khan met construction workers in Lambeth, who were building protected space for cycling along Baylis Road as part of Cycleway 5 between Waterloo and Clapham.
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The Mayor says he’s committed to expanding our network further
“I increased the cycling budget by more than 40% because the ambition was to, in four years, do more than the previous Mayor did in eight years,” Khan tells BikeBiz. “In eight years, the previous Mayor managed to get 50km of protected space. “We’ve not just increased the amount, we’ve tripled it to more than 160km. To give you an idea of the achievement, when I became Mayor, if you laid out the space, kilometre by kilometre, you could cycle from Leicester Square to Luton. Now you could cycle from Leicester Square to New Street Station in Birmingham. That’s the difference we’ve made.” The advantages, Khan continues, are huge. It helps with air quality and people’s fitness, as well as the problem of congestion on the roads. “I push to continue to invest and support cyclists,” he says. “I’m not saying mission accomplished. I’m saying there’s a lot done, and a lot more to do.” Record investment The Mayor says he is committed to further expanding London’s network of cycle routes, building on his record investment which has led to record cycling numbers across the capital.
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The total distance cycled in London on an average day in 2018 exceeded four million kilometres for the first time, the highest figure since monitoring began in 2015 and an increase of almost 5% from the previous year. Growth in cycling was particularly strong in central London, where the number of cycling trips increased by more than 5%. There was also strong growth in outer London, with an increase of 6%. “The Mayor is determined to enable more cycling all across the capital, and I’m really pleased  saw the biggest increase in the amount of cycling in London since records began,” says Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner. “It is clear that where we have invested in new highquality routes, people feel safer and more confident cycling on London’s streets. And it is yet more evidence for boroughs across London that investing in walking and cycling infrastructure works – getting more people healthy and active as part of their everyday routine, and making our streets cleaner, greener and safer.” Khan adds: “I’m determined to build on this success, which is why I’m committed to expanding our network further so that even more Londoners can enjoy using our high-quality cycleways to get around the city.”
Since 2016, more than 40km of protected space has been added through the Mini-Hollands programme, which includes Waltham Forest’s award-winning cycle network, Kingston’s Go Cycle scheme and Cycle Enfield. Last year, a new route through the heart of London, Cycleway 6, opened between Elephant and Castle and Kentish Town. The number of people using this new route since it was completed grew by 115% between September 2018 and September 2019. “I’m delighted that we have achieved our target of tripling protected space for cycling ahead of schedule,” adds Norman. “It’s clear that where we have built new high-quality infrastructure more Londoners are choosing to cycle, and our continued investment in a city-wide network will help support people of all ages and abilities to take to two wheels.”
“I’m not saying mission accomplished. I’m saying there’s a lot done, and a lot more to do” Sadiq Khan Facing fears Research shows that fear of collisions is one of the biggest factors putting people off cycling more often for their everyday journeys. TfL and the Mayor say they have committed to strict new standards for the capital’s network of high-quality Cycleways, based on the latest evidence, with a focus on traffic volumes and speeds, to give people confidence that all routes will be safe and fit for purpose. Fear of being involved in a collision, concerns around too much traffic and not feeling confident are amongst the main reasons why women in particular choose not to cycle. A TfL survey undertaken by 1,792 women across London also found that 60% of female cyclists would be encouraged to cycle more if they saw more women of their age and background cycling, which was particularly true of women under 25. For women who currently don’t cycle, 64% said they would cycle if they saw more people like them. This has prompted TfL to launch a campaign to encourage more women to take up cycling, with a series of workshops, events and a programme of activity set to be announced in May. “We invest heavily in making cycling in London safer and easier for everyone,” says Christina Calderato, TfL’s head of transport strategy and planning. “Despite lots of improvement, women are still persistently underrepresented in London’s cycling community.
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“It’s clear we need to change that, so they can access the range of benefits that cycling can bring.” In January, TfL set out plans to overhaul one of southeast London’s ‘most dangerous’ roads and make neighbourhoods between Greenwich and Woolwich safer for people walking and cycling, as part of its Vision Zero commitment to eliminating death and serious injury on London’s roads. Currently, road danger in the area is high, with 215 collisions leading to death or injury recorded along the A206 Woolwich Road in 2017 and 2018. In 2017, 18% of all casualties on the road were people cycling. “We know that fear of collisions is the main reason more people don’t cycle; we also know that a mass shift to cycling is essential to help address the climate emergency,” says Dr Ashok Sinha, CEO of London Cycling Campaign. “So we congratulate Sadiq and his walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman, on reaching this important milestone. It makes London safer for cycling and will help more people to reduce their carbon footprints by getting on their bikes.” “Protected space for cycling is absolutely vital in encouraging younger and more inexperienced riders to take up cycling,” says councillor Claire Holland, deputy leader of Lambeth Council (environment and clean air). “Keeping vulnerable road users safe by separating them from general traffic on our main roads, coupled with removing rat-running and traffic from our residential streets, will create the conditions for everyone to feel comfortable in making cycling a part of their everyday life. “I am really pleased that we have got a London Mayor who is putting his money where his mouth is and who is backing councils like ours in Lambeth with the money to deliver miles of new protected healthy routes so people can walk and cycle more.” In addition to creating protected space for cycling, investment has transformed some of London’s most dangerous and intimidating junctions, including Highbury Corner. TfL says it is on track to finish upgrades at 41 junctions in its Safer Junctions programme by May, with a further 27 soon to be in development. “We’ve got to encourage people to use public transport, and to walk and cycle,” Khan continues. “I realise though, that some people who want to cycle are scared, so we’ve got to make it safer. That means more protected space on the roads, but also improving the junctions. “There are lots of junctions that are dangerous, we need to make them safer. By May, there will be 41 junctions that we’ve made safer. It’s really important, we’re giving free cycling courses to young people and those who are not confident, and also making sure we’ve got an active strategy.” n
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What will Local Bike Shop Day bring in 2020?
LBSD returns on 2nd May. BikeBiz caught up with the ACT to find out more about what we can expect to see this year – should the current climate allow it
ndependent bike dealers are an indispensable part of the cycling industry. In a retail climate where consumers are shifting more and more to online purchases, the value of having physical stores that offer expert advice and services remains very high – as is the need to support them. Local Bike Shop Day (LBSD) aims to celebrate the successes of some of the best-loved small bike shops in the country, giving them the opportunity to highlight what sets them apart from the bigger national retailers. Last year’s LBSD saw more than 150 stores get involved – a 72% increase on the
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inaugural year, creating a real buzz and driving footfall into brick and mortar shops. If stores can continue to push special events, it will all help generate interest in IBDs and businesses offering something different and more personal than the bigger chains. It’s a day for shops to remind customers of their value, and why they matter to our industry. So, what can we expect from this year’s LBSD? Jonathan Harrison, marketing director at the ACT, tells BikeBiz how the day can become an integral part of the cycling calendar...
April 2020 | 41
LBSD was introduced in the UK in 2018 by the ACT and other partners to celebrate independent cycle shops and all the ways in which they help to support our local communities and economies. The day is designed to appeal to all cyclists – new and dedicated enthusiasts – with the aim of increasing online exposure and driving more footfall to IBDs up and down the country. Last year’s celebration, which was moved to May, was a huge success with over 150 local bike shops participating, a growth of 72% from the inaugural year. During the day, the hashtag #supportyourlocalbikeshop had a reach of over 75,000 via social media. This year has seen tremendous growth already in terms of the number of bike shops, suppliers, media partners and other key cycling organisations showing their support. One example is Cyclescheme, which is offering a selection of lucky customers who request or redeem a Cyclescheme certificate in a participating shop a £250 cycling gift card. With all this activity, it is predicted that the number of shops taking part will increase to over 350, more than doubling in size.
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Building momentum We have already seen considerable growth in the number of shops and consumers getting involved with LBSD, something that has so far been positively reflected in IBD sales. Over the past few years, we have seen other national holidays based on similar concepts work wonders for their industries. Record Store Day has helped to raise vinyl sales by 1.6% year-on-year reaching a 25-year high last year, and World Book Day increased the UK’s children’s book market by £1.4 million and the adult market by an incredible £2.4 million in 2016. Aside from the monetary value that the day offers, it also provides IBDs with an opportunity to use this day, dedicated to the cycling industry, to spread awareness of the positives of cycling to the general public; improving people’s physical health and fitness levels, taking pressure away from the strained NHS, reducing the congestion on the roads, mental health benefits... I could go on. In addition to raising awareness of the shops themselves, LBSD also aims to generate new customers for the industry by sparking an interest among those who may not have cycled for years.
LBSD Stories is a recent campaign that has been launched to give consumers the opportunity to read first-hand stories about local bike shops and what they do for the community.
Events such as guided bike rides that incorporate both scenic routes and elements of road cycling can help people to rediscover their passion for being on two wheels and aid them in building confidence on the roads. Along with our partner Cyclescheme, the first 250 IBDs to sign up on the website will be provided with a range of LBSD point of sale materials for use in store, including posters, flyers and window stickers – all free of charge. In another key incentive to encourage IBDs to promote the day to their customers, Cyclescheme will also be awarding six IBDs with up to £150 in vouchers to take their staff out. The vouchers will be presented to the shops that have been the most active on social media in the build up to LBSD and holding in-store events on the day. The current retail climate The uncertain future of the high street is something that is regularly reported on. The retail climate is consistently being faced by new and ongoing threats such as online competition and a series of successive storms and bad weather – not to mention the recent implications of a panic-inducing pandemic to add to the mix. Being surrounded by this news and witnessing it first-hand through the increasing number of empty shops on the high street can be disheartening – not only to the independent retailers being affected, but to the general public as they see their favourite shops close one by one. Now more than ever, it is vital we shine light on the importance of shopping locally, to remind the public that the local bike shop, where they bought their first bicycle, won’t remain there without their help. Initiatives such as LBSD are increasing in popularity as the industry is recognising that something needs to be done to support the IBD before it is too late. Here at the ACT, we believe that helping consumers to learn more about who their local bike shops are and why they are important is the first step in encouraging them to shop local.
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Beginning the cycling season Feedback obtained from participating shops in last year’s LBSD suggested that the date worked well. May is often one of the busiest times of the year for IBDs, for many cyclists the May bank holiday marks the beginning of the cycling season. It’s the time of year when the sun begins to break through the residual winter clouds for more than just a few hours, encouraging cycling enthusiasts to get their bikes serviced to account for any winter damage, and a time when novices begin to feel inspired to venture into the great outdoors. What better time than this to promote to current and potential customers all of the benefits that cycling has to offer? The good weather – combined with a great deal at their local bike shop – should be all the encouragement that any customer needs to get back on two wheels.
'Now more than ever, it is vital we shine light on the importance of shopping locally' The ACT is already working towards making the 2021 LBSD even bigger and better than ever. As word spreads of the success that participating IBDs are having in attracting new customers and driving footfall through the door, we expect more bike shops to want to get involved and fully utilise the day. A specific aim that has so far been set for 2021 includes increasing the number of participating shops to around 500 – a 400% increase from the introductory year. The ACT would also like to maximise consumer reach of the day by encouraging participating IBDs to amplify their involvement. This includes getting on social media in the run-up to the day and urging entire communities to take part, helping to spread the news as far and wide as possible. The long-term aim is to work together as a collective industry to make LBSD an integral part of the cycling calendar; a day when suppliers, IBDs and customers can work together to mutually benefit each other and celebrate their love for cycling. n
April 2020 | 43
Helmets 1 2
Distributor: Ison Distribution
Distributor: Silverfish UK
The Scope is TSG’s flagship mountain bike enduro helmet, featuring superior head coverage, enhanced adjustability and a brand new look and construction. The lower fitting profile delivers better coverage for a rider’s temples, while 3-point height adjustability makes the fit of the helmet super customisable. Additional features of the ultra-modern design include a channel for the secure fit of strap-on headlamps and POV cameras, a dynamic venting system integrated into the design of the shell and a visor with space to hold goggles securely when not worn.
100%’s Altec is a confidence inspiring, protective, lightweight and well-ventilated all-mountain helmet. Featuring the Smartshock suspended rotational system, it is designed to reduce energy transfer to the brain over a wide range of speed and impact types. The Altec features 15 vents to give massive airflow, an integrated sunglass storage system, and an adjustable visor designed for maximum vision and goggle stowage. Available in six colours, the Altec recently won MBUK Magazine’s coveted Most Wanted accolade.
The Chiru is a brand new MTB lid from Lazer designed to provide safety and style at a fantastic price point. The colourmatched and fully integrated visor helps on sunny days and 15 vents keep you cool while you’re riding. At the back, the TS+ retention system with Adjustable Head Basket makes for a secure and comfortable fit that’s easy to adjust on the fly. MIPS and non-MIPS versions are available and there are seven colours to choose from.
Caipi boasts a lightweight construction, and features 22 individual ports for optimum cooling, as well as integrated ventilation built into the lightweight visor. All-round head coverage is generous, offering the increased protection required for off-road riding, including the extended rear section – featuring additional ventilation – which covers the back of the head down to a line level with the base of the skull. The neat peak offers protection from spray, trail debris and the sun.
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Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
Distributor: Moore Large
Distributor: Jungle Products
Distributor: Extra UK
The Legitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s incredibly lightweight construction provides impact performance exceeding safety standards. Vents and channelling are optimised for all day sessions, with two big exhaust holes working in synergy with the EPS channels for a refreshed feeling and high and low speeds, whilst hearing vents and the flexible safetyrelease visor work to keep you safe and confident on the bike. Available in a choice of five colour options and four sizes plus the option to upgrade to the Carbon Legit for those looking for a top of the range solution.
The Haga LED is the new urban helmet from Alpina. Discreetly applied LEDs allow the bike helmet to light up, making you more visible. Its athletic, dynamic and clean look makes it the perfect choice for commuters and urban cyclists with high standards for their own style. The proven Alpina fit ensures that it does not slip or move. RRP ÂŁ125
The Ripper MIPS helmet is a performance mountain bike helmet at an unbeatable price. Benefitting from the development of the high-end helmets in the Sweet Protection line, the Ripper provides safety, comfort and style without breaking the bank. With extended coverage this helmet provides excellent protection yet optimal ventilation. Easily adjustable with the Occigrip turn-dial system. This model is equipped with the MIPS Brain Protection System, a low-friction layer solution designed to reduce rotational forces transferred to the brain.
The Macator is an entry-level performance helmet for cyclists looking for an outstanding all-round product. The modern form extends lower around the nape area boosting protection while comfortable padding and excellent ventilation make it a reliable every-day partner. The removable visor allows the helmet to be used in a wide range of disciplines. The 5 air inlets and 8 air outlets ensure that you are always kept cool.
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Intake / Intake MIPS
Distributor: Silverfish UK
Distributor: Oxford Products
Distributor: Cycling Sports Group
100% Trajecta. The new name for stylish, class-leading performance and safety features in a full face enduro MTB helmet. Conceived from the start with the Smartshock suspended rotational system fully integrated, you won’t find a more breathable, ultralight and comfortable helmet that helps keep riders focused all day long. Trajecta features an industryleading 24 ventilation ports, a multi-point adjustable visor designed for maximum vision and goggle stowage, and a washable, moisture wicking anti-microbial liner.
The Kali Invader is a gamechanging Enduro helmet. A lightweight (weighing just 640 grams), full face helmet, with aggressive ventilation designed to keep the rider cool when climbing. Packed with protective features such as Composite Fusion and a Low Density Layer, the Invader is covered by Kali’s lifetime crash replacement policy. Available in 4 colourways and with adjustable pads, the perfect look and fit is easily achieved. The Invader is finished off with a moto-style visor and fidlock snap buckle.
Distributor: Greyville Enterprises
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Safety can be fun with Crazy Stuff Children’s helmets in a selection of animal designs. The Chipmunk illustrated is complemented by Wild Skull and Pink Bunny designs. These are illustrated on our website. Complying with EN1078 and TUV standards, these helmets are a safe and easy way to get a child into the idea of wearing a helmet at an early age. Matching bells and locks complete the range and are also illustrated on our website.
The Intake is designed for the latest generation of cyclists who aren’t confined to riding on tarmac. Road, paths, gravel and dirt, this helmet will match your style when taking on any discipline. Available in both MIPS and regular, the Intake is comfortable, affordable and is also raced by the factory team professionals. RRP from £59.99.
Agilis / Agilis MIPS
DBX 4.0 V20.1
Distributor: Moore Large
The Agilis and Agilis MIPS are the right choice for riders looking for a helmet that combines airy design with slightly deeper coverage and a host of performance features aimed at road and multi-surface riding. The fit is comfortable and secure thanks to our adjustable Roc Loc 5.5 MIPS system that combines fit and positioning adjustments, while integrating with MIPS technology for an added measure of protection in the event of an angled impact.
The Parachute MCR is MET’s convertible full-face helmet developed for enduro, all-mountain and e-MTB riding. Its magnetic chin-bar release, created in partnership with Fidlock, instantly converts from full to open-face helmet and back. Featuring the MIPS brain protection system and complying with ASTM 1952-15/2032-15 (shell and chinbar), it offers the highest level of protection from linear and rotational impacts. MSRP: £300
ETC’s helmet range caters for riders of all ages and disciplines. Using the latest materials and styling, ETC helmets offer up to date rider safety, fashionably and affordably
The DBX 4.0 delivers incredible fit, 22 vents, low weight (850g) and ASTM DH certification. In-moulded EPS + EPO impact foam provides superior energy absorption while Leatt’s 360° Turbine Technology reduces up to 30% of head impact at concussion level and up to 40% of rotational acceleration to head and brain. A Dri-Lex anti-odour inner liner keeps things fresh and a Fidlock magnetic closure system keep things secure, giving you peace of mind to push your limits on the trail.
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TRAILBLAZER As trail riding and bikes evolve, so should the performance of your helmet. The Trailblazer is the latest evolution of our pioneering multi-piece variable elasticity shell technology, leading the way in protection performance. Now you can blaze trails thought to be unrideable. UK Distribution by: Jungle Products Ltd. Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: jungleproducts.co.uk
2020 summer range
Intent / Intent MIPS
Super Air R
Distributor: Cycling Sports Group
Kiddimoto is well known for its balance bikes, bells, gloves and helmets with fashionable and coordinating graphics. The new 2020 summer range of super cool helmets will be available for dealers to stock just in time for Easter and the summer season. The new graphics include Unicorns, Llamas, Comic, Paws, Flowers and Love Hearts. Matching accessories are also available. Great display options and handsome margins.
A carbon-shelled, full-face mountain bike helmet that brings top-level performance and safety in a cutting-edge, lightweight design. Weighing just 750g in a size M, Defender’s all-carbon outer shell helps to keep weight to a minimum, while providing maximum protection for the rider thanks to full head coverage, including a chin guard. For enthusiasts and racers alike, it blends the latest full-face helmet construction technologies and materials with the sleek and stylish design that Kask is renowned for.
The all-new Intent helmet from Cannondale is mountain bike ready – built for singletracks, enduro trails and long days out. The full coverage, new trailshape MTB helmet comes in either MIPS or regular, with full adjustment and air vents throughout. Available in several colours and out now in all sizes. RRP from £69.99.
As pioneers of removable chin bar technology, we have a legacy to uphold and overcome. Bell designed the Super Air R from the ground up to push the boundaries of performance and versatility. With class-leading Flex Spherical + MIPS technology, superior ventilation, a total weight that is 144g lighter than its predecessor and an easy 2-click removable chin bar, this is a true all-mountain performer.
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Hawk and Pegasus
Distributor: Ultra Sport EU
Distributor: Oxford Products
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
Distributor: Ultra Sport EU
The Signal helmet provides cyclists with an exceptional custom fit and elevated protection wrapped in Smith’s signature style. By integrating Smith’s proven VaporFit fit system with a MIPS liner system – the Signal delivers a tailormade fit for every rider across four unique shell sizes. The Signal’s AirEvac ventilation system and engineered eyewear storage delivers the ultimate integration you expect from a Smith helmet.
The Hawk and Pegasus youth helmets are new additions to the Oxford helmet range. The colourful speckled design of the helmet with matching coloured peak is a real eye catcher, which is also enhanced by a removable rear LED light. The helmet caters for most youth sized heads with the helmet sizes ranging from 42cm to 56cm. Ample comfort is provided by the 19 vents for maximum cooling and an integrated dual fit for swift adjustment and secure fit.
The BH-C25 Helmet range from XLC is the perfect entry-level adults’ helmet for leisure and commuting. The BH-C25 features 15 vents to ensure all day comfort and weight reduction as well as removable internal pads for a retail price of just £20.99. It is available in a choice of four different colour options and two different sizing options, 53-58cm and 58-61cm, to suit a range of customers.
Whether speeding through your commute, or enjoying a breezy weekend, the Hudson is certified to keep you safe. Designed with the urban commuter in mind, the Hudson comes with an integrated LED light and reinforced u-lock vents. The Hudson is meticulously designed to keep you comfortable with 13 strategically place vents for optimal airflow.
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Vector Tech MIPS
Distributor: Extra UK
Distributor: Oneway Bike Industry
Distributor: Extra UK
Our most popular urban helmet and not without reason! The Urban-I 3.0 is a perfectly equipped city helmet full of practical features, such as large reflectors and a high mounted LED taillight with 180° visibility. Integrated bug-mesh and a Fidlock buckle that can be easily used even with thick winter gloves.
Improving protection and impact performance is the number one priority of the Alpinestars Vector helmet. Both Vector helmets are designed with extended coverage. The outer shell is made from a vacuum formed PC in-mold with EPS inner liner and reinforced with a rigid internal frame embedded into the molded helmet. With the Vector Helmet’s inner size ring, riders are able to make easy snap length and height adjustments to improve fit. The Vector Tech helmet comes standard with the MIPS system.
Why is the badger the namesake for our top MTB helmet? Because it’s not afraid of anything and does not shy away from wild terrain, no matter whether it’s a challenging trail tour or a multi-day alpine-cross adventure. It offers maximum protection and always sits on your head unobtrusively thanks to the great fit and functional details. And so just as the badger is a domestic animal, the Badger helmet is also a complete in-house CUBE development.
The StormChaser offers the right performance for any race: road, cross and even crit. It is light, comfortable, perfectly ventilated and the ActiCage, a structural reinforcement built into the EPS, offers superb protection. Boasting perfect fit for people with long hair and featuring a finely tuneable retention system with height and length adjustment for customisable fit. 7 air inlets and 16 air outlets allow excellent ventilation.
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Hedkayse | ONE
Z Lok Combo
Link and Link Plus Helmet Lights
The Sixer takes to the trail with Bell’s integrated MIPS technology, resulting in a sleeker, closer-to-the-head fit that combines with Bell’s Float Fit system and proprietary Sweat Guide to ensure unprecedented comfort in a helmet. Goggle compatibility, complete with a strap gripper at the rear of the helmet, adjustable visor height, integrated camera/light mount and a full hard shell round out the package.
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Designed to withstand the daily grind, the Hedkayse | ONE is the biggest advance is cycle helmet safety for over 40 years. Lined with our own material Enkayse, Hedkayse | ONE doesn’t break on impact, it absorbs the impact’s energy, retain its integrity and continues to perform to EN1078 standards over and over again. The helmets tough, flexible outer shell, patented X-Strap and velcro back strap enable it to expand and contract to fit head sizes from 49 to 58.5cm and fold away to 50% of its constructed width to fit conveniently into your bag.
Distributor: Ultimate Sports Engineering Ltd The perfect way to get noticed on busy roads. While other lights are obscured from view by traffic and other distractions, these 360 degree visibility beacons mounted high up on the helmet give you the advantage of being noticed first. Available in either a compact, Link, or a more powerful version, Link Plus. Also with a day time specific pulse pattern, DayBright, designed for daylight use which is more obvious than a regular pulse and visible from over a kilometre away, even in the brightest conditions.
Distributor: ZyroFisher Technology advancements mean the latest helmets don’t come cheap – so you’ll want to make sure you lock them down at stops. Hiplok’s innovative compact security tie weighs less than a nutrition bar but with a steel core running through it, cinch locking and an integrated 3 digit combination code lock, it’s an ideal helmet lock. £19.99
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Opening our doors In these uncertain times we are opening our doors to every IBD. Whether you’re open or closed you can earn commission from every order on Freewheel when the consumer selects you as their local store. &RQWDFW \RXU 0DGLVRQ RU 6SRUWOLQH VDOHV DJHQW WR ȴ QG RXW PRUH
COVID-19: IBD guidance All “non-essential” shops must close due to the spread of COVID-19. However, this does not apply to bike shops, meaning it remains up to cycle shop owners to decide whether to remain open for business, fully or partially. In response, the Bicycle Association has published the following guidance for retailers….
e recognise the challenges in continuing to operate your business in these conditions. Although permitted to remain open, shops must also consider the safety of staff, and decide whether the support they provide for key workers using cycling for transport, and for those using bikes for health and exercise, justifies any additional risks that may remain even with social distancing measures in place. If bike shops close voluntarily, it is our understanding that they will (like all UK businesses, not just those ordered to close) still be eligible for Government support measures, including the 80% wages support for furloughed employees. Also, if you decide to stay open, it need not be with your usual full service. Other models adopted by dealers which you may wish to consider include: • • •
Operate by appointment only Operate on a ‘collect and deliver’ basis in your local area Operate on a ‘drive through/takeaway’ basis – customers order goods over the phone and staff bring the goods out to their car/bicycle Open for key workers only, perhaps by appointment Continue to operate by mail order only
If you do open, we strongly advise taking all precautions to minimise infection risk to staff and customers. We are developing further guidance, but for example:
Ensure strict cleanliness and handwashing procedures are in place, per Government guidance Control customer entry either by an appointment system or by a locked door to limit customer numbers in store, so that social distancing can be maintained in a managed environment Try to avoid contact during payments. Ask customers to use contactless for payments up to £30
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Above that, consider asking them to use their own phone in-store to make a payment via your online shop, by PayPal, or by faster payments bank transfer Consider restricting access to or blocking customers from all soft goods, shoes, helmets and clothing, as these are especially hard to sanitise following contact, compared to hard surface items Inform customers at or before entry of your precautions and request they minimise contacts and maintain social distancing Use social media to inform customers of cleaning protocols, opening hours and operating procedures Receive and handover bikes for servicing and repair outside of the store
Bike shops are providing an important service at this time and it is critical that public support is maintained in the face of significant retail closures. If you decide to remain open, it is important that you explain to your customers the reasons for doing so – and the key messages should be around servicing and repair of bikes for transport and exercise during the lockdown period.
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