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‘When you factor in the past ten months, an already productive industry becomes a thriving marketplace’
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Reasons to be cheerful
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As I sign off for 2020 and reflect upon my third year in the cycle trade, I think it’s fair to say that we, as an industry, can feel considerably more positive about the current state of affairs than we did back in March. We’ve witnessed a remarkably challenging period, and our short-term future remains unclear, but as the coronavirus bike boom rages on, and a vaccine appears on the horizon, it’s somewhat soothing to be able to look ahead to 2021 with cautious optimism. Two years ago, Research and Market predicted that the global cycling market will be worth £34.5 billion by 2022. It’s a figure that demonstrates just how much business there is to go around, and, when you factor in the past ten months, an already productive industry becomes a thriving marketplace. Our final edition of 2020 rounds up a fascinating year for UK distributors Bob Elliot, Extra UK, Hotlines, Ison, Silverfish, Upgrade and ZyroFisher (p15), while Rebecca Morley reports from the first digital Ebike Summit (p27). Elsewhere, the Bicycle Association teams up with Sports Marketing Surveys to explore Christmas buying habits in 2020 (p32), while James Smith analyses consumers’ preferences when making a purchase (p36). Last, and certainly not least, remember to keep a keen eye out for our BikeBiz Awards 2020 winners, which will be announced on Friday 11th December. Voting has now closed, and votes are currently being tallied. We thank you all once again for your nominations, entries and votes! I can’t quite believe we’ve reached that time of year again, but from all of us at BikeBiz, we wish you a wonderful Christmas and look forward to seeing you again in 2021.
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A cycling game changer Cycleplan CEO Paul Williams identifies key industry trends and impacts following the initial lockdown period
15 The year in review BikeBiz catches up with seven UK distributors to reflect on a bizarre yet successful year for the cycling industry
Electrifying the transport sector The Ebike Summit 2020, in partnership with EDF Energy, took place online last month, discussing how the e-bike industry can help promote sustainable transport
36 An ethical approach? In the penultimate article of a four-part series, James Smith looks at consumers’ preferences when making a purchase
A rollercoaster year Bike retailers have seen a rise in demand in 2020 – leading to surging sales and stock shortages. But what can we expect as we head into the new year?
Five minutes with… Insync This month, BikeBiz catches up with Insync Bikes’ head of IBD sales Wayne Clarke
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POINTS OF VIEW
A cycling game changer By Paul Williams, Cycleplan CEO
t’s safe to say that 2020 has been a turbulent year. None of us could have predicted the extraordinary upheaval brought about by COVID-19, or the farreaching effects it continues to have on our daily lives. Amidst the many tragedies of the pandemic, however, have emerged a few positive outcomes – one being the significant increase in people taking up cycling across the UK. Not least for the benefits that cycling is proven to have on our physical and mental health; both of which have been markedly at stake over the past 12 months. Indeed, we polled policyholders on the topic in April and two-thirds of the 547 respondents told us that cycling boosts their mood. A further 47% said it helps them to manage anxiety and 51% of respondents stated that it helps them to reduce stress. It’s been more important than ever to maintain resilience during this difficult period – and we know that cycling has been a helpful coping strategy for many. But cycling does come with a degree of risk. Injury, accident, damage and theft are sadly not uncommon. Which is why specialist cycling insurance is a necessity, not simply a nice-to-have. It has therefore been encouraging to see that sales of insurance products to new cyclists have grown significantly in line with the spike in bike sales during the initial wave of the pandemic. Our sales are currently up 380% year-on-year and we know from our partners that this picture is mirrored across the wider industry. Moreover, besides sales volumes, coronavirus has impacted cycling insurance in a number of other ways.
Shifting claim types Firstly, the pandemic – alongside the resulting wholesale changes in consumer behaviour – has created a shift in the types of claim being made. We saw a noticeable shift towards damage claims during the first national lockdown, due to an increase in people using their bikes for exercise and taking longer leisure rides. Less experienced cyclists, who may have discovered or returned to the activity after a long time, are also more likely to cause damage to their bike through scrapes and crashes. Theft has also been an issue. National statistics from BikeRegister show that bike theft surged by almost 50% year-on-year this summer, with thieves taking advantage of the spike in demand for bikes to supply reseller websites with low-cost cycles. It’s a problem that has sadly affected some of the most vulnerable and hardworking members of society. Many of us will remember reports of NHS workers’ bikes being stolen from hospitals and medical centres during the early days of lockdown. This led us to introduce a 50% discount for NHS staff which we know benefitted many people. We’ve also been working to educate new cyclists on security best practice, such as locking up to an immovable object and regularly changing your parking spot. Spreading the safety message The increase in cyclists on the road unfortunately creates a greater opportunity for accidents to occur – especially as many people will not yet be experienced riders.
December 2020 | 7
POINTS OF VIEW
We’re keeping a close eye on the trials currently taking place across the UK, particularly following the Transport Committee’s report which recommended the devices be fully legalised. We recently launched an e-scooter product so that early adopters of the technology can be covered right now for use on private land; and then on public roads if and when legislation is passed. With the growing trend of micromobility comes greater awareness of the risks involved so, naturally, there will be opportunities for insurers if it continues to develop. However, insurance isn’t currently mandatory for cyclists and we don’t yet have clarity on cover that may be required for e-scooters if the current trials are successful. So, time will tell the impact that this has on the industry as a whole. ‘The UK’s approach to cycling is still behind the curve in comparison to many of our global counterparts’
The UK is not up to speed when it comes to developing safe and secure cycling routes, despite efforts by many road safety campaigners to the contrary. To analyse and help combat safety concerns, we recently launched a national survey of over 1,500 regular cyclists, which found that 35% of respondents have been injured while cycling in the past 12 months. The resulting campaign – Pedal Safe – seeks to highlight the dangers associated with cycling, while arming people with the knowledge and tools they need to ride more safely in future. Of course, the introduction by the UK Government of a £2 billion investment package to improve cycling infrastructure within towns and cities will also help, but we mustn’t lose momentum. Micromobility Looking ahead, we predict that micromobility will be a major trend for 2021. Whitehall is clearly committed to transforming the way we travel around towns and cities, so the shift seems inevitable. E-bikes, which help to remove the fitness barrier that puts many people off cycling, have seen a threefold sales spike during 2020. And, whereas 18 months ago, we had e-bikes representing around 10% of our policies taken, that tally is now closer to 19%. Already popular with commuters, it seems likely that e-bikes will be a key mode of transport for those returning to the workplace in the future. What’s more, there are clear signs that the legalisation of e-scooters on roads would be well-received by the public.
8 | December 2020
Mobilising around the opportunity For obvious reasons, 2020 has been a game changer for cycling. Shifting consumer behaviour in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a clear opportunity – and it’s one that we must seize upon with both speed and momentum. In many ways, the UK’s approach to cycling is still behind the curve in comparison to many of our global counterparts. So, although it’s true that the Government has backed cycling infrastructure projects and public health campaigns for some time, we now have the chance to capitalise on a pivotal moment and become truly bike-first. In practice, this will require much more than token gestures. We need radical action to ensure that cycling is prioritised across towns and cities – more parking, a joined-up network of cycle lanes, better security and easy access charging points for e-bikes... that’s just the start. Happily, this all aligns with the ongoing road to carbon neutral project and soon-to-be restored focus on environmental concerns from the incoming Biden administration. There is, clearly, still so much to do. But it’s time for the industry to make a bold step change in the way we approach cycling in the UK – watch this space! n
‘The increase in cyclists on the road unfortunately creates a greater opportunity for accidents to occur – especially as many people will not yet be experienced riders’
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APPOINTMENTS This month’s movers and shakers throughout the cycle industry... Nikki Hawyes, Dorel Sports
Andy Shepherd, POC
Dorel Sports has appointed Nikki Hawyes as the new country leader for the CSG UK and Pacific Cycle UK businesses, as Russell Merry leaves after a decade at the helm. Hawyes is joining Dorel Sports from ZyroFisher, where she has been since 2009, most recently as director of brands across the UK, Ireland and France. She will join on 6th January 2021 and will report to Eugene Fierkens, SVP and GM CSG Europe. Hawyes will also oversee the Pacific Cycle UK business, which is being bolstered through new and existing UK and European customers with the Schwinn and Mongoose brands. Peter Woods, CEO of Dorel Sports, said: “Nikki and Eugene share a bold vision for the business, and I look forward to seeing the UK and European teams work together to deliver it. The future looks bright for the entire Dorel Sports portfolio.” n
Andy Shepherd has joined POC’s UK team as account manager. The new UK sales organisation, which was created earlier this year, is managed by recently appointed POC UK country manager Oliver Coxhead. Shepherd will have responsibility for managing cycle and snow independents along with selected strategic accounts. He will work closely with existing retailers and a new retailer base to support POC’s growth and brand in the UK. “I am really thrilled to be working for such an innovative and exciting brand and look forward to working directly with the retailer base in the UK,” said Shepherd. “To be able to take POC’s safety mission to a bigger community is fantastic and by dedicating and focusing on both the cycle and snow portfolio, it is an exciting opportunity to build a sustainable UK business.” n
Arleigh Greenwald, Tern
James Smith, Discount Sports Network
Tern and Stile Products, Tern’s North American branch office, have welcomed Arleigh Greenwald to the team. As Stile product marketing manager, Greenwald will be responsible for content creation and dealer training for the North American market. In addition, Greenwald will be part of the Tern global product development team, helping to shape the future of the Tern lineup. “We’ve worked with Arleigh for many years and she’s always been one of our favourite and most knowledgeable dealers,” said Steve Boyd, general manager for Stile. “When we heard that Arleigh was closing her bike shop in Denver to move with her wife and kids to the East Coast, and that she was looking for something new to focus on, we jumped at the opportunity to add her to the team.” n
James Smith has joined Discount Sports Network as a brand consultant, to raise its profile and increase its network of brands. “We have seen huge growth over the last nine months, with over 150,000 members gaining exclusive discounts to hundreds of brands including Tredz, Le Col, Pro Bike Kit, Nike, Adidas, Go Outdoors, Blacks, Halfords and many more,” said Discount Sports Network’s founder and CEO David Birch. “James has extensive experience in brand development, network growth, people and processes. This will be incredibly important to us as we expand internationally. With an office opening in the US next year and further growth plans across Europe, James is the natural choice to help us with our expansion plans and is a perfect fit for our team. I am super excited to have him on board and look forward to many years working together.” n
10 | December 2020
Patrick Kos, SunRace Sturmey-Archer
Brian Facer, British Cycling
SunRace Sturmey-Archer has taken the next step in expanding, following the appointment of Ruud Bokhout as general manager earlier this year. Patrick Kos joined the team in Mijdrecht, where the European sales and distribution office is located, on 1st October as sales manager. He will mainly focus on the north and west of Europe. With this, SunRace said it is “taking the next step” towards increasing its market share in the European market. Kos is a former European champion on the track and therefore brings along the necessary knowledge about the application of the products. He has previously worked for YongLi, a Chinese manufacturer of conveyor belts, where he was also employed as sales manager. After taking over the baton from predecessor Alan Clarke, Bokhout has focused on increasing market share in Europe. Investments are being made in the European team, in addition to investments in production capacity in Taiwan. n
British Cycling has appointed Brian Facer as its next chief executive officer. Facer, who is a British Cycling member and rides with Daventry CC, will join from London Irish and take up the role early in the new year as the replacement for Julie Harrington, who leaves in January. “I am delighted to conclude the search for a new chief executive officer for British Cycling with the appointment of Brian,” said British Cycling chair Frank Slevin. “When I announced Julie’s departure in July, I described the job as one of the best in British sport and that was reflected in the calibre of applicants. “However, Brian was the clear choice in what was a competitive field of candidates. I look forward to him bringing the commercial expertise he has developed in his career to ensure that our federation can sustainably provide the best support for our sport, for our members and for anyone who wants to get on a bike.” n
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December 2020 | 11
The cycling revolution: here to stay? European leaders recently met virtually with European Commission executive vice-president Frans Timmermans to discuss how cycling can enable a green recovery in Europe. Rebecca Morley reports
he COVID-19 pandemic has been widespread in Europe in 2020. Our cities and countries have gone from lockdown to recovery and back to lockdown, with all aspects of our daily lives changed in one way or another. And many people have changed their transport habits, taking a fresh look at how sustainable their mobility is. “For quite some weeks during lockdown, motorised mobility came to a near standstill,” says Jill Warren, coCEO of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), at a round table discussion with European leaders in October. “Quiet and empty streets ruled the day and gave us new perspectives as well as attracted old and new cyclists. When lockdown eased, cities had to ensure that people could move about safely and respect social distancing, and that we didn’t go from lockdown to traffic gridlock if more people turn to their cars to achieve social distancing – not an easy challenge for our cities and countries to face.” In fact, transport experts in the UK recently warned of traffic gridlock in Britain in the wake of the pandemic, as workers shun public transport. Transport secretary Grant Shapps unveiled a £250 million emergency active travel fund back in May, and just last month released £175 million to councils across England to create safe space for cycling and walking. But what impact will this, and other active travel schemes across the continent, have? “More cycling must be at the heart of all European plans,” says Christophe Najdovski, City of Paris deputy mayor and ECF president. “First, we need to invest in infrastructure, to ensure accessible places for all citizens of all ages to cycle safety, for the whole length of their journey. “Across the whole EU, we predict that a minimum of €10 billion is needed to enable more EU cities to catch up
12 | December 2020
with the measures implemented since March of this year in cities like Paris.” How has the pandemic influenced mobility throughout our cities? Many cities across the world have noted an increase in the demand for cycling, as people enjoyed quieter streets and cleaner spaces during lockdown. And there is also a demand for lessening our emissions, says Frans Timmermans, executive vice-president of the European Commission.
People have embraced cycling in many cities across the continent
“If a third of our emissions are in cities, a lot can be achieved by decarbonising public transport in combination with a more modular way of getting around in cities. “Cycling is, by definition, the best way of solving this problem. We would like to enter into strategic partnerships with cities across the European Union, to exchange experience, to give support to this development, because it is part of creating greener and healthier cities. Bike lanes are a no-regret investment. “In the past, cycling was something for younger people and in the flatter areas of Europe. But electric bikes have made it more accessible to all ages. That should help introduce this idea of cycling as a fundamental part of the solution of our mobility challenge, especially in urban areas. “The other revolution we’ve seen is that in most European countries, where cycling was seen as a sport and recreation, the image of people in their suits riding in the city has now become more common.” The pandemic has also seen an increase in the number of people working from home, meaning there have been fewer commuters in and around our cities. “I think our urgency is to take the road space we have as quickly as we can,” says Eamon Ryan, minister for climate action, communication networks and transport in Ireland, “so when the pandemic starts to ease and people start to return to work, they get back on bikes.” But Ryan points out another issue the industry has faced this year; the popularity of cycling has risen so much that some have faced a supply shortage. “In Europe, we need to think of how to strengthen our local manufacturing industries to supply local bikes.” The reason for this shortage, says Timmermans, is that most bike components are made in China and then assembled in Europe. “It’s emblematic for one of the challenges we have as Europeans with our economy, there is a need to build up more resilience in Europe. Part of that is to look at our supply chains. I’m not saying you should become protectionist, but we should be able to build our own bikes, e-bikes, batteries or electric buses.” Timmermans also highlights how peoples’ mentalities have been deeply influenced by the COVID crisis. “They have taken a different look at how they get around, but also at the value of having a clean city and fewer cars on the streets. We should use this momentum to get us into a cleaner environment and more onto bikes.
“It should be accessible to all generations and economic circumstances. It shouldn’t be a luxury; it should be part of our transport mix and I encourage mayors to keep in dialogue with us to see where we could facilitate this.” But when lockdown restrictions do eventually ease fully and life returns to ‘normal’, will people continue to work from home – and how might these decisions impact the demand for cycling? “The whole transport system is changing – this idea that everyone comes from the far distant suburbs into the centre and then in the evening goes back out again,” says Ryan. “Even after COVID hopefully is resolved, I don’t think we will go back to that. I think the distant networking will stay.” We also need to disincentivise cars, says Timmermans. “It’s not just about introducing a bicycle, it’s also about introducing a model of transport that would make it easier for people to leave their cars outside the city. “System integration is something that I would like to put on the table. If I look at my oldest kids’ generation, they don’t think in terms of owning a car anymore. They own a car if they have no alternative, but they want their transport needs to be addressed. They want to get from one place to the other and the easier we can make it on public transport, the less they feel the need to have or use their own car.” n The COVID-19 pandemic has been omnipresent in Europe in 2020
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The year in review
2020 has undoubtedly been an unorthodox year, with independents, brands and distributors alike feeling the inevitable effects of a turbulent period for businesses the world over. BikeBiz caught up with seven UK distributors to reflect on a bizarre yet successful period for the cycling industry
December 2020 | 15
Bob Elliot Paul Elliot, director
Overview 2020 has been an extremely enjoyable challenge for us. We have seen unprecedented demand on the business from around April which has resulted in us urgently needing to adapt our model to cope and continue to support customers/suppliers with a high-level service. Communication has been absolutely key to this, and working closely with our supply network has resulted in us taking in more stock than ever before (despite recognised shortages) and extended working hours have allowed us to continue our reliable despatch service. Our hard-working team has allowed us to fare as well as we could have done, and collectively we continue to put plans in place for what lies ahead in 2021. Brand changes We havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lost any brands in 2020, albeit we have phased a couple of underperforming brands out of the portfolio. We have achieved a 150% increase in production on our own-build KX Wheels and have launched our own-brand KranX, which has been hugely successful. KX Wheels has been a necessary addition to our range in recent years and continues to grow on a steep upward curve with sales. KranX has allowed us to support IBDs in ways we havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been able to before; by bringing bespoke products to the shops which allow a product to self-sell in consistently presented packaging. We have big growth plans for both in 2021 and we are signed off on many different projects already.
16 | December 2020
Behind the scenes This year brought significant improvements to our B2B platform which now allows customers to manage their accounts even better than before with a 24-hour payment facility. This has given the customer more control and helped improve the B2B experience. In the coming months, we will also be launching a new filtered search platform to help the user find product on our website much more easily, where the user can define size, colour, flavour etc. IBD focus The IBD continues to be the focus in which we model a lot of decisions in our portfolio. Using our national sales network, we obtain weekly feedback for what the market demands. Our shift to offer workshop and service support in recent years came as a result of seeing a change in demand with the IBD and we continue to work hard with all of our brands to ensure product ranges suit IBDs in the best ways possible. 2021 and beyond 2021 already has big challenges lying ahead, but ones we are eager to embrace and adapt to. Our primary focus is to work to ensure stock is available on the shelf for customers. This would usually be bread and butter, but working on extended lead times which are now as much as 270 days (previously 60), we are structuring our purchasing in a way to receive more regular deliveries in much bigger quantities to support what we expect could be another great year for cycling in 2021! n
Extra UK Simon Ford, sales director
Overview It has been a rollercoaster of a year, from cancelled orders in April, to dealing with panic buying throughout the summer. COVID-19 presented significant operational challenges for the warehouse team, procurement and product planning but we have constantly adapted and improved, and I think as a business we have become stronger. 2020 has given us growth we would not have believed a year ago for which we are truly grateful, although our thoughts are of course still with industries and people less fortunate than ours who are really struggling. Behind the scenes We have seen particularly noteworthy growth of brands such as Topeak, ABUS, Pirelli, FFWD and RRP and across our portfolio things are very positive. Looking into 2021, we do not foresee this growth stalling, instead concerns are with global stock availability as lead times are extending, making product planning very difficult. We have always stocked in depth but have, with confidence, gone even deeper for 2021 across all our brands. In 2021, Extra will open an office in Dublin and has just appointed our first employee there, John Mahon, as our full time Republic of Ireland area sales manager. We have seen a 300% growth in Ireland, plus with the expected challenges following Brexit, the time is right to have a dedicated service there. John will be looking to increase the presence of all our brands and in particular work with IBDs on store displays and best range planning. John can be contacted via email@example.com. In terms of our brand portfolio, the workshop, service and consumables categories are areas that we are looking to increase our presence in and follows our success with brands
like Enduro Bearings, Orange Seal, Squirt and Cane Creek. Whilst our portfolio is almost comprehensive across all categories, we are always on the lookout for future opportunities and are very aware of growing markets in e-bikes, scooters and indoor trainers. We believe it must be the right brand and add value to the company, we do not want to dilute our offering as a distributor by collecting brands. Brand changes For 2021, we have two new brands to add to our portfolio. From December, we will be the exclusive UK distributor of Capgo Cable Systems. While Capgo is new to the UK, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well established in Europe for both workshop and aftermarket cable products. Being based and manufactured in Germany, Capgo features as OEM on Canyon, CUBE and Bianchi, among others, and offers a wide range of unique products including coloured outer casings and internal frame noise protection. We will be announcing our second new brand in February, so we cannot go into further detail at this point, but we believe it will be a great addition to our portfolio, especially in our previously mentioned focus in workshop and consumables. Watch this space! 2021 and beyond The Extra team is disappointed not to be getting together with the trade in January due to the cancellation of COREbike, as thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s normally our kickstart to the year and a great way to showcase our amazing team, brands and representatives. Hopefully we can attend some events again in 2021, like most, we really miss the social contact. We are fortunate to work in an amazing industry with so many great people. n
December 2020 | 17
Hotlines Ewan Pinder, managing director
Overview Hotlines has had a phenomenal year: a large part of this was expected with significant investment in the business, but COVID-19 undoubtedly supercharged particular brands and categories. We have seen huge growth across the board with fantastic success across the group house brands: Nukeproof, Ragley, Brand-X, LifeLine and Blank BMX. Behind the scenes We started the year with a newly bolstered team, doubling the number of sales staff on the road and support roles in the office. As lockdown loomed, work halted on our new HQ and the team was quickly set up to work from home. Fast forward a few months and we opened our new office. Fortunate to have strong brands and being well-positioned with stock, we were able to capitalise on the opportunity the pandemic presented. The product management team also did a fantastic job to quickly secure additional product to support our dealers. While stock remains a challenge and supply is under constant review, we are receiving and dispatching a steady stream of MY21 bikes and exciting new products from our parts, accessories and clothing brands. As the dust settles, we are also continuing to develop the team, with more roles now advertised as we look forward to the launch of our new B2B and P&A sales programmes. We are not naïve to the challenges ahead, we are grateful to all our dealers for working so closely with us this year and remain hugely optimistic for the season ahead. Brand changes To develop the business, we had to consolidate our offering and reduce overlap in each category. This means more time, resource
18 | December 2020
and stock on the key brands, improving service levels for our customers, consumers and the brands themselves. We’ve created some space to find new brands that complement our current offering; expect two new announcements early in the New Year. IBD focus We were in a fortunate position at the start of lockdown with good stock across key brands like Ghost, Fuji, NS, Crème and Rondo: all offering bikes at relevant price points for the snowballing demand. Being responsive to the situation, securing additional stock and working tirelessly to help existing and new dealers put us in good favour. Hotlines has always been dealer focused so while there has been no significant evolution in our market strategy, we are working harder than ever to secure stock and provide the aftersales service crucial for a distributor. 2021 and beyond Hotlines has masses of stock inbound with thousands of orders to fulfil; our absolute priority is making sure we are receiving and distributing those goods as efficiently as possible, making good on deals already made and providing the service levels expected. With so many moving pieces, this is no tall order and we will be increasing our product management team to assist with the task. Concurrently, we will be talking to dealers about opportunities with new ranges already in stock, or due to be launched from brands like Leatt, WTB, 661, iXS, Spank, Gaerne, Chromag and Manitou. BMX will also take a focus with Stolen, Blank and SE Bikes covering entry-level, enthusiast and BikeLife categories. All the above will be supported by our growing marketing team to support dealers with information, assets, POS and communications to support sell-through instore and online. We are forecasting significant growth once again… n
Ison Distribution Lloyd Townsend, managing director
Overview I liken our 2020 bicycle business as a rollercoaster ride in the dark. I also believe the wild ride we are on is far from over. Significant ups and downs with hidden twists well into 2021 may be difficult to stomach for many. Funnily enough, this year should have been somewhat of a memorable party year for us at Ison. 2020 saw Halo Wheels celebrate 20 years, my great grandfather’s brand of The Light Blue bikes celebrate 125 years in the industry and John Squire see his eighth generation family-owned and run business celebrating 240 years of lock making. However, as we all know, it sadly turned out to be memorable for a different reason for us all. Brand changes The year started well for us with our introduction of exciting new brands and products at the annual COREbike event. The new brands that joined us at COREbike for the first time included Squire locks, Princeton Carbon Works (PCW) wheels, Fidlock bottles and Benno etility bikes. We also successfully presented a new spin-off of Gusset Components, Gusset Grips, with a hugely expanded grip range. Despite COVID-19 making some of our new 2020 brand sales strategies more awkward than planned, we have still seen a great uptake on the new product areas for us. I would like to highlight my sincere thanks to all the great staff at Ison for their flexibility and support during this particularly awkward year. Without these dedicated people, the bikes and parts being supplied would simply not have been possible. Behind the scenes Ison Distribution is a relatively small player in the overall UK market and our stock levels are typically disproportionally high. Like most businesses, our stock levels have been ‘hammered’
during this last spring and summer. I have noticed several dealers picking up what would be ‘new lines’ to them from us when hunting for options, and then finding that our lines are rather useful to carry on running with as standard. That said, our supply pipeline gauge is only so big. We are doing all we can to help with supply. We have even been using horrendously costly airfreight to pick up some of the critical small items for our in-house bike assembly to keep dealers stocked up with bikes. IBD focus As the owner of a distribution business that was spawned from a fourth-generation IBD, I would like to think I have a good understanding of what it’s like to be an IBD. Ison Distribution’s primary focus is the supply and support of IBDs. I believe that support in business should be a two-way street, and that dealers can rely on our support through the good times, and the bad. As one of founding members of the COREbike show, I am a firm believer in the merits of dealers and suppliers coming together to gain a better understanding of what’s going on in the market. Finding out easily what’s new and exciting for the coming year is important for the progressive dealers who want to keep their fingers on the pulse of a fast-changing marketplace. We still have a number of exciting new products and brands to introduce for next year, so, to mitigate the loss of the physical COREbike in January 2021, we are working on some video presentations with our suppliers for early 2021. It will of course be great if the recently talked about vaccinations are able to quell the strangle hold that COVID currently has on the world, and who knows, we might be back to something nearer to normal later in 2021. Until then, take care, stay safe and protect the NHS. n
December 2020 | 19
Silverfish UK Darren Mabbott, managing director
Overview 2020 has been a crazy ride. At the start of the year, nobody could have predicted how things were going to unfold and the massive ups and downs we’ve experienced since March. After those crazy first few weeks, we saw demand and sales grow significantly. With so many returning and new riders, demand for bikes and some key components went off the scale. We’ve had to work really hard to keep up with that demand and solve the many logistical challenges. It has been challenging as the sales trend continued through the summer and into autumn but we’ve navigated through it and thanks to all that hard work, we’ve had a commercially successful year. Brand changes In September, we were very pleased to partner with Peaty’s to distribute its bike cleaners, sealant and accessories. For me it feels like a homecoming having supported Steve from the very early days. But it was much more than an emotional decision as we felt there was a great business fit between Silverfish and Peaty’s, as well as sharing its ethos, we were incredibly impressed by the quality of Peaty’s range – its user-focused approach and the attention to detail put into creating each product is incredible. Behind the scenes This year, we’ve continued to invest in our B2B website to keep pace with the increased demands from traffic and for functionality, and introduced further warehouse technology resulting in efficiency improvements that directly benefit customers. Silverfish continues with its ongoing drive to be as environmentally careful as possible and we’ve made progress with recycling and energy consumption initiatives.
20 | December 2019
Finally, we welcomed Dawn Adams as our company sales manager. New team members always bring a new dynamic and the potential for development and change, so watch this space! IBD focus We’ve moved mountains to ensure we have supported our customers through the year. Whilst our sales reps have been out and about, there have been limits on face-to-face visits, so increasingly we have been supporting retail via video, phone and email. Our teams have been working exceptionally hard to provide the great back-up IBDs expect from Silverfish. A good example of how the world has changed is the massive increase in the use of our website Live Chat – retailers have found this an efficient way to answer customer queries in real time. 2021 and beyond Forecasting demand and managing supply in 2021 will be harder than usual after such an upsurge and the economic uncertainty from the pandemic and Brexit. We’ve made some big purchasing commitments for 2021 so are confident we’ll have great levels of current stock available this winter and next year, although we are seeing lots of pre/back-orders being made by our customers. We are, however, working hard with suppliers who we know are moving mountains to ensure replenishment capacity is available, but we’ll be watching this very closely. We continue our ongoing focus on managing our environmental impact and general efficiency, however for 2021, our main focus will be on keeping our business and people safe from the virus itself and potential economic fallout. It could be another commercially good year for Silverfish, but it’s anybody’s guess so we need to remain alert, continue to be agile and work in close partnership with colleagues and customers. n
Upgrade Matt Ryley, managing director
Overview No surprise we have had a busy year. The brands that have done well are those that have increased short-term supply. We’ve had insane demand on DMR grips, pedals and 26in tyres! High-end has done really well too; more Pivot sales than ever before. Riding local and not travelling to events has saved budget for many dedicated cyclists. Upgrade’s brands have, on the whole, been quick to respond. In particular, our key accessory brand Lezyne has experienced large grown since the new wave of cycling created instant demand for pumps, tools and lights. Brand changes We decided to drop Ritchey due to the scale of its range in favour of taking on Thomson for cockpit parts. Repente saddles was another new brand and one that fits really well alongside Thomson. Back at COREbike, we launched Nutcase but it had supply issues this year so we held off. However, we are very pleased to be relaunching in early spring 2021 with a new product range and increased opportunity for helmets due to the year we have been having. Behind the scenes It’s not been a year to develop the business in any major new way but put all the effort into making it work as hard as possible under the current changes. Our long term relationship with our vendors and brands has come to the fore and helped us keep supply flowing.
This, coupled with Upgrade’s solid financial base, has allowed us to leverage large ordering increases for dealers. We have maintained operations at full capacity and only at the start of the first lockdown did we have a short and limited furlough period for a handful of staff. IBD focus We have continued to support our IBD 100 product lines which are exclusive to IBDs, notably we added more Lezyne LED models to this offering. We have also worked hard throughout the year to ensure a spread of stock across our dealer network, ensuring we are supporting the broadest spread of dealers we possibly can. It’s always our goal to support a wide and diverse dealer network in the UK. Notably, we have more new account applications than ever with many new service-related dealerships being born due to this year’s bike boom. 2021 and beyond Keeping on top of suppliers for as much supply for our dealers, backed up with clear delivery information and ETD dates and good alternative products if we don’t have key lines. The e-bike sector will be our key growth for Kinesis, with two new models arriving in the spring that target a wider audience and lower price point. We just launched the DMR V11 pedal and already have had very strong pre-orders globally. We will be significantly growing the DMR business for our dealers with this price pointed performance pedal. Our minds and eyes are more open to broader audience products and brands to enhance our portfolio and fuel the healthy desire for UK cycling. n
December 2020 | 21
ZyroFisher Rob Haycock, CEO
Overview Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had to adapt to what is a rapidly changing market. During this time, ZyroFisher has implemented a number of changes to its operational structure and service delivery to enable us to better serve our dealer base. Sales have definitely seen a boost due to the pandemic. This has been widespread across most of our categories, with only selected products not seeing a positive uplift – such as travel bags with reduced international travel throughout the year. Brand changes We’re delighted to have added some amazing brands to our portfolio this year: Niner, Red Bull, Walberg, Continental, Rascal and Cpreme. Niner and Rascal have both been added to our bike division, broadening our offering into the gravel, MTB and kids categories, all of which have seen significant growth this year. The addition of Walberg e-scooters has allowed us to move further into the e-mobility market and expand our appeal to new retailers. With Continental tyres, we are able to offer the IBD marketing a further range of products to complement our existing offering. Behind the scenes I suppose one of the biggest developments is that I joined the business, as CEO, in the middle of a pandemic! My experience covers both distribution and brand development, and I was most recently CEO of Pure Radio after spending 12 years at Kondor. As a very keen club cyclist, I have a genuine enthusiasm for both the ZyroFisher business as well as the wider industry. Secondly, we have implemented significant changes in the warehouse. A new replenishment model has resulted in a 60% increase in productivity. In order to meet immediate demand, the operations team developed a new pick and pack routine, allowing the business to drive efficiency and respond to increased order volumes. This adaptation has now been permanently built into our
22 | December 2020
IT systems, meaning that these efficiencies are now an ongoing benefit to all of our customers. The warehouse has also moved to a paperless dispatch model, which again increases efficiency and also adds to our growing list of environmentally friendly changes that have been implemented over the last 12 months. Most recently, we have united all of our brands under one larger portfolio managed by Jon Sherwood and his team. Jon has a wealth of experience, having run the ZyroFisher marketing team from 2012-2017. Since January, Jon has assumed the position of brand director for the Zyro portfolio as well as more recently leading the marketing function. IBD focus We have always championed the IBD cause, both internally and to our brands. With our own IBD sales director Andy Budd, who has over 30 years of experience within the industry, we always ensure the IBD channel is at the forefront of what we do. We ensured that the IBD channel had sales team contacts throughout the pandemic to enable them to place orders, raise queries and receive best service throughout the year. Retailers have experienced the busiest trading in living memory, and our support teams have been committed to offering them the support they need. 2021 and beyond We are already working on a number of exciting developments for 2021, but as I’m sure you can appreciate it’s hard to say too much at this stage! Our focus is always to make sure we move with the market. We aim to be the partner of choice for brands, as well as ensuring we have all the necessary brands and services to be the preferred supplier for our customers. We will continue to invest throughout the business, not least in our infrastructure and operational capabilities but as we all move into an ever increasingly digital world, we will ensure we focus resources in areas that allow us to better serve the market. n
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Tern unveiled the new GSD e-cargo bike back in August
Electrifying the transport sector The Ebike Summit 2020, in partnership with EDF Energy, took place online last month, with speakers discussing how the e-bike industry can help promote sustainable transport. Rebecca Morley looks at what this means moving forward
-bikes have been growing in popularity for some time – offering people an easier, sweat-free way to get from A to B. In fact, recent reports suggest that their prices could be cut by up to a third thanks to a Government subsidy scheme to encourage people to cycle to work – aiming to make it easier for commuters riding in business outfits and those who are older or less fit. The Ebike Summit 2020, taking place this year online, addressed the business of e-bikes with the wider purpose of promoting sustainable transport, with panels covering OEMs, e-cargo bikes and research. Increasing participation Up first in the OEM panel was Julian Scriven, MD of Brompton Bike Hire, who spoke of rising sales and a shift to electric bikes.
“Roughly one in five Bromptons that are being built today are Brompton electrics,” says Scriven. “We see that trend growing even further. Next year we expect sales to double; we expect that shift between non-electric and electric Bromptons to change further.” But with bike sales increasing rapidly this year, the industry has also faced issues with the supply chain. Joshua Hon, team captain at Tern, which in August unveiled the new GSD electric cargo bike, says customers wanted orders cancelled early in the year due to things shutting down, but then in April things “kicked back up”. “Especially with electric bikes, but even with regular bikes, a lot of the lead times are really far ahead. Short-term, there’s not a lot we can do. All of the suppliers are full. Looking into the future, one of the questions is: the demand for 2021 looks good – how do you see it going forward? We think it’s going to be pretty good.
December 2020 | 27
“Any market where you see Governments putting in that investment, cycling will grow. We see that in a lot of different cities. It’s not limited to Europe, we see it in the United States and Asia as well. We are feeling very confident looking forward.” Sustainable deliveries Demand for deliveries has also been high in 2020, with people working from home and therefore choosing to shop online even more so than usual. This has offered an opportunity for e-cargo bikes, which have significant benefits including fuel cost savings and improved local air quality – something many businesses will find particularly attractive as we work towards a green recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak. And earlier this year, funding was awarded to 18 local authorities from the £2 million eCargo Bike Grant Fund, funded by the DfT and delivered by Energy Saving Trust. “Cargo bikes are a passion, we live it on a daily basis,” says Olivier Vander Elst, founder of GreenAer. “From our experience, it’s completely transformational. We see families ditching both cars for cargo bikes. With the pandemic, it’s been very clear that the direction is now permanent, because it was a great excuse to lay out safer infrastructure for cycling. A lot of people now feel safe to
28 | December 2020
adopt these solutions, where before they would have been sitting on the fence.” European research has suggested that 10-15% of all deliveries could be replaced by the e-cargo bike sector in the coming years. Cargo bikes have the potential to improve the cityscape too; last-mile logistics firm Stuart conducted a five-week trial using electric cargo bikes supplied by Pure Electric, with each bike making an average of 100 deliveries a week and covering an average of over 200 miles a week. Pollution was also reduced by over 300kg of CO2. Earlier this year, Raleigh launched an electric cargo bike line, designed to carry up to 100kg in weight and have a range of up to 75 kilometres on one single charge. And in October, it teamed up with highway giant Ringway Jacobs to test the potential of e-cargo trikes within business infrastructure. The trial, which primarily took place in London, supported workforces with transporting materials, tools and equipment between sites, as well as providing individuals with faster and more reliable means of transport from offices to sites. “Transport [is] a way of life, a means to get from A to B,” says Lee Kidger, managing director of Raleigh UK, during his keynote speech at the summit. “Typically, the UK tries to get there as quickly as possible. However, the worldwide situation through COVID-19 has changed people’s transport solutions. UK Government statistics show a
Raleigh announced its e-cargo bike range earlier this year
reduction in people using public transport and an increased level of outdoor transport such as cycling or walking. “The next six months are key for the whole transport sector to combine and become more electrified, and the use of e-bikes, e-cargo bikes for both B2B and leisure, and also electric cars and vans, can really help drive that forward. “For electric cargo bikes, discussions with last-mile delivery and courier companies to understand their requirements and the barriers to entry are so vital to develop in this new market. There are challenges though, courier companies are being pushed outside of cities, but consumers want their products faster, quicker and more conveniently.” There are 3.2 billion parcels shipped in the UK, and it won’t stop there. This equates to roughly one parcel, per person, per week. But according to research, consumers are willing to pay up to 5% more for products and services that are environmentally friendly and as online sales increase year-on-year, so does the demand for eco-friendly last-mile delivery services. “The bicycle industry is at a crossroads,” says Kidger, “with Government investment this really is a once in a lifetime opportunity that we must seize fast. Temporary measures are great, but they must be made permanent. The electric bike market is a big enabler for people to cycle. The market data shows the growth in the sector. “Look at our European counterparts such as in the Netherlands or Germany. Cycling is a way of life, used for both transport and leisure. For us to capitalise on this we must engage with not just cyclists, but everybody, to further explore the physical, economical and mental benefits for cycling.” Keeping fit E-bikes accounted for 12% of cycling sales’ value in the UK between January and August 2020. This represents an increase from 9% in the same period in 2019 and a second straight year of growth. But while this rise is encouraging, there is still some
way to go if we are to catch up with our European counterparts. “It’s fair to say that the UK market is at an early adopter stage of use of electric bikes,” says Edward Pegram, business manager at Raleigh UK. “In the UK, only around 2% of mileage is accumulated by bike, which is increasing, but it’s still relatively low when you compare it with a country like Holland – where around 27% of the journeys are made by bike. Most of those are utility journeys that in the UK would probably be taken by car. “This research was not to say that we should replace all journeys with bikes; it’s how we, in the UK, can fit the bicycle, or the electric bike predominantly, into everyday life to replace some of those journeys.” There are huge social and economic benefits to cycling. Research conducted by Cycling UK has stated that if we move from 2% of mileage accumulated by bike to 10% by 2050, this would have economic benefits of around £42 billion. “While we know that the e-bike can have huge benefits sustainably, it can also aid in economic recovery,” Pegram continues. “There are a lot of schemes like Cycle to Work which make electric bikes more affordable. In terms of COVID recovery, it could broaden horizons. “The e-bike can do many things, one of which is connect rural and urban environments with ease – they have a range of around 120 kilometres now on one charge. This could be huge for not just urban mobility, but rural as well. In terms of the cargo bike, there’s research that suggests around 25% of journeys that are made by commercial vehicles could be conducted by cargo bike. It’s about how we work with other industries – public transport, the private sector – to create a journey for electric bikes and how they fit into business, but equally get more individuals motivated to cycle more in any way possible. “It’s really important, particularly in the shift that we’re seeing with more people working from home, to keep people
December 2020 | 29
FEATURE active. It’s about individual motivation but also businesses and employers to get people that are working from home out and about, making sure they’re keeping active, because that in itself will have huge benefits.” Switching to e-bikes can have big environmental benefits too. Ian Philips, senior research fellow (ESRC Fellowship), faculty of environment at the University of Leeds, says that people who use an e-bike to replace car travel are physically capable of cutting car CO2 by up to 50%. “Even if we realised a fraction of that capability, and even being humble about the fact that no technology is a panacea, e-bikes are strategically important to decarbonisation,” says Philips. “The greatest opportunities for carbon reduction are for residents of rural and suburban areas. In parts of major city centres, savings are on average around 200kg per person. But in a lot of rural areas, people have the capability to knock 1,000kg off their transport carbon by switching to e-bike use from cars. “Not everyone in every community could make use of an e-bike, but in many rural and suburban communities, there are many people who are physically capable of replacing over 5,000 kilometres of car use each year. “Policymakers have to take away the barriers to realising that capability. If you’re trying to persuade policymakers to spend money on e-bike decarbonisation they might want to pilot it first, so it makes sense to target rural and suburban areas which have the capability to deliver a lot of CO2 reduction per pound spent.” While conventional walking and cycling can reduce the number of short car trips in urban areas, for these shorter inter-urban journeys between five and 15 miles, e-bikes can be strategically very helpful. These journeys represent a bigger chunk of our car CO2 than the short urban journeys, Philips says.
30 | December 2020
“Some might say it is unrealistic to think about replacing half our car travel with e-bike use. But in lockdown one, we halved our car use overnight because we had to; it’s quite reasonable and realistic. There’s a large number of people in a variety of places who could make a big change with a new bike.” Healthier cities Tom Hayes, councillor at Oxford City Council, spoke of the “tremendous” levels of congestion in the city, and a recent consultation to introduce measures which would help to address it. “We’ve got a lot of interesting insight about how the public would warm to measures which reduce congestion in the city and reduce our dependencies on cars. “We want to be a leader in the country for addressing air pollution. That’s because we know that it leads to disproportionately harmful impacts on younger, older and poorer people in our city. We want to make sure that nobody is made to suffer from harmful impacts of air pollution. People can suffer from harmful health impacts of physical inactivity, some of the biggest drivers of disease and illness in our city can come from physical inactivity. “It’s important to reflect on why the council wants to address all the problems,” Hayes continues. “It’s a problem fundamentally of fairness. We know it isn’t fair that when emissions are belched into our air, it disproportionately impacts on younger, older and poorer people. It isn’t fair that the people who contribute the least to climate breakdown, but who will live longer than most of us, are going to be left to sweep up the nets. “We know it isn’t fair that our transport system in Oxford, as it is around the country, is overwhelmingly geared towards the motor vehicle. What we need to do is to create fairness in the transport system so that cyclists and e-bikers can just have their fair share of transport infrastructure. To create a fair society, we need to move towards an e-biking society.” n
EDITORIAL CALENDAR 2021:
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Trendspotting 2021 Energy and nutrition Bike security Hybrids and folders Parts and accessories Cycle luggage Women’s bikes and accessories Industry diversity Workshop tools and cleaning Cycle computers Cycling technology Triathlon Children’s bikes and accessories The kid’s market Brakes
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Retail and the IBD The global cycle indsutry
The MTB market Sustainability
The e-bike market
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Indoor training and power meters Cycle lights Mountain bikes and accessories Winter and protective clothing Cyclocross Stocking fillers Road bikes and accessories Chains, gears and cranks E-bikes and accessories
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Micromobility: a tantalising prospect for Christmas sales? According to the BA’s Market Data Service – powered by Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS) – it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas buying habits will be very different in 2020...
n total, this market, which is predominantly made up of electric and non-electric scooters, has followed the wider cycling industry in enjoying strong growth in 2020. For the first three quarters of the year, sales value in the sector was up 41% compared to 2019. The data comes from the Bicycle Association (BA) Market Data Service, powered by Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS), which captures cycling and micromobility sales from over 60% of the UK market on over 700,000 individual SKUs.
32 | December 2020
Overwhelmingly, this growth is being driven by electric scooter sales, where not only have volumes of units shifted risen sharply, but the average sale price has also increased by around 80%. The combination of those dynamics has pushed sales from £7 million to almost £23 million in the BA’s data sample for the first nine months of 2020. At the same time, the non-electric market shrunk by almost £3 million, a change attributed to lower unit sales rather than any shift in pricing trends.
This means that electric micromobility has, in the last 12 months, overtaken the non-electric sector in sales value in the UK. This is despite the fact that the use of privately owned e-scooters remains illegal on public roads, although trials of rental e-scooters in 20 areas of the country are ongoing. It is legal to sell e-scooters, but both the Bicycle Association and Government have stressed that customers must be properly informed pre-sale about where they may and may not be used legally. In this context, it will be interesting to see how the trends evolve through the winter. In 2019, the final three months of the year accounted for 43% of annual unit sales in the sector. Scooters in particular make popular Christmas presents, so with at least part of the Christmas shopping period disturbed by the closure of non-essential stores, one of three scenarios is likely to play out. • Sales will be reduced or at least postponed to after lockdown (assuming this is lifted as planned on the 3rd December) • Sales will shift predominantly online with physical non-cycling shops closed • IBDs, which are able to remain open during the lockdown, will inherit a greater share of scooter/micromobility sales The good news for the cycling sector is that, in part thanks to advocacy efforts from the Bicycle Association, bike shops are among those businesses exempt from the regulations. While many IBDs have decided to delay entering the e-scooter market until there is further news on their legal use, there is nothing to stop IBDs selling non-powered and toy scooters as part of their range during and after lockdown. For IBDs, the possibility of a shift from generalist businesses to the specialty cycling sector in scenario three is tantalising. However, there are caveats. Many IBDs will not have the inventory or floor space to sell other micromobility products. Others may not have the right customer base to appeal to, and with less passing footfall as other retail outlets temporarily close, generating walk-in traffic could be tough. Reaching outside their traditional customer bases and attracting customers who may not expect to find scooters in a cycling shop, or even who may not be aware that cycling shops remain open, is a key challenge. Use of mailing lists and social media, including local groups, is vital. Those stores who do wish to go down this path should carefully consider the type of client likely to be looking for a scooter at this time of year. In particular, buyers looking for Christmas presents, particularly for smaller children, may swing harder towards the non-electric end of the market, where average price points are over £200 cheaper than in the electric sector.
The trade-off, however, is that the market for kids’ non-electric scooters in particular is fiercely competitive, low margin, and, according to the data, in decline as a proportion of the market. Whether or not to jump into the electric scooter market while the results of trials are still pending is a difficult decision and one that ultimately shops can only make on an individual basis. Whatever happens over the coming months, the cycling industry is clearly waking up to the potential that micromobility offers to diversify sales and complement rather than cannibalise a cycling offering. On Monday 9th November, taking advantage of bike shops’ exemption from the lockdown, Pure Electric opened Cardiff ’s first electric bike and electric scooter outlet. If a decision is made to permit wider use of e-scooters, SMS would expect to see more bike shops of all sizes incorporating scooters (both electric and non-electric) into their ranges, drawing in wider cross sections of society. This would have the twin effect of increasing scooter sales and also, equally as important, prompting ever wider interest in and conversation about bikes as a mode of urban transport. SMS’ business development manager for cycling Marc Anderman said: “The decision to keep cycling shops open is another sign of the Government’s increasingly consistent support for cycling as it strives to meet its goal for half of all journeys in towns and cities to be achieved by bike or on foot by 2030. It also follows the added investment in cycle routes that came in the aftermath of the first lockdown. In both the short-term and the long-term, the data shows that micromobility sales offer an opportunity for bike shops across the UK to engage with a wider audience and build on 2020’s growth.” n
The Bicycle Association is the national trade body for the UK cycling industry. Its market data service now covers between 60-70% of retail cycling sales across nearly 700,000 products back to January 2018. For more information about the service, please see: www.bicycleassociation.org.uk/market-data/ To discuss how SMS can support you, please contact: email@example.com For the purposes of the cycling Market Data Service, the micromobility sector includes electric and non-electric scooters but not bikes or e-bikes, which are categorised and reported separately.
December 2020 | 33
The cycling industry in 2021 will be a feast, not a famine
hen asked how the year 2020 had been, only 2% of Brits said it was great – but there’s a very good chance the people who did are in the cycling industry. Business is booming, with some businesses reporting an unprecedented 50% global spike in sales, meaning trade is at an all-time high. One brand riding the wave of opportunity is Tannus Tyres - arguably the industry leader in puncture-proof tyre technology. Designed in South Korea, the Airless tyres, Tannus Armour and Tannus tubeless have been flying out the window in a bid to keep up with the unprecedented demand. Indeed, along with other manufacturers, the brand has seen sales soaring, with suppliers reporting a 25% year-on-year increase despite some stock being sold out. The Armour inserts, which can give 80% more protection against punctures, are the top sellers with the product’s ‘fit and forge’ aspect appealing to the swathes of new cycling enthusiasts.
34 | December 2020
Sales online indicate that new bike owners, in particular, are attracted to the Armour inserts as they don’t want to worry about punctures if they are on a regular daily commute. Additionally, with COVID-19 lockdowns reducing access to IBDs, many amateur cyclists who were concerned with the idea of having to change a tyre are now opting for the Tannus Armour insert for safety reasons. The other advantage for cyclists is the Armour’s ease of maintenance – changing a tubeless tyre can be fiddly if you are a novice, but with this system, you don’t have to worry. It just takes a few pumps of the inner tube and it’s an easy insert, plus of course you should be able to cover 5,000 miles without incident. The beauty of the Tannus Armour is that it is designed for all types of riding – mountain bike, road, gravel and the commute.
From a commute side, it goes down to 700 x 28 x 34c, covering a wide spectrum of bikes including road bikes, hybrids, general commuter bikes and most e-bikes. There are lots of opportunities out there in emerging markets and Tannus is even shodding the German Postal Service on its fleet of e-bikes. The main difference between Tannus and other inserts on the marketplace is that the Armour is not designed to be used as a tubeless product, it’s a tubeless alternative. It’s a foam insert that wraps around the inner tube, basically protecting it from almost anything that penetrates the rubber of the tyre. You can actually go to about 10 psi less than you’d get from tubeless, so you get all the grip, all the traction benefits of tubeless and you don’t have to change the sealant every six months! It’s also impossible to ‘burp’ because the air is trapped inside the inner tube. There’s nothing worse than catching a jagged rock on your weekend ride, because it can be game over for your tyre and even tubeless tyres are at risk – a cut would cause the sealant to gush out – but the Armour’s sophisticated design repels most sharp objects that might penetrate through the tyre. The foam itself has 50mm at the peak of the tyre and traction is improved by running lower pressure. The weight penalty is always a concern for the more experienced riders, but the Tannus armour set up means it could weigh less as you have the option of running a lighter tyre due to the added protection it gives you.
Ultimately, the cost at £30 per wheel makes the product an attractive proposition for new cyclists looking to protect their tyres and give themselves peace of mind. However, there is a dichotomy with all this new technology. Jazz Walia, Tannus CEO, says: “We have had our best ever year and the company is growing all around the world rapidly. I anticipate that if demand continues to grow, manufacturers and suppliers are going to run short of tyres, tubes and accessories next year. But more importantly, the truth is some retailers are reluctant to push Tannus products because they would prefer to stick to selling new tyres and repairing punctures, and are not keen on informing the public you can add tyres that will not puncture! “Of course, I understand their position, but our online sales are booming and it is only a matter of time before the public start asking for specific products, rather than being directed what to choose. “In Japan, for example, where new technology is part of life, more than 500,000 riders are shod with Tannus products and the numbers are still growing. Our industry in the UK is still a bit behind the curve, although change is coming and retailers need to be ready. I think it’s a bit like electric cars; some people are fearful about them and are worried they might conk out, but the Government is going to phase out diesel and petrol cars so it proves you simply just can’t halt progress. Bring on 2021! I can’t wait. It’s going to be feast for everyone in the industry, not famine.” n
December 2020 | 35
POINTS OF VIEW
An ethical approach? In the penultimate article of a four-part series, James Smith looks at consumers’ preferences when making a purchase
ong before we were in the midst of a pandemic, I carried out a survey of over 270 cyclists. While this may seem like a small number, in the field of consumer research it is a healthy response. I will lay out these results for you so that you can consider whether adopting an environmentally-friendly outward brand position might help your sales/brand position. This pandemic will end and we will one day begin looking inwardly again. It is important that we are using this time to prepare. Gender 271 consumers responded to the survey, and all respondents completed all nine questions. The initial three questions were used to establish gender, age and annual earnings. The remaining questions were used to discover the preferences of the consumers when considering pricing, branding, ethical and environmental concerns. As with earlier evidence in the literature review, the vast majority of those that responded were male. However, there were still a significant number of females that responded to the survey. Age and annual income 35% of respondents were aged 45-54; the 35-44 age range followed this at 24%. The most popular wage range was between £50,000 and £74,999, with over 26% of respondents falling into this category, and the £30,000 and £49,999 respondents were next with 24%. These answers follow on from questions one and two, backing
36 | December 2020
up previous research that the highest-earning ranges are from 40 to 50. A 2018 report on the This Money website stated that “most professionals should expect their pay peak between the ages of 40 and 49”. Therefore, it can be stated that the respondents in the majority were male, earning between £30,000 to £75,000. Did pricing affect choice before purchase? In question four, respondents were asked whether pricing affects their purchase choice. It is interesting to see that pricing is always a critical factor, with over 31% of respondents stating that they still consider pricing and over 40% saying that they usually consider pricing. These considerations do not necessarily reflect the previous questions when considering the annual earning income of these respondents. It is important to note that while it might be correct to consider that the majority of respondents may have disposable income for things like cycling, this survey took place in the middle of the Brexit crisis. A 2017 report for the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics showed that “the economic costs of the Brexit vote are already visible and quite large. In the third quarter of 2017, the output loss due to the Brexit vote amounted to approximately 1.3%, and the cumulative loss in GDP was close to 20 billion” (Born et al., 2017). The slow down in the British economy may skew these figures as it may lead to a lack of consumer confidence. The report goes on to say that “it is clear that Brexit will amount to a bundle of policy measures which will result in economic disintegration of the UK and the
POINTS OF VIEW
European Union. Whether this is because of higher tariffs, non-tariff barriers or both, it is likely to bring about a reduction of living standards which, in turn, may rationalise reduced investment and consumption expenditures: not only in the future but, because of anticipation effects, [it may already be happening today]â&#x20AC;?.
impacts of their purchase choices, only 8% always consider the ethical implications of their purchases. The small number of respondents who still consider the environment and/or ethical implications of their purchases can be a powerful purchasing group if these numbers are broadened across the UK consumer population.
Do our consumers actually care about the environment? Does it come to their mind? In question four, the research tried to identify how high up in the mind of consumers the environmental impact of their purchase is. The importance of the environment might be getting overstated in the media; while 48% mentioned that they sometimes consider the environment, only 6% always consider the environment. The literature review identifies some reasoning for that due to difficulties in finding environmental and ethical credentials instore or online. Consumers are in a timepressured environment and may feel that researching environmental impacts, or ethical considerations, are too tricky when either searching online or when in physical stores.
The age old argument: is brand still important? This shows that brand and pricing are far more critical to the consumer than ethical or environmental considerations. Over 30% of respondents always consider the brand quality when choosing their purchase with 44% usually considering the brand quality. When viewed as a whole, over 70% either often or always consider the brand quality when purchasing.
Do our consumers consider our ethical position? Question six shows similar results to question five; while 40% of the respondents sometimes consider the ethical
What if you were asked to choose between ethics and environment? The current media coverage of the climate crisis and the general public perception of the environment may go some way to explain why environmental concerns come before ethical concerns; however, the literature review raises the point that it is easier to find environmental credentials online than ethical considerations. In my final piece, we will take evidence from two senior members of the cycling industry to hear their thoughts on brand/environment position. n
A 2017 report for the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics showed that the economic costs of the Brexit vote are already â&#x20AC;&#x153;visible and quite largeâ&#x20AC;?
December 2020 | 37
Best Independent Bike Dealer 2020 finalist Berkshire Cycles
A rollercoaster 2020 Bike retailers have seen a rise in demand this year, leading to surging sales and stock shortages. But what can we expect as we head into 2021? Rebecca Morley investigates
he retail environment has had to adapt to consumers’ changing shopping habits for some time, with a rise in online purchasing leaving many brick and mortar stores struggling to compete. And COVID-19 has made this even worse, forcing nonessential stores to close temporarily during lockdown periods with some even going into administration. Bike shops, on the other hand, have seen a rise in demand as the nation embraced active travel. But this led to stock shortages across the industry, creating challenges not many could have anticipated at the start of the year. “COVID-19 has thrown a multitude of changes at us,” says Mat from John Wood’s Cycle Repair Centre. “Different elements of the industry are changing almost on a daily basis. We have made alterations to deal with the change in footfall along with an extremely challenging supply chain.
38 | December 2020
“Luckily most of our suppliers, like us, have been incredibly forward thinking and adapted operations to enable us to make the most of this strange time. There is a lot of speculation about 2021 but the one sure thing now is that no one knows what it will bring.” Rides on Air Cycles, a finalist for Best Independent Bike Dealer Award at this year’s BikeBiz Awards, saw a surge in sales in late 2019, culminating in an “excellent” December followed by a strong January and February, says Paul Lynn. “We felt confident 2020 was going to be a good year – COVID-19 came along and changed what we felt would be a good year to a fantastic year in terms of sales. “But it brought with it a lot of concern and changes within the workplace to ensure we complied for our customer and employee safety to follow the rules. High volume sales and long queues outside the shop were something not seen before.
“Changes in our working practices, from each person having their own phone to cleaning everything regularly, to managing high volume sales and repairs and planning collection and deliveries, were required. Success in sales brought along supply issues and challenges to find solutions and resulted in us increasing sales by over 100%. “Planning for 2021 is well in place with orders deposited until September 2021, but we can see the challenges with supply will be with us throughout next year. Success or failure is in the individual owner’s hands. Plan and stock well and you will achieve and have a prosperous year or your business will fail. Every retailer should be going into 2021 financially very strong which can only improve the profile and image of cycling, but we still have to work hard and stay safe for our staff and customers which will also continue during 2021.” Supply challenges Chris Reilly from Berkshire Cycles, also a finalist for Best Independent Bike Dealer at the BikeBiz Awards, describes 2020 as a “crazy year”, fearing it wouldn’t be allowed to open back in March, and upon hearing it could, decided to close two of its stores and just keep Crowthorne open with four members of staff. “Over the next 23 weeks, we basically took over two years turnover,” says Reilly. “With between 20-30 people queuing every minute of the day, it did not relent. We were working 7am-11pm, six days a week, trying to keep on top of things and see to all our customers’ needs. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and now the lack of stock is making things difficult. Our suppliers are doing their best to help. “During the height of lockdown, we emptied our Reading store of around 480 bikes, and this only lasted 48 hours! It wasn’t just Berkshire Cycles which had a fantastic time. All of the other stores have been flat out. “With the number of bikes sold during 2020, I can’t really see the same growth for 2021. And sadly for those that will be losing their jobs, this will force people into a position where they may look to sell their bikes or personal possessions to keep cash flowing and survive. Fingers crossed that everyone stays safe and well, and my predictions are wrong.” Unsurprisingly, Primera Sports’ MD Bill Temple describes 2020 as a “very strange year”, having seen record bike sales with new cyclists getting on board, with a good percentage still hooked during the start of winter. “We feel extremely lucky that some of our brands have managed to keep bikes coming through, with some of the smaller brands providing good numbers which have more than just filled gaps, but have now become major brands for us.
“I feel confident that 2021 will be another strong year as people jump off public transport and on to bikes! Challenges ahead will be bike supply, but having a few great brands makes sure we always have something turning up. I am personally very impressed with some of our suppliers who have really pulled things out of the hat for us. Bikes shop owners are a unique bunch who are very good at changing direction at the drop of a hat while remaining positive.” The biggest challenge faced by Arragon’s Cycle Centre, according to owner Sarah Graham, is continuity of supply. “We increased our forward order commitment in an attempt to ensure ongoing supply, but it is a bit of a crystal ball. One thing is for sure, this is completely out of our control so we need to adapt as best we can to meet the challenges that have been thrust upon us. “This whole thing has made us appreciate even more the value of community and although we have always supported our local economy, we will take greater steps to do so in order for our town to continue to survive.” Tsunami of pressures John Ainscough from Blazing Saddles says that in 26 years of business, the store has weathered a lot but has never experienced the “tsunami of pressures” it is currently grappling with. “Current events require us to adapt and to keep on adapting and this is something that small businesses are well placed to do. One thing I have definitely learned is that we are all capable of much more than we think, so it’s best just to get on with the job.
Best Independent Bike Dealer 2020 finalist Rides on Air Cycles
December 2020 | 39
IBD FOCUSBD FOCUS
“When we went into the first lockdown, the stress was intense and that was a dark time,” continues Ainscough. “We didn’t know then that the Government would step up with the furlough scheme and that people would decide to embrace cycling in the way that they have. These two events were game changers. “We had had a slow two years previously and we were not sure whether the market could support small shops like us in the light of e-commerce trends. It’s hard to say, but our business has benefitted through this time and it has demonstrated the usefulness and need for local service providers such as ours. Obviously we hope that the demand stays and, most importantly, that the industry can catch up with it! “With regards to the future, one thing that concerns us is the worrying trend for distributors to go direct to consumer which erodes the relationship between the bike shop and the customer. There needs to be a number of cogs in the distribution wheel, and if profit and market forces take total precedence then we will all be the lesser for it. “My hunch is that there will be a self-righting mechanism to that trend, but some of us might not still be around to pick up afterwards.
“It’s tough in the cycle trade and the best-case scenario is to work together rather than against one another.” Jerry Arron from Mud Dock also highlights the move of some distributors in going direct. “With all bicycle retailers essentially facing the same issues, I think the biggest casualty has been the increasing fragility in the relationship with their distributors. They, the distributors, have moved their business models more directly to market. This was especially prevalent at the beginning of the pandemic when a number of high profile bike suppliers announced this as their way forward. There will be no going back. “With greater profits to be made by cutting out the middleman and at a time of significant product shortages, why would they prioritise supply to their historic dealer base when they can simply supply direct via mail or through their own stores and immediately take the extra cash? The inevitable result is a breakdown in trust and increased suspicion that IBDs are not getting the full story with regard to stock shortages. “I suspect that this will continue whilst the market remains bullish into 2021, and with a vaccine on the horizon and a sense of a return to norm those bridges will need a little rebuilding.” n
Rides on Air was confident 2020 was going to be a good year
40 | December 2020
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minutes with... This month, BikeBiz catches up with Insync Bikes’ head of IBD sales Wayne Clarke
Can you give us a little background on Insync? We design and manufacture high-end bikes at affordable prices for all the family. The brand is owned by Indiabased Hero Cycles, the world’s largest bike manufacturer by volume, which bought Avocet Sports in 2015, in doing so reviving the iconic Viking brand. Since then, we’ve brought to market the first new Viking models in 40 years and unveiled several new ranges, including our Lectro range of e-bikes and our exclusive Insync and Coyote bikes. Today, we have a team of bike designers who are usually based at our £2 million Hero Global Design Centre in Manchester but are currently working from home, with our bikes manufactured in India. What area(s) of the market does Insync target? We aim to be the market leader in European bicycle distribution, providing a complete range of branded cycling products including Viking, Viking Pro, Concept, Coyote, Insync, Ryedale, De Novo and Lectro.
Insync’s ethos has always been on cycling as a force for good. We encourage people to develop a love of cycling whatever their age, background or ability and we design products that aim to nurture a passion for two wheels. This is why we offer value-for-money bikes aimed at everyone from young children, right the way up to e-bikes that could enable an older or less able rider to continue cycling. What makes Insync unique? What does it offer that its competitors perhaps do not? We are backed by the world’s largest manufacturer, Hero Cycles, which means we’re able to offer competitively priced products and access to manufacturing capability, which will increase with the establishment of the Cycle Valley in India, which will have the capacity to build four million bikes a year. We also have the historic Viking brand, which is more than 100 years old and which we’re looking to expand in 2021.
42 | December 2020 www.bikebiz.com
In a rather bizarre twist of fate, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a significant boost to the cycling industry. What impact has it had on Insync? Right from the beginning, we have been delighted to see the positive impact such a challenging situation has had on cycling. In April, we experienced demand usually only seen at Christmas time and that pace has continued throughout the pandemic, with many models selling out as soon as we get them in stock and sales driven up by a significant percentage. The nationwide appetite for cycling, and the backing from the Government in terms of cycle safety and other schemes, has been good news for the industry as a whole but we now need to make sure we keep up with that enthusiasm. How are Insync products distributed, and how important is that relationship to the brand’s success? Insync works through a network of independent bike retailers across the country, but we’re always looking to add to that number. This is vital to our success, with many of our brands wholly geared up for the independent retailers. We’re looking to step up our relationships with certain retailers so they can start to help us influence the range. We’ll be looking to establish a small focus group of retailers to help us identify and develop new ideas next year.
What sort of feedback have you received from your customers? Feedback has been great, particularly on the design elements of the bikes. Coyote is a historic brand and people have welcomed a new approach to these bikes in the sub-£300 category. We’ve created strong designs for this value-for-money range of bikes, which people have welcomed. It’s too early to say what feedback is like for De Novo as the relaunch was only recently, but we’re expecting positive comments. What industry innovations are exciting you at the moment? For me, it’s e-bikes, because their development is so fast-paced. We launched our Lectro range in 2020 and we’re looking to take a significant share of the e-bike market in 2021. As we head into 2021, what are your plans for the year and beyond? Going into 2021, and looking further ahead to 2023, we’re going to be strengthening the exposure of all of our brands with the independent bike retailers. We’re also looking to increase our e-bike offering by working with HNF Nicolai in Germany, which will be working with the Hero factories. This year has shown us the potential of the business and we want to build on this going forward. n
What are some of Insync’s more recent product developments? In March, we launched our Lectro range of e-bikes based on the way we saw electric vehicles capturing the public’s imagination. E-bikes have transformed the commute to work for many people, allowing them the extra boost to make their journeys without arriving at work too tired to face the day ahead. Equally, it’s been great to see older riders jumping on e-bikes to allow them to continue cycling where, physically, they would have struggled to on a traditional bike. When moving into this market, it was important for us to offer a product that was more affordable than the usual £3,000-£5,000 price bracket to allow even more people to benefit, which was why we priced Lectro at £999-£1,299. The year has also seen us launch mountain bikes under the Coyote and Insync brands, and relaunch our De Novo range for children (pictured right), so it’s certainly been a busy year for Insync.
December 2020 | 43
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Wheels, tyres and inner tubes 1 2
Dynamo Wheel Range
Shamal Carbon DB
Strada Bianca Pro
Distributor: Ison Distribution
Distributor: Chicken CycleKit
Distributor: Upgrade Bikes
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
Don’t let winter stop you! Halo’s range of SP equipped dynamo wheels is the most expansive on the market, with 19 individual options. Starting at a mere £135 with the White Line Urban Disc Dyno wheel and finishing at £290 with the flagship alloy dyno wheel, the Devaura RD2 Dyno wheel, Halo’s range shares the same message. High quality UK built wheels with the ability to see you through the winter and your next bike packing trip.
The first Campagnolo wheel dedicated to endurance cycling, in keeping with the Campagnolo mantra of breaking the mould and looking to the future with the Shamal. This new product was intended for a broader customer base, with a new, more accessible price point, but with every feature necessary to guarantee the maximum performance and style that characterise Campagnolo wheels.
Challenge has pioneered a range of handmade tubeless tyres that are uniquely constructed with a high thread count (260Tpi) and a sealed inner layer rather than vulcanised tyre casing traditionally used for tubeless. The handmade approach maintains almost all the compliance and road feel of a handmade clincher but with the benefits of going tubeless when used with its high pressure smart tubeless sealant.
This handy, compact and innovative device from Bosch offers a hassle and fatigue-free solution to inflating your tyres. A real-time pressure gauge allows you to measure your tyre pressure with precision, whilst an automatic switch-off facility means over-inflation is no longer an issue! Weighing in at less than 500g, this pump takes up very little room in the car, garage or wherever you choose to store it.
December 2020 | 47
Arisun XLR8 Sentinel Tyre
Distributor: Raleigh, ZyroFisher, Bob Elliot, i-ride
Distributor: Jungle Products
The R5 is Scope’s most aerodynamic wheelset, with a rim width of 26mm and a depth of 55mm it is tailored for high speed. The road-specific wide carbon wheels are the first choice for Scope’s sponsored road teams with the rim brake version only weighing 1.595g. The R5 is based on the findings of computational fluid dynamics and efficiently reduces drag. Tests showed that the R5 sets a new performance benchmark in its category.
Ruban and eRuban Plus are Continental’s new energy-saving SUV all-rounders that cover you, both for rural and urban. The partner for your commute, running errands and the weekend ride. Covering 26in, 27.5 and 29in from 2.1 to 2.6in widths. Options include E25 wire bead, E25 folding, which is a tubeless ready shieldwall system casing, and an E50 eRuban Plus featuring a hybrid Poly-X and Plus anti-puncture breaker.
The Reserve 25 is designed for gravel bikes and supports a 40-55mm 650b tyre, delivering extra traction and a bit more cushion than a 700c wheel, thanks to the additional air volume. The hookless design belies its mountain bike provenance, and J-bend spokes and external nipples make it ideal for long tours where replacement and repair isn’t so much a matter of if, but when.
The Arisun XLR8 Sentinel has a V-shaped tread that was adapted from Arisun’s BMX range for precise grip and quick acceleration and reflective sidewalls to ensure high visibility. Arisun’s K-Rubber Defence technology defends against punctures with a 1.5mm thick composite mix of rubber and kevlar, whilst its P-Rubber Defence tech adds further protection with a 5mm thick layer of high-elastic rubber.
48 | December 2020
Princeton Carbon Works
Inner Tube Range
29in ‘Boost’ Disc Wheelset
Distributor: Chicken CycleKit
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
Distributor: Silverfish UK
Distributor: Ison Distribution
Excellent value inner tubes, manufactured by Schwalbe under the IMPAC brand. With boxed singles and bulk workshop pack available, these are the perfect inner tubes to stock the shelves. Made from quality Butyl and with tube sizes ranging from 12in through 700c to 29in, Schrader or Presta valves in multiple lengths, there is an inner tube suitable for your needs.
These 29in wheels boast WTB STi29 tubeless-ready wide trail rims, as well as excellent quality sealed cartridge bearing Formula hubs. A 29mm internal width offers fantastic tyre stability, whilst the Formula hubs will ensure these wheels reliably keep on turning mile upon mile, kilometre after kilometre. The Shimano freehub will happily accommodate the cassette of your choice, from 8-speed all the way to 11-speed.
The Protek Road Tyre is a sturdy and versatile tyre ideally suited to everyday use on city tarmac and tracks. Designed for greater rolling efficiency, the Protek has a robust construction and a 1mm reinforcement offering effective anti-puncture protection. The tyre also features a progressive sipe density design with more sipes on the shoulders for excellent wet grip and reflective bands on the sidewalls to improve safety in low light conditions.
Giro d’Italia winning wheels! Advanced aerospace engineering facilitates better speed through the breakthrough of dynamic cross-section variability – Wake – which yields lower drag and reduced effects of vortex shedding. Optimised mechanical design paired with advanced manufacturing increases stress distribution and enables weight reduced layup schedule.
December 2020 | 49
STUCK FOR STOCK? Urban . Road . MTB . Gravel . Workshop
Aliso/Romero TLC MTB
Fusion 5 Performance
XC SLS RC 29 Carbon
Distributor: Oxford Products
Available in two versions, the Panaracer Aliso and Romero are two new tyres from US product designer Derin Stockton. Available in multiple widths in both 27.5in and 29in. Both designs use a triple compound tread to suit a variety of conditions and also come in two versions. HO (High Output) for a more dynamic ride and ST (Super Tough) with the addition of a Bead Filler and Anti-Flat Plus Casing to give you the ultimate protection on the harshest terrain.
The performance model of the Fusion 5 family from tubeless tyre pioneers Hutchinson is the perfect all-rounder for road cyclists wishing to go both fast and far. Featuring a Kevlar reinforcement under the tread, the Fusion 5 Performance provides reassurance and superior durability up to 4,000 km. With a supple 127 TPI casing and low weight starting at 190g, the Fusion 5 Performance is available in four sizes from 23mm to 30mm.
The flagship model when it comes to XC and marathon. This SLS or Superlight Series wheel weighs in at an incredible 1286g. The wheels come with Acros Nineteen XC Boost Hubs which are made from highstrength 7075 aluminium. Finished off with Sapim CXRay spokes, this is one of the lightest wheels around.
The CST Pika was made for the backroads. The tyre rolls fast on loose gravel thanks to its ramped centre knobs and provides traction in corners due to U-shaped shoulder knobs. The Pika features dual-compound tread for the perfect combination of mileage and grip. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s equipped with exceptional puncture safety protection thanks to a tightlywoven poly-fibre insert between the tread and the casing.
December 2020 | 51
303 Firecrest Disc Wheelset
Next R Carbon Wheels
Distributor: Moore Large
Distributor: Silverfish UK
Distributor: Extra UK
Designed for e-bikes and busy commuters, the quick fit inner tube is designed to allow fitment without removing the wheel. If you get a puncture whilst out simply cut out the old tube, slightly inflate the quick-fit tube and insert it, then inflate and you’re good to go. The essential accessory for quick application and minimum disruption.
With the 303 Firecrest, Zipp has achieved ‘Total System Efficiency’ through reduced weight (290g lighter than previous iteration), trademark Aerodynamics, reduced body vibration loss and reduced rolling resistance, proving to be more capable than ever in meeting the demands of the modern rider, who may ride more than just tarmac roads.
Race Face’s carbon wheelset is designed to take the punishment any trail can throw at it. Striking the balance between shredready and climb-crushing, the wheels come in a range of width options and sizes all of which are built for enduro style abuse, and an offset spoke hole layout delivering improved tension balance to up the sturdiness and premium Super-Fast Engagement Vault Hubs.
The new RYOT 33 is built around a 33mm rim with a wide 21mm inner width, perfect for wider tyres whilst still maintaining a smooth aerodynamic profile with the tyre. Built around the new DT Siss 240 EXP hub, the RYOT 33 wheelset weighs only 1465g, excellent for climbers wanting to experience the benefits of wider tyres, or even for light gravel riders with tyres up to 42mm!
17 ETC Quick Fit Inner Tube 700 X 35
52 | December 2020
Latex Inner Tube 47mm Valve
Eagle F1 Tubeless
Distributor: Lyon Cycle
Distributor: Upgrade Bikes
Teravail intentionally designs tyres to honour and conquer specific terrain. The Washburn is a new high-performance tyre suitable for gravel and all-road riding. Ideal for rides that cover everything from rough pavement to fast gravel, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tyre that suits our British winter road riding needs perfectly. A slick centre tread improves rolling efficiency for floating over dirt and gravel or rough tarmac.
Challenge seamless latex inner tubes save riding energy compared to butyl tubes. Latex is more supple so reduces rolling resistance and improves comfort, traction and cornering. Puncture protection is greatly improved as latex is more flexible, extending up to eight times its original size, whereas butyl only about 1.5 times. Latex tubes are typically lighter at 60g for the Challenge 19-28mm tube.
The Rock Hawk is the ideal mountain bike tyre for loose footing, mud and rainy conditions. It is perfect for tough climbs, technical downhill grip and is practically unstoppable thanks to its proficiency across a variety of off-road terrain. It has low rolling resistance thanks to its level profile and the large, wellsupported side lugs were designed for aggressive cornering. Available in a range of sizes with EPS puncture protection.
The ultra high-performance all-round road race tyre that brings tour performance without the price tag. Available currently in black in both tube and tubeless options. Tan wall is hitting the shelves late 2020. Lightweight and durable bringing performance to every rider. The dual angle bead makes tubeless easy at home, on the side of the road or in the workshop. Contact your local bike shop to get your hands on a pair.
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SG2 Puncture Protection
Inner Tube Sealant
All WTB 37mm+ gravel tyres are now available with a 120tpi casing and all-new SG2 puncture protection. SG2 is a lightweight, ultra-thin nylon insert that provides bead-to-bead coverage ensuring all surfaces of the tyre are provided with an additional level of defence against punctures. The SG2 puncture protection layer provides 33% more sidewall protection and 17% more tread protection than 60tpi models.
With a 24mm internal width and coming in 650b or 700c options, the DT Swiss GR1600 gravel wheels are perfect for anyone looking to venture off the beaten path. Running DT’s tried and tested 350 hub internals inside a Spline hub design, they have all the reliability you need for off-road adventures. Spokes are a combination of Aero Comp and new Aero design and, of course, the wheels come tubeless ready straight out of the box.
Muc-Off ’s No Puncture Hassle Inner Tube Sealant is easy to install. The water-soluble, non-hazardous sealant contains molecules that will seal holes in 4mm tubes that have Schrader and Presta valves with removable valve cores and will work on multiple punctures, continuing to work for the life of the inner tube without drying out. Ensure that your ride is uninterrupted.
The rider’s choice designed to prevent time off the bike by sealing punctures as they happen. The environmentally friendly water-based sealant plugs holes immediately and permanently with minimal loss of pressure. Designed to last the life of an inner tube, Weldtite Inner Tube Sealant is perfect for commuting, e-bikes and e-scooters.
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Cycling footwear 1 2
Stylus Road Shoe
1.0 Flat Pedal Shoes
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
Distributor: Silverfish UK
Take your gravel riding up a notch with the Bont Vaypor G. This shoe sets new standards for those with a passion for dirt. Lighter, stronger, faster; thanks to Bont’s industry-leading carbon technology and biomechanical efficiency. Even in the muddiest of conditions, the Grip plate found on the sole efficiently relieves the shoe of dirt providing you with excellent purchase. It’s not all about the sole, either.
The Stylus features our premium Synchwire single-layer upper that conforms to the foot, and provides phenomenal structural support and ventilation. Three compression molded Velcro straps provide tried and true tightening to create a comfortable, supportive fit. Our injection molded nylon and glass fibre outsole, with over-molded heel and toe pads plus a universal 3/2 cleat bolt pattern, gives you the power and versatility you need to get the most out of every ride.
In the last two years, Ride Concepts has taken the riding shoe market by storm and leading the charge is the allmountain Hellion. This shoe has an emphasis on increased protection, durability, grip and awesomeness. For hardcharging riders who seek out the gnarliest conditions, the Hellion ups the ante when it comes to foot comfort and pedal control on flat pedals. SRP £119.95. Available in men’s and women’s; black, charcoal and purple.
A casual everyday shoe that offers superb pedal grip and mountain bike level performance. The upper is made from durable suede, perforated to keep your feet cool and features Active Carbon (a moisture-wicking, quick-dry, antibacterial, anti-odour material) to guarantee all-day fresh feet. The Sticky Leatt Lab sole offers outstanding grip and has a dualcompound design, with a bit of give for off the bike comfort but a stiffened pedal-contact area, for optimal pedal response and power-transfer.
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Winter Road Shoes
CTX20 Leisure SPD
X2 Terra Artica
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
Distributor: Moore Large
Distributor: Extra UK
Taking the best and making it better, the S-Phyre RC902 takes Shimano’s super popular S-Phyre shoe and adds a whole host of improvements. From the brand new BOA Li2 dials for closure, to the refined Dynalast sole and a improved toe box shape to accommodate a larger range of foot shapes, the RC902 is a true top-end road shoe.
Get ready for winter with these specifically designed road shoes from XLC. The soles are constructed out of robust fibreglass, with structured PVC offering extra support in the heel area. Undo the YKK rearzipper and you’ll find an inner shoe with laces, enabling you to tighten or loosen the fit to suit your preference. An outer waterproof coating helps your feet stay dry, whilst a polstered terry inner lining provides an extra layer of comfort, perfect for cold winter rides.
Riding to work or hitting the trail is more comfortable if you have the right footwear. The ETC CTX20 is a lightweight, lace-up shoe that is SPD compatible with stiff mid sole designed to make pedalling easier.
Thanks to its eVent waterproof/ breathable membrane, Artica X2 sheds water and sleet. With its cosy insulated fleece liner and insole, riders’ feet will stay dry and warm when the temperature drops. The upper’s outside offers protection from the elements: its layered, hardwearing ripstop woven fabric resists tearing and ripping. A Boa-controlled closure system provides a quick and accurate microadjustable fit, while the zippered ankle cuff ensures that the worst of the weather stays out.
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