BikeBiz July 2019

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July 19

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‘Have fun playing around with your displays and don’t be afraid to ‘fail’’

CONTENT Editor James Groves

Graphic Designer Tom Carpenter Production Manager Sarah Lamb

ADVERTISING SALES Sales Manager Richard Setters +44 (0)779 480 5307

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INTERNATIONAL BikeBiz and its content are available for licensing and syndication re-use. Contact Colin Wilkinson for opportunities and permissions.

MANAGEMENT Media Director Colin Wilkinson Printed by Buxton Press Ltd ISSN: 1476-1505 Copyright 2019

Biz Media Ltd, Axe & Bottle Court, 70 Newcomen St, London SE1 1YT All contents © 2019 Biz Media Ltd. or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Biz Media Ltd. cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Biz Media Ltd. and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Biz Media Ltd. nor its employees, agents, subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions.

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Don’t let the sun go down on you Last month, I optimistically talked about how summer had finally arrived and fantasised about the months of optimal riding weather ahead. As it turns out, I may have jumped the gun a little on that front. Putting awkward introductory small talk about the weather aside, and assuming the clouds eventually disperse in the UK, the summer months offer a fantastic opportunity for bike shops, not only because more customers will be on the streets, but also because it gives them the freedom to experiment with their displays to find their most effective presentation strategy. As many retailers will already know, you simply cannot leave your product range in the same shape all year-round, nor can you rotate on a random basis. Every retailer needs an effective sales strategy that aligns not only with the shop ethos, but also the target customer. It is vital to establish a clear idea of both of these before forming any grand presentation plans. Regardless of the number of bikes, parts and accessories a shop may have on display, a compelling showcase needs to be constructed that allows specific items to stand out and come alive. Naturally, you cannot do this for every product, else it simply becomes loud, visual noise that delivers the opposite impact and makes the display unattractive to your customers. Ensure you select seasonal brands and categories that are able to be rotated – with a coherent strategy in mind – to keep your shop original and fresh. But most importantly, have fun playing around with your displays and don’t be afraid to ‘fail’ – you only have to refresh the display the following week and try again. On a final, unrelated note, don’t forget to head to to submit your nominations for this year’s event – the window closes on 12th July.

James Groves


Editorial: 020 3143 8779 Advertising: 0779 480 5307


Staff Writer Rebecca Morley

Rebecca Morley

Richard Setters

Tom Carpenter

staff writer

sales manager

graphic designer

+44 (0)203 143 8777

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JULY 2019 Opinion



Addressing a cultural shift British e-bike brand Emu looks at how we can grow the industry by growing the e-bike sector


Breezing the bike sales lane SEO experts Dojono identify eight ways of implementing digital marketing to boost bike sales




A grassroots company BikeBiz catches up with my Boo founder and CEO Maximilian Schay as the bamboo bikes company turns its attention to the UK market

33 Brooks and mortar Rebecca Morley takes a tour of the Brooks factory in Smethwick

IBD Focus



A family affair Ron Spencer Cycles recently relocated. Suzy Spencer talks about modernisation, clearing out 40 years of stock and family history

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Addressing a cultural shift 6 | July 2019

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Emu founder Jonathan Rose looks at how we can grow the industry by growing the e-bike sector


e are standing before a cultural shift that will have a longstanding impact on the way that bicycles are consumed and used in the UK. That cultural shift concerns e-bikes. The electrification of bicycles continues to be a point of controversy among a limited few. There remains a lingering macho attitude to cycling. Riding a bike is seen by some consumers as a means to an end: getting in shape, rather than getting from A to B.

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Electric bikes are painted by some as cheating, because for those enthusiasts, cycling is an athletic pursuit. But perpetuating this myth within the industry is not helping anyone. In the 1950s, cycling was popular among those who couldn’t afford a car. At some point, however, we moved to see it as a sport and stopped relying on it as a mainstream form of transit. With the development of modern transportation modes, the British population lost touch with cycling. Meanwhile, bikes have flourished in continental Europe. European countries have done an excellent job in promoting cycling as a means of transport; this has been reflected in e-bike sales figures. Germany is currently selling 20 times the number of e-bikes that we do, while the Netherlands, with a population of less than a third of ours, sells about tenfold the number. Cycling is widely perceived as a sensible form of transport on the continent, whereas there seems to be a misguided perception here that our wet climate is a hindrance. Yet, in Amsterdam, there are on average 120 days of rain, while in London, we have a mere 108. Certainly, cyclists are somewhat better-served in these countries in the way of infrastructure. However, we can’t deny that a lot has been done here – especially in London – over the last few years to bring our infrastructure in line with countries where the bike industry is thriving. Cycling lanes are now excellent in the capital, and investment continues to be poured into this endeavour. The fact is that cycling in the middle of London is just about the safest thing you can do, because traffic can’t move. But a lot still needs to be done. The Government’s target for growing the cyclists in London will never be achieved unless we take a more aggressive stance on encouraging e-bikes. E-bikes follow the growth of cycling and represent a mature market step. A major problem that the industry at large faces here is the relative obscurity of cycling in the UK. Unlike fish and chips, bitter, black cabs, and double-decker buses, bikes are not seen as iconic representations of the country. They’re not fridge magnet material – yet. Cycling wasn’t really a sport here until big names like Bradley Wiggins came on the scene. There’s still work to be done for it to be perceived as a cultural emblem. That starts with making cycling the norm. In order to do so, more bikes need to be on the road, and cycling needs to be made more accessible to the large portion of the British population for whom pedal power is not possible. Many struggle with mobility, are unable to keep up with their cycling partner, or just don’t want to overexert themselves on their way to work. These people need not be written off as target consumers. Electric bikes empower cyclists to undertake journeys that are longer than they would feel otherwise comfortable, and mitigate the need to shower and change in the office. E-bikes are not competitors to standard bicycles – they are complementary. They get more people in the saddle, and therein present an effective opportunity for expanding the cycle market. The e-bike consumer base has much more potential for total industry growth than it is given credit by those who are resisting this cultural shift on the basis that e-bikes are ‘cheating’.

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And although e-bike users are unlikely to wear Lycra, more consumers lead to increased acquisitions across other sectors, like rain gear, shoes, locks, helmets, and even standard bikes, where the purchase has been made as part of a quality-time activity for a couple or family. The benefits that e-bikes carry not only for the industry, but for the population in general, are enormous. They are both industry-expanding and radically beneficial to the environment. E-bikes are a viable alternative to driving in a country whose carbon emissions are woefully high, but the perception that a bicycle cannot be used to run errands is inhibiting growth. You wouldn’t dream of taking a racing bike to get your shopping. But, with an e-bike and panniers, a cyclist can easily carry a weekly shop, and run other errands for which many are currently dependent on cars. Consumers need to be shown that e-bikes are a much more enjoyable mode of transport than underground trains, buses, or cars. They allow you to explore your surroundings, and present opportunities for quality social time. They pose a solution to the (flawed) argument that cycling is impossible in bad weather, because sweating is minimal, and thin waterproofs prevent clothing getting wet. It’s widely said that e-bike riders get 80% of the benefit of pedal power, but as they can be used in all weathers with comfort, the consumer really gets more than 80% simply through increased usage. It’s a quicker way of getting around cities, a healthier way, a greener way, and a cheaper way. We would, of course, benefit from Government efforts to introduce e-bikes as economical. A policy initiative that is fairly low-cost would help the population to save money, meet its environmental goals, and improve public health. Indeed, the news last week of the increased limit on bikes purchased using the Cycle to Work scheme bodes well.

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Still, more can be done to encourage growth. In the near future, I do hope to see incentives like the ones in France – ones that apply specifically to electric bikes. The Government has already set up a website, but its total visitation numbers are low. Currently the shortage of resources is a barrier to Governmental support. So we have to take matters into our own hands. What can we do about it from within the industry? Perceptions about cycling in the UK can be overcome, but it’s going to take a habits change. When product visibility improves, the industry will grow; e-bikes are the key to getting more bikes on the road. However, many high-quality e-bikes are still out of many consumers’ price ranges, and affordable e-bikes are still not as available to the public as they should be. While we wait for the Government to step up and incentivise e-bikes, we need to take action from the bottom up by making the product accessible to everyone. E-bikes represent a small part of the UK industry, but that part is significant, and growing quickly. Within our company, our sales trebled last year. There will be a moment when e-bikes take off, and that moment is very fast approaching. But it’s a case of chicken and egg. All retailers should be carrying e-bikes, with the range ideally organised in order of good, better and best. If e-bikes aren’t available in IBDs, consumers will turn to majors to meet that need, and the independents won’t see the benefits on the horizon. n

You can contact Jonathan Rose to discuss the Emu range on 07803 290 587 or

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WE ARE MANUFACTURING Our exciting new range of KX Wheels are produced right here at Bob Elliot HQ. Utilising our specialist machinery, we prepare the hubs using reliable, economical, high quality componentry and lace the wheels before finishing them to precise tolerances with the use of a robot which are then quality checked to deliver the perfect wheel every time. Competitively priced replacement wheels offering a wide selection for 700C and all MTB disciplines. » Built here at Bob Elliot HQ « » Quality componentry from all around the World « » Over 50 years combined wheel building experience « » All wheels finished to exacting tolerances « » Comprehensive range, competitively priced « » Next day delivery available « To find out more about KX Wheels contact your area sales manager or email or call us on 01772 459887


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Breezing the bike sales lane SEO specialist Dojono identifies seven ways of implementing digital marketing to boost bike sales

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hether you are selling bikes, renting bikes, or providing a supporting service to cycling enthusiasts, you will undoubtedly be on the lookout for new ways to engage your target audience and drive additional sales through your website. Online presence needs to work for you, and the first step you can take to ensure that is to look into various SEO strategies. So, in a highly-competitive market, how can you use digital marketing to breeze the bike sales lane? Get social Modern consumers naturally seek out personal experiences that are pro-social and cycling certainly ticks that box. If every moment in your shop feels like a business transaction, things can get a little sterile and boring. By getting social, you can connect with your existing and potential new customers in a more personal way. Via social media, you can build an audience of people who are specifically interested in cycling, and develop them from there. Social media platforms can be used to share information, advertise events and sales and provide interesting industry news. If you want to implement social media effectively as part of your digital marketing campaign, you need to create a presence for your business on all social media platforms (namely Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter) and encourage conversations from your customers/followers. Every time you post and interact on these platforms, you remind your target audience that you are there and that you have something of value to offer them. Open a Facebook shop and enable shopping on Instagram In 2019, most modern consumers are digitally minded. They want instant gratification, so it’s simply not enough that they can find your company details accompanied by a couple of nice pictures of bikes on your social media pages. They want more than that – they want to have a seamless shopping experience. If they see something that they like on Facebook or Instagram they should be able to buy it immediately. Setting up a Facebook shop and enabling Instagram shopping provides this type of instant gratification that consumers have come to demand and expect. Having these pages also shows search engines that you are providing an all-round experience to your consumers and as a result, your pages will appear higher in search results. Post interesting content A great way to sell more, be it bikes or parts and accessories, is to provide quality content that has meaning to your target audience. The best way to ensure that your content is of a high quality is to keep an eye on cycling news and create posts that are closely relevant and of deep interest to your customers. But it doesn’t end there. Monitoring the performance of each post is important thereafter. Capitalise on the posts that seem to resonate with your audience. The posts that receive the most likes, responses and views should be promoted and reposted at a later date. Take advantage of paid advertising to boost/promote posts that are already doing well.

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Use email marketing to build customer relationships Email marketing is a great way to connect with cyclists before you convert them into paying customers. Many people prefer email communications as they have a record on file and can refer back to the content when they have the time. Collecting email addresses to populate your mailing list must be done with care, however – you don’t want to send content to those who have little to no interest in cycling. With this in mind, you should use pop-ups and mail list sign up forms on your website. You can also collect email addresses at cycling events and by hosting competitions or offering freebies in-store, at events or on your website. Email content should be succinct, eye-catching and memorable. You can create the following types of email content for effective digital marketing outcomes: • Welcome emails • Informative content (‘how-to’ content on various bicycle products and challenges) • Discount and special offers on bikes and P&A • Presentation of new products/ranges • Reminder emails • Monthly newsletter aimed specifically at cyclists • Create video posts It’s no secret that the more visually appealing your advertising is, the more attention it will get from your target audience. Consumers love advertising that entices the eye, and luckily for you, the cycling world is filled with action and beautiful scenery which is a great combination for video content. By creating videos, you are providing your customers with convenience as they don’t have to sit down and read lengthy pieces of content. Instead, you are creating an attractive, memorable way to deliver information. ‘How-to’ and explainer videos are highly-effective marketing mediums. To ensure you create video content that your audience will love, you must: • Create video content that meets the expectations of your customers. Ensure that your video is interesting and relevant to a cyclist • Present videos in a fun, entertaining, and educational way. There is no need to be boring. After all, if you manage to make cycling seem boring, you are doing something very wrong • Do market research to see what your competitors are posting and how the public is responding to it You don’t have to steal their ideas, but you can find some inspiration for your own content creation and perhaps cover areas they might be missing. Perhaps they are not explaining how various products work or maybe you can provide information on the latest cycling events you have attended (or that are coming up). You can use the services of a professional digital marketing company to assist you, or you could use free video editing software to learn how to create your own videos. Clipchamp Create and Headliner are popular, generous, free video-editing software programmes.

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If your website is not designed and optimised for mobile, you could be missing out on a huge portion of the market

Claim your GMB (Google My Business) page and ensure your details are up to date Having an accurate GMB page can boost SEO results. When a customer Google searches for local cycle shops or suppliers of bicycles and gear, GMB pages provide accurate information on nearby businesses that match that search criteria. It is a free, user-friendly tool aimed at businesses that want to easily manage their online presence, especially when browsers are searching for a local service in their niche market. These posts appearing in search engine results include details such as contact information, maps and a website address that will direct customers to your bike shop or to your website/social media pages. Browsers can also leave quick reviews and comments, making it easy to share meaningful advice with other customers and thus enhancing the customer experience. As far as search engine optimisation goes, Google is prone to showing the results of GMB pages that business owners have claimed and updated. Enhance the customer experience with AI (Artificial Intelligence) With AI you can automate routine tasks, which frees up your time to focus on other key areas of the business. Customers like to be in touch and have access to services 24/7. Perhaps a cyclist wants to ask a few questions about a specific type of seat or tyre, but it is late and no cycle shops are open. Using a chatbot on your website, for instance, is a great way to give customers instant access to information whenever they need.

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AI is now smart enough that in some instances, customers may not realise they are communicating with a bot. These bots can greet customers, answer questions, gather contact details, and provide product and service information. Providing this type of convenience again enhances the customer experience. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly SEO efforts should not just be aimed at content and strategic keyword use. You should also ensure that your website is designed to be as convenient as possible for your customers. Cyclists who like to hit the bike lane and spend hours outdoors often do not spend time browsing cycling websites on their computers. The outdoorsy type uses their mobile phone to access the internet, buy products, do research and keep in touch with the cycling community. If your website is not designed and optimised for mobile, you could be missing out on a huge portion of the market. A website that is designed and optimised for mobile will display correctly on a variety of devices, provide fast loading times, ensure safe and secure payment options, and guarantee quick and easy contact. Last word If you want to get ahead in the cycling business world, you need to take an active interest in your digital marketing strategy. The digital marketing tips above will certainly have you breezing along the bike sales lane in no time at all. n

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DRT5 Designed with eyewear in mind, the DRT5 features an innovative Eyewear Landing Zone, which is a designated place to securely stow your favorite trail eyewear during climbs, descents and off-bike breaks. The Eyewear Landing Zone works by using finger-like hooks built into the rear vents of the helmets that can be opened and closed while riding. When open, the hooks will securely catch your eyewear stems during the stowing process and when closed they lay flush with the exterior surface of the helmet. If stowing eyewear during climbs or off-bike breaks, leave the hooks open for easier on/ off access. During descents, close the hooks which will lock them down onto the eyewear stems, ensuring your trail eyewear stays secure when things get rowdy. With the Eyewear Landing Zone you can stow with confidence, let the fresh air hit your face rejuvenating you to keep going.

Radar EV Advancer Oakley Radar EV Advancer takes the proven performance innovations of Radar EV to the next level. With a taller lens shape that creates a new design aesthetic and Oakley Advancer technology to keep you cool and fog free in the toughest conditions, Radar EV Advancer is designed to keep athletes moving confidently and seamlessly at any speed.

Graphene Aero Jersey The next time you hit a hill with a punishing push, rely on the road-ready performance of our race fit Graphene Aero Jersey. Developed with Directa Plus’ G+ Graphene technology, the front and back panels dissipate heat as it pulls it from your body. The aerodynamic sleeve fabric is designed to slice through the wind, and with seamless grip, it won’t ride up. Three back pockets store your essentials, and a fourth pocket helps to keep your valuables secure.

Sutro Oakley Sutro redefines the look of traditional sports-performance eyewear. Inspired by the daily life of urban cyclists, the high-wrap shield creates a bold, versatile look, protects from the elements and enhances vision with Prizm lens technology, while inspiring athletes to move confidently and seamlessly through their day.

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Distributed in the UK & Ireland by Extra UK


‘‘For superior comfort and maximum durability in any weather.’’


Robust Fibreglass Reinforced Nylon Frame

In the city or touring abroad, the Brooks Cambium All Weather saddle naturally flexes for superior comfort and maximum durability through a vulcanised rubber and waterproof nylon top. Meticulously constructed in a modern aesthetic, the Cambium All Weather is the perfect combination of comfort and style for a lifetime on the bike.


Weatherproof & Durable Nylon Fabric

For bicycles living outdoors, the saddle is normally the first component to show its weakness. Absorbing water when it rains and unsuited to withstand damage from abrasions, after a short time most will be found torn and deteriorating. Or, if more durably built, lacking the comfort of a performance-based design. Until now.

Naturally Flexible


A grassroots company my Boo, a young business from Kiel in Germany, develops and produces sustainable bikes using bamboo. BikeBiz ccaught aught up with founder and CEO Maximilian Schay as the company turns its attention to the UK market

Can you give us a little background on the my Boo brand? my Boo develops and produces high-quality bicycles made from the sustainable raw material bamboo. It succeeds in combining social engagement, an innovative product and sustainable economic activity all at once. In 2012, our two founders – Maximilian Schay and Jonas Stolze – got inspired by a photo of a simple assembled bamboo bicycle.

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Soon, the idea was born to found a company that successfully reconciles social commitment, an innovative product and sustainable economic activity. In 2013, my Boo started producing the bicycle frames together with a social project in Ghana, where the bamboo grows. The aim of the project is to provide educational opportunities for children, adolescents and women in rural Ghana so that they have a chance to take their future in their own hands.

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Today, my Boo is Europe’s largest bamboo bike manufacturer with a team of 25 in Germany and 35 frame builders in the partner project in Ghana and further expansion is on the cards. In January 2019, we began distributing bamboo bikes in the UK. What area of the cycling market does my Boo target? We have a wide model range to provide each customer with a suitable bike. my Boo manufactures women’s, men’s, city, trekking, cross-road, racing and e-bike models. Furthermore, all models are available in different frame sizes and colours to offer an individual style. All frames are manually manufactured in Ghana. Back in Germany, the bicycles get assembled by hand which makes them unique and high-quality. What are the benefits of using bamboo? Bamboo is a unique material. The ecological advantages are that it naturally grows in Ghana, plus it’s extremely fast growing. Furthermore, it bounds C02 which remains in the frame during the manufacturing. This makes it a sustainable raw material.

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Regarding the advantages of using bamboo for bike frame production, it is as light as aluminium and comfortable like steel, extremely stable and also shock-absorbing. Everyone wants a light bike and the flex adds comfort and a ‘forgiving’ feeling to the ride. We combine these excellent characteristics with the best bike parts. Can you talk us through the harvesting and building processes? The raw material comes from the region where the production is located. The bamboo is growing wildly in many places in Ghana. When the bamboo reaches its height of 20 to 25 metres and has a specific diameter and outer wall thickness, it will be harvested by hand. The grass is then cut to specific lengths and then dries for about three weeks before it can be made into a frame. The entire manufacturing process is done with loving handicraft. For the construction there are five small metal components made of aluminium added, for example, on the seat tube, bottom bracket and where fork meets frame.

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These serve as fixed points as well as a receptacle for the technical parts of the bicycle. Precise symmetry is accomplished while assembling the frame by using a German-developed clamping device. The frame gets lifted out of the mould and wrapped in frayed and resin impregnated hemp fibres, purchased on Ghanaian markets. Those stabilise and fix the construction. After curing, rasp, file and sandpaper are used at the connection points. This is how the striking rootwood-like appearance is created. The frame is getting checked for its correct dimensions in Ghana and finally treated with a tinted varnish, which protects it from wind and weather, saltwater and everyday influences. About 80 hours of manual work are then put into one bamboo frame. After all these steps, the frame is ready to be sent by sea freight to Germany. The bikes get assembled in our headquarters in Kiel. Tell us about the local educational programmes. In Ghana, education is a privilege not everyone can enjoy. Although compulsory school attendance has been established,

parents must pay fees, even for public institutions. In addition to that, children are obliged to wear school uniforms which are expensive too. Many parents are not able to afford that. That is one reason for children to stay at home. my Boo is convinced that education is the key to a child’s self-determined future. Therefore, in 2017, we laid the foundation of the ‘Yonso Project x my Boo School’ together with our Ghanaian partner. Upon completion, children from the Ashanti Region will learn critical thinking and self-dependence there. There should be a growing generation, which is able to change the country, not only economically but also politically and socially. Independently from that, over 300 scholarships have been allocated and numerous libraries have been equipped in the Ashanti Region since 2014. Moreover, our ‘Bike to School project’ has been a great success. Children often have such a long way to school that they either never start going there or stop after a short amount of time. 40% of the Ghanaian people have never entered a school. 27% quit before finishing (National Analytical Report). The programme equips students with bicycles to make their way to school easier.

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my Boo founder and CEO Maximilian Schay

fully satisfied with the bamboo bikes. Now, we are really looking forward to offering our bicycles to the UK market. What are your plans for expansion into the UK? Where could we pick one up? In January 2019 we started distributing bamboo bikes in the UK. Today we have more than ten reseller partners in the UK. Our aim is to expand our network of reseller partners to ensure optimal geographic coverage of this market. If a customer is interested in a bicycle, we would send it to the nearest reseller.

What has the reaction to the product been like so far? Customers and journalists have been enthralled by our social story so far and our dedication to innovation as well as sustainability. Furthermore, the European specialist trade has accepted the bicycles very well. We have about 100 dealers in Germany, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Slovakia, the Netherlands and Sweden. Several thousand bicycles are on European roads and our customers are

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What are your plans for 2020 and beyond? Our plans for 2020 are to internationalise our business. We are strong in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and are focusing a lot on the UK this year as well as Belgium and the Netherlands. In the next five years, we want to be present and strong in nearly all European countries. We also want to stay the leading company in the (small) bamboo bike industry. That means we will also invest a lot into product development. We want to create even more jobs in Ghana and would like to see our school that is being built right now in great conditions. Hopefully, we can build some more in the following years. n

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Mountain biking without limits.

Go anywhere, do everything.

It’s not too late for dealers to join the party. In stock now.

S3.7 RRP ÂŁ4099

Distributed in the UK by




Tel: 0131 319 1444


Crank it up Rebecca Morley chats to Crankalicious director Tony Hetherington in Elsenham, Essex about the role the brand plays in the bike care market


rankalicious’ products are made by the brand at its premises in Elsenham, Essex – taking the ‘handmade’ part of its logo very seriously. Using bespoke formulas, high-quality raw chemicals and various methods of measuring, heating, melting, stirring and pouring, the products are created in small batches. The maximum pour size is a few hundred litres, so the brand can develop products from batch to batch if it needs to. For the final touch, it applies the labels by hand. There are no robots there or million-pound production lines. The brand was launched in 2016 and offers a wide range of products and accessories that ‘take cycle care to a new level’.

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It also has a selection of accessories, designed specifically to complement its products. “People often still here of us for the very first time at events or even in the small advertising we’ve done,” says director Tony Hetherington. “What’s working very well for us at the moment is giveaways, for example, we have what we call Kwipes. These are what I call ‘quick wipes’. We’ve got five of these in different parts of our product range. They’re small heavy-duty wipes, you can use them and throw them away. They’re recyclable and they’re biodegradable. They’re super useful for bike packing holidays, for trips to Portugal for three days, as it means you don’t need to take products through security.

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Using bespoke formulas, highquality raw chemicals and various methods of measuring, heating, melting, stirring and pouring, the products are created in small batches

“We’ve also found a use for them in giveaways. Anything from track days or even events where they’re giving away goody bags. We find the best way for people to start using our products, to get invested in our products, is just to use them. The moment they’ve used them once they really love them and enjoy them, and they come back for more. Our return rate is fantastic, we’ve just got to get there in the first place.” The Kwipes work as a standalone cleaner, but they are also designed to complement other products in the Crankalicious range. They’re available in Carboniferous Matt Detailer, Epic Hide Vinyl Cleanser, Gumchained Remedy Chain Cleaner, Like Pneu Tyre Cleaner and Pineapple Express Bike Cleaner. They work well for shops as well who might want to do giveaways but don’t want to give whole bottles away because they’ve got limited budgets. “Other than that we’ve got our 100ml bottles which work very well as an introduction to the brand. It’s an odd pricing point, people are less sure on spending £12 on something to try it, but they’re more than happy to spend £4 on something to try it. It’s a tiny distinction but actually it’s the difference between us getting in with them or not,” he continues.

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Crankalicious is a flexible company that’s also in the UK and it will listen to feedback. This is a company that says it wants to work with retailers, as opposed to saying: ‘Here’s a product, take it.’ Hetherington continues: “We’ve done a lot of small retail events now, Sunday club rides and that sort of thing, to actually getting their feedback and making changes to our products. If the opportunities come along then we do that, we can do very small batch volume runs. Being small volume manufacturing means we have the opportunity to do that sort of thing, but actually we still have the infrastructure to supply those large accounts.” Remove, improve, protect For Hetherington, the performance of the product when the brand was put together was absolutely key. He explains: “What came second was the branding, the colours and the smells. I’ve loved cleaning things, I’ve loved cars and I’ve loved bicycles for many years. I would always use car products on my bikes. They were always somehow comprised in some way, for whatever it may be, hence why we had the opportunity to put together Crankalicious. “At the very beginning, I spent probably seven or eight months purely developing the products and the range.

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“There are no two products that do the same thing, it’s a very clear and concise range. Absolutely key was the performance, and the way we achieved that performance is through very highquality raw chemicals.” He continues: “Having that attention to detail at each part of the manufacturing stage and each part of the product development stage meant that we’ve got this performance that people really love, and therefore for me, the best way to sell the product is just to get people to use it. Once they’ve used it they’re ours for life.” It’s also about thinking of new products that weren’t necessarily already out there. One product, Carboniferous, is a gloss-free detailer to remove dust, fingerprints and unwanted products from matt finishes, including uncoated carbon fibre. It is designed to preserve a unique matt finish, unlike products that are designed for a shiny bike. “What we noticed is over time more and more people use matt frame bikes, a matt finish. People were using products designed for shiny bikes, so over time, your matt bike turns shiny. You don’t really notice it in any one specific day, but over time it will happen,” Hetherington explains.

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A matt frame’s appearance is caused by many small imperfections in the surface, which is why it feels rough to the touch. In contrast, a shiny frame’s is very flat. This causes light to reflect far more easily on the surface of the frame. Therefore the way to maintain a matt appearance is by ensuring the surface remains rough, so all the small ‘lumps and bumps’ remain and light does not get reflected. Hetherington says many products on the market leave behind some trace, and over time this will fill in those bumps on a matt frame and it will become shiny. “That’s one of our best selling products so far, people really get on with it well,” he continues. “The way to look after matt bikes has always been difficult to understand, it’s never been known to look after them in a different way.” He says there is a wide range of products for pretty much ‘every part’ of the bike, and every part of the bike can be cleaned, made to look better and protected. Crankalicious’ mnemonic is ‘remove, improve, protect’ and Hetherington says the improvement part is what defines the good part of the brand. “It’s one thing just cleaning, but actually if you can make it look better then when you come to protect it and look after it in the future, actually you’re going to have a much cleaner bike, a much better-looking bike.”

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He continues: “We’ve got the basic products that will just clean the crud off, so for mountain bikers, for example, just get rid of the mud and the stones, keep it clean and free from dirt. We’ve also got the products for the road bikes to polish every nut and bolt and make it look as perfect as you can. “There’s a bit of a balance there, depending on how far you want to go. For me personally, I’m the nutter that polishes my bolts on the dining room table, hence why we put the brand together. But actually, if all we want to do is to keep it looking clean and wash it every few weeks, we’ve got those products as well.” Market reach Crankalicious was born from a wealth of experience in car care products. In 2007, Dodo Juice, which makes car care products, was being sold online and the range eventually grew from five products to over 300. Director Dom Colbeck enlisted the help of Hetherington and Crankalicious was created, in order to make the same kind of handmade products for cyclists. Hetherington says: “At the beginning of 2016 was when I came on board and we sort of put the idea for the brand together. We released to the market at the end of 2016, so January 2017 really was when we were out there ready to go, and signed up with i-ride. “i-ride loved what we were doing and wanted to be there at the start of it really. That’s gone really well, we’re in more and more shops throughout the UK. It’s our home market as well, so it’s quite an important one for us. Our model is also one of global distributions, we’ve got something like 13 distributors globally now, that’s going very well too. “We then have to develop the brand in those local markets, which is quite challenging. It’s challenging enough just doing it in the UK when it’s your own market, let alone in Denmark, Thailand, India or Poland, and so those are the challenges that we’re facing at the moment. It’s trying to activate it and find value in us being there. “We’ve got one route to that, this year as we were last we’re Team Wiggins Le Col official bike care partner.”

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The company provides a full range of cleaning and care products for the team, working closely with the team of mechanics to ensure their bike preparation can be as effective, efficient and valuable as possible. “That’s gone very well for us,” Hetherington says. “Even though they’re an under-23 team, they do have some global appeal particularly through the Wiggins name of course, so it’s a very nice thing to be associated with. Team Wiggins Le Col has kind of validated what we’re doing. We work well with the team and we get a lot of feedback from them. Over time it’s a great opportunity to look at our products and understand that what we’re doing is going well.” He continues: “Where the mechanics really find value is the protection. The bikes get used so much, they get cleaned so much. When we talk about protection, it’s about putting a layer, a really slippery, really shiny glossy layer on the outside of your bike. You can do that either through a spray or a wax. That makes it look better, but actually, it makes the dirt less likely to stick to it, and

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when you come to wash it you kind of loosely throw some water on it and it looks beautiful and clean. Over time, the more they do it, the easier it is to clean.” So what are the company’s plans for this year and next? Hetherington says: “It’s trying to get ourselves out there. The moment anyone’s used our products, that’s it, we’ve got them for life, and it’s really quite exciting. It’s elements like that, it’s trying to maximise what we do with the team, that’s in the UK of course. It’s working with our local partners, it’s with bike shops, it’s how we can best help them sell our products on. That’s for the UK market and trying to activate the brand locally in those markets. In Denmark, we’ve got Team Crankalicious Cycling. It’s an amateur team, but a tremendously successful amateur team. That’s where we’re really trying to bring the brand to life.” In terms of how quickly the brand has been able to grow in all the other markets around the world, Hetherington says: “Getting distributors on board I thought would be the biggest challenge for our new brand. Actually, I feel like the products do very well and the marketing seems very good for everybody, and so getting the distributors invested in us went very well. That was the easy bit. The challenge has been activating the brand locally and trying to get wherever it may be. BB-JUL19-GREYVILLE:Layout 1 04/06/2019 11:25 Page 1

“Team Crankalicious Cycling is a good example of that we’re doing to help that on its way. When we find a partner that is willing to work with us locally, we’re willing to do whatever we can to try and make that work. That’s really quite exciting, it’s not really where I thought my challenges would be.” Despite the competition, Hetherington says that product-wise it’s actually gone very well. “Fortunately they’ve been very well-received, but very early on when you’re putting everything together it was quite a hectic time. That was interesting. We’ve got something like 17 products that we have in both a 500ml and 100ml, or 250ml for some of them, and about ten accessories as well.” Crankalicious also has apparel care, including Aqua Merino and Soapy Kit Wash. The company also has leaflets on how to clean your bike and the product range, to help shops sell them. Hetherington concludes: “All our expertise is in the product, and the cleaning of the bike, which actually may not be true for the stores, for the retailers. I am more than happy to do anything from a Skype call through to coming instore, spending the day with customers on a ride out or something like that, talking through the best way to use the products. It would almost be a bit of a shame if bike shops took the products on board and didn’t quite know what they can do. We’re here to help, activating the brand locally, and that’s exactly what I want to do.” n

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E-JUN19-CYCLE SHOW:Layout 1 19/06/2019 14:39 Page 1


Five minutes with:

BikeBiz catches up with Mike Douglass, co-founder of Little Rider – a kids brand aimed at ages one to eight

Can you give us a little background on the Little Rider brand? Our brand is the only dedicated bike gear company that makes high quality and designed focused products for Little Riders (aged one to eight) across the world, with a focus on style, safety and sizing; all whilst being influenced by the mountain bike, BMX and moto scenes that the parents dig! We are a family-based brand, born out of the frustration of a lack of high-quality jerseys and clothing in the market for young children. Our core range is jerseys with an apparel range for the entire two-wheel crazy family. We also have in development technical pants, gloves and safety gear for young kids. For children, we want to encourage them to be active at an early age, happy and creative on two wheels. For parents, we want to provide products designed specifically for Little Riders with a focus on fit and quality to encourage children to get more involved with two-wheel sports so they can ride with the family. What is your vision for the brand? Our vision is to positively influence 100,000+ Little Riders across the world! We want to do that by building a Little Rider army of young children and their families that all love to ride. Through our brand, we want little riders to be able to start younger, be safer and look like a pro. Where is the majority of your business made? Our priority right now is the UK market and ensuring we deliver quality products to the Little Rider community here. However, we are getting a lot of international interest and are either dealing direct or via small partners across the world.

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We have kids rocking Little Rider jerseys in the UK, USA, Europe, Canada, Russia, China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan and Australia, to name a few. Do you believe being a family-founded brand gives you an edge? Massively! Our son Harrison was the inspiration for Little Rider and when we are talking to our community, they all have the same passion for their children, bikes and ensuring they have the best. The larger brands dabble in our space but often don’t get it right on the designs or fit because their focus is the mass markets, like the older kids or adults. What do you offer that other kids specialists perhaps do not? There are a lot of great kids bike brands out there, but the majority are bike manufacturers. Some of them have extended their range into technical clothing or safety, but when they do they don’t get it 100% on design, fit or the safety factor because it’s not their focus. We have flipped our focus for our mission. We don’t want to provide bikes (there’s a lot of great ones out there). We want to add value to the riding experience through gear that is designed and made with the Little Rider in mind from day one. A lot of other brands focus the design on traditional kids styles, but we have moved our brand style to designs the parents would want to wear that the Little Riders also love!

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What has the reaction to the product been like so far? The reaction to the Little Rider brand and products has been amazing! From the off, we have had positive feedback from everyone that has got their hands on a product. With the focus being on young kids and leading with style, safety and sizing, our main jersey range has delivered in all of these categories so we had great referrals from the start. It’s still early, but several magazines and blogs have reviewed the jerseys and we have had a lot of positive vibes back. With our core end-user being kids aged one to eight, we have had a lot of interest from the US and Asia as they have large balance bike communities. What are your plans for 2020 and beyond? Later this year we are looking to release our technical pants and gloves for ages two to eight. Our plans for 2020+ are to expand into a full safety gear offering around the brand for our core age group. This will include arm and leg armour. This is another area where parents struggle to find quality products that fit their Little Riders properly. I’ve seen a lot of parents put knee pads onto kids’ elbows for a better fit. With the popularity of balance bikes and kids starting to ride from a younger age, the need for us to keep our Little Riders safe increases! We are currently mapping out plans for partnerships, distributors and events but are definitely interested in collaborating with other brands that don’t currently offer our product category. Our first major event will be the Cycle Show in September so we’re looking forward to meeting more Little Rider families and getting feedback. n

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03/06/2019 16:27

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Brooks and mortar Rebecca Morley takes a tour of the Brooks factory in Smethwick to find out about the brand’s heritage and what goes into making its famous saddles


rooks England has a rich heritage of making premium saddles – one that dates back to the 19th century. JB Brook filed his first saddle patent back in 1882, and JB Brooks & Co registered as a public limited company is 1896. It has been in its current factory, based in Smethwick, since 1962, making its saddles with incredible skills and precision alongside years of experience. The 27,000 square feet factory has approximately 140 machines in total, creating a loud and busy environment. Some of the machines date back to the early 1950s, in particular the metal-working machines that bend saddle rails and create springs. Walking around, I saw some saddle moulds that displayed the dates they had been made – one was April 1956 and another 1961.

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Hamish Bingley, brand manager from Brooks, explains why Brooks still uses slightly older machinery: “This is a testament to the high-quality machinery that is used to produce the finest saddles. In keeping with the brand’s ethos of products being built to last many years, so too are some of the machines that make them! Why replace them if they’re still working well?” Brooks’ original factory was in central Birmingham, part of the Brooks family for two generations, then moved to the present Smethwick site in 1962 once sold by the second generation of the Brooks family. In terms of recent growth, the business has more than doubled in size since being acquired by Selle Royal in July 2002.

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Having a factory in the UK is significant for Brooks too. Bingley says: “Aside from the obvious point of creating manufacturing employment for UK-based employees, Brooks’ UK heritage and manufacturing is very much integral to how consumers perceive the brand. It is, after all, a very ‘British’ brand. “‘Made in the UK’ resonates well with Brooks’ customers, be they from the UK itself, the USA or Japan. When viewed internationally the UK brand reinforces perceptions of high quality, distinction and fine craftsmanship. These characteristics rub off well on the Brooks brand. The adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ springs to mind.” Leather production continues unabated in Smethwick too. The brand uses thick leather, I was told, which generally comes a cow’s back. The shoulder is too thin for the brand to use, so all the soft leather goods, such as handbags, tend to come from the shoulders or the belly. The craftsmanship that goes into making a saddle was evident. Each individual has a signature way of hammering copper rivets, in such a way that they can tell who did each one just by looking at it. Brand heritage John Boultbee Brooks was born in Hinckley, Leicestershire on 22 April 1846, and in 1866 he arrived in Birmingham with £20 in his pocket and established J.B. Brooks & Co, a company manufacturing leather harnesses and tackle for horses.

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In 1878, the death of his horse prompted him to try a newfangled bicycle. According to the brand, he found the saddle so ‘excruciating’ that he vowed to make a more comfortable one, and the first Brooks saddle prototype was born. Bingley explains the brand’s heritage and why it’s been so successful: “At the heart, it’s an innovative company. Once Mr Brooks’ horse had died and he had instead started to use the bicycle as a means of transport, he was horrified by how sore he found his machined-wood saddle (the norm back then) to be. “This is when he decided to explore the use of leather in saddle manufacturing. The concept of breaking-in the leather and thereby moulding the saddle over time to the exact shape of the rider was what quickly established the Brooks saddle brand for its superior rider comfort. Riding a Brooks became synonymous with tailored saddle comfort on a bicycle. Brooks’ leather saddles were used by top-flight racers up until the early 1970s. Even then, it was only due to the emergence of lighter weight materials, as opposed to superior comfort, that other saddles began to gain popularity among the pro peloton. “Ever since its inception, Brooks has continually sought to use the highest quality leather, superior manufacturing techniques and best hand-made craftsmanship to produce the finest saddles in the world. In recent years, it has launched the innovative Cambium range of saddles: tailored saddle comfort, but this time using organic rubber and canvas instead of leather.

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“Brooks was, in fact, the first saddle brand to file a patent for a saddle with a ‘hole’ or ‘cut-out’ to relieve pressure on the perineum. It did this back in the 1880s! This lead the brand to introduce the Brooks ‘Imperial’ leather saddles that remain in the range to this day.” So what’s new for 2019? Bingley says the Cambium C13 has been given the ‘All Weather’ cover treatment, and the Cambium Organic Light has been launched for Brooks Premium Dealers only. This new, more environmentally conscious saddle contains a backplate made from Liquid Wood which will biodegrade once buried in the soil for five years. The popular Cambium comfort grips are now available in black, and the Pickwick Leather and Pickwick Leather Reflective bag ranges for Brooks Premium Dealers only round off the 2019 launches. The Cambium range Brooks England has been unrivalled in producing comfortable, stylish leather saddles for well over a century. In a constantly evolving marketplace, it is vital to remain unique and to genuinely strive to keep research and development at the forefront of the product line, and the brand says it has achieved this with the Cambium range. The Cambium’s vulcanised natural rubber and organic cotton top offers comfort and freedom of movement essential to the performance and endurance racer.

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The entire surface of the Cambium top moves and flows naturally with the movement of the rider for better pedalling and control. The hard-wearing top, die-cast aluminium structure, and tubular steel rails allow the Cambium to stand up to many years of hard use, and a distinct dampening effect is delivered by the classic Brooks ‘hammock’ construction, reducing road vibrations and keeping the rider comfortable in the saddle. Brooks says the key functions of the Cambium include immediate comfort, a maintenance free and weatherproof design, combined with the style and longevity for which the brand is famous. These appeal to passionate Brooks stalwarts along with a far-reaching cycling genre, from commuters and winter training roadies, to mountain bike and cyclocross riders looking for the most comfortable saddle available. Replaceable hardware extends practicality for riders travelling to remote places, and whilst the Cambium will not mould to your form like the leather option, the hammock shape and flexibility is still firmly in place, the brand says. Bingley says that in terms of best-selling products, the classic leather B17 in all three colours is proving as ‘popular as ever’, and the Cambium All Weather C17 Carved and C17 models aren’t far behind. As a partner to the saddle and accessory ranges, Brooks has an extensive range of luggage products, from the stylish Transit line, with models such as the Pickwick Rucksack and Barbican Messenger, to the Utility line, which features 2000mm Bluesign waterproof fabric.

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The brand has been manufacturing bags since the late 19th century, and continues to adapt and develop the range to suit the modern cyclist. BPD Programme Brooks says it wishes to complement its outstanding design and distinctive quality by moving gradually towards a selective distribution model that consolidates its position as a premium brand in the bicycle industry. This new programme, named the Brooks Premium Dealer Programme, is dedicated to all brick and mortar bicycle retailers, it says, and most importantly integrates product, communication and trade marketing. Following a phased three-year implementation process, participation in the programme will become a necessary condition to sell Brooks products. There are three levels of dealer: Select, Distinct and Standard. Each will receive various benefits according to their level. Select and Distinct dealers will have access to products that are exclusive to them – limited editions, custom products, exclusive lines and categories. There will also be product training from Brooks staff, bolstered by specific marketing and sales support resulting from regular contact with the brand. Dealers registered for the programme will receive an official BPD plate, which will be updated every year with their current level. A detailed shop listing will be included on the Brooks website dealer locator. From 2019 onwards, top-tier dealers will also benefit from a special modular display. This way, Brooks products will be presented in a consistent brand environment to maximise in-store sales potential. Due to the display’s modularity, it is flexible enough to meet the individual requirements of most shops. They can be either free-standing or mounted to the wall. Modules of these displays will also be made available to Distinct dealers from 2020. 2019 is the first year of the roll-out of the programme, primarily focused on providing new benefits for Select and Distinct dealers. New product development work continues apace at Brooks, but nowadays with one major difference: always with a view to which products/ lines/ ranges will be BPD-exclusive once launched, the brand says. Brick and mortar shops have enabled Brooks to deliver its fine, hand-crafted products to consumers ever since the brand started producing saddles 153 years ago. Today, Brooks has said it looks forward to continuing this successful partnership with renewed vigour over the coming months and years with its Premium Dealer Programme. Bingley says: “Brooks is working more and more closely with its authorised network of committed bricks and mortar IBDs because they are simply instrumental in delivering an excellent Brooks purchase experience to consumers.

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“As a premium brand in the cycling industry, Brooks consumers should expect nothing less. Brooks’ high-quality hand-made cycling products are best-experienced and understood by the consumer when seen, touched and smelt in a shop. “No one else, other than brick and mortar retailers, are better placed to identify the correct saddle for a consumer’s specific needs, explain the details of how to break in and maintain a leather saddle, and convey the true sense of craftsmanship that goes into each product’s creation. “For example: the authentic smell of leather, the skill required to ensure a clean chamfered edge to the special leather saddles, and each craftsman’s individual ‘signature’ way of hammering copper rivets are all finer details that a dealer can show the consumer, in turn adding value to their experience. “Together with a Brooks Premium Dealer’s natural passion to sell the best product, only they will have received the necessary product training from Brooks, married with a clear product display to ensure the best experience for the consumer. “Everyone stands to benefit from this new programme: Brooks Premium Dealers will sell more because their proposition to the consumer is enhanced (with specific product and brand knowledge, and exclusive products), consumers will be pleased because they will receive information and can buy products that they can’t find elsewhere, and finally Brooks reinforces its premium brand positioning by partnering only with bricks and mortar IBDs that are committed to delivering the best Brooks customer service experience to the consumer.” n

19/06/2019 16:16

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26/04/2019 11:06 16:56:20


A family affair

Warrington-based Ron Spencer Cycles recently relocated its store to a smaller premises. Suzy Spencer, daughter of founders Ron and Margaret Spencer, speaks to Rebecca Morley about modernisation, clearing out 40 years of stock and family history


on Spencer Cycles has recently moved to a new, smaller premises, which not only offers a modern, fresh and high-end environment but will also reduce overheads due to the sheer size of the old space. The decision to move was made in December last year, and the shop had its grand opening of its relocated shop on 11th May. “The shop before was in Warrington, about a mile around the corner,” says Suzy Spencer, daughter of founders Ron and Margaret. “My parents had bought that about 40 years ago. It was wasn’t too far away – we’ve stayed in the same town.

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“It’s a smaller premises, that was one of the reasons for the move. The shop that we had previously was very big, it was probably about three times the size of this premises, but it needed to be because those were the days of no internet sales. “It was 1978 when the shop was established, so it used to be full completely, all the storage containers at the back and everything. We’d get lorry-full deliveries all the time. We made the decision to go somewhere smaller because there was actually a lot of space that we weren’t using, and we wanted a more modern, fresh vibe.”

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She says the rise of internet sales has also made things harder in terms of price match, as the shop wasn’t doing the same volume that it did before when it was relying on people coming off the streets to buy a bike. The new shop definitely reflects the business’ vision, she says, to provide the customer experience and service that cannot be replicated online and clicked into a basket. Ron Spencer Cycles wants its customers to feel special, to find the right bike for them, so it will take the time to discuss their needs at length and custom build if necessary. “For an independent, we are surrounded by the big stores,” she continues. “That was one of the things about moving here, it’s so modern and we’ve got mainly road bikes on show now. It’s the customer service we’re aiming to provide, which you can’t put in your basket online, can you? That’s the vision, the way forward now.” The shop continues to be a Giant dealer and also a premier dealer for Bianchi. The two brands work very well together, one mainstream, one niche, Suzy Spencer says, and having herself on board puts its female customers at ease and makes the shopping experience inclusive for all. Since moving in, she says it has become apparent how much impact the décor and clean lines of the shop has had on sales. The store was determined to break away from the ‘old school’ bike shop look with slatwall and accessories from floor to ceiling.

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It decided to concentrate on the shopping environment and the presentation of products. As a result, she says she has been amazed by the increase in sales of shoes, helmets and clothing created by having a boutique look. The shop has moved away from stocking budget children’s bikes and now only gets higher specification in to order. She continues: “We’ve noticed a massive difference just from moving and renovating. Having this shop now, the old shop was like an old school bike shop, flat wall, with all your product out on show. This is much more inviting and minimalistic, with wooden floors, white walls and a really nice atmosphere. This stock that I had that people walked past and never looked at, we’d never sold, some of the expensive helmets, anything like that. We’ve moved here and done it up. “People are picking tops up that I had, the old stock that I had in the old shop that I’d been trying to get rid of for years. It’s in a nice shop, and it’s on a nice wooden hanger. We’re not going to sell online because we want to provide that really nice shopping experience. We haven’t got the staff – if you’re going to do that you’ve got to have loads of staff haven’t you, you’ve got to turn over x amount more to be able to employ a staff member, so we don’t particularly want to go down that route.” Relocating a business is no mean feat, she says, and describes it as even more stressful than moving house.

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To celebrate the store’s grand opening and also its 40th anniversary, Ron Spencer Cycles held an event with over 200 people in attendance including British cyclist Jason Kenny. Suzy Spencer says the shop was lucky enough to have Marco Pantani’s grand tour winning bike from the 98 tour, where he won the Giro and the Tour de France, and it also had competitions and prize draws on the day creating a real ‘buzz’ in the atmosphere. “It was quite carefully done really, I didn’t want to make this like an exclusive invitation-only kind of opening,” she says. “I wanted it to be open to the public, for anyone who wanted to come. From that perspective, we had raffles and stuff like that. It was to get the cycling community together really, and to get exposure through social media and everything like that to create awareness.”

“If you own a property it’s not just like you’re renting and you just go and rent somewhere else, it’s like moving house but times ten in terms of stress levels. We had to get the shop up on the market, find a buyer for it and then find new premises. We didn’t want to rent, we wanted to buy again and commercial properties aren’t the easiest thing to find when you want to buy. There aren’t many of them around, we only had a couple to choose from. “The whole process of doing that and then clearing out 40 years worth of old stock that’s just year-on-year, you always have a surplus amount of stock that’s left because it all went upstairs. The whole process has been about a year I think.” Suzy Spencer has been involved in the shop for about five years, working part-time as a primary school teacher. She made the decision last September to give in her notice and leave the school at the end of December, in order to concentrate fully on the shop.

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Family history Ron Spencer Cycles was founded in 1978 by Ron and Margaret Spencer. Ron Spencer was a national champion time trialist and rode for team GB, and like a lot of cyclists, he found a way of turning his love of the sport into a career. Although a former racing cyclist, for the majority of the business’ lifespan the focus was on a broad spectrum of bikes from juniors, leisure and road, and the craze of BMX and the birth of the MTB, which saw the shop thriving and extending in size due to thousands of bikes being wheeled out of the shop annually. The shop has been a dealership for most major brands over the years and has always remained loyal to Giant UK, being one of the first shops in the country many years ago to introduce the brand. A true family affair with son Chris on board, the business started up mail order which saw bikes and accessories shipped nationally and internationally, in turn doubling turnover. Following this in the late 90s, Ron Spencer introduced his own brand, Rondelli. This was another successful string in the shop’s bow, with the late Zak Carr and Glen Taylor breaking the tandem world hour record on Rondelli at the Manchester Velodrome in 2003. Around this period the shop doubled in size, when the premises next door went up for sale and provided an area for a dedicated road section. After Ron and Margaret passed away, the business ticked along from 2011, and the shop is now run by daughter and son, Suzy and Paul, and manager Alex Dean – who has been there for 27 years. Suzy Spencer concludes: “We’ve just found that you’ve got to morph into something else, you’ve got to change. That whole thing we were doing 20 years ago, you can’t do it anymore. There’s other competition so you’ve got to morph into something else, and that is what we’ve done. We are seeing a massive increase in people coming in and the product that they’re buying as well.” n

19/06/2019 13:33

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Lights 1 2








Exposure Lights



PR1200 DuaLens Front Light

Blaze MK3


Swift 500/Sabre 80 Combo

Distributor: Bob Elliot

Distributor: USE

Distributor: Bouh

Distributor: ZyroFisher

DuaLens Optical Design for road biking mode, providing broad closed range flood light with anti-glare low beam for commuting, no dazzle and glare for oncoming traffic. HiLo Beam System for mountain biking and Emergency Modes, providing illuminating light similar to automotive headlight with far reaching high beam and low beam. 21 hours run time. Max 1200 lumens, three modes and eight brightness levels for various riding environments.

Intelligent rear lighting for commuting, road cycling and time trial. Ambient Kinetic Technology (ReAKT) enables the light to automatically flare under braking and when entering areas of higher ambient light to create a contrast in brightness. Peloton mode utilises ReAKT Technology for use in a chain gang by dimming upon detection of a rider’s front light, preventing a dazzling effect, but flaring up as a beacon at the tail of the pack.

Designed in Manchester, the SR600 is a new anti-theft alarm system and powerful front light. The LED torch bursts to 600 lumens for 1.5hrs with four other lighting modes. The alarm robustly clamps to the front handlebar and is the mount for the torch. It uses motion sensors to detect potential theft and a thunderous siren to defend your bicycle. The alarm is activated when the torch is unmounted – a simple solution that makes safeguarding your bicycle hassle and stress-free.

A great set for the commuter. A 500 lumen compact front and 80 lumen rear both USB charging will cover all your needs in and around the city, extending to low lit areas. Every day reliable performance in an economical head light with a super bright, lightweight rechargeable LED tail light providing 180 degree of rear visibility.


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Contact: 01798 839 300



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8 7





Moon Lights

Light & Motion

Oxford Products


Moon Meteor Storm Dual

Vya Pro Tail Light

Ultratorch 2K

Blinder Mob 24pc

Distributor: Raleigh UK

Distributor: Madison

Distributor: Oxford Products

Distributor: Silverfish UK

The Moon Meteor Storm Dual offers superior lighting even in foggy conditions with a dual coloured beam with cool white and warm white beams. Other features include a matrix display showing mode, battery and charging indicator and a light sensor to automatically adjust the lumens according to the conditions. With a retail price of £89.99 the Meteor Storm Dual is a technology-packed, affordable front light.

The future of cycling tail lights is here. Vya packs a piercing 100 lumen output, which is easily visible from over 2km away, into a small, light package that’s perfect for urban riding. But what really makes it different are the smart on/off sensors which automatically activate the lights when you start, and turn them off when you stop. As well as the rear light, Vya comes in two headlight flavours: the Vya and Vya Pro, making them the perfect lights for urban commuting.

Bright enough to light up any trail and with a very impressive battery life, the Oxford Ultratorch 2K is the light any mountain biker needs. Producing up to 2100 lumens of light with six constant modes, one of which makes the Ultratorch 2k capable of lighting the way for up to 32 hours. The Ultratorch 2K also fits most handlebars with the 25.4/31.8mm aluminium handlebar sliding bracket which contains a pin mechanism to keep the light secure.

Ready to use display of 24 piece mixed Blinder Mob collection of revolutionary bike lights from Knog – small, bright and lightweight. A great value (saving significantly over lights bought separately) range of USB chargeable and waterproof lights that will look amazing on your counter.

Contact: 01773532600

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Contact: 01752 843882

Contact: 01993 862 300

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11 12









LTD+ ‘White LED’ Blu

ACE Reactive Light Set

PWR Road Front Light

Micro Drive 600XL

Distributor: Oneway

Distributor: Raleigh UK

Distributor: Silverfish UK

Distributor: Upgrade Bikes

With the colourful, light and compact LED safety light CUBE LTD+ you are always seen in time. The integrated rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides the three LEDs and the additional Power LED with the required power and can be easily recharged via USB. The reflective glass provides additional safety. The light can be universally attached with the silicone strap. The colours perfectly match the CUBE product range.

ACE lights are made in the UK, use patented sensor technology to react to moments of risk on the road by flashing brighter and faster at junctions, roundabouts, under braking and in response to car headlights. They have a seriously long run time of ten hours at 125 lumens, are waterproof and rechargeable. They even have an app that allows for customisation, provides theft and crash alerts and allows you to share insights on your rides to make cycling better.

Much more than just a high power cycling light. When taken apart, it turns into a power bank to charge phone or other devices, as well as battery for all products in the PWR range. Output of maximum 600 lumens. Can run for up to 195 hours on Eco Flash mode. Uses an elliptical beam for broader road coverage. Can be mounted both on top or under the handlebar or helmet. Programmable brightness and runtime through a ModeMaker app.

The Micro Drive 600XL continues to impress for its size. Now boasting 600 lumens on maximum setting and daytime flash modes, the run time has also been increased up to 44 hours on its lowest ‘Femto’ light mode. The restyled machined alloy body increases performance with the cooling fins.

Contact: 0031 10 340 502

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Contact: 01403 711 611

Contact: 01752 843 882

19/06/2019 13:34










Oxford Products




Mini Plus Set

AMPP 800

Strip Drive Rear Pro 300


Distributor: Oxford Products

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Distributor: Upgrade Bikes

Distributor: Extra UK

Mini by name and size, but definitely not in performance, the Mini Plus Set is a must for all cyclists. Small enough to fit in a saddle bag or pocket, yet bright enough to light up the road ahead with the 100 lumen front light and 15 lumen rear light, increasing visibility at the rear. Installation couldn’t be simpler with the integrated tool free handlebar and seatpost brackets, and being waterproof IP65 will survive a shower too.

CatEye’s best-selling Volt 800 was a tough act to follow but in the AMPP 800, CatEye has created a more compact, more communicative front light with increased side visibility. A true performer in every sense of the word, and £5 less than its predecessor. Highlights include five lighting modes which includes 800 lumen maximum output for 1.5 hours, Power button with Constant Runtime indicator: Blue +50% / Yellow 50-30% / Red 30%-0% and a FlexTight bracket for bars up to 35mm diameter and selected aero bars.

Lezyne’s super-successful Strip Drive Pro 300 rear LED has been reworked into a smaller package with micro USB charging. Rider safety is increased with new “Wide Angle Optics” spreading the light to give 270 degrees of visibility. New battery tech delivers run times up to 53 hours.

The ultra-bright, USB rechargeable CubiCubi lights provide five lighting levels, plus reserve for longer run times. The modular design allows you to choose between the 1260mAh, 3000mAh or 6000mAh battery pack providing a maximum of 500, 850 and 1200 lumens respectively. Dual zone refractor lens design allows clear near and far visibility, focusing the main beam downward to prevent affecting pedestrians or oncoming traffic.

Contact: 01993 862 300

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Contact: 01403 711 611


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18/06/2019 15:02


Women’s bikes 2








Claud Butler





Yeti SB100 Beti GX Eagle 29”

Datum 20W

Lundi 26

Distributor: Tandem Group Cycles

Distributor: Silverfish UK

Distributor: Sportline

Distributor: 2pure

Our EXP range is designed for exploring; mixing a hybrid geometry with suspension forks and reliable transmission to create a great all-rounder. The EXP 2.0 is part of a four model lineup, offering great value for money. Upgraded multi-butted hydro-formed frame, internal cable routing, SR Suntour suspension forks, Shimano 21spd EZ Fire gearing, mechanical disc brakes and small details on the finishing kit have also received some upgrades compared to the 1.0. RRP £399.99

The Yeti SB100 has quickly gained a reputation for its climbing prowess and decidedly aggressive descending capabilities. It’s the bike of choice for those who race XC or in multi-day stage races. Like all of its Beti models, Yeti has custom tuned the suspension with a lighter rider in mind, run a 170mm crankset and a women’sspecific saddle. With a lifetime frame warranty it’s the pinnacle of women specific mountain biking.

If you’re after one bike that can do everything, the Datum is your perfect ride. A gravel bike before gravel bikes were cool, it’s just as home off the road as it is on. The Datum W uses the same geometry as the men’s bike but the contact points – bars, cranks and saddle – are women’sspecific to make sure that everyone gets the Datum-quality ride that’s made the Datum such a popular, award-winning bike.

The first born of the Moustache family, it hasn’t changed and has yet to get its first grey hair. It’s still as unique and symbolic of the brand. That’s why we love it. Practical, step through frame with 26in balloon tyres for comfort. Featuring the exclusive Moustache handlebar for perfect position. High torsional stiffness with vibration absorbing vertical flex. Integrated cable routing and front light with AXA Solid Plus Lock.

Contact: 0121 748 8050

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Contact: 01752 843882



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The Light Blue




Step-Thru Urban Bicycles


Strada 2 Womens Hybrid


Distributor: Ison Distribution

Distributor: Tandem Group Cycles

Distributor: Raleigh UK

Distributor: Batribike

The Light Blue Urban Parkside and Chesterton. Designed in Cambridge, by the Light Blue bicycle founder’s great-grandson, these bikes are given the attention to detail that only four generations of living and breathing bicycles brings. Nimble and lightweight, available in 7spd Shimano derailleur or 3 and 5 speed Sturmey hub gear types with many unusual features that urban cyclists will appreciate such as: double wall rims, anti-puncture tyres, gel saddles, adjustable height quill-stems and no QR fittings.

Developed using the original Dawes Duchess as a template, our Cambridge offers amazing value for money while being elegantly designed to be subtle and comfortable to ride. With high-quality grips, saddle, pedals and brake levers, all contact points have been thought out for comfort. Our high-quality rattan basket also offers great looks and practicality. Offered in either 17 or 19in frame and dark plum or a brighter cream colour option.

The Raleigh Strada 2 Womens Hybrid Bike consists of a lightweight aluminium frame, perfect for acceleration. The Cromoly fork is both light and strong. Equipped with 24 Shimano gears, speed will not be an issue on the flat, also those inclines will be made easy. Schwalbe puncture resistant tyres to ensure you are always on the go. Shimano’s EZ fire shifters makes changing gears a breeze.

The Quintessential is a classically styled electric bike with a fashionable vintage look. The 10.4Ah battery is cleverly hidden in the saddlebag and the look is completed with basket and colour matched chain guard and mudguards. Built in Europe using Danish design and electrics, with an industry leading transferable warranty of three years on the battery and motor. RRP 1299. Dealers wanted – exclusive areas available.

Contact: 01353 662662

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Contact: 0121 748 8050

Contact: 01773532600

Contact: 01427 787774

19/06/2019 13:35

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·· Established Established · Established ·1974 1974 Established 19741974

New Dealers can register online.

MARKETPLACE 01170117 972 4730 0117 972 972 4730 4730


BB-APR19-CYCLE DIVISION MARKET PLACE:Layout 1 19/03/2019 09:25




33 integrated, CNC machined aluminium complete BB Solutions

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Bearing presses, Hangers and Sealed bearings Now with double sealed Enduro bearings Online BB Adaptor finder:

64 | January 2019 BB-MAY19-EVOPOS:Layout 1 03/04/2019 12:01 Page 1 WMFG 88 x 107mm.indd 1


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ENTER ONLINE NOW The BikeBiz Awards is back to honour the innovative brands, incredible retailers and outstanding individuals that keep the wheels of the UK cycle industry turning. DEADLINE: FRIDAY 12 JULY, 12.00PM WANT TO BE A PART OF IT? Secure your bespoke BikeBiz Awards sponsorship package today and enjoy maximum exposure while aligning your brand with the industry’s very best. For more information, contact Richard Setters on +44 (0)779 480 5307 or at

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19/06/2019 12:43

19/06/2019 16:29


Revolutionising the industry

You can contact Iain O’Brien to find out how to collaborate on 07917 678 589 or via

Hedkayse talks disrupting the cycle helmet market, chocolate teapots and five years of painstaking research


xpanded Polystyrene (EPS) is great stuff. It’s absolutely everywhere and does countless brilliant things. It protects products in delivery. It insulates houses and chiller boxes. It soundproofs rooms and music studios. It’s comfy in a bean bag. It’s made into children’s car seats. It also provides cyclists with protection. For over 40 years, we’ve worn EPS on our heads to keep our skulls and brains safe from harm. And it does a damn good job of that. Exactly once. When absorbing an impact, EPS is squashed and squeezed until it cracks. After that, it’s no good to a cyclist anymore. There’s no recovery. It’s done its job and it’s then off to landfill. Dropping your helmet, banging it against a door frame, any kind of knock at all can cause irreversible damage to an EPS helmet. Damage that will reduce a helmet’s ability to absorb an impact, so it’s passed onto the cyclist’s head and brain, should the worst happen. To tackle this issue, supplementary technologies have been developed to render EPS a safer protective material. Rubber is mixed in to help the polymer flex more before it cracks in an impact. Plastics and rubber bands have been integrated into helmet design to better manage rotational forces. Straw-like forms are used for weight and impact management. Silicon-type inserts help to cope with low-force and rotational impacts. EPS has always needed extra support where impact management is concerned.

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But even with all these innovations, the fact remains that a polystyrene helmet is single-use only. A chocolate teapot, if you will. EPS is recyclable, but it’s not easy, and globally there is no sustainable way to do so. You’d think that after more than 40 years, there’d be a more effective, harder-wearing alternative available on the mainstream market. But, EPS continues to dominate the helmet sector. Why? Well, to understand that, you have to have some knowledge of the rigorous testing standards that helmets must undergo to be declared able to provide adequate protection. Cycle helmet impact tests are completed not at only ambient room temperature, but also 50°C, and -20°C. They’re also run under wet conditions and pelted with ultraviolet rays, which can contribute to the degradation of a helmet over time. And EPS is the only material that has been able to meet these standards. Until now. Enter Enkayse, a new material that we believe is going to disrupt the cycle helmet sector. It’s been subject to five years of painstaking research and development. It’s taken more than 500 attempts to get the recipe and densities right. Enkayse is the largest jump forward in head impact management materials since we put fragile packaging materials on our heads. We’re proud to be using it in our own helmets, and are looking forward to collaborating with other helmet-makers who take their customers’ safety as seriously as we do. We’re ready to revolutionise the industry as we know it. n

19/06/2019 13:47

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In association with

Bob Elliot and Co Ltd Unit C4 Binary Court, Matrix Park, Western Avenue, Buckshaw Village, Chorley, PR7 7NB Tel: 01772 459 887 Web:

Pitbitz Ltd Unit 6 Thorpe Drive, Thorpe Way Industrial Estate, Banbury, Oxon, OX16 4UZ Tel: 01295 269333 Web: and

The Bikebiz DIRECTORY 2019 is out now, providing the industry with a must-have guide to the UK’s retailers, distributors, manufacturers and related businesses.

M&J Distributors Ltd Unit A, Hanix Buildings, Windmill Lane, Denton, Manchester, M34 3SP Tel: 0161 337 9600 Web:

Jungle Products Ltd Unit 3, The Cedar, New York Mills, Summerbridge, HG3 4LA Tel: 01423 780088 Web: and

Cooke Components Unit 7C Cufaude Business Park, Cufaude Lane, Bramley, Hants, RG28 5DL Tel: 01256 880739 Web:

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Oneway Distribution BV PO BOX 12, 3000 AA Rotterdam Tel: 0031 10345 3510 Web:

Fibrax Ltd Queensway, Wrexham. LL13 8YR Tel: +44 (0)1978 356744 Web:

Schwalbe Tyres UK Ltd Schwalbe Centre, Hortonwood 30, Telford, Shropshire, TF1 7ET Tel: 01952602680 Web:

Bike Rental Manager c/o H W Fisher & Co Acre House, 11-15 William Road, London NW1 3ER Tel: +33 4 66 03 14 32 Web:

The Cycle Division Ltd Units 17 & 18, Park Valley Mills Meltham Road, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, HD4 7BH Tel: 0845 0508 500 Web:

Yellow Jersey Prospero, 73 London Road, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1LQ Tel: 0333 003 0046 Web:

Rozone Limited Queen Street, Darlaston, Wednesbury West Midlands. WS10 8JB Tel: 0121 526 8181 Web:

Walkers Cycle Components Ltd 22 Holywell Road, Leicester, LE2 8SG Tel: 01162 833885 Web:

V12 Retail Finance 20 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff, CF24 5PJ Tel: 02920 468900 Web:

Cycle Expo Yorkshire YorkshireEvent Centre, Harrogate, HG2 8NZ Tel: 0113 394 6130 Web:

Velotech Services Ltd 26 to 27 WesternRoad, Stratford Upon Avon, Warks CV370AH Tel: 0845 475 5339 Web:

EBCO 5 Pegasus House, Olympus Ave, Warwick, CV34 6LW Tel: Tel +01926 437700 Web:

Reece Cycles plc 100 Alcester Street, Birmingham, B12 0QB Tel: 0121 622 0180 Web:

Dexshell Unit F1-F3 Longford Trading Estate, Thomas Street, Manchester, M32 1JT Tel: 01618644666 Web:

Invisiframe Tel: 01743 232297 Web:

The Bikebiz DIRECTORY 2019 is available to view online at

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A long way to go Despite the Government pouring £1.2 billion into cycling, new research has revealed that it is still only a slim few who are cycling to work, with many citing nervousness about cycling in traffic as the reason...


survey of more than 7,600 UK adults published in the Decathlon Activity Index 2018 shows that only 7% of the nation is commuting to work by bike. Despite cities including Manchester, Cambridge and London making drastic changes to accommodate cycling, more than one in four (26%) still feel it is too dangerous to do so. This was followed by 21% who said they are still too scared to cycle the roads to work. Philippe Rebelo, UK marketing director at Decathlon, said: “It is clear to see that not many of us actually choose to commute to our workplace with a bicycle. This is despite the Government increasing the spend on cycling, with improvements for Cycle to Work Schemes and even overhauls of roads in cities to accommodate cyclists.” Meanwhile, 21% also said that the distance to their place of work is too far to travel via bike. 17% admitted they don’t even own a bike, even though Cycle to Work Schemes are making this more viable for commuters, with 183,423 employees picking up this scheme in 2014.

58 | July 2019

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A further one in seven confessed that they actually don’t like cycling, which explains why they currently don't commute to work via bike! Rebelo continued: “There are many advantages of cycling to work that people seem to be missing out on – commuting to work via bicycle is a great way to form a healthier lifestyle, it is cheaper and is better than other options. Even better, those without a bike can get one via the Government's Cycle to Work Scheme – and there are a number of bikes that can be rented in UK cities too. It is extremely inexpensive in the long run as you only need a bike, lights and a helmet and you’re off. We want to help the UK fall back in love with sport – we believe that sport should be accessible for all – cycling included. It is, after all, one of the sports that the UK is best known for competing in, thanks to home grown talent like Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins and Laura Kenny.” The Decathlon Activity Index tracks rates of participation in sport and other physical activities across the year through a monthly national survey. n

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