BikeBiz June 2018

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Pushing our industry forward. Generates £14M+ in bike sales a year Over 4.5 hours spent at the show 29,436 visitors 3,259 trade visitors The UK’s largest trade event for the bike industry

JUNE 2018 ISSUE 149

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“The UK’s most premium show in the most accessible location. Since 2012 we’ve seen significant growth YOY in tandem with our presence at the Cycle Show. From humble beginnings in a shell scheme to our current 80m2 stand we have enjoyed a successful partnership with the team at the Cycle Show.” JAMES SMITH PRIMAL EUROPE

“We attend a lot of shows in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Italy or Spain each year and this is definitely one of the best. A lot of exhibitors, a lot of very interested visitors (well targeted). A must !” OLIVER ROUX EKOI

Register for your free trade pass now and save £13 on the door!


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“The Cycle show for us is without doubt the premier show of the year. This show brings the cycle trade and consumers to the same venue – no surprise that it’s growing at the rate it is.” MARTIN HAWYES WD40

“A favourite event of ours; well organised, lots of interesting presentations and interviews going on, decent road and MTB demo set ups and just generally a great atmosphere.” NICK ALLEN UK CANYON

18/05/2018 08:17:23 FOLLOW US



CONTENT Editor James Groves

‘It’s time to fight; it’s time to innovate’

Editor-at-Large Carlton Reid Staff Writer Kieran Howells


Designer Marc Miller

Reconstructing retail

Digital Director Diane Oliver

Retail is changing. Businesses are under constant pressure to increase efficiency and reduce overheads. While doing so, they are expected to develop bespoke offerings, redesign their stores and invest in digital strategies. This amid rising costs and dwindling consumer spend. Frankly, such expectations would be laughable were they a little less imperative. The cycling trade is all too familiar with this ongoing battle. It is, however, far too commonplace for industry members – veterans, independents and journalists alike – to fall into a state of negativity and despondency at the state of the marketplace. Such a mindset is understandable in challenging times such as these, but the internet is not going anywhere. It’s time to fight; it’s time to innovate. Our retail issue looks to explore these concerns within the cycling sector in 2018 and beyond, and we’re showcasing some fantastic examples of creativity and ingenuity throughout the edition. June represents our annual Top 20 Independent Bike Dealers list, demonstrating exactly how IBDs can flourish in spite of any climate. Meanwhile, specialist retail environments consultant Nick Butterfield kicks off this month’s opinion section with a fascinating analysis of how our market could evolve. He offers three shop concepts (complete with sketches) as he looks to tackle footfall. Elsewhere, Kieran Howells explores how the cycling industry could mimic Record Store Day to revitalise the IBD market. Hopefully, you’ll put down our June edition feeling a little more positive about the future.

Production Manager/Executive Warren Kelly

ADVERTISING SALES Sales Manager Richard Setters +44 (0)207 354 6028

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MANAGEMENT Chief Operations Officer Aaron Asadi Managing Director/Senior Vice President Christine Shaw Content Director James McKeown Managing Director/Europe Mark Burton Commercial Finance Director Dan Jotcham

James Groves

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ISSN: 1476-1505 Copyright 2018


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Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Non-executive chairman Peter Allen Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244


Editorial: 0207 354 6018 Advertising: 0207 354 6028

Kieran Howells

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Cycle Show

Kieran Howells talks to Cycle Show organiser Stephen Morgan to find out what the annual event has in store for 2018 and beyond

The Retail Issue


Top of the class


Support your local bike shop

BikeBiz presents its Top 20 Independent Bike Dealers for 2018

Inspired by Record Store Day, Local Bike Shop Day has been pencilled in for 6th October. Kieran Howells investigates

REGULARS 6 Industry opinions 59 Sector guides 76 In My Team 78 Spokesman 5 Contents final.indd 1


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It’s time for radical reform by Nick Butterfield, specialist retail environments consultant and managing creative director, Butterfield Design

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client recently said to me that his single biggest monthly overhead was Google, and the figure was close to a million per annum. This particular retailer has a front-runner shop and huge online business that has been built up over many years. He reacted to new technologies and consumer habits to brace for the competition in reaching out to new global customers.

If the mountain will not come to Muhammad… Change or die We have been designing successful, innovative new Today’s footfall in shops just isn’t enough to survive. retail concepts for over 25 years in a variety of product Most consumers can and do simply shop from their categories, and I now firmly believe that it’s high time devices. Websites, apps, price matching, free delivery, for radical reform. Town planners are now faced with free returns, loyalty points, discounts… the list goes on. what to do with redundant shops and their tenant’s Why would you bother going out shopping at all? dwindling businesses. Already we’re seeing a significant The answer is that for many types of merchandise surge of coffee and juice bars that are redefining the and service-oriented retail – the hands-on, touchy-feely, purpose of the shopping trip. I believe that it’s now trying-on, advice-needing shopping experience is time to go to the customer. Set out your stall where essential to many of us, ensuring we get what we they can experience your products and want. The dichotomy is how to ensure the personality in real life. Now, you may argue purchase is secured before they head home ‘It’s now time that this is a retrograde strategy, but in today’s with all the information they’ve just gathered to go to the fast-moving world, the consumer tendencies in the shop. customer. Set have repeatedly been to seek out traditional Property costs have escalated to an out your stall formats almost from a more secure and unsustainable level in recent years, and as a result, most high streets are suffering from where they can comfort-based choice. As a prime example, recessionary post-war depressed lack of ‘joie experience your the convenience store has made a return in favour of complementing the large format de vivre’. Pre-internet, the scene and mood products and supermarket option. were very different. Traditional shops buzzed personality in In the context of cycling, the importance with excited shoppers and retailers beamed real life’ is high when it comes to pre-purchase bike to the sound of ringing tills. Unfortunately, a testing and evaluation. Not even a traditional significant percentage of those shop owners bike shop can really offer this service. simply haven’t embraced the technological revolution My vision is to enable consumers to learn and understand and ensured they can be found online, as well as inthe product offerings in a relevant context, where the key store, and the cycle sector has been heavily affected features and benefits can be best demonstrated. as a result. Omit the A1 retail property costs, and take to the road! To most, this is not news. The real issue lies in Imagine a roadshow event that tours the country, bringing identifying the best options for maintaining a cycle the products to the market, supported by an online business in tomorrow’s market. distribution network. Do you need a shop? Perhaps not, but you need a The destiny for most IBDs is to deal with the problem product presentation model. Of course, a website can and seek alternative ways to attract new customers and provide you with a catalogue view of your merchandise, that all-important footfall – it’s a ‘change or die’ situation. but all the emotional connections are void. You select Accepting that something has to happen, I’ve prepared several sizes knowing that you can return the unwanted three possible retail concept solutions that could be the ones for free. This cost to the retailer and the white van way forward: carbon footprint is pure criminal behaviour.

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The town centre showroom experience shop We know that people still love and need to shop. We also know that the town centre is being forced to reinvent itself. The town centre is now becoming a social place where leisure time is a lifestyle choice for spending precious moments. With this relaxed spirit, the consumer will interact (while mingling among the cafés and bars) in showroom experiences where brands can showcase their exciting new products. The showroom shops must deliver that ‘must-have’ experience – whether through direct purchase or online – with loyalty engagement from the experience. The need for expert, face-to-face advice in bike fitting and configuring (as well as shoe and helmet sizing) leads to a compelling leisure activity. Adopt the John Lewis staff service approach, create dynamic window display stories, and provide an F&B offer to make your store a destination attraction. The travelling mobile shop This concept is to simply take the products to market. Not so long ago, there were mobile stores and services roaming the streets of Britain, and I believe they will soon be seen again. The business strategy would be to significantly reduce overheads and replace the shop with vehicles and storage facilities. The advantage (apart from reduced costs) would be to bring your shop to where the customers are in a positive mindset, and to put your brand and products in front of them in a relevant context. Harnessing social media, the retailer will need to provide continuous updates on the locations and destinations the shop will be found. Targeting busy locations where bike demos can be performed will provide a huge advantage over the traditional bricks and mortar competition. The event-based pop-up shop Where do your customers want to find you? Again, making it convenient for them and presenting your products when they are in the right mindset is such an advantage to convert a sale. Automotive brands are now showing their cars in shopping malls and airports – places of mass footfall. This approach could range from simple pop-ups to brand partnerships, where there is potential for a complementary and synonymous relationship. Today, most public entertainment events provide a properly considered retail mix as they have a captive audience to serve. The key is specific targeting. Well-selected events can

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range from relevant locations, customer matching, lifestyle appropriateness and seasonal continuity. This could also operate overseas to smoothen the annual sale figures through peaks and troughs. Challenging times are ahead. However, with a clear vision and adapted business model, there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful. n

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Don’t be a no-show By Kevin Burton, UK national sales manager, Simplon


e’ve all heard the regular refrain of ‘there are too many shows’, and when you cast an eye over the event diary, you can understand why. However, most (consumer) shows are wellattended, and while we, as industry professionals, may enjoy the occasional moan about having to go to each and every one of them, we need to remember that, from a consumer’s perspective, these shows can be among the highlights of their cycling year. We have to embrace this. Without the consumer, we’d have no industry whatsoever! So, what makes a good cycling consumer show, Does promoting that particular range fit in with your and which ones should an industry figure be looking sales and marketing objectives? There are many to attend? I’m not here to endorse or suggest any factors to consider. individual show, but when weighing up this decision, After that, it’s all about stand design and how it helps to consider the following... you will display the range. Remember, it is not What sort of demographic of consumers are about what you think looks nice. It’s about what visiting any given show, and how does that compare will appeal to your market and, in particular, those or correlate with the market you’re targeting? at the show. No two shows have the Will the return on your investment exact same footfall or visitor profile. warrant the expenditure? To what ‘Shows create a Consumers should be central to all extent? How will you measure how of your decisions – as well as brand successful a show you experienced? buzz around personality of course! All too often, I hear shows branded your brand. For us at Simplon, we like to have a as a failure because ‘we only sold a stylish stand mixed with great imagery few bikes’. Is it fair or accurate to There is – arty, if you like. We then have a simple judge any show on that one single nothing quite stand that shows our products in a way factor? What about brand awareness, that consumers can view from all angles, data capture, consumer engagement, like it’ rather than stacked close together. social media output? Be precise in Let the product speak for you. After your objectives and ensure you tailor that, you’re into the world of advanced planning, your event accordingly. building up, attending, chatting, drinking coffee, What range will you be showcasing? If, like more chatting and if you’re lucky, a foot massage Simplon, you have a broad range across MTB, before breaking down, driving home and collapsing road, e-bike and urban/touring, which part or into a comfortable chair. parts of that range will fit best with the show?

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OPINION Yes, it’s tiring, but where else will you get to So yes, there are a lot of shows, but in my experience interact with the very people that will make they are not only worth it, but they are also fun, or break your product and brand? Where else educational and rewarding. Nothing beats speaking can you catch up with industry friends and directly to the consumer and bike shop owners/ employees alike. Shows create a buzz around your have a few post-show beers? Another fantastic advantage of the brand and lets people touch and feel multitude of show options is the the products. There is nothing quite ‘Where else will like it. ability to connect consumers with their local bike shop. Whether or However, to make the most of them you get to not you choose to partner a bike you need to research, prepare, set interact with shop with your stand, it is very easy objectives, prepare activity and put to put consumers in touch with their the very people on a display that your consumers want see. It is not the show organisers’ local stockist. that will make to If, like Simplon, you value the responsibility to get people on to your personally tailored service, you can stand; it is 100 per cent yours. Embrace or break your it. Don’t just be at the show; be part of it. even make an appointment with their product and local shop for them to pop by and Then enjoy a rest before you do it all brand?’ discuss a demo ride and/or purchase. again at the next one. n

Let the product speak for you: Simplon at the London Bike Show in February

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WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A CYCLING INDUSTRY EVENT? 16 years on, the Cycle Show is still evolving. Kieran Howells talks to organiser Stephen Morgan to find out what the annual event has in store for the future


hat kind of event piques your interest? Most events offer something that shops will find valuable, but each appears problematic in its own way. House shows are a great way of delving into a distributor’s full range, but they do come with their pitfalls. One day out of the shop is reasonable, but when every distributor in the UK decides a house show is the way to break new products, those days begin to add up – as do the costs of transporting you and your team around the country. Experience days pose a similar conundrum. Knowledge is your best selling tool, and the only way to really know your subject matter is to try it. Feedback for such events is usually positive but again, this takes time and resources away from your shop floor. In a rocky market, can you justify such absences on a regular basis? To truly justify the time investment from dealers, a show needs to act as an IBD Swiss army knife. It needs to present a comprehensive and well-curated range of brands and distributors, each with product managers on hand to discuss products, it needs to feature areas for attendees to get to grips with the products in their own time, and it needs to offer dealers some form of useful education – be it seminars, demos, classes or open discussions from industry leaders on relevant topics. Few shows offer such a combination, but the ones that do have established themselves at the core of the calendar. One such event is the Cycle Show. Having spotted a gap in the market for both trade and the public back in 2002, founders Mick Bennett and Bob Chicken set about creating the bare bones of what would, in the next 16 years, become one of the biggest and most prestigious cycling industry events in Britain. 14 | June 2018

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In its early years, the show moved through a couple of London’s event venues, including the late Earls Court Exhibition Centre. Then, in 2011, the decision was made to grow the show and make it more accessible to the whole of the UK with a move to the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, where it lives to this day. The NEC’s central location allowed the show to cast its net wider and capture visitors from further afield, and, just like buying a house, moving out of London gave it the premium of space. The team was able to expand the Cycle Show’s offering by developing outdoor test tracks, including a 1.7km woodland track. It’s not just the venue that has changed over the years; the contents of the show have developed and evolved with the times. A few years ago, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Cycle Show was predominantly a roadie’s event. Today, this is far from the case; organiser Upper Street is adamant that in the modern retail arena, it’s important that the Cycle Show reflects every aspect of the industry, from new models to expanded cycling disciplines and other niches. “We’re very conscious that we deliver an experience for our consumers and trade alike,” says Upper Street event director Stephen Morgan. “We listen to what that audience is asking for to make sure the show delivers. An ‘adapt or die’ mentality is adopted – we have to move with the times, mirroring the interests and passions of our visitors while being able to attract new demographics to the show.” Although the public has always made up a significant part of the Cycle Show audience, the trade is where Upper Street has been focusing its attention this year.

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“The show works as a catalyst for motivation. You come away feeling inspired and ready to try something new” STEPHEN MORGAN

On 27th September, the trade will have exclusive access to all areas of the Cycle Show, with the time and space to truly get what they need out of the experience without battling the crowds. While the trade has always had a place within its ecosystem, 2018 will present a rounded schedule for dealers, and it looks like this is something that will continue to grow in the future. As Morgan highlights, the ability to change and adapt is relevant to both the show and IBDs. “Part of the reason the industry has been going through a tough time is the need for change. I think you’ll find it hard to speak to anyone who doesn’t agree that retail is changing,” he says. “People’s needs and interests are changing, the way people want to be sold to, or the experience that they expect is ever-changing for us all.” If valuable insight is one of the key pillars of an immersive cycling industry event, what is the Cycle Show doing to ensure that its content is up to scratch? “One of the ways we do this is through the invaluable trade content delivered on our stage, and the opportunity to network and talk about ideas with others in the same situation,” says Morgan.

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“The talks are curated to essentially build on the bottom line and increase revenue and sales. The show also works as a catalyst for motivation. You come away feeling inspired and ready to try something new.” Making the decision to focus on shop resources seems to be paying off for the Cycle Show. “We saw roughly a ten per cent increase in our trade visitors year-on-year at the 2017 event. The trade day seminar programme was also well attended,” says Morgan. Ultimately, the show strongly believes in cultivating communities; whether that be trade-based or customer-based, and continuing to develop and pull these elements together seems to be the aim for the future. “The Cycle Show is in a great position to invoke change and inspire. As a show, we need to be at the forefront of this change and help wherever we can to make it happen. We genuinely believe in what we do and want to help direct the industry to a place where it thrives and continues to promote the sport that is so intrinsically woven into our world,” Morgan concludes. n June 2018 | 15

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The Global Platform

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BikeBiz presents its annual Top 20 Independent Bike Dealers list for 2018...


he IBD is the bedrock of our industry, upon which all else is built. They are the face of the cycling world for consumers, and the trusted pair of hands when things go wrong. Despite an uncertain few years in which business has been volatile for many, the vast majority of shops have adapted and weathered the storms with admirable stoicism. This month, we’re celebrating those who are working tirelessly to maintain a high level of customer service, curate an enviable portfolio of products,

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and create a community hub around which cyclists can celebrate their passion for all things pedal-powered. This year, we moved away from a submissions judging system and instead opted to base the nominations on the recommendations and advocacy of a judging panel selected from all areas of the cycling industry. This means that each choice has been made based on personal experience and relationships – some of which span decades – instead on sheer number of votes.

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“We aim to really build a community with our customers” Over the past year, the Velosport store has been redefined and redesigned, while also launching a new website and building a new team of staff. “We’ve worked really hard to refresh our product offering to customers,” says Velosport’s Liz Pepper. “We’ve added new bike brands Factor, Ritchey and Titici to our existing range of custom Legend, Specialized, Orbea and Argon 18 bikes. We have also broadened our offering to MTB and e-bikes, and have added new clothing ranges from ashmei and X-Bionic. “It’s really important to us that we offer the highest levels of customer service. Our professional Retül bike fits and workshop services are a key and expanding part of our business model.” How do you go that extra mile? “We aim to really build a community with our customers. We engage with them as much as possible, and offer free cycling events. Specifically, we organise riding skills sessions and host regular store rides. We are also happy to create bespoke workshop maintenance sessions and events for cycling groups, clubs and the cycling community in general.”

“Being friendly, open and honest with our customers and freely giving time and advice is vital” Founded in 2013, Mamachari started out importing and selling second-hand Japanese city bikes and child seats. Today, it has two stores and offers a multitude of bikes and accessories, as well as servicing and repairs. “Being friendly, open and honest with our customers and freely giving time and advice is vital,” says Mamachari director Noah Fisher. “Time and again, customers have told us woes of condescending bike shop staff and being told how their beloved bike is a pile of junk and they should just buy a new one instead of repairing it.” How can shops safeguard themselves in the current climate? “I know of several well-established bike shops that have closed because they were not in sync with retail trends: whether it’s excessive inventory holding, focusing too narrowly on a single market segment, or just being too complacent in the face of competition. “No one can predict the future but I think that as long as we keep listening to our customers and being adaptive and flexible we will have the highest chance of sustainability.”

“While the high street is suffering, customers will still make the effort to come to you if it’s worthwhile” Bristol-based Mud Dock Cycleworks and Café is housed in a redbrick harbourside warehouse, converted back in 1994. As keen cyclists, founders Jerry Arron and Beverly Newman found themselves consistently disappointed by their experiences in British bike shops, and felt it time to do something about it. Arron believes there are several key factors why Mud Dock continues to be successful in the current retail climate. The most prominent, he says, is quality staff. “I’ve always worked with

Mud Dock Cycleworks and Café

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knowledgeable, ambitious and ultimately successful key staff members. I know that because I can see what they have gone on to do.” Arron cites “the best suppliers (how many other small independents have Trek, Specialized, Cannondale and Brompton under one roof?)” a “highly successful café”, a “great location” and “tight fiscal control” as the other keys to Mud Dock’s success.

How can shops safeguard themselves in the current climate? “I recognised years ago that debt is the single biggest threat to your business. If you can’t afford it, best not to buy it. And invest in someone to manage that side of the business, if it’s not you.” June 2018 | 19

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Pennine Cycles

Big Maggy’s

“Pennine Cycles has over 70 years of heritage in custom-built framesets and a range of rides from kid’s to top-of-the-range racing bikes”

“There is room for both IBDs and the internet. It’s about focusing on the right things and prioritising”

“We’re enthusiastic about making sure our shop continues to develop and are always looking at ways of improving; going out of our way to help customers and do what needs to be done,” says co-owner Sandra Corcoran (pictured). For Corcoran, the fight for the IBD is all about adapting to change. “People need to continue to shout out the message to support independent bicycle dealers and not the giants who have jumped on the cycling trend. It’s all about encouraging cyclists both old and new to shop and support local, and keep their communities thriving with a presence on the high street. We also need to slow down the idea of yearly model changes and bringing out next year’s models in the middle of the year.”

Big Maggy’s was set up in 2009 by Richard Tanguy and Tony Moffa (pictured). Both are keen racing cyclists, and the team recently expanded with the addition of friend and race teammate Aaron Gouveia. “We have always felt that you need to be proactive and create a market, rather than waiting for it to come to you!” says Moffa. “If people only need to make a purchase, they can do that on the internet at ease and more conveniently. You have to create reasons for people to come into the shop; expertise and a friendship.”

Why are bike shops struggling at the moment? “There are too many ‘experts’ out there and too many places online to sell pre-owned equipment. New cyclists are buying on the internet purely based on price, thinking they are getting a bargain without consulting an expert.”

“We like to do things a little differently than the average bike shop” Ubyk is a shop keen to buck its online perception. “We are a small business with shops and a website being run by pure cyclists, with a good mix of mountain bikers and roadies,” explains Ubyk’s James Heath. Heath believes Ubyk is best known for its online custom bike builder, as well as for building pimp bikes.


How do you go that extra mile? “We like to do things a little differently than the average bike

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How can shops safeguard themselves in the current climate? “Online is a completely different business model. There is a big place for brick and mortar shops – you have to find your niche and focus on that. Trying to compete with shops that have low overheads (online) is futile. Innovating is the answer. Create your own market. There is room for both IBDs and the internet. It’s about focusing on the right things and prioritising.”

shop, being more of a contemporary showroom to display our high-end bikes and components, rather than having the bike shop crowded with bikes. We are a relatively young and creative bunch, with myself doing all the website design, adverts and marketing, shop manager Richard looking after social, and web manager Steve looking after the photography. As a team, we’re able to drive the right customers to our store and website while keeping our overheads down. “I feel our success is down to focusing on one area of the market, which is Ubyk’s case is the focus on high-end custom builds.”

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Drover Cycles


“Stack it high and sell it cheap is becoming an outdated concept”

“We are never complacent”

Drover Cycles is owned and run by Anna Heywood and Luke Skinner, based on the Welsh borders in Hay-on-Wye. “Our journey in the cycle industry – rather unusually – started with a 20,000 mile bike ride from London to Cape Town,” explains Heywood. “We had a lot of time to ponder while we pedalled and we decided we wanted to start our own cycling business. We run cycling holidays and sportives all over Wales alongside our hire centre, shop, workshop and cafe in Hay on Wye.” “It sounds simple, but being friendly goes a long way,” says Skinner. “That’s why you’d have found Anna in a layby handing over a wheel to a beleaguered cycle tourist at 10pm the night before her honeymoon!”

Criterium Cycles prides itself on being an innovative bike shop always open to try new things, whether that’s traditional bike shop activities, or things that are a little bit different. “We are never complacent,” say the team. “We are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve. Many of the ideas we have for improvement aren’t ours at all – they come from our wonderful customers and we are always grateful for their ideas and input. “We believe in supporting our local community as well as helping the development of our talented athletes of the future. We sponsor Team GB and Team Scotland Commonwealth Games athlete Natalie Milne and are doing everything we can to help her in her quest for qualification to compete in the Commonwealth Games in 2018.”

How can the industry move forward successfully? “Stack it high and sell it cheap is becoming an outdated concept. Consumers are turning (or returning) to small, independent local businesses because they can offer things that chains and online sellers can’t.”

What motivates your team? “At Criterium Cycles, we are motivated by two pretty straightforward desires; we have a passion for cycling and we also love serving anyone who shares that passion for cycling. We look forward to being of service to you.”

“I feel diversity is the only way to survive” Over the past 70 years, Woodrup Cycles has accrued a vast knowledge of cycling and has tailored its brands to offer what it feels are the best products avaiable on the market. “Our workshop has been key to our success,” says Tony Woodrup – part of the third generation in the family business line. “We carry out huge numbers of repairs annually and take on jobs which other shops generally turn away. We also don’t sell online. The way that the online industry is now, unless you are selling a unique product or are selling it the cheapest you won’t sell anything!

Woodrup Cycles

How can shops safeguard themselves in the current climate? “We’re all tied in an industry that is racing to the bottom. The online giants have deemed it upon themselves to see who can sell products the cheapest! The industry can’t rely on purely retail sales anymore. I feel diversity is the only way to survive.”

Hart’s Cyclery “We’re genuinely thrilled that we have been nominated! I hope it’s because we’re a good honest local bike shop that cares for its customers. We do our best for all our customers and we pride ourselves in serving everyone, from the person who buys an upright Gazelle to buy their shopping and go about their daily errands, to the racer on their road bike or mountain bike and everyone in between.” Graeme Hart – Hart’s Cyclery

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“We build relationships, not just bikes” Windsor-based 700 focuses entirely on getting customers the best bike and kit possible without any “unnecessary fluff”. To that end, the store stocks and sells products it wholeheartedly believes in – ones that offer real benefit to the user and genuine value to their given task. “We see value as important when taken in context, and it is not be confused with cheap!” says owner Dave Butcher. “We try really hard to educate our customers so they are better informed, not only about their buying choice, but with the maintenance of their kit and machines. We also try to help steer them through the marketing hype wherever possible – we’re nothing if not honest.” 700 also has an associated cycling club with 100 members and offers maintenance courses and tailored, guided cycling holidays in the Costa Blanca. How can shops safeguard themselves in the current climate? Keep doing the little things right. Stay honest. Don’t get greedy. Focus on the customers and the staff and don’t buy a boat!

Alf Jones

“It’s not enough these days to just be a bike shop – it’s all about the consumer” Alf Jones has been serving the North West and North Wales for over 60 years, building its values upon offering “the best customer service and shopping experience”. “We have worked really hard to create an environment where people feel comfortable to visit and shop with us, regardless of their level of experience,” say the team. “They know they can have faith in the honest advice they are receiving, and can feel confident that they are making the most informed decision they can when spending their hard-earned money.” How can shops safeguard themselves in the current climate? “It’s difficult to have a crystal ball to know how things will pan out in the future. Our main aim is to keep offering our customers the brands and products they would like to buy, and giving them the best possible unique Alf’s experience to make them feel confident to keep coming back and shopping with us.

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Pedal Power

“We want people to feel like the shop is a welcoming place” Pedal Power prides itself on being open seven days a week. “Sundays are hugely busy days for us, and we think some shops really miss out on weekend business by shutting,” says shop manager Garry Nicol. “For us, that’s about building up a rapport with these people. We want people to feel like the shop is a welcoming place and we achieve that with little touches like having a decent free coffee machine! We also benefit from having an absolutely vast stock range, which we believe to be the best in Scotland. We have 500 bikes in varying sizes on hand at all times, meaning if the customer wants the right bike in the right size that day, we can sort that for them with no issues.”

Northfield Cycles

“We have whatever you need!” “Northfield Cycles was established in 1996 by Richard Tranter, a semi-professional cyclist who came in sixth the 1995 World Under-23 Cyclocross Championships and was Divisional Road Race Champion, and has had over 50 race wins in his time. Whatever your looking for from leisure commuting to racing and children’s bikes, we have whatever you need and we’ll explain them to you in simple English. You can even have a ride on them to see how they feel and ride!”

Sigma Sports

“We now cater for cyclists of all levels and abilities” “From local bike shop to online retailer, Sigma Sports came about when two friends opened their doors to the public back in 1992 with the aim of getting more people on road bikes and enjoying the sport we love,” says Ed Hole, Sigma Sports store manager. “Going from strength to strength, a small shop became a bigger shop, and from the flagship store at 37-43 Hampton Wick, we now cater for cyclists of all levels and abilities. Running social rides, state-of-the-art workshops, bike fitting sessions, mechanics courses and providing the opportunity to experience products first hand, at competitive prices, we’re keen to remain an established hub for cycling in South West London.”

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KB Cycles

Primera Sports

Newcastle-based KB Cycles serves as one of the North East’s Bike and E-Bike specialists, and according to manager Tom Waugh, possesses one of the largest in-store bike ranges of any IBD in the North East. “We try to be as innovative as possible,” says Waugh. “Customers feel like part of what we are doing, rather than simply a transaction. If a customer is coming in wanting to spend £5 or £5,000, they all get treated with the same level of respect and enthusiasm. Brexit was a huge overnight issue, according to Waugh. “Since the referendum, bike prices have gone up on average 25 per cent. But mostly it is the uncertainty surrounding the whole thing, which inherently people stop spending as much money. If people aren’t buying bikes and kit, shops can’t sell it.”

“Unlike most cycle shops which are owned by large investment companies, Primera is a store with its feet firmly on the ground and understands the passion cyclists feel for their bikes. We are very proud of our knowledgeable, friendly staff and our priority is always to give the best customer service possible. Primera is owned and run by Bill Temple whose aim is to keep offering a great personalised service. Bill started racing in 1974 and has been involved in the sport ever since his schoolboy racing days.”

“Don’t compete on price – compete on service”

How can the industry move forward successfully? “By starting to look after itself, and have respect for what we do. Customers come in expecting to see at least a ten per cent discount, and we need to start asking ourselves why we should. People don’t go into a supermarket and get to the till and ask for their “best price”. The cycle industry has got itself to this point and we should now be asking why. Don’t compete on price – compete on service.”

Dave Mellor Cycles

“Our view is to control the controllable” Shrewsbury-based Dave Mellor Cycles was founded back in 1984 following encouragement from late local champion cyclist and bike shop owner Graham Bufton. “I was always discouraged to take on a partner,” says Mellor. “His sage wages were ‘£1 is only 50p if you do’!” Mellor believes his shop’s key to success lies in good old hard graft. “Our workshop guys have to be open to new technologies all of the time, and with the rising popularity of E-Bikes, that quality has never been so important,” says Mellor. “Fortunately, the majority of our staff are open to new ideas and embrace it. I’m the oldest of the team and I think that if I can get my head around new products and new ways of thinking then anyone can.”

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“Primera is a store with its feet firmly on the ground”

Johns Bikes

“We pride ourselves on good advice” “At Johns Bikes our recipe is simple,” explains manager Calvin O’Keefe. “We value our customers, we stock a wide range of products and we pride ourselves on good advice. It sounds simple, but it’s what ensures we match each customer to what they need. Whether that’s someone returning to cycling tempted by our wide e-bike range, an experienced cyclist after that something special, providing a child’s first bike or our workshop keeping a commuter’s workhorse rolling.”

The Bike Factory

“We believe that choice, credibility, environment and service are the key factors to having a successful bike store” “Being a family business, we are 100 per cent committed to serving the rider through choice and delivery. We work extremely hard to create a bond with our customers, which we achieve by providing credible advice and a comfortable environment,” says The Bike Factory’s Dave Quinn. “We believe that choice, credibility, environment and service are the key factors to having a successful bike store.” We pride ourselves on offering a high level of service and choice for all types of cyclist.”

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Building from raw Fabric W Since the day it was formed, Fabric has aspired to be a pioneer in every market it reaches. As the brand turns five, James Groves chats with Neil Cousins, Fabric’s sports marketing and events manager, to discuss global expansion and improving the riding experience

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hen Fabric was first founded back in 2013, its goal was to fight the status quo in saddle production and incite change in the way they were being made. The company felt it had already developed the stitched cover saddle as far as it could possibly go with Charge Bikes, designed primarily for comfort. “We wanted to push further with a three-piece saddle concept – rail, base and cover – that is free from frustrating movement restrictions,” explains Neil Cousins, Fabric’s sports marketing and events manager. June 2018 | 27

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“The saddles seem to have set the benchmark around the globe, but we won’t rest on our laurels” “It’s all too easy to get stuck with the same cycle-specific vendors and ideas, but that can lead to technology sharing over a certain amount of time. Our pioneering three-piece saddle design is now used by many other brands, and so in order to progress, we continue to explore different and better ways of designing and manufacturing that bring real benefits to riders that use them. “For example, our ALM saddle was a joint venture with Airbus, which was a printed Titanium railed saddle in its initial design,” Cousins continues. “Along the way, however, we ended up with a high-end carbon manufacturer – which incidentally make no other bike-related products – to create these in full carbon, making them lighter than the original concept. The air-cushioned Cell was developed and is made at a sports shoe factory. It’s not easy going outside the regular cycling factories, but it’s worth it in the end.”

Neil Cousins “After much back and forth with the factory, they finally created exactly what we were looking for, and the Scoop was born. It was a great saddle – receiving rave reviews – and from there we decided to develop a range with a focus on simplifying the product while expanding the range to suit a wide range of cyclists. This is where Fabric began – a new brand and a new direction.” Fresh thinking Five years on, the company now has a presence in various cycling product markets including lights, pumps and grips, and continues to grow its distribution reach, having recently announced a dual distribution deal in the US and Europe with QBP and Sports Nut GmbH respectively. “This is a really exciting time for us and will help get even more folk on Fabric,” says Cousins. “We have always looked outside of the bike industry for inspiration and manufacturing ideas, and it’s through this fresh thinking that we strive to bring improvements to every rider, from seasoned pros and first-timers to lifelong enthusiasts.” So, what specifically does Fabric do that its rivals perhaps do not? “We look outside the traditional processes of manufacture and design to create products that are better by design,” explains Cousins. “We are in many categories now, and whether it’s pumps, tools, lights or water bottles, we apply the same design and manufacturing principles to each category. 28 | June 2018

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Having established itself in the saddle market, Fabric has now expanded into various markets including lights, pumps and grips

Unparalleled access Moving forwards, Fabric is expanding its saddles even further, with a focus on widening the Line range as well as working with the 50-01 team to develop an entirely new product for MTB. “Working with a team like 50-01 allows us unparalleled access to the world’s best riders to design a new saddle for progressive MTB use,” says Cousins. “We’d also like to expand into a few completely new categories – we have a really exciting project in the works with a range of bicycle luggage, for example. With such a wide range of products available, how does a relatively young company go about maintaining focus across all categories, and identify particular areas of innovation? “While our product range is fairly wide, it’s absolutely manageable,” says Cousins. “We have specific product managers and designers covering all categories. The hardest thing is visiting shows overseas with an ever-expanding sports bag full of display products! “Saddles remain our main focus. We’ve received great reviews for all our products, and the saddles seem to have set the benchmark around the globe, but we won’t rest on our laurels. We always have other projects outside of our existing range getting a good deal of attention, especially as we’re looking to expand further, but many of these may not go to production. We’re always seeking to discover new technologies and improve the riding experience.” n

“We have always looked outside of the bike industry for inspiration and manufacturing ideas” Neil Cousins

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Mallorca’s bike giant Carlton Reid discovers how Swiss company Huerzeler Bicycle Holidays – which currently owns 13 bike shops and 5,000 bikes in Mallorca – came to dominate the Spanish island


’d quite like some personalised Continental tyres, just like those on the Di2-equipped Centurion carbon road bike I rented during an April cycling trip to Mallorca. I’ll need to order at least 5,000 pairs though. Huerzeler Bicycle Holidays made that investment and got its branding on umpteen sets of Conti Grand Prix 4000s. Huerzeler is huge. It orders 6,000 bikes per year – 5,000 of which are high-end alu and carbon road bikes – and sells them off locally at the end of each season. The Swiss company’s main destination is Mallorca, which attracts upwards of 200,000 roadies per year.

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The company was founded in 1986 by Swiss track cycling champion Max Hürzeler. In 2005, he sold the business to Walter Güntensperger – then the CEO of the Swiss travel company Hotelplan – but he remains on the board. The company’s chief marketing officer is Tony Rominger, the Swiss former professional road-racing cyclist who won the Vuelta a España in 1992, 1993 and 1994 and the Giro d’Italia in 1995. Anybody who has ridden in Mallorca will know that Huerzeler Bicycle Holidays dominates the island. It has ‘bike rental stations’ in 13 locations. Most of these rental outlets also have ‘boutiques’ where customers can buy

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Huerzeler has ‘bike rental stations’ in 13 locations on the island

‘Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome are usually credited for popularising winter riding in Mallorca, but it was 1950s pro cyclist Doug Petty who really put the island on the cycling map’

Huerzeler cycle apparel as well as Sidi cycling shoes, Catlike helmets and more. At the bike station in Playa de Muro South, the company operates an ASSOS Factory Outlet Store. Company bike rentals are highly computerised, with sizing and duration details placed on a credit card, and even the bike fitting is partially computerised with inside-leg measurement captured by the till via an ingenious air-pressure device that the rider straddles. The majority of bikes for rent are bought in bulk from German brand Centurion. This was originally an American-Japanese brand founded in 1969, which imported high-quality road bikes from Tano of Japan. The company later created MTB brand DiamondBank. The rights to the Centurion brand name were sold to cyclo-crosser Wolfgang Renner in 1991, Centurion’s German importer since 1976. Merida of Taiwan took a controlling stake in Renner’s company in 2001, creating Merida Centurion Germany GmbH.

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At the Huerzeler bike station in the coastal resort of Playa de Muro, there is a bike parking garage that holds 1,200 bikes, most of them high-end Centurions. Most of the 60,000 clients who rent bikes from Huerzeler each season do so for a week at a time. They sign up to guided rides, which are led by 48 leaders trained to Swiss Cycling standards. The Hotel Association of Platja de Muro is geared up for cyclists. It doesn’t just keep the beaches clean; it makes sure the roads aren’t potholed and that the region’s cycleways are swept. While the majority of roadies in Mallorca are German, there is an increasing number of Brits. Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome are usually credited for popularising winter riding on this Spanish Balearic Island, but it was 1950s pro cyclist Doug Petty who really put the island on the cycling map. Petty started leading road-bike tours of Mallorca in 1968 – the sprightly 88-year-old led his last Mallorca tour earlier this year.

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The Coll dels Reis climb – more commonly known as Sa Calobra – ascends to 668m over 9.4km of supremely smooth tarmac

‘It was fabulous to be able to clip-clop around an upscale hotel in Lycra and look perfectly normal’

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Mallorca has been attracting tourists for some time – composer Frédéric Chopin holidayed on the island as early as 1838 – but in the off- and shoulder-seasons it’s now cyclists sustaining Mallorca’s rural economy. Petrol stations on the main climbs are surprisingly well stocked with energy gels and 700c inner tubes. The Coll dels Reis climb – more commonly known by the name of the former fishing port at its base, Sa Calobra – ascends to 668m over 9.4km of supremely smooth tarmac. It has 26 hairpin bends, and, at the top, a bonkers bridge which loops over its own road: a 270-degree coil that kicks up the gradient from seven to 11 per cent. These aren’t tough inclines; the climb attracts roadies because of the switchbacks, not the steepness. The island’s varied topography and excellent weather keep it popular with cyclists. During my stay at the Iberostar Playa de Muro hotel in Alcudia, the manager told me that 90 per cent of current guests were cyclists. The hotel is a cycling hotspot; it also hosts the annual Challenge Majorca stage race, a pre-season favourite for pro teams. It was fabulous to be able to clip-clop around an upscale hotel in Lycra and look perfectly normal. n

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June 18



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BIKE WEEK Laura Laker investigates Bike Week 2018: what is it, and how do you make the most of it?


Taking place from 9th-18th June, Bike Week 2018 is a national celebration of cycling aiming to encourage more people to get on their bikes and rethink their everyday journeys. Now in its 95th year, Bike Week is a great way to celebrate cycling in all its forms. Events around the UK range from the Royal Cornwall Hospital’s Get on your Bike Day – effectively a minifestival of cycling – through to the Edinburgh All-ability Bike Centre’s birthday party, promoting the fact that pretty much anyone can cycle, whatever their ability, and that not all cycles have just two wheels.

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There’s also World Naked Bike Rides happening across the UK on various dates in early June and July, for the brave and body positive out there. HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?

Even though Bike Week is just around the corner, it’s not too late to add your event to the national database to get the word out to a wider audience. Across England, Scotland and Wales there are tons of Bike Week-related events on, from sportives to maintenance classes and Dr Bike sessions to bike breakfasts to workplace challenges.

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You can register your event on the Bike Week website. It could be an event you’re already planning, or if you’re feeling spontaneous and want to get in on the action at the last minute, there’s nothing to stop you setting up an event to celebrate cycling in your own way. Events can be a great way to meet new customers, generate interest in your business and cycling itself, and celebrate the cycling community you already have around you. GET SOCIAL WITH BIKE WEEK

Cycling UK is encouraging people to pledge seven days of cycling #7daysofcycling – sharing photos and events on social media to get a buzz going around the event. It is also organising a ‘Thunderclap’ – a mass simultaneous tweet about Bike Week on 9th June to get the event trending online. In a similar vein, July will see the return of the Women’s Festival of Cycling, a month-long celebration of all things female and cycling. The aim is to encourage more women to ride bikes, in an attempt to right the underrepresentation of women in cycling. As part of the festival, Cycling UK is naming 100 women in cycling who have been nominated by people around the country, with a list published at the beginning of July. To get a grip on the issues, there’s a neat industry podcast, on bridging the gender gap in cycling, which you can listen to via It’s a US-based podcast, but many of the issues will resonate with UK listeners. n 38 | June 2018

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BIKE AND BIKEABILITY A recent poll revealed one in five parents have a child who can’t cycle, while almost a third say they wouldn’t let their kids cycle unsupervised. The YouGov survey, for Evans Cycles, revealed that London fared worse than the national average, with nearly one in four (22 per cent) whose under 18-year-old kids are unable to cycle, compared to 19 per cent nationally. With childhood obesity a growing problem in the UK, cycling is a great way to get kids active, and hopefully, build a lifelong love of the sport. There are a couple of options to get inspire the next generation of cyclists: GO-RIDE – CYCLE SPORTS COACHING FOR KIDS

British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme offers off-road, traffic-free cycle coaching sessions for skills progression, aimed at inspiring youngsters to take up cycling as a sport. The initiative also acts as a pathway for talented riders to progress through the sport. Dave Ryan, Go-Ride coach for Greater London, says: “Through HSBC UK Go-Ride we provide coaching in schools, communities and clubs, helping thousands of children to enjoy the freedom of cycling and develop lifelong skills. What’s more, the programme provides an important stepping stone onto the Great Britain Cycling Team, with 85 per cent of the current team starting out at a Go-Ride club.” Sir Chris Hoy, who was involved with promoting Evans’ survey findings and Go-Ride, started racing BMX aged seven. He said heavy bikes can put kids off, and highlighted the importance of lightweight machines with child-friendly components, so cycling is made as easy and fun as possible. Laura and Jason Kenny also started out at a Go-Ride club.

There are more than 350 children’s cycling clubs across the UK for under-18s. You can find out more by visiting British Cycling’s website, where you can search for kids’ clubs by name and location. Visit for more. BIKEABILITY – BIKE SKILLS FOR THE STREETS

Bikeability, the national standard for cycle training in the UK, is aimed at developing on-road riding skills. You can take Bikeability training at any age, and it’s the modern equivalent of Cycling Proficiency, which is taught in schools. If you haven’t heard of it, or don’t know very much about it, you’re not alone. Because it’s funded and administered by the Department for Transport, there are rules preventing promotion of government programmes. There are three Bikeability levels. Regardless of any participants ability level, trained instructors are on hand to teach people everything they'll ever need, from balance and controlling the bike right through to planning their own journeys and cycling on busy roads. Bikeability is designed to help people safely and confidently navigate the roads by bike, allowing them to make more journeys by pedal power. Here’s a rundown of the three different levels: LEVEL 1

New riders learn to control a bike in a traffic-free environment, such as in a park or playground. They’ll learn to get on and off unaided; start, stop and pedal with control, look around and behind them. They’ll also learn gear selection and bike control, how to avoid objects and how to share space with other cyclists and pedestrians.

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Training takes place on low-traffic neighbourhood streets. Simulating short, local trips, riders will learn to start and finish a cycle ride on the road, recognise and avoid hazards, communicate to other road users, learn about road positioning, and safely pass parked cars and side roads. At this level, riders will be taught in groups of up to six. LEVEL 3

The final level teaches riders to deal with complex and challenging road situations on busier streets with heavier traffic. Riders will learn to navigate and plan journeys, how to pass queuing traffic, how to deal with hazards in those situations, as well as learning about driver blind spots and hazardous road surfaces. Lessons are delivered one-to-one or in groups of up to three people. BIKEABILITY PLUS

Some councils bid for extra funding to run Bikeability Plus, which offers remedial training to help those struggling with cycling, and additional activities to consolidate what participants have learned. At each level, riders will receive a badge and certificate, with areas for further improvement from the instructor. BIKEABILITY IN SCHOOLS

Due to funding, not all schools offer Bikeability training, and at present, demand outstrips supply by more than £20 million per year. At the moment, local authorities bid for the number of children they want to train, and money is spread between them. For those who get the funding, in-school training is often split over a number of weeks, with kids expected to bring in their own bikes. These must be roadworthy machines that are the right size for the child and have pumped up tyres and two working brakes. If bikes aren’t roadworthy, kids won’t be able to train. Some schools also offer pool or loan bikes for kids to learn on. Bikeability instructors also operate through local councils, some of whom offer a free cycling lesson to residents or workers within that local authority. For any new customers getting back into cycling, it’s worth checking if your local council offers a free bike lesson. Training is very useful for building up confidence or re-learning riding skills after a cycling hiatus. n

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BRITISH CYCLING AND TEAM SKY PHYSIO LAUNCH MANCHESTER-BASED CYCLE CLINIC Phil Burt is a man who spent 12 years as British Cycling’s head of physiotherapy, and five years as a consultant physio to Team Sky. It’s fair to say, then, that he knows a thing or two about how the body interacts with bicycles, what can go wrong and how to fix it. Phil Burt Innovation is a new Manchester- and London-based business – the latest company offering pro-level services to the masses. In Burt’s case, that includes physio, cycle-specific injury assessment and treatment, bike fit, aero assessment and saddle health assessment. The pedigree of his expertise (as part of a team that helped yield 92 World Track Championship medals, 38 Olympic Medals and, as part of Team Sky, five Tour de France campaigns) puts Burt in a unique position in tempting customers with a GB ‘medal factory’ level of service. Most cyclists suffer saddle sores at some point, and Burt hopes his saddle health clinic will help those who have been put off cycling due to saddle discomfort, be it the wrong saddle, ill-fitting shorts, or a lack of flexibility. Phil Burt Innovation will be based at Manchester Institute of Health & Performance (MIHP), a ‘world-class environment’ for diagnosis, education and research in health and performance. As well as physiological expertise, he intends to collaborate with some big cycling brands to offer bespoke saddles, shorts and shoes, with the rationale that all bodies are different, and one-size-fits-all clothing just doesn’t work for some riders. Phil Burt said: “I believe that I have a different approach. At the core of every service or product offered is a holistic philosophy, developed over a decade by my work in elite sport. At Phil Burt Innovation, we have some simple principles. We have a client-centred design process and using our holistic approach, we can bring all the interplaying factors together so you can see and feel large improvements on the bike." He added: “When we carry out any of our services, it has to be all about you. We’re not interested in selling you a new bike, or expensive upgrades. We place a huge amount of importance on listening and understanding your goals. By establishing the goal of an assessment or bike fit, we can tailor our experience to get the results and the outcome you really want.

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Sir Chris Hoy, who attended the launch of Burt’s new enterprise in London in May, sung the praises of the man who formed part of his Olympic medal-winning team: “I worked with Phil for the last six years of my career, and the physiotherapy support he provided was instrumental in allowing me to train and compete injury-free. This was no mean feat considering I was 36 in London 2012, so I'm grateful for all his hard work and input." n

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Live to ride Pennine Cycles turns 72 next month. BikeBiz caught up with co-owner Sandra Corcoran to reflect on 18 years at the helm


ennine Cycles was originally founded by Johnny Mapplebeck and Geoff Whitaker on 6th July 1946. Having ridden in the Italian countryside during the war, the pair returned from service with a renewed passion for cycling. Mapplebeck continued as a director at Pennine until he was 80, when he retired and emigrated to Canada. At the time, Paul Corcoran had already been managing the business for a number of years, so he, along with wife Sandra, snatched at the opportunity to take the reins in 2000. “It feels incredible to have been running a business with my husband for the last 18 years, Sandra explains. “It’s something we both love to do.”

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Paul and Sandra Corcoran took the Pennine reins back in 2000

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All ages, all abilities So, in such a challenging climate, what’s the secret to maintaining a 72-year-old business? “I believe our experience and knowledge of cycling really sets us apart,” Corcoran continues. “Paul and I have both been involved in cycling in many different ways for over 30 years, so we’ve seen things come and go. That experience allows us to offer genuine, firsthand advice. We also customise many our products, which I think is a major attraction for our customers.” One key factor for Pennine – as with many established brands – has been a balancing act between maintaining repeat customers while attracting the next generation. “Although we sell bikes and accessories for all ages and abilities, our key customers are cycling enthusiasts who love to ride their bikes,” says Corcoran. “We have a host of customers who have been buying from us for many years, and we always have new customers who are completely new to cycling. We love to help them enjoy riding their bikes, teach them cycling etiquette and give them the advice to keep improving. “Unfortunately, customers come and go,” she continues. “They are not always loyal, so you have to continue to promote yourself and help new customers find you, as well as offering great customer service to the ones you already have. “Cycling is a changing industry, both in technology and fashion, so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve; know what’s happening now, and what’s to come.” Adapting to climate change Pennine – perhaps understandably over such a lengthy existence – has been at both ends of the spectrum when it comes to distributor relations. 46 | June 2018

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“We have some great relationships, but there have certainly been some which have been… less than great,” laughs Corcoran. “Naturally, good relationships are very important, and the support of distributors for small bike shops is essential. At times, we have felt as though distributors forget that we are their customer, and that any issues we suffer can reflect badly on us as a business. “We’ve had frustrations, but overall, there are some great distributors around, and the ones we currently purchase from are very supportive.” It hardly needs explaining that the cycling industry has suffered in the difficult climate of the past few years. Bike sales are more competitive than ever, and the impact of the internet is being felt increasingly throughout the market. “It’s certainly been difficult,” says Corcoran. “Larger retail stores are now offering bikes, while people are buying refurbished rides from non-profits. The fact that accessories are now being sold in high-street stores is of further significance. Of course, online sales have also had a large impact on cycling shops, with large e-commerce shops selling large quantities at cheaper prices. “There have been times where we have seen items being sold at retail for less than the wholesale price, which makes it difficult to be competitive. As Pennine looks ahead to the future, Corcoran is succinct: “We’re extremely excited by what the future holds for our brand. We are currently looking into the possibility of having a small e-commerce presence as well as continuing to grow our brand, letting people know we are still here, both in our local area and worldwide.” n

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Now is the time to get together Now more than ever, we need a campaign to rally behind. #supportyourlocalbikeshop means more than you think…


s the list of independent brick and mortar bike shop closures grows at an exponential rate, we’re also seeing speculation surrounding the roots of the closures grow. It’s no secret that ultimately, this period of instability stems from a number of core factors, the centre of which seems to be the progression of the online price-slashing trend. It doesn’t help that many of the biggest companies contributing to this trend have spent the past decade consolidating into industry giants, and in terms of runaway pricing, there is simply no room for dealers to compete with the consistent – and frankly short-sighted – de-valuation of its core assets. Some have stated that the recent cull was inevitable given the ebb and flow of retail and bicycle popularity. The stores going under, they say, are the ones not moving fast enough to present themselves as a progressive hub of activity. Although this may be the case for some, it feels like an oversimplification given some of the surprising names making the list in recent months.

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Light saddle with wide ergonomic channel (“PAS� system) which reduces contact with the pelvic area, eliminates peaks of pressure and improves the blood flow.


The saddle is 245mm long and 143mm wide; the shorter nose eliminates contact between soft tissues in the aerodynamic position or maximum pushing phase (on the drops) The sitting area has increased support to spread the pressure on the surface.

DESIGN I n n o va t i ve :

Guarantees Comfort, performance and reduces weight; its shape and size makes this saddle perfect for all users.

Technical partner of ROAD TEAMS

DISTRIBUTED BY: I-Ride - Chicken Cyclekit

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“I believe that the IBDs that stick out the next few years will be the ones that survive for a very long time” Harry King, Exact Cycle

‘Are we honestly supposed to believe that respected pillars of local cycling communities – with carefully curated ranges, trusted mechanics and popular group rideouts – are simply not doing enough to stick around?’

Back in April, 3rd June was declared World Bicycle Day Are we honestly supposed to believe that respected pillars of local cycling communities – with carefully curated ranges, trusted mechanics and popular group rideouts – are simply not doing enough to stick around? Of course, even those who are working hard to combat the looming threat of online retail are also having to battle rising property rent, an unstable economy and import/export fallout from Brexit. For many, staying afloat truly is a war on many fronts.

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When discussed at trade shows, meetings and industry events, the question frequently arising is what, specifically, can a company be doing to support the IBD? Ultimately, there isn’t one simple answer. Improved communication between dealer and distributor would go a long way for many – particularly those who feel their historic partnerships have been diluted in recent years. IBD-only products and impressive POS can provide a much-needed boost, and significant efforts are being made in this regard to ensure brick and mortar shops don’t simply become showrooms. We’ve also seen a rise in the number of start-ups looking to reach out to the IBD community with suggestions of mutually beneficial marketplaces, EPOS and marketing tools. It’s a complex issue, but at its core, it simply comes down to support. In mid-April, the United Nations put the greater cycling community into the spotlight and declared 3rd June as World Bicycle Day. The idea was floated at the 72nd regular session of the UN General Assembly, and was championed by a collective of no less than 193 member states. June 2018 | 51

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The event, according to the UN, will celebrate the “uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit, sustainable means of transportation, fostering environmental stewardship and health”. The UN also recognised that “the bicycle and the user fosters creativity and social engagement and gives the user an immediate awareness of the local environment” and that “the bicycle can serve as a tool for development and as a means not just of transportation but also of access to education, healthcare and sport”. The concept of a unified world cycling day has been floated multiple times by a whole host of activists, cycling bodies and the general public. Finally, the movement will have a definitive singular day to focus their efforts on. This means far more than simple acknowledgement; the creation of World Bicycle Day cultivates momentum. I’m sure we can all agree that a day in which advocacy for cycling is championed is a very positive move. One key element of the equation is not being talked about, and that is where the shops at the heart of the industry – the ones struggling more than any other single area of the cycling community – will fit into the plans. Yes, the creation of the day is a positive, but what’s the point if it doesn’t lead to any quantifiable change for those on the front line? For a model of how such a movement can positively influence those at the core of an industry, we need only look at the humble LP. The music industry has faced its own ongoing transition in the last 20 years. Pirating digital music, giant streaming services and the death of the CD format as a key influencer have all prompted monumental shifts in the way consumers regard the music sector. Even the very device that sparked the digital revolution, the MP3 player, has itself been rendered essentially redundant by the progression of smart mobile devices. Who would have guessed that in an age where the majority of music is now streamed, the 12in record would make such an unprecedented comeback? The movement demonstrates the continued appeal of a physical product – one that any evolution of digitalisation may never replace.

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‘This means far more than simple acknowledgement; the creation of World Bicycle Day cultivates momentum’ The record, along with the record player, is a loved object, just like a bicycle. It is an object that people delight in owning not as a necessity, but as a statement about their lifestyle. Once again, the record industry has adapted to this shift in consumer values, and thousands of independent record labels, record shops and record cafés have sprung up around the world to meet the increased demand. From this renewed interest also came a small campaign to celebrate the industry. Founded in 2007, when the industry was still in the midst of a crisis, the idea was a simple one; on a singular day, record labels would release limited edition vinyls, and consumers would head to their local retailer to purchase them – hopefully along with a selection of other products. The movement quickly swelled and in 2018, over 500 limited releases were available to purchase in over 200 UK stores from over 100 record labels. On the day, thousands of customers queued for hours, some overnight, for the chance to pick up limited edition releases and to support their local establishment. In the week leading up to and following Record Store Day, the #RSD hashtag was trending on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. With the aide of the movement, record sales have seen a massive upturn, with a trade increase of 34 per cent since the start of 2017 to £88 million – the highest rate since the early 1990s. With such obvious verticals between the two industries, isn’t it time cycling embraced a similar movement? The ball is already rolling, to a certain extent. Canada’s Bike Store Day, which took direct influence from its music industry sister, takes place annually on 24th March and is starting to gain a reasonable amount of traction. In March of this year, Walton-based bike shop Gravity Cycles wised up to the potential of mirroring the event in the UK, earmarking 6th October as the ‘official’ date on our side of the pond. Retailers immediately confirmed their support, as did members of the general public, but ultimately the campaign has so far struggled to generate the attention needed to launch a comparable and sustainable annual event.

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“To make Local Bike Shop Day a success, we need every single retailer to get behind it and rally together to spread the word” The ACT IBDs need the support of the cycling community, their partners, peers and the media, so what needs to happen for such an event to truly take root and blossom into an event comparable to Record Store Day? The investment from dealers is absolutely essential. “One of the main reasons Record Store Day is now a huge success is because it was the retailers themselves who took control and made the day what they wanted it to be,” the ACT told BikeBiz. “To make Local Bike Shop Day a success, we need every single retailer to get behind it and rally together to spread the word! Random Adventure’s Daniel Jones has done a great job getting retailers signed up to say they want to be involved in the day, and we are promoting these shops on the LBS day directory, but retailers need to make sure there is something going on in-store to drive customers there on the day.” Whether this be simply circulating news of the event via social media channels and tweeting the #supportyourlocalbikeshop hashtag – or even hosting special in-store events to attract customers – remains to be seen. Ultimately, without the universal support of the dealer network, the idea is doomed to fail. Jones suggested: “This is the chance for your local bike shops to show why you should shop there. This is your day to show your support for the backbone of the cycling world; go for a demo ride, buy a bargain, see a talk.” These simple acts resonate far beyond a simple day’s event. If properly invested in, the day could present a chance to invite your local community into your retail environment, potentially for the first time. By supporting the effort, you may be opening up your business to a whole new clientele. This could mean a demo day, it could mean a barbecue for your customers, or it could even mean hosting a series of talks in-store. Not every ‘in-store event’ has to be a sale. Distributors take note: it is equally important that investment in the medium comes from the other side of the industry. Every distributor on the planet extolls the importance of the local IBD to its local community; a National Bike Shop Day presents an ideal chance for them to put their money where their mouths are. In the music industry, this meant creating limited edition records. 54 | June 2018

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Why shouldn’t this work for the cycle trade? Creating a limited edition downhill bike is a tall task, but corresponding with brands to create limited edition colourways of helmets, saddles and cleaning products? That is easily achievable. It’s also a chance to spend a little on some limited POS aides for your valued dealers. If your customer buys a new wheel, why not send them home with a branded #supportyourlocalbikeshop branded water bottle or tote bag or some cool stickers to shove on their laptops? It’s a relatively inexpensive move, but the customer leaves feeling like they’ve taken part in a fun event, and the dealer gets a sale that they wouldn’t have got on a normal day. Ultimately it’s a concept that will either capture the imagination of the industry, or it won’t – in which case, it’s an opportunity wasted. As we ponder the significance of advocacy, another shop is losing the battle with retail’s modern demons; online retail isn’t going away any time soon and realistically, price slashing isn’t something that’s going to stop overnight, but with the embrace of wide-scale advocacy, we as a community can put the bike shop right back alongside the record shop at the heart of our towns and cities. Record Store Day has proven that people will make an effort for the things that they care about, and taking steps now could ensure that there’s a healthy and celebrated brick and mortar cycling industry for decades to come. n

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Marketing Matters Have a great cycling concept or product, but struggling to promote it effectively? Ever wondered how to improve your marketing within the cycle trade? Max Bikes PR managing director Keith Jepson will be on hand to answer any and all questions. But first, here’s a brief introduction… What are your favourite aspects of working within the industry? Riding bikes! Max Bikes PR has been trading for ten years now. While I get pulled into many managerial jobs, I still enjoy working with the product. The best part of the job is still when I’m able to test a client’s product and devise a creative and bespoke promotional campaign to help sell it. Seeing a product reviewed – or a feature published – is still exhilarating for me. Whether it’s daily social media management, arranging product testing, or putting together reviews, the work at Max Bikes PR has always been varied and interesting – long may this continue! You meet some amazing people in this industry, so I really enjoy organising launches for new products and general event projects. What were your personal highlights from Core Bike? I love meeting with all the dealers and product managers. I’m a product guy, so it’s great to see the latest ranges, as well as getting a sense of the design process and the individuals behind a product.

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the set up at the hotel, so allow yourself plenty of time to visit each room. It enables dealers to have unique access to product managers and brand owners in a relaxed environment, and there really are masses to see, so arriving early and staying late to maximise your day is key.

Have a question for Keith? Get involved via or on Twitter @MaxBikesPR Core Bike has always provided a great, unique opportunity to meet and chat with the individuals designing these amazing products. The hospitality and conference ethos of the show always creates a great vibe, and the hands-on nature of the show is one of my favourite aspects. With the event taking place at the beginning of the year, it always gives me great enthusiasm for the UK season ahead. The show can be a bit of a ‘rabbit’s warren’ of rooms due to

What are your thoughts regarding Core Bike and The Bike Place? The two shows now work independently of each other and are often on different dates, which can only be good for the market. If the industry can sustain two trade shows of this nature, I think it’s in a strong position. It’s understandable that some find it inconvenient, but that doesn’t appear to stop people attending Core. The pre-registration figures and on-site registrations have certainly continued to grow over the past five years. I think that’s based on the quality of exhibitors and products. Ultimately, that’s what everything comes down to! What other shows do you think are worth heading to? From a content perspective, the NEC Cycle Show is the UK’s strongest consumer event. I’d also include L’Eroica for its amazing festival atmosphere and Bespoked for its artisan, handmade and design qualities. Regional events such as The Bristol Bike Fest are also amazing for the grassroots experience, which I think is important for any brand or dealer. n June 2018 | 57

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Chains, gears & cranks 2











Race Face

Self Lubricating CSL-H10CR - 10 Speed Chain

Tolv-121 12 speed


Distributor: Oxford Products

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Next R Carbon Crank Arms

At the point of manufacture, these chains are coated with a special treatment of Teflon that has good adhesion properties. The ’internal’ moving parts of the chain are fully lubricated, helping to prevent wear and reducing the requirement for further lubrication. This process significantly increases the life expectancy of the chain and components it comes in contact with.

Quarq’s next generation in power meters, DZero combines ten years of technology advances with new features such as dual Bluetooth low energy and ANT+ wireless data transfer, the new Qalvin BLE app and, for the carbon version, compatibility with BB386EVO bottom brackets.

Distributor: Bob Elliot & Co Clarks’ range of chains is extensive, catering for the requirements of all types of riders. From high-performance, narrow, 8-11 speed selflubricating chains through to half-link single speed chains, all have proven superior resistance to stretch. This results in less wear to all drive train contact surfaces, maintaining accurate shifting for longer. All Clarks chains are supplied with quick release link chain connectors.



Distributor: Silverfish UK However you want to brand it, pedal-heavy outings with rowdy all-mountain shredding can be very demanding on cranks. That’s why we’ve taken elements from our SixC desgins and incorporated them with the best of Next to make an aggressive ruckus ready crank that can take you to the EWS podium. Racing time or just rallying with friends, feel free to get a bit more sideways with Next R. Contact: 01752 843882


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5 6











11SX Chain

XX1 Eagle Chain

Distributor: Extra UK

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Super Record 12x Chainset

The stainless steel inner link and the innovative high-grade nickel coating make this chain extremely resistant to corrosion. Also it features the latest plate geometry shaped for the very best shifting performance. Extremely long-lasting, for all 11-speed drive systems on the market. Speed Wing, the innovative outer plate, ensures particularly rapid and silent shifting on Connex 11-speed chains. The peripheral chamfering of the outer plate ensures optimum chain guide and gear-changing performance.

It might look normal from the outside, but the engineering inside this incredible chain design makes possible a gear range previously found only in 2-chainring drivetrains, it’s also the biggest contributor to the Eagle drivetrain’s ultra-smooth, precise, durable and quiet performance. Hard Chrome technology extends the chain’s optimal performance life, and a Titanium Nitride coating on the Gold and Black models decreases corrosion and further reduces friction.

ONZE-115 (Ultralight) 11 Speed

Contact: 01933 672 170 60 | June 2018

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Distributor: Chicken CycleKit The new chainset is a smoother, more aerodynamic design than the previous version with incredible aesthetics. The carbon spider stretches all the way out to the chain ring close to the teeth, creating a cleaner more aesthetically pleasing and more aerodynamic design. The hollow carbon construction offers a low weight without sacrificing stiffness or reliability. Contact: alex.rowling@

Distributor: Oxford Products Taya 5-series chains take chain durability, reliability and strength into a new era. The special Alloy-steel made plates, and DHT treatment prolong chain life and resist chain stretch. Precise shifting and durable, with light weight design (205g/100L) makes ONZE-115 the number one upgrade from the original equipment. Contact: / 01993 862300

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01772 459 887




Distributors of great brands across the UK Find your Local stockist at: or contact us on: Tel: 01772 459 887

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08/02/2018 11:38




11 12








GX Eagle

NTC Nanotube Chain

1/8 Standard Track/ Fixed Chain

Distributor: Bob Elliot & Co

Distributor: Silverfish UK

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Proving savings of over 10 watts* over a race distance on our dynamometer, the NTC is the culmination of thousands of hours of research and development into drivetrain optimisation. What makes the NTC so special is its ability to deliver wattage savings consistently over long periods of time and in all weathers. Other chains may claim to be the fastest but what they don’t tell you is for how long and in what conditions.

As used by the world’s best track and keirin racers, Izumi chains are made in Japan and are the mark of absolute toughness and quality for fixie track and urban bikes. Izumi’s Standard 1/2x 1/8 chains are available in Black, Silver (pictured) and Gold at an affordable £19.99 for a funky and functional upgrade to you your urban warrior or track speedster!

Distributor: Raleigh UK The GX Eagle trigger shifter is the control centre of the Eagle drivetrain. Its internal works have been updated to include a 12th gear, and improved to enhance trigger feel, precision and durability. The larger, 14-tooth X-Sync lower pulley allows 10- to 50-tooth cassette. The GX Eagle chain is designed with SRAM’s Eagle geometry, featuring solid pin construction, tooth’s thickness is precisely tolerance and controlled to work seamlessly with the chain’s inner and outer links. Contact:

62 | June 2018

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Zéfal Crank Armor Unlike other optimised chains currently available in the market, the NTC maintains its performance in all-weather conditions. Contact:


Contact: 01752 843 882

18/05/2018 15:34

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灰色--C0 M0 Y0 K85 黃色--C0 M10 Y95 K0

New to the UK for 2018, Geardrive cassettes offer an exciting alternative with increased margins over existing brands. Hyperglide compatible, Geardrive cassettes are available in 8 to 11 speed with a great range of ratios including 11/23 roadie up to 11-50t wide range for 1X setups. Extensive pre production testing has ensured Geardrive cassettes offer first class function with durability so creating a new brand that’s here to stay.


Order from our easy to use B2B ordering system for next day delivery.

01543 251328

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Cyclocross bikes 1












Calver Cyclocross



Distributor: Moore Large

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Distributor: Hotlines

X-Field Tubeless Cyclocross Tyre

The Calver is the lightest Aluminium frame in its category, making it a pure thoroughbredracing tool, designed for the specific demands of a CycloCross race. Developed with the assistance of some of the UK’s most experienced and successful Cyclo-Cross racers our ambition was to deliver race-winning performance at an affordable real-world price point. Forme have three new Calver models coming out July featuring the SL and SL carbon.

This new design is dependable, durable and easy to use. The new mountain bike pedal, X-Track, is constructed around a heavy-duty mechanism, resistant to the negative effects of coming into contact with various external factors, and provides consistent and reliable performance over time. Its spindle, equipped with a double weather-resistant seal, has been improved to withstand even the worst conditions you may encounter during your rides.

Whether you want to suffer through a cyclocross race or just take the back road to work, the Jaroon is ready for it all. Internal welding techniques give this frame a unique finish. Thruaxles, carbon fork, hydraulic brakes, flared bars, 1x11 gearing and rack and mudguard mounts mean this bike isn’t restricted to just the CX track.



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Contact: 0131 319 1444

Distributor: Hykeham Wholesale Mitas sees cyclocross as a real growth area in cycling. Three tyres have been released after extensive testing and development to cater for all conditions in Cyclocross. The X-Field is the most versatile pattern and is designed for more moderate terrain. Tread is of optimal height for the application and gives low rolling resistance, speed, traction and effective braking ability. Contact: 01522 801 550

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Easton Cycling


Terreno Dry

Cross 1.7

EC70 AX Handlebar

CXD Wheelset

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Distributor: Hotlines

Distributor: Silverfish UK

Distributor: Extra Uk

Aggressive file tread, or super low-profile knob design? The Terreno Dry bridges the gap between file treads, and traditional all-conditions treads. The key to this is the unique angled “fish scale” design, that allows the centre tread to roll extremely fast, yet offer traction when loaded in cornering and braking. Add the transitional height mid and side tread, and the Terreno Dry transitions as smoothly as it rolls.

Built around an A6-SL custom butted alloy frame to provide strength and durability for Cyclocross racing, the Fuji Cross 1.7 excels on rough roads, cyclocross forest trails and everything in-between. The Cross 1.7 frame features elegantly shaped top and down tubes, and an integrated, tapered headtube for optimum stiffness. Overall it is light and strong and provides a comfortable riding position. Contact: 0131 319 1444

Easton’s new AX series line of bars meets the needs of the growing drop bar adventure, cyclocross and gravel segment. Building off the line of new MCD road bars and EA70 and EC70 AX bar utilizes the same top shape and reach as well as the ergonomic drop shape but turns up the drop flare from 4 degrees all the way up to 16 degrees. The wider stance in the drops provides more control on rough terrain and long gravel assaults.

The CXD wheelset combines the best of Novatec’s road and off road technologies. A shallow, lightweight Tubeless Ready rim, mated to durable disc hubs ready for any conditions. 700c alloy rims are specifically designed for CX use with disc brakes. 20 spokes front, 24 spokes rear. Other features: Oversized rear axle, alloy nipples and stainless double butted spokes. Fitted with Shimano/SRAM cassette body.

Contact: 01752 843 882

Contact: 01933 672 170


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Addict CX RC Disc

Force 1 HRD

Bike Shuttle

Distributor: Hotlines


Distributor: Multisport Distribution

Resolute 42 is the ultimate all-weather gravel tire for those who believe there is one perfect tread pattern for all your rides. Truly all-season in nature, we call this our set-it-and-forgetit tire that keeps on keepin’ on. Widely spaced square knobs deliver consistent traction while shedding muck with ease. Retro-esque tanwalls provide modern performance in a classic look. Performs well in all conditions, no need to swap tires based on the weather. Available in 650b or 700c sizes.

“With the lightest CX frameset ever produced, the Scott Addict CX RC Disc is yearning to get to that cold, muddy start line. Stiffer than its predecessor, added vertical compliance for more comfort, disc brakes, front & rear through axles and a slew of cleverly designed CX details, this bike will be with you every step of the way as you crush cross event after cross event.”

Distributor: ZyroFisher and Raleigh UK

Contact: 0131 319 1444

68 | June 2018

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Contact: 07505 374 732 com

One less barrier to cross. The SRAM Force 1 groupset is a complete high-performance 1x11 cyclocross drivetrain created by blending the best of SRAM’s revolutionary XX1 mountain bike and road technologies. This is a single-ring that is lighter, simpler, and tougher while offering a clean look and optimal gear selection for cyclocross. SRAM Force 1 offers better chain management and smooth shifting no matter the conditions or terrain. Contact:

Clunky, static stands are history! Easily roll bike outside for washing or lubricating. Holds bike upright for ease of making adjustments, adding accessories or packing your bike bag and it’s the perfect partner for cleaning your bike after a muddy cyclocross race! Place bike into Shuttle and easily wheel outside for washing or lubing. Holds bike very steady for pumping up tyres. Fits road, cyclocross, or mtb tyres from 18–65mm in width. Contact: 01908 611 077 info@multisportdistribution.

18/05/2018 15:37






Cube Bikes

WCS EvoMax Handlebar

Code Techlace

Cube Cross Race C:62 SLT

The triple-butted 7075 alloy WCS EvoMax handlebar is designed for comfort and performance between the tape of cyclocross courses from Flanders to Yorkshire. The EvoMax features a wider bar top with a gentle 4.7-degree sweep for a more confident grip, while a sensible 120/73mm drop/ reach offers a more comfortable position for hammering through the mud. Contact: 01403 711 611

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Distributor: Upgrade



Distributor: ZyroFisher The benefits of Giro’s revolutionary Techlace system come to the dirt with the Code Techlace, a race-bred shoe for riders who want mega power transfer without sacrificing the durability needed to stand up to rugged trails and conditions. The Techlace system provides a more supple feel across the forefoot, and the Boa L6 dial offers fast, intuitive adjustment in 1mm increments when tightening. Contact:

Distributor: Oneway Bike Industry You’ll know when ‘cross has taken hold of you, because you won’t be able to wait for the weekend to come around again. The brand new Cross Race C:62 SLT was developed for cyclocross purists. Ultralight, perfectly formed and equipped with one goal in mind: to win. Our new C:62 carbon frameset and carbon fork is paired with the best of everything, to give you that winning edge. Contact: 0031 10340 3504

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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:

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

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

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

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

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

Met Helmets / Bluegrass 22-24 Ely Place, London, EC1N6TE Tel: 0207 1937 496 Web:

Moore Large & Co Grampian Buildings, Shinfin Lane, Derby, DE249GL Tel: 01332274200 Web:

North Sports 102 Charleston House, 87–95 Neilston Road, Paisley, PA26ES Web:

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

Oxford Products Ltd De Havilland Way, Range Road, Witney, Oxon, OX290YA Tel: 01993 862 300 Web:

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

The Bikebiz DIRECTORY 2018 is out now, providing the industry with a must-have guide to the UK’s retailers, distributors, manufacturers and related businesses. If you’d like to find out more or require additional copies please contact or call him on 020 7354 6028

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Assos 57 Farringdon Road, London, EC1M 3JB Tel: 0203 621 1555 Web:

Clarks Cycle Systems Head Office, Unit 1 The Old Dairy, Pessall Lane, Edingale , Tamworth, Staffordshire, B79 9JL Tel: 01827 382800

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

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

AWE® Unit 80, Courthill House, 60 Water Lane Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AJ Tel: 01625-873130 Web:

The Cycle Division Unit 27 Gatehouse Enterprise Centre, Albert Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 3QD Tel: 01484 456137 Web:

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

ZyroFisher Ltd Roundhouse Road, Faverdale Industrial Estate, Darlington, DL3 0UR Tel: 01325 741200

Web: /

Citrus-Lime Limited Lantern House, The Ellers, Ulverston, LA12 0AA Tel: 01229 588 628 Web:

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




Cycleguard Insurance Southgate House, Southgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1UB Tel: 0333 004 3444 Web:

Cycling UK Parklands, Railton Road, Guildford, GU2 9JX 01483238300 Web:

Aqua Blue Sport LTD 4 Cleve Quarter, Monahan Road, Cork, Ireland Tel: 00353214847477 Web:

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

Invisiframe Tel: 01743 232297 Web:

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

Smartmotion International Ltd RM C, 13/F, Harvard Commercial Building, 105-111 Thomson Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Tel: 8615895656508 Web:

700c Cycle Shop Insurance Plough Court, 37 Lombard Street, London. EC3V 9BQ Tel: 0333 433 0827 Web:

Weldtite Products Ltd Unit 9 Harrier Road, Humber Bridge Industrial Estate, Barton-on-Humber, Lincs, DN18 5RP Tel: 01652 660000 Web:

The Bikebiz DIRECTORY 2018 is available to view online at

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n recent years, the industry has begun to acknowledge the wasteful nature of excess packaging. Many have highlighted the unnecessary levels of padding used in distributor deliveries, not to mention the quantity of plastic involved in simple product packaging on the shop floor. In our May edition, Laura Laker delved into the world of tyre recycling and discovered that very few options were available for shops looking to reduce their environmental footprint.

The situation with packaging is similar, with 84 per cent of retailers polled believing that the industry has an issue with unnecessarily bulky deliveries. In spite of this, 88 per cent confirmed that they are trying to tackle the problem by recycling wherever possible, although one dealer stated: “It’s very hard; a decent amount of our packaging is non-recyclable. Our distributors need to think about the future and change this.”



Would you be more inclined to purchase a product if its packaging was environmentally friendly?

72% YES 28% NO Polls are conducted via Twitter @BikeBizOnline

Do you recycle packaging that cycle products come in?

88% YES 12% NO

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Do you believe that excess packaging is an issue in the cycle trade?

84% YES 16% NO June 2018 | 75

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Frog Bikes This month, kid’s brand Frog Bikes talk branding, achieving goals and keeping the child in mind How many members of staff do you have? We have about 100 members of staff globally.

Then there’s Adel, one of our sales reps, who is a multidisciplined rider for Cannondale in her spare time.

Who’s your most passionate cyclist? Now that is a tricky one! There are so many passionate cyclists at Frog. Jerry Lawson, our founder, is a triathlete, as is Dr Tom Korff, our head of R&D. Then there are those who have raced semi-pro, like Darren Parish, our product and retail development manager and Jon Pybus, our R&D manager.

Who are your longest standing members of staff?​ Jerry and Shelley Lawson, our founders and directors – and their kids, who helped with the initial concept and branding! Although Tom didn’t join the Frog Team officially until about 18 months ago, he was involved in all the initial research in his capacity of senior lecturer/ consultant at Brunel University.

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Frog Bikes was founded by Jerry and Shelley Lawson in 2012

“It’s hard to believe we were once working out of Shelley and Jerry’s home!”

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Darren was also key in training and getting our network of independent stores on board. Penny, our customer services manager, joined Frog in its third month. What are the current team goals? Getting more kids cycling from a young age, making the best quality, lightweight bikes we can (and constantly improving), increasing our manufacturing capacity in Wales and having fun while achieving those goals! What projects are you currently working on? We just announced a three-year partnership with USA Cycling and launched a range of USA Cycling bikes, which will be available in US stores from June. Our R&D department is always working on exciting projects – nothing that can be disclosed currently though, sorry! What are your greatest strengths as a company? At Frog, we constantly talk about the research behind the design. From the very beginning, Frog has invested heavily in research, thinking about every component with the child in mind.

The research continues to inform commercial decisions, and the whole organisation understands the benefits of doing so. No cutting corners – everything is considered, with no compromise in the quality of the bike Frog is proud to produce. What sets Frog Bikes apart from other companies in the industry? Frog Bikes is quite unusual in the fact that while there is a senior management team, there really isn’t a hierarchy as such. The team regularly meets to discuss company strategy, where everyone is encouraged to make a contribution. Frog Bikes also invests in individuals through training and personal development programmes. We’ve had team members decide they’d like a change in career direction, and they have been supported in doing so. What motivates the team? Everyone at Frog feels passionate about what they do and genuinely enjoys seeing more of the bikes out and about. Almost all of the original team from five years ago have grown with the company – it’s hard to believe we were once working out of Shelley and Jerry’s home! What do you do to have fun as a group? The team meets up on a regular basis for a range of activities – from bike rides to BBQs and visits to the local pub! We also have a monthly breakfast where we catch up, share ideas and each department takes turns at making breakfast (trying to outdo the previous department of course!) Tell us about past and recent successes. We’ve recently obtained a couple of awards: The RedDot design award for our newly-launched MTB 69, as well as the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Export 2018. We’re also extremely proud of our Made in Wales: Manufacturer of The Year 2017 award (under £25 million). n

Contact: Silwood Business Centre, Buckhurst Rd, Ascot SL5 7PW tel: 01784 557 300 e-mail:

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Rich data will boost bike sales, says BAGB Finally, we could all soon benefit from valuable market intelligence, reports Carlton Reid


e mustn’t let this opportunity slip through our fingers,” warned Bicycle Association operations manager Steve Garidis at the organisation’s spring meeting. He was talking about the collection of timely, accurate sales data on the UK cycle market. “The stars are aligned,” he stressed. “This could be the breakthrough moment.” I hope so too, and so should you. I’ve been writing (some would say ranting) about the lack of such data since the early 1990s when I first started in this industry. Collecting anonymised sales data is normal in other markets, but seemingly impossible in the British cycle industry. Bicycle businesses in the US and continental Europe work the numbers to spot trends, stem losses before they become terminal, and boost profits – we can’t. “The UK has no quantified source of information on annual retail sales of bikes, parts, accessories or clothing, either in terms of units or value,” complained the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry in the Great Britain section of its latest annual cycling market report. The problem to date has been a worry that companies ­– retail as well as wholesale ­– will somehow get to play with the actual sales data of their competitors, and that this would hobble them both in some way. All it takes is three or four major players to refuse to take part, as has always happened in the past, and much of the resulting stats are known to be guesswork and therefore next to useless. The latest plan ­is well-managed, secure, and promises the sort of fine detail that other industries take for granted and which, to our great shame, has been so obviously missing. Tracking retail sales by volume, value, category and –­at the upper level­– by SKU, the market intelligence reports will be published within three weeks of money going through bike shop tills. This granularity is gold dust and could be used to boost every bicycle business – not just those paying for top-of-the-range reports. 78 | June 2018

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‘Bicycle businesses in the US and continental Europe work the numbers to spot trends, stem losses before they become terminal, and boost profits – we can’t’ The overwhelming vibe from suppliers and retailers at the BA meeting was that, yes, the stars really are aligned this time. There’s a steely determination to make it work. As the recent Facebook debacle showed, we live in a data-rich world, yet the UK bike industry – for no good reason – ­is still trading in the dark. If you can play your part in this market intelligence project – perhaps by okaying the use of anonymised EPoS data – I’d urge you to do so: a rising tide floats all boats. n

18/05/2018 15:43

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Each year the show attracts over 3,500 Trade visitors



Register now or contact the Cycle Show team to book your stand on 020 7288 6440

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18/05/2018 10:23:16

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