BikeBiz June 2021

Page 1

JUNE 2021

JUNE 2021

sales@raleigh.co.uk | www.raleighb2b.co.uk | 01773 532694

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NEW INNER TUBE DISPENSER & RECYCLING UNIT! EXCLUSIVELY ON THE RALEIGH B2B

SPEND £500 ON A RANGE OF INNER TUBES & RECEIVE THIS UNIT FREE OF CHARGE!

PERFECT FOR YOUR WORKSHOP

AVAILABLE FREE WHEN YOU SHOP ON THE RALEIGH B2B

Full pack contents can be viewed on the Raleigh B2B website or provided by your Account Manager. Visit www.raleighb2b.co.uk to see the full range of tubes. Spend £500 and you’ll automatically receive your inner tube dispenser free. Or contact your Raleigh Account Manger to place an order.

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‘Are we, both as an industry and aa ‘Electric vehicles, in general, have proved ‘Electric vehicles, in general, have proved ‘Electric vehicles, in general, have proved ‘Are we, both as an industry and as ‘Electric vehicles, in general, have proved ‘Electric vehicles, in general, have proved ‘Electric vehicles, in general, have proved ‘Are we, both asinan industry and as aas ‘Electric vehicles, in general, have proved ‘Electric vehicles, in general, have proved ‘Electric vehicles, general, have proved ‘The connotations ofofsuch drastic country, in danger allowing this insufficiently practical, accessible or insufficiently practical, accessible or insufficiently practical, accessible or country, in danger of allowing this insufficiently practical, accessible insufficiently practical, accessible or insufficiently practical, accessible country, in danger of allowing this insufficiently practical, accessible insufficiently practical, accessible ororor insufficiently practical, accessible oror change do not have to be negative’ opportunity to pass us by?’ affordable to convert the masses’ affordable to convert the masses’ affordable to convert the masses’ opportunity tothe pass us by?’ affordable to convert the masses’ affordable to convert the masses’ affordable toconvert convert the masses’ opportunity to pass us by?’ affordable convert the masses’ affordable the masses’ affordable tototo convert masses’

Editor Editor Editor Editor Editor Editor Editor Editor Editor Editor Editor Editor Editor James Groves James Groves James Groves James Groves James Groves James Groves James Groves James Groves James Groves James Groves James Groves James Groves James Groves james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk Senior staff writer Senior staff writer Senior staff writer Senior staff writer Senior staff writer Senior staff writer Senior staff writer Senior staff writer Senior staff writer Senior staff writer Senior staff writer Senior staff writer Senior staff writer Rebecca Morley Rebecca Morley Rebecca Morley Rebecca Morley Rebecca Morley Rebecca Morley Rebecca Morley Rebecca Morley Rebecca Morley Rebecca Morley Rebecca Morley Rebecca Morley Rebecca Morley rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk

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MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT Media director Media director Media director Media director Media director Media director Media director Media director Media director Media director Media director Media director Media director Colin Wilkinson Colin Wilkinson Colin Wilkinson Colin Wilkinson Colin Wilkinson Colin Wilkinson Colin Wilkinson Colin Wilkinson Colin Wilkinson Colin Wilkinson Colin Wilkinson Colin Wilkinson Colin Wilkinson colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk

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Reconstructing A golden generation? retail ––––not Cycling as technology not Cycling as technology not Cycling as A golden generation? Cycling as aatechnology technology ––not not Cycling as atechnology technology –not not Cycling as aatechnology technology ––not not ACycling golden generation? as aaatechnology Cycling as Cycling as a merely mode of transport merely mode of transport merely of transport merely aisamode mode of transport merely amode mode of transport merely aamode mode of transport merely aaaamode of transport merely of transport merely abike of Learning to aacrucial rite of passage for any For first Retail is changing. under pressure to increase efficiency Learning toride ride abike bike isare crucial ritetransport of passage for anychild. child. Forthe theand first Learning to ride a Businesses a is crucial riteconstant of passage for any child. For the first

time in we gain access to our own method of and reduce overheads. While so, they are expected to develop bespoke offerings, time inour ourlives, lives, wedoing gain access to our own method oftransport transport andall all time in our lives, we gain access to our own method of transport and all that comes with it: freedom, fun, exercise and independence. world redesign their stores and invest incelebrate digital strategies. And alltechnologies, oftechnologies, this amid rising costs The modern world loves to evolving, exciting technologies, be The modern world loves to celebrate evolving, exciting technologies, be The modern world loves celebrate evolving, exciting that comes with it: freedom, fun, exercise and independence. The world The modern world loves to celebrate evolving, exciting technologies, be The modern world loves to celebrate evolving, exciting technologies, be The modern world loves tocelebrate celebrate evolving, exciting technologies, be that comes with it: freedom, fun, exercise and independence. TheThe world The modern world loves tocelebrate celebrate evolving, exciting bebebe The modern world loves toto evolving, exciting technologies, The modern world loves to evolving, exciting technologies, be our playground. and consumer spending. Frankly, such expectations would be laughable itvirtual virtual reality, driverless cars or artificial intelligence awhole. These it virtual reality, driverless cars or artificial intelligence awhole. whole. These itbecomes reality, driverless cars or artificial intelligence aas These becomes our playground. itdwindling virtual reality, driverless cars or artificial intelligence as awhole. These it virtual reality, driverless cars or artificial intelligence awhole. whole. These itvirtual virtual reality, driverless cars or artificial intelligence asaas aas These our playground. itvirtual reality, driverless cars or artificial intelligence awhole. whole. These itvirtual reality, driverless cars or artificial intelligence whole. These itbecomes reality, driverless cars or artificial intelligence asasaasas These Despite these benefits, the number of children owning or having access were they not quite so paramount. creations, however, are purely embryonic when compared with that of the creations, however, are purely embryonic when compared with that of the creations, however, are purely embryonic compared with that of the Despite these benefits, the number ofwhen children owning or having access creations, however, are purely embryonic when compared with that of the creations, however, are purely embryonic when compared with that of the creations, however, are purely embryonic when compared with that ofthe the Despite these benefits, the number ofwhen children owning or having access creations, however, are purely embryonic when compared with that of the creations, however, are purely embryonic when compared with that of creations, however, are purely embryonic compared with that of the to bikes has been declining for several years (pre-COVID). Before Despite amotor, timely and significant boost over the past 15this months, the cycling trade electric motor, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. electric motor, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. electric motor, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. to bikes has been declining for several years (pre-COVID). Before the electric motor, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. electric motor, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. electric which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. toelectric bikes has been declining forits several years (pre-COVID). Before the the motor, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. electric motor, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. electric motor, which celebrates 200th anniversary year. pandemic hit, it was estimated that 2% of children cycle to the isAnd all too familiar with this ongoing battle. 2021, however, could offer aschool once-in-aAnd while millions among us flock to these trendy technologies And while millions among us flock to these trendy technologies –Amazon’s Amazon’s And while millions among us flock these trendy technologies –Amazon’s pandemic hit, it was estimated that 2% of children cycle to–school in the And while millions among us flock to these trendy technologies –Amazon’s Amazon’s And while millions among us flock to these trendy technologies –in Amazon’s And while millions among us flock to these trendy technologies ––Amazon’s pandemic hit, it was estimated that 2% of children cycle to school in the while millions among flock to these trendy technologies –Amazon’s And while millions among flock toto these trendy technologies –Amazon’s And while millions among ususus flock to these trendy technologies UK. Compare that to athe rather inspiring 49% in the Netherlands, lifetime opportunity to press the reset button on both carbon footprint and global Alexa stands out as the most notable example –mobility mobility continues to run on Alexa stands out as the most notable example –children mobility continues to run on Alexa stands out as the most notable example –of continues run on UK. Compare that to amost rather inspiring in the Netherlands, Alexa stands out the most notable example –mobility mobility continues to run on Alexa stands out as most notable example –children mobility continues to run on Alexa stands out as the notable example –of continues torun run on UK. Compare that to aas rather inspiring 49% of–mobility incontinues the Netherlands, Alexa stands out as the most notable example mobility continues run on Alexa stands out as the most notable example –children mobility toto on Alexa stands out as the most notable example –49% continues toto run on and you can see just how far the British approach to cycle advocacy dawdles health, and indeed herald this age ofapproach cycling’ our Prime Minister keeps fossil fuels. Electric vehicles, in general, have proved insufficiently practical, fossil fuels. Electric vehicles, in general, have proved insufficiently practical, fossil fuels. Electric vehicles, general, have proved insufficiently practical, and you can see just how far the British approach to cycle advocacy dawdles fossil fuels. Electric vehicles, in general, have proved insufficiently practical, fossil fuels. Electric vehicles, in general, have proved insufficiently practical, fossil fuels. Electric vehicles, ingeneral, general, have proved insufficiently practical, and you can see just how far the British to cycle advocacy dawdles fossil fuels. Electric vehicles, in general, have proved insufficiently practical, fossil fuels. Electric vehicles, inin have proved insufficiently practical, fossil fuels. Electric vehicles, in‘golden general, have proved insufficiently practical, behind its peers. talking about. accessible or affordable to convert the masses. accessible or affordable to convert the masses. accessible or affordable convert the masses. behind its peers. accessible or affordable to convert the masses. accessible or affordable to convert the masses. accessible or affordable toconvert convert the masses. behind its accessible or affordable convert the masses. accessible or affordable toto the masses. accessible orpeers. affordable totoconvert the masses. Children require minimal encouragement to jump on their bikes, but One thing hearing, beencouragement itand from cycling industry peers, friends or family, Evolution isis well overdue, and the next 18 months will prove pivotal in Evolution is well overdue, and the next 18 months will prove pivotal in Evolution is well overdue, the next months will prove pivotal Children require minimal encouragement to jump on their bikes, but Evolution well overdue, and the next 18 months will prove pivotal in Evolution is well overdue, and the next 18 months will prove pivotal in Evolution is well overdue, and the next 18 months will prove pivotal in Children require minimal to jump on their bikes, but Evolution isIwell well overdue, and the next 18 months will prove pivotal ininin Evolution iskeep well overdue, and the next 1818 months will prove pivotal Evolution is overdue, and the next 18 months will prove pivotal in they need permission, and they need support. Our May edition seeks isdeciding that, in ajust post-COVID world, neither our economy nor our society will ever deciding just how efficiently those changes can be implemented. Over 100 deciding just how efficiently those changes can be implemented. Over 100 of deciding just how efficiently those changes can be implemented. Over 100 of they need permission, and they need support. Our May edition seeks deciding just how efficiently those changes can be implemented. Over 100 of deciding just how efficiently those changes can be implemented. Over 100 of deciding just how efficiently those changes can be implemented. Over 100 ofof they need permission, and they need support. Our May edition seeks deciding just how efficiently those changes can be implemented. Over 100 of how efficiently those changes can be implemented. Over 100 of deciding just how efficiently those changes can be implemented. Over 100 of to highlight challenges and solutions in this specialist area, with be the same again. The connotations of such drastic change do not, however, have the world’s biggest cities over 77 countries have pledged to achieve netthe world’s biggest cities –and and over 77 countries –pledged have pledged to achieve netthe world’s biggest cities –solutions over 77 countries –have pledged achieve netto highlight challenges and solutions in this key specialist area, with the world’s biggest –and and over 77 countries –have pledged to achieve netthe world’s biggest cities –over and over 77 countries –have have pledged to achieve netthe world’s biggest cities ––and over 77 countries ––have pledged toachieve achieve nettothe highlight challenges and in this key– –key specialist area, world’s biggest cities –and 77 countries pledged towith achieve netthe world’s biggest cities –and and over 77 countries –have pledged toto netthe world’s biggest cities –cities over 77 countries have to achieve netexperts ranging from Cycle Sprog and Tandem Group Cycles to Little Rider to be negative. zero emissions. Governments across the globe have imposed future bans on the zero emissions. Governments across the globe have imposed future bans on the zero emissions. Governments across the globe have imposed future bans on the experts ranging from Cycle Sprog and Tandem Group Cycles to Little Rider zero emissions. Governments across the globe have imposed future bans on the zero emissions. Governments across the globe have imposed future bans on the zero emissions. Governments across the globe have imposed future bans on the experts ranging from Cycle Sprog and Tandem Group Cycles to Little Rider zero emissions. Governments across the globe have imposed future bans on the zero emissions. Governments across the globe have imposed future bans on the zero emissions. Governments across the globe have imposed future bans on the and Kiddimoto. Our retail edition explores modern retail challenges within the cycling sector sale of dieseland petrol-powered vehicles, while investors taking sustainability sale of dieseland petrol-powered vehicles, while investors taking sustainability sale of dieseland petrol-powered vehicles, while investors taking sustainability and Kiddimoto. sale of dieseland petrol-powered vehicles, while investors taking sustainability sale of dieseland petrol-powered vehicles, while investors taking sustainability sale of dieseland petrol-powered vehicles, while investors taking sustainability and Kiddimoto. sale of dieseland petrol-powered vehicles, while investors taking sustainability sale of dieseland petrol-powered vehicles, while investors taking sustainability sale of dieseland petrol-powered vehicles, while investors taking sustainability Throughout the last 14 months, we’ve witnessed remarkable bike in 2021 and beyond, and we’re showcasing some fantastic examples of as their new ‘buzzword’ are itching to accelerate the trend awhole. as their new ‘buzzword’ are itching to accelerate the trend awhole. whole. as their new ‘buzzword’ are itching accelerate the trend aas Throughout the last 14 months, we’ve witnessed remarkable bike sales as their new ‘buzzword’ are itching to accelerate the trend as awhole. whole. as their new ‘buzzword’ are itching to accelerate the trend aambition, whole. as their new ‘buzzword’ are itching to accelerate the trend asaas aas Throughout the last 14 months, we’ve witnessed remarkable bike salessales their new ‘buzzword’ are itching toaccelerate accelerate the trend asaasas awhole. whole. as their new ‘buzzword’ are itching toto accelerate the trend whole. asas their new ‘buzzword’ are itching to the trend as that could lay the groundwork afactors golden age of cycling. However, creativity and ingenuity throughout the edition. This evolution was one of the key in the launch of our micromobility This evolution was one of the key factors in the launch of our micromobility This evolution was one of the key factors the launch of our micromobility that could lay the groundwork for afactors golden age of cycling. However, as This evolution was one of the key factors in the launch of our micromobility This evolution was one of the key factors in the launch of our micromobility This evolution was one ofthe the key inthe the launch ofour our micromobility that could lay the groundwork for afor golden age of cycling. as as This evolution was one of the key factors the launch our micromobility This evolution was one of key factors inin launch ofHowever, micromobility This evolution was one of the key factors inin the launch ofofour micromobility Karen Gee (p7) probes, are we, both as an industry and as in Hopefully, you’ll put down our June edition feeling a lie little more positive about platform, platform, MMB ,in in 2020, and while many challenges lie ahead, ishope my hope platform, MMB ,in in 2020, and while many challenges lie is my hope MMB ,in and while many challenges lie ahead, is my hope Karen Gee (p7) are we, both as an industry and as aitmy country, in platform, platform, ,probes, 2020, and while many challenges lie ahead, itit is my hope platform, ,2020, in 2020, and while many challenges lie ahead, it is my hope MMB ,in 2020, and while many challenges lie ahead, itcountry, ismy my hope Karen Gee (p7) probes, are we, both as an industry and as aahead, country, in platform, platform, MMB ,MMB in 2020, and while many challenges ahead, itis my hope platform, MMB , 2020, 2020, and while many challenges lie ahead, itais isit hope MMB ,MMB in and while many challenges lie ahead, it danger of allowing this opportunity to pass us by? the future. that 2021 will finally be the year that e-mobility enters the mainstream. that 2021 will finally be the year that e-mobility enters the mainstream. that 2021 will finally be the year that e-mobility enters the mainstream. danger of allowing this opportunity to pass us by? that 2021 will finally be the year that e-mobility enters the mainstream. that 2021 will finally be the year that e-mobility enters the mainstream. that 2021 will finally be the year that e-mobility enters the mainstream. danger of allowing this opportunity to pass usenters by? that 2021 will finally bebe the year that e-mobility enters the mainstream. that 2021 will finally the year that e-mobility enters the mainstream. that 2021 will finally be the year that e-mobility the mainstream. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our technology-focused April edition In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our technology-focused April edition In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our technology-focused April edition In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our technology-focused April edition In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our technology-focused April edition In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our technology-focused April edition the meantime, we hope you enjoy our technology-focused April edition the meantime, we hope you enjoy our technology-focused April edition InInIn the meantime, we hope you enjoy our technology-focused April edition of BikeBiz of BikeBiz BikeBiz of BikeBiz of ofBikeBiz BikeBiz BikeBiz BikeBiz ofof ofofBikeBiz ! ! ! !! !!!!

James James Groves Groves James Groves James Groves Editor Editor James Groves James Groves James Groves Editor James Groves James Groves James Groves Editor James Groves James Groves James Groves

james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk Editor Editor Editor james.groves@biz-media.co.uk Editor Editor Editor james.groves@biz-media.co.uk Editor Editor Editor james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk james.groves@biz-media.co.uk

Editorial: 07801 291 961 Advertising: 07794 805 307 Editorial: 07801 291 961 Advertising: 07794 805 307 Editorial: 07801 291 961 Advertising: 07794 805 307 Editorial: 07801 291 961 Advertising: 07794 805 307 Editorial: 07801 291 961 Advertising: 07794 805 307 Editorial: 07801 291 961 Advertising: 07794 805 307 Editorial: 07801 291 961 Advertising: 07794 805 307 Editorial: 07801 291 961 Advertising: 07794 805 307 Editorial: 07801 291 961 Advertising: 07794 805 307 Editorial: 07801 291 961 Advertising: 07794 805 307

THE THE TEAM TEAM THE TEAM THE TEAM THE THE TEAM TEAM THE TEAM THE TEAM

Graphic designer Graphic designer Graphic designer Graphic designer Graphic designer Graphic designer Graphic designer Graphic designer Graphic designer Graphic designer Graphic designer Graphic designer Graphic designer Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood khood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk

Rebecca Morley Richard Setters Rebecca Morley Richard Setters Rebecca Morley Richard Setters Rebecca Morley Richard Setters Rebecca Morley Richard Richard Setters Rebecca Morley Richard Setters Rebecca Morley Richard Setters Rebecca Morley Richard Setters Rebecca Morley Setters Senior staff writer Sales manager Senior staff writer Sales manager Senior staff writer Sales manager

Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood Kirsty Hood

Graphic designer Graphic designer Graphic designer Senior staff writer Sales manager Graphic designer Senior staff writer Sales manager Graphic designer Senior staff writer Sales manager Graphic designer Senior staff writer Sales manager Graphic designer Senior staff writer Sales manager Graphic designer Senior staff writer Sales manager Graphic designer rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk richard.setters@biz-media.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk richard.setters@biz-media.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk richard.setters@biz-media.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk richard.setters@biz-media.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk richard.setters@biz-media.co.ukkhood@datateam.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk richard.setters@biz-media.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk richard.setters@biz-media.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk richard.setters@biz-media.co.uk khood@datateam.co.uk rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk richard.setters@biz-media.co.uk

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JUNE 2021

8

BikeBiz Awards 2020: The retail winners We hear from Rutland Cycling and Berkshire Cycles, winners in the retail categories at last year’s BikeBiz Awards

8

20 In the family Rebecca Morley catches up with Darren Hunt, group retail managing director at Cycle King & Hawk Cycles, to find out more about the family-owned bike retailer

23 An open letter on retail How is the retail sector viewed when it comes to the mission of growing cycling? By David Middlemiss, associate director of the Bicycle Association

37

28 Blending AR with live video Eyekandy recently launched a new sales solution with Velorution. Rebecca Morley chats to Velorution’s digital marketing manager Lawrence Bywater

33 Innovative solutions, OEM and European expansion BikeBiz sits down with capgo cable systems CEO Chris Treugut

37

45

A full sensory experience Ribble Cycles recently opened its new landmark flagship showroom in Lancashire, providing a ‘brand new bicycle retail proposition’

45 Five minutes with… SKS This month, BikeBiz catches up with SKS export manager Robert Schatton

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BIKEBIZ AWARDS

BikeBiz Awards 2020: The retail winners BikeBiz catches up with Rutland Cycling and Berkshire Cycles, winners in the retail categories at last year’s BikeBiz Awards, to find out how they adapted to COVID restrictions and what’s in store for the year ahead

‘The obstacles were enormous, but we are a resourceful, agile team’ Karen Archer, CEO, Rutland Cycling, winner of Best Omnichannel Retailer How has the past year been for Rutland – how did you adapt to COVID-19 restrictions? The past 12 months have been incredibly challenging for the business and during those first few days, I really did not know what would happen to consumer demand. However, it was very clear as we entered April that we would have to quickly adapt our head office teams to remote working, add additional resource into our despatch and bike building teams and ensure the safety of our colleagues and customers in our stores that remained open for essential retail. The obstacles were enormous, but we are a resourceful, agile team, and I was very pleased with our collective response.

We have added to the workshop teams to manage the lead times and are busy recruiting apprentices into this crucial area of the business. What impact has the pandemic had on the split between online and in-store sales? Initially, we took the decision to close all but two of our stores as we were seeing a huge spike in online orders, and we were focused on controlling costs. However, most of our colleagues at stores were quickly deployed into other duties utilising their skill sets to support the online activity, customer service and operations. The bias was heavily weighted towards online throughout April, May and June but we did see a return to a more normalised level of trading throughout the remainder of 2020. The third lockdown was the hardest for our store network, but we made the decision to keep the stores open for trade to ensure continuity for our customers, click and collect options

How has demand changed for bikes, as well as repairs and servicing? Demand has remained incredibly high for bikes and PAC as well as repairs and servicing throughout the last 12 months. The winter period, where we traditionally see a slowing down of sales, did not follow the “normal” pattern and November and February, usually the toughest trading months for us, were incredibly busy. Our workshops have been and continue to be inundated with work and managing customer expectation with the supply issues surrounding parts has been difficult.

8 | June 2021

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19/05/2021 16:31


BIKEBIZ AWARDS

and the ability to continue to support the online activity via the workshops. Rutland Cycling won Best Omnichannel Retailer at the 2020 BikeBiz Awards – what did it mean to win? We were delighted to receive the award as it was public recognition for what we firmly believe – we have a fantastic blend of sales channels, hard-working, knowledgeable, loyal colleagues, and a desire to put the customer at the heart of everything that we do. We are a team, whether you work in HQ, stores, online or in operations, and receiving the award for Best Omnichannel Retailer is testament to this philosophy.

What are your expectations for the year ahead, both for the business and the industry? I think the future is bright for both Rutland Cycling and the industry. Challenges around supply will be with us throughout this year but the opportunities are enormous. We have seen a huge shift in demand, and this will continue given the ongoing and uncertain impact of COVID, the work/life balance realignment, the emphasis on health and wellbeing and the permanent changes to cycling infrastructure. It is exciting and daunting in equal measure, but we need to be brave and capitalise on the momentum to cement long lasting change and sustainable and profitable growth for our industry. n

‘The past year has been like no other year we’ve traded’ Chris Reilly, owner, Berkshire Cycles, winner of Best Independent Bike Dealer How has the past year been for Berkshire – how did you adapt to COVID-19 restrictions? The past year has been like no other year we’ve traded. We acted quickly at the beginning of the pandemic to implement the changes to the shop. Floor markings, screens on the counters between staff and customers. PPE made available to all the staff, and we asked customers to queue outside, whilst only allowing a couple of people at a time in. How do you think retail has changed in recent months and what trends have you observed? We made early predictions last year that it couldn’t go on the way that it has. Luckily, we remain very busy. The voucher scheme was launched, which has contributed to the workshop being very busy. Like the rest of the trade, it is becoming harder to replenish the stock. There is a shortage of raw materials, which has a knock on effect, so now we’re seeing long delays on parts as well as bikes. The demand for new bikes is still there, but bike repairs are extremely busy, and this seems to be keeping people riding.

we’ve been in business 44 years and never been put forward. Response from customers was so positive, we can’t thank them enough. Why is it so important to celebrate businesses within the cycling industry, especially during this time? Everyone is working so hard, long days and weeks. With all the difficulties along the way, it’s nice to recognise and celebrate the hard work people are putting in. What are your expectations for the year ahead, both for the business and the industry? We expect a continuation of what we’re experiencing at the moment. Some normality will resume, and stock will catch up a bit as we go into the second half of the year; but we still won’t be satisfying all of the demand. n

Berkshire Cycles won Best Independent Bike Dealer at the 2020 BikeBiz Awards – what did it mean to win? It meant everything to be nominated. First of all, to have our name put forward by a customer was just incredible,

www.bikebiz.com

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Bafang, one of the leading manufacturers of e-mobility components and complete e-drive systems, has been developing solutions for electric vehicles since 2003. Bafang concentrates in all global e-mobility trends of the future: whether for individual e-bikes, e-scooters or for public bike-sharing schemes. More information at www.bafang-e.com

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17/05/2021 10:28


POINTS OF VIEW

End-to-end service is the future for IBDs By James Steel, director, Citrus-Lime

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he retail landscape has altered dramatically over the last 12 months. Although change has been coming slowly, lockdown has led to the biggest shake-up of the industry in a generation. Being less able to visit physical stores, shoppers have been faced with no other option but to buy online. This rapid acceleration of internet shopping has caused retailers of all sizes real challenges. It’s a pain point that I know all too well. The arrival of Amazon, and the way it changed the status quo, really disrupted the sector. It enabled people to search for what they wanted, browse the products on offer, make a purchase and have it delivered directly to the front door – all without setting foot outside the house. If people weren’t shopping online before, they are now. Whether we like it or not, the tentacles of e-commerce are touching everything in retail. Now shoppers have got used to its ease and convenience, the seismic shift to online is here to stay. It’s not surprising. These days, the search for goods starts on the internet, so it’s really important for retailers to have a web presence. While price is a big driver, many people are looking for choice and convenience too. They want delivery, they want Click and Collect, they want finance and they want to know what stock bike dealers have and when they can get it. However, while the world wide web satisfies lots of shoppers’ needs, when it comes to high value goods, the

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physical store will always be an essential part of the mix. Buying a bike is a personal pursuit. Fit and feel are crucial to the riding experience and this is something that can’t be replicated by looking at an image on screen. You wouldn’t spend £1,000 on a sofa without sitting on it first – it’s the same for buying a bike. And make no mistake – this is a good thing. IBDs are passionate people. They love cycling and that enthusiasm spills out in the way they interact with customers. It’s their intricate knowledge of the product and the personal service they deliver that sets them apart from the giants of the bike sector. That said, I’m a firm believer that in order to survive and thrive, IBDs will need to adapt. Those who implement e-commerce in addition to their store will remain in the game. But it doesn’t stop there; offering different ways to pay can only encourage purchases and supplying bikes in a way customers want to receive them will help independents compete. In my opinion, the way forward is for IBDs to embrace an end-to-end service model. Buyers want to be able to access goods with the least amount of hassle. Whether they go direct to a store or go online, offering a slick delivery service, Click and Collect and finance options are going to be the game changers. This is the inevitable future of retail, and all 2020 did was make the future happen faster. n

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19/05/2021 15:58


POINTS OF VIEW

A new, greener wave? Riese & Müller UK sales manager Michael Gregg analyses the cargo bike scene in the UK

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argo bikes in the UK still remain somewhat of a head-turner when one passes you by in the streets. However, in the hustle and bustle of the big city life, the cargo bike is becoming normalised and for all the right reasons! If you take a trip to Northern Europe, the cargo bike has become a common sight, with people using them for city deliveries or families using them as an alternative to a second vehicle. A trip to the Riese & Muller factory just outside Darmstadt, Germany, really is an eye-opening experience for the cargo market with more staff riding to the factory on a cargo bike than using a regular car. If you wait outside the factory on a regular working day then you will witness hordes of employees commuting in on their cargo and e-bikes with designated parking and areas to charge the bikes whilst staff get on with their working day. This sight is definitely a forward-thinking approach to the commuting lifestyle which I’m sure the UK will follow more and more as the e-bike continues to become accepted within our culture.

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Business After a recent trip to London, I found that there are more and more e-bikes on the road along with alternative modes of transport for deliveries within central London. Using a cargo bike makes sense from a business perspective and has lots of positive benefits, for example: • Avoiding city congestion charges • No fuel costs • No waiting in busy city traffic • More enjoyable and stress-free way of travel • Easier delivery of door-to-door parcels etc • Staff not having to have driving licences • Use of cycle routes for a quicker route rather than regular roads • Cheaper than cars/vans to run and to purchase Cargo bikes within cities do also face some challenges which can include things like delivery of bigger parcels, space to store the bikes and maintenance.

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POINTS OF VIEW

These, in my opinion, are quite minor issues, and as the culture develops along with the technology then these challenges can be eradicated. We have many forward-thinking e-bike specialists within the UK. If you look at shops like Fully Charged in central London, they are currently in the process of opening a cargo bike specific showroom. This type of showroom can really help businesses see the benefits of the cargo bike and can give them the ability to find the perfect bike for their business needs along with the ability to have regular maintenance carried out by the experts who know the bikes inside and out. Currently, Riese & Muller e-cargo bikes can offer a capacity of up to 240 litres and this is only going to increase as technology improves. Within Riese & Muller’s UK dealers alone, we have seen a shift in many of their mindsets to cargo bikes. They have started putting more of an emphasis on that side of their business. London was always going to be the leading player within the UK, and many cities can learn from this. Cities like Manchester could really benefit from this culture change, with the city recently officially becoming the most congested city in the UK – which I’m sure isn’t something they are proud of ?! Manchester has the numbers and culture to really become a cycling city, but investment within the cycling infrastructure is definitely needed. A recent drive I took into central Manchester confirmed the congestion problem. During my trip to Manchester, I noticed nearly all the people in cars being single passengers within the vehicle and this contributes massively to their ongoing congestion problem. I found myself wondering why more people weren’t on their bikes? I think this comes down to people not feeling safe on bikes due to the lack of designated bike lanes. Cargo bikes can really help the city become less congested and greener. I still think businesses are not fully aware of the benefits and capabilities of delivering goods in and around the city. Cargo bike education and awareness can really help cities like Manchester become cycling friendly cities and offer a much more productive way of delivery for businesses. All in all, cargo bike education and culture is what is needed for us to grow as a country and if we all push in the right direction, then I’m sure a shift in the public’s mindset will happen.

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Family/personal: From a family perspective, cargo bikes really can improve a family’s wellbeing, as they provide the opportunity to carry up to three children. Are there many things in life better than taking your loved ones on a summer picnic bicycle trip to your favourite destinations? The cargo bike makes this a more viable and enjoyable option compared to a mundane trip in the car.

‘Cargo bike education and culture is what is needed for us to grow as a country and if we all push in the right direction then I’m sure a shift in the public’s mindset will happen’ The large loading capacity of a cargo bike can enable a family to do their local grocery shop or necessary journey in a much greener way. At the moment in the UK, if you see somebody parking their cargo bike outside the local supermarket then this would be somewhat of a head-turner, but wouldn’t it be great if this was just another regular sight in the supermarket “car” park? As the culture develops and people choose to adopt a greener lifestyle, then scenarios like this will only become more and more of a regular occurrence. The cargo bike for personal use does offer some challenges, with the main one being storage, so this does limit people who live in apartments or flats who don’t have access to indoor parking and storage. Again, if you use northern Europe as an example, you can see that many people are dropping the use of the second vehicle and are opting for a cargo bike instead. This obviously helps with the number of cars on the road which will lead to a much greener way of life for these families and their local neighbourhoods. I think we can definitely learn from the way of life these countries have, and how awesome would it be to see more and more bikes on the road and fewer cars? The UK is still a baby when it comes to cargo e-bikes, but the new greener wave is definitely on the way, and this is something that really excites me. n

June 2021 | 13

19/05/2021 16:17


APPOINTMENTS This month’s movers and shakers throughout the cycle industry...

Lauren Jenkins, Singletrack World Lauren Jenkins has joined the Singletrack World team, with a focus on daily news on singletrackworld.com. “Lauren is a well-respected cycling journalist, with experience of working with a whole host of print and digital publications,” said publisher Mark Alker. “Her addition to the Singletrack World team will allow our small editorial team to publish more stories on the website, increasing daily traffic and providing an even better user experience for our many members. “Not only are we excited to be able to bring more content to our readers, we’re really pleased to be bringing another woman to the team. This will make our editorial team more than 50% women – quite a claim in a

media world which is still predominantly male.” Jenkins added: “I can’t wait to get started with Singletrack. The team, publishers and whole ethos is refreshing, and I’ve always been a fan of how they push the boundaries with women’s mountain biking. “For all of us there’s so much more we can do to make the sport more inclusive so I’m looking forward to a new adventure.” To share your news with Jenkins and the team, email newsdesk@singletrackworld.com. n

Ed Richardson, Silverfish UK

Bruce Sandell, CyclingTips

Ed Richardson has joined the Silverfish UK sales team to look after the North of England as territory manager. Prior to joining Silverfish, Richardson worked for nearly four years in the outdoor industry at Rab and Lowe Alpine as technical sales trainer followed by a spell as area sales manager at Windwave. “For a long time I wanted to align my passion for bikes into my work,” said Richardson. “My first role gave me a great understanding of the industry, but after a while I decided my main passion was mountain biking so when I saw the position at Silverfish it ticked all the boxes. It is mega to be working for a company full of enthusiastic riders and representing some sweet brands. I’m really looking forward to catching up with all our customers in due course and I’m sure they’re looking forward to not having to turn down the volume when the phone rings!” Richardson can be contacted via 07467 941 389 or Ed.Richardson@silverfish-uk.com. n

CyclingTips has welcomed Bruce Sandell to its team in the role of UK and European strategic advisor. Sandell brings over 30 years of media and events experience, including running his own cycling media and events business Gruppo Media. He joins CyclingTips as it sets its sights on further accelerating growth with the expansion of audiences and partnerships in the UK and Europe. Founder Wade Wallace said: “CyclingTips has found itself in a position where our organic readership in the UK and Europe is growing at an extremely rapid rate. It would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t service these readers with more relevant content, and provide the local industry with ways to reach this highly engaged community. I first met Bruce many years ago, in awe of what he was doing with Rouleur. Now I’m thrilled and honoured to be working with him and bringing his experience and knowledge to CyclingTips.” n

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Vanessa ten Hoff, Vittoria Group

Jeff Weiss, Hero International

Vittoria Group has welcomed Vanessa ten Hoff as chief innovation officer. Ten Hoff will lead the global innovation organisation of Vittoria Group. She will work with her teams on new applications, advanced materials and digital solutions to improve tyre performance, enhance consumer experiences and find sustainable solutions. “I am excited to be part of such an inspiring and passionate company and team, while joining the world of cycling,” she said. “I am looking forward to building on the strong heritage of Vittoria’s innovation by embracing and creating the future to help cyclists experience the best possible performance for their next ride ahead. “It will be the first-of-its-kind and unique in the cycling world, allowing us to have a holistic view on developing and testing tyres from the lab to the real-life, from a consumer point of view.” n

Hero International has appointed Jeff Weiss as its new London-based CEO. Weiss, 53, joins Hero International from Madison-based Saris Cycling, having worked in the bike industry for 20 years in senior roles including at Trek and Dorel Sports. He said he is ‘enormously excited’ to join Hero International at a time when the company is looking to expand across Europe. “I’ve known Hero for many years and have always been impressed with their dominance in India,” he said. “But what really attracts me to join the team now is the vision to grow outside of India, especially in Europe for the first time twinned with disrupting the Far East bike making market. “Hero’s plans to build “Cycle Valley” in India is a serious game changer providing an alternative location for the large-scale production of bikes for the European market. I have been very impressed by Mr Munjal and the team’s ambition to grow Hero International’s organic sales to €300 million by 2026 in Europe.” n

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24/03/2021 12:43


FEATURE

Made in Wigan MiRiDER sales director Matthew Higginson talks hand-assembly, commitments and customer delight Can you provide us with a short introduction to MiRiDER? The MiRiDER business is one of several companies owned by my family in Lancashire. The business founder – my father, Mark Higginson – is the entrepreneur behind Disklok, Festive Lights and DriBox. Through a family friend a number of years ago, he was introduced to the potential of the e-bike market. His skills to develop and bring quality products to market, along with those of our family and the team, resulted in the first generation of MiRiDER One being launched in 2018. At the heart of the business ethos was the drive to supply a quality product and the very best value. When applied in conjunction with the genuine desire to deliver a personal service for customer delight, the brand value and reputation has continued to grow year-on-year. www.bikebiz.com

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MiRiDER currently has circa 60 dealers across the UK (including the Isle of Wight and Ireland) but it has ambitions to fill territories which are not represented, such as across the Midlands, the North East, South East and Wales. What makes MiRiDER unique? Hand-assembled in Wigan, each bike is built by a trained operative to ensure the quality is consistent. Our team actively engages with their customers via a Facebook Group and takes all feedback on board. The engineering behind the compact folding e-bike is superb and there’s constant R&D into both product improvement and future models in the range. The retail price point, £1,395 places the bike in a very competitive position given the quality of components used, and being hand assembled here in the UK. June 2021 | 17

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FEATURE

You mentioned the bikes are assembled by hand. Tell us more about your facilities. The whole build and parts operation had operated from within a large commercial unit attached to one of MiRiDER sister company’s e-commerce operations. From June 2021, the business moves into its own operational space in an adjacent unit, still based in Wigan. This new 7,000 sq ft space will provide the build bays, parts and accessory storage and servicing facilities for MiRiDER customers. The business has very exciting plans to create a space to welcome retailers and their customers, or for retailer product training, and to welcome commercial partners and retail customers alike. MiRiDER will continue using its parent company’s distribution facilities to a very high standard. How available is stock at present? We have plenty of stock on commitment for 2021 and beyond therefore we are in a great position to welcome new dealers and be confident of supporting their commitment to the MiRiDER brand. A new dealer can join us initially with a one bike purchase but will receive free shipping on three bikes. What sort of feedback have you received? There are over 60 retailers offering the MiRiDER One and the business is actively seeking more customercentric retailers to join the network. In terms of reviews, ebiketips, TechRadar, BikeRadar and TechAdvisor have all rated the 2021 bike 4.5/5 stars – testimony to the commitment of the business to improve and develop the products and services it provides.

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In a rather bizarre twist of fate, COVID-19 has provided a significant boost to the cycling industry. What impact has it had on MiRiDER? There was a large commitment made to the frame manufactures late 2019/early 2020 so the stock levels in 2021 are very healthy at this point in time. The MiRiDER sales rates are following the company’s predicted trend with an upswell in demand from those enjoying the bikes for leisure rides, however the commuter segment had yet to return. How would you define the brand’s long-term vision? The commitment is for 3,500 unit sales in 2021 through a combination of direct and sales via our retailer network. In May, two Edition bikes were released to highlight a degree of customisation available. These have been received very positively and more designs are in the pipeline. We recognise the staycation leisure market and the potential there, plus the return to post-COVID working and commuting in the cities. Those are both markets we want to increase our focus upon. Accessories are constantly under review, as is product improvement, and considerable investment is being made in the next-gen MiRiDER, which is incredibly exciting. Without giving too much strategic information away, our long term ambitions would be optimistic for such a new company but very achievable for the structure we have built. We have our eyes set on domestic manufacture and a distribution network across Europe and the US with various forms of e-mobility. It will take a little time to achieve this but with the knowledge and drive shared within our group of companies, this is an exciting period for the brand to execute. n

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20/05/2021 11:31


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12/05/2021 14:01


FEATURE

FEATURE

In the family Rebecca Morley catches up with Darren Hunt, group retail managing director at Cycle King & Hawk Cycles, to find out more about the family-owned bike retailer

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ith 23 stores, two large e-commerce and distribution warehouses and four active websites, Cycle King & Hawk Cycles is a family business at its core. Nicholas Thake founded his first business, NJ Thake Cycles, aged just 16 in 1968, where he bought, sold and repaired used bikes from his home in Harlow. Opening his first bike shop four years later in Sawbridgeworth, the business developed into a family of more than 20 stores, adopting the name ‘The Cycle King’ in the early 1980s. Hawk Cycles bicycle factory was acquired in 1994, which in 2010 merged with Cycle King to create the online and physical retailer seen today. “Nick and his sons are a hands-on part of the leadership team to this day, working closely together to provide the very best value and experiences for Cycle King & Hawk Cycles customers, whilst proudly retaining the title of the UK’s largest family-owned bike retailer,” says Darren Hunt, group retail managing director. “I think that family, unbeatable value and excellent service really are at the heart of the company.”

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COVID challenges The past year has seen COVID-19 boost demand across the cycling industry, but how has it affected Cycle King & Hawk Cycles? “I would like to start by recognising the efforts of all our colleagues and their families who have been incredible throughout the entire pandemic,” says Hunt. “It has been inspirational and incredibly humbling to watch how resilient, supportive and hard-working our colleagues and supportive their families have been, especially whilst dealing with some very challenging circumstances. They really do demonstrate what being part of a family business is all about and I am immensely proud of each colleague who is part of the Cycle King & Hawk Cycles family.” In terms of structure, the retailer’s model is slightly different to many of its industry partners, says Hunt, but it has proved successful. “We have a three phased approach to our ranging proposition. “We are at our core a cycle retailer with long standing partnerships with many of our suppliers across the world

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20/05/2021 10:15


FEATURE

resulting in the ability to have a great influence on design, specification, and pricing of our selected range. “This allows us to support a wide variety of brands and suppliers that offer fantastic value and quality at a more affordable price. In addition to this, we are also an off-price model for products that other retailers may feel are seasonally redundant or over manufactured and so on. Our ability to source these lines means we can pass this savings onto our customers whilst still offering a great width and depth of product range. “Finally, we also source and supply products directly with suppliers like your normal bike retailer with relationships with several great brands. This model means we can offer something to everyone at all levels and for a variety of budgets. “This model, matched with our experience within the industry and the strength of our team, meant we were able to adapt quickly enough to remain open and changed how we operated. During the whole pandemic, we only closed for the first two days to establish a plan on how we remain COVID secure and reorganise our shops, so we were safe for staff and customers; our team never wavered in supporting our customers. “I am sure, like everyone, we had some very intense periods selling huge numbers of new bikes a week – we were fortunate that our warehouses were carrying nearly 40,000 bikes which resulted in consistent availability to serve our customers even with this new level of demand.” Market trends Like most bike shops, Hunt says Cycle King & Hawk Cycles has seen ‘incredible’ growth across the electric range, sports hybrid, and many other areas as the shift in consumer demand changes.

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“My personal view, however, is that the biggest change has been seen in the service levels or ‘customer experience’ that customers now thrive on. “A lot of retailers have talked about the importance of world class service and how this plays a part in the future of their business – however all too often fail to really make this change within the customer journey in the most important part – the actual customer interactions. “Customers now have more choice than ever in both where and how to shop – after COVID more and more consumers who would never have considered the online option now are much more adapted to using this channel. “Our goal is to make our customer experience something that cannot be replicated and as such draws our customers to keep returning time and time again. All of this starts with our actively engaged team who are the key to our success and future who build that loyalty with our customers for generations.” Evolving strategy Over the past five years, Cycle King & Hawk Cycles has gone through some positive changes which have allowed it to focus on key areas of its development plans. “We operate with a clear and cohesive strategy which is constantly evolving as our customers’ shopping habits do,” says Hunt. “The next step to this journey has been clear that we needed to bring all our different elements and strengths under one infrastructure. To do this, we needed to strengthen our wider team and partners.” The retailer has recently changed its EPOS partner and its website supplier to Citrus-Lime so that it can integrate everything. “We are very excited to launch the first of our new websites bringing this new integration into action. “This clearly makes a huge difference when balancing all our decisions and steerage across our entire group. This I know will help us to make more strategic decisions around stock, ranging and future growth and investment areas.” Cycle King & Hawk Cycles also recently appointed PaceUp Media as its agency partner. “These are two great new partners for our future as we move forwards,” says Hunt. “We will always stay loyal to our roots in that we value our customer loyalty built over generations. Our customers are families, young and old and they are loyal to our brand and have been for over 50 years. “We regard ourselves as an old yet young family business in that we are keen to adapt and enjoy continuing to embrace change whilst remaining loyal to who and what we are – a local family bike shop.” n

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17/11/2020 15:47


SMS

An open letter on retail By David Middlemiss, associate director of the Bicycle Association

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ow is the retail sector viewed when it comes to the mission of growing cycling? This is the aim of the Bicycle Association’s advocacy work: to get more people on bikes, representing the whole UK industry with one voice. Delivering on this purpose, speaking for all and increasing the efficacy of our advocacy work demands new engagement with retailers. I’d like to explain briefly how, as a not-for-profit, a critical and trusted advisor to the Government, we will do that in the years ahead, such that your trade association becomes a do tank as well as think tank. It’s going to start with listening to retailers, alongside other voices, then recognising and supporting appropriately, so that ultimately we seize the transformative moment provided by Government funding and commitment to cycling, post-COVID. A confession: when I was young and stupid, my first job was for a large oil company. The divisions in which my fellow new starters joined included such exotic offices as Exploration, Production, Aviation and, in my case, Refining and Logistics. The odd one out, to my narrow mind, was Retail or, as it was sometimes sniffily disparaged, ‘Shops’. While the important strategic decisions, from tax and tariffs to production and quality, seemed to be taking place up the chain, what a simple life it must be to play shops! A rude awakening occurred when I somewhat unexpectedly became

a retail area manager, the ‘sharp end’ I’d once derided made all the more pointed by the presence of the public. On top of being shot at and robbed on a daily basis while ‘delivering the brand’, my retailers had somehow to endure my ‘counselling’ on correctly merchandising their stock and understanding their own margin. Gradually, I learned to listen to their different, canny experience and I became, slowly, a little wiser and more effective. While the analogy may be tortuous, albeit true, the lesson holds. When it comes to bolstering our advocacy, we’ll start by listening to retailers. While we’ve already made a start with our Independent Retailer Forum, in the summer of 2021 the BA, in conjunction with Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS), will conduct our biggest listening project to date. We want to know what retailers, alongside our long-standing member base of brands, manufacturers and distributors, think of our advocacy programme and what else should go on it. Retailers are not passive purveyors of products, a simply necessary link in the chain between factory and customer. Rather, they are the experts in understanding what motivates people to become cyclists, and also what stops them: they are the day-in, day-out ambassadors for cycling in all its forms. This ‘cycling census’ won’t be lip service to an engagement project. The motivation is to ensure that the industry can advocate for the most effective

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JUNE 2021

JUNE 2021

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EDITORIAL CALENDAR 2021:

FOCUS:

SECTOR GUIDES:

July

The global cycle indsutry

Indoor training and power meters Cycle lights

August

The MTB market

Mountain bikes and accessories Winter and protective clothing

Sustainability

Cyclocross Stocking fillers

Distribution

Road bikes and accessories Chains, gears and cranks

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E-bikes and accessories

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Wheels, tyres and inner tubes Cycle footwear

September October November December

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19/05/2021 14:18


SMS

use of resources at this transformative point in time – and who better than retailers, those who put people on bikes every day of the year, to help inform this? Along with listening, how about some recognition? After we consult with retailers this summer, the BA will also be acting to recognise the advocacy for cycling that has been a broadly unheralded fixture of our retail sector. We are fortunate to have passionate and committed investors in cycling amongst our membership, particularly our leadership group. In addition, around the country, we also have retailers giving their free time, expertise and products to encourage cycling at all levels.

‘These are potentially transformative moments. We need not, must not, be passive bystanders to what happens next’ Sponsorship of clubs, assistance for bikeability, provision of free services for key workers, donations of unwanted (not anymore?!) products to local charities, the thankless guiding of mums and tots rides… the list goes on. Contribution to the work of the BA through the Retailer Advocacy Fund comes on top of that. Just as retailers have a unique understanding of the challenges people face when thinking about cycling, so they are also great ‘doers’, putting bums on saddles where they live and work. A whole-industry trade association is there to support its constituents. As a not-for-profit with no commercial interests, we have to operate within obvious parameters. However, just as we advocate for common interests, so we can better support common interests. The Market Data Service (MDS), powered by SMS, live for over a year, is a great example of this. Covering over £1.7 billion, some 70% of the whole market, access to game changing market insights is free for participating retailers. If you haven’t signed up yet, then do so! This year, we are also working hard on delivering a project to reduce cycle theft, with plans to extend this to help improve security at bike shops. Provision of open source documents to support retailers in a time of rapid legislative, environmental and societal change is another project in train. A new, expanded programme of events and meetings, open to everyone within our industry, is also in development, building on some very well-attended virtual events delivered in the last six months. Rest assured, we’ll only create content where we have a unique angle and the output is not simply informative, but applicable.

In 2020, the BA helped keep retailers open by securing essential status for the sector. It followed that up by helping secure an unprecedented £2 billion commitment to funding for cycling and walking in the Government’s Gear Change vision. The data we have been able to gather from services like the MDS played a vital role in this. These are potentially transformative moments. We need not, must not, be passive bystanders to what happens next. The battle for the effective use of that fund is just beginning and we’ll be better able to shape the allocation of funds at a local level if we’re informed by, and in turn mobilise, the retail network. Growing cycling is the theme that unites manufacturer, distributor and retailer and, with our limited resources, it is the participation of retailers that will transform us from think tank to do tank in the years ahead. Therefore, retailers, please complete the cycling census when you receive it this summer! You already contribute to the work of the BA and you are advocates yourselves in your communities. Help us advocate for the most effective policies and funding now and, as part of a unified industry, we’ll help grow cycling together. n About the Bicycle Association The Bicycle Association (BA) is the national trade association for the UK cycle industry. The BA strives always to represent the best interests of the UK cycle industry to Government, stakeholders and the general public – with the highest standards of professionalism. The mission of the BA is to grow ‘everyday cycling’ in the UK and remove barriers to cycling for everyone. www.bicycleassociation.org.uk About the Market Data Service The Market Data Service (MDS) is a not-for-profit service run by the Bicycle Association for the benefit of the UK cycling industry. The Market Data Service provides game changing retail sales market insights for the specialist and generalist sales channels. Subscribers receive access to real, monthly sales data across bikes, parts, accessories and services; data which can be cut and diced in thousands of ways: by category, channel, price-point, brand, product, even by region to give your business the insight you need to drive performance, stay competitive, and boost your bottom line. About Sports Marketing Surveys Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS) is the BA’s data partner for the Market Data Service. It has 35 years of experience providing specialist quantitative and qualitative insight to the sports and leisure industry, supporting some of the biggest brands, retailers, events, venues, federations and governing bodies around the globe. www.sportsmarketingsurveys.com

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SMS

The BA helped secure an unprecedented £2 billion commitment to funding for cycling and walking in the Government’s Gear Change vision

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20/05/2021 10:06


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FEATURE

Blending AR with live video: Velorution on Eyekandy’s new sales solution Eyekandy recently launched a new sales solution with Velorution, blending live video with augmented reality shopping. Rebecca Morley catches up with Lawrence Bywater, digital marketing manager at Velorution, to find out more

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ne of the biggest changes the COVID-19 pandemic brought to retail was the shift in consumers’ shopping habits, with many chains noting a rise in people purchasing online. It has therefore meant that bridging online and offline sales became important very quickly, and while bike shops were able to remain open during each lockdown, many retailers still looked for ways to boost their online offerings. Augmented reality provider Eyekandy recently launched a pioneering new sales solution with Velorution, blending AR with live video. “We were looking for something to boost online sales, I guess like everyone else, because of the pandemic,” says Lawrence Bywater, digital marketing manager at Velorution. “The second thing is we were looking for a solution that can be used by everyone. “The Eyekandy solution can be used to set up multiple different users – I could take calls and the guys in store could take calls. So that was the second thing, and then the third one is basically just

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something different from the norm. I’ve been at Velorution since June last year and Jonathan, the CEO, likes to do things a little differently. “This works because it combines augmented reality with video. It has the ability to be used by anyone, any colleague at Velorution could use it. Jonathan knew of Scott, who runs [Eyekandy]; and you get loads of people offering free trials of this software and that software but this was one that we did want to do because we just wanted something to boost online sales. “Particularly with a considered purchase like the Gocycle, this enables us to answer any questions they have or see the bike in person in their room, which they might not have been able to do during the last few months or so.” Velorution has had it online for a couple of months now, Bywater continues, and of the people who viewed it, 40% of people interacted within it in some way. “Whether that’s clicking the button to initiate

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FEATURE

a video call or clicking the augmented reality button – you can solely just use the augmented reality button if you wish, rather than actually video calling as well. “From a retail perspective, customers use it for so many different reasons. One guy was asking about shipping, one person was asking about the features. This is far more immersive than simple live chat or our customer service helpdesk so in this way we have something we can immediately build a more intimate personal relationship with the customer.” While the rise of online sales has been well-documented during the pandemic, it’s a trend that many retailers had been witnessing anyway, and Bywater says the combination of both is why Velorution decided to do this. “We’re doing 200% growth year on year on the site at the moment. That’s the pandemic and more people cycling and more people moving to online. We continue to invest heavily in web development and physical store locations to support this and the addition of our offering on the fenwick.co.uk site means our online reach has been taken into the wider premium retail lifestyle market. We’re going to roll it out to three more products including the new Gocycle, and just see how it goes from there.” In terms of general business during the pandemic, Bywater says Velorution has been lucky in the sense that it’s been able to stay open and the locations that it’s got in London are residential enough that they survive during the pandemic. “They weren’t purely in areas where they had to rely on office trade. It’s difficult to compare year on year but the April just gone, we were 20% up on the previous April, so it’s still doing really well for us. I guess the biggest issue is stock. We tend to work directly with a lot of suppliers outside of the EU and shipping stuff into the UK with Brexit has been a pain. That’s our biggest challenge at the moment.” n

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Changing the way the world shops Based in London and Chicago, Eyekandy is a leading augmented reality (AR) provider for commerce. It partners with brands and retailers across the world to produce engaging AR shopper experiences in store, online and in print. Its multi award winning, global AR shopping Platform, ‘Point & Place’, is the world’s most adopted AR shopping platform, with hundreds of retailers connected across 30 plus countries. Eyekandy has won numerous industry awards as it delivers innovation in creative ways to drive sales and engagement from shoppers with immersive ways to shop and browse. Garrett Albanese, chief marketing officer at Eyekandy, said: “The world is now shopping online and shoppers are looking for a personalised and immersive online experience that rivals, or transcends, actually going to a store. “Our unique blend of live video with augmented reality shopping delivers the perfect balance for the shopper to enjoy the shopping experience and move ahead on the path to purchase.” n

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21/04/2021 15:14


FEATURE

Ambassadors and endorsements – is it a load of rubbish? By Jack Davey, Unearth Marketing

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s someone running a business in the cycle trade, the chances are you’ve been approached – either in person or over social media – by a rider looking for equipment or funding in exchange for representing your brand. If you’ve previously dismissed the idea, under the assumption that you’ll be handing out stock in exchange for a couple of Instagram posts, it’s worth thinking again. A well-organised ambassadorship programme can pay dividends and provide a toolset that may otherwise be unavailable to your team. Bike shops are busy places, so some projects from the niceto-have list may fall by the wayside. Want to run shop rides or out-of-hours events but can’t spare the staff? Feeling the pinch when it comes to generating original content for your website social media channels? A shop ambassador could cover this. Choose someone who fits your marketing plan An effective ambassador needs to be the right fit for your brand, and their specialism should tie into your marketing strategy. If only 20% of your customer base rides off-road, there’s little benefit to blowing your marketing budget on a local downhill racer, even if they can do backflips. An ambassador programme should support your 360 marketing campaigns. Undoubtedly you will want an ambassador to be putting the word out over social media, but remember that the size of their following is worth only so much. You must examine a prospective ambassador’s output on its own merits. Is the quality of photography/copy high enough? They don’t need to be David Bailey and Margaret Atwood rolled into one, but the basics should be covered. Do they have existing relationships with other brands that may dilute the focus they can give you? It’s best to avoid the trappings of influencer culture, as audiences become more and more fatigued with inauthentic “gifted product” content.

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For a bike shop, many benefits to an ambassador programme come offline and these may require different skills and experiences. Look for someone local (natch), sociable, and engaged with the riding community that you’re catering to. Will they be up for speaking in public? Have they led group rides before? Are they actually approachable? How do they interact with potential customers? An ideal ambassador for a shop is almost certainly going to be a regular customer, so you’ll most likely have this part covered already. Perhaps most importantly of all, you should get to know your candidate. Spend some time reading through their social feed and talking in person, and consider whether this person shares your brand’s values. Social responsibility is an opportunity for you to differentiate your brand from a competitor. Does your potential ambassador make an impact on the world that you would be happy to sign your name to? Negotiate a transparent agreement Once you’ve identified what you’re hoping for an ambassador to provide, and you have some potential candidates, start talking specifics. Discuss what you want to achieve, and what they have time and skills to provide. Be realistic: nothing in this world is free, and that goes both ways. If they’re going to be supplying you with regular content, hosting events and rides, and pushing the business through their own channels you should be prepared to part with stock or cash. Be specific: if you want three social posts per month and your Instagram handle in their bio, say so. An honest, transparent and fair agreement will lay the foundation for a successful long-term relationship. There’s no getting away from the fact that setting an ambassador programme up involves some work, but play it right and it’ll help your shop to engage with the local riding scene, reach new customers and increase interest in your brand. n

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19/05/2021 09:47


FEATURE

Innovative solutions, OEM and European expansion: capgo on five years in the market BikeBiz sits down with capgo cable systems CEO Chris Treugut

Can you give a quick introduction to capgo as a brand? capgo was founded in 2016 by my partner Bernd Pflueger and myself. We’ve both got a long history in the bike business and saw a gap in the market for high-quality European cable systems. Alongside developing the innovative design and manufacturing of our cable systems, capgo also specialises in bespoke OEM solutions for many well-known and major bike brands. Based in Germany, capgo has set up three locations. Leinburg (Bavaria) with focus on sales, marketing, and product development, Riedstadt with back office and purchasing, and Stockstadt with warehouse and production. The last two are located close to Frankfurt in central Germany.

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How would you define capgo’s mission statement? Our development is focused on the small, but very important details that add up to increase the performance, quality and durability of our products to another level. We also work with professional mechanics and riders and incorporate their feedback into our development to find innovative solutions to problems they might be having. What area of the cycling market do you target? capgo is serving bicycle brands, OEM needs and aftermarket with a focus on workshop products for bike shops. We do still cater for end-users with our selection of aftermarket cable kits for shifters, brakes and droppers, but our main focus is providing a full professional line-up of products for busy workshops.

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What makes capgo unique? We take a close look at each item within the cable range, listen to user needs and then implement our ideas and technical solutions to make each detail better. Much like we’ve seen in professional racing, a large number of small improvements can add up to significant gains. We have listened to feedback from mechanics around issues such as cable coating degradation. Because of this, we created a process to polish our wires instead of coating them and fully line our cable outers with PTFE grease to maintain shifting performance for longer. Lastly, we invest into European manufacturing which allows us a high degree of flexibility and ability to react quickly to changing markets. Tell us about your manufacturing process. For optimising a relatively basic product like housing or wire, we developed and invested in special machinery so we could ensure our exacting standards could be met. For example, an innovative grease injection system for our cable outers and our automated high-speed cutting machine ensures consistent high quality. What does capgo offer that its competitors perhaps do not? Our technical experience and engineering skills allow us to develop new products and as we said, with our European manufacturing base we can develop new products and meet new market requirements with speed, but also work flexibly on optimised processes for our customers. What sort of feedback have you had from your customers? With listening to riders’ needs and solving their daily annoyances, our products have had great feedback. Mechanics are happy using our “Workshop Solutions” for a more professional setup. Our OEM customers appreciate our service and quality. So far, it has been excellent! What innovations in the industry are exciting you at the moment? For us, it’s not so much the current innovations within the industry that are really exciting, it is more the current change of people’s minds in respect to cycling in general. Especially during the COVID pandemic, we’ve seen more and more people riding bikes for health and we’ve seen a growing trend towards cycling across Europe for the benefits to the environment, with people moving away from cars. What are your plans for 2021 and beyond? We are continually optimising all our processes and products, whether it’s by using less packaging, or utilising more eco-friendly options and improving transportation and to save resources. We’re also planning on growing out production further in Europe. n

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19/05/2021 15:48


GERMAN DESIGNED AND ENGINEERED HIGH-QUALITY CABLE SYSTEMS Capgo Cable Systems offer aftermarket and workshop solutions for every cable requirement on the bike. Refinements and surface treatments on the wires, matched with specially developed manufacturing processes and Capgo PTFE grease in the housings, give noticeably improved shifting and brake performance. Capgo are the cable choice of over 50 OEM customers around the world and with a huge range of colours available, allows customers to personalise their bike.

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FEATURE

A full sensory experience Ribble Cycles recently opened its new landmark flagship showroom in Lancashire, providing a ‘brand new bicycle retail proposition’. Rebecca Morley finds out more

H

aving a strong digital presence is vital for businesses, but that doesn’t mean it has to be completely separate from a retailer’s physical offering. Ribble Cycles’ new landmark flagship showroom, located in the heart of the Ribble Valley in Lancashire, aims to blend digital and physical – creating a unique customer experience that is immersive and all-sensory. The spacious flagship, which opened in April this year, has been designed to individually showcase every bike in the Ribble range with a generous amount of space to allow the customer to interact and appreciate the design in detail. “We were very excited to get back in front of our customers again,” says David Stacey, commercial director. “We’ve seen more new customers than ever coming to experience Ribble, so we were very keen to invite them back into a showroom as soon as we could. “It was important to get a store in the Ribble Valley because that’s where the heritage is.

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“When customers come to experience our bikes, they can set out on a ride straight from the showroom into beautiful, quiet lanes, great climbs, challenging routes, and that’s not something we can facilitate from our other locations. “We didn’t just want to open another bike shop – it would have been quite easy to do that but we wanted to launch an experience centre for Ribble. When we were looking for a unit, we wanted something that was completely a blank canvas for us and that’s what we found. “The idea with Clitheroe is that it’s a full sensory experience, so when you walk into the showroom the first thing you see is a gigantic 4K video screen, which is actually Europe’s biggest indoor 4K screen. “That’s the attention grabber as you walk in, and then the content we display on there is all about the brand. It’s videos of our bikes being assembled, it’s about our bikes being ridden in the wild.

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“From the minute the customer sets foot in the showroom, they’re inspired by what they’re going to be doing on the bike. It’s not just about the price of the bikes or the specification, it’s about what buying that bike is going to do for you and what you’re going to enjoy experiencing.” The bikes are also laid out with plenty of space between them on bespoke fixtures that are designed to show them off, Stacey continues, similar to a gallery. “There’s plenty of room to get 360 degrees around the bike. “There’s no POS on the bike, no clutter, no paper dangling from the handlebars talking about insurance etc. It’s clean, stripped back – it’s the bike experienced in all its glory. “For each bike, the way we display the pricing is all done digitally. That system works directly from our website, so if we make a change to content on the website in response to customer feedback, that feeds through directly and instantly to all of our stores. That digital POS element is really important. The way we set out to sell bikes is different because every Ribble bike is built up by hand, the journey for that customer is not: ‘quick, get them in and sell them a bike’, it’s about what is the exact right bike for that customer. Our colleagues are completely focused on delivering that journey. They don’t have to worry about changing POS over and all the usual retail standard stuff that most bike shops would have to deal with, they’re fully focused on the customer experience. “That means they can take them through the customisation journey, they can show them all the options that they can choose from on that bike.

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Stacey describes the reaction from consumers so far as ‘phenomenal’. “During the first few days, I was in the store myself and I was making a point of talking to customers on the way out and asking what they thought. “The response was pretty much unanimous that they were bowled over by the experience in general. The next thing everybody was talking about was the staff. The store team we have in place there is just exceptional. We recruit for customer service first, and that focus on making the customer feel welcome and taken care of is really important. “With this being digital-first retail, we’re focused on our website and our online experience. The showroom is there to complement that journey. It’s not at odds with our website – we don’t mind where the customer wants to transact with us and how they want to experience this journey. It’s about making that experience the best it can be.” In response to COVID restrictions, staff are wearing face coverings, Stacey continues, which customers are encouraged to do as well when they enter. The two-metre rule is being enforced, echoed through signage in-store, and hand sanitiser is provided as well as gloves. “We actually chose to close our physical retail stores during the lockdowns,” says CEO Andy Smallwood. “We could have kept them open, but we felt that to protect our team and our customers, and because we have such a strong digital presence, it meant we could close our showrooms. “It’s good now to be back open again and I think the response we’ve had from consumers has been excellent, and reassuring that

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FEATURE

we’ve done good things during this period of time as a brand and as a business.” Back in January 2020, Ribble launched a virtual showroom service on its website, continues Stacey. “The idea is that the customer can be on our website and they’re presented with a pop-up that invites them to chat live to a store colleague. “They don’t have to book an appointment, it just immediately goes through to our colleagues in-store, which is now done from our Clitheroe store as well because it means they can experience that flagship showroom experience. “We deployed that back in January 2020 and we didn’t know that it was the most opportune time to be putting that in front of our customers. We didn’t need to keep our showrooms open because there was a digital way of allowing the world to come and have a look at a Ribble showroom. In hindsight, it was like a stroke of genius that we put that in place just before lockdown. “But the reason we did that is because we were constantly trying to come up with the next thing that will delight and excite our customers in terms of the experience. “Even though our stores are now back open and we’re seeing record levels of people coming in to see our showrooms, we’re still having really good performance out of that virtual showroom too, so I think it shows that people are now looking for that blend of digital and physical experience. “I don’t think it’s sufficient anymore just to do one really well. We certainly think that the best outcome for customers is that

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they have the choice and they can have as little or as much of each one as they like.” “We have a core customer journey and it’s a digital-focused customer journey,” Smallwood adds. “The way in which the customer chooses to interact with us is up to them. The physical retail is complementary to the digital journey.” In terms of general industry trends, Smallwood notes a resurgence in road, as well a great uptake in gravel bikes. “Urban as a category is an area, particularly within E, where we’ve seen some great growth. From a price point of view as well, we’re seeing a trend for customers trading up. As cycling’s increasing in usage, we’re seeing that customers value a better product or a more advanced product, which can enhance their experience.” There are still some challenges ahead of us as a bike industry, Smallwood adds. “The growth is great and I do feel it is sustainable. I think it’s different to the growth patterns that we’ve seen in the past. This time it feels more cultural, more society-led in terms of people doing it for the right reasons. “It’s not just fashion or a trend. It’s due to the genuine benefits that cycling gives from an environmental and fitness and health point of view, not just physically but mentally. “There are some underlying COVID elements in terms of distancing, for example, but it does feel like the underlying trend and growth pattern there is a sustainable one, which gives me some confidence that the bike industry is certainly a good place to be.” n

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18/05/2021 18/05/20218:27 12:12 am


JAMES SMITH

TALKING POINTS

The Choice Factory Marketing is changing, and we are beginning to understand the psychological influences that affect consumer behaviour. No longer are we focusing on discount prices or bright colours. Here, James Smith outlines some of the key findings from Richard Shotton’s The Choice Factory – 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy

I

have long thought that the cycling industry is far too addicted to discounting, and I am as guilty as the next person. However, at the beginning of 2020, we began to focus on other areas at the JamesSmithGroup. As a result, many of my clients have witnessed an increase in sales while simultaneously reducing discounting. The below excerpts are widely available, and I have selected just a handful of the very influential nudges. I hope that you find it as helpful as I did. The Fundamental Attribution Error The tendency to over attribute personality without considering the context. Contextual factors are more important than personality in determining behaviours, rather than focusing solely on the type of customer, also focus on the contextual factors. Social Proof You drive past a crowd, you crane your neck to see what they are looking at. You have just been influenced by social proof bias. Richard Shotton carried out an experiment with 300 respondents, showing them a fake beer brand telling them it was launching in the UK. Half were told the origin of the ingredients and half were told the same story but with additional information that it was South Africa’s most popular beer. In the second scenario, consumers were twice as likely to buy. Tell your customers how popular you are. Distinctiveness In a recent experiment, 500 participants were given a list of 15 numbers, all written in black except one number written in blue. Respondents were 30 times more likely to recall the number written in blue. In summary, when the world zig-zags… Habit A recent experiment showed that 45% of behaviour is habitual. Habits are contextual, therefore changing the context can loosen

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behaviours. Consumers are 21% more likely to change habits when they have undergone a life-changing event. Target customers who have undergone a life event like a birthday or a retirement. Get to know your consumers. The pain of payment A simple application of this effect is for brands to put more effort into prepaid cards, this is one step away from cash. Research proved that removing the dollar sign from price lists boosted sales by 7%. Next time you go out to a restaurant, take a look at the menu and make a note of the times you see the £ sign. Mood In a recent survey, 1,287 people were asked to flick through a newspaper and answer questions about which adverts they remembered. When the data was split by readers moods, those who were relaxed noticed 56% of adverts compared to just 36% who were stressed. Target your consumers when they are happy, for example, over the weekend – perhaps not so much at 9am on a Monday! Expectancy Theory In a recent study, Professor Brian Wansink of Cornell University created an experiment which gave out 175 brownies each with the same ingredients, even with the same powdery topping. The brownies were served in one of three ways, snow-white china, a paper plate and a napkin. The brownies rated “ok” when served on a napkin, those on a paper plate as “good” and those served on a white china paper plate as “excellent”. Even more interestingly, consumers were willing to pay twice as much for brownies served on a china plate. Context is everything. This article is an abridged version of the study of the outcomes of behavioural influences and is published with the author’s www.jamessmithgroup.com full permission. n

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20/05/2021 10:10


IBD FOCUS

How can small retailers use online to boost business? Rebecca Morley looks at how bricks and mortar retailers can get in front of an online-first audience

2

020 was a turbulent year for retail in which many stores bounced between being open and closed – and even though bike shops were permitted to remain open throughout each lockdown, some still chose to shut up shop and many high streets saw a reduction in footfall as consumers were advised to stay at home – which also contributed to a surge in e-commerce sales. But as more physical retail opens up across the UK, Googlebacked retail technology firm NearSt believes now is the time for bricks and mortar retailers to get in front of this onlinefirst audience and let them know they have the products they’re looking for. The firm recently partnered with cloud-based EPOS platform Cybertill, meaning shops can connect their entire inventory to Google search in real-time, and switch it on and off at the touch of a button. “The Cybertill and NearSt partnership is getting more customers into brick and mortar stores by getting retailers’ in-store products into Google and in front of thousands of

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local customers who are already searching for them,” says Nick Brackenbury, CEO and co-founder of NearSt. “Shopkeepers need to focus first and foremost on running their stores – not worrying about also acting as technologists and marketeers, alongside all the other hats they have to wear. The partnership between Cybertill and NearSt means that shopkeepers can get their products seen by thousands more local customers searching nearby in Google, simply by continuing to use their Cybertill Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system to track their stock.” NearSt uses data from the system to automatically show these products to local shoppers, driving more footfall and sales for the stores, Brackenbury continues. “Lots has already been written about the 40% boost online sales have received during the pandemic, but what’s been missed is the incredible surge in shoppers going online to look for products stocked offline in their local stores.

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20/05/2021 13:58


IBD FOCUS

“In NearSt data, we’ve seen over 350% growth over the last 12 months in the volume of shoppers seeking out local product availability information in shops in Google powered by our technology.” Shoppers have always had tremendous goodwill towards local retailers, Brackenbury says, but this has competed head to head with the one-click checkout ease of e-commerce sites like Amazon. The last 12 months have prompted thousands of retailers, and their partners like Cybertill, to invest in technology like NearSt that helps get their products in front of where their customers are spending their time – in places like Google and Facebook. “In doing so, they’re setting themselves up to be even more convenient than Amazon, in addition to the great service and local benefit they already deliver,” says Brackenbury. “We think this will have an incredibly positive impact on smaller independent retailers. “Rather than talking about ‘supporting’ local high street retailers, we prefer to think of it as simply ‘shopping’ with them. “As high street retailers continue to invest in technology and make it genuinely faster and easier for local shoppers to buy from them, rather than a pure play online retailer, it won’t be a case of supporting them. Rather, they genuinely become a more convenient option. And that’s an exciting future.” Being resilient Embracing digital is one of the top ways small firms have survived the COVID-19 crisis so far, says Small Business Britain. Its How to Be Resilient report found that 52% of small firms said they got through by introducing new technology. 59% increased digital skills and over 70% of business owners felt the digital changes they made would enhance their business over the longer-term. “The COVID-19 crisis has seen breathtaking changes to the small business landscape,” says Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain. “It has been incredibly tough for small firms, but so many have risen to the challenge and demonstrated inspiring entrepreneurialism and resilience as they pivoted their businesses. “Research that Small Business Britain did with TSB at the start of the year found that embracing digital, diversifying products and services and accessing emergency finance – particularly Bounce Back Loans – were the top ways small firms have survived. “The silver lining of COVID-19 has been the dramatic growth in digital engagement and skills, as businesses moved online at a speed never seen before.”

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Small Business Britain has also been celebrating small firms with the Small Awards, which took place virtually on 13th May. “We started them deliberately to celebrate small firms that can be overlooked by other awards,” explains Ovens. “After such a difficult year, it is especially important to call out the impressive resilience of small businesses and the huge value they bring to society and the economy. “During the pandemic, small businesses have faced all kinds of challenges, but many have really stepped as heroes, supporting their customers, communities and fellow independent businesses. “COVID-19 has been a huge learning exercise for firms. Although painful to go through, in many cases it has created more resilient businesses with greater skills, efficiency and confidence in what they can achieve. “Small businesses will be the bedrock for recovery – growing employment, fostering innovation and creating exciting, positive opportunities for communities. “Increased local supply chains, less travel and more digital working have also had profound benefits for the environment. Many small businesses have moved themselves closer to a net zero goal, and that is certainly a good thing they can build on too.” Moving forward, Ovens’ biggest piece of advice for small businesses is ‘not to try to do everything alone’. “A great deal of pressure and responsibility falls on entrepreneurs, even in the best of times. “As we start to emerge from this crisis small business owners should continue to seek out support. Join a network, become part of a community, find a mentor to support you, collaborate with others and if you don’t know how to do something, ask for help. “There is a huge amount of advice, support and encouragement available, much of which is free and online, so use it.” n

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5

minutes with... This month, BikeBiz catches up with SKS export manager Robert Schatton

Can you give us a little background on SKS? The brand name SKS is made up of the names SchefferKlute and Sundern. The company was founded by Karl Scheffer-Klute in the small town of Sundern located in the western region of Germany, exactly 100 years ago, where they began manufacturing curtain rails. Now the family-owned company SKS metaplast Scheffer-Klute GmbH is run by the fourth generation. They ventured into the cycling business by producing air pumps made of steel in 1932, but the decisive breakthrough came in the 1950s when they began manufacturing frame-fitting pumps made of plastic. At that time, these were sold mainly to bike manufacturers in large quantities. In 1983, the production of mudguards set the course for further growth. By the start of the 1990s, SKS had grown

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to be the market leader of mudguards and pumps for original bicycle equipment in 90 countries across the world. Now SKS has continued to grow and expand its market position and is currently the EU market leader for OEM and aftermarket mudguard products. The brand is known worldwide for its innovative solutions for every wheel and frame size. High-quality mini and frame fitting pumps, precise suspension and floor pumps as well as the iconic Rennkompressor, which characterises the SKS pump range today. In addition to mini-tools, chain guards, bottles, bottle cages and luggage, a smartphone holder with wireless charging function and a tyre pressure monitoring sensor have been integrated into the range to provide even more innovation and comfort on your ride. The site in Germany has now grown to an area of

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36,000m² and we currently have 8,000 pallet spaces, with another warehouse already under construction next door! What area of the market does SKS target? Basically, we want to make cycling more enjoyable for everyone. That means that in principle we look at almost all types of cyclists. We see ourselves as companions and problem solvers, which is why our product development is always target group driven. For instance, in bad weather conditions, we have a comprehensive selection of fixed mudguards for commuters and leisure cyclists, but we also have innovative solutions for road, gravel and MTB cyclists with our Raceblade, Speedrocker and Mudrocker models. Other products like our new bikepacking bags together with our sophisticated Compit smartphone mount system address first of all adventurers and travellers, a completely new target group. When planning a cycling adventure, you usually start by planning your route and will rely on a route navigation system. Then you want to take photos and videos and maybe check the weather or messages from time to time – that’s why your smartphone needs a lot of power. With the Compit system, you not only have the navigation on the handlebars, but also the wireless powerbank directly underneath. In the last few years in particular, we have expanded our product range, but we continue to ensure that our range of affordable products continue to be relevant to most disciplines. What makes SKS unique – what does it offer that its competitors perhaps do not? Since the very beginning we have relied on local production! About 95% of our products are made in Germany. This seal of approval stands for art of engineering, innovative spirit and first-class design. Further advantages are flexible production capacities, shorter delivery times and shorter routes for European customers, in-house R&D – from idea to design through to testing, fair and safe working conditions and ecofriendly manufacturing. In addition to our five year guarantee, we also have an exceptionally dedicated customer service offering and most spare parts are available for many years after a product may no longer be in the market, meaning SKS products can have a long lifespan.

past few years. We will continue on this path and a new warehouse is currently under construction. For 2021, we expect another record year after the success of 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, we have already seen a 35% increase. Among other things, we have been able to win many new customers as with our local production keeping a consistent supply to market where many of our competitors have struggled with stock. The pandemic has also accelerated the digital transformation in our company, for example we have invested time and money into our YouTube channel to allow us to increase our reach with informative product videos due to the lack of face to face time with our customers at trade fairs and cycling events. Make sure you take a look at these! This year marks SKS’s 100th anniversary. How are you celebrating this milestone? It was going to be a big celebration... unfortunately, due to the pandemic this is now no longer going to be possible! The big party for our 350+ employees and friends has had to be postponed until next year, when we hope to be able to celebrate our 101st anniversary. Nevertheless, the anniversary year is full of surprises: cycling fans can look forward to new innovative products. On our new website we recall “100 years of SKS” and with posts on our social media channels and in newsletters, SKS fans can regularly take a look behind the scenes of the company. What are your plans for 2021 and beyond? In addition to the expansion of the digital product range, a new series of floor pumps at reasonable price points is also planned for 2021 which will deliver German quality and tradition as many of our products do. They are the benchmark for the future direction of the company. We hope that we can continue to manufacture cycling accessories competitively in Germany for many years and the fifth generation is already in the starting blocks to prepare the family business for any challenges the future may bring. n

In a rather bizarre twist of fate, COVID-19 has provided a significant boost to the cycling industry. What impact has it had on SKS? The current order volume is enormous. In order to meet the significantly increased demand, we have to keep production consistently at the highest level. Our capacities have been continuously expanded over the 46 | June 2021

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SECTOR GUIDE

Helmets

2

1

3 4

3

4

1

2

XLC

TSG

100%

Kiddimoto

BH-C25

Chatter

Altec

Skullz Bicycle Helmet

Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts

Distributor: Ison Distribution

Distributor: Silverfish UK

Distributor: Kiddimoto.co.uk

Available in four colours, the XLC BH-C25 helmet range is an excellent entry-level helmet for those getting into cycling at an RRP of just £22.99. Its low cost doesn’t compromise on quality, however. 15 vents provide excellent ventilation, whilst a dial on the helmet’s rear makes adjustment super easy. A lightweight design also means this helmet weighs in at just 295g, too.

Designed for mountain biking, this lightweight, low profile lid, with loads of ventilation, is perfect for leg-burning climbs and fast descents and also fits stylishly and safely into urban burns to the office and shops.

Whether it’s hard-charging trails or hammering hills, the 100% Altec is the rider’s choice for an incredibly lightweight, ventilated and protective trail helmet. Featuring SmartShock Rotational Protection, the Altec’s patented SmartShock elastomers deign defusing rotational crash energy upon impact. Keeping your head cool are 15 vents while an antimicrobial washable liner helps keep odours at bay.

Kiddimoto’s global reputation for being the biggest kids bike helmet brands makes it a popular choice when looking for the best. Its Skullz Bike Helmet design continues to be a best seller thanks to the lightweight classic BMX-style shape. Designed to look cool and keep heads cool, the 11 vents, fully-adjustable straps and internal padding ensure a secure and comfort fit. All Kiddimoto helmets are built to the highest UK standards and come with a two-year warranty for added peace of mind.

www.bikebiz.com

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SECTOR GUIDE

5

6

7

8

5

6

7

8

Kask

ABUS

BBB

Oxford

Moebius

Urban-I MIPS

Dune 2.0 MIPS

Pegasus/Hawk/Raptor

Distributor: Velobrands

Distributor: Extra UK

Distributor: Windwave

Distributor: Oxford

The Moebius is a simple, elegant, and effective commuter helmet with a scratch-resistant shell and detachable peak. Designed to be both super-safe and super-stylish, it’s hardy enough to stand up to all the abuse of the daily grind whilst not looking out of place zipping through the city streets.

The Urban-I 3.0 retains its market-leading features such as the Fidlock magnetic buckle that is easy to use with thick winter gloves and the rear-mounted LED light that offers 180 degree visibility. Whilst the 12 air inlets, five outlets, and the bug mesh ensure that your head stays cool and free from those unwanted bugs. Making this helmet the perfect companion for the daily commute.

One of the most underrated helmets around. With its removable visor, the Dune 2.0 MIPS is a truly versatile helmet that will suit anything from trail, commuting or road. The addition of MIPS ensures you get the best levels of safety available and at an unbeatable price point.

There’s nothing ‘junior’ about these helmets, other than their size and energetic colour scheme! They come with all the same comfort, styling and ventilation (19 vents) as our adult helmets. They even have a multi-functional light on the back for extra safety. Styled with a colour matched peak, with reflective detailing on the rear. Conforms to CE EN 1078.

50 | June 2021

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SECTOR GUIDE

9

10

11

9

12

10

11

12

Cannondale

Smith Optics

Bell

Bluegrass

Intake MIPS helmet

Persist

Spark MTB

Rogue Core MIPS - BGH130

Distributor: Cycling Sports Group UK

Distributor: Ultra Sport EU

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts

The Cannondale Intake MIPS helmet is the fastest helmet available from the brand and worn by the Cannondale Factory Racing MTB team. Its aero shape, sunglass storage, reassuring MIPS protection and 13 effective air vents means this helmet will keep you riding fast, feeling safe and looking like a pro.

The Smith Persist is a feature loaded helmet at an affordable price. With a fully adjustable VaporFit system, MIPS for increased protection and AirEvac designed to reduce eyewear fogging by pulling hot air away from the eyes. Meanwhile, 21 optimally placed vents keep riders cool and finally pass-through channels on the front of the helmet allow for easy stowage of eyewear. Feature loaded has never been a more apt description for a helmet at this price.

Featuring a sleek design with extended coverage and an integrated visor, the Spark backs up clean design and its wellventilated shape with a great fit. Designed for aspiring trail riders, the Spark lets you charge with confidence. The Spark features a Fusion In-Mold polycarbonate shell, No-Twist Tri-Glides, a Sweat Guide and Integrated MIPS on the MIPS version. Available in adult and youth sizes, there is a Spark helmet for the whole family!

Designed with the speed of Bluegrass’ professional riders in mind, this helmet focuses protection on the most crucial areas of the head; the back and the temple. The Rogue Core MIPS exceeds all worldwide certifications and performs top of the class under both linear and rotational impact, thanks to its meticulously engineered EPS shell and the MIPS-C2 brain protection system. The visor has been designed to enhance safety, flexing in the event of a crash instead of remaining rigid and compromising the helmet shell.

www.bikebiz.com

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SECTOR GUIDE

14 13

15 16

13

14

15

16

Kali

TSG

Kiddimoto

ABUS

Maya 3.0

Pepper

Ikon Full Face Helmet

Macator MIPS

Distributor: Oxford

Distributor: Ison Distribution

Distributor: Kiddimoto.co.uk

Distributor: Extra UK

Kali’s most popular enduro helmet has been updated for 2021. With a newly designed visor and a dial retention fit system. The 3.0 has added ventilation making it extra cooler than ever. Low Density Layer (LDL), Rheon technology and Composite Fusion Plus – specially designed padding placed throughout the interior of the helmet. Reduces rotational impact forces up to 25%, reduces low-g linear forces up to 30%. All Kali helmets come with a lifetime crash replacement. Conforms to CE EN 1078. Available in five colourways.

Whether you’re an urban biker saddling a fixie, racer, hybrid, folder or e-bike, this super sporty peaked triple-frame construction helmet, with enhanced EPS impact foam protection, will protect your head, even in high-speed collisions.

Kiddimoto is one of the biggest kids focused bike helmet brands in the world and its 2-in-1 Ikon Full Face Helmet is leading the way following a renewed interest in mini MTB and BMXing. Built for ultimate safety, protection and durability for dinky daredevils, the Ikon features a detachable chin guard with a patented locking mechanism for a secure grip and easy one-click release, aerodynamic design, 12-vents for increased functionality and enjoys the Kiddimoto two-year no-quibble warranty.

The Macator is an entry-level performance helmet for cyclists looking for an outstanding all-around helmet with the added reassurance of the market-leading safety technology of MIPS. The modern form extends lower around the nape area boosting protection whilst comfortable padding and excellent ventilation make it a reliable everyday partner.

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SECTOR GUIDE

18

17

20 19

17

18

19

20

MET

TSG

Giro

Cannondale

Rivale MIPS

Skate/BMX Injected

Helios Spherical

Junction MIPS

Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts

Distributor: Ison Distribution

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Distributor: Cycling Sports Group UK

Released in 2020, the new MET Rivale MIPS offers superior performance and an aggressive presence on the road that leaves a lasting impression. Safer, more comfortable, more efficient. Used by UAE Team Emirates’ Tour de France winning team last year, the Rivale MIPS offers uncompromising aerodynamics, packed into one of the lightest helmets on the market. Available in an array of stunning metallic, glossy and matte colourways.

The TSG Skate/BMX helmet was launched back in 1998, and is an absolute classic that served as a template for many others to follow. This ‘injected’ version has an ABS shell and an affordable RRP of only £29.99.

The heart of the Helios’ extraordinary design and performance is Spherical Technology, which utilises a ball-and-socket design powered by MIPS that can help to reduce rotational forces. Spherical Technology allows the helmet’s outer liner to rotate around the inner liner during a crash, and also allows Progressive Layering of the inner and outer liners to provide more comprehensive protection and performance.

The Cannondale Junction is a true go-anywhere helmet with a low-profile lightweight design, increased rear coverage and a mini visor for a relaxed, modern look for all rides. Available in three cool colours, the Junction also has great air circulation through 23 vents and is great value with MIPS protection at only £60.

54 | June 2021

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20/05/2021 14:10


NEW

Persist Classic bike helmet for the everyday rider

Matte Cinder

White / Cement

Black / Cement

Incorporating the SMITH VaporFit™ system for a customised fit, MIPS® for increased protection and with the AirEvac™ ventilation system efficiently pulling hot air away from your eyewear to prevent fogging. Add 21 optimally placed vents to keep you cool and pass-through channels for easy eyewear stowing and you have a fully feature-loaded helmet.

01332 813 150 |

sophie@ultrasporteu.com | ultrasporteu.com |

smith.com

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SECTOR GUIDE

22 21

23

24

21

22

23

24

Dashel

100%

Limar

Hornit

Lightweight Helmets

Trajecta

Air Stratos

Helmets

Distributor: Dashel

Distributor: Silverfish UK

Distributor: Pinpoint CE

Distributor: Raleigh

Dashel offers a range of slim, ventilated, lightweight cycle helmets designed and manufactured in the UK. With a distinctive urban feel, Dashel helmets have low impact at the point of manufacture, and produce very little waste at the end of life. The helmets are portable, sold packaged in a handy rucksack that means there is no superfluous packaging. They come in an array of classic colours.

The stylish Trajecta offers class-leading performance and safety features for endure and all mountain riders. Designed around the SmartShock Rotational Protective System, it offers a breathable, ultra-lightweight and comfortable helmet for all day riding. New Fidlock SNAP buckle, 24 air vents and multi-point adjustable visor make this helmet head and shoulders above its rivals.

Air Stratos is a high performance all-terrain helmet for fast, light gravel and adventure riding. This robust and lightweight model has been designed from the ground up to keep the weight low and the comfort high. Double in-mould shell with 15 vents for strength and ventilation. AirFit-System provides the best comfort and non allergenic treated pads keep your head dry. A strong construction made for thousands of kilometres on bikepacking expeditions, rough roads and single tracks.

Hornit Helmets are designed with the spirit of individuality, with a helmet to suit every personality. We have a wide range of designs from Lazy Llamas to the stealthy Hammerhead Shark. Most importantly, they keep kids’ heads safe but stylish! Our helmets are fully adjustable, comfortable and lightweight, but also come with the added safety feature of an integrated LED light.

56 | June 2021

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SECTOR GUIDE

25

26

28

27

27

28

Leatt

Kask

Urge

MTB 4.0 Helmet Enduro

Protone

All-Air MTB Helmet

Distributor: Moore Large

Distributor: Hotlines

Distributor: Velobrands

Distributor: Windwave

The Rootage Evo is the new enduro helmet from Alpina, featuring far more protection than a standard open face helmet due to its over ear design and EPP material that can take multiple impacts without losing its protective effect! This is featured round the ears and at the back of the helmet.

A versatile, DH certified, convertible helmet that’s packed full of unique features. It features a lightweight Polymer shell with 18 vents for maximised ventilation. Unique 360-degree Turbine Technology reduces both rotation acceleration and concussion level impact energy whilst a moisture wicking, breathable, anti-odour inner liner keeps your head cool and comfortable. The removable chin bar uses an easy-fit Stainless attachment system and the chin strap uses a Fidlock magnetic closure system. Available in three sizes and four awesome-looking colourways.

The Protone is a super light and aerodynamic road racing helmet that, at just 215g, is one of the fastest helmets on the market. Several vents and a thick padding material ensure that heat and moisture are dealt with in an instant, improving performance without compromising safety. The top area of the helmet is reinforced with an internal plastic sub-structure for increased crash protection.

Comfort and exceptional ventilation are the two main features that you’ll instantly notice on the All-Air. It’s the ultimate MTB helmet – perfect for trail, all mountain and/or enduro. As per the rest of the Urge helmet range, a big part of the design is based around sustainability with carefully selected recycled materials throughout.

25 Alpina Rootage Evo

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26

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SECTOR GUIDE

30

29

31 32

29

30

31

32

Lazer

Limar

Sweet Protection

Bern

Sphere

Urbe

Trailblazer MIPS

Nino 2.0

Distributor: Madison

Distributor: Pinpoint CE

Distributor: Jungle Products

Distributor: Ultra Sport EU

Designed to be the perfect helmet for the everyday rider, Lazer’s Sphere is light, well-ventilated and uses the same Advanced Rollsys retention system as its top-of-the-range helmet, the Genesis. It’s also been awarded the highest five-star rating for safety by the Virginia Tech independent helmet testing facility, making it a perfect blend of style and substance.

The Limar Urbe Helmet is the perfect urban helmet which is also certified NTA-8776, the only existing standard in the world for the category of helmets dedicated to e-bikes. With its reflective decals and reflective stitching in the straps as well as the three function rear light, the Urbe is perfect for city commuting or for any cyclist where high visibility is paramount.

The Trailblazer is the latest evolution of Sweet Protection’s pioneering multi-piece variable elasticity shell technology, leading the way in protection performance. The Trailblazer introduces an updated design with a contemporary take on the Sweet Protection DNA featuring a new visor placement and a progressive style. The visor can be adjusted with the new visor mechanism, and the helmet also comes with a completely new Occigrip turn-dial system and STACC ventilation.

Bern has revamped the style and shape of the original Niño and Niña (boys/girls) to bring a new and improved fan-favourite. The Niño 2.0 includes MIPS safety technology to ensure maximum protection for younger riders. Updated graphics, new patterns and colours together with an EZ-FIT system makes these helmets a ‘no brainer’ for the kids. There is never a compromise when Bern design its kids ranges – if adults deserve the style and protection, so do the kids.

58 | June 2021

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