BikeBiz March 2018

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March 18


MARCH 2018




S S 1 8 C O L L E C T I ON



‘Knitting together this magazine for the last two years has been a complete joy and privilege’




Farewell, cycle industry


SEASONS COME, and seasons go, and now it is time for me to get on up and out of the cycle industry. Coming up to two years ago I started at BikeBiz and it might have knocked me down a peg or two (I once mistook a screw for suspension), maybe more than I’d care to admit, but it’s been a fantastic experience that I would never trade for the world. During my time working as editor here, I’ve met so many vivid characters who have supported me along this journey. They taught me complex terms and concepts I would never have even heard of had I not come into the cycle trade, and I’m so grateful for their collaboration in my time here. I wouldn’t have been able to make heads or tails of my role without this kind of industry cooperation! Knitting together this magazine for the past two years has been a complete joy and a privelege. To work on such a prestigious title has been a completely astonishing experience and one I will hold with me forever. But without me droning on too much about myself, this issue is focused on workshops. We take a look at Fibrax in Wrexham, up-and-coming bike brand Hummingbird, and the role that cycling played in the suffragette movement.


Hayley E. Ferguson Editor






Kieran Howells

Carlton Reid

Richard Setters

Warren Kelly

staff writer


sales manager

production executive



Fibrax cycle division visit

We travel to Wales to meet the team behind Fibrax’s cycling products

The workshop issue


Laker on cycling suffragettes

Laura Laker finds out how cycling helped liberate women in the suffragette movement


What happened at CORE?

Kieran Howells visits COREBike attendees to find out what they thought of the show, and which products they launched there

REGULARS 06 Industry opinions 57 Sector guides 72 In My Team: Weldtite 74 Spokesman




Financial crisis

Setting up a new business in a recession by Richard Bye, Fat Lad at the Back

6 | March 2018



’ve never been one to take the easy route in life, and so when I decided to launch a new business at a time when the economy was still recovering from the Financial Crisis in 2007 and subsequent double dip recession, it was pretty true to form.

with our many online platforms. Of course, none of this The secret to our success, I think, has been that we’ve would be relevant if our product was below par. We created a movement and not just a brand; from the start our passion was to make cycling gear for ‘normal’ people don’t just make bigger versions of standard cycle wear – we actually put a lot of thought into how and where who don’t fit the cookie cutter perception of what bigger lads and lasses might carry weight so that our cyclists should look like. FLAB isn’t just about the gear, products provide a comfortable and flattering fit. it brings people together. Keeping the brand at the forefront of customers’ Anyone from any walk of life, any budget, and any minds is a daily struggle and as a brand that has brought health history – mental or physiological – can be part of something unique to the cycling industry we want to our community and engage with others who may be ensure this is communicated effectively when we are facing the same struggles they have – or ‘likeminded’ engaging with our customers. For example, people for want of a better phrase. we have just made a (hopefully) funny It’s not just the product that has been ‘We want meme video depicting a man in love with crucial to our success; our tone of voice his bike for Valentines that has proved is designed to be informal, irreverent and people to hugely successful with over 50,000 views in funny in everything we do. From the instantly less than a week. We want brand fans and website, to our social media – we want people to instantly know that we are know that we loyalty from our customers and we need to with them in new and different from what they have come to are different communicate exciting ways to achieve this. expect from a cycling brand. We even from what When you buy a Fat Lad At The Back run a sportive that we’ve gone out of our jersey, it’s a lot more than an item of way to make different and friendly, for they expect’ clothing. We like to think we’ve introduced example we serve flapjacks and bananas you to 35,000 potential friends. You become and give our riders huge ‘bin lid’ part of a society that will openly and collectively be with sandwiches and pork pies to fuel their you on your personal journey. No-one is left behind, miles in the saddle. both metaphorically and, when taking part in one of our There is no judgement, there is only support – we’ll cheer and champion the fast and fit lads as well as those sportives or community ride3s, literally. Our customers are our company, the community is that are striving to make advances in their lives. We our brand. Everything we do is for them, all of our understand that for some people to get on a bike for the creations, our designs and our objectives are set around first time in years, or ever, and cycle a mile could be making our customers feel special and part of the harder than an average cyclist doing a 100 mile jaunt; movement. We are humbled by their continued support. and we’re all about celebrating that. We started out making cycling clothing that normal I’m super proud of the community we’ve built, we people would feel comfortable wearing. It was a natural have hundreds of active members who go out on FLAB evolution that they should feel comfortable in each cycles at least once a month, an achievement even the other’s company doing what they love and perhaps likes of British Cycling would be proud of. We have one feeling healthier and happier too. I think that’s what sits of the most engaged communities in the industry with at the core of the popularity of the brand. over 32,000 community members regularly interacting

March 2018 | 7


IBD opinion

Distributors can’t have it both ways if they intend to support their clients by James Wagner, owner, J’s Cycle Shack


currently own two stores in Yorkshire, and interact directly with a number of distributors who are becoming extremely hard to deal with on a day-today basis. Two recent experiences stood out to me, and I believe other retailers need to be aware of this kind of conduct so as to protect themselves.

items – that’s not uncommon with this kind of sale. Upon collection of the bike, the customer explained the reason for supplying his own components; he had managed to “wangle” an account with the distributor, on the premise he had a VAT number. While that might not sound suspect, his business had absolutely The first instance was what, at first glance, appeared to nothing to do with the cycle industry. be a stock shortage following our having made a firm sale I’m unsure to how long distributors have been selling with a customer. When we came to take a deposit, the direct to consumer, but I’ve long been well aware of online ordering system said that the distributor offering several distributors selling end of line and clearance the product did not have it in stock. This was confirmed product on sites like eBay. I don’t see this, by email. Thereafter, on multiple in itself, as a big problem. It’s something occasions it was communicated to me ‘Because so most retailers do, especially the ones that the product didn’t even exist. We relayed that to the customer, only for many dealers without an ecommerce website. But, it would appear that selling in-season product him to return the very next day with have closed, via the same channels, and giving members proof that the distributor was selling the need to of the general public trade accounts, are this allegedly nonexistent product direct pretty new developments. It’s something I to consumer on eBay! Later, on a recoup sales have only come across recently, but it different product, we were given a has grown’ seems to be a practice occurring in six-week lead-time and a standard trade abundance. price from this distributor. Upon The conditions that have led to this I believe are checking eBay, we found the product in question in stock twofold. Because a number of dealers have gone into and £45 cheaper – from the same distributor, and once liquidation – some likely leaving behind debts – the need again, direct to consumer. to recoup money and sales has grown. The other issue Another jarring experience we recently had involved a seems to be overstocking with slow-moving product, customer who we had in-store, purchasing a high-end leading to competition between distributors and retailers bike from us. We supplied everything, bar a couple of

08 | March 2018

“Can I try these wheels?”



Wheelsets are EXCLUSIVE to Independent Bike Dealers - a great reason for customers to visit your store Demo wheelsets include 38mm carbon clinchers, 30mm carbon disc and alloy clinchers Option to loan 88mm and 45mm SL Tubular wheelsets for demo use Free of charge POS, plus spare brake pads and Campagnolo/Shimano freehub bodies all included



n the long run. for sales. I’m not a distributor, so am unsure of The future is uncertain. More and more distributors and circumstance that has led to this behaviour, but I can see brands seem to be selling direct to consumer, which the brands and distributors that are doing well selling via correlates with a high number of IBDs closing. That IBDs. I think it’s not complicated. If you have a good relationship speaks for itself. However, I do think you can’t product and you want that to be retailed in a proper generalise the IBD/ distributor relationship manner to the right consumers, then you – it differs from case to case. There are really should choose your dealers wisely. Set a good ones, but there are also some pretty bad strong pricing structure transparent to ‘More ones also. Some do have incentives for IBDs, everyone and back that up with good distributors some don’t. Most of the distributors and marketing in the right places. Surely then, brands with baskets on their websites seem you are mitigating the chance of and brands to maintain RRPs – why would they want to discounting and shouldn’t have to seem to be discount and potentially jeopardise their undercut IBDs to sell direct to consumer. selling direct brand image? As long as their dealers can For retailers to combat this kind of competition, it’s important, first of all, to to consumer’ make a margin on that product and offer a service to the consumer, then I see no reason feed back to the distributors that you are for the consumer to buy direct from the aware of these things going on. This may distributor – therefore the IBDs aren’t losing out. I think be met with a poor excuse or attempt at resolving the there are some good schemes out there that some situation, but it’s worth a shot, nonetheless. I believe there distributors put in place for IBDs to retain a margin and are some distributors out there that truly are IBD-focused – buy product and carry stock from them. Yes, to be honest still match the online prices. If the focus shifts from this to distributors selling product direct to consumer and the margin isn’t as good, but I tend to find the RRP is undercutting the IBD, then of course very few will survive. protected so you make more money i

10 | March 2018


Thought leadership

Is the cycling industry concept store dead? by Kevin Burton, UK national sales manager, Simplon


he concept store: a space where a company can showcase own-brand products in their entirety in a way that not only looks great, with special instore POS, but shows the full range in a way that the local bike shop might not have room to, or even want to. In theory, it’s a great idea. But, personally, I feel that that cycling industry concept stores are not living up to their potential at the moment, and that many may not even be relevant in this trade. For one, I don’t currently see the trend of displaying new and unique products that have not gone in to production – think the car industry’s “concept cars” and technology that is in the early development stage. Inventions that generate the “wow factor” when you walk in. We all love to dream about things we can’t afford but would love to own, right? You might think that cycling brands don’t have the money, or even the development resources, to build the cycling equivalent of the

12 | March 2018


And that’s fine. But, if we are trying to bring more “concept car”. And, maybe that’s true in some cases, but consumers in to cycling, we have to represent the industry it’s probably down to brands not wishing to share the and help them decide what products are the right choices amazing idea they have had. The fact is, the cycle trade for them. Displaying a wider range of products and services doesn’t want to engage with thought leadership. And in store is essential. Local bike shops have a hard enough thought leadership is the backbone of the concept store. The concept store was very much a late-90s-early-2000s time now without constructing another barrier in the form of a concept store that will only turn new consumers off idea. It worked well in bringing the consumer closer to the that brand. They can find a way to work together in-store, brand, but in doing so, it also caused friction with the local bike shops the brands supplied. They do work well in some but this has to be beneficial to both brand and LBS. So, what makes a good bike shop? This is such a hard industries, but perhaps not as effectively in the cycling question to answer, as it depends on many things. industry nowadays. Location, consumer base, business model, location. I’ve A notable example of an effective concept store is Nike. It has stores all over the globe, along with secondary shops, been in the industry a long time, and I’ve seen many shops come and go – good, bad, and everything in between – with online shops, and various other routes to market. In varied reasons leading them to go out of business. We general, the company makes this model work. I recently went in to the Nike store on Oxford Street for the first time don’t want to see this in the industry, but it’s a reality – some stores have never really had a business model, just a – it looked exactly how I imagined it would. Its layout is thought of running a shop. Great, but you have very stylish, with some unique new to have a plan – especially these days. We have concept items on show, very well‘The workshop seen the rise of the coffee shop, which adds displayed POS, and great lighting. You get the idea. Did I want to buy something? I still is an area something different to a store. The workshop still, to this day, is an area many shops get did, and I wasn’t even planning on doing many shops wrong by not making use of its skills – generally so. That’s a win for the store: a very small win, given the size of my purchase, but get wrong by you don’t by a new car and service it at home. should be made the standard for bikes they all count right? The cynics will say not making That sold – your mechanics are a license to print that Nike doesn’t really care about small use of its money, mostly. Fit systems are important for sales – after all, it’s a huge corporate brand certain types of stores, the journey the and it has a great deal of power. That may skills’ consumers go on when they finally get a bike be true – can you compare Nike to any that fits them perfectly. You can’t buy that PR. cycling brands? Most are definitely not in These days, you have to offer something different, because the same financial league, but Nike is still a business the consumer has so much choice from other local bikes looking to sell its products to consumers, just like we are. shops, chains and online. You need to love that consumer So, have concept stores had their day in the bike lots to hold onto them. Loyalty is hard to gain these days. industry? I think they have, but aspects of the concept I think, ultimately, that being a great bike shop is not store can still be incorporated into retail in certain ways. always about it looking clean, crisp and boutique-like. It To use the Nike model, that brand appeals not only to must be about the people. It’s not rocket science; I went a athletes of many types, but also to non-athletes as a sales course many years ago, a quote that I still think is fashion item. Naturally, Nike has a broader appeal than mostly true, “people buy from people”. Yes you need great cycling brands ever possibly could. Cycling will always products, service and a plan, but the staff members are the have a more limited consumer base than mainstream key. We have all had poor service in a retail outlet. I sportswear like Nike, and as a result, it is growing at a sometimes think I’ll go for that deal on my next TV, but I slower rate. But that’s the point – we are seeing growth. always end up going back to John Lewis because of the There will always be enthusiasts of certain brands who staff. People. Service. Repeat business. will only ever purchase products made by that company.

March 2018 | 13

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HOLLIE WEATHERSTONE Marketing manager, Canyon UK/IE Joining Canyon at the end of 2016, Weatherstone has quickly grown the brand’s UK events programme with demo days, ride outs with pro athletes and trade shows to make an online business much more accessible to those who want to ‘touch it and try it’. Having built great relationships with the cycling press and a keen eye for what works on social media, she has also made sure that Canyon is the brand on everyone’s lips.

30 UNDER THIRTY We recognise the industry’s rising stars. Presenting for 2018, 30 up-and-coming cycle trade members aged 30 and under!

ZAK KEMPSON Co-founder and COO, Rental Guru Rental Guru has been one of the biggest and most positive improvements in Cyclexperiences’ business recently. Incredibly user-friendly and fast, Rental Guru has proven to work brilliantly within the organisation. Zak is an great example of a young entrepreneur seeking to help and develop the bike industry. Despite being in the early stages, this new booking software will make the day-to-day Cyclexperiences operations busy hire centre more efficient, allowing it to concentrate on maintenance and most importantly, customer service.

CHRIS TAYLOR Category buyer, Sport Pursuit Chris joined the business 18 months ago and has smoothly integrated himself within the cycle industry, building up a strong network in a short space of time. Chris manages over 300 brands featured on SportPursuit and has overseen a doubling in the size of the category under his stewardship.

TOM LOWE ProBikeKit buyer, The Hut Group Within six months of joining the company, Tom delivered nearly 40 per cent growth from his respective brands & distributors. As we head forwards into 2018, Tom has been promoted to NPD manager to manage all new brand development and secure new and exclusive products.

DAN LEATHER Marketing coordinator, ZyroFisher Dan is responsible for a number of events and leverages coverage for all brands in ZyroFisher’s portfolio. He has secured an annual AVE in the region of £500,000 across the cycling media industry and beyond, and was instrumental in bringing a successful new event, MTB Trail Attack, to the consumer market in 2017.

JACK LUKE Staff writer, Bikeradar Bikeradar writes stories of lesser-known niche content that would otherwise go uncovered in the mainstream media – things like compass handlebars, the bikes airport staff rides at Frankfurt, fixed gear, and on top of interesting on-the-fringe content, he is a very talented writer as well.

March 2018 | 15





^ Marketing specialist, Cyclescheme Hazel is the ‘voice’ of Cyclescheme and the national Cycle to Work Day. She is a relative newcomer to the industry but has already become a common fixture at events around the country championing the role of women in cycling. She is also responsible for the tone of voice and massive public awareness behind Cycle to Work Day, the single largest national cycle commuter event in the country, which broke records in 2017 with over a million miles pledged and 40,000 cyclists participating in the day - a huge achievement considering she hasn’t got a large team supporting her.


Sales manager, Fibrax Although Blackman has a sales title, he is responsible for the entirety of the brand, whether it’s product design and development, testing, research, marketing, events, or fitment of a new tube for a stranded cyclist. If you see the Fibrax flag being flown, he is there! Ellis lives and breathes cycling, so much so that he has a chain tattoo and removed half of his kitchen to make more room for bikes.

16 | March 2018

Head of global logistics, Knog Meesha was brought in to fill one of two logistics roles within Knog in 2014. Once she was hired, the need for that second hire fell away as she introduced new processes and increased efficiency. She has gained the trust of all stakeholders with her direct style and quick wit. She has also had a large impact on company strategy, proposing and negotiating new 3PL solutions to deliver products to eComm customers and its 50+ distributors around the world faster and with better value. Meesha is going places. Watch this space.


Operations manager, ofo UK James originally joined ofo as operations manager for the company’s Cambridge arm – the first city ofo launched outside of Asia. When James first joined, ofo had 20 bikes in the city, but it now has a fleet of 550 available to rent in the city, with a dedicated team of marshals to assist. ofo now needs someone to step into a more central role organising and ensuring that the bicycles are delivered to the cities ofo operate in, and the new cities that will hopefully come along in 2018.

Tech editor, Cycling Weekly, Time As a product tester, presenter and editor, Symon Lewis is an enthusiastic, professional and approachable member of our industry. Canyon have worked with him on many features, tests and launches over the past few years, and he goes above and beyond every time with both the quality and quantity of content. Much of the huge levels of engagement you see on Cycling Weekly articles and videos are because of Symon’s vast road cycling knowledge and ability to communicate his impressions and ideas in an accessible and inclusive way.


Senior membership marketing officer, British Cycling Josh is responsible for identifying and measuring the channels through which British Cycling can promote the value of its membership products. He is also responsible for the implementation of innovative marketing campaigns run to increase the awareness and profitability of the national governing body’s membership portfolio. His enthusiastic approach to leading membership acquisition activity has lead to a seven per cent year-on-year increase of British Cycling members and contributing to a 14 per cent increase in revenue across the year.



Accounting technician, Cycle Solutions (Cycle to Work) Linzi has worked at Cycle Solutions for over ten years and has worked across every sector of the business. Linzi’s can-do attitude means she is prepared to turn her hand to any task required, from attending B2B sales events to dealing with customer issues and, more recently, getting her name out there with suppliers. Her knowledge of the cycle to work scheme second to none. The business is now supporting Linzi to achieve the prestigious Certified Accountants qualification as her primary role is within the finance team.


PR and digital manager, SweetSpot Nick is well-known and respected throughout the cycle sport world, having covered the sport for a number of years at Cycling Weekly as a staff writer at first before becoming news editor, making him hugely knowledgeable on both the UK and international race scene. Nick joined SweetSpot at the start of the year, tasked with leading all of the company’s activities in the digital realm, bringing his recent experience from the BikeChannel and professional football to Britain’s leading professional events.


Women’s business manager, Specialized UK Grace joined SweetSpot from university and was involved in the Tour of Britain, Tour Series and the first four editions of the Women’s Tour before moving on to a new role at Specialized UK last Autumn. As a keen and passionate cyclist with five year’s of experience working on the country’s biggest professional races, Specialized UK believe there is no one better to lead its women’s business.


Bike shop assistant, The Bike Bar, LLandudno; Racer, Team KTM UK, Owner, Rebellion Wear; Coach, British Cycling Wales Working with the owner at The Bike Bar on servicing and repairs, coaching, racing and having just launched his own casual clothing range, Alex gives all his roles 110 per cent, he is passionate, enthusiastic and generous with his time. Alex was recently a finalist at the Conwy Sports Awards 2017, nominated by his peers for Coach of the Year.


Social media manager, WNT Rotor, UCI women’s team A former professional rider, Hannah has helped build a strong community of fan engagement both online and at events around the women’s WNT team, while also promoting WNT’s B2B angle to raise the profile of both the sponsor and the team. Well-known and highly regarded across the sport, Hannah has also been a part of Eurosport’s commentary team on women’s cycling and worked on the social media at two of Britain’s biggest events – the Tour of Britain and the Women’s Tour.


HR manager, ZyroFisher Rachel manages the HR team for ZyroFisher, which incorporates over 200 team members over three sites. Rachel started in Zyro as an assistant in HR and has rapidly risen to manage the HR team of the team within ZyroFisher. With ZyroFisher’s support, Rachel is advancing her skills through the CIPD qualification process and her supportive and positive approach continues to help our team maximise their potential. Rachel has been described as a ‘rising star’ within ZyroFisher.

March 2018 | 17



PR manager, SHIFT Active Media Charlotte specialises in connecting cycling brands with cycling-focused (and beyond) media worldwide. Her industry expertise, having worked client-side at brands such as Garmin and Muc-Off, her knowledge and her strategic thinking allows SHIFT’s clients to engage with their consumers and traders across the globe. Charlotte lives and breathes cycling and when she isn’t on the Cyclocross podium, she’s leading groups of journalists around world tour races or over Italian mountain ranges.


Cycling development officer, Cycling UK Ruth works with charities and community groups to bring cycling to some of the city’s most isolated and marginalised people. She has introduced cycling to residents of the Newtown area through the local YMCA community centre, and aims to replicate her success by establishing community café Round About Café as a local cycling hub in Mansbridge. Beneficiaries from these schemes have gained greater independence and can access support, training and job opportunities which were previously out of reach due to limited transport options. While the humble bicycle hasn’t yet delivered world peace, people like Ruth are ensuring it’s certainly part of the solution.


Media manager, SHIFT Active Media Alex is tasked with making sure SHIFT’s clients’ spends are deployed in the best possible manner, ensuring they meet KPIs for advertising. He also analyses the regular trends of client campaigns and advertising networks, along with regular testing of advertising formats and platforms to ensure SHIFT is reaching as many of the target cycling consumers as possible. Alex’s work has propelled the company in terms of its offerings to clients in the cycling industry.


Sales account manager, VOLT Elliot recently came into the industry after studying for a degree in IT Security. After a year in that space, he realised it wasn’t for him, and found VOLT. Elliot’s main focus at VOLT is sales, but has had to quickly learn and develop his understanding of the bike industry, supporting a dealer network of over 100 shops around the country and ensuring he can give the best aftercare possible to customers. His favourite aspect is interacting with different people on a daily basis, helping to pick out the best bike for each individual. “I take pride in knowing that once they’ve got themselves an e-Bike, the quality of their lives is often improved dramatically,” he said.


Project manager, Big Bike Revival Scotland Shona’s dedicated work with Cycling UK has seen the charity’s Big Bike Revival project and grassroots community cycling flourish in Scotland. Over the last two years, she has led a team across the country to support and develop community cycling activities for people who are new or returning to cycling. In her day job, Shona manages £100,000 of grant funding to small community groups. In 2017 alone, Shona managed small grants for 107 community groups and supported Cycling UK development officers to create 49 community cycle clubs across Scotland.


Manager, Sprockets Cycles David¹s enthusiasm, passion and knowledge for everything cycling has seen him progress all the way to store manager before he was 24. He has already led his team through the relocating of the shop to its present position and achieved the accreditation as the only Shimano service centre in Ayrshire. His infectious joy for bikes and his humorous manner lets him engage with all clients regardless of age or cycling discipline. If there is a better candidate out there then I would like to meet them!

March 2018 | 19



Partnership and sales manager, Voncrank Liam started working with Voncrank 18 months ago, and quickly became a great ambassador for the company. There’s no stopping this young talent now as he lands this small tech start-up, partnership after a partnership with Industry giants Rapha Nocture and Clubhouses, Human race the leading race event provider in the UK and lastly an amazing sponsorship deal with Senior London Triathlon League. Liam O’Brien has been the driving force in getting the Voncrank brand out there with our progress recently hit 1500 bike repairs to date.


Brand and content manager, KitBrix India has been on the KitBrix Team from the very beginning, in 2013. She started out helping craft the initial photoshoot, and now controls all content assets across all forms of media. Still only 22, India has a thorough understanding of what it takes to build a brand and the level of dedication and effort required to create, deliver and measure content in a rapidly changing landscape. A keen photographer with growing film experience, India uses her natural creative flair to maintain brand consistency for KitBrix and works tirelessly to ensure we develop with one voice and one message.

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Sports business and marketing manager, Sports Marketing Surveys Ed has worked at Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS) since 2013, including managing the company’s operations in cycling since 2016. As sports business and marketing manager, Ed works closely with brands, federations, retailers, events and other stakeholders to understand their needs before constructing insightful and actionable research programmes. Ed leads SMS’ marketing work and his writing on a range of topics can be found in industry publications.


Director, J’s Cycle Shack James has worked in the cycling industry since the age of 15, starting as a ‘Saturday lad” in an LBS. He was then given the opportunity to work as apprentice in a new store, and gaining the Cytec mechanics qualification and being involved in the growth of the business from day one. He then ended up opening his own store a few years later, and now, at 25, he is ten years in with a second store in operation.


Marketing Assistant, 2pure A graduate of Edinburgh Napier university with a business and marketing degree, Robyn started at 2pure as an interim while at university. She demonstrated a great understanding of the 2pure portfolio and was integral part of the planning and execution of all key events like Core, London Marathon and Ironman series. Her sound understanding of the brand positioning within the UK has seen her now take on a lead role with in the 2pure marketing department.


Team leader, SRAM Tech Centre Mark provides day-to-day support to a team of technicians to maintain SRAM’s service level expectations. Offering a wealth of SRAM product knowledge and technical understanding, Mark’s passion for cycling and the SRAM brand has contributed to the centres achievement in providing competitive turnaround times on warranty and service cases within SRAM’s service level expectations while maintaining a first class customer experience.

In partnership with


The changing city


Commuting by bicycle makes perfect sense, and few brands are investing in the future of the market like Hummingbird Bikes. Kieran Howells talks to owner Ligia Stan about how Hummingbird plans on changing the ride.

In an ideal world, every cyclist would live either on the edge of a vast, trails-rich woodland, or on the grounds of a velodrome. Obviously, this is an unrealistic expectation, and in fact, many avid riders that live in the city are resigned to either travelling out to the country to ride, or cycling on built-up city streets, on which traffic is rife and a simple ride to the shops could necessitate a pollution mask. Cyclists that live in cities like London, Manchester and Liverpool are resigned to spending their lives in cramped flats, cramped trains and cramped offices. It’s a far cry from the typical image of carefree cycling, yet

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“Creating Hummingbird was about solving a probolem”

thanks to the smart design work of brands such as Hummingbird Bikes, spending quality time on two wheels doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. So what are the requirements for a bike that gels with city living? Firstly it has to be small. In fact, it has to be so small that you could put it in a cupboard at home, carry it on a packed commuter train, and conceal it stealthily under your work desk – the only realistic option for this is a folding bike. Secondly, it has to be light. Commuters will know the hassle of heaving a heavy bike on and off a train, up bustling steps out of tube stations or in and out of multiple work lifts. Thirdly, it has to take the frantic roads of the city in its stride. There’s no point buying a city bike that is either ill-equipped to handle what the city has to throw at it, or, if you use the bike as your primary mode of transport, that simply isn’t a work horse.

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“Hummingbird is a no-compromise city bike

There are few brands that have truly tapped into the mindset of the everyday city dweller like Hummingbird Bikes. The brand sprung up in London in 2015 with one goal: making the lightest folding bike in the world. “Hummingbird began from our passion for cycling. Having a small flat in London doesn’t really allow you to have a lot of


storage space, so we started looking at folding bikes. Everything on the market was heavy, cumbersome and lacked that beautiful aesthetic we had fallen in love with. I owned about seven bikes at the time, each getting lighter and lighter as my needs became more apparent – carbon fibre had always been an obsession but really Hummingbird was about solving a problem – trying to commute in London with a lightweight folding bike,” creator Ligia Stan tells me. “Hummingbird is not only a folding bike; we see it as a no-compromise city bike. For me it seemed like there was a lack of innovation in this sector with a lot of designs being over 40 years old. With its lightweight chassis and simplicity of use, Hummingbird felt like a product that needed to exist and the reviews from our customers seem to confirm this!” With a goal in mind, the brand set about creating an innovative new kind of folding bike. Firstly, they needed a material that not only lived up the requirements of a rugged city bike, but that would also keep weight to a bare minimum. They settled on carbon. “I have always been fascinated with lightweight bikes,” comments Stan. “Carbon is the obvious winner for this market. I’ve had a few extremely light bikes, one reaching 5kg! However, I noticed that no one is really owning the folding bike market in terms of weight. So why not combine my passion for carbon with my experience in product design and create a new, innovative folding bike. The trick is in the frame – due to our use of carbon, we couldn’t use a hinge, which actually ended up saving a lot of weight and making the bike more comfortable to ride, more stiff and responsive to the rider. Carbon fibre also doesn’t rust or fatigue, unlike steel or aluminium.” Although the initial carbon designs were light, the brand still had the vision of

“The Hummingbird felt like a product that needed to exist”

26 | March 2018


“Carbon is the obvious winner for the cycling market” creating the lightest folding bike in the world – this took more creative research and design. “The use of carbon is the main weight-saver on our design, however there are other elements that helped bring the weight down. One example would be the swingarm, which we optimised to be strong in the pressure points and lose weight in the areas where the stress is minimal. Through this process, we have brought it down to 380g per side, from 600g in the initial design.” Next came the challenge of creating a bike that folded effectively. Other bikes on the market had a monopoly on ease of use and fastening techniques for fast and reliable folding on the go, so Stan decided to take the concept back to the drawing board. “There were a lot of problems we had to solve, but coming up with the original concept of the three-step fold took me the most time to figure out. The engineering was also a challenge – we had to take into account all the interactions between each component and how it all worked together to ensure we passed the required quality tests.” The emerging Hummingbird company then found a sustainable source of carbon production, which the team ultimately chose to keep in the UK, where the bikes are handmade

March 2018 | 27


“At the moment, we’re manufacturing 250 bikes per year”

“We’re focusing on the electric bike – the future is here!”

28 | March 2018

in partnership with carbon manufacturer Prodrive. “Prodrive also specialises in building world championship winning race and rally cars. We share two of their manufacturing facilities - one in Banbury and one in Milton Keynes. Each Hummingbird is handcrafted by one of our engineers and we take great pride in how much work goes into the craftsmanship of each Hummingbird. At the moment we are manufacturing 250 per year.” Dead set on keeping up with the increasing technologies making strides forward in the industry, the next step for the brand is to create a version of the bike which can appeal to a more diverse customer base. It’s key competitors are already moving into

the electrical assist market, and that’s where Hummingbird plans to push for the future, which is closer than we may think. “After months of research and development, we previewed an electric model at WIRED LIVE last year, and can now confirm that we are launching it at the London Bike Show 2018. We have been working on the prototype for a while and think we have an amazing product that stands out in the market – a folding e-bike at 10kg. Beyond the e-bike, it’s all to play for. “At the moment we are focusing on the electric bike - the future is here! There are other ideas we are playing around with and will start launching soon, but we can’t reveal this yet - stay tuned!”

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The Welsh way Hayley E. Ferguson heads to snowy Wrexham to meet Fibrax’s Ellis Blackman and discover how, after 100 years, the company is still innovating It’s a clear day when I arrive by rail in Chester. Five minutes later, in the car, we’re hit with a flurry of snow. By the time I arrive in Wrexham, just over the border in Wales, we’ve driven through snow, sleet, and hail, and then, shining in a cloudless sky, the sun emerges all over again. While this region of Wales seems at first glance to be a microclimate, with dramatic, changeable weather and equally dramatic cycling routes, that’s not all that sets it apart as a cycling industry hotspot. It’s also home to the UK’s second-largest industrial estate – a firmlyestablished manufacturing capital – and leading producer of bike cables, housing, brake pads, hydraulic hoses, workshop tools and small parts, Fibrax. With its headquarters in Wrexham, Fibrax also manufactures in Morocco, Turkey, and Poland. The Fibrax cycle division is part of a larger company that

makes plastic and rubber parts for the automotive industry – including Jaguar and Land Rover – along with military and motorsport. “We recently bought an engineering company. We’re actually in the process of moving them in and jiggling around the units. But the cycle side is what we started with, back in 1902,” Ellis Blackman, cycle sales manager, tells us as he leads us to his laboratory. “Even though it’s got a long history, it’s very small – and we still make the same pads that we did a hundred years ago.” According to Blackman, while some of the retro styles have had modifications made to the tooling, or to the

“We still make the same pads that we did 100 years ago” March 2018 | 31


machines that are used to make them, the classic brake pads themselves have not really been altered in that time. “We have a lot of special rubbers and compounds that we can use and no one else can, because we made them back in the day.” All of the assembly – even down to the rubber parts themselves – are made, to a certain extent, by hand. “There are an extremely small number of things that we can’t do by hand, or that just aren’t worth doing that way. But our division is so tiny. Including me, the team is six and a half – one lady flits back and forth between cycle and automotive.” As well as being the site for the industrial estate, Wrexham also has one of the UK’s largest council estates. Fibrax is a major employer of its residents, and

that is largely down to the fact that so much of its work is performed manually. “Having employees do everything by hand allows us to recognise issues before the product goes out the door. That’s the good thing about this route. There’s a lot of money that goes into setting up an automated process. Coca-Cola, for example, has a system where the products go through a camera shooting at something like 500 frames per second. If the cans aren’t 100 per cent, the little airline blasts the can off the conveyor belt. But that’s millions of pounds.” The factory runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s a delicate balance. If it stops sending parts out, its directors could receive a fine of up to £100k. In a factory like this one, you can go bankrupt overnight, so you have to keep things moving at all times. Blackman’s team is made up entirely of women, some of whom have been with the company for upwards of 30 years. He admits that heading up a

32 | March 2018

group of mature, extremely experienced staff was a learning curve when he first started. “If you’ve done something in the same way for 15 years and then some lad comes in and tells you doing it wrong, there will be issues. I’ve had to learn that I’m not always right. They’ve been doing this a lot longer than me, so they do know the quickest ways to complete tasks. Sometimes I’m tasked with rewriting procedures in a way that just flows better. I have to work with them to come up with the best process. Because of my background, I understand that, sometimes, official procedures don’t work, and there’s a better way to do things.” As we tour the factory, Blackman shows us a machine tht utilises Teflon in production. “We’re going to be getting rid of this machine because, after I did some testing, we found out that Teflon isn’t as good as we thought it was. It can it can rub off and degrade, and when it does, it can gunk up the outer casing. Then


According to Blackman, the Fibrax team is comprised of just six-and-a-half people

“In a factory like this one, you can go bankrupt overnight, so you have to keep things moving at all times”

you get increased friction that significantly affects the shift. On the other hand, a die-drawn wire prevents all that because it’s not got any coating. There’s nothing to rub off. We’ll stop making them once we run out of Teflon. That’ll be this month. We sell a whole lot of Teflon-coated cables to German distributors, who just love them. It’s been quite hard to get them to change. “Getting the Teflon to stick to the wire is very hard. It has to be baked on in the tube. To coat 1,000 metres, you’re looking at about half a day. Sometimes you leave it on overnight and then it’s all finished by the morning. You can’t handle it while it’s warm, so you have to let it cool down. It probably takes a whole day when you factor in the cooling.” Blackman then guides us into his lab. A bike, bound in an enormous metal contraption, sits in an even huger glass box. “We can simulate actual off-road riding in here, with the suspension compress. I can tell you at what point the wheels will skid in the wet. We can also test the rolling resistance of tires and suspension bars, seat posts, and anything else. It’s

because we put weight on a saddle, weight on the pedals, and weight on the handlebars. So it simulates an actual rider on it. We use real points. We do benchmarking on every other competitor, and I also do testing for other people, too. There are also other companies in Europe that make brake pads that we make things for. We’re all in the same industry, aren’t we? After Fibrax discontinues its Teflon wires, the die-drawn wire will come in to replace it. “If you think of a normal wire, brake, gear, or whatever, the die-drawn wire, because we pass it through smaller and smaller holes under a layer of oil it pulls all those ends flat, because you have it passing through a circle. So it reduces the static and dynamic friction. That’s because there are less pressure points all the way on the outside. And we do that over and over again till it gets a really nice uniform shape on the wire. But because we do it under oil it self-lubricates. That will lubricate the outer casing and then, over the course of a ride, will transfer the oil from the wire to the casing. So it reduces friction again, so much so that even if you get a brand new bit of wire and a brand you get a brand new bit of casing in the wire will fall through under its own weight because there’s nothing else I’ve seen so far that come anywhere near to that. It’s just so smooth. “It’s not a carbon bar or a hydroformed head tube – you know, it’s a wire. But when you actually use it in that light it feels significantly different. That inner wire for galvanized is probably a quid. Stainless steel is probably about £3. Die-drawn is probably about £4, and then PTFE, it depends on the brand, but it can be anywhere from £5 to £20 – it really depends. But our die-drawn wires are cheaper than the Teflon ones. They work better, because they’ve not got a coating. They can’t rub off. And, because Teflon is good and we know that it’s non-stick and it works, it’s just about changing people’s mindsets.

March 2018 | 33


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Suffragettes Laura Laker delves into the history of women’s fight for the right to ride a bicycle

Cycling uk’s first legal case


ady Florence Harberton, founder of the Rational Dress Society, was out for a ride on a fine autumn day in the late 1890s when she stopped by the Hautboy Inn in Surrey, for a bite to eat and a rest. The landlady, Mrs Spragg looked her up and down and refused to admit her, in her rational dress, or rationals. Bifurcated clothing, such as bloomers, were safer and easier to ride in than long, heavy skirts with petticoats. She was offered to eat her meal in the bar, a

rough place with bare tables, and workmen with their sleeves rolled up. Instead, she got on her bike and rode to the next town, finding a CTC approved pub where she was permitted to eat her lunch. She later wrote to the CTC, who agreed to take on her case in April 1899. “The proceedings”, says historian Sheila Hanlon, “were very exciting: people were making hilarious jibes about Lady Harberton and her dress.” In fact the case garnered much public debate and media attention, as well as the

WHAT IS THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT? The 1918 Representation of the People Act granted women over the age of 30 the vote, if they met property requirements. This represented 40% of adult women at the time. It would be a further ten years before women’s voting rights equalled men’s.

SUFFRAGIST VS SUFFRAGETTE: Suffragists were, like suffragettes, advocates for women’s suffrage. The term suffragette is used to describe activists in the WSPU (Women’s social and political union), who used methods such as direct action, protest and hunger strikes to achieve their goal. Suffragists used more moderate campaigning methods, meanwhile.

March 2018 | 35


court case. In the end CTC and Lady Harberton lost the case – it was determined the landlady hadn’t done anything wrong – but this event, among numerous others, helped raise the profile of rational dress in the public domain. Lady Harberton believed public exposure to rationals would eventually reduce these negative reactions. As Kat Jungnickel notes in her forthcoming book, Bikes and Bloomers, Lady Harberton wrote to S.S Buckman in personal correspondence to say: “On Sat I was in Tewkesbury, I noticed my appearance created much disapproval, so, if fine I am going there again tomorrow for tea.”

KEY FIGURES IN THE HISTORY OF WOMEN AND CYCLING – WHEELWOMEN A statue was unveiled in February in Leicester’s Market Square commemorating the efforts of Alice Hawkins, leader of the suffragette movement in Leicester. Unlike many Suffragettes Alice was a working class woman, a shoe machinist from Leicester, and a mother of six. She joined her factory’s union, and, like the Pankhurst sisters, also the Clarion Cycling Club, a recreational group with socialist ideals, attached to the Clarion Newspaper. She was imprisoned five times in her struggle for the vote. Rose Lamartine Yates was a keen cyclist who joined the CTC in 1900, becoming the organisation’s first female councillor in 1907. She also sought women’s suffrage and, when the Pankhurst sisters’ campaigning was suspended during the war, formed her own splinter group pressing for the vote. She was a sole female on the Roads Improvement Council and was later elected to the London County Council, opening its first bike lane on St Helier Avenue, Morden. During her career she was criticised for choosing campaigning over motherhood. Rosa May Billinghurst used a hand-powered tricycle after a childhood illness left her without the use of her legs. She was known as an aggressive militant who used her cycle as a battering ram against police lines. The treatment she received was just as rough: during one protest police knocked her from her trike to subdue her, pushed the machine down a side street and removed the valves from the tyres. She was arrested and imprisoned, taking part in the infamous hunger strikes, in which she was left with broken teeth from force feeding. Millicent Fawcett Millicent Fawcett was a suffragist – taking a moderate stance campaigning for the women’s vote. She was also a cyclist, and historian Sheila Hanlon found “hilarious letters to her mother on Millicent’s bike lessons”. “The answer,” says Sheila, “was they were going very poorly.” ’I’m still taking the lessons’, she wrote, ‘but I’m very stupid at it’. However, she persevered and learned to ride. In 1866, aged 19, she was the secretary of the London Society for Women’s Suffrage, and later the president of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, from 1897-1919.

36 | March 2018

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The suffragette Susan B Anthony famously wrote “Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and selfreliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammelled womanhood.”

How a craze became a movement that helped change history

“In the 1890s, women were considered the property of men”

38 | March 2018

The bicycling craze of the 1890s has a lot to answer for; not least because, thanks to a growth in cycling’s popularity, women had the machines they would later ride out to rally for the vote. The invention of the ‘safety bicycle’ – with the diamond frame whose shape we recognise in modern bikes, and of the pneumatic tyres – followed by declining prices after the boom, made cycling more appealing and put the machines within the reach of more people. According to cycling historian Sheila Hanlon, a number of factors brought suffragettes and the bicycle together. In the 1890s middle and upper class women were considered the property of men, chaperoned when out and restricted at all times by clothing and social mores; their place was ultimately in the home. At this time the cycle craze had a radical impact on women’s lives, in what they wore, where they went and how they behaved, and many early adopters, including the Pankhursts and Millicent Fawcett, went on to be leaders in the suffrage movement. With the advent of the bicycle promenade, a fashionable weekend ride around Battersea Park and later Hyde Park hundreds of women were riding bikes, making it acceptable for ladies to propel themselves along under their own steam. At this time, Hanlon says, “where women dressed up

in the height of bike fashion, they were a bike consumer, riding in the park on those beautiful bike frames. She adds: “It’s not like women were riding through the streets, though – they were being dropped off in carriages, and there were footmen circling the park.” This was an important first step, she argues. However, while some people recognised the health benefits of cycling, others believed there were a range of reasons – medical, social and moral – women shouldn’t ride, and for most people around this time the acceptability of women cycling had its limits. As Sheila explains: “A place where it wouldn’t be


“Women didn’t need permission from their husbands to go out on their bikes”

acceptable is if you were a lone woman riding on a country road in rational dress.” That is, wearing bloomers rather than skirts. From cyclists to suffragettes When women first started organising for the vote, they needed a way to create a spectacle, drum up interest, promote the cause and spread the word to other women to join. The cycling craze declined rapidly, though some women kept riding as part of cycling clubs – which was seen as ‘supervised’ exercise. Either way, those early adopters likely still had their machines lying around and, as Hanlon puts it, “Women didn’t need

permission from their husbands to go out on their bikes”. Cycles were perfect for parades, as well as for everyday independent travel. In addition, explains Sheila, “bicycles were adapted for everything from delivering pamphlets to providing get away vehicles for militants”. As members of politically-motivated cycling organisations like the Clarion Cycling Club, women would discuss politics, hear talks from distinguished speakers and use ‘scouts’ to spread the message, drum up support and money, tactics they later adapted for the suffrage movement. As Hanlon explains: “The London WSPU (Women’s social and political union) adopted cycling scouts whose role was exactly the same, setting out from Central London at weekends, first into suburban Wimbledon and Harrow, and later to village greens.” In Leicester it was a similar story, with women riding to surrounding towns and countryside to drum up new members. They would cycle six to 30 miles every Sunday morning to hold open air meetings, meet supporters, distribute literature and solicit donations. The initiative was so successful in increasing Leicester’s WSPU group a satellite branch was established. Public response… As Kat Jungnickel writes in her forthcoming book, Bikes and Bloomers, this was a radical change for women in the 1890s, who were expected to stay at home. As actors of this change, Kat reports, women faced physical

March 2018 | 39


“These more practical clothes enabled women’s legs to move freely on the bicycle”

and verbal abuse if seen in rational dress, and one woman, Kitty J. Buckman, wrote “one wants nerves of iron” to withstand the abuse. Of the mid-1890s Irene Marshall wrote “Caps, stones, road refuse – anything was then flung at the hapless woman who dared to reveal the secret that she had two legs.” She says: “Combined with apparent medical weaknesses, and legal and economic marginalisation, women faced a plethora of barriers to the public sphere. “It is no wonder that unsettling the gendered conventions of clothing sent shockwaves through deeply held beliefs. Clothing was not to be trivialised or under- estimated. Changes in clothing signalled changes in society,” says Kat. The dress problem For women to cycle, their dress needed to change. Traditional long skirts of the time, heavy and laden with petticoats, were a major hazard, catching in the wheels, pedals and chain rings of bikes, and obscuring the feet while riding. At worst women were disfigured, maimed or killed; at best, the clothing simply slowed them down, acting like a sail. As Kat Jungnickel writes, “Women quickly discovered that not only was society initially largely inhospitable to this new form of feminine mobility but their garments were vastly unsuitable. “Fortunately for us, little was going to stop them cycling.” Kat discovered that to solve this problem women not only invented and patented bloomers for cycling,

“Caps, stones road refuse – anything was flung at the hapless woman who dared to reveal that she had two legs.” 40 | March 2018

but also convertible cycle wear that looked like a skirt in town, and acted like bloomers out on the country roads, protecting women cyclists from hostile members of public. These more practical clothes, or rational dress, enabled women’s legs to move freely on the bicycle. “Weighted pulleys, gathering straps, complex button- and- loop systems and more are built into the infrastructure of skirts,” writes Kat, of some of the patents she found in her research. “Convertible cycle wear represents a remarkable form of Victorian invention, much of which was designed by and for women, for the purpose of providing freedom of movement and new forms of power and control. “Designs like this gave women choice over when, where and how they cycled.” As part of her research Kat made some of these garments from their patents and takes them to events for members of the public to see, touch and even try on – to offer an insight into the women’s lives and struggles, through their inventions. Not only did women’s clothing require greater modification to adapt to cycles, society needed to adapt to the concept of women on bicycles, no longer immobilised by heavy, cumbersome skirts and tight corsets, and largely confined to the home, but free and mobile under their own steam. Ultimately the bicycle was a tool, instrumental in the suffrage movement’s success. Similarly the reaction to women in rational dress, say, out on their bikes, wasn’t universally negative – far from it; many people, supported the emancipation of women. As Kat writes, of the editor of the Lady Cyclist, Charles P. Sisley: “Charles was supportive of many of the ideals underpinning the ‘New Woman’, arguing that ‘women who are striving in various parts of the world to secure equal rights in political and governmental affairs for themselves, or their fellow- women should welcome the bicycle as one of the influences which will help them succeed in their efforts’.”





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Who rules the roost? Kieran Howells sat down with the Michael Catlin and Gary Turner to discuss why and how the Chicken Cyclekit buyout came about, and what it spells for the company’s future HISTORIC BRITISH distributor Chicken Cycle kit has gone through countless changes in the 100 years in which the company has served the industry. One of the most significant changes came just last month with the news that long-time owner and member of the Chicken family Cedric Chicken would step down and sell the company to partners Michael Catlin and Gary Turner. We recently learned about the buyout taking place at Chicken Cyclekit, what were the key reasons for this? [GT] The MBO has been a process of discussion over the last couple of years. Mike and I have been running the business for a long period of time as Cedric wanted to take a step back from the business. The MBO seemed like an obvious solution for everyone. The decision has been endorsed by the many calls, emails and conversations with suppliers, customers and even some of our competitors, congratulating us on the announcement. Our team of nearly 50 people are absolutely delighted with the outcome and are looking forward to

continued long term opportunities within our company. In his confirmation of the news, Cedric Chicken praised you for helping the brand ‘through thick and thin.’ Is business increasing at the moment, or is the downturn that the industry is experiencing also affecting Chicken Cyclekit? [MC] Both Gary and myself have been with the business for a long time. Like all businesses we have had our challenges along the way in many forms but we have a resilient, capable team around us so we have dealt with any issues in our stride; not many companies have survived a total loss fire and posted growth in the same year! In recent years, we have obsessively focused on getting the right team in place and concentrating on providing a strategy that delivers exactly what our customers need. We have a strong portfolio of brands and they appreciate the effort and focus we give them, and the outstanding results we are achieving. These efforts, despite a challenging market ensure

March 2018 | 43


we continue to post year on year growth. This year we expect to deliver further growth, and with the addition of Prologo and Schwalbe to our range, the additional potential under our management makes this growth easier to attain. Will the new agreement trigger any other key changes in management structure? [GT] There will be no immediate changes as we have already appointed a new Financial Director last year to the existing team. We have always encouraged a progressive environment for our managers and this has shown real benefits particularly over the last 2 years. We are not beset by the obvious restrictions from having an over heavy management structure and this gives the opportunity to bring positive change rapidly and to be flexible in our approach. When the announcement was made, Michael talked about ‘ambitious plans for the future.’ What are those ambitious plans and will we see any changes implemented in the next 12 months? [MC] It is hard not to talk in clichés when these sort of announcements are made but there will be a lot of positive changes to come this year. The most obvious progress so far has been the appointment of Prologo and Schwalbe to the company during the last month and the further expansion of our sales team to deal with these new opportunities. Gary and I have a disruptive mind-set in terms of our approach to the market and we have a business model that allows us to be proactive and reactive, to bring our ideas to our customers quickly. We have many more projects that will be announced soon which you’ll see as the year unfolds. Michael, you commented that you and Gary Turner have been key points of contact for dealers, will this remain the case? [MC] It’s important for both of us that we remain in contact with the most important part of the business, our customers. We enjoy spending time with our customers and actually, it is essential we continue to hear their ideas on how we can continue to grow collaboratively with each other. We are and always will be happy to receive feedback directly, good or bad as this has really helped drive and shape our service focused approach. The industry is changing at a fast pace; how does Chicken intend to keep up with the altering demand of its customers? [GT] As Mike mentioned earlier, we have always modelled the business around a proactive structure that has allowed us to win brands and customers alike. The end consumer is ever more demanding and we appreciate that they and our dealers

44 | March 2018

want products quickly, supported by high quality technical service. For example, we have recently added affordable Saturday delivery as an option, a later despatch time and all supported by our staff who are second to none in the trade when it comes to real technical understanding of our range. These kinds of services make a real day-to-day difference to our customers. Speaking of the changing pace of the industry, the relationship between dealer and distributor is more important now than ever. How do you ensure that your dealers are receiving the best service? [MC] We realise the market is currently difficult for many of our customers, and as an example, committing to large stockholdings isn’t always prudent. We see a lot of our competitors pushing dealers to commit to huge buy-ins when this isn’t what a dealer necessarily wants or needs. We always strive to make sure our offerings are realistic and provide what dealers need, supported by our commitment to holding stock. To further enhance the service our customers can offer, we regularly hold free of charge seminars here in Leighton Buzzard or at a dealers premises, offering training on many of our brands. This year we have already had over 40 dealers here for our Campagnolo Pro Shop training and we have further dates planned for that project and many other brand training. Both Gary and myself, alongside our internal and field sales team encourage conversations with our dealers as to how we can continue to offer relevant services to them and adapt to their changing requirements. The company recently partnered with Schwalbe Tyres, how and why did the partnership come about? [GT] Chicken Cyclekit has had a relationship with the Schwalbe management for many years. It became more apparent recently that our companies shared many synergies and we soon both realised it made sense for us consider a partnership. With a growing consumer and media interest in road tubeless tyre technology, our road expertise makes us the perfect partner for promoting this Schwalbe technology into the marketplace alongside their city and MTB offering.

Congratulations to all the winners at the


at the


46 | March 2018
















@bikebiz @bikebizonline

Read our run-down of the night online!


March 2018 | 47


CORE in your words Kieran Howells speaks to exhibitors at the 2018 edition of the COREbike show

COREbike once again took place from January 21st to 23rd 2018 at its home in Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire. The first COREbike was originally held in West Bromwich back in 2005 with the organisation of the event taken on by the six founding companies – Windwave, Extra, Upgrade, Hope, Ison Distribution and Silverfish. From fairly humble beginnings with just eight exhibitors taking part back in 2005, this year’s show had 26 bike companies in the line-up, including ZyroFisher for the first time. 2018 marks the first year in which the event has enlisted the help of Cycle Show organisers Upper Street Events to manage certain aspects of the show. We snuck away from our stand to speak to exhibitors about their experiences this year at the event… FENWICKS “The show has been really good this year. We’ve received a lot of interest from an engaged audience, and we’ve been really pleased with the way that people have taken the chance to discuss the range

March 2018 | 49


“We were keeping our eyes peeled for the latest innovations in the field”

casually. We’re an environmentally conscious company, and when we went though a rebrand two years ago, the green credentials came out in the colours and the logo that we went with. Fenwicks for some is a classic British brand, but because of the new look, a lot of people that we’ve spoken to have mistaken us for a new company. Now people are getting used to the new look, we’re very happy with the reaction.” WINDWAVE “E-bike has been a whole new category for us this year. It’s something we’ve been looking at from the outside for about three years; we’ve been sneakily riding other brands’ bikes to see what works and what doesn’t. Last year at Eurobike, we were keeping our eyes peeled for the latest innovations in that field, so to be able to come to COREbike and display a range that we feel is not only top-quality, but that is very well-placed to compete with more established e-bike distributors is fantastic. Fantic is a brand that has a long history in the motorbike market. They wanted to look at e-bikes as the diversification of their business. They see the industry as the future, and it’s been getting a great response at the show.” PROLOGO “One of the most exciting brands that Chicken has for the first time at COREbike this year is Prologo. We’re really shouting about the range because we feel that it occupies a very strong position in the saddle market. The brand is thinking a little more outside of the box and moving away from the traditional idea of what a saddle has to be shaped like. It’s also a diverse range – you can spend from £60 up to around the £300 mark. In terms of the show, the first day was quite quiet; this was mainly due to weather conditions. Obviously, people travel quite far to get here, but today has been really busy. It’s the same classic show, and that’s what people come for. I’d say it’s busier overall than last year. Here’s to 2018!” CRANK BROTHERS “Crank Brothers is continually working on new products, and we’re really excited to have some great new additions

50 | March 2018



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“We’ve had a ton of interest at the show and are happy to be involved with the event”

to display at COREbike. The product that has garnered the most attention this week has been the new floor pump range. It’s a really unique modular design that features a canister so you can seat tubeless tyres; you can charge the canister and take it with you wheverever you like without any bulky extras. The hose is stored inside the body of the pump, it pops on with a magnetic fitting. You can flip a switch to operate the canister, but flip it and it works exactly like a normal pump. It comes with a clear gauage, and that comes with a choice of digital or analogue. We’ve had a ton of interest in the range at COREbike, and we’re very happy to be involved with the event. It’s definitely one of the more useful meets in the calendar.” HJC HELMETS HJC Helmets are new to cycling, with a long heritage in motorcycle racing and the skiing world. They’re a Korean company and CORE was the first time that the cycle industry was introduced to the range. The brand has their own in-house wind tunnel, which is extremely the research and xtremely useful as they can really maximise max It’s all about airflow development stages to optimise the products. produ and aerodynamics, so they’re ideal for those that want that high-end gh-end performance at a reasonable price point. poin “We’ve received some me interesting feedback at the show,” said a representative. repr “The helmets have definitely made a big impact – w we’re sure that we havee an exciting future in the UK market.” m

MINII HORNET “COREbike iss definitely one of the key dates in the year for us. This is where wee get to interact with dealers aand answer questions. It’s really useful face-to-face. eful to be able to chat fac So we’re really aiming our products at the safety aspect aspe of a reliable children’s helmet, but also at ensuring it’s something that the child will be excited to wear. The helmets are available in a range of eye-catching ye-catching designs, and for an added safety element, theyy feature an inset flashing LED light. We create all the designs signs ourselves in-house, and we’ll be releasing more in the h near future.” f ” KNOG “CORE has been non-stop for us. As in previous years, we’ve shipped in Hugo Davidson from Australia to chat to dealers about the range. He’s been deep in conversation for the whole week. eek. This year is all about the PWR range. It’s something we previewed last year, but we were still getting y to grips with the modular system. This year, h the potential of th we’re here to show off its amazing capabilities. We have so ama many areas terms of what we can add to the eas to explore in term range,, and currently we’re lo looking at extending the range further. urther. We’ve still got all tthe classic products here bells and lighting range. It’s including our hugely successful succ Knog and we’re happy to be here.” an exciting time for Kn RACEFACE thing we’re talking about over the course of “The main th CORE iis the ARC Rims, which were part of the Easton brand before the two merged. They’ve been a huge seller,

March 2018 | 53

“COREbike is definitely one of the key meets in the calendar”

especially for custom builds. This year we’ve introduced a carbon rim in two sizes, so it’s a massive talking point here at the show. It’s important to show dealers that we have them in stock, and let the dealers take a good look at them for the first time ever. Reactions have been brilliant so far. We’re confident that they’ve made a big splash here at the show.” SKRATCH “Skratch is far from a new product range in the UK market, but the scope has increased quite a bit this year. There are new flavours for the hydration mix, but the big news is the recovery mix, so it really completes the offering to incorporate before, during and after-workout products. Another new product is the bar, which comes in the classic Skratch flavours, including chocolate chips and almond, cherries and pistachios, and cherries and miso. The range is now full, but still technically accurate and scientifically on-point. The reaction to the new flavours and products at CORE has been great; dealers are very interested and are happy to see that their requests for a post-workout offering have been heard.”

Prologo – a recent addition to the Chicken Cyclekit portfolio

54 | March 2018

TERN “We’re really excited that we’ve launched the GSD to the UK market. The interest at the show has been phenomenal. Globally, it’s been fantastic to hear the positive reactions to the new bike and as always, the range is attracting a lot of attention. With the GSD, we’ve done something completely different and made a true workhorse of a bike, which can handle a multitude of tasks and heavy loads. It’s perfect for city riding and transporting either bulky items or a family. They’re a viable alternative to cars, mopeds and small vans.”



We will buy back your existing spoke stock when you place a new Sapim order*


Same day custom spoke cutting service, order anything from 1 single spoke, up to 100 spokes.

3 4 5

Highly competitive price points on all spokes, including OEM bulk packs for Wheel builders New dealers will receive a welcome pack with branded tools and POS Unlike competitor brands Sapim make both their own spokes and nipples, so you can be assured of their high quality and compatibility

CONTACT SIMON MOSS IN THE SALES OFFICE ON 01525 381347 FOR MORE DETAILS *Offer available for a limited time

The NEW <06 8396-2+ 4( an amazing combination of performance and puncture protection!

25/28/32/35/38 x The P-RUBBER DEFENSE is a 5mm thick layer of special high elastic rubber breaker that resists punctures from the sharpest road hazards.

This incredible new tyre is the perfect option for commuters and tourers fed up with punctures. The XLR8 Touring RSD+ PD tread gives amazing grip and acceleration across multiple surfaces whilst shedding water effortlessly on tarmac. Even more amazing is that this tyre retails at just £36.


The RSD+ high density nylon defence reinforces the tyre sidewall providing protection against cuts and abrasions. Arisun’s own water-shedding V-Shaped tread design for precise grip and high speed acceleration all constructed on a 60tpi carcass.

Available exclusively from NEOS Distribution 01279 315780 Support your local bike shop


ANOTHER EXCLUSIVE BRAND FROM GREYVILLE Available forpowerful next dayindelivery on our easy towith useexcellent B2B ordering system. Compact and a selection of colours packaging. Available from stock on our easy to use B2B website. GREYVILLE ENTERPRISES



Workshop and training courses 1


4 3






Dirtwash / TF2

Weldtite Puncture Repair

Cyclo Tools

Dirt Doc

Workshop Essentials Pack

Repair Kits

Cyclo Tools

Cleaners and Lubes

Distributor: Weldtite Products

Distributor: Weldtite Products

Distributor: Greyville Enterprises

Distributor: Weldtite Products

One of the most comprehensive range of cycle specific puncture repair kits, repair materials and spares available. With 20+ kits and over a dozen workshop spares packs covering everything from tubeless repair to self-seal patches, the variety of the range means Weldtite have got both you and your puncture covered.

From everyday essentials to the workshop pro series, Cyclo has a tool for just about every job you could think of. Manufactured in the UK and backed up by a lifetime warranty, Cyclo Tools are a great choice for any workshop.

A simple yet very comprehensive range of just six cleaners and lubes that will fully cover all normal requirements. Three cleaners (for bike, chain and disc brake) plus chain lube, degreaser and bike protector. What else do you really need? Supplied with a free compact display that doesn’t take up half the counter and will keep generating turnover all day long. Five and ten-litre economic workshop sizes of Bike Cleaner available.

All the benefits of Weldtite’s trusted maintenance essentials in aa workshop size. Loaded with the most popular products from the TF2 and Dirtwash ranges; TF2 Lubricant Spray (400ml), TF2 Wet Lube. (400ml) TF2 All Weather Lube x2 (400ml), TF2 Bike Grease (125ml), TF2 Carbon Gripper Paste (50ml), Dirtwash Citrus Degreaser Spray (400ml), Dirtwash Disc Brake Cleaner (400ml), Dirtwash Protect & Shine Spray (500ml) and Dirtwash Citrus Degreaser Liquid (1L).

Contact: 01652 66 00 00

Contact: 01652 66 00 00 |


Contact: 01652 66 00 00

March 2018 | 57




8 7





Oxford Torque Tools

Oxford Torque Tools

Oxford LiveWire

Oxford Full Stop

Mighty 15

Cable Cutters

Universal cables

Promax Disc Pads

Distributor: Oxford Products

Distributor: Oxford Products

Distributor:: Oxford Products

Distributor: Oxford Products

Oxford’s range of cycle maintenance tools covers all of the workshop equipment that a technician or home mechanic needs to keep their cycle in great working order. Oxford provide removers, Allen key sets, extractors, spanners, cutters and everything in between, and prices are extremely affordable from £3.99 - £24.99.

Oxford’s range of cycle maintenance tools covers all of the workshop equipment that a technician or home mechanic needs to keep their cycle in great working order. Oxford provide removers, Allen key sets, extractors, spanners, cutters and everything in between, and prices are extremely affordable from £3.99 - £24.99.

Contact: / 01993 862300

We all know that riders do not replace their control cables as often as they should and when they do, they really appreciate the great feeling that these new cables give to the ride. Oxford provide a whole range of replacement cables, most supplied in dispenser boxes, and that range from 99p for singles to multi-boxes (100) at £199.99 (stainless)

Contact: / 01993 862300

Full Stop is Oxford’s range of performance braking control products. Supplying aftermarket pads for Shimano, Promax, Tektro and Avid, this range of pads come at affordable prices starting from £9.99 RRP per pair. The Full Stop range also includes brake blocks, adjusters, rotors and all other components to help keep any bike’s brakes at full performance.

58 | March 2018

Contact: / 01993 862300

Contact: / 01993 862300












SR Suntour


Morgan Blue


Distributor: Greyville Enterprises

Professional Lube

Chain Cleaner

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Distributor: Windwave

WD-40 Bike Wash 1 Litre Trigger Spray

Greyville offer a full service/ warranty facility on all SR Suntour products including suspension forks for both aftermarket and O.E. supply. It also provides free training days at its Lichfield offices for any shop owner or staff member, whether a customer of Greyville or not. Instruction is offered on stripping down, servicing, tuning and repair of all models of SR Suntour forks. Fork Test Rigs are available for purchase at a very modest price. Dates are set as demand arises so if you’re interested get in touch

Fenwick’s Professional Lube offers the cleanliness of a dry lube with the mobility of a wet lube. Application of a single drop to each link will be effective for many hours of riding, giving ultimate chain protection in all conditions. Many hours of elite-level experience and testing has gone into the range with the sole aim to improve user experience and optimise performance – the results of which have produced simple yet effect solutions to modern cycling needs.

Morgan Blue chain cleaner is an active cleaner/degreaser suitable for the chain and drivetrain components. Applied to chain and components the cleaner is best left for 5 minutes to penetrate built up dirt and grime then simply rinse with soapy water, dry and re-lubricate the chain and drive parts. Regular application prevents deterioration of the chain and drivetrain components, this ensures higher performance, smoother shifts and longer drivetrain life.

Contact: Details on website

Contact: 01939 234622

Contact: 02392 521912

Distributor: ZyroFisher WD-40 has probably the highest brand awareness in the cycling industry, developing best in class maintenance formulas for specific uses and risers. WD-40’s biodegradable bike cleaner is specially formulated to be safe and effective on all surfaces such as titanium, aluminium, steel, chrome, rubber or plastic. It is not citrus based so it is also safe to use on carbon fibre as well! Contact:

March 2018 | 61



14 16










Foaming Chain Cleaner

Tools Shadow Board

GT85 Original 400ml Aerosol

Chamber Tubeless Floor Pump

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Fenwick’s are currently offering samples to mechanics who may not have used the brand previously – contact your account manager for more information – and Fenwick’s Foaming Chain Cleaner is a real innovation in bike maintenance. Utilising Fenwick’s cleaning superiority, chain cleaning has never been so easy. Foaming Chain Cleaner makes chain cleaning part of your bike wash routine, instead of a laborious 2nd job that never gets done.

The Cyclo Tools Shadow Board is the ideal way to create the ultimate home workshop, to start a mobile mechanic business, or for a growing bike shop taking on servicing. Not only does it come with 77 essential tools, but also the backing board and fixing kit to ensure each tool is kept exactly where you want it. Keeping in mind Cyclo’s no quibble lifetime warranty, it makes their tools a compelling choice.

GT85 is synonymous in IBD and specialist retailers across the UK and is used extensively by bike shop mechanics. GT85 Original is a tried and tested multi-purpose lubricant with multiple uses to help complete maintenance tasks to the highest level. The addition of PTFE provides long term lubrication and gives you everything you need in one can.

If you’re a tubeless tire convert, you’ll wonder how you lived without this pump. Just pressurize the chamber and with a simple flip of the burly switch, all that air floods the tire, giving it no option but to seal and air up. Once seated, flip the switch back to bypass the chamber and you can top it off accurately with the giant gauge. No leaking, no fuss, clean and simple.




62 | March 2018










The Cavazzo is designed to be the most versatile bike on the market. The all-new full carbon frame is engineered to be strong, light and features front and rear rack mounts.

Contact us on 01525 381347 to find out more about becoming a Tifosi stockist










Wickens & Soderstrom

Wickens & Soderstrom


Pro Mechanic Wheel Truing Stand

No1 Bike Cleaner

No5 Chain Lubricant

Professional Protective Coating

Distributor: Jungle Products

Distributor: Zyro/Fisher


Distributor: Hotlines This professional wheel truing stand makes working on wheels of all sizes a breeze. It’ll accept wheels from 16in-29in with or without tyres fitted. Without tyres the callipers can stretch to a 4in wide rim and the arms will work with hubs up to a 157mm width. The solid construction means this stand is sturdy enough to work on a table top but can be mounted in a bench vice or bolted to a worktop surface for a more permanent fixing. Contact: 0131 319 1444

Distributor: Jungle Products No.1 is the first EU Ecolabel accredited bike cleaner, developed in partnership with Delphis Ec. No.1 is designed to be tough on grease & dirt whilst looking after your bike & the environment. Easily removes dirt, safe on paint, metal & rubber. Reduced impact on aquatic life. Reduced use of hazardous substances. Phosphate and phosphonate free. Also No.1 has an Eco Label from the EU (EC Detergent Regulation 648/2004) and is ahead of its class both in safety for you and your bike and in protecting the environment Contact: 01423 780088

64 | March 2018

No5 is our highest quality Nano drive train lubricant. It is the result two years work combining oils waxes and Nano particles to smooth the surface of the drivetrain and lubricate. It also cleans as it lubricates, purging the chain of old oil and dirt build up. Your chain will stay clean and smooth – you can literally feel the difference. No 5 chain lube is also food grade and poses no health or environmental hazards. Reduces friction and vibration. Reduces drive train noise. Protects drive train from dirt and moisture. Cleans as it lubricates.

Fenwick’s Professional Protective Coating seals and protects any surface. Enhancing all matt or gloss finishes perfectly with a liquid that leaves no marks. It protects against dirt and stops staining in-between bike cleaning. Also, reducing the effort and time required when cleaning. One application last 3 to 6 months, depending on use. Contact: 01939 234622

Contact: 01423 780088




24 21








Peaty’s Loam Foam

Technical one, two, three & e-bike

Die Drawn – Brake / Gear

Cable Cutters

Distributor: ATG Training & PJCS in the UK

Distributor: ISON, Mackadams, Reece, M&J

For the last three decades, Cytech offers a comprehensive range of technical courses encompassing the basics of bike mechanics right through to dealing with the most advanced and high-tech components and parts. Cytech courses are continually developed by the industry, for the industry and are now delivered in an increasing number of countries worldwide, being recognised as the global standard for cycle technicians.

The ultimate cable in the company’s range significantly reduces friction without the need for extra coating. The main benefits are:


Distributor: Greenover Sports Having retired from the World Cup circuit at the end of 2016, Steve Peat has worked with a team of scientists to produce revolutionary cleaning products. Peaty’s Loam Foam is a professional grade bike cleaner that will shift dirt fast. The solution is biodegradable and safe on all bike surfaces including discs and pads. No need to rinse the bike before use, liberally apply Peaty’s loam foam to the bike, wait for 3-5 minutes and blast off with clean water. Impregnated dirt may need to be persuaded to vacate your valiant steed with a soft bristled brush and rinse. Contact: martin@ +44(0)1803 558885w

• • • • • •

Self-lubricating – Oil leaks out of the wire over time, lubricating the casing liner. Uniform surface Pre-stretched Super low friction Extended life expectancy No coating to rub off & gunk up the outer casing Made in the UK!

Distributor: ISON, Reece, Mackadams, M&J Taking an already good product, Fibrax’s cable cutters reinvent the classically shaped workshop staple and give it the kick all workshops need. Nonslip handles for oily & greasy hands and a hardened steel cross jawed head, giving only the cleanest of cuts, hundreds of thousands of times.. Proven in our UK factory. Contact:

Contact: 01273427700

March 2018 | 65

In association with

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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







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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

Invisiframe Tel: 01743 232297 Web:

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

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

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

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

The Bikebiz DIRECTORY 2018 is available to view online at







68 | March 2018







O 01798 839 300


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5 s O ver £

0 | 01798 839 300


March 2018 | 69






33 integrated, CNC machined aluminium complete BB Solutions

• • •

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



New 2017/18 trade catalogue available TELEPHONE

0845 0508 500 EMAIL

Add a free copy to your next order

“It’s full of really useful stuff!” Mrs H. Bars, Sprockett WEBSITE 70 | March 2018



Bike industry: how often do you invest in staff training, e.g. Cytech qualifications, sales courses, retail workshops? 29% More than once a year 7% Once a year 21% Every two to five years 43% Never Polls are conducted via twitter @bikebiz_online

Do you think the cycle workshop is well-represented at UK trade shows?

100% of respondents said NO

Does the workshop belong at the very front of a bike retailer, or should it be hidden around the back to make space for products?

56% It belongs in the front 44% It belongs in the back Respondents were slightly skewed toward the workshop belonging in the very front of a bike retailer, though some respondents felt that product should be displayed in a more accessible location. The debate is fuelled by the changing nature of cycle retail. March 2018 | 71


Weldtite We speak with the team at Weldtite to see why the storied company still has a lot to offer to the industry How would you describe what your team does to a child? We really care about bicycles and their owners, so we design and make things in our factory to keep everyone’s bicycles working properly, clean and safe. How many members of staff do you have? What are the names that the industry should know? We are proud to employ just over 40 people full time, mainly based in our office and factory in North Lincolnshire. Everyone in our team tends to deal with customers and suppliers at some point, but Paul Davis,

72 | March 2018

our managing director is a name you should know. As our new leader, he is in the process of reaching out to people in industry, looking for free thinkers and innovators. Will Nichols and James Buckle lead UK and International Sales, while Carl Davenport looks after events and marketing. Supporting us are Colin Hanford (Quality), Darren Taylor (Finance), David-BennettBaggs (Operations) and Jon Bennett-Baggs (Projects). Who’s the longest-serving member of staff? We are proud to have a loyal team that has grown with Weldtite over the past 40 years. Six of our staff have

over 30 years service! David Bennett-Baggs founded Weldtite and still works in the business most days. By definition, he’s actually the longest standing member of Weldtite. What are your current team goals? Continuing successful growth in all territories underpins our development plan, but we have a few more specific goals to work on at the moment. Just as online shopping and next day delivery has changed retailing forever, we are changing our ‘internal plumbing’ to deliver exceptional levels of customer service. Because we actually make the products we sell in the UK, we control all aspects of quality and supply. Better planning systems and processes are being introduced to keep us ahead of our competition. Coupled to this, we have recently made significant investment in new office space and factory equipment. Time will tell whether this was money well spent. Who’s your most passionate cyclist? It’s a close call, but James probably takes that honour. He’s done several triathlon and cycling events in the UK and Australia and regularly punishes himself in the great British countryside.

“We aren’t a company with lots of formalities or meaningless meetings”

What does a typical day look like for the team at Weldtite? We aren’t a company with lots of formalities or meaningless meetings, which surprises some people when they visit. Each day tends to revolve around either customer visits, production scheduling or deliveries. Production starts at 7am each day and deliveries tend to commence at 8am with a steady stream of pallets being dispatched all over the world. A popular part of customer visits is the factory tour. Customers enjoy seeing their products being made and meeting the people that are actually making them. What three words would you use to describe your team? Loyal, responsive and inquisitive. We enjoy a challenge and generally rise to the occasion, but each of us know when the chips are down and we need to get stuck in, or it won’t happen. One of the reasons for our success is the team instinctive know when to pitch in and help each other. We are also demanding of each other, often asking ‘Why do we do it that way? Can’t we make that better?’ What big projects are you currently working on that the industry should know about? With sales of the Weldtite Puncture Repair and Dr. Sludge Puncture Prevention brands being stronger than ever across the world, we have decided to extend our range with a tubeless

conversion kit. We will be offering both workshops and consumers versions later in the 2018. Given that we already produce valves and tubeless sealant to an exceptionally high quality, tubeless conversion is the next logical step for us. What are your greatest strengths as a team? How do you complement one another? Like most of your readers, we have lots of experience of the bicycle industry and we are proud to actually manufacture our products in the UK. The design and manufacturing element of Weldtite brings an added dimension to our knowledge base as a team. Ultimately, being part of a team is like a marriage, where you only really succeed when you work well together. This is definitely true in Weldtite. We all talk regularly and know when we need a team time out to reflect and regroup before pressing on. What sets you apart from other companies in the industry? Simple, we actually make the things we sell and design the things we make. We design and trial stuff we would like to own and don’t produce anything we wouldn’t use on our own bikes. Weldtite is evolving into our manufacturing brand. TF2, Dirtwash, Adie, Jetvalve, Bike Bits, Dr Sludge and Cyclo Tools are brands customers trust. Wholesalers can form one relationship with Weldtite and gain access to all of our brands, products and support. What motivates your team? We all like to see a fresh idea conceived and delivered. Jetvalve was born from not being able to buy a simple, lightweight frame mount for CO2 pumps. We all now have one proudly attached to our bikes. Travel Kits went through the same journey as many of us take our bikes overseas, we wanted a compact but comprehensive maintenance kit for the trip. Clearly lots of other cyclists agreed with us as you can now find these kits in every National Trust shop in the UK.

Contact: Unit 9 Harrier Rd, Humber Bridge Industrial Estate, Barton-UponHumber DN18 5RP tel: (0)1652660000 e-mail:

March 2018 | 73


Cycle mechanics are worth their weight in gold By Carlton Reid, editor-at-large One of the industry organisations should organise a marketing campaign telling the world that cycle mechanics are demigods, argues Carlton Reid. “If you want to have a bikeable city, support your local independent bike dealer and repair shop,” wrote in February. This was in response to an anonymous op-ed by a bike shop owner on which concluded that “independent bicycle dealers are more necessary than is ever really appreciated.” Bike shops “are not out to fleece customers,” wrote the IBD, “they are providing an essential service to cyclists.” Service as in bricks-and-mortar retail, but also service as in servicing. “The internet won’t fix your bike,” added Except that it will. Or, at least, online videos will. “Why pay for something easily learned on YouTube?” asked social media replies to the opinion piece. But it’s more complex than that. Equipping a modern cycle workshop is costly, as is putting staff through specialist mechanic programmes and sending them to “free” product training days. The concept that bike servicing is easy needs to be stamped out – diagnosing e-bike snafus and Di2 fade-outs is highly technical; fitting or fettling internal hydraulics is not for the faint-hearted; and, really, who wants to helicoil a crank at home? And how many amateur mechanics know that the limit screws on a Shimano derailleur aren’t turned with a Phillips head they should be using a JIS screwdriver? Personally, I already believe that cycle mechanics are demigods, and am more than happy to pay

NEXTMONTH – Out early April We talk retail innovations in bike shops 74 | March 2018

‘The concept that bike servicing is somehow easy needs to be stamped out’ whatever-it-costs to get one of my precious fleet back on the road, but family and friends have often revealed to me, in shock, how much they spent on getting their “push bikes” (aaaaarghhhh!) fixed. But they make no similar complaints when spending the best part of a fiver on a gourmet caffeinated beverage. And they believe their coffee has been extracted by a highly-trained barista but have no idea of the time and expense required for putting a bike mechanic through Cytech its equivalents. It’s time we told the world. How? Through the sort of industry marketing initiative that can only really be done by a national organisation such as the ACT or the Bicycle Association. Which one will make the first move?

All the latest news online at BikeBiz Awards 2018: who were the winners?

How will mobile tech innovate the cycling industry?


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