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26/04/2019 10:51


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26/04/2019 10:56


www.bikebiz.com FOLLOW US BikeBizOnline

‘No online service can replace the value of real expertise, proper maintenance and meticulous custom builds found in local shops’

bikebiz

CONTENT Editor James Groves james.groves@biz-media.co.uk Staff Writer Rebecca Morley rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk Graphic Designer Tom Carpenter tom.carpenter@biz-media.co.uk Production Manager Sarah Lamb sarah.lamb@biz-media.co.uk

ADVERTISING SALES Sales Manager Richard Setters richard.setters@biz-media.co.uk +44 (0)207 354 6028

SUBSCRIBER CUSTOMER SERVICE To subscribe, change your address, or check on your current account status, go to bikebiz.com/FAQs or email james.groves@biz-media.co.uk

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INTERNATIONAL BikeBiz and its content are available for licensing and syndication re-use. Contact Colin Wilkinson for opportunities and permissions. colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk

MANAGEMENT Media Director Colin Wilkinson colin.wilkinson@biz-media.co.uk Printed by Buxton Press Ltd ISSN: 1476-1505 Copyright 2019

THE EDITOR

#supportyourlocalbikeshop In spite of all the retail struggles witnessed in recent years, the IBD remains a vital cog in the industry machine. While internet sales continue to race towards the lowest possible price point, no online service can replace the value of real expertise, proper maintenance and meticulous custom builds found in local shops. That train of thought leads me to Local Bike Shop Day (p15-16) which took place on 4th May. Inspired by Record Store Day, the annual celebration seeks to highlight and promote all things IBD. With over 140 stores taking part in 2019, hopefully this burgeoning event will go from strength to strength as the years go by. To adapt to today’s retail climate, however, shops need help from other businesses and industry bodies. That’s why it’s great to see the Bicycle Association (p25-28) making great strides to connect IBDs with its advocacy work and support programmes. Its new ‘trade network’, which soft-launched last month, will no doubt be of great value to retailers in helping them to understand their performance in comparison to the rest of the market. It could also help them in selecting brands and product ranges to boost sales and net margins. When it comes to truly helping the IBD, there has always been something of a diffusion of responsibility, so it’s refreshing to see the BA taking brands, distributors and large retailers by the hand in committing to something that will surely only be beneficial to all.

James Groves

Biz Media Ltd, Axe & Bottle Court, 70 Newcomen St, London SE1 1YT

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

All contents © 2019 Biz Media Ltd. or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Biz Media Ltd. cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein.

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THE TEAM

If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Biz Media Ltd. and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Biz Media Ltd. nor its employees, agents, subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions.

Editorial: 020 3143 8779 Advertising: 020 7354 6028

Rebecca Morley

Richard Setters

Tom Carpenter

staff writer rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk

sales manager richard.setters@biz-media.co.uk

graphic designer tom.carpenter@biz-media.co.uk

+44 (0)203 143 8777

26/04/2019 17:20


BB-APR19-YORKSHIRE CYCLES:Layout 1 22/03/2019 09:40 Page 1

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26/04/2019 16:28


6

MAY 2019 Opinion

6

Easy as ABC Simon Booth, founder of Kiddimoto, talks freedom, fun and limiting tumbles

11

25

So, you want to expand? In the current retail climate, survival is the primary focus for many bike shops. But what if you’re looking to grow?

Features

25

Bicycle Association In April, the BA launched a ‘Trade Network’ to connect independent bike shops with its advocacy work and support programmes...

31

31

LBS ExCeLs Rebecca Morley takes a tour of this year’s London Bike Show

IBD Focus

39

Small is beautiful Ex-scientist Paul Higginson tells Rebecca Morley why he now runs a bike shop

www.bikebiz.com

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@bikebizonline

bikebiz

26/04/2019 10:36


OPINION

Easy as ABC Simon Booth, founder of Kiddimoto, talks freedom, fun and limiting tumbles

I

t’s all about balance! As a dad and producer of cool bikes and biking accessories, I believe that getting kids active and having great adventures is the key to a happy and healthy life. Learning and developing balance on a balance bike at an early age opens up the world to so many new experiences, and the step from a balance bike to a bicycle is so easy and natural. Learning to ride is a rite of passage. We’re just trying to make that journey as easy as ABC.

6 | May 2019

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The earlier children are riding bicycles, the earlier they can find a world of independence, freedom and mobility. They can get out for rides with their parents, siblings and friends. Not only does this expand their learning, but it also encourages physical activity and movement, which in turn promotes a positive and healthy lifestyle. Getting children on bicycles at a very young age instils a habit of being active, and all the adventures feed their imaginations and hungry minds.

www.bikebiz.com

25/04/2019 11:00


OPINION

All of this learning, activity and adventure builds lifelong skills and habits, which are all positive for healthy bodies and minds later in life. It is proven that good levels of activity and healthy behaviour will help to maintain good mental health in adults. Brands like Kiddimoto encourage children to get on bicycles early by helping them to develop their balance, core strength and motor skills by using balance bikes from as young as 18 months. Together with beautifully designed, ergonomic and safe products, children pick it up by having fun. It also gives parents the confidence that their children are doing the right thing. It’s about going all out to get kids active, being creative and having fun. A happy life is one full of experiences and adventures. As the Kiddimoto tagline says: ‘Adventure starts here’. Kiddimoto understands that when learning to ride there has to be a balance of education and fun. Not only is learning to ride an absolute blast, there are some top health benefits of balance bikes. Weight control It is no question that the weight of our little ones is a hot topic at the moment. It is said that a quarter of two to ten-year-olds are overweight or obese. Overweight and obesity in adults is predicted to reach 70% by 2025. Obesity and being overweight are linked to a wide range of conditions including diabetes, asthma and heart disease. Just a small amount of exercise each day can help to combat this, and what better way to exercise than having fun on a bike? Improved posture Good posture in children is important, as not only does it carry health benefits but it can also increase overall confidence. Balance bikes command the correct posture needed to progress onto a standard bicycle. Heart rate They may already be running circles around you at the park, but cycling is a great way to keep hearts in check. Plus, it is fairly low intensity so if you’re out on a ride you will hardly even know you’re exercising! Joint movement Balance bikes improve core strength and the running element of the bikes can improve and maintain good mobility in joints. Mental wellbeing Mental health is just as important as physical health. Balance bikes improve confidence, independence and encourage a positive mental attitude. “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride” as John F Kennedy said.

www.bikebiz.com

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Most of us already know, but let’s just quickly go over what a balance bike actually is…. A balance bike is a bike without pedals designed to teach children how to cycle without having to use stabilisers. It’s a question that is often asked, and it’s an entirely understandable one. People are used to seeing bikes with pedals on so the sight of a bike without them can be an unusual one. But the lack of pedals on a balance bike is entirely deliberate and designed to help prepare children for a lifetime of cycling, and all the physical and mental health benefits that come with it. Balance bikes originated in Germany in the early 19th century with a bulky wooden adult version, but never gained popularity and quickly faded from use. They were reborn sometime in the early 2000s for children and are now commonly found all over the world.

‘It is no question that the weight of our little ones is a hot topic at the moment. It is said that a quarter of two to tenyear-olds are overweight or obese’ Kiddimoto was the first British brand of balance bike to bring them to the masses. Thanks to Kiddimoto and number of other specialists in the field – Early Rider, Isla, Frog, Strider and Wishbone to name a few – balance bikes are now becoming commonplace. Many of the major bicycle brands have jumped on the bandwagon, but the specialist guys still have the best in show and continue to develop child-focused solutions. Balance bikes look almost identical to normal bikes but don’t have any pedals or drivetrain. Instead of pedalling like you would on a regular bike, children propel themselves along by pushing along the ground with their feet. When they grow in confidence and have mastered balance, they will start to cruise along with their feet off the ground. It’s a lot of fun! Children who learn to ride bikes with stabilisers learn to pedal but not to balance – the extra wheels do all the balancing for them. So when mum and dad eventually take those stabilisers off, the child has to learn to ride a bike all over again because now they have to pedal and learn to balance all at the same time. Starting out on a balance bike enables children to develop balance skills without having to pedal. Then, when they’re eventually ready to ride a pedal bike, all they have to do is pick up the relatively straightforward task of learning to pedal. No running alongside them, no holding their seat, no painful tumbles… it really is that easy.

May 2019 | 7

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OPINION

As British cycling legend Chris Hoy said: “I’ve always been a big believer in the fact that stabilisers aren’t good for kids because they don’t learn how to balance. A balance bike teaches that important part of learning how to ride. Kids feel safe too because all they have to do is put their feet down if they start to wobble.” Another top cyclist, Olympic gold medallist Craig Maclean, gives an emphatic answer when asked what parents should choose for their child’s first bike. “I’d say a balance bike without doubt,” he said. “You can learn to pedal at any age, that’s the easy bit, but the earlier they can develop their balance the better.” Carl Burgwardt of the Pedalling History Bicycle Museum in New York derides the use of stabilisers as a ‘crutch’. “They don’t teach anything,” he said. “All they do is prolong the agony of learning to ride.” For lots of children, their first experience of riding around on wheels will be on a trike. While a lot of fun, they can often be cumbersome, awkward to manoeuvre and can easily tip over. If a child is riding a balance bike, they are focused on balancing rather than pedalling, so are more prepared for a sudden loss of balance and less likely to fall as a result.

8 | May 2019

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Once they master balancing, kids can also completely skip stabilisers and head straight for a standard bike. In doing so, the countless falls and grazed knees from learning to balance on a pedal bike are greatly reduced. Parents naturally consider the financial implications of teaching their children to cycle, and we’re confident that buying one balance bike replaces the need to buy a tricycle and a 12in pedal bike. By the time a child has learnt from a balance bike, they can graduate straight onto a 16in or 20in pedal bike. These little bikes and all the accessories such as helmets, gloves, bells, horns, backpacks are not only great for the little people in our lives, but they are good for the bicycle industry as a whole. It opens up the market for customers to get into stores or online and start the customer buying cycle sooner. Surely that is only a good thing for the entire sector? Let’s give our children the freedom, fun and adventures that come with riding a bike but get them doing it from the age of two years, if not sooner. 

www.bikebiz.com

25/04/2019 11:00


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12/02/2019 15:50


OPINION

So, you want to expand?

T

In the current retail climate, survival is the primary focus for many bike shops. But what if you’re looking to grow? Business finance expert Emily Relph explores funding options

here are a whole host of great benefits associated with business expansion; you can increase your customer reach, increase your sales, and most importantly, increase your profits. However, understandably, many cycle retailers are wary of taking the plunge due to both a lack of funding and not knowing exactly when the best time to expand is. As the problems related to climate change continue to dominate the news and press, it would appear that cycling has become a more popular method of commuting to work. In fact, according to British Cycling, the sport’s governing body in the UK, more than two million people across the country now cycle at least once a week, which is an all-time high. This arguably makes 2019 the best time to start cashing in on the sport’s continued rise in popularity.

www.bikebiz.com

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Nowadays, businesses are no longer restricted to just applying for funding from the big brick and mortar banks, so finding a funding option that suits your business’ needs is also far easier than ever before. But with a multitude of funding options out there, from online business loans and invoice financing to crowdfunding and commercial mortgages – which option should you choose? Online small business loans A small business loan offers your company easy and straightforward funding, simply by applying online. Better still, this type of funding is unsecured, which means you can borrow money without having to secure the loan against your business’ assets, such as property, stock or any equipment. So it’s an ideal option for small businesses with little valuable assets.

May 2019 | 11

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OPINION

Receiving funding is an immensely quick process; often the money can be in your bank account within just 24 hours. There is also only a minimal amount of paperwork to be filled out upon application, and the repayment scheme is very flexible and can be tailored to your business’ needs. Small business loans can be used for anything your business requires; from paying utility bills and buying equipment to paying staff members or expanding. For your business to receive this type of funding, a comprehensive credit history with a proven ability to meet repayments punctually is required. Invoice finance In simple terms, invoice finance is when you sell on any of your company’s unpaid invoices to a third party for a cash lump sum. Because these invoices are proof of your company’s future income, you consequently are not relying on a perfect credit score or expensive assets to get you increased funding. There are two main different sorts of invoice financing: invoice factoring and invoice discounting. With invoice factoring, the debts owed to your business will, in effect, be bought and you will be given a percentage of the cost upfront. Typically, it is the invoice financier who then takes responsibility for collecting any money your customers owe you. With invoice discounting, on the other hand, money is lent to you against your unpaid invoices, which is typically a set percentage of their overall value. Generally, it is larger companies who tend to use invoice discounting, and invoice factoring is more popular with and suited to smaller or medium-sized businesses. Both types of invoice finance, however, provide you with quickly increased cash flow which allows you to expand your cycling business effectively. However, do bear in mind that with invoice factoring your customers will know that you have opted to use this funding option, as someone else will be responsible for collecting outstanding payments. So, if you’re looking for a more private means of funding this one might not be for you. Crowdfunding An increasing number of businesses now fund new projects or products through crowdfunding. Kickstarter crowdfunding statistics show that as many as 22,000 projects were successfully funded last year in this way. Whilst there is a large misconception of crowdfunding being entirely donation-based, most crowdfunding is actually reward-based. Donated pledges can, of course, be made, but it is generally reward-based crowdfunding that is most successful for small businesses, which websites such as Kickstarter provide. Campaigns must be for new projects, products or a service which appeal to a wide enough group of people, in order to generate strong support and financial backing. Running a successful campaign isn’t without its difficulties either; generating enough excitement and support for your new project, product or service is not always easy.

12 | May 2019

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It is important to choose your platform and target audience carefully, and to put enough time into your pitch so that it is attractive enough to gain public support. It is also important to note that it can take a large amount of time before your target is reached, making crowdfunding a slower funding option than others that are out there. Stock finance Stock finance allows you to release value from your current stock. Lenders purchase stock from your company on behalf of the buyer. This tends to be used as a 30- to 90-day revolving facility which allows businesses access to cash when they require it, and funding can usually be in your bank account within just 24 hours. This is a great option for any business owner struggling to sell stock directly on to customers, potentially due to seasonal fluctuations in sales, or otherwise just looking to quickly increase their funds and maximise their growth potential. Stock finance also carries the benefit of protecting any working capital. Commercial mortgages Often expensive rent costs put business owners off the idea of expanding. If you are looking to buy your first cycling store or move your business over to a new or larger location, a commercial mortgage is an easy and straightforward funding option. Usually, the only security taken for the loan is the property you are buying, which is normally around 70% of the worth of the property value.

www.bikebiz.com

26/04/2019 10:14


OPINION

A cash deposit is needed for the balance of the purchase price, but if you are unable to provide the lender with a cash deposit, then it is sometimes possible for you to offer additional security. This is usually another property which you have sizeable equity in. Commercial mortgages provide you with the financial support to invest in a property of your own, which will improve your profits and cash flow in the long run. You won’t have any unexpected increases in rent, although it is worth noting that your monthly repayments could go up if you have a variable rate deal. Often at least two to three years of trading history will be required from you when making an application so that your lender is assured that your business will be able to afford the monthly repayments. This can be problematic for any business owner who has only been trading for a limited amount of time. Traditional bank loan While perhaps a more old-fashioned funding option, traditional bank loans are still a popular option for many business owners looking for additional capital to expand their business. If you have a good relationship with your bank and a good personal credit score, this could be a suitable option and a great way to get funding. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that smaller companies sometimes often struggle to obtain funding from the banks: since the financial crisis, Britain’s high street banks have been less willing to lend to small businesses over fears they might default, and so getting set up with a traditional bank loan is likely not a viable option for every single business owner.

www.bikebiz.com

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If you haven’t got a perfect credit score or your business hasn’t been open for long enough, it’s likely that your business won’t qualify for a bank loan. Further still, the process of getting a loan through a bank can potentially be a long and time-consuming process, so it’s not a good solution if you’re in a hurry. Credit cards Credit cards are typically the easiest and most obvious option for accessing more capital for your business. However, the amount you are able to obtain is based on your credit limit. In most cases, this will mean that the amount you receive will be considerably less than that which you could get from a traditional bank loan or an alternative type of funding. That being said, credit cards are a handy option for any business owner with small-scale revolving needs, you just need to make sure you shop around for the best repayment terms and interest rates. The bottom line... There are so many different funding options out there for business owners who are looking to expand. Each option, of course, has its pros and cons, and some options will be more suited to your needs than others. Take the time to do extra research before committing yourself to any sort of loan or scheme, but you will be sure to find a funding option that is exactly right for you and your business. Increased funding will allow you to get started on finally expanding your company and thus achieving your business goals. 

May 2019 | 13

26/04/2019 10:14


BB-MAY19-HOTLINES:Layout 1 05/04/2019 11:59 Page 1

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HAYESDISCBRAKE.COM 26/04/2019 11:01


Growing Local Bike Shop Day

L

ocal Bike Shop Day - an annual celebration of the unique culture of indie bike shops across the UK – took place on Saturday 4th May. The day gives specialist cycle retailers the chance to exhibit what makes their shop stand out, why consumers should shop local and what sets them apart from bigger, national retailers – specifically, the passion, knowledge and individual service IBDs provide to help customers get the most out of cycling. Local Bike Shop Day is held just as the peak cycling season starts and welcomes the more experienced riders, but its objective is to open up the door to everyone, including first-timers, females and children. Using the hashtag #supportyourlocalbikeshop, retailers can create buzz on social media and work together with their local communities to raise awareness about the event and the fundamental role indie bike shops have within communities. Here, Local Bike Shop Day creator Dan Jones talks consultation, increasing interest and one-to-one support...

www.bikebiz.com

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What inspired Local Bike Shop Day? I was tired of people complaining about IBDs closing down and people just saying “another one bites the dust”, there was this general despondency, nobody was asking how can we help to stop/ slow this decline in shops shutting down. I also work as a sound engineer and DJ, I’ve know about RSD (Record Store Day) since its inception, it’s a great tool kit for the shops. It won’t fix the problem (look at HMV and its Oxford Road store) but it helps. I mentioned the idea and it snowballed from there onwards, it won’t fix the problem, but it will hopefully help. How were preparations for this year’s Local Bike Shop Day? How much of an increase in interest have you seen? The name is out there now. Building a brand and getting our name known is the next big step. We’re attaching ourselves to events and making our social media presence go viral organically, focusing on quality of followers, rather than quantity.

May 2019 | 15

26/04/2019 16:08


The packs are available to download and we have seen photos from various shops with the poster in their window, Lucy at Indiprint has had a steady uptake of sticker orders too. We currently have 140 shops signed up at the time of writing. We also want to grow to helping IBDs survive as a business. This is from allowing shops to add ourselves as a host, looking at group training sessions and also providing one-to-one support for social media and promotional help. Why did you choose to switch to May this year? Will it remain that way in years to come? We switched to May due to comments over the winter that the October date wasn’t very demo day friendly – no weather for a BBQ and the like too! I wanted a date that was early in the season and hopefully has good weather, when many fairweather cyclists also start riding again, or take up cycling. I consulted many shops in polls to gauge when the best time was to host the day. I want this to be a slow burn over the years, starting from the shops upwards and constantly looking at what’s working, from date, format and also uptake, this means the date may change, it’s the shops’ day. They collectively own it – I listen to them and help set a mutually viable date. How have you gone about growing the event? I want a natural growth for LBS day. Shops need to realise that this is a day for their shops, it is what they make of it. We run on a £0 advertising budget and are doing well using social media to make this take off.

16 | May 2019

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From later this year, we’ll have something called remedi8 starting, which will help in all aspects of small businesses developing. We are also in the process of getting the brand trademarked to help protect its core identity and mission, also potentially gain some income to put back into the project with things like advertising. What was the overall reaction to the 2018 event? In 2018 there were about 100 shops that signed up. The rate that shops have closed down won’t have changed – that said, Record Store Day hasn’t fixed the record stores, with HMV having to close many shops. Many shops missed out on that day. I do believe that the core of public media isn’t jumping on this as it should, if this is due to the message not getting out there, or other reasons, it remains to be seen. What are your plans for next year, and how ambitious are your plans for Local Bike Shop Day in the longer term? 2020 will continue as planned with more focus on shops developing their online presence and working on what makes them unique and the experience. It’s tough out there, people are still shopping with habits from the 2008 recession. HMV is drastically downsizing and has closed its flagship store. RSD day still had records left over from the day, which was totally unheard of years ago. We will review the long-term viability of LBS day after next year’s event and see if a day or support is what’s needed.

www.bikebiz.com

26/04/2019 16:08


BB-MAY19-OXFORD:Layout 1 15/04/2019 13:47 Page 1

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FEATURE

For the love of cycling Yanto Barker, founder of Le Col, talks to Rebecca Morley about his cycling apparel brand

“I left school at 17, with three GCSEs and no other qualifications, to be a professional athlete,” says Yanto Barker, founder of cycling apparel brand Le Col. “I did that for about eight years until I realised I wasn’t going to be paid the amount I needed to relax and be financially comfortable and at an age I wanted to retire.” Le Col was founded in 2011, and Barker ran it alongside his career as a professional cyclist until 2016, when he retired from professional racing to focus on designing the ‘best clothing apparel in the world’. “I felt like starting a company might be something that would engage me and make me a little bit more passionate about what I’m doing next,” he says. “Obviously I’ve been a very passionate cyclist and followed that as a dream from a young child. I was aware of what that felt like and I didn’t really want to let that completely go away. I investigated a couple of different options, like coaching, travel, all related to cycling in some way. The kit project came up and that felt like the one with the most potential.”

www.bikebiz.com

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May 2019 | 19

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FEATURE

Starting from scratch Barker, however, had no background in design or business, and admits that he was starting from scratch. He says he used to sit at his computer and force himself to spend two hours at a time researching, coming up with ideas, making notes, taking pictures and screenshots, and reading up on other brands. “That was basically where it started – I had a bit more of an idea of what I needed to do to build the company.” But as with all start-ups, this wasn’t going to come easy. “I didn’t have any experience, and if anyone was going to invest in me it would be highly risky,” Barker says. “But I had confidence in myself and belief that I had what it takes to cross the gaps. “As I’ve gone along that process hasn’t really changed, it’s just gone up a level. With much more investment and much bigger numbers came much more risk, but with that came more experience, again all underpinned by the fact that I believe in myself and I will literally do whatever it takes to make it work,” he continues. “It’s a more stable and safer place when you’ve already demonstrated that you can get across some big gaps and so you can rely on that. It’s there under the bonnet when you need it and you just need to call on it and understand what needs to be done next. “The first three years were quite slow and in some way, I wish I could have moved it along quicker, but I couldn’t because I didn’t know what to do. I realised the market was moving along and I needed to speed up otherwise I was going to get left behind, and even though we were growing all the time it wasn’t quick enough. That’s what instigated us to start going for investment.” Barker then bought the factory that produces Le Col’s kit, which he says enabled the brand to become an integrated business and invest on the product development, more so than other companies of the same size. “I would say I’m quite compulsive in my character, and so I’m dedicated to finding solutions to things that people say weren’t possible,” Barker says. “We just can’t underestimate how many obstacles and how many barriers you face as a young start-up, with people who don’t know who you are and don’t have any reference of what you’re going to do next, even though I will feel quite confident in what we’re doing and what I can achieve.” No detail too small Barker describes himself as a very detailed, data-driven person, who is focused on performance. “Performance in a product is essential, the technical delivery of what you get when you buy a product is at the heart of it,” he says. “But not just with the

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product, it’s cash management, marketing budgets, product development, everything – it’s all about performance.” Customer retention is a high priority at Le Col, and Barker is confident Le Col can compete with bigger brands, as he says after customers have tried the products they are genuinely impressed. In fact, he says the buy-ins from customers have been quicker than the buy-ins from retailers: “Retailers seem to have a vested interest in staying with the brands that they know, just down to the risk aversion. We’re starting to see that changing now but it’s taken a long journey to get that kind of recognition. Even then I think it’s really far behind where we actually are as a business. “For me, it’s fascinating and interesting and I really enjoy business as much as I enjoyed being an athlete,” Barker continues. “The B2B market and the industry is extremely competitive. There are a lot of start-up companies, especially doing kit, because there is a low barrier to entry. Almost anybody, even if they can’t draw, can make a sketch of a jersey, colour it in, put a name on it, say, ‘that’s my brand’, and send it to a factory to produce it. “Obviously you have to start moving and progressing through other aspects of business if you want to make that business a sustainable one and grow it significantly, which I think you need to if you want to earn a decent living. Otherwise, you’ve got a timeframe on your head and it’s just a matter of time before someone comes in and does it better than you.” He continues: “I’m ready to make sure we progress as a brand, and there are easy and obvious ways to progress the performance and that’s through research and development. At the same time, I also think our low carbon footprint credentials, and just running an ethical business, is really important. We have a partnership with the Tour of Britain and for all the leaders’ jerseys, including the podium jerseys, which are two different types, we use fully 100% recycled material.” Le Col by Wiggins Barker has also partnered with Bradley Wiggins for the Le Col by Wiggins collection. He says he’s known Wiggins for a long time, as they were juniors together and raced for Team GB. He says: “I like working with Brad because it’s a bit like a shortcut – we have exactly the same definitions of the industry, even people and places, because we started in the same place doing the same thing together. “He’s obviously achieved a huge amount in his life on a slightly different career path from me, I just had to look at other avenues and investigate other options for myself post-racing.

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“But equally, I’m just as motivated and just as keen to produce something that is excellent. He is a really good ambassador, he’s got a fantastic style, he really gets the progress that we’ve made with the brand. He takes putting his name to something very seriously and obviously, he’s got such a high profile. If he’s putting his name to something substandard it’s just going to come out really quickly. He has described Le Col as the best technical kit on the market, which are his words, which is nice. “You can’t take that for granted,” Barker continues. “Someone who has achieved what he has would get what that looks like and feels like. It’s good to have that validation, we both have a huge passion for cycling, both as ex-professional athletes but equally as fans of the sport. Brad’s made that really clear in a lot of his media and public speaking situations, that he has idols and heroes, and they’re a huge part of what motivated him and that’s really the same for me, and we are talking about the same generation. It’s nice to get that. “The Wiggins Le Col team this year is a huge part of that whole ecosystem. We want to give back to the young guys who are showing talent and development and give them that opportunity that we both had in the early stages of our careers – but it was hard to come by and we had to really take it with both hands.

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“Just to be part of a team that is giving that opportunity to talented young athletes that are coming through is really important for us as a legacy, and he gets that as well.” Barker says the sport in the UK, in particular, has gone through a ‘difficult’ time, so Le Col ‘stepped up’. It stepped up its investment in the Wiggins Le Col team this year because it saw an opportunity to give them a bit more support which it thought they would really benefit from. “We want to make sure that’s seen as one of the most exciting development squads in the world, which I think it is,” he adds. What plans does Le Col have for the future? “Lots and more of everything,” Barker laughs. “We are doing a good job in the UK, we’re still quite a UK centric brand, and so our global expansion steps will be things that come more and more into focus as we go through the next six to 18 months. We’ve got a number of different ways, and we’ve identified different territories to take the first step into that international expansion. My ultimate ambition is to have a brand that is globally recognised, and then have things like continued partnerships with big and respected brands. “It’s about quality at every level. We want quality partnerships with quality ideas executed in a quality way, delivering quality products to a quality audience. That is 100% what I’m about and what gets me up in the morning and ready to work hard every day.”

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All together now

In April, the Bicycle Association launched a ‘Trade Network’ to connect independent bike shops with its advocacy work and support programmes. BikeBiz caught up with BA data analyst consultant John Styles to find out more How long has this service been in the works? The UK cycle industry has talked about market data for many decades. It’s chilling to think that, in 2019, nobody involved in our sector really knows much outside of their own sales figures. The Market Data Service has been in planning and preparation for nearly two years at the Bicycle Association, following discussions with our Leadership Group, where it was clear there was a real need for this insight. The initiative has been led by Simon Irons, formerly head of cycling at Halfords and Sports Marketing Surveys Inc (SMS), which is a leading global sports research organisation. Launching this service has been possible thanks to the support of our membership, including large retailers, brand and distributors - who are all committed to its success. www.bikebiz.com

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How in-depth is the data? The data – when it comes to retailers – contains nothing that identifies their business. All retailer data is anonymised and is held securely by SMS. You can’t see what other stores are up to (and neither can the Bicycle Association or anyone else). When it comes to SKUs, the data is just as detailed as the retailers EPOS system (as long as it’s not owned or exclusive brands, which will not be visible). This means that, for the first time, we will be able to report volume and value sales on not just bikes, but parts, accessories, clothing and services. So, for example, if a retailer wishes to look at his own performance in just saddle sales versus a regional or national picture, they can. May 2019 | 25

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Most retailers won’t wish to look in quite that level of detail, but they’ll be able to look at performance in key categories for their business, and see if they need to grow their range, adjust pricing or introduce promotions. They could also look at how key brands (which they may or may not stock) are performing against each other, both locally and nationally.

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How did the Bicycle Association go about keeping this service low-cost? How will it cover those costs? The Bicycle Association is a not-for-profit organisation which represents all parts of the industry. In line with this, we are seeking to cover our costs and no more. If the number of users grows, the charges will fall.

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Most of the retailer users of the system will pay nothing. It is entirely free for IBDs with turnover lower than £5 million, which represents the majority of stores. Larger retailers will pay a fee according to their turnover (these costs are detailed on our website). We believe the many benefits that access to accurate salesout-data will bring will far outweigh any costs involved. Now that the infrastructure has been put in place, how much of a role will the BA continue to play? To what extent will the work now fall upon SMS? The Bicycle Association will oversee the service and be responsible for retail training, case studies and sharing best practice so that all users of the service will get the most out of it. SMS will be responsible for collecting the data, populating and managing the database and issuing updated information on a monthly basis. The Bicycle Association is dedicated to making the service usable and accessible to all and with this in mind – and to support retailers and service users – has brought on board an industry veteran (me) to work alongside Simon Irons and SMS. Are you able to talk about which retailers/ brands/distributors are involved, and if so, what their thoughts are on the project? 150 IBDs have so far signed up to the service, alongside the biggest retailers in the industry. We are in active discussions with many others and would urge retailers to get on board and ensure the success of this important initiative. Many of the UK’s biggest brands and suppliers are supporting us including Brompton, Frog, Isla Bikes, Moore Large, Raleigh, Schwalbe, Specialized, Trek, ZyroFisher and others. All of these businesses recognise that, as an industry, we are stronger knowing exactly what our market looks like. They are aware that our sector faces many significant challenges, and that good data has a role to play in helping to address these. What has the reaction been like so far? The reaction so far has been very positive. Everybody is aware of the challenges in implementing such an initiative and guaranteeing retailer anonymity has been crucial. Not every conversation we have had over the last two years has been easy but we believe that the industry is grateful to see such a service implemented after many failed attempts over a long period of time. 28 | May 2019

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Could you give me a clear outline of your tiering system (silver, gold etc)? There are four levels of service. The standard service – offered to IBDs with a turnover of less than £5 million – is free of charge and gives them a summary of the market at a national level as well as their own sales data cleansed and analysed versus the market and their specific region. For IBDs which do not have the time and resources to analyse their own sales data, this service may be of significant benefit. At Bronze level, users of the service get quarterly and 12 monthly fixed reporting vs prior year and prior quarter with analysis and commentary. This provides market value and volume sales at channel, category and brand level. The Silver level adds access to a dynamic dashboard, with data available at sub-category, sales channel and by price. Finally, Gold level adds analysis at SKU level and by any one of seven UK regions. Assuming all goes well, what are your plans for this project for 2020 and beyond? As the project develops, we expect the biggest value to be to retailers, in helping them understand their performance versus the market. It could also help them select brands and product ranges to boost the sales and net margins. The second group who will benefit substantially are brands and distributors. They will start mining the data to import more of the goods that the trade does need, and less of the surplus goods that it doesn’t. We shouldn’t forget that the data forms part of the Bicycle Association’s national picture which is used for leveraging advocacy work with Government. We are also connecting to a number of organisations who can help us build the case for cycling. By connecting the sales-out-data back to initiatives such as infrastructure, cycle to work schemes, cycle training and such like, we can start to see where advocacy work leads to a real upswing in sales at the till. We can also start to answer some of the ‘unanswered industry questions’, such as how deep is the ‘winter sales drop’ versus summer sales? Is there a direct relationship between more-servicing-when-bikes-sales-are-slow or is it more random? Or perhaps - do bike share schemes increase or decrease the private purchase of bicycles in any given area? Right now, nobody knows. To give an example, at a recent Bicycle Association meeting we held a ‘jelly-bean-jar’ poll of 30 industry experts from leading wholesalers. How big is the e-bike market in the UK (by value) we asked them. Estimates ranged from 2.5% to 27%. Nobody knew for sure. And that’s the point, when the data comes in, we’ll know. www.bikebiz.com

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LBS ExCeLs under new ownership Rebecca Morley takes a tour of this year’s London Bike Show….

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he London Bike Show and Triathlon Show: London took place at London’s ExCeL from 29th to 31st March. It was the first show produced by Newtimber Media, having taken over from previous organisers Telegraph Events, with Frazer Clifford now the owner. A total of 20,201 tickets were sold for the threeday event, and having assembled an array of big name brands, innovative start ups, talks, events and a test track, it proved to be another popular attraction for cycling enthusiasts from across the country.

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Speaking after the success of this year’s event, Clifford said: “We are over the moon to have had the support of both the industry and visitors for our first shows as Newtimber Media. The team has worked tirelessly over the last 12 months to bring the show back to its best and we have made great strides in doing so this year. Yes, there is still room for improvement, and we will continue to consult with exhibitors and visitors over the coming 12 months to ensure we create an event that everyone can be proud of.

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“Our new dateline at the end of March has proved very popular all round. Next year, which will be the tenth anniversary of the London Bike Show, we won’t be clashing with Mother’s Day, so fully expect footfall to increase substantially.” Craig Middleton, Limar Helmets UK brand manager, agreed that despite the date change attendance was still strong, and said: “The London Bike Show has become an important date in the diary as one of the first opportunities to show consumers the new helmet collections for the upcoming year. The change in date did not seem to affect the attendance which felt like it was as strong as in previous years. We have to say as a brand we feel like we achieved our goals over the three days of the show.” The show had 331 brands exhibiting, with London based Sigma Sports bringing an array of names to the show, with Tacx, Specialized, MAAP, VEL, Maurten and Black Sheep Clothing all featuring at its stand. A mix of urban and e-bikes were on display from Ribble, which boosted its e-bike offering with the addition of two new electric bikes – the Hybrid AL e and the CGR AL e. It also unleashed its prototype Hardcore Titanium

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Hardtail MTB at the London Bike Show – designed and developed in the UK. Sean Yates also spoke at the event, courtesy of the brand, after being announced earlier in the year as Ribble’s ambassador for its e-road bike, the Endurance SLe. Andy Smallwood, Ribble CEO, said: “The London Bike Show exceeded all our expectations – we went into the show with a strong plan to drive customer engagement and brand awareness through exciting product activation and new product launch activity which generated great results both during and post the show. The show enabled us to introduce the cycling audience to all 26 bikes in our current range line-up, offering the opportunity to get up close to our bikes and engage with our team of experts. The test track offered further opportunities to test out our newly launched e-bikes alongside other models. “We also used the show to launch our new MTB hardtail, and Sean Yates, our e-bikes ambassador, was interviewed on the main stage. Ribble also sponsored triathlete Adam Bowden, who made an appearance on the Saturday. We would like to thank the organisers for ensuring the London Bike Show experience was successful for all.”

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Matt Lawson, CDO of Ribble Cycles, said: “This was a return to the London Bike Show for Ribble after a few years away. It provided the perfect platform for us to launch new products, showcase our entire 26 model range, allow the public to test our bikes on the test track and to personally meet our sponsored athletes. It also offered the opportunity to engage with our customers and the wider cycling public and to use the show as a vehicle to further promote the Ribble brand. All in all, it was an extremely positive and successful experience. We are really looking forward to seeing everyone again next year.” Richard Thorpe, Gocycle designer and founder, also noted the prevalence of e-mobility at the show, where the brand showcased its new fast-folding Gocycle GX model. It is capable of being folded and stowed in under ten seconds, the brand has claimed, and it was also available for test rides for the first time at the show’s dedicated bike test track. The 2019 show was Gocycle’s ‘biggest-ever presence’ at a UK show with its full e-bike range on display, including the GS and G3 models.

“The team has worked tirelessly over the last 12 months to bring the show back to its best and we have made great strides in doing so this year” Frazer Clifford Thorpe said: “It was great to launch our new fast-folding Gocycle GX at the London Bike Show and to offer first opportunities for test rides throughout the weekend. We received lots of great feedback from consumers on our newest model – a great boost as we enter full production. “What really stood out at the show was the prevalence of electric mobility – electric bikes, e-cargo, folding e-bikes and e-scooters were on display in plentiful numbers. It was certainly apparent that more consumers were interested in e-bikes and in the market to buy one which makes me feel that a future show with an increased focus on e-mobility would be a huge success.” Ben Spencer, research fellow at Oxford Brookes University, presented research from the award-winning cycle BOOM study, which explored how e-bikes impact cycling as people get older and how this affects their mobility, health and wellbeing.

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Talking about the results from the study, he said: “People talked about a whole string of health benefits in terms of improved muscle tone strength, sleep, and the joyful experience of being out and about on a bike. “The manufacturers of e-bikes talk about the ‘electric smile’, and people were saying that was really true, and then there were some detailed things about feeling safer starting off at junctions, easier heading off up hills. All of those small differences that cumulatively made a big difference to their cycling experience.” Other brands on show included See.Sense, which said the show was a ‘great platform’ and would also be returning next year. Philip McAleese from See.Sense said: “Travelling across the water from Northern Ireland to trade shows in the UK can make for an exciting but long weekend, but this year’s London Bike Show was definitely worth it for See.Sense! Meeting our customers (old and new) is absolutely our favourite part of our work and we can learn more in a weekend at the show than what we could ever do at our desks. It’s also brilliant to connect and catch up with other talented people in the industry (as well as getting to look at cycling kit throughout the day). “We are passionate about the cycling community and the London Bike Show gives us a great platform to demonstrate our technology and give us some brand exposure. Our stand was pretty much constant the whole weekend and we received amazing feedback. So thank you to everyone who called to our stand to say hello! We look forward to returning in 2020.” The show also saw the launch of many new products and ranges, including the ‘Silver’ from Welsh bike security firm Litelok. Coming in three different and wearable sizes, the firm claims it is the “world’s lightest” silver-rated bike lock range. It features a lock housing made from hardened aerospace steel alloy, which is combined with Litelok’s patented Boaflexicore material. Professor Neil Barron, founder and CEO of Litelok, said: “At the show, we launched our new ‘Silver’ lock, which seemed to capture visitors' imaginations with its downwards locking mechanism – which avoids twisting and craning your neck when securing your bike. 40% to 50% lighter than other silver-rated locks, the range can be joined together for use by couples and families on leisure trips – which seemed to be a very popular theme for people this time. “People were also interested in our new Theft Protection Scheme - which pays for the replacement of any stolen bike anywhere in the world and has fees that compare very favourably with bike insurance policies.

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“Overall, we were really pleased with the attendance levels, especially on Saturday. Visitors were there to buy and keen to ask questions, which obviously makes for a rewarding show in every sense of the word!” Canyon were on hand to showcase its latest models for 2019 alongside the World Champion bikes of Mathieu Van Der Poel, Alejandro Valverde and Patrick Lange, and also offered attendees the chance to test ride a selection of Canyon bikes on the show’s official test track. OTE Sports brought its naturally flavoured nutrition range to the show, as well as Team GB athletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee and Georgia Taylor-Brown. The Brownlee brothers cut the ribbon, officially opening the 2019 edition of the show. Triathlon brands such as Huub and Zone 3 provided attendees with the opportunity to test their wetsuits during the three days too. Wattbike, Hedkayse, Calibre Bikes and Oakley were in attendance as well, and Ison Distribution brought Surly, The Light Blue, BZ Optics and Miss Grape Bikepacking. Dean Jackson, owner of Huub Design, said: “We went into the 2019 show knowing there had been a change in ownership.

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“This always leaves us cautious and expectations were a little lower than normal – how wrong could we be?! This was by far the best expo’ event we have ever attended. We measure our success on volume of quality visitors, not so much on bodies through the door – we are not selling head massages here. The visitor demographic was perfect in so many ways and the show, I feel, met their needs across their swim, bike and run needs. We had a record show, record engagements and cannot wait to sign up for next year. Thank you Frazer and team – a job very well done.” Tri UK brought names including Cannondale, GT, Fabric, Cervélo, Focus, Muc-Off, 2XU, Dirty Dog, Mizuno, Dare2Tri and Foor Wetsuits to the show. Graham Johnson, marketing manager, UK Sports, Mizuno, said that the show was a ‘valuable experience’ for the brand: “The quality of the show is excellent and provides a wide range of engaging activities, seminars and retail opportunities. Triathletes are hungry for knowledge and technical information and the show provides exactly that. Mizuno prides itself on its ‘unashamedly technical’ approach to making running shoes and apparel and the show is the perfect environment to communicate that philosophy directly to end consumers.”

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Polar, Gore, On and Hoka were hosted by Alton Sports, while Atherton Bikes offered the public a first look at the prototype bikes which it has been developing with Dan, Rachel and Gee, who also spoke on the main stage. Speakers spanning all disciplines of cycling, triathlon and other sports featured across three different stages – the main Performance Theatre, the 220 Triathlon Experts Stage and Casquette Live. Dan Atherton said: “We were absolutely blown away by London Bike Show and the response that people had to the bikes. It was amazing to see the support of everyone there for the Atherton brand. To hear people say how much they liked the look of the bike, the fact that they stuck around on the stand to hear more about how it was built and the huge enthusiasm for the new technology was hugely encouraging.” Casquette Live’s women specific programme, created and curated by Casquette media and magazine, had its own stage within the show, showcasing a range of interviews, discussions, tutorials and stories from women’s cycling. Guests included professional riders

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Katie Archibald and Helen Wyman, cycling journalist Rebecca Charlton as well as former professionals Molly Weaver and Iris Slappendel. It also included a track stand workshop by women-only cycling club Velociposse and a Saddle Library in association with London Bike Kitchen. Jenni Gwiazdowski, director at London Bike Kitchen, said: “We were lucky enough to be invited to the LBS on behalf of Casquette Magazine. They wanted us to exhibit our Prologo ‘Saddle Library’, and provide free butt measuring for the masses. There was a great demand for this at the show, we were incredibly busy. (There didn’t seem to be any other physios or bike fitters at the show at all. But I didn’t get a chance to look around as we were so busy!) “After measuring people’s sit bones and lower back flexibility, we would try out some saddles on our Isen Workshop and Stayer Cycles bicycles in turbo trainers. People left feeling happy that they found a saddle that wasn’t causing them pain. “My personal observations - most of the show was quite MAMIL heavy.

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“The Casquette area was great, I wish it was bigger! I would have liked to see more family and utility cycling. Cargo bikes are definitely the future.” The London Bike Show 2019 made an effort for the 2019 edition to provide a more gender balanced offering, with the aim to encourage more women to visit the event and be inspired to take up or continue riding. This year female attendance soared to 29%, up from 16% in 2018. Hosting both a discussion and workshop during the weekend, Wyman, who spoke on both the Casquette Live stage and Subaru Performance Theatre at the show, commented on the outcome of a greater presence of women’s voices at the shows: “I’ve never seen this many women at any bike show I’ve ever been to.” Cycling UK was also in attendance, and launched the 2019 Women’s Festival of Cycling, with TV and radio presenters Angellica Bell and Anna Glowinski. The charity has now opened nominations for this year’s ‘100 Women in Cycling’, with the final list due to be published when the Women’s Festival of Cycling begins on 1st July.

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The festival is a month-long ‘celebration of women’s cycling’ with ‘female-friendly’ rides taking place around the country. Results from a recent Cycling UK supporter survey of 1,823 women showed that 75% were encouraged to start riding by a partner, a friend or colleague and over half had successfully encouraged someone else to start cycling. Bell received her nomination at the show on 29th March, when she was nominated by Glowinski for her role in encouraging more women to cycle. “Cycling is something that everyone should be able to enjoy. I don’t want other people to miss out on the opportunity to have fun riding a bike. That’s why I got involved with Cycling UK,” said Bell. “I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until a few years ago, so I’ve only just discovered in my adulthood so many things I now love about cycling. I’m so thrilled to have been nominated as one of the ‘100 Women in Cycling’. That’s something I never would have expected to happen! If you’re already a cyclist, encourage someone else to try it. Show people that no matter who you are, where you are or how old you are, everyone can enjoy cycling.” 

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Small is beautiful Ex-scientist Paul Higginson, joint owner of SP Cycles and Torm with Alan Parkinson, tells Rebecca Morley why he now runs a bike shop

P

aul Higginson and Alan Parkinson, joint owners of SP Cycles and Torm, are ex-corporate scientists who now run a local high street bike shop on the East Kent coast in search of a more ‘fulfilling life’. They also make and sell high-quality merino Sportwool jerseys that they sell at an affordable price as a way of keeping the shop open. The shop is called SP Cycles and the jerseys are Torm, and the pair’s motto is ‘small is beautiful’. “Our background has been working in large corporations, and we thought about how we could make our lives more fulfilling,” Higginson says. The shop was opened about nine years ago, and even though it was a boom time in cycling, according to Higginson, he says it was still very difficult to compete. “There wasn’t a level playing

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field between what we can get products for compared to what other people can. There were numerous examples where people would phone us up and ask if we had a part or something and we couldn’t buy it from our suppliers for the price they could get it for online. Having a repair service here was positive but there were certain things that were difficult to be competitive on.” He continues: “We made a significant organic decision and that we would not go to funding anywhere, we would build it ourselves, with our own money, and we wouldn’t over-stretch ourselves. We would never put ourselves in a position where we were hoping that something would happen. There was an approach there, a business plan that we felt was true to what we were trying to do.”

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IBD FOCUS

Higginson and Parkinson were previously both scientists working in large corporations, and it is because of this that Higginson says they needed it to be ‘not about the money’. “If that was simply our objective, we might as well have just stayed where we were, doing what we were doing. A lot of the decisions that we made have been based around making sure that it’s what we want to do.” So what kind of decisions were they? “Everyone has a vision of what they would like a company to look like, in terms of a bike shop. There are aspects of the decor that we couldn’t do at the start. We had to take it slowly, with the unfortunate need to say to people: ‘I’m sorry we don’t have that at the moment. I’m sorry we don’t have that stuff available right now, but we can get it for you.’ “What we learnt after a short period of time was that the majority of customers come to you for convenience. They want it straight away, and very few of them would wait if they were told they would have to, because they know they can get it delivered to their house from the internet. We slowly had to build up stock, trust and loyalty, and getting the business looking nice and pleasant. We have this sense that we are always going to be the greasy independent local bike shop.

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“The workshop is upfront in the shop, it’s not hidden out the back, so people can see what we’re doing. That’s the kind of approach that we wanted.” Because of this, the workshop side of the business is quite an important part of its offering, as Higginson says that the shop aims to supply what it believes are ‘core cyclists’ – people who are passionate about cycling, or need a bike as a vehicle because they don’t drive. This was because it wanted to serve the local community, and a big part of the business has been about repairing bikes and servicing them so people can stay on the road. “If we know people then we’re more than happy to, if we can’t fix their bike, say: ‘Well here’s one you can borrow for a couple of days, we’ll get you all sorted.’ That sense of community is what we wanted.” Higginson says customers have responded positively, and feel a sense of community as well. “To blend in this feeling with the Torm stuff we do, what we felt we wanted was to build it by word of mouth. We didn’t want to go out there and put slogans out about how great we were and try and catch business like that. We wanted people to tell other people that they had good experiences, and so we’ve never done any significant level of advertising.

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IBD FOCUS

“The Torm product wasn’t put in place to replace that, it simply helps to keep that moving. You don’t want the tail wagging the dog.” Scientist backgrounds Higginson and Parkinson worked in different industries as scientists, Higginson himself in pharmaceuticals. “You start as a scientist, wanting to do experiments, but then you get promoted out of that. You go into a people management position and then to an executive position, and then you kind of think to yourself: ‘Hang on a minute, I’m in a position now where I’m seeing how things operate and do I really want to be a part of it?’” He says his and Parkinson’s paths crossed at the same time, in terms of date and where they were in their lives, which is how it all came about. “The shop was opened about nine years ago, and it was about 18 months after that that we knew we needed something else to support it,” Higginson continues. “The reason you’ve never heard of us up until this point is that we’ve never shouted about it, we’ve never needed to because our ‘small is beautiful’ philosophy has been what we’ve tried to live by throughout that period. “Not everyone buys a lot of stuff, and that’s great because it’s a very durable and lasting product. Our philosophy isn’t just to get people to buy loads of stuff. It’s more a case of: ‘If you like it, it will last a long time.’”

“The feeling was to let people decide for themselves how much they enjoyed what we did for them, and tell other people that that’s been the case.” Torm Alongside running the bike shop, Higginson and Parkinson also sell Torm jerseys. “We wanted to be able to provide a kit that was modelled with a nice technical fabric, but was affordable,” Higginson explains. “There were a couple of options on the market that were, for some people, out of reach. These larger companies were making these products, and because of their overheads, they were quite expensive. So we thought that by providing this product directly from the shop, there are no overheads. “What we tried to do was provide this modern product at a price that people can afford. We haven’t got distributors, we’re not selling through other shops, we’re not selling through any big organisation.” He continues: “You get to a point in your life where your vision of success changes, and so what we wanted to do was to make sure that the bike shop itself, our local bike shop, was the centre of it.

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Challenging times Whilst the rise in online sales has proved a challenge for many brick and mortar retailers, with some even closing down as a result, Higginson says some of the challenges the business has faced recently have been down to ‘a little bit more than that’: “I think there’s a saturation process as well, so just like any life goal or hobby choice, you’ll get into it in an interested and passionate way. You buy a product, you buy a second product, and at that point in time some people will feel satisfied, and some people will move away from it totally, and they’ll be others that want to keep going. So there is always a peak. “As a business, you have to go with that peak, and so it has been harder recently in terms of bicycle sales, but that often gets replaced by people wanting to have their current one serviced and looked after, because they’re not purchasing new ones. But definitely in terms of products that we have in the shop, it’s very difficult to compete with the internet.” He concludes: “We’re not anti big corporations, we’re not anti-people making money. But one of the decisions we made in life was that we wanted to earn money from good people, we wanted to spend money with good people, and that’s the reason that we’re trying to do it the way that we’re doing it.” 

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BB-MAY19-UPGRADE FP:Layout 1 26/04/2019 10:33 Page 1

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SECTOR GUIDE

Cycle computers

2

1

3

1

2

3

Garmin

Sigma

Bosch eBike Systems

Edge 1030

ROX GPS 11.0

Kiox

Distributor: Madison

Distributor: Moore Large

Distributor: Magura

The Edge 1030 GPS cycling computer features Trendline popularity routing, which uses millions of miles of rider data to show you the best on- and off-road routes. Edge 1030 includes the latest navigation tools and is compatible with our expansive line of cycling accessories that let you measure key aspects of your performance. It also works with awareness add-ons that can help create a safer riding environment. You can build your perfect ride network with Garmin, and it all starts with an Edge.

The ROX GPS 11.0 will take your training to the next level. Connect with sensors and power meters via ANT+. Transfer data to smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth Smart and the Sigma Link app. The new Strava live segments, GPS track navigation, sport profiles, and many more features are guaranteed to make the ROX GPS 11.0 the ideal training tool for the most demanding cyclists.

In line with Bosch eBike System’s quest for integrative connectivity, the compact Kiox delivers riding data on speed, performance, heart rate, battery charge and more. Adjust your wheel size setting at the push of a button, charge your smartphone via the USP port and push your e-bike at speeds of up to 6km/h using walk assist, all whilst safe in the knowledge of when your next maintenance appointment is due, as neatly displayed.

Contact: adam.biggs@moorelarge.co.uk

Contact: Magura – 01455 823 303

Contact: comms@madison.co.uk

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SECTOR GUIDE

4 5

6 7

4

5

6

7

Topeak

Bosch eBike Systems

Cateye

Lezyne

Panocomp X

Nyon

Padrone Digital Wireless

MegaXL GPS

Distributor: Magura

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Distributor: Upgrade Bikes

The Nyon offers e-bike connectivity of a new generation, along with the accompanied online portal and app. Delivering first class performance from route planning through to guided navigation, fitness and smartphone functions, riders are able to plan e-bike tours with up to eight interim destinations, receive SMS notifications straight to their Nyon display, choose between five different riding modes and benefit from real-time fitness data, among a host of other integrated features.

CatEye’s Padrone Digital Wireless moves the game on from its popular Strada predecessor, utilising the Padrone’s 40% larger display screen to show up to four functions simultaneously and very clearly. Set up has been simplified, using Bluetooth technology for syncing and customisation via the CatEye Cycling app. Supplied with an Integrated Speed and Cadence sensor, ride data can also be uploaded to CatEyeAtlas, Strava and TrainingPeaks.

At SRP £180, the MegaXL from Lezyne packs a bigger punch than you would expect for the price. Its high-resolution screen can be orientated portrait or landscape. Full mapping with Turn-by-Turn navigation and offline navigation option. Best-in-class battery runtime up to 48hrs! Easy-touse interface with a feature-rich system including live tracking, Strava segments, electronic drive chain data, power and other key metrics.

Contact: Magura – 01455 823 303

Contact: www.zyrofisherb2b.co.uk

Distributor: Extra UK Track and gather data from any ride. A 2.2in customisable screen allows you to see your most important metrics easily at a glance. Combined with the Topeak PanoBike+ app, this computer will track your ride and record data, which can then be uploaded to community platforms such as Strava. Contact: michaelbraybook@extrauk.co.uk

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Contact: 01403 711 611 info@upgradebikes.co.uk

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SECTOR GUIDE

9

10 8

8

9

10

Cube Bikes

Bryton

Cateye

Pro Lite

Rider450

Quick

Distributor: i-ride

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Features: 122 kHz wireless transmission, 21 functions, 2in1 system, auto start/ stop, built-in tyre list, temperature, backlight, size (LxWxH): 57mm x 41mm x 15mm RRP ÂŁ39.99

As a World Tour Team and one of the best teams in the world, Deceuninck Quick Step needs to make sure that all of their equipment is the best that money can buy. The Bryton Rider 450 is the computer of choice for Deceuninck Quick Step. This is because of its 35-hour battery life, IPX7 waterproof rating and compatibility with software like Training Peaks and Strava. It also has fully display customisability and plethora of data fields to choose from.

Contact: 0031 10 340 3502 sales@cube-bikes.nl

Contact: 01444 243 000 info@i-ride.co.uk

Wireless, weather-proof and easy to read, the sleekly designed Quick cyclocomputer with integrated out-front bracket measures your speed and distance giving you the edge on your daily commute and beyond. Unlike traditional handlebar-mounted computers, the Quick is designed with out-front mounting for natural visibility and cycling safety, while boasting a sleek silhouette. The user-friendly Mode button is located on the arm of the unit, while its inverted LCD screen is easy to read even in daylight.

Distributor: Oneway Bike Industry Stay on top of all the information you need. With 21 functions on tap, wireless technology and a backlight for use at night, you’ll always be in the loop.

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Contact: www.zyrofisherb2b.co.uk

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SECTOR GUIDE

Indoor training and power meters 2

1

4

3

1

2

3

4

Praxis

Bkool

JetBlack

Tacx

Zayante Power 4iiii

Smart Air

WhisperDrive

Neo 2

Distributor: Upgrade Bikes

Distributor: i-ride

Distributor: Chicken CycleKit

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Zayante is a premium alloy hollow forged chainset with M30mm forged alloy axle for maximum stiffness and power delivery. Shifting accuracy and chainring durability is industry leading thanks to Praxis’ one-hit cold forging process and innovative chainring tooth profiles. Zayante is now available in combination with the 4iiii Precision 3D power meter technology, capable of measuring tri-axial strain from the left crank which delivers real-time, in-depth and accurate power data.

The Bkool Smart Air is designed to allow the rider to balance the bike with a real feeling of freedom and safety. The Smart Air has a six-degree rocking mechanism for an even greater experience. Capable of generating up to 3,000W of power, thanks to its powerful motors, the Bkool Smart Air can simulate slopes up to 25% and reach more than 70 km/h. The Smart Air is the ultimate companion for any indoor riding, compatible with both the Bkool simulator and Zwift.

The WhisperDrive is compatible with third party apps such as Zwift, Kinomaps and Strava. You can control the resistance from the JetBlack app (which comes free) to aid you through simulated rides and training sessions. No charger is required – the trainer starts instantly with a quarter turn of the crank. You can also charge electrical items from the trainer, particularly useful to avoid unwanted stops mid-session.

The Neo 2 is built for the next generation of software with faster chipsets and additional hardware features. New to the Neo 2 is the ability to report Pedal Stroke Analysis wirelessly and also measure left and right power distribution. Overall this is wrapped up in a package that offers a smoother, quieter, more responsive resistance control. To support the industry’s drive towards disc brakes and thru axels, Tacx includes 142mm x 12mm and 148mm x 12mm axle adapters in the box.

Contact: 01403 711 611 info@upgradebikes.co.uk

Contact: 01444 243 000 info@i-ride.co.uk

46 | May 2019

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Contact: alex.rowling@chickencyclekit.co.uk

Contact: www.zyrofisherb2b.co.uk

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SECTOR GUIDE

5 6

7 8

5

6

7

8

Avio

Kinetic

Shimano

LifeLine

Avio Power Sense

R1

Dura-Ace R9100-P

TT-01 Magnetic Turbo Trainer

Distributor: Raleigh UK

Distributor: 2pure

Distributor: Madison

Distributor: Hotlines

Avio Power meters have been developed to offer precision power and great value with an RRP of just £199. The Power Sense power meters are compatible with all Shimano hollowtech II chain sets, they are easy to install and are individually calibrated for accuracy. Avio Power Sense was developed to help amateur riders reach the best of their abilities, giving professional, reliable equipment at an affordable price.

The Kinetic R1 is the only interactive, direct-drive smart trainer that allows your bike to move naturally. More comfortable, more realistic, and a more complete workout, the app-controlled R1 electronic trainer immerses riders in a world of virtual training. A massive flywheel and quiet, direct-drive operation provide a realistic road feel.

After years of development and close work with pro teams, the R9100-P is Shimano’s first power meter integrated into a Hollowtech II Dura-Ace chainset. With strain gauges in the right and left crank arms, it provides dual-sided data with a +/-2% accuracy. It also had Bluetooth and ANT+ capability with wireless updates and data acquisition.

If you’re after an inexpensive and easy to use trainer, look no further. This LifeLine trainer has a viable magnetic resistor that provides a realistic progressive power curve. The wide steel frame with rubber feet creates a strong, stiff and stable platform for your workouts. It’s also sold with a front wheel riser block that puts the rider in a more natural position.

Contact: markdownie@2pure.co.uk

Contact: comms@madison.co.uk

Contact: sales@hotlines-uk.com

Contact: 01773 532 600 sales@raleigh.co.uk

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SECTOR GUIDE

9

10

11 12 11

12

Easton

Kinetic

Muc-Off

Dirtwash

Cinch Power Meter

Road Machine – Smart 2

Indoor Training Cleaner

Frame Wipes

Distributor: Silverfish UK

Distributor: 2pure

and Protection

Distributor: Weldtite

9

10

Cinch utilises spindle-based power paired with the adaptable EC90 SL Crankset giving you the flexibility – 1x or 2x, different crank arms lengths – no need to buy a new meter, just move the spindle. With an easily-accessible 400+ hour rechargeable battery, the Cinch Power Meter only adds 65g to the EC90 SL’s industry-leading lightweight crankset, providing cadence readings and pedal efficiency in a clean and protected spindle.

Accurate, affordable and easy to use, the Kinetic Road Machine – Smart 2 fluid-power trainer sends rider power, speed and cadence data to training apps like Kinetic Fit, Zwift, TrainerRoad, Rouvy, Kinomap, The Sufferfest and FulGaz via ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, and Bluetooth FTMS on smartphones, tablets and laptops. No additional sensors or add-ons are needed. The precisioncalibrated fluid resistance unit adjusts difficulty with wheel speed and is not app controlled.

Contact: 01752 843882 sales@silverfish-uk.com

Contact: markdownie@2pure.co.uk

48 | May 2019

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Distributor: Silverfish UK Muc-Off now offers tailored products to protect and clean indoor trainers or gym equipment. Muc-Off Sweat Protect drives out moisture and leaves a protective anti-corrosive layer on your bike’s frame, metal parts, and paintwork to keep the harmful effects of moisture and sweat at bay. Muc-Off’s Antibacterial Equipment Cleaner is an advanced all-purpose cleaner suitable for aluminium, stainless steel, plastic and vinyl. Just spray and wipe. No rinsing necessary.

Protect your bike and trainer from the results of a hard indoor session; sweat and moisture. Dirtwash’s antibacterial frame cleaning wipes effectively remove sweat and grime from the bike whilst leaving no residue on the frame thanks to their rapid air drying formula. Contact: sales@weldtite.co.uk

Contact: 01752 843882 sales@silverfish-uk.com www.bikebiz.com

25/04/2019 11:53


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In association with

Bob Elliot and Co Ltd Unit C4 Binary Court, Matrix Park, Western Avenue, Buckshaw Village, Chorley, PR7 7NB Tel: 01772 459 887 Web: www.bob-elliot.co.uk

Pitbitz Ltd Unit 6 Thorpe Drive, Thorpe Way Industrial Estate, Banbury, Oxon, OX16 4UZ Tel: 01295 269333 Web: www.gazeboshop.co.uk and www.thebikeboxcompany.co.uk

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

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

Jungle Products Ltd Unit 3, The Cedar, New York Mills, Summerbridge, HG3 4LA Tel: 01423 780088 Web: www.jungleproducts.co.uk and www.santacruzbikes.co.uk

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

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DISTRIBUTION AND WHOLESALE

E-COMMERCE AND EPOS

EVENT ORGANISERS, HOSTING, HOLIDAY AND HIRE

MANUFACTURERS

MARKETING, PR AND CONSULTANCY

MEDIA AND PUBLISHING

ORGANISATIONS, CHARITIES AND ASSOCIATIONS

RETAILERS, WORKSHOPS AND MAIL ORDER

SERVICES AND TRAINING

Oneway Distribution BV PO BOX 12, 3000 AA Rotterdam Tel: 0031 10345 3510 Web: shop.o-w-d.nl

Fibrax Ltd Queensway, Wrexham. LL13 8YR Tel: +44 (0)1978 356744 Web: http://www.fibrax.com

Schwalbe Tyres UK Ltd Schwalbe Centre, Hortonwood 30, Telford, Shropshire, TF1 7ET Tel: 01952602680 Web: www.schwalbe.co.uk

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: www.bikerentalmanager.com

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

Yellow Jersey Prospero, 73 London Road, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1LQ Tel: 0333 003 0046 Web: www.yellowjersey.co.uk

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

Walkers Cycle Components Ltd 22 Holywell Road, Leicester, LE2 8SG Tel: 01162 833885 Web: www.walkerscycles.co.uk

V12 Retail Finance 20 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff, CF24 5PJ Tel: 02920 468900 Web: www.v12retailfinance.com

Cycle Expo Yorkshire YorkshireEvent Centre, Harrogate, HG2 8NZ Tel: 0113 394 6130 Web: www.yorkshirecycleexpo.co.uk

Velotech Services Ltd 26 to 27 WesternRoad, Stratford Upon Avon, Warks CV370AH Tel: 0845 475 5339 Web: www.velotechservices.co.uk

EBCO 5 Pegasus House, Olympus Ave, Warwick, CV34 6LW Tel: Tel +01926 437700 Web: www.ebco-ebikes.co.uk

Reece Cycles plc 100 Alcester Street, Birmingham, B12 0QB Tel: 0121 622 0180 Web: www.reececycles.co.uk

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

Invisiframe Tel: 01743 232297 Web: www.invisiframe.co.uk

The Bikebiz DIRECTORY 2019 is available to view online at www.bikebiz.com

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MARKETPLACE

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BIKES & ACCESSORIES

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BIKES & ACCESSORIES

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May 2019 | 53

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EPOS & COMMERCE

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www.bikebiz.com 16/08/2017

12:00BIKE LABELS, BOTTLES, BAGS & GENERAL PRINT

www.bikebiz.com

26/04/2019 11:32


DATA AND ANALYSIS

The charge of e-bikes According to Mintel research,, 14% of UK cyclists intend to purchase an e-bike within the next 12 months…

T

he Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which started on 8th April, offers no better time to ditch the polluting motor and hop on an e-bike. Those choosing to do so will be joining the e-bike revolution, as according to latest Mintel research - an impressive 70,000 e-bikes were sold in the UK in 2018. Going up a gear, over the past year there has been an estimated 8% increase in e-bike sales by volume, while sales by value climbed 15%. Although only 6% of cyclists currently own an e-bike, things are set to www.bikebiz.com

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take off for these pedal-assisted bikes - as 14% of cyclists intend to buy one in 2019, a rise from 11% in 2017. Overall, 45% of current cyclists say they would be interested in test-riding an e-bike, while 32% of ‘potential cyclists’ are also interested in trying one out. Just as men of a certain age love their lycra, it seems they love their e-bikes too. Male cyclists are four times (8%) more likely than female cyclists (2%) to own an e-bike. Among male cyclists aged 25-44, e-bike ownership has reached double-digit percentages (11%). May 2019 | 55

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DATA AND ANALYSIS

John Worthington, senior analyst, said: “E-bikes are still in the ‘early adopter’ stage, their core customers most likely to be technophile men under 45. The challenge and opportunity for bike brands and retailers is to market the e-bike as something less ‘techy’ and more mainstream. The e-bike could be the catalyst for opening up cycling as a whole into a more mass participation activity, becoming far less dependent on its lycra-clad image. The emergence of e-bike hire schemes is likely to provide a stimulus to the burgeoning e-bike market. For major retailers and dealers this is now the fastest-growing product. While some may be happy to rent, others will no doubt wish to acquire their own models. It is likely that many customers may delay purchasing an e-bike, waiting to see if prices come down. Current economic uncertainty may also cause would-be buyers to defer payment. While younger generations are far more sensitive to these economic pressures, those over 40 are more likely to spend in the £1,000+ category – which is what most e-bikes cost.” 56 | May 2019

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Cycling slowdown While the e-bike is experiencing something of a revolution, there has been a definite slowdown in cycling participation. Just over a quarter (27%) of UK adults currently cycle, down from 29% in 2017. In fact, 2018 represents the third consecutive year of decline since 2015, when participation peaked at 38%. But there has been a two-percentage point increase in cycle commuting – up to 29% in 2018, from 27% in 2017. Within the London area, the percentage of cyclists who commute by bike has risen by four percentage points to 34% in 2018, from 30% the previous year. Among those who either do not cycle at all or do so only occasionally (less than weekly), 45% cite concerns about road safety as a deterrent. Meanwhile, a quarter of these consumers see the cost of buying/ maintaining a bicycle as off-putting (24%); while 24% attribute lack of participation to poor fitness; and a lonely 20% say they do not cycle as they have no one to cycle with. www.bikebiz.com

25/04/2019 11:55


DATA AND ANALYSIS

At the ‘performance cycling’ end of the market there is a strong degree of interest in the new wave of smart trainers

Mintel estimates that 2.5 million bicycles were sold in 2018, down 3.8% compared to 2017. Market value is estimated at £925 million in 2018, a slight rise of 1.6% from 2017. Overall, 20% cyclists purchased a bike for themselves in the past 12 months. While 46% of cyclists say they are interested in upgrading to a more premium bike, 40% cyclists say they change or upgrade their bike less often now than in the past, rising to 47% of millennials. A further 34% say they are putting off buying a new bike at the moment because of economic uncertainty. Whilst bike buyers are happy to pay a bit more, when upgrading, it seems more people are delaying purchases or upgrading less frequently – hence the decline in volume sales. Cycling ticks all of the right boxes on physical and mental health, pollution, congestion and low-carbon sustainability, but there are few signs of growth and all stakeholders, public and commercial, will need to combine their collective energies if this potential is to be realised. Indoor potential Finally, at the ‘performance cycling’ end of the market there is a strong degree of interest in the new wave of smart trainers – tools used for connecting a bike to a laptop, tablet or phone and training indoors, riding virtual courses and competing with others. Some 30% of current cyclists either already own or would be interested in buying this kind of technology, meanwhile 9% of ‘potential cyclists’ are also interested in buying a smart trainer. 58 | May 2019

55-58 BBMay19 Stats_Final.indd 3

There has been a raft of recent product innovation in smart trainers from leading brands. Indoor cycling is a fast-growing area in which bike shops can play a role by holding product demonstrations. Cycling enthusiasts are likely to be attracted by the fitness and performance aspects, as well as the social and ‘gamified’ elements of friendly competition with other players. Smart trainers are generally aimed at the serious road bike user riding virtual Tour routes, but could also have an appeal to more casual users or those who are currently non-cyclists. Research for the Cycling UK 2019 Report was carried out among 2,000 internet users aged 16+ in December 2018 and January 2019.

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Key stats 2.5 million e-bikes were sold in the UK in 2018, of which 70,000 were e-bikes. Number of cyclists down from 38% in 2015 to 27% in 2018 - the third consecutive year of decline. 30% of cyclists own or are interested in buying a ‘smart trainer’.

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