BikeBiz October 2019

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photo: Fraser Britton rider: Jill Kintner



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‘The BikeBiz Awards have highlighted just how much incredible work and innovation is being demonstrated throughout our industry’


CONTENT Editor James Groves

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

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Success breeds success As we bid farewell to Friedrichshafen, the NEC and the Yorkshire Event Centre for another year, the arrival of October gives some of us a rare moment to catch our breath before we sit down to consider plans for 2020 and, dare I say it, Christmas. But before that time comes, I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate Rachael Walker, Backyard Bike Shop, Sigma Sports, V12 Retail Finance, Yeti Cycles, Muc-Off, Silverfish, Madison, Hexlox and Cycling UK on receiving their BikeBiz Awards last month (p10). The Awards – set for their 12th year in 2020 – have once again highlighted just how much incredible work and innovation is being demonstrated throughout our industry on a daily basis. But it’s not just the winners. All of our finalists have carried out sterling work throughout 2019, be it in service to IBDs, distributors, brands or the general public. It’s something I’m keen to highlight in this edition and in those to come throughout the remainder of 2019. As part of our October issue, we caught up with two finalists for our Innovation from a Newcomer accolade: Hexr gives us more detail on its 3D-printed helmet and why it could “change the industry forever” (p20) while Feva demonstrates its light and easily-installed Star Seat(p35). Here’s to a bigger and better ceremony in 2020. As always, if you have any questions, or want to be more involved next time around, you can contact me directly via the email address and phone number below.

James Groves


Editorial: +44 (0)203 143 8779 Advertising: +44 (0)779 480 5307


Staff Writer Rebecca Morley

Rebecca Morley

Richard Setters

Tom Carpenter

Staff Writer

Sales Manager

Graphic Designer

+44 (0)203 143 8777

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OCTOBER 2019 Opinion


Taking hold of the fold The UK lags behind the likes of Holland and Denmark when it comes to cycling integration. Austin Cycles founder Wayland Austin believes folding bikes can help



To show or not to show? Kevin Burton weighs in with his perspective on the state of trade shows in 2019



And the winners are… We present a roundup from the 11th annual BikeBiz Awards with reactions from all ten winners



A new dimension Rebecca Morley speaks to Hexr about 3D printing helmets and what it could mean for the industry


Fresh team, fresh prospects Hotlines has undergone something of a restructure in recent months, with new managing director Ewan Pinder bringing a different perspective to the table…


IBD Focus


65 years and counting Ken Foster’s Cycles is celebrating its 65th anniversary this month...

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Taking hold of the fold By Wayland Austin, founder and director of British performance folding bike brand Austin Cycles


rban cycling is on the increase. Clearly, cycling is great for our health and for the environment, and it’s good to see the encouragement being offered by various schemes in the UK – take the Mayor of London’s transport strategy for example, which aims to increase the number of cycle journeys in the capital. London is investing £170 million per year on cycling, and there were some 730,000 bicycle journeys per day in London in 2017. Other towns and cities in the UK are beginning to follow this example. However, we still lag some way behind countries like Holland and Denmark in how we integrate the bicycle into our daily lives. Copenhageners on bikes account for over 50% of trips within the city centre; in Amsterdam, it’s 48% in the urban core. London is behind these benchmarks but it is increasing over time. This is where folding bikes can make all the difference. A bike that can be taken on any train or tram, or put in the back of a taxi on a Friday night. A bike that can be wheeled into the office and stored beneath your desk. And a bike that remains fun and fast to ride across town with a smile on your face. The folding bike is an integral part of the truly integrated transport solution. In the last 20 years, the folding bike has changed beyond all recognition. While it’s possible to buy a cheap and poor quality option, for the most part, they’re just like any other, except they will collapse in seconds, and fit in a car boot or train luggage rack.

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Some models will even let you hit the mountain bike trails or go off exploring the world. As with any product, there are downsides, of course. They are comparatively stiff to a classic diamond frame bike, but this varies from model to model. Nearly all folding bike brands use small 16-inch wheels. This can lead to a skittish ride and increased rolling resistance, and smaller wheels are going to struggle with road irregularities significantly more than larger wheeled bikes. With these downsides in mind, we took a completely different approach with the AC Atto. We wanted to build a bike that was the absolute opposite of all those typical folding bikes; clean, light, strong and fast. A performance bike that just happened to fold. We wanted to build a folding bike, with the best real-world performance and high-quality components, without being slaves to the cheapest price. This is why we decided to use carbon fibre for the frame and forks. It allows us to make the Atto light without compromising strength or resilience. That’s also why we chose a carbon belt drive to keep the bike completely oil-free. We decided it was important to use larger 20-inch wheels, as these deliver a better, more stable ride than the usual 16-inch. But we chose carbon fibre wheels to keep rotating mass low, as that is one of the most important areas in weight reduction on a bicycle. Regardless of what’s next for the folding bike world – electric or otherwise – for Austin Cycles, it’s about concentrating on existing products and making them the best we possibly can. n

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To show or not to show? By Kevin Burton


ast summer, I wrote an article for BikeBiz pondering cycle trade shows and how to approach them from a brand perspective. 18 months later, I want to follow up on that idea and contemplate how things have changed. I’ve attended multiple shows outside the bike world this year while working on a project that crosses over into other sports sectors. If they taught me anything, the experiences showed me that we are not alone in facing these issues. An electronics and tech show I attended was small, yet had lots of empty stands and was an expensive day out all in all. A motorsport show, meanwhile, was unfortunately rather out-ofdate, with an un-PC approach, which attracts a certain type of consumer. I also attended a fitness and bodybuilding show, which was a mixed affair. There was poor attendance for the retail half of the show, but the events and competitions drew a huge crowd. This year, I have attended only UK shows, so it’s been nice not to have the travel issues that can be created by some international events. With that in mind, I can only comment on non-UK events based upon what I have read, and what this industry vet has heard from friends and colleagues. I understand that it’s really difficult for all shows to host due to many reasons and I don’t claim to know the ins and outs of them, so I have a lot of respect for the organisers. It appears to me that many brands don’t need the trade days, as lots of business has mostly been completed in locations where the dealers are a captive audience, which makes sense for those brands. Personally, I would love to see shows as they used to be back in the 1990s.

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Most brands are present, but we have so many more brands now, and it’s still really expensive to attend, not just from the booking of the show, but other costs that come into play such as hotels, travel, food etc – not to mention the time spent out of the office carrying out our day-to-day duties! From what I’ve heard, a lot of big brands have pulled out of European shows this year – even more than last year. Brands are doing their own thing because it’s more cost-effective. This is happening at shows too – in particular in the UK, based on what I have seen. This is a real shame for the consumer as they miss out on seeing new products, which would, in turn, drive footfall. It was apparent that a large, well-known online brand was not attending the same number of shows that it has in the past. Like it or hate it, it brings consumers to shows and events, so the fact that it wasn’t there is another concern for the industry. So, what can we learn from this? You have to look at why people go to a show. In my view, it’s to look at a full range of products, new items, chat directly with the brands, test some products and dream about all the exotic products they may never own. Other reasons might be to listen to opinions from athletes and experts, and find out about events, holidays and races. The issue we have these days it that everyone is an expert – they have the knowledge at their fingertips – so maybe we need to be more interactive with consumers in a different way than we currently do. Dealer trade shows are on the decline, unless we can get all the brands in one (rather large) room at the same time. This may be a pipe dream, but I live in hope. n

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And the winners are... The 11th annual BikeBiz Awards took place on 12th September, hosted by writer, presenter and author Jools Walker. It once again celebrated the collective successes of the UK cycling scene, with prizes that honoured independents and distributors through to accolades for innovative brands and those providing essential services to the industry. Congratulations to all the winners and a thank you to our partners, Citrus-Lime, V12 Retail Finance, Saddleback and The Cycle Show!

Best Independent Bike Dealer, sponsored by Citrus-Lime

Backyard Bike Shop “To win this award after such a relatively short time in operation is incredible and a testament to our team’s ethos here at Backyard Bike Shop. For us it is a pleasure to be of service to the North East’s cycling community as we live, breath and dream bikes” Nic Vieri, owner, Backyard Bike Shop

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Best Omnichannel Retailer, sponsored by V12 Retail Finance

Sigma Sports “From the very start, it has been our long-term vision to cater to all of our customers, whether they are beginners or elite athletes, in an integrated and experiential way. From our brick and mortar store to our website and social media channels, we want to add value to our customers’ day, not interrupt it. As we continue to focus on providing the best service and products, we also aim to engage and activate a community of athletes and enthusiasts. This award recognises our achievements of which the whole team at Sigma Sports are extremely proud” Ian Whittingham, managing director, Sigma Sports

Best Retailer Services V12 Retail Finance “We are delighted to be the winners of the Best Retailer Services Award. It is a real privilege to receive the award, and it is a testament to the great work our colleagues do every day. We work hard to provide the best services for our retailers, and are always looking for new ways to keep improving, and adding value to our partners” Kevin Hughes, national accounts manager, V12 Retail Finance

Bike Brand of the Year Yeti Cycles “We are totally stoked to get this award. At Yeti, we’ve done our bit by producing some awesomely fast, fun, award-winning and race-dominating bikes but the rest is down to Silverfish and our dealers who do all the hard work in getting our bikes in the hands of UK riders. This award is recognition of the efforts of everyone involved” Nat Campbell, global sales director, Yeti Cycles

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P&A Brand of the Year Muc-Off “It’s a huge honour to take home P&A Brand of the Year at this year’s BikeBiz Awards. We’ve put a huge effort in supporting our British IBD network over the past year and we’re stoked that our dealers like and believe in what we’re doing” Alex Trimnell, managing director, Muc-Off

Bike Distributor of the Year Silverfish UK “It’s the best birthday present for Silverfish to win Bike Distributor of the Year in our 20th anniversary year and to win it for the second year running is extra special. Of course, we share this success with all our colleagues at Yeti and Mondraker who just build the best bikes and help us support our excellent IBD partners. To be recognised by BikeBiz and everyone who voted for us is fantastic and we are really grateful for their support” Darren Mabbott, managing director, Silverfish UK

P&A Distributor of the Year Madison “It means a great deal to us to win the BikeBiz Award for Parts and Accessories Distributor of the Year and we would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who voted for us. With an overhaul of our B2B system and initiatives like Freewheel, we are doing everything we can to help our customers and give them every chance of succeeding in today’s challenging retail environment” Kellie Parsons, marketing director, Madison and Sportline

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Innovation from a Newcomer Hexlox “Being recognised in the industry with an award like BikeBiz cements the fact that we are working in the right direction, helping make the streets a safer place for cyclists. It’s a great honour to receive such an award and since it’s voted on by readers, we feel that the market is really on our side for the years to come” Marcus Tonndorf, CEO, Hexlox

BikeBiz Woman of the Year, sponsored by Saddleback

Rachael Walker, Hopetech “I’m honoured to receive the BikeBiz Award for Woman of the Year. In a slightly male dominated industry, it can at times be a little daunting. I’ve always tried to think outside the box and ignore any potential barriers, particularly with projects such as the Hopetech Women events and the Hope Academy. Hopefully this sort of recognition can inspire a few more women to work in the industry”

Cycle Advocacy Award Cycling UK “Making our roads safer for everyone who cycles is a core part of Cycling UK’s mission, so it’s brilliant to have our Too Close For Comfort and Dutch Reach campaigns recognised with the 2019 BikeBiz Advocacy Award. We’d like to extend our thanks to our 68,000 members, without whom our campaigning work would be completely impossible, and Uber who helped fund the making of our Dutch Reach film - this award is really shared between all of them” Keir Gallagher, campaigns officer, Cycling UK

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Quality, affordability, identity

Hero Cycles has a new face at the helm throughout the UK and Europe


anny Evans has been appointed the new CEO of Manchester-based Avocet Sports, the UK subsidiary of Hero Cycles, said to be the “world’s biggest” bike maker by volume. Evans, 30, has been promoted to the role from head of finance and will now be responsible for growing Hero’s operations in the UK and Europe, run from the company’s new £2 million ‘Global Design Centre’ opened in 2017 in Central Park, Monsall. Evans believes he is taking charge at an ‘incredibly exciting time’ for the company and the cycling industry.

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“Our new vision for the company is to give it a clearer identity and market focus,” he says. “Last year saw us launch the Insync range of bikes for the family market and we have worked very hard to fine-tune and improve this range which covers, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, women’s bikes and junior bikes. In the autumn, we are excited to report that we will be unveiling a newly designed range of Insync bikes featuring more than 40 different models. The Insync range will be an online-only brand available through the Insync website.

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“Separately, the autumn will also see us launch a new range of Coyote branded bikes. This range of 13 bikes has been developed with IBDs to sell at their shops only and not online. The Coyote range will include mountain bikes, hybrids and a folding bike. We believe the Insync and Coyote ranges are among the best-designed, best-looking bikes on the market, in the junior bike market up to £100 and the adult bike market up to £250.” Hero has decided to focus on its strength as a mass market manufacturer of affordable family bikes with the new Insync and Coyote ranges. “The future for Insync and Coyote is about quality and affordability,” Evans says. “We have been able to achieve this standard of bike through the calibre of Hero Cycles’ supply chain in India, which drives our operation, making around five million bikes a year. The breadth of our supply chain, harnessed with our buying power, enables us to make very high-quality bikes at a low price that few of our competitors can match. “We are also streamlining the Insync brand and dispensing with sub-brands including Riddick, DeNovo and Ryedale, so our entire online bike range will be branded Insync. An exception is the iconic Viking road bike brand which we will continue to invest in and grow. Last year, we launched the first range of bespoke British-designed Viking bikes in 40 years and see a big role for Viking in the future. Viking will be available at high street IBDs only. “We are particularly excited to grow our exports market via the Insync website. Together with The Hut Group, our e-commerce partner, we have developed the Insync website to be specially optimised to operate across Europe. This move shows Hero Cycles’ ambition to totally transform a UK company in Avocet into a pan-European operation.” A prime objective of the company, under Evans’ leadership, will be to strengthen its relationships with IBDs. “We are very fortunate to have long-standing relations with our IBD network,” he says. “We have listened to their feedback and created the Coyote range to provide them with a quality bike at the right budget, ensuring there is a clear distinction between our online offering and our IBD offering. It is very important that our customers are supported nationwide and can receive face-to-face advice as well as support for repairs on their local high street, which is a critical part of the buying and aftercare process.” A key factor for the Insync and Coyote brands is to engage the family audience.

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“As a company, we are absolutely committed to promoting cycling as a force for good,” says Evans. “There is a wealth of evidence showing how cycling can dramatically improve mental and physical health, from defeating stress and heart disease to preventing Type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, in older people there is research showing that cycling can improve immunity, protecting from arthritis and cancer. “Locally and nationally, we are seeing cycling being promoted hard. Here in Manchester, the mayor Andy Burnham is promoting the ‘Beelines’ plan, a £160 million scheme over four years to create thousands of miles of interlinked, Dutch-style bike lanes to encourage more cycling. This is supported by the cycling charity Sustrans, which says more than 10,000 cases of life-threatening illnesses would be prevented across Greater Manchester over 20 years if cycling participation increased on a par with London. There are also huge environmental benefits by replacing car journeys with active travel alternatives like cycling, with Sustrans saying that 120,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions could cut by 2040 in Manchester. This is the bright healthy future that Insync wants to help create by providing affordable high-quality bikes for families.” Avocet will be further developing its inclusive, progressive ethos by looking at e-bikes and bikes for the disabled. “E-bikes clearly have a big part to play in the future of healthy, environmentally friendly cycling,” Evans says. “We launched our first range of Manchesterdesigned Indian-made e-bikes this year with a 50km battery life. We see a major market, with research suggesting the global e-bike market is already worth $16.34 billion and is set to be worth $23.83 billion by 2025. In the e-bike market, we will sell an Insync version of the bike online while the IBD network will sell an e-bike branded Lectro. Meanwhile, in the disabled bike market, our design team is working with Manchester inventor Les McMahon on a trike prototype McMahon has made for his neighbour Lewis Flint. We would like to create a trike for the general market so that more families with children with special needs can benefit. Our trike is set to be much cheaper, at around £500, compared to alternatives which start at around £5,000. We are planning to create a ‘flat pack’ kit that will enable families to assemble it at home, or alternatively, we will offer a free download design so people can create their own version of the trike.” n

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

Litelok has made two new appointments. James Walker, 45, joins the firm as sales manager. Previously at Decade (now Hotlines Europe), Walker’s 15-year experience spans across

both the distribution and retail sales aspects of the bike business. He was also involved in the early days of the Tredz online business. A keen cyclist and ex-international rower for both Wales and GB, Walker has relocated to the firm’s hometown of Swansea. He is responsible for driving the growth of the brand amongst IBDs. Lewis Bradley has also joined Litelok as brand ambassador and sales executive. At 22 years old, Neath-born Bradley is a recent graduate of The University of South Wales and an exprofessional MTB racer. Competing as a privateer with support from Tredz in 2017, he finished twice in the top 25 of the World Enduro Series as well as placing 32nd out of 3,000 who took part in that year’s ‘Megavalanche’. Back in the UK, Bradley placed ninth overall in the 2017 British Enduro Series and second in the Welsh Gravity Enduro Series, before concentrating on his studies. His role will be to boost the profile of the brand amongst consumers and bike clubs nationally. 

Pete Hancock, EBCO

Nina Caplin and Philippe Bourdarias, Zwift

EBCO has named Pete Hancock as area account manager for London and the Southeast, who joins with a vast amount of experience in the market having worked for 2x2 Worldwide as well as Raleigh. Hancock will be responsible for selling the new EBCO ‘home brand’ plus the Corratec e-bike offering in the UK, and will join UK sales manager Nigel Watson who will continue to manage the Northern region of the UK and will oversee the sales operation. “When the position arose to work for EBCO I leapt at the opportunity,” Hancock said. “E-bikes are continually growing in the UK and the marketing is increasingly buoyant. “With improved technology, aesthetics and performance, the e-bike now offers an amazing opportunity to dealers and I wanted to be part of the e-bike market in these exciting times.” Hancock can be contacted on 07719 328 897, with new dealers sought in the Southeast region. 

Zwift has appointed two new senior directors to its e-sports division. Nina Caplin joins Zwift Esports as VP of media after a 13-year career at Red Bull UK, where she has spent the last decade as the head of Red Bull Media House. Philippe Bourdarias also joins the Zwift Esports team, appointed as VP of operations having formerly fulfilled the role of competitions general manager at World Rugby for four years. Bourdarias was responsible for the World Rugby event portfolio and was the driving force behind the growth of Rugby Sevens, which made a successful comeback at the 2016 Olympic Games. “Zwift stood out as an exciting opportunity to build something new,” said Caplin. “The brand has been hugely successful at building a passionate following over the last five years and there is fantastic potential to grow this further by engaging new audiences through entertaining esports action and storytelling.” “As someone who has always been passionate about sport, and cycling in particular, Zwift held an instant attraction,” added Bourdarias. “Zwift has an exciting ambition – to create a new discipline for cycling, with the ultimate ambition of becoming an Olympic sport. I look forward to bringing my experience in delivering premier sporting events and delivering a truly engrossing Zwift e-sports calendar.” 

James Walker and Lewis Bradley, Litelok

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


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A new dimension for the helmet market

Rebecca Morley speaks to Jamie Cook, co-founder of Hexr, about 3D printing helmets and what it could mean for the industry


nnovation is important within any industry, as is recognising it. BikeBiz’s very own Innovation from a Newcomer Award aims to do just this, focusing on brands and companies that have launched a product demonstrating groundbreaking design and R&D. This is something 2019 nominee Hexr has done with its cycling helmet. According to the company, it’s the first 3D-printed, custom helmet built on a honeycomb hexagonal layer instead of traditional foam. This, says Hexr, allows it to bring a level of customisation and personalisation ‘never seen before’ to deliver breakthrough safety, fit and performance. In fact, Hexr believes it could ‘change the industry forever’.

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And following rigorous safety testing and design, it is now shipping to customers. “About six years ago I was at UCL doing my mechanical engineering undergraduate degree, and in my final year I had this opportunity to create a 3D printed bicycle helmet,” co-founder Jamie Cook explains. “I started designing different types of structures. Honeycomb structures have the highest crush strength to weight ratio, so that was a really good starting point, but honeycomb is normally made on a flat surface. Making it on a curved surface is, from a manufacturing perspective, really hard.

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“What 3D printing allows, because of the freedom of design, is complete geometric freedom. It allows you to create these curved honeycomb structures. So I thought: ‘That’s a wonderful application of 3D printing.’” Cook, seeing the technology’s potential in making helmets safer, persisted despite the considerable costs involved. When the helmets were tested in a basement lab at UCL, they were found to be just as effective – and in some cases more so – than foam. Over the past six years, Hexr believes it has gained a comprehensive understanding of how a poor fit can undermine the effectiveness of cycling helmets.

iPad loaded with the company’s bespoke, 3D scanning software to a customer anywhere in Europe. Once the data is received, the helmet is 3D printed from the digital mould, each one unique. It also features a removable, washable padding and an optional ratchet system. The ratchet can be dialled up to tighten the helmet against the head, or simply removed. The Hexr helmet also offers ventilation, ensuring a constant flow of cool air. For riders wishing to make their helmet one of a kind, Hexr offers optional custom engraving, an inbuilt sunglasses holder and a removable lid that can be swapped out for alternative designs, in partnership with custom cycling company WyndyMilla and its studio WM Paintworks.

Safety first Not only does the new Hexr helmet surpass all current safety standard tests, but additional testing has shown improvements on rival designs, including those equipped with MIPS. The current safety standards are designed to mimic actual head impacts by dropping a head-form with a helmet with a certain velocity onto an anvil. The maximum deceleration is measured and must be below the standard’s limit, which is typically 250g-300g. The Hexr comes in at 144g. Despite easily exceeding the existing requirements, Cook and his team have sought independent validation of Hexr’s technology, believing that current basic safety standards do not reflect real-world cycling. Further testing from the University of Strasbourg and Professor Rémy Willinger, a global authority on helmet impact testing, who developed the test used by MIPS, showed that Hexr accomplished the best aggregate score from a total of 32 helmets tested – a 26% improvement on other helmets in the safety test. Custom fit Another advantage of Hexr’s 3D scanning software is that it delivers a precise fit for each customer. Having identified a typical fit tolerance of around 2cm in several traditional foamlined helmets, Cook teamed up with co-founder Henry Neilson to develop the 3D scanning platform from which each Hexr helmet is built. The start-up has studied over 3,200 cyclists to ensure that its process offers the perfect helmet fit for all riders. In addition to Hexr’s focus on fit, comfort and safety, the helmet also boasts exceptional performance credentials. Its outer shell is sculpted with insight from TotalSim, British Cycling’s aerodynamics partner for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. At an output of 200 watts, a 40km time trial will be completed seven seconds faster in a Hexr helmet than in a Giro Aether or Kask Protone. Its commitment to the delivery of a tailored and premium offer does not end with the helmet and is woven throughout the fitting and buying experience. The company will send out an

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Building up the hype The Hexr helmet was officially launched earlier this year and is already shipping to customers. And despite this, Cook is confident that there is still room to grow. “What we’re doing is the right sort of method,” says Cook, “which is making helmets that fit perfectly, but also making helmets that are designed using 3D printing rather than foam.

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“The helmet is also interchangeable, so you can replace the shell, the padding or the chin-straps. The shell itself can have multiple different colours, it should be a helmet that can last winter, summer, and you can customise it for your bike.” And Cook says the reaction has been largely positive too. “We’re really happy with the product and it has taken a long time, it’s taken about five to six years in total. Now we’re about to really start pushing it and we’re excited to get it out to customers. We’ve just started shipping our first 300 helmets and already we’ve had some wonderful reviews about it.” But given the number of helmets that are already available out there, it can be a tough market to enter. So how can newcomers stand out and persuade consumers to try out the new technology? “We’re building up the hype and the buzz,” Cook says. “We only started shipping a few weeks ago, so to have a lot of interest and buzz already about what we’re doing is brilliant. “In terms of entering the market, the interesting thing about cyclists is that they are probably two things. One is that they’re quite picky about what they like and don’t like, and the other is the vanity of cyclists, which is quite high as well. “We’re figuring out how to fit within that market in particular, but we do see ourselves really as a technology company that’s trying to innovate helmets and head protection and we want to see our technology applied, not only in cycling but to alpine, equestrian or motorcycling.” So now that the Hexr 3D helmet is available, what does the future hold for the brand? “It’s tough because with 3D scanning and 3D printing, and the science and the patterns, there’s so much opportunity to go and take on,” Cook says. “There are loads of other markets, but we have to be focused on figuring out what works for one market and try and create a viable business. “It’s a really exciting space that we’re entering and the fact that we can offer limited editions and coloured shells means that there’s more opportunity to have new design iterations come out that I think will be fun and personal.” Cook says that from a technology perspective, this could represent a step change in 3D printing in terms of speed, quality and performance. “We also see 3D scanning becoming super accessible, so not only on an iPad, which is what we do right now, but becoming accessible through your smartphone. “The technology is making it accessible and we want this to be a product that is right for the majority of the market. It’s a high price point, but we believe you’re getting more helmets in one. “It’s quite a British innovation, but hopefully a global product.”

25/09/2019 13:00

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NUMBER CRUNCHING 24 BBOct19 Stats Final.indd 1

September’s Car Free Day brought some alarming figures to the country's attention...

77,800,000 The UK collectively produces 77.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year, just by going to work

20.5% The daily commute accounts for 20.5% of the UK's CO2 emissions

11,100,000 London is at the top of the UK chart, creating 11.1 million tonnes of CO2 per year That’s some way ahead of Birmingham (1,650,000) and Leeds (1,270,000), which are 2nd and 3rd respectively

25/09/2019 14:45

BB-OCT19-HOTLINES:Layout 1 04/09/2019 10:35 Page 1

Eurobike is over, media launches are done: It is time to choose the best brands for you. We have a new trail bike from Nukeproof, the ‘Bike of the Year’ award winning Rondo HVRT, NS Bikes’ market leading jump range and a whole KRVW RI %0; ð QHU\ IURP 6( DQG +DUR 7KLV RQO\ VFUDWFKHV WKH VXUIDFHü 1R FUD]\ VLJQXS GHPDQGV RU VDOHV WDUJHWV MXVW VWURQJ SURGXFWV ZLWK JRRG PDUJLQ Distributed in the UK by




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MY20 is here. Let’s make good things happen.

Fresh team, fresh prospects Hotlines’ Dirt Factory offered ‘the perfect combination of easy access and a unique place to ride’

Hotlines has undergone something of a restructure in recent months, with new managing director Ewan Pinder bringing a different perspective to the table. BikeBiz caught up with the team to find out more about the distributor’s evolution How has 2019 been for Hotlines? We’ve had a great year with mountain and gravel sales being ridiculously strong. While we don’t deny big challenges exist, we still see lots of market potential and huge opportunity for growth across cycling. Hotlines has a great portfolio of established and innovative new brands, being able to supply such a broad range of products has been key to our success. How has Ewan’s arrival affected Hotlines’ plans for the future? What’s the vision? We have seen huge success in our key brands over the last 12 months with no end in sight.

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Investing in the team will build further momentum as we push high-performing brands like Nukeproof, Rondo, NS, Ragley and SE even harder. We also have some of the strongest P&A brands in the business with the likes of WTB, Leatt, Brand-X and 661 all fuelling rapid expansion. Having such a rich portfolio on MTB, road, gravel and BMX; electric bikes is the next category for us to develop as we broaden our offer significantly to become one of the UK’s best distributors for the rapidly evolving market. Central to all this is obviously our fantastic retailer base. We are surging forwards with their support and

25/09/2019 14:48

by responding to invaluable feedback. By investing in our people, systems and marketing, we continue to strengthen these relationships while our network multiplies around it. Has Decade now become part of Hotlines? Hotlines and Decade are both part of the Wiggle-CRC group and performing very similar functions. It made complete sense to consolidate the wealth of experience within the distribution businesses to improve the service for all our customers. Wiggle-CRC is fully supportive of our strategy as we invest in key areas of a business model that complements its own and promotes the longer-term health of the industry we cohabit. Are there any new brands on the horizon to support this growth? To push forwards, we started by stripping a few things back. We parted company with around 20 brands to streamline what we do and really focus on the areas driving growth. With such a vast portfolio we decided a more focused range would make sure everything was perfectly managed with even better service to our customers. It has already allowed more intensive training on 2020 product ranges, better stock management and marketing actions. All that being said, we still have a couple of categories missing from our portfolio and are talking to new brands to make our offer as comprehensive as possible as trends continue to emerge and establish. We have already mentioned e-bikes, but we have space in the portfolio for premium road, urban offerings and indoor trainers. (Any interesting brands reading, get in touch!) You recently ran a dealer event at Dirt Factory in Manchester. What inspired the venue? Time with our dealers is hugely important and our annual bikes launch event is a prime opportunity to meet face-toface. The reason it came to Manchester? We aren’t a formal company, we try to base our events around the reason most of us came to the industry in the first place; enjoyment of bikes. In 2017 and 2018, Hotlines brought dealers to the Tweed Valley to sample the scenery, world class trails and local whisky. The events were a huge success but not everyone could afford a couple of days out of the shop. We wanted to change it up to see if a more convenient location would suit a greater number of dealers. Dirt Factory is a stone’s throw from Piccadilly train station. It offered the perfect combination of easy access and a unique place to ride. We had enough space to display the latest and greatest product and give dealers the opportunity to try bikes before anyone else. Bikes, beer and an indoor BBQ – the risk assessment wasn’t for the faint hearted!

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How did the event pan out, and will it remain in Manchester for 2020 and beyond? We are very lucky our dealers invest time in coming to our events and everyone who came saw massive benefit in attending. It gave dealers a first look at a huge array of product, a forum to discuss the outgoing season and the opportunity to catchup with all members of the Hotlines team. There is never any pressure to purchase at these social events but with pre-order levels higher on all brands over previous years, we are super happy the event was a success and dealers liked what they saw. Next year? Who knows. Dirt Factory is a venue that’s hard to beat.

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We are currently recruiting for a fourth member of the team to support on demo and event planning. We still have some positions available. If anyone is looking for their next career opportunity, check our careers page on the Hotlines website. Instead of recruiting cautiously over a longer period of time, you’ve brought in several new faces in one fell swoop. What makes you so confident in the direction you’re heading? Things have gone amazingly well this year and despite the tough economic climate, we have seen rapid growth across our key brands. Stock was the limiting factor and with a higher-spec crystal ball, we could have done significantly more. So yes, it’s a rapid expansion but calculated and with a clear strategy in place to support the sustained growth we expect.

(L-R) New Hotlines managing director Ewan Pinder and key account manager Matty Trinquart

Staff rides are part of life at Hotlines You’ve recently brought a number of new faces on board. What does that mean for Hotlines? We have read a lot of CVs over the past six months! First up is our new sales director: Matt Yeo was general manager of Decade and moves across with 30 years of industry experience. Two additional sales reps will join Yeo’s team to support Graham Moore and Rob Escott on the road. We will announce them and their respective areas very soon. The sales team on the road will continue to be supported by four colleagues in the South Queensferry (Edinburgh) office. The sales and tech team have a broad skillset with each member having their own specialist product area. Matty Trinquart joins the team to handle key account and international sales management. Trinquart comes from a retail background, having spent time with Cycle Surgery, Evans and Soho Bikes. Ed Ibbetson becomes head of operations and supplier management. Ibbetson will have three new staff members, two in brand management positions and a third as sales coordinator. The new structure will ensure we hold the right product at the right time and in the correct quantities. Dave Flynn steps across to a dedicated marketing role, supported by the existing team of Steve Larking and Matt Currie.

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What does all of this mean for Hotlines? Continued growth, and moving the needle in terms of service and support to our retail and brand partners. Everyone on the Hotlines team is fully onboard with the strategy, influences decisions and owns the results. The difference in the bike industry? We are motivated by selling the best product we can at the right time and to the right people. Everyone in the business rides, shops and consumes the media we all read every day. While our success will be judged on the bottom line, the ride along the way is something everyone in the team will enjoy. And what does it mean for your brands and IBDs? A consolidated brand list means more focus, better service and ultimately growth. Brands are as excited as we are about the potential of the business and offering their services in making sure we have everything needed to fully support dealers. The strategy is longterm, and this round of investment has proven our commitment and solidifies their confidence in the distributor model. For dealers, the benefits are simple. The best products at the correct price points to fully utilise the space and resource you have available in store. We are one of the most flexible distributors in the business and will work with you to find the best route forwards on a particular brand. We understand why some retailers may be cautious in dealing with us but with retailers big and small, some previously cynical, enjoying dealing with us day-to-day, we really want to encourage everyone to pick up the phone and give us a shot. The goal is simple: we want to continue growing at the current rate and become a valued partner to all the best UK bike shops, big and small. We would love old customers and new to be part of this exciting stage in our journey. n

25/09/2019 14:48

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18/06/2019 15:02


Fuel in the fire

Kit Radar is an online retailer with a mission to be the one-stop shop for cyclists looking for exciting new brands. Rebecca Morley speaks to co-founder Dr Bryan Roberts about its origins and the impact it could have on the industry


very year, some 5,000 new sports brands are launched, driven by innovation, creativity and passion. The challenge they all share is to get noticed and find a foothold in a busy cycling industry. Kit Radar is hoping to change that by uniting them. The online retailer is a hub where cyclists can discover exciting new products and where small brands can enjoy the reach of its much greater scale. It believes it’s the missing link between crowdfunding and brands making it big and is also a resource for both early-adopters and journalists to find interesting new products. Through the Ambassador Review Programme, it offers cyclists the chance to receive free product in exchange for an in-depth review.

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It also has its own warehouse with many brands in stock, including around a dozen (and counting) that are exclusive to Kit Radar. It ships internationally and offers free postage on orders over £50. Kit Radar was founded by Dr Bryan Roberts and Peter Smith in early 2017, with the mission of gathering start-ups and small innovative brands into one place in order to help them and their potential customers find each other. Previously, both worked as R&D specialists in the sporting goods industry, with clients including Nike, Reebok and Puma. As ‘futurists’, their work included studies of innovations, often from start-ups, and they became acutely aware of the ‘gulf’ between these brands’ ingenuity and marketing capacity.

25/09/2019 13:01


“I had quite a unique job in the industry, I worked as a scientist for ten years for many major sporting good brands,” Roberts says. “That was in the development of products, so I had some exciting projects where I worked for Team GB and I worked for Nike developing World Cup rugby shirts, lots of really exciting things. “While we were doing that, about ten years ago, I noticed that there was a big transition that was going to happen in sport, where we were going to see a lot of new technologies like electronics, 3D printing and customisation coming. What I realised then was a lot of these new innovations were driven by start-ups and new brands. The problem was that when you went to discover them, find them or ask to talk to colleagues about them, no one had really heard of them. “I had a bike store at the time in Oxford and realised there was a need for a platform or a retailer to shout about all the interesting new brands that were created every year. And I estimate now, based on Kickstarter campaigns and the rest, that there are at least 5,000 within Europe being launched every year. “I wanted to create this new platform that introduced cyclists and other sportspeople to new brands and new technologies. Because of my background, I would say we were perfect to do that.” Roberts says Kit Radar is contacted by at least 20 new sports brands every week, and it has a growing community of early adopters that are excited to hear about new technologies and what’s coming along next. “We want to be at the forefront and the future of sport and cycling – consumers and bike dealerships that can use us as a resource of what’s coming next.” Making your voice heard The challenge for many start-ups is that they struggle to be heard when up against the larger brands. Even those that do get some attention during crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo can be forgotten by the time their product is on sale. Kit Radar aims to provide a single destination where the industry can discover these exciting new brands. “I think there are a few other people doing marketplaces and platforms, and there are a few people that are looking at start-ups, but they definitely don’t have the reach, the community, the network or the audience that we do. “I would say we’ve already got about 150 brands that we sell and we’re growing quickly. With the backgrounds that we have, we can help people understand new technologies and what’s coming. “It’s more focused on the technology and innovation side rather than just t-shirts or the latest pair of cycling shorts. That’s where we’re heading.”

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The cycling industry is certainly seeing a lot of new technologies and innovations entering the market. Products on the Kit Radar site include the Hövding 3.0 Airbag Bike Helmet, which is worn around the neck and inflates at a sign of danger, and the Bike Bin, a pannier bag replacement that was launched on Kickstarter earlier this year. The Hövding 3.0 has a new patented airbag and its battery life has been extended, meaning it now lasts for around 15 active hours of cycling. It can also use Bluetooth to connect to a smartphone, creating functions and new opportunities for both cyclists and the development of safer cities for cycling. There is an app compatible with iOS and Android mobile operating systems, which tells users how far they have cycled and the remaining battery time. The cycle data it collects shows where accidents occur frequently and where there are large numbers of cyclists. It also gives insights into how cycling infrastructure should be developed.

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25/09/2019 13:01


The smart connection also offers an ICE (In Case of Emergency) function. This permits a text message to be sent to next of kin in the event of an accident involving airbag inflation, including the coordinates of the accident site. Other products on Kit Radar include Exosuit Performance Wear and the Beam Wheel Flash Reflector Set. It all sounds promising, but what has the reaction been to the online retailer since entering the market? “It’s been good,” Roberts says. “We don’t talk to many major brands, because it’s not really what we’re focused on. There’s plenty of other people in the market that will sell them and do a great job. “We are very interested in talking to the new brands and the start-ups and giving them a voice and access to early adopters. New brands love us because we’re becoming experts now on marketing and launching new brands in the UK and have helped Kickstarter campaigns for those guys. We’ve introduced them to media and PR contacts. “We’ve had that exclusivity with a few brands that we’re helping and potentially could go into distributor, but it’s not a model that we have at the minute.

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“They love us because we are breaking down the barriers for them getting into the cycling community, because our audience and community are already interested in technology. They already buy from Kickstarter, for example, and are willing to leap into the unknown with new brands. We make sure we vet them and have a process beforehand.” Previously, Roberts was a product developer, researcher and designer for major sporting goods brands. He is a professional bike fitter and started up a bike and running store in Oxford, which he ran for three to four years, before realising it was difficult to compete with the major brands. Roberts explains how he saw this opportunity to work with new brands, and because of his background, contacts and network, he was able to start the online store Kit Radar. But how much can this benefit the industry, given the modern retail environment? How much are bike shops struggling to adapt and what can be done to help them? “I think all the shops have their own expertise, but for me personally, we had a thriving bike fitting business which is still going today,” Roberts says.

25/09/2019 13:01


“We had a great servicing but in terms of selling physical goods, there was always a customer that came in and checked out the prices online and we didn’t have enough marketing spend to drive the audience to our store. “We’ve taken a new opportunity and are exploring a new channel with the internet, but I think it’s always difficult to compete online unless you have new products or interesting content, and that’s what we’re doing now. “When you have such a passion for this industry, you can’t leave it.” In terms of expanding in the future, Roberts says Kit Radar is currently going for investments to put some ‘fuel in the fire’, because of how much it’s grown. “We are getting 10,000 customers visiting the new brand pages, so we want to put some fuel in the fire and go for investments, and with that investment, we’ll be growing our content side – making sure that the founders’ stories and the brands’ stories are told by the founders to the customer. “We’ll be growing our ambassador programme where we give away a free product in exchange for a blog review, and any customer can apply to be in that.

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“There are currently approximately 3,500 people in that programme. That part is to ensure that the products are great and the technology makes a difference before it gets onto the platform. “Then we hope to create new events where we can introduce all these new brands to the consumer physically, so they can have a play and have a good look at the products. That will be what our future investment will be.” Roberts also says that he hopes to work with independent bike dealers in the future, as when he owned a bike store he found that it only got introduced to new brands from the major distributors. “I feel like Kit Radar can be a great resource to see what’s coming in the future and what new brands are coming. We can definitely be a part of that, as inspiration. “We’re updating our blog and the content around that weekly on new brands, innovation and new technology, so independent bike dealers could use us to get more exciting articles to inspire their cyclists as well. “In terms of the new brands themselves, we have a fantastic reach which is growing, so introducing new brands is definitely our bread and butter.” n

October 2019 | 33

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24/09/2019 16:20


minutes with... This month, we introduce BikeBiz Innovation from a Newcomer nominee Feva and its Star Seat

Can you give us a little background on Feva and its Star Seat? Feva Star Seat is a front-mounted child bike seat made from high-density foam. It’s sturdy and lightweight in design, soft to avoid damaging the bike frame, with quick, easy, tool-free installation. The forward riding position offers enough clearance to avoid impeding riding style and position for the adult, yet close enough to facilitate enhanced communication and interaction with the child. It received a 9/10 review in MBR magazine and was nominated for the 2019 BikeBiz ‘Innovation from a Newcomer’ award. The nomination is an accolade in itself, and we were humbled to be up against such strong and exciting competition in the category. Even though we weren’t successful, we have every confidence in this product and can’t wait to spread it further across the UK and Europe. How and when did the idea come about? The concept was initially conceived through the manufacture of promotional products and beach footwear. A clear gap in the child bike seat market was identified for a product that would offer an affordable and safe alternative to rear-mounted seats, while also providing a positive introduction to cycling for children aged from 18 months. Through detailed research, careful design and thorough product testing, the Feva Star Seat was born. What is your current distribution model? Our ultimate intention is to supply this seat to IBDs and retailers across the UK and Europe,

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and we already have the wheels in motion for further expansion into new markets – internationally as well. It might sound a little unconventional, but in order to help product sales for the IBDs, we have initially adopted a direct model to launch the product, establishing the RRP, developing an online presence and creating brand awareness, both in the shops and out on the trails. Once the product is established, we will look to move into the trade channels and we want this transition to be organic.

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24/09/2019 16:52

As word spreads and demand for the Feva Star Seat develops, we will be approaching the independent retailers with fantastic offers, great margins and marketing support to help spread the word of this fantastic kid’s bike seat. Our mission is to encourage cycling for adults and children, while also supporting the cycle industry with a new, unique and innovative product. What has the reaction been since entering the market, in the UK and elsewhere? Purely positive! We regularly hear from happy customers who have been approached by others while on their bike rides, and being asked about the seat and where they can get one. Our customers are our brand ambassadors and we are forever grateful for their enthusiasm around the product and helping us on our journey. Sales growth has been strong. We had reserved forecasts for initial figures, however, they have been blown out of the water and more stock is already on its way to refill the warehouse and support our attendance at various events this year. How does your product differ to what is already out there? There are currently three ways to cycle with a child. Ideally, they will be on their own bike eventually, but until that point, the options are essentially a trailer/ tag-along, a rear-mounted seat or a front-mounted seat. Trailers are bulky, heavy (around 9kg) and can limit where the bike ride can take place – narrow trails cannot accommodate the width of the trailer. Rearmounted seats impede communication between the adult and child and cause instability of the bike, which can make it difficult to mount the child on the seat. They also make it difficult for the adult to lift their leg over the bike in order to get on. While other forward-mounted seats are available, the Feva Star Seat is the lightest on the market at just 898g and offers the child full forward vision, stimulating an immersive and exciting riding experience without breaking the bank. Installation is quick and easy, requiring no tools, and without the need for brackets or adjustment of the saddle/handlebars, as it is made from soft EVA foam, it also eliminates the risk of damage to the bike during installation. Safety straps over the lap and behind the legs offer confidence to the child, while the carefully designed platform-style saddle helps them gain stability while learning to balance. The jockey position has been researched and designed to work with the foam

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material and absorb shocks from impacts, compared to the seated position in a chair design, where impacts are absorbed directly into the spine/back/lumbar regions, increasing the risk of injury and making them unsuitable for off-road cycling. Forward-mounted seats also offer added stability should the need arise to dismount and push the bike, even on inclines. In this situation, rear seats can cause imbalance and increased risk of tipping. What are your plans for 2020 and beyond? 2019 has been a challenging year for the ‘Two Titans’ Malverns Classic and Ard Rock festivals, which suffered cancellation due to freak weather this summer. We send our best wishes to Oli, Si, Alex and Joe and their respective teams and are very much looking forward to attending the events with Feva Star Seat in 2020. We are just getting started on this journey in the UK and in Europe, and we have much excitement for the next 12 months and the opportunities available to us. We have more products in the pipeline which are really exciting and will appeal to all riders.  For more information, contact

24/09/2019 16:52

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24/09/2019 16:22


65 years and counting

Ken Foster’s Cycles is celebrating its 65th anniversary this month. Rebecca Morley discovers the history behind the store and how much the retail environment has changed in that time


en Foster’s Cycles is a bike shop with a history going all the way back to 1954. This is the same year the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) was formed, Elvis Presley’s first single was released and rationing formally ended following World War Two. The retail environment has changed dramatically in that time too, with the rise in internet sales causing high street footfall to decline, so much so that the national town centre vacancy rate reached 10.3% in July this year, a figure that has been described as ‘concerning’. This makes it even more remarkable that Ken Foster’s Cycles (formerly Foster’s Cycles) is celebrating its 65th anniversary.

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It is now the oldest family-owned business in Chorlton, Manchester, says manager Sean McAdam, and is still trading from the same address. “The celebration of our 65th year of trading is on Saturday 5th October. This marks the date Ken’s father Eric and grandfather signed the lease,” says McAdam. “On the 5th, we will be having an open day with coffee and pastries, vintage bicycle and motorcycle display and, weather-permitting, a celebration ride along the Fallowfield Loop with a vintage theme. “All are welcome on any cycle – with the emphasis on family the mainstay of our business model.”

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Modern challenges As we’re all no doubt aware, the internet has caused an almost unrecognisable change across the retail industry, with many businesses struggling to keep up with the constantly evolving trends. Some stores have even closed down as a result, while others have decided to focus more on the service side of their businesses. “The challenges faced by traditional retailers on the modern-day high street have changed significantly over the years,” says McAdam.“The cost alone of running a business has more than quadrupled in the 35 years I have been here. Utility bills have soared, business rates and the introduction of workplace pensions, although I don’t begrudge them, all have a financial burden on running a small family business. “It is significantly harder to run a legitimate business in the UK in today’s environment.” As for the marketplace, McAdam says it has “changed wildly”. There has always been competition, but Ken Foster’s Cycles welcomes it. “We were once surrounded by four cycle shops. In the 1980s, we shared the same road with Sale Cycles – at one point the largest cycle superstore in the UK. BB-OCT19-GREYVILLE:Layout 1 09/09/2019 12:02 Page 1

“There was always mail order, the forerunner to the internet, and your specialist shops that dealt solely in lightweights. “We were here when the Raleigh Chopper was the number one bike in the 1970s, embraced the BMX ERA of the 1980s and the emergence of the mountain bike and the demise through the foot and mouth outbreak – which I don’t think ever fully recovered. “The Wiggo years, Olympics, Tour de France, the emergence of the MAMIL and the industry finally taking female cyclists seriously, of which we have a great relationship supporting Team Glow – predominantly a female cycle group from Manchester.” McAdam also describes the ‘lack of support and dialogue’ within the cycle industry as a big concern – due to the ‘blinkered approach’ to constantly renew models. “The inappropriate launch of new models every season at the wrong time and the dumping of products on the internet to feed the mighty e-commerce machine has the largest effect on the IBD. “I have witnessed the demise of some great shops that have been forced into a corner by suppliers to overstock in an attempt to remain with certain brands,” continues McAdam.

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October 2019 | 39

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photos: Peter Topping and Andrew Simpson

“There are some suppliers who see the bigger picture and are not prepared to see their product devalued on the internet. We have a good relationship with several of them and see this as a direction to follow in order to continue to perform well. “The workshop is continuously busy, delivering a high standard of work that we are extremely proud of, mirrored in the positive reviews left on Facebook and Google. “We are constantly reinventing ourselves, but sticking with our core ideals of great customer service and having a great team of hard-working staff should see us through to the next decade and beyond.” Family history Eric Foster moved into his family to Manchester in the late 1930s, say Peter Topping and Andrew Simpson, who have written a booklet on the store’s history. On 5th October 1954, Eric, with help from his father John, purchased a cycle shop in Chorlton from two brothers by the name of Wright, renaming it Foster’s. It had been a cycle shop during the war and the owners were exempted from national duty, as the cycle trade was deemed to be a ‘necessary industry’. The early years were a ‘struggle’, the authors say, as the shop had been run down and did not have the Raleigh Franchise. At the time, there were several British cycle manufacturers, including Phillips, Hercules, BSA and Triumph. After a year of lobbying, Eric Foster managed to secure the Raleigh brand. In 1958, Raleigh started to produce mopeds and later a scooter called the Raleigh Roamer – which the shop sold alongside the cycles. Later, a second shop was opened on Withington Road and a third on Northenden Road in Gatley Manchester. They were however only short-lived and closed after about five years of trading.

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After leaving school in 1966, Ken joined his dad in the business and shortly afterwards opened his own shop. He built the business for six years, also selling cycles and Honda commuters. However, in 1973, he moved back to work alongside his father in Chorlton. The Clayton shop was sold shortly afterwards. Eric and Ken then expanded the business with a new showroom at 380 Barlow Moor Road selling two-wheeled transport, from toddlers’ cycles to superbikes. Shortly afterwards, they also purchased 376 Barlow Moor Road to expand the cycle shop. In 1987, Eric retired, aged 67, and Ken sold the larger showroom, retaining the two-shop site – where the business is still located. In 2011, another big expansion took place, with the showroom space extended, and then again in 2016, with the opening of a space currently used for the display of electric bikes. With McAdam now at the helm, Ken has taken a backseat role but is still actively involved with the business. On what it means as a business to have been trading so long, Ken said he was ‘extremely proud’ to be able to carry on the legacy of his grandfather and father, and is happy in the knowledge that the shop is well respected within the south Manchester area as a trusted and wellliked cycle shop. The firm has also now embraced the modern retail environment with its own website and does trade online. However, Ken and the team still plan to continue operating from the shop on Barlow Moor Road. Together, the team amounts to around 190 years of experience, which can help explain why Ken Foster’s Cycles has been trading so long and why it has been so successful. It may have been open for 65 years already, but it shows no sign of slowing down. Information credit: Peter Topping and Andrew Simpson. n

25/09/2019 14:49


For more details and to advertise, contact Richard Setters on 0779 480 5307 or email: GET LISTED Email your updated details NOW to



Current BikeBiz Directory online: BB Directory House Ad.indd 1

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MTBs and accessories 1










Rocky Mountain



SB 150

Instinct Carbon 70 BC Edition

Mountain X Track Pump

Distributor: Hotlines

Distributor: Silverfish UK

Distributor: Greenover Sports

Distributor: Extra UK

Although it takes its name from the original 1996 Nukeproof Reactor hardtail, this bike shares very little with its predecessor. The new Reactor has been designed from the ground up to be the ultimate aggressive trail bike. Available in both 29in and 27.5in wheel sizes and coming with 140/130mm and 140/150mm of travel respectively.

“Race Bred” – a long-travel 29er design with enduro racing and stage wins in mind. Its progressive race geometry combined with Switch Infinity suspension system allows the SB150 to strike a critical balance – the ability to conquer the most technical and demanding tracks in the world, while ensuring racers can pedal the liaisons with ease. Already a multipodium winner thanks to Richie Rude. Lifetime warranty. Available in turquoise and RAW colours, sizes from small to XL.

The Instinct BC Edition is an even more aggressive version of the Instinct 29ner. Born in British Columbia, this is the ultimate trail weapon. Designed with an optimised singleposition link, ultra-aggressive geometry and a long stroke shock that provides 155mm of rear travel, the Instinct BC Edition smashes all-mountain lines, rails corners, and ploughs over everything in sight, while displaying all the climbing efficiency that makes the Instinct a crowd favourite.

This unique mountain bike specific floor pump features a super-sized barrel that inflates tubes nearly 50% faster than normal floor pumps. It delivers the higher volume required for large off-road tyres and the extra sensitive 3in easy-to-read low pressure analog gauge helps dial in the proper pressure while the large steel base provides stability.

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Claud Butler



Spicy FIT Team Ultimate

Haste 2.0

Distributor: Ison

Distributor: Sportline

Distributor: Raleigh UK

Distributor: Tandem Group Cycles

The new Lowside is the bike that gets you across town for a quick rip on singletrack, then over to the bar for a night out. Lowside is like the grown-up version of the bike you rode when you were a kid and still had hopes, dreams and some semblance of ambition. It’s just as happy riding singletrack as it is parked outside your favorite drinking establishment.

The perfect gateway into to the world of off-road riding, the Mantra is a quality trail hardtail that’ll get the job done with minimal fuss. Featuring a 3x8 Shimano drivetrain and a 120mm Suntour XCM HLO fork, the Mantra is a bike that’ll bring a smile to your face.

The same configuration as that used in the Enduro World Series. Travel of 170mm on the 27.5in wheel size and 160 mm on the 29in wheel size provides DH worthy stability for thrilling descents with this pure Enduro bike. Nicolas Vouilloz: “We started with a blank sheet of paper; the behaviour is really different. The instantaneous centre of rotation of the suspension goes from the front to the back. This makes the bike much more fun. It’s as if the rear bases become shorter when stress is put on the shock absorber.”

With a high quality alloy frame and suspension fork with lock-out feature, the Haste 2.0 has the foundation of a great all-rounder. 720mm handlebars and stubby 75mm stem makes the handling confidence inspiring, and with great quality double wall 650B wheels, 24spd Rapidfire Shimano gears, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano hubs and fast-rolling tanned sidewall tyres, you have a bike that’s ready for action.

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Santa Cruz





Stereo 170 SL 29



Distributor: Jungle Products

Distributor: Oneway Bike Industry BV

Distributor: Silverfish UK

Distributor: Extra UK

The new 120mm Tallboy takes a leap further into what shorttravel bikes really are capable of. With kick-ass lower-link VPP suspension, a streamlined design, the typical Santa Cruz refinement and rather radical geometry, the Tallboy is back to being a genre bending folk hero. It’s the kind of bike that makes you sprint while going up, along, over, or down due to the maximum efficiency of the VPP design and responsive, lightweight chassis.

The Stereo 170 SL 29 is surprisingly light and agile, equipped with fast-rolling 29er wheels and featuring a full 170mm of smooth, controlled suspension travel. Shimano’s new 1x12 XT transmission offers smooth shifting and an unparalleled gear range, while Shimano’s XT hydraulic disc brakes, RaceFace cockpit components and Fox Transfer Factory dropper post ensure you’ll always be in full control. Don’t let people tell you that you can’t have it all. You really can, and this bike is the proof.

The perfect trail e-bike. Slick looking alloy hardtail frame with trail geometry, a 120mm travel fork, 150mm rear travel, 29in wheels and a Shimano E7000 motor with integrated battery. There is an option to clip an additional battery onto the frame and provide an extra 360Wh of battery power to create the only choice for long adventure rides. Also available in Thundra R version, which comes with additional battery as standard. Sizes from small to XL.

Designed in cooperation with Aussie DH racer Troy Brosnan, the Dissector seeks to minimise drag while retaining cornering control. The centre knobs are ramped to let riders fly downhill, with sharp, flat, rear edges providing strong braking traction. Small sipes provide additional flexion for braking, and also aid in a seamless transition from centre tread to side knobs.

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15 16





Rocky Mountain

NS Bikes


Slayer Carbon 70


Frog Bikes – PUSH THE LIMITS Range

Distributor: Greenover Sports

Distributor: Hotlines

Frog MTB 69

Distributor: Scott UK

The ultimate big mountain platform! The Slayer is designed to climb as well as it descends. Available in 29ner or 27.5 platforms with 170mm and 180mm travel respectively, the Slayer is built longer and slacker, with more travel, better small-bump sensitivity and a more progressive end-stroke. RIDE-4 adjustment system allows for geometry customisation. Rocky Mountain led the original freeride movement, and the Slayer continues the legacy.

The brand-new NS Bikes Synonym is not just another short travel XC bike. This is quite possibly the longest, slackest and most aggressive bike in its category. In the 100mm travel RC guise it climbs, traverses and descends as quick as any dedicated XC race bike. Or opt for the TR 120mm version if outright speed isn’t your primary concern and push it a little harder on the trails.

This 26in wheel junior mountain bike is the ideal multi terrain bicycle for off-road cycling and suitable for 10-12 year olds with an average inside leg measurement of 69cm. The PUSH THE LIMITS MTB range are all spec’d with lockout and compression control suspension forks that work in line with rider weight to achieve the ultimate performance.

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Distributor: Independent Bike Stores

Spark RC Scott Spark is not only one of the most successful full suspension bikes on the World Cup circuit, it’s also our most popular bike for non-racers. The light and stiff race proven frame design has always appealed to a broad spectrum of riders, from elite cross-country and marathon racers to casual enthusiast trail riders. Thanks to numerous tech features, the Spark’s versatility has been in a class of its own for many years.

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19 20









SM Pro Saddle


SB 165

Distributor: Extra UK

Distributor: Ison

Distributor: Silverfish UK

Shieldwall tubeless folding MTB tyres

The new Ergon SM Men saddles are specifically tailored to the features of the male anatomy and optimised for the requirements of mountain biking. With the assistance of the latest scientific studies and intensive prototyping Ergon’s interdisciplinary development team – consisting of sports scientists, industrial designers, engineers and test riders – have come up with a new generation of pressure-relief men’s saddles.

The Mettle is a true workhorse designed to take it all and keep on coming back for more, a bike for the real world. It’s widely become the bike of choice for riders that want to spend more time riding in the mountains, less time faffing and it’s just got even better. 160mm travel, UK designed and tested, Metric suspension, Frame only or three complete options, two colours.

Named Master of the Gnariverse. The most progressive bike in the 2020 Yeti line-up, with the longest travel, coil-shock and all-new kinematics. The geometry features a longer reach, steeper seat angle (77 degrees) and a slacker head angle (63.5 degrees) combined with a shorter offset fork, all to allow the bike to climb great (even for a big bike) and crush the downhills. Lifetime warranty. Available in turquoise and RAW colours, sizes from small to XL.

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Distributor: Madison, Raleigh, Bob Elliot, i-ride Four tread patterns, all updated and now including 2.6 & 2.8 options in 27.5in, Continental’s mid-price MTB folding range is now called its Shieldwall collection, one of four collections under the new ‘Gripology’ concept for Conti’s MTB segment. Shieldwall System is also the name for the casing technology enabling fast, first time tubeless-easy fitment and inflation.

25/09/2019 13:03

BB-OCT19-CONTINENTAL:Layout 1 12/09/2019 09:25 Page 1




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Feb’ 19


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Get involved with the industry’s leading and most-read publication. Whether you’d like to see a trend analysed or a company proďŹ led, BikeBiz is always keen to hear from its readers. Contact editor James Groves via to share your thoughts. For advertising opportunities, contact Richard Setters via BikeBiz House Ad 210x265mm.indd 1

21/08/2019 16:48


Trailers, bags and transport 2


4 3









Coho XC

AeroComfort MTB 3.0 TSA Bike Travel Bag


Avenida Twin trailer / Caress Childseat

Distributor: Raleigh UK


Distributor: Madison

Distributor: ZyroFisher

The Coho XC single wheel cargo trailer brings durability and thoughtful design to cargo trailers for bike camping, touring and single-track riding. The yoke adjusts quickly without tools to fit 126-197mm hubs. The adjustable kickstand holds the trailer and bike upright and the release handle disconnects the trailer with one hand. The single wheel means you can take the Coho XC with you anywhere your adventure takes you.

The Scicon AeroComfort MTB 3.0 TSA is designed to provide the ultimate protection for your mountain bike whether you’re travelling to a race, seeking out new trails abroad or simply going on holiday. Simply remove the wheels, turn the handlebars and you’re good to go. Bike bags don’t normally offer the same protection as bike cases. That’s why we created the AeroComfort MTB 3.0 TSA bike travel bag – providing case-level protection in the form of a bike bag.

The most universal rack from Thule yet, the UpRide fits almost any bike with 20-29in wheels and tyres up to three inches wide. Better than that, the bike is clamped by the front wheel only, meaning that there’s no contact with the frame, ideal for bikes with awkward tube shapes or anything you don’t want to clamp directly on the tubes.

Based in Norway, Hamax supplies products which promote healthy leisure activities for children and their families, ensuring that safety, design and functionality are maintained throughout the development process. From the Mumsnet “Best In Test” Caress childseat to the RedDot Design awardwinning Avenida Twin trailer, all Hamax child bike seats and trailers are approved and marked in accordance with applicable European standards.

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6 5









Oxford Products


Journey Trailer DX & Drybag

AeroTech Evolution X TSA Bike Travel Case

Little Explorer

Luggage Trolley 110L

Distributor: Extra UK


Distributor: Oxford Products


Updated design for bikes with 12mm rear thru-axles under 180mm in length and up to 29in wheels. This modern trailer and drybag combo is perfect for a ride to the market or a trip across a continent. Featuring an elegant TwinSpar frame, the lightweight yet rugged alloy design handles any touring load with predictable and stable road manners. SlideLock quick release fittings allow the rider to attach or remove the trailer easily. A custom waterproof drybag fits securely into the trailer and can double as standalone luggage.

The new Scicon AeroTech Evolution X TSA Bike Travel Case alleviates the stress, worry and hassle of travelling with a bike. Minimal disassembly of your bicycle, padded protection, dedicated storage space for all bike parts and strong yet lightweight materials provide you with the confidence that your bike will arrive safe and sound at your destination. Developed with and tested by professional teams and world-class athletes, the Scicon AeroTech Evolution X TSA is the first choice of the pros.

Making cycling a family affair is always a winner, and with the Oxford Little Explorer Cross Bar seat you can do just that. Suitable for children aged three to six years, the seat attaches to the cross bar with the foot pegs and straps providing extra security for the child while they hold the handlebars. Suitable for most bikes, the ergonomically padded seat fits to bike frames with ease and the tools required come supplied.

The Scicon Luggage Trolley 110L is specifically designed for travelling cyclists who demand more from a travel bag. When travelling, you want to make sure that all your belongings are stored and organised safely. Scicon considered these requirements and designed a trolley that combines easy-to-use features and storage versatility. The Scicon Luggage Trolley 110L is the perfect trolley to store all your cycling gear without compromising space or risking any potential damage.

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24/09/2019 16:54

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BB-FEB19-MAGURA:Layout 1 24/01/2019 10:42 Page 1



Professional bicycle frame respray service 

Trade prices available Specialist frame repairs High quality service & end product Quick & reliable turnaround Replacement decals available Established 1974

0117 972 4730

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52 | October 2019

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25/09/2019 14:57

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In association with

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Invisiframe Tel: 01743 232297 Web:

The Bikebiz DIRECTORY 2019 is available to view online at

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A look ahead to upcoming cycling industry events...


3rd-5th October, Impact Exhibition Complex, Bangkok, Thailand ‘Powered by Eurobike, Aseanbike is open to OEM manufacturers, brands, importers, distributors, retailers and service providers. It offers plenty of exhibition and meeting opportunities – from classic show booth to OE meetings, importer and retailer meetings, to test/demo tracks and group rides to community-building measures. The show dates at the beginning of October were deliberately chosen because the industry needs a central meeting point in the Asian economic region at this time of the year.’


16th-18th October, Taichung City, Taiwan ‘Organised by the bike industry for the bike industry, Taichung Bike Week (TBW ) is an OEM event, open to product managers and local suppliers, but not to the wholesalers or the general public. It is solely for competitive OEM bicycle components producers and their high-end brand customers. The private and more informal TBW is quickly becoming the place for OEM managers to do business, providing an accessible and affordable opportunity to increase their international market presence.’


31st October–2nd November, Victoria House, London ‘There is nothing like the Rouleur Classic – all the best brands in one place, rubbing shoulders with legends of the sport, enjoying top class food and drink. Join Greg LeMond, Phil Anderson, Sean Yates, Mat Hayman, Damiano Cunego and many more to be confirmed. All the best brands under one roof with all their best kit - the newest releases and most unique product collected for your pleasure. Once in a lifetime opportunities to experience the history of road cycling through the treasures of the past.’


2nd-3rd November, PA Convention Center, Philadelphia ‘The Philly Bike Expo was founded by Bilenky Cycle Works in 2010 as a way to promote cycling culture. The annual show includes exhibiting companies from across the spectrum of cycling, as well as a rich array of side events including demonstration rides, riding skills exhibitions and group rides. The expo also brings together the individuals and organisations who further bicycle infrastructure, legislation and promote bicycle culture in all its diversity as the sane choice for individual and planetary health.’

58 | October 2019

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