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Past, present and future Close pubs at 10pm. Table service only. Expand the use of face coverings. Enforce the rule of six. At the turn of the year, who could have predicted that our bumbling PM’s set of COVID-19 rules would arrive at a time where life feels – dare I say – relatively normal? At the time of writing, we have just swerved the impending threat of a second lockdown in the UK, but the most soothing aspect of this passing week – for cycling, at least – is the return of familiar, pre-COVID challenges and occasions seemingly long forgotten in the chaos of 2020. A nod to LBSD (p43) here, a whisper of Brexit there. While the latter is cherished by few, the fact that we are beginning to discuss events (p30) and key industry issues such as sustainability (p7, p27), safety (p21) and day-to-day innovation (p39) is a sign that we are no longer hesitating in the wake of this bizarre new world; we are moving forward. Of course, the issue really hitting the headlines is the formation of a new coalition (or self-proclaimed ‘pressure group’) under the Independent Bicycle Retailers’ Association banner to confront challenges facing the industry on a day-to-day basis. The group – initially made up of Bespoke Cycling, Cotswold Cycles, Cycle Exchange, Cyclefit, Pearson Cycles, Saddle Safari and Velorution – hopes to act as the foundation of common ground between stores, and its first target is the Cycle to Work scheme. With the £1,000 cap lifted and the price of bikes rising under lockdown, it is surely clear to all that an uncapped commission structure cannot work in the long run. Cyclescheme has quite rightly signalled its intentions to forge a new commission structure in partnership with manufacturers and retailers, but it remains to be seen what form that will assume and how other providers will adapt. In any case, it’s encouraging to witness the birth of another trade collaboration that strives to make positive change in our industry.
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How sustainable is bike clothing? The greenest cycle garment is the one you already own, writes Carl Regan
13 How can we maintain security as cycle sales rise? Rebecca Morley catches up with BikeRegister’s James Brown
Commit, disrupt, innovate Intense Europe managing director Werner Kastenauer on 30 years in the MTB market
Playing it safe Busby’s Barry Green discusses how cyclists can stay safe on the roads as we head into autumn
Do our customers really care about the climate? In a four-part series, James Smith investigates whether cycling consumers are considering the environmental and ethical impacts of their purchases
A digital future The Taipei Cycle Show is set to return next March – sitting alongside a virtual event. But could online shows become more frequent in a post-pandemic world? Rebecca Morley reports
Five minutes with… This month, BikeBiz catches up Rapid Racer Products (RRP) owner Craig Bromley
5 BB-OCT20 Contents Final.indd 1
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POINTS OF VIEW
How sustainable is bike clothing? The greenest cycle garment is the one you already own, writes Carl Regan...
s the cycling industry doing as much as it can to reduce its footprint, or could it be accused of resting on its laurels? In recent years, the Government has come down hard on plastics in the ocean, and one of the baddies has been labelled as synthetic clothing – the stuff made from polyester and nylon. How bad is the clothing? What are the better alternatives? Whereas the outdoor industry has several brands that have led on their sustainable characteristics to great success, it does not seem to have been repeated within the cycle trade – why not? Back in 2018, microplastics really hit the headlines and were debated at parliamentary level. The Surfers Against Sewage campaign in particular caught lots of attention. But what did that all mean, and what measures have been taken since then? We need to establish what is fact, and what is simply opinion. Most of the information was initiated by marine biologists from the University of Plymouth, who noticed that products like fleeces wore out over time. Examination of ocean inhabitants revealed microfilaments of textiles. Studies of the fertility levels of Inuit Indians of Greenland have sunk by two thirds due to PFC contamination. It all sounded very doom and gloom. Everyone has seen reports of whales being cut open to reveal 50 supermarket carrier bags clogging things up, or the pictures of the dehydrated albatross’ stomach full of plastic detritus; this is plastic pollution. It is said that every piece of plastic ever produced is still around – if it has not been burnt.
When plastic became a commercial alternative midway through the 20th century, it was embraced. One of the great things it has done is it has made packaging much lighter and more durable. The lighter it has been, the more the carbon footprint of transport has been saved. Plastic packaging has also been a cost-effective way of preserving goods; whether foodstuffs whose restriction of oxygen has prolonged their shelf-life, or just something to keep garments clean in warehouses. However, microfilaments are different. This is a collective expression for fibres – what normally gets twisted together to form yarn that then goes on to become fabric – is composed of both synthetic and ‘natural’ materials. The most popular synthetics are polyester and nylon, while cottons/wools/linen/wood-pulp and so on form the latter – plus mixed solutions like polycotton and BioSynthetics. Any product which is flushed into the sea will become a carrier for the chemicals which have also been washed into the oceans. The chemicals range from PFCs (used in durable, water-resistant finishes of garments), herbicides and pesticides. It is known that most, but not all, of the natural fibres will decompose in the sea, whereas the synthetics simply do not. The hang-up is that natural microfilaments are more likely to absorb a greater number of the bad chemicals, thus get more toxins into the food chain through plankton being eaten by fish (which are then eaten by birds, which in turn are eaten by animals and thus part of our diet). A microfilament is approximately one tenth of the diameter of human hair. The vast majority of break-off from a garment happens during the laundry cycle, and the
October 2020 | 7
POINTS OF VIEW
waste is collected by the sewage system – but some of it will slip through the waste water treatment plants. There are now laundry systems like the Patagonia Investment Fundsupported Guppy Friend, or the Cora Ball, who do offer a solution, but where is the collected waste disposed of? The laboratory figures for measuring the numbers of fibres shed between a performance woven windproof and a fashion acrylic jumper vary by up to 1,000-fold (with a performance fleece being a lot better than expected); but the most interesting factor was the loss of strength of the fibres once extended UV exposure had occurred. Generally, footprinting of garments measures the three biggest impacts: waste, water and carbon. The former is generally the smallest concern and the latter really takes off the longer the garment is owned and used for – think laundry repetition. There is much attention on the end-oflife (looping polyester garments is one great example to negate this effect), but the biggest influence is what gets decided upon by the designer. The single biggest factor in modern times is how long a garment is loved for – in other words, how regularly it is worn. Everyone reading this article will have one third of a wardrobe that has not been worn over the last year! A garment made of a pure fibre is the easiest to recycle, but recycling should only be the last choice (landfill is 8 | October 2020
a no-no, even for worn-out underwear) as the garment should be repaired and reconditioned first and foremost, then reappropriated for some other use, or even donated to others. Several independent outdoor retailers now offer to recondition waterproofs as a service when DWRs get compromised by dirt and sweat (a great way to encourage further footfall from regular customers). The greenest cycle garment is the one you already own. It’s better to have it made from not-so-eco materials if it remains in use for longer, as remanufacturing a garment is the single biggest additive footprint that can be applied. If there are so many constructive arguments for choosing a more environmentally-friendly garment, why are more not offered by the cycle industry? GRN Sportswear, Vaude and Howies offer the strongest selection to the British market. It is well-acknowledged that the coming through Generation Z put care for the environment high on their agenda. They are aware that ‘natural’ materials aren’t always the best performers (and their footprints can be worse – a pair of jeans uses 7,000 litres of water in its production, while a human only consumes 12,000 litres in their lifetime) but having the latest PTFE membrane that wears out after a couple of years is not always required if that is adding to the toxic dump. When will the cycle industry take the clothing issue more seriously? n www.bikebiz.com
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APPOINTMENTS This month’s movers and shakers throughout the cycle industry... Dawn Adams, Silverfish UK
Phil Haveron, Hotlines
Silverfish UK has appointed Dawn Adams as sales manager. Adams spent over five years with Madison as national sales manager and then head of sales. Prior to Madison, Adams headed up sales for CNP Professional. She said: “I’m looking forward to this exciting move and a new challenge within our ever-changing and vibrant industry! I’m delighted to be working with Silverfish and can’t wait to meet the team and start reacquainting myself with both familiar and new customer faces around the country. I feel incredibly fortunate to work within such an exciting and positive industry – bikes, as a mode of healthy transport and enjoyment, matter now more than ever. “I love nothing more than getting to train at the incredible Olympic Velodrome in Stratford. When I’m not there you can find me in the gym, at the tennis courts or on the yoga mat but like everyone else, I have enjoyed riding out on the quieter roads this summer!” n
Edinburgh-based distributor Hotlines has appointed Phil Haveron as head of sales. Haveron will be responsible for developing UK and European sales for the company, managing the office and field-based sales teams. Bringing with him over 25 years of experience in the industry, he will play a key part in an ‘ambitious’ growth strategy as Hotlines draws a line under the 2020 season and introduces 2021 product ranges to dealers. “I look forward to meeting the full Hotlines team, getting to know the brands and delivering great service levels around a diverse and well-curated portfolio,” said Haveron. “I know many Hotlines customers already and can’t wait to develop these relationships, forge new ones and support the sales team in the great work they are already doing.” Haveron joined the company on 1st September as the company moved into its new premises in Edinburgh. This larger home for the company will accommodate its expanding team during a period of rapid sales growth. n
Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK Cycling UK has appointed Sarah Mitchell as its new chief executive. She is due to take over from interim chief executive, Pete Fitzboydon, in October. Fitzboydon was appointed in April after the departure of Paul Tuohy, who’d been at the helm with Cycling UK for five years. “I am thrilled to be joining the Cycling UK team at this really important time for cycling,” said Mitchell. “We have a massive opportunity to support more people from communities all over the UK to get out on their bikes and I look forward to being part of the movement to make that happen.” n
10 | October 2020
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David Hicks, ADVNTR Media Group ADVNTR Media Group has appointed David Hicks as operations and planning manager. Hicks worked most recently at 2pure for almost ten years, where he managed systems, procedures and operations. “I am excited to be joining the ADVNTR family to help develop further planning and operations capabilities within the business and expand the range of services we can offer our partners,” said Hicks. “It’s a great time to be joining the team and the opportunity to work with many high-quality and recognisable companies promises rewarding times ahead.” n
Rebecca Morley, BikeBiz
Trevor Worsey, Kids Ride Shotgun
BikeBiz has named Rebecca Morley as senior staff writer after two years at the industryleading trade title. Editor James Groves said: “Back in 2018, Rebecca became a fantastic addition to the Future Publishing editorial roster, and her valued contribution to the BikeBiz brand has only increased as part of our transition to a closer-knit Biz Media team. She has done a fantastic job throughout her time here and her promotion is more than deserved.” “I’ve had a fantastic two years,” added Morley. “I’ve seen more initiatives aimed at increasing women’s participation in cycling, including Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling, which I was lucky enough to be nominated for in 2019. I’m hugely excited about what the future holds and I also hope to inspire more women to join what is an incredibly exciting and innovative industry.” n
Kids Ride Shotgun has appointed Trevor Worsey as its new European market lead. The New Zealand-based brand is expanding its European distribution and retailer network. It now has distributors in place in France, Italy, Spain and the UK and has also launched supporting direct-sales websites in France, Germany, Italy and the UK. Based in Scotland, Worsey has experience and connections throughout Europe, working for seven years as chief UK editor for the international Enduro and E-Mountainbike magazines. Worsey will be supporting the European growth of Kids Ride Shotgun and bringing on a network of new retailers and distributors for the brand. European retailers and distributors that would like to get on board can reach Worsey at email@example.com. n
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Did you see it?
If you joined us online to view the 2021 Rondo range, I’m sure you’ll agree; it’s some collection. If you couldn’t make it, fear not, you can watch again as Tom Cybula and Szymon Kobylinski, co-founders of Rondo, talk you through the evolution of the range. The inclusion of 2x GRX options to broaden the appeal of the gravel bikes, the stripped-back Ruut X and the addition of Hunt’s striking Limitless Aero rims on the HVRT. E-mail today for the download link: firstname.lastname@example.org
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1,080 Bikehangar parking spaces are being installed in Edinburgh
How can we maintain security as bike sales rise? Thieves have taken advantage of the COVID-19 bike boom in recent months. Rebecca Morley catches up with BikeRegisterâ€™s James Brown
he rising number of cyclists in the UK during recent months has been celebrated across the industry, with several bike shops selling out of various models as the nation embraced active travel. But while this is good news for trade and the nationâ€™s fitness, some data has also suggested that this has led to an increase in bike theft â€“ with more budding cycling enthusiasts across the country providing more opportunity for thieves looking for easy targets. For example, Halifax Home Insurance saw an increase in claims for bike theft earlier this year, with 110 received in June compared to 66 in March.
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There have even been stories of bikes stolen from NHS workers during the pandemic, with Lister Hospital staff reporting four thefts in a week back in April. National cycle database BikeRegister has also seen a rise in reported bike thefts, with figures showing 932 thefts reported in August, up 59% on the same month last year. This followed the 900 thefts reported in July, a 51.5% rise compared to 2019, and 786 reported in June, an increase of 48%. Previous months had seen a drop compared to 2019, with 556 thefts reported in May, down 5.5%, and 376 reported in April, a decrease of 24.5%.
October 2020 | 13
FEATURE Superintendent Mark Cleland
“During and towards the end of lockdown, there was less opportunity for thieves given that people were at home,” says James Brown, MD of BikeRegister. “The opportunity for them to find vulnerable bikes and be outdoors to steal them was reduced. Nevertheless, there were thefts reported in those months, which predominantly came from homes, sheds or garages, rather than outside. We heard of a number of cases of frontline and NHS workers having their bikes stolen – that certainly contributed to the numbers. “But once the restrictions eased and thieves were able to move around more easily without being noticed, and people were outside and using their bikes more, the opportunities increased again.” Brown believes the rise is a direct result of COVID, especially considering the recent increase in used bike sales as well. “Many of the bikes that are stolen end up being resold. With the increase in demand for bikes, thieves know that there are buyers out there. It’s a vicious circle. “I can’t see it dropping off,” he continues. “People taking to their bikes isn’t a flash in the pan; the trend will continue and there will be many people preferring to cycle than resort to public transport. With that in mind, I can’t see thefts going down; it’s only going to increase. It’s certainly worrying.” What can retailers do? For those purchasing new rides, Brown recommends investing in two high-quality locks and ensuring bikes are locked in the best possible way. This means locking both the back wheel and the frame to an immovable object, and using the second lock to do the same with the front wheel. If this isn’t possible, Brown says, the front wheel should be locked to the frame. He also suggests a security mark to identify your bike and deter theft. “Thieves will go for the easiest target,” he says. “If they think they’re stealing a bike that can be traced, it’s going to make it much more difficult. “We and other people across the industry, including the police and cycling organisations, would like to see new bikes being marked and registered on BikeRegister when they are sold. If that were to happen across all retailers, there would come a point where all bikes are on a national database. “If we could achieve that, criminals would know that there is absolutely no way they could get away with stealing bikes.
14 | October 2020
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“Our great desire is for retailers to start marking and registering bikes at the point of sale. It’s never been easier – we now have an app where retailers can take the owner’s details and register the bike before it’s taken out of the store. It’s really quick and easy to do, but the ball is the court of the retailers.” Superintendent Mark Cleland of British Transport Police, and the national lead for cycle crime, adds: “In the recent Government document ‘Gear Change: a bold vision for cycling and walking’, the strategy talked of consolidating bike registration schemes across the UK and the importance of registration through innovative companies such as BikeRegister. “Bicycle registration is a complex issue with the ultimate aim of having a clear audit process of property that would lead to stolen and lost property being recovered and returned to owners, the inability for criminals to move stolen property through the secondhand market and provide opportunities to prevent crime in the first place. “The challenge is how to reach a tipping point where the majority of the millions of bicycles in circulation in the UK are registered. There are opportunities to register bicycles at both the point of manufacture and more importantly the point of sale, where customer service is key and advice around crime prevention could also be offered. “But consider all those other intervention points in a bicycle’s life cycle. When it’s serviced, or sold on, insured or new accessories purchased and fitted, they all offer an opportunity to register and mark a bike, whether new or old. But how do we stop those registration marks being removed?
Bike thefts reported to BikeRegister rose by 59% in August, compared to 2019
“We need legislation that would make the sale of bikes with removed serial numbers or registration marks illegal without evidence of their legitimate ownership. This enables resellers to carry out due diligence checks and would contribute to the reduction of cycle crime. “Until then, the work continues with the Bicycle Association and our partners to look at how we can significantly increase the registration of bikes across the UK and educate the great British cyclist on how to prevent theft.” Safe storage Various schemes to keep bikes safe have also been popping up around the country. Bike-Drop recently launched to provide safe and secure bike parking in central London. 1,080 Bikehangar parking spaces are being installed in Edinburgh, and the city aims to have the largest network of onstreet cycle sheds in the UK, outside of London, upon completion. The Bikehangars are being designed, installed and managed by Cyclehoop, with each providing six cycle parking spaces in half the space of a parked car.
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“Cycling creates a more liveable neighbourhood by lowering car dependency to make streets quieter, safer and healthier places,” said Cyclehoop managing director Anthony Lau. “Making secure cycle parking accessible is key to encouraging more people to take up cycling. We designed the Bikehangar to help those who aren’t able to keep their bikes at home, to store them accessibly on the street, safely locked and protected from the weather. “Secure storage facilities offer greater protection by lowering the risk of theft. Homes, garages, sheds or Bikehangars, although secure, are not impenetrable to a determined and well-equipped thief, so it is best to lock, register and insure your bicycle for peace of mind.” A new pop-up bike hub has also opened in Leeds Kirkgate Market, and Oxford City Council recently installed 90 new bike parking spaces in the city centre. “Anything that can help bikes become more secure in public locations is great,” says Brown. “But the people who own or operate these storage areas need to ensure that security is at the forefront of everyone’s minds in terms of access to those areas. That said, creating cycle storage and reducing the number of bikes parked on pavements is certainly a step in the right direction.” n
October 2020 | 15
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Commit, disrupt, innovate: Intense on 30 years in the MTB market James Groves catches up with Intense Europe managing director Werner Kastenauer Can you give us a brief introduction to Intense? Intense dates way back to the early 1990s and the beginning of the sport of MTB when our CEO and founder Jeff Steber started making bikes. Jeff is a creative guy and craftsman and he wanted to build a full suspension bike that was suitable for riding on mountains where he lives in Southern California. So in 1992, Jeff founded Intense Cycles with the vision to disrupt and innovate – which still holds true to this day. Intense has, and always will be, committed to the sport and the love of riding. Our brand promise, ‘Racing is our true North’, has guided Jeff and the company from the get-go. In 1994, Intense launched the first of its iconic M series bikes, the M1, and also started working with the legendary Shaun Palmer.
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During the late 1990s and 2000s, a lot of brands and racers relied on the progressive frame design of the M1 to race the World Cup downhill series across the globe. Many of the sport’s biggest names – like John Tomac, Eric Carter, Leigh Donovan, Brain Lopes… the list goes on – rode Intense M1s stickered up with their own sponsor’s logos. Over the decades, Jeff transformed Intense from an alloy frame-only manufacturer to a carbon full-bike brand, keeping his innovation high and always doing things a little different to provide a race ready mountain bike – not only in downhill but across the range from XC, trail and enduro up to our highly sports-oriented enduro e-bike.
October 2020 | 17
After a couple of years of high-sales driven strategies, Jeff refocused Intense back to what it is truly about: a brand that goes beyond unit sales numbers. During 2018, the brand was taken to a consumer direct model so that World Cup proven bikes were made available to more riders worldwide. In 2019, Jeff reclaimed his spot as CEO and brought on a highly versed investment and management team to strengthen the brand from the core again. This is also underlined with our commitment to the sport, along with working with Aaron Gwin to build the IFR (Intense Factory Racing) team as a real contender for wins once we go racing again. How would you define your target audience? Intense has always been committed to the sport of mountain biking and this is the area in which we want to play. We are definitely a gravity inspired brand that appeals to sports and competitive riders out there. This is not to say that our bikes are only for highly experienced riders, they are for people that want to stand out, be striking and follow our #Intenseforlife mindset. What distinguishes Intense from its competitors? For one, there are not too many bike brands out there with a heritage and a continuous pursuit of innovation for almost 30 years. This equips us with a lot of experience and we have Jeff’s ingenuity to bring an idea from an initial thought to reality and the trail. All of our prototype frames are still designed and hand built in our US HQ by Jeff and the team. Only once they have been tested and tweaked do we take them into final production and carbon moulding.
18 | October 2020
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In a rather bizarre twist of fate, COVID-19 has provided a significant boost to the cycling industry. What impact has it had on Intense? I think boost is almost an understatement. Currently the industry is healthy and bike sales are through the roof, which on the flip side will put a lot of pressure on the supply chain going forward, from frames, to components, to assembly in general. We have also seen growth throughout the regions and what is especially awesome to see is a lot of people either entering the sport for the first time or reentering after a hiatus. I’m based in Austria and I have seen bike parks here like Leogang or Schladming packed even on weekdays. It is great to see. Intense recently ended its distribution partnership with Saddleback. How did this come to pass, and what will be the strategy moving forward? Yeah we are bummed out on a personal level but it was just one of those situations where we mutually decided that it was in the best interest for both parties – it came down to numbers pure and simple. But, in all of my years dealing with distributor changes, this was by far the fairest and most professional transition of them all – so thank you Saddleback for that. As far as the route to market goes, we’ll continue what Saddleback has built and keep distributing direct to the consumer. We are also fortunate enough that a seasoned team member from Saddleback is joining us and will help us build up the UK presence and especially our customer service – we really do not want to screw up what the team at Saddleback has built.
We are confident that with our direct line to the European and US headquarters, we’ll be even better equipped to support current and future Intense riders – be it with a true global inventory or small parts supply. What are your more recent product developments? For sure the biggest, and maybe even the most surprising development, was our Tazer e-bike that landed two years ago. The development process was a heated one, as the US team had to get used to the fact that Intense was no longer just an ‘analogue’ bike brand, but what came out of it is just amazing. The way the Tazer is set up, with its low centre of gravity, mullet wheel sizing and torquey Shimano engine, we believe that it is for sure one of the best handling and ridable enduro e-bikes on the market. What innovations are exciting you at the moment? I think we are in a really good place right now. On the product side of things, and as riders ourselves, we really have never had it so good. The quality of frames, suspension and components is incredible. Just simple, but vitally important things like tyres. We spec Maxxis throughout and the choice and variation is mind blowing, and 1x12 gear set-ups, amazing. It is World Cup performance for everyone. We were right there at the start of the whole 29in wheel phenomenon, especially with a long travel application, so it is great to see that as pretty much standard now.
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The main innovations are going to come in the e-bike sector. Smaller and more powerful motors and batteries, new ways of charging, complete system integration. It is already pretty amazing the amount of information and fine tuning you can do with an app like the new Shimano one. Who knows what will be next, tyre pressure sensors, electronic suspension settings! But we just have to remember that it is a bike at the end of the day, and to enjoy it for what it is. COVID-19 has been a strange time for all, but as everyone knows, it has been good for the bike industry, and hopefully good for the health of all of our nations. The repercussions from the pandemic will last for a very long time – let’s just hope that some good comes from it in the shape of more activity for all. What are Intense’s plans for 2021 and beyond? In Europe in particular, we’ll continue to sharpen and create awareness around the brand. It is no secret that in recent years, Intense has had a lot of changes in distributors and route to market. We are focused on stabilising the business and to provide excellent customer service – since our direct takeover from the previous Joint Venture in Spain this is where we will work the hardest. Our fellow brands in the market place have done a fabulous job over the last ten years and we have to earn the trust of the consumer to be a reliable partner when it comes to the greatest outdoor activity on earth. We have to earn back our seat at the table and I am super confident we are in a position and equipped to do so. n
October 2020 | 19
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Playing it safe Rebecca Morley catches up with Busby’s Barry Green to discuss how cyclists can stay safe on the roads as we head into autumn
or some, cycling can be quite a seasonal activity. The number of riders venturing out on two wheels generally increases during the summer months, with longer days and warm weather providing plenty of opportunity for us to spend more time outside. But with the trend this year being accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and investments in active travel announced as a result, what will happen as we head into the autumn? “People are more likely to ride to work, for instance, if it’s not raining,” says Busby’s Barry Green, “although it doesn’t rain as much as you think – once you actually start it’s not so bad. It’s just a case of wearing the right clothes. “We expect participation to not drop off as sharply as it might have done in previous years because there’s been investment into active transport – local authorities have had money to prepare safer cycling routes and councils are now using low-traffic neighbourhoods. Certain streets have been either bollarded or there have been modal filters.
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“In Liverpool, they’ve tried to reappropriate spaces to take a bit away from cars and allow people to cycle in a marked out and safer format. “This could certainly be the biggest change in my lifetime – in terms of positive encouragement from the top down and getting higher participation. “And there are other driving factors, such as emissions targets to hit, and COVID has uncovered people’s vulnerability to diseases just by being out of shape. There’s going to be a drive towards lowering the obesity epidemic.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent Gear Change policy did include plans to build on the significant increase in the number of people cycling during the pandemic, with thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for everyone and even bikes available on prescription. This followed a new obesity strategy that was unveiled to help people across the country lose weight.
October 2020 | 21
“Two-thirds of adults in the UK are at least overweight, if not verging on obese,” Green says. “Active transport is a fantastic way of getting to the root cause of that and making a happier and healthier society.” But one of the major barriers to people starting to use bikes as a means of transport, for commuting or going to the shops for example, is their perception of danger, Green continues. That’s something that Busby wants to help, and earlier this year Busby 2.0 was launched. Busby rewards users for being safe, offering coins for every protected mile and for each family/friend referral. These coins can allow users to enter monthly giveaways, unlock discounts and rewards within the app with cycling brands. The new redesign also brings new patent-pending features such as Busby Flare and RoadRadar. Incident hotspots The cycling revolution we have seen recently will drop of a little bit, Green says, perhaps depending on how mild the winter is. “It will drop off seasonally. We’ve also seen in the news that there’s been a vocal minority of people who’ve wanted to get rid of the cycle lanes that have been put in. But there’s a lot of other local authorities who have pushed back on those people and said: ‘This is the future, get used to it’. There have been other tools released by local authorities which are allowing people to pinpoint trouble spots. “That’s something, with our analytics, that we’re driving towards as well. We want to build up a database of incident hotspots and places where people feel in danger when they ride. We can, with local authorities, work with those people to try and improve the layout of the roads and perhaps look at speed limits in the future. “Analytics is going to be a huge part of the business. We’re collecting anonymised data and we want to be able to use that in a positive way rather than just sit on it. There’s a lot of good we could potentially do with that information. That’s why we’re in this as well, if it helps make cycling and other forms of active transport safer.” Busby has also had feedback from some people who, following an incident, have said the app has either saved their life or got them help. “I’ve been in several bike accidents myself and sometimes, depending on the circumstances, you might go into shock and forget what you’re supposed to be doing,” says Green. “Something just as easy as finding out where you are Google Maps becomes a long drawn-out process because your hands are shaking and you forget what you’re supposed to do in these circumstances, whereas with Busby, if you have an incident, that’s taken away from you and you can get help if you need it.
22 | October 2020
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“That was the first feature that we had to market and we’re launching new ones all the time. For the future, we’re going to be, in part, driven by demand for features. We’ve got a site up where people can suggest new things. We’re going to react to what the customer wants – what our fellow cyclists and active transport participants need in the future.” Modal shifts Green predicts that modality will change, as people do fewer leisure rides during the week because they’ve got to go to the office. But this could also mean that commuting as a modal share might rise as a result. “It might even be the same, or slightly more bike journeys, because if you’re commuting, you’re going to be riding twice a day rather than taking a lunchtime ride because you’re at home and have nothing else to do.” Certainly in central London, a car journey to work is probably the ‘worst option’, Green says, and will be the same in a lot of city centres. But with the reduced capacity on public transport, for people who might not have made the journey by bike before, it might be that cycling is the more obvious and efficient option for them. “We’re fairly positive about participation being higher than previous autumns and winters. Next year will probably be the true test.” n
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NUMBER CRUNCHING 25 BB-OCT20 Stats Final.indd 1
The DfT recently released its annual Road Traffic Estimates across the UK, comparing levels from 2018 and 2019â€Ś
Car traffic increased by 2.2% from 2018 levels. The figure of 278.2 billion vehicle miles (bvm) is the highest annual estimate ever of car traffic
Pedal cycles travelled 3.5 billion miles on roads in 2019, 3.4% further than in the previous year, and over a third more than 25 years ago
Pedal cycle traffic (cyclists on public highways, and the paths adjacent to them) was 3.5 bvm, 16.4% above ten years ago
Year-to-year changes in cycle traffic can be volatile due to factors such as the weather, so long-term changes are more reliable indicators of underlying trends. In the last 25 years, cycling mileage on roads has increased by 38.3%. Cycle mileage on roads in 2019 was only around one quarter of the 14.7 billion miles ridden in 1949. Cycle traffic fell most quickly during the 1950s and 1960s, coinciding with a large rise in car ownership.
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POINTS OF VIEW
Do our customers really care about the climate? In a four-part series, James Smith investigates whether cycling consumers are considering the environmental and ethical impacts of their purchases
recently completed an MSc in Strategic Business Management. To be fair, it did not mention what to do in a global pandemic! However, my dissertation did focus on the changing customer focus on the climate. It has led to a number of conversations across social media – is it time we, as an industry, really began to focus on our climate credentials? This series of articles will focus on the cycling industry and our approach to our clients and their growing concern with our impact on the environment. The environment and ethical responsibilities of organisations and the general concerns surrounding climate change are in the media every day. Brands across the world are considering their positions, reducing their packaging and ensuring that consumers are aware of their green credentials. The brands that are doing this understand that there is a market gain to be had by improving their environmental and/or ethical credentials. However, the current research is based around the environmental and/or ethical concerns of individuals, rather than the concerns of the consumer as they consider their purchase. The UK cycling consumer is widely thought of as having generic green credentials by their choice of transport. Cycling is, of course, a green way to travel, and with fewer emissions than many other forms of transportation, it is also better for the health of the nation. A 2010 report, Challenges in Researching Consumer Ethics, said: “to assume that an objective and universal ethics exists is misguided.
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“Consumer decision-making processes and ethical choices are complex, and consumers are ambivalent and possess multiple value systems” (Hiller, 2010). However, in the ten years since this report was written, ethics and environmental consumerism has reached a much higher public profile, not least with the BBC documentary Blue Planet. This groundbreaking BBC documentary was the number one most-watched programme on the BBC in 2017. The programme itself had many upsetting scenes, highlighting the issues around single-use plastics which created a groundswell of opinion against plastic waste (Loughley, 2018). For the last 30 years, continuous environmental legislation has made manufacturers, distributors and retailers change their production, delivery and retail cycle. However, it was not until 1987 that the environment received its own chapter in any European single market treaty. Towards the end of the 1980s, environmentalism became more popular with the growth of environmental organisations and political parties within the European Union. In 1997, the Amsterdam treaty began the process of environmental policy integration called the Cardiff Process (Hey, 2013). Today, the European Union has over 130 separate environmental targets and objectives to be met between 2010 and 2050. These range from air quality improvement, proper waste management and reductions in plastic (European Environment Agency, 2019). Brands positioning themselves in the green market include:
October 2020 | 27
POINTS OF VIEW
Zara Clothing Brand A report in the Guardian in July 2019 reported that fashion chain Zara would produce all its clothing from 100% recycled sources by 2025. This includes the target of 80% of all energy consumed will come from renewable sources (Conlon, 2019). Bio Beans The Bio-Bean energy company recycles waste coffee grounds into carbon-neutral logs. This repurposing of the coffee bean generates 80% fewer emissions with zero waste to landfill (Jones, 2019). Lush Cosmetics Lush Cosmetics uses only mineral oil, and it is committed to supporting the environment and supporting the environmental groups. For example, Lush is one of a few brands that offers its products in either 100% compostable packaging or even naked products if the customer makes that choice (Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics UK, 2019). A number of cycling brands have begun to at least recognise their impact on the environment; Endura and Primal both have sustainability policies on their websites, whilst GRN clothing uses recycled materials in its products. Physical or online – which is better at messaging their green credentials? The movement from physical retailers to online stores has been dramatic. A report in the Telegraph found that over half of purchases will move online over the next decade (Wallace, 2019). This dramatic change then means that this theatre of consumerism will become increasingly under the spotlight by consumers for their ethical and or environmental positions. Ethical values include online policies on privacy, sustainability, workers’ rights and manufacturing.
28 | October 2020
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Environmental policies for online retailers can include everything from materials, outputs and waste. Online retailers are required by UK, EU and international law to exhibit this information on their websites, allowing a much easier method of audit for the consumer. Concerns around online security have led some consumers to question the ethical values of online retailers before making purchases, and this has led to an increase in trust in reviews, social feedback and brand trust. Current volatility within the physical retail sphere requires that stores operate in a multi-channel environment; this still requires physical floor space. These physical store spaces require maintenance, rent and other ongoing costs that are much higher in general than the online sphere. However, there is still space for the physical store in the multi-channel environment. This space still requires a relationship between the consumer and the retailer. A 2012 report found that: “Physical stores were preferred by older consumers, decreasing in popularity as consumers decreased in age. However, all consumers visited them for social reasons. Finally, the study found that catalogues are seen as outdated, inconvenient and not environmentally friendly, and as a result have been replaced by online as a transactional channel” (Boardman and McCormick, 2018). Physical stores have less opportunity to prove their green or ethical credentials and rely on their online space policies to do so. James Smith is the founder of a business development, marketing, social media and PR business focusing on smaller businesses with micro-budgets. His full dissertation can be seen and downloaded at jamessmithgroup.com/publishedwork. Should you wish to use the information, please ensure credit is given. n
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FEATURE Taipei Cycle has added a virtual exhibition for 2021
A digital future The Taipei Cycle Show is set to return next March, sitting alongside a virtual event. But could online shows become more normal in a post-pandemic world? Rebecca Morley reports
aipei Cycle was among one of the first bike shows postponed and eventually cancelled in 2020, with travel restrictions and safety concerns twice disrupting its plans. While no one could have predicted quite how long restrictions would linger, it quickly became clear that industry events would seldom take place in 2020 – at least not as originally planned. Although it was unable to go ahead with its traditional event, Taipei Cycle, in partnership with TaiSPO, launched a 2D and VR exhibition back in May, opting to accelerate the deployment of integrated online services and assisted manufacturers to create business opportunities online. In addition to allowing buyers to place orders in 2D, Taipei Cycle displayed 40 ‘Taipei Cycle d&i awards, Innovation Design Award-Winning Products’ in virtual reality. But as we look ahead to future iterations in a postCOVID world, many will be wondering what form the global events calendar might assume.
30 | October 2020
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Taipei Cycle is indeed set to return next March, but will sit alongside a new virtual event – a move that aims to help the international cycling industry ‘get business done’ through the pandemic. The show will still hold a physical exhibition, taking place as scheduled at TaiNex Halls 1 and 2 from 3rd-6th March, featuring dedicated exhibits to all manner of traditional and electric bikes, parts and accessories, along with drive units, cycling services and smart cycling devices. Taipei Cycle Online will kick off on the same day – but will continue for one month. The change was announced by Walter Yeh, president of the show’s organising body TAITRA, in a press conference broadcast to an audience of domestic and international media from Taipei last month. Yeh was joined by three leading industry figures: Michael Tzeng, president and CEO of Merida, Bonnie Tu, chair of Giant Group, and Robert Wu, chair of KMC, at the leaders panel, who shared their thoughts on the key theme, ‘Cycling Through The Pandemic’.
“The pandemic has transformed the dynamic of trade and business and shifted the world towards being digital,” says Yeh. “We are excited to embrace that change with Taipei Cycle Online. Our joint exhibition platforms offer an innovative solution to our international exhibitors and attendees who, like us, want to continue getting the business of the cycling industry done whilst we weather the storm of COVID-19.” Four elements will comprise Taipei Cycle Online: - A virtual hall and booths to display the unique offerings of all exhibitors - Online networking platforms to schedule meetings - Live-stream events to experience elements of the physical event in Taipei including the Fashion Show, Cycle Salon and online forums discussing industry insights - exclusive access to insights on buyer demographics following the show to inform marketing “Through this platform, we are giving the exhibitors every opportunity to show their latest products,” adds Yeh.
“This kind of growth also has a lot to do with what Merida, Giant and KMC have done so far this year. It’s also worth mentioning that Sweden has become one of the biggest exporting countries for Taiwan’s e-bikes this year.” Yeh says the reason behind that is the subsidies launched in a lot of European countries, who have also put money into promoting cycling and the bike industry. “Of course, Taiwan’s bicycles have been very highly regarded in the world markets. We have a sophisticated marketing network and we also produce some of the best quality components to different places in the world. Even with the pandemic bringing such havoc to global markets, Taiwan’s bicycle industry has still managed to stand strong.” The future of digital marketing COVID-19 has greatly accelerated a shift to digital commerce for businesses large and small. But with the possibility of more events shifting to online, how can exhibitors and companies find more ways to look for business opportunities?
Taipei Cycle and TaiSPO launched a 2D and VR exhibition back in May
“They can upload videos, they can show their strengths and do online campaigns. Just by logging onto our virtual platform, buyers all over the world can have a look at what Taiwanese companies and exhibitors can offer.” At the physical event, the number of companies exhibiting e-bikes and drive units is expected to exceed 200 booths, doubling in size since last year. Up to this July, Taiwan’s e-bike exports reached 410,000, up 21% from the same period last year, and the export value of e-bikes reached $523 billion, on par with regular bikes, which stood at $583 billion. “According to the latest statistics, from January to July this year, we’ve seen a decrease in the exports of complete bicycles,” says Yeh. “However, we have seen some growth of e-bikes. Not just here in Taiwan, but also in other big markets like the US, the Netherlands and Germany.
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“Exhibitions are a platform for companies to find their potential partners,” says Yeh. “Due to the pandemic, a lot of them have been cancelled and so they have to be done online this year. “We have to take advantage of this. We encourage companies to upload videos and to make all their information available online. TAITRA has also been doing a lot of online events, such as trade meetings and product launches. We will continue to do this to help the companies from Taiwan keep their operations going.” “We started doing international marketing a few years ago,” adds Giant’s Tu, “but we were just doing it to expand our reach at that time. This year the pandemic broke out, and this kind of digital marketing turned out to be a very important factor for our entire marketing strategy. “Digital and online product launches will become the new normal.” n
October 2020 | 31
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minutes with... This month, BikeBiz catches up Rapid Racer Products (RRP) owner Craig Bromley
Can you give us a little background on RRP? Although I was late to mountain biking, only buying my first bike at the age of 29 to try and get fit and lose weight, I fell in love with it and started downhill racing two years later, eventually setting up my race team Rapid Racers. Along with a fellow teammate Paul Mackie, we decided there was a neater solution for a mudguard than the commonly used cut up innertube and zip ties. We subsequently set up a partnership company Rapid Racer Products. Our first product was the NeoGuard mudguard, used by thousands of racers from XC to DH all round the world, including many World Cup and World Champions such as Nicolas Vouilloz, Tracy Moseley, Gee/ Dan/Rachael Atherton and Danny Hart. The business progressed and I then took on the business on my own as Rapid Racer Products Ltd. I created a range of products, including the well-known EnduroGuard, the universally loved Bearing Press and Extraction Tool, and the new ProGuard range of moulded mudguards. www.bikebiz.com
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What is RRP’s mission statement? Our ethos has always been “Clean eyes clear vision”. Riding in the mud, you are always going to get dirty; we originally set out to ensure you can at least see where you’re going no matter what the conditions are like. Now it’s just to make the best designed, best quality, and best performing products first, then find a way to make profit later. We have a very loyal following that love our products and appreciate the huge amount of attention to detail, unmatched by our competitors. What area of the cycling market does RRP target? Our main focus began with, and continues to be, the MTB market. Although we’re lucky here in the UK to have some world-class riding spots, the same can’t be said for the weather! We wanted to create a product to help mountain bikers ride in all conditions, all year round, which seems to really resonate with a lot of riders not only here in the UK, but also around the world. That being said, we also do have a small range of road and cyclocross products as well – there’s something for everyone! October 2020 | 33
What makes RRP unique? Unrelenting attention to detail regardless of time or cost. We’ve put extensive development into both the design and materials used. For example, the polypropylene used for the ProGuards is designed for high impacts, flexibility and durability, as well as maintaining these crucial properties in cold weather, whereas standard polypropylene can get brittle. This specific material does, unfortunately, have a very low surface tension though which makes it extremely challenging to attach any sort of decals (and even its own packaging!) – this meant finding the right kind of (very expensive) adhesive that will allow the sticker to adhere and survive extended use in all conditions and repeated washes. It’s only a small thing, but it just goes to show how far we’ll develop a product to get it as good as it possibly can be, first and foremost. What does it offer that its competitors perhaps do not? We created the first large bolt on mudguard of its kind in the world, the ProGuard Bolt On. This allows for, by far, the neatest mudguard solution on the market today for forks that have bolt holes on the bridge. There’s no rockshox option (yet…) as the previous generation of forks lacked any threaded holes, however as the 2021 ZEB and SID forks have these crucial mounts, we’re developing a ProGuard to fit, it’s just not quite ready yet. Watch this space. We have some unique features on our mudguards such as the Seal Shield that protect the fork seals from excessive ingress of water or dirt, and should the worst happen and a guard is damaged in a crash, we offer a ProGuard Crash Replacement Scheme not seen by any other competitor. Tell us about your manufacturing process. RRP has a massive group of ambassadors and sponsored riders to help out with testing 3D-printed prototype designs in the real world, then we only use a small group of trusted manufacturers that we can ensure quality from and challenge them with finding the very latest materials and processes to further improve our design. This is often not the cheapest or quickest route, but one we’ve found it builds a dedicated and loyal following of our quality. All our products designed by Rapid Racer Products Ltd are manufactured and packed in the UK. That way, we can ensure every step of the process can be controlled locally and ensure the upmost quality control is maintained.
34 | October 2020
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What sort of feedback have you received from the industry? The new range of ProGuard moulded mudguards, especially the recently launched Bolt On version, has gone wild throughout the world. Whilst it took years to design and make, taking most of our finances to fund, it’s without doubt the mudguard to have right now. Our ProGuard mudguards have won group tests and were labelled the Best Mudguard available in 2020 by MBR magazine. The customer response has been equally fantastic and has converted thousands of riders to running mudguards where previously they wouldn’t have dreamed of it. We actually see a lot of riders leaving their ProGuard on all year round as they’ve found it doesn’t just protect them in the wet conditions, but can help stop grit and stones being flicked up by the front wheel. What are your plans for the rest of 2020 and beyond? We’re a small company and so we have to pick our projects wisely, we continually update and improve existing lines whilst prototyping many new ideas. We have designed a smaller version of our original ProGuard called the ProGuard Mini (cable tie). This also has a Velcro strap attachment option (due out in spring 2021). We have a Fox 40 adapter bracket for the ProGuard Bolt On (26in and 27.5in Fox forks) that is just going to mold now so will be available early 2021. We’ve also updated our original ProGuard Standard and Max Protection (cable tie) designs to add velcro slots for those who remove their mudguard frequently. We also took the opportunity to retexture the surface of these and the ProGuard Rear so they match the finish of the much loved Bolt On mudguards, these will be called the V2 and will be available before Xmas. There’s more going on in the background of course that we can’t tell you about just yet. You’ll just have to keep an eye on our social media for the next new developments! n
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non-PEATY’S TUBELESS SEALANT IS AN AMMONIAFREE, NON-HAZARDOUS, LATEX-BASED TUBELESS TYRE COMPOUND, LASTS UP TO SIX MONTHS IN THE TYRE, WON’T BALL UP IN THE TYRE AND IS EASILY WASHED OUT WITH WATER.
Designed by pro riders, mechanics and scientists, Peaty’s Rim Tape has been developed from the ground up as a bicycle rim tape. The super high tensile strength tape is primed with a bespoke adhesive which clings like s**t to a blanket, yet leaves a minimal mess when removed. Available in 21mm, 25mm, 30mm and 35mm
OUR LIGHTWEIGHT FORMULA SEALS QUICKLY AND EFFECTIVELY, WHILE OUR BIODEGRADABLE GLITTER PLATELETS TAKE CARE OF HOLES AND TEARS UP TO 6MM. ADDED CORROSION INHIBITORS PREVENT DEGRADATION OF TYRES AND RIMS.
TUBELESS CONVERSION KIT Peaty’s Tubeless Conversion Kit includes everything you need to run a fully optimised tubeless setup – Peaty’s Rim Tape, Tubeless Valves and Sealant. If you value more time spent on the bike and less time fixing punctures, this is the perfect set up.
Not Just Chucked In a Box
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Born In The Lab, Raised Between The Tapes
LINKLUBE - ALL WEATHER Peaty’s unique two-part formula penetrates and cleans deep inside your chain, driving out moisture, grit and grime and replacing them with unique blend of oils and waxes (Peaty’s secret sauce) to lubricate and protect. Yes, you read that correctly... Peaty’s Link Lube actually cleans your chain as you use it! Available in 60ml and 120ml
For When It’s Dryer Than A...
Make it stand out
LINKLUBE - DRY
free standing pos unit
LinkLube Dry is a readily biodegradable, wax-based chain lube for use in desert dry and dusty, to mildly moist conditions. Our unique formula uses a blend of waxes suspended in a water-based emulsion to give you a long-lasting, clean-running, quiet chain. Available in 15ML, 60ML AND 120ML
OUR 2020 POS DISPLAYS ARE CONSTRUCTED OF STURDY ALUMINIUM AND FEATURE A MULTINATIONAL SOCKET TO LIGHT UP THE LED CROWN LOGO. WITH 5 ADJUSTABLE SHELF HEIGHTS AND SLATWALL CUT OUTS ON THE SIDE FOR DISPLAY HOOKS, THIS IS ABOUT AS BAD ASS A DISPLAY AS YOU CAN GET AND REALLY MAKES PEATY’S STAND OUT IN-STORE!
The full Peaty’s range is available to order NOW exclusively from SIlverfish UK
Find out more
Retailers interested in finding out more about becoming a premium Peaty’s stockist should contact Silverfish on 01752 843882 or by email via: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The most versatile carbon fibre bike ever? Superstrata has launched a 3D-printed carbon fibre bike and e-bike. Rebecca Morley catches up with CEO Sonny Vu
Superstrata debuted its Oxford edition at The Bike Shop at Selfridges. Credit: Alberto Romano
he transport revolution and the rising demand for cycling in 2020 has seen many businesses pick up new customers and quickly sell out of bikes. With many people across the world now embracing active travel, an exciting platform that been provided for new models to enter the market – and innovations such as 3D-printing have the potential to provide customers with even more opportunity when it comes to choice of design.
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This summer has seen the launch of Superstrata – the “world’s first” 3D-printed custom unibody carbon fibre composite bike and e-bike. Its proprietary composite 3D-printing manufacturing technology is able to print each frame individually according to each rider’s precise body measurements. “We wanted to jumpstart showing off what we can do as a company in terms of the technology,” says Sonny Vu, CEO of Arevo, the company behind Superstrata.
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“We thought we would try to not just print something complicated, like a bike, but to print thousands of them. Usually in the 3D-printing space, you can make one or five of something, but that’s not interesting because they’re usually small. We thought we’d build something big enough for humans and build thousands of them. “That’s how we came upon doing Superstrata – it’s really just a way to demonstrate what the technology can do, the core technology being a system that 3D-prints continuous carbon fibre fast. We’ve been working on bikes for some time and we made a few different versions over the years. Then we thought we’d make something that’s good looking, that way we can innovate in terms of design. And so we designed Superstrata.” Exceeding expectations The Superstrata touts a unibody construction, 3D-printed in a single pass of continuous carbon fibre thermoplastic composite. With over 500,000 possible combinations, Superstrata claims to be the “most versatile carbon fibre bike ever made”. Two versions will be available, a bicycle and an e-bike, the latter fully chargeable in two hours providing for up to a 55-mile range. Both will feature integrated data and power wiring throughout the frame, enabling a variety of electronic upgrades.
Superstrata has seen its UK interest go up “substantially”
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The Superstrata’s frame can be tailored to the rider’s height, weight, arm and leg lengths, riding positions and even preferred stiffness levels
Additional options include different riding styles (racing, street, gravel or touring), wheel material (metal or carbon fibre) and colourways (light or dark). “It just blew up on the internet so we said OK – we have our demand,” Vu continues. “This is something that people like.” And since its launch in July, Superstrata has exceeded $6 million in pre-orders. “It’s definitely been beyond our expectations. “We were hoping to do three million this year and we hit that within 13 days. We feel very fortunate that so many people would believe in us. It’s a very odd thing to preorder something so expensive, but I also think we’re riding on the coattails of a pretty strong tailwind of demand for bikes worldwide.” Superstrata plans to start shipping these bikes in December, but with so many orders, Vu says some may spill into early 2021. Brand collaborations Earlier this year, the brand arrived in the UK in the form of a special edition. The Superstrata Oxford made its debut at Selfridges’ The Bike Shop, suspended on a Vadolibero’s Vertik next to a classic Penny Farthing bike. This aimed to show just how far we’ve come in bike design and usage over the last 100 plus years. “We’re not like a traditional bike brand – a traditional bike brand would have a design which you can ship. But we don’t do that because every bike is bespoke. We take your measurements – your shirt size, your pant size, your inseam arm length, weight – and then we calculate the frame and print it, so each one is completely custom,” says Vu.
Superstrata has now exceeded $6 million in pre-orders
The Oxford edition, which was only available in The Bike Shop, included the coveted carbon fibre wheels with a highly premium groupset, two of the most requested features from customers, Superstrata said. “We’ve got quite a bit of traffic as a result of that – we’ve seen our UK interest go up pretty substantially,” says Vu. “Selfridges is an incredible store, it’s a very legitimising force, and we were fortunate to be a new brand there. We’re tickled that they would have us. It was a good introduction, it shows people that it’s real and it’s there. That was a prototype but it was a good way to show off the design.” The brand is also launching a bike for kids, having partnered with the Saint-Exupéry family. The Little Prince edition’s design will be similar to the adult version of the Superstrata, and will also feature the colours and visual elements from work by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. “We had a few people ask us if we can make one small enough for kids,” Vu says. “We hadn’t really thought about that but then we’d had enough demand that we thought we should. For any other bike brand, it would be a big deal because you have to set up an entirely new production line. For us, we just need to design it and print it and that’s it. “There’s still some process involved but it’s a lot easier to do than setting up an entire line.” Superstrata has also previously collaborated with the superhero Ultraman in Japan and the electronic music festival Time Warp in Germany.
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“Part of the point of these collaborations is to double down on our focus on design and culture. It’s less about performance, even though we get associated with performance because it’s carbon fibre. It’s really about design, lifestyle and fun. Usually the first thing carbon fibre bike owners say is how much they paid for it. Ours are very light and definitely very impact resistant. That’s the focus.” Looking to the future R&D and innovation are vital to any industry – with technological advancements beneficial to all within the trade no matter how big or small your business is. And 3D-printing is sure to shake up how bikes are manufactured, providing more possibilities for made-to-measure models. “The technology is unique so it’s actually quite difficult to do 3D-printing for carbon fibre,” says Vu. “There’s 3D-printing for metal and plastic out there, but carbon fibre is very difficult to work with. “If anything, we’d love to be making frames for other people. The goal here isn’t to sell a bunch of bikes for Superstrata, the goal is to get the word out and to generate interest. If Cannondale or Specialized want us to print bikes or frames for them then we will – that’s our real business. “We’re already getting quite a bit of inbound interest, so it’s just a matter of finding the right brand to start with and then grow with them. We’d like to make bikes for everybody.” n
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https://issuu.com/bizmediauk/docs/bikebiz_directory_2020 BB Directory House Ad.indd 1
A record-breaking day Last month’s Local Bike Shop Day witnessed a record number of bike shops and customers take part in its third annual event. BikeBiz looks at why it is now more vital than ever to celebrate IBDs across the UK
Many shops have been busy with servicing and repairs this summer
ocal bike shops have played a undeniably vital role during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing the nation with safe, socially-distanced methods of transport while offering expert input to help all cyclists select the best model to suit their needs. But this doesn’t mean that IBDs, like the rest of the retail industry, haven’t faced difficulties this summer, with some struggling to cater to the new rise in demand and others having to furlough staff or adapt in other ways to the restrictions. It is therefore more important than ever to recognise the effort that has been put in to keep the industry going, and celebrate what makes brick and mortar so
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unique and essential in this particularly unusual period for retail – especially when some consumers may have turned to online purchasing. As a result of lockdown, Local Bike Shop Day (LBSD), was postponed to 5th September this year and instead arrived at the perfect time to celebrate the recent upturn in cycling and draw attention to all that local bike shops have done for us throughout the pandemic. The revised date was perfectly placed to celebrate two key themes: encouraging children to start cycling on their return to school, and keeping the nation cycling after the seasonal good weather comes to an end.
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And with last year’s iteration witnessing 72% growth from LBSD’s inaugural year, the stage was set to make this year’s edition the biggest yet. Each year, the day celebrates independent cycle shops across the UK and is designed to appeal to all cyclists – new and dedicated enthusiasts – with the ultimate aim of increasing web traffic and driving more footfall through the doors of IBDs up and down the country. #supportyourlocalbikeshop This year’s LBSD was the most successful date yet. A record number of bike shops and customers celebrated the day across the UK; many local bike shops promoted their involvement on social media and marked the day with events and in-store offers, reporting an increase in footfall on the day as a result. On the day, the hashtag #supportyourlocalbikeshop had a reach of 360,025, an increase of 380% in comparison to the reach achieved last year, as well as having over 400,000 impressions. The LBSD website had over 5,000 unique visitors with the most popular page being the ‘find a local bike shop’ search facility, indicating consumers actively looking for their local participating shop. The day was supported by a record number of cycling organisations and partners, including the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking (APPGCW), BikeBiz, British Cycling, Cycle to Work Day, Cyclescheme, Cycling UK, Cytech, Freewheel, Insync, the London Bike Show,
This year’s Local Bike Shop Day aimed to keep the nation cycling into autumn and encourage children to cycle to school
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Jeremy Vine was among the supporters of Local Bike Shop Day 2020
Love to Ride, Raleigh UK, Sustrans, The Cycle Show and Transport for London. In addition to cycling organisations, the day was promoted by a variety of MPs and non-cycling organisations, including Small Business Saturday and Indie Retail. A few well-known faces also got on board such as Jeremy Vine, Gail Porter and Sharron Davies. Thanks to supporters helping to raise awareness of LBSD across a variety of platforms, the day reached over 800,000 impressions, most of which were on consumerfacing channels. However, those which add the most value to the day are the local bike shops themselves, and this year more shops got involved than ever before. The number of bike shops registered on the LBSD website rose by 77%. As a special thank you to those shops engaging the most on social media for LBSD, Cyclescheme, part of Blackhawk Network, provided local bike shops with a range of point of sale materials, social media support and competition prizes for stores. Six shops were gifted £150 worth of vouchers to treat themselves and their staff to a night out. The winners were Belhaven Bikes in Dunbar, The Marlborough Bike Company in Marlborough, Saddles and Paddles in Exeter, TT Cycles in Bradford on Avon, Altrincham Bikeshak in Cheshire and Balfe’s Bikes in London.
Belhaven Bikes, Local Bike Shop Day 2018
Heather Baker, who owns Saddles and Paddles, one of the winning stores, said: “I always try to support initiatives like LBSD as they help small businesses like mine reach out to customers, both new and old, while being part of a bigger movement. “There’s never been a more important time to support local, independent shops and so I was keen to use LBSD to remind people of all the benefits of shopping with us, rather than chains or online stores.” Paul Corcoran at Pennine Cycles experienced increased footfall on the day, in comparison to the usual Saturday trade, stating: “It’s always great to get involved with LBSD and be part of the UK-wide community, and raise our profile and let customers see we are part of a bigger community.” LBSD was also well celebrated among consumers, who used the day as a reason to either visit their favourite local bike shop or explore one they would not have visited otherwise. On the day, Cyclescheme also gave four lucky customers, who visited a participating shop and requested or redeemed a Cyclescheme certificate, the chance to win a £250 cycling gift card.
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The customer winners included Jane Atkin from Sheffield. Atkin, a Giant Liverpool customer, said: “I had one of the best experiences in the Giant store in Liverpool. The team were so passionate and enthusiastic about cycling and the brand and making the time to make sure the bike was right for me. I travelled up from Sheffield to Liverpool to get the bike I wanted and am looking forward to returning in a few weeks for a free service and now to use my vouchers!” Get ready for LBSD 2021 With LBSD 2020 being the most successful year to date, the event organisers, the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT), will now be aiming for LBSD 2021 to grow further still. Keep your eyes peeled for the new date for LBSD 2021. n
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Road bikes and accessories 2
Scalare Disc 105
TI Raleigh 40th Anniversary Edition
Bling Tape Bar Tape
Distributor: Chicken CycleKit
Distributor: Raleigh UK
An entry-level carbon road bike, the Scalare has the feel and benefits associated with much higher end models. Whether you are an all-day sportive rider or entering your first amateur race, the Scalare will be your perfect partner. Tifosi’s R&D department focused on improving ride comfort with updated stays to dampen road buzz, increasing tyre clearance and dropping 200g over the previous Scalare, all without compromising on road feel.
It’s been 40 years since Joop Zoetemelk claimed the top spot in the 1980 Tour de France with the TI-Raleigh-Creda team, and we’ve marked this momentous milestone with the TI-Raleigh Anniversary Edition bicycle and frameset. The anniversary edition of the TI-Raleigh has been recreated using the original features: a Selle Italia Turbo 1980 saddle, iconic red Reynolds 753 frame tubing, Cinelli bars, Mavic rims and Campagnolo drivetrain.
Supacaz Bling collection delivers the flashiest bar tapes for the flashiest of riders. Fusing performance and style, Supacaz delivers the only bar tape worth dreaming about. Signature Supacaz Oil Slick gives that perfect touch. £32.99.
A cornerstone of our range since 2008, the beauty of the Equilibrium is in its versatility. Reynolds 725 tubing isolates you from broken tarmac and unmade roads, while rack and guard mounts make the Equilibrium your timeless, year-round companion, wherever the road may take you. Equipped with Shimano’s workshorse 105 groupset, the latest Equilibrium will accommodate a 32mm tyre to deliver more comfort than ever before, whether you’re riding along green lanes, light gravel or cobbles.
46 | October 2020
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Agree C:62 SLT
Race Pro (updated)
Distributor: Extra UK
Distributor: Oneway Bike Industry BV
Distributor: Chicken CycleKit
Whether for road, track or trail, professional athlete or weekend warrior, it is our mission to produce the best bike in every class. We conduct our own research and development in-house at the BMC Impec Lab in Switzerland, and we use the findings to create unique, cutting edge, proprietary cycling technologies that continue to be what make BMC bikes stand out from the crowd. Available exclusively from ZyroFisher.
The Raw is a no-compromise wheelset built around the new DT Swiss 180 EXP hub, featuring all new Laminar Airflow Wing Technology (LAW Tech) that uses a wider 21mm internal and 44mm deep rim profile and internal nipples that take aerodynamics to the next level, even when using higher volume 28c road tyres. Weighing in at 1420g, they are fast, aero and light.
Its lightweight race chassis doesn’t just look fast – it is fast. Designed around a tapered head tube and profiled down tube and chainstays to be as accurate and efficient as possible, every aspect is finessed to extract more speed. From its Newmen Advanced carbon wheelset, featuring a new profile for improved aero performance, to its lightweight frame and carefully selected Newmen carbon contact points, it’s the best of road race tech.
Flinger Race Pro mudguards are quick-fit, quick release performance mudguards for all season use. Fitted or removed in only a few minutes, no mudguard eyelets are required to fit these guards. Featuring alloy hardware and polycarbonate blades for all year durability, they are easy to adjust and fit to your bike with twist lock stay adjusters and rubber straps. The updated Race Pro can accept a 700x32c maximum tyre size.
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R1 Road Bike
Power Road Tyres
Outrider MIPS Helmet
Distributor: Upgrade Bikes
Distributor: Silverfish UK
Distributor: Jungle Products
The R1 is aimed at the cyclist craving simplicity, reliability and the capability a 1x drivetrain can offer: in short a bike they can just get on and ride and have fun. Keenly priced at £1,500 with SRAM Apex and Schwalbe G-One Speed 700x30c folding tyres, the R1 has ample room still for full mudguards and has the practical features of rack mounts as standard.
Built for comfort and speed, the dynamic frame of the Racemaster is crafted from 3K carbon with a mixture of stiffness and compliance. This highperformance offering is topped off with Shimano’s highly acclaimed 105 groupset for excellent performance. With an RRP of £1,549, the Racemaster comes in a choice of 51cm, 54cm and 57cm frames, features stainless steel blade spokes for minimal air drag and a Velo Geltech saddle.
Comes in clincher and tubeless ready versions. Both use the latest-generation X-Race Compound rubber, optimised in the world of racing and designed to combine exceptional grip on wet and dry roads with amazing rolling efficiency and optimised tread wear for longer tyre life. Advanced casing designs ensure robustness and the clincher version features Aramid Protek+ technology to significantly reduce the risk of puncturing.
The Outrider uses impact technology inherited from Sweet Protection’s high-end models, presented in a compact shaped value-for-money package. It offers low weight, great comfort and superior protection. Without compromising on performance, it works as well for racing as it does for commuting. It’s equipped with the MIPS Brain Protection System, a low-friction layer solution that reduces rotational forces transferred to the brain.
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Ronin Rig Eyewear
Distributor: All Weldtite distributors
Distributor: Jungle Products
Distributor: Raleigh, Bob Elliot, i-ride
The finishing touch for carbon frames. As used by Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling. Engineered to provide a sleek finish that repels dirt and water and looks as fast as you ride. Weldtite Carbon Polish protects your carbon frame from UV rays, keeping your bike in peak condition all year round. Suitable for all carbon finishes, including matt finishes.
The Corsa Control tackles greasy cobbles and rough roads with all the confidence of the classic Corsa. Sharing the same 320 TPI Corespun-K reinforced casing, and technical 4C Graphene compound technology, the Corsa Control adds a textured shoulder tread to the mix. This chevron tread pattern adds dynamic performance to the Corsa Control tread, allowing for increased grip on slippery surfaces, as well as added durability.
With its rigid lens geometry and semi frameless design, Ronin provides unrivalled field of vision and superior optical properties. The Ronin provides excellent fit to all our helmets, with temples designed to minimise intrusion and maximise comfort. This specific model is available with Sweetâ€™s unique Rig lens technology, developed by Sweet Protection to provide superior contrast enhancing vision with minimum colour distortion.
Eye-catching quality for the serious beginner. The UltraSport III features a PureGrip compound and an improved 180 threads per inch casing. With several colour options, you can give your bike the custom touch. The Ultrasport is a popular choice amongst leading race bike brands as an OEM product, meaning these companies place their trust in Continental as a fitting addition to their machines. Wire and folding bead options.
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Introducing A dedicated news service for the micromobility industry micromobilitybiz (MMB) is a brand new media outlet delivering regular updates to the burgeoning micromobility industry. It is the only dedicated trade news service for the sector. Delivered by the BikeBiz team, MMB focuses on sustainable transport solutions, from e-bikes and e-scooters to bike-sharing and hire schemes. MMB offers a free weekly newsletter, delivering the latest updates directly to readersâ€™ inboxes, from market trends and product updates to Government initiatives and evolving legislations. With an initial database of over 4,000 professionals in the sector, MMB is a must-read for those with an interest in the business. Our dedicated team can help you reach your business goals.
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Interested in being involved? For more information about MMB and its respective editorial and advertising opportunities, please get in touch via the details below: James Groves Editor 020 3143 8779 email@example.com Richard Setters Sales Manager 0779 480 5307 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chains, gears and cranks 2
EKAR 1x13 Groupset
Problem solving solutions
Turbine 136mm Cranks
Distributor: Chicken CycleKit
Distributor: The Cycle Division
Distributor: Silverfish UK
The new Campagnolo EKAR 13-speed groupset has been developed specifically for use on mixed surfaces; perfect for endurance road cycling with the 9-36 tooth cassette option or blazing new trails with the 10-44 tooth cassette when gravel riding. Ultimate versatility is made possible with the 13speed gearing options. Contact Chicken CycleKit to discover more about this incredible groupset and the available demo fleet of bikes.
You all know that The Cycle Division stocks a wide range of Sunrace drivetrain components, but it also keeps so many problem solving service parts – those small items that make a mechanic’s life just a bit easier and help to get repairs turned around as fast as possible. Spare cassette sprockets, chain links and adjusters might not be the sexiest products, but when the pressure is on in the workshop, these are the little things that make the big difference.
Quarq now covers the most popular power setups with complete powermeters. DFour, which is compatible with 4 arm Shimano rings, is available without rings in 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm setups. DZero, the model of choice for 11-speed SRAM setups, is available in a 52/36t chainring setup with 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm crank arm lengths. For the MTB rider, there will be a 32t XX1 Eagle setup available in 170mm and 175mm crankarm lengths.
The best-selling Race Face Turbine continues to set the benchmark for performance aluminium cranks and cements the Turbine legacy. Featuring the proven Race Face Cinch System interface, the Turbine is an incredibly light and stiff performance crankset for today’s modern XC, trail and all-mountain rider. Imagine interchangeable spiders, limitless ring combinations, a 30mm alloy spindle and compatibility across all relevant frame standards.
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October 2020 | 51
Rotor Bike Components
Slick Inner Gear Cable
Attiva SRM Chainset
Deore M6100 12-Speed Chain
Vegast 24mm Cranks
Distributor: The Cycle Division
Distributor: Chicken CycleKit
Distributor: Velotech Services
The stainless slick inner cable is pre-stretched by hammering during post-production, which enables the stretch and creates an extra smooth (slick) surface. This work has many advantages including faster and smoother gear changing. With the stretching taken out of the inner cable, the system requires very little adjustment once the slick cable is fitted. Available in workshop boxes or display carded exclusively from The Cycle Division.
The new Attiva Chainset is something of a phenomenon in the power meter market. Combining Miche’s expertise in component manufacture and SRM’s vast knowledge of Power Meter technology, the new Attiva SRM chainset brings SRM accuracy but at a fraction of the cost. At £1,249.99 RRP, the Attiva sets the benchmark for spider based power meter performance at low cost.
– Deore M6100 12-speed Hyperglide+ chain for smooth shifts and maximum durability – Shimano 12-speed Hyperglide+ chains have computer designed plate profiles to operate seamlessly with Shimano DCE 12-speed chainrings and cassette sprockets, resulting in 1/3 faster shift time than Hyperglide systems even under load – Outer plate design has been developed to reduce the chance of chain suck – For use with 12-speed HG+ drivetrains
– Vegast Crankset (VE leta, GA libier, ST elvio) named after iconic tour climbs is part of Rotors – Modular crank system and can be configured with 2x or 1x, and 24mm or 30mm axle – It covers a range of 1x gravel rings, 38T to 54T and 2x ONE piece super stiff rings or spider based pairing. Vegast can be upgraded to the Inspider power cranks at any stage – Prices: RRP £299 Vegast 24 mm, 50/34. Inspider upgrade +£580
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FC-RX810 GRX Chainset
Zayante Carbon S Road Crank
12sp Oval Chainrings for Shimano
Distributor: Upgrade Bikes
Distributor: Extra UK
Distributor: All Weldtite distributors
Shimano GRX, with its gravel specific ergonomics, optimised gearing options, rugged reliability, and quiet and stable drivetrain, sets itself apart from the rest of the component world. The HollowTech II 11-speed single chainset offers optimum gearing for mixed terrains and riding styles. – Designed to work with HollowTech II type bottom bracket cups – Compatible with 11-speed HG chains
The new Zayante Carbon “S” packs one of the highest performance punches for a very economical £240 SRP. Fitted with simplified cold forged LevaTime II X-rings with steel chainring bolts, the cranks install with the Praxis M30 family of BBs with a choice for just about all standards of frame. Great looks, high performance, low cost.
absoluteBLACK’s line of 12speed chainrings allow mixing of the latest Shimano MTB groupsets with your preferred cranks. Fitments available for direct-mount applications such as SRAM, Shimano 12-speed and Race Face Cinch as well as 104bcd and asymmetric 4-bolt for the greatest level of drivetrain compatibility on the market. Now everyone can experience the oval revolution on their Shimano 12-speed drivetrain.
Drivetrain cleaning made easy with the powerful waterbased Citrus Degreaser. This biodegradable degreaser enhances your ride, optimising drivetrain performance by easily removing dirt and grime from the chain, cassette and jockey wheels. As used by Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling for a professional clean every time. Suitable for all chains.
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October 2020 | 53
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BB-OCT20-USE RH.qxp_Layout 1 07/09/2020 09:30 Page 1
BIKES & ACCESSORIES
54 | October 2020
BIKES & ACCESSORIES
BIKES & ACCESSORIES
BIKES & ACCESSORIES
October 2020 | 55
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BIKES & ACCESSORIES
BIKES & ACCESSORIES
56 | October 2020
MARKETPLACE EPOS & ECOMMERCE
BIKE SHOP GREETINGS CARDS, GIFT VOUCHERS, BB-OCT20-PETER DOBBS.qxp_Layout 1 22/09/2020 09:52 Page 1 MASKS, BIKE FRAME LABELS, BAGS & OTHER PRINT
Local Bike Shop Day provides a chance to get people back to cycling
esearchers have long concluded that the start of a new school year triggers a powerful sense of renewal in adults as well as children. For parents and pupils, the rituals of buying new uniforms, rucksacks and school books beckon in a very literal sense of change. Even for those of us no longer governed by classrooms, the effect is very real. Changing weather and light; transitions in the UK from cricket to football or rugby, or in the US from the NBA to the NFL; the swapping of winter and summer duvets or wardrobes; all these things create a sense of newness at this time of the year. It is apt then that in this strangest of years, cycling shops geared up for Local Bike Shop Day (LBSD) last month, with lockdown conditions generally – albeit not universally – easing. Could there be a better moment to think about the renewal of the cycling industry? Whereas retailers in other sports and leisure pursuits suffered dramatic declines in sales in the early months of the
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pandemic, sales of bikes, parts and accessories, apparel and services within the cycling sector blossomed. While this boost in sales buoyed both the specialist and generalist sectors, it is worth pausing, as we celebrate LBSD, to recognise the efforts of IBDs over recent months. Although eventually allowed to remain open, IBDs had to run a gauntlet of challenges which threatened to depress sales. Staff illnesses, imperilled supply chains, social distancing restrictions and consumer anxiety could all have taken a toll on bike shops and reversed some of the excellent progress we have seen. Instead, bike shops across the country rose to the challenge. According to the Bicycle Association’s Cycling Market Data Service, powered by Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS), overall value sales across the IBD sector rose by 25% in the first half of 2020 with e-bikes, in particular, playing a significant role in driving the growth.
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The challenge for IBDs is to keep the momentum going, but all the signs suggest that the conditions are there for the UK’s new affection for bikes to become a long-term partnership rather than a summer fling. The Government bike repair scheme, despite a number of reported teething problems with payment processing, is introducing new prospective clients to IBDs. At the same time, investment is pouring into safer, more connected cycle routes, which remain the big barrier to growing cycling participation. According to the ECF’s COVID tracker, across the EU over 2,300km of cycling infrastructure has now been announced. Additional UK funding of €4.8 per person is towards the upper end of grants across the continent, comparable with France and Italy, if lower than Finland (€7.8 per person). Such infrastructure will offer an alternative route back to offices as furlough schemes unwind and companies move staff back towards offices on a part-time or full-time basis. SMS data already suggests, for example, that even with many office workers continuing to work remotely, the number of people cycling to work remains high and is currently almost double what it was in June. Even as low traffic networks change driving, walking and cycling conditions in cities, the new school year might offer the perfect time for returning pupils to think about going to school by bike. Marc Anderman of SMS said: “IBDs are the lifeblood of the UK cycling industry. It’s very exciting to be able to talk about extreme short-term growth, and it’s worth highlighting that cycling is one of very few categories that has seen this. However, it’s arguably even more important to be seeing stable growth which has the potential to become a long-term trend. That’s what we see across the IBD sector when we look at the first half of 2020. The fact that new categories are driving growth suggests new cyclists buying bikes for commuting, leisure and exercise. That, combined with changes to infrastructure, provides a great degree of optimism for the future of the industry.” If the story of autumn is that repetitive behaviour rapidly becomes habit-forming, isn’t that also true of research and the
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cycling industry? Starting a new school year at the same time for 16, 18, or 20+ years moulds us faster and more enduringly than we realise. A good experience in an IBD encourages repeat visits. The same is true of good data, which can foster better decision making in the long-term. The Market Data Service offers a powerful tool, one which is refreshed and renewed each month for suppliers, and one which, with regular use, can create powerful behavioural change for retailers, distributors and brands alike. n Sports Marketing Surveys is a specialist research agency with global reach and 35 years of experience. Its full range of quantitative and qualitative approaches provides comprehensive analysis in more than 100 sports. The resulting insight and strategic recommendations support some of the biggest brands, retailers, events, venues, federations and governing bodies around the globe to grow their businesses and get closer to the people who matter. The Bicycle Association is the national trade body for the UK cycling industry, representing over 70 members. Its market data service now covers between 60-70% of retail cycling sales across nearly 700,000 products back to January 2018. For more information about the service, please see www.bicycleassociation.org.uk/market-data To discuss how SMS can support you in the cycling industry, please contact email@example.com www.sportsmarketingsurveys.com
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