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‘Whatever shape life takes, we can be confident that cycling will play a central role in the decades to come’
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Life after lockdown While we’re hardly out of the COVID-19 woods just yet, it is vital – as Strava Metro’s Gareth Nettleton’s explains (p9) – to ensure cycling is more than just a pandemic trend. The benefits of micromobility are obvious, be it the impact on air pollution, public health or congestion levels. Most cities worldwide have faced an uphill battle in tackling these issues, and even at a modal share of 10-20%, micromobility eradicates enough motorised traffic to have a tangible effect on traffic flow. It is, however, undeniable that towns and cities – be it Hartlepool or Chicago – are facing serious dilemmas in their approaches to micromobility sharing schemes. Over the past few years, local councils have witnessed countless incidents of bike-share vandalism, but aggressive misuse is only the tip of the iceberg. A lack of viable infrastructure has led many schemes to go dockless; an innovative, wonderfully flexible idea on the face of it, but the harsh reality is that of unsightly, cluttered streets and hazardous city centres. For micromobility to scale any further, these problems need to be addressed urgently to avoid a return of pre-COVID traffic levels. Should a transport revolution indeed bear fruit, 5G will no doubt play a vital role (p6), but it’s hard to shake the feeling that this window of opportunity may well pass us by if local councils do not act quickly and appropriately. Either way, it will be fascinating to witness the effects on the cycling industry landscape. What impact could our newfound reliance on Zoom have on future trade show attendance figures (p14)? And how could innovative approaches to retail, servicing and repairs (p26) change how IBDs operate in the long run? Whatever shape life after lockdown takes, we can be confident that cycling will play a central role in the decades to come.
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14 The show must go on?
COVID-19 has caused many trade shows and other cycling events to be cancelled or postponed this year. Rebecca Morley explores how this has affected businesses within the industry
19 Ride Concepts World Cup wins, e-bike explosions and walking the walk: James Groves catches up with director of international sales and marketing Andy Steel as the brand turns two
A helping hand Schwalbe recently launched a volunteer programme to assist retailers experiencing a surge in business – particularly with services and repairs
29 Now is the time to change
Lockdown restrictions have started to ease – but will people keep up their good active travel habits as they start to head back to work? Rebecca Morley speaks to Cyclescheme director and chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance Adrian Warren
Celebrating our local bike shops This year’s Local Bike Shop Day is taking place on 5th September – after being postponed from its original date back in May. BikeBiz catches up with the ACT to find how COVID-19 changed its plans and what we can expect moving forward
Five minutes with… DexShell This month, BikeBiz catches up with Troll Outdoors brand director Dafydd Huws following its UK distribution partnership with DexShell
POINTS OF VIEW
The role of 5G in the e-mobility revolution By Kevin Hasley, CCO of network performance benchmarking firm RootMetrics
s COVID-19 disrupts the way we travel in the short-term, rental e-scooters are emerging as a new option after UK trials began on 4th July. It is anticipated that more than 50 local authorities across the country will begin operating scooter trials in partnership with rental companies which have been lobbying the Government for years. The Department for Transport is conducting a 12-month trial of the vehicles to monitor their safety, and 5G connectivity will be critical to understanding the success of the trial period. 5G can help enable the new normal The fifth generation of mobile networks is currently being rolled out across the UK and we will be able to experience faster speeds, allowing us to complete data tasks quicker. This includes downloading apps like those that could help the e-scooter movement grow. 5G will also result in lower latency, meaning there will be a substantially lower lag time between a user request and action being taken. Lastly, the third key benefit of 5G is better connectivity and capacity, enabling more devices to talk to one another on our mobile networks. The UK’s four main mobile networks (EE, O2, Three and Vodafone) have all launched a 5G service. Although coverage on the main networks vary, it is expanding quickly and most of the UK’s major cities now have at least partial 5G coverage on at least one network, and many are served by all four.
6 | September 2020
5G will eventually enable applications that hold the potential to transform everyday life, from remote surgery to driverless cars, but those changes won’t happen overnight. Instead, 5G will be implemented in a phased approach over the next few years and it will be critical as we adapt to the new normal and adopt new mobility options. Transport Minister Rachel Maclean recently said: “As we emerge from lockdown, we have a unique opportunity in transport to build back in a greener, more sustainable way, which could lead to cleaner air and healthier communities across Great Britain.
“Councils will need as much data as possible to decide whether they should adopt this new form of urban mobility” “E-scooters may offer the potential for convenient, clean and cost-effective travel that may also help ease the burden on the transport network, provide another green alternative to get around and allow for social distancing. The trials will allow us to test whether they do these things.” However, if the trials are to be successful and e-scooters are to become a familiar sight in our towns and cities, local authorities, operators and consumers will all need to rely on high-speed, readily available and reliable mobile connectivity.
POINTS OF VIEW The growth of e-scooters is tied to a major shift in how we live our daily lives
Connectivity holds the key to future mobility Users will likely be able to hire e-scooters using a smartphone app, in a similar way to city centre bicycle hire schemes. With this in mind, users must have a strong and reliable mobile connection if they are to know where to find their nearest e-scooter, as well as where to leave it when they’ve completed their journey. Similarly, councils will need as much data as possible if they are to make informed decisions about whether they should adopt this new form of urban mobility and how best to do so. With the right amount of data transferred over our mobile networks, councils and operators will be able to identify the busier routes and respond to supply and demand appropriately. Operators will also rely on high-quality connectivity to know where their e-scooters are located, to be able to track them at all times and ensure they’re being used correctly, and to be able to respond to battery charging demands. This is particularly important as the introduction of e-scooters in the last couple of years on the continent and in the US has been beset by problems of misuse. There have been countless pictures uploaded to Twitter of e-scooters littered about once journeys are finished, with riders sometimes leaving their e-scooters on pavements haphazardly, causing physical obstructions for the blind, wheelchair users and parents with young children. Having strong connectivity so that it is always possible to see where scooters are left could be the first step in mitigating those types of issues.
IoT and smart cities Take a step back and you can also see how the growth of e-scooters is tied to a major shift in how we live our daily lives as part of a more and more connected community. Think of a potential trip on your e-scooter. From using an app to locate one near you to navigating with maps on your mobile, to uploading a picture at your destination to making use of mobile payments, having strong and seamless connectivity is key. We can expand the importance of connectivity and strong 5G service to the continued growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) in general. In the broadest sense of the term, IoT relates to anything connected to the internet. It is not a recent concept, but the introduction of 5G is a key enabler. IoT comprises all of the ‘smart’ and connected devices found in homes, cities, factories and healthcare facilities, and has the potential to make life easier and more automated. 5G’s high speed, reliability and low latency (i.e. the time a network takes to respond to a request), will keep IoT growing until virtually every device that could be connected will be. Smart cities can be thought of as an extension of the IoT, where devices in cities are connected to make urban environments smarter and more user-friendly. For example, e-scooter tracking that can monitor flow to adapt operations accordingly and keep people moving efficiently through the city. If the UK’s potential e-mobility future and smart cities are to become a reality, the country will require 5G networks to support faster data speeds, lower latency and greater connectivity to keep our cities green and our people safe as we travel from A to B. n
www.bikebiz.com September 2020 | 7
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POINTS OF VIEW
Ensuring cycling is more than just a pandemic trend By Gareth Nettleton, global vice president and the lead of Strava Metro
ritain’s roads are looking dramatically different these days. While traffic jams may not yet be a thing of the past, in cities especially, we are seeing cars fast being matched by runners and cyclists – something we’ve long hoped for but it’s taken a global pandemic to make it a reality. In stark contrast to the start of the year, the last few months have been dominated by a completely transformed way in which people move from one place to another. Active transportation has come to the fore, and the public has shown its capacity to leave cars in the rearview mirror and rethink urban travel. The idea of packed buses and trains has been shunned in favour of active modes of transport. Cycling, in particular, has taken off – and the bike is fast looking to reclaim Britain’s roads. What we need now is for the Government to act on the infrastructure front and meet this demand. While the £2 billion of funding announced in May was a key step forward, it’s important these funds meet their purpose – creating an urban environment that encourages and promotes active travel solutions, and this can only be done with the right infrastructure. It’s clear people are finding new ways of getting from point A to B, most notably hopping on a bike. According to data from Strava Metro, between May 2019 and May 2020, Liverpool saw a 164% year-on-year increase of bike journeys, with Manchester following behind with a surge of 161% and Greater London 54%.
Matching the trend is the UK cycling retail industry, which has been thriving over the last few months – leading retailers are reporting an increase of 677% of entry-level bikes. And let’s not forget the most recent positive prediction from Halford’s assessment that the cycling boom will continue to 2021, as the company continues to see its sales in bikes soaring up throughout lockdown.
“While the £2 billion of funding announced in May was a key step forward, it’s important these funds meet their purpose” We now need to galvanise this rise in cycling and support people’s new habits – and that can only be done by transforming our cities in ways that promote active travel. As people are encouraged to return to offices around the country, we must do all we can to support the millions who have decided to take up cycling as a better, healthier and cheaper form of transportation. Making a habit a long-term solution To achieve this, the UK must invest in cycling infrastructure, ensuring that cycling becomes an embedded feature of our new normal.
September 2020 | 9
POINTS OF VIEW ‘We now need to galvanise this rise in cycling and support people’s new habits’
Strava Metro builds products to empower urban planners, city Governments, safe infrastructure advocates and academics to understand mobility patterns, identify opportunities for investment and evaluate the impact of infrastructure changes. Data plays a fundamental role in realising fit-for-purpose infrastructure. It helps urban planners analyse and plan for active commuting and improving transport infrastructure, as it highlights which areas are best served by existing transport infrastructure and which require greater focus and investment to improve active commute conditions.
Now is the time to grasp the opportunity and take the steps necessary to turn new habits into new norms. It all starts with public and private sector leaders working together to build data-informed infrastructure that will make cities cycling-friendly. This cross-collaboration is essential if we are to redesign our cities for a postpandemic world. We don’t need to look far to see the impact successful cross-collaboration can have on making cities better for active travel. Take London, for example – the efforts the city has taken to better improve its infrastructure and ensure cyclists feel safe has been fundamental to the yearly growth in cycling the capital has witnessed. Informed funding is at the heart of shaping our cities for active travel. Since 2018, the city has invested an average of £169 million annually, to improve current infrastructure and build on the previous investment in Cycle Superhighways and Quietway routes. As of summer 2019, the Mayor has delivered over 86 miles of the cycle network and saw a 200% increase in people cycling over the same period. London is the model for us to take forward and replicate if we are to see the number of cycling commuters continue to rise. We can see the benefits Government-backed funding can have in encouraging people to feel safer and healthier when cycling as well as offering a sustainable alternative that leads to a greener future. However, for cross-collaboration to truly work, we need the private sector to help action the Government’s plans – the engineers, data scientists and urban planners to provide the data insights that are able to inform city planning and infrastructure. This is where organisations like Strava Metro can help play a role in designing what the cities of the future will look like and, more importantly, how we will traverse them.
10 | September 2020
Harnessing the popular demand But while cross-collaboration and fit-for-purpose infrastructure are essential, we need businesses and Governments to directly incentivise people to continue nurturing this newly formed habit. We must guarantee that this trend turns into a lifelong behaviour change and not simply a short-term reaction to the global pandemic. Cycle to work schemes are an example of a great incentive for people to choose more cost-efficient forms of transportation that also benefit the environment and their health. If we want to continue seeing this trend soaring as offices reopen and people are encouraged to return to the workplace, employers should be encouraged to sign up and offer cycle to work schemes to their employees. Endless studies have pointed to the health benefits cycling can have on people’s wellbeing, from reducing cardiovascular diseases, tackling diabetes and improving people’s mental health. Beyond the health case for cycling for each individual in the UK, there is also the environmental impact. In the UK alone, daily emissions of greenhouse gases had plunged 31% by early April compared with 2019 levels. If we are to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, now is the opportunity to reset our cities’ transportation strategy. Fit-for-purpose infrastructure can ensure that the current rise in cycling is nurtured and maintained for the long haul. The outbreak of this pandemic is offering an opportunity for urban planners, businesses and Government to collaborate and reset how they map out and improve their cities’ cycling infrastructure. The public demand is clearly there – now we need to shift short-term behaviour into long-term planning and create habits that will change our cities for the better. Let’s grasp the nettle – our health, and that of our planet, will reap the rewards. n
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After nine years at the NEC, The Cycle Show is returning to London for 2021
The show must go on? COVID-19 has caused many trade shows and other cycling events to be cancelled or postponed this year. Rebecca Morley explores how this has affected businesses within the industry
rade shows have always been a vital part of the cycling industry’s calendar. But when COVID-19 restrictions began to be imposed, it quickly became clear that most events would not be able to go ahead – at least not as originally planned. First shows were postponed by a couple of months, then they were cancelled altogether, with organisers vowing to return bigger and better in 2021. This month in particular would have seen us travel to Friedrichshafen for Eurobike followed by a return to the NEC in Birmingham for The Cycle Show, but now the former will be taking place in November – and in a different format. The event will be a pure B2B concept and parts, components and accessories providers will dominate the show, organisers said, as for the majority
14 | September 2020
of complete bike manufacturers, a November show means that order dates have closed. But the vast majority of shows across the world have been cancelled for 2020, including Taipei Cycle, Sea Otter Classic, Outdoor by ISPO and Bespoked. Both The Cycle Show and the London eBike Festival will also not take place this year – instead they are both moving to Alexandra Palace for a new-look event in April 2021. These cancellations will inevitably have affected companies’ operations during these past few months – so how have they adapted, and what has it meant for business overall? “We’ve been quite seriously affected with regards to our activities at shows,” says Tern’s Mark Bickerton.
“What hasn’t been affected is sales – we have been amazed at the demand that has been created as a result of COVID. “All of a sudden, the business is there without any of the shows. The world has been turned on its head. Things have started getting back to normal with regards to communications with retailers; our sales reps, globally through our distributors, are beginning to get out and see dealers more.” But the rest of Europe is somewhat different to the UK, Bickerton adds, in that in a normal year in Germany there could be a few shows taking place each weekend from March to October. “The German market loves its shows – they’re all regional, local shows but they’re very well-attended. “I’m sure that will all come back after COVID. As far as the UK is concerned, Tern takes the view that shows are a very important part of presenting to the consumer and the trade. But the difficulty is you only reach the people at the
“Of course in the greater scheme of things, stopping these activities has been a small price to pay for keeping everyone safe and it has made us look at other ways to work. It has meant we have put a much greater emphasis on digital channels; on social media, our website and email marketing to keep everyone up to date. “We are fortunate that we have excellent email databases and a strong presence on social media with over 160,000 followers across Silverfish and key brand channels. That’s given us important communication routes in this time when meeting in person has been restricted.” Back to the drawing board As countries around the world began to impose COVID-19 restrictions earlier this year, and show cancellations followed, businesses of all kinds and across all industries suddenly had to adapt and try to prepare for a very different year ahead.
The London Bike Show is set to return to the ExCeL from 5th-7th March 2021
show, so it could still only be 30,000 out of 65 million – 20 million of which is our target market. That said, the people who come to the shows are engaged and interested. It’s still very much worthwhile doing them.” Getting out to see customers face-to-face is important to Silverfish, says marketing manager Richard Schofield, as is seeing its products in use and allowing riders to try before they buy. “We have been impacted by the forced cancellation of some of the bigger UK cycling events, the suspension of racing and demo events and limitations on visiting stores.
“As with everyone, we went into spring with a degree of uncertainty, and with an understanding that it was unlikely events were going to run in any familiar capacity for the remainder of the year,” says Michael Braybrook, marketing and events manager at Extra. Although that presented a challenge in terms of product launches and consumer communications, Braybrook continues, it allowed the distributor to utilise the resources normally associated with running and attending events elsewhere, and explore new ways of reaching the end-user.
September 2020 | 15
“Our primary focus remains dealer communications as they are our customers as far as we’re concerned, and although events provide an avenue to present product to the public, I don’t believe we’ve suffered much in the way of product or brand awareness. “During lockdown, there was a hunger for cycling content online which was duly fulfilled by the cycling press; this allowed us to shift our efforts in end-user communications from events to the media. “I don’t believe the brands were too negatively affected by the cancellation of events as a way of launching new product, as brands had to endure their own challenges with manufacturing and supply during periods of global lockdowns. “This meant that planned launches and timescales largely went back to the drawing board to allow time to meet global demand of existing products and ensure new ranges could be ready for a revised launch date. “Whilst we hope that 2021 will allow events to resume, as we believe there is still a strength to representing the brands face-to-face, we will be evaluating how we do this in the
future and whether there should be a shift in focus to alternative and non-traditional media.” Back to normal? But even with restrictions now beginning to ease, it’s unlikely our lives will go back to how they were pre-COVID soon. And given the crowds we often see at these large events, it could take even more time before they’re able to return in the ways they were originally planned. “Crystal-gazing is dangerous, and this is a fast-moving and unpredictable situation, but we are not expecting a fast return to how things were before March,” says Schofield. “We don’t anticipate large scale events to restart soon and inevitably when they do, there will be some reluctance to attend shows and events in person. “Hopefully, we can take some of the new ways of working and adopt them as positive enhancements, whether that’s saving travel time or allowing more people to attend through virtual or video sessions, to existing shows. “Trade shows have been the backbone of the industry and as a founder member of the COREbike group, Silverfish has
An outdoor area of The Cycle Show
16 | September 2020
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seen a lot of benefit from being able to meet retailers in January and show them new and exciting products for the upcoming year. We know retailers see the benefit too, as shown by their feedback and the growing attendance figures.” One significant change to the bike show calendar this year is a lack of Cycle Show at the NEC, which would have taken place this month. The London eBike Festival was due to launch in May at Battersea Evolution, but that too has been cancelled, and both shows are instead moving to Alexandra Palace for 2021. The two events will take place from 16th-18th April 2021, utilising over 11,000 sqm of exhibition space along with 196 acres of parkland around the venue. “COVID-19 has forced us to cancel both The Cycle Show and the London eBike Festival this year and we have not been alone,” says Nicola Meadows, portfolio director at Upper Street Events. “Cycle events across the UK and internationally have been forced to put a temporary pause on live events, from exhibitions, sportives and international championships. For us, the break in the event calendar has given us an opportunity to reimagine the events and deliver an incredibly exciting new format. The two events will co-locate in 2021, utilising the excellent outdoor space offered by Alexandra Palace. To plan and prepare for these events we are working closely with our industry to ensure that all events we run are safe for all our customers and continue to be an enjoyable and great day out.” But how cautious might the public be to attend shows in the future? “We remain optimistic, as the UK has unlocked the general public have had a desire to get out and do things they love,” says Meadows. “As a business, we have always been resilient during challenging economic times, due to our passionate audience. Given that the new venue has substantial outdoor presence, we think this can only help attendance. We have also been well supported by our exhibitors, with only a few stands left available within the London eBike Festival. “The cycle industry is having a bumper year in sales and it is important we work together to extend this over future years. The Cycle Show and the London eBike Festival will bring together all types of rider, and a ticket to the shows will offer not only a fun day out, but the opportunity to spend time with like minded passionate cyclists. “Brands will showcase the latest bikes, kit and accessories, and the demo village will offer a huge range of new bikes available to test ride across four miles of tarmac and woodland trails. This retail opportunity is unique, and exhibitors will be able to capitalise on customers placing orders for new bikes at the show itself.” n
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eurobike.com #EUROBIKESHOW www.bikebiz.com
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World Cup wins, e-bike explosions and walking the walk: Ride Concepts turns two James Groves catches up with Andy Steel, Ride Conceptsâ€™ director of international sales and marketing
Can you give us a quick introduction to Ride Concepts? Ride Concepts was created in the MTB Mecca of Truckee, CA (USA). Founded by Brandon Dodd, an outdoor industry entrepreneur and footwear veteran, Ride Concepts was born out of a need for uncompromising MTB, trail and dirt jump footwear built specifically for men, women and kids.
Doddâ€™s young son, a rising MTB talent, had gone through just about every youth riding shoe on the market without finding anything that gave the right levels of fit, comfort, performance, protection and durability. The lack of quality provision in the youth market prompted a wider exploration of the MTB category.
September 2020 | 19
Dodd quickly saw an opportunity for a new brand with the right ingredients and ideas, to challenge what was at the time a fairly stagnant category and give the old guard a serious headache! After assembling a team that even the Avengers would be proud of, Ride Concepts launched at Interbike in 2018, and came out swinging with a full line-up that included four men’s, four women’s and three youth-specific models in multiple colourways. This initial burst was quickly followed by an additional premium line that included three men’s and two women’s models in June 2019. With an unmatched product line, Ride Concepts was grabbing headlines both on and off the racetrack, with World Cup wins and podium finishes from our factory racing team of industry legends including the Athertons, Kyle Strait, Paul Basagoitia and social media kingpin Sam Pilgrim. Now firmly established, media-approved and raceproven, the brand wasn’t just talking the talk, but also walking the walk... and that was just year one! How would you define RC’s target audience? Ride Concepts is 100% an off-road focused brand, so don’t expect to see anything that matches well with Lycra coming out of our stable. Trail riding and gravity has been a big focus for the business, alongside BMX and dirt jump, although some of our latest offerings such as the Vice or Coasters also offer a real performance/lifestyle component to our range. Through popular demand, we’re also developing some exciting ideas for XC riders that we’ll be announcing in due course. What distinguishes RC from its competitors? “Our mission is to create the most comfortable, most durable and most reliable MTB footwear on the planet. For the rider, this means precision fit, uncompromised pedal contact, and unmatched protection leaving you to focus on the ride.” This statement allowed us to focus on three core pillars to the business: Fit and form: We use gender-specific custom lasts that provide the ultimate fit for men, women and kids, while also delivering the correct tailored flex for their expected height and weight. Outsole and rubber: Compromising on grip was not an option, so we collaborated with rubber Kinetics (one of the largest rubber suppliers to the bike industry), to develop dynamic surface technology (DST).
20 | September 2020
It’s a series of three proprietary outsole rubber compounds that deliver the optimal blend between tackiness and durability specific to each product throughout our range. Comfort and protection: Our entire range focuses on providing the ultimate rider protection and includes molded heel and toe protection, fast-drying materials, gusseted tongues and EVA foam. Ride Concepts has also developed the first full line of bike-specific footwear, to couple the above benefits with strategically placed impact protection pioneered by D3O. Our one-of-a-kind insole and targeted D3O protection in the medial collar offers more protection than anything else on the market. It’s the combination of great products along with the fact that we’re a privately-owned company, built by riders for riders. We’ve started from nothing and have been smart with our resources to deliver an honest but effective, grassroots campaign. We’re challenging the big corporates like David and Goliath, winning friends and taking market share. Everyone loves an underdog story, and more people are now betting on the little guys!
In a rather bizarre twist of fate, COVID-19 has provided a significant boost to the cycling industry. What sort of impact has it had on RC? With many Governments wanting to promote physical and mental wellbeing during the pandemic, cycling and the outdoors was right up there. As participation in cycling began to skyrocket, it was only a matter of time before retail caught up. Ride Concepts has been growing exceptionally fast anyway, so our demand planning had forecast for increasing numbers and we’ve been well positioned to take advantage of the boost that COVID seems to have provided. We’re excited to see so many new participants entering the market and are ready with our products to give them the best riding experiences possible. Silverfish currently distributes Ride Concepts throughout the UK and Ireland. How important is that relationship to your success? Like all of the most beautiful relationships, our partnership with Silverfish was cemented over beers and nachos during Sea Otter in early to mid-2019.
September 2020 | 21
We couldn’t ask for a more professional and dedicated partner. Silverfish’s combination of aligning great brands, integration within the MTB scene at every level – not to mention its amazing team – really made it stand out as the right partner for us. We’re extremely grateful to have it represent Ride Concepts and it’s done an amazing job for us in the UK and Ireland. What are your most recent product developments? The most recent is the Vice collection that launched on 2nd June. It came about through feedback from much of the BMX/Dirt Jump community who had been using the Livewire. Some of them felt that although the Livewire was a great all-purpose bike shoe, they still wanted a product that offered a softer flex, a closer pedal contact and a slimmed down look that resembled a skate/lifestyle shoe. We put a huge amount of effort and tech into this shoe, and emerged with a unique product that could easily be described as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The Vice looks and feels like an everyday skate shoe, but once you get under the hood, you benefit from all the technical features you see in the rest of the line. From our brand-new Fuzion outsole, to D3O and custom-molded heel and toe cap protection, this product has it all. The best bit about it is that this shoe isn’t just for bike enthusiasts. Anyone that rides a bike – ever – will benefit from grabbing a pair. We’re expecting the Vice to quickly become our best-seller ahead of the Livewire.
How will RC look heading into 2021? We have a huge year planned for 2021 and are kicking it all off with four new product launches! These will fill a few gaps in our line as well as provide a highly-anticipated new look for a certain UK legend. Obviously, we’re hoping to see a return of the competition, event and demo scene, as being present at these events and interacting with our consumers from grassroots up is part of our brand DNA and super-important for building brand loyalty and gathering intelligence from our target market. We’ll be releasing more details on what’s coming down the pipe in due course. As long as you live on Earth, you’ll see what we’re bringing to the party! n
What industry trends are you excited about at the moment? A wider focus from many MTB brands to transform new or returning former bikers to MTB enthusiasts through affordable and kick-ass enduro bikes. Many premium brands rely on enthusiasts to justify spending some serious dollar on their products. Beginner bikers tend not to appreciate the benefits of specific bike shoes, so it’s only once they advance from a casual participant to an enthusiast that we really capture customers. The message about the importance of good riding footwear is getting through, and more riders are accepting that shoes are almost as important as a good helmet. If you don’t stay on your pedals, you’re way more likely to have a spill and crack your dome, or injure your feet. Many people are seeing biking as the new golf for our generation. We commend all brands looking to encourage participation and every level, get kids off the Xbox, enjoy the outdoors and help grow the size of the pie for everyone. The explosion in e-bikes is seriously helping this new cycling renaissance, and we’re here to support every aspect of it.
22 | September 2020
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Giant Store Sheffield says the past few months have been ‘relentless’
A helping hand Schwalbe recently launched a volunteer programme to assist retailers experiencing a surge in business – particularly with services and repairs. Rebecca Morley finds out how it has helped stores during a busy period for the cycling industry
he rising numbers of cyclists in the UK since the start of lockdown has caused a surge in business across the industry, with demand for repairs also increasing alongside that of new bikes. This has also been recognised by the Government and its Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme, aimed at encouraging the public to embrace cycling by allowing them to receive a voucher worth up to £50 towards the cost of repairing a bike. This was so popular that when the first batch of 50,000 vouchers was released, the website crashed. While stores and workshops have welcomed this new interest, many retailers have found themselves in extra need of a helping hand during what some have described as the busiest few months of their history.
26 | September 2020
In July, Schwalbe launched a volunteer programme to assist retailers experiencing a surge in business, particularly for servicing and repairs. The programme, free to the retailer, allowed UK stores access to a Schwalbe sales promoter to work as an extra pair of hands, either in the workshop or on the shop floor, for a day or multiple days if required. This assistance has helped retailers get on top of often huge backlogs of work, with shop owners and managers being appreciative of the help. One shop that utilised the offer was Giant Store Sheffield, which had a visit from Schwalbe’s Ben Tomkinson. “It was a massive help and saved us a lot of time so we could concentrate on other things – namely customers coming through the door,” says store manager Andy Liversidge.
“It was a breath of fresh air after having experienced a hellish three months as far as business goes. “It’s been relentless. We’ve experienced the busiest three to four months since opening in 2013. It’s been that busy.” But while the lockdown has prompted much of the population to take to two wheels, the summer months do see an upward trend in cycling – so how much of this is down to COVID-19? “It’s very pandemic-led,” Liversidge says. “We’ve seen a lot of new customers come through the door who we would not normally see. There was a particular price point of bike – the entry-level leisure market has absolutely boomed over the last three to four months. “Sheffield’s quite a dense city. It’s a very urbanised area but there’s a lot of green space as well. A lot of people, during the initial part of lockdown, were turning to bicycles for that one hour of exercise and it evolved from there – they were getting their partners and the kids involved. “We would naturally see an upward curve from April onwards, but this situation has taken things to a whole new level.” But as we start to head out of lockdown, Liversidge says he hopes the trend will continue, with Sheffield in particular being a city that is making investments. Back in June, the BB-JUL20-THE CYCLE DIVISION.qxp_Layout 1 04/06/2020 15:01 city region published a plan to create a network of more than
1,000 kilometres of accessible walking and cycling routes across South Yorkshire. “There’s a lot of infrastructure and that looks like it’s a continuous programme,” says Liversidge. “Active travel in our city is growing. The industry’s turned a huge corner in the respect of people who are actually looking at bikes as modes of transport now as opposed to just being fitness-related. That’s a very big change in a lot of mindsets.” n
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66% of respondents to a Cycleplan survey said cycling boosts their mood
Now is the time to change Lockdown restrictions have started to ease – but will people keep up their good active travel habits as they return to work? Rebecca Morley speaks to Cyclescheme director and chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance Adrian Warren about how COVID-19 could have a lasting effect on our everyday lives
ockdown has been a challenging period for many – with restrictions on what we could do and who we could see quickly causing us to change our everyday routines. But with extra time on our hands to try out new things, it seems the UK has been prioritising exercise, picking up healthy hobbies and focusing on mental wellness over the past few months. This is according to a recent study by Cyclescheme, which found that 83% of
people have picked up cycling again as a result of lockdown. The study, which coincided with this year’s Cycle to Work Day on 6th August, also found that 24% of respondents would never have started an exercise regime if it wasn’t for lockdown. “I was somewhat staggered by some of the stats,” says Adrian Warren, director at Cyclescheme and chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance.
Chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance and Cyclescheme director Adrian Warren
September 2020 | 29
“72% positively changing our lifestyles towards being more active is phenomenal. We wouldn’t have anticipated it two or three years ago.” There are many reasons why this has happened, Warren continues, one notable one being a lack of commute. In fact, according to the study, 27% of people felt that not having to commute every day was the biggest positive to come out of lockdown. “Myself and many others have got almost two hours back in their day. And that’s not taking into account transition times of adjusting back into home life. “A lot of people have taken that time to use as their activity – and most have been choosing cycling. I think one of the reasons that cycling’s been adopted is the additional time that people have got back in their everyday lives.” And the Government has been encouraging cycling too – with Boris Johnson predicting a ‘golden age’ as early as May which was then followed by a £2 billion investment for a cycling and walking ‘revolution’. And from March, we started to see fewer cars on the road which, alongside some nice weather, prompted people who may have previously thought cycling was too dangerous to give it another go. “It was a safe environment for people that haven’t cycled for a long time to get back on their bike,” says Warren. “It didn’t really matter too much if they wobbled a little bit, or didn’t quite hug the curb and stay out of the way of traffic.”
But with more and more people returning to work, and therefore need to commute again, will we see more of the population make that journey by bike? “I really hope so,” says Warren. “The motivation is there – 77% of people that have started cycling during lockdown have said they want to do so after. “It’s difficult to get time in your diary to go to a gym, but we always find time to commute. You can combine the two and make it part of your regular activity.” Now it’s about making sure those people who plan to continue riding actually do – and the temporary infrastructure that we’ve seen pop-up in many towns and cities will help that, Warren says. “Now the challenge is how do we take it from temporary to permanent, and a lot of the initiatives that the Government has released with its Gear Change policy should push us towards that.” Shifting gears Johnson has now kickstarted the £2 billion walking and cycling revolution by launching plans for thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for everyone and bikes available on prescription. “From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting
Lockdown caused a lot of us to work from home – eliminating many commutes
30 | September 2020
The PM kickstarted the £2 billion walking and cycling ‘revolution’ back in July
congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face,” he said. “But to build a healthier, more active nation, we need the right infrastructure, training and support in place to give people the confidence to travel on two wheels. That’s why now is the time to shift gears and press ahead with our biggest and boldest plans yet to boost active travel – so that everyone can feel the transformative benefits of cycling.” But given that this isn’t the first time we’ve heard politicians promote cycling, is this latest announcement enough? “It’s an excellent start and £2 billion sounds like an awful lot of money,” says Warren. “It will certainly help make permanent some of the infrastructure that we’ve got, but when you compare it to the investment in roads and rail infrastructure, it isn’t actually that much. “If we were to really embrace this, the £2 billion will help us give evidence to the fact that if we build initial infrastructure and people use it, behaviour changes and congestion is reduced on roads. That will help the Government to support unlocking further money to really grow the infrastructure – and we can start to catch up with what we see with our European continental friends.”
The next stage, Warren continues, will be to connect towns and cities. “In the bigger cities, people are more reliant on public transport because the roads are so congested. They’ve been more impacted by the capacity restrictions, but certainly, we’re not seeing from the Cyclescheme survey too many disparities between those that live in cities to those in towns. “The only difference we would see is that 20% of Londoners will choose cycling as their main form of transport, compared to 12% nationally.” Flexible working The last few months have also seen a peak in Cycle to Work certificates. According to the latest data from Cyclescheme, employers are heavily investing in cycling as a benefit to their workforce, with a 542% rise in employer registrations from the 24th March, when UK lockdown commenced, to date. With much of the nation taking up cycling as a socially distanced mode of transport, Cyclescheme experienced 59.7% more sales in May when compared to the same period last year. “Our employers have witnessed firsthand that they can operate a much more flexible workforce and flexible working
September 2020 | 31
policies and still get the output and productivity from their employees,” continues Warren, “so not being so strict with start and finish times, which puts added pressure onto your commute. “We’ve also seen existing employees run additional enrollment windows. Considering that most employers will be part of the 77% that want to continue cycling, I think it’s great that they’re using that position to help facilitate that for their employees.” Mental wellbeing The benefits of cycling on mental health are well-known – and these have become even more evident during lockdown. Research by Cycleplan in April found that 78% of UK cyclists feared their mental health would be negatively affected if the Government enforced a nationwide confinement without daily exercise. When asked how they benefit from cycling, 66% of respondents said that the activity boosts their mood, with 47% saying it helps them to manage their anxiety. A further 51% of respondents stated that it helps them to reduce stress. Cyclescheme’s study found that 20% of people have been able to focus on their mental health more as a result of lockdown. “Mental health has significantly risen up the agenda,” says Warren, “and a lot of people have struggled with it through isolation or just being restricted in their movements. “It’s well documented that physical regular activity has multiple benefits, not just from a physical side, but for mental wellbeing. Medical studies do emphasise that regular exercise reduces your risk of depression. “For a lot of people that have been working from home and are in front of the screen for several hours a day, being able to get out of that environment and exercise on your bike or even just walking enables your mind to separate from work and think about other things. “Mental health has seen a huge number of challenges for individuals during the pandemic, but the regular exercise and the uptake in cycling has helped people through that.”
And hopefully, as more people take up riding as part of their daily lives, some of the negative feelings towards cyclists will fade, too. “About one in six people are negative towards cyclists – it’s the minority,” says Warren. “It just happens to get more headlines. As more people choose to cycle and the congestion reduces and so does the pressure on roads, hopefully, some of that animosity will go away. We are all the same people. I sometimes drive a car and I sometimes ride a bike. “I think it will change as more people adopt cycling – people who drive cars will realise that the roads are becoming less congested for them.” n
Starting out For those who are new to cycling, Warren says the best way to build confidence is just to keep going. “It’s about choosing and planning when you cycle – don’t go out at the busiest time of day where you’re likely to see more traffic than normal. Choose a quieter time to start to introduce yourself to cycling. There’s a lot of negativity out there in how cyclists are perceived, but the more you cycle, the more you realise it’s not always that bad. The majority of journeys are pleasant.”
32 | September 2020
We have huge news to share, and if joining a live meeting isn’t possible, we can provide a recording to watch after the event in your own time. To register your interest, please e-mail us with a list of the brands you want to hear about. We will figure out the best way to join you and arrange by reply. We are also back on the road, so if it’s appropriate for you, let us know if you would prefer a physical visit. See you soon, Hotlines. firstname.lastname@example.org
B M X
MY21 showings kicked off with dealers in August, but you haven’t missed out, throughout September we’re inviting anyone else who would like a brand overview to get in touch.
B i c y c l e
Hotlines MY21 Bikes Launch.
APPOINTMENTS This month’s movers and shakers throughout the cycle industry... Rob Haycock, ZyroFisher
David Middlemiss, The BA
ZyroFisher has appointed Rob Haycock as its new CEO. “Since the position became vacant last year, an extensive search process has been carried out and the result is a great fit between Rob, the business and the industry,” said James Browning, chairman of ZyroFisher. “Rob will work alongside the existing board of directors to lead the ZyroFisher business, including our own brand Altura and the Royal Velo France distribution business based in Troyes, France.” Haycock’s experience covers both distribution and brand development in the telecoms and consumer electronics industries. His last position was as CEO of Pure Radio and prior to that, he spent 12 years at Kondor. He said: “I am delighted to be joining the team at an exciting time for both ZyroFisher and the wider industry. The effects of the pandemic lockdown and the great weather we have enjoyed this summer has given the cycling business a much-needed lift. “We have adapted our business to face the challenges of the post-COVID-19 environment and are working with our partners to deliver the new commuter and winter ranges that we believe will have a strong impact in the market.” n
The BA has recruited former Rutland Cycling CEO David Middlemiss. Joining the team from 1st September, Middlemiss will support the ongoing work at the BA to engage the retail sector in its advocacy programme to grow the cycling market, primarily by developing IBD engagement in the organisation’s flagship programmes – the BA Trade Network and BA Market Data Service. He will also set out a roadmap to boost IBD representation in the BA’s advocacy work. Steve Garidis, BA executive director, said: “David will be a major asset for the BA as we support and represent IBDs and the wider industry in what may well be very challenging times ahead, not least due to the almost inevitable postCOVID recession. “Our strategy is to make the industry ever more resilient through our IBD support and advocacy programmes, and David’s expertise will be invaluable to achieve this.” n
Tom Foy, Freeride
Eddie Eccleston, SBS
Freeride has appointed Tom Foy as partner. Having held senior positions at global agencies including Edelman and WPP, working with brands including Aston Martin and Microsoft, Foy will spearhead the development of Freeride’s business offering, client services and creative communications capabilities. Foy said: “I have followed the meteoric rise of Cycling Pulse since the beginning, so when I learned the team had launched Freeride, bringing a forward-thinking integrated agency approach to some of cycling’s biggest brands, it was an opportunity too good to miss. “I believe there is huge potential to evolve the role of communications in what is a pivotal time for the industry, and I’m excited by what we can achieve together.” n
LEVA-EU board member Eddie Eccleston has been appointed as a Small Business Standards (SBS)expert by the SBS organisation. SBS is mandated by the European Commission to watch over SMEinterests in European standardisation through the appointment of dedicated experts. Eccleston will help drive better rules for LEV manufacturers operating in the European Union. LEVA-EU represents a wide range of LEV manufacturers in the EU, Norway, Switzerland, China and Korea, a large number of which have small businesses active in the European e-bike sector. “It is brilliant for LEVA-EU to gain a stronger voice through SBS as this is a key organisation which can help drive better rules and regulations for the LEV sector, which is not well understood always at EU level,” Eccleston said. n
34 | September 2020
Francesco Rinaldi Ceroni, Smith
Laura Bolton, Shift Active Media
Smith has appointed Francesco Rinaldi Ceroni as general manager. Under his new role, he will lead the global business across all commercial channels out of the Portland headquarters, reporting to Angelo Trocchia, CEO of Safilo Group. Following his tenure as bike category manager for the last few years, Jon Raymer has been promoted to the new position of senior marketing manager at Smith. Under his new title, Raymer will oversee the entirety of the marketing team, social media, public relations and partnerships with contracted agencies, reporting to Rinaldi Ceroni. In addition, Allie Flake is joining the Smith team as eyewear category manager. Flake has over a decade of experience in the eyewear industry, supporting the product development at Oliver Peoples, Fox Head, ROKA Sports, and Costa Del Mar. She will report to Graham Sours, category director at Smith. Tuomas Kronqvist has been appointed Smith CFO and Ken Salvador has been promoted to senior finance manager at Smith. n
Shift Active Media has appointed Laura Bolton as PR manager. The role will see her manage the global public relations for a selection of Shift’s clients, including Continental, Look, Selle Royal and World Bicycle Relief. She has joined the team remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Despite the unorthodox start to the role by working from home, this has been an incredibly exciting time to be joining the cycling industry with more people enjoying riding than ever before,” she said. “What really impressed me about Shift was the team’s deep knowledge of the cycling media, combined with the ability to tap into the extensive networks the wider agency and Play Sports Group provides. You can’t help but feel the passion for all things bikes working here and I’m really excited to be able to be part of that and land quality media exposure for my clients.” Bolton can be contacted via email@example.com. n
Mark Murphy, Fudges Cycle Store
Christian Heymanns, Messingschlager
Mark Murphy has joined the team at Fudges Cycle Store in a newly appointed role of business development manager. With over 30 years of cycle industry experience, Murphy will add new insight and expertise to the well-established team at Fudges. The fourth generation family-owned retailer prides itself on delivering professional sales advice and premium customer service and is now looking to elevate its approach to the ‘next level’. “I have always been an avid supporter of good independent bike shops, and my passion for bikes and riders is stronger than ever, and working for such an established business feels like a great fit,” said Murphy. “In talking with Andrew (Fudge) it seems he also shares the same enhanced vision for the future of bicycle retail too, which is awesome.” “I believe our joint skill sets can be really exciting for the business going forward for many years to come,” said director Andrew Fudge. n
Messingschlager has increased personnel in the e-mobility sector with the employment of Christian Heymanns. As OEM sales development manager and product manager for e-mobility solutions, Heymanns will support the national and international sales teams at Messingschlager, particularly in the area of e-mobility, as well as looking after his own customer base. He is also responsible for all projects in cooperation with the drive partner Brose. With Heymanns onboard, Messingschlager is aiming to expand its involvement in the e-mobility sector, with the appropriate resources. Heymanns has previously worked for four years as a product manager at MTS. As a trained technical specialist, with many years of experience as a twowheel mechanic, he has a broad scope of trade experience. Managing director Dennis Schömburg said: “We have already been able to get to know and appreciate Christian on the customer side over the past few years, which is why we are sure that he is both technically and personally a very good fit in the Messingschlager team.” n
September 2020 | 35
Mental Health Awareness
ental health issues have risen due to COVID-19, with experiences of isolation, anxiety and loss. Negative mental health can sometimes lead its victims to take their own lives. We want to help. Exercise can help to reduce feelings of stress, depression and anxiety. It releases endorphins and can change our mood and improve our self-esteem. Worries to Wheelies is a campaign that will provide free use of bicycles to those suffering mental health issues in England, to encourage exercise and sport. Providing the use of free bicycles to those affected by mental health will not only encourage exercise and positive wellbeing, it will also encourage social integration and provide a feeling of recognition and togetherness within communities. Exercise will also have a positive effect on fitness levels and weight reduction. We will be carrying out multiple fundraising activities, from online challenges to events. Our first fundraiser is live on Crowdfunder, which launched the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. To support us, please visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ worries-to-wheelies. Funds will mainly support us in being able to repair and service second-hand bicycles donated to us. Depending on the condition of the second-hand bicycles, we will repair and service them to be certified fit-for-use before providing them to people in need.
36 | September 2020
We have an open-minded fundraising target. However, if we were able to service and repair 150 second-hand bicycles and purchase helmets for them, as an example, this would be around £7,500. The dream would be that we could help hundreds of people, from children to adults across England! Our progress so far We have been overwhelmed with the kindness from communities and the support of organisations: – Luton Police Constabulary has donated 40 bicycles – Crewe Police Constabulary has donated 20 bicycles – Individuals have donated 16 bicycles – We have raised £1,600 towards servicing bicycles The bicycles available are now queued in our workshop, which are in need of repair and servicing. There are four ways you are able support us: – Bicycle donation – Pledge – Sponsor a bicycle – Tell a friend For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Celebrating our local bike shops
This year’s Local Bike Shop Day is taking place on 5th September – after being postponed from its original date back in May. BikeBiz catches up with the ACT to find how COVID-19 changed its plans and what we can expect moving forward
any cycle retailers have experienced a boom in business recently, with a rise in bike sales and workshop demand witnessed across the country. And with more of the public engaged in cycling, IBDs have been on hand to help both new and existing cyclists find what they need using expert knowledge and experience.
38 | September 2020
Local Bike Shop Day was originally due to take place this year on 2nd May, but was one of many celebrations that was postponed. Instead, it is set to take place on 5th September – a date which was confirmed with a poll among participating retailers. But what can we expect from this year’s iteration? BikeBiz caught up with the ACT to find out why now is the time to educate this new cycling audience.
What can we expect from Local Bike Shop Day this year – what will be different now it’s taking place in September? The new Local Bike Shop Day date falls at an ideal time to celebrate two key themes. Firstly, we will be focusing on targeting the number of kids that will be returning to schools; what better time than now to start encouraging the younger generation to start using an efficient, environmentally friendly and healthy mode of transport? Local Bike Shop Day coincides perfectly with the Government’s recently launched Better Health campaign, whereby it is encouraging adults and children alike to choose a healthier and more sustainable method of transport through schemes such as the Fix Your Bike vouchers, as well as introducing bicycle prescriptions. With people being discouraged from using public transport at the moment, cycling will be a perfectly viable option for many parents to get both younger and older children to school safely. Local Bike Shop Day may just be that extra bit of encouragement needed to make the decision to change from four wheels to two. Kids’ cycling is a sector which has been lost to the IBD for some time now, with parents generally choosing to turn to corporates to buy lower-quality, cheaper bicycles. Events such as Local Bike Shop Day highlight just how important it is to shop locally to buy good quality products that will benefit local economies. Through all IBDs uniting to promote Local Bike Shop Day in September, we can bring kids’ cycling back to the IBD. The second theme for this year’s postponed date will be to keep the nation cycling through to autumn. So far, 2020 has seen the use of bicycles reach an all-time high, with data showing that cycling levels during lockdown rose by up to 300% on some days. It is now pivotal for the cycling industry to do what we can to show these new cyclists that cycling is more than a lockdown fad, and that there are endless reasons to continue cycling throughout autumn. Schemes and events such as Local Bike Shop Day and BikeIsBest are now more important than ever in sustaining the influx in cycling across the UK. By working together, the cycling community can convince not only the public of the importance of cycling, but also ensure that the Government is continuing to adjust the UK’s infrastructure to accommodate the high numbers of cyclists into autumn.
How have preparations been affected by COVID? The preparation for a UK-wide event such as Local Bike Shop Day takes a lot of time and effort for all who are taking part. In this case, this includes suppliers, media, the IBDs as well as ourselves, the ACT, as the event organisers. Resources that were created such as artwork, online assets, printed materials and event promotion in the lead up to the original date – 2nd May – had mostly become wasted efforts as the nation was thrown into uncertainty at the end of March. With the help of a participating retailer survey, we made the difficult decision to postpone the day for the safety of bike retailers and customers. Before the lockdown was announced, we had been in contact with many bike shops about their plans for the day. While these plans may not be able to go ahead as they were initially intended, we really hope that these shops will now utilise the new date to help us celebrate bike shops across the nation. Why is it important to support local bike shops at this time? The last few months have heavily affected many of our local bike shops in both negative and positive ways that could never have been predicted. While safety is still a concern for some, many bike shops have found that business has been booming to the extent that they are unable to cater to the newfound high volumes of customers walking through the door. There has even reportedly been an increase in pop-up mobile mechanics in an attempt to match the greatly increased consumer demand.
September 2020 | 39
Get involved Join in on the celebrations at localbikeshopday.co.uk. Once you have signed up, ensure you spread the word to your community and encourage as many people as possible to get involved with the hashtag #SupportYourLocalBikeShop!
- Follow and engage with the campaign across Local Bike Shop Day’s social media platforms It is now key that we educate this new cycling audience on the importance of good quality bicycles and why they should be supporting their local bike shops. Local Bike Shop Day gives IBDs, suppliers and customers the perfect reason to shout about the importance of bike shops and all the positive things that they do to help their communities and local economies. Bike shops have been dealing with unprecedented difficulties this summer, which is why the ACT wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to promote the day to their communities. This year, we worked with Cyclescheme to give out free retailer packs including window stickers, posters and flyers to help IBDs promote the day to their customers. Next year, we plan on exploring new ways that we can support local bike shops and help them to maximise the day and benefit as much as possible. How will this year’s date change impact plans for next year and beyond? While September wasn’t the initial date planned to celebrate bike shops across the nation, the timing for this year’s Local Bike Shop Day and the key themes that we will be promoting for it have worked out very well. Many local bike shops have been really great at celebrating the day over the past couple of years, and we are excited to see how they will utilise resources and promotions to draw in old and new customers. Encouraging kids to get cycling as they go back to school, as well as convincing the nation to continue cycling, are two important things for the cycling sector to contribute to. We expect this year’s date to be successful for all involved and would certainly consider continuing to celebrate Local Bike Shop Day in early September from hereon. However, we always value retailer feedback and since this is a day for the trade, it is the trade that we will turn to when making the decision as to when to organise Local Bike Shop Day 2021. n 40 | September 2020
- Share the campaign with fellow cycle shops and your customer base. Talk about it!
- Download the Local Bike Shop Day logo and share it on your website, on your own social platforms and in your shop windows
- On social media, use the hashtag #lbsdayuk
- If your cycle shop has a particular story to tell, get in touch with organisers so that we can tell your story on our social feeds
- Consider now doing something special for Local Bike Shop Day on 5th September – a special offer, event or promotion that will bring people into your shop (particularly those who may not have visited before)
- Use the time leading up to 5th September to associate your shop with Local Bike Shop Day and to promote any special offers
- Make Local Bike Shop Day a celebration of your business as well as a celebration of cycling – email your customer database, let them know now that it’s happening so that you build up towards it, and invite them to pop in on the day to take a look at something new you have in store n
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minutes with... This month, BikeBiz catches up with Troll Outdoors brand director Dafydd Huws following its UK distribution partnership with Dexshell
Can you give us a little background on DexShell? DexShell is a range of waterproof and highly breathable socks, gloves and hats that uses a membrane from UK company Porelle across its range of products. The brand name comes from the words ‘dexterous’ and ‘shell’ as the whole range has been designed to offer maximum protection from the elements while being flexible and comfortable to wear in all conditions. Comfort is key! Now globally available in 23 countries, the brand continues to expand and with glowing media and consumer reviews, the future is looking strong, so we’re very excited to continue to offer it to the UK cycle industry through Troll Outdoors. DexShell prides itself on superior quality and performance at a highly competitive price point for both the retailer and consumer. Value for money, high performance and customer satisfaction are key considerations for the brand.
What area of the market does DexShell target? The range is ideal for anyone riding a bike across any part of the market. The Pro Visibility socks, for example, are ideal for commuters and road riders, whereas the Ultrathin and Ultra Dri are ideal for leisure, mountain bike and gravel. The range has a selection of thicknesses, lengths and thermal ratings from Ultrathin for summer showers through to Ultra Dri for the coldest and wettest of winter days. The different sock thicknesses mean that you can also find the ideal fit for your choice of cycling shoe too. What makes DexShell unique? What does it offer that its competitors perhaps do not? As you may expect, we are not in the business of saying how we compare to our competition. We would much rather the trade and the end user do that for us as they are better placed to be completely unbiased in their assessment.
42 | September 2020 www.bikebiz.com
DexShell simply concentrates on making the very best product possible, driven by consumer feedback and demand, alongside keen pricing and strong customer service. It actively welcomes feedback from the trade, media and consumers to further improve the products year on year. One of the key factors for DexShell is comfort. The best waterproof sock is no good if people don’t wear it because it’s too bulky or uncomfortable after all. The feedback we have received suggests that riders appreciate the efforts DexShell has made here and many choose to wear our socks even on dry days because they feel ‘just like a premium sock’ on their feet. This comfort is something we are all very proud of and it keeps consumers coming back for more year after year. Due to the use of a Porelle membrane, the garments also offer other advantages such as protection against insect bites, for example. We’ve seen a considerable cycling boom as a result of COVID-19. How has that affected DexShell, both positively and negatively? Like the entire industry, we have seen both positives and negatives in the last few months. One of the main positives for DexShell is that manufacture of its products is all in-house so we were far less impacted than many by supply issues and we have full control over our inventory. Globally, DexShell has seen a small slow-down, as you may expect, in sales this year but not to the level that we may have feared at the start of the various lockdowns. People are certainly still buying the products. Of course, here in the UK, early lockdown was accompanied by glorious weather which didn’t help sales of waterproof products but as normal British weather has since resumed and we saw business as usual return ahead of what we anticipate as a busy autumn and winter period. More people cycling can only be a good thing for all of us. For DexShell, we are particularly excited about the new to cycling market as people are encouraged to cycle more. New cyclists and new cycle commuters may not be aware that waterproof socks are ‘a thing’ but once tried, they tend to become very loyal customers. The perfect accessory add on for new e-bike and commuter sales perhaps? Troll Outdoors became DexShell’s trade distribution partner back in March. How did this come to pass, and what makes it a good fit for both sides? Troll and DexShell have worked together in various ways for many years and with the previous distributor
ceasing commercial operations at the start of the year, it seemed the logical next step to develop this existing relationship. The Troll team know the product very well and are as equally committed to excellent customer service as DexShell. The Troll team use the products themselves and share the same vision as DexShell for the UK market, so it was a good match. What innovations in the industry are exciting you at the moment? Seeing more people ride bikes, particularly commuters, is the most exciting thing of all but in terms of a particular trend or innovation, we are watching the gravel market develop very closely. As a global brand, some of the key markets for DexShell are those in North America where of course gravel riding has a massive following and has done for some time. It is interesting to see how this is now catching on across the world at varying rates, with the UK certainly developing its own scene at a rapid pace. Do we foresee a gravel specific range? No. Our current product range is fully encompassing and speaking from the top of my head, I have no idea what a ‘gravel specific sock’ would look like or offer over the rest of our range to be honest. DexShell is not a brand which repackages current product just to be on trend. It is very much a customer and product driven company, so any new product is either an improvement or redesign for real benefit to the customer. What are DexShell’s plans for 2021 and beyond? Troll and DexShell will work closely together to help our retail partners in the UK grow by supporting them as much as we can. We understand that there are other waterproof accessory options out there and so we very much appreciate and value our working relationship with existing and new DexShell retailers alike. In terms of the brand, DexShell will continue its global growth and will also be looking to simplify the range slightly to make stock-ins easier for retailers and further aid consumer understanding of the many product benefits. There is also a substantial commitment to further reducing the environmental impact of the company by continually reassessing packaging materials and production methods. This has already started with 2020 seeing considerable progress and this will be a focus of the company ongoing through the future. n
September 2020 | 43
Cyclocross accessories 1 2
Trenta 3K Carbon Grey
Power Cyclocross Tyres
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
Distributor: Extra UK
Distributor: Silverfish UK
The most advanced helmet that MET has ever made. The brandâ€™s 3K carbon technology has helped cement the Trenta as a market-leading helmet not just on the road, but also in the world of cross. The Trenta carbonâ€™s tube-shaped tail and internal channelling results in ~7% less drag, compared with a more traditional helmet. While some aerodynamic designs can feel claustrophobic, only 30% of the Trenta touches the head, giving it a light and airy feel.
The Infinito closure system uses two micro-adjustable double Boa IP1-B dials running laces in an infinite configuration and the protective upper harmonises with the new mesh footbed insole for improved ventilation and comfort. Its laterally stiff, light, Uni Direction Full Carbon Outsole is ventilated and delivers ultimate power transfer for performance. Pronounced treads allow mud clearance around the cleat recess and provide grip and protection on any riding surface.
The iconic green tread is back. Already dominant in the road and off-road markets, Michelin has now turned its attention to cyclocross and designed two tread patterns, both of which are available in tubular or tubelessready clincher configurations. Jet is a fast rolling tyre designed for maximum control and composure on mixed or hard terrain, whilst Mud uses its well-spaced knobs to clear mud and keep you rolling through the stickiest situations with speed and power.
Specifically developed for compatibility with gravel and cyclocross bikes, offering incredible stability over the roughest tracks while also providing optimum protection in all weathers. The sturdy but lightweight black anodised aluminium stays have been designed wider than normal, to run over the top of the mudguard, and covered by a protective plate maximising the available clearance between the tyre and mudguard.
44 | September 2020
Performance LF Blackline
Refill Bottle & Wash Concentrate
CRC 1400 Spline
Distributor: Oneway Bike Industry BV
Distributor: Moore Large
A reliable buddy for training rides in winter or cooler climes. Stay in full control of all braking and shifting manoeuvres with these wind-proof and waterresistant Cube Performance All-Season gloves that keep your fingers warm all year round. The extra-long cuff eliminates cold gaps between glove and sleeve, and reflective details improve safety in low-light conditions. Also compatible with touchscreen devices!
An environmental and economical refillable bike cleaning solution for all riders and a must for muddy CX bikes. 1L aluminium bottle including trigger (RRP £6). Easy to use, durable and significantly reduces plastic consumption and carbon footprint. Designed to be used with Pure Bike Wash Concentrate as part of the Pure complimentary system that includes degreasers, cleaners and lubes.
Muc-Off’s Silicon Shine is designed to keep bikes looking factory fresh and works by protecting your customers’ bikes and leaves a sparkling shine on metal, plastic and rubber parts. Its silicon formula prevents grime build-up on treated surfaces, reduces dirt adhesion and acts as an amazing friction reducer for suspension parts and therefore cuts down on future cleaning and maintenance.
If you’re after the perfect all-terrain wheelset for ‘cross racing, then the DT Swiss CRC 1400 are 1,389g of carbon ‘cross perfection. With a UCI legal 22mm internal width that’s perfect for 28-35c tyres and optimised for 33c cyclocross rubber, these are ideal tubeless-ready wheels for any racer that doesn’t want to run tubs. Strong, light and ready for anything, they come with six bolt adapters, tubeless tape installed and tubeless valves in the box.
September 2020 | 45
MTB Pro Blackline
EA70 AX Handlebar
GravelKing EXT TLC/AC TLC
Cross Boss TCS Tyre
Distributor: Oneway Bike Industry BV
Distributor: Silverfish UK
The Cube MTB Pro, with its fibre reinforced outsole, offers a perfect mix of high comfort and excellent power transmission. The shoes are tailored to the performanceoriented biker’s needs and offer optimal fitting. The 45-degree sealing system with ratchet and the two velcro straps provide ergonomic handling. It is protected from abrasion and damage thanks to the protection shell, while the best possible cooling of the foot is done by the air intake of the vent system.
Easton’s new AX series line of bars build off the critically acclaimed MCD (Maximum Contact Drop) alloy road bars but turn up the drop flare all the way up to 16 degrees. Based on extensive testing and rider feedback, Easton determined that 16 degrees was the perfect balance of maximum flare allowing for efficient access and usage of the shifters and brakes in both the hoods and drops – ideal for carving a line on the CX circuit or further afield.
Panaracer’s latest additions to the Gravel King family of tyres tips the hat to cyclocross with two models. The GravelKing EXT (Extreme), designed for superior traction in muddy conditions, and GravelKing AC (All Condition), designed for faster rolling in a wide variety of courses. Both models are available in UCI approved 700 x 33c and in two colour options, Black/Black and Black/Brown. The EXT is also available in a Plus version with extra ProTite Shield puncture protection.
Volume, speed, and consistency. The Cross Boss’ even centre tread shelf provides smooth and fast acceleration while more open side knobs help clear muck. A rounded, high volume profile designed for tubeless usage provides plenty of room to modulate tyre pressure while dual compound, Dual DNA rubber and defined cornering channels keep riders grinning for more turns. From single track to the circuit, the Cross Boss is here to bring it.
46 | September 2020
Cross King CX
Green Fizz (500ml)
Women’s Trail Storm Alpha
28in Wheelset Carbon Disc SLS
Distributor: Raleigh, Bob Elliot, i-ride
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
A fast all-round clincher for cross racers, at home on a huge range of terrain, studded enough to work well in muddy conditions, yet roll like a semi slick in a straight line. The Cross King CX is fast! Available in three formats: – 700x35mm PureGrip compound/NyTech anti-puncture system – 700x32 UCI legal RaceSport version with BlackChili compound – 700 x 42 wire and folding AT Ride model for gravel/leisure, certified E-25
Green by name, green by nature! Phosphate-free, solvent-free, zero-VOCs and of course, biodegradable. Cleaning your bike doesn’t have to be bad for the environment. This plant-derived formula still packs a punch too, easily removing tough dirt and grime from the whole bike. A 500ml ready-to-use trigger bottle helps reduce wastage and improve application accuracy. Also available in a 16x concentrate for those who prefer to dilute the solution themselves.
If you are looking to keep your body warm and having the best mobility possible, this piece was made for you. Featuring active insultation to brave the cold and breathable fabric to keep you warm and dry, and also patterned into an attack riding position, this jacket will allow you to focus only on riding your best ride ever. The jacket is perfect for those cold winter days due it featuring Polartec Alpha insulation.
• Carbon rims • 19 road disc hubs • Tyre width: road 23-28mm / gravel: 35-42mm • SAPIM CX-Ray spokes • Rims: Duke Baccara C SLS • 35mm rim height • Disc brake • Wire/clincher tyre type • Tubeless ready • 24 spokes front and rear • Weight: 1,295g
September 2020 | 47
Nature Cross Single Speed
Cinturato Cross M
Vapour GXC Wheelset
Telescopic Seatpost SP-T09
Distributor: Ison Distribution
Distributor: Extra UK
Distributor: Ison Distribution
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
Built from our proprietary A.C.E. steel tubing, the Nature Cross Single Speed is lighter, faster, and stiffer than any other single-speed steel steed out there. For speed and agility from start to finish, look no further. Hungry for all the mud, sand and chewed-up grass the cross course can dish up, the Nature Cross Single Speed is ready to tear through tight turns and quick up-and-downs as you push the limits of your body and your bike all the way to the finish line.
The Cinturato Cross Mixed Terrain is a cross-specific tyre designed for mixed terrain, where the surface varies between compact and loose terrain. The tread consists of mid-height knobs with wide spacing to guarantee excellent traction and clearing ability on a wide range of terrains. The special SpeedGRIP Compound adds grip without compromising the rolling efficiency. Cinturato Cross Mixed Terrain is a high-performance tyre offering grip in all weather conditions, wet or dry, plus a high level of puncture protection.
The Vapour GXC wheelset is the lightest in the Vapour range. Crafted for cyclocross, the longest distance gravel races, ultra-distance adventure riding, XC racing and road plus. Built with a 21mm internal width rim, the Vapour GXC wheel is ideal for a cyclocross race. As well as a lightweight and dependable rim, the Vapour GXC wheels utilise our all new GXC hubs specifically designed for this wheelset. The GXC hubs feature instantaneous 120 point engagement, centre lock, sealed bearings and wide spaced flanges for increased stiffness and durability.
XLCâ€™s telescopic seatpost allows riders to adjust their saddle height quickly, efficiently and easily whilst on the go. Being able to do so enables riders to prepare for different kinds of terrain, dropping the saddle out of the way and improving handling, comfort and indeed safety. With a 100mm range, and weighing in at 617g, this is an excellent entry-level telescopic seatpost from XLC.
48 | September 2020
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3 PARTS 1SYSTEM SAFE POWER & DURABLE PERFORMANCE FOR E-BIKES.
The three perfectly-matched eSTOP components will bring even heavy e-bikes safely to a standstill. The stiffened MDR brake discs also reduce brake noise, making the MT eSTOP even more comfortable and reliable for riders. Available as MT4 eSTOP for City / Trekking and MT5 eSTOP for E-MTBs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Richard Setters Sales Manager 0779 480 5307 email@example.com
Winter and protective clothing 1 2
Reflective Winter Gloves
Etape LS Merino Jersey
Ambient 2.0 Glove
Distributor: Greyville Enterprises
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
The “Ultra 3 Tech” fabric is a modern development that leaves neoprene looking a bit dated. As the name suggests, they are triple layer with a windproof outer, waterproof inner and fleece liner for ultimate protection in all conditions. Complete with reflective rear seams, YKK zipper, reinforced toe and Velcro adjustable sole, these are a 21st century solution for an old problem – cold feet on a bike!
These fully reflective winter gloves pack a long list of features into an affordable price tag. Fluorescent neon yellow fabrics and reflective material across the glove body provide important visibility amongst road traffic; whilst a neoprene cuff traps in heat and keeps your hands warm for the whole ride. A soft terry fabric at the thumb also means that the gloves come touchscreen-ready, allowing directions or assistance to be just a tap away.
Quick-drying, lightweight, breathable and natural, the Etape Merino LS jersey is a high-performance long sleeve for autumn, winter and spring. It’s as perfect under a jacket in the depths of winter as it is worn over a base layer in the spring. The main body of the Etape is made from Australian Extrafine Merino Sportwool, which is a fastdrying, natural fabric that quickly draws moisture away from your skin.
The Ambient 2.0 combines a water- and wind-resistant, breathable soft-shell upper with AGrid thermal fleece lining and an AX Suede palm for warmth, water resistance and amazing dexterity. It’s light enough to wear for long rides, and warm enough to fight off temperatures that hover above freezing.
September 2020 | 51
Brisker Cold Weather Glove
Winter Waterproof Overshoe
Bright Gloves 2.0
Blackline Trail Pants
Distributor: Silverfish UK
Distributor: Extra UK
Mother Nature has met her match with the 100% Brisker. A low-profile glove engineered to keep riders going fast in cooler weather. Get the perfect amount of insulation to block out damp, cool weather while maintaining exceptional dexterity and bike control. In a range of stunning colours and available as women’s and youth variants as well as a waterproof Hydromatic version, the multi awardwinning Brisker is a go-to choice for road, MTB and commuting.
Keep feet warm and dry in winter. The neoprene works as an excellent insulator and the fully seam sealed construction prevents any water leak from the stitching. The pattern integrates an extended upper panel in a three layer laminated fabric that is both waterproof and breathable while the bottom sole and toe tip features a wear resistant fabric. The fit is snug with an easy rear entry sealed by a YKK water repellent zipper.
• Reflective upper • Padded palm with silicon grip and touchscreen finger • Wristgripper cuff • Four sizes: S/M/L/XL
The Blackline Trail Pants offer impressive features and looks at a great cost. Four-way stretch fabric offers excellent mobility, while the DWR finish sees off puddles, mud and sudden showers. Easy-to-use adjustment tabs on the waist and non-slip silicone inserts grip to your inner shorts or skin. Breathability is handled by small laser cut ventilation holes on the front leg, and two front pockets with YKK zips allow you to store essentials.
52 | September 2020
Waterproof Socks, Hats, Gloves
Baselayer Be Warm
Bright Shoes 2.0
Distributor: Troll Outdoors
Distributor: Oneway Bike Industry BV
The DexShell range continues to grow into 2021 and amongst the wide range of waterproof and fully breathable gloves, hats and socks are some key sellers for the winter period. The Pro Visibility Cycling sock is ultra reflective in low light conditions and is aimed at commuters and road riders. Other socks in the range offer higher thermal ratings for those super cold days too. These include the Ultra Dri Sports Sock which retails for £35.
The colder it gets, the more difficult it is to stay warm when exercising outdoors without immediately overheating. It’s no easy task, so the choice of base layer is crucial. It has to be close fitting but not too tight, and it must keep you warm whilst rapidly wicking away moisture from my skin. The Be Warm shirt’s seamless, multi-zone knit construction and draught-proof collar is the ideal base layer for cold temperatures.
• Full reflective upper • Waterproof and windproof • Reinforced heel and toe • Weatherproof zip • Velcro closure • Four sizes: S/M/L/XL
The Kona Performance winter gloves use the Neogrip technology. They have reflective inserts and a gel insert to palm and fingertips, with foam linings and silicone print. They are available from size L to XL for €49/£42.
September 2020 | 53
Bearsuit Knee/Elbow Guards
Junior Winter Mittens
BO-A03 Cycling Overshoes
Distributor: Jungle Products
Distributor: Moore Large & Co
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
Thin, light and elastic, these guards protect you from those bumps and scratches that inevitably occur on a long day out. SAS-TEC provides shockabsorbing properties yet a slim look and feel. If you’re into long distance trail biking and want some protection, without the bulk of hard pads, these are the guards for you. Available in kids /junior sizing too.
Our Junior Winter Mittens are waterproof, windproof and feature a breathable three layer soft shell. Combined with our fast-dry inner fleece technology and synthetic leather palm, these mittens provide the ultimate protection against the elements. As well as being warm and comfortable, these mittens have also been designed with reflective detailing to make sure you and your family are safe whilst out on your adventures.
These overshoes have been designed to shield your feet from the worst of the cold, rain and dirt; owing this to a 2mm layer of neoprene. Reflective edging helps catch the eye of motorists in low light, perfect for those darker evenings. An overshoe’s zipper can often be its waterproofing downfall. This isn’t the case with the BO-A03’s. A fully-waterproof zipper and full silicone print design allows you to comfortably ride in the wet.
Innovative reflective detailing including an improved fabric with enhanced breathability takes the popular Nightvision range to the next level in the Nightvision Hurricane Waterproof Jacket. The innovavtive iridescent reflective print detail and printed reflective panels provide greater visibilty to other road users without compromising on breathability. The waterproofing and taped seams will keep you dry in a downpour.
54 | September 2020
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55 | September 2020
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56 | September 2020
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BIKES & ACCESSORIES
Serious travel Serious gravel for
The Vybe suspension Seatpost. 50mm of tunable travel: when the road turns to gravel, tame the terrain. Find out more at ultimateuse.com.
BIKES & ACCESSORIES
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September 2020 | 57
Alambike charity event set for Les Gets debut
he Ellie Soutter Foundation is delighted to announce an exciting partnership with the Wetzayers Association and its new event Alambike, live in Les Gets on 5th-6th September. Coming to Les Gets for the first time, this action-packed charity cycling event combines exciting mountain biking with healthy competition. Groups of four to eight bikers will have 24 hours to see who can rack up the most kilometres on a cross-country course designed for the World MTB Championships. Each team of keen bikers is encouraged to raise donations, half of which will be donated to The Ellie Soutter Foundation. This event is focused on fun and raising money for charity first and is open to all ages on all types of bikes, including electric. And there’s plenty to keep supporters and spectators busy too, from live groups on a big stage and DJ sets to film screenings and activities for all the family. There will be plenty to enjoy in this beautiful resort whilst the bikers battle it out on the course. Even having a cup of coffee will help to raise money for each charity, as the cost of each cup that is sold by participating vendors will be donated. The Ellie Soutter Foundation is dedicated to supporting talented young people in winter sports who would otherwise be unable to maximise their potential due to financial restraints. The foundation provides grants for equipment, training, travel, competing and accommodation as well as providing mental health support.
58 | September 2020
Tony Soutter, founder of The Ellie Soutter Foundation, said: “The Alambike event incorporates so much of the joy that can be found in the mountains and through sports and is a great event for groups of friends, families and biking clubs to take part in. We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the recipient charities along with Mountain Brothers.” For more information on the event or to sign up, head to www.alambike.fr/en n Ellie became vice champion of the world in the Junior Freeride World Tour in 2017. She was the winner of a Bronze medal for Team GB at the 2017 European Youth Olympics and was tipped to be one of GB’s strongest contenders for the 2022 winter Olympics. As a junior athlete, she felt and understood the constant pressure to obtain the necessary funds for her training and events. She tragically died on her 18th birthday in the resort of Les Gets, France, where she was based. Ellie’s family then decided to form The Ellie Soutter Foundation in her memory. The foundation’s aim is to help young athletes at all levels with funding for their journeys. The foundation also ensures they receive support and training that can help identify mental health issues that can arise from the pressures they are often placed under, and ultimately help prevent the situation that led to Ellie taking her own life on her 18th birthday. n
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