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‘The COVID-induced surge in cycling may well be here to stay’
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The build-up to the winter months habitually represents something of a curtail for the cycling industry. While certain P&A sectors witness seasonal boosts, trade show season draws to a close, commuters return to public transport, and many bikes are reluctantly returned to sheds. Yet as you may have noticed, 2020 is far from an ordinary year. Despite an inevitable increase in road traffic following the UK’s initial lockdown period, it’s encouraging to hear that a seemingly endless demand for cycling equipment has left distributors, brands and IBDs alike continuing to scramble for stock. While this an undeniable source of frustration for many, it does indicate that the COVID-induced surge in cycling may well be here to stay, and that is truly something to celebrate. And, on the subject of celebrations, I’m pleased to confirm that the shortlist for this year’s BikeBiz Awards (p23) is complete and voting is now open across all ten categories. Despite the uncertainty surrounding live events, we have decided that now, perhaps more than ever before, it is vital to recognise and celebrate the hard work of professionals and companies from across the cycling sector. The BikeBiz Awards will continue its longstanding tradition of honouring the industry’s very best, but will forgo a live event in 2020, allowing those who keep the sector’s wheels turning to receive the recognition they deserve while ensuring the safety of all involved. Winners will be revealed online on Friday 11th December. Head to bikebizawards. com to cast your votes!
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E-scooters: A shot in the arm for bike share schemes? E-scooters are impossible to ignore in today’s discussions surrounding mobility and active travel, but what impact are they having on bike share schemes?
23 BikeBiz Awards: One year on As we look ahead to the 2020 edition of our Awards, BikeBiz finds out what last year’s winners have been up to since
Return, reground, reuse Gecko has patented a cellular rubber technology, offering a new way for bike tyres to be recycled. Rebecca Morley catches up with director Richard Adams
36 Know your customer In the second of a four-part series, James Smith looks at the advantages and disadvantages of a physical store
What can cycle retailers expect following COVID-19? By Richard Bowker, Criterium Cycles director
Five minutes with… ETC This month, BikeBiz catches up Drew Farquharson, head of design and marketing for Moore Large house brand ETC
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POINTS OF VIEW
How to keep bicycle supply chains clean By Rachel Jones, founder and CEO, SnapDragon Monitoring
he COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves through the retail sector. Storefronts have been shuttered by national lockdowns while the delivery of components has been hindered by global travel restrictions. From sourcing to checkout, brands are facing unprecedented obstacles to delivering their products, at the highest quality, on time. Amidst these challenges, brands must keep a sharp eye on their digital shelves to make sure only authentic products – and parts – are for sale. The current climate does not merely present a logistical headache for purchasers and suppliers alike; it has also created a perfect storm for counterfeiters. The sharp rise in online merchants selling counterfeit face masks, pharmaceuticals and hand sanitisers has been widely reported. However, the cycling industry is not exempt from counterfeiters’ renewed lease of life. Online shopping has soared since lockdown measures were first introduced. The cycling industry has witnessed a particularly impressive upswing in interest. Keen to avoid public transport, many consumers are investing in bicycles as an alternative. In Britain alone, bicycle sales surged by 63% between April and June, according to the Bicycle Association. However, demand is on the rise just as the system is most vulnerable. Even in 2016, long before the pandemic, a joint operation involving the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industries removed over €9 million of counterfeit cycling products from circulation. In the cycling industry, counterfeit apparel may affect performance, but fake
goods can also be dangerous. Counterfeit helmets that fail industry standard safety tests have been found for sale online; frames made of anything but the carbon fibre proclaimed on their labels are a popular product for fraudsters. Cycling brands are facing a spike in both consumer and counterfeiter interest. To make the most of the increase in digital sales, brands must take steps to fight the fakes. A faulty product could spoil a first-time online buyer’s opinion of your brand and dampen their new-found interest in two-wheel travel. At worst, a counterfeit part can cause serious damage. The risk of counterfeits entering the supply chain The first step to conquering counterfeits is to understand how they infiltrate supplies. Even at the best of times, counterfeits can become mixed in with legitimate products, meaning a consumer can purchase from a verified online seller using a third-party warehouse and still unwrap a fake. The most common entry points of illicit goods into the supply chain occur during delivery to distribution warehouses and overseas shipping, at customs ports and retail warehouses. The pandemic has made the situation much worse. Lockdowns and physical distancing measures that began in China have seen factories shut and the capacity of official export channels severely reduced. Counterfeiters have been able to take advantage of illegal channels and the new difficulties in carrying out comprehensive inspections.
November 2020 | 7
POINTS OF VIEW
Faulty products entering supplies unnoticed are difficult to remove precisely because they can be so difficult to spot. How to recognise a problem and reduce the risk Taking proactive measures to secure your supply chain will support your brand through the current crisis and protect your reputation into the future. Designing a comprehensive brand protection strategy that takes account of all the digital channels counterfeiters use will strengthen your defences against fakes. Firstly, map your supply chain so you know every link in the chain. Ideally, this should run from raw materials all the way to delivery to the consumer. Identify vulnerabilities in the chain and have contingency plans in place that can be activated as soon as an issue is identified. If the factory that supplies the material used to build your bicycle frames becomes compromised, or is forced to shut due to a local lockdown, you can immediately pick up the phone to another verified supplier. Building strong relationships with suppliers and distributors is part and parcel of the mapping process. Each link in the chain should be a team with whom you speak regularly, not a dot on a map. Communicating openly with partners will help you stay abreast of local conditions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; if new COVID-19 restrictions are put in place, you will be the first to know and can react accordingly. If you cannot conduct your usual site visits, ask to arrange a virtual tour. Indeed, video calls are not the only technological solution for keeping an eye on supply chains. Tracking services will allow you to watch your goods on their journey, making any unscheduled stops apparent. Meanwhile, serialisation codes and security features such as special stitches in cycling jerseys or holograms emblazoned inside helmets can be effective tools for distinguishing legitimate goods from fakes as part of a long-term strategy. In the immediate-term, implementing an online brand protection plan will allow you to identify and remove fraudulent items from social media sites as well as online marketplaces such as Amazon, Wish, Alibaba or Rakuten. With specialist technology and the right intellectual property to prove originality, counterfeits can be removed within hours. Consumers cannot buy what they cannot see. Another quick trick is to monitor customer reviews. An unusual increase in complaints can be a red flag.
8 | November 2020
If specific issues, such as malfunctioning brakes or premature rusting, appear repeatedly, it might be that not all the items that claim to be your brand are real. As a general rule, simpler supply chains are safer supply chains. Try to keep the number of links in your chain to a minimum (apologies for the pun). If possible, source components overseas and build the final product at home. This can help to enforce better quality control. What to do if you find fakes We all know what they say about the best-laid plans. If you discover that counterfeits of your brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s products are being sold online or delivered from your warehouses, be honest. Tell consumers and distributors what has happened and take action to remove the fakes. You may have to use your recall procedures, particularly in the case of fake helmets and frames that could pose a risk to customers. Planned for and managed correctly, the appearance of counterfeits does not need to spell the disappearance of your hardearned reputation. The cycling industry has faced a rollercoaster of challenges and opportunities this year. Shops closed just as cycling became a first-choice means of travel. With the correct measures in place, the industry can avoid counterfeiters undermining consumer confidence and instead continue to encourage the mounting energy of a new generation of pedallers. n
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POINTS OF VIEW
The e-revolution and the ‘new to cycling’ consumer
By Dafydd Huws, Troll Outdoors and DexShell
020 has been, as I am sure we would all agree, the strangest of years. From lockdowns and social distancing to an almost unprecedented demand for cycling, it is a year that will live long in the memory of every bike shop for reasons bad and good. However, it could be argued that 2020 has also seen the cycling market in the UK fast-forwarded by several years as more and more consumers are being drawn to the market for the first time. This has fuelled both the rise in demand for e-bikes (and bikes in general) and the need for retailers to look at their current stock and firmly question whether they are fully meeting the needs of these ‘new to cycling’ consumers. Interest in e-bikes was already increasing rapidly in the pre-COVID world and as a result of this, the industry saw an increase in the number of people returning to cycling and, perhaps, an increase in demand from the more mature end of the population. Couple this with Government incentives and increased cycling participation, and we clearly see that the ‘new to cycling’ and the returning cyclist consumers and commuters offer shops of all sizes a major opportunity. This begs the question though… what exactly does this consumer want? It is dangerous to generalise, so I won’t. The truth is that each consumer will have their own individual requirements based on their experience of cycling, age, fitness level and so on. However, from speaking to retailers and other brands in the industry, some general traits are appearing in their conversations with this new market.
10 | November 2020
Firstly, the new consumer is often unaware of cycling accessory brands, safety standards and sometimes entire sectors of product that are available for their comfort and safety. They have no preconceived ideas of which brand is best, nor are they likely to care who wears what brand in Le Tour. They are likely to want function first, ‘cool’ brands second. In this way, it is also perhaps fair to say that many new cycle commuters are seeking warmth and comfort in their cycle clothing with, wherever possible, some crossover into their work wear. Multifunctionality means better value for money for this sector even more so than ‘traditional’ cyclists. For example, they don’t particularly want to start the day with cold or wet feet and hands so, my obvious bias aside, a good waterproof sock and glove ticks many of these boxes. To take that example further, many of those who are unfamiliar with cycling or outdoor pursuits don't even know waterproof socks exist! This highlights the need for education. Education, education, education. While this will sound familiar to those of a certain age and will undoubtedly bring back good or bad memories for you, the principle remains; education is key. These new consumers – once they have bought their bike or e-bike (or even if they are digging out that old 1970s Raleigh from the shed for the first time in 20 years) – will be looking to accessorise and make their (re)introduction to cycling as comfortable as
POINTS OF VIEW
it can possibly be, and this goes far beyond just gloves and a helmet. As you know, this has the potential to be a whole new wardrobe and some extra sales for you. My point here is that they will need guiding, depending on their personal circumstances, to certain accessories more than others. Once there, they may well need an explanation as to the technology behind each product and what separates brand X from brand Y and, importantly, what separates price X from price Y. Let’s be honest here. For non-cyclists, our world is a hugely baffling one. Heck, it is baffling to us a lot of the time too… new standards, new technology, new wheel sizes, new sectors – and that’s just by midsummer. The second half of the year will likely bring more new things to throw into the mix and stock to modify. It’s exciting to be part of an ever-evolving industry, of course, but to these new consumers, it’s a minefield of information that they will be looking to you to guide them through. We, as brand representatives, have a duty
to help you in doing this by communicating clearly with you and ensuring you have the right stock of the right product when you need it. We also need to make sure you have all the information about our products to hand so you can educate the end user and make them a loyal customer for us both. The world is changing at an unprecedented rate and we as an industry can only meet the needs of our joint consumers if we work together and educate them about the best product(s) for their circumstances based on their individual needs, not on historic sales, who does the best marketing or which brands have a clearance sale or ‘kick-ass’ buy-in offer. By offering the range of accessories that this rapidly expanding market is seeking – even if they don’t yet know they exist – as opposed to what we just want to sell them, you will enjoy more repeat custom and some strong word of mouth recommendations. That can’t be a bad thing can it? Embrace the e-revolution and the new consumers heading our way. They are a major part of our future so let’s make it a good one for all of us. n
www.bikebiz.com November 2020 | 11
APPOINTMENTS This month’s movers and shakers throughout the cycle industry... Andrew Demery, BikeExchange
Lauren Jenkins, Cycle Solutions
BikeExchange has appointed former CFO of ASX listed carsales.com Andrew Demery to the new role of global CFO. Following a 12-month period of rapid growth, BikeExchange has welcomed Demery to its global leadership team to play a ‘crucial’ role in the company’s further expansion. “I am excited about joining BikeExchange at this point in its journey,” said Demery. “I have been very impressed by what the group and the team has achieved in all its markets and look forward to bringing my marketplace and finance experience to accelerate the growth of the business. “As the clear cycling category marketplace leader, there is a huge opportunity in the current market conditions and I look forward to playing an important role in taking the business to the next level.” n
Swansea-based Cycle to Work Scheme provider Cycle Solutions has appointed Lauren Jenkins as copywriter and PR officer. Jenkins brings over six years of experience as a freelancer in the cycling industry. A recent Swansea University graduate, keen rider and Breeze Champion, she will work with marketing manager Ross Tregoning to oversee content and communications. Managing director Steve Edgell said: “Lauren brings a wealth of experience in communications having worked with many media titles including Pinkbike, Dirt Magazine, IMB and MBUK. Lauren has a real passion for bikes, and we were impressed by the part she played in building UK bike brand Black Mountain Bikes. It’s great to welcome Lauren to the team and I am excited by the plans we’ve developed to enhance our customer experience with improved guides, blogs, product reviews and more.” n
Bruce Sandell, Cyclopark
Raffaele Nardo, ASSOS of Switzerland
Bruce Sandell has been appointed a trustee of Cyclopark. Cyclopark is a multi-sports facility focused on cycling, situated in Gravesend, Kent, featuring a road cycling circuit, mountain bike trails, cyclocross courses, café, skatepark, gym and a cycle play area. The venue has regularly hosted international, national and regional BMX, cyclocross and road cycling events. Sandell brings over 30 years of media and events experience, most recently running his own cycling media and events business. “Following the recent sale of my business, I wanted to create more time to volunteer in grassroots cycling,” he said. “Cyclopark is a fantastic venue, with tons of potential and I look forward to helping the talented team there to deliver more high-profile events, more cycling industry activations and most importantly – to get more people cycling.” n
ASSOS of Switzerland has appointed Raffaele Nardo as director of e-commerce and digital. Nardo will report directly to ASSOS CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall and will work closely with the ASSOS board to accelerate the brand’s e-commerce and omnichannel capabilities. “We are very excited about Raffaele joining our team to lead our efforts to further improve the digital capabilities we need to meet the high expectations of our customers and dealers,” said Bouchard-Hall. “Raffaele has a deep understanding of how to create a superlative consumer experience and has had remarkable success doing so with brands which share ASSOS’ exceptional standards and aspirations.” “I’m really excited to start this new chapter of my career with such a leading company as ASSOS,” added Nardo. “The passion, the care and the attention to the detail it puts into its products is astonishing and inspiring. I feel honoured to be able to join this team and contribute to the success of ASSOS and its partners.” n
12 | November 2020
Ramon Schelwald, Eve Fernandez and Alex O’dell, Litelok Litelok has made three senior appointments to strengthen its commercial team. Alex O’dell has been appointed managing director, Eve Fernandez is joining as marketing director and Ramon Schelwald will be international sales manager. Together, they will lead the commercial team, bringing with them a wealth of experience working with leading innovative brands and a strong vision with the aim of transforming Swansea-based Litelok into a global brand. O’dell, previously president, Northern Asia for Dyson, will scale the business from the UK. Fernandez is a marketing specialist bringing nearly 20 years of agency and client experience to the business. She will lead the marketing team in developing brand and communication campaigns, while building partnerships globally to strengthen its offering. Being a passionate cyclist, Schelwald will now be able to combine his professional and
personal worlds, using his skills to lead the Litelok sales team. Professor Neil Barron, Litelok founder and CEO, said: “We’re very excited about this next phase in our journey. With these new appointments, we have a strong, ambitious commercial team in place to help define and achieve our international ambitions for Litelok. All are accomplished experts within their fields, and I’m confident that their expertise will leverage the amazing uplift cycling has been experiencing over the last few months.” n
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November 2020 | 13
Beryl CEO Philip Ellis
E-scooters: A shot in the arm for bike share schemes? E-scooters are impossible to ignore in today’s discussions surrounding mobility and active travel, particularly as people’s transport habits change with COVID-19. But what impact are they having on bike share schemes? Rebecca Morley reports
any bike share schemes have seen a boom in ridership over recent months, mirroring the trends seen across the UK and other parts of the world as more people turn to cycling for their transport needs. June saw TfL set out plans to expand the Santander Cycles scheme to keep up with demand following the best May in its ten-year history, with 1,120,620 hires. May also had the highest ever number of hires in a single week, with 362,925 hires made between 25th-31st, and the highest ever number of hires in a weekend, with 132,979 hires made between 30th-31st.
14 | November 2020
Beryl, which has bike share schemes operating across the UK including in Bournemouth, Poole and London, has witnessed this too. “May was out of this world and June was fantastic,” says CEO Philip Ellis. “In lockdown, all that people could do for fun was go out and exercise. Coupled with the roads being blissfully quiet, people were going out on shared bikes more often and for longer.” However, despite the benefits of clearer roads, quieter cities and cleaner air, it appears that many are already reverting to their old transport habits.
According to Environmental Defense Fund Europe research, traffic congestion has been increasing in London – and has already exceeded 2019 levels outside the city centre. “Carmageddon started to rear its head,” Ellis continues. “As the roads got horribly clogged, the enjoyment factor that people had from riding their bikes disappeared. What we’ve seen from July to October is still a decent number of riders, but there is significantly less movement of people in the city. People are working from home and the roads are still quite a hostile place, so we see no real morning peak. “Overall, we’re probably netting off at somewhere normal. We’ve created a lot of cyclists during that initial period – there were a lot of lapsed cyclists, bike share riders or other, that have come back to cycling because they enjoyed it in May and June.
But September saw the micromobility provider also begin to roll out e-scooters in the city too, with the aim to add another sustainable journey option to its multimodal smart fleet. “We’ve always planned on introducing e-scooters to our schemes because we’ve always wanted to be able to offer a full service micromobility offering,” explains Ellis. “We wanted to offer bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters and cargo bikes so we can increase our addressable market. We want to have as many people using our systems as possible, and that means a variety of vehicles throughout the city. “We’ve introduced e-scooters alongside our bike share system, and we’re planning on introducing them alongside more of our systems along the medium and longer term. The bike is still such an important part of how people get around the city, but it’s a really important part of a shared system.”
Many people have changed their transport habits since COVID-19
“We hope that when travel volumes increase, as people start to get back to work and socialise again, we’ll have the positives of more people cycling, and of the investments being made to create space. I’m optimistic that there will be a base level of higher cycling numbers – in terms of people who own bikes and are using a bike share scheme.” A multimodal fleet Beryl’s bike share scheme arrived in Norwich in March this year, with an initial rollout of 225 bikes available to hire.
Ellis describes the scooters as a ‘shot in the arm’ to Beryl’s bike share systems. We’ve seen interest in e-scooters in many parts of the world – so it’s no surprise to see them in the UK too. “Within the industry, people talk about the e-bike smile – the same thing exists on scooters. The adoption is easy and it really appeals to younger people.” But you can go further on a bike, Ellis continues, and from a pricing point of view, bikes exist because they are one of the most efficient ways humans have developed of getting around.
November 2020 | 15
“We’re able to offer our bikes to a city, to an end-user, at a really low price. With scooters, you have to charge a lot more, because there’s a lot more involved in the charging, whether that’s through battery swapping or on-street charging. “But the bike is always going to be long-term, so we can charge less money for people to use it. And if we ask people why they commute by bike, it’s because it’s cheaper, greener, better for you and faster. That’s why people do it versus driving – but all of those things are equally as true versus scooting.” There’s a policy need for Beryl to be able to offer an affordable method of transport, says Ellis. “The [e-scooter] pricing model doesn’t suit twice-a-day commuting for the people that really need to get back into work right now. Restaurant workers, bar workers, security guards, people in manufacturing and construction – these are the people that have to go to work. We have to have alternative options – like bikes. “From a policy perspective, e-bikes come into this in a really interesting way as well. You could say that if you’re going down the affordability route with bikes and e-scooters, your better option is just to buy one.” E-bikes, however, are more expensive, and a shared e-bike therefore fulfils an interesting need from a policy perspective. “Collectively, we want a shared micromobility offering because we think it increases the addressable market,” says Ellis, “and it gets more people using our services. “When you think about each one of these modes from a policy perspective, there’s good reasons to implement bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters.” Could e-scooters be competing directly with bike share schemes? While privately-owned e-scooters in the UK can only be ridden on private land, with the landowner’s permission, new regulations allowing trials of rental e-scooters came into force on 4th July. And since then, we’ve seen many operators be appointed by councils across the country to launch e-scooter schemes into the area. “There’s a general tide of opinion from policy makers and the industry that this is a temporary scooter trial, but the tide is probably only going one way,” Ellis continues. “Electric scooters will be more broadly legalised, and there’s great opportunity to make sure they’re legalised in a way to make it as safe as possible. It’s more a question of timing. “Will it book-end nicely with the end of these trials, or will we see a period where these trials finish and the legislation hasn’t quite changed?”
16 | November 2020
But could there be any competition between bike share schemes and e-scooter trials? According to a 2019 report released by the National Association of City Transportation Officials, electric scooters are overtaking station-based bicycles as the most popular form of shared transportation outside transit and cars in the US. Riders took 38.5 million trips on shared electric scooters in 2018, eclipsing the 36.5 million trips on shared, docked bicycles. “On a global scale, where e-scooters have been launched as shared mechanisms alongside existing bike share systems – where they’ve effectively been competing against each other – cycling numbers really drop off,” Ellis says. “That is because a decent number of those people who were using the bikes for non-commuting trips started using the scooter instead. It hurts the economics of those existing bike share systems. “There is an exception to that – which is the Paris bike share system. They’re getting record ridership on the bike share system, normal everyday cyclist numbers with private bikes, and they have lots of people riding scooters. There was a fundamental gear change in city-wide investments – there is a fantastic world-beating amount of investment going into protected cycle lanes etc. “The lesson there is that if you introduce scooters as a competitor to bikes, the bikes will suffer and you will lose all their policy benefits. But if you have a long-term vision and you implement good segregated cycle lanes, then you can drive up the volumes of anyone moving on two wheels on sustainable methods. “If there’s a platform for people to compete on bikes versus e-scooters, I think what we’ve seen is scooters win that battle. But what you lose is all the policy benefits, the active travel benefits of a bike share system. “You can’t have an isolated approach to one or the other, you have to have a joint-up approach to both. Scooters can provide a really good shot in the arm for the viability of a shared micromobility system, but you have to do it as one integrated offering.” n Beryl is introducing e-scooters alongside some of its bike share systems
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Why ovals make sense Dr. Borut Fonda, lead scientist at absoluteBLACK’s Science Lab, tells us how oval rings can benefit all Oval rings are not a new concept. How are absoluteBLACK oval chainrings different from those from the past? Oval chainrings have been around for over 100 years, but Biopace chainrings are what most people still remember for delivering weird pedalling motion, and some even reported knee pain. In fact, Biopace somehow became an umbrella synonym to all non-round chainrings including ‘oval’. Interestingly, Biopace was not even oval but a complex, non-round shape with completely missed timing of the major axis (i.e. crank position when the chainring’s diameter is the biggest). In their case, the major axis of the chainring was oriented when the crank was at the bottom and top position, whereas absoluteBLACK oval chainrings exhibit major axis at about a 109° crank angle. This is a night and day difference between the two chainrings.
18 | November 2020
You mentioned knee pain with Biopace chainrings. Do absoluteBLACK’s ovals suffer from the same problem? The reason for the knee pain was simply wrong orientation of the ‘oval’ shape and most importantly, timing. Some of the biggest contributing factors for the knee pain are shear forces between the tibia and the patella and compressive forces between the patella and femur, resulting in an anterior knee pain, which is the most reported injury in cyclists. Biopace’s unfortunate design emphasised a load at points where some of the knee shear forces are the largest. absoluteBLACK oval chainrings are designed to perfectly fit specific riding styles and involve the hip joint to a larger extent, which essentially takes the load off the knee. When looking at the general knee load during cycling, it peaks at around a 70° crank angle, while the hip peaks well beyond 90°.
absoluteBLACK oval chainrings’ majors axis orientation is at around a 109° crank. This matches the power profile of a cyclist to reduce power losses and transfers the load from the knee to the hip. Increasing the chainring diameter at the points where the cyclists are the strongest results in a more controlled push on the pedal, which can consequently be seen as lower varus/valgus moments (less lateral sway from the knees). Shimano had a great idea, but the implementation didn’t quite work out. At the time of making them, there was no precise equipment capable of measuring all the forces applied to the pedal, measuring body response, forces on the knees etc. At that time, even the automotive industry was hiring dozens of mathematicians
pedal system with an ability to measure six force/ torque components at the pedals (three forces and three torques). This system must be synchronised with a complete 3D motion-capturing system that allows acquiring motion of the body segments. By using some advanced algorithms for inverse dynamics, we can calculate joint loads for the lower extremity. At our absoluteBLACK Science Lab, we have all the mentioned technological capabilities plus a lot more, which allows us to design all our chainrings based on objective scientific data. We have performed over several thousand measurements on different riding styles to come up with the designs we have now.
who were calculating stress forces on the car parts with pen and paper. Even today, it’s still tricky (especially knee load measurements) and only a handful of universities and private companies possess equipment capable of measuring those forces accurately. That’s why most of them over the last ten years focused on researching the power gains with oval rings instead of looking into efficiency/ effectiveness gains.
Certain riders are pretty convinced ovals can give you more power, but you mentioned that there are gains in efficiency instead. Can you elaborate on that? We need to first set the correct terminology. ‘More power’ can be appropriately interpreted by achieving a higher maximum power output during an all-out sprint. Although it has been shown in the past that oval chainrings can improve sprinting performance, this is not the main performance benefit. So, going back to the original question of what cyclists are referring to, it is actually the effectiveness of pedalling and efficiency.
What does it take to measure all those forces? The most important part of equipment is a force
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With the absoluteBLACK oval chainrings, we demonstrated that cyclists exhibit a 9% more effective pedal stroke by applying less force to the pedal that doesn’t contribute to power. Essentially, they generate less muscular force for a given power output. This allows them to pedal at higher power outputs with the same effort as before. All that also results in improved efficiency, which is a metabolic measure (i.e. ratio between the mechanical work and energy expenditure). We have shown that cyclists improve their efficiency when using absoluteBLACK oval chainrings.
In my many years of research experience and testing close to thousand riders of various abilities, I can say that once you become fatigued, your effectiveness and efficiency drop considerably. So, in a sense, oval rings benefit everyone. Would you like to add anything? Do your own research, read rider opinions, ask users of oval rings what they think. But nothing will compare to actually trying them yourself. We actually offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee so there is nothing to lose. Simply try them and have your own opinion. n
I’ve heard on many occasions that ovals can deliver ‘rounder than round’ pedalling sensation. Is this even possible? Great question. Indeed, after a few rides, you start getting the sensation that the pedal stroke becomes more fluid or smooth. This is mainly the consequence of your power profile, which is not constant. Humans are not designed to deliver equal torque/profile throughout the pedal stroke and hence the power peaks where the sum of all muscular and non-muscular (inertia and leg weight) components result in the largest power. During seated road cycling, we see that peak at around 109° of crank angle. Matching the chainring’s diameter to that power profile results in smoother pedalling. Are they for everyone? Simple question, tricky answer. We designed our oval chainrings to improve cyclists’ abilities to pedal easier on the uphills, go faster, get less tired, put less load on the knees and have more fun on the bike. This all comes back to the effectiveness of pedalling I mentioned before. The more you train, the better your pedal stroke becomes. The problem we have in today’s world is that we all have busy lives and only a handful of people can actually afford to ride for more than 12 hours a week for years to get the near perfect pedal stroke. These lucky ones are mostly professional or very serious riders. We can’t improve their pedal stroke a lot as it’s already very good, so in this category it’s mainly about marginal gains. Where we focus instead is making a shortcut for riders who can only spend one to six hours a week. We can improve these cyclists’ abilities significantly. It’s almost like having a pedal stroke of a professional rider, but with your normal ability to generate power. Oval chainrings can make you simply more efficient with what you can generate, and this is already a very big gain on its own.
20 | November 2020
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BikeBiz Awards 2019 winners: One year on
The BikeBiz Awards is returning for its 12th iteration this year in a digital format, as we all continue to navigate the uncertainty surrounding live events and COVID-19. But while the world has undoubtedly changed since 2019’s ceremony at The Cycle Show, it still remains more vital than ever to recognise and celebrate the hard work of professionals and companies within the cycling sector. As we look ahead to 2020’s edition, BikeBiz caught up with last year’s winners to find out what they’ve been up to since...
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Backyard Bike Shop, Best Independent Bike Dealer
Rachael Walker, BikeBiz Woman of the Year
How has 2020 been for Backyard – what successes and challenges have you had this year? 2020 has been a strange one with everything going on, but fortunately has been a very busy year with a lot of new people cycling. A lot of people who aren’t new to cycling have decided to also upgrade their bikes and get out a lot more. This has been great for our workshop. We’ve had a few struggles with finding stock, but we’ve been fortunate to pick up a lot of new brands and suppliers. Our cafe had to close due to the lockdown, and it’s still a struggle with restrictions, but we’ve coped well considering.
Winning the 2019 BikeBiz Woman of the Year Award was a real privilege. It can be a tricky environment working as a woman in the bike trade, so to get recognition from the wider industry and public is very rewarding. Hopefully, the number of women in the industry only continues to increase. n
How do you think retail has changed in recent months and what trends have you observed? We’ve seen the average spend go up a fair bit this year. We reckon it’s due to people spending more time on their bikes, and using it as their main recreational outlet. Summer gravel has been massively popular as well, and more than half our builds are gravel bikes now. Gravel has been great for accessory sales as well.
“Since winning, we’ve had a lot of new brands approaching us and it’s been great being able to expand on what we can offer” What did it mean to win a BikeBiz Award last year? It was unexpected but felt really good. We are still a fairly new shop and have a lot of goals we still want to achieve. Since winning, we’ve had a lot of new brands approaching us as well and it’s been great being able to expand on what we can offer. Why is it so important to celebrate and recognise companies within the cycling industry, especially during this time? A lot of people have been working really hard during this crisis to help people get out on bikes. Everything from distributors helping shops get stock, and supporting them with drop shipping and making it easier. Individuals spreading awareness of the benefits of cycling and getting more diversity in the sport. The Awards give these people some recognition for all the hard work done. It’s a great thing and we hope it will continue. n
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“It can be a tricky environment working as a woman in the bike trade, so to get recognition from the wider industry and public is very rewarding”
Sigma Sports, Best Omnichannel Retailer How has 2020 been for Sigma Sports? It has been a rollercoaster year going from many unknowns, the challenge of temporarily closing our flagship store, to the positives of strong trade and focusing on new ways of serving customers. We have completed a number of big projects and initiatives that have elevated our services and offering. Early in the year, we refitted our flagship store in Hampton Wick to improve customers’ in-store shopping experience with us. With the current restrictions in place, we have continued to offer customers dedicated store appointments, which has proven to be a real success. The launch of our new e-commerce site followed in the spring to benefit user friendliness and introduce live chat and video consultations with our staff. Late summer saw the soft launch of Universal Colours, a new cycling clothing brand born out of Sigma Sports with its own, dedicated team. We opened a new store in Oakham which has been a very exciting step in our company’s journey. We continue to adapt and evolve and this year has been like no other. What trends have you observed in recent months? There has been a huge demand for bikes. What has been interesting to witness is this demand has predominantly
come from people aged between 25-35. Alongside this new demand from a younger audience, we have also seen many more women coming into the sport. Both these signs are incredibly encouraging. Turbo trainer sales have continued to be in high demand since the huge peak during lockdown. We also stock run gear at Sigma Sports and this too has seen a marked uptick – there’s certainly a broader health trend. Overall, the industry simply continues to boom. What did it mean to win a BikeBiz Award last year? We always keep pushing to offer customers the best shopping experience and service, both in-store and online. To be recognised for our continued efforts as Best Omnichannel Retailer is something we take pride in and would not have been possible to achieve without our passionate and dedicated staff. Why is it so important to celebrate and recognise companies within the cycling industry, especially during this time? It has been a very busy year across the whole industry and it is important to take a step back to reflect on what has been achieved. We have been fortunate while other industries have struggled and yet we all had to adapt to new ways of serving customers. To see so many people take up cycling makes all the challenges and hard work put in all the more worth it. n
Citrus-Lime was an event partner and also sponsored the Best Independent Bike Dealer Award for 2019
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Silverfish UK, Bike Distributor of the Year Darren Mabbott, managing director How has 2020 been for Silverfish UK? 2020 has been a real rollercoaster, but not one of the fun ones! It’s been a hugely challenging time both commercially and personally for everyone. We have all had to remain focused on keeping safe, but also to protect our businesses. Initially, we saw a huge contraction in trade resulting in tough decisions to furlough some of our staff. We also had to take active measures to ensure that we were following Government guidance. After those first few weeks of the lockdown, business improved significantly and frankly we were run a little ragged keeping on top of it. Somehow throughout this we have managed to run a fully functioning operation, something that I am immensely proud of my team for achieving, and the sales trend has thankfully continued. Staff are now back at work and we are now looking ahead and planning for the 2021 season. How do you think the market has changed in recent months? It feels like we have emerged into a very different world: supply chains are still seriously affected and we are wrestling with a world where shipping costs and capacity are far from back to normal but we have worked hard with our suppliers to get replenishment stock as quickly and as regularly as we can, as well as encouraging everyone to forward plan. With major events and large demos cancelled for the foreseeable future, and online retailing even more
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to the fore, we are rapidly adapting the way we market our brands, be that helping retailers create online store-in-store presentations to examining how to run virtual events. Most importantly, though, cycling has had a great boost with a whole load of new customers entering or returning to the market. The challenge will be holding onto them and as an industry we have to lobby hard to ensure Government words translate into effective action and investment, so we all reap the health and environmental benefits. Despite the obvious tragedy of the situation, we feel fortunate to be in a sector with tangible opportunities and where embracing change will undoubtedly help us and our partners remain successful. What did it mean to win a BikeBiz Award last year? We were stoked to pick up the Bike Distributor Award for the second year running, and what made it extra special was to celebrate that win with our long-term partners at Yeti Cycles, who won Bike Brand of the Year. There were a few sore heads the next morning and frankly it’s a miracle that the team, and the beautiful trophies we collected, survived and made it back to Saltash in one piece! How important do you believe it is to celebrate companies within the cycling industry, especially during this time? It’s human nature to value recognition. Of course, we’d be working in the bike industry whatever because bikes are what we love but it’s great that the team see the hard work they put in get acknowledged by the industry, and especially as the BikeBiz Awards are voted for by our customers and peers. It has been a tough year for everyone so the 2020 Awards will be a welcome chance to pause and reflect and celebrate something positive. n
Madison, P&A Distributor of the Year
Yeti Cycles, Bike Brand of the Year
Dominic Langan, CEO
Nat Campbell, global sales director
How has 2020 been for Madison? We had a great iceBike* this year and were feeling very upbeat at that time. We had changed our sales team structure after many years of the same and we had lots of plans for the year ahead. However, we did not anticipate quite how seismic the changes would be. We adapted fast to the challenges of COVID and worked hard to support our customers in every way we could. It has just been a fantastically busy and very different six months with sales more than 50% up over the same period last year.
How has 2020 been for Yeti? 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride for everyone. The challenges are mostly derived from the uncertainty. We’ve made decisions with little clarity on what the future holds; staying flexible and adapting to change has been paramount to success. The Anniversary ARC, ARC and SB115 launches were great and well-timed with the influx of new or returning mountain bikers as well as rounding out the line for our existing consumer base. A huge success for the brand locally in CO was our PPE project. In April things were slow, trails were still covered in snow and we had staff that was more or less idle. We got to work doing what we could to give back to our community. With donations of elastic headlight/goggle straps from Black Diamond and Smith, we were able to produce and donate 20,000 shields to front line workers. The shields were well received by essential workers in a time of need. The project provided a sense of purpose and involvement when everyone needed a distraction.
How do you think the market has changed in recent months? After some relatively flat years, 2020 has been a real boost for the cycle industry in the UK and globally. Many new people took up cycling during the pandemic and I really hope they will continue to ride when all this is over. I also hope the Government and local authorities will use this uplift in cycling to take the need for infrastructure change seriously, to encourage and protect cyclists from other road users and to reduce the number of cars on the road to help meet our emissions commitments. What did it mean to win a BikeBiz Award last year? It is always great to win an award and to win the BikeBiz P&A Distributor of the Year last year is a particularly pleasing accolade to receive. It is a real shot in the arm for the entire team at Madison who all work so hard for the brands we represent and it is great to see some recognition for that, especially when it is voted for by the industry. How important do you believe it is to celebrate companies within the cycling industry, especially during this time? We are in the middle of a global pandemic which is touching the lives of everyone on the planet. These are anxious and challenging times and thankfully, the cycle industry is weathering this particular storm very well and we should really be celebrating that fact. We work in a fantastic industry and this summer the bicycle came to the forefront, as people took to the bike for physical and mental wellbeing let alone being seen by the Government as essential to the transportation strategy. Let’s hope people remember the spring and summer of 2020 and how the bike represented freedom and escape for many and that the independent bike shop was there for them when nearly everything else was shut. n
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How do you think the market has changed in recent months? In the short-term, people are desperate to get outside and interact with their environment or friends in a different way. Long-term is harder to say – the big question is how long will the tail end of it be? I know some of the new customer base is here to stay. However, I imagine a good percentage of them will return to cars and slowly forget their newfound focus on health and the outdoors as things return to normal. What did it mean to win a BikeBiz Award last year? It showed how a strong brand with a solid legacy and the right international partners can flourish no matter the overall size. It confirmed we are doing things the right way for the right reasons. We’re a small team of dedicated mountain bikers, living in the mountains and making bikes we want to ride. We trust there are enough like-minded riders out there who are after the same bikes and can identify with the brand’s ethos the same way we do and it paid off. How important do you believe it is to celebrate companies within the cycling industry, especially during this time? While mountain biking is growing, it is still a small percentage of the population. We rely on each other to keep building awareness and often work together on trail advocacy. On a larger scale, Eliot Jackson’s Grow Cycling Foundation has brought many of us together in the pursuit of making cycling culture more inclusive and diverse. We might all work at different companies and be competitors, but we are in this business for the same reasons and in many cases are friends. We are looking forward to cold beers and rides with you all again in the future. n
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Muc-Off, P&A Brand of the Year
Hexlox, Innovation from a Newcomer
How has 2020 been for Muc-Off? It’s been a year like no other, that’s for sure! However, as a business in an industry that has seen a boom under lockdown, as well as being able to remain agile and create a completely versatile range of sanitisers and cleaners (in just three weeks!), we are stoked to say that Muc-Off has seen double-digit growth and expects to be significantly ahead of forecast by the end of 2020. Our major success, though, has come through being in the position to make a real difference in combating COVID19. Not only are we able to make products that protect people against the spread, but we’ve also donated thousands of sanitising products to NHS and frontline workers and continue to donate 10% of profits from this new range into the World Health Organisation COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
How has 2020 been for Hexlox? Like all companies, the COVID situation has affected us, but it’s only influenced our direct B2B business with shops. Online, we’ve seen extreme growth during this period in comparison. We’ve also learned a lot of markets and are definitely going to end 2020 on a very big high.
“Cycling is becoming more mainstream and we’re committed to ensuring this boom is sustained” How has the market changed in recent months? We’ve seen a real boom in cycling, especially with nonenthusiasts, i.e. leisure cyclists and commuters. Cycling is becoming more mainstream and we’re committed to ensuring this boom is sustained. It’s why we’ve signed up to the ‘Bike is Best’ initiative and have increased our investment in creating educational and inspirational content and activations targeted at entry-level cyclists, with the aim to help break down some of the barriers to getting out on two wheels and make it more fun! What did it mean to win a BikeBiz Award last year? It was a huge privilege to take home the P&A Brand of the Year Award last year. It really underlines the success of our dealer direct programme as well as the popularity of our products and services within the UK cycling industry.
What other innovations are exciting you at the moment? As always, we are following the e-bike market very carefully since a large part of our customers are switching or starting out with one. We are also very interested in the cargo bike market where we see big growth during the next couple of years. Hexlox is currently also expanding to more than the bicycle industry. What did it mean to win a BikeBiz Award last year? It was a great honour and meant a lot for our B2B marketing as we’ve seen that the BikeBiz brand is a good one to be associated with. We do not apply for many of the other awards that are circulating but are relying on word of mouth and classic PR and marketing. Winning meant that we could also proudly see that the bike market in the UK really appreciates us and cements that we are a company that is here to stay. How important do you believe it is to celebrate companies within the cycling industry, especially during this time? I think that recognition is always something that drives people and positive feedback is something to be proud of. There are many companies who are still at the beginning and need that extra push to become a real global player. For Hexlox, we knew that we had already established ourselves, but by crossing borders as we do, it was a great boost to our confidence to be able to pick up the award. n
Why is it so important to celebrate companies within the industry, especially during this time? This year has been a tough one for many and everyone in the industry seems completely slammed, so to take a moment to step back and recognise and celebrate our achievements is super important. It gives us the energy and motivation to keep pedalling forward full gas! n
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V12 Retail Finance, Best Retailer Services
We want to work with our retailer estate to ensure they do not miss out on what is set to become the customer’s first choice of how they purchase.
How has 2020 been for V12? While we already had a dynamic and simple to use finance application form, the start of 2020 was very exciting for us as we launched a newer version of this form, which is even more intuitive and easier to use than before, meaning quicker turnaround times. Throughout this year, it has been important that we continued to maintain and invest in our business, making finance more accessible and easier to use for both our retailers and customers. Our customer online account management platform – V12 Self-Service Portal – increased even more in functionality allowing customers to fully self-service online if they choose to do so. This meant over 275,000 additional customers registered to use the platform in 2020, which helped support their needs during reduced operating hours as we protected our staff in March and April. We’ve closely monitored the unfolding situation during the pandemic and adapted our business accordingly. Supporting retailers to pivot their finance offering to online channels when stores were unable to open was key to helping support the overall retail sector during this time. Like every business, we’ve had to adapt to be able to support our colleagues, retailers and customers through the pandemic – while this has been a challenge, we’re continuing to see growth in all sectors.
What did it mean to win a BikeBiz Award last year? It was a complete surprise considering the others who were nominated in the same category. Our retailers and customers are at the heart of everything we do. The cycle sector is hugely important to V12, and we continue to invest time and resource in supporting this sector.
What trends have you observed in the market in recent months? While we’ve seen customers behaving in similar ways to previous months and years, we’ve seen an increase in purchases from sectors that you can make use of during a lockdown, such as cycles and gym equipment. More importantly, we’ve seen customers shop via channels they wouldn’t normally for that sector, such as online. We’ve helped support retailers as they utilise online channels for the first time and shown them how to grow their online sales offering. In 2020, we’ve seen over 75% of retail customers, and a similar percentage in the cycle sector, transact their business online. This is unsurprising given the period of lockdown and V12’s expertise to help steer retailers towards an online environment. However, what is surprising is that there is still a large number of cycle retailers that are yet to utilise transacting online. Whilst what we have seen this year is unprecedented, customer demand for how they wish to transact has been hugely accelerated to online which we expect to continue.
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How important do you believe it is to celebrate companies within the cycling industry, especially during this time? The cycling industry, like most industries, ranges from national organisations to small independent retailers, and it is important to recognise the work these companies do to keep the cycle industry growing. We are living in unprecedented times which is why it’s important to celebrate success in the industry in order to maintain the sales momentum into next year and beyond. By celebrating companies that work hard to improve and grow, other businesses in the sector can emulate this success and strive for continuous improvement. n
V12 sponsored the drinks reception and the Best Omnichannel Retailer Award for 2019
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Cycling UK, Cycle Advocacy Award Matt Mallinder, director of influence and engagement How has 2020 been for Cycling UK? Much like for the rest of the cycle industry, it’s been a topsy turvy year and with an ever-changing landscape we had to respond quickly, in extremis even to keep cycling off the list of banned activities. A lot of work went into reimagining our cycling season, so all credit to our staff and volunteers. While we have been able to change direction and the way we work once lockdown began, all our events were cancelled and our on-the-ground activities had to change. As an organisation, we’ve suffered financially – and it’s been thanks to the generosity of our members and certain parts of the UK cycle industry that we’re still, relatively speaking, out there working to ensure the cycling voice is heard at a Governmental level. But from day one of lockdown, Cycling UK was campaigning for cycling. From helping keep bike shops open, to temporary infrastructure, to ensuring that cycling is part of a daily exercise regime to providing the cycling community the clear advice they need to keep riding safely and legally at this time, as a charity we’ve never been busier. It’s been a standing-start for us, but we’ve achieved a lot.
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What did it mean to win a BikeBiz Award last year? It’s always great to receive recognition from the cycling community for the work we’ve always done as a charity. The work we and the many volunteers behind us do to achieve successful advocacy campaigns such as the Dutch Reach, Bike Week and Big Bike Revival programmes quite often happen in the background to the cycle trade. These awards allow the work to be put under the spotlight and show how making cycling safer, and more importantly making people realise it is safe, is a big part of getting more people cycling – which is what we all want at the end of the day. This year has shown, if anything, that too often the UK cycling sector has taken the status quo for granted and catered to those who already cycle. With bike shops empty of stock due to a massively increased demand, the pandemic has shown what a huge potential there is for everyday cycling. It is in all our interests to keep this going both financially but societally – for our health and wellbeing, cleaner air and quieter, safer streets. These people new to cycling need that hand holding and support from all of us to keep on riding – which is what Cycling UK has always specialised in. And we can witness that having seen the boom this summer, the cycle industry is now beginning to lend their support to make this happen on a large scale, by backing our Pumped UP campaign and the #BikeisBest movement. That’s how change will happen – and the benefits will be for everyone, including profit margins. n
Vote now! BikeBiz has carefully sifted through the nominations for the yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Awards and we can now reveal those companies that have made it into the shortlist. Voting is now open at www.bikebizawards.com. Congratulations to everyone listed below, and thank you to everyone who took the time to enter! Best Independent Bike Dealer Criterium Cycles Berkshire Cycles Mountain Mania Cycles Rides on Air The Bike Stable Phoenix Cycleworks
P&A Brand of the Year Elite Muc-Off Elvedes Topeak Campagnolo Thomson
Best Omnichannel Retailer Freewheel Rutland Cycling Ribble Cycles Pure Electric Velorution Sigma Sports
Innovation from a Newcomer Superstrata Knaap Bikes Busby Lockheed Sureshift Ochain
Bike Distributor of the Year Sportline Scott Sports Raleigh Silverfish ZyroFisher Cycling Sports Group
BikeBiz Woman of the Year Nikki Hawyes Rachel Gurney Clare Dewey Georgia Yexley Lauren Goode Sandra Corcoran
P&A Distributor of the Year Ison Distribution Madison Oxford Raleigh ZyroFisher Silverfish
Best Retailer Services Unearth Marketing bikefitting.com Green Commute Initiative Citrus-Lime The Bicycle Association The ACT
Bike Brand of the Year Genesis Cube Scott Sports Vaast Bikes Specialized Revel Bikes
Cycle Advocacy Award, sponsored by Pure Electric #BikeisBest Brompton Bike Hire Cycling UK LEVA-EU Sustrans Trash Free Trails
Voting closes on 27th November For sponsorship and promotion opportunities, please contact sales manager Richard Setters via firstname.lastname@example.org or 07794 805 307 www.bikebizawards.com BB-NOV20-AWARDS AD.indd 1
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Gecko’s 700 x 40 tyres installed onto a Riese & Muller electric bicycle
Return, reground, reuse Gecko has patented a cellular rubber technology, offering a new way for bike tyres to be recycled. Rebecca Morley catches up with director Richard Adams Millions of bicycle tyres are disposed of every year in the UK – with the issue of how to deal with the waste a significant one for the trade, particularly at a time when many companies are becoming more conscious about how sustainable they are. Gecko has patented a new lightweight expanded, cellular rubber technology, where old tyres can be returned, reground and used in the manufacture of new bicycle tyres – with potentially up to 30% of the new tyre being recycled material. In fact, an independent life cycle assessment analysis of the Gecko tyre showed that it would be at least 70% less damaging to the environment compared to an equivalent pneumatic bicycle tyre. “I set up my own company about 16 years ago to develop an expanded, cellular rubber technology, with the aim of using it in tyres,” says Gecko’s Richard Adams. “You’d often find bicycles in sheds and garages with flat or cracked tyres not being used. We thought the answer to that would be a solid tyre.
“For many years, solid tyres have been available but they haven’t had a very good reputation. We’ve come up with something quite new and radical that makes a big difference – but really up until then they were difficult to install, they don’t give much grip and much comfort. They’re not sustainable – certainly not recyclable back into a tyre. “We thought there were limitations – so we developed Gecko bicycle tyres.” Gecko tyres are made using a single compound that can be recycled, Adams continues. “If you look at a normal bicycle tyre, as with car and other tyres, they’re made up with a number of different compounds and they’re virtually impossible to recycle. “95% of all bicycle tyres go to landfill, and so do many of the inner tubes.” Strong performance Another important element of the Gecko tyre is its performance. While the sustainability aspect of it is appealing
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to many, it’s still got to work – and be better than what’s already out there. “Our technology grips very well, we’ve got good comfort and we’ve developed our own clipping system that’s easy to install,” Adams continues. “It takes less time taking the tyres off than it does putting them on.” Gecko’s own unique tyre retaining clip system uses toughened polyamide clips, which are also 100% recyclable, located at the tyre inner rim profile that lock into each other when the tyre is fitted to the wheel rim. Once the clips are located correctly into the wheel rim bead recess, the natural elastomeric rubber qualities of the Gecko tyre ensure the clips are retained within the wheel rim for the service life of the tyre. “We’ve hit the problem areas that solid tyres systems had, so we hope that once people get familiar with Gecko tyres, there won’t be as many bikes left in garages with flat and cracked tyres not going anywhere. People will be encouraged to use them.”
“95% of all bicycle tyres go to landfill, and so do many of the inner tubes” Solid tyres also last far longer than pneumatic tyres, Adams says. On average, the bike share schemes that have used its tyres say that they last at least twice as long as the punctureresistant pneumatic tyres. And that will be very similar for people who use the tyres on their own bikes. Working with dealers Long-lasting tyres also mean that people have less need to keep going back to their local IBDs for servicing – something that may put some cycle retailers off as they’ll have fewer opportunities to sell customers new products, Adams says. “However, I believe there’s going to be more bikes being used and more consistently used, and the dealers will then have more bikes to service. There’s a bit of reverse logic there. “A few dealers that we’ve spoken to are very pleased to be doing that – they love the sustainable nature of them and they’re very happy to fit them onto people’s bikes. That number’s growing and I believe it will grow quite quickly.” Gecko will also be offering discounts on following orders for returned used Gecko tyres – so they can be recycled back into the making of a new tyre. It will look for hubs, for example bike stores and workshops, for tyres to be returned to.
34 | November 2020
“We’ll give them a discount to be shared between the end-user and the dealer,” Adams says. “That gives them an incentive to give the tyres back to us – we’ll give them back money on their next order. “I’m trying to develop a genuinely sustainable system which we believe will give us a neutral cost. Because we’re putting the materials back in – at a lower cost than what it was to make originally – we’ll be able to balance the books.” Is the cycling industry doing enough? Many corners of the cycling industry are pushing to become more sustainable, and given how healthy, low polluting and sustainable cycling itself is, it’s encouraging to see how some companies are moving towards a greener future. “It’s a really good platform for us to promote Gecko tyres,” Adams says. “We want to work with dealers. “The one performance issue with solid tyres, even ours, is that they’re not as fast as a fully pumped up lightweight pneumatic tyre. Because we’ve got such a comfortable rubber which grips so well, we can go to a very lower profile tread and have a racing tyre that has the same sort of weight as the pneumatic racing tyres, and I think therefore will be a match for them. But it’s in development and it’s going to take a while to come out, it won’t be until next year. “We’ve got things in the pipeline, we’re going to be looking at mountain bike tyres. For now, we’re going to focus on hybrid commuter, e-bike tyres.” Gecko is also launching ‘rent tyres for life’, which will allow customers to rent its tyres for a monthly fee. They will be guaranteed the “highest-quality puncture proof/zero maintenance/consistently performing tyres” for the life of their bikes and this will be linked with continuous bicycle service support from the dealer. n Interested dealers should email email@example.com.
Gecko’s 700 x 40 tyres installed on a Trek Hybrid bicycle
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POINTS OF VIEW
Know your customer In the second of a four-part series, James Smith looks at the advantages and disadvantages of a physical store
ast time out, we looked at some rather large brands and their specific attempts to improve their green credentials. This time, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of a physical store and try to identify who our average consumer is. A physical store will, in general, have a loyal audience who will often prefer to purchase physically before going to the internet. However, this is the new normal and it is likely to stay that way, with more and more shoppers choosing to shop online even when the option of a physical store is in place. But not all is lost. In fact, physical stores have an ace up their sleeve. Click and collect, if managed properly, can not only increase the footfall in store but also increase the chances of an upsell. This does require an online presence, though. Of course, that takes time to build and often no small investment. The time has come, however, to be sure that you are not missing customers and make that leap. Currently, Amazon packs over 6,000 parcels per minute worldwide. It is predicted that e-commerce sales will grow by around 55% between 2020 and 2024; can you afford not to have an e-commerce website? Your industry and its place in the UK industrial sphere A 2016 study in the International Journal of Sports Management and Marketing found that of the 100 million bicycles sold per year, over 20 million were sold in Europe (Thibaut et al., 2016). In 2021, that would be over ten million bicycles purchased online. The UK cycling industry is a large and growing part of the British economy; this was reviewed in the 2018 paper on the value of the cycling sector to the British economy. In it, they estimate that cycling contributes around £5.4 billion a year to the economy, with £4.1 billion coming from
36 | November 2020
reductions in loss of life, reduced pollution and congestion. There is also a smaller sector of accessory purchasing at a value of £700 million. Cycling also creates jobs with some 64,000 full-time employees across the UK. These are bike shops, mechanics, tour guides and manufacturers (Newson and Sloman, 2018). Surprisingly or not, this makes the cycling industry more significant than the steel industry here in the UK, with the value of the steel industry at £1.6 billion employing around 32,000 people (Rhodes, 2019). This should, in itself, be enough to give value to this research once the size of the cycling industry is considered. Cyclists as a purchasing powerhouse Cyclists are a powerful purchasing group. The 2018 Department for Transport walking and cycling statistics show that 7% of the population cycle at least once a week (GOV.UK, 2019). This can be extrapolated into numbers when looking at UK population figures. According to the Office of National Statistics, 66 million people are living in the UK (Coates and Tanna, 2019). This means that there are at least 4.62 million regular cycling consumers in the UK. A Transport Scotland survey found that household income and bike ownership had an equal effect; 60% of households with an income of £40,000 or more have access to one or more bikes, compared to 16% of households with an income up to £10,000 (Transport.gov.scot, 2017). This evidence can be observed that cyclists have high purchasing power. This demographic and purchasing power can be seen more acutely when looking geographically. A 2012 study by the Journal of Preventative Medicine showed that London’s public bicycle sharing scheme was being well
POINTS OF VIEW
How much consumers spend on bicycles and accessories per week (GOV.UK, 2019) Purchase Cars/vans Bicycles (approx.) (outright or loan/hire £28.50 £0.20 purchase; new or second hand) Spares/accessories/ £8.30 £0.30 repairs/servicing Fuel £20.70 £0.00 Other motoring costs £2.80 £0.00 Total £57.50 £0.50 used but usage in more deprived areas dropped off compared to relatively wealthy areas (Ogilvie and Goodman, 2012). This could be because of cultural and religious reasons, but does provide more evidence that cyclists are, in general, from a more affluent background than previously thought. The demographics of UK cyclists If looking at average miles per age, then according to the Office for National Statistics, the age ranges with the most miles would be 30-39 and 40-49, with males cycling far more miles than females (GOV.UK, 2019). This population of high mileage individuals reflects the findings of the 2011 census, which found that getting to work by bicycle was much more common in those in professional occupations; this indicates the results of Thibaut et al. A 2015 survey of British attitudes to transport found that the “proportion of cyclists increases with household income and decreases in older age” (Assets.publishing. service.gov.uk, 2015).
In summary, the UK cyclist is more likely to be male, from 30-49 and is more likely to be from a professional background than from a deprived background. This picture of the average cyclist was replicated in my own research with over 271 respondents. 76% of those responding were male. 35% of respondents were aged between 45-54, the 35-44 age range followed this at 24%. The most popular wage range was between £50,000 and £74,999, with over 26% of respondents falling into this category, and the £30,000 and £49,999 respondents were next with 24%. This backs up previous research that the highest-earning ranges are from 40 to 50. A report on the This is Money website stated that “most professionals should expect their pay peak between the ages of 40 and 49” (This is Money, 2018). Therefore, it can be stated that the respondents in the majority were male, earning between £30,000 to £75,000. In part three, we’ll look at whether these respondents really make conscious decisions about the environment before making a purchase or not. n
November 2020 | 37
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What can cycle retailers expect following COVID-19? By Richard Bowker, Criterium Cycles director
The store has seen interest in e-bikes ‘hit new heights’
n the early part of the 17th Century, the famous Tulip Mania gripped Holland. Steadily rising prices of tulip bulbs had tempted ordinary people to borrow money and speculate in tulip futures, so much so that bulbs were being sold and resold, many times over, without even leaving the ground. The crash came almost overnight in 1637 when rumours surfaced over the sustainability of the market. The price structure collapsed almost immediately, resulting in financial ruin for many ordinary Dutch families. It remains an important lesson in what can happen when economic fundamentals and common sense are ignored as people become swept up ‘in the moment’. 2020 has been a remarkable year that has impacted the lives of all of us and it is clear that with recent announcements, it is going to continue to do so for some time yet. It has been a challenge to remain positive amongst the difficulties we have collectively had to face. So when looking for silver linings in an otherwise pretty depressing set of clouds, cycling, at least, appears to have been one of the high spots.
There are plenty of reasons why cycling should be doing well right now. First, it’s a really healthy thing to do. In an age where both personal and community health and wellbeing are shooting up the agenda faster than ever before, cycling fits the bill perfectly. Second, it’s relatively low cost and in a post-COVID-19 world where the economic impacts are likely to be felt long after we see a vaccine, that too is a good thing. Cycling is also good for the environment. Whilst it may require energy to build the bike in the first place, once you have, it’s carbon neutral all the way and if it gets someone out of a car and onto a bike, then the returns are definitely positive. During lockdown, thousands of people up and down the country rediscovered the bike. A survey by Cyclescheme (reported in BikeBiz in early August) suggested 83% of us had picked up cycling again as a result of lockdown, with a remarkable 24% saying they would not have started an exercise regime at all had it not been for lockdown.
November 2020 | 39
The cycle retailing sector responded to all this with gusto. Helped enormously by the decision of all Governments in the UK to designate cycle shops as essential retailers, sales of bikes surged. At Criterium Cycles, no doubt in common with many others, we especially saw interest in e-bikes hit new heights as well as a desire to buy no nonsense but excellent value for money entry-level bikes. It is no surprise that Trek’s outstanding Marlin and Dual Sport models have been flying off our shelves. Mind you, the same could be said of most bikes we had in stock as well as on order, such has been the demand. And that demand looks set to continue strongly for the next 18 months and beyond. So much so that those who have failed to forward order bikes from their suppliers well into 2021 are going to find the situation tough, or worse.
“Careful budgeting, capital planning and financially astute decision making are more important than ever before” Governments appear to be getting the message too and converting rhetoric into practical action. In Edinburgh, where Criterium Cycles is based, Edinburgh City Council has implemented its Spaces for People strategy with funding support from Sustrans and the Scottish Government. The strategy has made temporary changes to streets as lockdown measures are eased to support a greater use of cycling and walking, as well as making it easier and safer for those using a wheelchair, other mobility equipment or even just pushing a pram. This is excellent news, although inevitably in Edinburgh, as in pretty much every other urban centre, the debate remains polarised. Those who believe in cycling (and walking) applaud the changes whereas those who don’t generally criticise them. Only time will tell whether Edinburgh City Council is able to maintain these measures, though it is very important that it does. So what are we looking forward to over the coming months and years as a cycle retailer? Some say that the nation’s new-found love of cycling will continue unabated from now on and that cycle retailing can look forward to years of uninterrupted growth. We think that level of optimism might be a bit wide of the mark but there has definitely been a sea change in attitude.
40 | November 2020
Even if the initial enthusiasm reported by Cyclescheme falls away a bit, we don’t expect it to fall back to preCOVID-19 levels. We see e-bikes continuing their strong growth across all categories (leisure, mountain and road) and we see all purpose bikes such as the gravel category also remaining especially popular. Lobbying of policy makers remains just as important as ever before and cycle retailers will need to ensure their voice is heard as much as anyone’s. City councils and local authorities need to hear from as many people as possible that temporary changes to infrastructure need to be made permanent to consolidate, and grow, gains in modal shift. The decision to encourage doctors to prescribe cycling as a tool to tackling our growing obesity crisis is another example of great news for the cycling industry. We need more sensible preventative health policies like these to cement the positive role that cycling can play in the nation’s health and wellbeing. One word of caution – the need to understand that cycle retailing is a business like any other has never been greater. As demand for cycling grows, careful budgeting, capital planning and financially astute decision making are more important than ever before. At Criterium Cycles, we have invested time and resources in our modelling and forecasting capability this year, especially with respect to cash flow forecasting. This is critical – businesses don’t go bust for having too much cash in the bank yet plenty of profitable businesses go bust for the lack of it. Cycle retailers can look forward to the future with optimism but there are still plenty of risks and factors to be navigated and managed so we will be applying as much rigour to our decision making as ever – the lessons of Tulip Mania remain as relevant now as they have ever been. n
Criterium Cycles in Edinburgh
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minutes with... This month, BikeBiz catches up Drew Farquharson, head of design and marketing for Moore Large house brand ETC
Can you give us a little background on ETC? As our name suggests, the ETC brand was born to deliver ‘Everything To Cycling’. We’ve always believed that every ride should be enjoyable, whether that’s your morning commute or your Sunday social. We also know that to enjoy your ride you need to feel comfortable, warm and safe, and it’s on that basis that our ranges have been developed. All our products are designed by, tested and developed by cyclists to make sure they meet every need of our customers, and that stretches from the comfort of the product to the best position of the pockets. What area(s) of the cycling market does ETC target? It would be easier to tell you which areas we don’t target! When we started, we aimed to deliver entry-level products that were often considered essential for every bike store. Although we still offer these in our essentials line, we have now branched out and put a lot of time and
focus into our product development. We truly want to be everything to cycling, and we aim to offer high-quality products for every discipline at every price point, from the commuters and leisure cyclists to the road cyclists and MTB riders. Over the past year, we have added the following categories and have positioned them right in the mid-end of the market: lighting, helmets, gloves, cycling and casual apparel, shoes, eyewear, luggage and panniers, locks, pumps, chains and wheels. Make sure you take a look at these ranges, these products offer the technologies and features that our rivals have at much higher price points. What makes ETC unique? What does it offer that its competitors perhaps do not? High-quality products, at low price points with high dealer margin. Being the house brand of Moore Large, we have heaps of industry experience and knowledge and that has allowed us to access some of the best-priced suppliers
42 | November 2020 www.bikebiz.com
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and ensure the highest dealer margins possible. Working out of Moore Large’s HQ in Derby, we are also very fortunate to have a lot of riders in the office from World Cup downhill racers to ex shop owners, giving us access to expert knowledge and insight on all of our products. This combination means that we can offer a huge range of products and I’d go as far to say that our lighting range this year is the most comprehensive on the UK market, with product RRPs from £5 to £140 and even a HD camera light being thrown in the mix. In a rather bizarre twist of fate, COVID-19 has provided a significant boost to the cycling industry. What impact has it had on ETC? Really bizarre, I think everyone in the industry would agree that it has been an incredible boost, but at the same time, it has caused a lot of challenges in the industry. Fortunately for ETC, as one of Moore Large’s house brands, we get the benefit that Moore Large is completely independent meaning we are not tied into or owned by any global supply chains. This essentially means that we have been able to adapt and work with the situation instead of against it. That said, like many other companies, it hasn’t been seamless but our team has been working tirelessly and has managed to source stock from every corner of the world. We have worked extremely hard to ensure all our customers stay stocked up and have the support and products they need to meet the current demand. Moore Large currently distributes ETC throughout the UK. How important is that relationship to the brand’s success? I think having a good relationship with the distributor is always key, it can offer expert support and knowledge to brands and stores and help keep them running. Fortunately for us, ETC is Moore Large’s house brand so we are in total control of the direction it takes and allows us to react swiftly to any changes needed to keep us competitive and relevant to the market.
Not just the essentials though, we want to offer all levels of products and be a real competitor in the mid-end market. We will continue to stock our essentials but it’s our latest ranges of clothing, lighting, luggage and apparel that we are most excited about. What sort of feedback have you received? All very positive, we are fortunate enough to have an office full of cyclists. Our combined knowledge and experience mean that everything we produce is tested and developed with cyclists in mind. Both from consumers and trade customers, feedback tends to focus on the great quality at an awesome price. What industry innovations are exciting you at the moment? The industry is really alive at the moment and offering so much, which is great. For us, the rise of the e-bike is really exciting and helping to encourage more and more people to take up cycling. As you mentioned earlier, in a really strange twist of fate the pandemic has seemed to have sparked a love of cycling for many and produced a wave of new cyclists. I think as an industry we need to make sure that we can provide the right products and information to keep them cycling long after the pandemic has passed. What are your plans for 2021 and beyond? Make riding safe, comfortable and inclusive for all. We’ve put a lot of investment into ETC recently, not just in product, but in marketing and sales too. We want to take ETC to the next level and make sure we continue to offer great quality products at an awesome price. n
What are some of your more recent product developments? We currently have exciting new products coming in left, right and centre. Our current focus has been heavily focused on the commuter market with a wide range of clothing and accessories developed and tested by cyclists. However, sticking to our brand, we continue to develop products for all disciplines. This includes leisure, MTB, road and of course new cyclists.
42-43 BB-NOV20 Five Mins ETC Final.indd 43
November 2020 | 43
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E-bikes and accessories 2 1
Metallic Compound Disc Pads
Distributor: Transport Solutions
Distributor: The Cycle Division Ltd
The market-leading Exposure Lights brings the technologies and benefits of its lights to e-bikes. The new Flex, three White XPL2 LEDs is Exposure’s brightest light with a potential output of up to 3,300 lumens in a lightweight and compact unit. Powered by the bikes onboard battery/motor system. The Flex utilises our REFLEX++ technology, ensuring the rider automatically gets the right lumens for the right speed or terrain.
Folded in under ten seconds with only five moves and weighing only 14kg, this is the UK’s lightest folding e-bike. • Range: up to 50km • Top speed: 25kph • Weight: 14 kgs • Motor: 250 watts • Lightweight • Eco-friendly
The Elvedes Metallic compound disc pads are designed with a steel pack plate for e-bikes and are developed for both wet and dry conditions, giving extra braking power for the higher speeds that e-bikes brake from. They are available in 17 of the popular e-bike brake types, and they are available in pairs on a display card or in a workshop box of ten and 25 pairs for the most popular patterns.
The Thok MIG 2.0 is an all-mountain e-bike for riders wishing to ride longer without having to give up on performance, control and ridability. The MIG 2.0 has a great ready to ride spec out of the box and features a Shimano Steps E7000 motor and 504WH battery, SRAM SX Eagle gears, SRAM Guide brakes, RockShox suspension, mullet wheels (29in/27.5in) with Maxxis tyres.
November 2020 | 45
Addict eRide Premium
Distributor: Tandem Group Cycles
Distributor: Raleigh, ZyroFisher, Bob Elliot, i-ride
Distributor: Raleigh UK
If we decided to make an electric version of the Addict RC, it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t to make things easier. No, we wanted to make things tougher. To make climbs higher, longer, steeper. To get you out of the house earlier and back home later. Light, performant and just as capable as its world tour sibling, the Addict eRide is a revelation to the world of cycling.
Built around a unisex frame design, this one bike will cater for a wide variety of cyclists. A 36V 10Ah battery neatly connects to the downtube and can easily be disconnected by key if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d rather charge it up inside your home. The 250W rear hub motor smoothly assists up to 25kph and offers a range of approx 45km per charge. Reliable Shimano 21spd gears and powerful mechanical disc brakes help complete the package.
Cycling on the city pulse. Premium mobility for design enthusiasts. Urban tread pattern packed with the latest PureGrip and Safety Pro technology. The perfect symbiosis between light-rolling and puncture protection is reflected in this specialised tyre for the city jungle. Faster? Not a problem with approval for e-bikes up to 50km/h.
Hidden power is key. Bridging the gap between true road bike and e-bike; the eSensium 300 is a minimal e-bike ready to capture the commute or keep up with the local group ride. The 250Wh battery sits completely within the downtube, whilst the e-bike motion system rear hub integrates with 10 speed Tiagra, a carbon fork and Continental tyres finish the package.
46 | November 2020
eBike Foaming Cleaner
XLC e-Ride 23 Rucksack
MT eStop Components
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
Distributor: Dealer direct
A dry foaming cleaner designed to remove dirt, oil and grime from the frame, wheels, bars and forks without using water. Specially formulated for e-bikes, Dry Foaming Cleaner is both acid and solvent free, minimising your impact on the environment.
Comes with a host of features designed specifically for the requirements of e-bikes. The battery compartment is suitable for both Bosch and Yamaha batteries, with a velcro strap to ensure the battery is secured and kept in a centred, stable position. An internal back protector ensures this bag is comfortable, even with a battery on board. This rucksack offers a fantastic array of handy features for a day out on the bike.
With its eStop brakes, Magura presents two disc brakes that are specially adapted to e-bike requirements. In combination, the new Sport pads and the MDR-C or MDR-P rotors offer increased braking power, stability and less fading for e-bikes and less risk of noises. For greater compatibility with hub standards, Magura will be offering additional diameters and a centerlock version for its popular line of rotors.
Features an aluminum frame and Verso Full Carbon Flat Mount Disc fork. It’s running a Shimano GRX 810 11-speed drivetrain and brakes, and a TransX + RAD Internal dropper post activated by Shimano’s GRX lever. It gets a power boost from a Shimano E7000 motor and 504Wh internal battery. In other words, it’ll get you to the top of that insanely steep hill you’ve been eyeing up, while saving enough in the tank for the long ride home.
November 2020 | 47
Quick Fit Inner Tube 700 X 35
Distributor: Moore Large
Distributor: Moore Large
Distributor: Upgrade Bikes
Designed for e-bikes and busy commuters, the quick fit inner tube is designed to allow fitment without removing the wheel. If you get a puncture whilst out simply cut out the old tube, slightly inflate the quick-fit tube and insert it, then inflate and you’re good to go. The essential accessory for quick application and minimum disruption.
The Captain’s Chair lets big kids and adults ride on the back of a Tern GSD or HSD in comfort and style. The extra-thick seat-cushion and reclined backrest make for a much more comfortable ride. Pair with the Sidekick Joyride Bars to create a complete passenger’s cabin for your favourite backseat driver. Or use the same setup to carry crates and boxes – just remove the seat cushion.
The Nebula is a stylish city bike with a high torque centre motor. Suspension forks and lights are included in this excellent package. Three battery size options. Powered by Promovec Danish design and electrics. Industry-leading, transferable warranty of three years on the battery and motor.
Kinesis is set to satisfy dealer demand as it’s punched in early with its 2021 e-MTB. As we go to press, the Rise Pro is available stock and for dealer demo. Rise Pro retains the lightweight Fazua Evation mid-engine drive system but is fitted with the new light-touch handlebar remote. The spec boasts a slacker head angle of 65.5 degrees, new Rock Shox 35RL 130mm fork, Shimano’s latest 12 speed SLX group and Praxis forged alloy cranks.
48 | November 2020
FR Trail E-Ride Protector
Distributor: Moore Large
Distributor: Oxford Products
With a 200kg (440lb) maximum gross vehicle weight, this is a real car replacement. It will carry two kids plus groceries, or a whole lot of cargo â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but it is the same length as a regular bike. The new and upgraded GSD includes: Bosch Cargo Line motor, suspension fork, rock-solid kickstand with Auto Lock and Remote Unlock features, brake lights, and more.
The Evoc FR Trail E-Ride Protector backpack has been specifically designed to allow the rider to carry a spare e-bike battery on their back while at the same time protecting the rider with the Liteshield Back Protector. The pack has 20 litre capacity and the ability to fit the majority of main brand batteries (max battery dimensions: 420mm x100mm x100mm) along with secure storage for the charger.
The Zeta is a fantastically priced city e-bike. Suspension forks and lights are included in the package with three battery size options. Powered by Promovec Danish design and electrics. Industry-leading, transferable warranty of three years on the battery and motor.
A premium e-bike cover that is suitable for indoors and outdoors. With a tough outer, it will protect your bike from all kinds of weather. On top of that, the inside has a luxurious padded lining. The Stormex has externally bonded seams for maximum rain protection and a soft heatresistant lining which protects against scratches. It has an elasticated bottom for a snug fit and an adjustable belly strap to hold it in place.
November 2020 | 49
Lite Pro Drive 800
Scorpion E-MTB S
Electric Plus Range
Distributor: Upgrade Bikes
Distributor: Extra UK
Lezyne offers five front and two rear e-bike specific lights that are powered from your e-bike battery. The Lite Pro Switch delivers 800 lumens of crystal-clear illumination with Lezyneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enhanced MOR (Maximum Optical Reflection) lens in a compact, strong aluminium body. Compatible with higher-voltage e-bike inputs (12-48v), it easily plugs into systems from Bosch, Shimano and Yamaha.
Features Hardwall bead-to-bead protection and a rubber insert directly above the bead to add massive amounts of sidewall reinforcement and protection for aggressive e-MTB riding. The single compound SmartGRIP rubber offers consistent high grip in wet and dry conditions, even as the tread starts to wear, while the tall profile and widely spaced tread pattern of the S tread cuts brilliantly into looser terrain and soft ground.
This standard features on the majority of Spankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s component lines, representing super-tough quality that can shrug off the extra demands of e-MTB riding. Included are a wide range of saddles, grips, pedals, bars and stems. The Oozy Trail Pedals feature a massive platform, cold forged alloy pedal body, a hollow taper scandium enriched steel axle, oversized sealed industrial bearings, yet are just 12mm thin and 420g in weight per pair.
This super-tough chain and D Lock combination is designed with e-bikes and cargo bikes in mind. The noose-locking design enables extended locking options, ideal for protecting larger bicycles either at home or outside. Our strongest lock combination. Premium hardened steel 14mm D-lock with double dead lock and 10mm hardened steel chain offer maximum protection.
50 | November 2020
Compact folding e-bike
Kathmandu Hybrid 45 625
Distributor: MiRiDER Limited
Distributor: litelok.com and nationwide retailers
Distributor: Oneway Bike Industry
It’s the e-bike for everyone, anywhere. Technology, style and uncompromising quality being assembled right here in the UK. Whenever we set our minds to doing something, we do it right. So you can rest assured that every single part of every single MiRiDER is absolutely tip top perfect. Both leisure users and commuters enjoy the flexibility of our folding e-bike and there must be a thousand words to describe it, but we prefer to use just one – fun!
As a fully integrated utilityfocused e-bike, the Ridgeback Advance is built to take the daily commute and replace overreliance on a car. With a Shimano Steps E6100 drive unit and a Darfon 504WH battery, the Advance offers smooth power delivery and a large range of up to 125km, so you wont be charging after every ride. It comes with front and rear painted mudguards, a rear pannier rack and front and rear lights so it’s ready to go straight out of the box.
Litelok Silver Flexi-O is a Sold Secure Silver insurance rated lock and perfect for e-bikes. 40% lighter than comparative U/D locks, its flexibility also offers you more options when securing your ride – flexing easily through your frame and wheel, and providing more options when securing around larger street furniture. What’s more, they’re pairable, so you can now join multiple locks together for double the length and strength with the twin pack. Proudly made in Britain.
Fitted with a fourth-generation Bosch Performance Line drive unit and a powerful 625Wh battery, the Kathmandu Hybrid 45 is the eco-friendly way to get around. The drive unit offers assistance up to 45 km/h, which makes it the perfect commuter e-bike. Magura hydraulic disc brakes offer dependable stopping whatever the weather, full-length mudguards help keep you dry and built-in lights – with brake light – ensure the rider can always be seen.
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Subito Road Ultegra
SM E-Mountain Core
2020 Oi Classic Bell
Distributor: Ison Distribution
Distributor: Extra UK
Distributor: Silverfish UK
Fat, small tyres are no longer slow and hard to ride; they are fun, grippy and offer lots of cushy suspension. High handlebars allow you to sit upright with a clear view of the road. Bigger saddles are comfy and make you want to ride further. The RemiDemi was designed to shed those old and outdated beliefs. It’s a totally new breed of e-bike with a fun yet sturdy and stable ride that gives you more control.
When you want to push through those extra 30 miles, or take the steepest route to the top – and actually enjoy the views on the way up – or want to let go of the myth of the suffer-fest, this is your ride. With a sub12kg bike that handles, fits and responds at the top of its class, it may provide all that even without the assistance of the motor. But if you want that extra tailwind, it’s ready for you.
Longer periods of sitting, steeper uphills and greater levels of impact characterise the e-MTB experience. After intense development, the optimal saddle shape was found. Thanks to the 3D ﬂexibility of the saddle, every complex movement of the hip will be supported by the ergonomic core. A raised ramp at the rear of the saddle also helps stabilise your position on the bike and saves energy when riding uphill.
Four years ago, our designers were able to ‘reinvent the wheel’ of bicycle bells. Since then, we have sold close to three million units worldwide. We’re proud to announce that the world’s greatest bicycle bell gets even better and louder. We managed to outfit the Oi Classic with a new spring and shorten the striking distance, increasing the volume by 10dB, which now makes this globally loved product e-bike compliant.
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DESIGNED AND HAND-BUILT IN THE UK
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A mouth-watering opportunity New data from the Bicycle Association Market Data Service, powered by SMS, has highlighted the spiralling value of e-bikes to the UK cycling market
n total, between January and August 2020, e-bikes accounted for 12% of cycling salesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; value in the UK, a calculation which includes bikes, e-bikes, parts, accessories and clothing, services and other micromobility sectors. This represents an increase from 9% in the same period in 2019, and a second straight year of growth after the figure had already risen from 6% in the same months in 2018. It is also important to note that this expansion in e-bike sales is not coming at the expense of traditional sectors of the industry. Instead, as subscribers to the market data service will already know, all the evidence suggests that e-bikes are claiming a larger chunk of a much larger pie. In the first half of 2020 alone, sales of e-bikes in the UK had doubled compared to the first six months of 2019, albeit from a low base. Nor do the latest figures show any sign of a slowdown, with e-bike value sales up over 100% for the last three months, and up nearly 100% in volume.
In total, e-bikes are in fact the fastest growing segment of the market on a monthly, quarterly and year to date basis, but all other categories are also growing. In other words, there is consistent, measurable growth in the e-bike industry that is complementing rather than harming the rest of the bike industry. That they are growing so fast at the same time as the average sale price of an e-bike rises is an added bonus. E-bikes are appealing across all sectors and price points within the market. E-mountain bikes are growing almost as fast as commute/ flatbar/hybrid e-bikes, and growth is also apparent across all price points. The latter, in particular, is an important step if e-bikes are to fulfil their promise of democratising cycling for people of different ages and abilities without ostracising certain groups on the basis of cost, which is often cited as one of the major drawbacks of e-bikes by consumers. Such evidence of burgeoning revenues at entry level and across the
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market will only attract more competition from manufacturers at key price points, which in turn will lead to increased visibility of e-bikes to the public in bike shops and online. This is, after all, a sector that is already gaining media traction and which has already had its own episode of The Apprentice. Additional research supports the idea of a widespread new interest in e-bikes from across the consumer spectrum. Data from Halfords, for example, estimates that e-bike searches have grown by 47% in 2020, comparable with trends in Italy, which was, by a hairâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s breadth, the market to see the largest recent increase in searches for electrical assist bicycles (+48%). These are immensely promising figures, and, if the UK is to follow the patterns observed across the rest of Europe, they represent merely the start of a much longer journey. If we compare the UK to the rest of Europe, the opportunity becomes mouthwatering. The most recent CONEBI report showed e-bike sales across Europe of over three million in 2019 and predicted a growth to 6.5 million units in 2025. In Germany alone, an estimated 1.4 million e-bikes were sold in 2019, a figure that dwarfs projected sales for 2020 in the UK. For the UK to realise such figures, a series of cultural shifts are imperative, from Government incentivisation of bikes and e-bikes to ongoing investment in infrastructure, and a reshaping of the marketing of e-bikes to appeal to ever-wider sections of the population. The good news is that some of this is already underway. As part of public health measures earlier this year, the Prime Minister announced that GPs will be empowered to prescribe cycling on the NHS. Meanwhile, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), which have proliferated as local councils tackle the twin issues of coronavirus and climate change, are providing safer, more direct and segregated cycle routes. At the same time, concern over using public transport during the coronavirus pandemic is pushing more people towards private modes of transport. A surge in online deliveries, which are now at an all-time high, prompting retailers to warn of unprecedented Christmas demand, means a groundswell of interest in e-cargo bikes, another sector forecasting growth in Europe. The idea that e-bikes can encourage more people to make a cycle commute either their main way of getting to work, or a component part of a multimodal journey, is also reinforced by recent SMS data tracking commuting across the UK. The study, a weekly omnibus, has consistently shown the proportion of commuters choosing bicycles rise to 7%, up from 5% at the start of the study in June. Reduced demand and service
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provision for public transport partially explains this, but it is also worth remembering that many of the city centre jobs that would most easily lend themselves to a cycle commute never returned from working from home. If they do so in the future, the number of cycle commutes could increase to substantially above pre-pandemic levels. If and when that happens, there could be further good news for the industry, since folding e-bikes are currently the slowest growing category of e-bikes based on year to date figures. As more people begin to refamiliarise themselves of multimodal journeys back to city centre offices, this category, along with others, would expect to see growth. n
Sports Marketing Surveys is a specialist research agency with global reach and 35 years of experience. Its full range of quantitative and qualitative approaches provides comprehensive analysis in more than 100 sports. The resulting insight and strategic recommendations support some of the biggest brands, retailers, events, venues, federations and governing bodies around the globe to grow their businesses and get closer to the people who matter. www.sportsmarketingsurveys.com The Bicycle Association is the national trade body for the UK cycling industry. Its market data service now covers between 60-70% of retail cycling sales across nearly 700,000 products back to January 2018. For more information, visit www.bicycleassociation.org.uk/market-data To discuss how SMS can support you, please contactÂ email@example.com
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