Issue 34 | November 2008
FOR EVERYONE IN THE BICYCLE BUSINESS
CYCLE SHOW REVIEW
Hotlines talks about its increasing commitment to previously unexplored markets, such as roadracing and cruiser territory
BikeBiz talks to the winners in each of the 14 categories about their progress through 2008 and beyond
BikeBiz has a detailed rundown of the show’s activity, including an indepth analysis, interview and product news
Call for more cycle trade days Show growth leads majority to call for more time to access trade customers Media surrounds Cycle as record numbers fill Earl’s Court Event director, Brabazon, says demand for extra days will be reviewed WITH confirmation that trade day attendance far surpassed previous figures, the cycle industry has confirmed it is overjoyed with Cycle 2008. However, with the growth, fears were raised by the majority of exhibitors that one trade day may no longer satisfy visitors to the event. The consumer days saw many retailers mingling amongst their customers, something that several exhibitors described as "not ideal". Chris McArdie of Hot Wheels commented: “Opening the show exclusively to the trade for just one more day would enable many more clients to fit the show into their schedule." Seconding this, Paul Smith of Man O'Leisure, the company behind Ryders eyewear (which
debuted at Cycle), told BikeBiz: "Even opening the show exclusively to the trade for another morning would vastly expand the opportunities and publicity of brands. We could certainly make use of more time with dealers." Now that Cycle is easily filling Earl's Court, the show is increasingly being compared to international 'must attend' shows. Wazz Mughal, managing director of Powacycle put forward the notion that Cycle "could benefit from an IFMA-style gathering on the trade day to further the networking potential." However, there were exhibitors – although curious about the
potential of introducing another trade day – who warned that the price increases sure to come with extending the show could push smaller exhibitors off the map.
be considerate of the smaller exhibitors who would be unable to afford the stand prices should another trade day be added." The 2003 show, held at Excel, had two trade days, yet following trade consultation it was decided that the show was not yet of a size where dealers could not access their Wazz Mughal, Powacycle MD suppliers in just one day. Consumer Cedric Chicken, director at attendees stay, on average, for Chicken Cyclekit, said: "I'm not four hours, while trade are said convinced the show has reached to stay far longer. the stage where an entire second Cycle event director, Andrew day is essential, yet. With a few Brabazon (interviewed on page more big names on board then 27) told BikeBiz: "If exhibitors ask perhaps it would become for more business to business necessary. However, we have to time, there's no reason why we
Cycle could benefit from an IFMA-style trade day after-show gathering to further networking potential.
couldn't look at methods of making this happen." Brabazon proved to be popular with the national press and radio over the duration of the show, racking up appearances on ITV, GMTV, numerous radio shows, two television interviews for other mainstream channels, and many column inches in the majority of London’s newspapers. He commented on this media flurry, stating: "There's such a huge momentum behind cycling at the moment. “Our PR company works tirelessly, but we've increasingly found that media have voluntarily been tracking us down. Even now, I've been booked into another radio show! We've certainly done more press interviews than ever before."
New Future team in place for exciting 2009 RIDING HIGH on the back of its impressive win in the BikeBiz Awards, Future Publishing has announced a flurry of new appointments within its cycling division. The magazine giant – which publishes Mountain Biking UK, What Mountain Bike, Cycling Plus and Procycling, as well as the award-winning Bikeradar.com portal and Cyclingnews.com website – has hired Katherine Raderecht as group publisher of
the sports division. Raderecht has moved over from Future’s music department where she held a similar role. In the advertising department, Patrick Joscelyne has been promoted to ad sales manager, responsible for Bikeradar.com and Cyclingnews.com. And reporting to him are online account sales manager Andrew Mayne, who joins from the computing portfolio, plus Chris Burgess, who takes a similar role
Katherine Raderecht on the off-road publications. He joins from Future’s photography division.
The new appointments come as Future is gearing up for what Raderecht promises to be an “exciting year” for the cycling publications and the Bikeradar.com portal, with new launches being hinted at. The restructure also comes following Bikeradar’s win of the Best Consumer Website award in the BikeBiz Awards. “We are absolutely delighted that Bikeradar.com was voted the Best Consumer Website in
the recent BikeBiz Awards, just over a year after launch,” said Raderecht. “Bikeradar.com is the only website that truly caters for the entire cycling community and, as a result, is growing at a rapid rate. We have lots of exciting plans for the future, including further developments and integration with cyclingnews.com, new marketing initiatives and some really exciting new editorial content. Look out for us in 2009!”
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STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE
MOBILE.BIKEBIZ.COM NOVEMBER ISSUE 34
This month’s round-up includes Gelert’s entry to the cycle market, Reece’s Schwinn deal and more...
QUOTE/UNQUOTE 16 CONSUMER PRESS 17
Hotlines talk about introducing dealers to its new road-racing additions
Many bike shops are reporting stronger than ever demand for repairs. Having trained and accredited mechanics could be the key to making sure bikes shops ride out the recession ahead.
BikeBiz chats to Jagwire about what’s coming to market in response to consumer feedback and what the brand can do for the IBD
COREBIKE INTRO CoreBike should be on every retailer’s calendar by now. Flip to page 20 to find out what’s new at this year’s show
CYCLE ‘09 REVIEW
Split into three parts, BikeBiz has documented the feedback, the people and the products from Earl’s Court
BIKEBIZ AWARDS REGULARS CHAIN REACTION
New York’s got a new blogger and he’s causing quite a stir in the BMX market. SPRFLS raises concerns about the direction of the jump market
INDUSTRY OPINIONS 19
Turn to page 56 for credit crunch jokes and a newbie website looking for contibrutors
Importers are due further headaches in 2009 with currency fluctuations wreaking havoc
BikeBiz looks at the market for trailers and trailer bikes, as well as listing a selection of stocking filler solutions
Zyro hires first ever marketing manager
WHAT is it with 20 per cent? Pretty much every bike shop and bike business I've talked to in the last few weeks – big or small – is reporting year-on-year growth of 20 per cent. In a recent email to dealers, Trek CEO John Burke said his company was up by a little over, yes, 20 per cent. Those bike shops who run Cycle To Work schemes tell me the Government initiative now makes up 20 per cent of their turnover. Are people plucking this one-fifth stat out of thin air? They can’t be, it’s not a show of hands in a big, faceless room, it’s my independent questioning or – in the case of Trek – the unsolicited publishing of sales figures to further bolster its retailers’ confidence. If true, it’s a good thing – we need a little bit of fat because the economic downturn is going to keep people’s wallets and purses firmly closed. Unless, that is, the selling of bikes is one of those recession-resistant industry sectors that can weather the storm?
Spokesman talks Chirstmas and Cycle ‘08
Cycling to work is certainly experiencing a boom, which is great news for urban dealers, but what about those out in the sticks? Some are suffering, for sure, no doubt a result of last year’s shoddy weather. Any UK business that relies on outdoor recreation risks being rained off. Bike commuters will keep riding in the rain, and they’ll buy heaps of wet weather gear from bike shops. But with black clouds looming, fairweather recreational cyclists might just go to the the flicks instead. Looking on the bright side, the recession could bring benefits even to rural shops. Worries about climate change and the credit crunch will mean people will start taking fewer holidays abroad. The ski industry is likely to take a big hit this season. With more Brits at home – Brits who want to be active in the winter – bikes could take the place of skis. Even top-end, luxury bits of kit might still sell through. There may be fewer investment bankers to buy the latest and most expensive bits of cycle kit but, as one bike-lux specialist told me, cycling is cheap compared to snow frolics in Kloisters or that second SUV. Those investment bankers still in jobs will rein back excessive expenditure, but £150 for a pair of top-end Lycra shorts is small change to some. To date, newbie cycle commuters seem to be battling the elements. Many bike shops are reporting stronger than ever demand for repairs. Having trained and accredited mechanics could be the key factor to make sure bike shops ride out the recession.
Carlton Reid, Editor
Walkers Cycles bags Clarks disc brake exclusive distro deal Distributor takes on disc-brake range exclusively in the UK Video podcast online to assist mechanics New S2 Hydraulic now in stock
TEL: 01992 535646 ADVERT SALES TEL: 01992 535647 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Carlton Reid Carlton.Reid@intentmedia.co.uk DEPUTY EDITOR Mark Sutton Mark.Sutton@intentmedia.co.uk ADVERTISING MANAGER Carly Bailey Carly.Bailey@intentmedia.co.uk EDITORIAL PRODUCTION MANAGER Helen French Helen.French@intentmedia.co.uk PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE Abby Fanger Abigail.Fanger@intentmedia.co.uk DESIGN Kelly Styles Kelly.Styles@intentmedia.co.uk CIRCULATION email@example.com BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Dave Roberts Dave.Roberts@intentmedia.co.uk MANAGING EDITOR Lisa Foster Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk PUBLISHER/MD Stuart Dinsey Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk FINANCE DIRECTOR Hilary Cole EDITORIAL Saxon House, 6A, St. Andrews Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG14 1JA Phone: 01992 535 646 ADVERTISING Tel: 01992 535647 Fax: 01992 535648
LONG-ESTABLISHED wholesaler Walkers Cycles has bagged an exclusive deal with Clarks to distribute its disc brake range. The first batch of stock arrived in the UK during October, marking the first time the range has been available directly in the UK. Until now the new equipment has only appear on UK turf specced on OEM bikes. Andie Walker of Walkers Cycles said: “As a long standing importer of Clarks brake components and accessories, we’re delighted to bag an exclusive deal on the disc brake range. We think that the pricepoints on the 2009 line will make the Clarks disc brake the most competitive two-piston hydraulic brake on the market.” The brand new S2 hydraulic braking system is part of the new line-up, all of which is designed in the UK. Perhaps one of the highlights of the line-up, the
brake boasts great stopping power, simple installation and adjustable reach. The hydraulic system doesn’t only offer a custom fit either; there are various colour options for those looking to mix and match. Braided stainless steel hoses complete the package. Although installation is said to be relatively simple, Clarks has recorded a step-by-step video podcast providing installation information. Walkers has been established for over 100 years and is a third-generation family-run company still based in Leicester. The business distributes market-leading brands such as Schwalbe, Slime, High Five, Axa and Shimano to the UK. For trade and retail prices on the disc brake range, call 01162 833885.
We think that the price-points on the 2009 hydraulic range make Clarks the most competitively priced brand on the market.
Paligap’s sales Fast Forwarded SINCE SNAPPING up the carbononly wheel brand Fast Forward, Paligap has apparently been snowed under with orders from track-specialist dealers. Ben Gaby of Paligap told
BikeBiz: "We have completely sold out of our first shipment that arrived for our shows in September. Our second order has arrived and we are seeing a couple of interesting patterns.
The F4R wheel sets with own brand FFWD hubs are the best sellers. There has been a lot of interest in the white version of the F2R wheels which are due to ship shortly."
The sales have out-performed Paligap’s forecast figures by over 70 per cent. Gaby added: “There seems to be an increase in our sales of track-specific products, and the new ‘FIVE’ Carbon five spoke wheels are in hot demand and will be in stock before Christmas. This new product has the best of both worlds with high lateral rigidity and improved weight and aerodynamics.” FFWD wheels include added extras such as free padded wheel bags, meaning that the finished product is incredibly competitively priced for high-end carbon wheels.
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6 BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER
Reece launches Schwinn marketing assault Birmingham-based distributor poised to initiate UK-wide support campaign following impressive brand signing... REECE CYCLES is preparing a marketing blitz in support of the recently signed Schwinn brand, after the Birmingham based firm inked the important distribution deal last month. The signing of the popular and historic brand is somewhat of a coup for the distributor, and comes alongside a raft of changes at the firm – including the launch of its B2B website next February, a change of image, plus further brand signings in the pipeline.
making bicycles in 1895. The original 1960’s Stingray bike is where the origins of the BMX bike comes from, and when you think back cruiser, you think Schwinn.” While only a matter of weeks old, the move has proved popular with the UK trade – with the distributor gaining a number of new customers on the strength of the signing alone. However Reece is making a point of promoting no online discounting of the new brand, in order that
Independents will be supported on the website via the dealer finder. We plan to have quite a presence at Cycle ‘09. There will also be plenty of promotional material. The distributor is currently touring the range of Schwinn bicycles around the country at a number of shows, and the marketing campaign itself is poised to follow. “The marketing for the brand will be started off with ads running in Bicycle Buyer magazine, along with future bike tests,” Reece Cycle’s Jason Boness told BikeBiz. “The dealer base will also be supported with several high impact points of sale materials and related promotional products. Our customers will also be supported on the website via the dealer finder, and we plan to have quite a presence at Cycle ‘09. “The image of Schwinn is very unique; the company started
High Street stores are not heavily undercut by online rivals. Bones said that this shared philosophy of looking out for IBDs in the UK was key to inking the deal in the first place: “Jeff Weiss, director of Schwinn International sales, contacted myself in the autumn of 2007. At this point Schwinn was looking to get back in to the UK market, and its emphasis was to find a distributor that could offer a focus for getting the newly revamped Schwinn image back in to the IBDs,” continued Boness. “This tied in well with the Reece philosophy of only supplying the IBD – we do not supply to the mass market outlets or supermarkets.”
CYCLE SHORTS Trek moves into new Cali R&D centre Trek has moved into a larger research and development facility outside Valencia, California.
JJB sells on shares JJB Sport has sold five per cent of its shares to Sports Group International, raising £3.4 million. This takes Sports Direct's share in JJB to 21 per cent.
BBB Ovalintegrate wins Eurobike Award Greyville's BBB Ovalintegrate pump won a design award at Eurobike. The new pump is designed to fit around the tube of the frame without using a clamp.
‘Fastest Wrench in the West’ results The results of the 'Fastest Wrench in the West' competition held by the ACT at Cycle '08 are up on www.thecyclingexperts.co.uk
DK Bikes launches new website Scoop brand DK Bikes has launched its new website, which can be found at www.dkbicycles.com
Eurobike 2009 dates announced Eurobike 2009 will take place from September 2nd to 5th. The Demo day will take place on September 1st. Eurobike 2008 saw 36,800 trade visitors in attendance, a new record.
Giant and Merida in top15 top Taiwan brands Giant and Merida have been placed 11th and 15th respectively in Interbrand's ‘Top Taiwan Global Brands 2008’ list with a combined brand value of US$467 million.
Nemesis brings Gipiemme to UK Gipiemme wheels are to reappear in the UK via Nemesis.
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 7
CTC concerned at decision to allow motorbikes in bus lanes NATIONAL CYCLISTS organisation the CTC has spoken out against GLA plans to allow motorcycles to use bus lanes, a territory where many cyclists consider themselves at less risk from motorists. The plans to allow motorcycles to access red-route bus-lanes was promised by current Mayor Boris Johnson in his election manifesto, prior to him taking office. An 18-month trial will now take place from January 5th next year. Bus lanes already allow licensed taxis access. Roger Geffen, campaigns and policy manager at the CTC, said: “Allowing motorbikes into bus lanes under the guise of an ‘experiment’ is a very worrying development. The experiment itself could seriously undermine the Mayor’s own aims for road
Cyclists have precious little dedicated space on London’s roads
safety, pollution and for increased cycle use, yet the Mayor has not assessed these risks, let alone consulted on how to minimise them. Worse still, he hasn't even said what this experiment is designed to prove, and how he will decide whether to keep it or scrap it once the trial period has come to an end. “We will therefore work closely with other cycling organisations in the city to insist that the experiment itself needs to be properly designed or, failing that, cancelled altogether.” Boris Johnson said of his plans for bus lanes: “Londoners know that I am determined to make it easier for them to get from A to B in our great city. I have long been staggered that, while motorcyclists can use bus lanes in many other cities and some of our boroughs, they were not
allowed to use the Transport for London red routes that crisscross the capital. One of the ways we can ease congestion is by encouraging more people to get on their bike, whether pedal or powered, and I believe they should be able to share our bus lanes successfully and safely. At the end of the trial period I will listen carefully to the views of all our road users and then make a decision about whether this should be a permanent arrangement." David Brown, Transport for London's managing director of surface transport, added: “The success of this trial will be gauged by measures including the safety of road users.” The decision to allow Motorbikes use of bus lanes is particularly unusual given the TfL campaign detailed below...
Transport for London launches safety campaign ADS CARRYING the message ‘It’s easy to miss what you’re not looking for. Look out for cyclists’ will be widely distributed by Transport for London across print magazines, popular websites and cinemas from this month. TfL’s latest campaign comes following a spate of fatal accidents, which have occurred in and around London during September and October. The ads will target cinema-goers at newly launched films such as Quantum of Solace and How To Lose Friends and Alienate People. Every year, goods vehicles are involved in more than half of all cycling fatalities in the Capital. In response to this, TfL has distributed 10,000 free Fresnel safety lenses to freight companies operating vehicles in London this year. BIKEBIZ.COM
These lenses improve the driver’s vision of cyclists that pass alongside the nearside of their vehicles. An additional 10,000 will be distributed to goods vehicle operators through November. Approximately £3 million is currently being invested in cycle training for Londoners of all ages, through London’s borough councils. London Mayor, Boris Johnson said: “London is a terrific city for cycling and it is generally a safe place to cycle. But the greatest danger to cyclists is complacency and that is why cycle safety campaigns are so important."
A strong advocate of cycling himself, London Mayor Boris Johnson is seeking a solution to ease congestion without raising charges
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 9
Happy102nd! MISSION CYCLES racked up some great coverage in the national papers during October on the back of donating a trike to Buster Martin, via his employers – Pimlico Plumbers – on his 102nd birthday. And yes, you read right, Martin is still working and cycling every day at 102! David Wilshire of Mission Cycles said: “We supplied Pimlico Plumbers in London with the chopper trike for Buster at a low price for his birthday. Chris Hoy came along to present the trike to Buster, who loves it as he is no longer allowed to drive. He still works for them part-
time cleaning the vans. He will also be doing the London to Brighton bike ride on it.” Hoy was among the Olympic athletes who received a warm welcome on the streets of London during October. The Olympic and Paralympic teams were paraded through London’s streets on 12 floats to rapturous applause from crowds. Team GB won 19 golds at the Beijing Olympics – the best performance since 1908. Hoy, who took three golds alone, has been in the media eye ever since.
US cyclists benefit from government bailout The Rails to Trails conference in full swing
Left to right: Keith Laughlin (President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy), Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn), and Tim Blumenthal (Exec. Director, Bikes Belong)
By making active transportation a viable option for travel, we will cost-effectively and significantly reduce oil dependence, climate pollution and obesity rates. 10 BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER
NEW LAWS quickly brought in during the US Government’s $700 billion bailout are set to benefit cyclists in the USA. Numerous tax incentives, including the Bicycle Commuter Act – which has been in the pipeline for seven years – were made legislation to support the fragile economy. The cyclefriendly Act is hoped to revolutionalise America’s commuter cycling, with many employers set to provide tax money rebates to employees who choose cycling as a means of getting to and from work. Initially, employers will be able to provide $20 per month in incentives related to an employee’s bike commuting. According to bikeleague.org, these incentives will include bike
parking facilities, shower facilities, and maintenance – then deduct that amount from their employees’ taxable income. Studies have demonstrated that, when available, facilities such as bike parking or showers increase the chance of getting individuals to cycle to work by 40 per cent. To further pressure Congress into drastically overhauling America’s approach to cycling, the Rails To Trails Conservancy has submitted a 46-page report to Congress which details the numerous ways that America could benefit from encouraging the country to take up cycling and walking as a transport alternative. The Rails-To-Trails Conservancy, as the title
suggests, campaigns to turn former rail lines into trail routes for walkers and cyclists. The organisation works at both a National and State level in the United States. “By making active transportation a viable option for everyday travel, we will costeffectively reduce oil dependence, climate pollution and obesity rates, while providing more and better choices for getting around town,” said Kevin Mills, vice president of policy for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. “Too often, transportation policies have fed these problems; it's time to make transportation part of the solution instead.” The full report can be found at www.railstotrails.org/ATFA BIKEBIZ.COM
NEWS NEW PRODUCTS USE YOU MAY have missed USE’s brand new track-specific chainring among all the blinding lights on the company’s stand at Cycle ‘08. The brand-new CNC machined chainring is made from a solid lump of billet aluminium, resulting in a respectable weight and uncompromised stiffness. What’s unique about the chainring, however, is the fact that it’s compatible with the super-light Dura Ace Hollowtech crankset that is going down a storm within the road market. LEDAL (1) THE LEDAL PEDAL is now available to trade customers via www.ledal.com. The pedal is fitted with waterproof LED lights, which are activated when the rider steps onto the pedal, a system that eliminates the need for an on-off switch and saves battery power. Inventor Trevor Keena developed the system alongside firefighter Steve Sumner. The story about how the LEDal came around revolves around Sumner’s experience with cyclists at night while on duty. Keena told BikeBiz: "Steve came to me dismayed with dodging poorly-lit cyclists at night. I have a background in electronic design, so together we put together the LEDal, first testing a dynamo-powered prototype that turned out to be less powerful than hoped. So we opted to go with a battery-powered system." The LEDal has since won three design awards in the US and an Inventor’s Fair
award, as well as recording several national press appearances. Keena added: "We would certainly talk to distributors, should any take interest in the LEDal. As it stands, dealers can stock up on the LEDal for around £12 trade price and sell them on for £24.99 retail. The unique selling point with this product is that it always knows which way up to be, meaning that a red light shines at the rear and a white at the front." LEDal enthusiasts include London Mayor Boris Johnson and the police force at Heathrow Airport who are currently testing it. Visit www.ledal.com for a full demonstration video and installation instructions.
would also be useful to athletes who have to keep an eye on competitors during races. TRAIL ESSENTIALS (3) EMMA GUY and Tracy Brunger have released a tutorial style book dubbed Essentials: Trailriding Tips and Techniques from Glentress. The professional riders put together the book which is now available to bike shops via Cordee. Guy said: “Basically, it’s something we have wanted to do for ages. Our original idea was to set up the cafe and for us to be on the trails coaching folk. Anyway, after a few years we managed to get away from the paperwork and get out and watch the people ride who we
2 NIKE (2) AIMED AT the cautious commuter, Nike has launched an innovative set of glasses, which feature high-power Frensel lenses that capture a 180-degree plus view, giving the cyclist a much expanded peripheral vision. The glasses are designed to reduce the amount a cyclist has to turn to view what’s on the road behind – arguably surrendering part control of the steering. The part of a human’s eyesight that doesn’t capture immediate detail of the path ahead is extremely sensitive to motion to the left or right, something the Nike glasses take into consideration. The model, dubbed the Hindsight, has a standard nine-base lens yet, with the addition of the Frensel lenses to either side, an extra 25-degrees worth of vision is available on either side. The glasses
had been serving cups of tea to. The main thing that struck us was that most riders were missing the fundamental skills for mountain biking, hence riders felt they had plateaued. That’s when we put together our courses called ‘Essentials’and through coaching beginners, experienced riders, and kids we learnt
certain elements and terrains.
3 loads about getting the essential skills across. Pocket Mountains came to Glentress to launch its Bike Scotland book and we did the catering for them – I approached Robbie and asked him if he would be interested in doing a skills book with us. He hooked us up with a local journalist to help with the structure. It was important that the format was easy to follow and logical – too many skills books and articles on skills are too complicated and hard for the rider to put into practice.” The book has been well received and together the pair are looking at the next reprint. Guy also told BikeBiz that they are working on the next book which will look at more advanced skills. “The trail-literature ties in well with the ‘Essentials’ courses run at Glentress,” added Guy. “It’s a great advert for the trail, as well and appeals to all those riders whose experience of riding is trail-centre-based.” The book contains an introduction on what kind of bike to buy, how to set it up and how to tackle
BOARDMAN (4) THE TECHNOLOGY that assisted Nicole Cooke’s Olympic victory is now in stock at Halford’s BikeHut outlets. The new Boardman 2009 range consists of six road, seven mountain, including three brand new full-suspension models, and four performance hybrid bikes. Highlights of the new range include the PRO Race Prepared. For just £2,999.99, it has the same specification as Nicole Cooke’s Olympic gold medal winning bike and enjoys features such as: unidirectional carbon fibre monocoque frame, ultralight carbon fibre monocoque fork, SRAM Red group set, Zipp carbon fibre wheelset and a full Ritchey WCS finishing kit, including a carbon fibre seat post. Priced just shy of a grand, the performance hybrid PRO LTD carries a top-end spec including a carbon fork, SRAM Double tap 20-speed gearing and Avid Elixir carbon disc brakes. Chris Boardman said: “Through constant research, development and product testing, we were able to develop and build upon the key elements of last year’s range. “I believe that for 2009 we’ve produced a range that will perform at the highest level across all disciplines. The bikes come at excellent value too. Don’t just take my word for it, I’m happy to let you be the judge.”
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 11
Who am I and why am I here? SPRFLS is a controversial blog run by New York rider Russ Bengston. It all began as one consumer’s rant; today his writings are clocking IP addresses of every major BMX company out there... SO, WHO am I, and why am I here? I don’t mean that as an existential question as to the meaning of life, just to explain why I’m here on this page. My name is Russ Bengtson, I’m a 37 year-old bike rider from New York City, and I write a little BMX blog that you may or may not of heard of called SPRFLS (sprfls.blogspot.com). I write about BMX products, specifically new BMX products, and even more specifically new BMX products that seem to be superfluous (hence the name). This, by the way, is not a recommended way to make money or friends – at least not from within the BMX industry. Some people in the industry simply don’t get it, others get it only all too well. Here’s some things I am not. I’m not an engineer of any sort. My degree is in English (with a journalism concentration) and I only took one math course in college. I’m not an industry insider. I’ve never worked for a
12 BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER
bike company – or a bike shop, for that matter – and the only money I’ve made in BMX has been through my writing. I’m not a prolevel rider. I’ve never been good enough to even remotely consider riding as a career. What I am, however, is a rider and a consumer who’s been into BMX more or less since it started. And since the beginning I’ve been interested in products.
the wheel (or the seat, or the pedal). Which is difficult, given the simplicity of the average BMX bike – double-diamond frame, 20 inch wheels, roughly 2.8 to 1 gear ratio. It’s hard to innovate within those parameters. This isn’t skateboarding. It would be easier if it were, honestly. There would be no pretense that one frame was better than – or even different
Every day it seems some company is trying to re-invent the wheel. Difficult given the simplicity of the BMX bike. From grips to tyres and all points in between. Then recently it hit me: Why not write critically (and hopefully entertainingly) about new parts and frames? Sure, the magazines and big BMX websites run photos along with whatever information the companies send out, but why not present another opinion? One unbiased by advertising, one that I’d want to read were I considering something new. As someone who once rode a bike with foldup fork pegs, it’s something that would have been extra useful for me back in the ‘80s. I started the blog in April, writing daily during the week, and there have been no shortage of topics. Every day, it seems, some company or another is trying to reinvent
from – another. You’d pick what you rode based on graphics or team, not some perceived 'improvement'. Well, some people do exactly that. But if you really look, you get minute differences from different companies – and how many different toptube lengths are necessary, really? Quite frankly, there are a lot of genuinely scary things about the BMX industry these days. Less than ten years ago, companies were competing to see who could make the heaviest, toughest components. Cranks with one-inch spindles, 3/16 inch chains, 48-spoked wheels with triple-wall rims and 12-gauge spokes. If you bought a bike in 2000 and didn’t care about weight, you could ride it forever. When you were making
an eight-pound frame, strength was easy to come by. Now some of those same companies are making frames that weigh less than four pounds and forks that weigh less than two. And, like before, they’re using the same R&D crew – us. You know what frightens me most? Even the companies that do use engineers and proven testing methods – I’m thinking Odyssey here – make mistakes. The first generation of production Wombolt cranks, as tested as they were, broke. A lot. Which doesn’t give me much faith in those companies who just pick parts out of catalogues or strive to make everything lighter than anything else. It’ll be interesting to see where things go in the near future. I feel like we’re reaching some sort of threshold when it comes to lightweight parts – how much more can you shave material off a stem, how much more can you heat-treat a frame? What other exotic materials can you make parts from? And as the world economy falters and everything gets more expensive (and less of us have high-paying jobs), how many people are going to want to spend $450 or more on a frame just to serve as a human
guinea pig? (Let alone buy Kevlar-cased tires and magnesium rims.) What I’m attempting to provide with SPRFLS – and with this column – is just another perspective. Another way to look at things. And judging from the responses I’ve got, both in the comments section of the blog and my email inbox, it’s one that’s been lacking. Am I right all the time? No. But sometimes I believe the discussion is more important than the original post. Because it’s not about telling people what to think as it is presenting a different way of thinking. Asking questions other than “how light is it?” and “how much does it cost?”. And hopefully making some of the people in the industry ask some different questions as well. I’ve been accused – wrongly, I might add – of wishing for the demise of the BMX industry as a whole. That just doesn’t make any sense for me, as a rider or as a writer. What I would like to see is some sort of industry-wide refinement, where progress becomes more than 'but this is lighter,' copycats fade away, and honesty becomes more prevalent. Until then, I guess I’ll just keep writing...
Top of the line Hotlines will be making some strong commitments into new territory for 2009. With Lapierre and Lynskey now on board, Mark Sutton talks to the company’s HQ manager Ed Ibbetson about the distributor’s plans for entering the road market… How’s business? Mark Pemberton finally emigrated to Australia last October, but he left us with a great legacy to carry forward. 15 years of Hotlines ‘Strong Products’ will continue in the same vein so we can achieve our long-term goals. Business is great at the moment and the predicted slowdown has not happened yet. We are growing all the Hotlines portfolio of brands organically and progressively. Quarter two and three sales were great, boosted by fantastic sales of Lapierre. Nuke Proof also made great strides, as the range expanded into hubs, wheelsets, stems, seatposts and bars. Year-on-year expansion? Expansion has happened
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naturally as we have grown our stable of brands to almost 30. We are constantly on the search for ‘heritage’ brands such as Lapierre (founded in 1946). 2009 is very near and we have already established some key
Brakes, Manitou, Sun Ringle, Answer and Wheelsmith) business in a 12-month period through our key accounts. Any announcements on the way in the near future?
Ed Ibbetson has grown the original team of three to nine and we also now have our very own Hotlines sales professionals on the road to service our evergrowing account base. Rick Minshull, our Northern
Our partnerships that we have developed with independent bike dealers and our representative brands are the cornerstone of our 15-year history. We have established some great contacts for 2009. independent bike dealers to work closely alongside. Our partnerships that we have developed with IBDs and our representative brands are the cornerstone of our 15-year history. As an example, we have doubled our Hayes Group (Hayes
This summer we moved into fantastic new premises as we had outgrown our original HQ. Harbour Lane Studio is an old bakery with three foot-thick whitewashed walls, within a stone’s throw of the harbour and with views of the Forth Bridge.
Representative, was a faithful servant at Royals for seven years and is also a great DH rider. He would have done very well at this year’s Mega if he didn’t fall off seven times. Martin Kirby, our Southern Representative, recently joined us from Fox. Our Hotlines
HQ will continue to service our Scottish account base. New brands include Lapierre, which was our star addition for 2008 and the success of this great brand has given us the confidence to take on Black Market, Ixs and Lynskey for 2009. We see these key brands as great additions and will fill some of the last few remaining gaps in our portfolio. It’s brilliant to be given the chance to represent such exciting new brands in the UK and work with such cycling luminaries as Mark Lynskey. There are some really exciting products we’ll be launching this year – watch this space. How can dealers open an account with Hotlines? Are there any criteria? BIKEBIZ.COM
Most of our business is still done on a pro-forma basis, it’s something that Mark Pemberton started and we have been more than happy to carry on. To encourage people to pay on a pro-forma basis we offer various incentives, which make life easier for both us and our retailers. For all new accounts (pro-forma or otherwise), we arrange a visit from one of our reps within the first few weeks of business to make sure that everything is how it should be. For accounts that would like to be opened on a credit basis we obviously have to do some initial credit checks. We have a new credit controller, Nina, meaning that credit applications are processed swiftly and accounts can be up and running in under a week. Hotlines has traditionally focused on off-road and jump brands. Will this focus remain, or are there plans to branch into new territories? Lapierre road bikes, Control Tech, PZ Racing road products program and Lynskey are all outside of our comfort zone
Despite having tough component brands like Straitline, Hotlines is branching into more elegant territory with new road-racing brands BIKEBIZ.COM
Electra is a ‘one and only’ brand. There’s nothing else out there like it and the brand is a the market leader in cruiser bikes. One of the strongest assets, is the fact that the bikes draw new people to cycling. of the ‘traditional’ Hotlines brands. We’ve got some amazing road products for next year. Just look at a Lynskey Helix frame or a Lapierre X-Lite to see how serious we are about road brands as part of the long term Hotlines plan. There are a few guys in the office getting the cash together to add road bikes to their stables right now. Tell us about Electra and why Hotlines now carries the range: Electra is a ‘one and only’ brand as there are no others like it. They are the market leader in Cruiser style bikes. Electra isn’t just about cruisers though; recent additions to the range include the Amsterdam and Townie range. One of Electra’s strongest assets is the fact that the range draws new people into cycling. We’re constantly surprised by the number of Electra enquiries that come in to us by email from people who have not ridden a bike since they were kids. We try to capitalise on this and advertise the brand outside the
normal cycling press, get products into lifestyle magazines, – and a little bit of celebrity endorsement never does any harm. How does Hotlines help the dealer to make money? Dealer margins depend on the brand and the dealer commitment. Accessory margins can be up to 60 per cent, although standard margins usually start at around 35 per cent. Our bike margins are in line with the competition, although we usually manage to beat them on carriage and small order charges. If your readers want further details they can contact the office and we’ll arrange a visit from one of the area’s sales reps. Is Hotlines good with warranty turnaround? We’re pretty fortunate right now in the fact that most of our brand’s have very few warranty or servicing returns and it’s enabled us to put in place a solid framework for the warranty and servicing on the returns we do get. We are working towards getting the turnaround time down for all returns to 48 hours; at the moment it’s realistically around five working days. We realise how important it is to get this side of the business right and we’re pretty happy with the results so far, although there is always room for improvement. We’re lucky enough to have a team with great technical knowledge, both
in the office and the workshop. In the office, Ed has around seven years’ experience working with Manitou and between the mechanics in the workshop there is more than 15 years of experience with Hayes products. How many staff/sales reps do you employ? We have six full-time office based staff, two area sales managers on the road and a couple of guys in the workshop. It’s taken a while to get the right people in place but we’re very happy with the team at the moment. We know that part of the key to success in the bike industry is providing good service backed up by great technical knowledge and expertise, so getting good staff and hanging on to them is very important to us. Is anything causing business concern or difficulty at present? Currency fluctuations have really been hurting us in some areas, but we are prepared for 2009. Obviously, everyone is also worried about the global financial climate at the moment. I don’t think anyone can realistically predict how the UK economy is going to weather the storm, and how this is going to affect cycling. I’m convinced that there are already more people commuting by bike since fuel prices went up and share prices went down. It’s a time of economic flux, but I think that cycling, of all industries, is well
placed to push through the economic uncertainties. Are you seeking dealers for anything in particular? At this exact moment in time we’re looking for dealers for Lapierre, Electra and NS Bikes. They’re all really strong brands that are backed up with intensive marketing and advertising campaigns. For any dealer looking for a bike brand right now (regardless of whether its road, mountain, leisure or dirt/street), Hotlines has a strong offering.
Hotlines hot distribution portfolio Lapierre Hayes Manitou NS Bikes Goodridge Straitline Foes Azonic Viper Sunringle O’Neal Michelin Nuke Proof NC-17 Joes No Flats Controltech Stendec Fire-eye Dabomb X-tools Hurricane Brand-X Proceed Electra BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 15
quote unquote "The £400bn bail-out for British banks has conjured up an agreeable image in my mind... It is of a bank manager cycling to work a few years from now. These quiet heroes operated from the High Street, not distant service centres. They based lending decisions on the firmness of an applicant’s handshake, not matrices sent by head office, and never triggered a bad debt crisis." Jonathan Guthrie, Financial Times October 8th "This year’s Cycle show is much bigger than last year’s, taking up more floor space in the impressive
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Earl’s Court venue. Having spoken to staff manning the trade stands, they’ve been a little caught out with the massive interest in commuting bikes." Nigel Wynn, Cycling Weekly, October 11th "These are tough times for carmakers, many of which are labouring under high oil prices, slowing demand and financial weakness. For makers of human-powered, two-wheeled vehicles, by contrast, business is booming. Suddenly a bicycle seems like the remedy for many modern ills, from petrol prices to pollution and obesity.
Sponsored by the brands of Moore Large 01332 274252 Strong demand and a desire for better bikes has allowed bikemakers to pass higher material costs on to buyers. Since 2004 wholesale prices of bikes have gone up by 23 per cent in Europe, 45 per cent in America and almost 50 per cent in Asia, even as thousands of low-cost factories in China churn out boatloads of cheap bikes." The Economist, September 18th
ride, a clear 75-degree day, and the company of fellow cyclists to remind us why cycling will always matter." Gary Boulanger, Bikeradar.com, September 24th
"Whatever the outcome of the legal wrangling with Trek, it’s apparent Greg LeMond loves the same thing we do: endless ribbons of pavement on which to
"That is indeed the perfect bike! But a $1,800 bike should be a tandem and come with someone who agrees to do all the pedalling."
Andy Ihnatko, IT journalist, Twitter.com, October 13th, responding to a tip about getting a Pashley Gov’nor as his new bike "Fashion is the only industry where purchases are warranted because the old stuff isn’t new any more. All other industries would love to emulate fashion in this respect, but it can’t be done anywhere else. When bike makers talk about ‘last season’s colours’, the whole notion is laughable. Get rid of your bike because it’s orange? Are they mad?" Zoe Williams, The Guardian, September 17th
CONSUMER PRESS 2
4 Cycling Plus (2)
Surly Torsion bar “Reassuringly tough flat bar with a wrist-friendly sweep.”
GT Zum s1 “A good solid ride for urban thrashing.”
Pinhead locking system “An effective way to keep all your bike’s components safe.”
Niterider Ultrafazer 3.0 “One of the best all-round affordable lights available.”
Mountain Biking UK (1)
Heroes, Villains and Velodromes “A fascinating account of an extraordinary athlete and his role in the renaissance of British cycling.”
Cervelo P3 TT frame “Availability is limited, so you’ll have to be quick off the mark to get hold of one.”
Easton EC90 crankset “Has the highest stiffness-toweight ratio of any carbon crank currently available.”
Camelbak Podium bottle “Offers a self-sealing, yet large mouthpiece for quick hydration on the move.”
Ashima Air rotor discs “The ultra-vented designs cool and dry almost instantly”
Prologo Choice TI 1.4 saddle “A lightweight, all-weather saddle with added crash protection.”
What Mountain Bike (4)
Crank Brothers Candy 4ti pedals “Blinding pedals, but you’ll need a lot of cash to afford a pair.”
Shimano M085 SPD shoes “They feel and look far more expensive. Highly recommended.”
Fox High Frequency shorts “A great pair of baggies for those who like the ‘board short’ look.”
Race Face 3/4In riser bar “The geometry has been tweaked this year for greater comfort.”
Skins Compression wear “Tights and tops that relieve fatigue and aid recovery.”
SIS Go bar “Superb value for money and great for those watching their waist.”
Ritchey Logic WCS ‘44’ stem “For a no nonsense XC stem, this one has to be on your shortlist.”
Revolution Tune Up tool kit “Top-value package brings you all the basics at a very low price.”
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 17
Priced out? Following a summer where price hikes were impossible to absorb for the majority of complete bike importers, things look set to get even more difficult. Mark Sutton talks to UK distributors about worrying lead times and asks whether another batch of heavy increases is on the horizon… “THERE’S undoubtedly a tough year ahead from an importer’s perspective. While a dealer has delivery on a bike within days, we’ve ordered all our complete bike stock until next June. Commodity prices are no longer a real reason for price rises, although the factories are still blaming increases on this. While they remain constantly volatile, the cost of raw metal, plastic and cardboard is actually now on a gradual decline. Lead times on complete bikes, however, are the main problem facing us at present. The demand for bikes seems to outstrip the supply, meaning the industry faces a major production crisis. Demand is rising, yet the capacity to make the bikes has not matched this increase, especially for Europe. We have now made all of our purchasing decisions long before we have had the chance to test the product and its potential. A shipment of bikes that initially looked highly sellable may show up, but by the time they arrive, 20 per cent has been added to each bike’s cost, making the package a lot less attractive. By that point we’d most likely have already been forced to order a second, third and fourth shipment. There is a danger of being left with major stock imbalances, because long lead times on orders creates huge risk of shortages of one model and excess of another. “Price problems are only BIKEBIZ.COM
compounded by sterling’s recent massive depreciation against the dollar. The duty of 14 per cent on bicycles now seems entirely outdated on a product that improves health, environment, congestion and so on. And the anti-dumping duty of 45 per cent plus on China restricts a European company’s purchasing
modest. This was predominately in response to the huge swings in the pound exchange rate against the Euro. It also reflected a small number of factory gate increases from the Far East. However, in the background the raw material increases feeding into the factories in the Far East over the past six
Demand is rising, yet the capacity to make the bikes has not risen with the increase, especially in Europe. Russell Merry, Hot Wheels options and is creating further bottlenecks and price difficulties. The good news is that we are selling record numbers of bikes, the bad news is that the factory gate prices are going up and the lead times are anywhere from 120 days to 365 days – and so it’s hard to ensure continuity of supply.” Russell Merry, Managing Director, Hot Wheels “We are concerned about the ever-increasing raw material costs, and the very recent exchange rate swings. We cannot avoid imposing some price rises when inbound costs are rising by up to 30 per cent. The company increased prices on about 20 per cent of SKUs in May. Most increases were quite
months have been horrendous. We heard stories of increases in excess of 30 per cent to the factories. Some of those appear to have passed straight through. Every week we get advice about some factory gate price increase from Taiwan. One of our factories will even quote a new price each time we order. Coupled with this, the pound has come under pressure against the USD, weakening significantly. In the recent past, most of the factory gate price increases we have incurred have been absorbed by the offset of favourable exchange rates, while Sterling was so strong. Very recently, the exchange rate 'cushion' that has protected us all from rising raw material and factory gate price increases
have been dwindling away. If this continues, the combined factory gate increases and exchange rate issue will no doubt have a substantial impact on our costs. Some suppliers have tied forward contracts for both products and also currency. But, somewhere down the line, the true costs will start to kick in. All products will undoubtedly realign and become competitive with each other again in the market. It's just a matter of timing and at what level the prices stabilise. I doubt the credit crunch will have much effect on our industry. History tends to dictate that when things get tight, people start riding push bikes." Lloyd Townsend, MD, Ison Distribution “At Seventies we realise the importance of keeping certain retail price points for entry-level bikes, which is why we’ve worked closely with both Hoffman and Subrosa to ensure that we’ve got great bikes retailing around £220. We’ve also resisted the temptation to increase our prices in light of recent changes in the value of the US dollar. You will not see any of our complete bike prices increase prior to Christmas. We are always trying to get bikes on the shop floor earlier each year, but this seems to be getting harder and harder. For example, we have been waiting up to eight months for delivery
of some models. Obviously this makes it really hard for us to predict how many bikes we'll need that far in advance. To customers of ours - please bear with us if we have sold out of some models. Consequently some models are selling out months in advance. Even in light of the price increases and late deliveries, we expect to be selling in excess of 50 per cent more of the 2009 ranges than the 2008 ranges. We feel the price and spec of all these ranges will continue to represent really good value for money in the current market. This, combined with the marketing, gives these bikes an advantage over a lot of the competition – something I feel has been reflected positively in our sales. Stuart Dawkins, Managing Director, Seventies “We are still waiting on prices for 2009. However, as manufacturing costs have increased, we expect a slight, but noticeable, increase to our pricing. Due to the type of products that Riding High offers, we have not really noticed a significant change in sales as our customers will find a way of affording it. We do realise that a lot of people are being cautious. However, we believe that this will die down after Christmas. I guess the key is to stay positive.” Vicky Chen, Marketing Manager, Riding High UK
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 19
Core Bike returnsno bull! Pre-registration has gone live and there’s are many great reasons to get yourself and staff to Northamptonshire. Aside from the show’s great networking credentials, the Core group has grown this year, so you’d be a fool not to head to Whittlebury Hall in January. BikeBiz offers an early preview of the event... THE CORE BIKE trade show was established to give the UK cycle trade a one-stop show that would give exhibitors the chance to view more brands from more distributors, in one easy visit. By bringing together a large part of the UK trade under one roof, the show is designed to minimise the time dealers spend away from their shop floor. Networking opportunities are also vastly increased with the post-show evening entertainment. For most exhibitors, Core provides a platform to show off the latest prototypes and talk to dealers about 2009’s product. The 2009 Core Bike trade show sees the line-up of top brands become even stronger as Merida Bikes, Jim Walker distribution and Citrus-Lime Dynamic IT solutions have confirmed their attendance. This will add a further 20 more brands to the already strong CoreBike line-up and means that anyone attending the show will be able to have IT and cycle queries answered in one visit. Core Bike is held at the luxurious four-star, Whittlebury Hall Hotel which is located near the Silverstone race circuit in Northamptonshire. The show days are Sunday 25th through to Tuesday 27th of January 2009 with a Gala evening of entertainment taking place on the Monday night. Pre-registration goes live! 2009 pre-registration is now live
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and all visitors can click on www.corebike.co.uk to register their attendance. Gala Night Back by popular demand is the Gala evening of entertainment with will take place on the Monday night of the show. Last year’s event was a great success as dealers, stores and distributors enjoyed an evening filled with entertainment including arcade machines, sumo suits and guest industry speakers. Merida Bikes UK The philosophy of Merida Bikes has always been to produce the best possible, German-designed machines. They combine Western development knowhow with efficient, qualityoriented production in Asia. This ensures that the brand can offer bikes featuring quality-focused design, which also remains affordable to those seeking a well-specced bike. Merida has been developing and building bicycles since 1972. Jim Walker The premium cycle distributor joins the Core Bike show line-up for the first time in 2009. Within its portfolio, Jim Walker offers brands such as Iron Horse cycles, De Rosa, Continental, 3T, Fulcrum, Campagnolo, Northwave, Thomson and Wellgo, plus others. Citrus-Lime Citrus-Lime offers clients a wide range of dynamic IT solutions,
which are tailored to their needs and adaptable to meet their growth. The IT specialist also offers an integrated epos and eCommerce solution, for which dealer talks and demonstrations will be available at Core. Paligap Marketing manager, Ben Gaby gives BikeBiz the reasons Paligap makes Core Bike its number one trade show every year: “We exhibit because Core is quite simply the most complete trade show in the UK. The show gives dealers the opportunity to view all of Paligap’s brands, but also talk with the Paligap team and get a chance to discuss how to improve the way we run our business. “We have invited our suppliers from Torq, Litespeed, Ritchey and Fast Forward to the show. The Fast Forward carbon wheel range is the brand that’s in most demand at the moment and the complete range will be at the show. We will also have the 2009 Sombrio and Kona clothing range. In addition to this, it will be the first opportunity for dealers to view the 2009 Quintana Roo range of Tri Bikes.” Silverfish UK Marketing manager Pete Drew tells BikeBiz: “Core Bike is the trade show in the UK for us from both an exhibitor’s and a store’s point of view. Core Bike is a must-attend event each year because it gives us the chance to meet with our dealers from
RIDING HIGH: Core Bike offers retailers the chance to view brands, network – and enjoy the evening’s entertainment
all over the country in a high quality location and spend time talking face to face with all of them. As much as it is our chance to show them our full product range, it is also their chance to get to know the people behind the brands, gain a great knowledge of our product range and provide vital feedback on ways we can better to meet their daily needs in store. “As with previous years, we will have representatives from our brands flying over for the show, including some very special guests on our booth. Core Bike will be our first official UK launch of the new Evil Bikes range to the trade and mark our ten-year anniversary.” Buffera Sarah Gowans at Buffera tells BikeBiz: “We exhibit at Corebike because we’re proud to be among such auspicious companies. Core Bike is one of the most focused trade shows available: top brands, top dealers and a great chance to tell the trade about what we do. “Buff is still a new brand to many Core Bike visitors and as a strong supporter of cycle events we know there is consumer demand out there that dealers can translate into sales. We have a range of free, proven merchandising options which will help with Buff sales and a trade website that’s receiving much praise from existing customers – we aim to do everything we can to help our dealers succeed, from next-day
delivery to staff training. We will also be showing hides – multifunctional eyewear necessities and SueMe as a new brand of responsibly and ethically sourced sportswear at the 2009 show.” Chicken Cycles Mike Catlin, marketing manager of Chicken Cyclekit, says: “Core Bike is a good time to introduce our suppliers to the trade. They appreciate this and we think dealers do too. There is an exchange of information, particularly during a seminar. Our Continental visitors come from Italy (Cinelli, Las), Belgium (Sapim spokes) France (Time), Germany (SKS) and Holland (KMC). There’s enough space to exhibit full product ranges so that the depth of our stockholdings can really be appreciated. It’s a time to renew personal acquaintances with our customers. Core has a relaxed, business-like atmosphere in which we can further develop relationships to the benefit of suppliers and customers alike. “There is always something new and a lot has happened to our company since the fire that nearly wiped us out. We have substituted brands. Mavic has been replaced by Rigida rims and Rigida Ryde wheels. Top end adidas clothing has been replaced by De Marchi, which is now distributed by us. Vredestein has been largely replaced by Vittoria. Other new brands are exclusive, like Squire Locks and Las helmets.” BIKEBIZ.COM
Bike boom is city centred Joe Breeze says the nascent transport bike category will be bigger than the MTB category of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Carlton Reid talks to Breeze and Advanced Sport’s Pat Cunnane, new owner of the Breezer brand... IN OCTOBER, Advanced Sports of Philadelphia announced it had purchased Breezer, the transport bike brand owned by MTB pioneer Joe Breeze. He stays as on as a consultant. Breeze, of Marin County, California, began building road racing frames in 1974. In 1977, he designed and built what are considered the first modern mountain bikes, called Breezers. Along with Gary Fisher, Charlie Kelly and Tom Ritchey, he helped create the mountain bike market and develop its early products. He launched a line of Breezer transportation bikes in 2002. Advanced Sports owns the Fuji and Kestrel bicycle brands. Pat Cunnane, president of Advanced Sports, says: “Joe is a pioneer – he introduced great mountain bike products to a market that wasn’t actually ready – and, for the last ten years, he has again been creating a new market for transportation bikes.
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From my initial mountain biking in 1973 to the point where mountain bike sales overtook road bike sales took about fifteen years. Advanced Sports is aiming to expand the international distribution of Breezer, including into the UK. Did Breezer bikes benefit from the petrol price hikes of the summer? And was the sale to ASI in order to better fulfil demand? Joe: Breezer sales increased 40 per cent from May to August during the petrol price surge. There are, of course, many vectors pointing to everyday biking as an excellent solution regarding personal health, environmental health and fiscal health. The secret is getting out, and yes, Breezer needed a way to take it to the next level.
Advanced Sports’ president, Pat Cunnane, understands the emerging transportation sector probably better than any player in the bike biz. Pat: Yes, we plan to ramp up production. This has already begun, Advanced Sports, Inc. (ASI) shareholder Ideal Bike Corporation has been the longtime manufacturer of Breezer bikes. The transition is going very smoothly. Journeys by bike in the US are one to two per cent. How quickly will that rise to two to four per cent? And is there a ceiling? Joe: In Davis, California (pop. 65,000) trips by bike represent
17 per cent of the mix. In Boulder, Colorado (pop. 280,000) the bike percentage is ten per cent, and in Portland, Oregon (pop. 570,000) it’s over five per cent. Boulder’s master plan aims for 15 per cent of all trips to be by bike by 2020. Pat: There are already places where usage is well above four percent. We look at the Netherlands, where journeys by bike are almost 25 per cent, and learn what they have done and share that information here. Of course there is a ceiling; some travel is more practical by air, train or car. But we have a long way to go before we have to worry about the ceiling.
What are your views on electric bikes? Saviour or part of the problem? Joe: Electric bikes stand to significantly broaden the use of bicycles. For many people, e-bikes make bicycling practical in hillier areas, for longer distances or whenever speed and/or less sweat is desired. The pedelec type, where the rider’s pedaling is added to, is best. I was less enthusiastic about e-bikes until I realised that influential people living on hills mattered to the future of everyday cycling. They may feel there is no hope for their cycling for everyday trips, ergo, no potential as a broad solution. Luke Ellrath (Breezer bikes brand manager for ASI): Any way to get more people who may be reluctant/app-rehensive/resistant to ride on a bike and out of a car is positive. Many people have what they believe to be valid reasons to not ride in certain circumstances – too many hills, BIKEBIZ.COM
BREEZER INTERVIEW too heavy a load, not in good physical shape, simply tired, etc. An electric bike addresses these obstacles to people who would otherwise be receptive to using a bicycle as practical transportation. It may be a better way to get to an evening out to dinner without arriving sweaty and dishevelled. It may be a way to get to and from grocery shopping without the hassle of finding parking or paying for gas. It may be the needed assist to carrying a heavy load (from a home improvement store) via a cargo bike platform. By removing these barriers to beginner or returning riders we have the opportunity to get more people riding, more people fit and more people confident and ready to use a standard bicycle for more trips. Pat: In Europe, where we sell bikes and will be expanding the Breezer market, there is an existing market for quality, electric bikes.
Luke Ellrath of ASI, brand manager for Breezer bikes
Trek CEO John Burke famously once said: “The number one way to grow the business and to have an impact on society, health, environment and congestion is to create a bicycle-friendly world." He said that for every $100 of sales, bike companies typically spend $3.90 on marketing, $1.60 on R&D but just ten cents on advocacy. What are your views on that? Joe: Until recently, there wasn’t a real cohesive force pushing cycling in the US. Since 1995, Bikes Belong, an industry-level amalgamation of bike associations advocating for ‘more people on bikes more often,’ has taken up the charge. Bike companies are getting on board financially, attending the annual National Bike Summit in Washington, DC, and making their desires known. The effort has been very successful. Pat: John Burke’s got it right and he’s proven himself to be a real leader in the bicycle industry. We are happy to follow some of his initiatives – for example, John led by donating one dollar to the League of American Bicyclists for every helmet sold; we implemented the same programme. Chicken and egg: what is needed first – bike routes or better urban transport bikes? Joe: Both. In some locales, reasonably safe and convenient routes can be found that are
suitable for some people right now. In those instances, a bike useful for everyday riding (i.e., with racks, mudguards, lights, etc.) can catalyse greater bike use, which can inspire others to ride who then will demand safer and more convenient infrastructure for the masses. In areas where cycling is a dismal prospect, some groundwork may be in order first. Pat: We need to make sure consumers are aware of the bicycle products and facilities that are available. We need to
increase the size of the bike transport market? Joe: From my initial mountain biking in 1973 to the point where MTB sales overtook road bike sales was about 15 years. The gestation of long-term change can be considerable. I remember dealers asking me, well into the 1980s, if I was still working on mountain bikes (which they thought would go nowhere). The changeover can be swift though. Once a dealer, and more importantly, the staff, give it a go, there’s no looking back. Each bike requires that shops
One obstacle we need to overcome is to let consumers know these [urban transport] products are available make cycling look approachable and attractive to those who currently don't cycle. It goes back to what continues to be proven in studies – the more people that ride, the safer it is for people to ride. Urban transportation bikes are not new, and while improvement is part of the bicycle industry culture, there are products on the market that are great. One obstacle we need to overcome is to let consumers know these products are available. Many current bicycle retailers are focused on the enthusiast and existing markets. This is our core – I believe as an industry we can focus less on them, and focus more on attracting new consumers to cycling. If we get more people riding regularly they will demand and get better facilities. What are the international plans for Breezer bikes, especially in the UK? Pat: The international plans are to establish distribution as quickly as we can. We have already started conversation with our current contacts in the UK and Europe and we’ve had numerous requests for the ‘Joe Breeze Mountain Bike’ throughout Europe. Advanced Sports’ plan is to use Breezer as its transportation bike product line worldwide. Joe, you've been quoted as saying transport bikes will be bigger than mountain bikes of the ‘80s and ‘90s. What should bike shops be doing to
understand the potential. As many people who are riding today, I see them as just ten per cent of the potential of people who could be riding here someday. When dealers offer bikes right on the showroom floor that are designed for everyday use – bikes that put bicycling more on the order of eating and breathing – many people will opt to get healthy while they get where they are going. Dealer outreach will help and the results may surprise us all. Pat: Bike retailers really need to invest by dedicating part of their floor space to new categories of products including transportation bikes. Bike dealers have to look at what the future can be and that includes bikes for transportation. They don’t have to make up a future, they can look to Europe – in Germany, 50 per cent of bicycle sales are through independent bicycle dealers and 14 per cent of trips are by bike; in the Netherlands 80 per cent of bicycle sales are through the independent bicycle dealers and almost 25 per cent of trips are by bike. Contrary to the US, where about one per cent of trips are by bike and less than 25 per cent are sold through independent dealers. There is a direct correlation between how many trips are taken by bike and the percentage of bikes that are sold through independent bicycle dealers. Supporting the growth of the bicycle transportation market is ensuring the future of the IBD.
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 23
BIKEBIZ AWARDS 2008
THE WINNERS INDEPENDENT RETAILER Condor Cycles ONLINE RETAILER Chain Reaction SPECIALIST CHAIN Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op NON-SPECIALIST CHAIN Halfords DISTRIBUTOR – BIKES Hot Wheels DISTRIBUTOR – PARTS & ACCESSORIES Extra UK SALES TEAM Madison
Congratulations! In a highly competitive market, full to the brim with brands pushing the boundaries of innovation, service and sales, a number of individuals and companies have stood out in this year. BikeBiz reviews the trade’s favourites for 2008...
Industry Achievement Award: Bob Chicken AT 87 years young, Bob Chicken is currently settled in Madeira, winding down from his days as an icon of the industry. Since the 1950s, the founder of RJ Chicken and Sons has dedicated his days to serving the bicycle trade, introducing many European road bike accessory brands into the UK. Sports journalist Phil Liggett describes Bob Chicken as ‘a doyen of the bike industry’. And to celebrate his lifetime of service, Chicken was recently awarded an MBE, of which he said: “I am honoured to have received this award in recognition of my services to an industry that I have spent my life promoting and working in. It is a very special industry with some very special people. In a time when there are increasing fuel costs and increasing awareness of the need for individuals to exercise I feel that it is also a very exciting time for the cycling industry.” Bob is a past president of the Pedal Club and the Pickwick Bicycle Club. He joined the Pickwick – the world’s oldest bicycle club – in 1954 and to this day is the longest serving member. BIKEBIZ.COM
MANUFACTURER Hope Technology SALES TRIUMPH DMR PRODUCT INNOVATION USE Exposure Lights MARKETING TEAM Sustrans CONSUMER MAGAZINE Rouleur CONSUMER WEBSITE Bikeradar.com INDUSTRY ACHIEVEMENT Bob Chicken
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 25
BIKEBIZ AWARDS 2008
Consumer Website: BikeRadar
Marketing Team: Sustrans
Consumer Magazine: Rouleur
IT MAY seem like it has been online forever, but the Consumer Website of the Year – BikeRadar.com – was launched only in July 2007. Now regarded as one of the industry’s top sources of consumer cycling information and race news, the website received some 8.9 million page views and 909,000 unique hits during September alone. Editor, Jeff Jones said of the award: “The BikeRadar team is delighted to have won the BikeBiz Award for best consumer website. We feel that it’s a genuine recognition of the quality of our site from the UK industry. We’ve only been going a little over a year, but in that time we’ve almost reached one million unique users per month – well beyond our expectations. We’re looking forward to building on this in 2009.” The website is popular among cyclo-tourists who take full advantage of the ‘Routes and Riding’ section where viewers can post their own track information. Like BikeBiz.com, BikeRadar also attracts attention to the website via a hugely popular forum. Future Publishing is also the publishers of Mountain Biking UK, What Mountain Bike, Cycling Plus, Pro Cycling and website Cycling News. Shown above accepting the award at Cycle ‘08 on behalf of the BikeRadar team is Future’s commercial director James Poole.
SUSTRANS’ is covering more ground than any other organisation within cycling. Having scooped £50 million for the development of cycling in the UK late last year, the charity captured the minds of countless ITV viewers to scoop the cash in The People’s Millions. To emphasise just how strong Sustrans’ marketing team is, the figures from that phone-in show alone make a strong case. Of the 286,285 votes cast, 119,348 of those were for Sustrans’ Connect2 project. The organisation also runs Bike It, TravelSmart, Safe Routes To Schools and many more projects. Bike It tackles cycling to school. From just four cycling officers working with ten schools each to get kids cycling four years ago, today there are 25 officers covering 250 schools nationwide, as well as supervisors. To top it all off, the organisation is even on social networking super-site Facebook. Melissa Henry, marketing director for Sustrans, said: “The marketing team is delighted to receive this award on behalf of everyone at Sustrans. Securing a public vote to win £50 million from the Big Lottery Fund to enable millions of people to walk and cycle more in 79 communities UK-wide was the culmination of a great collective effort, not just by colleagues, but all those in the cycling community who supported us. Our thanks to all those in the bike trade who continue to support Sustrans.”
THERE ARE JUST ten issues of Rouleur in existence (to date) and at £9 per issue, it’s not a cheap print magazine either. But as BikeBiz’s Carlton Reid highlighted in a recent interview with editor Guy Andrews, the magazine is re-assuringly expensive. As put by pezcyclingnews.com: “Rouleur is for those who appreciate history, art and literature as much as cycling. This kind of focus could lead to selfparody or, worst of all, pretentiousness, but the single-minded dedication of the editor and contributors makes Rouleur majestic.” The magazine reflects the drama and beauty of road-racing, so you’ll not find race results here. Content is made up of commentary and stunning photography. “We are really honoured to win this, especially as it is voted for by the bike trade. They are a discerning bunch and probably harder to please than the readers, added to the fact that they are usually all enthusiasts too, so that’s fantastic,” said Andrews. “Why do I think we won? Well we know the content is the finest out there, as we spend a long time on the quality of the photography and writing. I’m sure that we have the best in the business working for us and our approach has always been creative and free spirited, to support the photographers and writers in doing what they want to do, rather than cramping their individual creativity with tight editorial control.”
Product Innovation: USE Exposure USE’s Exposure light range has been winning awards left, right and centre in the consumer press since it came to market and recognition in the form of a trade award will further do the brand’s reputation justice. What Mountain Bike said of the Joystick lights: “[It was] the overall winner of our group test. Offering the best combination of all our required elements was the Exposure Joystick. “Easy to use, lightweight and with different mounting options, it gives a great combination of beam power and spread for its price point.” Using the world’s leading LED technology, the new Seoul Emitters run brighter and more efficiently than the previously used Luxeon LEDs allowing Exposure Lights to provide the rider with previously unheard of brightness.
Rory Hitchens, MD at USE, said of the award: “We are thrilled to gain one of the first ever BikeBiz Industry Awards and as one of the leaders in cycling product design, to win the Innovation Award is fantastic. We have worked harder than ever to bring faster, lighter and brighter products to market in recent years. Our Exposure Lights range has been pushing new LED technology to the limit and customers have responded very positively to the ‘no messy cables’ package and the many features of our lights. “In a high technology consumer product world we deliver high specification and high performance lights. I think it’s the sweeping success in the magazine reviews for the Joystick MaXx light in particular that helped USE be voted the winner of the innovation award. Thanks for all who voted for us.”
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 27
BIKEBIZ AWARDS 2008 Sales Triumph: DMR THE DMR brand has long been a firm favourite on any dirt jumper’s wish list. There will be very few jump enthusiasts out there who will never have owned a DMR component. The manufacturer is behind such iconic products as the V12 pedals, which gained such a loyal following that many riders refuse to run other pedals. Co-founder of DMR/UpgradeMatt Ryley, told BikeBiz: “We were extremely pleased just to have received nominations, but to be told that DMR, our own brand, had won an award for Best Sales Triumph 2008 really was the icing on the cake. “Everyone here at DMR Bikes/Upgrade Distribution is over the moon. It is fantastic that all our hard work has been recognised by the judges and we would also like to say thank you to all our customers and to everyone who voted for us. “Sales this year for DMR have been consistently higher than corresponding months last year, with September our busiest month ever. Realistically these sales figures are a result of all the hard work that has been put in over the past couple of years from rider feedback, design, warehousing, sales and marketing. We really wouldn’t be in this position without the talented and dedicated team that we have here at DMR/Upgrade. Now all we have to do is keep it up.”
Sales Team: Madison HIGHLY REGARDED in the cycle trade as one of the most efficient and trouble-free distributors to deal with, Madison’s sales team took a large percentage of the votes in this year’s awards. The distributor, perhaps the UK’s largest, took the decision this year to exhibit a selection of brands at Cycle ‘08 and that’s on top of inviting its entire dealer base along to the in-house IceBike show. Long-term Madison customer, Steve Barnett of Cycling On told BikeBiz: “The great thing about Madison is that you cannot see the joins between the departments, the organisation seems to operate as a unit. When you talk to anybody in the sales team – be they reps, customer care, warranty or telesales – you get the sense that they are talking and making commitments for the organisation as a whole and this is what makes dealing with Madison so easy. It is no surprise to me that the outward facing group of that organisation, the sales team, came out on top in this award.” A delighted Bill Baxter, head of Madison’s sales team, accepted the award at Cycle ‘08, telling BikeBiz: “Madison’s B2B has been fundamental in the evolution of our field sales and internal sales teams. We believe the field sales team are truly account managers who are charged with ensuring that our customers' experience of Madison is the best it can possibly be. Our aim is to add value with each customer visit or call.”
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Manufacturer: Hope Technology HOPE originally began as an aerospace company, yet since 1990 the manufacturer has set its sights exclusively on producing cycle parts. Nearly all Hope product is made in the Yorkshire Dales, still led by engineers Simon Sharp and Ian Weatherill, who are both keen cyclists. The Hope design team uses the latest computer aided Solidworks 3D CAD software to ensure each product is both manufactured to high standards and attractive on store shelves. All prototyping is done inhouse, meaning testing and modifications can be conducted quickly and efficiently. The company is expanding, too. Hope now has over 35 CNCs to machine components, its own heattreatment equipment, automated polishing and an in-house anodising plant. A little-known fact about Hope is that, despite the company’s reputation as a master of braking, the first product made was actually a front hub. “It’s fantastic to have received this award, escpecially as it’s one recognised by the industry – and we can now see our efforts to keep all our manufacturing in Britain gain the good press it deserves. The tide is turning as far as production goes in the UK, with regards to environmental issues as well as commercial. It’s encouraging to think that we are at the forefront of that. Investment in people, machines and technology means that we really are a cutting edge company, but still with old fashioned morals and values, and that makes for a great business combination. Thanks to BikeBiz, its readers and all those who voted.”
BIKEBIZ AWARDS 2008 Distributor – Bikes: Hot Wheels “WE ARE delighted to have received the award for Distributor of the Year for bikes. Our company is a family-based business and that, we think, keeps us in tune with the majority of IBDs, while we now have the scale to be able to compete with the other major brands,” commented Hot Wheels’ MD, Russell Merry. “Hot Wheels has a diverse portfolio of bike brands which, we believe, helps us offer bikes for every type of shop. Appointed Mongoose distributor in 1989, Hot Wheels now offers BMX bikes from Mongoose, GT and the specialist WeThePeople.” GT’s ever strengthening line-up of adult bikes gave Hot Wheels a big opportunity to step forward when the company was appointed distributor in 2001. This was further bolstered by growing sales of GT across BMX, MTB, urban and road. Sales have now grown
more than four-fold since its first year of distribution. Hot Wheels now employs 32 staff. The graphics department has seen previous recognition from suppliers with awards for marketing efforts. As further testament to the distributor’s portfolio of bikes, the sales team is selling more than ever. Merry added: “We will endeavour to improve our systems with the introduction of a B2B system soon and further developments to our customer relationship management software. We think that our blend of people and products are what has led to us receiving this award. We won’t get complacent because we know customers have a habit of voting with their feet. We would like to thank our customers for their business and the people who voted for us for doing so.”
Distributor – Parts and Accessories: Extra UK A THOROUGHLY deserved award for Extra, which has invested more than ever in the numerous component, accessory and tool brands under its portfolio. The distributor’s diverse range of brands offers dealers great coverage all from one source. Customers have access to brands such as Deity, Brooks, Selle Royal, Fi’zi:k, Topeak, Hutchinson and Montane, among others, all of which consistently score well in consumer press tests. John Phillips at Extra told BikeBiz: “We really appreciate the support of the industry and are delighted to have won this award. Our thanks is extended to those who took the time to vote for us in this category and to our dealer base for its continued commitment.” Extra’s Brian Stewart (pictured) accepted the award on behalf of the team at Cycle ‘08.
We really appreciate the support of the industry. Thanks to everyone who voted and the continued commitment of our dealer base.
Specialist Chain: Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative AS THE name suggests, Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative opened as an independent retailer in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh. The stores are now instantly recognisable from the outside, thanks to the modern bright red décor. Inside the store, customers are treated to one of the widest and most diverse ranges of bicycles and accessories available north of the border. Jeremy Miles, managing director at Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op commented: “Edinburgh Bicycle is, of course, delighted to receive this award from BikeBiz. As a specialist retailer, trying to deliver a consistent level of high quality products and services across multiple regions presents many challenges, not least in the current economic climate. At Edinburgh Bicycle we pride ourselves in our ability to deliver exceptionally high levels of customer service, as well as excellent choice and value for money. Promoting cycling from the grass roots upwards is part of our business mission and we achieve this through the commitment and drive of our people and their passion for the product we sell.” According to the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative’s website, every full-time Edinburgh Bicycle worker becomes a co-op member, with an equal share in the business, after serving a one-year ‘apprenticeship’. There are now 75 co-op members – a record number. The company trusts that this staff involvement will manifest itself in the form of friendly, informed professional advice from staff members.
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Innovating since 1990 October 2008 - use became the first company to win the prestigious Bike Biz Design Innovation Award. Our Exposure Joystick light stole the show and impressed judges as the shining example of a new product that successfully embodied all the elements of design, technological innovation and fitness for purpose. Never before has a single product made such a universal impact on the high end lighting market. It won a clean sweep of first place reviews across all the UK magazines last year and has now added the Bike Biz Innovation Award to its trophy cabinet. The Joystick has again been gathering in this season’s cycle magazine reviews including Singletrack Recommended, MBR 10/10 and MBUK budget group lights test winner just for starters. Exposure Lights are part of a long line of innovations from our Sussex based engineering company including the TULA aerobar with it’s Beijing Gold Medal performance. We always look for advantage to the end user and deliver this in exciting innovation driven product. It’s never easy staying at the cutting edge of the bike industry but our customers agree that our products are inspired and offer real benefits. In today’s world it is innovations that drive new product sales at the high end of the market. Giving consumers real reasons to purchase a product is a deciding factor in stock purchasing decisions for our dealers, making sure that product sales led by consumer demand are in place. USE innovates with passion and understanding of the market, designing real features that consumers want and delivering real business to the trade. Thank to all those that voted for USE/Exposure Lights in the Innovations Award.
Sign up as an Official Exposure Demo Dealer
Check out the full range at www.exposurelights.com Exposure Lights are designed and manufactured in the UK by USE Ltd UK distribution by USE (01798 344477) firstname.lastname@example.org and AMBA Marketing (01392 829 903) email@example.com
BIKEBIZ AWARDS 2008
Independent Retailer: Condor Cycles CONDOR celebrated 60 years in the business this year. When the first store opened in 1948 the majority of race bikes were bespoke. Condor’s business revolved around building custom bikes then – and that’s what the store has been doing ever since. The store has consistently worked to serve the local cycling community, as well as forming a racing team, which has achieved wins on international podiums. As a manufacturer of custom builds, Condor has close ties with the entire industry. The store built its reputation on the quality Italian-built frames that have become iconic worldwide on both the race scene and the roads. The store’s unique approach to retail has survived, despite the bespoke bicycle almost disappearing nationwide. Grant Young, managing director of Condor accepted the award on his stand at Cycle ‘08, which for the most part was packed wall to wall with fans on both the trade and consumer days.
Online Retailer: Chain Reaction Cycles IN ONE of the most hotly contested categories Europe’s largest online bike store took the win, despite other candidates performing well – evidence of just how popular online retailing is today. Known to all cyclists for its generous pricing, Chain Reaction is undoubtedly responsible for a large volume of first-time enthusiast purchases and the steady increase in attendance numbers at tracks and trails nationwide. Michael Cowan at Chain Reaction Cycles told BikeBiz: “The team at Chain Reaction Cycles are really pleased to have won this award. We have worked really hard to become the best at what we do and there is no better accolade than getting recognition from the bike industry itself. Thank you.”
There’s no accolade better than receiving recognition from the bike industry itself. Thank you.
Non-Specialist Retailer: Halfords HALFORDS was near enough unanimously voted the Non-Specialist Retailer of the Year. Many based their vote on Halfords’ charity efforts, including its campaign to support our servicemen. The chain raised money via its 430-plus UK outlets by sponsoring the Help for the Heroes Bike Ride, which took place in May. Others based their vote on experiences within the company’s BikeHut outlets. Halfords’ PR manager, Louise Iles commented on the award: “As the UK’s largest bike and accessories retailer, Halfords is committed to investing in cycling and encouraging our customers to take to two wheels. So we are delighted to be recognised with this award.” Halfords’ leisure sector, including cycling, has been continually growing despite poor summer weather. David Wild, chief executive, who joined the business on August 4th, said: “In my short time with Halfords, I have been impressed by the calibre of the people and reassured by the strength and resilience of the business, which has proven to be robust.” Halfords’ PR Manager Carla Lavender is pictured above accepting the award from the BikeBiz team at Cycle ‘08.
Michael Cowan, CRC
With thanks to our panel of judges Andrew Holyoake Steve Reeds Anthony McCrossan David Atkinson Tony Farrelly Jill Hopkirk Ralph Evans-Tomlinson Mark Lee-Sing Geoff Pick Mark Meadows Chipps Chippendale Jonathan Philip Guy Andrews Jonathan Smith Paul Corcoran Euan Cormack Adrian Philips Sam Moye Matt Ward Neil Mcdonald Neil Manning Mark Alker Simon Page Nick Larsen Russell Merry Simon Keitch Claire Beaumont Duncan Mccann Philip Diprose Mark Sutton Pete Drew Pam Simmons Mike Cotty Andy Easterbrook Simon Bowns Darren Mabbott Gary Cooper Simon Ormesher Mark Noble Mark Malone Emerson Roberts Matt Rushton Antony Roberts George Bowie Ben Gaby Nicolo Mannoni Gary Mather Carlton Reid Martin Hawyes Glynn Davies
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Tyre trends YOU KNOW something is up when a dormant product category starts to sell. No, it’s not a screwy SKU, ‘touring’ tyres are back in vogue. In the US it’s at ‘hotcakes’ level, in the UK the demand is only just starting to take off – but that 27 x 11/4 inch has returned is not in doubt. And it’s all to do with the ‘bike to work’ boom. Chris Hearn, Schwalbe tyres product manager at Bohle, says: “We are enjoying a resurgence in the pre-700C, 27 x 11/4 inch sized tyres. People are now busy digging out their old bicycles from their sheds looking for a more economical form of transport. Schwalbe offers the Marathon Touring tyre in this size, making it the ideal choice for commuting and touring. This is backed up by the HS 159 roadster type tread pattern with a more economical price, yet still with puncture protection.” Stand by the roadside in any big British city and you’ll see what Chris Hearn means. Fixies may be trendy and every company has at least one in its 2009 stable, but it’s beat-up BIKEBIZ.COM
Bohle’s shiny new HQ, full of Schwalbe goodness
We are enjoying a resurgence in sales of 27 x 1 1/4 tyres. People are now busy digging out their old bicycles looking for more economical forms of transport. roadsters and touring bikes that are back with a vengence. In time, these crappy old bikes will
need to be replaced by the bike to work newbies. For now, they’re being refurbed, their
An ‘old’ tyre size is making a comeback. Why? Carlton Reid quizzes Chris Hearn of Bohle...
rotted rubber replaced with new 27 x 11/4 inch tyres. Of course, MTB-style bikes are being refurbed, too: “There is certainly a trend to towards commuter-style MTB tyres such as the City Jet which continues to be one of our bestsellers, along with the Silento II, Road Cruiser and the Hurricane,” says Hearn. “All these have puncture protection belts for reliable commuting. Big tyres are popular, too. Schwalbe began the Balloonbike trend back in 2001 with the Big Apple tyre 26 x 2.00 inch and 26 x 2.35 inch. This type of tyre offers all the suspension needed for commuting, along with the KevlarGuard puncture protection system, so it offers both comfort and reliability. Do not be fooled by their big size, these tyres roll along with surprising ease.” Hearn thinks the newbie commuters will soon start to realise cycling isn’t just for transport: “I believe we’ll see an uplift in trekking/commuter style tyres as more and more people
are looking to their bicycles not just for transport, but for weekend leisure cycling. Joining this will be the increased demand of the road-racing type tyres due to the massive interest in cyclo sportif events.” Bohle UK, a wholy owned subsidiary of Bohle GmbH, distributes Schwalbe products through major wholesalers. “The Schwalbe product range is vast, not only in terms of tyre types, but also in catering for all the various sizes, particularly for the ‘small wheeled’ fraternity and recumbants who need a top quality tyre, but also the older Imperial sizes of 27 x 13/8 inch,” comments Hearn. “Sales of these tyres are steadily increasing with numerous enquires that begin with ‘do you still make ....’ One particular tyre is the Delta Cruiser with not only the options of gum wall or white wall but also the retro cream colour. Some retailers are already starting to stock these tyres as part of a really broad collection and those that do will reap the benefits in time to come.”
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 35
CYCLE ‘08 REVIEW
Until next year… The curtain has come down on another vastly expanded and equally successful Cycle Show. Carlton Reid and Mark Sutton look back on the products, the people and the response to 2008’s installment... THE PARALLELS drawn between Eurobike and Cycle at this year’s London show do credit to the growth of the UK trade. Exhibitors flew in from as far afield as New Zealand, just to get in on the surging interest in a market that is desperately chasing the rest of Europe’s cycling renaissance. But despite the bustling halls and the friendly vibe, was the show a success story in terms of business? Yes, as expected, the show swelled in size, particularly from a trade perspective. Show director Andrew Brabazon commented, postshow: “Numbers of trade attendees rose by a considerable margin. Externally audited figures are due to confirm this shortly, but from our calculations and the visual presence of crowds, we can say that the show has grown again.” As seen on the other side of the Atlantic last year, with growth comes the need to constantly review how to best serve the widest possible audience. For the time being, location is not causing the UK trade too much of a problem (although there are calls to select a more central location). Earl’s Court is easily accessible for the majority of the UK and foreign bike trade due to its extensive network of railway routes and airports.
However, with the swelling numbers, the timescale that trade participants had to work within seemingly shrank. According to Brabazon, 30plus consumers were turned away on the trade day for the purpose of giving exhibitors and retail attendees the perfect environment in which to discuss business. The following day, when consumers were allowed in, a large number of trade members bolstered the consumer figures. Simon Nash of Green Oil commented: “Although, personally, I’m comfortable with just the one trade day, I’ve noticed that the trade are attending on the consumers’ days, too.” Acknowledging that once meetings and networking has taken place, the majority of dealers would have little time to spare, he added: “I suppose that the typical dealer has a lot to fit into a tight schedule. With meetings, travelling and networking taken into account, I imagine that there’s little time to whip round the stands and talk business with current and prospective contacts.” Communication complacency? Stands were of course rammed with customers for the majority of the trade day, so in that respect the show was a triumph. By no means is the demand for
a second day unanimous – many attendees held the belief that it would be possible to fit a hectic schedule into one day, but “only if the industry invests in improving its communications training”. Post-show, one of the first threads to appear on the BikeBiz.com forum discussed the difficulty in accessing exhibiting personnel. But was this due to stands being busy? Gary Lee Cooper of Zone Cycle Centre in Nottingham described a “complacency” among a portion of exhibitors who ought to pro-actively seek to keep people on their stands. He spoke to BikeBiz shortly after the show and said: “To maximise the value for money aspect of having a stand, personally I
would ensure staff are trained to be able to politely acknowledge those waiting to be seen and say ‘I’ll be with you shortly’. With a show as busy as Cycle it’s not always possible to see everyone on your list, but it should be the exhibitors looking to drive conversations. I often find it’s the reverse.” Although appreciative of the volumes crowding some stands, Cooper added: “There was one particularly important stand that I visited three times and was unable to catch an opportunity to speak with a rep. We took along four staff on the trade day to make sure we had everything covered, too.” As suggested previously by respected industry speaker Jay Townley, the bicycle trade could
benefit from taking advice from outside the industry. Forum comments suggest that Npower, although sticking to a basic sales routine, were actively approaching potential customers – and, as a result, securing sales. Hannah Piercy from Npower told BikeBiz: “Our staff are all directly employed and many have been on-board for several years, so they’re fairly used to meeting and greeting customers. However, we do put them through intensive training to ensure that there are no confidence issues. There’s no use in a shy salesperson! Cycle is great value for money for us and our pro-active approach certainly secures customers. It’s highly likely we’ll be there again next year.”
VIEWS FROM THE BIKEBIZ FORUM... “After hearing ‘Company X’ was trying to recruit dealers at the show, I hung around on the stand for a while looking at bikes. But no one was in a hurry to speak to me.” Bikeshed “I found the stands to be either very helpful and structured in the way they talked to you, or just plain crap. I ended up putting my badge on, which I hate doing, but it didn’t make
much of a difference. I remember working for a supplier and always looking out for anyone who looked like they needed assistance. Me and the missus walked off a few stands as we weren’t even acknowledged.” Winnie “It is a problem in the bike trade – it’s full of nerds with no social skills.” Shaun C
“Some of the stands were very unimpressive. If you’re going to go to the cost of renting the space, you really ought to invest some money in your displays.” Stevebrc “The NPower lot were professionals. What they were doing was their day job; it’s what they were trained to do and what they are good at, which is why they do the job.” DocB
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CYCLE ‘08 REVIEW
All eyes on you… Event director Andrew Brabazon was perhaps the most popular man in the city for the four days of Cycle ‘08. Mark Sutton jumps on the media bandwagon and tracks the man himself down for a post-show reflection...
John Squire shows off just a small portion of the media’s flurry of cycling coverage
You’ve been unusually popular with the media this year – why do you feel they’ve targeted you this year? There’s a huge momentum behind cycling, what with the Olympic and paralympic triumphs, so I guess it’s just on the media agenda at present. Our PR company works tirelessly to reach every journalist in our database, but we’ve actually found they’ve been keen to track us down. This year Cycle has had more column inches in the mainstream press than ever before, whereas before it was just the cycle press. This is great news for us, because it’s never easy to reach non-cyclists. This morning [during the show] I’ve just agreed to do another radio show, I’ve been on ITV two days in a row, done two mainstream TV interviews, several radio shows and have been told my name has appeared in London’s free press too. Cycle has, without a doubt, received more attention than ever before. Will the show be forced to take space upstairs next year? We can’t make those kind of decisions until we begin taking re-bookings. We can say that there’s already been strong enthusiasm among exhibitors in terms of making sure space is available in 2009. This year we booked up 20 per cent more floor space, which was made possible by re-arranging some features. Are you expecting an early surge in bookings for next year’s event? We handed out the re-booking forms on the final Sunday, so perhaps. We hope people will realise the numerous sponsorship opportunities, especially with our new feature additions. I predict that we’ll begin to see the emergence of new markets next year, namely the BMX trade who now have a great ‘skate park’ style feature to support interest.
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The show’s aim is to represent cycling as a whole. In particular this year we’ve noted an increase in softgoods exhibitors – supported by the fashion show – which represents an increasingly important market for IBDs. Cycle is increasingly compared to Eurobike – does this please or concern you? We’re flattered to be compared to Eurobke. Our aim is to constantly raise the bar and I think we’re equal in quality to any show. With continued industry support, the sky really is the limit. The majority of exhibitors BikeBiz has spoken with are in favour of an extra trade day at Cycle – is this a possibility? We always monitor feedback from our exhibitors and attendees and look at ways of satisfying demand. There’s absolutely no reason why the show couldn’t have two trade days. However, we’d have to look at whether two of each would best suit, or two trade and three consumer days. Many claim to be unable to fit travelling, meetings and touring the show into a day – how do you respond to that comment? For those who get here early, I’d say it’s still achievable. On average, consumers stay for four hours. Trade members typically stay longer. Anecdotally, the feedback says people are travelling from farther away than ever before to attend.
I’m delighted. Numbers are, of course, putting a smile on my face. To walk around the show having received no criticism, I’m happy. We actually rooted out over 30 consumers desperately trying to gain access on the trade day. It’s encouraging that people are that keen, but of course trade days must remain exclusive. Which companies weren’t exhibiting that are now on your wish list? Every major brand that isn’t at the show this year is on our wish list. The more unmissable we can make the show, the better for everyone. It’s really great to have seen promising development this year. The creative that we use today is actually very similar to that of Earl’s Court’s original cycling show held back in 1937. Our team works very hard to achieve that ‘unmissable’ status in everyone’s minds. They do a great job. Tell us about the BikeAbility schools scheme run on the Friday of the show this year: It’s a show first and was created alongside Cycling England with the aim to get kids interested in cycling at a primary school age. The BikeAbility project gives kids a structured way of learning about cycling and makes it a lot of fun. If our show wants to see continued growth, we have to invest in teaching these kids a life skill. We’ve had over 200 kids taking part this year.
How has this year’s show gone from your perspective?
CYCLE ‘08 REVIEW
Product round up: 2008 Cycle was used by many exhibitors as a platform to introduce brands and launch product to the UK trade. BikeBiz whipped round the stalls to find out what will be on shelves in 2009… CHICKEN CYCLE KIT LAS helmets recently appointed Chicken Cyclekit as its new distributor in the UK. Commenting on the news, MD Roberta Ghilardi said: “We have sold some models in the past, but our new range needed a new distributor. We have many improvements and now offer an exceptional range. We are confident we can obtain a larger percentage sale in the UK market.” The highly successful Squalo model worth £100 is given away free to dealers buying a £550 sample pack of 15 helmets spread over seven
ACT The ACT stand was often packed at Cycle, with attractions such as the wheelbuilding and the ‘Fastest Wrench Competition’. (Results of which can be found on the ACT’s consumer website www.thecyclingexperts.co.uk.) The competition challenged both trade and consumers to remove the front wheel from a bike, take out the inner tube and lift it above head height, put the inner tube back in the tyre, inflate to 20psi and re-fit the wheel into the bike. The fastest
QOROZ Titanium-only brand Qoroz had never been seen in the UK before Cycle. As a result, the two-year-old brand, started by engineer Marcus Eales, drew plenty of attention from titanium enthusiasts. Eales, who runs an engineering company, told BikeBiz: “I loved my titanium Litespeed, but was split between that and the feel of my Bianchi. This is the point when Qoroz was born. All of our models (four) carry a lifetime warranty on the frames and at present we’re selling direct to retail. We’re seeking international distributors for the brand, though.” He added: “Dealers seemed pleased with our price points, which are very competitive for a full titanium build.”
different models. Comfort is the byword for the Fantastico for kids up to a new Track and Chrono model. A move into more cycling accessories by Chicken Cyclekit was anticipated. “LAS is one of a number of new brands we are taking on for 2009. There’s great dealer margins available on all helmets, Rigida rims, Ryde wheels and Squire locks. All of these brands give our customers a better return. By adding these brands to a new range of Vittoria city and touring tyres, we are offering a wider choice of everyday products,” said director, Cedric Chicken.
time was set on the consumer day, Saturday, at just 44 seconds. Mark Brown of the ACT said: “The response to ACT attendance has been great, there’s been loads of shops, both prospective customers and existing members swinging by. It’s great to see that everyone’s upbeat about 2009’s trading.” And Brown is almost certain that the ACT will take space at Cycle ‘09. He told BikeBiz: “I would actually like to do something unique next year. I thought about the possibility of
introducing a live trade forum to this year’s show, but time ran out. This is definitely something we think is worth looking into for next year.”
UNIVEGA / 50 CYCLES Univega had plenty to shout about on its re-entry to the UK market, following a ten-year absence. 50 Cycles, primarily an importer of electric bikes, took on the brand and is offering some great introductory offers to retailers, in the hope of reminding both trade and consumers of the brand. Eight models were shown at Cycle, all of which are available
at a reduced price for the “foreseeable future”. The highend bikes feature carbon fibre frames, which according to stand staff, are made in a two-piece process meaning that the tubing can be inspected before finishing. The frames have a super-low resin content meaning they are intensely strong. The Univega website is now live at www.univega.co.uk and 50 Cycles is taking orders now.
UPGRADE DMR hinted that the future of the brand will revolve around pushing the boundaries of quality, while condensing the range ever so slightly. At Cycle, Matt Ryley of Upgrade told BikeBiz: “I feel that vastly expanding the range isn’t the way forward in the present climate. If anything, DMR will turn its focus to refining existing product and upping the quality of every build. “We’ve got on display, for the first time a heat-treated frame, which although slightly more expensive, is top quality.” He added: “The UK market is much bigger on 24-inch wheeled bikes in terms of sales than in Germany and the USA – DMR’s other two biggest markets. This means that we will continue to offer both 24 and 26-inch wheeled bikes. I can confirm that we’ll have a few new bits ready for Core Bike” DMR also debuted an array of five colours anodised onto the range of components. Coloured
wheels were also shown for the first time. All of these products will feature in Upgrade’s catalogue, due in January. Lezyne wowed attendees with a variety of what can only really be described as ‘bling.’ The tools range remains true to its original sex-appeal. However, it has dieted slightly to become even sleeker, all the while retaining function. Lezyne’s highlight however, had to be the range of T-pumps. The polished wooden handles and sleek shiny chambers were impossible to overlook, they simply stood out.
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 39
CYCLE ‘08 REVIEW
EARLY RIDER AND NUTCASE Early rider claimed to have secured 20-plus new dealers on the first show day alone. The range of three bikes – the Evo, for kids up to five-years, the classic and the lite – are aimed at toddlers and small children. Featured on the same ‘workshop style’ stand was a safety brand also aimed at young ’uns. Nutcase helmets are designed to make protection attractive to three
CAMPAGNOLO Campagnolo was one of the busier stands – and for good reason. Cycle was the UK debut for the 11-speed groupset, for which it was recently announced would carry a fouryear warranty (complete groupset ownership necessary).
The group consists of a a super lightweight crankset, ergopower controls, a rear derailleur, chain and cassette. The extra cog is squeezed into the same space as the previous ten, six of the sprockets are made from titanium and the rest from Nickel-chrome treated steel.
to five year-olds. Multiple colourful designs and graphics were on show among the Early Rider bikes. The brand, which is the brain-child of Nike’s ex-global brand director, also has helmets designed around watersports and skateboarding. Various sizes are available, all of which are adjustable via a built-in toggle. Dealers can declare interest and place preorders now, but stock is not due until spring.
Of course, the weight is minute – the derailleur has carbon fibre plating and pulley cage, with titanium bolts. The carbon brake lever has been improved, with a shorter reach, silicon rubber vari-cushion hoods and ultra low friction casings.
MIRRACO Now into its third model year, Mirraco took space at Cycle for the first time in the hope of growing its UK market share, which is still relatively small. Mike Russell, sales manager at Mirraco, said: “The UK market is still relatively small for us, but the reception to our range at Cycle has been positive. Our sales had been expanding and with plentiful interest on trade day, business looks set to increase. We think that on the trade day alone, we’ve managed to increase our UK dealer base by 15 to 20 per cent. Ideally we’d like more time to access the trade audience.” Mirraco has now begun selling aftermarket product. The brand is distributed via Trek in the UK.
PASHLEY Pashley turned its attention to the girls at Cycle, launching a yet-to-be-named model in shocking pink and other ‘girly’ colours. Designer, Chloe Williams, said: “From feedback, we’ve found that not all girls have fallen for the Princess model, possibly due to the name. So we thought we’d try a new model for the ladies. The model doesn’t have a name as yet, but there’s been a
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bundle of attention drawn by the more shocking and fresher colours not traditionally seen on a Pashley. The model has a female-suited spec sheet, including anatomically designed bars and grips best suited to the female form.” Lee Pillinger of Pashley joined the list of those calling for more time with trade customers, saying: “Two trade days absolutely, 100 per cent, has my support.”
SPLIT SECOND IMPORTS Split Second was one of the increasing number of BMX exhibitors making the most of the increased profile of the sport at the show. The stand wasn’t short of news either. Helmet brand Protec is now on board with Split Second, Revell bikes were shown for the first time and the stand was awash with colour, too. Andy Bishop of Split Second spoke to BikeBiz about the Protec brand. He said: “Pro-tec is a fantastic brand that really complements what we’ve got going on with our BMX ranges. We’ll have an immediate amount of stock, then once that’s gone our next shipment will land early in 2009. We’ll email all current Pro-tec dealers, including Paligap’s dealer list.” Paligap has ceased carrying the brand. Anthony Revell, also of Split Second, talked about the newly
FISHER OUTDOORS Fisher Outdoors debuted the innovative Bspoke clothing range at Cycle ‘08. Supported by Transport for London’s drive to promote cycling in the capital, the Bspoke team has designed two separate year-round collections for men and women. The clothing was modelled on the catwalk by the dance crew over the four days, too.
launched Revell range, telling Xxx BikeBiz: “This is the first time we’ve shown the Revell brand, which consists of six bikes in both 24 and 26-inch wheel sizes. Over the past year we’ve been focusing on the Stolen BMX brand, but as the company grows, we thought it time to enter this new territory.” The stand previewed all of Eastern, Ruption and Stolen’s 2009 models. Revell informed BikeBiz that the Eastern brand was Winstanley’s biggest selling BMX in 2007. Of all the bikes on show, Riding High had just one black bike on show. Haynes commented: “Dealers will know that the demand for colours is huge, so that’s something our brands have taken into consideration on 2009 models. For example, Stolen has just launched a powder-coated glowin-the-dark cassette wheel.”
The clothing in the range uses discreet reflective belts, piping and branding on all outerwear, designed to keep cyclists safe at night. Innovative lightweight fabrics prevent wind and rain from breaching the surface, yet each garment maintains breathability. Bspoke clothing has been designed to be desirable both on and off the bike.
CYCLE ‘08 REVIEW
2STAGE BIKES 2stage was attracting attention for a variety of reasons at the show. Firstly, it appeared to be the only stand previewing SRAM’s Hammerschmidt, but primarily because of the unique 2stage suspension system seen on each model. The brand travelled from New Zealand to debut its bikes at Cycle and now plans to target the UK downhill market. All research and development is done in New Zealand and there are now three bikes available to the UK trade. Two models were on show at Cycle – the Zed8 freeride rig and the Elite9 downhill bike. The third model is an all-round
AXEL IMPORTS Cycle was used by Axel Imports to launch the Titus 2009 range. Four models, made up of two full suspension models, a steel hardtail and a road bike, were shown to retailers. The new road model also gave retailers the first look at Titus’s Exogrid frame. Andy Foley, Director of Axel Imports, said: ”The 2009 range from Titus is really exciting for both road and mountain bikes, The Arizona-based company BIKEBIZ.COM
mountain bike which is dubbed the AM8. The 2stage UK office is run by Peter Evans who is presumably a busy man postshow, judging by the crowds on the exhibitors stand. He gave BikeBiz a demonstration, telling us: “One shock is tailored for smaller bumps in the track and the second shock only engages on larger impacts. The second shock locks out during pedalling, making it an incredibly efficient mover over rough terrain.” The downhill bike has already proved itself at international level, placing second at the Oceania Downhill Championships in Australia.
GREEN OIL Simon Nash of Green Oil (pictured posing with the eco-friendly Green Oil robot) was debuting an entire range of environmentally friendly maintenance products (even the brand’s press release appeared to be printed on recycled paper). EcoGrease is the company’s latest product and, as with all other items, it contains no lithium and no Teflon. The solution repels water and is also anti-corrosive, yet once it has served its purpose the grease will simply bio-degrade. All Green Oil packaging can be returned once used, to be either recycled, re-filled or returned for a cash bottle deposit. The Green Clean, Chain Clean and Green Oil products were also on show, all of which are completely natural, contain no petrochemicals and contain no animal derivatives.
CUBE Cube’s stand was enormous and for one reason – the range is extensive. The Dutch brand has solutions for all modern day cycling needs and provides a strong men’s and women’s range. Mario Hartloper told BikeBiz about the company’s latest developments. “We have two guys permanently on the road in the UK and our staff numbers have actually doubled over two
months. The image of Cube is changing slightly; we’re offering a lot of bike for the money and people are picking up on this. We find that consumers tend to click with brands, because they like its history and they like the product. So that’s why 2009 looks promising for Cube – we’ve got a great line-up.” One highlight of the catalogue is the stunning Stereo WLS (Women’s Like Series), designed
to have a perfectly balanced geometry, making it ideal for prolonged, multi-terrain rides. The HPA frame is four times butted, in advanced hydroforming technology. Dual Trail Control gives 140mm of active travel and features a hollow axle link and the 3D box, plus industrial grade bearings. The 2009 range, all manufactured in Germany, is now ready for order.
has recently received VC funding and moved to a much bigger factory to cope with Demand. Titus are bucking the trend here when most American bespoke brands are moving production to Asia.” Trade enquiries were apparently very strong, with many new dealers interested in carrying the revamped Titus range. One existing dealer has since reported an 80 per cent increase in his Titus-specific web traffic.
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 41
TOOLS OF THE TRADE: Jagwire also makes a range of tools
Padding your margins If you’ve got an account with Moore Large, you’ll no doubt be aware of the extensive Jagwire range of braking pads, cables and accessories. However, you may not have been aware of the brand’s tool range or the potential margins to be had. Mark Sutton finds out more… WHILE 80 per cent of Jagwire business goes to OEMs, the fastest growth in recent years has come from the brand’s IBD accounts, all of whom have chosen the brand’s aftermarket parts for its quality and potentially high margins. If it’s good enough for the likes of Specialized, Ghost, GT, Merida – in fact most of the world’s largest manufacturers – then you can bet that it will perform well at retail level. Business is consistently growing too. The company has seen 40 per cent growth this year, on top of 39 per cent the previous year (including OEM deals). When BikeBiz asked managing director George Stavrinaki on whether growth included expanding the product portfolio, he says: “Actually, we aim to keep our aftermarket portfolio condensed, so we’re not constantly launching product that is superfluous to requirements. Jagwire already has 386 products in its aftermarket portfolio. I would guess that 85 per cent of those items are carried by Moore Large, the other 15 per cent may not be suited to the UK market. Should a dealer spot something they cannot obtain from their BIKEBIZ.COM
Jagwire has a catalogue of 386 aftermarket parts
local distributor, they can always get in touch with our office in Belgium who will be happy to assist. All in all we have a fantastic relationship with Moore Large, so I’m confident it will be able to point dealers in the right direction should there be products not in stock.” Stavrinaki is a firm believer that Jagwire product is every bit as good as Shimano’s offerings, and at what he claims to be better margins. When asked how this is possible, he explains: “We do a lot of market research with both our end-users and we also are interested in what dealers have to say. We’re careful not to set MSRPs in Europe, as the exchange rates vary so much. Simply stocking our basic cable reel gives dealers the potential to earn between 70 to 80 per cent margins. Sales of all aftermarket product is
consistently growing, with pad sales doing particularly well. “I feel dealers are attracted to Jagwire because the range is extensive, yet organised. Dealers will find all braking solutions from just the one source and, as a bonus, it all comes in attractive and informative packaging.” Market research on components as small as brake pads may sound slightly overthe-top, yet according to feedback, consumers are looking to customise their bikes right down to the last detail. And as if you couldn’t have guessed what end-users are fussing over, it’s all about colours. Stavrinaki says: “Consumers like the idea that they can own a bike that has an identity right down to the last detail. The colour trend seemed to begin here in the US, but now Europe
has gone mad for this attention to detail. Even our OEM-specced product has a certain degree of custom detail now. The product we do in a variety of colours has the potential to accent a bike really well. There’s increased demand for custom cable housing, something we noted at Interbike. Some of our new product matches iconic brand colours. For example we’ve produced ‘Merida green’ housings and custom engineered hoses to meet the spec of Avid and Shimano housings.” But as a general rule aren’t things either strong, or pretty? When asked about product testing, Stavrinaki reels off a list of processes each product goes through before being tested aboard bikes. He says: “We have a variety of methods and standards to which product adheres. In the development
stages everything is machine tested on custom-built rigs. We have to meet EU standards, but on top of that we also make sure the old German DIN standard is met, which in my opinion is a much harder standard to meet. Of course we do bike-tests once product is fit to leave the factory. We have to get accurate readings of stopping distances in both wet and dry conditions, test for the rate of wear and also monitor the heat, as pads are prone to quickly warming to extreme temperature.” Once product is given the all clear and is on shelves, dealers can invest in the Jagwire tool range, which is primarily designed for professional mechanics, but is also saleable to the spanner-savvy customer. Of the highlights, Jagwire produces a Campagnolo ‘padpress’ designed to pressure fit the new brakes which do not feature screw on pads. The tool also works to remove the cartridges once worn. The range of tools consists of many other custom tools, but also contains standard hydraulic hose cutters and many other common tools. www.moorelarge.co.uk www.jagwireusa.com
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 43
PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT Send your recruitment news to firstname.lastname@example.org People & Recruitment is Sponsored by Halfords
Zyro expands marketing department Distributor appoints Watson and Raven to UK team Cannondale hires first women’s product manager LYRIEL JORDAN Lyriel Jordan has joined Cannondale as the women’s product manager, a position only created last month. Jordan has previously been store manager at of one of Erik’s Bike Shops in the US. During her time there, Jordan led women-only bike rides and designed women’s specific products in her free time. Jordan commented: “I’m excited to be able to inspire more women to ride bikes. Cannondale already has great women’s fit, so I will be looking at the touch points, like handlebars and saddles to see if we can make the bikes even more comfortable and appealing.” During the mid-90s, Cannondale was one of the first manufacturers to make bicycles anatomically designed for women.
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JANE WATSON Jane Watson has begun as Zyro’s first marketing manager and sits on the management team under the company’s directors, Simon and Julie Ellison, and Andy Budd. Jane brings with her a track record in all-round marketing, having already established successful functions, overseeing multiple brands across sports apparel, electronic goods and licensed products. “My role is to facilitate the long-term growth of Zyro, working closely with the management team to establish a stronger company identity, and with our five brand managers to strengthen the image and profitability of our brands.” Watson is one of several recent appointments at the
Jane Watson company based in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. Its workforce has already expanded approximately ten per cent during the past 12 months, satisfying its growth and subsequent expanding office and warehouse requirements. For marketing enquiries, contact Watson at email@example.com or on 01845 521705.
CHRIS RAVEN Chris Raven has also joined the distributor as brand manager for ABUS locks and helmets, and Prologo high performance saddles. Bringing a wealth of knowledge with him, Chris has progressed from product management roles for Memory-Map. Previously, he also worked for Fisher’s accessories department and prior to that, Cycle Heaven retail in York. A keen mountain biker, having worked also as a mountain bike guide in Chamonix and the States, Chris said: “Having cut my cycle industry teeth in the world of retail at Cycle Heaven in York, I moved on to become a product manager at Fisher Outdoor. I then worked a short stint for the guys at Memory-Map before relocating to Zyro.”
Chris Raven Contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01845 521708. “We value all our employees, like our customers, and it’s very important to us that we invest in skilled, professional and friendly staff, equipped and ready to continually help us take the business forward” adds Julie Ellison, MD.
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 45
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RETAIL ONLY The trade’s guide to the best customer service, up-and-coming IBDs and the hottest products
RETAIL COMMENT I’VE JUST read the words ‘carbon fibre’ and ‘downhill bike’ in the same sentence. Now there’s a bold move. But don’t the properties of metal better serve the purpose of going big? Carbon composites have a much lower density than any metal, and while the tensile strength is immensely high, if it’s going to break, it’s going to shatter rather than bend. It’s not this product that’s of concern, it’s the copycat products that may follow from less-experienced manufacturers. This leads me to ask: when will this obsession with bulimic bike parts come to an end? Any bike that will inevitably leave the ground should surely boast strength above weight on its spec-sheet. A few weeks back I handed two halves of a handlebar carrying a lifetime warranty to my local IBD. I almost felt guilty for the breakage. I feel for the distributors and stores who have to deal with the hassle of warranty claims like mine. It wasn’t their fault the bars gave way (after just three months of light use, I should add).
Product should surely boast strength ahead of weight on its spec-sheet. Yet, I find it a rarity. Do dealers really want to deal with warranty issues on product that has the potential to haunt them for a ‘lifetime’? Product cannot become lighter without sacrificing something. I’m starting to wonder if we’ll add the ‘high-end bicycle shaped object’ abbreviation to forum slang soon. HEBSO? I welcome responses via the letters page, should anyone disagree that making things lighter may no longer be progress. In my opinion, the strength to weight ratio has reached a plateau not to be crossed. Will shaving a gram or two from an already lightweight bike mean the end-user enjoys cycling more? No. Will it increase product recalls and accidents? Very possibly. I fear that soon enough we’ll see victims of ‘progress’ and, since the precedent has been set to sue, (ATB vs Ide) smaller manufacturers may join that casualty list. Those familiar with the case will know that ATB was not to blame for Ide’s misfortune. Nonetheless, even on appeal, the claimant was awarded damages. CEN standards may still need work, it seems. On that topic, don’t forget to clear stocks of all product marked with the old BS6102 standard before January. It will soon be worth very little. Mark Sutton
IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE CUSTOMER SERVICE
Cycle Surgery talks us through why opening a workshop in the early hours of the morning is much-appreciated by commuters
What products should you highlight with a few fairy lights come this gifting season? BikeBiz provides some answers
TRAILERS AND TRAILER BIKES
Whether the goods be children, moonshine or camping supplies, BikeBiz offers a rundown of what’s available for your customers’ outdoor excusions
CUSTOMER SERVICE Customer Service sponsored by
About Cycle Surgery Location: Chain store Telephone: 0800 298 8898 Web: www.cyclesurgery.com Email: email@example.com
Catching the commuter Three of Cycle Surgery’s London stores open early to offer City commuters early morning cycle aid should they run into trouble on route. Mark Sutton asks what else the chain does for cyclists... Describe a typical Cycle Surgery experience: Our staff are all cycle enthusiasts and our mantra is that we want customers to leave our stores more enthusiastic about cycling than when they came in. While that may sound odd to a dedicated enthusiast, many of our London customers are commuters and riding is simply a way to get to work. We want to turn commuters into passionate cycle enthusiasts. Some of your workshops open early, why is this? Holborn, Kings Cross and Kensington High Street all open early as they are on commuter routes and it allows customers to drop off bikes for services and repairs on their way to work. It also enables us to deal with people who just turn up stressed because their bike has broken. We can’t always work the miracles required to get people back on the road instantly, but we do our best.
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What kind of after-sales service can a returning customer expect? All of our stores have full workshop facilities and dedicated workshop staff, our busier stores have three or four full-time mechanics, and we keep them all busy. For most people after-sales service means servicing and repairing your bike, which of course we take care of as quickly as possible. With the current demands from the ever-growing commuting population in London, workshop waiting times can seem long, but as we open more shops (Kings Cross and Kensington High Street) we are able to spread the work around so that we can deliver better and more efficient customer service. We also deal with warranty issues and any other problems customers have at each store – this keeps things on a personal level with the customer and is a great way to build a positive rapport.
Do you operate a Cycle To Work scheme? We work with Cycle Scheme which offers one of the slickest systems available and excellent service levels. We have been with them since the Government initiative started and plan to continue the partnership. We obviously offer Cycle Scheme to our own staff, too. What staff training and initiatives do you run? As we grow organically we need to do more and more training. In the past we have worked with Colin Rees and this winter we plan to work with Penny Blake associates on developing our shop managers and sales team. Workshop staff are either Cytech qualified or in training to become qualified. How environmentally friendly is the store? Some of our stores are in quite old buildings, so are not as efficient as we would like them to be. However, as we refurbish
and set up new shops we use the most energy efficient options we can afford on lighting, heating and cooling. Now that we have centralised warehousing we can process all the deliveries in one place and recycle the majority of the packaging. Stock is sent to stores in re-usable containers to produce minimal waste at the stores. Our workshops use ecofriendly cleaners from Safety Clean and we make sure all dirty fluids are properly disposed of. We are also currently working on a trial initiative with bicycle aid charity Re-cycle, where our reclaimed bike parts are used to rebuild bikes that are sent to Africa. Most of the store staff cycle to work and our new warehouse has been set up with showers and secure bike storage to encourage the HQ staff to cycle to work. There are some very nice bikes in there. What does Cycle Surgery do for cycling above and beyond the call of duty?
We had two mechanic stations on the London to Brighton charity ride, we sponsored two off-road triathlons (XTF – see www.allabouttriathlons.com. We’re also one of the main sponsors at this year’s Bicycle Film Festival. We worked with the Camden Green Fair in Regents Park and there is more to come. In the past our stores have worked with local councils to support cycling initiatives in the local community and we will continue to support this whenever opportunities arise. We also have a CycleSurgery race team who compete in various events (recently achieving 10th place at Sleepless in the Saddle). We cover their race fees and transport costs, supply team jerseys and make sure they get the best deal possible on their gear. While it often gets a good result, this is more about team building, testing new gear and having some ambassadors for our brand at the events. BIKEBIZ.COM
DECEMBER Core Bike Preview Parts and Accessories: Wheels, tyres, inner tubes and pumps
Editorial Deadline: November 17th 2008
Advertising Deadline: November 18th 2008
To advertise call Carly Bailey on +44 (0) 1992 535647, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org For editorial contact Mark Sutton on +44 (0) 1992 535646, or email him at email@example.com
JANUARY 2009 Lubrication and Cleaning Fluids Tools Core Bike
Editorial Deadline: December 8th Advertising Deadline: December 9th
FEBRUARY 2009 Helmets P&A: Frames, forks, gears and brakes Ice Bike
Editorial Deadline: January 14th Advertising Deadline: January 15th
MARCH 2009 ABC Figures and Magazine Analysis Folding Bikes Motorised Bikes
Editorial Deadline: February 16th Advertising Deadline: February 16th
APRIL 2009 Parts and Accessories: Saddles, seatposts, grips, bottles and cages Bike Security
Editorial Deadline: March 16th Advertising Deadline: March 16th
MAY 2009 Food and Drink Womenâ€™s Products
Editorial Deadline: April13th Advertising Deadline: April 14th
JUNE 2009 Epos Systems Complete Bikes
Editorial Deadline: May 14th Advertising Deadline: May 15th
JULY 2009 BMX Heart rate monitors and navigation
Editorial Deadline: June 15th Advertising Deadline: June16th
AUGUST 2009 Bicycle Lighting Bicycle Carrier Racks
Editorial Deadline: July 13th Advertising Deadline: July 14th BIKEBIZ.COM
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 49
STOCKING FILLERS Kensson As the distributor for Sweetskinz tyres in the UK, Kensson will be promoting its varied and colourful tyre designs this festive season. A new range of designs has just landed, vastly expanding the range of just four available previously. There are now 13 designs available, including a snakeskin style, fire style, USA flag and tribal patterns, to name a few. Sweetskinz wear just like other tyres with similar specs. The colour and reflectivity will last the life expectancy of your tyre except where the rubber meets the road.
Gifts Galore Christmas is just around the corner. And the big question this year is: will customers spend regardless of financial concerns? BikeBiz documents what’s currently on the market suited to a sub-£50 budget...
Buff THE LAUNCH of the 2008/2009 collection of Buff Headwear will feature several cartoon characters from popular kids’ programmes. The Junior Buff collection will include designs featuring Mickey Mouse and his friends, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy, Hello Kitty, children’s TV shows Les Tres Bessones and Lazy Town plus cult classics from Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the gang, and in Baby Buff, Winnie the Pooh. With headwear now highly recommended as sun protection for school in the summer months, a Buff featuring a favourite cartoon character is more appealing to a younger crowd and therefore more likely to be worn. An adult's version of the Spiderman Buff will soon be available to big kids too.
Seventies FOR THOSE with a penchant for BMX history, Seventies has compiled every video ever produced by Backyard and Seventies between 1989 and 2005. The six DVD boxset contains the 1992 Backyard Jam video, the 1992 KOC video, Behold the Wonders That Never Cease, Angus, Unlock Your BMX, On Location, Last Resort, Word, Livid, Less Is More, From Love To Hate, Anthology, Number 10 and
Paligap PERHAPS the most festive item in our review, the Kona 'Mooseman' sock, despite not taking design influence from Christmas, features a man wearing antlers on the lower leg. Made from 50 per cent CoolMax, 40 per cent Nylon and ten per cent Lycra, the sock combines a great level of moisture management and comfort.
Extra MONTANE, available via Extra, has developed a range of reflective jackets that can be folded or rolled into a small satchel and tucked into the rider's
video commentaries, plus a wealth of bonus material. The attractive boxset comes illustrated with pictures form the history of BMX and quotes from professionals who lived and rode in the Backyard era. Extras include audio commentaries and contributions from creators Mark Richards, Simon Ham, Edd Allen and Stuart Dawkins. The boxset would make a great gift for anyone who rode through BMX's first heyday. Retail price is £35. Dupont CoolMax CoreSpun fibres are spun around Lycra to create a single yarn so the socks provide great abrasion resistance, a high level of ankle support and blister protection. The sock retails for £8 and comes in white, black or blue. Also from Kona for under ten quid comes the 'Lisa' women's grip. The grip has a thinner diameter for smaller hands, features a 'lips' motif and is available in either black or pink. pocket when convenient. The jackets are covered in super-reflective 3m Scotchlite material, which is designed to redirect any light shone onto the surface back in the direction in which it came. The Featherlite Velo Jacket claims to be the world's lightest and most packable cycle-specific shell jacket. Incorporating 360-degree reflective detailing, 'Afterburner' EBP venting and a sport-specific fit, this jacket has the potential to be a gifting winner with commuters this winter.
The zip-up garment comes with a zipcord equip pouch, which itself features a velcro loop for clipping to the belt. Breathability is also another strongpoint of Montane's garments, which channel excess body heat away, while preventing the elements breaching the surface. The advanced Pertex Microlight fabric is designed to be soft and light. At approximately 45g/m2, the jacket offers significant weight reduction, while maintaining significant resistance to abrasion and wind chills.
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Fisher Outdoors DURING November, Fisher Outdoors has a special offer running on one-litre bottles of Muc-Off. A free brush will come with each unit (retail price £6.99). Retailers will know that Muc-Off is quite handy at shifting dirt and grime; however the brand has been working on a range of products to re-lube and repair punctures too. Also suited to the gifting season, VDO computers has a few entry-level models beginning at £9.99.
Madison ASIDE from providing a diverse range of tools, which are also suited as gifts, Park Tool has a range of utensils perfect for those barbeques at the trails. The BBQ3 set is made up of grilling tools such as tongs and a spatula with a built in pedal wrench. The set retails for £19.99 and a bottle opener is also available for £5.99. Due in stock as this mag hits doormats, The New World Disorder 9
Hotlines HOTLINES distributes O’Neal clothing and body armour in the UK and there’s plenty of new product to be stocked up on. The Stormtrooper, is O’Neal’s range of body armour. Edward Ibbetson of Hotlines tells BikeBiz: “The guys at O’Neal have put together the classiest, most cohesive range of clothing and armour that we’ve seen in a while. It covers everything from
Peter Dobbs NOT ALL customers will be comfortable making un-informed purchasing decisions on surprise gifts. This is where Peter Dobbs printing services can help you. The Hull-based printer has plenty of experience serving the cycle trade, printing vouchers, t-shirts and more. Overprinted with your company's details, these vouchers are an excellent way of boosting your sales. Six values are available: £1, £2, £5, £10, £20, £50 and each is printed with a distinctive
Italian Solutions VERMARC was founded in 1977 by Frans Verbeek, a legendary ex-pro racer from the Flanders region of Belgium. Frans had a desire to improve the conditions that riders faced during training and racing by improving the clothing they wore. Not only does Vermarc make Pro team kit, but it produces clothing of the exact
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VDO has designed an entry-level computer range that complements its C-Series. The essential features have all been included such as trip distance and actual, max and average speed on the eight-function model. They have been created with simplicity in mind, featuring large digits for ease of use. Fitting the computer has been simplified with a universal handlebar or stem mount. DVD – Never Enough, would also make a great gift to MTB enthusiast. At £19.99 retail price, customers are getting a film made exclusively in 16 mm and high definition, in conjunction with Nissan Sports Adventure and Kona Bikes. The DVD showcases talent from Darren Berrecloth, Cameron McCaul and Paul Basagoitia; the new kids like Brandon Semenuk, Alex Pro, Andreu Lacondeguy, Wayne Goss and Ben Boyko. the Rocker Knee and Elbow Guards (from £34.99 retail) to the Rampage shoe, now also available in De Rigour minimalist white.” Two signature gloves from Lance McDermot are also ready to order and begin at £29.99 retail price. Also from Hotlines, the Straitline range consists of a wealth of product that has seen great attention to detail during design. The custom levers (pictured) are just one of the brand’s ‘bling’ products. colour scheme and consecutively numbered for security reasons. Voucher trade prices are as follows: one to four pads at £7.02 per pad, five to nine pads at £6.48 per pad, or ten to 20 pads at £5.58 per pad. Research shows that customers will generally spend more than the voucher's value, further adding to your sale.
Cannondale THE FEATURES list of Cannondale's IQ 188 Wireless computer is extensive, with 27 listed on the product’s web page alone. To list just a few of the essentials, the computer is highly programmable, enables the user to select their home language, has a backlight for use in darker conditions and is easily calibrated. The model is either bar or stem mountable and, with no wires to complicate things, the user is free to focus on calculations such as distance
Raleigh RALEIGH has a variety of gifts suited to Christmas shopping. Dealers can pick up a variety of lights, locks, tools, cleaning kits, kids’ accessories and much more. Many customers will be keeping an eye on expenses this Christmas and, as a result, Raleigh has a wide range of 'on a budget' goods. The RSP lights range has introduced several new models at various price-points this season, something Raleigh heavily advertises. The range begins at just £6.99 with the LAA866 and 871 rear light models, which feature five and two LEDs respectively, all of which are packed into a slimline body suited to easy storage.
Jim Walker DEUTER IS celebrating its 110th year making packs. The German company continues to advance its product line and focus on developing efficent storage. The 2009 cycling collection is highlighted by its racing packs, with harder design lines for riders and multisport athletes alike, with the ethos of the range being maximum ventilation, comfort, durability and capacity. The 2009 line includes the Race Air Lite, Race X Air, Racer Air 1 and Race X Air 1SL, which range in price from £35 to £50. The Race EXP Air utilises Deuter’s patented Aircomfort System: a three-way ventilation system padded
Silverﬁsh same quality and style with any design, including cycling clubs’ or retail shops’ own design. Pro-team jerseys include Quick Step's World Championship garment, the items worn by the Belgium, Italian and Australian National Teams, and those worn by Silence Lotto. This season, the company is also producing a range of raincapes made from FlexoThane. 01695 577598
THINK OF the top five Christmas gifts bought at Christmas. Do socks spring to mind? For those with a Silverfish account you’re in luck this Christmas, because the Sock Guy has a brand new range of snug socks. There’s a huge range of designs – from national flags and emblems to slogans such as ‘doping sucks’. Each garment is made with 75 per cent Ultrawicking Micro Denier Acrylic, 15 per cent Nylon, and ten per cent Spandex for exceptional comfort and strength.
covered, various speed measurements, time, temperature, odometer readings and stopwatch countdowns. Cannondale also offers a wide range of clothing, from jackets and vests, to baselayers, tights and headwear. Of the headwear, Cannondale's stylish casual beanie will save granny a knitting job come Christmas. The acrylic and cotton blend make for a comfortable fit. One size fits all and it's available in just the one colour, described as Shark. Top of the range is a super-powerful single, one-watt LED model built into a precision-machined aluminium casing. The light comes with an adjustable positional bracket. Unique to this model, the beam of light can be altered to focus on a specific target or used to beam a wide arc of light. RSP also has a range of security product, consisting of ultra-hardened steel shackle locks, chain and padlocks, ground anchors, armoured locks and coil locks featuring a combination dial. with mesh. All the Race packs have capacity for up to a three-litre bladder and stowaway helmet holders. Deuter’s Hydrolite collection is made for short rides and updated with new fabric and streamlined styling. The Hydrolite 2.0 (£40) is equipped with a two-litre bladder while the 3.0 (£45) has a threelitre bladder included. They both feature full-length zippers for quicker loading. Additionally, the Airstripes ventilation system features two mesh-covered contoured foam strips with air channels and 3M reflectors. All Sock Guy socks feature ‘stretch-tofit’ sizing and the exclusive ‘easy-fit’ cuff for a perfect fit every time, on any foot. These features create superior softness and comfort and help eliminate blisters and hot spots. Each unit also features a double-stitched heel and toe for added strength and durability. Also in that top five Christmas gifts list comes gifts for pets, something Cove Bikes has decided to venture into. The Cove dog lead – retail price £22.95 – comes in one size only, in black. The lead uses a stainless steel fastener, which is easily clipped onto the dogs collar. BIKEBIZ.COM
Moore large KNOG has plenty of goods suited to the festive season, from the muchloved lights, to the range of bags traditionally associated with the brand. Following the company's move into lighting, it has announced a move into on-board computers too. But perhaps best suited to gifting comes the Knog 'Love Hate' and 'Ride Hard' gloves. Available in either mitt or long fingered design, the hand-stitched fine-grain goatskin leather has dense lateral strength and is double stitched at key wear points.
Upgrade EARLY releases from the 2009 Lezyne product range are now in-stock with Upgrade Bikes. Included in the early release is the Road Drive mini-pump, which doesn't have a single plastic part. The Road Drive comes in two sizes, can reach 160psi and has equivalent power to many full size frame pumps. The CNCmachined alloy pump features rubber o-rings, a re-enforced rubber hose, stainless steel fittings and even an alloy-machined frame mount bracket and retails for £28.99. Upgrade Bikes also has in stock the new SVtool range from
The Mitts cost £24.00, while the fingered glove costs £30.00 retail price. Alternatively, the Knog Frog lights are available in 12 different colours and cast a visibility of up to 600 metres via a superbright LED.
Lezyne. The new tools feature forged, CNC-ed, stainless steel tool bits, including all the usual allen key sizes and screw drivers, as well as the new T30 Torx tool for Shimano and FSA chainring bolts. The SV10 is ultra-light at only 101g, thanks to its slender machined design and its hard heattreated alloy chain breaker. The SV-10 retails for £26.99 and the SV-5 for £14.99. Both tools are also available in a more wallet-friendly chrome vanadium version.
Cycleﬁlm CYCLEFILM has followed up last year's successful The Trilogy - Sportive Reconnaissance three-DVD set with a new series dubbed The Italian Job. The latest boxset previews the race course of six prestigious Italian Gran Fondos. The series is available in three double-DVD cases or the full six-DVD Box Set. Retail prices are as follows: The Italian Job 6-DVD Box Set: £59.99 Part 1 – Double-DVD Set: (L’Eroica / NoveColli): £21.99 Part 2 – Double-DVD Set: (Pantani / Lombardia): £21.99 Part 3 – Double-DVD Set: (Pinarello / Camapgnolo (Sportful)): £21.99
Contacts: Stocking Fillers Cannondale 02380 391 602 cannondale.com
Hotlines 0131 319 1444 mtbdistribution.com
Raleigh 01773 532600 raleigh.co.uk
Madison 0208 385 3385 madisonb2b.co.uk
Buff 01707 852244 buffwear.co.uk
Fisher Outdoors 01727 798345 fisheroutdoor.co.uk
Seventies 0845 3103670 seventies.co.uk
Italian Solutions 01695 577598 bikes-dolan.uk.com
Extra 01933 672 170 extrauk.co.uk
Silverfish 01752 843882 silverfish-uk.com
Upgrade 01403 711 611 upgradebikes.co.uk
Peter Dobbs 01482 224007 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Walker 08707 528777 jimwalker.co.uk
Moore Large 01332 274200 moorelarge.co.uk
Cyclefilm www.cyclefilm.com +49 837 6976550
Paligap 01179 825500 paligapltd.co.uk
Hotlines 0131 319 1444 email@example.com
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 53
TRAILERS AND TRAILER BIKES
What’s in your trailer? Ison THE SURLY Big Dummy is the result of a collaboration between Surly and Xtracycle. Utilising Xtracycle’s FreeRadical system, the ‘cargo longbike' is capable of hauling human and animal friends, moonshine, banjo, mulch, and anything else you can imagine. The Big Dummy is easier to
Bellelli BELLELLI’S B-taxi is designed to transport up to two children safely, utilising five safety belts. It's worth demonstrating to customers that the B-taxi has a robust plastic base to prevent damage and knocks on uneven road. However, more importantly, the model has a steel rollbar, which has been successfully tested against overturning, side and rear impacts. The B-taxi is connected to the bicycle via a 'double-safety system’ connected at the rear axle. The B-
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taxi's cover is made from waterproof nylon, with a window on the top, which is protected by a net. On the front of the trailer there's a transparent curtain to protect children from wind and rain, while allowing them to see the route ahead. The B-taxi isn't just useful for transportation, either. There's a spacious rear pocket for stashing tools and more. Inside the cab, there are pockets tucked away from the elements. What's perhaps the most unique aspect of Bellelli's product is the fact that it's easily folded to a flatpacked square. B-taxi has been tested to exacting safety standards in both Germany and France. 01905 831919
manoeuvre through traffic, as it is shorter than traditional bike and trailer setups. Additionally, the model boasts being quicker than standard bike and trailer setups, too. There are just two wheels, which means less rolling-resistance, rotating mass and weight to haul. Having just two wheels ensures that it handles like a normal bike. There's no 'trailer sway', nor front-end shimmy.
Aevon AEVON is a Germany-based manufacturer, which has engineered bicycle trailers for the past two years. According to Benoit Goeuriot of Aevon: "The quality and the functionality of our trailers are our main concerns during design and manufacturing." From next summer, the company will have three main trailer products: the STD100, STD120 and the yet-tobe-launched KIT L80. The Aevon STD 100 offers a volume of more than 100-litres for a weight of seven kilos. The Aevon STD120 is a bit longer and offers more than 120litres for a weight of 7.5 kilos. Both
The Big Dummy is built from 4130 Cromoly steel and has features such as built-in disc calliper mounts and cantilever pivots. The frame offers clearance for tyres up to 26 by 2.5 inches. Additionally, the frame carries bottle cage and kickstand mounts. Frames come in 16, 18, 20, and 22inch sizes. 01223 213800
trailers can carry 45 kilos on the road and 35 Kilos off-road. All Aevon products are made with aluminium alloy 6061-T6 and are suspended with a Spinner-USA shock. This gives the trailer a very high strength, stiffness and stability. The hitch point on the seat post provides a great degree of freedom and an incredible reactivity. Aevon claims to have the only trailer which turns with more than 90degrees and allows turns with a very short radius. The KIT L80 was shown for the first time during the Eurobike show. This version offers around 80-litres of volume and weighs only 5.5 Kilos. +49 (0)8 052 956 897 BIKEBIZ.COM
TRAILERS AND TRAILER BIKES Pendle ENGINEERED with the highest quality in mind, the bicycle trailers in the Pendle Bike Racks range are strong, sturdy, and above all a safe and reliable way to transport bicycles. Made out of steel and galvanised for durability, the Pendle six and 12-bike capacity trailers are ideal for group outings and are very popular with associations such as cycle groups,
Coyote / Avocet THE WEERIDE Co-Pilot folding trailer bike has taken on a new hitch design this year, as well as various other revamped specs. There's now a front splash-guard, easily removable components for easy storage and a quick release system for fast detachment from the main bike. The 20-inch wheeled Co-Pilot is adjustable at the handlebars and saddle, meaning that as kids grow the product
cycle hire outlets, schools and councils. The trailers are fitted with individual bike slots or wheel mounts, which are adjustable to allow for various sizes of bicycles. The bikes are separated by tilting vertical supports, which the frames rest against. They are then held securely by straps, therefore maintaining the bicycles in an upright position to ensure safe transport. There are optional attachments available to enable the six-bike trailer to carry up to two tandems, while up to six tandems can be carried on the 12-bike trailer. All Pendle Bike Racks are made in Britain. Check out the Pendle Bike Racks website at www.pendle-bike.co.uk 01282 699555 will have a good lifespan. The trailer bike holds a rider of up to 75lbs (recommended for ages four to nine). The steel frame weighs approximately 24lbs and comes in either black and silver colour options. The Co-pilot includes a 'safety flag' and handlebar pad. Alternatively, trade customers could buy in the This Pedal Pals Tow’n’Go big wheel trike, which is suitable for children ages four-years and upwards. The model has a sturdy steel frame and chunky offroad tyres, suited to taking kids through the woods and down towpaths. The detachable wooden trailer is big enough to ensure that no toy is left behind, with a durable steel axle that can support up to 15kg of cargo. The Tow‘n’Go features an adjustable sprung bicycle saddle, handle bar and stem. 0161 727 8608
Pashley THE PASHLEY U-Plus-One hitches to the towing bike with a hitch that is secured with a locking device to the seatpost of the leader. With this in place you can be assured that you and your companion can enjoy the ride without any fear of separation. The hitch also pivots to allow easy manoeuvring. Pashley can also supply spare tow hitches to make a useful addition to all your bicycles. The U-Plus-One features a fully brazed steel frame, five-speed gears and 20-inch alloy wheels. In terms of the spec-sheet, it reads as well as most other Pashley spec-
Raleigh FOR ANY Raleigh dealer, Avenir will cover all customer demands for a child-friendly trailer bike. Avenir tag-alongs include soft kraton grips, new ahead stems and an integrated bottle and cage. The T300 trailer bike is just one of Avenir's models and is made up of sixspeed Shimano gearing, activated with a twist shift gear change. Front and rear mudguards come as standard, as does a safety flag. BIKEBIZ.COM
PCM Group PCM brand Ammaco has launched a child trailer this year, which is built from a sturdy steel frame capable of carrying 36kg. The trailer, which comes in either blue, yellow or silver, rolls on 20-inch wheels. The child will be protected by a waterproof material, into which a window is sewn. Additional features include a safety flag pole with pennant and interior storage pockets. 01268 574040
Madison MADISON'S Adventure trailer brand starts at £119.99. That gets your customer a trailer that works with any bike, featuring an easy-to-use towball design. The CT2 two-wheeled Cargo Trailer has a foldable frame, capable of being flat packed for easy storage. What's more the trailer is finished with stylish mag-style wheels that are incredibly durable.
Moore Large THE TRAIL-GATOR bicycle tow bar converts an ordinary child’s bike into a safe, towable trailer bike, whenever desired. To ride attached, simply unclip the tow bar from the stored position on the adult bike, extend it, and connect it to the receiver, which is mounted on the child’s bike.
Weighing in at just 8.5 kgs assembled, the trailer is capable of handling 60lbs in cargo. Higher in the range and both retailing for £169.99 come the Adventure Echo Six trailer bike and the Adventure AT3 Alloy two-seater bicycle trailer. The two-seater fits virtually any bike and keeps kids secure with a five-point harness. It also protects kids from the elements with a combination of mesh and clear roll-down windows. The unit converts to a cargo trailer via a foldable seat and an extra cargo safety net is built-in. Storage pockets also feature. Again, the unit is foldable and can convert into a two-seater stroller with the use of a stroller kit. 0208 385 3385
complete control of the steering. Children can then choose to either coast or pedal while they are being towed, making the ride much easier on them. 01332 274200
When the bike is connected the front wheel is lifted off the ground and a stabilising bar prevents the handlebars from turning, leaving the adult in
sheets. The build features a chromeplated steel riser bar with a reachadjustable stem, a fully-brazed steel frame and a five-speed indexed derailleur. 01789 292 263 Secondly, the Cleveland trailer bundles features such as safety bumpers, a fold up rain shield and a fitted fly screen. The unit has a two-child capacity with a combined weight of 40kg and a high visibility safety flag. The Cleveland model has tough quick release wheels, a strengthened hardbase and fold flat sidewalls for storage. Kids can hold onto internal handles when the ride gets bumpy. The model also features a fitting loop for rear LED lights. 01773 532600
Extra / Carry Freedom CARRY FREEDOM'S range of awardwinning bicycle trailers are ideal for touring or everyday shopping. The Yframe trailer is a high-quality and very capable aluminium touring trailer that can carry up to 90kg. The model is so tough it is now used by the Royal Mail for postal delivery. The basic Y-Frame can be stretched to carry longer or wider loads, making it ideal for carrying kayaks up to 5.5m
long. The City trailer is the ideal complement for a folding bicycle. When walking it’s a suitcase, when sitting it folds, and when cycling it’s designed to be hardly noticeable. What sets Carry Freedom apart is the willingness to make unique, oneoff trailers. The company has made trailers to carry up to five bicycles, trailers to carry hot pies, even trailers to carry wicker work wish makers. Carry Freedom has been based in Glasgow since 2003, and is distributed in the UK through Extra. 01933 672 170
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 55
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to: Saxon House, 6A St. Andrews Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG14 1JA BikeBiz is keen to publish your opinions, whether this is from letters, emails or via BikeBiz.com...
To all cycling parents… I AM LOOKING for folk who bike with their children to post stories on my website. I am also looking to add articles about biking with children with links back to their original sites. My name is Heidi Ahrens and I
live in Carbondale on the Western Slope of the Colorado Rockies. www.outdoorbaby.net is a website that I started six months-ago for families who enjoy the outdoors. It is a free information sharing site where
Road trippin’ for charity AS NOT SO dedicated cyclists, an extremely challenging ride that stretches across a continent from the Netherlands to Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, France and Spain doesn’t seem too appealing. Yet, considering mine and a friend’s circumstances and relationship with Cancer research UK, we decided to say ‘bring it on!’ and started planning a fund raising cycling trip for the summer of 2009. We’ll be starting in Amsterdam and head south through The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Averaging 80 miles per day, we'll make our way to Alsace-Lorraine and ride along the Rhine. We'll ride into Switzerland and have spectacular views of the snow-capped Alps as we skirt the western shore of the beautiful Lake Thun. This will be followed by a dip into the
mountains at Gstaad and Chateau d'Oex. Riding out of Chateau d'Oex will be our biggest real test as we climb up and over the Col de Mosses (approximately 4,470 feet). We'll spill out of the Alps into Rhône River valley and head towards France at the far end of Lake Geneva. During our last week on the bikes, we'll tackle the challenge of crossing the steep rugged Pyrenees and ride into Spain. At the trip's end in Barcelona, we'll look back on four weeks of blood, sweat and possibly tears and hopefully feel a great sense of achievement. Not only from the 1,500 miles we have cycled, but more for the desired £5,000 hopefully rose for Cancer Research UK. Please keep a look-out in BikeBiz in the future on how to sponsor and contact us. Grant Randlesome and Taron Peacock (cyclists)
STAR LETTER Whether it’s a hand-written, sent-throughthe-post letter, email or a comment made on the BikeBiz forum, the best letter of the month wins a box of twelve bottles of onelitre Muc-Off cleaner, supplied by Fisher Outdoor.
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parents can get advice and post ideas on how to proceed in the outdoors with their children. Many parents may need extra information on how to bring their children outside and some families may have important information to share with other families who need support to step into the natural world. I am looking for partners to help me continue this important free service to families. I would be honoured if you would post some of your questions, thoughts or tips on the website. Outdoorbaby.net also has an affordable advertisement section, as well as badges available to display on other sites. As an educator I believe that we have a responsibility to reintroduce the awe of the natural world into our lives. Please take the time to browse through www.outdoorbaby.net and encourage others to visit the site and share their stories, tips, tricks and questions. Heidi Ahrens www.outdoorbaby.net
From the Forum... Credit crunch jokes! Quote of the day (from a trader): 'This is worse than a divorce. I’ve lost half my net worth and I still have a wife.’ Maw My RBS bank manager say’s he’s now concentrating on the big issues – he sold me one outside Tesco's. BenCooper My bank called me this morning to remind me that my overdraft was outstanding. I
thanked them, but pointed out that they helped out with the good work. Mutley I think I’ve just been ripped off. Paid £1,000 for eight venison legs. Do you think it was two deer? suzuki750 I’m being taken to court for non-payment of the double glazed windows I had fitted. The salesman said they’d pay
for themselves in two-years! suzuki750 How do you define optimism? A banker who irons five shirts on a Sunday. Tom_Ibiza Q. What’s the difference between investment bankers and pigeons? A. The pigeons are still capable of making deposits on brand new BMWs Tom_Ibiza
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BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE CONTACTS BIKES & ACCESSORIES Paligap
01179 823 673
COMPONENTS USE Ltd Bob Elliot & Co Ltd Pace Cycles Limited
01798 344 477 01772 459 887 01723 867919
www.use1.com www.bob-elliot.co.uk www.pacecycles.com
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01798 344 477
RACKS Pendle Engineering Ltd Maxx Raxx Trading Ltd
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WEBSITE SERVICES I-Bikeshop.com
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BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE WEBSITE SERVICES
COMPANY PROFILE Tony Barton, sales and technical manager for Magura
Magura TEL: 0800 0323 145 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org WEB: www.magura.com
WHEELS AND TUBULARS
How can dealers become a Magura stockist? Contact our 0800 0323 145 number to open a stockist account. Our area sales managers can be booked to discuss the brand and see if the shop is suitable for Magura. Tell us about Magura’s progress in the suspension market: Magura has been involved in suspension since 1999. This was a joint venture with the Rond company in Holland. Magura then decided to move production to Bad Urach Germany and buy the complete company from Rond. Braking systems and suspension products are closely linked and Magura wanted to expand the business. We are a premium brand and firmly believe we have the best products available for performance, quality and finish and back -up. How’s business? We have had a good year with both brakes and suspension products. The Louise and Marta range of brakes have been selling very well and the whole suspension range is proving very popular with both dealers and end consumers. How did Eurobike go for you? We launched new Marta brake range and Durin 120 Marathon, Durin 100SL and Thor forks, which were well received by dealers and end consumers. We also got a Gold design award for the new Marta brake at the show. What can dealers expect in terms of margin on Magura components? Magura offers some of the best margins currently available on our
range of products. The dealers like the product because it’s not discounted like our competition, is reliable and our service and warranty back-up is second to none. How do you deal with warranty issues? It's a simple procedure. Register the product online or provide original receipt of purchase. Contact our Service department on 01530 414142 and speak with David. We offer two year warranty on forks and a five-year leak-proof guarantee on caliper and master cyclinder seals. How is Magura maintaining its huge following in the trials bike arena? We have no direct competition with the HS33 rim brake, which is the choice for rear brake. So we have a bit of a monopoly there. Also, most of the trials frames have dedicated Magura mounts built in, so this obviously helps our sales. Hope has been having a big push with its trials disc brake, which seems well liked as a front brake. We have our Louise or Marta as a disc brake to compete with them. But competition is good, as the end-user can then be assured that the companies will strive to have better production. What’s selling particularly well at present? The Durin range and Thor 140mm travel forks are performing well. On brakes, the Marta '09 has continued where the old 2002-2008 Martas left off. Louise brakes in the mid-range are also selling well, and the new Julie entry-level brake is doing well, too.
BIKEBIZ NOVEMBER 61
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IN THE SADDLE
SPOKESMAN Christmas crackers? Spokesman wonders why some traders seem to let the peak selling season of Christmas sail right past without pulling out all the stops. And he’s joined the army of industry people asking for more trade time at the Cycle Show next year… THE QUESTION: How tough will the build-up to the Christmas sales become? The good old British public will spend on the kids as usual, but how much in pounds and pence remains to be seen. Cycles are now purchased throughout the year, and are no longer the big present for Christmas. But the first cycle that a child can ride, I imagine, will still be on the to-buy list, along with scooters, bells and baskets. Raleigh is producing a few million leaflets to put purchasing a cycle into the pre-Christmas mind-set, so thanks for that, it may get the consumer into their local shop, whether it’s a Raleigh one or not. We do not seem to be an industry that takes great advantage of Christmas as shopkeepers. The only sign you tend to see is 'Join Our Christmas Club' which is really old-hat. An excellent idea would be a professional window dresser to really bring the shop alive with a Christmas feature. Try Google for the local window dressers. It could be worth talking to the art teachers at local schools, and thinking about an incentive for a school project to dress the window and inside the shop. This will give free advertising to an entire school in the bargain. Just offer a sum of money for the material they would require. Perhaps you think this sounds a waste of time – could be worth a phone call, though. When times get tough If times get tough, then take a look at what you can cut back on. The trade association can help. Stop using its banking deals to get your bank to match. If all dealers used the association deals, then they could be negotiated further down as more use the facilities. No favours are being made for the industry when matching is used to get better deals. The more who use these facilities, the better for the rest of us.
Raleigh is producing a few million leaflets to put cycle purchasing into the pre-christmas mind-set. Great news for IBDs. Banks, as we know now, have no loyalty to customers, business or private, so why be loyal to them? Now is the time to change. Also take a look at expenses – can any cuts be made there? Don’t always rely on sales. Has advantage been taken of utility packages telephone, electric, water and so on? Think about shop insurance and public liability, as well, not forgetting credit finance. Improvements make money How good is your answer-phone service? Have you actually listened to it, and if you were someone ringing it, would you leave a message on your system? Most are very poor. From experience of phoning accounts, only a very low percentage have a system. So many shops are still working in a cottage-style industry, when we have Halfords growing sales and all the websites taking mega business at Christmas. We don’t see many women entering our shops, but you have to believe that more females than males surf the web during the daytime, and they research a lot of products while they’re doing it. Is your site up to speed? Online shoppers will want details too, especially if purchasing for their children, so make specification and size (leg measurement) understandable and be sure to add some clear pictures. A section on the site about presents for Christmas is another good idea, and not always for the guys. Women also ride cycles. Cycle Show I visited the London show on the trade day and the crowds were buzzing, which I hope is a good sign. But now the dollar is at a five-year low, we will see some heavy increases. Hopefully the show will now pull the industry back together with a two-day trade option.
Mark Noble Deluxe BMX Tell us about your business: Deluxe BMX is a small BMX company, which is all about the trails – no companies are focusing on trails riding, which is basically BMX dirt jumping. So I figured, let's make a bike company based around this. Get some people together, make some good products, have some fun with it. So far, we have BMX frames, handlebars, sprockets and softgoods – oh, and some tea mugs – and I'm working on more designs for products right now. What’s your business background? I've always been in the cycle industry, since the day I left school at 17. For over 21 years we ran a familyowned publishing company, 4130 Publishing, which launched or published what we were told were the best magazines out there – namely Ride BMX, Dirt, Document Skateboard, Moto, and Dig BMX. During those years, we had a hell of a good team making the best mags in the world. Doing Deluxe BMX is a total fresh start from the ground up, a steep learning curve, but given my two-decades' worth of experience in BMX, I feel I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't. What’s the biggest rush achievable on a bike? Making it to the end of a set of trails in one piece. What’s the next big thing in cycling? Decent bikes for kids, I hope. I’m tired of walking into superstores and seeing laughable ‘bicycle’ ranges. I'd love to do something about that. Get kids onto good bikes. That could be huge. Puncture repair or new tube? Repair. Reduce waste, re-use and recycle.
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