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Issue 35 | December 2008


BikeBiz

DECEMBER 2008

FOR EVERYONE IN THE BICYCLE BUSINESS

FUTURE INTERVIEW

SILVERFISH – DECADE OF TRADE

CORE BIKE – PREVIEW

Future is topping the tables in the specialist press sector at present. Group publisher Katherine Raderecht explains how

The Saltash-based distributor is celebrating ten years in the business. Carlton Reid talks to MD Darren Mabbot

CoreBike provides dealers with a one-stop solution to making key stock choices. BikeBiz previews 2009’s show

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Halfords trials IBD-style stores ‘It’s unlikely that Halfords would progress with both BikeHut and Cycle Republic’ says financial director  Potential for 50 new stores nationwide  Retail giant to expand presence in central Europe during ‘09 HALFORDS IS trialling a new standalone store concept – Cycle Republic – which strikes plenty of similarities with its existing BikeHut chain. Can both brands be supported at once, or will Halfords have to choose one or the other?

As put by financial director Nick Wharton: “It would be unlikely that we would progress with both brands. BikeHut is performing well, but is for the most part very south-east centric. Our first two Cycle

Halford’s CEO David Wild and FD Nick Wharton

Republic stores have opened in York and Norwich. With these stores we shall roll with them for a while and learn from the model, nurturing it forward gradually until we are happy with the result. From there we will look at our options.” Halfords has laid the foundations of what could potentially be the beginning of a new chain carrying a similar range to that of BikeHut. So is this a simple rebranding? Wharton continued: “With Cycle Republic we’ll be targeting the more serious bike rider, while offering further support at the workshop end – aiming to attract customers with an independent, specialist environment. Initially, there will be a small management team

overseeing the early running of the brand, keeping a close eye on customer needs and feedback. The trial is likely to conclude at some point during 2009, at which time we will discuss the best route forward.” Confirmation was not given about a speculated website launch. Wharton continued: “We’ll make decisions on a supporting web page when we’re sure we’ve got the right name above the door and the right format. As for bricks and mortar, our latest financials highlight that we believe there’s potential to open 50 of these stores nationwide in the long run.” CEO David Wild, said during his first major delivery since joining Halfords in August: “We recognise that smaller standalone retail

stores will rely on a repair facility far more than our mainstream Halfords stores, so we will plan to optimise our labour and repair model going forward. Cycling is a significant growth market driven by the economy, sustainability and consumer well-being.” During the interim results announcement it emerged that central Europe – in particular Poland and the Czech Republic – is also seen by the company as a key expansion ground for 2009. Wild revealed: “The market characteristics of these countries remain attractive going forward. Where existing stores lie, performance remains encouraging and consumers seem to be accepting the brand. Cycle sales are hitting the mid-market ‘sweet spot’ in particular.”

Retail gears up for the house-show season IN JANUARY and February alone there are four house-shows – CoreBike, IceBike, Fisher Outdoor Expo and Raleigh’s dealer day. Registration for all is now live. And the dates for each show are as follows: RALEIGH DEALER DAYS – January 18th to 23rd at Raleigh’s Nottingham HQ; CORE BIKE – January 25th to 27th at Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire; FISHER OUTDOOR EXPO –

February 15th to 17th at Edgbaston Cricket Ground; ICEBIKE – February 24th to 26th at Madison’s Milton Keynes HQ. Madison’s IceBike expert Will Fripp told BikeBiz why house shows are important: “It’s important for us to maximise dealer attendance. At this stage we’re up on last year and dealers can confirm their attendance at any time between now and the show’s kick-off. Of course, Madison has provided plenty of

excuses to attend – both for social and business reasons. Apart from the obvious reasons – such as meeting the minds behind the brands – we’ll provide the famous Madison hospitality, £50 in M&S vouchers for those who pre-register online and will be hosting business seminars and dealer dinners with the inclusion of our Retailer Awards.” Raleigh’s marketing assistant Pam Simmons told BikeBiz: “Dates for the Raleigh Dealer

days are split among Cyclelife dealers, who are invited on January 18th and 19th, Raleigh Main Dealers who are allocated the 20th and all other dealers, both current and prospective, who may attend between January 21st to 23rd. Cyclelife and Raleigh Main Dealers will be offered free sales courses, H&S advice and marketing courses, on top of the evening dinner and chances to view new product. Accomodation is also available.”

Leanne Wellings, marketing manager for Fisher Outdoor said of its Expo: “We’ll have exclusive offers and promotions, as well as workshops to improve product and brand knowledge, seminars on key industry topics, and Expo ‘09 challenges. We aim to ensure that attendees will leave feeling informed about our brands, feel supported and valued by every area of our business and that their partnership with Fisher is stronger than ever.”


LATEST NEWS

EDITORIAL

STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE

BOOKMARK US:

MOBILE.BIKEBIZ.COM DECEMBER ISSUE 35

NEWS 6-12

Electric bike market survey, KTM’s ambitions for the UK, another BM-XMAS at retail? and more...

INTERVIEW

16

Following solid investment by the publisher in new talent, BikeBiz interviews Future

FOCUS ON…

20

BRAND SPOTLIGHT

Bike shops need not fear rental schemes. As Lyon and Paris have found, bike sales go up when newbies try cycling...

TSG talks about business, product and how dealers can get kids interested in protection. No, not that kind...

COREBIKE With sign-up now live to retailers, BikeBiz offers a run down of likely products on offer from distributors

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22-23

SILVERFISH SPEAK

Carlton Reid talks business with the Cornwall-based wholesaler. See page 22 and 23 for more...

SILVERFISH INTERVIEW

PARTS AND ACCESSORIES

22-23

47-50

REGULARS CHAIN REACTION

14

LETTERS

53

We invite ex-bike store owner and freelance journalist Myles McCorry to vent his spleen...

Road Peace campaigner Alan Ramsey airs his views and encourages trade involvement

INDUSTRY OPINIONS 19

SECTOR GUIDE

What worth has the cycle DVD with the likes of Youtube? And what worth has the book with the rise of the blog. BikeBiz asks around

BikeBiz analyses the latest wheels, tyres, tubes various styles of pump and more...

PEOPLE

38

Shimano Europe adds a president to its payroll

SPOKESMAN

SHOULD WE be dusting down Randy Kirk's Bicycle Retailers Guide to Getting Rich in the Recession? This slim and US-centric companion to Principles of Bicycle Retailing was a diverting read when it was published in 1989. If you could get past the sacchrine, peppy sales talks, it boiled down to cutting excess fat, sharpening your act and benefitting from the bike trade's famous resilience in times of economic uncertainty. Unlike the recession of Kirk's book, the one we're living through is very different, especially for the bike trade. The lux end of the market may be softening, but utility is taking up the slack. We have bike companies riding high in the stock markets and car companies in the doldrums. Taiwan's Giant and Merida are churning out bikes, parts and profits like there's no tomorrow. Japan’s Shimano has reported 12 per cent higher sales year-on-year in the first nine months of 2008 and has increased operating profits by 27 per cent. Whereas Japanese car companies have struggled against the strong yen.

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The pound is being bullied and costs are going through the roof. Spokesman speaks...

And, domestically, it seems like local authorities are falling over themselves to promote cycling, with London at the top of the heap. Good for bike sales. Surprisingly, Boris Johnson's plan to ape the Parisian Velib public hire bicycle scheme is relatively low key. Transport for London is planning to place 6,000 hire bikes at 400 locations throughout central London by 2010. TfL believes the 6,000 bikes will generate around 40,000 extra cycle trips a day. 6,000 bikes is not a lot. Paris has 20,000. But it's good to see Boris nailing bicycle colours to his mast: "I have long held the view that a cyclised city is a civilised city; but if we are to get more Londoners on to two wheels rather than four we need to provide the facilities to help them do so. I believe that the work we are carrying out can make the capital a city of cyclists, where to use two wheels is common not curious." The velib-style bikes will add to the mix. London's bike shops need not fear the rental bikes. As Lyon and Paris have found, bike sales go up when rental schemes are put in place. Newbies try the bikes, find they like the experience, but not the weight of the bike, so they buy 'proper' bikes. Paris was once a cycling ghost town. Now it's humming.

Carlton Reid, Editor


NEWS

Future announces BikeRadar Live event for May 2009 Show to include rides and races for all disciplines  Event doubles up as an industry expo backed by the publisher’s magazine and website portfolio

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 bike.subscriptions@c-cms.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

Bike Biz is mailed FOC to 3,000+ trade addresses every month

ISSN 1476-1505 See page 62 for subscription details

6 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

PUBLISHING group Future has extended its portfolio of live events with the announcement of BikeRadar Live – a brand new bike festival. The new show will include road and mountain bike rides and races, bike demos, a showcase for the latest gear and will also act as an industry-wide expo with products across all disciplines. BikeRadar Live is Future’s first new event announced for 2009 and is an extension of the company’s events portfolio, which includes the popular Bike Demo Days. On the weekend of May 29th to 31st, Donington Park, Derbyshire will play host to the first instalment of the show with a weekend of riding and racing, with a whole series of features and treats planned. Key off-road features will run all weekend, including challenges and races for all skill levels. Road cyclists will get the chance to

compete in various endurance pursuits on Britain’s new F1 Grand Prix circuit, as well as the opportunity to challenge personal bests, and also track sessions for fun – hosted by Cycling Plus and ProCycling magazines. Grant Norris, show manager at Future said: “Producing an all encompassing, interactive event will be a big hit with the public. There will be something for all, whether you are competitor, an enthusiast or just into cycling, we will have it covered. Bring your bikes, get involved and enjoy.” Other attractions will include a huge manufacturers exhibition, dual slalom competitions, endurance rides, a sportif and a weekend-long programme of cycling movies and world record attempts. There’ll be kids and family events too, including a kids’ bikes demo, kids’ races and a family camping area.

Attractions will include a manufacturers exhibition and various competitions covering a wide vaiety of disciplines

KTM seeking UK independents AS PART of the company’s expansion into the UK, KTM is encouraging independent retailers to trial the brand. UK sales manager, Matt Beighton told BikeBiz: “We are now looking for good independent trade shops to come forward and express an interest. In year one we are looking for the right shops to take some product and try it, without there being a pressure on that store to shift hundreds of units. It’s about nurturing a relationship and understanding what KTM is about.” On the back of the initial trade preview of the range at Cycle ‘08, the brand received plentiful interest on the following consumer show days. Beighton added: “Cycle ‘08 was deemed to be a great success by all at KTM. The main problem we had was that with just one trade day and three more open to the public. We found it hard to put members of the public in touch

with their local shop, as at that time there were few confirmed.” KTM bikes are designed, tested and built in the Mattighofen headquarters. To further bolster dealer confidence in the brand, three-year warranties come as standard on all carbon frames, while five-year warranties are

extended on alloy frames (including full suspension models). “We are here to sell high quality product based on its virtues, and not just buy the market with margin,” added Beighton. “We have a simple four-tiered price structure set up

with no gimmicks attached, we can offer 90 days payment terms should shops be interested, or there is a 30 days early settlement reward for those that prefer to pay up front.” For more information on KTM dealership, contact 07967 506416.

BIKEBIZ.COM


NEWS

Zyro and Zefal announce new UK distribution deal Zéfal is widely recognised within the cycle trade, having a long standing presence harking back to the neon green frame bags and zebra bottles of the 1980s. The company also manufactured aluminium pumps in the 1950s,

and became the world’s largest pump manufacturer by the 1980s, selling over 100 million pumps per year. Chris Raven, Zyro’s brand manager said: “I’m personally very pleased with this arrangment. They have proved a top company to work with already, loads of heritage and pedigree, and an awesome new product range to offer.” Zyro – 01845 521700

iMapMy has launched a downloadable iPhone application capable of recording time, distance, pace, average speed, maps and a training log, all of which is uploadable to twitter postride. It’s free to download at www.imapmy.com. Just don’t tell your customers…

Who’s who? In the November issue of BikeBiz we put Ed Ibbetson’s name to Illy Anastasi’s face in the Hotlines interview. We apologise for any confusion this created…

Chris Raven, Zyro’s new brand manager

A to B publishes first survey on the UK electric bicycle market Sales in Britain to hit 15,000 units this year  Market reported to be worth £25 million

Powacycle and Powabyke are two of the UK’s bigger brands fighting for market share

BIKEBIZ.COM

BS6102 standard given more time

Free training monitor for iPhone owners

The brand began producing aluminium pumps in the 1950s, becoming the world’s largest manufacturer by the 80s, selling over 100 million units per year. Zéfal has previously been represented by six different distributors in the UK. However, the whole range is now exclusively available via Zyro. Aurélien Brunet, sales and marketing director of Zéfal offered: “We are confident that our new agreement with Zyro is a key move towards reestablishing the Zéfal brand in a market leading position in the UK cycle market.”

SHORTS Stock of non-CEN standard product will have a ‘grace period’ during which it can be sold after the implementation of the new CEN standards. The industry will negotiate how long this period is with the DfT.

Exclusive agreement for French brand’s entire range effective as of January 1st ZYRO HAS announced a new long-term, exclusive agreement with Zéfal of France to distribute its comprehensive range of cycling accessories to UK retailers, effective from January 1st, 2009.

CYCLE

E-BIKE sales are predicted to skyrocket in 2009, according to research by A to B editor, David Henshaw. The survey, conducted alongside UK electric bike brands, forecasts that 23,000 units will sell in 2009, 53 per cent more than the 15,000 set to have been sold by late December. “E-bikes seem to be recession proof,” said Henshaw. “Car sales are expected to plummet by ten per cent in 2009, but the bike manufacturers are forecasting growth to almost 23,000 units.” The total value of the UK electric bike market was £13 million in 2008, yet sales of £25 million are predicted for 2009. Further emphasising the

sector’s potential, the report highlights how popular the e-bike is across mainland Europe. In the Netherlands, over 120,000 will be sold this year and it’s thought annual sales could hit 300,000 in a few years. In Germany, e-bike sales are expected to double between 2007 and 2009. Powacycle has introduced a two-year warranty on its new Infinium range to ease dealers’ technical concerns that were seen to be slowing the market’s adoption of electrics. E-bikes are legally classified as bicycles provided they have motors of 250 watts or less, and a top assisted speed not exceeding 15mph.

Consumers fear recession duration Just one in five consumers are confident that the UK could grow out of recession within one year, according to the British Retail Consortium. VAT cuts are expected as part of plans to ease the strain on smaller businesses. VAT cannot be lowered past 15 per cent.

EICMA Bici to hold B2B event in future? EICMA director, Costantino Ruggiero has been quoted saying he believes a new business-to-business event during summer 2009 “is needed by the Italian cycle industry” mainly for the benefit of dealers.

Saddleback receives first SRAM shipment Following the first outing of SRAM product at Cycle ‘08, Saddleback has now taken stock of the first major shipment. Saddleback can be contacted on 01454 299965.

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 7


NOW! N O S I D A AT M K C O T S IN ding ZOOM ree freestan

t f Buy 4 to ge le. point of sa s n customer o is d a M ll a o • Available t SRP £89.99

Specs: • Rear brake to teach stoppi ng control • Spare different length sea tpost for the smallest rider • Simple steering • Easy transition to freewhee ling • Children learn fast to ride with confidence


NEWS

WTB joins the Fisher portfolio WTB PRODUCTS are to be distributed throughout the UK by Fisher Outdoor Leisure starting from January 2009. The distributorship will give WTB access to Fisher Outdoor’s expertise and extensive market coverage, and takes WTB’s range of performance products into retail stores throughout the UK. “Customer service, timely delivery, and excellent sales representation are the core competencies of Fisher Outdoor Leisure, which make them a great fit with WTB and our customers. They are an excellent addition to our growing network of distribution partners,” said Katerina Rejchrtova, chief

executive officer at WTB Europe. Richard Allmark, CEO of Fisher Outdoor Leisure, added: “WTB’s innovative product line complements Fisher Outdoors’ premium brand portfolio. The addition of WTB brand tyres,

For additional information on WTB’s complete 2009 product line, visit www.wtb.com, or flick to page 50 for a run down of the brand's tyre solutions. WTB Europe can be contacted via email at europe@wtb.com.

The addition of WTB brand tyres, saddles, grips and wheels makes us (Fisher Outdoor) a truly complete source for cyclists... saddles, grips and wheels to our portfolio makes us truly the complete source for cyclists.”

For information on Fisher Outdoor Leisure, visit www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk.

The winter-specific product is designed to handle the Great British weather perfectly

Powabyke to launch e-folder POWABYKE is stepping up its assault on the UK e-bike market with the introduction of an electric folder due in the spring.

Powabyke MD Nick Child

Ben Carey of Eventy (Powabyke's PR firm) confirmed that 2009 will see a wave of brand-new models: "The plan is to introduce more models based on the same principles of a sleek and lightweight bike and battery. The first new product will launch in the spring '09 and will be our new folding bike, full details of which will emerge shortly. The new X-byke design has been very popular this year, and we will be looking to build on this success with the new folding bike," said Carey. "We've had exceptionally good sales figures since the introduction of the X-byke in September, and have pre-sold

the next two shipments. Sales are continuing to go very well, especially in the run-up to Christmas, which has been quiet in the past. We're hoping this trend will continue throughout 2009 trading.” Confirmation was also given that dealers appeared to be far less wary of the market. "Powabyke are finding that more traditional dealers are now becoming more open to the prospect of stocking electric cycles following their seemingly recent increase in popularity. IBDs are embracing the world of e-cycling, and in turn we're helping them to boost their profit margins."

On the back of the company's growth, an optimistic forecast has been set out for 2009. Carey continued: "Powabyke are predicting a massive boost in the electric market during 2009, with several factors combining to this effect. Firstly, the economic downturn is prompting people to consider alternative transport, and, for many, electric bikes are a great option that can help to boost fitness levels and save them thousands of pounds a year. Secondly, the latest generation of electric bikes is making e-cycling a more viable option, with lightweight and increasingly inexpensive designs retaining a high-quality."

Three new brands Propelled into UK market PROPEL DISTRIBUTION has signed up three brands to join its rapidly growing portfolio. Princeton Tec, Vicious Cycles and Chamois Butt'r will all feature in the brand new 2009 catalogue, which is now live on www.propelbike.com. Princeton Tec is a lighting brand brought in from the US. The brand has around 30 years experience in providing lighting for divers, while today, the company supplies many outdoor sports companies, transport companies and the US military. For 2009 Princeton Tec brings some innovative, yet inexpensive performance compacts and BIKEBIZ.COM

commuter lights alongside its high performance 'switchback' series of rechargeable high power LED lights, perfect for off-road winter riding. Next up, US custom frame manufacturer Vicious Cycles will be shipping its handmade steel and titanium frames to the UK complete with a range of paint and decal finishes. Propel will begin taking Vicious orders right away and expects the delivery of Vicious only standard stock product, including the brand's high-class hand-made steel fork by early December. These forks are the perfect rigid partner to any high spec steel frame with

26, 29, 650B, 700c and touring versions available. Vicious also offers 26-inch mountain bikes for geared or single-speed riders (men's or women's versions), 29-inch wheeled models, MTB, 650B for geared or single-speed, road, cyclocross or touring frames in 853 steel or Ti.

Last of all, Propel has taken on Chamois Butt'r, another brand with retail success in America. Chamois Butt'r is a skin lubricant that helps to prevent the discomfort of saddle soreness associated with extended periods in the saddle. Chamois Butt'r can also be used to sooth sore skin post ride and as a conditioning cream. Several formats are available, the Chamois Butt's 'classic' in an 8oz tube (230ml) or new Eurostyle 8oz tub (230ml) with a little added menthol 'tingle'. Chamois Butt'r is also available is ten packs of single serving sachets, making a great countertop grab.

MD, Toby Smith said of progress this year: "Propel has had a very eventful year, Formula brakes won every group test they entered and many of our dealers have done very good business with this brand. Morewood was also very strong for us in 2008. Meanwhile, for 2009 we introduce new products and brands. We introduce our B2B site soon and a new stock system that will change the way we work with dealers and our suppliers. We will be extending customer discounts across brands and products to encourage dealers to be a little more adventurous."

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 9


NEWS

Hire scheme ‘achievable’ PLANS to provide a cycle hire scheme in London by May 2010 are achievable, according to a feasibility study. Transport for London has now invited companies interested in the contract to get in touch. From May 2010 people should be able to pick up and drop off hire bikes at 400 locations across the nine London boroughs and Royal Parks that make up London’s zone one travel area. An initial 6,000 hire bikes are expected to generate around 40,000 extra daily cycle trips in central London. The Mayor of London, Boris

Johnson, said: “When Londoners elected me they knew they were getting a champion of cycling and someone that would be a peddler of pedal power. I have long held the view that a cyclised city is a civilised city; but if we are to get more Londoners onto two wheels rather than four we need to provide the facilities to help them do so.” 'Mog' of London retailer Brixton Cycles was optimistic about the scheme's impact on retail. He told BikeBiz: “If it ever happens, I wonder who will repair the fleet – well, that will

be us! Workshop repairs are a great source of income for cycle retail, the only problem is we’re swamped as it is. Has a great deal of thought gone into how the fleet will be theft-proofed too? There have been similar schemes trialled previously where the entire fleet has disappeared within months. “On the upside, the biggest surge we ever saw in sales was during the tube strikes long ago. People came to us saying they had no idea that cycling to work could be so simple and pleasurable. If the scheme takes off I can see plenty coming

through our doors to buy bikes of their own.” Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor’s director of transport policy, said: “The release of the feasibility study and the call for companies to tender to provide a cycle hire scheme are further steps towards providing the most sustainable, healthy and environmentally friendly transport system ever seen in the Capital. We are working incredibly hard to ensure London will be in a position to hit the target of a 400 per cent increase in cycle journeys in London by 2025.”

NEW PRODUCTS

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MOORE LARGE (1) KMC has developed a tool specifically designed to aid chain dismantlement without allowing any damage to occur in the process. The 'Missing Link Plier' is the first of its kind to hit the market and provides a quick and safe way for all cyclists to dismantle their chain. The recommended retail price for the KMC Missing Link Plier is £11.99. Knog also has a new range of lights out – dubbed ‘Beetles’. The lights feature two LEDs packed into one shell and a budget friendly retail price of £12.00. Like Knog’s other product, it doesn’t follow conventional design and as such is a highly versatile light capable of clinging to most areas of a bike. The Beetles emit 20,000 lumens per unit. Moore Large – 01332 274 252

10 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

HOT WHEELS (2) EXPOSURE has launched a new series of coloured half-link chains for all those out there who like to decorate their rides to the finest detail. Colours include pink, green, white, gold and standard silver. The Shortlink chains retail for £12.99 for standard silver and £15.99 for coloured options. Hot Wheels – 01202 732288 PURE COL (3) PURE COL has developed a ‘magical pill’, which when taken every day helps kill joint pain, increase your agility, stamina and performance while working out and ultimately boost fitness. The 100 per cent pure collagen formula comes in tablet form, providing the ideal solution for gym-goers, athletes and sports people alike seeking physiological protection, maintenance and repair. Collagen is the most abundant structural protein found in cartilage, muscle, tendons, ligaments and bones. It has, however, been scientifically shown that collagen diminishes at a rate of approximately 1.5 per cent per annum from the age of

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25 years onwards – which is why it is essential to supplement this reduction to ensure optimum maintenance. With over 20 years of research and development, the now patented formula ensures that the objectives of optimum

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bio-activity and as close to 100 per cent absorption by the body is achieved. www.collagen4u.co.uk WICLER (4) INNOVATIVE device Wicler is an electronic handset specifically designed for the bike, featuring Blue-tooth hands-free technology, which can be linked to mobile phones. Secondary functions include an MP3 player, FM radio and as an additional safety bonus, a bright front light. As if that wasn’t enough functions squeezed into the handy mountable gadget, it also sounds a bell on command. The gadget features an in-built powerful speaker, microphone and high-contrast LCD screen for ease of use. Being mountable to a bike,

it’s resistant to the elements, dust and vibration. The system also doubles up as a road-legal hands-free kit for car journeys. Javier Villar, MD of Wicler said: “It is a gadget that will come especially well in preseason, in that it is necessary to do endless cycling journeys to obtain resistance. In my opinion, Wicler is going to be very good for the world of cycling.” www.wicler.com NEOGUARD (5) NEOGUARD has just received its latest delivery of second generation NeoGuard mudguards. From the initial launch, rider feedback has been taken into consideration and as a result the thickness of the neoprene has been reduced by ½ mm to aid the stretchiness. The length of the large model has also been reduced by 10mm to better fit Boxxer and Fox40 forks. The length of the extra small has also come down by 5mm to help fit shorter travel forks. Neoguard has just signed a distribution deal with Tribe Sport Group in France, while the brand is currently in negotiations with several UK distributors and hopes to make an announcement soon. To find out more, email trade@rapidracerproducts.com KMX (6) ON THE back of scooping the best new product award at Cycle ‘08, KMX Karts has expanded its plans for the

UK market. Now distributed by Raleigh subsidiary Eurotrek Raleigh, dealers can get hold of the seven-model range, which consists of both kids and adult models. Barry Smith, the inventor of the KMX Kart, said: “Once you have ridden a KMX you are hooked and all our customer feedback tells us that they preferred our trikes over our competitors’ so we know we are on the right track – we also give one-to-one, post-sales customer support which is unrivalled.” As a pre-Christmas promotion, KMX is offering free delivery (worth £15) on trikes ordered before December 16th. In the next year, there will be an electric ‘assist kit’ launched that can be fitted to any KMX. Also, a rental specific model aimed at holiday leisure centres is planned, as well as continuing development of the current models and accessories. KMX is also hoping to use the karts to roll out a road safety campaign with local schools. Karts are priced from £234 to £1,741 (retail). KMX – 02392 750000

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BIKEBIZ.COM


NEWS ANALYSIS

ATG opens opportunities During summer, skills training charity ATG made the decision to re-locate to a larger premises within the borders of Aylesbury. On November 14th the centre was declared open to the masses. Mark Sutton takes a tour of the brand new facility and asks what can it offer future generations of cycle mechanics…

ON FIRST glance it appears to be an extensive warehouse packed full of engineering equipment and mechanics. Venture further into ATG’s brand new state-ofthe-art skills facility, dubbed The Future Centre and you’ll find students lined up around work benches, sat at computers, huddled round demonstrations and tinkering with various tools. The move from the original Aylesbury-based venue was David Granshaw, confirmed during the summer Chairman of ATG’s Board of Trustees, and and a schedule set to have the centre moved entirely by early Tony Edwards, the managing director of September. The official opening, ATG Training, declare however, took place midNovember with ATG’s Board of the facility open

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Trustees chairman, David Granshaw, declaring the 33,000 square foot facility open with the snip of a ribbon. As a not-for-profit charitable organisation, all profits made are re-routed directly back into the business. And with the Government looking to stimulate the declining numbers of those in work, organisations like the ATG are already benefiting from increased investment, which is set to grow further in future. Matt Goodrich, the ATG’s head of cycle training, told BikeBiz: “There’s been massive change in this past year in the Government’s attitude to skills BIKEBIZ.COM


NEWS ANALYSIS

Specialist courses, such as wheelbuilding and servicing forks, are available to students. DT Swiss sponsors the wheelbuilding classes training. Adult learning is something that is being taken very seriously as the economy dips. If you have left school without five GCSEs, we can now almost guarantee that financial assistance can be provided. The criteria is set to be relaxed in the New Year, too, which is great news because a single apprenticeship is worth up to £6,000."

explained: “We invite ten students per course, yet with this vastly expanded facility we can take on more courses. From January, we’ll have a new trainer joining us in the cycle department, meaning students will have greater support on courses. I think the venue move was made possible because both cycling and education are two industries taken very seriously. As such,

Industry Investment It’s not just Government support the group receives either. Distributor Madison is a strong investor in the charity, offering cut-price equipment from its top brands – including bikes from Cervelo, Ridgeback and Genesis, equipment from Park Tool and components from brands such as DT Swiss, which sponsors ATG’s wheelbuilding programme. Richard Peploe, product director at Madison told BikeBiz: “We’ve been working alongside ATG for a decade now. For Madison, growing the industry with qualified personnel is very important. We have mechanics of our own, so we know how important it is to invest in skills training. Once in a while we have our technical brands visit us in Milton Keynes to train our mechanics on how to set up new product. For example, we’ll be inviting ATG’s guys along to meet Shimano’s tutors in December, who will then teach set-up of the new Di2.” When asked what the expansion means for cycle skills training in the UK, Goodrich

Typically, we teach around 40 students per month, of which around 90 per cent pass. Students can walk away with NVQs worth five GCSE grades and Cytech accreditation.

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we’ve never been so popular. The old building down the road will be sold shortly, proceeds of which will go right back into student training and equipment. “The expansion will also mean that we can cope with the demand better. Previously, we could only run one course at a time. With the expanded space and staff base, we’ll now be able to run two simultaneously. Typically, we have a turnaround of 40 students per month. On average the pass rate is just under 90 per cent. At the end of these courses, people who may or may not have had adequate enough qualifications to enter a profession can walk away with NVQs worth five GCSE grades and become a Cytech recognised mechanic.”

Thanks to a partnership with Madison, students will not be working with rusty BSOs

In what will come as a relief to cycle stores nationwide, before students can get their mits on the latest Cervelo, basic safety and hygiene is taught as a module of courses. Students (many of whom are fresh out of school) are being taught by staff trained both as teachers and as mechanics. The tutors are trained to spot specific learner types, meaning each class of ten will

receive an experience tailored to its needs. Soon enough, the centre will receive its first Offsted inspection and particular attention will focus on the training of the cycle trade’s scores of young mechanics. A question of class Goodrich said of the students: "We find that, for the most part, students genuinely are enthused by the subject. The fact that they’re working on top-end kit has a big impact on the students’ attitude to education. ATG’s staff are well-trained and used to working with all age ranges. The new facility has a spacious, professional working environment complete with individual work stations, computer rooms and areas to

THE MASTER: Matt Goodrich, ATG’s head of cycle training study theory – although courses are largely hands-on.” There’s plenty of inter-course cross-over opportunity, too. Within the engineering department of the new facility, students can be shown the CNC machining process, as well as various other engineering techniques, which could inspire them to study bicycle design further. The Government recently changed legislation to make

apprenticeships available to those aged 64 and below. Funding is now potentially available to any over-25s who are working two or more days per week. To enrol your spanner monkey on one of ATG’s courses, available at Aylesbury, Manchester and at mobile facility currently in south-Wales, call Elaine Powell on 01612 306241 or visit the website www.atg-training.co.uk

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 13


CHAIN REACTION

Breaking point Freelance cycle journalist Myles Mc Corry previously ran a bicycle business based in Omeath, Ireland. Here, he reflects on the day a culmination of dealing with mindless customers came to a head... IT FINALLY happened to me and it happened today. I feel lost, ashamed, sorry and stuffed with extraordinary amounts of selfloathing. After nearly ten years in the retail trade, dealing with the public, the people of the world’s problems, desires and demands, I snapped. Flipped and fell into the pit of shame and despair called (say slowly with an aged voice) ’self contempt’. Winters day, ‘twas about 5.30, three quarters of the way into a 12-hour day. A middle-aged woman came into the shop. Dyed hair, tired coat and brown hat. I had several different approaches to the customers when they enter my domain – all based on initial contact. They ranged from a simple “hello” with an open, ready-tohelp face, to “Hiya, listen, I hope you don’t mind... There is no smoking in here.” Informative and not overtly threatening. Sadly, my blackened soul’s burden has grown brittle over the years and has wearily, finally shattered. And you did it. You, and your sort. The general public. That woman and her silly, harmless question has turned me into a crabbed shit and I take no blame for the horrible mutation. I didn’t set out to be this way. But the years of the public have embittered me. Then the lady walked into my shop. The antibitch. When I caught sight of her in the camera, my brain smirked. Okay, let’s have daft question.

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My, 'no greeting' to her already made the air tense. There must come a point when it is better to say nothing than to be offensive. I rolled my lips, frowned and glared, waiting. Knowing what was coming next. Her hesitation compounded the situation further. Out of a plastic bag she fumbled to produce something black and slightly too large for its packaging. She held it up like a soiled-panted kid to its mother. The question: “Can you fix my kettle, son?” And then somewhere a star exploded and my chair in heaven was tossed into the mirth of lower hell. Outside my shop it says ‘bike store’. No, ‘specialist bike store’. Three times. There is an eightfoot high painting of a cyclist on the wall, bikes in the window, bikes on the walls. Wheels hanging from the ceiling. There is an overwhelming smell of tyre rubber and there is a mountain bike video playing on a 28-inch TV screen behind my head. I have a t-shirt with a bicycle emblazoned across the chest. And she also negotiated two large cycle stands, each displaying six bicycles to reach our current stance. I wanted to be more surprised. I longed to be stunned, although it took a while for the words to completely sink in. I stood there staring. I tried to work out where a kettle would go on a bike; even a really well-equipped one. My

delay filled with loathing. Not for this woman, for the collective requests that produced the answer “Sorry, this is a bike store.” Just bikes. No tennis or footballs. No lamp fuses. No clutch pads for a Honda, no clips, hooks or special nails. All out of a ‘bit of wire that long’. I don’t know where you would buy one of those, or if they open on

United Nations ‘bike repair aid’ sign outside, here’s the dream of me in a sky blue beret eagerly waiting to attend to wounded bi-pedal machinery. People have made me shy away from people. ”Do you think it is punctured?” ‘Well I don’t know, sir. The fact that it is flat and there is half a Jameson’s whisky bottle sticking out of the

Sorry, this is a bike store. No tennis balls, no lamp fuses, no Honda clutch pads, nor do I have a ‘bit of wire that long’. Sundays, or the price. No, the bastards who have whored my shop door over the years, bringing their half-witted requests to my living environment. It’s a feckin bike store!! We don’t fix watches or hoovers or sell a wee round thing to fit in there. I am all out of football boot studs, batteries and hover bags. No camera bits or walking shoes. Kids dressed else where and no; I don’t know what it is either. Even when it is cycle related I get confronted with the miser logic of: “do I owe you anything”? I have no idea how you got the impression that a bike repaired and parts replaced would cost money. Well of course you owe me something, you numpty, it’s called a free market economy. I missed the

tyre could be a wee clue.' “Can I... have a, a wee ah... It’s about this size... Ach, you know?“ How in the name of all twelve monkeys could I know!” The woman stood there with the element. Too long a time had passed since the question. I looked at her in dismay, I felt sad and looked lost. She broke eye contact, replaced the kettle with the polished spout tearing what was left of the bag and all she could do was swaddle the plastic bag around the blackened metal base, I heard a few languid vowel noises as she excused herself out the door. Don’t blame me for being a shite. It’s her fault. I am the victim here. In playback, I opened the door, apologised and directed her up the street to the electrical store. The reality was cold. My internal

temporary menace has filled me full of self-loathing and sparked a chance in vocation. Them: “I am looking for a wee silver bit for my bike” Me: "Is it a single coil helix return spring?" Them: “Is that what I need?” Me: "I don’t know, but you’re the one who started the stupid questions, ye flump." Perhaps a year or two praying upon a cloud-bound temple in Nepal, atop high stone steps, meditating, restoring my mind, manners and faith in our species. It’s not just me. Go into any shop, a real shop, and even if you know what you want, make eye contact, then stare at the ceiling and say this sentence as slow as a person who was not familiar with the English language would, while looking for a verb in a phrase book. “Can I have... wait til I get this right... I need one... no, two... No, one would do... Eh.” And see what happens! Shop staff hate you, the public. We hate other shop staff. Worst of all, we hate ourselves. So don’t go in ‘on an off chance.’ Go in with direction and keep small talk to a minimum. If you need a nail, buy the nail. The guy does not need to know what it’s for and why the thing broke or even why that person who broke it hasn’t been the same since the car accident, even if he said he would pay. www.mylesrants.com. BIKEBIZ.COM


EVENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

SPOTLIGHT

CORE BIKE January 25th to 27th Whittlebury Hall, Northampton www.corebike.co.uk January 2009 CORE BIKE January 25th to 27th Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire www.corebike.co.uk

February 2009 FISHER OUTDOOR EXPO February 15th -17th Edgbaston Cricket Ground www.fisherexpo.co.uk TWOO February 19th -22nd Basel, Switzerland www.twoo.ch ICEBIKE February 24th -26th Milton Keynes, UK www.icebike.co.uk BIKE ASIA February 27th Singapore, www.bikeasia.org NORTH AMERICAN HANDMADE BICYCLE SHOW February 27th - March 1st Singapore, www.bikeasia.org

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March 2009 TAIPEI INTERNATIONAL CYCLE SHOW March 17th to 20th Taipei, Taiwan www.taipeicycle.com.tw

April 2009 BICYCLE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE April 15th to 17th Seeside, California www.bicycleconference.org SPEZI ‘09 April 25th to 26th Germersheim, Germany www.spezialradmesse.de

May 2009 CHINA INTERNATIONAL BICYCLE AND MOTOR FAIR May 4th Shanghai, China www.e-chinacycle.com EUROPEAN HANDMADE BICYCLE EXHIBITION May 8th to 10th Schwaebisch Gmuend, Germany www.e-h-b-e.eu

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 15


FUTURE PUBLISHING

Back to the

Future With the BikeRadar network close to topping three-million unique visitors monthly, Lisa Foster talks to Future’s group publisher Katherine Raderecht about where the company is taking the portal from here...

We had to to convince our magazine teams that replacing dedicated websites with one big site was a good thing. When they saw the quality, scale and investment we were putting behind BikeRadar those concerns soon evaporated.

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Can you give us a background to the launch of Bikeradar.com – what was the thinking behind bringing all your brands together under one umbrella? Our mission is to simply inspire more people to ride more bikes, over more miles. Over the last 20 years we have invested across our cycling portfolio to deliver compelling, passionate and engaging editorial for our readers. In our portfolio of five titles, we now have the UK’s best-selling road cycling magazine Cycling Plus, the best selling cycle title in MBUK and the official licensed guide to the Tour de France. We wanted to launch a bike website which used the passion and experience of our global network of cycle journalists and deliver this 24/7. BikeRadar.com was launched in July 2007, and provides a comprehensive resource for all types and levels of cyclist from novice to enthusiast. The Future cycling portfolio continues to grow and is now the leading

provider of cycling content across the world. Who are the team behind Bikeradar.com? The team comprises four members based in Bath, two in the US, one in Australia and a cast of hundreds in publishing, ads, development, marketing and so on. Editor Jeff Jones was part of the original launch team in 2007, working as chief online editor at Cyclingnews.com for seven years before coming to Future to help launch BikeRadar.com. He also has a doctorate in physical and theoretical chemistry. What are the topline figures for the site, in terms of visitors, etc.? Nearly three million monthly unique visitors across the BikeRadar network, including nearly a million for BikeRadar.com. We had a hugely successful summer, with the second Tour de France podcast,

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FUTURE PUBLISHING

which was the second most downloaded sports podcast through iTunes throughout the Tour, increasing more than 45 per cent on last year’s performance. What are the most popular areas of the site? The Bikes and Gear section is a massively popular area of the site with thousands of bike, component, clothing reviews and more. If riders are upgrading their bike or riding equipment, the Bikes and Gear section is the place to visit. For guidance on future purchases, there is invaluable advice in the Buyer’s Guides from the section too. We’ve got a massive routes section powered by Bikely, which has over 80,000 road, mountain bike, commuting and leisure rides plotted by our users from around the globe. With an extensive search function, there’s bound to be a route nearby, and you can upload your own route too. Using our constantly updated news carousels, BikeRadar brings consumers the latest news first. From hot new product releases, the latest race results to the biggest bike shows, you’ll find it first on the new carousel. Where does Bikeradar.com sit compared to Future’s other portals, such as Gamesradar.com, Musicradar.com and Techradar.com? BikeRadar.com has been a key part of Future’s digital strategy over the last 18-months. Getting our web proposition right in all of our key vertical sectors (games, technology, music, sports etc) is a priority for the business and cycling is an important part of our portfolio. We’re very happy with the progress we’ve made. What have been the biggest challenges in terms of establishing Bikeradar.com since its launch? Initially we had to convince our magazine teams that taking away their dedicated websites and replacing them with one big site – BikeRadar – was a good thing. When they saw the quality, scale and investment we were putting behind BR those concerns soon evaporated. Cyclingnews.com is still a separate site. Why was that not incorporated under the Bikeradar.com umbrella? And are there any plans to do that going forward?

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Cyclingnews.com was and still is a very strong global brand with strong user and advertiser loyalty and therefore we have no intention of doing anything to damage that. We have begun to increase the integration of the two brands – sharing content, linking and cross-marketing the two sites and this will continue

Our focus is on reaching and engaging with cycling enthusiasts, wherever or however they want to. We’re ‘platform agnostic’ about how we reach them and our experience is that different platforms – web, print, events – actually support each other. In the year that BikeRadar.com

Our focus is on reaching and engaging with cycling enthusiasts, wherever or however they choose - print or web. and increase over time. However, there are no plans to merge the two sites; rather they will run as a complementary properties under the ‘BikeRadar network’ banner. As we know ourselves, due to BikeBiz.com, the cycling world is very web-savvy, fully embracing online editorial resources and forums – often more so than some technical sectors. Having moved into the cycling business, were you surprised by this? And why do you think cyclists and the cycling industry have embraced online so readily? In the UK more people are looking to buy bikes and kit than ever before. People are becoming more health conscious and with the economy as it is, cycling is a fantastic way to save money and be green at the same time. Manufacturers, importers and retailers alike are looking for new and creative ways to brand their products and make a return on investment to both capture new cyclists coming into the market, as well as existing cycling enthusiasts. BikeRadar gives advertisers this amazing opportunity, with almost a million visitors clicking onto the site every month; it creates a huge opportunity to attract new potential customers to the brand. BikeRadar is by far the UK’s biggest site. It’s also unique, with its news updated every minute of the day and the only true site dedicated to product testing; with 1,000s of reviews, the site can influence consumer spend unlike any other UK site.

has built a following of one million unique users per month (and nearly three million with cyclingnews.com), Future’s sales of its key cycling magazines have also grown. At the last fullyear ABCs, for example, Cycling Plus posted a ten per cent increase and Mountain Biking UK a three per cent increase. We’ve also launched a series of road and cycling ‘Demo Day’ events for enthusiasts in the last year. Can you tell us about any new features that you’re looking to add to the portal over the coming months? Fully integrating Bikely into

BikeRadar, and adding more video content. How do you promote Bikeradar.com – particularly to those consumers who aren’t necessarily enthusiasts and therefore aware of your magazine/online brands? We use a whole spectrum of marketing tools to engage visitors with the brand, including everything from display advertising, to promotion at events, social media and SEM. With such a wide-ranging target audience, the most effective approach has been to specifically aim marketing activities by targeting the interests which these user groups will be visiting BikeRadar to satisfy – whether that be beginners seeking purchase advice or leisure cyclists searching for bike routes. By leveraging our cycling portfolio we have been able to successfully drive existing customers between channels, plus efficient cross-portfolio promotion has enabled us to attract the more casual cyclist from across the Future network. And finally, anything else coming up in terms of extending the Bikeradar.com brand going forward?

We will be extending the BikeRadar brand with BikeRadar Live – a brand-new bike festival. The new show will include road and mountain bike rides and races, bike demos, the best gear and act as an industry-wide expo with products from all disciplines. On the weekend of May 29th to 31st May 2009, Donington Park, Derbyshire will play host to a weekend of riding and racing, with a whole series of features and treats planned. Key off-road features running all weekend will include challenges and races for all skill levels. Supported by What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK magazines you can expect a competitive edge to the events. Road cyclists will get the chance to compete in various endurance pursuits on Britain’s new F1 Grand Prix circuit, as well as plenty of time to challenge personal bests, and also track sessions for fun – hosted by Cycling Plus and ProCycling magazines. There will also be the chance for enthusiasts to test out the very best bikes on the market, in the biggest ever Bike Demo Day sessions – taking in the Donington circuit and also a purpose-built mountain bike course.

Are you concerned that the rise in online will have a huge, negative impact on print sales?

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 17


INDUSTRY OPINIONS

Big name DVD seems to be surviving, but what about the books?

DVD dead? With the increase in websites covering cycle media, Youtube’s archive of titles both past and present, and the public’s relaxed attitude to file sharing, you may wonder whatever happened to the cycling DVD. Mark Sutton investigates what, if anything, has decreased the value of stocking visual and written titles... “WE’RE doing really well with the Odyssey Electronical title, but I do believe that DVD sales have slowed down. I don’t want to buy a DVD unless it offers something a lot more than the dozens of web edits that you can watch for free on websites, such as TheComeUp, each day. “I guess the days of low

“Basically smaller name titles, and average road trip DVDs don’t sell like they used to. Before a company could put out a DVD and sell a thousand or so, and make a decent profit, but now this is not the case for your average DVD. For example, the Fitlife title was on YouTube and Google

The sales figures on big titles are similar to five years ago. Ben Gaby, Paligap budget scene DVDs (and to some extent video magazines) being sold in bike shops are more or less over. Some titles can never be replaced by the internet. If it’s something that you’re still going to want to watch in five or ten years time then I don’t think there is a problem with asking people to pay £15 or £20 for a DVD.” Jamie Cameron, IMG Distribution “Well in our experience YouTube has not affected major DVD title releases. If anything it has helped them with promotion. BIKEBIZ.COM

video before it came out in the UK, yet to date has been our best-selling DVD. We still order it in and sell it now, two years after it originally came out. The Props Road Fools series DVDs still sell through. Any solid DVD, from a good brand, with the right riders will continue to do so. So yeah, I think it is just the average DVDs that have suffered, but a major release still sells as good as it used to, plus is viewed by way more people, as it is on YouTube or Vimeo as well.” Dean Hearne, Product Designer, 4Down Distribution

“On first thought I felt sure that there may have been a decline. However, looking at our sales figures a bit more closely, I’m not sure there has been a slow down in sales. Our stock has been reduced over the last three years as we have better access to our supplier’s stock. The sales figures on the big titles this year are consistent with four or five years ago. I would say the biggest difference for us has been far more saturation, in particular the bike magazines selling titles directly to their readers. As far as the video sharing sites go, most of the bike titles with decent production would still look much better on a TV screen than small on a computer screen. Ben Gaby, Marketing Manager, Paligap

GENERAL consensus returns the verdict that the cycle DVD has fought off the advances of YouTube, Vimeo and specialist websites such as TheComeUp. However, how are publishers coping with the rise of the blog, social networking portals and specialist websites? Managing director of Vertebrate Publishing, Jon Barton told BikeBiz: "We have had month-on-month growth for the last three or four years. All the titles sell very well, our guide to the North and South Downs in particular is proving a winner. I think the combination of really well researched routes and clear descriptions keep people coming back again and again for our books. Several of the titles, for example Lake District, Dark Peak and White Peak, are on their second editions. We get good four figure monthly unit sales. Individual titles like Lake District Mountain Biking sell several hundred per month." So can these seemingly positive figures put cash in the tills of cycle retailers? Barton added: "We sell direct to the cycle trade, but also sell well into the general book trade; titles such as Mountain Biking Trail Centres is ‘core’ stock at Waterstones. Some shops such as JeJames order from us at least twice a month, the books tend to do very well in ‘local bike shops’ – they are a quick solution to that age-old question ‘can you

suggest anywhere to ride?’ “I have always thought that bike stores in particular like our books because they encourage hardcore riding, which is a good user and abuser of kit, and this can only be good for retail sales of such product. Sometimes it can be a little hard to merchandise books in some stores, but invariably the staff who ride will use the books and then support them well at the point of purchase. Having a series of titles is also popular with cycle shops, some stores do better with say the Lake District Guidebook than they do with their local guidebook." So, on the back of consistent and promising performance, internet blogs would seemingly do very little damage to the volumes of printed cycling titles purchased. Barton concludes: "The internet is a great tool but is very much ‘open’ and so I think a published book has the authority that a good brand such as Vertebrate Publishing can command. That is not to say that the internet isn’t important in the ‘guidebook’ business. Our latest title comes with its own site, www.ukmountainbiking.co.uk, which is a resource of updates to the Trail Centres book. I think it’s getting easier for us to sell because of the internet. Web users are very quick to recommend to others titles that they enjoy."

“Although not a major stockist of cycle media, Madison reviews approaches from various titles as they come. Titles such as New World Disorder Never Enough (pictured top centre)– the latest edition in the series – obviously have a huge following built up over the editions, so it’s highly worth a place within our stock.” Richard Peploe, Product Director, Madison

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 19


BRAND SPOTLIGHT The media loves Sam Pilgrim and kids are quick to emulate their idols – something TSG believes is a real sales winner

Selling protection? There are numerous reasons why sales of protective gear should rise – VAT exemption on helmets, a rise in cycle commuters and a growing number of consumers seeking adrenaline. Mark Sutton talks to Matt Andrews at Ison about TSG’s plans for 2009... To what standards do TSG pads adhere? Each year TSG has all of its product tested at an authorised laboratory to meet various standards. Each TSG product has a small manual included, which gives details of safety standards and sizing for every product. It also lists the performances of each product during testing. TSG wants riders and skaters to be sure that if (or when) they crash they are wearing the best protection available to avoid serious injury. All bike and skate helmets are tested to meet CE EN1078 and CPSC safety standards. TSG skate knee and elbow pads meet CE EN14120 standards. TSG bike pads comply with CRITT 0501 safety protocol in accordance to EN1621. And how’s the padding tested? First of all, products are tested in the lab of the production factory and then sent to an official lab in Europe, which specialises in protective gear. All products are tested for a specific range of use and have to fulfill the requested standards regarding impact protection, quality of manufacturing and materials. Machines simulate the impact of a crash and give information about how strong the product is.

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How’s business year-on-year? TSG sales have continued to grow year-on-year and are showing no signs of slowing down. The brand has some really big name riders and skaters on its team roster and calls upon them for product development, which shows throughout the range. TSG has continuously improved its range year-on-year and have become market leaders in helmet technology. Tell us about the TSG marketing programme? TSG has a strong marketing programme using its team and this year has added video tutorials to Youtube. They have filmed various team riders and skateboarders showcasing various pads and helmets, which have proved an invaluable resource for both dealers and consumers. TSG’s advertising focuses on its innovative products, such as the Superlight Helmet, which is the world’s lightest potty-style helmet weighing in at an incredible 300g. In future, will cycle padding aspire to meet motorcycle standards? The motorcycle sport is faced with faster speed, tougher ground and dangerous neighbours, (cars, etc.) compared

to cycling. So the requirements are much higher. In order to achieve those requirements, padding has to be much thicker and thus much heavier. Nobody wears protection if the pads bar the rider from performing. So I don’t think cycling needs to meet the motorcycle standard. Tell us about 2009’s product: TSG has brought out some really great new products for 2009, including two new helmet shapes – the Recon and AllTerrain – which both feature an integral peak. The Recon is a lightweight helmet with TSG’s head-hugging fit and features removable, washable pads. TSG advanced helmet design when they released the Evolution, by producing a helmet that offered unrivalled protection, but also looked great. New pads in the range include new white and black Whistler knee and elbow pads and a brand new ankle combo shinpad, which is superlight and easily fits under jeans. The new Staten full-face helmets have been tested and approved by Tomac USA Team riders and, as well as the traditional black or white colourways, come in a very nice Zebra pattern. As well as helmets and pads TSG produces some great bags

(everything from day ride hydration packs to full-on travel bags) and body armour. Girls are also catered for with a ladies specific range of Evolution helmets and padsets which have been designed to fit women's bodies. Kids have their own range of Evolution helmets as well and 2009 sees the introduction of Junior Bikeset pads. What kind of price forecast can you predict for ‘09? With the current economic situation it is not easy to foresee what direction it is going. The price for raw materials varies. But you have other costs that increase continuously and those will augment product prices in general. The salary of Chinese employees rises and the factories have to fulfill more and more worker-friendly benefits (insurances, retirements etc). This is a good development and very important. But of course, it will rather increase the costs than lower them and this applies for all products made in China. How can dealers get kids padded up? TSG’s kids helmets are identical to the adult versions and even kids pads can be worn underneath jeans. This means that they can emulate their

riding heroes, while still being protected. Riders such as Sam Pilgrim have a big influence on which brands kids like to use and having Sam as the first UK Dirt Jumper to get a signature helmet is something that the dealers can use to advantage. Do you think the fact helmets are VAT exempt helps sales? I think that it allows for lower RRPs, while still maintaining decent margins for distributors and dealers alike. Ultimately, this ruling has benefited consumers as they aren’t having to pay as much for their helmets – which is exactly what it was supposed to do. Sales did increase when this exemption came about, but some of this may have been to do with the publicity surrounding the change as much as the pricing. Have helmet sales risen with the number of new commuters? Yes, we believe that the number of cycle commuters has increased due to various factors which has undoubtedly helped sales. We have to remember that not every commuter will be looking for a road type helmet, as they will want to use their bikes at the weekend. This consumer will, more often than not, buy a p*ss-pot helmet. BIKEBIZ.COM


SILVERFISH ANNIVERSARY

Happy Birthday Silverfish! January 2009 marks the ten-year anniversary of the Saltash-based Silverfish. And it’s come a long way from its back-bedroom start, reports Carlton Reid... SILVERFISH HAS a brand portfolio to die for. Top-end micro-brands in the main, almost exclusively North American in origin. Formed in January 1999 by husband and wife Darren and Sarah Mabbott, and originally based from their spare bedroom, Silverfish picked up newly emerging brands from Vancouver’s famous North Shore. Mabbott won’t be drawn on whether the company name is derived from pond bugs or from a late ‘80s indie band renowned for the loudness of its music. Mabbott wasn’t born and bred in the bike trade. His background – get this – is as a lecturer in modern history. Not much chance to wear beanies all day long in that profession, or look

22 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

In the early days, Sarah worked in a local university and would ride home during lunch to pack orders, making sure packages arrived on time... out of the window and call a group surfing session… Bikes came a-calling, though, and Mabbott was introduced to the cycling industry by working at a South West distributor before moving onto his own venture. With a tiny warehouse and a single office, Silverfish started trading with only one brand on its books, one which was largely unknown in the UK at the time: Race Face Performance Components. Based on the doorstep of some

of the world’s best trails, Race Face was building a mighty reputation for its design, construction and quality, hardcore components designed, built and tested on North Shore trails now seared into the brains of MTBers. Images of Wade Simmons and Brett Tippie, the original ‘godfathers of freeriding’, dropping off ladders high up in the tree-line, demonstrated that Race Face components could take any punishment meted out to them by UK riders. The original

Turbine LP crank and System Stem became must-have cult components. The first two pairs of Turbine LPs to land in the UK were shipped to Nirvana Cycles and Edinburgh Bike Co-op – both still Race Face dealers today. In the early days of Silverfish, Darren Mabbott would man the phones and office while his partner and wife Sarah worked in the local university, riding home at lunch times to help pack orders and make sure shipments arrived on time with dealers.

The couple latched on to the riding trends coming out of the Canadian market and the strong brands being manufactured in British Columbia. Soon after Race Face, Silverfish added Arrow Racing and Rock ‘N’ Roll lubes to start building a hardcore brand portfolio. Business picked up and a move to larger premises came sooner than expected. The need for more space became critical when the first shipment of Race Face’s technical clothing landed in the UK: most of it ended up being stored in every available bit of free space in the Mabbott’s small house. In 2000, Silverfish found a unit on an industrial estate in the North of Plymouth, nestled between a dog dipping service

BIKEBIZ.COM


SILVERFISH ANNIVERSARY

and a sandwich shop. At that point Silverfish employed its first staff, two of whom still work at Silverfish – sales manager Richie Rowland and online marketing manager Simon Keitch. By 2001 it was obvious that to expand the business further, Silverfish needed a more wideranging portfolio of brands. With larger premises, dedicated offices and a warehouse to fill, Darren Mabbott attended the 2001 Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. He returned with cult North Shore frame brand Cove Bikes, previously distributed in the UK by London-based On Your Bike, but when the ‘trailmaster’ Russel Burton left OYB, Cove left with him and Silverfish was a natural successor. Silverfish also picked up the exclusive UK distribution of SDG USA saddles and Vancouver-based clothing and armour specialist Roach. Silverfish now boasted six hardcore North Shore brands. “Cove Bikes have become firm favourites in the UK market with dealers, the media and consumers alike, winning tests and fans every time they are ridden. Their style, function and handling, backed by some of the hardest testing on the planet, has won many riders over,” said Mabbott. “Since we took on the brand, many others have tried to copy Cove’s designs and ride qualities, but have never come close.” Since the 2000 move into ‘proper’ warehouse and offices, Silverfish has grown and had to relocate twice more. In 2007, Silverfish moved into its current 16,000-square foot unit in Saltash, Cornwall, a short pedal from its original offices in Plymouth. The new super-plush offices and warehousing now includes a fully-fitted workshop,

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FROM LEFT: MD Darren Mabbot, Northern sales rep Peter Clegg and Southern sales rep Steve Wilson with the capability to offer a next day service for both sales and warranty to the UK IBD network. The increases in storage and office space meant that stock levels have been increased further, but has also allowed a rapid expansion in staff members. “You are only as good as the staff that you employ, and the brands that you distribute,” said Mabbott. “In the last ten years we have worked hard to acquire and build on both.”

Silverfish now has 15 employees, including new road reps Peter Clegg and Steve Wilson. The brand portfolio contains eleven key brands. “Silverfish brands now cover everything bicycle from lubes right through to helmets and complete bikes,” said Mabbott. Sales manager Richie Rowland said: “We do not go out simply to brand-grab and add them to our portfolio. Each of our brands we work with because we see

sales potential, love their product, and love working with them.” In 2008 Silverfish signed with THE Industries and brought the ‘One’ helmet to the UK. “Dealers jumped at the chance of a top-rated full-face helmet which offers great margins and strong sell-through,” said Rowland. Turner Bikes is going to be big for Silverfish, said Silverfish’s marketing manager Pete Drew: “Dealers love the heritage of Turner Bikes. 2009 sees them

with new Dave Weagle’s designed DW-Link suspension which set Interbike on-fire this year. Turner is very hot right now and IBD sign-up has been strong.” Brands like SDG and Rocky Mountain have further helped to strengthen the Silverfish brand portfolio and have all seen sales growth year-on-year, claims Mabbott. At Core Bike, Silverfish will be introducing two top-end road brands, although the company would not divulge details this far out from the show. “Rocky Mountain is also likely to have a huge 2009, after having expanded into carbon with its new Altitude and re-designed Vertex platforms – these are already being well received by the trade and are likely to be in short supply,” offered Drew. E.thirteen Components has gone from an small unknown brand into the must-have chain guide system, used by the last five elite men’s World Champions. e.thirteen and Silverfish can be found at every UK NPS DH race and National Championship offering free technical support to users. Not quite so technical, but a key seller nevertheless, SockGuy of California has proven to be a key brand for Silverfish. The distributor handles stock of 100 different designs, and has over 6,000 pairs in stock at a time. “We are also enjoying success with the Intense range of tyres,” said Drew. Previously renowned only for their DH and FR tread patterns, Silverfish has launched XC designs into the UK market. Silverfish was a founding member of the Core Bike trade show and will be showing off its expanded brand portfolio at this year’s event. No doubt there will be a birthday cake, too. Happy birthday, Silverfish!

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 23


ICE BIKE PREVIEW

IceBike ‘09 set for warm reception Madison’s Milton Keynes distribution centre will once again play host to IceBike between February 24th and 26th. Mark Sutton offers an early preview of the show’s highlights… PRE-REGISTRATION for IceBike 2009 is live and apparently Madison’s dealer base has been incredibly responsive on the back of last year's impressive show. That success was attributed to the businessfriendly layout during the daytime and the sociable atmosphere of the night. The venue for the event is once again the company’s 75,000 square ft distribution centre – found at postal code MK13 9HA for those of you who rely on the sat nav. Open for three days to all Madison trade customers, the space will hold over 500 square metres of bikes, including 2009 models from Ridgeback, Genesis, Commencal and Cervelo, as well as a sneak peek at 2010 prototypes. From the supplier’s component and accessories division, there will be over 1,500 square metres dedicated to everything new and exciting from a number of brands, including the likes of Shimano, BIKEBIZ.COM

Giro, Bell, Park Tool, Finish Line, DT Swiss and more. In 2009, the distributor's action sports division will also be showing new product to the cycle trade. This will include brands such as Thor, Animal, Factory Effex, No Toil and a whole wealth of other ranges. As with last year, there will be

The dealer dinners will return for the two nights, both including the presentation of the Madison Dealer Awards, invitations for which have already been sent. For those looking to keep an eye on business, while at the show, there will again be free wireless internet access.

Madison’s customers have already responded positively to the news of iceBike’s return in February 2009. exclusive show offers, competitions and guest speakers, including the return of the popular retail expert Jay Townley, who will deliver two daily business discussions. And the IceBike dedicated website – www.icebike.co.uk – even hints at the addition of a ‘Wheel of Fortune’ style competition.

Opening times are as follows: Tuesday 24th February Expo Area: Open house to all Madison customers, 9am - 8pm Wednesday 27th February Expo Area: Open house to all Madison customers, 9am - 5pm Thursday 28th February Expo Area: Open house to all Madison customers, 10am - 5pm

MONEY FOR NOTHING? By pre-registering for IceBike, upon check-in at the event trade customers will be gifted £50 worth of Marks & Spencers vouchers courtesy of Madison as a thanks for attending. A maximum of two vouchers will be issued per trade account and guests must be pre-registered to attend via the form found on the IceBike website. AND YOUR LIFTS FOR FREE? A minibus collection service will be available to and from Luton Airport, Milton Keynes

railway station, Milton Keynes bus station, the hotels used for show quests and Milton Keynes coach station. Should you need collection and to be returned using this service, send an email to icebike@madison.co.uk and send the following information: * The location you wish to be collected from * Arrival Time/Departure Time * Shop Name * Madison Account Number * Number of people & names * A mobile phone contact number

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 25


CORE BIKE

Trade to the Core As the final countdown gets underway for Core Bike – one of the largest trade shows in the UK bike industry calendar – Mark Sutton takes a look at what some of the key companies on the 150-strong exhibitor list will be showing off in Whittlebury Hall next January...

Ison ISON HAS TWO rooms for Core Bike 2009, and will be showing off its premium brands. Personnel from around the world will be on hand from Salsa Cycles (Steve Johnson), Surly Bikes (John Fleck), Rohloff (Stuart Stabik), Schwalbe (Chris Hearn), Weldtite, Fibrax and KHE Bikes (John Becker) to give dealers all the latest information on the 2009 product ranges. As well as the above brands, Ison will also be showing the brand new 2009 products from Halo Wheels, Identiti Bikes, Gusset parts, Light Blue Cycles, ODI grips, Dia Compe brakes, Genetic Road parts, Passport, TSG Protection, Trickstuff and Powergrips. Matt Andrews, marketing manager at Ison said: “We may also be announcing a ‘secret project’ that we have been

BIKEBIZ.COM

working on for the past year – suffice to say it will be quite a revelation when it’s finally revealed. We have been collaborating with a company who are recognised as a market leader in their sector to produce some amazing new products. We would reveal more – but we don’t often travel by train, so we can’t even leave the details on a memory stick.” Of the current product due to be seen at Core, Andrews added: “We are very excited about the 2009 ranges that we will have on show, which include some real highlights. They include Salsa Cycles complete bikes, which created a lot of interest at the recent Cycle Show, Surly completes, MRP’s new Mini G2’s and XCG chain devices, in addition to the ODI Grips new ‘eco-friendly’ packaging. That’s

before we mention our best-selling Halo Wheels brand, which itself boasts new SAS colourways and a separate track wheelset.” Stu Stabik will be running Rohloff technical seminars for dealers in Ison’s tool and service room, and Weldtite will be demonstrating its superb new range of Cyclo Pro workshop tools. Plus, Fibrax will be showing its comprehensive brake pad range, including ‘workshop’ high-margin bulkproducts. Dealers will be able to spend plenty of time with each of the 15 companies, figuring out the true nittygritty of what’s going to be selling for 2009. Key Ison personnel will be on hand to answer all questions and there will be the usual promotional material for dealers to take away.

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 27


Come and See us at the 2009 Core Bike Show. Jan 25th, 26th and 27th

www.jimwalker.co.uk


CORE BIKE

FOX

Hope Technology IT’S A SPECIAL Core Bike show for Hope next year as it’s the company’s 20th anniversary. The UKbased manufacturer started making hubs and brakes back in 1989 and is still doing it today – so look out for some special products to celebrate 20 years of British manufacturing. Dealers are invited to see the new range of Tech brakes and the expanded ‘Hoops’ wheelset range. Other new products include the DH stem and the Fox 40 crown/stem combo, more hubs and even the long-awaited new seatpost. Hope will also have the all new website online, including the B2B site. Staff from the factory will be available to answer your technical queries and to talk retailers through the range. Hope will be found in the Sazuka room.

BIKEBIZ.COM

EVERY YEAR, at the onset of designing a new line, Fox sets out one simple goal: to create the ultimate collection of riding gear which serious mountain bike enthusiasts will embrace. The 2009 range features many innovative new ideas, twists on some old favourites, and topperforming legacy products. The highlights include the all-new High Voltage Short. This reincarnation of the High-Frequency plays off the strengths of its predecessors with a Microfiber polyester outer shell, but features a detachable inner liner. Add in the functional thigh vent zips and a stylish chop pinstripe pattern, and the High Voltage is sure to set a new standard for performance, style, and also value. Next is the Campus Short. A huge hit for riders in 2008, this product gets some great technical upgrades for 2009. Fox also plans to introduce a stretch yarn dye material to the clothing in order to improve riding performance. Additionally, the Flux Helmet is set to build on its overwhelming success with the addition of a third size. With the introduction of a smaller size, youth and adult riders alike will enjoy the great fit and performance of Fox’s best selling helmet, available in a range of colours too.

Buffera BUFF MULTI-FUNCTIONAL headwear is probably the most comprehensive and versatile range of headwear available. Offering a wide range of styles across hundreds of designs, Buff headwear is frequently one of the highest turnover products the company’s customers stock. Including windproof and sunprotection products, the patented knitting process means that Buff won’t fade or lose its elasticity, is machine washable and fast-drying. Buff’s high-quality fabrics and yarns offer excellent performance with durability. With innovative and effective point of sale systems to support dealers in store, Buff is the must-have accessory to stock. Of the other products on show, Hides is an interesting invention from the US. If you’ve ever had your expensive spectacles or sunglasses fall off your face at an inappropriate moment then Hides are for you. Using its patented double-roll technology, these cunning eyewear retainers can be used as case, cleaner and retainer, all in one. The product is designed to be incredibly useful, highly functional and a great countertop impulse purchase. And finally, the latest addition to the Buffera stable is SueMe, a new and gradually growing line of environmentally responsible and sensitively sourced sportswear, which uses fibres and fabrics that feel good, look great and are as kind as they can possibly be to Mother Earth.

Paligap PALIGAP will be launching the 2009 range of Quintana Roo Triathlon bikes and wetsuits, including the Cd0.1 top flight Tri Machine. The latest range of Fast Forward Carbon wheels will also be on show in the Paligap room, with the 2009 CycleOps PowerTap ANT+ hub systems. The Litespeed and Merlin Titanium bike range, launched at this year’s show, will round off the road side of things and suppliers of each brand will be on hand to answer tech questions. The show will also be the launching platform for the 2009 Kona and Sombrio clothing ranges. Paligap will be taking opening orders and a full sample of each garment will be on show. Kona Bicycles will be demonstrated and a sample of the Ritchey range, along with new Torq Energy products including Torq Singles. Canterbury base layers and clothing has some exciting new items that will be unveiled for the first time, too.

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 29


CORE BIKE

Siwis

Chicken Cycle-kit A LOT has happened at Chicken Cycle-kit since the fire that nearly wiped the distributor off the map late last year. Although some may be a little curious to see if things have changed at all. Since then, the distributor has taken on a younger team conversant with all aspects of some very technical product. Mike Catlin and Gary Anderson have been doing show appearances for a long time now and have earned a lot of respect. And Chicken Cycle-kit’s young sales office team have learnt a lot from them. They are talking to dealers all the time, who will have a chance to put a face to a name come January. There are many dealers who will be pleased the wholesaler has a broader mix of product than a year ago. This year dealers can take their time and weigh up the benefits of stocking different products. Some brands have been substituted this year. Mavic has been replaced by Rigida rims and Rigida Ryde wheels. This is the first big dealer-only showing in the UK. It is hoped the Adidas clothing range will be further strengthened in 2009 and another brand will be introduced in the spring. Vredestein has been replaced by Vittoria, albeit OE supplies will still be available. LAS helmets are a new exclusive brand and Chicken Cycle-kit can pick up with former dealers familiar with this understated brand of considerable potential with great dealer margins. Another first is the Squire lock range. Company director, Cedric Chicken, said: “It’s 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 (Campagnolo, Cinelli, Las Helmets), Belgium (Sapim spokes), Germany (SKS) and Holland (Rigida and 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 combines a relaxed, business-like atmosphere in which we can further develop relationships to the benefit of suppliers and customers alike. “A wider choice of brands will appeal to dealers who had perhaps not thought it worthwhile to have an account with us. Everything we do today is another reason why it is worth having an account with us, whether it be for our B2B services, our website listings, our discount structures or simply the quality of our merchandise,” added Chicken. “We are working more closely with Campagnolo. They are a very strong brand these days and we have expanded our spare parts service considerably and plan to again double our Display Dealer outlets. We now distribute the Troy Lee saddle range in vastly improved Selle Italia 100 per cent biodegradeable packaging.”

30 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

SI WATTS started in the bike trade aged 16 in 1985 and has been involved in one way or another since that time. Having worked in the retail environment and later as a rep for a major player at the time, what started as a hobby building websites for a few select customers has rapidly turned into a thriving business catering almost solely for the internet requirements of bike-

related companies. Company owner Watts, said: “The Siwis service offers bespoke web work, building dedicated systems to

suit the needs of retailers. Come and have a chat in room S8, even if you merely want to put a face to the name. Or visit www.siwis.co.uk.”

Windwave FOR CORE Bike 2009 Windwave can be found in the Lounge, with displays from Colnago, FSA, Corsair, Marzocchi, Mace, Ice Toolz and A2Z. Each brand is focused on simple, easily achievable stocking in packages that will keep retailers on the highest margin for the model year. Dealer territories are still available for Colnago and Corsair bikes. As well as media tests, sponsorship and

advertising, Windwave’s main objective for 2009 is to target the end-user directly with its demo bike programme. It will be offering in-store demo machines supported with national advertising. Secondly, the distributor is involved in various demo days with its own fleet throughout the year. Some of these demo events have been run already. Two guests from the high-end Italian road bike manufacturer Colnago have been confirmed too. Alessandro Colnago, grandson of Ernesto Colnago and Diego Colosio, the international sales manager, will both be available on the Sunday 25th and Monday 26th. In addition, Windwave will also have the European sales manager from Nokon cables, Mr Gianni Silverii, who will be able to offer technical advice for the duration of the show.

Extra THE 2009 Extra line-up includes important developments from many leading brands. Innovations from Fizik include the new Antares road saddle and the Tundra mountain bike saddle. There are many changes to colour and rail combinations on the existing range, including a carbon railed Gobi. There are also new saddles and bags from Brooks and the finest comfort saddles from Selle Royal under the Ergogel, Lookin and Respiro brands.

Topeak has been as busy as ever with updates to the pump, tool, bag, light and computer ranges. And Easton will be showing various updates to the wheel range, the latest versions of the carbon cranks and changes to the component range. There are new headsets from Cane Creek and a load of new components from the trend-setting guys at Deity. Ergon has additions to the grip range as well as a new commuterspecific backpack and the full range

of Montane will be on show with a re-designed H2O. Hutchinson has a new fast-rolling Cobra tyre and will be looking to promote tubeless road tyres, which after steady growth in 2008 are ready for major expansion in 2009, as shown in the US market. Extra will be launching the new Intense Tracer and the BMC range, which includes mountain bikes. Finally, Extra will announce that Mulebar will be joining its line-up from January.

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OFFER VALID UNTIL END OF DECEMBER Please contact sales@windwave.co.uk or call 02392 505320 and reference “White Christmas” See you at the Core Bike Show 25th - 27th January (www.corebike.co.uk)


CORE BIKE

2Pure 2PURE IS back again with fantastic new products and some old favourites. New to 2Pure for 2009 is Nema clothing.Nema is designed specifically for trail and all mountain riding, so no need to have heavy downhill clothing to go trail riding; get the right product for the job. Come and see the Jimi brand too, which is eco-friendly plastic storage, again new to the UK. Niterider will have the all new

Slickrock lights with its next generation HID technology, that claims to be 45 per cent brighter than current HIDs. Also, see the new Cherry Bomb rear LED light that can apparently be seen from over one mile away. Crank Brothers will show its new Iodine all-mountain wheels, as well as its world-wide acclaimed Joplin seat posts, and not forgetting the market-leading pedal range. 2pure will also boast the founder of

SQ labs on the stand; Tobias will be explaining his simple and easy SQ Lab’s fitting systems for saddles, grips and insoles. Clif will preview its all-new Luna bar, specifically designed for women, as well as the existing popular Shot Bloks.

UPGRADE BIKES will be situated in the Hungararing room (in between Paligap and Ison). On display will be the cream of the crop from DMR, Kinesis UK, Lezyne, Reynolds, Oval, Kriega, Motor Tabs, TRP, Geax, Tektro, Effetto Mariposa, Dirtyhabit and Atomlab, which is making a welcome return to the UK after a couple of years away from the market. Visiting Upgrade at Core Bike is the ideal opportunity to get your paws on the latest products, meet representatives from some of the world's leading bike component companies and take advantage of some cracking premier

stockist and stock-in deals from DMR, Kinesis UK, Lezyne, Reynolds and Oval Concepts. In attendance in the Upgrade room will be the usual suspects from Upgrade Bikes (Matt, Damian, Tom, Paddy, Rich, Ian) and head honchos from Lezyne (Micki Kozuschek or Dillon Clapp), Oval Concepts (Morgan Nicol), Atomlab (Mike Flaherty), Motor Tabs (Greg Sellers) and Reynolds Cycling (Ty Daugherty). These guys will be travelling the globe in order to meet UK IBDs. This, of course, is a great opportunity to find out more about these brands from the people in the know.

Upgrade

Citrus Lime CITRUS-LIME PROVIDES Epos, Ecommerce, stock control and workshop management solutions for Cycle Retailers. Marketing manager Graham Houghton said: “We understand the needs of cycle retailers, and offer solutions tailor-made to meet specific requirements. The company’s Ecommerce, Epos and stock control solutions are helping cycle retailers run

32 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

their businesses more efficiently and with increased profitability. Come and see us at Core Bike and find out what we can do for you.” The Citrus-Lime Epos and Stock Control system is based on Microsoft RMS and has all the essential features you need to run a bike business. It can handle assemblies so

you can build custom bike quotes for your customers, matrix items – essential for dealing with clothing size and colour variations and has the full range of pricing and promotion features, such as vouchers and club discount schemes. The ‘workshop module’ integrates with RMS and includes calendar functionality with email and SMS

integration so customers are kept informed of progress fixing and servicing their bikes. The company also offers integrated ecommerce websites, drastically reducing the administrative overheads involved in running a ‘clicks and mortar’ business with shared stock files. This means no ordering of out-ofstock items, and orders downloaded can be directed back into the main Epos system.

BIKEBIZ.COM


CORE BIKE

Silverfish SILVERFISH WILL once again be bringing its complete and extensive range of brands to the show. 2009 marks the tenth year of trading for Silverfish UK, and the celebrations will kick off at the Core Bike show. To mark this occasion, Silverfish will be joined on stand by a number of representatives from its brands to provide all stores and dealers who visit with the chance to get the most up-todate information available, directly from the people behind the brands themselves. Representatives will be on hand from RaceFace, Rocky Mountain Bikes, THE, ITS Tyres, SDG, e.thirteen and Turner Bikes, providing retailers with all of the information about their brands being displayed on the stand. Silverfish UK will also have a couple of very special guests appearing on its stand over the duration of the show, who will be available to meet and greet all visitors and answer all of your questions – as well as hand out birthday cake. The show will also be the first official UK launch of the 2009 DW-Link equipped Tuner Bikes range. On display

will be the full range of frames from Dave Turner and Dave Weagles first collaboration, which stole the show at the 2008 Interbike Trade Show in Vegas. Silverfish staff will be on hand to talk stores through the range of frames and dealership options. CoreBike is also your chance to view the new platforms and bikes from Rocky Mountain Bikes. The new 5.5” travel

Altitude is available in either a carbon or aluminium frame and is designed for all marathon and AM needs. Meanwhile the Vertex RSL has already taken World Cup glory in 2008 and, with its Carbon frame and lightweight package, it is going to be every racers model of choice. These bikes will be on display alongside the full 2009

range of products from the Canadian brand. On display will also be the complete range of RaceFace performance components including the new Next carbon ¾-inch riser bars and Deus Alloy XC ¾-inch bars. RaceFace offers a complete component range to suit every price point and discipline, and is a must stock brand for any serious cycle store. RaceFace is not limited to just hard goods though, as 2009 will see a completely re-worked line-up of protection and armour landing, including a new line-up of ladies and youth products, as well as an expanded men’s range. With new brands being launched in the UK, new product offerings and a complete range of market-leading components, bikes, soft goods and protection on offer, the Silverfish stand is a must view room at this year’s Core Bike show.

Jim Walker JIM WALKER and company is attending the Core Bike show for the first time this year. The distributor plans to display its full portfolio of top-end products, including the 2009 DeRosa range, along with King 3 and the new Neo Pro. The company will also showcase the World Cup winning Sunday bike from Iron Horse, alongside updated greats such as the SixPoint and MKIII, and the brand new Bootleg cross-country bikes. There will be soft goods too. The new Northwave Shoes and apparel ranges are sure to receive great interest, along with Campagnolo’s new Sportswear. There

will also be a chance to view the newest addition to the portfolio – Campagnolo components – with the new 11-speed groupsets. These will be accompanied by Italian counterparts Fulcrum Wheels, which too has some exciting new additions, including the Ceramic XLR carbon wheels and on the MTB side, the eagerly awaited Red Fire wheels. Jim Walker and Co will also be utilising the show to seek prospective new accounts, and will be offering the opportunity to take orders from new and existing dealers. Various stocking in packages will be available with fantastic dealer margins as incentives.

“We see it as a great show that is becoming increasingly important for both distributors and dealers alike.”

Merida MERIDA WAS founded in Taiwan in 1972 and has grown to be one of the biggest, most respected OEM manufacturers in the world, with a production volume of over two-million bikes per year. The Merida brand was launched in 1986 and is now present in 70 countries across the world, with sales of over 400,000 bikes per year. Within its own range, innovative product development has now become the absolute number one priority for Merida’s team. The Merida product development team has some of the most state-ofthe-art testing equipment in the world at its disposal, and the Multivan Merida Biking Team as a thorough test squad to go with it.

34 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

This clearly shows in the new NinetySix model range, which represents the latest carbon fibre technology available, producing the stiffest and lightest fullsuspension bike in the world – the 9kg Ninety Six Team D. Also expected from across the range are rides such as the 12-inch wheel to Triathlon, BMX to All-Mountain models. Merida Taiwan has set its sights on becoming a top-three brand worldwide along with Specialized and Giant, in many countries around the world that target has been achieved. In the UK, the brand still has some ground to gain. If you need a strong premium brand, to compete with one of the ‘big’ agencies, then visit the Merida stand at CoreBike.

BIKEBIZ.COM


MOUNTAIN CYCLE INTERVIEW

IBD brand goes consumer direct A contradiction in terms? Not according Mountain Cycle. CEO Krien Dawson tells Carlton Reid he wants to ape consumer electronics giant Apple, going direct yet also sticking with IBDs... IT’S A TOUGH ONE. Microbrand wants to stay competitive in an eBay world, but can’t rely on just IBDs any more. There aren’t enough that can economically do justice to Mountain Cycle – a high-end, niche brand with expensive, iconic product, which is forever under pressure to sell direct to a loyal, hyperknowledgeable customer base. It was up to Krien Dawson to change this state of affairs. He’s been the Grenoble-based CEO of Mountain Cycle for two years, and is a 12-year veteran of the bike trade – having previously worked for Vario, Madison and dealers Mud Dock and Beeline Bikes of Oxford. He said: “We believe hugely in independent bicycle dealers. Our aim is not to damage this relationship, but to realistically look at how we can work in the best interests of our brand, the IBD and the consumer.” After problems with production last year, he felt he could reshape the way Mountain Cycle did business, and that this could be a way forward for other microbrands, too. “I didn’t anticipate that we would be hit so badly by a number of problems during 2007 at our Taiwanese production BIKEBIZ.COM

facilities. The impact of this was that stock we were expecting to arrive in early summer 2007 only started to come in to our warehouse in the middle of the 2008 season. “Obviously this has had some pretty major implications to our original budget. Thankfully we’re supported by one of the most

use to engineer our range of monocoque bikes.” Dawson started by ending all existing distribution agreements and set up Mountain Cycle’s European distribution facility, in a similar way to how the US division operates. After this had been completed, he had to tackle the issue of pricing.

+ duty + distributor margin + IBD margin + VAT = sales price. The problem was that I really wasn’t happy with the MSRP price that this calculation added up to. “We knew that we would never be willing to compromise our production quality, because of the legacy that Robert

One of the unwritten rules of the bicycle business has always been ‘brands shall not sell direct’. I had to question why customers are now making their primary buying decisions on the web. While we know price is not everything, it’s undoubtedly a factor. stable of Taiwanese companies – Ideation Industrial. As we started to pick up the pieces, and set in place strategies for bringing back this brand, it gave us many opportunities to talk to some of the most switched-on bike retailers in the world. We benefited from their great insights into the market and its challenges. “I knew that Mountain Cycle would have to be as adventurous in its business policies as it is in its design philosophy, which we

“One of the unwritten rules of the bicycle business has always been ‘brands shall not sell direct’. I had to question why customers are now making their primary buying decisions on the web, and while we know that price is not everything, it’s undoubtedly one of their primary deciding factors. Consumers now have a much lower expectation of realistic retail prices. “This industry has always used the following pricing calculation: Cost + brand margin + transport

Reissinger left us. “In the end we came up with a brand new policy. We called it 'Kick A$$ Value’, which means that the Mountain Cycle brand will now retail directly to the consumer, as well as being distributed through a select number of IBDs.” Inspiration for this potentially fatal change of strategy came from Dawson’s favourite computer brand: “Apple Computers sell through the firm’s own website, via the Apple

Stores, via authorised retailers, and even in Wal-Mart. “When it sells directly to the consumer, Apple is pocketing a substantial margin. Inversely when an iPod gets put into a basket of groceries, we know that Apple has had to offer almost all its margin to WalMart. In either scenario Apple has still made a sale, and the consumer has bought from the most convenient retail channel.” He agrees it’s a risky stategy: “It’s sure to upset a few dealers but it’s the fairest way for our brand to operate. We will not be competing with our dealers, if anything we are expecting to be driving sales to them. Nor are we merely selling on price. But we do know that, at the very end of the buying process, the customer always thinks about the price they are investing. We remain a niche brand dedicated to our ideals, but we can now offer pricing that will make us incredibly competitive with the ‘big boys’ of the cycle industry. “The current world economic crisis will play in our favour. We don’t expect customers to stop buying new bikes, but we do anticipate that they will become even more price conscious, even at the top-end.”

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 37


PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT Send your recruitment news to mark.sutton@intentmedia.co.uk People & Recruitment is Sponsored by Halfords

Flurry of moves for Moore Large sales team There are two promotions, a new recruit and a returning exec at the distributor  Powacycle hires a new regional account manager  Tibbets quits Cycle Show team  Sugoi appoints new chief operating officer MOORE LARGE  ADAM GARNER has received a promotion following five years’ service and will now take on the position of Haro field sales manager. Garner has previously worked within the Moore Large sales team, the marketing department and most recently as a cycle area sales manager for the Midlands region. Garner’s new role will focus on the further development of the Haro MTB and BMX brand on a national basis. He can be contacted on 07971 991630 or by emailing him via adam.garner@moorelarge.co.uk. STACEY TIDMAS has returned to the distributor following the birth of her son Samuel and is now back in office. Tidmas’

38 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

Adam Garner

position is area sales manager for parts and accessories throughout the Midlands regions. She has been with Moore Large for over six years and has previously worked within the internal sales office prior to her promotion for her current role. Tidmas can be contacted on 07971 991639 or you can email her via stacey.tidmas@moorelarge.co.uk. JAMES ALLEN has also been on board with Moore Large for over six years and, as a result, has been promoted to area sales manager for the cycle division following a successful period covering Stacey Tidmas’ maternity leave. Allen can be contacted on 07971 991637 or james.allen@moorelarge.co.uk. ADAM BIGGS, meanwhile, is a

new recruitment, taking on a role within Moore Large’s internal sales team. Before joining Moore Large, Biggs was a full-time roadracing cyclist for three years. Biggs returned to Britain in June, following a spate of international competitions in France, Italy, Spain and even the Carribbean. Since then, Biggs has been working in a cycle shop to develop his knowledge of the industry. Biggs can be contacted on 01332 274 280 or by emailing him via adam.biggs@moorelarge.co.uk. POWACYCLE  STEVE SHAW has joined PowaCycle as the regional account manager for Midlands and the North of England, representing both

PowaCycle and the newlylaunched Infineum brand. Shaw has apparently worked within the cycle industry his whole life, having previously held positions at Giant, SRAM Europe and Moore Large and also having spent time with distributors Hykeham Wholesale and Massi. PowaCycle is a leading UK supplier of Electric Bikes. Shaw can be contacted by emailing him via Steve.Shaw@PowaCycle.co.uk SUGOI  Sugoi Performance Apparel, a division of Dorel Industries, has announced that JAMES BOTTOMS has joined the company, taking up the position of chief operating officer. Sugoi president, Stan Mavis

BIKEBIZ.COM


PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT

said of the appointment: “This is a tremendous example of Dorel Industries providing us with the resources and vision to push Sugoi forward as an incredibly vibrant and growing brand. James is absolutely at the top of his profession, and his addition will have enormous benefits to our operations and expansion.” Bottoms arrives at Sugoi from Mountain Hardwear, where as director of operations, he served on the five-strong executive team, overseeing all aspects of the company’s customer service and distribution, production, supply chain and logistics, planning and purchasing.

Simon Withers

BIKEBIZ.COM

UPPER STREET EVENTS  JAMES TIBBETTS has left Upper

Street Events, the organisor behind the hugely successful Cycle exhibition. Tibbetts said of his departure: “I’m moving on to work on some new projects, and to return to University!” Upper Street Events has yet to announce a replacement for Tibbets on the Cycle ‘09 team. FUTURE  SIMON WITHERS Simon Withers has rejoined Cycling Plus magazine. During his first spell he spent six and a half years as the magazine’s production editor. In his absence, Withers continued to write for the mag on a freelance basis. Now, following four years working on a non-cycling title, Withers has returned to the magazine as technical editor.

James Bottoms

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 39


RETAIL ONLY The trade’s guide to the best customer service, up-and-coming IBDs and the hottest products

RETAIL COMMENT WE’RE ON the home stretch of 2008 now. If you’re the optimistic type (hang on... bike trade) then there’s plenty of potential to cash in this Christmas. In the spirit of the festive season, now’s the time to greet customers with a smile, because this year there are no major games console launches to compete with, nor has there been a time when cycling cured so many of society’s ills, apparently. All year round the media has been plastering cycling everywhere. And, it seems cycling as a sport is finally considered mainstream, perhaps down to the draw of the Olympics, perhaps down to individual successes (or returns) through the year. What’s more, us journos seem to have put the fear into non-cyclists by effectively branding them chubby, worlddestroyers, all doomed to bankruptcy. Personally, I like to believe people are turning to cycling for the sheer joy that it brings to the soul, but I’m an optimist. Optimistic or not, shouldn’t we be getting kids into cycling on the basis that it’s fun, as opposed to telling them they must cycle to be acceptable in this world?

What better way to sell than to suggest some local family-friendly rides. Or, you could call them fat. It’s your choice... As a store owner, what could you do to make sure that the sales you make this Christmas draw customers and their kids back in store a second time? Well... you could sell crap bikes. But then they’d be returning for the wrong reasons, no doubt traumatised by their first experiences of pedal power. The future has to deliver quality bikes for kids. The potential is huge, yet the children’s sector appears to have been surrendered to the multiples. But why? This Christmas, try to convince parents to invest as much in their kids’ bikes as they do their own. If successful, that second visit will either be an opportunity to upsell accessories on the back of a standard service, or it may be a year down the line when the child has seemingly doubled in size and needs to make another investment. There are some great introductory bikes, trikes and scooter-style bikes on the market this year. Manufacturers have done their research. Toddlers’ and kids’ bikes are coming in a variety of exciting finishes, emulating more adult bicycles. What better way to sell to a customer than to point out what a great family ride the local trail is. Or, you could point out they’re getting fat. It’s your choice... Mark Sutton

IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE CUSTOMER SERVICE

44

Carlton Reid talks to Tarty Bikes about leading a niche market.

PARTS AND ACCESSORIES

49

This month we look at the wheel. That’s tyres, tubes, hubs, rims and the pumps used to put them on a roll.

OFF THE RECORD

61

As of this month, BikeBiz will carry a page dedicated to the shenanigans of you guys and gals on the frontline.


CUSTOMER SERVICE Customer Service sponsored by

About TartyBikes Owner: Adam Read Location: Preston, Lancs Esablished: 2004 Telephone: 01772 32 33 33 Web: www.tartybikes.co.uk Email: info@tartybikes.co.uk

Trials and tribulations With a stand-out name and a growing reputation, TartyBikes of Lancashire is an online retailer servicing a niche market. Niche, but not small. Trials bikes will sell, recession or no recession... IN THE first BikeBiz awards, Chain Reaction of Belfast walked off with the best online retailer, but one of the runners-up was a smaller, newer, less mainstream operator, TartyBikes.co.uk. TartyBikes is a four-man outfit operating out of premises in Bamber Bridge, near Preston, less than a mile from junction 29 of the M6. It retails complete trials bikes, bike frames, bike wheels, forks, brakes and handlebars, from brands such as Onza and Monty bike parts. It is also the official importer of Koxx, Try-All, Echo, ZOO, and Yaabaa trials bike brands. "We pride ourselves on unrivalled product knowledge and outstanding customer service," says business cofounder Adam Read. He started the business in November 2004 with his friend David Cleaver. Both hold Bachelors Degrees in Sports Engineering from Loughborough University. Cleaver left the business in October 2007. Read is a committed trail riders, as are the other three members of the current team at TartyBikes. "Between us we have 30 years’ experience with trials," reveals Read, who admits to

42 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

"knowing crazy amounts of useful stuff about trials bikes." "I currently ride a customised Koxx Hoesel 20 inch specced with a pair of Hope Mono trial brakes and full of titanium goodies. But despite all this pimpness, my riding hasn't improved for years, but I still like nothing more than heading off to some rocks for a few hours after work." The other members of TartyBikes are: Alastair Clarkson (Ali C): Clarkson has previously worked

Alastair Clarkson

for Orange MTBs and Blazing Saddles bike shop, but his main love has always been trials. He is currently ranked in the top 20 trials riders by the UCI. At TartyBikes he deals with customer orders, phones and workshop tasks. He rides an Ozonys XS26 bike with custom spec. His bike is a bit "different," he says, "full of holes and modifications, including tyres with knobbles chopped off and alternate alloy-steel front disc rotor bolts." Jonathan Smith: Smith joined

Jonathan Smith

TartyBikes in May and is another capture from Loughborough University (he has a Ph.D in Sports Technology). He’s not a natural born trials rider, preferring BMX, 4X, XC and DH. He has ridden for Identiti, Simtra and Muddy Fox. He’s the TartyBikes PR man. When he rides trials, he rides a Meta 360cc. Gavin Evans: Evans joined TartyBikes in August. He has raced BMX from the age of four, then took up flatland BMX at 12, rode BMX, dirt, street and park until he was 17, then took up

Gavin Evans

downhill and XC. Since 1998 he has been hooked on trials. He works in the warehouse, packing orders, and is also handy in the workshop. He rides an Ozonys Cannibal specced with parts from Hope, Onza, Try-All and Maxxis. The TartyBikes team runs a business but, as bike nuts, they also identify strongly with their customers: "As riders ourselves, we understand how it feels to be without a bike. We always aim to put ourselves in our customer's shoes – we feel this is the only way to offer a level of service all parties will be 100 per cent satisfied with," explains Read. "We make our refund and returns policy as fair as possible – nobody likes buying something to find it won't fit, or isn't suitable, and you can't send it back. We are also against overthe-top postage prices. It's suprisingly cheap to send items using Royal Mail, and we pass these prices directly on to our customers. All postage prices are calculated by weight, not how difficult or time-consuming it is to wrap an order." Because it is not just part of the trials scene, but embedded in it, wallowing in it, Read claims TartyBikes is "the world's leading online trials bike shop." BIKEBIZ.COM


BIKEBIZ.COM

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 43


IBD PROFILE

M Steel Cycles

Owner: Joe Waugh Locations: 6 to 10 Bowsdon Terrace, South Gosforth, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 1RX Established: 1894 Telephone: 0191 285 1251 Web: www.msteelcycles.co.uk Email: sales@msteelcycles.co.uk Opening times: Monday 9:30-6:00; Tuesday-Friday 8:30-6:00; Saturday 9:00-5:00; Sunday 10:00-4:00

44 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

Scoring with Alan Shearer... M Steel Cycles had been trading from a corner site on Salters Road, Gosforth, since 1981. In October, a new location for the business was officially opened by England and Newcastle footballing legend Alan Shearer. The new shop is right next door to the old one, but three times the size. It’s also one of only four shops in the UK to incorporate the Specialized Store in store concept, and one of 15 shops to provide the Specialized Body Fit system. The upper floor is 1,000 square ft of clothing (Altura mostly, and Specialized shoes, the only shoe brand in store). The lower floor is 1,500 square ft of bikes and accessories. Again, Specialized dominates but there are also Trek bikes on display. The business has been in Gosforth since 1894 although it wasn't originally a bike shop. The association with cycles started in the 1920s. The business was bought by Geoff

Dobson in 1954. In 1980 he and Dave Yates, a former schoolteacher, founded M. Steel Lightweight Cycles to manufacture custom frames at a factory unit in Wallsend, five miles from the Gosforth shop. Joe Waugh, an accountant, joined the company in 1982. Waugh won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games Team Time Trial in Brisbane, Australia in 1982. He was also a noted hill climber, winning Milk Race jerseys, which now hang in the shop. The new location is a former fishing tackle shop and took a month to renovate. “It’s been a long time in the making but we’re all so happy to be moved in. I can’t believe how good the new shop looks," enthused Waugh. “We now have enough space to really show off what we’re about. We are here for the people who cycle to work or

take the kids out for a ride on the weekend, as much as we are here for the racers and mountain bike enthusiasts.” Renovating the shop next door wasn't a stress free task for Waugh. He said: "Need to lose weight? Forget diets and exercise, just move shop.” At the official opening, over 100 guests - including former co-owners of the business, Geoff Dobson and Dave Yates were treated to food, drink, and the services of a caricature artist and balloon sculptors. To Alan Shearer, Waugh said: "Forget the caps, forget all the goals, forget all the accolades, you're now my hero. You've discovered a real sport: cycling!"

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PARTS AND ACCESSORIES

On a roll... Unicycles, bicycles and tricycles all utilise the wheel and its components in one way or another. BikeBiz analyses the market’s most current products from the tyres right down to the hubs, as well as the pumps best suited to the customer’s needs...

Ison HALO has several exciting new products for 2009 – including UK dirt jump superstar Sam Pilgrim's signature SAS Purple Haze wheelset. These wheels have been tested by Pilgrim for months and helped him on the way to win the Qashqai London event, as well as the Avoriaz Roof n' Slopestyle and Adidas Slopestyle Saalbach comps. The wheelset is available with two front hub choices and two rear hub choices to cater for all 26-inch jumping needs. All 2009 Halo SAS and Freedom Disc wheels will come with upgraded Halo Spin Doctor Pro rear hubs, which use fully-

Paligap PALIGAP'S latest edition to its portfolio, Fast Forward wheels, has gotten off to an incredibly speedy start, with sales outperforming the distributor’s estimates by over 70 per cent. Perhaps one reason why dealers have frantically snapped up the wheels is the competitive margin offered. An additional selling-point is that all FFWD wheels include a padded wheel bag, something traditionally sought as an extra by consumers. According to Ben Gaby, marketing manager of Paligap: "The big sellers seem

BIKEBIZ.COM

Moore Large

sealed, using four-cartridge bearings. Halo also has Track wheels in a new Purple colourway adding to the range, which includes Fluro Yellow, Black and White colours. To accompany these track wheels a new Halo Twin Rail Courier tyre (700c x 24mm) is being added to the range to keep all the fixies and urban cyclists happy. Available in several bright colours, (as well as black) including, pink, green, white and purple, these will make bikes stand out from the crowd. Using Halo’s patented Twin Rail design, these tyres make it easy to take bikes along towpaths, as well as tarmac. Halo has an extensive range of wheels, tyres, skewers and tubes to cover all types of cycling, including road, XC, jumping, DH, cyclo-cross, commuter, track and BMX, all of which can be seen at www.halorims.com.

THE KENDA John Tomac signature King of Traction tyre is well-suited for the muddy conditions that the British winter provides us with year after year. The dual layer rubber increases wet-weather performance, while the design takes into account suitable grip in wet, muddy and soft or loose terrain conditions. The tyre features an aggressive knobbly tread, increasing traction, yet are spaced far enough apart for tread clearing. Available in 26-inch only, the tyre also has been developed in a downhill suited version. Retail price is £26.99. To become a stockist or for further information contact Moore Large on 01332 274 252 or email sales@moorelarge.co.uk.

to be F4R wheelsets with own-brand FFWD hubs. There has also been great interest in the white version of the F2R wheels." And, it's not just Fast Forward that’s available via the distributor. Paligap also handles Ritchey wheels and components. The Ritchey Silhouette wheelset, aimed at cyclo-cross enthusiasts, features a completely serviceable bearing and cone system. Designed to be vertically compliant on rough roads, Ritchey wheels are built tough, yet are light enough to blend in on the very highest quality custom builds.

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 47


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PARTS AND ACCESSORIES

Cannondale CANNONDALE has focused a lot of attention to make its product appeal to female cyclists, going as far as hiring staff with plenty of experience in tailoring items to hold greater appeal to women. The women's specific track pump is evidence of the lengths the company is going to draw female cyclists. With a smaller diameter, soft touch ergonomic handle, the track pump is much better suited to female hands. The pump has a much lower vertical height, yet holds a double-chambered barrel for easier inflation. Like most things nowadays, it’s designed lightweight, upping its appeal further. Don’t be fooled though, the alloy barrel is built tough. Other features include a micro-adjust

Extra AVAILABLE from Extra, Hutchinson is one of the brands pushing the pace in the tyre market at present. Offering a diverse range of tyres and tubeless alternatives, as well as tubes and more, dealers will find a good choice of stock. Final prices are yet to be confirmed on the new Hutchinson line, because of the ever fluctuating exchange rate. However dealers will be able to get these details from Extra by the time this edition lands.

Chicken Cyclekit CELEBRATING 100 years of rim manufacturing, Rigida has become renowned for its customer support, high levels of service and accountability. Today, Rigida International is the world’s largest rim maker with subsidiaries in France, Holland, Hungary, China and Malaysia. Other new sites are in the process of finalisation or under consideration. Rigida has developed the Safety Line, Carbide Supersonic sidewalls, internal dimpled oversize spoke holes and its Star Assembly Technology. A retro-fit Tubeless Seal is the latest patent the company has BIKEBIZ.COM

Hope

Alex Rims

IN CONSUMER magazine reviews, the Hope Pro3 wheels have been described as a 'bombproof' set of wheels, suited to racing or touring. A continuation of the Pro 2 wheels, the new Pro3 SP (straight pull) wheels are a combination of lightweight, reliability and value. Again teaming up with world renowned DT Swiss, and using their proven Super Competition Triple Butted spokes and new XR 4.2d rims . Hope wheelsets are laced and hand-finished in the UK. The XR 4.2d rim offers superb construction, low weight and an ideal wheel build for general XC use through to all day epics and racing.

ACLASS, the wheel brand of the leading Taiwanese rim manufacturer Alex Rims has developed eight new models for 2009. These all focus on the aftermarket for light and exclusive wheelsets. AClass has developed complete new hubs for MTB and road wheels together with the European design company. All wheels still use ultrareliable DT Spokes. Alex Rims has utilised several

bleeder valve, a tough steel base providing maximum vertical support and rubber foot grips. A top-mounted easy to read gauge, segmented by PSI readings, adds to the spec-sheet. The HeadMaster valve head is compatible with both presta and schrader without modification, while the locking head ensures it won't backfire when pressure is applied.

An example tyre from the new line is the Cobra, an all round tyre suited primarily to dry terrain. This model was designed alongside Olympic champion and Team Orbea rider, Julien Absalon The tyre has a dense pattern of knobs for traction, while the tread is lowered in the centre to minimise rolling resistance. High lateral grips surround these, meaning the tyre will hold its grip through corners. Also weaved into the design is a 'skaneskin' pattern on the sidewalls, something likely to make it stand out from others on the rack. The Cobra is available in two widths, 2.10 and 2.25, both in 26-inch only. obtained. These innovations show that Rigida is continuously searching for products with advantages for its customers and riders. The safety line system also shows the wear out of the rim. Without this the rim sidewall would collapse immediately. The system gives a warning to replace the rim by a concentric groove at the brake-side of the rim and prevents potential accidents. The Carbide Supersonic sidewalls is Rigida’s highest quality for optimal braking, even in wet weather circumstances. Special brake blocks are needed, which can be obtained through Magura, Koolstop and Swiss-stop.

Seventies SHADOW constructs its wheels using some of the best aftermarket parts available. This effectively creates a high-end wheelset out of parts that would normally have to be purchased separately and then built, thus cutting down on sourcing the parts separately and then having to lace and true them, both of which can end up being time consuming and costly. The wheels are built using Shadow Rota rims. The front is paired with a Shadow Rant front hub - a lightweight, low flange, 10mm axle, sealed bearings, 36-holed hub - whilst the rear is paired with the Shadow Rant V2 cassette hub,

Coyote Sports COYOTE SPORTS carries a comprehensive range of tyres and tubes from DSI and under its own branded Konnekt brand, too. Coyote also carries a selection of Rubena tyres and tubes, which will be increased over the coming months. Coyote has a comprehensive range of wheels, with branded models from Skyways, Wilkinson Wheels, Cross wheels and a house brand of Coyote wheels. The Wilkinson wheel range covers a variety of

Internal dimpled spokeholes improve crossing of spokes for wheels and the stability of wheels with big hubs such as those on E-bikes. Rigida’s tubeless system is attractive in price and comes with a Tubeless Seal and rim tape for tubeless rims that can be fitted after the wheel has been made. It offers all the benefits of tubeless, but in addition, the advantage that in case the tubeless tyre is too heavily damaged to make on road repairs, a tube can be fitted with ease. The Rigida Group has pledged a 100 per cent commitment to continuous improvement in quality, delivery dates

technologies to make wheels as aerodynamically flush, light and strong as possible. For example, the R600 model is said to be the first and only 42mm aerodynamic alloy rim with a weight of less than 600g. Another highlight is the XCR Pro Scandium, the latest development of Alexrims. The rim is made of SSL (Scandium Superlight) material and has a weight of only 300g. The rim has already been used for over 18-months by the Merida Multivan Team.

which runs on a 14mm axle and comes in nine and ten tooth sizes. This hub takes a unique approach in cassette hub designs by inverting the spring and pawl mechanism, mounting them in the hub instead of the driver. This allows six double size pawls and individual springs to be utilised, creating an ultra reliable hub in a compact lightweight package. The wheelsets are available with black hubs and spokes with a choice of black, white, lime, purple or red rims. (The rear is also available with a Chrome rim)

24, 26-inch, 700c road and hybrid and 27 x 11/4. The Cross wheels come as a matching pair, boxed in single pairs with v-section, special spoke patterns and crosser rims. Coyote also stocks a huge range of BMX wheels, including the Premier Wheels and Sat-lite mags. New arrivals into the range include the much sort retro Skyway mags, great for dealers with an old-school following. For full details, visit www.coyotesports.com or phone the sales line on 01204 548903.

and product innovation. For the first time a complete selection of rims is now available in the UK from distributors Chicken Cycle-Kit. Early next year the first deliveries of Ryde Rigida wheels will come on stream. This delivery will include a selection of road and MTB wheels.

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 49


PARTS AND ACCESSORIES Bohle ALTHOUGH nearly ten years old, the Fat Albert is still one of Schwalbe’s most popular mountain bike tyres. It was the first of the big volume, yet lightweight tyres. Now Schwalbe has created a whole new generation of this ‘all-rounder’. The Fat Albert excels in marathon and 24-hour rides, as well as holding its own in Freeride events. The Fat Albert grips and performs on any terrain – either wet or dry. Making them front and rear specific has allowed the Schwalbe technicians to concentrate the tread design to fully meet the requirements of both tyres, for example traction for the rear and improved steering and braking control for the front. The shoulder positioned U-Blocks of the front tyre grip positively in cornering offering extreme confidence at speed. The rear provides powerful

SKS THE SKS REVO pump combines innovative technology with a pump specifically designed for mountain bikers. Revo-lock is the name given to the new valve clamping system, which does away with the traditional locking lever. By turning the sleeve through 90-degrees, the pump will engage and clamp the valve securely. The Puro has been designed as a highpressure pump specific for road bikes.

Madison SHIMANO’S new 29er tubeless ready disc wheelset will be a welcome addition to those alternative riders who’ve already invested in the 29er scene. They’ll also appeal to riders of the new breed of disc equipped 700c commuters and hybrids popping up everywhere at the moment. Stiff, strong and reasonably lightweight, these wheels utilise a straight pull, double butted 24-spoke design, 23.3mm rim width, oversize 7075 T6 alloy axles and angular contact bearings. Madison also handles Continental in the UK, meaning stock of the brand new Der Kaiser and Rain King DH Tyres, both £44.99 at retail cost, is available now. Der Kaiser is a super sticky tyre, which uses Continental’s secret Black Chilli compound and a strong doubleply carcass to ward off the pinch flats.

50 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

propulsion, but without any loss of cornering grip. New for 2009, these tyres are designed with the Evolution carcass, again taken from the Nobby Nic and Racing Ralph series. The tyres also feature the new Triple Nano compound and the SnakeSkin sidewalls as standard with the options of Double Defence using the new HD Ceramic Guard puncture protection belt under the tread. This is all in addition to Schwalbe's UST technology. The air retention of the UST tyres is not maintained by the incorporation of butyl into the tread compound, but by applying an internal layer of butyl to the inside of the tyre. This means that only deep penetration can reach this layer, which can easily be repaired with a conventional puncture repair patch. Sizes include 26 x 2.25 and 26 x 2.40 folding only. For further information about the Schwalbe 2009 range, contact Chris Hearn at Bohle UK on 01952 602680 or alternatively visit the website at www.schwalbe.com.

Complete with a recessed valve head and integrated pressure gauge this pump has the cool factor. SKS also manufactures a variety of mudguards, including the best-selling Shockblade. The front guard is highly adaptable, fitting the majority of suspension forks with an easy quick release fastening. The Shockblade’s body is made from a virtually unbreakable, high-quality dual-compound plastic. The brand is available in the UK via Raleigh, Chicken Cyclekit and Madison.

The Rain King DH is the brand’s foul weather spike for when the mud is thick. Both tyres are available in a folding 2.5-inch version to begin with, weigh under 1,000g each and are due into stock in the New Year. The distributor also handles both Blackburn and Park, both of which offer pumps. The Blackburn Air Tower carries the standard lifetime warranty, can inflate to 140 PSI and comes in three colours. Retail price is £29.99. Park Tool's Half Pint mini pump features an aluminium barrel, soft touch grips and a flip-out handle make it easy on the hands.

Fisher Outdoors AVAILABLE from February 2009, Fisher Outdoors will take stock of SRAM wheels. The S-series caters for road enthusiasts, constructed from carbon shaped to be aero-efficient, yet competition ready. With the same toroidal profile as the fastest wheels in the world (Zipp) SRAM wheels make an affordable package with a proven pedigree. The S-series rims feature an aluminium braking surface, which provides far greater, yet smoother stopping power. Sapim spokes are laced into alloy nipples – 18 on the front 20 on the rear. Each wheel utilises an anti-vibration dampening technology for top-end comfort, while the anodized hubs with quick-release levers are compatible with SRAM and Shimano components. The hand-built wheels roll on Japanese bearings, offering an ultra low-friction roll. There are three wheels available, S40, S60 and S80. The S40 is a lighter weight climbing aero wheel, which accelerates, and sprints with the best of them. The S60 is a versatile 'do it all' wheelset. It is fast, comfortable, and aerodynamic. Windtunnel tests proved this wheelset is one of the most aerodynamic wheels, allowing the

Gelert OUTDOORS company Gelert has an extensive range of pumps on offer to cycle retail. Models range from the top-of-the-range 'electronic' track pump (trade price £16.95) right down to an 'eco' track pump costing just £2.20 at trade. An assortment of foot pumps and hand pumps are also available from just £2.75 (trade price). Of the hand pumps, the mini alloy pump with gauge features a changeable valve lock for schrader, presta and woods valves. The integral pressure gauge measures PSI/BAR

Cyclesport North AS DISTRIBUTOR of both Campagnolo and Vittoria, Cyclesport North has plenty on offer to get customers rolling. Vittoria puts a tremendous amount of effort into maintaining its position as the world’s uncontested top name in tubulars and tyres, and is constantly developing cutting-edge technologies and innovative new products. The invaluable shared experience of several cycling champions has lead to the creation of tyres and tubulars capable of satisfying even the most demanding and expert users. Of the Campagnolo product, expect to see a blend of prime-quality materials from the aerospace industry: carbon fibre, titanium and aluminium alloys. Products in carbon fibre are constantly being created, as a glance at the 2008 collection reveals. It includes cranksets, front and rear derailleurs, integrated controls, headsets,

rider to cut through the wind with ease. Finally the S80 uses a very deep rim shape that was developed, tested and refined in the wind tunnel for maximum efficiency for riding against the clock. Brand new to the distributor, comes WTB’s range of tyres and components. The brand manufactures a variety of tyres suited to all-mountain and cross-country pursuits. The brand’s latest cross-country suited rubber – named the Wolverine – is a great climber that performs equally well on descent. This fast-rolling tyre’s moderately-spaced tread pattern combines plentiful working edges that climb to hardpack and outside knobs that let you shred corners. Both a 1.95 and a 2.2 width are available in both UST and race versions. For all-mountain and freeride, both the Prowler MX and XT models are extremely capable in wet, dry and loose terrain. The MX utilises the same aggressive transitions and outside knobs as the prowler XT, but features a shifted centre tread. The MX is a highly predictable tyre at speed, boasting deeppiercing lateral grip in loose conditions. The 2.3-inch version excels on treacherous descents and high-speed chutes while the thinner 2.1 MX thrives on trail rides. readings. Other features include a folding T-handle and a fitting bracket – all for £2.75 trade price. The top of the range 'electronic' pump is built from aluminium and has a unique electronic pre-settable pressure alarm system that includes a backlight for night use. The Gelert sales hotline can be contacted on 01766 510300.

seatposts, bottle cages and high and lowprofile wheels, all made from carbon fibre. Besides distinguishing themselves at the top in terms of innovation, quality and performance, Campagnolo products have also become the benchmark for design. This is testified by the prestigious Compasso d’Oro award from the Associazione Design Italiano.

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BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 51


LETTERS PAGE

Email: mark.sutton@intentmedia.co.uk 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...

Business is booming

From the Forum... So, what is selling in the run-up to Christmas...? “Price increases, crap weather, doom and gloom news. What’s everyone selling?” Lukeee “Nothing. This week is the worst week of the year so far.” mike113 “I’m surprised nobody's mentioned BMX yet.” Lukeee

“BMX.” RussellHW “Cross bikes and the new Defy Advanced and Anthem X from Giant are going well for us. Apart from that, loads of kids’ bikes and BMX.” Ex-angler “BMX.” Beeman

“Ain’t nothing going on but the rent.” 604xt “Lights, mudguards, kids’ bikes, Monster Energy drink and shock services.” Marr “Very little! Don’t you just love retail?” galabikeshop

I MUST SAY I find all the media furore over the socalled credit crunch very deceiving. If you seriously listened to Jeremy Paxman and the like on news programmes being broadcast on every channel going, you’d be under the impression that the sky was going to fall in under the weight of economic pressure. However, I run a small dealership in Gloucestershire and I can honestly say that business is booming. Saturday mornings in particular are busier than they’ve ever been, and we are even getting increased footfall during the week. I used to have to close the shop on Wednesdays and Thursdays a little under a year ago, but now I’m open all week (much to my wife’s approval). We used to mainly deal in mountain bikes and BMXs, but in the last year or so we’ve had much more

BIKEBIZ.COM

demand for mid-to-high-end bikes of all sorts, even demand for electrics. These are being bought by both men and women for travel to and from work. This brings me on to my conclusion – the economic climate, which is so heavily impacting upon things such as petrol, is actually working out quite well for the average bike retailer, even those slightly out of the way like myself. As the price of running a car continues to rise, and public transport remains as extortionate and unreliable as ever, we are bound to see more and more people turning to bikes as their primary mode of transport. Which is great for us, and great for the environment, too. I say bring on the credit crunch, and all the bikes sales that come with it! Yours sincerely, James Hart, via email

STAR LETTER

Get online and sign I WOULD LIKE to rally BikeBiz readers to sign a petition shortly to appear on the 10 Downing Street website regarding a driving ban for those who phone or text and drive. There is currently a oneyear minimum ban for those caught drink driving, yet statistics say that texting and driving is nearly threetimes as dangerous as driving over the limit. I think it only fair that those who are irresponsible at the wheel be banned from driving as they are a danger to themselves and, more importantly, cyclists and pedestrians. To date, I have been knocked off or forced off the road in 12 separate incidents by negligent, law-breaking drivers. On a typical journey, I see perhaps a dozen motorists using their mobiles at the wheel and that's not including the ones who hide handsets in their lap while texting. An interesting development is the use of

front or rear-mounted cameras by cyclists, which are more likely to make abusive drivers think twice when considering a cyclist’s safety. These cameras level the playing field. Why should a cyclist not have equal opportunity to report hazardous drivers, when the motorist can escape the law with various on-board devices such as sat-navs, which alert them to speed cameras? A stunning 50 per cent of drivers admit to texting while driving, according a Transport Research Laboratory study. Reactions slow by 35 per cent while using mobile devices. Even those who had smoked cannabis would make safer drivers, with delayed reactions of 21 per cent.

I will soon be posting a petition on the 10 Downing Street website with various aims to ensure the cyclist is treated equally on our roads. Another aim would be to make sure courts were willing to accept photographic evidence provided by a cyclist, pedestrian or other vehicle. The website can be found at: http://petitions.number10 .gov.uk. Road Peace can be contacted on 0845 4500 355. Best wishes, Alan Ramsay, Road Peace

STAR LETTER Whether it’s a hand-written, sentthrough-the-post letter, email or a comment made on the BikeBiz forum, the best letter of the month wins a box of twelve bottles of one-litre Muc-Off cleaner, supplied by Fisher Outdoor.

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 53


BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE TO ADVERTISE IN THESE PAGES PLEASE CALL CARLY BAILEY ON 01992 535647

The BikeBiz Marketplace offers a complete marketing package of print, online and editorial visibility, allowing companies the opportunity to maintain contact with readers each month without the associated cost of full display advertising. The BikeBiz Marketplace, and its associated online version, has been designed to offer readers a directory of all products and services in the bike trade.

The standard package includes:  A quarter page advert in each issue  Regular editorial coverage in the dedicated column  Company details listed in the online directory with web link  Company details listed in the BikeBiz Marketplace Contacts To get your company featured here contact: Carly Bailey on 01992 535647 or

Your presence in this section ensures that your company’s details are easily found, keeping you one step ahead of your competitors.

carly.bailey@intentmedia.co.uk Marketplace Rates: Quarter Page £175 (minimum six months)

BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE CONTACTS BIKES & ACCESSORIES Paligap

RACKS 01179 823 673

www.paligapltd.co.uk

Pendle Engineering Ltd

01282 699 555

www.pendle-bike.co.uk

Maxx Raxx Trading Ltd

0845 230 3799

www.maxxraxx.co.uk

0117 972 4730

www.argoscycles.com

01709 365 408

www.bikeboxalan.co.uk

Wildoo Ltd

08709 771 550

www.wildoo.co.uk

Bottlestore

0845 602 9267

www.bottlesport.com

01709 511766

www.I-bikeshop.com

0207 2432848

www.soniccycles.co.uk

COMPONENTS USE Ltd

01798 344 477

www.use1.com

Bob Elliot & Co Ltd

01772 459 887

www.bob-elliot.co.uk

Pace Cycles Limited

01723 867919

www.pacecycles.com

RESPRAYS & REPAIRS Argos

STORAGE EPOS

BikeBox

Abacus

0870 442 8240

www.abacusonline.net

GHC

0845 873 8245

www.ghc.co.uk

GEARS The Cycle Division

0845 0508 500

WATER BOTTLES

www.thecycledivision.com WEBSITE SERVICES

LIGHTING Exposure Lights

I-Bikeshop.com 01798 344 477

www.exposurelights.com WHEELS AND TUBULARS Sonic Cycles

BIKEBIZ.COM

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 55


BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE BIKES AND ACCESSORIES

COMPONENTS

56 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

COMPONENTS

COMPONENTS

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BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE

BIKEBIZ.COM

EPOS

EPOS

GEARS

LIGHTING

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 57


BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE RACKS

RACKS

RESPRAYS AND REPAIRS

STORAGE

58 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

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BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE

BIKEBIZ.COM

WATER BOTTLES

WATER BOTTLES

WEBSITE SERVICES

WHEELS AND TUBULARS

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 59


BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE

COMPANY PROFILE

ADVERTISER INDEX A

2Pure

35

ACT

40

Alexrims

51

ATG

B

C

Boca Bearing

51, 63 51

Buffera

5, 43

Chicken

3, 62

Continental Tyres

48

Core Bike

13

Cycle Sport North

45

F

Fisher

H

Halfords

38

Hope

21

Hotlines

64

I

ISON

33

J

Jim Walker

28

L

Karbon Kinetics

18

KTM

M

42, 53

Cover & Page 2

Madison

4, 8

Mission

39

Paligap

36

PCM

24

Powabyke

43

Powacycle

15

S

SKS

52

T

The Cycle Division

U

Upgrade

26

V

Velorbis

54

w

Weldtite

46

Wicler

44

Windwave

31

P

60 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

The standard Abacus installation is most popular with cycle retailers

39, 43

Abacus Business Software TEL: 0151 342 9799 EMAIL: sales@abacusonline.net WEB: www.abacusonline.net

How can dealers become Abacus equipped? It’s as easy as a phone call and an appointment for a visit where we can schedule a full EPOS and website demonstation. Why should they choose Abacus over competitive software? Abacus is the only system currently in the marketplace that offers a high level of reporting and flexibility with an integrated stock lookup that feeds a dedicated website. The dealer stock information is held locally, so there’s no danger of losing vital data over the internet and we also integrate with the major suppliers for stock detail and imaging, making it very easy to create the product database and send orders electronically. The software is backed by over 20 years of development specific to the cycle industry and as a consequence is an extremely stable and reliable platform. What level of customer support can you offer post-sale? In a word, high. We have a 24-hour, seven day-a-week helpline and if remedial work is necessary we can access our software remotely to identify any problem. Hardware problems that require a site visit, we would treat as a matter of urgency. Our webservers are located on the top UK server farm and we guarantee a 99 per cent uptime on the websites. As I mentioned before, this is an extremely stable and reliable system, so these issues are few and far between.

To what extent is the Abacus system able to be tailored to the cycling trade? The system is pretty flexible and as we grow, then we can engineer even greater flexibility into the software. There’s no doubt, though, that this is a cycle industry product first and foremost. What's the most popular system with cycle trade customers? The standard Abacus system is the most popular, but currently we are retro linking websites for our current clients. Dealers who want a refined till system with good reporting potential and an integrated website option should give Abacus a serious consideration. How is business generally for Abacus year on year? Our business continues to grow year on year. 2008 has been yet another successful year as we continue to take on many new customers. Dealers’ requirements are becoming more sophisticated and we are there to help install the reporting systems needed to grow their businesses. Will you be present at any cycle shows this year? We will be attending Icebike in February and Cycle 2009, plus some other shows yet to be confirmed. Anyone interested in the Abacus system can contact us on 0151 342 9799 or by email at sales@abacusonline.net and we can arrange an on-site demonstration with all questions answered. BIKEBIZ.COM


OFF THE RECORD

OFF THE RECORD

Send your pictures to mark.sutton@intentmedia.co.uk

Obamarama! Here’s a few snaps sent by ThunderVote in America – an organisation designed to encourage voters to the polling stations. The bike shown is a custom-painted Dolan track bike designed by Thunderdog Studios. The bike was used on the campaign trail to rouse support for president-elect Barack Obama. Terry Dolan, owner of Dolan, said of the bike: “This was the craze in the States; people were just getting bikes and customising them to show their support for Obama. These guys just bought one of ours and set to work on it, our US distributor sent us the snaps.” Pre-election, Obama was spotted aboard a Trek mountain bike, presumably his ride of choice. Also spotted on the internet, Obama spokey dokies!

TSG in the Design Exhibition Museum TSG Protection has earned its place in the Museum of Design in Plastics exhibition. Ison’s brand appears alongside shinpads from Nike, eyewear from Electric Visual and knee and shin protective supports from 661. The exhibition project was given a signed Sam Pilgrim model TSG Evolution helmet for display. Louise Dennis, assistant curator at the Museum, said: “The exhibition will be up until the end of January, with the hope that it may go on to some other museums afterwards." The exhibition is designed to reflect how plastics have contributed to sports.

Revolution Rollapaluza draws 170 riders Any hopes the Rollapaluza crew had of mingling with the stars and watching the track racing at Revolution last month disappeared at 5.30pm, when the venue opened and a queue of 170 racers formed at their sign-in desk. During the next five hours over 250 times were set by the eager crowd. “We’re glad we brought two rigs,” said Paul Churchill of Rollapaluza. “We’re used to being busy, but this is exceptional.” Full results and photos are up on www.rollapaluza.com.

So, about that housewarming party… Charge Bikes has moved its offices to an idyllic spot on the Somerset coastline. Charge Bikes Unit R1 Commerce Park Frome Somerset BA11 2FE ENGLAND +44 (0) 1373 453000

quote unquote “I have noticed that a disturbing number of people these days are riding around on bicycles with brown chains that sound like pillowcases full of mice. I realise that my dream of a pie plate-free world may be far-fetched, but I think a world in which every chain knows a lubricant’s viscous kiss is realistic. If you can brush your own teeth you can lubricate your own chain. If your chain is rusty or squeaky, just put something unctuous on it. That’s it. If you’re the kind of cyclist who rides around with a squeaky drivetrain, chances are you also ride a pretty crappy bike, so don't worry

BIKEBIZ.COM

about fancy boutique lubes. Seriously, just use anything. Three-In-One oil, motor oil, grease, K-Y Jelly, chicken fat – whatever you’ve got in your tool box, refrigerator, or bedside drawer is fine. Even your own mucus can work at a pinch.” BikeSnobNYC, http://bikesnobnyc.blogsp ot.com, October 31st

Hugh Porter

Sponsored by the brands of Moore Large 01332 274252 “The Russians are winning this quite easily, but if they were to crash before the end, even in the last lap, and the Netherlands were – oops – whoa! And what have I said?! Straight away! My goodness me, I mustn’t say things like this! That means the Netherlands will win the bronze medal! My goodness me, that is spooky.” BBC TV commentary from Hugh Porter ‘causing’ the crash of the Russian cycling pursuit team at the UCI World Cup in Manchester in October

sport. Tills are ringing at bike shops and ‘have-a-go’ sessions at the Manchester track are booked up until February.” The Independent, November 1st

“Beijing has sparked a surge in popularity across the

“You know British cycling has come of age when you

UCI World Cup

see bona fide ticket touts outside, such is the demand for this event.” Jill Douglas talking about the UCI World Cup, Manchester, BBC.co.uk, November 2nd “It’s driven by the right set of goals. We just don’t want to see space set aside for uses that there's no demand for.” Mike Slattery, senior vice president of the Real Estate Board of New York, thinks that there may not be enough demand for a new initiative in the city, which would require all new builds to set aside space for bike parking.

BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 61


OFF THE RECORD

IN THE SADDLE

SPOKESMAN Has the pound hit rock bottom yet? Doubtful... Spokesman asks: Will countries which have previously surrendered manufacturing to the East rise from the dust once again...?

Scott Snaith Chairman, 50 Cycles What bikes do you own? I currently own a Kalkhoff Proconnect Sport, a fantastic Pedelec that is as close to being a conventional bike as it is an electric bike. Some people say I’m cheating. However, one could argue that having gears on a bike is cheating... Where's your favourite place to ride? My favourite place to ride is the Peak District, because it is local and has some beautiful scenery.

IF THE banking systems of the world can fall to pieces, just because American banks loan money to people who cannot pay it back, what help is there for us small businesses? Will the banks hold our hands through this economic downturn? If the overdrafts climb through the first quarter of 2009, how many companies – not only in the cycle industry – will fall by the wayside? Will the banks help out as Mr Brown and Mr Darling are asking? I doubt they will. How many of us knew that the banking systems of the world were run closer to the nail head than our own businesses? If we move forward 50 years and the economies of Asia and China catch up with the Western world, no longer will products be so cheap. Once these nations’ peoples revolt and their standard of living improves, they will need to earn the same wage as us in the West. They will also start purchasing the very products they are making and packing to send off around the world. Gone will be the endless stream of container ships of cheap product sailing around the world. Will we then get back to each and every country producing and manufacturing again – importing only the raw material that is not home grown? Maybe then the world will be a better place for all to live. Gone will be the half price bikes we see advertised, you know, the folding bike from Sterling House. Buy one get one free. Raleigh is advertising this month in the national press. Half price bikes. Can they really be half price? Either they are overpriced in the first instance, or they are really cutting the profit line because they have over-bought. Will the consumer really fall for the fact that they are half the original price?

62 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER

How many of us knew that the banking systems of the world were run closer to the nail head than our own businesses? How long will it be before these Far-Eastern producing countries have governments of the people, with noncorrupt rulers? I believe the days of cheaper and cheaper imports are nearing the end. The cost of shipping freight around the world continues to increase. The docking and duty added to the freight cost is almost 30 per cent of the total retail price. With the pound continuing to drop there have to be constant price reviews. That is something we are not used to in the cycle industry. Writing this in mid-November, there does seem to be a slow down, but not a total disaster. As a supplier, I hope to live off stock through the first quarter of 2009, being very careful what I order for the coming summer. I do not want a warehouse full of stock that is not moving. Let us hope all the media predictions are wrong, and we do not see another ‘70s decline, when companies disappeared. Famous names, now only a name on a bike. No longer a brand. Falcon. Elswick. Puch. Peugeot. Viking. Trusty-Viscount. Coventry Eagle. Merry Christmas, and I wish for readers to steer a steady ship in the New Year.

Tell us about your business background? I worked overseas for the first six years of my career, firstly as a sales manager in Bali. Then in Tokyo, Japan, for three years, working in the financial services sector. It was in Japan and because of the love of technology and bicycles that our company was formed. We were the first company in the UK to sell the Honda StepCompo and the Panasonic Pedelec system that was successfully used on the Giant Lafree. In 2004 I made the descision to quit my job and return back to the UK, where both myself and my brother Tim registered 50 Cycles. This was one of the first electric bike distributorships in the UK. Pedelecs are now the biggest growth sector in European bike sales this year. For us, sales are up 80 per cent year-on-year. We decided to launch Univega in the UK because our experience with Derby Cycles and the Kalkhoff brand has been very good. There was no distributor in the UK for Univega, so we began using the bikes in our company for a racing team we had formed. Our team found the bikes to be such good performers and offer such great value, that we could not resist bringing them to the UK for the rest of the country to experience.

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BikeBiz Issue 35, December 2008