FOR EVERYONE IN THE BICYCLE BUSINESS
BikeBiz INDUSTRY OPINIONS
GARY FISHER INTERVIEW
Mark Sutton speaks to industry execs who have a hand within the fixie market about its sustainability...
Andy Wigmore talks to Jonathon Harker about the distributor’s stirling financial performance and the SRAM road deal...
Carlton Reid sat down (on the floor...) with Gary Fisher and got his views on urban bicycles and the future of the market...
Hotlines bags Brant’s mystery brand Meanwhile, three others join the stable – Blackspire, 720 Armour and Tomac Manitou Dorados now available in limited numbers New Lynskey frames added to catalogue Richards to assist NukeProof By Mark Sutton THE NUKEPROOF brand is set for a major resurgence in the market, thanks to Hotlines’ new deal with acclaimed designer Brant Richards (pictured) and his design company Shedfire – while Richard’s own much-discussed mystery brand is also to be added to the distributor’s portfolio, BikeBiz can reveal. “Shedfire will be working on developing our existing
Richards added: “I’m delighted to be working alongside Hotlines’ current staff to evolve Nukeproof and ‘British-ising’ other existing brands within its portfolio. In addition, it’ll be distributing my new brand – which we’ll be releasing more info on soon.” Hotlines has also made three other major signings since the start of 2009, bagging Tomac, Blackspire and 720 Armour.
is on producing technologically advanced lenses, which meet high optical standards. As reported on BikeBiz.com in January, mountain bike brand Tomac will be offering its six models via Hotlines, including the Primer 220 downhill bike, which was raced on the World Cup circuit last year. Manitou Dorado forks have also just arrived in stock at Hotlines, after causing quite a stir on the internet during March. The downhill fork is based on the original revolutionary design with damping technology, yet now features a 20mm HexLock thru-axle, hose guiding and several other design improvements. Brant Richards boasts an enviable CV in the trade, starting out at Leeds-based retailer Two Wheels Good, going on to launch MBR magazine, before becoming brand manager at On-One, where he built a cult following.
“I’m delighted to be working with Hotlines – to develop its portfolio and to place my brand within its stock...” Brant Richards, Shedfire Nukeproof line of products and a new brand,” confirmed the general manager of Hotlines, Illy Anastasi. Little is known about the exact details – though Richards has been releasing snippets of info and some prototype images via Twitter on his @shedfire account, and via his website at www.shedfire.com.
Chain and bash guard brand Blackspire has spent the past decade manufacturing over 20 different devices and almost as many bash guards and chain rings, to boot. Australian brand 720 Armour produces a range of streamlined sports eyewear. The brand’s focus
Bike Hub places £100k on the table for UK cycling projects £100,000 IS TO be made available for projects that will encourage people to take up cycling. The funding, raised by the Bike Hub levy scheme, will be allocated to worthy initiatives based within the UK. Cycling England chairman Phillip Darnton told BikeBiz that
the funding could be split between four projects getting £25k each, or the whole £100k could be allocated to a scheme. "Bike Hub is about safeguarding the future of cycling,” Darnton explained. “We’ll likely favour ideas to do with younger people because
we feel that cycling needs to become a way of life.” Darnton suggested: “A good idea for a project might be a scheme to get more girls on bikes. These girls will grow up and might become mums who will then influence whether their kids cycle to school."
The Cycling England chief praised Bike It, the scheme that aims to increase the numbers of children biking to school, and said he would like to see more initiatives in a similar vein to bid for the funding. For more in-depth Bike Hub analysis turn to page 37.
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MOBILE.BIKEBIZ.COM APRIL ISSUE 39
NEWS 6-10 INDUSTRY OPINIONS 14
The latest trade news, including reports from Taipei, a big announcement from Bike Doctor and more...
EVENTS 15 OFF THE RADAR
ICEBIKE 2009 REVIEW
A detailed look at the latest bikes, accessories and news from Madison’s show last month
SADDLEBACK INTERVIEW BikeBiz speaks to Saddleback director Andy Wigmore about how the elite product distributor has fared in its first four years
The training specialist gave us the chance to experience firsthand its latest wheel-building skills training day...
MOORE LARGE SHOW Moore Large shows off its newest brands at its Dealer Show, including Velorbis and Onza. BikeBiz reports from the event...
SADDLES, GRIPS, BOTTLES
Bicycle Repair Man’s Mark Phillipson looks at the growing problem of a lack of standards
ACT tells BikeBiz how Cytech puts the detail into retail and helps stores develop staff skills
BikeBiz’s round-up of the month’s latest movers and shakers in the bike trade, home and abroad
An appeal for a nationwide bike theft scheme and a call to action for the industry’s retailers
A round-up of this month’s latest product announcements on track to hit retail
“We all seem to acknowledge the urban commute market will be huge – but I don’t see much of a retail push.” laptop-friendly pannier bags; but, by and large, British bike shops are not capitalising on the utility market. Urban commute products are often literally all over the shop, leaving customers to do their own cherry-picking with little in-store guidance and too few product tie-in deals. Of course, a shop at a forest trail-head or by a family bike path need not embed into the urban market, but there are plenty of inner city bike shops which seem to be overly sports and recreation orientated. I recently got a press release from a bike shop chain opening in the centre of a major conurbation, focusing on selling bikes for recreation areas 20+ miles from the store, with no mention whatsoever of the urban potential on the doorstep. The recreation market remains dominant; but – chilling fact – it’s not a growth market. Sell to this crowd alone and watch your share nibbled away in the years ahead. I don’t see many fully-equipped, everyday bikes at retail. Cargo bikes are still under-represented. Electric bikes have yet to be embraced; and battery power is the perfect addition to a cargo bike that has to go up hills. Folding bikes have taken forever and a day to gain floor space but, for many, it’s still a token effort. Consumers have had 20 years to get into MTBs and only a trickle will now start from new – we’re selling upgrades to existing customers. The urban commute market is potentially bigger and more lucrative than the MTB boom of the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Bike shops need to dedicate more space to utility bikes and accessories, and they need to get more involved with local urban bicycle advocacy efforts. Some bike shops are brilliant at all this. Are you one of them?
Carlton Reid, Executive Editor
REGULARS CHAIN REACTION
IN BIKEBIZ November, MTB pioneer Joe Breeze said the ‘next big thing’ was going to be bikes as transport. In this issue, Gary Fisher says the same thing. These two guys were in at the very start of the biggest ever boom to hit the trade. Without MTBs, our industry would be a fraction of it’s size. If Breeze and Fisher are backing a new horse (while still riding the one they started on), that’s worth noting. We all seem to acknowledge the urban commute market is about to go huge but – give or take some exceptions – I don’t see much of a push at retail. Bike shops, even those in central business districts, seem to be still stocked to the rafters with MTBs and road bikes. A corner might be devoted to ‘hybrids’ (got to hate that ancient moniker); there might even be a fast street bike bedecked with
Spokeman takes a look back at the changes he’s seen in the world of bicycle retailing
Bike Doctor secures TfL fleet tender Training Academy due to open in July Facility aimed at educating members of the public, addressing trade mechanic shortage Maintenance contracts with police and several city firms are also in place BY Mark Sutton ALREADY MAKING big waves in the trade, Bike Doctor has now secured Transport for London’s extensive cycle fleet maintenance tender. Run by Julia and Sean Lally – who is also a non-executive director of the cycle-share system Citybyke – The Bike Doctor was set up in 2007 within London, primarily as an on-the-
custom-build fleets for the police and ambulance services within London and, fortunately, TfL awarded us the contract.” The Bike Doctor has been stirring the trade in recent months too, attracting big name sponsors such as Hope, Brompton, Continental, Specialized and Trek. This support, however, is
The Bike Doctor helps all sorts of people, including Dr Kim Howells (left)
“The academy is a new venture, with the purpose of training members of the public, and initial reactions to the announcement have been strong.” Sean Lally, The Bike Doctor move cycle repair outfit. What’s more, the service is run by trained mechanics aboard specially adapted bicycles and has already served many big names within Westminster, including David Cameron and Dr Kim Howells. Lally told BikeBiz: “TfL put out a serious contract to maintain its large cycle fleet and there was plenty of response, too. We already maintain and often
geared towards Lally’s soon-tobe-launched Bike Doctor academy – a facility offering cycle training geared toward ‘Joe Public’ and offering City and Guilds qualifications. Lally added: “The academy is a new venture, with the purpose of training members of the public, and initial reactions to the announcement have been strong with several sponsors coming on board. The planned launch is
scheduled for July and we’ve established interest from prospective students already. I’m also in contact with several retailers, many of which are interested in offering work experience placements. It’s
mutually beneficial, as before long we’ll see the shortage of trade mechanics addressed. I’m really enthused by the training material too – it’s fantastic.” The state-of-the-art training facility is currently nearing the
end of its construction and is based in the centre of London. More information on the company’s strict ethical policy, Academy plans and services can be found at www.the-bikedoctor.co.uk.
18 Bikes to launch custom frame build service HOPE-BASED retailer 18 Bikes has told BikeBiz that it plans to launch an own-branded custombuild frame brand. Having set out in the bike trade with this venture in mind, co-owners Simon and Matt Bowns were approached by the owner of the store they worked in (Bespoked), to take over the reins – and soon after they renamed the store for the backburnered project. Simon Bowns told BikeBiz: “We’re heading to the EHBE show to display a few bits, and then plan to attend more to support the European frame building community and ‘network’ with similar businesses.
“We’ll launch soon after this, but not via a big trade show. We’re hoping to achieve approximately one frame a week once rolling properly.” The frames will be crafted at a separate workshop, while painting will be outsourced. The headbadge (pictured inset) will also be outsourced to what Bowns describes as a: “Very posh machining facility with a big 3d metal printer.” The frames will be sold direct via the 18 Bikes store and will be on a made-to-order basis. The spec sheet of each model may vary, too. Bowns added: “They won’t be off-the-peg builds, so each
Despite being a young business, 18 Bikes has won many fans
Dakota Gents RRP £189.95
Kansas Ladies RRP £189.95
will be different. We’ll have a few key brand identifying features on all of the frames. “Each one will be manufactured from steel, sourced from Reynolds, Columbus and True Temper, again dependent on that particular frame.” Bowns also confirmed that the brand had no plans to place the 18 Bikes logo on any other product “unless a feasible, genuine gap in the market emerges”. You can visit the website at www.18bikes.co.uk.
Jim Walker ‘largely unaffected’ CYCLE by Iron Horse financial troubles SHORTS UK distributor is confident that the brand will be able to secure new ownership soon BY Mark Sutton DESPITE IRON Horse’s parent company running into financial problems, UK distributor Jim Walker is reassuring dealers that its 2009 product will be largely unaffected. Jim Walker CEO Ian Wilson also confirmed to BikeBiz that the futures of several other brands under the parent company’s portfolio – including K2, Jeep and Columbia – have been secured. He said: “Some of the other brands have already been assured as they have now been taken over by a new company formed from the management, East Coast Cycle Supply. Negotiations are currently taking place for the sale of the more valuable Iron Horse brand.” The 2009 range of bikes for the UK is mostly unaffected, as the majority of the range was modified to UK specifications and Jim Walker takes shipments direct
“It’s a shame when the owners of such a strong desirable brand as Iron Horse fall victim of the recession in America. Particularly when it’s so different to our experience here in the UK, where our results are not only at record levels, but parts of our business have doubled in the first part of
“It’s a shame when the owners of a strong brand fall victim to recession.” Ian Wilson, Jim Walker from the factory, which have already been delivered. So the UK distribution is currently continuing with back-up stock and any service issues should still be directed to Jim Walker, as usual. Wilson added: “Naturally any change of ownership of a brand
takes time to sort out so, unfortunately, we all have to be a little patient at the moment to see where it ends up. But from what we have been told, we are confident of a strong ownership for the Iron Horse brand in the future.
this year and we have some incredible new opportunities.” The distributor also told BikeBiz that it has put the wheels in motion to bring ‘a number’ of very desirable brands to the UK, details of which will be announced shortly.
Ultra Motor to target UK with new bikes BY David Monson THE UK WILL be the first market targeted by LEV brand Ultra Motor, company president Joe Bowman has told BikeBiz. “We’ll be launching a pedalassist version of the popular A2B Metro at the popular Gadget Show held on April 16th. The UK will be the first European market for our company,” said Bowman in an exclusive interview after the Taipei show ended. The brand’s popular A2B model is going hybrid, too. While embodying many of the high tech features of the ‘design for purpose’ Metro Light Electric Vehicle (LEV), the latest version enables the rider to blend pedal power with electric propulsion. Since its much-lauded debut at Interbike in 2008, the A2B Metro has introduced a new generation of urban commuters to the green,
Santa Rosa Ladies RRP £209.95
clean, lean economics, flexibility and comfort of LEV transport. Designed at the Ultra Motor Design Center in Berlin and headed up by industry veteran Norbert Haller, the A2B Hybrid, like other Ultra Motor products, is engineered and assembled at the company’s factory in Taiwan. The upgraded model will have front suspension, a SRAM sevenspeed derailleur and Avid disc brakes on the front and rear, as well as a highly-maneuverable weight of 28kg. “The LEV concept has caught on quickly,” added Bowman. “It has been amazing to watch how, in the matter of just a few short years, governments have begun supporting electric vehicles as the way forward for transportation and a model policy for Western markets.”
Colorado Gents RRP £209.95
Top Shop stock cycle gear Cyclodelic’s range of women’s cycle clothing will be available at TopShop’s flagship Oxford Street store. The range is aimed at ‘girls who cycle but who don’t want to forfeit fashion over function’ and is designed and handmade by two female cyclists – Sarah Buck and Sarah Fleuriot – in their East London studio.
Shimano predicts declines The manufacturer revealed that it is projecting a drop in net sales and income for the year ahead, despite strong growth between 2007 and 2008. The firm recorded a net income of 25,150 million yen in calendar year 2008, significantly up from the previous year’s 19,894 million yen. Bicycle components made up 79.1 per cent, while fishing equipment made up the remainder.
Bike trade isn’t seeing big picture Strida designer Mark Sanders gave a keynote speech at the recent Taipei show, saying that the bike trade is marketing to just a small part of its potential market. Sanders said that the industry was limiting itself to targeting the ‘red ocean’ of male sporty enthusiasts. Industry leaders at the presentation were reported to agree with Sanders’ verdict.
Cavendish wins British cyclist Mark Cavendish won the MilanSan Remo race at the end of last month. Cavendish’s sprint finish saw him see off German rival Heinrick Haussler. The Team Columbia-Highroad rider said: “I wanted to prove I’m a great rider and that’s what I did today.”
Sustrans battles the status quo Challenge ahead for charity as it battles car-centric policy and encourages decision makers to ‘think bike’ BY Jonathon Harker ONE OF cycling’s biggest challenges is to re-educate policy makers and challenge ‘common sense’ that places cars at the centre of future policies, according to Sustrans. The sustainable transport charity said that generations of acceptance of pro-car policy was one of its biggest challenges, and that Sustrans is the right organisation to tackle the pro-car consensus. Speaking to BikeBiz, the Sustrans director for Wales,
“But it’s a powerful mindset to change, and we want to start to get people thinking about it. We can challenge conventional thinking – we can show them best practise.” Sustran’s director for Wales believes local authorities are almost deterred from thinking beyond cars when planning new developments: “There’s a financial disincentive for councils and local authorities to create paths for bikes,” Waters told BikeBiz. “There are structural
Sustrans’ director for Wales, Lee Waters
“The consensus to cater for cars needs to be dramatically changed, on grounds of public health at least.” Lee Waters, Sustrans’ director for Wales Lee Waters, commented that urging councils and local authorities to look beyond cars is a huge task: “There have been generations of acceptance, and the car-centric status quo has gradually built up over the years,” Waters told BikeBiz. “The consensus to cater for cars needs to be dramatically changed, on grounds of public health and carbon emissions at least.
biases in place – money is set aside for roads, but typically no funds are allocated to shared paths. “It’s difficult to persuade policy makers and it’s difficult to get joined-up thinking between the various departments to think about bikes when planning.” But Waters said that Sustrans is up to the daunting challenge of taking on car-focused policies and changing mindsets of
decision makers: “Being right isn’t enough – we need to persuade them to make the right decision. We’ve got an influencing strategy and we speak to local councils and MPs. People have
heard of us and we have a good reputation.” Waters pointed to the ‘Center Parcs’ style Vauban development in Germany – a ‘sustainable model district’ where 40 per cent
of households had agreed to live without their own cars. Waters held the community, which was established in the early 21st Century, as an example of what can be achieved.
Moore Large B2B website significantly boosts trade Distributor’s business-to-business portal sees escalation in sign ups following its February trade show DISTRIBUTOR Moore Large’s February trade show has brought a significant increase in the numbers of dealers signing up to the firm’s new business-tobusiness site, according to the company’s accessory sales director, Dale Smith. The site, which was launched last year, was opened up to a wider number of customers at the show, held at Moore Large’s Derby headquarters. “Following the official launch of the site in 2008, business through the site and the numbers of dealers requesting log in details has grown steadily,” said Smith. “Our trade event gave us a great opportunity to showcase the site and give a wider representation of our dealers the chance to sample its many
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“We have made a significant investment in a live ordering system that is available to customers 24 hours of the day, seven days a week.” Dale Smith, accessory sales director
benefits. Up-to-date offers, stock availability information, price confirmations and viewing any of the numerous product reviews are just some of the benefits on offer to our customers.” Smith assured us that the introduction of the new site won’t stop dealers being able to contact the firm via phone: “We have made a considerable investment in our systems internally to allow us to facilitate a live ordering system that is available 24 hours of the day. “We appreciate the demands on our dealers to make best use of their time throughout the day and that a constant stream of sales people can interrupt that balance. “While online ordering in no way replaces the role of a sales person, it does allow the dealer
to place and build orders in a time that is more convenient to them, be that through the day or from home at night. “We have received many compliments on the simplicity of the site. It is very easy to navigate and offers a quick order facility for items where partcodes are known, or a more detailed search facility by brand or product type for those that aren’t so easy to locate.” Dealers that would like to gain access to the site are invited to email b2blogin@moore large.co.uk to request their exclusive user name and password. For a full run down of the show’s content – including some interesting new items from Velorbis, Knog and several others – flick to page 33.
Saddleback notches up 44 per cent growth Focusing on few complementary high-end brands has been the key to success, according to distributor BY Jonathon Harker ELITE BIKE product distributor Saddleback has seen sales increase 40 per cent, despite the troubled economic climate. The firm, which is four years old, signed significant distribution deals during the course of 2008, including a major agreement with SRAM to handle its road product lines. Talking to BikeBiz, Saddleback director Andy Wigmore said: “2008 was a good year for the company. We grew by about 40 per cent, which we have done every year since we started. “It was a great year for us as we saw major and international brands come on board. Even though we’re a young company, brands like SRAM are seeing us as a major player and a worthwhile partner.” “We spent nine months speaking to people there to secure the distribution deal and already we are proving they made the right choice. I think that we are biggest road distributors for them in Europe, which is very encouraging.” Wigmore added that the firm’s concentration on a limited number of brands was a key factor in bringing about that success. “We don’t have a strategy of having 20 different brands that we distribute and then doing an average job with all of them. We’re very much focused on high-end brands that all link together. “We want to be able to focus and do a good job on all of them. I think that becomes very
Andy Wigmore, Saddleback director
“We are able to focus on our brands and do a good job on all of them. I think that becomes very hard when you have lots of big brands with lots of product lines.” Andy Wigmore, director, Saddleback hard when you have lots of big brands with lots of product lines – I struggle to see how you can do them all justice.”
“It’s flattering as there are a lot of well established distributors out there doing a good job with great people. It shows that we’re
getting things right, that we’re going down the right track, and that we’re different and interesting to these brands.”
Wigmore concluded by telling BikeBiz that it hadn’t been easy for the firm to achieve this impressive sales performance: “We’ve not had dealers banging the door down wanting to make lots of orders – we’ve had to work hard to acheive considerable increases.” To read the full interview with Saddleback’s Andy Wigmore turn to page 18
Zeal lands Focale 44 fixies Distributor adds another of BMX Groupment’s brands ZEAL DISTRIBUTION has announced the addition of a new brand, Focale 44, which it will be supplying exclusively to the UK cycle trade. The French fixed bikes brand comes from within France’s BMX Groupment – also responsible for Superstar, another of the brands under Zeal’s umbrella. Focale 44 will now sit alongside Zeal’s portfolio of BMX brands,
including BSD, Standard, Sputnic, Alone and Mankind. “Some people think fixed bikes are just a one-year trend. We don’t think so,” said ‘Med’, owner of BMX Groupment. “More and more people ride bikes within cities to go to work, or to simply stay fit. Among them, some don’t want to ride a heavy/ugly trekking bike. These people want sport and stylish bikes.
“These people are not a trend. These people are a growing population.” Initially, two complete bikes will be available from early summer. Price lists will be available to Zeal customers from late April. Dealers can contact Zeal BMX Distribution for more details on carrying Focale 44 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 020 8428 6107.
BIKEBIZ APRIL 9
Chicken Cycle-kits up with Nalini Clothing brand returns to the UK after absence Deal born at October’s Cycle Show First batch in stock now and available for order Dealers offered an ‘early order’ discount with catalogue mailout
“The production is Italian through and through. The Nalini factory exudes passion.”
CHICKEN CYCLE-KIT has secured the distribution rights to Italian firm Nalini’s clothing range. The deal comes following the manufacturer’s visit to Cycle 2008 in October, where it looked for a new UK partner to handle its Nalini Base, Pro and Bianchi Milano clothing ranges. "To go to the Nalini factory complex is an exciting experience. The production is Italian through and through. The place exudes passion, the standard of quality is unreproachable and the brand is steeped in cycling history. How fortunate we are to have them on board," said Chicken Cyclekit director Cedric Chicken. Nalini has been available on and off for some time in the UK. The first delivery of Nalini Base spring and summer clothing arrived at Chicken Cyclekit's Leighton Buzzard distribution centre toward the end of March. These items will be closely followed by Nalini Pro garments, due mid-May. Trade price and stock lists will have arrived with dealers by the
Cedric Chicken time this magazine hits doormats. Within the mailout, dealers are offered a five per cent early order discount. The usual stock availability applies. A complete customised clothing service is now available, too – details of which are on Chicken's B2B website and printed in the back of the new CycleKit trade price list. This list updates the various currency surcharges of recent months and will include the autumn to winter Nalini Pro clothing ranges. The full 2009 garment catalogue, as well as further news and information about available product, can be found at the brand’s website: www.nalini.com.
Turn your store into a ‘sales machine’ free of charge...
Store broken into and windows smashed pre opening – eight top-end bikes stolen
50 bike retailers get the chance for a complementary training session aimed at assisting IBD sales growth FREE TRAINING is being offered to bike retailers in May to help turn their businesses into ‘sales machines’, courtesy of ACT/ActSmart and Retail Performance Specialists. ACT/ActSmart have negotiated the free sessions, which follow a series of popular seminars at Madison’s IceBike earlier this year. Three training sessions will be held across the country for up to 50 candidates and are aimed at helping drive sales and bring customers into stores. The course is being pitched as an opportunity for retailers to discover whether Retail Performance Specialists (RPS), the course provider, is
10 BIKEBIZ APRIL
the right retail partner for the dealer’s business. The training sessions will take place across the country in London on Friday May 1st, Birmingham on Wednesday May 6th and Leeds on Friday May 8th. ActSmart told BikeBiz that RPS has an excellent track record of building sales volumes and putting processes and tools in place to boost top line growth. The course is being aimed at bricks and mortar retailers with a turnover in excess of £100,000. Dealers interested in using an action plan for their business and investing in the
Cycles UK opens ‘flagship’ store
programme itself are being targeted. RPS also confirmed that it is on the look out for 20 people for the first of a Business Building Programme, which will run over six months and will be Cytech accredited. Bike dealers should contact email@example.com to register their interest.
ON APRIL 4th, Cycles UK will open its 17th store in Greenwich. Website designer and content manager-cum-temporary marketing man Peter Skelton told BikeBiz: “We have been planning the opening for quite a while. It is going to become our flagship store with 3,000 square feet of floor space. It will be stocking bikes from Specialized, Trek, Marin, Cube, Wilier and Pashley, alongside an extensive range of clothing and accessories." The store has listened closely to its audience, offering online polls to get a feel for customer needs, from opening hours to stock preferences. Although scheduled to open on time, things so far have not run as smoothly as hoped. A fortnight before the opening, the store was broken into and eight
bikes were stolen, including: 2009 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 2009 Specialized FSR XC Comp Medium 2009 Specialized Stumpjumper HT Expert Carbon 19" 2009 Specialized Langster 2009 Cube Reaction XT 18" 2009 Wilier La Triestina Mirage Mezzo D10 and D9 BIKEBIZ.COM
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Universally speaking With new standards being established Mark Phillipson of Bicycle Repair Man in Northumberland argues that new developments may not always be a good thing as the big boys go their separate ways... BIO-DIVERSITY is good. But is Bicycle-diversity? And what do I mean by that anyway? The phone rings – “I need a headset for my mountain bike, how much are they?” There are so many questions you could ask this headset client that you don’t know where to start. Even trying to establish whether it is a threadless or threaded set-up can take several minutes. Usually, if it quickly becomes apparent that the customer isn’t up on bikes, then I suggest he just brings it in. So, hopeless customers, eh? Well no. Do you know all the different possible headsets? I certainly don’t. Let’s see: threaded in 1”, 1&1/8” and the rare 1 and ¼” not too bad; unthreaded in 1”, 1&1/8” and now 1 and a ½” but that isn’t even the start. Would you need standard (don’t laugh), integrated or semiintegrated, sir? And if it is either of these latter two categories then the fun really begins as there are no ‘standards', just loads of incompatible headsets
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for loads of incompatible frames. Don’t even get me started on rear mech hangers. Now, obviously, I’m not suggesting that the World Bicycle Government bans new development. After all, no-one mourns the passing of cotterpins. But surely we don’t have to
So is the bike trade prepared to gear up similarly? Because, folks, that is the path we are rapidly heading down now. The answer is, we are so far away from that ability, we are not in the same country. Bike manufacturers build (or more usually, buy) frames, then cast
the first time you tried to fit a Deore M510 chainring to an XT chainset because the customer is very price conscious, only to find it doesn’t fit? And Shimano isn’t the only one to do this. I used to work in IT where we talked about 'open' systems like the humble PC – where anyone can develop stuff
We can only ask manufacturers’ development teams to remember that a new update which seems so important to them may just be a pain to the shops who sell it, to ensure backwards compatibility and to only deliver a completely new system if it represents a genuinely great leap forward. abandon the idea of standards altogether? Do we? Look at cars. We just accept that the exhaust for a Renault Clio won’t fit a Ford Fiesta. It has to be that exact item and nothing else will do. But car manufacturers are geared up for this and you can usually trace the part you need via the vehicle’s chassis number. (I once bought an Alfa from a chap who knew its chassis number off by heart as a result of this).
about for so-called 'groupsets' and 'finishing kits' to fit to these frames. Car manufacturers do this too but they can also ask another specialist manufacturer to create a particular part for a new model they are building. This doesn’t happen so much with bike makers who generally use what is available. The whole issue is exacerbated by changes introduced purely to make something different for commercial reasons. Remember
for it, as opposed to 'proprietary' systems where one company pretty much has control of that system. Bikes are moving from an open system to a set of proprietary ones, where a bike manufacturer has to fit a part, such as a bottom bracket, that it knows to be a poor performer, but it is the only unit, which will work with the rest of that particular groupset. Meanwhile, the bike shop owner/mechanic tears his hair out every time
another new crank system comes out which requires new tools, new knowledge and offers no particular advantage over the one he’s just got used to. It also takes time to build experience with any new system. There really is no easy answer to this. After all, if I think up a brilliant new idea for a rear hub, am I going to ring up my rival and say “Here’s my new idea – let’s develop it together to try and maintain some sort of standard”? Unlikely, but not impossible, if arrangements over development under licence or possession of intellectual property can be agreed and paid for. Apart from considering this we can only ask manufacturers’ development teams to remember that a new update which seems so important to them may be just another neckpain change to the shops who must sell it for them, to ensure backwards compatibility wherever possible and, above all, to only deliver a completely new system if it represents a genuinely great leap forward.
SR AM RED in Black! ™
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Distribution in the UK: Fisher Outdoor Leisure LTD, www.ﬁsheroutdoor.co.uk & Saddleback Ltd, www.saddleback.co.uk
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TUNING THE REACH ADJUST OF THE SRAM SHIFTERS ®
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17.03.2009 11:23:54 Uhr
Fixed or fad? ‘Every time the fixed gear market reaches a peak, a new horizon appears.’ That’s the word on the 700c growth from Brick Lane Bikes. Mark Sutton asks other enthusiast companies to explain why they’re so optimistic about the future of fixies… I originally designed a ‘track’ style frame and fork for myself to ride. We had no plans to bring it into production, but we had such a good response from the sample that we all thought it would be worth doing a limited number of fixed gear completes. The response since has been overwhelming. As we come from a core BMX background, the majority of our customers are older BMX guys who want a bigger bike and are already familiar with our products and background. We have some prototype parts in the works aimed at this market too. Volume now has a dedicated fixed section on its website at volumebikes.com/ indexfixed.html. Brian Castillo, MD, Volume Bikes Volume’s Cutter frames have been doing quite well for us in store, despite our BMX
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following. The version one model has surprised us in terms of interest and consistent demand. We have just received some of the new second generation Cutter frames, which have a new head tube complete with the ‘speaker’ logo cut through, as seen on the brand’s BMX frames. These are sure to be popular. Mason Smith, store owner and Scoop MD I’ve always liked the aesthetic of skinny steel frames with traditional geometry, and having seen some pretty nice looking custom bikes in San Francisco, Tokyo and London, I decided a simple and sturdy urban bike would be the perfect product to develop as a complete bike for Charge. The Plug makes sense for urban use, particularly for those people that want maintenance-free reliability. I showed the first Plug
to Charge distributors in 2006 and they were on sale in 2007. Sales did start kind of slow, but then took off. We have sold quite a few now, with further plans to expand in future. We have new versions of the Plug coming out soon, and more for 2010. These bikes will be adding to the range – not replacing existing models. Chains, grips, bars, saddles, and wheels in a plethora of colours are either in stock now, (at Hotwheels) or will be soon. And there’s more fixie specific stuff in development too… Nick Larsen, MD, Charge Fads can last for years and every now and then the market hits a new peak. We’re constantly recognising new horizons and with the store’s expansion into distribution, the opportunities for growth are immense. When companies such as Nike begin to take an interest in niche markets, you can be sure the
market will be sustained for some time to come. There have been three shops dedicated to fixed gears open inside the capital in six months. We expect far greater competition going forward, but it’s healthy for the market. You can’t put a cap on this kind of growth. It seems to me that the culture surrounding 700c bikes went global overnight. As a result, we’ve taken more space in a warehouse down the road and launched our own BLB branded component line. We are a product of the community, which in return helps us grow and sustain the market. Jason Finch, manager at Brick Lane Bikes and assisting Big Mama Distribution The idea of doing a singlespeed/ track frame had been tossed around at FBM for a couple years. The majority of us at FBM commute to work on bikes, and honestly, riding a BMX bike a
couple miles to work kind of sucks. So, instead of us riding our normal commuter bikes, we decided to make our own frame and fork. Being a frame manufacturer, it was obvious to us that we could produce a frame and we saw a hole in the fixie market for an affordable handmade frame and fork. Since its development, the response to the Sword frame and fork has been great – we initially had trouble keeping up with demand. Now that we’ve got everything dialled in, our plans include making various custom builds – anything from custom sizing and geometry, or tubing sets. I personally don’t see Fixies as a ‘fad’ – I mean they are pretty trendy now among the general public. Anyone who is into cycling is going to still ride one no matter if it is a fad or not, and owning another bike is never a bad thing. John Lee, buyer, FBM and Last Call Distribution
BIKERADAR LIVE Saturday May 30th – 31st Donington Park, Derbyshire http://live.bikeradar.com
April 2009 BICYCLE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE Wednesday April 15th – 17th Seaside, California www.bicycleconference.org SPEZI 2009 Saturday April 25th – 26th Germersheim, Germany www.spezialradmesse.de
May 2009 CHINA INTERNATIONAL BICYCLE AND MOTOR FAIR Monday May 4th – 7th Shanghai, China www.e-chinacycle.com ENCOURAGING COMMUTER CYCLING CONFERENCE Thursday May 7th University of Bolton, UK //data.bolton.ac.uk/staff/jp1 0/cyclingconference EUROPEAN HANDMADE BICYCLE EXHIBITION Friday May 8th – 10th Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany www.e-h-b-e.eu PERTHSHIRE CYCLING FESTIVAL Friday May 16th Perthshire www.perthshirecyclingfestiv al.co.uk BIKERADAR LIVE Saturday May 30th – May 31st Donington Park, Derbyshire http://live.bikeradar.com
June 2009 BMX WORLDS Saturday June 10th – 12th Cologne, Germany www.bmxworlds.de BIKE WEEK Wednesday June 13th – 21st Nationwide www.bikeweek.org.uk YORK CYCLE SHOW Saturday June 20th – 21st York Racecourse, York www.yorkcycleshow.co.uk
July 2009 RELENTLESS NASS Friday July 10th – 12th Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset www.nassfest.com
September 2009 EUROBIKE 09 Wednesday September 2nd – 5th Friedrichshafen, Germany www.eurobike-exhibition.de INTERBIKE 2009 Wednesday September 23rd – 25th Las Vegas, USA www.interbike.com/ib
October 2009 CYCLE SHOW Thursday October 8th – 11th Earls Court, London www.cycleshow.co.uk
OFF THE RADAR
pro With the 10th anniversary of Procycling hot off the press, editor Peter Cossins asks who is the greatest, and why the sport is set for a particularly eventful year… ONE of the staple features for a publication covering any sport is the story or special issues that attempt to answer the question of who was the greatest in a particular era and how those athletes would have matched up against each other. Would, for example, Eddy Merckx have beaten Bernard Hinault? Or would both of them been time trialled into submission by Jacques Anquetil or Miguel Induráin? Or outclimbed by Fausto Coppi. Lance Armstrong, of course, sits comfortably among names of this stature. When he retired in 2005 after a record-extending seventh consecutive
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cakewalk over his rivals, the American was ranked alongside Michaels Jordan and Johnson as one of the true greats of modern sport – a once-in-a-generation phenomenon. Aged 34, he had also equalled Joop Zoetemelk as the oldest rider to win the yellow jersey in the post-war era. The only winner ever older than this pair was Firmin Lambot, the 36 year-old Belgian winner of the 1922 Tour. Now that Armstrong is back and gunning for an eighth Tour title, it seems that a contest which might usually get played out on the pages of magazines will be played out before bike fans across the planet. As the American builds towards a challenge for an eighth Tour title, pitted against him is Alberto Contador, a rider who, like Armstrong, has battled his way back from an almost fatal illness to establish himself as the preeminent stage racing rider of his time. Add in the fact that they’re on the same team, and the 2009 Tour is beginning to look like something very special indeed. As these two riders intensify their preparation
Now that Armstrong is back and gunning for an eighth Tour title, it seems that the contest will be played out before fans across the planet. Pitted against him is Alberto Contador,who has also battled his way back from an almost fatal illness. for the ‘09 Tour, each step they take towards that key objective is scrutinised closely. Does Armstrong’s unexpectedly good form at the TDU and California send a message to Contador? Does Contador’s surprising earlyseason victories on the Algarve and Paris-Nice send a similar message back? The riders deny it, but both riders are sure to be keeping close tabs on the form of the other. What cannot be denied, though, is in the increasing interest this rivalry – for only one of them can win the Tour – is provoking in other prestigious, but often overlooked, races on the calendar. Media numbers are up significantly at any race
either rider lines up in, spectator numbers even more so, thus achieving something that the UCI’s ProTour series aspired to but never achieved. Having unwittingly achieved the double whammy of attracting both Contador and Armstrong to his event in late March, the organiser of the Tour of Castilla y León admitted he was suffering sleepless nights worrying how his small-budget race would be able to cope with a huge surge in interest. For bigger races, though, this surge has only been a good thing, and especially in the case of the Giro d’Italia. Already celebrating its centenary with a route that pays homage to
Coppi and a line-up that was looking stellar even before Armstrong decided on making his corsa rosa debut, the Giro is looking ahead to its most significant edition for years. Armstrong is heading there primarily to boost Livestrong, but also to give himself the real test he surely needs before taking on Contador at the Tour. Simoni, Di Luca, Basso and Cunego are waiting, while over in Spain Contador is certain to be watching. As so often before, the Giro promises to be the best race of the season, but this year the organisers can be sure that it won’t just be the hardcore fans who are watching.
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Blazing Saddles Despite only being four years old, Saddleback has already burned a lasting impression on the trade, snaring top brands like SRAM, Felt and Vredestein. Director Andy Wigmore tells Jonathon Harker how the young company has built up an impressive reputation in a short space of time, and also hints at what the distributor of elite biking product has in store for the rest of the year… How was business last year? What were the highlights? 2008 was a good year for the company. We grew by about 40 per cent, which we have done every year since we started, but you would expect a young company to grow at that kind of level. Saddleback, the company, is not even four years old yet. It was a great year for us as we saw major and international brands come on board. Even though we’re a young company, brands like SRAM are seeing us as a major player and a worthwhile partner. It’s flattering as there are a lot of well established distributors out there doing a good job with great people. It shows that we’re getting things right, that we’re
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“The SRAM deal was huge for us. The brand is about as big as it gets next to Shimano and Giant. For SRAM to see us as a valuable partner is a boost for us and we’re already proving that it made the right choice.” Andy Wigmore, director, Saddleback going down the right track, and that we’re different and interesting to these brands. Have there been any categories that have grown beyond expectation? The area that we stand out more than anything in is probably in triathalon – I think that when people think of Saddleback, they think of us in those terms, with brands like Felt, Zipp and SRAM.
I guess the road sector is a natural consequence from that. Those are definitely our strongholds. How big was the SRAM road distribution news for Saddleback? How has that gone down with dealers? It’s huge. In our industry, SRAM is massive in turnover and stature – it is about as big as it gets next to Shimano and Giant.
For SRAM to see us a valuable partner is a huge boost for everyone in the business. We spent nine months speaking to the brand to secure the distribution deal and already we are proving that it made the right choice. I think that we are biggest road distributors for SRAM in Europe, which is very encouraging. It’s given us access to a whole new dealer-base and we’re
finding that we’re selling other brands to dealers, where perhaps SRAM was their initial enquiry. It’s huge for us and it’s a great partnership. You were awarded Zipp’s international distributor of the year – what did that mean to Saddleback? We were awarded Zipp’s international distributor award in May last year, after only ten months with them. Do you hope to achieve that again? We’re on target to. We’ve been Felt’s distributor of the year outside the US and Germany in 2007. And I think we’re Castelli’s second biggest distributor now.
We don’t have a strategy of having 20 different brands that we distribute and then doing an average job with all of them. We’re very much focused on high-end brands that all link together. We want to be able to focus and do a good job on all of them. I think that becomes very hard when you have lots of big brands with lots of product lines – I struggle to see how you can do them all justice. We don’t have that approach. Awards are nice. They flatter and pat you on the back, but ultimately we’re not here to try and win awards or to try and say that everything went great – it’s about doing the best that we can and achieving everything that we’re capable of. You’ve just picked up distribution for Vredestein –
orders – we’ve had to work hard for it. Price increases seem to have affected the trade across the board. Is it tricky to balance those and still give dealers a good deal? Hugely. Ultimately, we’re seeing huge increase in sales of turnover, but our margins have been hit massively – by cost increases from suppliers and from massive exchange rate variances. It is a challenge this year. We can’t keep changing prices for dealers every day, and yet the prices we pay from suppliers of our product do change every day. So the challenge for our business right now is not only that we sell what we bring in, but that we remain profitable and ultimately are able to grow the business and offer a service to the
There are a few brands that we’re talking to that I hope will appear by the end of 2009. But I can’t tell you what they are. We’d like to be able to say that by the end of the year we’ll be able to make as big an announcement as we were able to make with SRAM. For me as an employer, the biggest story would be to get through the year well; that we are still here, made progress, that we haven’t gone backwards and that we remain financially sound.
I think you can have great brands and teams, but ultimately the business needs to be sound. 2009 will be a tough year for many – it’s a year to get through, not one to expect any great gains. I’m sure every company director would echo those thoughts. What have been the key factors in Saddleback’s success? We’ve been successful because
we’ve employed good people. We all work very hard and have a very focused strategy. We don’t try and run before we can walk. We genuinely know our target customers and dealers and we know how to market to those people successfully. That all sounds really obvious and normal, but it’s the reason we’ve been successful. And of course having support from excellent suppliers has been really important.
“We’ve seen a 44 per cent increase year-on-year, but that’s not fallen in our laps. We’ve not had dealers banging the door down, we’ve had to work for it.” Andy Wigmore, director, Saddleback you said that it complements Zipp product – how important is it to you to stock complementary brands? As a company, we’re not going to be doing downhill body armour or kid’s leisure bikes, or whatever, because it doesn’t fit with our strategy. We’ve spent quite a bit of time recently developing the focus of the company and that’s clear for everyone involved in the business. It’s also clear for dealers – and actually the consumer as well – that we are a supplier of elite performance brands. Brands have to be able to live up to that tag, or we’re not interested in dealing with them. Lots of companies around the world are interested in working with us, but if they don’t fulfil that requirement of being an elite performance product we won’t consider it. Has it been a good start for 2009? It has, but we’ve had to work very hard to achieve considerable increases. From January to March we’ve seen a 44 per cent increase year-on-year, but that’s not fallen in our lap. We’ve not had dealers banging the door down wanting to make lots of
customer. As soon as we stop being profitable we can’t offer a service to the customer. We found out in January that Castelli’s Aero range is to be worn by Cervelo Test Team – just how important is that kind of thing in driving sales? If it was any team without the profile of Cervelo then it wouldn’t make a lot of difference, to be frank. But it has been great – we’ve seen maybe four or fives times the amount of kit shifted than when Castelli sponsored other teams.
The well-stocked Saddleback warehouse is situated close to the firm’s headquarters, where staff make up wheels on site
What marketing plans have you got lined up for the rest of the year? We’ll do lots of things and despite the uncertainty of the world’s economic situation we’ll continue to grow our marketing spend in 2009. Considerably. We’re not seeing it as an opportunity to cut back to less than we did in 2008. It’s time for us to do more, including lots of events and advertising. We see marketing as an important part of our business and we always have done. What’s going to be the biggest story for Saddleback in 2009?
BIKEBIZ APRIL 19
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BASSO BRAND SPOTLIGHT
Basso blasts off Is Basso set to be the next big thing on the UK road-racing scene? Jonathon Harker talks to Moore Large’s Adam Biggs, manager for the Basso brand, for the inside scoop on the new-to-the-UK manufacturer… What promotions are you running for the Basso brand? We have a huge reduction on 2008 stock. In addition, all Basso bikes and framesets will be delivered on a 24-hour free of charge carriage service. Other promos include discounts on three or more bikes or framesets. Can you tell us about your marketing strategy for 2009? It is one of the most important aspects in making Basso as recognisable and successful on the UK road scene as possible. It will take time, but within the next five years we’d like to substantially increase our market share to be a leading brand in the UK road-racing sphere. We have full-page ads in some of the largest publications and have reviews coming up on the Astra and Laguna models. We’ve got a big ad campaign during the Giro D’Italia too and hopefully Lance Armstrong’s presence will indirectly generate interest to Italy and real Italian products. There’s a new professional continental team riding Basso this year – Team Bourgas – previously Mitsubishi-Jartazi, which Frank Vandenbroucke and Alan Davis have ridden for.
On the UK scene we plan to develop a team for 2010 and 2009, and newly appointed GB Olympic development coach Robin Sharman – former Premier Calendar winner and GB squad rider – will ride for Basso.
Europe by trained artisans in Italian frame production and design in their Vicenzan factory. Basso has world and national titles to its credit and produces one of the lightest, stiffest and most responsive frames available
“It will take time, but we intend to grow Basso to be a leading brand in the UK road-racing sphere.” Adam Biggs, brand manager, Moore Large Will you be at any shows with the brand this year? We’ll attend the new cycle show at Donington Park and have recently held product seminars where we received exceptional feedback on Basso. The new Astra model in particular has created the most interest and we were astonished by the amount of shop owners buying the frame for themselves – that’s the best marketing we could ask for! Why should a stockist consider stocking Basso when looking for a high-end road brand? Basso has over 30 years of experience and is one of the only brands to manufacture frames in
at an affordable price. Consumer feedback has been fantastic, with nothing but praise for the finish and performance of the entire Basso frameset range. As a distributor, we have carried out extensive market and product research and we can confidently say that we offer equal or better margins than most of our competitors. To what extent will price increases affect the brand? All segments of the market have undoubtedly been affected by price increases, caused by currency and raw material costs. It’s simply a case of reducing costs to the best of our ability to
ensure the change is minimal until this dark patch has cleared. Can you tell us a little bit about the Basso Astra? The Basso Astra is the new baby for 2009 with seven colour options. It’s one of the sexiest bikes available and has proven race-winning performance. It’s only 870g for the frame and it’s capable of reacting to the wattage of any professional with an oversized bottom bracket shell, seat stays, head tube and 1 – 1/5: 1 – 1/8 headset improving power outputs and reducing stress. Another unique feature to the Astra is its four-leaf clover shaped tubing, providing a stronger frame and improving handling on descents. … And the rest of the range? The quality of entry-level Basso Devil road frame is more than adequate as a light race bike. It has custom-designed, triplebutted aluminium tubing and Basso exclusively designed integrated headset and carbon fibre forks. Next is the Reef; with customised compact geometry (as with all the framesets, with no price increase), resulting in a
race performance greater than any standard geometry frame. It has full carbon fibre forks and seat stays for exceptional comfort for endurance events. The Laguna is the entry-level carbon fibre frame. Made using the same T700 3K carbon fibre as the Astra, it has the experience of the pro road race circuit, and is a proven race winner, with a combined frame and fork weight of 1,300 grams. Like the Reef and Astra, it comes in seven colours.
Basso’s Biggs THE MAN heading up the brand at Moore Large is Adam Biggs. The name may be familiar, as not only did Biggs appear in BikeBiz’s ‘Industry Rising Stars’ last month, but Biggs has also enjoyed a stint as a semi-professional cyclist, which is handy given that he’s talking about high-end bike brands to dealers all day long. One of ML’s newest brand representatives, you can contact Biggs on 01332 274280, or on email at email@example.com.
BIKEBIZ APRIL 21
Funded, fun and fruitful Having had a few months to settle into new higher-capacity premises, Mark Sutton revisited the ATG, this time as a student on an advanced wheelbuilding course. Here he examines why these training courses are drawing and maintaining the attentions of students and retailers alike… WITH FUNDING now available for the majority of 16 to 64 year-olds, the ATG is enjoying a wave of interest from bicycle dealers looking to get their staff certified to boost store credentials. In fact, when speaking to students on a recent wheelbuilding day, some were commenting that such education and training would never have been possible without the generous Government grants that are available, valued at up to £6,000 for a single apprenticeship. According to the ATG’s head of cycle training, Matt Goodrich: “People still seem genuinely surprised that funding for these programmes is available in the majority of cases. Having said that, we’re making good progress at present and have a few new courses lined up, including a dedicated suspension course. We’re also preparing
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ourselves for Di2 training alongside Madison.” To see the value in such courses, many dealers will have to weigh up the pros and cons of giving mechanics time out.
wear, lateral forces, how to dismantle a wheel, how to build a strong and true wheel (in many spoke combinations, some using complex hub designs), elastic limits of spokes, rim
sponsors the wheelbuilding programme, meaning students are never short of spokes to examine, lace and dismantle. Trained teachers tutor the courses, all with experience in
“People still seem genuinely surprised that funding for these programmes is available in the majority of cases. Having said that, we’re making good progress at present and have a few new courses lined up.” Matt Goodrich, ATG But if you need confirmation that the ATG courses could teach students far more than a couple of half hour briefings in the store workshop, look no further. In just one of the two days on the ATG advanced wheelbuilding course, the following had been extensively covered and understood: spoke tensions, spoke fatigue, hub
stiffness, distribution of impact stress, comparisons between metals and carbon, spoke tying and soldering, braking surface wear and much more. Students are not working on old and tired bits of kit, either. As a result of Madison’s sponsorship, the ATG has access to a range of gear from Shimano and Park Tool, while DT Swiss
the bike trade. For example, on BikeBiz’s arrival, the teacher – an ex-Brixton cycles mechanic – was already laying into the theoretical reasoning behind why certain lacing patterns were stronger than others. Graphs were drawn, questions were taken and answered and the students all appeared to fully grasp the topic before any
wheels were chosen for dismantling. Among the more complex arts of wheelbuilding, students were taught to tie and solder their builds, a service often reserved for the high-end punter, but an essential skill nonetheless. And as practical sessions were underway, the teaching experience was highly interactive. Discussions were had on the heat dissipating properties of carbon rims and comparisons drawn between various metals and pad compounds. All in all, as explained to BikeBiz by Goodrich at the facility’s opening: “For the most part, students are genuinely enthused about the subject and are boosted by the chance to work on top end kit.” To enrol a student on one of the ATG’s courses in Manchester or Aylesbury, call Elaine Powell on 01612 306241 or visit www.atg-training.co.uk.
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As the Ice settles… Madison estimates that nearly four in five of its customers visited February’s IceBike show. Mark Sutton talks to Dominic Langan about the value of holding an expenses-paid house show… THE PROTOTYPE 953 Reynolds tubed Ridgeback Altitude that sat in the IceBike reception tent was perhaps a clue to all attendees that February’s show had plenty of previously unseen and eagerly anticipated kit on display. Of all the things to gear trade members up for a day of making stock choices for the summer, this bike alone was enough to set the tone for the rest of the show. With volumes of new season product debuting at IceBike, plus the promise of evening entertainment, special offers (note the queue at Shimano’s shoe forming station) and visits from some highly respected industry speakers, it would have been hard for dealers not to justify a day or two away from the shop for IceBike. And that’s exactly why Madison puts on three days of expenses covered showtime – to spend time re-affirming its commitment to the retailer. “I believe we created a significant enough event to justify the time it demands from our customers. The trade response to IceBike was very
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positive and much improved on last year. Over the three days we saw customers representing close to 80 per cent of our total business in terms of turnover; last year it was 68 per cent. I don’t think there was ever a dull
were filled during most seminars and some were scribbling notes. Then of course the crowds were keen to get a first-hand demo of Madison’s new B2B website upgrade, which went live on from March 1st.
“There is always room for improvement. We want to keep on evolving the event and add value and content to ensure it remains a worthwhile experience for customers.” Dominic Langan, Madison moment, to the extent that we had to ask some customers to leave at the end of the day so we could get the space ready for the evening’s entertainment,” commented Madison MD Dominic Langan. Presumably, one of the main reasons for customers hanging around at the end of the day is the sheer volume of content to see and do. Take, for example, industry retail speaker Jay Townley’s speech – near two hours long, the majority of seats
Business systems manager Richard Hopfl demonstrated the vastly improved system to BikeBiz and there’s notable modernisation of the entire site, with speed and ease-of-use having benefited from investment. Hopfl said: “The site is a whole load easier to navigate, with substantial improvements made to the shopping experience. News feeds have been added, scheduled email feeds can be set up, there’s a Vista desktop
gadget for offline ordering and much more.” Guest attendees were abundant too, with the ACT, ATG, Sustrans, Abacus and others all on hand to discuss building everything from business to cycle networks. Epos company Abacus was talking dealers through its system, on which supplier information is already banked, thus simplifying the product search process. The system integrates plenty of slick marketing features such as text messaging alerts for alerting customers to workshop completions or stock updates. MD Nick Lee told BikeBiz: “When times are tight, clever marketing tools are essential. The text message feature has the ability to efficiently manage and raise workshop activity, as well as blast promotional material to potential customers.” Next door to the Abacus stall was SKS, which was showing details of the revamped RaceBlade mudguard, into which a lot of marketing effort has been driven. The popular guard now has a flexible spoiler for
added protection, effectively preventing knocks to the end of the guard splitting the plastic. Meanwhile, the company was also showing off its Aero fork adapter, a system which prevents any slight guard movements as a result of a new plastic rivet. In the midst of all the content, marketing director Will Fripp and Langan were mingling with dealers, getting a feel for what could be done better, if anything. Langan told BikeBiz: “There is always room for improvement and for next year we will sort out the gremlins at registration to reduce the time it takes to get into the show and apologies to anyone who waited. We also want more space for our brands, as next year there will be even more, but at the same time we really value the unique location of our distribution centre grounds. “We have some plans to address that challenge and we want to keep on evolving the event and add value and content to ensure it remains a valuable and worthwhile experience for our customers.” Dates for IceBike 2010 are February 23rd/24th/25th.
Abacus’ Nick Lee and Robert Banks chatted to dealers
Madison had a wide range of clothes on display
The Shimano molded shoes were very popular
Gamut had customised guards on show Park Tool Park Tool offered a staggering 25 new products, including the ‘SS-15’ Single Speed spanner. Three new crank pullers featured in the range of tools available via Madison, as did plenty of work-stand accessories, such as an updated tray and accessory collar. Among the tools better suited to customers, a Park ‘tool roll’ was shown, offering a compact satchel containing patch kits, tire levers, a micro pump and an inflation gauge. Madison Clothing (1) One of the first showrooms dealers were confronted with was a room filled with Madison’s own clothing range. The comprehensive catalogue of
clothes goes from head to toe, offering gloves, bibs, jackets, base layers, trousers and much more. The garments are designed to appear as though they are
and safety features, all included within an inconspicuous design. Gamut (2) At the show, Gamut had on display plenty of funky,
Madison’s garments were designed to look like casualwear, ensuring the wearer would not stand out as a cyclist – but they were still stylish. casualwear, thus ensuring the user will not stand out as a cyclist in the supermarket – although this does not mean the garments cannot hold their own. Dealers were quick to try on many of the garments to get a feel for comfort, waterproofing
customised guards, which will probably never be massproduced for the aftermarket. These included national flag designs, as well as a custom designed Dirt 100 model, made to coincide with the magazine’s product awards. The 50 made
sold inside two minutes of going on sale on Madison’s B2B. However, of the product hitting retail now, three new products – the p30, p40 and p20 are available via Madison. Blackburn Blackburn was showing its Air Stik range, which is entirely new for 2009 and backed by the standard lifetime warranty offered with all Blackburn goods. The two pumps are designed small and can both hit 160 psi, although they are for presta values only. The Air Stik SL has an aluminium barrel and shaft and a unique two-chamber design pumping 37 per cent more per stroke than similar sized pumps. A cage mount will be included in the package.
Respro (3) The ‘Hump’ was the highlight of the Respro stand, literally. The reflective backpack range offers a diverse range of storage solutions, all offering 3M reflective transfer material strips, varying degrees of waterproofing and capacities ranging from 15 to 50 litres. Respro also sells reflective adhesive stickers designed to adorn clothing, meaning customers are able to tailor-make their cycle gear from clothing they are comfortable with. Of the other product on show, Respro’s SB-Belt was of interest to many. The utility belt offers over-the-shoulder clipping with a waist strap, to which a handy pocket and key clip are sewn.
Jan Henning, SKS
BIKEBIZ APRIL 25
Putting the detail into retail… The shop environment is, hopefully, a busy place and keeping track of developing staff skills is an often overlooked area – and something that is ignored at the retailer’s peril. ACT’s Mark Brown tells BikeBiz just how Cytech can help stores make the most of shop staff… FOR OVER ten years Cytech has been training and accrediting mechanics and workshops, and now it is moving onto the shop floor with Retail Detail. As the pressures on retailers increase, ACT/ActSmart recommend using Retail Detail to help support and develop your business. What is Retail Detail? Retail Detail is an online business support system containing a selection of tools, resources and information currently used by independent retailers and high street brands. Based upon the City & Guilds qualification in Retail Operations, Retail Detail is a platform for online learning and skills development. You can: • Create personal learning plans for your employees and monitor their progress • Manage inductions, appraisals and deliver mandatory health and safety training • Identify skills gaps throughout your business and across all levels • View skill reports and
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schedule training workshops for your staff • Update over time to meet the changing needs of your business • Manage multiple stores
weaknesses, and set areas for improvement. Teach me something new Whether you want to be more creative in your business or want
Retail Detail is an online business support system containing tools, resources and information. It’s designed to help support and also to help develop your business. Retail Detail is Cytech Accredited so when you or your people complete the online learning you will receive a Cytech certificate and valuable extra promotion. How is my business and is it performing? Take a step back from the dayto-day running of your business and see how it is really performing. Retail Detail can help you carry out a complete review of your business allowing you to identify strengths and
to try out simple new techniques, the retail knowledge bank has something for everyone. Practical and detailed knowledge broken down into ‘bite-sized’ chunks to fit around your busy schedule giving you the relevant knowledge you need to help you manage your business more effectively, creatively and profitably. Make more money By helping to cut the time you spend pricing, working out
margins, and writing job specs and risk assessments, Retail Detail can leave you more time to concentrate on those nonroutine tasks it can be so hard to find time for: growing the business and planning your store’s long-term development.
personal development plans • As a manager, you can use the management section to view reports on your staff's development • Monitor progress, see important trends and set training policies
How do I stay ahead of my competitors? Don’t get left behind because you don’t have time to read all the literature that comes into your store every day. Retail Detail is filled with valuable advice and solutions, keeping you up-to-date on everything from legislative changes to local issues to give your business the edge in today’s competitive climate.
How much does it cost? ACT/ActSmart have secured preferential pricing for cycle retailers, and Retail Detail is free to any business joining or upgrading to Platinum membership for a limited time. The usual price is £125 + VAT for a one-year subscription for up to ten members of staff. However, through ACT/ ActSmart you can take advantage of the following prices:
Show me what I need to know Individually assess your retailing skills and the skills of your team members. Get a clear report on how you’re doing, taking into account your particular job role. • Identify the areas of training that the people in your shop should cover or could cover, and build up and monitor individual
Platinum – one free when you join or upgrade: £59.96 Gold: £74.90 Silver: £99.98 Bronze – available to nonmembers: £114.91 www.actsmart.biz/cycles/ retaildetail
BIKERADAR LIVE PREVIEW
Live and kicking BikeBiz speaks to Future group publisher Katherine Raderecht to find out just what BikeRadar Live is all about, and what the bike-based bash has got in store. Jonathon Harker asks the questions… How has the launch of BikeRadar Live been received? The reception to BikeRadar Live has been overwhelmingly positive. Everyone in the industry here knows about the great international events like the Sea Otter Classic in the USA and Roc D’Azur in France, but until now there really hasn’t been anything on such a big scale in the UK. It’s great that we are not alone in thinking BikeRadar Live is just what the cycling industry in the UK is missing! What was the reasoning behind the lauch of BikeRadar Live? As a company, we organise an expanding portfolio of live events across all our core sectors, allowing customers and commercial partners to meet face-to-face. In 2008, for instance, 80,000 visitors attended our automotive events, some of which are held at Donington Park. We just felt it was a natural fit for us to launch an all-encompassing outside bike festival based on the experience we have accumulated running these other events. The show seems to be primarily consumer-focused – what’s in it for retailers and the trade in general? BikeRadar Live (http://live.bikeradar.com/) is a consumer show. However, like Sea
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Otter, it will attract a strong trade element, so it’s an opportunity for the industry to meet their dealers. The event does have a large expo area, plus a limited number of retail spaces will be available, so the trade can be actively selling to the attendees. We are talking to all the big manufacturers and distributors about how they want to be involved – sponsoring events, putting on seminars,
the weekend. Having an expo means manufacturers will have a weekend-long captive audience, so exhibiting will be a core element of BikeRadar Live. What is the biggest challenge for the show? Where do we start? Putting on a massive event like this from scratch takes a lot of hard work and considerable financial
“Until now there really hasn’t been anything on such a big scale in the UK. It really is a show that everyone in the industry can get involved with.” Katherine Raderecht, group publisher, Future bringing endorsees to the event, taking part in the races in challenges. It really is a show that everyone in the industry can get involved with. How important has the trade’s support been in putting on the show? It’s crucial. How big a part will the manufacturer exhibitions play at the festival? Can you reveal who they will include? This will be a real festival of cycling with challenges and competitive events throughout
investment. It is a huge challenge, but one we are really enjoying rising to. We’ve been ambitious – as well as launching a show, we’re launching several major mass participation events including a 100-mile and 100km Sportive and a professional Dual Slalom. We are building many of the courses from scratch and that’s another interesting challenge in itself. Some biking events tend to appeal to a biking core – are you aiming to bring in families and less ‘hard-core’ bikers too? If so, how?
Reaching out to the new and growing audience of leisure and family cyclists is an important part of BikeRadar Live’s remit. We really want local people who are not necessarily bike fanatics to also come along and find out more about how cycling can really enhance their lives. There are too many cycling events which cater for the participant – they bring their families along and there’s nothing for them to do, apart from sit in the car and read a book. BikeRadar Live won’t be like that. There’ll be lots of entertainment for kids, music, bars, food, seminars, bike demos and test areas, the chance to get expert advice, try out bikes, learn techniques. Anyone interested in bikes will find something to do at BikeRadar Live. Can you explain how the interactive elements of the show will work? In the past, shows have been about looking at gear and watching top riders do their thing. BikeRadar Live will have far more elements where riders can get involved, including the sportives, the Whyte Night enduros, the Dahon folding bike races, a huge bike demo opportunity, the Islabikes skill school for kids, JD Cycles tandem try-out, the hot laps contest and so on. For the bigger events like the
sportive and the enduros, we’d like people to book in advance through bikeradar.com/live, but for smaller segments of the show people will be able to sign up on the day. Will all disciplines of biking be catered for at BikeRadar Live? Yes. The aim is to bring together all cycling’s tribes. We have a lot more in common than we have differences, as the success of bikeradar.com has demonstrated. Will Future be bringing along any celebrity guests? We will, but we’re not revealing all their names just yet. We can tell you that former England footballer Geoff Thomas will be along to ride the devil and take the hindmost circuit race. We’ll have plenty of cycling’s own celebrities, too, including the Athertons, Steve Peat, Greg Minnaar, and Chris Kovarik. How important is it to get big stars involved? Putting on a great event for the riders who take part and for the families who come for a day out is the main priority, but there’s an obvious publicity value in having celebrities involved. Will there be any surprises in store for attendees? Yes. But we’re not going to tell you or they won’t be surprises, will they?
BIKERADAR LIVE PREVIEW
The facts… The Event: BikeRadar Live The Date: May 30th-31st The Place: Donington Park, Castle Donington, Derbyshire The details: Competitive cycling events, designated road and off-road testing area for consumers, exhibiting, 12-hour Will BikeRadar Live tie in with Future’s Bike Demo Days? Yes, there will be a big element of bike demos at BikeRadar Live. Which magazines from Future’s portfolio will be attending – will there be chance for readers to meet journalists? All our magazines and websites are heavily involved and our journalists will be there to meet readers. Future has previously been known for its indoor event portfolio – why the move to outdoor events? Is Future planning to up its event presence? Times have changed. The rise of
sportives and bike commuting, and the increased awareness of cycling as a healthy family activity, all mean that it’s not enough to just wander round a hall looking at gear and stunts anymore. Plus, we wanted to put on a real festival of cycling, with camping, seminars and skills coaching. Those are all hard to do in a hall. Why Donington? It’s centrally located, easy to get to, in good sportive country and has great facilities. And it
BikeRadar Live has a huge array of activities on offer off-road enduro challenge, night track challenge, fun races, cycling cinema, music stage, skills school, maintenance class, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg… Want more info? Head here: http://live.bikeradar.com/
doesn’t hurt that we already have an excellent relationship with the venue from our various motorsport events. Will this be the first of many BikeRadar Lives? What are your ambitions for the show in the long-term? That’s very much the plan. Our ambitions are best summed up as: ‘the British Sea Otter’.
a festival of cycling for everyone from families to hardcore downhillers. It’ll be lots of fun at a great venue with loads to do and see.
commercial director, or Katherine Raderecht, group publisher, if you want to talk more about the show or have any great ideas. We are both on 01225 442244.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? To make this a success we need the bike business to be involved. Get in contact with James Poole,
Can you sum up why the show is a must-attend for consumers (and the trade)? It’ll be Britain’s biggest bike bash,
BIKEBIZ APRIL 29
PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT Send your recruitment news to
Vanderplank takes on ML marketing reins City of York recruits Titchener as new cycling chief Strome joins Ryders Eyewear as new brand specialist GRAHAM TITCHENER York City Council has appointed a ‘cycling tzar’ to oversee the spending of a £3.86 million grant allocated to it by the Government and Cycling England. Graham Titchener will be responsible for cycle training in schools and workplaces and the ongoing fight against bike theft. An average of four bikes per day were reported stolen in York between 2006 and 2007. York’s population is said to already be highly cycle-savvy when compared to many towns and cities in the UK. However, cycle use seems to have ‘plateaued’ in the city. The new ‘tzar’ will have plenty of work to be getting on with as he settles in. Part of the funding deal involved closing gaps in existing cycle networks, as well
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as building fresh ones. Over 9,000 residents responded to a recent ‘call out’ on how the money should be spent between now and 2011.
LAUREN VANDERPLANK Moore Large has announced the appointment of Lauren Vanderplank as marketing manager. She will report directly to accessory sales director Dale Smith. Vanderplank was previously working for fashion and lifestyle brand ‘Golddigga’. Having joined the firm in 2005, Vanderplank took responsibility for all aspects of the brand’s marketing. Vanderplank brings with her a track record in all-round marketing, having already established successful functions and taken responsibility for managing a programme with a
£300k budget. In addition, Vanderplank ran Golddigga’s exhibitions, promotional campaigns and advertising and also took responsibility for ensuring the integration of the brand and overall corporate identity. Vanderplank combined the role of marketing executive at Golddigga from January 2007 with studying for her professional qualification with the Chartered Institute of Marketing. “I will be working within the accessories division, and will be responsible for the planning and execution of Moore Large’s marketing activity,” she said. “I’m looking forward to facilitating the long-term growth of Moore Large, while strengthening the image, awareness and profitability of all of our brands.
PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT
People & Recruitment is Sponsored by Halfords
lauren.vanderplank@ moorelarge.co.uk or 01332 274228.
Mark Loveridge “This role provides me with a great opportunity to help develop new marketing opportunities which build upon Moore Large’s reputation as the leading distributor of bikes and accessories.” For marketing enquiries, Lauren can be contacted on
CHRIS STROME Ryders Eyewear, which was launched at last year’s Cycle Show in London, has appointed Chris Strome as its new brand specialist. The Canadian company hired Strome to develop brand awareness through events and consumer relations. Bringing more than a decade of experience to the brand, Strome has previously been employed as marketing manager for G3 Genuine Gear Guide, as well as completing a stint as communications officer at Whistler Blackcomb Mountains Resorts. Strome also held the role of public relations assistant for Disabled Sports USA.
“Ryders feels like an ideal fit for me,” Strome said. “The company is all about having fun and enjoying your time, in whatever sport you are participating. “Whether I am wearing bike shoes, ski boots, running shoes or flip flops, I try to fill my days with fun and play.” MARK LOVERIDGE Mark Loveridge has joined Cheltenham-based electric bicycle company Urban Mover. Having spent the majority of his career working in the green sector with companies offering niche products, and assisting their growth, Loveridge has a firm understanding of the potential of the burgeoning electronic bike sector. For three years Loveridge held the role of business development
at Ecotricity – the world’s first renewable energy company. Loveridge worked on an array of multi-million pound contracts with both national and international firms including the likes of grocer J Sainsbury’s, automotive giant Ford, international chain The Body Shop, the Co-operative group and many others. In 2007 Mark joined Vectrix – a firm that manufactured the world’s first high performance electric motorcycles in the capacity of UK sales manager. Mark grew a high quality and sustainable dealer network, while also securing sales with numerous fleets. That network included the police, the AA, councils and many others. In his spare time Loveridge is a keen mountain biker and enjoys motorsport and cooking.
BRANT RICHARDS The design company run by Brant Richards has been appointed by distributor Hotlines to work on ‘British-ising’ the company’s portfolio and also to develop the NukeProof line of products. Richards has had an eclectic bicycle industry career. He started as a Saturday boy working at Two Wheels Good, based in Leeds. He then went on to be launch editor of Mountain Bike Rider publication. Most recently Richards held the role of brand manager for manufacturer On-One. “I’m delighted to be working alongside Hotlines’ current staff to evolve Nukeproof while also ‘British-ising’ other existing brands within their portfolio. “In addition, they’ll be distributing my new brand,” added Richards.
BIKEBIZ APRIL 31
MOORE LARGE SHOW HIGHLIGHTS
Haro’s latest, plus new bikes from Velorbis, Barracuda, Bumper and more were squeezed into the show
Extra Large Moore Large opened its doors to give dealers a look at the very latest from Barracuda, Knog, Velorbis and an extra large helping of other top-notch brands, prototypes and products. Jonathon Harker joined the retailer throngs at the distributor’s Derby show rooms at the Dealer Days and seminars… MOORE LARGE squeezed plenty of product into its show rooms, revealing a huge selection of treasures at its week-long trade show just over a month ago. Hundreds of attendees grabbed the chance to see the latest products and brands. The news from the distributor itself was upbeat – ML told BikeBiz that bike sales were up and parts and accessories sales had performed well too. IBDs can expect more of the same, says ML, with the twin stables of bikes and accessories serving up top-notch product for retailers and consumers alike… Bikes Moore Large’s guided tour of the show began with some exclusive brands, including pavement bike brand BUMPER. Created by ML, it remains a top choice for IBDs seeking a quality and value for money junior bike range, predicting that it will shine this year. ML told BikeBiz that further Bumper developments are planned following the succesful launch of the Bumper Junior helmets range last October. Meanwhile, the BARRACUDA display included a huge range of
new bikes for 2009. Boasting aluminium frames and Shimano components, the range has matured into a diverse offering. Developed with the IBD midsector in mind, the first from the new line-up is the RS1 – 24. This 24 inch Road Bike offers young riders a rare route to road cycling at £249.95. Also of interest to dealers were expanded Hybrid and Trekking bike ranges, taking Barracuda into new territory. The ’09 Barracuda line-up also has tandems, MTBs and even hexagonal framed bikes. Another of Moore Large’s own brands – FREE SPIRIT, was also on show. The distributor assures us no corners have been cut with the line-up of 20 to 26 inch models equipped with full Shimano transmission including Shimano Revo Shifters. ML’s HARO had centre stage with an expanding range including Comfort MTBs and Cruisers with an impressive line up of BMX and 26 inch MTBs. ML has already established itself as a major player in the entry-level market and its ambition to take on the high-end was much in evidence, not least of all with BASSO. The high-end
BIKEBIZ APRIL 33
MOORE LARGE SHOW HIGHLIGHTS
brand was created in 1972 and boasts Italian-made bikes that can be tailor-made to fit consumer’s and dealer’s needs. Brand new for ‘09 is the Astra. Available in six colours, the fourleaf clover shape is a super stiff frame. Also in the range are the Devil Cross, the Devil Donna the Reef, Zero 9 and the Track. The brand is also set to get a big marketing push this year. In stores the brand will be backed by a range of merchandising, while full product training will be offered by ML’s Basso brand manager Adam Biggs. For more on Basso, turn to page 21 for our Brand Spotlight. ONZA’s fixed and city bikes also featured prominently. The brand, picked up in 1998, includes the forthcoming Onza Uno – a prototype of which was on show at the event. Meanwhile the Deco and Neveo are set to be in stock within three months, both featuring Araya wheel sets, reverse wheel tensions and more. Many cyclists have been signed up to market the brand – including Andrei Burton, Ben Savage, Scott Wilson, Joe Seddon, Karl Donnelly and Danny Swindlehurst. It’ll also sponsor the British National Series. At the time of the show the VELORBIS brand was still new to Moore Large. The line-up of German-made, Dutch-owned bikes appeal to the growing classic and fixie market, with an emphasis on fashion and practicality, with design and quality to boot. ML told showgoers that Velorbis bikes are hand made, not hand built, and they’re already in demand – with the bike now stocked in Harrods. Three models make the initial Velorbis offering – Dannebrog, Churchill Classic and the Victoria Classic. The bikes have already been covered in the national press, including The Independent, The Times and ladies mag Zest, while the Churchill Classic has even featured on Desperate Housewives. ML has an introductory offer for dealers as it grows the brand in the UK. Parts, accessories and clothing Naturally it wasn’t just about the bikes themselves, Moore Large’s parts and accessory brands also formed a key part of the show. LIMAR helmets, now exclusive to the distributor, include the Pro 104 – medium-sized at an incredibly light-weight 180g, a world-best according to Limar. The new 757 is a compact MTBstyle helmet with 22 air vents and an RRP £69.99.
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Limar also supports the children’s helmet market, with two options of the 124 helmets – which feature in-mould technology and are lightweight to protect the weakest part of little ‘uns – the neck. The 124 comes in a girl-appealing pink, while throughout the Limar range there is great emphasis on female-friendly designs and style. The 60-year-old VANGUARD brand had gained strong IBD support following introduction to the UK four years ago. It’s all about the base layers, with function paramount in its collection of standards. The firm told BikeBiz that Vanguard produces garments that are tight-fitting and absorb sweat – unlike rivals – utilising moisture management. Even part of the Scandinavian army uses it. Shoe specialist LAKE was another brand to bring ladyappeal, with at least one shoe designed for females in every category. Feminine feet usually have less volume so the need for female-only shoes is crucial. The firm showed a £260 customisable shoe that requires the user to warm in an oven, then wear it so it moulds to the shape of the foot. Also up from Lake was a gym and outdoor shoe range – the I/O – so consumers don’t have to swap shoes on the way to and at the gym. Another Lake highlight was the MX140 boot which has the shoe ‘skeleton’ as the exterior and a waterproof sock inner. The hugely creative KNOG brand has been one of ML’s biggest growing of the last three years. It’s easy to see why. Knog oozes style, while still being hugely functional – something it achieved right from the off with the Frog – a good looking light that requires no tools to fit. The firm showed its new glove range, including the Orca, the Love/Hate combo and the 8ball as featured on BikeBiz.com. The new Dog bags were on show as was the NERD computer – set to land very soon. In four colours it has a ‘touchless’ screen and requires no tools to fit. With multi-tools, risquely named Porno Patches, new Boomer light and new POS option for IBDs, Knog is keeping up its practical, fashionable and cool reputation. Other exclusive brands at the show included Kenda Premium Tyres, Jagwire Cables and Accessories, KMC Chains, Tifosi Eyewear, OK Baby Childseats, OnGuard Security Products plus SR Suntour Suspension Forks and Chainsets.
New products a-plenty were on show at the ML Dealer Days, including Knog gloves and bags (above),Lake’s MX140 cycling shoe (below) and Limar’s lightweight Pro 104 helmet (bottom left). Elsewhere, the Basso seminar (right) got dealers up close and personal with the new-toMoore Large brand. Bike brand Onza also featured
York Cycle Show 2009
York Racecourse 20th - 21st June
N Huge Sales and Exhibition Marquees N Try Out Area N Mountain Bike Stunt Show N Arena Racing N Vintage Bikes N Day rides N Food and Drink Court N Childrens’ Entertainers N Contact:- firstname.lastname@example.org
0844 736 8456
N Free entry to main arena N Adult entry to Sales and Exhibition area by £2.50 Programme YAccompanied U16s free) N Weekend Camping (£10/£15) N Open from 10am daily
BIKEBIZ APRIL 35
GARY FISHER INTERVIEW
From MTBs to urban bikes One of the founding fathers of mountain biking was in the UK recently, leading a demo day for Chevin Cycles of Otley. Carlton Reid took the chance to talk transport bikes with Gary Fisher... GARY FISHER might have a free Subaru sitting outside his San Francisco home but he walks the walk and talks the talk: he bikes everywhere. “I made myself a promise, I’m going to pick up everything on a bike. I'm going to run all my errands from the saddle.” He started riding competitively in 1963, taking part in cyclocross races. In the 1970s he was a top roadie but got his kicks from knocking around on klunkers. With his CX background he knew it was a no-brainer to attach derailleurs to the beat-up Schwinn frames he and his friends were riding. Along with other pioneers – such as Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, Charlie Kelly, Otis Guy, Steve Potts, Jacquie Phelan, and Charlie Cunningham – Fisher was famously responsible for helping to create, and popularise, the sport of mountain biking, a form of cycling that went where cars didn’t. Now, he still rides MTBs – he’s probably best known today for his passion for 29ers – but he’s a city dweller and gets around by bike. He helps out with the San
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Francisco Bicycle Coalition, a 10,000-member organisation that has political clout in this Californian city. He also feeds in ideas to the designers at Trekowned Gary Fisher bicycles. His Superfly 29er is the flagship bike in the Gary Fisher range, but you
end up buying bikes I like the look of, bring them back and give them to the designers. I’ve also just spent time with the guys at Xtracycle. We’ll have an Xtracycle cargo bike soon,” says Fisher. “Bikes are good for the body,
“Two years ago bike shops looked at cargo bikes and said: ‘Nah, we won’t sell them.’ Now everything’s changed and shops are recognising the demand for these practical products...” Gary Fisher get the feeling his heart now lies with the Simple City range. Sadly, we don't get these bikes in the UK (due to problems with pricing; the bikes are made in China). Simple City bikes are smartlooking town bikes. The Simple City 8 M has a Nexus eightspeed hub, rear roller brake and a natty front basket. It’s a sweet looking bike, a lightweight in its class. It’s based on much heavier Dutch models. “When I go to Europe I often
good for the city, and good for your soul.” Cars are wasteful of city space: “If you took the value of space by square metre, how much it costs us, how much we have turned our cities over to the automobile, deadly vehicles that spew toxins, you’d be shocked. And driving is the most dangerous thing people do voluntarily each day.” He believes last year’s petrol price spikes will come back but that when prices went lower the
newcomers brought into cycling did not all go back to their cars. “I think a lot of them have stayed. Petrol prices are only part of the equation. Cars get dinged, cars get parking tickets, and there’s this really powerful thing: it’s faster on a bike. I was being interviewed by a TV crew the other week in San Francisco. I had to get across town to film another part of the interview. I was on a Dutch single-speed, a 50lb bike. I got there long before the TV truck. They took an extra half an hour to arrive and park at the place. That’s crazy.” He’s thrilled that the pro bike message is getting through, is mainstreaming and is no longer fringe. “Many of the executives in this industry came in during the mid 1970s. It was after the 1973 oil crisis. They had a dream to change the planet with bikes.” It didn’t happen then, mountain biking took over and bikes left the streets. Now they’re back. Fisher believes now is the time for the bike industry to be adventurous, to reach out to the newcomers with fresh product, not just rehashed MTBs. But he acknowledges that the
trade is littered with good ideas that failed at retail: “There are many examples of companies who met with failure because the public didn’t buy their urban bike products. Things have changed now. In this industry we can be flexible. I have never seen so many happy people in the industry because, at last, wider society is now appreciating what we’ve known about bikes for years. We were right all along!” He has seen a major shift in the retail scene. “Two years ago bike shops looked at cargo bikes and said, ‘Nah, we won’t sell them.’ Now, everything’s changed and shops are recognising there’s a demand for these kind of products. More and more people are wanting a bike just to get around on. This is shocking and joyful.” But he warns that the bike trade mustn’t be late into urban bikes in the way many parts of the industry were late into mountain bikes. And it mustn’t fear innovation, new kinds of bikes, new customers: “What's the easiest thing to do today? Do the same as we did yesterday. That’s dangerous thinking.”
Bike Hub seeks to make oaks from acorns Phillip Darnton tells Carlton Reid that Bike Hub has £100,000 to spend on ‘acorn’ projects... BIKE HUB, the bicycle levy scheme, plans to create a funding pot for new projects that will get people on bikes. The scheme raised £400,000 in 2008. £250,000 goes to the Bike It schools programme, which now has 41 officers working with hundreds of schools to get more kids on bikes. £50,000 goes to a mix of Bike Week, Bikeforall.net and other projects. That leaves £100,000 for the new funding pot. Cycling England chairman Phillip Darnton says the £100,000 funding pot will be an annual project. He comments: "It would be wonderful if somebody applied who said they’d been nursing an idea they've never been able to find a sponsor for. We’re looking for projects that could be scaled up. We didn’t know that when we planted the Bike It acorn that it would become so successful. We want more ideas like that. “The Bike Hub committee is adamant that the projects need to include some form of match funding. This shows a measure of commitment and seriousness for the proposition,” says Darnton, adding that the match funding need not be pound for pound.
The current members of the Bike Hub committee are Phillip Darnton; Richard Allmark of Fishers; Ian Beasant of Giant; John Moore of Moore Large; Richard Hemington of Specialized; and Chris Compton, Mark Brown and Andy Shrimpton representing the ACT. Darnton says the £100,000 could go to one project or to four projects of £25,000 each. He further explains by saying: “Bike Hub is about safeguarding the future of cycling. We'll likely favour ideas to do with younger people because we feel that cycling needs to become a way of life for people. A good idea for a project might be a scheme to get more girls on bikes. These girls will become young women who might become mums and who will then influence whether their kids cycle to school.” Bike shops can pitch for the Bike Hub money, so long as they can gain some amount of matchfunding. Darnton also says the Bike Hub committee is openminded about the kind of organisations that will get the cash. “We have no view on who the providers should be. But we will only consider schemes where the person or group bidding for
“Bike Hub is about safeguarding the future of cycling. We’ll likely favour ideas to do with younger people, because we feel that cycling needs to become a way of life.” Phillip Darnton, Cycling England
the money is competent to manage the scheme. The Bike Hub committee members are volunteers. We have no additional resource to manage or supervise the schemes ourselves.” Applications can be from anywhere in the UK. The Bike Hub committee will then sift through them and funding is expected to start in September. Bidders can apply at bikeforall.net.
‘Invest in bikes’, Cycling England tells councils NEW RESEARCH commissioned by Cycling England makes the case for a fundamental rethink in the way local authorities plan cycling. The research, by independent economists SQW, argues that cycling must be treated with the same rigour as other mainstream modes of transport if its benefits are to be fully understood. The research shows how local authority planners can apply conventional cost benefit modelling to ensure a better return on investment for every pound spent on cycling. The study presents for the first time a Cycling Planning Model (CPM) that will help local
planners to better assess the number of additional cyclists required to generate a return on investment. The model shows how a surprisingly small number of additional cyclists will pay for investment in new cycling infrastructure. The model suggests an investment of £10,000 requires just one additional regular cyclist. An investment of £100,000 requires 11 additional regular cyclists. The study draws on previous research published in 2007 by SQW, which placed an economic value on the contribution to be made by cycling. It argued that through improvements in health,
reductions in congestion and by enhancing the ambient environment, a 50 per cent increase in the number of trips by bicycle would generate benefits worth £1.3bn by 2015. Phillip Darnton, chairman of Cycling England, says: “Unless the full benefits of cycling are taken into account, we will systematically under-invest in cycling. Cycling must compete for investment with other modes of transport and this requires robust evidence of its benefits. We believe the Cycling Planning Model will help give local authorities a clearer sense of the return on investment build cycling can deliver.”
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For all dealer enquiries contact
[ S T R O N G P R O D U C T S ]
Check out Hotlines NEW website! www.hotlines-uk.com
tel: 0131 319 1444
Walkers: It’s a family affair As one of the UK’s longest serving distributors, Walkers has had plenty of time to mature a wholly unique business. Mark Sutton talks to Andie Walker about the lesser-known services available to customers… Give us a brief history lesson in all things Walkers: Walkers has been supplying the cycle industry in the UK for over 100 years now, and we are probably one of the first, if not the first to do so in the country. My brother Nick and I have owned and run the company for the last seven years, and we are the third generation in the Walker family to do so. Nick’s wife Abi is in charge of our accounts dept, and my darling wife is in charge of credit control. We have staff members in-house answering the phones, and processing orders, and well established sales reps calling on accounts on a regular basis. What brands do you carry? We carry what we feel are all the key, sellable high-margin brands with a few of them being exclusive to Walkers. These are Serfas, Clarks disc brakes, Reflex Cycle Products (our own brand) and Michelin Helmets. We were the first company in the trade to distribute the Schwalbe range of tyres and tubes, we also offer Axa-Basta, Crud, Fat Spanner, Mavic, Oxford, Reflexite, Shimano, Slime, Smart, Stronglight, VP, Velo, Zefal, Weldtite and Zoom.
You recently bagged the Serfas brand. Why this deal important to Walkers? I’m personally familiar with this brand from years ago when Caratti Sport used to distribute it. It’s great quality, mid-ranged product with a lifetime guarantee. What’s more, it’s a highly sellable tight product range. We have our first container due in April and are very much looking forward to offering it back into the UK. How can a dealer declare interest in a Walkers account? If any dealers out there want a really personal trading experience, then they can go about it in a number of different ways. Firstly, they can either register for a new account on our new website, www.walkerscycles.co.uk which will be active any day now, or they can call our office, or even send us an email requesting a credit application form to be emailed out to them. Once we have a fully completed credit application and we have trade references back, then job done. How’s business? We continue to yield good yearon-year growth and we are
“We have our first Serfas container due in April and are very much looking forward to offering it back to the UK trade after so many years absence...” happy with the way it’s all going. On the whole, we have to be pretty happy with last year’s growth and all our staff definitely need to be acknowledged for making those achievements possible, because without them we have no business. For 2009 and into the future we’d definitely love to see more dealers give us the opportunity to prove ourselves by opening up an account. We know we have the products and just as importantly we have the stock levels to cope with all increases we may encounter. Any plans for expansion? We are always interested in speaking to sales people about expanding our current customer base, and if anyone is fed up in their role, then they can send us a CV and covering letter. Tell us something we don’t already know about Walkers: We have been building wheels in-house since we virtually
began. We build any combination of wheel our customers require; we also carry the full 2009 range of Mavic rims with good stocks of Shimano hubs for most combinations. This side of our business has always been busy. We are also agents for Dawes Bikes and can supply our customers with the new and exciting 2009 range, subject to locations. We also offer all of our customers a ‘special order option – meaning if we have an account with a particular supplier, but don’t range one of its products for whatever reason, and one of our customer wants something, then we will order them one by adding their requirements to our orders. What support can you offer dedicated dealers? I know I bang on about our personal service, but that in itself is a highly prized asset we do offer, as it’s not always all about price only.
We have a variety of POS available and always generally pass this on FOC when we get it from our suppliers. We offer all our customers a very attractive profit margin with the product range we stock generally having no RRP pressures to adhere to. How have currency changes affected your business? We made the brave decision mid-to-late last year to be satisfied with a reduction in our profit margins for the short-tomid-term by not passing on many of the huge increases that we were incurring due to the weakening of the pound against the euro and the US dollar. Walker’s is big on ‘single unit spares’ – why should dealers take this into account when choosing a supplier? Our ethos has always been that the wholesaler’s role should predominately be to sit on the stock for the dealers so they don’t have to. For example, when we have to buy a certain product in, and it’s in a large outer quantity and we know the customer would never sell that volume in a hurry, we split it, and sell that item in single units instead of boxed quantities.
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NEW Chicargo Tricycle trailer
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The trade’s guide to the best customer service, up–and–coming IBDs and the hottest products
RETAIL COMMENT LAST MONTH’S Spokesman – based around store ‘sex appeal’ – got me thinking about my retail experiences. What had I previously liked and disliked when browsing and to what extent did my experience inside the store influence my purchasing decisions? How does this vary depending on whether I’m buying from a multiple or an independent store? The first comparison to pop into my head was space, not service. Typically, I feel more crowded in an independent store and of course that will always be the case taking into account the vast contrast in rental budget. Two notable points those rolling out concept stores seem to place emphasis on are light and space. But that’s obvious right? As put by IceBike speaker Jay Townley: “Customers won’t bother to process a sea of wheels, they’ll simply browse then leave none the wiser.” There’s a reason why some shun TK Maxx despite the deals on offer, can you guess it? A
“There are many reasons why women find bike shops intimidating. It’s comparable to the way a man approaches Valentine’s Day shopping...” store may have incredible deals on, but what use is that if the customer is still outside and can’t see past the dirty glass front, plastered with stickers? First impressions count, a lot... There’s absolutely no harm in keeping things to a minimal and drawing focus to a centrepoint product display. Revolve the product every week or so, watching what catches people’s eye. Firstly, this may further influence sales of a product that is selling well. But it can also revive the fortunes of unusual items. Make sure shoppers are greeted by staff, who listen before making recommendations. Before long, it’ll generate positive word–of–mouth advertising. Go outside and then turn around, walk back through your front door three paces – have you already passed product? Did you see that product on the way in? What’s by the exit that will discourage the customer from leaving without purchase – anything eye catching? Do you have any material to hold attention while staff are busy? There are many reasons why women are often intimidated by bike shops. It’s on par with the way men react to having to buy Valentine’s gifts. Where do I start? Who will help me get it right and first time around? A lot is down to the perception that cycling will result in getting mucky or sweaty. Then there’s the danger factor. So, how are you going to change this mind set? How about a ‘safe commute’ display – made up of a styled helmet, some neutral, yet cycle–suitable clothing and a trendy low step–over bike with a basket on the front?
IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE BRICK LANE BIKES
Mark Sutton visits fixie and track specialists Brick Lane Bikes and asks how far past ‘fad’ is fixie culture?
Bikes have high monetary and sentimental value, so who wouldn’t protect theirs with some Kryptonite, or a Doberman...
PARTS AND ACCESSORIES
Saddles, seatposts, combinations of both, as well as bottles and bottle cages – flip to page 47 for a guide to the market...
Brick Lane Bikes
Get fixed! Owner: Jan Milewski Location: Brick Lane, London Telephone: 020 7033 2900 Web: www.blbbigmama.co.uk
Email: email@example.com Opening Times: 9am-7pm on weekdays, 11am-7pm on Saturdays and 11am-6pm on Sundays
Particularly popular among bike couriers, the fixed gear bicycle was never intended as a fashion over function item. Mark Sutton talks to Brick Lane about the niche’s culture and the money to be made in custom builds… THE NOW firmly established, fixed gear culture shares a lot with the emergence of skateboarding and BMX. It’s catchy and creates curiosity. Visit Brick Lane Bikes and you’ll see a showroom that has borrowed ideas from the industry’s catwalk and blended these with a style all of its own. The add on sales potential within this niche is on par with the way anodised parts revolutionised the BMX scene and breathed new life into a niche that had been slouching. Brick Lane Bikes manager Jason Finch explained: "Within this niche, customisation is
king. Plenty of the builds we do are from the ground up and as a result we’ve launched our own labelled components brand. For the most part, everything we offer comes in a variety of colours. Perhaps unbeknown to some in the trade, vintage road bike parts are having a real resurgence and as a result we try to secure as much classic stock as possible. Some of these items have doubled in value in recent years, despite being old stock.” So how far past ‘fad’ is fixie? Well, Brick Lane Bikes now has a sub-division distribution company dubbed Big Mama
and has been forced to take extra warehouse space to cope with the stock demands – all in a very short space of time. Finch continues: “Every time we think fixed gear has hit a peak another horizon appears. Fads can last for years, but when a niche attracts attention from the likes of Nike that’s a pretty strong indication that it’s trajectory is set for growth.” The culture developed within built up urban areas worldwide and to support this dedicated magazines, blogs and stores are emerging at quite a rate. In fact, on the very same road as Brick Lane Bikes, there’s another
dedicated store. So should you be cautious of the band wagon? “Three London shops dedicated to the niche have opened in the space of six months. But, competition is healthy and we’re all for the sustainability of the market,” added Finch. “These kind of bikes are not just A to B items, they’re for meeting friends, bike polo, for making your own.” Such is Brick Lane’s influence within the worldwide culture, brands have approached the store seeking advice on product. However, the shop has also attracted attention from outside the industry too. It’s
hard to miss the latest Diet Coke television advert in which Duffy grabs a track bike and goes for a whirl around a supermarket – Brick Lane supplied that bike. To place further emphasis on the ‘cool factor’, a recent Mail on Sunday photoshoot borrowed a fixie from Brick Lane, only to use it as a background prop. The workshop is no less an important part of Brick Lane’s business. To cope with the volume of custom wheelbuilds, the store now has a dedicated full-time wheel lacer who, on average, completes ten custom builds per day.
Distribution dynamite Brick Lane’s distribution arm, Big Mama, has a taken into account both the fashion and function aspect of fixie business taking on Velocity rims in a recent deal. The brand caters for 700 and 650c, 26, 20 and 16-inch wheel sizes and in a variety of
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mix and match shades. Some even have braking surfaces, although for the traditional fixie this isn’t necessary. However, it’s not just Velocity available via Big Mama. Super sexy brands such as Phil Woods, Paul Comp, H Plus Son and Brick
Lane’s own brand are under the available portfolio. An online web store is due in the coming months, however, trade members are able to place orders and make enquiries on 0207 0332900 now. www.blbbigmama.co.uk
Lock it or lose it It might not be the most glamorous side of the business, but bike security is more essential than ever. Jonathon Harker takes a look at the latest ways to fend off sticky-fingered bike thieves…
ZYRO is bringing the new Bordo X-Plus to the market – a product which promises to bring a whole new level of security to what’s already a hugely versatile product. Taking the strengths of the established Abus Bordo and Bordo Combination, the Bordo X-Plus is the premium product from the line-up. Featuring hardened steel construction, this top-of-the-range product has 5.5mm links that offer maximum protection against brutal opening methods. The X-Plus also includes an 85cm long, security level 15 rated foldable lock and, according to Zyro, it simply has no competition. 01845 5217000 www.zyro.co.uk
RALEIGH stocks a full range of cyclebased locks including everything from coil locks and shackle locks to chain and padlocks. Among Raleigh’s security ranges is the RSP. Designed to mix premium innovation and design, the RSP high security range is reported to be made from the best materials and to the highest standards, designed to flummox pesky bike thieves and exceed high customer expectations. The range itself has a new set of models including the articulating steel plate lock. Featuring a combination coil lock with a handy integrated light,
Moore Large THE DERBY-based distributor brings three separate security ranges to the trade, including OnGuard locks, and its most complete lock range yet. OnGuard’s ‘canine’ offering includes maximum security shackles, heavy duty chains and padlocks plus a range of Coils, Cables and Armoured Locks. New this year is the Link lock, combining high-level security with ultimate flexibility – helpfully folding into an easy-to-carry compact case. Dealers will be pleased to hear OnGuard offers aggressive RRPs, Sold Secure approval and Anti-Theft
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guarantees of up to a barkingly generous £1,200. Including a key replacement service, lifetime warranties and more, ML tells us that becoming a stockist entitles dealers to margins up to 60 per cent. Moore Large also offers branded locks from Magnum and Lox, targeting middle and entry-level price points. 01332 274200 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fisher Outdoor Leisure
it has a super secure ground anchor. The modest price unlocks value for money for cyclists. 01773 532600 www.raleigh.co.uk
Locking Shackle which resists over a whopping eight tonnes of force. 01727 798345 www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk
FISHER IS featuring two products from Masterlock, including the Street Cuff. At £68.51 the 74mm Cuffs are ideal for attaching to forks, frames and signposts. The nine-link cuff will lock two or three bikes and by using a Pivoting Link the lock doesn’t have a fixed anchor point – making it hard for thieves to use leverage to break it. With a lifetime guarantee and an easy-to-use push cylinder, these versatile cuffs fit MTB or road bikes. The Street Force 10 is the highest security U-Lock in the range, resisting the strongest attacks with an 18mm steel alloy shackle. Another hook is the Double
GREYVILLE stocks a range of eight locks from the ‘Goliath’ sized Chainsafe with its 10mm chainlink all the way down to the mini MicroSafe, featuring a three numbered combination mechanism. With the new addition of a U-lock, dealers are covered with a good selection of value-priced locks. First up is the Heavy Duty, featuring the proverbial heavy-duty thick 10mm steel. An ultra-strong metal lock head includes a new lock mechanism, while the nylon cover thoughtfully keeps bicycle paint scratch-free.
ENGLISH CHAIN has an extensive range of security products, with many Sold Secure/Thatcham accredited, including the certified Solid Hardened Block Lock and uber-tough Solid Hardened Padlock. The firm’s popular U-Shackle Locks feature 14mm–18mm hardened steel shackles and easy-to-fit carrying brackets with single or double locking mechanisms. The U-shackle locks can be combined with Steel Security Cables from 1.8 to nine metres long. 0845 3303 446 www.englishchain.co.uk
Henry Squire & Sons
SEKURA is championing two new products via Bike X, including a cable and a shackle lock. The former is an 185cm Cable Lock that features an Anti-Dust Security Head and LED key plus two standard keys. The cable lock also features a patented design – all at an SSP of £9.99. Meanwhile, the LED Shackle Lock is forged from hardened steel, with a strong protective plastic cover on the body. The shackle lock comes with an LED key and two spare standard keys for £12.99 SSP. www.bike-x.co.uk
HENRY SQUIRE and Sons tells BikeBiz that it’s got the Midas touch – or to be more precise, a range of maximum security Sold Secure gold-rated product. The rating is part of a Government-backed scheme, run by the Master Locksmith's Association. Gold approval means the product has the highest level of theft resistance, able to withstand a five minute ‘attack’. Squire's Sold Secure gold quality approved chain is made of hardened alloy steel and
The BBB U-Lock includes a cover that prevents dust and debris from entering the lock and features thick hardened steel, coming complete with two numbered keys and a strong lock mechanism. 01543 251328 www.greyville.com
features long links for use with closed shackle padlocks. It suits bikes of varying sizes and comes in 900mm, 120cm and 180cm options. The Urban Paramount two-wheel D-lock offers Sold Secure gold quality protection, while combining the might of a double-locking mechanism with a unique anti-saw feature. Squire is also a UK distributor for Trelock’s lock range. 01902 308050 email@example.com.
Pinhead (2Pure) PINHEAD’S unique locking system answers the age old problem of cyclists locking up their bikes with a U-lock and later finding their wheels, seat, and handlebars stolen. Pinhead’s patented system secures individual bike components from tampering or theft, locking the front wheel, rear wheel, seat, and handlebars to the frame. Once installed, the lightweight, durable, unobtrusive Pinhead locking fasteners remain on the bicycle while riding, protecting your components from theft or being tampered with. President Linda Young said: “It is encouraging to see Pinhead Locks continue to expand
Oxford Products OXFORD PRODUCTS’ security offering has evolved from dominating the motorcycle world, with it transferring its experience of protecting kit that costs upwards of £10k to the cycle business. Oxford Products tells BikeBiz that its entire range of cyclespecific locks are undergoing a refresh with brighter, more compact packaging on the way and that its biggest seller is the OF245-249 Oxford Cable Lock. The Docking Station (which retails at £79.99) is a ground/wall anchor that can be used with any size of chain, but keeps locking up and getting away easy for
its market share and I am happy to see how we can help with the safety and security of cyclists today. I am confident that we will continue to build on these successes throughout 2009.” 0871 231 9966 www.pinheadlocks.com
cyclists. Like the best-selling 12mm square link Hardcore chain lock (RRP 49.99), it is Thatcham and Sold Secure approved. 01993 862 300 www.oxprod.com
PRAGMASIS’ popular and award-winning Shed Shackle and Protector Chains have been joined by new releases like the Torc Ground Anchor Series II. It meets Sold Secure Gold in each category and uses four high quality fixings – 20mm diameter hardened steel shackle. The shed door ‘Beef-Up Kit’ is a simple collection of nuts and bolts plus guidance on security. Pragmasis has also just launched the Master Lock Excell M50D padlock – a low cost and lightweight lock. firstname.lastname@example.org www.torc-anchors.com
Cycleguard CYCLISTS’ SECURITY needs can extend beyond physical product and JLT Online’s Cycleguard has got that aspect of security covered. Literally. Cycleguard is a specialist insurance offering from JLT Online, and cycle retailers can get involved by joining the Cycleguard Affiliate Scheme. The ACT-endorsed scheme is already in place with over 1,000 UK cycle retailers, with no need for the dealer to ‘sell’ or even discuss the insurance offering itself. The Cycleguard insurance offering is
supported by in-store material like posters, POS leaflets and dispensers, plus online banners. Those promotional leaflets and site banners have codes unique to retailers, meaning that when a customer buys the insurance commission is paid to the retailer in question. With the business growing year-onyear, and an insurance offering that is ideally suited for cyclists, the scheme is increasingly attractive for bike dealers and bike consumers alike. To find out more head over to the site www.cycleguard.co.uk/bikebiz or call 02476 851027.
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YOUR BICYCLE SECURITY SPECIALIST Security Chains Spiral & Combination Cable Locks Steel Cables & Shackle Locks U-Shackle Locks Steel Locking Cables & Joint Locks High quality padlocks Ground Anchors tel: 0845 3303 446 fax: 0845 3303 447 email: email@example.com
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PARTS AND ACCESSORIES
How refreshing... Choice is a wonderful thing and customers will pay above the odds for that little extra bit of luxury. Mark Sutton looks at the add-on sales potential of saddles and accompanying seatposts, as well as the very latest bottles and the various cages designed to carry them...
BIKE-X offers both its own branded and Powerzone bottles and cages. All are FDA (Food and Drug Administration USA) approved, as well as meeting strict CE standards. The ergonomically designed Sport Direct bottles come with an alloy cage mount measuring 5mm. Each bottle has a capacity of 600ml. Powerzone’s advanced ‘Gripper’ bottle is available in both white and gold and features an anti-slip gripper strap, blended in around the ergonomic shape of the bottle. The model features a wide opening cap, so adding supplements or ice is far easier. The body holds 750ml of fluid.
COYOTE carries ranges of SMP and Velo saddles and saddle covers, including entry level, gel saddles, junior, gents and ladies models at very competitive, margin-friendly prices. To complement the range of saddles, Coyote offers a full range of Micro Adjust seat posts in sizes from 25.4mm through to 31.6mm. Full range details, specifications and prices are available at Coyote’s website – www.coyote-sports.com Coyote also has a comprehensive range of bottles and alloy cages in a variety of colours all branded under the Coyote Logo. The distributor also
The Cycle Division THE CYCLE DIVISION is distributor for the RavX brand, which designs and manufactures a range of products designed to fit the body, increasing comfort levels, while also taking into account function and style. Guided by industry trends, RavX continues to evolve its brand focusing on providing a range that is financially beneficial to the dealer. This year the brand can offer a diverse range of product, but
stocks the Resin Q/R bottle cage that can be mounted on the handlebar or seat post. The range of alloy bottles comes in four different colours and is one of the distributor’s highest selling products, partly down to the highly competitive margins on offer.
Paligap some stand out items include the grip range, which takes inspiration from the comfort associated with the leisure sector. A variety of compounds, shapes and sizes are available, too. RavX has also put a lot of thought into add-on-sale pieces such as bottles, bottle cages and tools. This year both carbon and metal cages are available, both coming in an array of colours and featuring sturdy frame mounts.
BRAND NEW in the Paligap warehouse is Ritchey’s latest carbon offering – the Superlogic Carbon seat post. The one-bolt design weighs in at a superlight 148g and has a patent pending on the clamp system, which is designed to make seat installation and adjustment extremely simple. The high modulus carbon construction makes the post incredibly rigid. A single 5mm Allen key can be used to install and adjust the saddle position, which is held in place by Ritchey’s own design ‘SideBinder’ clamp technology.
Interchangeable clamps provide compatibility with a range of saddle rail styles. Also brand new from the brand, the WCS Biomax saddle is now available from Paligap. The anatomical cut out provides comfort, while the body itself is 35 per cent carbon, making it stiff and reducing weight. The Biomax retails for £90.
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PARTS AND ACCESSORIES
THE NEW Rapha Bidon bottle range comes in five styles and sizes. Among them are two bidons designed in collaboration with Timothy Everest, the Savile Row tailor: a houndstooth check print; and Everest’s own design, the Spitalfields flower. The bidons can be bought from Rapha (through the website) or from retail partners, which include Condor, Sigma Sport and the TriCentre in Scotland. Rapha product is not available to stock, but is a personal choice for many dealers looking for personal luxury.
IMG PROPERBIKECO, IMG’s house-brand, offers only one grip, the aptly named ‘Team Grip’. This rubber combines features from the past (mushroom pattern) and the future (removable micro flanges) with a colour choice to suit all tastes including a full range of clear colours. Proper grips feature highquality nylon bar ends. IMG’s top selling brand, Odyssey, also has a full range of bicycle grips aimed at the BMX market. There is something to
Greyville BBB’S SADDLE range covers road, offroad and leisure cycling, providing a solution for each sector at a sub-£25 retail price. The leisure saddle is built from a ‘3D’ fabric and has a breathable open structure cover. This system maximises ventilation and stimulates moisture evaporation. Satin rails carry black bumpers, limiting everyday scrapes and damage typically caused when a bike is laid flat. Bang on the £24.95 mark, BBB’s road and MTB saddle has coloured rails with adjustment indications etched on, while the body is designed to meet the
FISHER OUTDOOR’S comprehensive saddle offering covers all sectors from leisure to high-end titanium railed race saddles. Having signed WTB recently, the entire range is now available to dealers,
suit every type of rider from classics such as the mushroom styled Gedda 2 grips to the modern Aaron Ross signature grips and the forthcoming Chase Hawk signature grips. Fly Bikes has three grips in its range, however the most striking is the Fino grip, which comes as one long, soft, thin grip and can be cut at any point in order to make two halves in your bespoke length. This grip has proved popular among fixed gear enthusiasts looking for a longer grip than usually available. As with all Fly grips, Fino grips come complete with nylon bar ends.
needs of sportive cycling. Black, silver and white colours are available. Higher in BBB’s price range, a new carbon fibre seat post features in the catalogue, weighing in at just 185g and measuring 300mm in length. The dual bolt adjustable clamp is bolted to the lower integrated head. As with anything carbon, the post offers maximum strength, but at featherlight weight. The road bike only seat post costs £79.95. Greyville can be contacted by telephone on 01543 251328. Alternatively, dealers can find a comprehensive catalogue of the BBB product line up and the distributor’s other brand listings at www.greyville.com.
Walkers HAVING TAKEN on Serfas, a brand which has proved immensely popular with US dealers, Walkers now has a far more comprehensive and competitive catalogue. Aimed squarely at the leisure and sport MTB crowd, Walkers’ line-up includes products such as the new RX Hybrid saddle, which features two-way shock absorbing elastomer springs. The in-built RX technology assists in eliminating pressure in soft tissue areas, while a new dual-density base allows flex in critical areas. The saddle retails for £29. To go with any saddle, a seat pack is also available, which has a water resistant
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including the saddle of choice for freeride legends Wade Simmons and Thomas Vanderham – the Pure V. This saddle features a distinctive drop nose design, wide whale-tail pedalling platform and an ergonomic contoured shape. This saddle also incorporates a flex-tuned shell with comfort zone cutouts. For the leisure rider, the Leisure She retails for a hobbyist friendly £24.99 and has a tough synthetic cover, a flex-tuned shell, plenty of padding and stand out 3M reflective corners to make riders visible at night.
outer sleeve, and expandable bottom for increased capacity, as well as an integrated ‘quick release’ twist clip system.
Cannondale CANNONDALE’S aftermarket range includes add-on items such as bottle cages and bottles. What’s more, it’s all designed smart, too. The Carbon bottle cage is said to have more wrap-around coverage than many standard cages and still weighs only 24 grams. Retail price is £30. The brand’s bottles come from as cheap as £4 retail price and Cannondale’s designers have been busy making them a little more interesting this year with a variety of illustrations.
Bottlesport BOTTLESPORT is a UK-based manufacturer of sports and bike bottles with a wide choice of models and sizes to choose from. All products are moulded and printed in the UK, which enables the company to produce orders very quickly and with the minimum of stress and hassle often associated with dealing with overseas suppliers. The range consists of four sizes of bottles ranging from 300ml to 1,000ml. Bottles can be printed in up to six colours and the company is able to print orders from as low as 100 units. New to the range for 2009 are the brand’s own ‘Wide Neck Bike Bottles’ in 500ml and 750ml sizes.
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Ison MANY OF Ison’s brands cover saddles and seatposts, so dealers with an account have plenty of stock choices. Gusset is one of those available. Saddle -wise, retailers selling to the dirt jump crowd should look at the Lil’ saddle, which is available in four colours. The saddle is perfect for off-roading and street where saddles are often subjected to scrapes. A heavy-duty diamondised vinyl top cover, mixed with anti-tear Kevlar rear and a nose guard, means that the Lil’ saddle is one of the toughest to tear on the market. The model sits on standard 8mm Cr-mo rails and weighs in at 310g. The brand also offers a seatpost, dubbed the ‘four-poster’. For those retailers stocking road or track product, Ison’s Genetic brand offers a variety of products, including add-on sale goods such as
Chicken Cyclekit SELLE ITALIA’S Troy Lee Designs saddle range is a perfect fit for importers Chicken Cyclekit. The first shipment will be landing as this magazine hits desks and consists of the Flite Eyeball, SLR Spider Phobia, SLR T1 History, Shiver Troy, and Yutaak Skulls – each with its own technology. If these Troy Lee Design saddles are a bit outrageous for your customers’ tastes, the 2009 range of cross country saddles will not disappoint. The combination of Selle Italia’s patented Gel Flow
Jungle Products SYNCROS HAS announced a new design, dubbed the ‘Grunge Tribals’, which will feature across its black and white 2009 product. There are separate designs (ranging from aggressive to noble) for all three applications (freeride, all mountain and
a carbon bottle cage, weighing in at just 23 grams. Genetic’s Syngenic seatposts are made from 7075 CNC butted alloy and feature an layback off-set forged system. The Identiti 4cross team favour this twin-bolt model. Ison’s commuter brand, Passport, offers ‘Upper Class’ ladies and gents saddles, which vary in width depending on the sex.
system (complete with a 30-day money-back guarantee) and the very specific advantages of each new model – the Flite XC, SLR XC and Shiver – lead to important new price points for a Selle Italia product. The Flite Fibra has also just made its debut, recalling memories of the original Flite Titanium saddle of a previous generation. Chicken Cyclekit dealers will also have the advantage of using a neat, space-saving display that combines a five per cent or seven per cent discount on an initial small stock-in purchase and the benefit of preferential lower costs throughout the year.
cross country). This year’s all-mountain seatpost retails for £49.99 and weighs in at 259g. A patented one-bolt clamp design with 5mm offset features, with the single bolt made from steel. The model is available in 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6 diameters. Accompanying this, Syncros has an allmountain saddle, which is built onto the same chassis as the freeride model, just features more foam padding and cromoly rails for added strength. A white leather cover seals the foam, while Aramid rear panels strengthen the package, which retails for £39.99. Head over to syncros.com for more details.
2Pure SELLE AN-ATOMICA has been selling its saddles in North America for three years and is now bringing them to Europe. Handmade in America, using a unique tanning process, the brand’s saddles require no breaking in and no waterproofing treatments are needed to preserve looks. Selle An-Atomica will be offering a wide and varied range of products in the Europe, ensuring that there is a saddle suitable for every rider. A selection of the product range is as follows: Titanico Watershed Leather with slot (£107.00). This saddle comes with copper or black rivets and colour choices of black, white, red, mahogany, golden, chocolate brown and TDF yellow. It also comes in two rider weights for over 180lbs and one for under 180lbs.
Secondly, the Titanico Watershed Leather (£77.00) comes with copper or black rivets and colour choices of black, white, red, mahogany, golden, chocolate brown and TDF yellow. Last of all, An-Atomica’s Titanico Ostrich Watershed Leather with slot (£268.00) comes with copper or black rivets and colour choices of black, white, silver black, cognac, red, antique saddle, Indian pink, tangerine, calfee yellow, neon green and emerald green. It also comes in quill hide or striated hide.
Moore Large BENEFITING FROM years of being a leading player in the BMX market, Haro’s Premium Products brand of upgrade parts and accessories has gained a growing interest since its introduction a few years ago. Saddles make up just part of this exciting range, with the very latest colours, styles and patterns offering a wide choice for the season ahead. 2009 has also seen the launch of the Skull Pivotal Saddle and Stump Post, weighing in at just 368g combined and coming in three colours. Between Polisport (bottles) and ETC (cages), retailers can offer a variety of options for customers seeking on-themove hydration solutions. Offering good value, the Polisport 700ml bottles come with a push-pull plunger and a flip top for a quick and easy water-tight seal. A
Extra ANTARES is the latest addition to the Fi’zi:k road range. It sits between the brand’s other premium lines – the Aliante and Arione. The brand has focused a lot of its energy on creating saddles with maximum padding, but without compromising the weight or shape of the saddles. Fi’zi:k claims that its Antares saddle carries 300 per cent more padding than its nearest competitors and offers 15 per cent more flat sitting area. The Antares
variety of colours, including translucent for easy cleaning, are available, all with eye-catching graphics. The Thermal bottle keeps hot things hot and cold things cold, with a dust cap to keep the mouth piece clean, even in extreme conditions. MTB saddle brand Solor is also available via Moore Large and offers some competitive trekking and comfort saddles.
weighs just 145 grams, despite offering a decent amount of nose padding. Fi’zi:k has also developed, alongside professional athletes and through consumer feedback, the Tundra saddle. The XC/MTB saddle meets a market previously uncovered by the brand and has a whole host of features and benefits. A new wider nose adds to a rider’s comfort during ascent, while a carbon structure encircles the saddle edges protecting the vulnerable edges. Carbon braided rails also feature. Extra handles Fi’Zi:k in the UK.
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Selle Royal SELLE ROYAL’s established gel saddle is back this year under a ‘Look In’ label. The restyled, maximum comfort saddle combines a variety of features, including a ‘cool cover’, RoyalGel and RVL technology. The Cool Cover is designed to prevent the surface heating up, whereas a standard black saddle can reach 60 degrees celsius in the direct sun. The cover keeps the saddle’s temperature at 25 degrees celsius or lower. RoyalGel makes up the saddle’s padding and is scientifically shown to reduce pressure on the prostate and distribute it to the ‘sit bones’. RVL stands for Royal Vacuum Light, a process which enables the saddle to be manufactured with a lighter Polyurethane foam, guaranteeing the following benefits: the overall weight is reduced, the saddle will not absorb moisture and the saddle will be firm enough to support the rider, while remaining comfortable.
Raleigh 2009 SEES Outland launch eight new saddles. These are designed to cover the demands of all riders at all levels, from road to street and dirt jumpers. The example pictured is the ‘Mountain Man’, featuring super-light hollow Ti rails, a Kevlar wrap and leather cover with cool new graphics. Also proving popular is the ‘El Rey’, Spanish for ‘the King’. This saddle is intended to find its way on to XC and road bikes alike. Again, boasting hollow Ti rails, a leather cover with Kevlar wrap and stylish new graphics, this saddle tips the scales at just 230 grams, which is impressive for a saddle retailing at under £50.
Wildoo WILDOO distributes EU-Bottle custom printed bottles that are proving incredibly popular with UK cyclists. The range covers sizes from 550ml through to one-litre and all sizes feature leak proof screw on caps. One of Wildoo’s unique selling features over the competition is the special soft thermoplastic rubber pulling spout. The minimum order quantity for a custom printed bottle starts from just 150 pieces. Wildoo can advise on the design layout and prepare a design proof from supplied logos to provide a prompt, efficient and seamless order process. If a customer has no logo, the company can even create a design using some standard stock images. Wildoo has supplied British Cycling, Team GB and Sustrans’ among other big names.
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Zyro FOR 2009, Zyro are building on the success of the Podium bottle with the Podium Chilljacket – an innovative insulated bike bottle, keeping water cooler for much longer, but equally good for keeping drinks warm. Unlike other insulated bike bottles, it is the same height as a regular 710ml bottle, but has a 620ml water capacity. Normally, the water capacity is a lot less compared to the bottle itself. It is very light, and is produced from two layers of Trutaste Polypropylene. The inner layer also includes permanent Hydroguard silver-ion anti-microbial protection to prevent bacterial growth. It is also squeezable, unlike many other insulated bottles and like the Podium, it includes the high-performance selfsealing, lockable Jet Valve. Zyro will shortly be launching them alongside a special, pre-merchandised 36-bottle display, with additional back-up stock.
Contacts: Parts and Accessories 2pure 0131 448 2884 www.2pure.co.uk
Jungle Products 01423 780 088 www.jungleproducts.co.uk
Bike-X 0870 3831193 www.bike-x.co.uk
Moore Large 01332 274200 www.moorelarge.co.uk
Bottlesport 0845 602 9267 www.bottlesport.com
Paligap 01179 825500 www.paligapltd.co.uk
Cannondale 02380 391 602 www.cannondale.com
Raleigh 01773 532600 www.raleigh.co.uk
Chicken Cyclekit 01525 381347 www.chickencycles.co.uk
Rapha 0207 485 5000 www.rapha.cc
Coyote Sports 0161 727 8508 www.coyote-sports.com
Selle Royal 01933 672170 www.selleroyal.com
Extra 01933 672 170 www.extrauk.co.uk
The Cycle Division 0845 0508 500 www.thecycledivision.com
Fisher Outdoor 01727 798345 www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk
Walkers 0116 2833885 Walkerscycles.co.uk
Greyville 01543 251328 www.greyville.com
Wildoo 08709 771550 www.wildoo.co.uk
Ison 01223 213800 www.ison-distribution.com
Zyro 01845 521700 www.zyro.co.uk
IMG 01243 268075 http://imgdistribution.blogspot.com
Among this month’s new products, Oxford has a one-of-a-kind reflective jacket, Clarks leaks shots of its next hydraulic brake and Fisher Outdoors has taken stock of new Bloc eyewear... Y-BIKE (1) ATOMIC SPORTS TEL: 00353-1-8071504 ATOMIC SPORTS has just launched the ‘Y Bike’ in the UK and Ireland, reacting to parents looking for a first bike for their toddlers. The Y Bike has been specially designed using input from university professors and design experts to offer toddlers a safe and fun introduction to learning to balance on a bike as they imitate older siblings and playmates. Kids as young as one can begin using the product right up until the time they are ready for a stabiliser supported bicycle. When it comes to young kids, safety is the main concern. For this reason the front wheel is considerably further forward, affording a bigger turning circle, which reduces the risk of falling over the front when turning. The back wheel is also covered to stop children from riding over their feet. The Y Bike body is designed for better clearance of obstacles and the larger wheels produce a safer ride on uneven surfaces. According to Atomic, kids who tested the bike for up to half an hour, twice a week, had vast skill improvements for balance, bilateral coordination and self-confidence. The Y Bike will soon be available to major toy and bicycle retailers, retailing at £40. www.atomicsports.ie/
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TUBLESS PYTHON TYRE (2) HUTCHINSON TEL: (EXTRA) 01933 672170 WITH JULIEN Absalon’s Olympic victory on Tubeless Ready Piranhas and the introduction of the Tubeless Ready Python, Hutchinson is now expanding the Tubeless Ready line with the Tubeless Ready Toro. Available in 26 and 29-inch dimensions, the Toro Tubeless Ready is ideal for all-around use. Open side knobs dig in on the turns, while the knobs on top deliver an efficient overall ride. Add Hardskin reinforcement to the mix and you have a very light, yet tough tyre. On average, Tubeless Ready tech shaves another 160 grams off of a traditional standard Tubeless tire. A 26-inch Toro weighs in at 530g.
It is compulsory to inflate the new tyre with a Fast’air cartridge – adding this latex inside of the tyre makes the rim airtight. www.extrauk.co.uk CLARKS SX HYDRAULIC DISC BRAKE (3) WALKER’S CYCLES TEL: 01162 833885 CLARKS’ LATEST hydraulic brake, the SX, will be landing in June carrying a trade price of just £29.99. The two-piston system will carry bite-control adjustment and lever reach adjustment, making it a highly customisable package for a low price. The lever looks different too, carrying lots of unique styling and an easy-install clamp. The S2 will be available with 160mm, 185mm and 203mm rotors, in both round and wavey designs. The product designer at Clarks, Paul Toon, says of the brake’s development: “Our growing partnerships with the far east, linked with British design and manufacturing capabilities is key to moving forward with new and exciting projects throughout the year.” Also from Walkers this month, a trendy new wicker basket is making promising early progress with retailers. The 20inch oblong version quickly sold its initial batch, although another is due to land shortly after this issue lands. Alternatively, an 18-inch oblong model is in stock now. Both are made from highquality willow. www.walkerscycles.co.uk BRIGHT TOP JACKET (4) OXFORD TEL: 01993 862300 OXFORD has a long history in producing safe, reflective equipment and, borrowing inspiration from the company’s motocross background, has been able to develop some feature packed gear for 2009. Utilising several bands of elastic, the ‘Bright Top’ creates a compression fit, meaning no part of the garment flaps in the wind. The jacket has a full frontal zip so is easily removed should the rider get too hot, although that will likely not happen with the breathable material used.
The jacket is machine washable and is the only jacket of its kind in the world to meet BS standard EN1150. Retail price will be £29.99. Also new from Oxford this month, the ChillOut jacket retailing for £69.99 is sculpted from a material dubbed ‘Chilltex’, which is entirely windproof. Hidden features include a 3D fleece lining, which creates a grid network of channels designed to stimulate air flow and regulate the body’s temperature. Other neat features include windproof zips, small flaps to cover the ends of the zip (to prevent cold metal coming into contact with your skin) and a slightly scalloped posterior, which takes into account the ‘ride-up’ of the jacket. www.oxprod.com ULTRA MOTOR (5) UK DEBUT SOON TEL: 07799 168444 ULTRA MOTOR is an established developer of Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) technology with operations in India, Taiwan, China, and the United States. The company has pioneered and successfully commercialised its proprietary electric motor technology to enable reliable, high-performance and affordable means of transport, in the form of electric bicycles and electric scooters. As a result of the brand’s success abroad, a UK launch of launch the new A2B range of LEVs is soon to be announced. BLOC LEOPARD GLASSES (6) FISHER OUTDOOR TEL: 01727 798345 BLOC’S LATEST eyewear piece, the ‘Leopard’, has an ultra-modern, streamlined and lightweight design, which utilises high-performance Karbon8 advanced technology. Dealers can choose from three colours – shiny black, camofluage and white pearl frames, while each comes with interchangeable lenses so the rider can easily adapt to the riding conditions. An adjustable moulded nose prevents the glasses slipping. The Leopard will retail for £49.99. www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk
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BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE CONTACTS BIKES & ACCESSORIES Paligap
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Find the full range of Wheels Manufacturing products on MadisonB2B.co.uk
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Extra profits, immediate results... Sales training can easily double your business. If every customer who comes in to buy an accessory goes out with two, you just doubled your accessory sales. If every customer who comes in to buy a £500 bike goes out with say an £1000 bike, you did it again! If you have trouble getting the simplest techniques over to your staff so they sell well consistently, we will come to your shop and help you. Four hours later, every staff member will be confident in closing sales every time. Full literature is provided plus a handy guide "How to keep your staff selling" is FREE to every owner/ Manager who books a course. Basic, advanced and managerial courses are available.
**STOP PRESS** FREE £500 Training grant available to every bike shop business in the UK! we can help you apply. Your business Link will probably fund half the sales training fees above that. Let the Government pay for your sales training. One fee, no extras, progress guaranteed: Email email@example.com now, or call 07786 262 460 for full details. Colin Rees: specialist cycle sales training in the bike trade for 14 years.
BIKEBIZ APRIL 57
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Chicken Cycle Kit
Madison Mission Moore Large
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The Bike Doctor
The Cycle Division
Pace Cycles, Adrian Carter, MD TEL: 01751 432929 WEB: www.pace-racing.co.uk Can you tell us a bit about Pace’s history? We fell into the mountain bike business in 1987 – at least that was the date stamped on the first frame assembly jig. By the 1980’s we had a small design business. I used an early mountain bike for dirtbike training, which soon became a rolling prototype for some funky ideas for mountain bike parts such as bars, forks and other components. Highgrade aluminium was sourced from Sponden, the renowned road-racing motorcycle frame manufacturer and the first iconic square tubed Pace evolved shortly thereafter. We dreamed up a bunch of ideas including the first threadless headset, downhill bikes, xc bikes, clothing and components. And carbon fibre suspension forks, too. And a bit about your partnership with DT Swiss? Cathy my wife (now co-director since 1996) and I had been developing the company as a niche fork manufacturer, but that industry was heading more toward OE mass production – a direction we weren’t interested in. I still had ideas for frame designs and started to develop our unique Freefloater design. I liked the DT Swiss shock and we developed a working relationship with DT, which ultimately lead to DT purchasing the suspension ‘division’ from Pace. Pace is still a UK independent business with two arms – Pace Cycles and DT distribution and servicing. How can dealers take stock of Pace product? What’s the account criteria? We have two simple programmes –
dealer and stockist – so any dealer can pick up the phone and order anything. He need not have an account and will have an attractive margin. However, should the dealer want to become a Pace frame or DT suspension stockist, then we offer an improved margin for a smaller stock commitment. How’s business? As with any imports business, extremely poor exchange rates are a major concern. So we’ve developed an aggressive dual strategy. Taking a Pace frame as a first example – we’ve given the customer more choice (colours and shock options) included an anodized finish (FOC) and at a time when most of our competition has dramatically increased prices – we’ve reduced the SRP without cutting dealer margins. Secondly, we’re developing an innovative range of UK made components – all CNC machined and beautifully made which will compete head on with expensive imports. Any expansion plans in the pipeline? Pace recently moved from the original factory site and we are just getting established into two new units on the fringe of the North York Moors. Are warranty issues handled in-house? Yes – in all cases and with all our brands and products. Additionally, we are the official Service Centre for both DT Swiss and Scott suspension (supporting Nude and Equalizer 2 products). We carry full spares back up and handle all warranty issues here in the UK, so the dealer now has the confidence that these products have local UK support which is fully factory backed.
BIKEBIZ APRIL 59
Cracking down on bike thieves I AM A SERGEANT with Northumbria police working in Newcastle city centre. As part of my responsibilities I am looking at how to reduce the thefts of cycles working with cycle users groups and the City Council. As well as examining security and crime prevention I am exploring the different companies methods of cycle marking to identify cycles if they are stolen. As there are numerous different schemes and no national registration I wondered if the cycle shops were looking at one registration/marking scheme
To discount or not to discount? FOR BIKE dealers, who don’t seem to be suffering the way most High Street retailers are in this economic climate, the recession is the best opportunity they will ever have to banish once and for all a problem that runs through the trade. I am talking about discounts. Travelling the UK sales training in bike shops has given me a rare insight into the way discounts are regarded. Some owners believe that unless one is given, business will be lost. Others rely on the excuse that ‘we’ve always done it’. I have even seen shops where a customer has stood at the till ready to pay and the sales guy says: “Would you like a discount?” – without even being asked! The trouble is, once you give it to one person, they tell their friends and before you know it, everyone expects it. If you give a discount, you are giving a customer money straight out of your back pocket because discounts come directly from net profit and net profit is what we are all here for. Invariably, a customer will ask for ten per
cent. On a £500 bike, that’s £50. Wouldn’t he be happy with £20 in cash? You save profit, he’s happy, but you still have not cured the problem. He will still expect a discount next time because he knows he will get one. Discounts are more acceptable if you get something back or push someone to go further – then the discount is an investment. If someone intending to spend £70 on accessories goes to £100 on the offer of £2 cash back, then at least you get something back. So do we really have to discount? No one would think of going into Sainsbury’s and asking for a discount at the till. Equally, no one can really begrudge a customer asking. But why, oh why do dealers believe they will lose so much unless they give in? A shop I went to in the Midlands had a real problem and the level of discounting was getting silly. As well as the traditional historic obligatory ten per cent for various organisations, many customers were asking and the boss was really irritated at what was
happening. It was beginning to get out of hand. So we sat down and worked out how much the business was losing in discounts in the course of a year. The figure we reached was £40,000. That represented £40,000 less net profit. The simple question the owner had to ask himself was, if you stop discounting, given that you may well lose some customers to competitors, will I lose more or less than £40,000? The next day, a sign went up in the shop saying please don’t ask us for a discounts as we are unable to give them. The staff were trained how to deal with the question professionally and from that day to this, that owner has taken home substantially more in his back pocket because he hasn’t been giving his customers cash presents any more. Maybe the time has come for every dealer in the UK to stop this drain on profits, take a stand and really think about what he gives away during the year. Colin Rees Quest Consultants, Hertford 01992 500 530
to help with identifying recovered cycles. Any news on new security would also be welcomed. This would be shared amongst the cycle groups/cycle to work schemes within Newcastle. Sgt 100 Hamilton, Newcastle Upon Tyne BikeBiz: Think you can help? Send responses to us at the address seen bottom left and we’ll forward them on.
From the Forum... New VAT prices and changing RRPs With the raft of price increases that are coming and the 15 per cent VAT rate am I right in saying that if we keep knocking the 2.12 per cent off new RRPs we may be eating into our margins? Eg. Giant’s new RRPs take into account the new VAT rate at 15 per cent so I shouldn’t be reducing their bikes still. There was a piece on BBC Watchdog about this kind of thing and it seems that the retailers are going to come out of this looking like bad guys for not reducing prices. Fecking Government! hicycle The Government has been clearly told by numerous retail organisations that their ’play’ with VAT was a farce and I think that much of the general public recognise this. All industries dependent upon imports have been through a major re-pricing exercise driven by exchange rates during the past three months and within that exercise will have reviewed
prices relative to source, sell through, current market and VAT; I think it’s only right that all products are re-priced to 2009 RRPs and price points by now. The general public have been hit far more significantly by currency losses than the VAT tweak could have compensated for and although they should recognise this as they plan for holidays abroad, a bit of education wouldn’t go amiss. The big question for the end of the year will be how we accommodate the increase in VAT; at least it won’t be a surprise this time, but an early notification of the rise allowing us to plan price rises and even drum up more Xmas business ahead of the rises would be helpful. I’m sure the Government won’t be asking us to round all prices up overnight by 3.48 per cent (to accommodate 19 per cent VAT). Not such good publicity for them a short time ahead of an election! maw
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Herbalife Wheelbase hits UK circuit
If you like to gamble… THEY WHY NOT join the bike trade?... Both Madison and Moore Large invited their retail e partners to win or lose som ette roul the on ey mon fake r and blackjack tables at thei ran ch whi ws, sho se hou during February. Prizes were up for grabs the events. Madison for the biggest winnings at p told BikeBiz: “On the marketing director Will Frip winner was Peter no casi the t, Wednesday nigh national rider and Hargroves, former Cyclo-cross won a bottle of He les. Cyc es founder of Hargrov ” ses. Bollinger with matching glas
WHEELBASE.CO.UK and Herbalife have linked up to launch a new road racing team to the UK circuit. The North-West based team held its launch ceremony right in the heart of Lancashire at gastro pub The Borough in Lancaster. A crowd of 60 supporters, sponsors and family members gathered to watch the unveiling of the new team. “The North West is a hotbed of cycling talent and we knew we could easily gather the raw talent and develop a team which could challenge the top squads
on the national circuit. It’s taken over 18 months to get here but we’ve done it and we’ve got the start of something which is going to turn a few heads this season,” said Geoff Newcombe, Team HerbaLife/Wheelbase.co.uk manager. The title sponsors HerbaLife Independent Distributors and Wheelbase.co.uk both have pledged a serious commitment to the team. This in turn has enabled the managers to develop a comprehensive support package.
Sugoi launches new point-of-purchase programme SUGOI PERFORMANCE Apparel has created a point-ofpurchase programme, which allows its retailers to select items specific to their stores and requirements. As of autumn 2009, Sugoi will be offering a pieceorder system for point-of-purchase materials. Ten per cent of every pre-season order is provided to Sugoi
retail customers as credit to place order point-ofpurchase items. Those items include high-quality foot-forms for the much desired Sugoi Race and recovery compression sock, hanging racks, and self-standing display units.
In addition to offering a large range of customised posters with the dealer’s logo and Sugoi’s logo, the brand is extending this programme to fully customised window wraps. Window wraps are made utilising a mesh material, which from one side appear as a solid image, yet still enable daylight to pass through.
“Snow day yesterday – £1.2bn cost to the economy. But how much fun was it for the rest of the world?” Aversionbmx.co.uk, Friday March 13th
“Until motorists stop acting like terrorists and realise that we are sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, too, this jersey can help get them to at least notice you more if not change their habits.” BikeRumor.com discussing a new ‘3 feet please’ jersey, Tuesday March 17th “Cycle stands in London are overflowing with bikes. That’s true even in the winter. We need more bike stands, not new laws making parking more difficult.” LCC chief executive Koy Thomson, Tuesday March 10th
Sponsored by the brands of Moore Large 01332 274252
The ‘3 feet please’ jersey
“I do not pretend to be aware of the requirements for policing other sporting events in the UK, but whenever Glasgow Rangers play arch rivals Celtic, one wonders of the resultant outcry if Strathclyde police were to cancel such matches due to their perceived danger to the public. “But then that’s football and not cycling, the former
seemingly occupying a more privileged position in British society.” TheWashingMachine Post.net, Sunday March 15th “User input is important in the research phase of any design, but when designing for people who live drastically different lives than the designer, that input becomes even more valuable.” Bicycle Design Blog, Tuesday March 3rd “As I cycled past I heard: ‘Hope you like soda, biker.’ And then I spotted it in the air. A 20-ounce bottle of
orange soda, being hurled from a group of thugs in my direction. “It sailed over my head and landed perfectly on the roof of a minivan full of a different group of thugs. “They stopped dead on the side of the road, jumped out of the van and ran straight past me toward the first group of thugs that threw the soda bottle meant for me. “I didn’t actually stop to enjoy the ensuing brawl, but I sure enjoyed knowing that my perfect timing started it.” Brian Tunney, Assblasters blog, Saturday March 14th
BIKEBIZ APRIL 61
OFF THE RECORD
IN THE SADDLE
Times have changed This month Spokesman takes a walk down memory lane and has a few suggestions for retailers hoping to keep sales high this year AS ONE OF the old codgers of this industry, reflecting on years and the people that have flown past, one sees events and remembers those fleeting moments of happiness or unhappiness, in a different light. Having ridden bikes probably before I could walk, selling cycles was a utopia. In comparison to the young representatives who tread the paths these days – no longer suited and booted – I can understand the impression I had on some of the older generation dealers I called on when I was in my late 20s. After coming from the supermarket industry with excellent management experience, I found the cycle industry trapped in the ‘40s, with old style shops and under poor management. The proprietors were all so very different compared to trained managers in multiple retailing. I’d leave home before 9am to meet them and got various receptions. Many would tell you to put the kettle on; others did not like it at all. A dealer now long gone, in North London, was upset because I was waiting outside his store before he had arrived. In contrast, I like to get to my office at least half an hour before starting time, just to get the day organised. Of course, I did say to him that his shop should be ready to trade at opening time. He was not well pleased. There were also the dealers who you really looked forward to meeting. Roy Riley of Berkshire Cycles was probably one of the best, sadly now passed on. I walked into his shop between a Christmas and New Year (not worked these days) and came out with a 100-bike order for some special three-speed utility bikes. He was a brilliant salesman and a great person. On one occasion, after working a week away from home, I called on a store that was big in the heyday of BMX, in Mousehole (pronounced moozule), Cornwall – it was one of the most relaxed calls on my territory. There was, of course, pressure in those days to keep the figures looking good, but unlike today’s pressures of schedule commitments, it was more fun – then Mrs Thatcher came along and 60 per cent of the industry disappeared within a few months. We now have a very diverse industry, with many lines that were not around in my day. One could fill a shop
Where’s your favourite place to ride? Despite being a flat lander with little or no climbing ability, my favourite ride has always been a loop of the Peak District, from Hope through Castleton, Chapel, over Snake Pass to Hathersage and back to Hope.
“The economy will become tougher – even if the sun shines all summer we still have the autumn and winter to face. Don’t get left behind.” wall up with saddles alone, not just a Turbo or a Rolls (still the best). But with such a massive range of product for the consumer to choose from, we now have a separation of shops: those on the ball and those that still have some way to go if they want to attract as many customers as possible. While bank overdrafts are only half a per cent over the base rate, now is the time to invest in the business – look at stock control computerisation, keep the website up to date, get an answer phone that takes a message, keep on top of emails. The economy, I believe, will become tougher for some time yet – even if the sun shines all summer we still have the autumn and winter to face. Christmas is no longer the saviour that used to give us a boost that would see us all the way through the January/February quietness. Don’t get left behind.
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62 BIKEBIZ APRIL
General Manager, Impsport What bikes do you own? I’ve got a Trek winter bike, a Dolan Arc track bike, Alan Xtreme Carbon 'Cross bike and a Kuota Kebel road bike.
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Can you tell us about your business background? I joined Impsport straight from university, spent three years as production manager, then bought a third of the company in 1997. I purchased the remaining two thirds in 2002 and promptly stopped racing due to lack of time. In July 2008 Impsport was bought out and became part of the Reynolds Group of companies, which will hopefully mean I get some time to ride my bike again. What’s the biggest rush achievable on a bike? I used to think it was winning a race, something I was fortunate enough to manage in most disciplines. But in 2007 I rode a week of the Tour De France route with the Geoff Thomas Foundation (five of the seven riders were cancer survivors) and the feeling of crossing the finish line in Paris with the team will be something I will find hard to beat on or off the bike. How’s business? Impsport is very seasonal as the bulk of its product range is suited to events and races, so this is the quiet time of our year. With the recent acquisition, Impsport is to continue its expansion into new sports, but will remain focused on cycling and triathlon as its core markets.
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