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Issue 41 | June 2009


ISSUE 41 | JUNE 2009

FOR EVERYONE IN THE BICYCLE BUSINESS

BikeBiz A DECADE OF TAX-FREE BIKES

BIKE WEEK

CYCLEPOINT

Ten years after the ground breaking C2W legislation was passed, Mark Sutton speaks to the major players in the trade...

The bike extravaganza hits the UK this month. Jonathon Harker looks at how the annual festival can benefit your store...

Is the arrival of a bike store run by Northern Rail going to change the UK cycle trade? Carlton Reid investigates...

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Phew, what a scorcher! The sun is set to shine on the bike trade this summer, but will enough stock be in place to cope with demand?

And the heat is on suppliers... “With some nice weather on the horizon more people are looking at bicycles as a form of daily transport. Stock holding at suppliers is running short though, which may cause issues.” Andy Ramsdale, Leisure Lakes

Trade prepares for the first hot summer in three years  Concerns raised over whether stock levels will match the high demand for bikes By Jonathon Harker THE UK LOOKS set to see its first hot summer since 2006, but will the UK cycle trade be able to take advantage of increased consumer demand? The Met Office’s forecast is decidedly bike-friendly, with temperatures in excess of 30°C predicted to sweep the UK. And the cycling industry is poised to make the most of it, with a raft of events – including Bike Week and BikeRadar Live – and the chance to boost sales too. Madison CEO Dominic Langan cautiously welcomed the news: “So far there’s little sign of this hot summer but if it happens it will undoubtedly impact positively on sales.”

Leisure Lakes’ Nottingham store owner Andy Ramsdale believes the weather is a bigger factor for retailers than the recession: “I’d say that generally the biggest influencing factor on whether or not it’s a good year is the weather. We seem to be more affected by the climate than the economic situation.” ACT research has also confirmed the boost that sunny days can provide, as Mark Brown told BikeBiz: “The industry is dominated by the weather. We published a report last year which found, unsurprisingly, that the warmer and drier it gets the more bikes get sold.” But while the Met Office is predicting a scorcher of a summer, fears have risen over

whether the distribution network has enough stock of certain bike categories to cope. Supplies are believed to have been kept low due to the recession, plus price hikes forced by the pound’s falling strength. Should levels prove low during a sales surge brought about by hot weather, then IBDs could be left with a stock shortfall. An ACT report revealed that over half the retailers surveyed note significant shortages. Compton Cycles owner Chris Compton told BikeBiz he has already encountered problems: “It’s frustrating that in some areas – particularly road bikes between £500 and £1,000 – there is no stock available. But it does give IBDs chance to clear stock.”

Bike store Cycledealia’s Brett Sanders added: “Availability is going to be a big issue this summer, especially on road bikes ranging from £500 to £800.” Madison CEO Langan told BikeBiz: “At Madison we put a great deal of effort into managing inventory and have a fair amount of scope for handling and reacting to sales surges greater than those planned for. “It is notoriously hard to predict for longer lead time products like bikes. Mid-to-late summer is effectively season end when stocks are designed to run out. A good season means bikes sell out early and a poor one means that there is availability throughout. The game is to guess it right – and a year in advance!”

“Research shows, rather unsurprisingly, that the warmer and drier it gets the more bikes get sold.” Mark Brown, ACT “It’s slightly frustrating that in some areas – particularly road bikes between £500 and £1,000 – there is no stock available.” Chris Compton, Compton Cycles “Availability is going to be a big issue this summer.” Brett Sanders, Cycledealia “A good season usually means the bikes are sold out earlier in the year and a poor season usually means there is good availability throughout. The game is to guess it right – and a year or more in advance!" Dominic Langan, Madison


2010 Please register with us for your chance to preview the new 2010 range that will be available from Autumn 2009 Contact us at: E-mail saracen@madison.co.uk, Tel 01908 326000 www.saracen.co.uk


LATEST NEWS

EDITORIAL

STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE

BOOKMARK US:

MOBILE.BIKEBIZ.COM JUNE ISSUE 41

NEWS 6-13 INDUSTRY OPINIONS 16

Raleigh reveals a strong start to 2009, Taga’s family cycles come to the UK and more...

EVENTS 17 OFF THE RADAR

18

C2W: 10 YEARS ON

20

“Perhaps we’re in a British bike business bubble? If so, the bubble seems set to bobble along for some time yet thanks to the weather gods.”

BikeBiz talks to the major players in the C2W sector

FOCUS ON…

WELL OILED MACHINE BikeBiz speaks to UK-manufactured brand Weldtite about what it takes to stay on top for 70 years in the trade...

23 24

MYSTERY SHOPPER BikeBiz sends an undercover reporter to investigate how the bike dealers of Norwich rate in the commuter sector...

30

CYCLEPOINT

How will the introduction of the CyclePoint store at Leeds train stations affect local businesses? BikeBiz examines the evidence...

COMPLETE BIKES

EPOS SOLUTIONS

42

45

At the Pickwick Club lunch at the beginning of May I talked to some of the best UK bike dealers and their stories tallied: for the last four months, business has been booming. Almost by definition the Pickwick Club luncheon is attended by only the very best British bike retailers so perhaps the glowing comments were skewed by more than just the first warming doses of falling-down juice? But it’s what I’ve been hearing from smaller dealers, too. And from most mid to high-end suppliers as well. The first quarter of the year has been super strong. There’s no single factor for this boom. It’s a mix of weight worries, planet-awareness, transport rethinks thanks to the recession and bicycle infrastructure improvements. Yet the US has all that too. Perhaps we’re in a British bike business bubble? If so, the bubble seems set to bobble along for a while yet thanks to the weather gods, with the Met Office taking the unusual step of predicting a hot and dry summer. Even if partially true, it’ll help keep the good times rolling. However, inventory could be a problem. Globally, OEM component suppliers are seeing forward orders reduced. Sales of new bikes via US IBDs are expected to drop by five to seven per cent this year. Other countries are also forecasting softening demand. Which makes our success all the more perplexing. Yes, we could do with some actual figures to put flesh on the bones of this UK-specific market uplift but it’s hard to get motivated to produce cross-industry sales stats when the sun is shining and there’s hay to be made. One thing is crystal clear. The servicing side of an IBD’s business is a customer magnet like no other. If your workshop isn’t stuffed to the gills with bikes at the moment, you’re doing something terminal.

Carlton Reid, Executive Editor

REGULARS CHAIN REACTION

AMERICA SNEEZES; Britain catches swine flu. Or something like that. When it comes to selling bikes, we definitely have more in common with Boston than Copenhagen. So, when the American top-end market collapses – as it has done in recent months – it should only be a matter of time before the same fate befalls Brit bike shops. Er, except we’re doing just great. Luxury togs brands like Rapha and Campag clothing are storming ahead; and the high-end road market is surprisingly resilient given that all the rich bankers – thought to be that sector’s bedrock – have lost their jobs, or at least their bonuses.

14

LETTERS

60

Colin Rees advocates showing shop staff how to deal with customers who complain

Cooking oil for cables controversy, a petition for safer roads for cyclists and more...

PEOPLE

OFF THE RECORD

34

Urban Movers’ new team shapes up and BMXbrand Alienation bags Tony Delgado

Dahon goes into the property game and unique cycle sculpture comes to the UK...

NEW PRODUCTS

SPOKESMAN

57

RockShox’s latest, a new 11-speed groupset from Campagnolo, plus more new products

61

62

Our anonymous retailer columnist vents some steam about the MP expenses scandal...


NEWS

Slow but steady progress for CEN standards Trailer and BMX standards to get separate review  Still no dates for parliament viewing or publication By Mark Sutton DESPITE NEW guidelines being published for electric power assisted cycles, the main CEN standard for bicycles is currently on hold while the DfT analyses responses to the initial draft. The changes to the UK legislation are still expected to be announced later this year. However, an Interpretation Panel has been formed within CEN TC333 to investigate and examine the test methods and requirements of clauses within the proposed standards. When revised legislation is in place, discussion with UK test houses will take place to gain a clearer idea of the impact on technical reports, as well as on

existing and proposed new CEN rules. Alan Bush, who is working as a consultant on behalf of the BA, told BikeBiz: “I am sure the DfT knows roughly what the contents of the amended regulation will be. Most likely it will be along the lines of: New bikes must still be equipped with a bell, unassembled bikes must have their brakes correctly set up and adjusted and, of course, they must conform to GPSR – the CEN standards. The only piece missing is the date of the amended regulation, or should I say dates: Made, laid before Parliament and when they’re coming into force.” Meanwhile, new standards have been proposed for BMX

“I’m sure the DfT have a rough idea of what amendments need to be made. As yet though, we’re still to see what or even the dates for publication.” Alan Bush, consultant for the BA

bicycles. One major area for discussion is the requirements of braking on 20-inch bikes. Currently, both track and rig testing are used to certify a BMX bike safe, however it is being considered that just rig testing should be used. The target date for submission to the CEN for Enquiry Procedure by national bodies is late 2009 with a proposed formal publication by 2010 to 2011. A new draft legislation referring to trailers is also being circulated by national standards body BSI. The BA Technical Advisory Group is currently reviewing the document and will make suggestions to the BSI before the cut off date of Sunday July 12th.

THINK! campaign targets texting drivers THE DEPARTMENT for Transport’s THINK! campaign has begun targeting drivers who text at the wheel with a series of radio commercials. Previously only addressing the issue of speeding, the Road Safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick has approved the adverts on the back of research that shows 30 per cent of young drivers admitted to texting while driving. The campaign has also been met with a steady stream of cyclists going online to sign the Road Peace petition asking the Government to ban motorists caught breaking the law. Allan Ramsay of Road Peace, who submitted the petition to Number10.gov, said: “Ideally, I’d like to see the Government take action in the form of confiscation of the car and driver’s licence, permanently. Perhaps the DfT could reconstruct the scene in

which Leigh Dolby was killed by a driver on the phone. Let the nation see the likely trivial text message that killed him. This

Road Safety Minister, Fitzpatrick commented on the latest campaign, stating: “The message that mobile phones and

Section 26 of the Road Safety Act 2006 and currently carries a £60 fine and a possible three-point deduction from a driver’s licence.

To Sign the Road Peace petition type http://tinyurl.com/or876w into your browser.

“Our message to drivers is very simple: Don’t use your mobile phone while you’re driving and don’t needlessly put other people’s lives in danger.” Jim Fitzpatrick, Minister for Road Safety does happen frequently and it needs to be addressed with a series of adverts as striking as the ‘reduce your speed’ television campaign.” An online ‘driving challenge’ game – which demonstrates how using a mobile at the wheel can completely distract the driver – is also being circulated online via social networking communities and entertainment sites.

driving should not mix is getting through to the majority of drivers, but some people are still needlessly risking their own lives and putting others in danger for the sake of a text or a call. Our message to all drivers is simple: Don’t use your mobile phone when you’re driving.” Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving was made illegal in December 2003 by

The radio script in full T.X.T.I.N. SPACE. W.H.E.N. SPACE. D.R.I.V.I.N. SPACE. C.A.N. SPACE. C.A.U.S.E.... SFX; AN ENORMOUS CAR CRASH. Road Safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick

V.O. THINK! DON'T USE YOUR PHONE WHEN YOU'RE DRIVING


NEWS

BW will seduce the public into cycling Bike Week is a golden opportunity to reel in more customers and grow the sector, says cycle industry By Jonathon Harker THIS MONTH’S Bike Week is a key chance for the industry to attract new people to the cycling world and ‘seduce’ the public into cycling, according to key members of the industry. The mass participation cycling event starts on Saturday June 13th and runs until Sunday June 21st, taking in a huge number of locally organised events that promote cycling. The wider trade has called on retailers to get involved in their local events, stressing that it has the potential to be hugely beneficial for sales. "Anything that keeps cycling in the public domain and in a positive light can only be good for the industry,” Madison MD Dominic Langan told BikeBiz. “We

know from a recent survey that most IBDs were generally in support of Bike Week, but more importantly the general public who get involved in Bike Week events have a great time cycling and that is priceless." Compton Cycles owner Chris Compton also voiced his support

for the event: “There are all of these organisations promoting what I do and that’s something I felt I had to support. Anything I can do as a retailer to help out has to be beneficial to cycling.” Cycling England chairman Phillip Darnton stressed the importance of the event, and

warned that it is a crucial opportunity to encourage ‘noncyclists’ to take part: “We have to think about people who don’t think Bike Week is about getting themselves on a bike and enjoying the outdoors. Serious cyclists are very committed, but sometimes forget what it is to get started, and how you get people started is by almost seducing them into cycling.” Raleigh UK MD Mark Gouldthorp added that Bike Week is an opportunity that has yet to be taken advantage of fully by the industry as a whole: “I still think that generally we’re all bloody useless at getting enough out of Bike Week. We’ve got various programmes that we’re running with Bike Week and we’re sending out bulletins. But it is

difficult – overall as an industry we’re not good at making the most of some of these things.” The timing of the event – a peak sales period for retailers – has previously come under fire, but Darnton added that the practicalities of the season mean dealers hoping for a change are unlikely to see their wish granted: “It is always an extremely busy period for cycle retailers and a lot will say that what we really need is an event that promotes cycling when there isn’t much of it going on – like February – but the thing is that people don’t enjoy cycling if it’s wet and windy.” “I think that the idea that it’s in the middle of June is a given,” Darnton confirmed. For more on Bike Week, turn to our feature on page 26.

Taga introduces folding family cycling to the UK HAVING BEEN in development for over three years, Dutch brand Taga has introduced its convertible tricycle to the UK. Designed and developed by industrial designer Shlomo Barak, the tricycle is inspired by traditional Dutch cargo bicycles, but with the added twist of being designed exclusively to carry children. The design converts from its cycle form into a pushchair with one simple fold and as an added bonus is able to be easily broken down via quick releases to fit into a car boot. In addition, the product already boasts a Eurobike Award, the International Red Dot Product Design award and a number of others gained since its European launch in September 2008. UK MD Simon Pearson told BikeBiz at the London launch: “When introducing this product

to prospective dealers I’ve had mums and dads stop me in the car park having seen the Taga. I’ve ended up doing a full demonstration outside stores to parents who’ve then asked where they can pick one up!” The lengthy design process took into account the child’s experience, as well as the practical aspects of taking the pushchair out and about. As such, when in tricycle mode, the childseat is located at the front, giving the parent full control, while the child has full view of the road. As a pushchair, the model fits easily through most doors and is highly manoeuvrable. Retail price for the model is set at £1,695 and a variety of add-on accessories are available, including seating upgrades tailored to growth up to age six.

“When introducing the product to prospective dealers I’ve been approached by parents asking where they can buy a Taga.” Taga is now seeking retailers to carry the model in both the cycle and parenting trades, particularly in these areas: Birmingham, Kent, Manchester and Newcastle, as well as north of the border where the brand is yet to establish a presence. Those interested in becoming a Taga dealer should contact UK general manager Simon Pearson via email at simon@taga.nl.

Simon Pearson, general manager for Taga in the UK


DEMO DAY 09

Argenbühl, Allgäu, Germany

September 1, 2009

www.eurobike-demoday.com

2Wheel-Dist. 3Essen 4EVER A:XUS ABR Bikes ABUS Accell Germany Accord Acros Sport ACS Vertrieb Active Sports Products Acumen additive bikes ADFC Advanced Bicycle Group Aeroclinics AFS AGU Airwings Akront-Vuelta Alex Global Alligator Ventilfabrik Alpina Bike ALPINA Int. Alutech Amazing Wheels Ambrosio American Classic Andersen Antec Apex Aprebic Armor Asahi Asia Seiko Asista Astro Atala Atala Atran Author Axman B&W Bangkok Cycle Barbieri Basil Bassano Selle Basso Bayer, Ditmar BBF Bike Becker Bellelli BerGaMont Bergmeister Bernds BEV Bfs-Zweiradtechnik BH-Bicicletas de Alava Bianchi Bici Support Bicicletas Monty BICO Bicycle Line Bicycle Today Biemme Bike Machinery bike marketing Bike Revolution Bikeboard Bikers Dream Biketec Biketech. Bio Racer Bionicon Biotex Biretco Birkhold Birzman Blomson Blue Factory Team BMC Bodo Moden Booz-Allen Bottecchia Brain people Branc Brasseur Brewo Briko Britax Römer Brompton Brunox Büchel Buff Burgers Busch & Müller BVA

C2-Sportschmuck C4C Camelbak Campagnolo Cannondale Canyon Capriolo Carbon Sports Carbon Ti Carbotec Caribou Carnac Carnielli Carraro Carrera Carvico Casati Casco Castelli Cat Eye Catlike Catrike CCM Sport Centrimaster CEPV Cervélo CF Industrievert. Chance Good Charge Bikes Cheng Shin Holland Chiba Cicli Elios Cicli FM Cicli Lombardo Cicli Pinarello Ciclo Sport Ciro Sport Citec Clarks Clemenzo CN Spoke Cole Europe Colnago Compagnia Editoriale Continental Corima Corratec Corsair Cosmic Sports Craft Cratoni Cube Curana Currie Cycle Lucha Cycle Union Cytech DAHON DDK De Marchi De Rosa De Soto Dealwell Dedacciai Delius Klasing Dema Senica Denver Derby Cycle Deuter deVELOpment DIMB Dirtcompany DMT / Giordana DOWE Dr. Loges Dremefa Dry Sport DT Swiss Dynatek E. Wiener Eddy Merckx Effevi Eickhaus Elite Elite Elmer Enchess Endorfin Endura EPS Erox Eschler, Christian Esperia Cicli Etxe Ondo EU-Bottle Eufab EVOC

EXPO time Extens Exustar eZee Kinetic Fac Miche Fanfiluca Fang Master fast pace Feedback Sports Fibrax Fixie Flevélo Foes Formula Formula Eng. FPD Frahm FRM FSA Fuerza Fulcrum Fung Tien Fusion Bikes Future Forms Future Publishing G&S Gaerne Garmin Garneau, Louis Gazelle GeBioM Genetix Genuine Innov. Geotech German Answer German Carbon Group German Sport Fashion Gessert & Sohn Ghost GIANT Giessegi Gilles Berthoud Gipiemme Global Opportunities GMG GONSO Gore Bike Wear Graditech Graphite Great Go Grofa Gruber Grumble Gruppo Gudereit Guerciotti Gunior Haas Haberland Hamax Handeez Haro Hase Hawk Hayes HEBIE Hed Hermann Hartje Herrmans Hesling Hi-Lighting HL Corp. HM Bike HOCK Holland Mechanics Holmenkol Hope Hostettler Hot Chili HP Velotechnik Humpert Husemann Hydrapak Ibera ICD Distr. Icletta Ideal Bikes Ideation Inoled Interjet Ison Italwin Italy Bike Hotels Jaffson Jalco Jamis Jango JBPI

JD Europe Jeantex Jinn Yeh Johnny Loco JOS Int. Joy Ind. JRC Kalloy Kampala Karbona Kask Katz KED Keido Kellys Kemper Kenda Kern Verlag Kettler KHE KHK KHS Kind Shock Kinesis Kinex King Kong Kinglab Kinlin Kleinebenne KLW KMC KNOG Kocmo KOEHN KOGA BV Kokua Komda Kona Kool-Stop Kora Kraftstoff Kross KTM Kuji Kun Teng La Cuba La Finca Lange, Paul Lapierre LAS Lasco Lazer Leadermind Leadtec Lee Chi Lee Cougan Leichtkraft Leidolt Leo Elements Lepper Limar Limatech Liteville Liu Yih Cable Lizard Skins Löffler Look Cycle Lucky Bell Lupine Lurbel Ma.Ro Mach 1 MAGURA Maloja Mander Mango Manufacturas GES Marin Marwi Marzocchi Massload Master Lock Matra Mavic MAXX MBI MBM MCC Sunn Mekkem Menabò Merida & Centurion Messingschlager Meyer, Hubert Michelin microshift Midway Milani Ming Cycle

Miti MJ Cycle MMA Sports Monark Mongoose Montana Monz Morewood Motor Presse Mott Vital-Bike Mountainbike Rider Magazin MSC Muchachos Museeuws Nalini Nazran NC-17 Neoval NEVI New Orion Nicolai Nirve Nite Rider Norco Northwave Nutcase Nutrico Nuvo Oakley OK Baby Olimpia Olmo Olympia-Scapin Onda Onipax Orange MTB ORBEA Oredon Original Buff Oriver Ortlieb outdoortrophy Oval Concepts Oxford Products P & K Lie Pacific Cycles Pacific Link Paduano Pantherwerke Parentini Passoni Pearl Izumi Pedalpower Peruzzo PFIFF Phil Wood Phoenix Pieper Pinhead Pitlock Pitwalk Pivot Platzangst Pletscher POC Point Pokal Polar Electro Polisport Principia Pro Feet Pro Supergo Progetto Avventura Progrip Prologo Pronghorn Prowell Pt. Industri PUKY Puravidabikes Qloom Quaadlife Quad. Quibos Quickex Race Face Race Productions Ra-Co Radfieber Radlabor Rainlegs Raleigh Univega Redline Reelight Regione Piemont Regione Toscana Rema Tip Top Remerx Revolution Sports Rewel Rewel riese und müller Rigida Ritchey Rivolta Rixen & Kaul RMS Rocky Mountain Roeckl Rohloff Rohrmoser Rose Roto

Rotor Rotwild RST RTI RUBENA Rudy Project Rupp + Hubrach Sabena Saccon Safilo Salloy Salsa Samox San Ground Saneagle Santini Sapim Savoye SAZ Schmidt, Wilfried Schmolke Carbon Schwalbe Schwinn Scicon Scott Sports SealSkinz Selev Selle Italia Selle Montegrappa Selle Royal Selle San Marco Selle SMP Serenissima Serotta Setlaz SG Sports Sha Dar Sheang Lih SHIMANO Shine Wheel Shock Therapy Shockblaze Shocker Dist. SIGMA Silhouette Simplon Sintema SiS Sitip Sixt SKS sl bike Smart SmarTube SoftwareServices Solid Bikes Spanninga Sparta Spécialités Specialized Spinner Spirale Spiuk Sponser Sport Direkt Sport Emotion Sport Import SPORTéco Sportful Sports Nut SQ-lab SR Suntour SRAM SRM Stahl, Carl Star Ski Wax Stella Azzurra Steppenwolf Stevens Storck Strategic Sports Stronglight Sturmey-Archer Sugoi Sun Rise Sun-Bikes Suncycle Sunny Wheel Supermario Supernova Surf Development Surly Swiss Eye Sykkelsport Syncros SYNTACE T.M.F. Ta Ya Chain TACX Taga TAITRA Taiwan Hodaka Tange Tektro Teo Sport Terra-S TEXmarket Thaler Sports The Chopperdome THM FaserverbundThomson, L.H. Thule Time

Tioga Titan Hornet Token Tommasini Top Gun Tout Terrain Toxoholic‘s trailtoys Traix Transition Bikes Trek / Bikeurope Trelock Trenga De Trerè. Trickstuff Tri-Cycles Tridata TRI-Dynamic Trinkflaschen.de Troy Lee tubus carrier Tune Twinny Load Twin-Sport U.S. Competition Ufo Plast Ultra Sports Unior Universal Transmissions Urban Mover URSUS USE Used UVEX Vagotex van Bokhoven van Nicholas Vangard Vanguard VAR VAUDE VDO/Cycle Parts Vee Rubber Velo Ent. Velobaze Velodata Velodrive Velomann Velonews Velotraum Veltec Benelux Veltec Sportartikelv. Vermarc Vifra Vincita Viner Vision Gravity Vittoria Geax Vittoria Shoes Viva Bikes VK Int. VP Comp. Vredestein VSF Waterrower WattWorld Way Point Wayel Weber Wei Hau Weldtite Wellgo Wertgarantie Wheel Giant Wheeler White Industries Widek Wilier Triestina Windose Winora Staiger Wippermann Wittich, Fritz Woodman World Cycle WSM WTB Xenofit Xentis Xtension XX Production Yakari Yicheng YOKO Yuen I Yuh Jiun Zasada Rowery ZEFAL Zeit Zero Industry Ziener, Franz Zonelight Zoulou Zwei Zwei plus Zwei Zweiplus No responsibility is taken for the correctness of this information. Subject to change without prior notice.


LEADING THE TRENDS 09 The world’s leading trade fair and business platform for bicycles, equipment, clothing, travel and more.

Friedrichshafen, Germany

September 2 – 5, 2009 We-Fr Sa

8.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

www.eurobike-show.com


NEWS

CYCLE IBDs get ‘next gen’ Saracen preview SHORTS New Clarks offering for IBDs Clarks is providing an impressive 25 per cent off trade prices for retailers that buy 20 pairs of disc brake pads. In addition, eligible stores will also receive a free sales display.

Shimano sales slip Shimano has reported a three per cent rise in profits in its Q1 results, but also reported a sales drop to $469 million. The manufacturer now anticipates net profit will reach $78 million in 2009, a sharp drop from last year’s $130 million.

BikeBiz on the up BikeBiz.com saw another rise in the number of unique users visiting the site last month. 23 per cent monthon-month growth saw the unique users total reach 58,135. The latest figures also revealed that over 60 per cent of the readership is UK-based, while 12.8 per cent hail from the USA and a further 5.9 per cent visit from within Taiwan.

Families targeted by Halfords The retail chain is to create a Halfords.com spin-off microsite dedicated to promoting family cycling. Featuring bike buying guides, tips on cycle routes that are family-friendly and more, the site is set to go live later this year.

90,000 kids encouraged to cycle by Bike It The first Bike It review was published last month and revealed that the Sustransrun scheme has visited over 500 schools across the UK and encouraged an impressive 90,000 school children to get on their bikes for journeys to and from lessons.

For breaking news visit:

www.bikebiz.com 10 BIKEBIZ JUNE

Madison promises independent dealer exclusivity as brand takes on new identity  Distributor reveals three new appointments to handle firm’s growing business By Mark Sutton and Jonathon Harker CUSTOMERS OF Madison and those interested in the upcoming Saracen Bikes launch have been invited to the distributor’s Milton Keynes warehouse to get a world first look at the revamped range, due for an early 2010 launch. The brand manager, Simon Wild, will be on hand on each of the three dates – June 23rd, 24th and 25th – to talk dealers through the progress made since Madison acquired the brand early last December. Wild said: “We have been working hard on developing a complete new look for the brand, as well as developing a whole new range of bikes. Madison is very excited about the future of Saracen and we can confirm the future of this brand will be put firmly back in the hands of the independent bicycle retailer and will not be offered through any other channel.

Saracen brand manager, Simon Wild and the Milton Keynes warehouse

“The future of Saracen is placed firmly in the hands of IBDs and will not be offered through other channels.” Simon Wild, Saracen brand manager “Over the past six months we have been travelling the globe talking to new suppliers, finalising specs and working on new graphics. The new range will hit key price points whilst offering excellent value for money and strong dealer margins,” added Wild

In other news, three appointments have been made to the Madison team – Paul Clements, Mark Greshon and Dominic Thomas. Clements takes on the newly created role of finance director, a position created to cope with the firm’s growing business. A

Zyro sees 841 per cent sales boost with Abus YORKSHIRE-BASED distributor Zyro has seen sales of helmet brand Abus rise an incredible 841 per cent in the first four months of 2009. “Our first quarter sales results for Abus helmets reflected the huge support retailers have shown for the brand since the launch of its all new and significantly improved ’09 range,” enthused Abus’ new brand manager Neil Mountain. He added: “This growth is establishing Abus as arguably one of the UK’s leading helmet ranges.” The German brand has been ramping up its product design efforts in time for the 2010 range with a three-fold increase in the size of the product design team over the last 12 months.

Madison spokesperson told BikeBiz: “Over the last three years Madison’s turnover has doubled in size and the management team has ambitious growth aspirations for the years ahead, but needs the additional financial skills within the business to help facilitate these plans.” Secondly, the Shimano brand has gained further resource in the form of Mark Greshon who picks up the role of Shimano and Pro brand manager. Greshon will report to Phil Hammill – the previous incumbent of the role. Last of the recent string of appointments is Dominic Thomas, who has been brought on board to handle brand management of DT Swiss, Respro and Thule. Thomas most recently worked at Pace Cycles and brings knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to the firm. Dealers interested in registering for the Saracen preview should email saracen@madison.co.uk as soon as possible.

Moore Large is now considering marketing to further universities

For more details on the brand contact Zyro on 01845 521700.

Velorbis targets student cash BIKE BRAND Velorbis took the unusual step of promoting its range at Derby University last month. In a joint promotion alongside its distributor Moore Large, Velorbis showcased a range of bikes to an estimated 600 students. Part-time Moore Large employee Rebecca Moore put the exhibition together. She told BikeBiz: “We got a fantastic response from the people who came to our stand. They loved the Dannebrog because it emphasises fashion and more importantly, it’s green. “Most of the students responded brilliantly to the bike,

suggesting that they would actually fork out the money for this product, because they liked the way it looked and how it made them feel. I suppose it made them feel confident. I also hinted about Topshop taking on cycling accessories in London and they loved the way that made biking fashionable.” The success of the event has led the firm to consider rolling out more campus-based marketing: “We’re considering visiting other universities and making it interactive as well to allow students to get a real feel of what it’s like being on a classic bike.”

BIKEBIZ.COM


NEWS

Rampant Raleigh sees sales rocket UK firm sees sales soar 40 per cent in first third of year and heralds the success of the urban cycle and accessories sectors By Jonathon Harker RALEIGH HAS told BikeBiz that it has recorded a 40 per cent rise in sales for the first third of 2009 compared with the same period last year, despite the difficult economic climate. Another in a line of bike firms bucking the credit crunch Raleigh has seen parts and accessory sales flourish, while demand for mountain bikes has exceeded supply. Speaking to BikeBiz, Raleigh UK MD Mark Goudthorp said that despite worries of how the economy would impact on business, the firm exceeded expectations: “For the first third of the year we’re approximately

BIKEBIZ.COM

40 per cent up on the same period 12 months ago. “We believe that, particularly on the bikes side, we’ve got the

is still doing well, which is further evidence that the consumer is getting smarter about making sure they buy the right products. “The product has got to be absolutely fit for the psyche of a younger marketplace.” The MTB sector has also been a highlight so far in 2009: “On the off-road bike side we’ve seen particularly strong performance Mark Gouldthorp, in our standard issue models, Raleigh UK MD where we’ve massively overhauled the look of the bikes range right and that the mix has – there’s not a lot you can do on really paid off.” the spec of the bike, but the look According to the Raleigh chief, of the bike has improved hugely. the urban sector has performed “Demand has absolutely particularly well for the firm: outstripped supply.”  For more from Raleigh, turn to “Urban 700cs have been very our feature on page 30. strong and I think that category

“Demand has outstripped supply in many cases.”

BIKEBIZ JUNE 11


NEWS

Health and fitness worries converting more cyclists Green issues come in second to health concerns in an encouraging uptake of cycling, according to latest research By Mark Sutton RESEARCH by Cycleguard has banished the theory that new cyclists are appearing in waves due to eco concerns.

of coronary heart disease to less than half that of non-cyclists. A study by Leeds Cycling Action Group found a 15 minute ride five days a week burns off the equivalent of 11lbs of fat a year.

“It’s a great way for anyone wanting to work off any extra pies without it costing them the earth.” James Pickering, Cycleguard Expanding waistlines accounted for why 40 per cent of the insurer’s survey respondents took up cycling, which also saw many admit to being ‘fair weather’ cyclists only. According to the British Heart Foundation, cycling at least 20 miles per week reduces the risk

James Pickering, managing director of Cycleguard, said: “Cycling to work is undoubtedly a great way to keep fit and with so many excellent deals around, it’s a perfect way for anyone wanting to work off any extra pies without it costing them the earth.”

As gym memberships suffer a decline, the uptake of the Government’s Cycle To Work incentive has risen sharply. 30 per cent of the survey’s respondents did initially begin cycling to work as a way to cut their weekly expenditure on fuel, suggesting that even those being eco-conscious may be just as interested in cutting their costs to free up cash. Just seven per cent stated environmental concerns to be their primary reason for cycling to work. Pickering added: “We advise anyone thinking about cycling to work to consider insuring their bike with a specialist provider. Insurance will prevent cyclists new found enthusiasm for two wheels from burning a substantial hole in their pocket should the worst happen.”

Health concerns are said to be the key factors fuelling cycle uptake

Fisher gets behind Norco’s triumphant return a Pedal Revolution

Fisher’s Jonathan Sangan presents the award to Pedal Revolution’s Ian Holmes and store manager Marcus Colk NORWICH store Pedal Revolution has scooped the top prize in a Santini and Fisher Outdoor Leisure run contest. Pedal Revolution stalwart Ian Holmes received the VIP treatment at the Giro d’Italia in May when the store won the Santini-sponsored competition. The sales-initiative was part of Fisher Outdoor Leisure’s latest promotion for the brand. Jonathan Sangan, product manager for Fisher, told BikeBiz:

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“Santini is a sleeping giant that is just waiting to take off in the UK. It’s a family-run company that still manufactures in Italy using top quality technology and fabrics for the riders through to the stock on store shelves. “The competition has just another way for us to show our support for retailers stocking the brand.” For more on Santini, contact Fisher on 01727 792 606.

DESPITE only having returned to the UK for a matter of months, Canadian brand Norco has been making a big impression on the cycle market, according to exclusive distributor Fisher Outdoor Leisure. The firm told BikeBiz that the brand has already tapped into an established loyal customer fan base with sell-through rates for existing models ‘very encouraging’. Fisher also said that new exposure in the hybrid category have proven beneficial to Norco dealers, offering particulars within that sector that other manufacturers may have missed. The 2009 models debuted earlier in the year at the MBUK Demo Day at Aston Hill, Bucks, and have been demoed at various events this year where the brand has received positive feedback: “Riders have been very complimentary about the handling and styling of the bikes and reaction to pricing indicated why they’ve already been so competitive,” brand manager Martin Hawyes told BikeBiz. “Riders are pleasantly surprised to see the range back in the UK. After talking to

“Riders are pleasantly surprised to see the range back in the UK. There is quite a bit of residual affection for the brand, despite it’s recent low profile. There are a lot of loyal customers out there.” Martin Hawyes, Fisher Outdoor Leisure attendees there seems to be quite a bit of residual affection for the brand and despite Norco’s recent low profile in the UK there are still a lot of loyal Norco customers out there.”

Hawyes said that several frames have been particularly popular with customers so far, including the hydraulic disc braked VFR disc 4 frame and classic Norco model the Atomik.

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NEWS ANALYSIS BA AGM

BA bringing cycling to the masses The agenda at this year’s BA AGM was centred largely around bringing cycling to the masses – from children to commuters – and not a prospective biker was missed. Mark Sutton documents how the committee plans to deliver a two-wheeled revolution...

Bicycle Association deputy president Phillip Darnton (left) with president Philip Taylor AS REPORTED in last month’s BikeBiz, Bike Hub is offering stacks of cash to between one and five projects aimed at bringing a sustainable cycling model, capable of being rolled out nationwide, to the table. But that’s not all the Bicycle Association is up to, as revealed at its late April AGM. For the third year running, Philip Taylor takes charge as president, with Dahon’s Mark Bickerton now lined up as his eventual successor. Meanwhile, seven members have joined the association in the past year. The ongoing progress of Sustrans’ Bike It project led discussions, with the charity’s school travel director Paul Osborne revealing his aspirations to the committee. “At present we have 42 staff working across 500-plus schools nationwide, producing some sterling results among some 90,000 children. They’re now of the belief that cycling levels have increased on the back of Bike It officer visits,” said Osborne. Accompanied by Reigate and Baystead’s officer Gayle Ronson, the pair demonstrated to the BA how a combination of incentives, encouragement and long-term planning was boosting numbers,

highlighting Sustrans’ own surveys containing some astounding figures. According to findings, at the beginning of 2009 just four per cent cycled to school almost daily, with 49 per cent of kids stating they’d like to. Sustrans now believes that in schools which have had an officer, eight per cent of kids cycle to school every day, while those cycling at least once a week has increased from 14 to 26 per cent. To emphasise the gradual impact of the project, the numbers of those who ‘never’ cycle to school has fallen from 75 per cent to 55. That’s a lot of new first time cyclists converted by Bike It. Aside from the obvious numbers boost, shops local to schools with an officer benefit in many ways. One local retailer on Ronson’s patch visited a school offering free cycle maintenance and knowledge to parents. This resulted in further enquiries and ultimately sales for the retailer. BIKEFORALL REVAMP Cycle-advice portal Bikeforall.net, as edited by BikeBiz’s executive editor Carlton Reid, will be undergoing a makeover and address change to Bikehub.com.

Reid said of the revamp: “The new name will link better to the name for the levy. Bikehub.com is set to receive a full-on makeover, including all the latest social media bells and whistles. This combined with more content will make it far more accessible, generating more return visitors.” STANDARDS During his address, president Philip Taylor touched on CEN standards. Following the consultation period extension by the DfT, the BA expects a firm date for the adoption of the new guidelines to be set by 2010. Taylor said: “It is expected that new legislation will be in place by the year’s end, although it is still very difficult to second guess what new legislation the DfT may propose prior to the publication of new standards. The Association is also working on new standards for trailers, where a draft standard has been circulated for comment by midJuly. An expected publication date for this is late 2009 to early 2010. The revised EPAC standard has also now landed (EN15194) and this will come into force on July 31st. Copies are available from the BSI.”

“At present we have 42 staff working across 500 schools nationwide, and they’re producing sterling results for cycling among some 90,000 children.” Paul Osborne, Bike It

Many names from the cycling trade sit in on the Bicycle Association Annual General Meeting, pictured here at the late April gathering


CHAIN REACTION

Boost your team

strength… Colin Rees, sales trainer to the cycle trade, believes that teaching staff how to deal with the situations they fear most – complaints and closing sales without a discount – is the key to improving those net figures… MANY DEALERS have called me in the past to ask what I offer on sales training courses. I usually reply with descriptions of the techniques we train, opening questions, closing the sale, psychological customer manipulation, the simple stuff. Invariably though, the course contains a number of techniques, not just designed to increase skills but to foster a team attitude, to stimulate discussion back at the shop and to instil confidence in often quite young bikey delegates. If I can find something that I am pretty sure the owner won’t have thought of in his own training, it’s a bonus. Naturally, these techniques are most useful in the really difficult situations… like when you say to the customer ‘do you want to buy this bike?’ and he says ‘no.’ In many cases, that’s enough to scare off the most confident sales person as most staff think there really is nowhere to go. There is. It’s the reason why sales people hate to close sales, that powerful human fear of rejection even though it is said closing sales can increase sales by a straight ten per cent if you do it every time. So how about a little preparation? Anything planned beforehand gives a better delivery than ‘off the top of the

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head’. The word ‘no’ reflects an objection. Something is wrong. There is an issue the customer has that wasn't covered properly. It might be the comfort of the saddle, the price of the bike, the colour and so on. You know them better than I do, you deal with them every day. But what’s the best way to deal with each objection? Have you ever sat your staff down and talked specifically about dealing with objections? DEALING WITH ‘NO’ Surely, logic dictates that if every single staff member knows the proper way to deal with every known objection that can be raised in buying a bike (because you prepared them properly), then can there ever be a time when a customer says ‘no’ and doesn’t still go out with it? So, we start the process off in the sales training session with a chart that the delegates discuss and fill in listing the main objections, the best way to deal with them and suddenly, their confidence in selling bikes goes sky high. If the dealer carries it on and flogs it to death in the shop, sales/profits have to increase. Simple? So why isn’t every single dealer training sales staff in handling objections? It’s the only reason customers do

“An area that has been known to scare the living daylights out of sales staff is the complaining customer. Giving staff guidance gives them more confidence, which means more sales.” Colin Rees

Colin Rees Cycle specific sales trainer 07786 262 460 Colinrees@live.co.uk

not buy. By the way, in any facet of human life, if anyone says ‘no’, the next question should be ‘why’. What they come back with is an objection! HANDLING COMPLAINTS A second area that has been known to scare the living daylights out of unconfident sales staff is the complaining customer – especially when the boss is on a break. Again, dealers have a right to believe that cycle-specific sales training should offer something more than they can give themselves and customer complaints is a good example. Before you read this, you might like to jot down the way you would train a staff member to handle complaints. Let’s see if we agree anywhere. We have to take the worst possible example to help staff the most. The customer has spent three weeks working up to the visit. Egged on by his partner, the lads in the pub and everyone else, he appears in your store ready to give someone absolute hell. How on earth can you pacify a screaming maniac? Our answer is to do something he doesn’t expect to bring the conversation to a sensible level. Let him scream himself out, take no notice of his use of the word ‘you’, he means ‘the event’, and

let him burn out. When he’s finished, say ‘thank you for bringing this to our attention. Unless customers are willing to do that, we can’t put things right. Now then...’ He will just not expect it. The playing field will be level, the aggression will be gone and you can move on to solve the situation. Training teaches the next steps to take. I can hear the pundits saying that won’t work. Maybe not, it doesn’t always, but the real point is, if you give your staff at least some guidance in dealing with difficult situations, they will have so much more confidence about everything – and more confidence means more sales. In all the cycle-specific sales techniques I train, I can only ask people to try them. Some will, some won’t, but to be able to send people back to the branch with more skills, confidence and inclination to work together as a team has to produce a result. It’s up to the owner to build on that. I’m sure all owners are perfectly capable of training in sales to a degree. The question is, do they have the time to research and plan modern psychological training techniques that think outside the box and hold so many distinct advantages for increased net profit over just experience?

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INDUSTRY OPINIONS

Performance

sales… THE MAIN reason for a brand sponsoring a rider with products is to generate interest and increase sales of the brand. This is why companies look to the best riders as they usually obtain the most media coverage and have a certain influence over what the public buys. One of the most well-known on Ison’s books is Sam Pilgrim who we sponsor with TSG, Halo, Gusset, ODI, MRP and KHE. Sam has his own signature colourway Halo SAS Purple Haze wheelset and also a signature Evolution helmet from TSG. When Sam does well in a comp or has a great video section he gains good exposure on websites and in magazines. This leads to greater interest in products that Sam uses, which in turn, leads to a sales increase. This doesn’t only apply to the specific parts that Sam uses because the brand as a whole benefits from the increased exposure. We then see increased sales of the whole range from that particular brand. A good example of this would be Sam winning the Qashqai London event last year. Almost immediately after the event we saw a definite increase in sales of all the brands he represents. His signature colourway Halo SAS Purple Haze wheels sold out almost as soon as they arrived! As a very media-savvy rider, he understands what being sponsored entails in respect of brand expectations, which makes him a great sponsorship proposition. Matt Andrews, Marketing Manager, Ison Distribution

Sam Pilgrim with part of his sponsor’s package and Danny MacAskill (top)

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I SEE online videos as one of the most effective forms of marketing for Charge. Some of our recent fixed videos have had over 30K views in 48-hours on Vimeo alone. On top of that, we publish the videos on Apple, Freecaster, extreme sports website Mpora and You Tube. Compared to print advertising this sort of product marketing is so much more effective. It shows the products being used in

On April 19th an Inspired Bicycles web link featuring Danny MacAskill, went live on YouTube. Just four days later well over one million people had viewed the five-minute plus edit. Mark Sutton asks a number of brands what effect sponsoring talent has on business… demanding situations, and motivates and inspires people to ride. From the positive feedback I get, it is undoubtable that bike enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts hunt out these videos and often eagerly await the release of the next. So it’s about as effective a form of targeted marketing as we have at our disposal. Nick Larsen, MD, Charge Bicycles A LOT of the time it’s pretty hard to nail down the benefits of sponsoring riders, especially if they don’t have National Championships to their name. Of course, when someone like Danny MacAskill has an overnight explosion of interest

who is to say that seeing the product elsewhere wouldn’t have had the same effect? David Cleaver, MD, Inspired Bicycles SPONSORSHIP can be a very vague area to assess and the benefits can be wide ranging. A great example of one of our longterm rider support programmes is the K-UK Kinesis Race Team, which has provided us with invaluable information about the domestic race scene and a better understanding of our customers and how they might use the product. In contrast we also have a couple of brands that have seen significant increases in exposure in the last 12 months. Danny

Both non-enthusiasts and riders alike hunt down web releases, so I have no doubt they’re about as an effective form of targeted market as we have at our disposal... Nick Larsen, MD, Charge Bicycles in a video, it is a great thing for brand awareness in general. We never expected anything like two million plus page views in under a week with the latest edit. It would have been great to link the release of the video with a new range, but the potential publicity generated almost negates the new product range. Potentially, people that have never heard of your brand before become aware, so the entire range is ‘new release’ to them. Most of the time the extra enquiries and sales generated by sponsored riders is questionable, and in my opinion near impossible to quantify accurately. If you commit the financial and time levels to supporting a top rider then there are definitely benefits in terms of sales as most people will agree. However, unless a customer states on the phone that they are calling because a certain rider uses the product,

MacAskill is now widely known and having our Atomlab logo on his rims and at the end of his YouTube hit video will no doubt have an effect on the brand’s future . Another stark example of how team support can have a huge effect in a relatively short timescale has been the Oval brand. Morgan Nicol of Oval Concepts built a close product development relationship with both Silence-Lotto and Slipstream, which saw Oval components being fitted to team bikes during the 2008 season. This resulted in a large amount of exposure in cycling press and online. As a visible sponsor, Oval also benefitted from adverts placed by other team sponsors. All this coverage has really started to pay dividends with a noticeable rise in sales and demand during the 2009 season so far. Tom Marchment, Sales and Marketing Manager, Upgrade

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EVENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

SPOTLIGHT

BIKE WEEK

Saturday June 13th – 21st Nationwide www.bikeweek.org.uk

June 2009 BMX WORLDS Wednesday June 10th – 12th Cologne, Germany www.bmxworlds.de IRONMAN 70.3 Thursday June 11th Wimbleball Lake, Devon http://ironman.com/events BIKE FESTIVAL Friday June 12th – 14th Willingen, Germany www.bike-festival.de BIKE WEEK Saturday 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 BIKE EXPO Thursday July 23rd – 26th Munich, Germany www.bike-expo.com

September 2009 EUROBIKE 09 Wednesday September 2nd – 5th Friedrichshafen, Germany www.eurobike-exhibition.de

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TOUR OF BRITAIN 2009 Saturday September 12th – 19th Nationwide www.tourofbritain.com FESTIBIKE 2009 Las Rozas, Spain Friday September 18th – 20th www.festibike.com EXPO BICI Padova, Italy Saturday September 19th – 21st www.expobici.it INTERBIKE 2009 Wednesday September 23rd – 25th Las Vegas, USA www.interbike.com/ib

October 2009 PARIS CYCLE SHOW Friday October 2nd – 5th Paris, France www.mondialdeuxroues.com ROC D’AZUR Frejus, France Wednesday October 7th – 11th www.rocazur.com CYCLE SHOW Thursday October 8th – 11th Earls Court, London www.cycleshow.co.uk BIKE MOTION BENELUX Friday October 30th – November 2nd Utrecht, Holland www.bikemotionbenelux.nl

BIKEBIZ JUNE 17


OFF THE RADAR

He’s in

fashion Mountain Biking UK features ed Andrew Dodd finds that he is finally on-trend... NOT TOO long ago, calling oneself a cyclist conjured images of lurid colours, bulbous helmets and pasty white legs flapping around in ill-fitting spandex. Cycling, after all, was for vegetarians, students and people too tight to drive to work everyday. No one actually rode for fun. The bicycle was simply a tool for linking A and B with minimal effort and cost. When I started cycling, it was mountain biking that gripped me the instant I tried it and I’ve been utterly addicted ever since. I didn’t give a damn what I looked like, it was the feeling I got that pulled me in. That immense satisfaction of speed, freedom and exhilaration – knowing that that time I made it, and maybe next time I wouldn’t. It was the fastest, most fun way to see the countryside – and the quickest way to blat to the bike shop. However, at some point something changed. I stopped being a lone voice in the wilderness and became the voice of reason.

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I don’t know what did it – the whole green issue, the credit crunch, the terrible congestion which has crippled our biggest cities… No matter. As the industry reports continued growth in the face of the biggest recession we’ve seen for 60 years, it’s clear that people are catching on now. These days cool people ride bikes. Keith Flint from The Prodigy rides a mountain bike, Pharell Williams part-owns the Brooklyn Machine Works bike company, that Duffy bird started an uproar when she went helmetless in the latest Coke advert riding a bike and Boris Johnson demonstrates, amusingly, how much he likes his, even if he is fond of jumping red lights and talking on his mobile at the same time. Bikes are on TV; bikes are in men’s monthlies listed as expensive and desirable ways of getting fit; and bike videos are infiltrating people’s inboxes on a daily basis. Look at Danny MacAskill – the incredible talent of the Scottish trials rider has been championed by MBUK for some time, but when his latest video stormed YouTube recently the impact was there for everyone to see, with four million hits and growing. Even my petrolhead friends who scoff at bikes were hassling me to find out more. One of them, who simply must be part of the latest thing, even bought a bike off the back of it. You see, bikes aren’t just tools for a job – they’re much more. Bikes get you places, get

MBUK’s Andrew Dodd proves that he, like cycling, is no longer a stranger to fashion you fit, get you noticed and they get you an image. A recent visit to Glentress left me open-mouthed at the sheer numbers of people getting into riding. The place was littered with kids and families, and it was refreshing to see not one bit of elitism from the high ability riders. Mountain biking seems evidently more tolerant and welcoming these days. Times are changing. Cycling is cool. But while Top Shop is bustling with High Street cycling chic; the cool crew are clogging up Hoxton Square with their beards, stamps and fixies, and the roadie elite are being measured up for tailored £3k Rapha/Timothy Everest suits, I’ll be plugging away up hill and down dale with the biggest grin on my face doing something I’ve always thought was cool. And more than likely, I’ll be doing it in a bulbous helmet, offensive shorts and lurid colours…

These days cool people ride bikes. Keith Flint from The Prodigy rides a mountain bike, Pharrell Williams part-owns Brooklyn Machine Works bike firm and that Duffy bird started an uproar when she went helmetless for Diet Coke.

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C2W: A DECADE ON

Ten years of

C2W The 1999 Finance Act contained clauses that allowed employers nationwide to loan cycles to employees as a tax-free benefit. Ten years on, several companies are offering cheaper cycling to the masses. Mark Sutton gathers various perspectives on the schemes… AS PART OF the Government’s initiatives to promote healthier living and reduce pollution, the 1999 Finance Act introduced tax exemption to those buying bicycles for the purpose of cycling to and from work. The scheme works by encouraging employers to get their workforce cycling, offering tax-free bicycle purchases to employees interested in a healthier means of travelling to work. Salary sacrifice arrangements are commonly used, where the employee repays the employer over time. Employers of all sizes and sectors can use the scheme. Debates have raged about whether or not the scheme benefits smaller retailers, with the main pro point being increased sales volume driven by third party brands. But many others suggest that the commission taken by third party facilitators slashes margins. Although not common knowledge, e-bicycles and tricycles can also be obtained tax-free, as can safety and security product, including lights, bells, helmets, mirrors, reflective clothing, locks and mudguards. The only major limitations to the scheme have been put in place by the Office of Fair Trading, advising: “The group consumer credit licence will cover schemes up to £1,000.”

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CYCLESCHEME Perhaps the biggest player in the market, Cyclescheme reaches 8,500 employers and 1,338 retailers in the UK, on average

over the first, slowing to a fourfold growth in year three. This year, MD Richard Grigsby expects to have doubled last year’s turnover, having achieved it month-on-month to date.

Cyclescheme MD Richard Grigsby tells BikeBiz how the organisation is faring gaining new clients at the rate of around 50 per day. It is projected that over 1,500 IBDs will work with Cyclescheme by year end. Working with organisations like the Greater Manchester Police, Sellafield and Asda, the business is going from strengthto-strength recording ten-fold growth in the firm’s second year

“There seems no reason to expect a slow-down as most schemes are repeating and we are seeing many new clients join us daily,” says Grigsby. “After moving into a three floor Georgian building when we had just seven staff, we’re now looking for larger premises for 23 staff.”

The firm has also made solid investment in extranet software allowing the company to grow organically. Approving and payment for vouchers is now largely automated and the system also allows instant viewing of live applications 24/7. Grigsby says of the future of Cyclescheme: “None of us would be so churlish as to assume that C2W will continue because ‘it’s such a great scheme’. The risk of having to wind up our business at the whim of a Government decision is omnipresent and a constant reminder of the frailties of our business. To put this into perspective I have met the man who axed the Home Computer Initiative so I am under no illusions over the potential risks of persistent scheme abuse.” Grigsby shared some interesting statistics with BikeBiz, revealing that an average voucher is worth £600, with 15 per cent of that going toward safety equipment. So most purchases are going on reasonably specced bikes, but not ‘dream racers’, suggesting that Cyclescheme is genuinely drawing new faces to cycling. In fact, survey responses show that 50 per cent of customers are entirely new to cycle commuting and Cyclescheme doesn’t shift small numbers... Cyclescheme: 01225 448933

CYCLE SURGERY As a company largely based in London, CycleSurgery has long been a bike and servicing destination for cycle commuters. With a demographic largely made up of London’s cyclists, the multiple would be mad not to offer a C2W solution. According to Cycle Surgery’s Tax Free Cycle Representative James Robertson: “This has always been reflected in our bike sales where a large portion of sales are suited to commuting. What the Tax Free initiative has done for us is to allow existing customers to upgrade their bikes, making commuting faster, more comfortable and safer, while introducing new customers who wouldn’t necessarily have considered biking to work.” The higher-value purchases gained have bolstered the retailer’s Cyclescheme-run programme too, giving staff the confidence to offer customers bikes that are far-higher specced than they could have hoped for. “The introduction of the scheme has brought cycling to a whole new demographic who aren’t ‘cyclists’ but are looking to the bike as a commodity, in the same way as they view a bus or a car. It’s just the quickest and cheapest way to get from A to B,” continues Robertson.

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C2W: A DECADE ON

“Vouchers redeemed in our stores on tax-free schemes have nearly doubled in the past year. The scheme has been around for ten years, but has really only become widely recognised in the past two or three years.” The store also runs its own scheme, dubbed Tax Free Cycle, operated alongside Cyclescheme and launched at the end of 2008. Robertson says of this: “The benefits to us are not so much commission-based – it’s not cheap running your own scheme – but more that we can be guaranteed that if we spend time and resource on winning a firm’s business, all employees buying bikes on the scheme will come to our stores – increasing our return on investment.” So for this multiple at least, the scheme is proving a shot in the arm. Existing cyclists are buying new bikes when they previously would have made do with their current ride. People are riding who previously wouldn’t, a percentage of which are bound to become regular cyclists. EDINBURGH BICYCLE CO-OP

Both London-based retailer Cycle Surgery and Edinburgh Co-operative operate programmes based on the Governments tax-free incentives to get employees on bikes. Cycle To Work Now founder Rob Howes (pictured above) took part in the programme himself to dramatic effect...

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The Government’s green transport plan has undoubtedly brought new awareness and an enthusiasm for cycling to a growing group of entry to midlevel cyclists. For Edinburgh Bicycle, which operates its own in-house programme, the legislation has meant extra footfall and sales. MD Jeremy Miles tells BikeBiz: “The early years of the plan brought additional business as the early adopters were keen to get involved and to work hard to promote their scheme to employees. However, as scheme awareness increases it’s clear a large number of existing customers are holding off on purchases to benefit from the savings. This doesn’t cause us any particular problems other than the minimal admin cost of the scheme and the extension of credit terms to some of the companies we work with. That said, if we had to hand a significant slice of the sale over to a third party provider then it would certainly bite into an already moderate margin.” Miles believes anyone operating a similar scheme needs to be flexible and deliver a speedy and efficient service. “If a customer has to wait more than a week to enjoy the bicycle then we feel they have been let down by the administrative process.

We find that increasingly employers are interested in how long the transaction takes and are keen to work with providers who can shorten this down. Our ability to operate a flexible scheme gives us an advantage over our competitors. We also find that willingness to provide promotional support to employers generates more conversions and puts more ‘bums on saddles’ in the long run.” Edinburgh Bicycle also works alongside employers to run C2W roadshows. Printed material is circulated, providing reference for potential customers. “Overall, running the programme is beneficial for both as it delivers a staff benefit for the employer and increased footfall and sales for us.” CYCLE TO WORK NOW Having designed and built Halfords’ C2W platform, Cycle To Work Now then set out on its own venture targeted at small to medium sized retailers – the majority of UK businesses. The company has no minimum orders, meaning supplying single bikes is not a problem. At present the firm has one supplier, but more are due to come on board as the company expands. Perhaps one of the firm’s strongest assets, and one that appeals to IBDs, is that it ffers immediate payment. C2WN owner Rob Howes says: “We think local bike shops have a huge part to play in the future of green transport, but they need to modify their game. The hardcore cycling enthusiast can be quite intimidating to a new cyclist and they have often forgotten what it’s like when you first get on or return to a bike. That’s the reason for our C2WN blog, to share the experience and provide encouragement.” With aspirations to become a leading player in the market, Howes adds: “We think there is a green revolution coming and bikes have a major part to play.” As with other businesses in the sector, Howes kept a close eye on this year’s budget for fear of legislation change. “Unlike previous schemes run along these lines such as the Home Computer Initiative, cycling has such health and environmental benefits it’s hard to see why any Government would want to drop it. The costs are tiny and the saving to the NHS are huge.” www.cycletoworknow.com Phone: 0207 183 1316

BIKEBIZ JUNE 21


BRAND SPOTLIGHT WELDTITE

Smooth

running WELDTITE MIGHT be 70 years old, but that hasn’t got in the way of its continuing moves into fresh territory. With new developments and accolades the firm has, appropriately enough, remained supple and ready for action – all while staying true to an impressive heritage. Sales director Chris Jenkinson, assures BikeBiz those 70 years haven’t dented the firm’s original simple mantra: “Our philosophy has always been to create a complete bike maintenance range, whilst retaining the manufacture of our products in the UK wherever possible.” UP TO THE CHALLENGE Covering all areas of cycle maintenance including repair, lubes, cleaners and tools, Weldtite also provides product for the motorcycle sector. In an increasingly crowded market, staying ahead of old and new competitors is an ongoing challenge, but one that Jenkinson says Weldtite is ready for: “There are always companies that are offering a new lubricant or cleaning product within their product portfolio, but only Weldtite has consistently produced a complete range of maintenance products under the one umbrella.” Innovation and willingness to change remain key: “We are

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continually monitoring cycle maintenance developments and then responding to market demands by developing products using in-house personnel and production in our factory at Barton-on-Humber.” Yes, Weldtite is one of those rare beasts that has retained a hefty product creation facility on these shores: “Weldtite is the largest manufacturer in the UK of all the maintenance lines we produce. Our in-house design department has also created a complete range of cycle-specific tools made for both the consumer and the professional which has made Cyclo the only British designed tool brand on the cycle market.” High service levels have been a key consideration: “It is our heritage that the products we make are manufactured in the UK. This not only improves the service we can offer, but ensures all our products comply with EU regulation both for quality and specification,” Jenkinson reveals. And while currency fluctuations have been hitting many firms where it hurts – margin – Weldtite has actually reaped the rewards of sticking to its guns. “We have certainly seen our repair business increase with many firms reverting to UK production for better service, price and availability.

Seven decades, multiple awards and a rich heritage have all made Weldtite the welloiled success it is today. Sales director Chris Jenkinson talks to Jonathon Harker…

“We export to 38 countries. All our international distributors are seeing an increased interest in British products, particularly in Australia, South Africa and Scandinavia.” LUBE-ING ON UP A recent success story for Weldtite’s is the TF2 line-up. Making up a quarter of its range, TF2 lubricants are pivotal to the complete maintenance process, says Jenkinson. With key products like the award winning aerosol spray at the heart of the range, TF2 products have rated first, second, third and sixth (out of 14 top selling lubes) in independent tests made by a top UK university. “Weldtite has the European licence to use Teflon in our products, so when we originally developed the new lubricant brand we incorporated the TF of Teflon into the name. TF2 has now become a market leader for cycle lubricants, which led us to rebrand the whole lube category under the TF2 name. “TF2 lubricants now offer a synergy between packaging and brand, offering retailers and consumers a range that is formulated to ensure the

best possible performance and protection for your bike.” Despite BikeBiz’s best efforts, Jenkinson remained tight-lipped on future ranges: “Unfortunately I cannot give away all our trade secrets, but behind the doors of the Barton Factory there are a new products to ensure Weldtite continues to lead in development and manufacturing.”

Jenkinson concluded: “There are any number of lubricants available in the market, but our mission is to ensure that when a consumer is looking to improve the life and performance of their bike they ask for TF2, safe in the knowledge they’ve bought a quality product from the only UK manufacturer of Teflon based lubricants.”

Stuck on you THE IMPORTANCE of keeping brands stuck in the minds of consumers and retailers is paramount, and sponsorship continues to be a reliable way of achieving that – an essential process even when a product has already won prizes and accolades. Jenkinson

explains: “TF2 is an award winning brand leader, but it is important to keep the products in the minds of both the retailers and consumers. During 2009 in order to increase the awareness of the brands we are sponsoring more riders, attending more than 18 events throughout the UK and promoting retailer loyalty through our new partner programme.” Clever print marketing also plays a key role: “People always remember the big green can, but by realigning the products into an easily understandable range with the same graphic image we are finding the sales of all the specialist lubricants have now increased.”

Weldtite’s sponsorship tie-in deals have helped the brand remain uppermost in the minds of customers

BIKEBIZ JUNE 23


MYSTERY SHOPPER

NORWICH

Look East The commuter urban market is regularly touted to be the next growth area for cycling retail. But is retail geared up for the sector – and for an influx of novice cycling customers? BikeBiz’s Mystery Shopper went to work and visited bike dealers in Norwich to check out their customer service...

Cycle Republic

Freeman Bicycles

WELL SITUATED on a pedestrianised street in the heart of the city, Norwich’s Cycle Republic store is well laid out, giving customers plenty of space to examine and compare bikes. In fact the seemingly pared down selection on show looked as though it might not offer the depth of some of the other nearby bike stores, but in practice there were plenty of bikes to choose from in the sector I was there to see. Two sales assistants were present in the store at time of visiting, both dealing with a customer at the counter. Soon after finishing up, one of them approached me and asked if I needed any help. After setting them the task of finding me a commuter-style bike in the region of £300 the assistant showed me two displays – one priced under £500 and, considering the rang I’d quoted, a more optimistically priced set of bikes over the £500 mark. He mentioned the Chris Boardman bikes were a premium option and pointed out some of the differences between the price bands. When quizzed on alternatives, including folding bikes, the sales assistant suggested that I disregard that bike category. He told me that folding bikes were only really suitable for short-range distances and they were a bit bendy if you “really go for it”. Before leaving me to mull over his advice he said I was welcome to pull out a bike myself for further examination, and offered further help if I needed it. Despite the fact that the store brand’s future has been in the news lately, it didn’t reflect on this staff member’s willingness to provide friendly advice and help...

INDEPENDENT DEALER Freeman is set on the edge of the city centre near a busy dual carriageway, just a short walk beyond a nearby retail park. The shop, which has been a family business for over one hundred years, naturally contrasted strongly with Cycle Republic, being packed tightly with plenty of bikes and accessories. When I arrived the store had just taken delivery of new bikes, but this didn’t stop the sales assistant greeting me and offering help as soon as I stepped inside. Again asking for a commuter bike in the region of £300, I was offered a large range that stretched from under the £200 mark all the way up to just over £500. I was shown a variety of models and was encouraged to look at bikes from last year that had, as I was informed, better prices than this year’s models. The sales assistant also offered more expensive models from this year and said he could order them in for me if I liked. Despite slightly higher prices, most of the bikes shown were within the price range I’d asked for and I was informed that all of the models were ready to go with no additional extra purchases required. When I mentioned that I was going to be leaving the bike at a train station I was advised to think about getting some bike security products. I also asked him whether helmets were compulsory as I’d heard a lot about them in the news recently. He informed me that they weren’t but they were recommended, especially if you were thinking of ‘putting the miles in’ on the bike. The staff member spoken to provided appropriate (and friendly) advice, was clearly very knowledgeable, was a rider himself, and was not in the least bit patronising.

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MYSTERY SHOPPER

Mandarin Cycles EYE-CATCHINGLY situated near a busy junction close to the centre of Norwich, Mandarin Cycles had bikes on show outside the shop, while inside the product displays were simply laid out with the bikes all easily accessible. I had chance to browse before being approached by a member of staff, who asked if I needed help soon after I stopped at a display. The advice I received was friendly, personal and informative. I was taken around a range of potential bikes – all close to and under the price tag I was interested in. I was told that each bike was pretty much ready to go and would need no additional purchases. I was taken through different types of models within the criteria I provided, including hybrids and more traditional models. Similarly, all of the bikes recommended were within the general price range I requested. He went on to show me more sporty versions of the bikes (without mudguards, etc) and had a substantial range of bikes within the price bracket I had gone into the shop with. After some explanation the assistant went on to encourage me to make a purchase by making me aware of special offers that were available on relevant bikes, including a £50 discount that lasted until the end of the week. The sales assistant also tailored his advice to me – taking note of my body shape and suggested that I wouldn’t need a suspension saddle which could potentially make the bike too tall for me. It was interesting to to see that my individual needs were being considered for the potential purchase.

Velo Cycles

Streetlife HEADING SLIGHTLY further out of town into the suburbs of Norwich, Roxy Musicthemed Streetlife is situated on a residential street corner. No sooner had I opened the door than I was greeted and asked if I needed any assistance. The staff member spoken to wasn’t quite as chatty as the last, but was still friendly, informative and happy to answer questions. Notably, Streetlife was the only store where the sales assistant took the trouble to get the bike out of its display so I could take a closer look – before I’d even had chance to ask. The sales assistant I spoke to took the time to explain bike jargon, taking pains to ensure all the information was clear to a novice bike customer. The sales assistant also took the time to upsell, encouraging me to see the benefit of a model £50 more expensive than the one I was looking at (which was priced at £300). He convincingly recommended the jump up as “you get so much more for your money” – in this case suspension fork and a saddle upgrade. Again I asked if helmets are compulsory and was correctly informed that they weren’t, but they were recommended. I wasn’t shown a particular model of helmet as a result, potentially missing out on an added sale, but he did add that bells were an essential requirement for bikes being sold out of the shop. The sales assistant also discussed the weight of bikes and made me aware that while there are lower priced alternatives, they generally got heavier the lower the price.

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ANOTHER BIKE shop situated on a very busy junction a short way outside the city centre was Velo Cycles – another well-stocked bike dealer. After spending some time looking at the display, the sales assistant was busy chatting and I had to approach him for service. It’s a small point maybe, but I felt that this was one shop where I could have easily left the premises without being approached by a member of staff, unlike most of the others I visited in the city. My request for a commuter bike in the region of £300 again met with a wide range of suitable bikes and I was taken through some of the key features of each model. I felt that the sales assistant was rushing through the options a little, especially compared to the unhurried and excellent service I’d received in most of the other shops in the area. But there was plenty of opportunity for me to ask further questions. When another customer entered the shop with a problem with a pump, the sales assistant was keen to attend to her, possibly resulting in a rushed service for me. It’s good to see shops ready and willing to look after what I imagine was a regular customer, but it did leave me with £300 burning a hole in my pocket. Overall though, my service at the shop was good – certainly not at the degree of some of the best of the other shops I visited in Norwich, but still boasting a good level of service that met the needs of the customer.

Summary OVERALL, the cycle shops of Norwich impressed. All seemed well geared up to deal with both the thriving student population and cycle commuters of the city. In the main each shop had friendly staff who listened to what the customer wanted, and advised without being pushy or patronising. While only one of them got bikes out without being asked, all had a range of appropriate options on offer. Overall, Mystery Shopper found that Norwich’s bike shops met with a high standard of customer service, and the city’s bike retailers look set to be a hard act to follow.

BIKEBIZ JUNE 25


BIKE WEEK

Getting

involved

Bike Week is a golden opportunity to encourage more people into cycling – and to widen your customer base. Jonathon Harker looks at how the annual event can benefit your business…

“Bike Week is about getting more people on a bike enjoying their time out and about on two wheels...” Phillip Darnton, Cycling England

BIKE WEEK is a long-running annual fixture in the industry’s calendar, first taking place decades ago when the trade was much younger. The seven-daylong celebration of cycling is well established, and opportunities for the trade to get more involved are many. Cycling England chairman Phillip Darnton tells BikeBiz: “Bike Week is probably the biggest celebration of bicycling in the year. “BikeWeek thrives by being a grass roots series of events, rather than a top-down, centrally organised event. It’s really about thousands and thousands of people getting excited about cycling.” The grass roots nature of Bike Week is part of its charm, as are its challenges, according to Darnton: “That is the great joy of local events, but at the same time it’s something that makes

it difficult to pull together and make more successful.” The aim of Bike Week is the essential business of encouraging people into cycling – and broadening the potential customer base for retailers: “Many people who are passionate about cycling enjoy cycling long distances and cycling up steep hills. With Bike Week we’re trying to say that even though you may like cycling 40 miles, new cyclists aren’t going to become a fan of cycling with a 40-mile demo. “We have to think about people who don’t think of themselves as cyclists. “It’s more about people getting on a bike and enjoying themselves. Serious cyclists are very committed, but sometimes forget what it is to get started, and how you get people started is by almost seducing them into cycling.”

The timing of Bike Week – this year from Saturday June 13th and running to Sunday 21st – has been a contentious issue for some retailers and is something that Darnton addresses: “It is always an extremely busy period for cycle retailers and a lot will say that what we really need is an event that promotes cycling when there isn’t much of it going on – like February – but the thing is that people don’t enjoy cycling if it’s wet and windy. “I think that the idea that its in the middle of June is a given.” But it needn’t be an obstacle – smart retailers can plan ahead: “I think that the imaginative retailers have all sorts of good ideas and that many of them are starting now and doing things in their shop – like making customers aware that it’s only eight weeks until Bike Week, and now is the time to come and get

your bike checked over – don’t wait till June when the sun is shining and everyone is in store. “I think retailers do have a great opportunity but very often I think, and I’m no expert, they do leave it a bit late. “I think there are ways of exploiting that it’s coming for several weeks before hand. I think that if we can help to catch organisers and let them know who their local bikes shops are and if we can get retailers to find out who their local organisers are – which they can from the Bike Week website – they can say we’re prepared to help you and we’re prepared to do all sorts of things – and now’s the time. “It isn’t about saying it’s up to you to make the effort in Bike Week, it’s all about the opportunity that leads up to it for retailers.” www.bikeweek.org.uk

OPINION: Chris Compton, Compton Cycles CHRIS COMPTON has a unique perspective on Bike Week. The founder of south London bike store Compton Cycles also sits on the Bike Week board. “I can empathise with most stores – it is a busy time of the year. But changing the date of Bike Week is never going to happen.“

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Compton offers practical advice for bike dealers: “Make your shop the centre of information for any events. And whatever you do, make it store based. Ultimately you want to drive people into your shop.” Getting involved in locally planned events is beneficial for bike retailers, Compton argues:

“Underpinning other people’s events is ideal, but make sure you get the recognition. If you are providing support you need to make sure you get some way of helping drive people through your store.” Raising awareness of Bike Week needn’t be time consuming either: “In my shop

at the moment we’ve got a notice board to make people aware of local events that are part of Bike Week.” Compton left the biz with some sage advice: “When I first got involved in Bike Week I found it hard to gauge the effect it was having on my business.

“Then I turned it on its head – there are all of these organisations promoting what I do and that’s something I felt I had to support. Anything I can do to help out has to be good. “However, you can’t quantify it and say ‘I’ve had an extra £500 of sales’ because of Bike Week, which is a shame.”

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BIKEBIZ JUNE 27


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CYCLEPOINT

Rail company gets into bike retail Northern Rail is to open a bike shop at Leeds station. If successful, there could be a UK chain of CyclePoints. Opportunity or threat to IBDs, asks Carlton Reid...? IN 2010, Northern Rail – owned by Ned Railways of the Netherlands – is spending big bucks on a trial retail concept at the front of Leeds station. CyclePoint of Leeds will be prominently sited; and the retail format – which has bike parking at its core – could be rolled out in other UK stations, including in London. CyclePoint is modelled on the Dutch ‘FietsPoint’ shop. Ned Railways operates 25 of these stores at railway stations across the Netherlands. These bike shops also provide bike parking facilities, bike rental, and sameday bike servicing. They are operated as a means of generating more bike-to-thestation journeys, rather than as profit-centres. Stephen Bond, head of business development at Northern Rail explains: “The Leeds CyclePoint is the first of a

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planned series of similar initiatives, and can be replicated at a number of other locations.” NedRailway’s CEO Anton Volk – who, of course, cycles – offers: “Cycling plays an important role in supporting sustainable transport and facilitating efficient door to door journeys. In the Netherlands we have long understood the transport benefits of a fully integrated cycle system, as well as the personal benefits to be derived from improved health and even the simple pleasure that cycling brings. “CyclePoint is based on a proven Dutch concept which combines manned and secure cycle storage with retail, repair and hire facilities at major stations. I hope [the Leeds CyclePoint] will pave the way for further CyclePoints at major stations across the UK.” The Leeds CyclePoint will sit

in the front of the station. It will have two floors. The development will start small, but is ‘scalable’ says Bond. “Storage can be increased as demand increases.” He adds: “A detailed financial and demand appraisal indicates that, by 2012, operating costs of the Cyclepoint will be covered by the revenue generated.” Northern will pay for kitting out the bike shop and bike parking levels, and will also fund the salaries of the CyclePoint employees. So, CyclePoint could become a real force in UK bicycle retail.

maker attracted by the cyclefriendliness of the Netherlands, sees FietsPoint shops as a normal part of the Dutch retail scene. “In my view, what cycling in Britain needs now is not more trains, not more bike shops, but conditions which make cycling a truly attractive option.” And potentially, that could be CyclePoint’s Achille’s Heel. Covered parking garages – with bike shops tagged on – work in the Netherlands because the journey to the station is so bicycle-friendly.

Opportunity or challenge ACT’s Mark Brown offers: “In principal I think this is an opportunity for bike shops in Leeds. Any high profile promotion of cycling is a good thing. There is the possibility of some erosion of sales and workshop business, but it’s difficult to say at this early stage and if CyclePoints can actually grow the local market then I think all sides benefit.” CyclePoints will be owned by Northern Rail, not franchised out like, say, a station forecourt Starbucks. Brown believes this is a shame: “Ideally I would have preferred that local shops were given the opportunity to tender for this operation as I am sure their skills and experience would be of huge value to the project.” David Hembrow, an Assenbased ex-pat bicycle basket

Infrastructure obstacle? Convincing the good citizens of Leeds to cycle to the train station in big enough numbers to pay back Northern Rail’s investment in CyclePoint is going to be tough. CyclePoint could be creating a new genre of British bike shop, one with cycle parking at its core. This has been tried before. In 1994, Phil Cavell and Julian Wall now of Cyclefit, created Bikepark of Covent Garden. It lasted almost ten years. “It was an idea ahead of its time,” Cavell tells BikeBiz. “Cycling was still seen as something you did for free. Now it’s seen much more as a lifestyle choice, and it’s not free. CyclePoint’s timing is about right. Bike parking mixed with bike rental and retail of locks, pumps and other accessories is a

lovely business model. “But it doesn’t make money. Bikes may be smaller than cars but storing them still takes up expensive real estate. To work, a bike parking business needs to be supported by a bigger entity and it sounds like CyclePoint has that support. With the right backing, such a concept could work really well.” As they are train customer creators, not just bike shops, FietsPoints in the Netherlands don’t have to make money, they just mustn’t lose money – a big difference. With British cities eager to get cars off the road and put more people on trains, the time could be right for the start of Dutch-style bike parking in the UK. This will create more cycleusers. CyclePoint isn’t something bike shops could copy or muscle in on – as a subsidised concept, it doesn’t have to wash its face commercially so would be hard to defeat – and shouldn’t leech customers from existing city centre bike shops. Instead, it’s a sign that the UK is slowly but surely creating a more bicyclefriendly culture. And what’s good for cyclists has got to be good for bike shops all over. Watch it and weep Check out this video of a FietsPoint and be amazed by the never-ending stream of customers: http://tinyurl.com/CyclePoint

BIKEBIZ JUNE 29


RALEIGH

A Raleigh

positive outlook Managing director Mark Gouldthorp speaks to Jonathon Harker about how the right products, building internal expertise and a flourishing Cyclelife network have seen Raleigh’s sales well and truly buck the crunch in 2009… IT TURNS OUT that the year has gone rather well so far for Nottinghamshire-based bike manufacturer and distributor Raleigh. But expectations for even one of the best-known names in the business were cautious for 2009, to say the least. Raleigh MD Mark Gouldthorp explains: “The way the recession had been talked about was a doublewhammy with the nosedive of the strength of sterling. It put a huge inflationary pressure on all of the industry with immediate effect. “Not only was there the question over whether people had got the money to spend on bikes, but we had to put up prices as well.” But despite those worries Raleigh’s sales have not only been surprisingly robust, they’ve exceeded expectations: “For the first third of the year we’re up about 40 per cent year-on-year. “We believe that, particularly on the bikes side, we’ve got the range right and that the mix has paid off. It’s also a combination of decent weather, that the products have justified the prices that we’ve had to put on them and that product availability is better.” Gouldthorp cites urban 700c bikes and Raleigh’s “standardissue MTBs” as strong performers, with demand for the latter outstripping supply.

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Meanwhile the performance of the parts and accessories market has been something of a revelation, according to the MD: “We’re seeing a huge increase in accessories and it has possibly even overtaken bikes in being on the attractive side of the fence. “Probably some of my competitors have known that for a long time – but it’s only just dawned on me because ultimately we’re a bike company to start with. It’s a very strong part of the business and there’s more profit in it. For everybody.” CYCLELIFE Raleigh’s Cyclelife network – which now has in the region of 135 to 140 stores – has been going from strength-to-strength too, and currently enjoys the kind of mix of outlets the MD had been hoping for. “We’ve got a nice balance now of brand new dealers coming to the fore with brand new shops and we’ve had a few more conversions recently too. I was at the opening of the Lichfield store last month and it was nice to be in a town that has not been particularly well serviced by bike shops. It’s great to be at the birth of something new.” “We’ve helped one guy in Long Eaton take over a longestablished Cyclelife dealership which had been in an old building off the High Street. He’s

managed to move into modern High Street premises and his performance is up around 60 per cent year-on–year. He’s now looking at opening a second shop in Melton Mowbray.” Raleigh’s role in helping the dealer make those changes is key to what Cyclelife can do, according to the Raleigh MD: “That for me is a great example of what Cyclelife is all about – helping someone take that first shop on, helping move to a better location, then helping him open a second shop – that’s exactly what we’re about. That is Cyclelife in a nutshell.” Combined marketing firepower is another Cyclelife benefit coming to fruition: “We’ve just helped put together a 13-week radio campaign in Staffordshire with Ade Edmondson. It features four Cyclelife shops and each of them get a slice. They’ve put in half the cash, costing them £200 each, and we’ve put in the other half. That’s what it’s all about. Individual dealers could not get that deal on their own.” So, how about the short-term future for Raleigh and its Cyclelife dealers? “Cyclelife growth is a slowburner. We’ve still got to have the right products at the right price, and thankfully the sales performance this year really looks like we’ve hit the right mark,” Gouldthorp concludes.

Building internal expertise THE FIRM has just announced a raft of new appointments, with two new members of the parts and accessories team – Jimmy Taylor and Andy Parker. Meanwhile the sales team has also been bolstered with a raft of new recruits, including Scott Davidson, Peter Hancock, Gary Adcock, Garry Pulling and Nigel Watson. Raleigh MD Mark Gouldthorp explains: “There

are lots of contributing factors to our success. We continue to invest on the sales and marketing sides of the business and those are now at their biggest during my time in the company. We’ve had to cut back on things that are nice but not essential, but at the same time we’ve stuck to our guns in terms of sales and marketing. It really is paying dividends.”

“We’ve helped one guy take over a dealership and then move premises to a better location. Now he is looking at opening a second shop and that for me is what it is all about. That’s Cyclelife in a nutshell.” Mark Gouldthorp, Raleigh UK BIKEBIZ.COM


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BIKE HUB

Together we stand... ...divided we fall. What does the ACT think about the Bike Hub levy scheme? Mark Brown tells Carlton Reid... THE BIKE HUB levy is paid by independent bike shops and suppliers. It's not always been clear what it has paid for, and why. But, as the joint creation of the Bicycle Association and the Association of Cycle Traders, it's an example of how two very different organisations can put aside their differences and agree to work for the common good. The levy, in fact, has been a leveller, a reason for the two trade bodies to meet at regular intervals. Bike Hub may have been guilty of hiding its lights under a bunch of bushels, but it's brought two bodies closer together and showed them cooperation pays dividends. Similar levy schemes were tried in the 1970s. They paid for PR schemes and other short-lived promotional efforts. Bike Hub, on the other hand, has lasted and lasted. In truth, it's lasted for a lot longer than anyone would have believed possible. It was created in 2003. Six years later and it's raising the best part of half a million pounds a year. The ACT's Mark Brown admits communication about the scheme has been lacking in the past. SIDE-BY-SIDE FOR CYCLING "Most bike shops have heard of Bike Hub. Afterall they are paying invoices which detail their contribution to the fund. Whether those shops have a clear understanding of what Bike Hub does is a different matter,

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but one that we are now actively working to address. Brown says Bike Hub has been a victim of its own success. "The three main projects we have historically focused on have all performed really well. Bike It has been a real trailblazer and delivered some fantastic results. The BikeForAll website is getting well over 30,000 visits a month, helping people find useful information on many aspects of cycling. Finally Bike Week is working as a mass participation event. The committee has been guilty of not spreading the word on Bike Hub as effectively as it should, to the trade and beyond. “After the initial launch of the fund and the flurry of publicity things died down and we lost focus. This was partly due to the fact that the projects and investments were doing so well I think we all assumed the world knew. We are working to change things and I hope more people in the industry will be aware of what's happening with Bike Hub and that we are generating a good return on their investment in the fund.” Unaware of what Bike Hub stood for, and how it unlocked millions of pounds of Government cash for cycling, some IBDs have struck off Bike Hub tallies on invoices, leaving suppliers to pick up the tab. "If shops can pay they should pay," claims Brown. "I appreciate that not every region has a Bike

The ACT wishes for trade members to continue raising money to develop the future of cycling Hub project in it, but we are working on this. However, taking a broader perspective, I think the fund is good for cycling and increasingly good at promoting our industry. Some of our future initiatives will also raise promotion of specialist cycle retailers which I think is important. Hopefully as the Bike Hub committee re-focuses its efforts on promoting what is happening, more people will see why they should pay the levy. WE NEED YOU... "The new £100,000 investment project will hopefully go some way to addressing this, and hopefully getting some local cycling projects off the ground which could involve bike shops. "We are working with Sustrans to more effectively link Bike It officers around the country with local stores, which I think could be a very good opportunity. And, of course, we are doing more to communicate what is happening with Bike Hub on a more regularl basis.

“The re-developed BikeForAll website – to be re-named BikeHub.com – will also have a much stronger promotion of the fund and of bike shops. "Cycling in the UK is at a very exciting time and I think the industry needs to be joined-up in doing something big which can have a widescale impact. I also think it needs to be seen to be joined-up and investing in this way. While I appreciate not every project will have a tangible benefit for each contributor it does have an incremental and long-term benefit for the industry. "We are currently working to 'map' Bike It officers and their regions with local bike shops and make the connections. From here bike shops can join Bike It projects. I certainly think there might be opportunities to create templates for bike shops to follow, however I also think we have to be careful of not undermining the benefits of a co-ordinated approach versus individual actions."

If Bike Hub had never got off the ground, would Britih bike shops be in a better or worse position today? Does Bike Hub have a genuine market impact? "I think the impact of Bike Hub is still to be felt," says Brown. WORKING FOR TOMORROW "Certainly, some bike shops have really benefited from it to date. Yet, we still don't know about the long term impact of getting more kids cycling to school and the impact that might have as they become the cyclists and advocates of the future." If Bike Hub imploded tomorrow, what would that tell the Government and the trade? "The trade would say 'told you so, we can never work together'. Government would say 'told you so, the bike trade can never work together'." But the bike trade has been working together. Since 2003 the levy scheme has raised millions of pounds for promoting cycling. And Brown wants to see that continue.

BIKEBIZ JUNE 33


PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT Send your recruitment news to

mark.sutton@intentmedia.co.uk

BikeRight! bolsters line-up with Tucker Ellmore Consultancy opens doors to the trade  Tony D joins Alienation  Urban Mover team takes shape ANDY TUCKER  Manchester based cycling training organisation BikeRight! has hired Andy Tucker as its sales and marketing manager. Having spent 25 years working for design, advertising and marketing agencies, Tucker decided to put his skills to good use in developing the BikeRight! brand and promoting the company’s offering to both public and private sectors. “I am really looking forward to the challenge ahead and there are lots of exciting developments on the cards at BikeRight! As a keen mountain biker it was amazing to spend my first day in the job with a group of young adults on an off-road skills course,” commented Tucker. BikeRight! MD Liz Clarke enthused: “Andy is set to build upon recent developments here

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that saw us awarded Business of the Year and Growth Business of the Year at the North West Women in Business Awards in January 2009.”

Andy Tucker

Dan Ellmore

DAN ELLMORE  Following the sale of Impsport in July last year, Dan Ellmore has set up his own private venture – Ellmore Consultancy. Ellmore told BikeBiz: “Since December 31st 2008 I have been an advisor and e-commerce/ website consultant to Impsport and other companies in and around the cycling and sports industries through my new venture Ellmore Consultancy.” Ellmore is also working alongside Simon Burney on the Schlamm clothing line. Of the collaboration Ellmore said: "Schlamm is about to tie up some partnerships with events in

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PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT

People & Recruitment is Sponsored by Halfords

the USA and a well-known brand for the 2009 Cross Season.” For more information on Ellmore’s new business, visit the website at www.ellmoregroup.com. TONY DELGADO  BMXbrand Alienation has snapped up Haro brand manager Tony Delgado. ‘Tony D’ – as he is often referred to in the industry – has handled the BMX side of Haro since 2005, including team management duties and involvement in speccing each bike. Many in the UK trade will know Delgado for his appearances at Moore Large’s trade days. The move comes on the back of a string of appointments for Alienation including new sales and marketing manager Jerry Landrum and (USA) West-Coast

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sales rep Rob Morgan also joining the firm.

Martin Hall and Adrian Shawcross

MARTIN HALL AND ADRIAN SHAWCROSS  Electric bike firm Urban Mover has made a string of appointments as it gears up for UK and worldwide expansion. Martin Hall has come on board to take the role of commercial and finance director. Hall is both a chartered accountant and engineer, having huge experience in high growth technical service and manufacturing sectors. Meanwhile, Adrian Shawcross has taken on the role of logistics and technical manager. Shawcross comes from a broad technical background in the manufacturing and production sector, although he began his working life as a teacher.

Shawcross will take on day-today responsibility for ongoing training and customer support across all Urban Mover product. NIGEL STANLEY  Nigel Stanley has begun work at Walkers Cycles following 17 years at Fisher Outdoor Leisure. Stanley started his working life in the bike industry at Alfred Kemps in Hull during 1974. He worked in the firm’s warehouse until 1980 when he went on the road for the company. Stanley continued this line of work until the firm closed in 1992. He then went on to join distributor Fisher of Finchley, now known as Fisher Outdoor Leisure. "I’m joining Walkers at a very exciting time,” Stanley told BikeBiz. “Especially since I’ll have the opportunity to work with the impressive new Serfas line.”

Nigel Stanley

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

RETAIL COMMENT While browsing BikeRadar's coverage of the Sea Otter event last month I came across this comment: "Interesting report, though I haven’t seen anything from the Sea Otter that I can actually afford yet." The consumer who left that remark has a point. Understandably, companies will want to show off the most anticipated high-end kit, but could these displays of design and technology excellence at disproportionate cost to the average budget actually be putting newcomers off cycling? Our industry is not alone in its over-zealous approach to 'upgrading'. The car trade is also over-doing technology. A quick Google search brings up plenty of unnecessary 'innovation' – heated cup holders, need I say more? So where does that leave the consumer? Often more out of pocket than they need be, assuming they buy in to the belief that these 'improvements' will heighten their experience.

“Losing a grip of the mid-market would be a nightmare for the independent sector...” So what is the average UK cycle consumer after, hobbyists aside? Aesthetics play a big part, as does reliability and of course, the biggest factor of all, cost. A family member came to me recently asking advice on a bike, giving only these specs: "Must have a basket able to hold a small dog and should be able to handle light off-road riding." The conclusion was intriguing. "I don’t mind paying a bit more if it will last, but I don't want to spend a bundle." Do you have anything in stock to match these requirements? IBDs who have surrendered their low-end business to the multiples and supermarkets probably won't regret it; there's often very little money to be made flogging bikes under £200. But to what extent is the mid-market gradually escaping the grip of independents? Halfords has the Boardman range, which at the majority of price points, is incredibly well-specced. There’s GT and Kona too. Two household brand names and both major midmarket players. Dare I mention the discounts on offer too? Needless to say, losing a grip on the mid-market would be a nightmare for the independent sector and there couldn't be a worse time to allow customers to be tempted elsewhere. The majority of cycle stores, independent or otherwise, will not be lucky enough to be able to earn a living off highend product alone. Therefore, isn't it about time that shows began highlighting the product that customers actually buy? It's all very well having eye candy, but given the general decline in affluence, what purpose does it serve other than generating content among the consumer press? The leisure sector, with any luck, should have a strong summer. Make sure you do too with sensible stock choices. Mark.sutton@intentmedia.co.uk

IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE DEALER PROFILE

38

Broxbourne’s Cycledealia discusses hardtail sales taking off while full suspension models begin to decline...

COMPLETE BIKES

41

With trends to follow, yet so little floor space, whole businesses revolve around these stock decisions. Browse the latest bikes here...

ELECTRONIC POINT OF SALE

45

There are newcomers entering the market this year. Find out who can offer the best tailored point of sale solutions here...


IBD PROFILE

Cycledealia

Cycledealic Owner: Paul Hurrel Location: Broxbourne Telephone: 01992 445640 Web: www.cycledealia.co.uk

Opening Times: Monday to Friday: 10.00 – 6.00pm, Saturday: 9.30 - 5.30pm

Broxbourne and Hitchin-based Cycledealia reveals how Cyclescheme and the urban market has boosted sales in-store. Mark Sutton visits what claims to be Hertfordshire’s most mis-spelt bike shop... “THERE’S BEEN absolutely no decline in trade.” That’s the word from Cycledealia, a two-store cycle retailer selling everything from Pashleys to Konas. The Pashleys do well in the Hitchin store, a market town where customers are seeking bikes to

cruise around on come Saturday when the town is bustling. “It’s the girls who buy the Pashleys. We don’t order in the gents models,” says Paul Hurrel, manager of the Broxbourne branch. “Here in the Broxbourne store there has only been one

“Clothing is a big performer for us and Cyclescheme only adds to the sales. Performance items are really strong.” Paul Hurrel, Cycledealia

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decline and that’s in sales of full suspension bikes. But this has been more than made up for by the purchases of hardtails, some toward the higher-end of the scale.” Cyclescheme has given these sales a thorough price boost too. Hurrel added: “Sales through Cyclescheme tend to add a fair bit to the final price tag and as a result we’ve sold a bundle of mid-range Konas and others. I’d say we average £500 or more on each voucher. We’ve certainly not had many under that value. Then again, some weeks we can shift ten bikes through vouchers. Other weeks it can be zero.” The scheme is a boost to addon sales too, with helmets and even clothing boosting the retailer’s margins. “Clothing is a big performer for us and Cyclescheme only adds to the sales. We’re doing particularly well with performance items such as Endura jackets, and not necessarily just £40 items either. Customers seem to be beginning to invest in quality cycle gear. For example, our CycleOps trainers have been going down a

storm and we have to keep restocking.” So Cycledealia must have a cluster of enthusiasts? Not necessarily, explains Hurrel. “We’ve noted major take-offs in BMX and also our Claud Butler hybrids. These are everyday bikes that leisure cyclists and firsttimers are buying. Kona is the biggest seller and we’re shifting bikes of around £500 in value.” So there’s a mix of leisure cyclists, budding enthusiasts and high-end kit junkies. Clothing aside, Saris racks are performing in-store too. Having sold out on BikeBiz’s visit, Hurrel explained the store has had to make several repeat orders as people begin to travel with their bikes. So is it down to the sunshine teaser of early May? “The weather does of course have an impact, it affects footfall everywhere. The leisure cyclists come out in force when the sun is shining and this naturally does affect sales.” So with a prediction of a hot summer, could anything damage business as the rays beam down? “Shortages are the only real

concern. Price rises don’t seem to have deterred people from buying bicycles. However, for those looking for road bikes between the £500 to £800 mark this summer the shortages may lose us sales,” says Hurrel. Of other concerns, the store mechanic’s volume of work has been constantly high. “I’ve never known the workshop be empty, but in recent times we’ve seen a jump in jobs. We offer two free services on a sale and customers only tend to expect one, so that works as a good sales tool, especially when we’re asked to price match. Much to our delight, the workshop has noted a real boost in customers upgrading their bikes. We make a point of only selling durable completes, so it’s good to see customers investing in their bikes’ performance.” Situated among a cluster of trail hotspots, including Epping and Chicksands, as well as towpaths stretching into central London, it’s no wonder staff are all advocates of cycling. And it seems Cycledealia’s enthusiasm is rubbing off on its customers…

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SECTOR GUIDE COMPLETE BIKES

The complete deal … It’s without doubt an exciting time for everyday cycling, as well as cycling for sport and transport. Mark Sutton gathers the latest information on what’s selling across a number of sectors…

Brompton CONFIGURING a build is a key differentiator for Brompton. It’s something that reinforces the fact that the firm builds bikes here in the UK. Consumers are increasingly interested in tailoring a bike to their

Paligap DESPITE having been victim of a theft of 40 or so bikes last month, Paligap will still be able to offer dealers the majority of Litespeed, Merlin, Kona and Quintana Roo models. If you're offered any of these brands by anyone you suspect to be less than legit, get in touch with either the police or Paligap without delay. It's hardly surprising the thieves chose the Bristol-based distributor as a victim with bikes such as the Litespeed Icon in stock. The Icon represents all the firm learned from the Archon, meaning features such as WRAP Technology and Bi-Planar chainstays are utilised. If your customer is looking for the definitive workhorse of a racing frame then look no further. A high balance of strength to

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needs, something made doubly important if your customer is going to be frequently using it for several years or more. Retailers can also benefit from bespoke orders, as they tend to result in higher value purchases. But with so many options, consumers can feel a little overwhelmed, which is why a step-by-

weight performance is to be expected from the build, which comes in a super stylish brushed titanium finish, or a combination of either blue or white and titanium. For 2009, Paligap's longest standing complete bike brand, Kona, has produced an all-inclusive fleet of commuters that can handle everything from pothole-riddled streets to gravel roads to buttery-smooth asphalt. The Dew platform expands to eight models, giving consumers the option to choose suspension, dropped handlebars, clipless pedals and more. With a multitude of different specs, prices and featuring more rear wheel clearance for those who want to run fatter tyres, the 2009 line of Dews is one of the finest, most wide-ranging lines of commuter bikes on the market.

step online configurator is the perfect tool for the job. Brompton marketing manager, Emerson Roberts tells BikeBiz: "Brompton's web team has, in the past, designed similar systems for all the leading car brands, but apparently ours is a more demanding brief. Appropriate, really, as our powder coaters tell us that we are more demanding than their

Madison MADISON'S customers currently have access to Genesis, Ridgeback and Commencal, all of which have established firm reputations for quality among both the consumer press and dealers alike. It also won’t be long now before information on Saracen’s 2010 line filters through. At £729.99, the Genesis Core 20 is specced to hold its own on any trail, carrying Shimano Deore and SLX components and Rock Shox's dependable Tora 289 120mm forks up front. For a little more investment, customers can pick up Ridgeback's Flight 04, an allblack, stealthy, flat barred supercommuter built purely for speed, low maintenance and ease of use. Constructed around

automotive clients too. "We should have the system up and running by the summer, along with a facility for dealers to use it for ordering bikes direct. The plan is to have retail prices for all our markets live on the configurator, along with weights and local variations in configuration, by the start of 2010."

a light, responsive triple butted ALX9 aluminium frame and equipped with the now-proven Shimano Alfine eight-speed internal hub and equally impressive Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes with ServoWave, the Flight 04 is ready for tough inner city duties from the box. For those looking to make a serious investment, Commencal's Meta 55 has been designed exclusively for the UK market. The build features Fox Float 140RL QR15 forks and a mix of the best XT and SLX groupset product all built onto the highly-admired Meta 55 frame.

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SECTOR GUIDE COMPLETE BIKES

GoCycle GOCYCLE is a lightweight urban twowheeler developed with young city professionals and their families in mind. With innovative design and breakthrough technology, Gocycle combines on-demand electric power, portability and style to offer the rider a no-effort, noemission and low-cost urban transport solution. A full charge takes approximately three hours, which provides up to 20 miles use depending on terrain and pedal input. GoCycle is available via London-

Montague

based Karbon Kinetics. Contact sales@gocycle.com for more information about becoming a dealer.

Ison IDENTITI has long been one of Ison's best sellers and the p66 Comp is proving no exception. The 26-inch expert level trails bike is built around the Identiti P66 frame and loaded with top quality components, trails-specific geometry but is also suitable as a lightweight park bike.

Raleigh CORRATEC, launched in the UK early this year, caters for a broad market from road and XC race bikes through to utility trekking. The brand's unique frame concepts combined with performanceorientated components from brands such as Shimano, Fox, SRAM, DT, Zzyzx, Selle Italia and Continental means all models are real showroom eyecatchers A highlight of the road range is the hand made Carbon Corratec CCT PRO, which has a 900 gram frame weight. All the UK bikes are assembled in Germany exclusively

Hot Wheels HOT WHEELS carry a variety of complete bike brands: WeThePeople aimed squarely at the BMX rider, while GT and Mongoose produce both MTBs and BMX. Then there's Summer Bicycles, designed exclusively for women's use and finally, Charge which

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for the UK market and distributed by Raleigh UK. Corratec is exclusive to dealers that sign up as stockists, of which there are 42 across the UK to date. Meanwhile, Diamondback's Axis model has just scored a high rating in Mountain Biking UK, receiving nine out of ten marks. The brand's hardtails are built for the harder side of riding, trading XC race weight for some larger travel and strength. All bikes boast UK specific design features such as larger tyres, but still offering amply mud clearance, designated downtube mudguard fixings and hydroformed tube sets that give extra strength, but allow weight savings.

covers a few markets in style. From Mongoose, the Crossway 350 combines durability and lightweight with comfort. It is available in a variety of configurations, either with disc or Vbrakes with either suspension or rigid forks. Mongoose offers four sizes in the gent’s version and two sizes in the Women’s. Prices range from £299.99 for the rigid V-brake version through to £349.99 for the suspension disc brake version. Based on the hugely successful Charge Plug fixed gear bike, the Plug Grinder takes style to the next level with colour co-ordinated mudguards, flat bars and both a fixed cog and freewheel. £549.99 buys your customers a piece of the action.

SWISSBIKE has added new bikes to its line-up for 2009, including a special edition variation of its flagship model, the LX. The standard model now features a Shimano SLX derailleur and the special edition will have a Rock Shox Dart3 fork and front and rear discs. Another new model for 2009 is the Montague X5 Tora, which is based on the ever-popular Montague Paratrooper, but specced-up for more serious off-road action. The Tora has, as its name suggests, a Rockshox Tora fork, Truvativ Firex crank and discs

A double-butted, disc-only, cro-moly frame with integrated headset and Euro BB keeps everything light and clean. The P66 also uses the exclusive Maz ADS (adjustable dropout system), which incorporates a sliding dropout system for chain tensioning together with sliding disc mounts to maintain a correctly aligned disc brake and rotor. The components list includes the

front and rear. All models will now come with replaceable derailleur hangers and frame mountings for retro-fitting of rear discs, as well as compatible rear hubs.

award-winning Society Xeno 80mm forks, Halo Combat II singlespeed wheels and Gusset EXP cranks. The colour choices are varied too, with the black bike coming with purple parts, the red bike with white parts and the white bike with white parts. At £799.99 this bike has been called "the best looking off-the-peg jump bike we've seen," by MBUK magazine.

Eurobike PROFLEX DUAL suspension bikes all feature the ICP system, a frame design totally unique to Proflex. The ICP system is based on the study of instant centre mass and of how to locate it in the most effective position. It defines the instant centre movement curve throughout the whole suspension cycle. The form, longitude and direction of this curve influence how the suspension behaves. The system’s main advantages are: efficient pedalling, smooth shock absorber action, virtually no interaction between the chain and the suspension and an incredibly low-pressure shock absorber configuration.

Cannondale CANNONDALE’S Synapse range of performance road bikes blend efficiency and all day rider comfort with seamless style and aesthetics to create a highly desirable and sellable product. Using High Modulus carbon fibre allows Cannondale engineers to tune every area,

The system uses a shock absorber that is much larger than normal and this allows for a lower leverage ratio than in similar designs. The main advantages of the low leverage ratio are that the shock absorber works at a very low pressure and therefore does not need any assistance to achieve a completely efficient pedalling action.

providing a frame weighing little over 1,000 grams. What’s unique is that Cannondale develops components and frames as one unit, a philosophy known as System Integration. This technology is clearly evident with the oversized BB30 bottom bracket and crank, ensuring no rider input is lost through unwanted flex. Synapse Compact gearing and tailored geometry for both men and women ensure a confidence inspired ride right from the first pedal stroke. Prices range from £799 to £5,299. If you’re looking for all-round versatility then Cannondale’s Rize is a bike of choice. With framesets available in both carbon and aluminum the fundamentals remain the same. Prices for the Rize begin at £1,599 and top out at £5,999. BIKEBIZ.COM


SECTOR GUIDE COMPLETE BIKES

Bronx

BRONX'S comprehensive range of complete bicycles is available in a variety of wheel sizes (12 to 26-inch and 700c). Bronx continues to grow in popularity due to its wide range of models and value for money products. According to the company, sales of its classic bikes (Vintage and Regal, Savannah, VeloMarche’) have trebled since last year. The Bronx Rambler, for example, is the brand's fully equipped 21S hybrid, with alloy frame, Suntour chainwheel, Suntour forks and Shimano EZ Fire shifters retailing at £269.99. This has been a Bronx big seller.

Avocet

Seventies

THE PIRANHA range from Avocet covers 20, 22 and 24-inch wheeled bikes. Piranha's 200 model is built around a Tig welded Hi-tensile 'street' frame with top and down tube gussets. Hot forged one-piece ranks power a 36-tooth chainring and 16-tooth freewheel. The wheels should hold up to a bit of stick being built with 48 spokes, both on 14 mm axles. Alloy V-brakes link up to two finger levers. The saddle carries extra padding on the front and rear to take all the scrapes, while two stunt pegs are supplied for kids wanting to give 'backies'. The Piranha Twenty Four takes on a few upgrades, notably three-piece cranks measuring 170mm. The bike runs on the same gearing and a similar wheel set up, just four inches larger. 630mm bars combined with an alloy Ahead headset make up the steering.

WITH KIDS hooked on all forms of freestyle and BMX racing, Seventies has a number of brands to satisfy dealer needs. One is Kink, now in its third year in the complete bike business. The

NORCO is known for cutting-edge products and innovative bicycle designs. In-house engineering, research and development, and meticulous attention to detail ensure that Norco bikes meet rigorous standards for performance and durability. What’s more, Norco’s product managers are as passionate about

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GELERT'S debut range of 'signature' series models is featured in the distributor's launch brochure 2009 available to dealers now. Gelert's John Malcolm told BikeBiz: "We have carefully chosen our manufacturing partner, who has many years of dedicated high-quality manufacturing experience and sophisticated up-to-the-minute welding, painting and assembly processes, controlled by innovative managers with a quality control programme second to none."

Kink 2010 range is the first of the core brands to launch in the market and they're offering a great combination of price, spec and design with a range of ten bikes retailing between £250 to £699. These are available with dealer margins up to 37 per cent. Secondly, Subrosa throws the rule book out the window. When it was all about colours, the brand launched a highly successful range in black and white only. This year sees Subrosa refining its range to ten bikes and introducing red as a 'guest' colour on some of the models. This year also sees Subrosa's first entry into the fixed gear market and the bike will come with a pivotal seat and post.

Pictured here is the Aquilla available from £349.00. The super smooth riding unisex step–thru geometry, combined with a strong aluminium frame, smooth tyres, a comfortable saddle and front suspension forks offer customers a bike ideal for towpatch rides.

Contacts: Avocet: 0161 727 8608 www.avocetsports.com Bronx: 01494 529980 www.bronxcycles.com Dawes: 0121 748 8050 www.dawescycles.com Gelert: 0208 459 9970 www.gelert.com Cannondale: 02380 391 602 www.cannondale.com Hot Wheels: 01202 732288 www.hot-wheels.co.uk

Dawes PROBABLY best known for its touring and trekking bikes, the 2009 range from the Birmingham-based company has many great looking and great value models in its line-up. The Red Feather is a city bike offering a lightweight alloy low step frame, 26-inch wheels and full mudguards. For the low maintenance benefits of hub gears then the Harlem and Geneva models come in both gents and ladies alloy frames and are fitted with full mudguards and a rack. The Geneva also has a dynamo front light, LED rear and a horseshoe frame lock.

Fisher Outdoor

Gelert

cycling as they are about the products they design; they are racers, dirt jumpers, freeriders, BMXers and roadies who bring with them a diverse industry background from retail sales to manufacturing to competition. The latest downhill heavy

For classic styling the Heritage range is your first stopping point with steel frames and retro paint finishes catering for that city chic look. To view the full Dawes range online, including a new budget range called Barrosa, visit www.dawescycles.com or for more details call its sales office on 0121 7488050.

Eurobike: 01332 774796 www.eurobike.uk.com Raleigh: 01773 532600 www.raleigh.co.uk Ison: 01223 213800 www.ison-distribution.com Montague: 01730 711 140 www.montague-uk.com GoCycle: 07921 337 162 www.gocycle.com Seventies: 0845 3103670 www.seventies.co.uk

hitter, the Atomik, has been developed to tackle some of the rougher routes down a mountain, utlising a lower shock position built into a frame designed purely around strength, although it’s no heavyweight. It’s well-specced with Boxxer forks, a Funn direct mount stem and E-13’s LG-1 chainguide, as well as both SRAM SX-5 and X-7 components. Retail price is £1,999.

Madison: 0208 385 3385 www.madisonb2b.co.uk Brompton: 020 8232 8484 www.brompton.co.uk Paligap: 01179 825500 www.paligapltd.co.uk Fisher Outdoor: 01727 798345 www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk

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SECTOR GUIDE EPOS

Register

revolution Citrus Lime CITRUS LIME has created a range of ‘Clicks and Mortar’ solutions for the retail market tailored specifically for the bike market. MD Neil McQuillan says: “Now more than ever retailers need to be running a tight ship, providing excellent customer service, keeping a close eye on their stock position, taking every opportunity to up-sell and making sure that they meet the needs of their customers first time, every time.” Lime’s offerings will help dealers do just that, according to McQuillan: “Epos is a key tool in achieving this. It’s not just about being

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Keeping track of cash and product is only half the story of what modern technology can do to assist bike specialist retailers. Jonathon Harker takes a look at some of the latest EPOS and ecommerce systems and how they can revolutionise High Street bicycle businesses…

Abacus able to serve customers quickly at the till, it’s having a complete overview of your trading position – how much stock you hold and how quickly is it moving? Epos can help retailers to reduce the amount of capital tied up in slow-moving stock and make sure that they don’t lose sales with stock-outs.” The core of Citrus-Lime’s offering is Microsoft’s RMS Epos system – a stable, secure and scaleable Epos and Stock Control system. Modules can be bolted on, including one for the workshop which cuts down the amount of management time the workshop takes up, with tools to run it efficiently and profitably. Also available is the Supplier Integration Module – saving time, improving profitability and reducing overheads. Citrus Lime also offers Integrated Ecommerce Websites for dealers that integrate with its Epos solutions, all providing essential assistance with running those all-important ‘Clicks and Motar’ retail businesses. 0845 603 9254 www.citrus-retail.com

DEVELOPED over 20 years, Abacus Business Software can handle stock over multiple locations and features a fully integrated online shop/ecommerce website. The system also boasts full bar code support and operation, and control at sales order point, or POS. Other key features include purchase order processing, sales order processing, quotation and kit selling, customer tracking and all-important contact management for keeping tabs on customers and suppliers.

Abacus takes care of a wide variety of essential business procedures, including tracking profit and loss and balance sheets, as well as looking to the future with stock forecasting based on best sellers and slow movers. Management reports help owners to keep track of the business and a cunning feature allows for portable stock checking and updates. It can even handle the likes of marketing through email shots and text messages. Abacus is currently based in over 150 cycle shops. 0151 342 9799 www.abacusonline.net

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The main features of the system are:-

RETAILER SOLUTIONS

ABACUS BUSINESS SOFTWARE Abacus has been developed over 20 years and has a reputation for stability, performance and flexible and comprehensive functionality. Although the product has sold very well in the retail sector it has also been used by accountants and distribution companies. Abacus has over 150 cycle shop installations throughout the UK. The software is fully multi-user and multi-company. Running on Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

•Effective handling of stock – multi-location •Fully integrated online shop/e-commerce website •Full bar code support & operation •Control at sales order/POS •Purchase order processing •Sales order processing •Quotation & kit selling •Customer tracking & contact management •Advance payment/Christmas club •Integrated accounts with Euro and full multi currency support •Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet &Trail Balance •Stock forecasting, best sellers & slow movers reporting •Management reports •Trade Counter Facility •Portable stock checking & update •Batch update between branches •Live link operation between branches •Powerful marketing & direct mail facility •Workshop module with job tracking •Lost sales reporting •Customer Loyalty schemes •Customer order tracking •Graphic/catalogue support “We have been with •SMS Text Message Abacus since about 1989 now and during that time have seen our •Warehouse module business grow by an average 25% per •WEB links year. This is partly because Abacus helps •Email shots us by looking after many routine “The system works well, we wouldn’t want to consider running the business without it." Mike Eric Burgess Cycles Burnley

“We have been using the Abacus system since its inception in 1992. The on going developments have created a package which quite frankly we could not live without. At last we are gaining control of our business. If I were to be honest- Before Abacus the business was running me.” Bryn Williams Nicholsons Cyclelife, Dundee

stockordering tasks that we would ordinarily have to do manually, leaving us free to get on with running the shop and planning for the future. There are still many parts of Abacus that we are yet to use but as a business we would be lost without it.” Dave Quinn The Bike Factory, Chester

We have only just started with Abacus and already we don`t know how we managed without it. We cant recommend Abacus enough Alex Pink Roy Pink Cycles Newport Pagnell

"Probably the most cost effective all in one solution available on the market today. With constant improvements via regular upgrades the Abacus Software just gets better and better. A real business orientated solution and support package. "We have UK Mobility is pleased to been using the Abacus recommend Abacus." system for the last 6 years and have Steve O’Halloran grown with it. The latest 32-bit incarnation UK Mobility, is a joy to work with and the new Abacus Kent management team are flexible and genuine. The feedback that we give as a user is both “Having used Abacus welcomed and promptly acted upon and the results “Cyclesense have for seven years, virtually of theUser Group meetings are immediately been using Abacus for a trouble free, upgrading to the new noticeable in the frequent system updates. number of years and the support and 32 bit system has given welcome We have been able to reduce our developments from Nick and, speed & new features. stock holding by almost 30% more recently, Duncan & Bill Listening to their customers through user and significantly increase sales at the have been tremendous. groups, and now accelerating the same time. The workshop system The upgrades this year have been development of the software, puts is a godsend, increased efficiency superb and we are looking forward Abacus in a leading position as an and profitability here alone more to getting even more benefits EPOS supplier to the cycle industry.” than justifies the system costs." from the system.” Rob Turner Steve Coram David Stainthorpe Ben Hayward Cycles, Cycle Logic, Helston Cyclesense, Cambridge Tadcaster.

Abacus Online: PO Box 79, Heswall, Wirral, CH61 1WF Tel: 0151 342 9799 Fax: 0151 342 9433 Email: sales@abacusonline.net Web: www.abacusonline.net

What our customers say about us:

EPOS and website solutions


SECTOR GUIDE EPOS

Xsilva (Via Square) XSILVA’S RETAIL-SPECIFIC LightSpeed software is a next generation retail Point of Sales tool built exclusively for the Mac and designed expressly to accelerate growing small businesses and improve the efficiency of larger organisations – even for multi-sites. The clever software provides stores with a full set of straightforward tools that make it easy to operate and track all aspects of a cycle retailer’s business.

Using an easy-to-learn iTunes-like browser, it uses an innovative POS interface designed for high-speed, errorfree checkout. A Web Store integrated module (sold separately) takes business online, downloading orders into the software. This functionality is built on a robust multi-user database, scaling to satisfy the needs of your business. 0845 873 8245 www.ghc.co.uk/lightspeed

Lightspeed’s intuitive iTunes-like interface is simple and easy-to-learn. It is currently used in many stores in the UK, including Apple reseller outlets

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Actinic ACTINIC’S EPOS is a range of electronic POS hardware and software ideal for smaller retailers and chains providing simplicity and efficiency at the touch of a button, according to the company. Networked systems also link to the Actinic Business ecommerce application, to offer a complete multichannel sales solution. The Actinic Epos electronic till software is at the heart of the system and runs on a user-friendly Windows PC or PC-based till linked to a Microsoft Access or SQL Server database. It integrates with standard Epos peripherals including cash drawer, barcode scanner, customer pole display, touch screen and receipt printer to offer a complete in-store checkout and stock control system. Moreover the system has been designed to grow with businesses and is equally reliable from a single till up to multiple sales points across a chain of outlets. Electronic stock control reduces capital tied up in slow-moving stock and helps eliminate sales lost through stock-outs. Sophisticated merchandising features help maximise

revenue through the use of special promotions and discounts. Powerful reporting facilities give retailers far greater control on their business. And advanced security features reduce opportunities for theft and fraud. Actinic’s Epos software starts at £399, while complete till systems including hardware start from £1,449. The Epos Solo is a low-cost singletill system priced at £399 (plus VAT). The Actinic Epos Network is a networkready version supporting multiple tills, retailing at £799 (plus VAT). Finally, the Actinic Epos Head Office provides head office functionality for businesses with multiple stores all for £1500 (plus VAT). 0845 129 4800 www.actinic.co.uk

BIKEBIZ JUNE 47


FEATURES PLANNER

GREEN PROFILE: Ultrakleen Sports Can you give us some background to the company? Ultrakleen Sports supplies ultrasonic machines to the manufacturing industry and has now branched out into sports equipment. We currently provide machines for scuba diving, cycling, skating and golf. Can you tell us about your product range? Ultrasonics are high frequency sound waves that create powerful bubbles in water that implode on contact with solid surfaces and drive dirt away. We supply multiple size ultrasonic baths. The small versions can clean a part at a time and are perfect for small workshops, clubs and enthusiasts. The medium sized baths can clean multiple parts at a time and are ideal for small/medium workshops. The large version can basically clean all drive train components at

once and is a perfect addition for the busy workshop. Can you explain how your products are green? We use the power of ultrasonics together with mild biodegrable degreasers (which are EU

“Our products reduce cleaning time, cut costs and increase productivity for bike workshops.” certified) to get parts cleaned. No petro-chemicals and no CFCs are required. In addition the cleaning solution is concentrated and is diluted with water by the client to reduce both transport and packaging. Why should bike retailers stock your product?

Firstly, it is a labour saving device for workshops. Parts are removed from the bike and placed in the ultrasonic bath which does the cleaning in under five minutes. As it saves in labour it reduces costs, increases productivity and allows for a better service for the customer. Our products have been tried and tested on the material used on bicycles and they are safe to use on soft metals such as aluminium, carbon fibres, steel and plastics. Will you be creating any more green products for the trade? We have just released a readyto-use emulsifying degreaser spray. This is to be used as a pre-wash for parts with old dry grease before they are put in the ultrasonic bath, but can also be sold to customers as a degreaser. Again it is fully biodegradable.

Editorial Planner

Contact: Ninetyfive Limited (Trading as Ultrakleen Sports) 74 Winchester Road, Twickenham, TW1 1LB www.ultrakleensports.com t: 0845 474 7786 email: enquiries@ultrakleensports.com

AUGUST 2009  Bicycle Lighting  Bicycle Carrier Racks Editorial Deadline: July 13th Advertising Deadline: July 14th

SEPTEMBER 2009  Children’s Bikes and Accessories  Cycle Show Preview Editorial Deadline: Aug 13th Advertising Deadline: Aug 14th

OCTOBER 2009  Clothing and Accessories Editorial Deadline: Sept 14th Advertising Deadline: Sept 15th

NOVEMBER 2009  Stocking fillers  Trailers and Trailer Bikes Editorial Deadline: Oct 15th Advertising Deadline: Oct 16th

DECEMBER 2009

JULY 2009

 Core Bike Preview  Tyres, Wheels and Pumps Editorial Deadline: Nov 10th Advertising Deadline: Nov 11th

 BMX  CYCLE COMPUTERS

JANUARY 2010

Editorial Deadline: June 15th 2009

Advertising Deadline: June 16th 2009

To advertise call Carly Bailey on +44 (0) 1992 535647, or email her at carly.bailey@intentmedia.co.uk For editorial contact Jonathon Harker on +44 (0) 1992 535646, or email him at jonathon.harker@intentmedia.co.uk

48 BIKEBIZ JUNE

 Core Bike  Customisation  Oils, Cleaners and Tools Editorial Deadline: TBC Advertising Deadline: TBC

FEBRUARY 2010  IceBike  Helmets  Frames, Forks and Gears Editorial Deadline: TBC Advertising Deadline: TBC

MARCH 2010  Media and Magazine Analysis  Electric Bikes  Folding Bikes Editorial Deadline: TBC Advertising Deadline: TBC BIKEBIZ.COM


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

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

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

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

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

BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE CONTACTS BIKES & ACCESSORIES Paligap Madison

01179 823 673 01908 326000

BMX PARTS AND ACCESSORIES Seventies 0845 310 3670 COMPONENTS USE Ltd Bob Elliot & Co Ltd Pace Cycles Limited Centristore The Cycle Division Buff EPOS Abacus Citrus Lime FOLDING BIKES Montague

01798 344 477 01772 459 887 01723 867919 07789 075 818 0845 0508 500 01707 852 244

0870 442 8240 0845 603 9254

01730 711 140

paligapltd.co.uk madisonb2b.co.uk

seventies.co.uk

www.use1.com bob-elliot.co.uk pacecycles.com in2dust.co.uk thecycledivision.com buffwear.co.uk

abacusonline.net citrus-retail.com

01482 224007

peter.dobbs@artyfaxltd.co.uk

RACKS Pendle Engineering Ltd Maxx Raxx Trading Ltd

01282 699 555 0845 230 3799

pendle-bike.co.uk maxxraxx.co.uk

RESPRAYS & REPAIRS Argos

0117 972 4730

argoscycles.com

SALES TRAINING Colin Rees

07786 262 460

talkbiz@live.co.uk

TRAINING SERVICES Aylesbury Training Group The Bike Doctor

0161 230 6241 07786 636771

atg-training.co.uk the-bike-doctor.co.uk

WATER BOTTLES Wildoo Ltd Bottlestore

08709 771 550 0845 602 9267

wildoo.co.uk bottlesport.com

WEBSITE SERVICES I-Bikeshop.com Simple eshop

01709 511766 0116 267 5145

I-bikeshop.com simpleeshop.com

montague-uk.com

INSURANCE Cycleguard Insurance

02476 851027

cycleguard.co.uk/bikebiz

LIGHTING Exposure Lights

01798 344 477

exposurelights.com

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PRINTING SERVICES Peter Dobbs

BIKEBIZ JUNE 49


BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE BIKES AND ACCESSORIES

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Your one stop for everything BMX UK’s largest selection of core BMX at the highest dealer margins.

Call our sales team today and start making more money!

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COMPONENTS

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BIKEBIZ JUNE 51


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52 BIKEBIZ JUNE

COMPONENTS

EPOS

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INSURANCE

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BIKEBIZ JUNE 53


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RACKS

RESPRAYS AND REPAIRS

TRAINING SERVICES

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BIKEBIZ JUNE 55


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COMPANY PROFILE JIM GRIFFITHS, Director, Montague Bicycles Can you give us a brief history of Montague Bicycles? Swissbike is a part of Montague Bikes and has been specifically developed to give the range we offer a more leisure and lifestyle appeal. It also moves us on from the original military heritage, though that will be retained with models like the Paratrooper and the new Tora. The Swissbike branding has really taken off in the last six months or so and is the focus of most enquiries we receive. Continued interest from the emergency services means we need to focus on one brand for the future. You received plenty of praise at the Gadget Show. Tell us about that: Being featured on the cult-viewing TV show late last year was a real boon and the interest and enquiries from that appearance continue to this day. We followed that up with a stand at The Gadget Show Live in April and had 30,000 people looking at the bikes over three days, so interest in the brand is at an all-time high for us right now. The folding market has taken off in recent years in the city. Is there a

56 BIKEBIZ JUNE

TEL: 01730 711140 WEB: www.montague-uk.com market for folders that are capable of going off-road? Most definitely. Our bikes were designed for that market and are ideal for anyone who wants to get out into the countryside on a bike. Many people struggle with bike-racks or simply want the security of leaving their bike inside their vehicle when they’re not riding, so our foldable mountain bikes fit this niche extremely well. We don’t try and compete with the traditional small-wheeled folders for the core commuter market, but we do now have a lot of customers using our bikes for ‘park and ride’ commuting. How’s business? Business is good. We’re now into our second year as the UK distributor of Swissbike and Montague. Despite all the economic doom and gloom, we’re finding the picture is nowhere near as bad as the media would like to paint it. Are there any plans for expansion? We are lucky to already be in quite large premises, with room for planned expansion, so the main aim is to bring on some dedicated people to look after

the emergency response and corporate sectors. That’s an area where we see a great future for our bikes. Are you seeking UK dealers? Yes, we get calls and emails daily from people asking where they can see, try and buy in-store and we simply haven’t had the time to develop the dealer network fully as yet. We are particularly keen to find outlets in the South-West, central London, the Midlands, the North, Scotland and all parts of Ireland. Can you tell us a bit about the fold? The fold is really simple; just two quickreleases and you’re done. With practice it takes about 30 seconds. The front wheel comes out first (secured with a CLIX skewer), then undo a second Q/R on the frame and the whole bike folds in half. There are no cut frame tubes so, most importantly, no hinges, which means the core strength of our frames is not compromised by the fold. Once folded, the bike fits into our large nylon carry-bag and, at approximately 13kg, is very easy to carry with the supplied shoulder strap.

“Business is good. Despite all the doom and gloom, we’re finding the picture is nowhere near as bad as the media paints it.” Jim Griffiths, Montague

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NEW PRODUCTS

New gear

Pronghorn debuts in the UK, while Campagnolo introduces the 11-speed Athena group...

RockShox Fisher Outdoor 01727 798345

Kid Cool Gelert 0208 459 9970

Nalini Chicken Cyclekit 01525 381347

THE 2010 Revelation has undergone several changes in the past year and will now carry an increased 150mm travel, as well as an all-new chassis. The new lower legs feature 'Power Bulges' that add stiffness and improve the bushing’s durability. The popular 20mm Maxle Lite thru axle option provides a rigid support for an already tough fork. The Ario rear shock, first introduced in 2005, has also undergone a revamp, gaining a redesigned chassis and entirely new internals. Half-inch hard anodized three-piece captured mounting hardware feature, as seen on the Monarch and Vivid shocks.

THE LATEST KidCool and Xcool children's bike designs have landed with Gelert. These range from 12-inch wooden balance bikes for toddlers learning to roll and then a variety of sizes, including 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20-inch bikes, to cover kids as they grow and learn to pedal. All designs are available in both boys and girls versions and are in stock now. The 20inch BMX available for boys retails at £99.99. The wooden balance bikes are cut from a sustainable wood source and feature an adjustable saddle height, EVA wheels and tyres, as well as a variety of colours to suit all kids. Retail price is £49.99.

ONE OF Nalini’s first garments available in the UK is the Argentine jersey. The ultra light item is built from high-tech moisture transporting polyester fibre 'Mantodry'. A short zipper features, while the wearer has three pockets in which to hold on-the-road snacks. Also from Nalini and made in Italy, the Corniola bib short is one of the higher value items in the range. The garment carries Nalini's own proven PTNNAT chamois, white mesh braces to keep you cool, and extremely lightweight lycra fabric blend. Chicken Cyclekit has good stocks at present and welcomes enquiries from interested dealers.

Pronghorn www.proghornracing.dk 0871 231 9966

Campagnolo Athena 11-speed Jim Walker 08707 528777

DANISH BRAND Pronghorn has just debuted in the UK and is now seeking dealers. The products are aimed at performance cyclists and designed by one of the world’s top bike designers. The brand's frames are built from lightweight custom-drawn aluminium and anodized for strength. A carbon XC race frame, the PR6 SW, is also available and carries a few of Pronghorn's own patented technologies, including Latex hosing molding as opposed to plastic. This results in a smoother finish, lowering stress and making the frame feel incredibly rigid, even for carbon.

CAMPAGNOLO has added another 11-speed groupset to its catalogue, the Athena. The 11-speed rear derailleur has an aluminium outer plate and lightened rollers coated with rubber designed to dampen vibrations. As a result of Ultra Shift 'parrallelogram geometry’, the unit is stiff and has high shift accuracy. Moving on to the front derailleur, a Z-shape internal arm provides a better leverage and greater rigidity, thus providing a firm shift on demand. The steel cage used is also surface treated to prevent rust taking hold. Athena's Ergopower Ultra Shift carbon control levers has perhaps the longest set of upgrades to boast. The lever reach has been shortened too for enhanced comfort, particularly for those with smaller hands. The 11-speed cassette is precision engineered, with teeth designed around the Chorus chain shape. Its aluminium body has received a nickel-chrome treatment making for longer life and lower wear. The Ultra-Torque crankset is available in both a carbon build and standard aluminium. Both are of similar design and offer high stiffness for efficient transmission. UltraShift chainrings have an asymmetric tooth profile on the inner chainrings, offering slick shifting. An Ultra Torque bottom bracket features on both. Prices are still to be confirmed, but delivery should start in July.

BIKEBIZ.COM

BIKEBIZ JUNE 57


NUMBER CRUNCHING

Statistically

speaking

While statistics are in frustratingly short supply across the bicycle industry, there is still a selection of facts and figures available that will impact on the trade in one way or another. In this month’s round-up BikeBiz finds that bike sales have not only risen significantly, but are due to receive a boost from a hot summer...

35%

2,083

How much the reaction time of a driver is slowed by texting – more than the 12 per cent slowing of reaction time found in drivers who are slightly above the alcohol driving limit

The number of pedestrians hit by cars on pavements in 2007. By contrast 57 cyclists hit pedestrians on pavements in 2007, while HGVs took out 137

(Source: RAC Foundation)

(Source: DfT.gov)

4.4% The increase in retail footfall in April 2009, compared with April 2008 (Source: The Retail Bulletin)

50% The chance of temperatures in the UK being above average during summer 2009 (Source: The Met Office)

£0.27

BILLION

How much mandatory helmet use would cost the UK, according to a mathematical model put together by Piet de Jong at Macquarie University, Sydney. Compulsory helmets were estimated to cost US healthcare authorities US $4.8 billion – all as a result of the knock-on decrease in cycling numbers (Source: New Scientist)

The increase of sales in April, compared like-for-like with April 2008, for over half of the bike dealers surveyed by the ACT (Source: ACT)

8% BIKEBIZ.COM

The growth in the number of pupils cycling to school (from four per cent) in 2008. 49 per cent of pupils surveyed by Sustrans say they would prefer to cycle to school than be driven (Source: Sustrans)

Pic © BBC News

20%

2,800,000 The number of views Inspire Bicycles’ video of trials rider Danny MacAskill (see p16) garnered in just 10 days online. The video was rated near 20,000 times and notched up over 8,000 comments in the same period (Source: YouTube)

BIKEBIZ JUNE 59


LETTERS PAGE

BikeBiz is keen to publish your opinions, whether they’re from letters, emails or via BikeBiz.com... Mail to: Saxon House, 6A St. Andrews Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG14 1JA

Email: jonathon.harker@ intentmedia.co.uk

STAR LETTER

Diversify to optimise online trade...

The mobile menace is still out there… I’M DISMAYED to read of the cancellation of several UK road races due to police concerns. It makes no sense to ban cycle racing from public roads on account of it being dangerous. It’s not the cyclists who are dangerous and irresponsible, but rather the lunatic element of drivers who have no respect for safety and the rules of the road. For every cycle race competitor that ignores the Highway Code – sometimes inadvertently, sometimes unavoidably, sometimes forced by the demands of all-out competitiveness – a hundred, if not a thousand drivers surely ignore it, and in a far more life threatening manner – on account of them being shielded in big lumps of metal. Instead of the police looking out for law breaking

racing cyclists, why aren’t they looking for law breaking drivers? The speed freaks and mobile phone menaces, who as we all know, are on their best behaviour when they see a police car, yet are on their worst behaviour when they have us alone on quiet roads. The lunatic drivers on our roads, and the likes of Jeremy Clarkson and Nigel Havers will be elated when they hear of cycle race bans. If these people win the day, what chance for the likes of obesity, congestion and global warming? What chance for the youngsters who want to become pro bike riders? What effect on the cycle industry? Get online and sign: http://petitions.number10.gov. uk/mobilemenaceban/ Allan Ramsay, RoadPeace

Star Letter Whether it’s a hand-written, sent-throughthe-post letter, email or a comment made on the BikeBiz forum, the best letter of the month wins a prize from Oxford Products. This month the lucky winner will receive six of the most popular designs from Oxford's range of Comfy (3 pack) microfibre neckwarmers.

60 BIKEBIZ JUNE

AS A PROVIDER of managed EPoS and e-commerce solutions to thousands of store-based users and hundreds of web-based retailers, we’re in a position to see precisely how our clients’ businesses are faring in these economically challenging times. An interesting trend is emerging. As is widely acknowledged, online and multi-channel businesses are generally doing better than their store-only peers. However, what we are observing is nuanced. It’s clear to us that the greatest success is coming not from ‘pure play’ online retailers that sell headline items, but from companies who sell spare parts, add-ons and support services.

If you are selling mainstream products, even leading brands or those with particular cachet, competition is very tough. This is less the case for ancillary products – often specialist items. In the world of bike retailing, the ones who seem to be performing best are those selling spare parts and upgrade items that are more difficult to obtain. The market also seems to be less price-sensitive. There’s no doubt that the recession is encouraging consumers to recycle, repair or reuse. Add to that a green retailing agenda that is starting to resonate with more and more of us, and you end up with customers who are slowly turning their back on the

throw-away economy. As people are more prepared to mend or to upgrade what they have already, ‘second tier’ retailers are likely to do better than their ‘first tier’ peers. We’re seeing our clients in this ‘second tier’ work really hard on their websites, putting time into getting good product images loaded and making them easy to navigate. Their field of operation is frequently not well optimised for search engines, so they have to work extra hard on their own promotion. Their reward seems to be coming in sales that generate not only high margins, but also repeat business. Ian Tomlinson Managing Director, Cybertill

Cooking oil for cables? CEREDIGION County Council has recently published an A4 brochure called Get Cycling Ceredigion with the help of the Company of Cyclists in York. It is being distributed free-ofcharge to local residents and I understand similar publications have also been produced for other UK local authorities over the past five years or so. I’m writing to express my concern that this otherwise excellent publication contains one piece of very bad, and potentially dangerous, advice – that ‘basic replacement (brake) cables are fine – run a little oil over them before installing – even cooking oil will do.’ I wrote to the County in January, drawing its attention to this error. They, in turn, contacted the Company of Cyclists and I have received a reply. A quotation from the Company of Cyclists says that they will remove this advice

from future Get Cycling publications, but also that ‘we do not agree that the reference to cooking oil presents a risk.’ I disagree with this assertion, as do other engineers whose opinions I have sought. There is a risk that riders who follow this advice may not be able to operate their brakes properly. And my fears aren’t merely academic as I have personally witnessed the seizing-up of

equipment that was incorrectly ‘lubricated’ with cooking oil. Over time, cooking oil becomes thick and sticky. Used on brake cables, the brakes would become progressively harder to operate and would become reluctant to return fully under their normal spring tension. Also, most cooking oil solidifies in very cold weather. There seems to be a serious difference of opinion between my experience and that of the experts which the Company of Cyclists has called upon. What do other engineers and mechanics in the trade think? Finally, I must emphasise that, apart from this one piece of bad advice, Get Cycling Ceredigion is an excellent publication, and I applaud the good work done by the Company of Cyclists in encouraging people onto bikes. Chris Bell, Highpath Engineering

BIKEBIZ.COM


OFF THE RECORD

OFF THE RECORD

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

Dahon selling apartments? X-byke rider goes BELGIAN REAL estate agency, proud owner of a trendy for world record Euro-Domus has been having folder with a lifestyletrouble selling apartments in the current economic climate. That was until a partnership with Dahon changed things. Euro-Domus CEO Michel Gilbert came up with a unique campaign to sell flats in two apartment buildings, by including a Dahon Curve D3 folding bike in the price as an integrated ‘mobility gift’ for every new owner. Starting at just 100,000 euros, buyers become a

matching, en suite (studio) parking area. The result? A resounding success, as Gilbert has already sold more than 50 per cent of the bike apartment combos. What's more, to make sure that buyers’ new twowheeled folders are kept in top running condition, EuroDomus has arranged for assembly and maintenance of the bikes to be taken care of by a local independent dealer.

AT 66 YEARS of age, South Gloucestershire resident Eddie Sedgemore is no stranger to a challenge, and later this year he will set out with the aim of achieving his second Guinness World Record. With support from Bath-based company Powabyke, Eddie is looking to break the existing record for the longest journey on a motorized bicycle which currently stands at 1,654.6 miles, and will be raising money

for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) at the same time. Sedgemore will travel to the key compass points of Lands End and 'The Lizard' in Cornwall, Dunnet Head in Scotland, and Lowestoft in Suffolk. This will entail visiting the northern, southern, eastern and western extremes of the UK mainland. Eddie and Powabyke have calculated that his route will take him over the 1,655 miles

needed to set a new world record. Eddie will be travelling on a Powabyke X-byke which has a range of approximately 10 to 15 miles per charge, depending on the landscape and conditions. He will also be able to pedal to increase his range.

Gerstein set to sell his cycle art in the UK for the first time CYCLE ARTIST David Gerstein is set to bring his unique cycle wall sculptures to the UK for the first time. Boasting Lance Armstrong among his ‘collector’ customers, the artist has granted the Catto Gallery in

London distribution rights to his work. Armstrong even commissioned the Israelborn artist to construct a piece depicting 51 cyclists one for each of his career tournament victories. What happens if he wins another?

The Catto in London is now pitching the work at bicycle distributors and retailers. Iain Barrett, director of the Catto, said: “Gerstein has an international reputation, so it’s great to

be able to bring his work to the UK. The sculptures would make an eyecatching addition to any bike company’s boardroom or reception area.” To find out more visit http://catto.co.uk

quote

unquote “There is in fact good evidence that cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are, and the same applies for walking. For pedestrians and cyclists there really is “safety in numbers”. For instance, there has been a 91 per cent increase in cycling on London's main roads since 2000, with a 33 per cent reduction in cyclist casualties over the same period.” CTC Chair David Robinson, The Guardian, April 29th

BIKEBIZ.COM

“What confuses me more than anything is the admonition that these spokes are intended for racing and 'light street'. What is 'light street,' exactly? No grinding? What about 360s? Is it a weight thing? I suppose the best way to figure it out is to build a wheel with these spokes. If you don't break them, congratulations, you're riding light street.” SPRFLS blog, May 1st “While I'm quite happy to queue up behind somebody

Sponsored by the brands of Moore Large 01332 274252 at an intersection, I have never, ever had somebody stop behind me. If you're waiting, someone will pull up ahead of you. If a third person comes, they'll roll ahead and stop in front of the second person. On a busy day, this accumulation results in sort of a shoal of cyclists which juts out into the middle of the street like a sandbar of idiocy.” BikeSnob NYC, May 13th “I was just being cautious as I haven't passed the cycling proficiency test. My personal view would be concern if anything happens to me while on the bike and it hasn't been risk-assessed

or insured. In this day and age you have to cover all bases. It's the way of the world.” PC Tony Cobban explaining why he wouldn't sit aboard a bicycle for a photocall, Manchester Evening News, May 6th “If the article convinces just one rider to wear a helmet then it's totally worth it as I would hate for a fellow rider to have to go through what I have…” Nik Ford talking to Ride BMX magazine about an accident which saw him 'dead' for three hours. May 11th.

“My initial feeling of testing the trailer was terror. I needed a bit of help to assemble it, but once I got going I discovered that the trailer was light, moved well with the bike and was easy to control.” Cheryl Bevan reviewing use of a bike trailer for bikebelles.org.uk, May 11th “It would be easy for a foreigner to think that the ‘real Copenhagen’ is probably a completely different thing, but really, this is how it is day-to-day. Full of bikes.” Copenhagen Cycle Chic, May 14th

BIKEBIZ JUNE 61


OFF THE RECORD

SPOKES

IN THE SADDLE

Profit is not a dirty word As Westminster reels in scandal over dubious expenses, the rest of us have real business to get on with. Spokesman calculates the costs… WRITING THIS in early May with the wind howling through the office, one starts to wonder if summer will consist of more than three days this year. So far sales have been steady, but without sunshine the impulse purchases of cycles will lay dormant in the garages and sheds – which won’t help the 'add-on' or repair trade. Lead times seem to be all over the place at the moment. It is difficult to know if the Taiwan factories are busy or just lack funding. Many small builders have gone, and apart from the bigger factories, many of the frame and wheel building sheds have closed. The dollar has improved slightly, but raw material seems to creep up on each invoice, so prices will stay on par this year. I believe it will be a good few years when we’ll we see the dollar match old rates of 2008 at $1.80 to the pound. With the Euro also bad for exchange, I can’t see a start up of European companies being able to penetrate Far Eastern prices or even having the capability. Transporting product from Italy is more expensive than bringing in containers from Taiwan.  The recent news of MPs fiddling expenses beggars belief over the huge claims that have been made, from dry cleaning to the purchase of a tractor. To those reps out on the road, are you fiddling mileage to get free miles for the family weekend? Many years ago, when we still manufactured bikes in this country, I had a call from my MD telling me the books would be closing on a certain child’s bike for the Christmas market. I shot over to the Isle of Wight to sell my quota before deadline. Leaving the island with a 200-mile drive home and with my quota sold I treated myself to a slap-up meal. Weeks later the MD called me into the office to explain the pricey meal. Explaining that I had left the island after 5pm, and having sold more than a further 50 of said bike, I deserved a good meal before the drive home. He said okay and paid the £14 meal. Two months later the company went into liquidation. I never did get my expenses paid.  After following the Tour de France last year it became clear that our roads are terrible compared to even

Tell us about your business background: I’m a video editor, so my business experience is outside the bike industry. Like most folk though I know what I like, and thought I could do better. This experience, a group of incredibly talented contributors and journalmates, and a willingness to climb a steep learning curve haven’t let me down yet.

“No multiple selling food, clothes or car accessories will ever compete with a specialist, who understands the product.” country lanes in France. It would seem they spend their tax collections on their own country, rather than fighting other nations’ wars, as we seem to.  It is interesting that Halfords has dropped the name Bike Hut and Republic. I said last year that whoever thought up the name had to be nuts. It’s a terrible name, just reminds me of third-class bikes, with thirdworld manufacturing. No doubt they eventually agreed. No multiple selling food, clothes, or car accessories will ever compete with a specialist, who understand the product and provide great service. Those shops which have put effort into the female side of the market will be way ahead of anything Halfords will be able to offer. As this credit crunch continues to bite, the cycle industry has to go from strength-to-strength, never falling back to those silly price reductions that never enhanced the profit margins. Profit is not a dirty word, it pays the bills.

Production Executive: Abby Fanger Abigail.Fanger@intentmedia.co.uk

Editor: Jonathon Harker Jonathon.Harker@intentmedia.co.uk

Design: Kelly Styles Kelly.Styles@intentmedia.co.uk

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62 BIKEBIZ JUNE

Editor, The Ride Journal What bikes do you own? My shed consists of a Dave Yates singlespeed hardtail, a resprayed Mercian fixed gear, a Trek 2100 road bike, a Santa Cruz Superlight, a Specialized Tricross Singlespeed CX bike and a Bontrager frame that needs building. And a Cannondale geared CX bike is on its way – all allowed by a very understanding wife in a small London flat.

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Philip Diprose

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What’s the biggest rush achievable on a bike? The joy of a narrow ribbon of singletrack, whipping through the trees with a few rooty bits and some drop offs can’t be beaten. Add mid-spring sunshine, good friends to chase and a cold beer after the ride. Bliss. What were you hoping to create with the Journal? An alternative to what was already being done well by other publications. Something that spoke about the rider and not about the bike. Now it is established, what are your goals? At the end of issue one we didn't know if there would be a second. Now that issue two is out I can confirm there will be a third. After that, who knows. The goal is always to show a side of cycling that seems underrepresented, the passion that flows through riders veins and the creative side that seems to go with it.

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Profile for Intent Media (now Newbay Media Europe)

BikeBiz Issue41, June 2009  

For everyone in the bike business

BikeBiz Issue41, June 2009  

For everyone in the bike business

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