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Issue 44 | September 2009





Together in electric dreams E-bike companies get serious and team up to form new trade body, the British Electric Bicycle Association By Jonathon Harker ONE OF the most promising segments in the bicycle industry – the electric bike sector – has received what could be its most significant boost yet: The creation of a new industry body that will, for the first time, look after the interests of the burgeoning business. The British Electric Bicycle Association (BEBA) has been formed by key manufacturers and distributors of electric bikes, including On Bike (representing E-Motion), Giant, Urban Mover, Ultra Motor, Moore Large (representing Izip), Dahon/Bicycle Association, Gepida and Wisper. Providing a unified voice for the electric bike industry, the association has four core values: improving the market; positive promotion; increasing electric two-wheeled transport use and fair business practice. BEBA will aim to create an environment where electric cycles can thrive, demonstrating how they meet consumer and Government demands for reduced emissions, congestion and transport costs. BEBA will address the reasons why some consumers don’t like riding, too. BEBA will also aim to increase the use of electric two-wheeled transport by breaking down barriers to cycle use, helping the sector to gain acceptance in Government policies and also make cycling more attractive to a broader customer base. Members will adhere to a code of practice protecting consumers and dealers.

ELECTRIC BICYCLES ARE GO: The e-bike sector gets a voice with the BEBA; Mark Loveridge, inset, explains what it means for e-bikes A spokesperson for the new body told BikeBiz: “Having noted a lack of consistency in service levels and quality of product provided to consumers and dealers, BEBA has been established to create an industry-wide standard. EDUCATION AND PR “The association will be a PR house to promote the use of electric cycles. Efforts will be focussed on educating consumers about their benefits, giving them an ‘industry stamp’ of recognition for meeting certain service commitments. BEBA will also inject confidence into the market to help manufacturers secure retailers and ultimately increase sales. “All members will work together as a unified voice to challenge law changes, campaign

for an increase in the C2W scheme and to introduce an electric cycle levy.” BEBA told BikeBiz that its collective voice will be a significant industry influencer and its members will have access to valuable business data – including market sales – without leaking sensitive information to competitors. UK POTENTIAL E-bikes have been thriving on the Continent, but their potential has yet to be fulfilled in the UK – something Urban Mover’s Mark Loveridge believes will change with BEBA. “We are very excited about the electric cycle industry in the UK,” he told BikeBiz. “BEBA will play a key role in growing the market organically with fair business practices that protect consumers and retailers.”

Overseas success for electric bikes can be replicated in Britain, according to Loveridge: “There has been huge growth in Europe and the UK is the next ‘hot’ market. There are many myths that make retailers nervous about electric cycles. We intend to educate consumers and retailers about how far the products have developed, the potential growth and to support them fully with training and the best sales practice.” BEBA member and Wispa Bikes’ David Miall added: “There is a massive, lucrative and quickly growing market simply waiting for IBDs to become involved in. I believe the first to embrace the sector will see excellent growth in turnover and profitability in 2010.” For more on the topic turn to page 12.

BB Awards: It could be you THE UK BICYCLE industry has spoken and nominated the best for the BikeBiz Awards 2009, which will be held in association with the Cycle Show as a live drinks reception event for the first time, on Thursday October 8th. Now the nominations have been collected and the industry-voted finalists for the BikeBiz Awards 2009 – officially partnered by CitrusLime and Cube – have been confirmed for the nine prizes. And who are the finalists? Turn to page 29 to see if you’ve made the list…








Madison gives BikeBiz a look at Genesis’ makeover and Mint brings a new BMX line to retail...






The firm talks Dahon, turnover and protecting IBDs from volatile prices

“Stifling innovation is bad news for all sectors of the bike biz. As in F1, innovation starts at the high-end and then trickles down.”




Trebling its size in five years and achieving 50 per cent growth this year is no mean feat. The company tells us how it was done...



You’ve nominated, we’ve listened, and now the finalists for the BikeBiz Awards 2009 have been confirmed. Find out more here...



We shine the spotlight on SRAM, take a look at its XX-rated new line-up and see how the firm’s product fared at the Tour de France 2009





Cinelli had argued for collective action but no other companies joined in and Cinelli was left to count the cost of a product – go-faster aero bar extensions – doomed to commercial failure. CAD design – and 15 years of advanced knowledge of what makes carbon tick – allows frames today to be amazingly light yet super-tough in all the right places. Now, why should a bike shop that doesn’t retail £8,000 machines care about such an organisation as GOCEM, formed by companies that supply Tour de France teams? Stifling innovation is bad news for all sectors of the bike biz. As in F1, innovations start at the high-end and trickle down. The UCI seems to have some notion that bikes were perfect in the 1960s and so anything that tampers with this ideal is suspect. Road bikes, that is. The UCI is strangely quiet about MTBs. Many of mountain biking’s biggest innovations – suspension, for instance – were set in stone by the time the UCI became the official governing body of this new sport. You could descend a DH course on a pogostick with a weather balloon as your front forks and the UCI wouldn’t bat an eyelid. But should a road bike dare to have an aero element a millimetre too round as defined by the road-obsessive UCI and all hell is let loose. The UCI needs to understand that bike racing is, in large part, a shop-front for shiny new bikes. It always has been. Since the 1880s, racing was a way of advertising one bike’s prowess over another. The Tour de France was created to sell more copies of a Parisian newspaper. Take away the commercial aspect of cycling and the UCI would have nothing to rail against because there would be no cycle sport.

Carlton Reid, Executive Editor





Wisper Bikes MD David Miall talks about the potential locked in the electric bike market

Biking for the blind, a chance to invest in some future talent and a debate on UK manufacture





Hotlines brings industry recruits on board, while new faces arrive at JJB and Sugoi

This month we’ve got naked cyclists and lake jumping, but not necessarily in that order...



BikeBiz takes a look at the latest from Marzocchi, Lezyne, Serfas and FSA...

I START this editorial where last month’s polemic left off. The UCI is no longer all-powerful. I’m amazed and pleased that the bike industry has had the gumption – and good sense – to heed my warnings about the gnomes of Aigle. I’m kidding: Nothing I wrote influenced those high-end companies that formed an alliance to stand up against the UCI. In fact, by the time the mag was published, the formation of GOCEM – Global Organization of Cycling Equipment Manufacturers – was almost ready to be announced. Last month I had complained about the lack of collectivism shown by the industry when Cinelli’s Spinaci bars were outlawed by the UCI. By not acting en masse, the UCI could pick off innovations at will.



Spokesman walks down the supermarket aisles and doesn’t like what he finds...


Hotlines’ growing pains to force third HQ move

Illy Anastasi and the three shiny new Hotlines branded vans bought last month

Three HQ moves in three years  New staff, new vans, new website and more By Mark Sutton WITH 42 brands now under its portfolio, Hotlines is facing a third office move in three years. Citing both a substantial investment in stock holding and the appointment of several staff members since Illy Anastasi took the reins in 2007, the distributor is now hoping to make a move to a new, much larger office in South Queensferry within the next few months. General manager Anastasi told BikeBiz: "When we moved to the current premises in South Queensferry we expected it to be more than large enough for the next five years. Though, as it stands, our character-filled office by the harbour has turned out to be a little small. We’re hoping to make a move to a new, much larger, office in South Queensferry in the next few months and this time it really should be big enough for a few years. Our growth has also seen staff taken on at a fantastic rate,

with seven customer support people on the phone now and four account managers on the road. In the last month alone we’ve doubled the number of reps and taken on another member of staff in the office. We’re keen to ensure that as we grow, we also further our ability

rapid growth of the company and the new brands that have come on board, the dynamic abilities of the website far outstrip what we can achieve with an annual catalogue," said Anastasi. "With our website dealers can search for products by category

“We hope to make a move to a much larger office in South Queensferry in the coming months. This time it should be big enough, for a few years...” Illy Anastasi, General Manager, Hotlines to handle the increased business that comes with it." Anticipating further growth, Hotlines has focused plenty of attention on launching its new website, something it is keen to promote to dealers. "We’re keen to direct all our dealers to the new website rather than to the traditional catalogue and price list. With the

or brand and have current availability and additional information at their fingertips. Although we’re pretty pleased with the website as it stands, it is by no means complete. We are keen to get a business to business functionality introduced as it’s something that is an incredibly valuable tool for both us and the retailer."

Having cemented several new relationships with retailers through 2009, Anastasi admits there are still opportunities in several areas of the UK to carry any number of the five bike brands available. "Into 2010 there will inevitably be new brands and exciting products becoming available. Despite our firm's expansion, there are still areas of the country that are not yet covered by some of our bike brands, whether that’s Lapierre, Tomac, NS Bikes, Electra or Vipers Concept. This is something that we’re hoping to address over the next season. So if you’re a bike retailer who is looking to take on a premium brand with exceptional marketing support, please call the office to arrange a meeting with your area account manager." Hotlines: 0131 319 1444

Sabbath hits growth spurt

Sabbath Bikes would consider linking up with a UK distributor


BUSINESS is booming for threeyear-old Sabbath Bicycles, with a 50 per cent turnover increase in the past year – despite changing name after a legal dispute last year with Sunday Bicycles. Sabbath founder and MD Greg Roche told BikeBiz: “We’re still in the infancy of what we want to do, so the fact that we’re over 50 per cent up on last year by turnover now, without launching a new product, is encouraging. More importantly we’ve increased our margins by over 10 per cent through improved purchasing. The good news for the end customer is that our bike retail prices didn’t really change at all in the last year and they won’t again next year. We’re expanding the range right now, which should see turnover and margin improve further, but they’ll have to because we’re

“We’re over 50 per cent up on last year, without launching a new product.” Greg Roche, Sabbath MD also going to need larger premises and more staff to facilitate that.” Sabbath now has a 30-strong dealer network and is set to expand and diversify its product range for 2010, as well as upping its consumer advertising spend. Last autumn’s re-brand hadn’t affected business, according to Roche: “We had known about the issue pretty much since we started back in 2006. Though, if anything, sales increased because

we did a pretty comprehensive job of managing the re-brand with customers and so we were suddenly quite visible.” Last month Sabbath boosted its international credentials by signing up two dedicated distributors for Australia and France respectively. Roche told BikeBiz that a deal in the UK wasn’t out of the question: “At the moment we do all our own distribution in the UK. Until last month I’ve also been the only person on the road for us, as well as managing the brand, but we do now have an agent selling for us in the north. We’re open-minded. If a distributor said it could get 800 bikes to market for us, we’d listen, but we’re also very keen to keep strong links with the guys on the shop floors and selling the stuff.” Sabbath:



Zyro bags Dahon Service a key focus for new Dahon partnership, beginning January 2010

Jane Watson, Andy Budd and Chris Davis of Zyro

By Jonathon Harker

ToB bigger than ever BRITAIN’S largest professional bicycle race, The Tour of Britain, is set to be larger than ever this year when it starts in Scunthorpe on Saturday September 12th. The Tour, ranked in the 2.1 category by the UCI, will cover more UK towns than before and will see more of the teams that competed in its long-established French counterpart. Craig Brophy, head of marketing and PR for the Tour, told BikeBiz: “This year sees eight teams that competed in the Tour de France take part in The Tour of Britain. This is a big step up from 2008 where we only had five teams take part.” “In addition to this, the race visits new towns through the different stages, such as Devon. Plus we also have slightly less transfers. The 2009 event will also see us using a new barrier


system, which should make the loading and unloading of each stage a lot quicker.” The event organisers also expect the increasingly high profile of cycling in the UK to boost coverage and attendance: “The success of Team GB at the Olympics, Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France, and most recently the successful city centre racing from The Tour Series – has without a doubt raised the interest in the

sport,” said Brophy. “And as The Tour of Britain is the UK’s biggest free to attend event, people from all over the country can come along and watch the world’s best.” Distributor Saddleback has signed up as the Official Neutral Service Provider for the next three years and will provide SRAMequipped Felt road bicycles and Zipp wheels for the event. ITV4 will provide coverage of the race, which will conclude in London on September 19th.

AS revealed on, distributor Zyro has signed a deal to exclusively distribute Dahon folding bicycles and accessories in the UK. Zyro will take on distribution of the folding bike giant from January 1st, 2010. From that date the firm will also take over warranty service for Dahon's bicycles – including those sold before 2010. “We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Dahon, which is recognised as a leader and innovator in the folding bike market,” said Zyro director of product and purchasing Simon Ellison. “Dahon complements our existing product range, while also adding a new dimension to Zyro’s range of products.” Zyro added that service will be key to its offering: “We recognise that retailers need a different level of support for folding bikes, and are gearing up for this challenge with enthusiasm. We feel that we will be able to help the brand grow using our skills in brand management, after sales

service, process control and inventory management.” Dahon vice president Joshua Hon confirmed that service will receive renewed focus: "Service to our dealers is an area where we’ve needed to improve and we expect to make some big progress in this area beginning in 2010. Our dealers deserve a big ‘thank you’ from us for their support and patience.” The deal marks the end of the agreement between Dahon and Fisher. Hon said: “We’d like to thank Fisher for five solid years of partnership. We did some great things together and wish them well as we both move forward.” Fisher Outdoor Leisure CEO Richard Allmark said: “Over the past few years both companies have developed different strategic needs and are starting to move in different directions. The parting is amicable and we hope to continue working with Dahon in some capacity as we’ll remain in the folding bike category, but we will no longer be acting as a distributor for Dahon-branded products.” For more on Zyro, turn to page 18.



‘Staycations’ help to grow UK cycling Credit crunch leads families to take ‘cycling holidays’ in the UK  Center Parcs among the tourist businesses benefiting By Jonathon Harker THE recession and an unfavourable exchange rate have provided a welcome boost for cycling through a rise in the number of families staying in the UK to cut back on holiday costs. The United Kingdom Tourism Survey, created by Visit England, revealed that holidays made by UK residents in England were up 13 per cent in the first four months of 2009 compared to 2008, boosting the numbers of tourists heading to cycle-friendly destinations on these shores, including Center Parcs – which has seen its best-ever results. “Our last financial year (which ended in April) was a record one for Center Parcs in the UK, with average annual occupancy of over 95 per cent across our four sites,” Center Parcs PR manager Simon Kay told BikeBiz.

“There are very encouraging signs this year too, with forward bookings showing an increase of ten per cent compared with this time last year, and this summer period a greater proportion of our guests are opting for stays of

our guests’ favourite mode of transport during their break. Ensuring the best environmental practice is our passion, as guests park their car at the start of their break to mount their bikes or set off by foot around the forest.

“Our last financial year was a record one, with an average 95 per cent occupancy across our four sites.” Simon Kay, PR Manager, Center Parcs seven nights or more, rather than the traditional short breaks. “Our experience supports the notion that people are indeed choosing to stay in the UK for their holidays this year.” Center Parcs’ cycling-centric offering remains vital for the holiday firm: “Cycling is at the very heart of the Center Parcs experience, as the majority of

“Cycling is an enjoyable activity where natural forest surroundings can be enjoyed at a leisurely pace or prove an exciting setting for an active bike ride. We have a wide variety of bikes to choose from to ensure that the whole family can enjoy a cycle together and it is also a fun way for family and friends to navigate around the village.”

New look for latest Genesis line-up AHEAD of the September 8th dealer preview at Madison's Milton Keynes distribution centre, BikeBiz has been handed these shots of the Genesis range. Due to land in October, the 2010 line up contains some interesting additions, notably a genre-defying singlespeed, flat-bar cyclocross bike. Pitched as being ‘designed in the UK, for UK riders and conditions’, the range is built up from high-grade Reynolds 853, 520 and triple-butted aluminium. The design team looks to have been busy too, giving plenty of detail to the Reynolds tubing, splashing loads of new graphics and colour on each build. Look out for singlespeeds, internal hub-geared mountain bikes, steel hardtails and the welcome return of drop barred road bikes when visiting the Madison headquarters in September. Madison: 01908 326000


Due to land in October, the 2010 lineup contains some interesting additions, notably a genre-defying singlespeed, flat-bar cyclocross bike. BIKEBIZ.COM


Mint distributor rides in Stereo Brighton firm brings German BMX brand Stereo to UK shores By Jonathon Harker NEW distributor Mint BMX is now open for business and is set to bring a number of brands new to the UK to retail – including the Stereo Bike Co. And the distributor has got off to a flying start, with over 70 per cent of its first shipment already ordered. Mint BMX’s Phil Davis told BikeBiz: “The response has been unreal. We are already sold out on the high-end, brakeless 22 lb Flash complete from just the pre-order, which is expected at the end of this month. Seventyfive per cent of the remaining stock has been ordered, so we are looking to put an interim

order in place ahead of our planned November order.” The range comprises introductory models through to high-end, including a top of the range model stacked with Odyssey Twombolt cranks, which will weigh just 21lbs and retail at £569. The Stereo Bikes Co will also release an aftermarket line of frames and soft goods set to arrive in the late summer. “There’s plenty of reasons why retailers should consider using Mint. Retail prices will range from between £319 to £599, we’ll be offering a sale or return policy, the complete bikes weigh in between 21lbs to 24lbs and we’ll also be placing full-

page brand support advertising in both Ride and Dig magazines,” added Davis. “Also a new line of Stereo aftermarket frames, parts and soft goods are on the way in summer 2010.” Stereo Bikes will be showcasing its full range at Interbike, and has recently signed US street rider Steve Croteau as a Stereo rider. A UK team will follow shortly. Davis added: “Huey Morgan from the Fun Lovin Criminals is on the flow team. He’s doing it for the Old School.” Interested dealers should contact Mint at for a dealer pack, or visit

Light up 2010 UK MANUFACTURER Lumicycle is bringing its 2010 high performance light ranges to retail this month. The LED3 and LED4 both feature CREE XRE R2 LEDs – a high performing LED that allows for a warmer colour temperature, which in turn improves visibility off-road at night by making it easier for riders to assimilate

also makes it easy for riders to select power levels. A single LED3 System retails at £249.99, with the LED4 System priced at £329.99. The price for a twin head system with a bigger battery for the LED3 is £439.99 and £599.99 for the LED4. The award winning halogen and HID systems can also be purchased.

"It's a world-beating product and we're going to give our full support to independent cycle retailers with it." Steve Young, Lumicycle three-dimensions in the dark. The LED3 boasts 850 lumens, while the LED4’s output is 1,120 lumens, with both lightweight enough for helmet mounting. A new unique switching system


The manufacturer has told retailers that its products won’t be discounted online: “so dealers can be confident of getting a good return on their investment.” Lumicycle: 01202 760097

Wiggle boasts ‘best-ever’ financials in tenth year ONLINE bicycle retailer Wiggle is currently enjoying what it has called its ‘best-ever’ year. Despite the ongoing economic crisis, the internet retailer hasn’t seen the recession as a barrier to its growing success. According to Wiggle, traffic to the site is up, worldwide distribution has more than quadrupled and the site has never offered so many functions to cycle customers, including a popular ‘Amazon-like’ customer review section, as reported on Website manager Steve Mills told BikeBiz: “We have made

major increases to our product catalogue, made numerous improvements to the website and increased our worldwide distribution from 15 countries up to 70. All these on-going improvements have resulted in

our best-ever year and we are seeing double-digit growth in both our UK and overseas markets.” The site, which also retails product to the growing triathlon sector, saw mid-year

sales outstrip predictions: “July’s results exceeded all expectations and was a record month for sales, traffic and new customers. Traffic was up 81 per cent on the same month last year. We knew July would be busy as it is a key month with the Tour de France, but to be over 80 per cent up on the same month last year is a truly fantastic acheivement.” Mills put the success of the retailer down to hard work from the Wiggle team. Turn to our Retailer Profile on page 48 for more from the online cycle retailer.




Are supermarket giants damaging cycle retail?

Freedom eBikes introduces £470 Brompton converter

Industry debates national grocers’ high profile moves in the cycle market

A conversion kit enabling a Brompton to be turned into an eBike has been developed and is now available from for £470.

THE increasing role of supermarkets in the bicycle trade has created fierce debate across the retail community. Lidl’s low-priced Stratos racing bike, and particularly Asda’s ‘profit-free’ British Eagle bikes announced earlier in the summer, have sparked concern about their effect on the industry. Asda’s ultra-low priced bicycle range – branded BSOs (bike shaped objects) by some in the trade – have been blasted as potentially even being harmful to the consumer. The topic has spawned a blog from the Association of Cycle Traders’ Mark Brown – at http://bicycleshapedobject.word The blog aims to cover the phenomenon in detail, including first-hand experiences of handling and assembling the often shaky ‘bicycles’. Brown told BikeBiz: “Supermarkets are a doubleedged sword for cycle retailers. On the one hand they have the marketing muscle to promote cycling to a much wider audience and possibly get more bums on saddles. That's a good thing for cycle retailers because as the market grows they hopefully win more new customers, which started via a supermarket bike.”

Dahon IOS to include mobile device charger Due to be unveiled at Eurobike, the Dahon Ios features a charge lead compatible with most mobile devices, including GPS units. An integrated headlight also features at the stem.

Trade registration for Cycle Show now live UK bicycle retailers should log onto /BikeBiz for free-of-charge trade passes to London’s Cycle Show, due to be held at Earls Court from October 8th to 11th. Turn to page 31 for BikeBiz’s show preview.

Paligap 2010 product preview dates announced Retailers interested in what distributor Paligap has to offer heading into 2010 should head down to the Stables Café in Bristol from September 7th to 11th. Doors open at 10am and close at 5pm each day.

Tough six months for Shimano Both Shimano's sales and income dropped in the first six months of 2009, when compared to the same period in 2008. Net sales value fell from Yen 115,497 million to Yen 90,057 million.

Silverfish takes on Mondraker Bikes Spanish MTB firm Mondraker now has a distributor in the UK. Silverfish will now supply the entire range, including DH, XC and BMX models, among others.

For breaking news visit: 10 BIKEBIZ SEPTEMBER

By Jonathon Harker

“Supermarkets are potentially undermining the cycling experience by selling bikes people will not enjoy.” But the potential negative impact is two-fold: “Firstly, supermarkets are potentially undermining the cycling experience by selling cheap, badly assembled and possibly dangerous bikes, which people don't enjoy. That's my experience with the Asda bike. It's the only bicycle I have ever ridden which made me want to cycle less and it enforces the view that bikes are toys and not a long-term investment.

“Secondly, as supermarkets continue their expansion into non-food sectors there is the possibility that they might begin to target the mid to high-end market. I'm not sure how realistic this is, given the low margins and high associated costs of cycle retail, but for some, it may represent a viable opportunity.” The debate has led some to question whether dealers should work on BSOs sold by

supermarkets, or whether they should be refused from workshops. Brown said: “I think they probably should, as in most cases it is an opportunity to educate people about the hazards of cheap bikes and hopefully win new customers. “Of course, the customer needs to be willing to pay the retailer for their specialist services. Each shop is different, so some may feel they don't want this type of customer. However, for those that do it is a good opportunity.”  We’ve got more industry opinion on whether dealers should work on BSOs in our feature on page 14.

Crud slims down for roadies YORKSHIRE-BASED manufacturer Crud has unveiled details of its new mud guard range for race bikes – the ‘Roadracer’ Mudguards. Unlike many competitors, the new mudguards can fit into the smallest of spaces underneath the brakebridge-fork crown. With the tips and tails detachable, the packaging is reported to be the smallest of any on the market and when hung at the headercard, it takes up less space than a Crud Raceguard. According to Crud, the guards turn design orthodoxy on its head, as MD Pete Tomkins told BikeBiz: “We reasoned that if you could 'float' the mudguard off the rim then you could do away

SPOT THE MUDGUARD: Crud’s Raceguard is barely visible, yet gives full coverage

with a lot of the traditional fixings. The ultralight ‘Roadracer' mudguard (weighing 180 grams per pair) just hovers in place, so there is nothing to rattle or rub. The brushes instantly dampen

any road vibrations, settling the mudguard into its central position. “In extensive tests we have failed to wear the pile against the rim, and the friction involved is so light as to be unmeasurable.”

Safety was also a key factor in the design of the product, said Tomkins: “We have incorporated a simple breakaway point in the fixing between stay and mudguard. Anything caught in the wheel will cause the mudguard and stay to part. They can be re-connected by hand after you have come to a stop. The stays are manufactured from 15 per cent glass-filled nylon. If it found its way into the spokes, it would snap in half instantly, without damaging the spokes.” Retailing around the £29.00 mark, the Roadracer Mudguards will be available by the time BikeBiz lands on desks. Crud: 01947 880102





Powering on “Electric bike manufacturers need IBDs,” argues David Miall of Wisper Bikes. Do IBDs need e-bikes though... FOR YEARS the electric bike industry in the UK has been letting itself down. The modus operandi for many of the first 'electric bike companies' seems to have been to buy a container of cheap e-bikes out of China, taking advantage of the lack of dumping levy and trying to sell them to the more trusting IBDs or simply dumping them on eBay. Once these machines actually got into the hands of the general public of course there was carnage. Even if the bikes actually worked for a few weeks, inevitably they would break down, leaving the IBD to pick up the pieces. Naturally there would be no stock of spare parts and just as little knowledge or help available when it came to fixing problems. The only upside was these bikes were very cheap! ELECTRIC DREAMS Thankfully times have changed and although there are still a few container merchants out there, IBDs have become very wary and these bikes are generally dumped straight onto eBay or sold at car boot sales.


As you can imagine, this has left an understandably unreceptive audience among professional bicycle retailers in the UK. Most are now closed to this new and lucrative market, a market that has taken Germany and Holland by storm. In such countries, the sales of good quality electric bikes have helped the whole bicycle market grow. While the number of new bikes being sold remains pretty static, one in ten bikes sold in Holland and Germany during 2008 was electric and therefore very much more expensive than the average bike. This has driven the average retail price of bikes skywards – and the Dutch and German retailers that have embraced the e-bike are understandably happy. The majority of electric bikes sold in the UK are retailed via a growing number of electric bike specialists. Very few come through more traditional bicycle retailers. Disregarding the early cheap electric bike problem, the reasons for this reluctance in IBDs is not clear. Electric bikes need, more than any other bike, to be sold through professional

cycle specialists as the need for servicing and explanation is more important. To this end the electric bike specialists are doing a fantastic job; as most of them have come up through the bicycle industry they understand both the bicycle and electrics.

“Putting an electric motor onto a bike opens cycling to a far wider audience, notably the elderly.” David Miall, MD, Wisper Bikes In my opinion, the reason IBDs have not embraced the electric bike movement is for three very simple reasons. First, the idea that an electric motor should be placed on such a pure piece of machinery as a bicycle is unpalatable. Second, there is a concern that the electronics on an electric bike will be tricky to

deal with and service. Third, as already discussed there is a worry that electric bike suppliers will let them down in terms of support and spare parts. TAKE THE ELECTRIC AVENUE Putting an electric motor onto the vehicle opens cycling to a far greater audience. The obvious market is to older people who used to ride, but because of hip replacements or similar, simply can’t manage a traditional bicycle any more. Why keep them out of the bike shops and off the road? There are many more markets, such as commuters who don’t want to arrive at work and have to shower. Then there's the less fit who would love to exercise on a bike but can’t manage to cycle far without some help. The fitness market is very strong. I am amazed by the number of people chopping their electric bike in after a year or so as their fitness levels have increased to the point where they want to buy a traditional bike again. Those worried about the difficulty of servicing electric

bikes will be pleased to learn that there are bikes now, such as Wisper, that are available with modular electronics. If any part fails or is damaged it is a very simple job to swap the whole part for a new one within a few minutes. There is absolutely no need to start getting inside complicated batteries, motors or controllers, simply swap them out. Indeed the electronics are probably the most easily repaired part of the electric bike. Finally as long as the supplier is chosen carefully there is absolutely no need to worry about availability of spares or advice. The best electric bike companies now have dedicated service managers who are employed to help and talk through any problems there may be and assist in finding a speedy solution to any problem. There is a massive, lucrative and quickly growing market simply waiting for IBDs to become involved. I believe that, as in Germany and Holland, the first to embrace the market will see excellent growth in turnover and profitability in 2010.


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Should dealers shun BSOs? The Bicycle Shaped Object has been a hot topic ever since Asda famously advertised its ‘not for profit’ bikes fitted with forks the wrong way. But can dealers afford to shun BSOs from their workshops? Or are they another vital source of revenue during the recession? Jonathon Harker asks the trade’s views…

“I think it all depends on the BSO itself. We never turn any work down and if we can help the customer out, hopefully in the future the customer will turn to you for more jobs and new bikes. We have a set price for catalogue checkovers of £60.00 and if it is not fitted with decent components we will inform the customer before we start that the bike will work to the best of its capabilities. From here we will give prices for necessary upgrades. Sometimes, as well as the service, you will pick up sales. If they don't want to pay the price then that’s fair enough, they can leave. We will service any of the bikes, but it’s to our guidelines. Every BSO that comes in is checked by a Cytech 2 level mechanic, who will point out glaring problems.” CRAIG SHUFF, SWINNERTON CYCLES


“I work on the BSOs as at the moment, every penny counts. I drop a hint about their ‘bargain’ being a bit of a knacker and try to get them to upgrade to one of my bikes, stating that it would last longer and, for the extra money, be better value. Asda employed my services last time they were in the mire when they were selling bikes to Joe Public. I had to either correctly assemble their customers’ bikes (for a £25.00 fee per bike) or carry out necessary repairs to keep their customers happy. The spin-offs were pretty good at the time. I also did the same for Safeway/Presto and also bailed out Motorworld branches a few times when they were around. There again, I'm happy to do this as it pays dividends when ‘their’ customer recommends me. Yes, it is annoying that I have to sell a similar spec bike for

twice the price. But after you explain to the customer the pitfalls of their ‘bargain’, some will go with mine. You try to explain that their ‘bike’ is like comparing a Fiat Punto 4x4 to the quality of a BMW X5 4x4. They both have the badge, but sadly, if you try to do the same things as the BMW X5 4x4 in your Fiat Punto 4x4, you're gonna die!” IAN GALLOWAY, ON YER' BIKE! “MY reaction depends on who brings it in. At one end of the scale is the person who had bought it knowing nothing about bikes and is genuinely surprised and interested when the issues are explained to them. These I will spend some time with and will set up the bike as good as it will go, or make repairs. It’s a good way to get new customers and to demonstrate that a bike shop can be a place where you get good information. Occasionally I do a bit of pro bono work for people who have finished up with a cheap low-spec bike. In all cases I make it clear that I will not be responsible for the future performance of the bike.

Steve Barnett At the other end of the scale is the person who brings one in crowing about the bargain they have bought and how brilliant it is and all they want is a quick adjustment on the gears to get them changing ‘just right’. It is usually pretty clear that they are expecting me to do it for nothing. These tend to get anything from a polite suggestion that they go back to where they bought it from to get it sorted to a full on, two barrelled, condemnation of the monstrosity, pointing out how even somebody with my skills could never make the thing work to a standard they would ever be happy with. It depends very much on their attitude, but also on the mood I am in.

On balance I tend to help far, far more than I refuse. I want to have a reputation as a friendly, helpful shop because anything else would not fit my business model. Spending a bit of time helping people to understand their bike and giving them an accurate appraisal of what they might expect from it is a good way of supporting that objective.” STEVE BARNETT, CYCLING ON “I work hard to keep my, often low-income, customers' bikes running well for fair prices, and as such I have to deal with the gritty end of bike quality. Some low-end bikes I come across are, well. okay, but recently even I have begun a ‘not in my shop’ policy. I could name some of the brands [Ed. – but BikeBiz has censored them]. I implement a £20 build from box/new bike check-over charge. If I think a prospective customer may check online prices I point out the value of expert building and the hassle of mail-order when even minor things go wrong.” GORDON DAVEY, G-WHIZZ CYCLES





Winning and

grinning Cam Winstanley, editor of Procycling magazine, thinks a little bit of youthful disrespect couldn’t hurt cycling... IN THE early ‘90s, I backpacked around America for a few months, heading in whichever direction the locals pointed me. Texas, Colorado, Nevada, California… The scenery changed but two things remained the same: one was the boundless hospitality of American families who’d phone ahead to their friends so I always had a place to stay. The other was their children’s limitless adoration of Michael Jordan, star of the Chicago Bulls. In the eyes of these teenagers, Jordan was a man whose appeal transcended the sport he played. In San Antonio, one child laid out his Jordan collection that included not only posters and magazines, but also cereal boxes, each one carefully flatpacked. In Denver, a fireman I was staying with rolled his eyes and explained how his son had pleaded for a pair of Nike Air Jordans, but now only wears them round the house to avoid getting them dirty. Now that’s a special kind of hero worship. This Jordan mania came back to me the other week when a friend described how his tenyear-old son, fired up on Coco Pops and Tour de France coverage, had started playing ‘Mark Cavendish’ up and down the street. Every night, the boy was doing sprint finishes on his mountain bike, waggling the frame in an exaggerated fashion before lunging for an imaginary finish line. Already he’d put a


road bike at the top of his Christmas list. Now, obviously, one boy loving the Tour doesn’t mark a moment in history where cycling suddenly becomes bigger than football, Star Wars and Elvis combined. Cycling’s a mainstream activity but it’s still a niche sport in the UK, so let’s not expect any kind of Michael Jordan media ubiquity for Cav. Yet at the same time, it’s not every day that you hear about a boy begging for a racer and it’s interesting to see a youngster embracing a sport traditionally linked to an older fan base. This child wasn’t fired up by the Olympics and hadn’t cared about road racing until the Tour and now here he is, begging for a new bike. YOUNG, COCKY AND GOBBY Why? Because he has a hero now. And if Cavendish can reel in and retain more young riders, it won’t be because he’s British and successful, because the same description applies to Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy. It’ll be because he’s British, successful, young, cocky and, let’s face it, a bit gobby. Kids like that sort of thing. It’s not so much what he does, it’s the way he does it. Everyone knows that Jordan could play a mean game of basketball but what sold a zillion pairs of trainers were those slow motion shots of him switching the ball from right to left hand

“It’s interesting to see a youngster embacing a sport traditionally linked to an older fan base.”

mid-jump. Similarly, while Cav now holds the record of most British Tour wins, the lingering memory is his grin and wellrehearsed sponsor-friendly phone pose as he won. While Cav’s mobile-phone toting, Oakley-waving showboating might seem to many to be a crass intrusion of cold-hearted commercialism into sport, what’s the bet that younger viewers thought the best way to cross the line was the way he did it – first and in a pair of expensive sunglasses? So while Bradley Wiggins has emerged as a born-again road cyclist, and potential future Tour winner, I’m not expecting to see any kids playing ‘Wiggo’ down my street. And although Sir Chris Hoy’s bran flakes ads have put cycling onto primetime viewing, colon-massaging cereals appeal more to parents than their kids. Mouthing off about his rivals disrespecting him, sulking in

press conferences and getting a little too over-excited for his own good about his green jersey prospects – Cavendish did them all at this year’s Tour. Of course he pouts and moans – he’s a young man. And sure he’s cocky, but if you won as often as he did, wouldn’t you be? THE FUTURE OF CYCLING Cavendish may never be the global phenomena that Michael Jordan was, but he could certainly be cycling’s equivalent of him. At just 24, this selfproclaimed press conference ‘asshole’ projects enough don’tgive-a-crap attitude and basketball-style razzamatazz to give a sport swamped in corporate sponsorship and lycra a little bit of a rough edge. If that’s what it takes to bring young blood into the sport, then may Cav continue to do what he does best – sprint and act his age.





Left to right: Zyro’s Andy Budd, Jane Watson and Chris Davis

A to Zyro A new deal with Dahon, hitting tough sales targets and brands at the cutting edge of the market. It’s all part of the continuing success story of Zyro. Jonathon Harker speaks to some of the key figures at the distributor…


OVER IN the wilds of Thirsk in Yorkshire, Zyro’s purpose-built offices and warehouse are testament to the success of the firm. Despite having only spent five years at its current site, expectations have been exceeded to such a degree that the company is already being forced to look at a bigger warehouse and larger offices to cope with growing demand. In June, the distributor saw growth reach 36 per cent, and went on to follow that up with a 38 per cent rise in sales in July. Zyro is now the globe’s largest distributor for many of its brands including Ashima, Bodyfit, Cateye, Genuine Innovations, Intake, Minoura, Panaracer, Tortec and – naturally – its biggest own brand Altura. Zyro is also amongst the largest of world customers for ABUS and CamelBak outside their individual home territories. One member of the Zyro team who has seen the company’s rise firsthand is sales director Andy Budd. He began his career in the bicycle industry after taking a summer job as a frame builder, then went on to

work for a number of bike retailers, including Rob Chappell’s ‘On Yer Bike’, and then moved on to work with Zyro’s joint MDs, Julie and Simon Ellison. Having been there from the beginning, Budd explains that customer communication has always been the bedrock at the distributor: “I

the year despite the fact that at the start of 2009 there was much talk of the recession. We have found that retailers are still getting the footfall and that sales have fared well.” Budd adds: “We’ve seen real growth that hasn’t been delivered just through price increases. June and July have

“We’re on track to reach our target for the year, despite that at the start of 2009 there was plenty of talk of the recession.” Andy Budd, Sales Director, Zyro spend a week on the road every month and have probably visited about 80 per cent of all the bike retailers in the UK and Ireland. I think it’s one of the reasons why Zyro has such a good feel for the marketplace – we spend lots of time listening to retailers.” CHANGING CURRENCY Zyro’s recent impressive performance has backed the industry’s recession-proof reputation. Budd explains: “We’re on track to reach our target for

been up massively – with the former up 36 per cent, and July up 38 per cent. And August is expected to be up too.” As the trade is only too aware, wild currency fluctuations have been a major obstacle to price stability in the UK, and Zyro has put plenty of resource into absorbing those changes: “While some of our rivals put prices up at various points, we’ve tried to keep ours as steady as possible. We have a good relationship with our retailers

and we’ve tried to help by absorbing as much of the fluctuations as we can.” The short-term costs have been high for Zyro: “It has cost us £1.5 million to keep prices stable. We appreciate that repricing is a huge job for retailers, and by taking away some of that burden we’re showing support for customers.” Budd believes Zyro’s set-up has meant it’s been able to offset price rises where others haven’t: “We have no external shareholders to worry about, which frees us up to support our retailer partners. We have been able to keep prices steady, which helps the consumer too. When they see a product changing price, I think they are put off buying into it. Whilst we’ve had to increase some prices, they’ve been minimal – not just applied to everything across the board.” DRIVING GROWTH What is behind Zyro’s growth? Budd explains: “There’s more to it than selling. We work with our customers and help with all things like merchandising and staff training. Listening is really



important; we try to help explain and educate them about new products and lines – not just close another quick sell. “Many of our brands have been driving growth, including Altura, Cateye, Abus locks and helmets, Ashima and PowerBar. And many of those have performed beyond expectations, particularly Abus, which is really realising its potential now.” Budd adds: “You might think I would say this, but I believe we have the best team in the cycle industry.” That team has recently expanded, with the appointment of senior commercial manager Chris Davis. He switched to the cycle industry after a 12year stint in the investment management sector: “The momentum is there behind the industry. With the Government and trade working in tandem, increased media coverage and the good work of all the associations, you can really sense that change in the trade.”

strong, commercially aware, and made of enthusiasts – passionate about their brands and the service they provide.” BUSINESS GEM The continuing successes have led Zyro to expand its team, offices and warehouse, but the firm is the first to admit that it hasn’t always shouted about how well it is doing. Jane Watson, Zyro’s first dedicated marketing manager, explains: “We’re now working to promote our brands and the Zyro brand itself. It’s something Zyro has been shy of doing in the past. Zyro is definitely one of the hidden gems in the trade. The company’s achievements are incredible, and it’s now the largest privately owned P&A firm in the UK cycle trade. It has the feel of a family firm, but with remarkable controls, just like a corporate.” After 11 months in the role, Watson has seen in the

“We’re working closely with brands to push innovation, and educate international brands about UK markets.” Chris Davis, Senior Commercial Manager, Zyro Davis adds: “Last year our sales were £20 million and this year our target is £24 million and we’re on target to achieve that. All brands are contributing to that growth and we expect to have a very good Q3 and Q4, with very good early indications for the autumn/winter sell-in.” Davis reveals that Zyro constantly raises the bar and drives long-term expectations: “We’re aiming for a 30 million turnover next year and then to double that over the next three to five years. Our medium term plans are to grow organically and to add key partners. Growth brings challenges, but we’ve met them in the past and will in the future. On average we’ve hit 20 per cent plus growth annually since inception. While that’s tough to maintain we’re building the team and infrastructure to achieve it, without compromising on providing the best service to partners.” “We work closely with our brand partners, having a focussed approach for each. It is a partnership built on trust, respect and investment on both sides with the appropriate service, sales and profitability there for both. Our brand management team is very


introduction of brand new marketing initiatives, including The Orange Pages – Zyro’s first printed trade catalogue: “Previously we’ve only issued price lists, but this year we launched our first directory, The Orange Pages. We believe it has grown sales over 10 per cent. The reaction has been so good we’re now issuing it biannually.” Zyro’s online offering has also been significantly ramped up, continues Jane: “The impending B2B site will enhance our service. We still want to speak to our customers – it’s essential to help us understand the market. B2B offers out-of-hours order servicing for retailers, in addition to phone, fax, email, face-toface, and carrier pigeon!” “The launch of the consumer site in April was a big thing for us. 83 per cent of visitors are direct hits, not coming via search engines, and 72 per cent are new visits browsing, which is impressive.” Watson concludes: “We’re all very passionate about cycling. We work hard, always striving for excellence and the next big improvement, investing hard cash as well as positive energy to make our partners proud to work with us.”

The bustling warehouse at Zyro





Conquering mountains EXPANSION during a recession is no mean feat for any business. Though, despite the pound’s freefall, Jim Walker has managed to do just that over the past year, and even broadened its portfolio with several established brands in the process. Living legend Eddie Merckx’s own brand was perhaps the icing on the cake. Long-time customers of Jim Walker will remember a period when the business catered exclusively to the top-end road market, specialising in lightweight, niche products aimed squarely at the motivated cyclist. Five years ago, current CEO Ian Wilson significantly invested in the company, bringing with him a firm business background, built up both in the UK and in Hong Kong, and plans to expand and diversify, all the while staying true to the heritage and


reputation the distributor had earned within the cycle trade over the years. With Wilson’s arrival came a new era for the business – weighty investment in new property, new IT systems and new people. It is the people that make the business, says Wilson: “Most of the guys here are cyclists, meaning each is passionate and knowledgeable about what they do. It’s really good for me to work among this bunch. They’re an enthusiastic crowd who really care about what they do.” It was the sad loss of a member of staff to a brain tumour earlier this year that has really united the company, explains Wilson: “Having lost a young member of staff to a brain tumour earlier this year, the business now donates a proportion of sales to cancer

Having trebled the company’s size in five years and hitting 50 per cent growth in difficult trading conditions this year, Jim Walker is constantly hitting new peaks. But it’s not just the finances reaching the pinnacle, as Mark Sutton finds out…

charities, something which has united all our staff, in a cause we believe in outside of the cycle business, but something that hopefully our daily efforts can help with.”

“Having lost a member of staff to a brain tumour, the business donates a proportion of sales to cancer charities.” Ian Wilson, CEO, Jim Walker The staff aren’t simply enthusiasts, either. Some are competitors, including recent recruit Jaco Erhlers, who has been having a really successful season, taking a win on the Serrl

three-day stage race and bagging first place in the Dragon Ride as well. Wilson has also had a crack at competitions previously, including taking part in this year’s Etape, climbing Mount Ventoux, before suffering what he describes as the ‘mother of all bonks’ at Chalet Reynard on race day. BACK TO BUSINESS So what exactly is the company’s recent growth attributed to? Wilson tells BikeBiz: “I am sure our firm’s performance has been down to the fact that we have tried to find new and innovative ways to approach doing business, being more professional and very focussed and commercial on what we do. We are just about to launch a really exciting new project, which is going to be incredibly beneficial to all

dealers. It will be completely new and innovative, and again, it is very much relationship driven and rewards dealers for their commitment and business. There will also be increased promotional support for participating dealers in-store, through our advertising and on our website.” Wilson’s aspirations for a stronger business presumably don’t end here? “Who knows quite what the future will bring. “It may be that we will add more products to the portfolio, but only if they fit well with us. Maybe we will look at growing, through acquiring another business that fits well with ours. Growth has to be for the right reasons and not just for the sake of it.” With a shortage of top-end road models in the UK at present, being approached by



The new range of Eddy Merckx road bikes

Jaco Erhlers: race winner and Jim Walker staffer legendary road racer Eddy Merckx with a view to distribute his brand in the UK must have been a dream come true for the business, especially given that two 2010 models are set for early delivery. ROADIE RETAIL BOOSTED “It’s true. The demand is really strong, and the appeal of Eddy Merckx is incredibly far reaching. The line has been completely revamped after receiving financial investment,” says Wilson. “We also had a strong start this season with the addition of Argon18, the Canadian bike brand. It has a particular emphasis


on TT and is well known in the triathalon and Ironman markets. With great value and great performance, sales of Argon18 have exceeded our own expectations, even for the brand’s top road bikes, not just the TT models. We sold out quickly, so orders for next season were placed early and in much bigger numbers.” As part of the firm’s plans to diversify, Sunn Bicycles has been brought on board to offer dealers a freeride solution. Having been unavailable in the UK for some time, the brand has also diversified and is moving with emerging market trends, offering both city-suited bikes, downhill models, 4X race bikes and dirt jump builds. One of the reasons behind offering a more comprehensive catalogue is simply down to Wilson’s belief that there has been a substantial increase in people turning to cycling.

“People want good kit to help them perform to the best of their abilities. There is a definite increase in people participating in sportives; maybe the Etape is their new challenge after having turned to road cycling from doing XC mountain biking.

bike side, there is a definite increase in the number of Brits going abroad to the Alps for bike holidays, just as they would for snowboarding or skiing – which is a particularly key market for Sunn mountain bikes.” With further investment in

“Demand is really strong, and the appeal of Eddy Merckx is incredible. The line’s been completely revamped after receiving financial investment.” Ian Wilson, CEO Obviously, events like the London triathlon are growing like crazy and maybe people are doing triathlons as a challenge instead of marathons.

high stock levels of each brand, dealers can be assured of a steady supply going forward. Wilson adds: “Obviously, we spend a lot

of time ensuring that we supply quality products, then market and promote them well to the consumer. “It is also important that we be commercial about what we offer and so we also take a lot of time to ensure that they are priced well, ensuring our dealers can make good margins on them. Then our dealers can have confidence that not only have we selected our products to be desirable, and they will sellthrough, but also that they can make good profits selling our products.” Tel: 08707 528 777 Web: The Jim Walker headquarters in East Sussex

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Gearing up Fresh from securing success at this year’s Tour de France, Gaetan Vetois talks to Jonathon Harker about SRAM and gives him the inside track... SRAM has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. Created just over two decades ago in 1987 in Chicago, Illinois, after acquiring the Sachs Bicycle Components brand, the firm set up with just six employees and sold only 1,000 units. Fast-forward four years and the company grew to 60 people at its Chicago headquarters, and the Taiwan factory was established. From the introduction of huge manufacturing plants across the world, including a 40,000 sq ft facility in Carrick-on-Suir, Ireland, in 1995, the firm


reached an impressive 1,000 employees worldwide in the year 2000. The company went on to pick up a number of brands from the industry, including Rockshox in 2002, Avid and Trativ a year later and Zipp in 2008. SRAM Road’s Gaetan Vetois explains how they all fit under the SRAM umbrella: “It now incorporates five brands: SRAM, RockShox, Avid, Truvativ and Zipp. Each brand represents a specific part of the overall SRAM range and they complement one another. QUALITY PRODUCT “SRAM products include drivetrain components and wheels (derailleurs, shifters, cassette, chains, hub gears, road wheels), while RockShox caters for suspension (forks and rear shocks), and Avid provides disc and rim brakes. “Truvativ includes cranksets, bars, seatposts and stems (most specifically for MTB),

while Zipp is our road elite specific brand with wheels, cranks, bars, stems and seatposts. As you can see, with a broad range of products, SRAM offers a wide choice of quality MTB and Road components to the consumer, the dealer and the OE manufacturer, depending on their specific needs.” SRAM’s commitment to be at the forefront of cutting-edge developments is key, as Vetois explains: “It is very important. SRAM wants to offer the best possible riding experience to every cyclist enthusiast. In order to accomplish that goal, one needs to look ahead and develop new technologies and exciting products. “SRAM is a multicultural company spread across the globe with passionate cyclists as employees. At SRAM, we understand cyclists and their need for quality and technologically advanced products.” RAISING THE BAR In the UK, SRAM products are handled by two distributors: “Fisher Outdoor carries the complete SRAM product range on Road and MTB (SRAM, RockShox, Avid and Truvativ), while Saddleback distributes the

Zipp range and the SRAM Road product line (with the exception of SRAM wheels).” Far from resting on its laurels, SRAM has a number of developments planned, as Vetois elaborates: “Year after year, SRAM has developed its product ranges significantly to offer a great choice of components in the MTB or Road worlds. Certain categories such as road and wheels are still young within the SRAM Portfolio and have plenty of potential for growth and extension. SRAM will always look for opportunities to offer the best in class products available in the cycling trade.” In the meantime, SRAM is firmly focused on its brand new XX ranges: “In May 2009, we presented to the global media the first 2X10 speed Mountain Bike groupset with XX. “That was the first step of many for XX. So for the next 12 months we want to make sure everybody knows how great the XX components are.” No doubt that will be the message from SRAM at this month’s trade event in Friedrichshafen: “SRAM will definitely be present at Eurobike. You can discover the latest products at our booth located in Hall A3/201.”

SRAM on Tour Alberto Contador might have bagged first place at this year’s Tour de France, but SRAM also managed to secure its own significant achievement, equipping the bikes of Andy Schleck and Lance Armstrong and Contador himself. SRAM Red’s accomplishment is vindication of quality, according to Vetois: “SRAM Red sweeping the Tour de France podium is definitely great news. It is also the confirmation that SRAM products can perform at the highest racing level, in the toughest conditions and come out on top.” And high-profile success breeds desirability at retail: “Over the last year in the United Kingdom, the demand for SRAM Road products has increased significantly. Dealers have shown a great interest in SRAM Road products, and feel the need to offer SRAM products in their stores. More specifically to the impact of the Tour de France on SRAM product demand at retail, it is too early to extract concrete information. Nonetheless, we are confident that such a success is a clear quality statement and will keep the momentum going.”




Reading and riding In the heart of affluent Royal Berkshire, Mystery Shopper investigates what the cycle retailers of county town Reading have to offer riders in search of the latest cycle computers…


AW Cycles


SITUATED on a lengthy parade of shops on a busy thoroughfare leading into Reading, AW Cycles features an eye-catching store front with bike parking facilities outside the shop. AW Cycles – which has been established for over 25 years – was bustling with customers and a vast array of bikes on the day of Mystery Shopper’s visit. The sizeable range of cycles and accessories were clearly labelled with prices, and after circling the well-staffed store I approached the sales counter to ask about the shop’s range of cycle computers. The salesperson showed me to the relevant display, and after asking for guidance on the type of cycle computer available, the staff member handed me a feature comparison chart which clearly listed each model against its features. The approachable staff member remained nearby to answer further questions and provided a copy of the store catalogue that I could take away with me, complete with details of the cycle computer ranges available and contact details for the store.

JJB, based in the heart of Reading town centre, is split onto three levels, and gives cycling a high profile. Outside the entrance a display of five or six models were the only products visible from outside the store, which is perhaps a measure of the sector’s increasing pull for customers. A limited selection of bikes for juniors were located on the first floor, with the bulk of the offering on the second floor. All of the models on display benefited from clear pricing and labelling, and all were priced towards the lower end of the market. Mystery Shopper found that JJB did stock cycle computers, but, perhaps unsurprisingly for a store that dedicates space to so many different sports, the selection was limited – to two models in this case. Both of them were again at the value end of the market and entry level models. Mystery Shopper approached a passing sales assistant and asked if there were any more available in store, or online. I was told that this was unlikely and was, surprisingly, encouraged to head to a rival national retailer for a wider selection of models.



Berkshire Cycle Co

Cycle Zone

BASED just outside Reading, Berkshire Cycle Company is situated near to a busy junction, with great signage and a cycle display outside the shop that is sure to attract attention from the steady stream of passers-by and commuters. With plenty of staff on hand to help customers, the sizeable shop was stacked full of bicycles, which again were well labelled. After browsing the store, Mystery Shopper approached a sales assistant to ask about the store’s range of cycle computers. The staff member showed me the product line-up, which included a range of models, including wireless and wired devices. The sales assistant took the time to go over the features of the devices, praised the accuracy of wireless cycle computers and answered questions. The knowledgeable member of staff encouraged me to make a purchase without being pushy, and was more than happy to discuss the products in depth. Berkshire Cycle Co was another store with a good range of relevant products, plus staff members happy to take the time to help prospective customers.

SITUATED in Earley – just outside the town centre, Cycle Zone is located on a parade of shops close to a busy junction. Signage was again strong inside the store, and there was a good range of bikes and accessories available on the day. The sales assistant was busy serving a customer with a range of long queries at the time of Mystery Shopper’s visit. Despite that, the member of staff managed to field my query and showed me to the retailer’s cycle computer range in between handling requests from other customers. The busy store had a good selection of cycle computers too, including high-end options circa £100 as well as lower priced entry-level models. Despite being too busy to get the chance to go over the features of the devices with me, the sales assistant was friendly and seemingly pro-active. The depth of information he was imparting to the customers he was serving at the time of the visit showed that he was happy to go into detail with potential cycle customers and answer questions to the satisfaction of shop visitors.

Action Bikes


ACTION Cycles is another well located bike retailer, situated right in the retail centre of Reading. The shop makes good use of the town’s many bike parking facilities with store advertisements attached to static bikes in nearby bike parks. Inside the shop, bike labelling was excellent, with key features and pricing listed clearly for browsing shoppers. After only a few moments in the store a sales assistant pro-actively approached me and offered help. The staff member showed me to the cycle computer display and without hesitating went on to explain the differences across the ranges – including the cadence click push-screen that can be easily operated even when the rider is wearing large gloves, and the wireless versions available. After talking me through the features unhurriedly, the knowledgeable staff member left me to browse the sizeable range. Boasting excellent advice and a great selection of computers to choose from, Mystery Shopper found Action Bikes to be one of the star stores of the day.

IN a retail park close to Reading on the one-way system, Halfords was another retailer putting bikes to the fore with a display outside the shop. Like many other stores in the chain, the branch included a bikededicated mezzanine level with a good selection of bikes and accessories, all boasting great signage that lists features and prices. After walking around the mezzanine level unapproached, I headed to the sales counter to ask about the cycle computer ranges available. Initially I was pointed towards the relevant products, but after going on to ask for further help (interrupting a wheel fitting session) the sales assistant showed me to the display. He explained that they were low on stock on the day, but were expecting new models to arrive in the week. The staff member went on to explain that some wireless models suffer from interference. He also advised that high-end devices are primarily for professional and semi-pro riders, and added that most amateurs would find devices that sport fewer functions adequate for use.


Summary CYCLING enjoys a high profile in Reading, with plenty of cycle lanes and cycle parking facilities throughout the town. With well-placed signs positioned near traffic hotspots encouraging commuter to go by bike, the town council is clearly taking a pro-active role in encouraging cycling uptake. Mystery Shopper found that the university town was well served with bicycle retailers, all of which provided at least a good level of service. Of particular note was Action Cycles – one of the star performers on the day. Berkshire Cycle Company was another high achiever, with both offering detailed information with little encouragement.



The finalists... Ten categories, 53 companies and one month to go. Your nominations have been collected and the finalists for the BikeBiz Awards 2009 have been confirmed… INDEPENDENT RETAILER  18 Bikes, Derbyshire  Pennine Cycles, Bradford  Station Cycles, Cambridge  Condor Cycles, London  Rutland Cycling, Oakham


ONLINE RETAILER  Cycling Bargains  TfTuned  Tarty Bikes  Wiggle  Chain Reaction


CONSUMER MAGAZINE Cycling Plus Ride The Ride Journal Singletrack CTC Cycle Magazine

CONSUMER WEBSITE MPORA Bikeradar Singletrack

HIGH STREET CHAIN  Evans  Halfords  Cycle Surgery  Cyclelife  Cycles UK

MARKETING TEAM Silverfish Cannondale Fisher Outdoors Evans Pashley Madison Raleigh


MANUFACTURER Charge Cannondale KHE Giant Merida Brompton Hope


DISTRIBUTOR BIKES  Silverfish  Hotlines  Jim Walker  Madison  Hot Wheels  Reece  Seventies DISTRIBUTOR PARTS & ACCESSORIES  Paligap  Zyro  Fisher Outdoors  Moore Large  Extra  2Pure  Madison

Last year’s lucky winners BIKEBIZ.COM

NOW THE lobbying period for the nominees for the BikeBiz Awards 2009 is over and the finalists for these second-ever industry awards have been decided. One winner from each category will receive a prize at this year’s BikeBiz Awards 2009, which will be live for the first time, in association with The Cycle Show. The industry


S 20 AWARD n with

In associatio

Awards, officially partnered by Cube and Citrus-Lime, will be handed out at a trade-only drinks reception on Thursday October 8th at the Cycle Show 2009 at Earls Court. Now the finalists have been revealed, BikeBiz is putting together a panel of 50 judges from the trade to select their recommendations for each category from the finalists

listed above. If you’d like to be part of the judging process please contact the BikeBiz team at Jonathon.Harker or Carly.Bailey Cycle Show organiser Upper Street Events will be choosing and presenting the final award on the night – for Best Cycle Show Stand.


SRAM®, RockShox®, Avid® and Truvativ® came together to create something even more powerful: the first ever complete 2x10 MTB group set - XX™. Brakes so powerful - shifting so fast - BB30 cranks so strong to withstand the highest level of World Cup racing - put together as a lightweight but fully featured package for anyone to experience a new level of perfomance under 2300g.

XX information:

© 2009 SRAM, LLC

Distribution in the UK: Fisher Outdoor Leisure LTD,

The first 2x10 MTB group set



It’s showtime! The UK’s largest cycle exhibition returns to Earls Court from October 8th to11th and is once again set to fill the floor with an unmissable show. Mark Sutton investigates why trade members should pre-register their attendance now… WITH ambitions to become a universal exhibition for all things cycling, the Cycle Show has a lot to pack into Earls Court this October. If the trade day is to tempt retailers to shut up shop for a day, the show must cater for all sectors and offer opportunity for business link ups, a social environment and carry the UK's most in demand brands. From what BikeBiz has been shown, this year's instalment goes further than ever to draw crowds over the four days, with seminars, events and attractions all tailored to the crowds. Cycle's event director Andrew Brabazon tells BikeBiz: "We've placed huge focus on attracting the female cyclist to the show this year. From what research has shown us, 40 per cent of the cycle market are females, so we need to provide plenty of content to draw the fairer sex, something we feel this year's show achieves. As an example, we've commissioned Cyclodelic's Amy Fleuriot to give inspiring female focused talks. There will also be women's only sessions on the test tracks." Bike Tech is another of the exhibitors holding maintenance training exclusively for the girls.


It's not just 'half the market' the show has sought to attract either. As part of any ongoing diversification into new territories, Brabazon's team has secured both Seventies and IMG, to further the show's appeal to the 20-inch crowd. Then there's additions such as UltraMotor and GoCycle, bolstering the show's appeal to those contemplating adding electric bikes to their stable. Last year the big-name addition was Madison; this year Hotlines has come on board for the first time. Yet, one of the key reasons the event is becoming an essential calendar date is down to the fact current exhibitors are not only returning, many are expanding their presence, effectively treating the show with equal importance to 'house shows'. For example, Jim

Walker and Madison have both increased their stand size in light of the event's consistently increasing popularity. Another exhibitor first is the attendance of training academy The Bike Doctor, which by the time the show rolls around will have been re-branded under the Cycle-Systems moniker. RETAIL TO REAP REWARDS Cycle's popular Retail Zone operates slightly differently this year. As there is no main sponsor, retailers offering product within it are entitled to bring their own cash register, meaning 100 per cent of show takings are processed through the exhibitors own system. What's more, the Zone is no longer exclusively dedicated to clothing. As a response to show feedback demanding lighting

product for sale, the organisers have allowed clothing, accessories (such as helmets and reflective gear) and lighting product to go on sale. The space in the Retail Zone is mostly taken, however, slots are still available (at the time of going to press). For enquiries into space, contact Elizabethb@ LET CYCLE ENTERTAIN YOU Given that Earls Court is now virtually full to the brim with cycle content, organisers have yet again managed to pack in a plethora of interactive content. Last year saw the debut of the 'skate park' style course, on which professional names gave demos to packed terraces. Brabazon said of this year's plans: "Ride UK has put its name to the course, which I think adds legitimacy to the event in the eyes of the younger BMX and jump markets. There's some

really huge names set to grace the course this year too." This year, the show gains a 'manmade mountain' as part of the North Shore style test track. Those with a competitive edge are also invited, by Sports Tours International, to take place in time trails on stand D28. These are the kind of trials where, in the past, future cycling stars have been spotted. British Cycling are in attendance too, so be sure to train those legs up for sprinting before your visit. Casual cyclists will also be able to view and test some of the latest complete bikes on the TfL sponsored test track. WHY ATTEND? The diverse exhibitor list will, without doubt, feature one or more of your store’s main suppliers, as well as upstart and established smaller brands. Many exhibitors use the show as a launch and preview platform for the coming season's product, while others use their presence as an opportunity to meet customers and discuss their needs. If you've yet to do so, head to for free of charge entry for you and your staff.



Exhibitor list 2Stage Action Medical Research Amazing Wheels Amba Marketing Assist ATB Sales Batribike Bike Eye Bikegreece Bionicon Bohle UK Bromley Bike Brompton BYOcycles Campagnolo Cannondale Carradice Company Z [Viner] Condor Cordee Cotic Cube Bikes Cycleurope (Bianchi) Demon Frameworks Dremefa BV Early Rider Endura Exodus Explore Extra Finale Figure Enigma Titanium Freeride Fisher Outdoor Leisure FLI Distribution Folding Bike Hut / Deep Blue Sky Garmin Go Cycle Greyville Ground Effect Hope Technology Hotlines Hunter Sports Italy Bike Hotels Jeantex Jim Walker KCNC Clee Cycles Koga Kool Stop Europe Lyon Madison Mavic Memory Map Mosquito Nemesis Pace Pashley Pashley as Moulton Pearl Izumi Pearsons Cycles Powacycle Redspokes Ryders Eyewear Saddleback Satmap Scott Sport Sealskinz Shiner Sigma Specialized Split Second Sturmey Archer Sub-4 Sugoi Torq Ultimate Sports Engineering Upgrade Vigour Corp Wiggle Wildoo Windridge Ciclismo uTag / Bike It International Surf Sales Yellow Veho No Hills Biketech Shuswap The Bike Doctor Cape Town Cycle Tours Trust Cycleaddiction AFEX Ana Nichoola Cooper Bikes Spoke Shirt Utility Polaris Seven Star Moore Large Velo Vision SingleTrack CTC LCC Factory Media IPC Sustrans Cycle Scheme Tirol Marketing Services GmbH BikeBiz This list is up to date at the time of going to press




October 8th-11th


TopShop success to school trade on selling to the fairer sex

AMY FLEURIOT, the designer behind the Cyclodelic range is scheduled to give two half hour seminars on each day of the show. Beginning on the trade exclusive day, Fleuriot will speak alongside other industry and press, discussing how the trade can make greater inroads into the female market and why it is necessary to encourage women in store. The following day’s theme covers commuting, which includes nutrition, beauty on a bike and safe cycling in the city. This is followed by tips on competitive cycling for females and, on the show's close, a family and leisure discussion. Cyclodelic will also be exhibiting at the show on


stand D11, where Fleuriot will be on hand to offer brief consultancy sessions. These will be for women of all levels looking for friendly expert advice, whether they've never cycled before and don't know what bike to start off with or if they'd like to upgrade, try out something new or just know where to find the best kit for their cycling style. Bike Tech and The Bike Doctor will also be running women-only maintenance sessions from their stands. Women can drop in at scheduled slots throughout the show for hands-on sessions for beginners through to advanced sessions covering how to fix a puncture to replacing brake cables and removing a bottom bracket.




Can you afford to miss out? Retailers need one hell of a reason to shut up shop for a day. For many it’s virtually unheard of. So why should store owners take a day or more out for the London Cycle Show? BikeBiz delves deeper into the product due at this year’s show…



SHIMANO once again has a whopper of a stand dedicated to the brand alone via distributor Madison. Cycle will offer the first showing of the Di2 TT specific setup, already used to great success by Bradley Wiggins. There will once again be a demo bike equip with the new gear on the Shimano stand open to trade and public testing. The new Ultegra 6700 groupset will also be on show for people to see. There will also be a Shimano Service Bar whereby members of the trade and public can ask techy questions to trained Shimano technical experts. It'll utilise a deli-style ticketing system so people can browse the stand and avoid queuing while waiting for their turn. Furthermore, the new Atherton signature range of race-orientated PRO handlebars, grips, stems, seatpost and saddle will be unveiled for the first time at the October show. Likewise, a more burly Thomas Vanderham freeride-orientated signature

THE SUGOI H.O.V. line for spring 2010 has expanded dramatically since its introduction for Autumn 2009. Human Operated Vehicle clothing is a bike culture line, which exhibits relaxed silhouettes and breathable fabrics that look as good in the office as they do in the saddle. One of the garments due to be unveiled at Cycle is the H.O.V. jacket for women. Costing £90 at retail, the women’s garment features a feminine, slim waist fit, combined with various details such as three front pockets, a high collar and adjustable cuffs to reflective accents for added visibility. Made from durable yet breathable Mobil Carbon fabric, the jacket combines technical performance with casual city style. The brand's yet-to-be-seen Piston collection will also be on show. Centred on the brand new Piston fabric technology, the polyamide-based materials used boast the lowest weight

Sigma DUE to be unveiled at both Cycle and Eurobike, Sigma's new generation of cycle computers, the aptly-named TopLine, are both functional and sleekly designed. Some of the highlights of the new range are: The larger and therefore more easily readable display, the ergonomic design of the keys, the user-friendly menu navigation, as well as an improved and extremely stable digitally encoded, three-channel wireless Sigma Transmission System. The Topline models provide to-the-point answers for each and every level of cyclist. The BC 509 is in the first run for families, children, city


PRO line consisting of handlebars, stems, seatpost, grips and saddle will be unveiled for the first time in the UK. Depending on availability, there might also be a sneak peak of the new PRO Missile Evo TT aerobars, which were codeveloped with Scott and also some prototype samples of Mark Cavendish's signature handlebar and stem may be on show. Madison: 0208 385 3385

per square inch available in warp-knit compression fabric. Engineered through Zone Construction, each item of the Piston series provides balanced graduated compression at the recommended compression values for athletic purposes ranging between 5 to 15 mm Hg. Sugoi: +49 7141 2421362


bikers, commuters and hobby bikers. For more demanding hobby bikers, the firm is to present the models BC 1009 and BC 1009 STS, and for competition bikers the BC 1609 and the BC 1609 STS. The model BC 1909 HR is suitable for the requirements of all fitness-oriented bikers who, among other things, need accurate heart rate and cadence measurements. Bikers who are at home in the mountains and love altitude, will find a companion in the BC 2209 MHR thanks to its integral, highresolution barometric pressure measurement, complete with three altitude measurement functions. Sigma: 01692 650673

AS revealed in last month’s BikeBiz, consumer electronics brand Veho is coming to the Cycle Show this year. While the firm’s product traditionally retails in the likes of HMV, Maplins and Currys, its latest product – the Muvi micro DV Camcorder is primed for cyclists. The Muvi is, according to the firm, officially the smallest sports camcorder in the world. Recording in two mega pixel AVI file format at 640x480 resolution despite its diminutive nature, the cam is perfect for recording cycle exploits for later uploading to YouTube. It stores files on an included 2GB Micro SD card and has a maximum capacity of 8GB. Optional extras include a cycle mounting kit. Veho: 08712 717780






JUST CALL 01905 798 692


REGISTER FREE AT: Fisher Outdoor Leisure THE Herts-based distributor will have a commute-themed exhibition stand at this year’s cycle show. Focusing on all things commuter, there will be a wide range of products on display including the new Bspoke accessory range, new commuter helmets from Met, Smart Lunar and Polaris lights and the Hybrid bikes from the Norco VFR range. Fisher Outdoor: 01727 798345

Bohle UK BOHLE UK will be showing off a bundle of new products at the Earls Court show, including the Schwalbe Kid Plus tyre – new for 2010. The new tyre uses wellproven puncture protection technology that’s based on the SmartGuard principle of Marathon Plus. And not only is Schwalbe packing in a high level of puncture protection for this Kids Plus tyre, but its also using the ‘Black ‘n’ Roll’ rubber compound – used by the Marathon Plus wheelchair tyres – meaning that unsightly skid marks on hall floors are a thing of the past. They’ll be sized 12 x 1.75 (47-203). Also from the firm is the Dirty Dan – an all-new Mud tyre from Schwalbe. Replacing the renowned Black Shark Mud, the Dirty Dan is available as a XC version 26 x 2.00 and a DH version 26 x 2.35 in the super sticky Gooey Glooey compound on top of the special 2 x 67 tpi downhill carcass. The tall tread blocks bite into the soft mud and loose terrain and with the large gaps providing the necessary self-cleaning and braking traction. Meanwhile, specially angled side tread knobs ensure maximum grip for high speed cornering. Bohle: 01952 602680


Jim Walker RETAILERS seeking new bike brands should definitely swing by the Jim Walker stand. The distributor will be bringing its two latest signings – Eddy Merckx Bikes and SUNN mountain bikes. legendary racer Merckx will be available to meet dealers on the trade day and is open to questions about the builds. Company MD Ian Wilson tells BikeBiz: "Additionally, the London show trade days will see the official launch of the

new 'JW d-ler' programme. This programme will give dealers the benefits of getting special stockist prices throughout the season, plus even more beneficial prices on brand packs that they stock-in by committing to a minimum amount.There will also be a new highly incentivised rebate scheme for dealers who are stocking-in a certain range of the JW products from their portfolio. Watch out for the new Trade Book available at the show." Jim Walkers: 08707 528 777





Charge plugs into non-bike media Chic, zeitgeisty and with a dreamboat palette, Charge is a cult bike brand that hooks the style press and wows the in-crowd. Carlton Reid goes along for the ride... THE LONDON press launch, in mid-July, for hip British bike brand Charge – run by Nick Larsen and owned by Hot Wheels – was attended by the kind of mainstream media that bigger, older, richer bike brands would kill for. Charge attracts big-hitter newspaper journalists and Asian lifestyle magazines because it’s stylish and has a cult following. Soho graphic designers can be fined if they aren’t seen riding around on Charge fixies. The brand is at the cuttingedge of colourways, graphic design and street fashion. However, it’s not a ten-dealer brand, it’s available in 170-plus bike shops, like Brick Lane Bikes of London, Evans Cycles, and Want to advertise your coolness? Slap a Charge sticker on your window and stock the bikes and the accessories (who can resist a saddle called Spoon?). Charge founder Nick Larsen, is very much in demand. On his Twitter feed he wrote: “A Japanese fashion mag wants me to choose my favourite Breitling watch for a feature.” It’s this resonance with the hip crowd that’s propelling Charge into the mainstream. BikeBiz went along to its all-day press launch where few bike media types were there. It was a launch for newpapers and the style media. A press invite from Charge comes with gifts. In London, the


media got Knog ‘hipster cyst’ lights and other cool stuff. At Eurobike, the press pack included limited edition Vans/Charge shoes, bottles of Charge beer from Bath Ales, samples from its new clothing brand, street clothing from designer Jeff Griffin, and a variety of 2010 bike accessories. This amount of schwag isn’t pure brand bribery. The Charge product range, and the way its story is told, means the brand is like the cool kid you want to hang out with. When Charge appointed a PR company, it didn’t appoint a flash London boutique agency. Instead it elevated two of its sponsored riders, Juliet Elliott and Posy Dixon. At the London press launch, they – and the cachet that is Charge – attracted the kind of magazines and journalists that most bike brands wouldn’t get in a million years. Some confirmed visitors that day were: The Independent, Zest, Observer Magazine, Japanese style mags, Men’s Health, Health and Fitness, Wired, Exit, Telegraph, The Times, and the Financial Times. Charge was formed with Hot Wheels in November 2004, after Larsen worked with the Bournemouth business on its GT and Mongoose team. Back then, he had a clothing brand and design consultancy called Gate Eight. Prior to that, he worked for Pashley for six years, where he was responsible for its entry

“The Plug sold well to snowboarders and skateboarders, not cyclists. We pushed lots of new customers to bike shops.” Nick Larsen, Charge Bikes MD

Eurobike attendees will be able to sample Charge’s ‘Gem’ beer

into the bike scene. He got this job while doing an industrial design degree at Brunel University. The link up with Hot Wheels makes sense. The Merry brothers have reps, money and a distribution network; Larsen has the marketing and design savvy. Last year’s show stand was a beautifully distressed launderette; this year’s Eurobike stand was an English pub. Charge’s products are not always available. “We’ve always had a lack of stock,” admits Larsen. “We’ve always sold out.” When stock’s here, it’s snapped up, and not just by bike enthusiasts: “A lot of people attracted to Charge aren’t cyclists to start off with,” he adds. “The Plug sold well to snowboarders and skateboarders, but not cyclists per se. We pushed lots of new customers to bike shops.”

Larsen is embedded in the bike trade – he quit a two year furniture design job because he “missed bikes too much,” says his LinkedIn profile – but he’s a leader not a follower. “I’ve always taken inspiration from areas other than the world of bikes. When I was designing the saddles, I looked at skate shoes, not other bike saddles.” Charge isn’t just a domestic hit, it is distributed in Australia, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Taiwan. Naturally, as a cult brand, it’s distributed in Japan, but in a coals to Newcastle sort of way. With the expansion of the range, including city cruisers for men and women, plenty of geared bikes, and the addition of a clothing sub-brand, Charge is powering ahead. But don’t just take my word for it, read all about it in mainstream press.



Great Scott The buzz phrase in the US bike industry is ‘static is the new up’. Bike sales are soft, but at least US firms know the numbers, as Scott USA’s Scott Montgomery tells Carlton Reid...

“Sales of bikes below $3,000 retail have been good and stable, but what’s really surprised us is the drop-off in sales of $3,000 to $7,000 bikes.” Scott Montgomery, Scott USA

Left to right: Scott Montgomery and Adrian Montgomery, key figureheads at Scott USA


SCOTT USA is not American, it’s Swiss. The company started life in Sun Valley, Idaho (as a maker of aluminium ski poles), but a few mergers later it came into private Swiss ownership and has stayed there. For many years, the firm had no representation in America until Scott Montgomery set it up five years ago. Montgomery is not linked to the company name, and further adding to the confusion, he is not related to Scott USA’s US marketing manager Adrian Montgomery, either. ALL MONTGOMERY Scott Montgomery’s father founded Cannondale, and appointed him as second-incommand right through the glory days of the 1980s and early 1990s. He was involved in forming the richest ever MTB team, Volvo-Cannondale; and signed the pay cheques of the richest ever MTB racers, Tinker Juarez and Missy Giove. When he established the Scott brand in the US, it gained a foothold in dealers with the top of the range CR1, Dura Ace equipped, sold on its lightness. The equally innovative Genius MTB could not be sold in the US because of a bitter patent dispute with Specialized (over suspension, naturally). Now, the US branch of Scott USA has 30 per cent of the SKUs available, and is introducing new lines gradually. Montgomery is happy to take the SKU expansion slowly, especially as the recession has seen a massive drop in sales for bike companies. He is upbeat about the future, and knows the exact dimensions of the softening. This is because US bike companies share their sales stats anonymously, via a third party. Something the UK bike trade has

long talked about, yet never successfully actioned long-term. SLOWING DOWN Montgomery sits on the board of the Bicycle Products Suppliers’ Association, BPSA. He’s intimate with the aggregated numbers of what’s selling in the US, and what’s not. “Since the end of September [2008], the consumer has been in scared mode. Anything considered on the discretionary or extravagent side has been soft,” said Mongomery. “Sales of bikes below $3,000 retail have been good and stable, but what’s really surprised us is the drop-off in sales of $3,000 to $7,000 bikes.” GOING GLOBAL “Urban is the strong point. We budgeted for double digit growth and that’s met our expectations. Our sportster, the Sub series, has been a bright point for us. “Global marketing benefits us a lot. New product development is more of a negotiation. Sometimes we go with a more Germanic spec, and sometimes with a more Anglo one. It comes down to the dominant category of the moment. If we have stronger Anglo sales – a good example would be riser bars on hardtails – then that’s the spec we go with. “It’s also beneficial in other Anglo markets for the group: New Zealand, Canada, Australia and the UK. The balance between Anglo and Germanic is evening out, which is good for the group as a whole. “The US branch of Scott is growing. We’re pleased to say we’ve gone from zero to 600 dealers in five years. “Even though it’s a recession, we’ve been able to see modest growth. We added 11 dealers last month, and 15 this month.

So, even though store sales are down for US companies, if you add quality distribution, then you can experience growth.” Being able to measure the market is key. “I’ve been doing the calculations recently, and there are 76 ‘legitimate’ brands of bicycle available in the US. In Europe, there are well over 100, perhaps even as many as 130. “Forty of the 76 are contributing their monthly statistics to the BPSA. We all send our numbers in to a third party auditing company, and they give us the numbers back as a whole. I don’t know what Trek sells, and Trek doesn’t know what we sell, but we have an aggregate total. “We know that inventory’s up at the supplier level, by as much as fifty per cent. This is disappointing, yet understandable, because as the consumer pushes back, so does the dealer. So, for the first time in a long time, there’s more inventory than we’d like. On the bright side, the American companies have stopped the early introduction of product that had become commonplace for April, May, and June, and is going back to a more historical September and October. “By the end of the summer we’ll see the excess cleared out, and a late start to the 2010 product year. “If the consumer has money to spend, they are in a strong position and can ask for great deals. That’s hard on retailers and suppliers. This won’t change any time soon, at least not at the high-end. “For urban products, where demand is strong, it’s different. I think we have a lot to learn from Europeans on our use of oil. When we do, this will be great for the bike trade.”



Setting the

standard New bicycle legislation from Europe has been a long time coming. Jonathon Harker speaks with Halfords’ Chris Hall to shed light on the new regulations, and to explain how the retail giant is tackling them… THE arrival of the new European bicycle standards have been the cause of some confusion in the cycle trade, following a protracted introduction to the trade with extended deadlines. As BikeBiz revealed last month, Halfords is already preparing its ranges for the impending legislation changes. Chris Hall, Halford’s head of quality assurance and product compliance shares his view: “The EU standards have long been planned to supercede the current UK-specific bicycle product safety standard BS 6102 Part 1.” The process behind its introduction is quite complex, as Hall explains: “The mechanism for bringing the EN standards into UK law is for Parliament to revise the Pedal Bicycle Safety Regulations, removing the requirement for BS 6102 compliance. The new regulations will not refer to a specific standard, but require compliance with the EN standards under the General Product Safety Regulations – GPSR. “The new legislation in the UK, as in most of the rest of the EU, will rely upon GPSR. In most cases these regulations require the use of the highest standards. However, in the case


of bikes, the EN standards are specifically included in a list of standards required to meet GPSR, which has been published by the Commission. This in effect makes them mandatory across the EU. By using the mechanism the UK law will not have to be revised when the standards are changed. For example a new BMX EN standard is currently being drafted.” EN: WHO BENEFITS? Hall believes that the ultimate beneficiary will be consumers: “The new EN standards take forward the requirements for the safety and durability of bikes. Better braking performance of all cycles is required, varying according to each individual standard, which are each designed for specific types of bike. In the case of bikes for young children both front and rear brakes are now required. Key parts of the bike – frame, forks, drive-train, wheels and handlebar assemblies – need to withstand strength and fatigue testing, simulating very severe real-life usage.” The standards even provide education for riders: “A more comprehensive owners manual is also required, giving clear

information to the customer about their new cycle and encouraging them to look after their cycle and understand the benefits of EN-required features helping them get the most out of their purchase.” Halfords is a keen advocate of the introduction of the standards: “As the number one UK and ROI bike retailer, Halfords is keen to adopt the most stringent quality and safety standards, and pass these benefits onto the customer. We feel we have a duty to implement the most rigorous standards on the market, even though they may not yet strictly be required by law. HALFORDS TACKLES THE STANDARD “Our existing internal standards incorporate the requirements of the EN bike standards and additional requirements that we have built up with long experience of working with our network of store specialists.” All of Halfords’ cycle range will comply with the new standards ahead of the deadline. “We

began our EN development programme in 2007, beginning with our own brands, Apollo and Carrera, and kids’ bikes (less than 18-inch wheels),” says Hall. “New cycles in these ranges were fully compliant to the relevant EN standard. These were launched onto the market in 2007, when we were able to claim the first range of kids’ bikes to be fully EN compliant. Also, at least 85 per cent of our other ranges are already ENcompliant.” Hall concludes: “Our desire to apply stringent quality and safety standards to our cycles is emphasised by Halfords’ free build and safety check, followed by a free six-week service. Ultimately, the customer receives peace-of-mind.”

“These regulations will require the use of the highest standards. Ultimately, the customer receives peace-of-mind.” Chris Hall, Halfords

CARRERA: A brand that is already EN compliant


PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT Send your recruitment news to

Hotlines boosts sales team as biz grows On-the-road reps added to bolster territory coverage  Sugoi also adds to European work force ANDREW COUTANT  SPORTS clothing manufacturer Sugoi has hired Andrew Coutant for the role of vice president for design and development. Coutant joins Sugoi with a strong 20-year background in the outdoor and athletic industry, most recently with Brooks Sports as the director of research and development. In 2002 Coutant held the product development manager title at ASICS in California. Looking after apparel and accessories, he played a key role in winning the Fleet Feet Apparel Vendor of the Year award twice during his five-year employment. Stan Mavis, president of Sugoi commented: “It is a pleasure to have Andy Coutant join the Sugoi team. His wealth of experience in


increasing quality control standards, driving innovation, strengthening price positioning on apparel and delivering award winning lines will be key to Sugoi’s future success.” The sports clothing firm has also made a string of appointments to strengthen its European sales force. The new appointments all come from elsewhere within Dorel's Recreational and Leisure segment and all have a track record within the bike industry. JOHN CLARE  JJB SPORTS has taken on John Clare as senior independent non-executive director. John Clare (CBE) served as the chief executive officer of DSG International from 1994 to

September 2007, having joined DSG as marketing director in 1986 and serving as managing director of Dixons Stores Group from 1988 to 1992 and as group managing director of DSG International plc from 1992 to 1994. Clare also serves as Chairman of Jobcentre Plus (part of the Department of Work and Pensions). In 2005, he was awarded a CBE for services to the National Employment Panel. Commenting on the appointment, Sir David Jones CBE, executive chairman at JJB said: "It is with great pleasure that we announced Clare's appointment to the board. To appoint a senior independent non-executive director with John's wealth of experience in

'UK PLC' and UK retailing is a very positive move for JJB and its shareholders. “To attract someone of John's calibre to this position is also testament to his and our belief in JJB Sports' successful future." MARCUS SCHNEIDER  MARCUS Schneider has been promoted to category manager for performance comfort within Sram's IGH segment. Schneider will now be responsible for the whole range of SRAM urban and trekking products. For the past two years, his role has been serving as product manager in Schweinfurt, where he was in charge of a number of different Sram groups: Via, Torpedo, i-Motion 9, i-Motion 3, DualDrive, S7, P5 and T3.

Marcus Schneider



People & Recruitment is Sponsored by Halfords

Before taking on his role at Sram, Schneider worked as a product manager for Winora for seven years. “We are excited to have Marcus leading this product category. His industry perspective and experience will add significant value to our efforts to revive this category,“ said Mike Mercuri, vice president of product management and marketing. “We look forward to new changes and growth in the IGH category over the next three to five years.“ SIMON RALPH  HOTLINES’ new South East account manager is Simon Ralph. Ralph has a 20-plus year sales track record within the lifestyle,


outdoor and cycle industry. He brings years of on-road sales and management experience to the ever-growing brand portfolio of Hotlines. Speaking to BikeBiz, Ralph said: “I am thrilled at this opportunity to join Hotlines as they are the UK’s and Europe’s fastest growing bicycle distribution company. Having brands such as Lapierre, Electra and NS Bikes to represent with such high profiles will make my tasks fascinating” DIETER PULLAN  DIETER Pullan joins the Hotlines team after several years with Extra. He’s been riding and racing for the last 17 years, and has spent the last ten years working in bike

Dieter Pullan

Christian Tomlinson

retail and distribution. He’s been employed as part of the expansion of the Hotlines team to provide additional support to dealers in the North East and to ensure that Hotlines continues to offer great quality service and dealer support. Apart from his obvious love of bikes in general, Pullan has an unhealthy obsession with retrobike renovations. CHRISTIAN TOMLINSON  HOTLINES third hire takes on the role of account manager for the south-west. Pictured alongside one of three new Hotlines vans, Christian Tomlinson has been working in the trade for over 18 years and riding mountain bikes since 1988.

Tomlinson comes to Hotlines with a strong history in cycle retailing and is looking forward to seeing things from ‘the other side of the fence’. KAREN DAVIDSON  LAST of distributor’s appointments, Karen Davidson has joined Hotlines to assume responsibility for credit control. Coming to the role with 19 years credit control experience gained throughout various types of companies, ranging from Government agencies to mobile phone companies, Karen’s brief is to ensure that all Hotlines’ credit accounts are managed appropriately, and to ensure the smooth running of the credit control department.




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

RETAIL COMMENT IF PREVIOUSLY you’ve been hesitant to make the trip to London’s Cycle Show, this year is without doubt, 100 per cent unmissable, no matter what cycling discipline you favour. Even if you despise bikes, but love the business, this year’s trade day offers a plethora of reasons to get stuck in. Here’s just a few: Conquering new markets: It has always been the show’s goal to be attractive to each and every niche, from unicycles to tandems and beyond. And this year the presence of several electric bike and BMX exhibitors take the show’s organisers much closer to being truly universally attractive. That leads me onto... New exhibitors and expansion: Event director Andrew Brabazon confesses to having a hit list of companies he’d love to see book space. This year his list has got a little smaller with the signing of Hotlines, Seventies, IMG,

“Cycle’s event director confesses to having an ‘exhibitor hit-list.’ This year that list is a whole lot smaller.” GoCycle, Cyclodelic and Cooper Bikes, among others. Of course, there are still brands to come on board, but then again, there’s still space on the floorplan and the show consistantly gains more appeal by the year. It’s worth noting too, that several distributors have doubled, tripled and in one case – quadrupled their floor space year-on-year. Most of this is on the back of portfolio investments. Is it foolish to conclude the bike trade skipped over the recession with only a few stock shortages to complain about? Interactive features and investments: Having cruised around the test tracks each year I’ve been in attendance, each did seem to be lacking in thrills (probably for insurance reasons...). However, this year the North Shore inspired test track features a man-made mountain! Tell me that doesn’t instantly up the show’s appeal! The ramps also return and will once again no doubt have the terraces filled. This time around, rider input has gone into the course design. You should see the list of riders set to grace the course too; the names featured alone are enough to draw crowds. Retail Zone banks 100 per cent of the takings: This feature may be geared toward the consumer. However, for the first time in the show’s history, those companies selling within are entitled to 100 per cent of the takings with permission granted to bring your own till. What’s more, sale product is no longer limited to clothing, helmets and accessories; retailers may now offer lighting gear. If you’re in the trade, don’t forget to pre-register at



Jonathon Harker talks to online retail giant Wiggle about the perks of online retail.



Choosing a child’s first bike can be tough for the parent and retailer alike. BikeBiz makes things a little simpler on page 51.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: Cycle offers retailers the chance to talk to the names behind the brand



Windwave has taken stock of Marzocchi’s latest forks, as well as the first shipments of FSA Gravity product. More on page 56.



Perfect 10 Email: Web:

It’s been an impressive first decade of business for online retailer Wiggle, now with staff numbering 100 and a retail offering selling to a staggering 70 countries. Jonathon Harker asks Wiggle’s website manager Steve Mills how it feels to be ten… Soaring sales Have you seen any sectors Retail is more fair online. You over 30,000. We think they I’m sure will lead to even online outperform others over the past months? It’s pleasing to note that we are growing steadily across the board even in our traditionally noncore areas, such as swimming and running. Are you being affected by stock shortages? With some suppliers. However, we can always go and source elsewhere if stock is in short supply in the UK. What are the biggest challenges over the next six months? Deciding which advancements we want to make first. We are always trying to improve our customers’ experience and offer the best possible deals on products that they really want to buy. There is a myriad of global opportunities out there, and we need to make sure we focus on the best ones. We have recently translated the site into French, German, Spanish and Japanese, but we have a fresh set of challenges to manage all multilingual promotions! Are there any challenges you are facing that are specific to online traders?


cannot be easily swayed by the personal opinion of a sales assistant. Brands that already do a good job of marketing and providing sales support have an advantage over brands that rely on word-of-mouth support. However, bad news travels very fast on the internet. If you

make very interesting reading. Not all of the reviews that are submitted make it onto the site as we have to reject about ten per cent for profanity, or because they are not relevant to the product. There is already a noticeable effect on sales; one review doesn’t make a huge

“At the moment we only have one plan – to become the leading global online cycling site.” get slated in the forums for a perceived poor product or service, you never get the sales back. However, we have used this to our advantage by collecting customers’ reviews and testimonials that we feature across the site, allowing us to stand by our reputation. With regards to the customer review section – how have consumers responded to it? The response to the section has been enormous. We had over 15,000 reviews in the first four weeks, and we now have had

difference, but two or more definitely influence purchasing decision. Wiggle has dedicated sections of the site for the Triathlon and Women’s sectors – how have those markets performed in recent months? Triathlon continues to grow year-on-year at a steady rate. Women’s clothing has increased dramatically this summer but is still only a small part of overall clothing sales. By 2010, our offering for women will have significantly improved, which

further growth.

What are the short and long term ambitions for Wiggle? At the moment we only have one plan – to become the leading global online cycling site. We have been the UK’s number one (by site traffic, as monitored by Hitwise) since 2006, and now we have increased our distribution to over 70 countries. We want to be number one around the world. Our short term plan is significantly improving sales in key European countries, as well as the US and Australia, which goes hand in hand with our long term ambitions. For the last two months we have been the number one online cycling shop in Australia with the most traffic (from Hitwise data), so we are looking to continue that success around the globe. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Without being too clichéd, we would like to thank all of our customers, as they continue to shop, spread the word and recommend us. They are the major driving force for where we are today.

THE current economic climate is never far from the headlines, but has it managed to dent Wiggle’s anniversary year? Mills tells BikeBiz: “We can never know what the last 12 months would have been like without a global recession, but we’ve made major increases to our product catalogue, made numerous improvements to the website and increased our worldwide distribution from 15 countries to 70. All these improvements have resulted in our best ever year, where we are seeing double-digit growth in our UK and overseas markets. “July’s results exceeded all expectations. Traffic was up 81 per cent on the same month last year. We knew July would be busy, as it’s a key month with the Tour de France, but to be over 80 per cent up is truly fantastic. “It’s a testament to all the hard work everyone at Wiggle has been doing with new brands and products, worldwide expansion, site translation, user generated reviews, improved SEO, social network initiatives and highly targeted PPC campaigns, which is all underlined by a new pricing strategy to offer all customers.”




play In what can be a treacherous sector to compete in, the kids’ bike market has plenty of choice should you choose to commit to stock. Mark Sutton documents some of the key products to reach the market this year...

John Crane Kids can do away with stabilisers altogether if they have honed their balance skills first, that's why a balance bike is the ideal way to learn to ride a bike for most toddlers. This is why John Crane has added yet another colourway to its First Bike collection from Branching Out. There are now three versions available: the First Bike in pink is decorated in hearts and flowers and is ideal for little girls, while young speedsters will favour the smart racing red version. The new addition for this year, is the First Bike in royal blue. Each First Bike has a padded seat to ensure a comfortable ride and both come with easy grip handlebars ideal for little fingers. Plus, the chunky pneumatic tyres not only mean a safe ride, but also give

the First Bikes a real grown-up feel. Both bikes have height adjustable seats. What’s more, there is now a bike stand, ideal for busy retailers who need a hand to make the most of displays in store. Made from natural wood, the stand will keep the First Bike upright and looking its best at all times. John Crane 01604 774949

Moore Large QUALITY of specification, bright colours and stunning graphics make Bumper pavement bikes a serious contender in the 'my first bike' category. The key models are available in all four popular 'Pavement' wheel sizes, which enable dealers to maximise sales while minimising precious shop floor space coverage. The range consists of five boys and five girls models and maintains the flow of best sellers like the Firepower and


Buff THERE ARE few better add-on sale accessories than the Buff and what's more, there are numerous designs for kids and adults alike, meaning customers can mix and match. Having created a diverse range of licensed designs, the brand has an option for all tastes, from Spiderman enthusiasts, right through the range of Disney characters. The Buff is a functional item too. The technical polyester micro-fibre is spun into a tube, which is unique in being completely seam and stitch

Commando for the boys and Starlet and Sparkle girls bikes, which have all been updated with new graphics and additional features. Fresh new models include a 'Nurse' girl's bike in 14 and 16-inch wheel sizes and a completely revamped Stuntrider BMX, available in 14, 16 and 18-inch wheel options. Bumpers are built like bikes and not like toys with a full ball bearing specification, V-brakes on 14-inch models and above, alloy rims on all 16 and 18-inch wheel models and stabilisers fitted as standard to all 12, 14 and 16-inch wheel models, excluding

free, meaning more comfort and less irritation. The highly breathable, high-wicking polyester is fast drying, yet retains minimal moisture, so it’s comfortable next to the skin. Buff is both colourfast and easily washed. Retailers are offered two main stock options – a £250 package containing all the point of sale support you'll need along with 40 assorted designs, a window sticker, poster, staff demo Buff and more. For a higher commitment of £375, the package gains plenty of value, with 60 assorted Buffs, a larger display stand, two staff demo buffs, two window stickers and more. Buff: 01707 852244

the Stuntrider BMX, which has rear stunt pegs. Additional selling features include a rear storage box on all boys’ bikes and either a box or dolly carrier on the girls’ models. Front bags, handlebar BMX pad sets and handlebar streamers continue as standard features. Bumper bikes are distributed exclusively in the UK by Moore Large with the complete new range in stock and available now. The 2010 brochure and trade price list can be requested by calling the Moore Large sales team on 01332 274252 or by email to





RALEIGH'S kids' bike range totals 75 different models covering all age groups. The firm’s most popular selling girl’s bike is the Molly in shimmering pink. This model starts at £89.99 and comes in a 12-inch wheel size and covers sizes up to 16-inches. The build is complete with accessories, including a ‘Molly’ bag, dolly and carrier, furry seat cover and is also decorated with spoke beads and streamers. Predicted to be a hit with girls of all ages this Christmas is the range of Raleigh of 'Me To You' bikes. These come in a wide range of wheel sizes from 12 to 26-inches and retail from £79.99.

DAWES Cycles has long been a source for great value kids’ bikes. The 2010 range offers a new breed of steel bikes that still offers the same quality you would expect from the Birminghambased brand, but at more affordable prices. Starting at a retail price of just £149.99, these are designed to counter the price rise felt earlier in the year due to the weakening pound. The range consists of boys’ and girls’ 20 and 24-inch wheel models. The boys’ 20-inch Lightning has striking graphics and a suspension fork, while the girls’ model has rigid forks and a low step-through frame. The 24inch wheel boy’s Zombies and girl’s Sapphire models both have 18-speed Shimano gears.

Madison SARACEN'S kids' range is almost here and is due in stock in the first week of October, co-inciding with the public launch at this year's Cycle Show. Under Madison's guidance, the range has been greatly revamped, yet still offers great value price points. The boys’ Bolt and girls’ Bella, both retailing for £129.99, cater for the young 'uns,

Quadrabyke THE QUADRABYKE is designed to grow with kids as they hone balance skills. Bicycle designer Tony Wayman has developed a bike which begins as a stable four-wheeled model and can be converted into a tricycle and eventually bicycle. Available in 'fire red', 'kiss pink', 'ice silver' and 'wave blue', the Quadra is fitted with white plastic wheels fitted with EVA custom tyres. A soft padded

Reece Cycles THE PROBIKE Junior range covers all sizes from 12 through to 20-inch wheel sizes, with the added perk that many models are available in multiple wheel sizes. For example, there's the Misty, a cool girls’ model that includes a back pack that doubles as a


For the boys and the Raleigh enthusiasts, the bike to always sell consistently is the Chopper. Essentially the same bike as the 80s classic, the new model sports a deep red and flame graphic scheme with aggressive Comp3 styled tyres and Shimano Nexus three-speed gears. Raleigh is holding an dealer launch in Nottingham from September 7th to 11th. Raleigh: 01773 532600

coming in ten-inch wheel size only. The bikes are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Both do away with bartassles in favour of bar-mounted water bottle holders. The builds are tough too; built around a 6061 lightweight alloy tubing, kids will have trouble destroying the bikes. Then there are safety features, such as the enclosed chainwheel, keeping young legs protected from the sprocket's teeth and oily chain muck. Smaller hands are also gifted a shorter reach lever and mushroom style grips. Higher in the range and upping the suitable age group, Saracen's 12-inch TuffTrax JNR is adorned with respectable components from Suntour, Shimano and Saracen's own branded components. Madison: 0208 385 3385 saddle tops an adjustable height seatpost. The metamorphosis centres around a unique patented multi-axle system, which allows rapid changes in the bike's setup. This versatility means the product's lifespan is extended, allowing parents to decide when it's time to switch to two wheels. Quadrabyke conforms fully to European and United States safety standards. Retail price is £109.99. Quadrabyke: 01905 831919 handlebar bag and a rear mounted dolly carrier. Tassles and stabilisers are also included as standard. This model is available in 12 or 14-inch wheel sizes. For the boys, dealers can take stock of the Avalanche, a full suspension bike featuring Shimano/Sram 12-speed gears. The Avalanche is available in a 20-inch wheel size and comes in a silver and blue finish. Of the bikes available in multiple sizes, the Wolf can be bought in sizes ranging from 12-inch to 20-inch wheels. The Wolf includes stabilisers and a number plate is also included as standard on 12 and 14-inch versions. Reece Cycles 0121 622 0180

Fisher Outdoors SUPPLYING The Adams range to UK retailers, Fisher Outdoor has a diverse stock of product geared toward getting kids out and about on two wheels. The Adam's Runabout bike, available in either a steel pink for girly riders, or a steel blue for the boys, can be bought at retail from £59.99. For that money, customers are getting an easy-learning balance bike, minus the pedals, so kids can learn to control their balance with their feet. Also from the distributor's stock, stores can suggest a few

Dawes has also launched the Espoir3000. This is an affordable kid’s road bike in 24 and 26-inch wheel sizes. The bike utilises 16-speed Shimano STI gears and an alloy frame. The bikes are both proportioned and geared for the younger riders with short cranks and narrow, short drop bars. The bikes have clearance for mudguards and come with cantibrakes. It’s a perfect multi-function starter bike and retails at just £369.99. To enquire further about the full Dawes catalogue call 0121 748 8050.

add-on items, such as the Basil Jasmin Rosa Shopper bag for girls seeking flash accessories to go with their ride. The ten-litre, water repellent bag has a reflective flower pattern on both sides, an adjustable and removable shoulder belt and an attachment for hooking the bag up to a bike. Alternatively, parents’ safety concerns can be addressed with any of MET's kids’ helmets. For £19.99 the twin-shell buddy (46 to 53 cm) or Super Buddy (52 to 57cm), will keep a child protected in style. The helmet carries a reflective sticker, non-pinch straps and six cooling vents. Fisher Outdoor: 01727 798345

THE COYOTE Cub range consists of 16 all-alloy junior models from 14-inch through to 24-inch wheel sizes, covering rigid, front and full suspension. With retail prices from £119.99 through to £195.00, parents

Examples of the boys’ bikes are the Warrior and Wild Thing models. Each is built with lightweight alloy tubing and carries a hi-tensile fork (Warrior features suspension). Both roll on 20inch double wall alloy rims and are kitted out with Avocet's own Coyote branded tyres. Gearing is handled by a Shimano

won't have to break the bank in order to get their kids rolling. The firm also offers through its Concept Range, balance bikes, scooters from 12 to 16-inches in size, go carts and a full range of kids’ bikes from 12 to 24-inch wheel sizes. Prices for these begin at £49.99 and top out at £139.99.

six-speed Revoshift shifter on both models. The girl's equivalent Koobalahi also utilises Shimano's six-speed Revoshift, Coyote branded tyres and V-brakes. The frame, however, features a low step-over. Avocet Sports 0161 727 8608








POLARIS has updated its line of cycle clothing for kids and has now introduced the Vortex jacket, which carries all the main features of the popular adult's version. The garment carries reflective piping for high-visibility at night, while offering wind protection from the front and within the sleeve panels. A Thermastretch back panel adds to the item's breathability and provides the rider with unrestricted freedom of movement. Four elasticated storage pockets and one zipped security pocket also feature. Gloves are also available tailored to smaller cyclists. The Attack glove is built

ZYRO'S children’s offering comprises, apparel, hydration and safety and security items. On the back of its experience with adults garments, Altura has introduced the Night Vision jacket for kids aged five to 12. Retailing for £49.99, the waterproof, breathable garment has masses of reflective trim, making it ideal for journeys to and from school. Available in yellow or black, the jacket has waterproof zipup pockets, a fleece lined collar for heat retention where it matters and pit and back vents for breathability.

from an abrasion resistant fabric, protecting young hands from falls. The item is also coated in a Windtex laminated windproof fabric, while the interior features a warmth retaining microfleece liner. Also stitched into the garment are silicon palm and finger inserts for increased grip in the wet, as well as a reflective Polaris logo and print on the back of the glove. Polaris: 01246 240218

Winora WINORA is now able to supply its diverse range of kids’ and adult bikes to the UK trade from its base in Germany. The children’s range covers both boys’ and girls’ models in a variety of wheel sizes. The builds are respectable too, with components sourced from brands such as Suntour, Shimano and Tektro.


Unique to Zyro's catalogue, the Bodyfit Sprint saddle is anatomically shaped for children and ideal for those with a competitive edge. At just £9.99 retail, the saddle is a bargain, too. There's plenty of kids safety gear available through Zyro too, including a helmet range beginning at £19.99 and topping out at £34.99. The Smiley is the distributor's lowcost helmet, yet manufacturer Abus has built-in plenty of features, including a flat back for use with child seats, plenty of vents to keep young heads cool and these have a mesh lining to stop bugs flying in. ZYRO: 01845 521700

For those dealers interested in taking stock of any items from the Winora catalogue, contact should be made via Once registered, dealers will receive access to the business-to-business website where products, prices and conditions can be found and items ordered for delivery. Winora: 0049 9721 6594 139





Geared up?

Windwave takes two important shipments and Lezyne gets colourful. Meanwhile, Cycloc seeks to bag a distributor at Eurobike...

Marzocchi Dirt jump Range Windwave 02392 505320

Cycloc Storage Distributor sought 0207 249 8868

Sugoi Spring 2010 Direct +49 (0) 7141 2421362

EXTENSIVE testing has been critical in the development of Marzocchi product since last year’s takeover. The biggest change to the new dirt jump range is the new ‘upside crown’. This is best described as an inverted crown with the removal of sharp edges, meaning impact forces are dissipated at the stanchions and steerer safely. Marzocchi has also reduced weight by 15 per cent, while upping strength by 30 per cent. The fork range will be arriving with Windwave in September and retail prices are as follows: Four Cross £499.95, Dirt Jump 1 £399.95, Dirt Jump 2 (QR only) £259.95, Dirt Jump 3 (QR only) £189.95.

WITH THE launch of an updated version at Euro Bike, Cycloc is now seeking distributor in the UK. Both aesthetics and function have been improved over the mark one design, as the latest model can hang bikes both horizontally and vertically. The latest model also features a facility for locking the bikes, as well as a compartment for accessory storage. Production of the new version will be from a new UK manufacturing facility. The wall-mounted bicycle hanging units are set to retail for between £45 and £50, with a stock-in price of £15 per unit. Cycloc is located at stand 203 in hall B5 at Eurobike.

CLOTHING manufacturer Sugoi has introduced a fresh new commuter look to its spring 2010 range. The 'HOV' line features a shirt, short, shmantz, jacket and trouser, all of which carry 3M Scotchlite reflective material. Designed with casual and practical appeal in mind, both the male and female versions carry zips and pockets, as well as comfort features like the seamless crotch gusset, as seen on the shorts and trouser. The Mobil Carbon fabric used across the line-up is a double-woven polyester fibre infused with carbonized bamboo particles, designed to decrease odour and improve UV protection.

Lezyne Pumps and Tools Upgrade 01403 711 611

Serfas Computers Walkers Cycles 0116 2833885

FSA Gravity Product Windwave 02392 505320

SYNONYMOUS with precision engineering and sleek design, Lezyne has now decided to add a splash of colour to its pump and tools range. Blue, gold and red are the new colours featured on the many CNC machined tools and pumps. One of the newly introduced items is Lezyne's metal patch kit, which contains six glueless patches, an emergency tyre boot and a stainless steel tube 'scuffer', all within a waterproof aluminium container. Dealers should also look out for Lezyne’s four, 12 and 19 multitools, priced at £5.49, £14.99 and £24.99 respectively.

THE LATEST Serfas shipments to land contains the brand's cycle computers. Two models are already in stock. However, the top of the line 4.4 and midrange 2.2 will reach retail late in August. At just £50, the top-of-the-line 4.4, is great value considering the buyer gets 22 fine-tuned functions to play with. The system is fully wireless, can display content in many languages and is mountable to the handlbar. The 4.4 can also take readings on average cadence, odometer reports, trip time. An automatic stop/start function and clock are also present.

FOLLOWING on from the July announcement that Windwave has exclusive rights to FSA's Gravity brand, the distributor is now receiving its first stock. Gravity's new 777 bar is effectively flat with its 5mm of rise built in by offsetting the 31.8mm centre section. Double butted and tapered for additional stiffness and shot-peened to increase surface durability, the bar is a tough all rounder, unlikely to let even the roughest riders down. Also available via Windwave, the Gravity branded grips, retailing for £16.95 for the lock on version, come in three colours, including a striking 'mustard' shade.








Editorial Planner




October 2009  CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES  CYCLE SHOW SPECIAL Editorial Deadline: Sep 7th 2009

Advertising Deadline: Sep 10th 2009

To advertise call Carly Bailey on +44 (0) 1992 535647, or email her at For editorial contact Jonathon Harker on +44 (0) 1992 535646, or email him at

NOVEMBER 2009  Stocking Fillers  Trailers/Trailer Bikes  Cycle Show Review Editorial Deadline: Oct 16th Advertising Deadline: Oct 21st

DECEMBER 2009  Core Bike Preview  Tyres, Wheels, Inner Tubes and Pumps  Retail Survey 2009  Review of the Year Editorial Deadline: Nov 13th Advertising Deadline: Nov 18th


Thursday October 8th – 11th Earls Court, London

September 2009 EUROBIKE 09 Wednesday September 2nd – 5th Friedrichshafen, Germany EXPOCYCLE Thursday September 10th – 12th Montreal, Canada TOUR OF BRITAIN 2009 Saturday September 12th – 19th Nationwide

Editorial Deadline: Dec 9th Advertising Deadline: Dec 14th

FEBRUARY 2010  IceBike  Cycle Safety: Helmets, Eyewear & Protective Clothing  Frames & Forks  Fisher Outdoor Expo Editorial Deadline: TBC Advertising Deadline: TBC

MARCH 2010  Media and Magazine Focus  Electric Bikes  Folding Bikes Editorial Deadline: TBC Advertising Deadline: TBC

APRIL 2010  Bike Security  Saddles, Posts, Grips & Bottles  Top 20 IBDs Editorial Deadline: TBC Advertising Deadline: TBC

MAY 2010 Energy and Nutrition  Women’s Products  30 Under 30

PARIS CYCLE SHOW Friday October 2nd – 5th Paris, France ROC D’AZUR Wednesday October 7th – 11th Frejus, France


20 AWARDS In association

R’BIKE Saturday September 12th – 15th Lyon, France

 Core Bike  Maintenance & Repair: Lubes, Cleaning fluid, Tools, Training

October 2009

FESTIBIKE 2009 Friday September 18th – 20th Las Rozas, Spain EXPO BICI Saturday September 19th – 21st Padova, Italy


BIKEBIZ AWARDS 2009 Thursday October 8th Earls Court, London CYCLE SHOW Thursday October 8th – 11th Earls Court, London BIKE MOTION BENELUX Friday October 30th – November 2nd Utrecht, Holland

November 2009

INTERBIKE 2009 Wednesday September 23rd – 25th Las Vegas, USA

BIKE BRNO Thursday November 5th – 8th Brno, Czech Republic www.bvv.c2/bikebrno-gb

VELOBIKE PROFESSIONAL Wednesday September 30th – October 2nd Kiev, Ukraine

EICMA BICYCLE AND MOTORCYCLE SHOW Tuesday Nov 10th – 15th Milan, Italy

Editorial Deadline: TBC Advertising Deadline: TBC 58 BIKEBIZ SEPTEMBER



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

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LIGHTING Exposure Lights Lumicycle

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07789 075 818

RACKS Maxx Raxx Trading Ltd

0845 230 3799


0117 972 4730


07786 262 460

TRAINING SERVICES Aylesbury Training Group The Bike Doctor

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BMX PARTS AND ACCESSORIES Seventies 0845 310 3670 CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES Buff 01707 852 244 COMPONENTS Bob Elliot & Co Ltd Pace Cycles Limited USE Ltd

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EPOS Abacus Citrus Lime

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INSURANCE Cycleguard Insurance


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COMPANY PROFILE JOHN HUGHES, SALES DIRECTOR BUFF Tell us about the main Buff product: It’s a fanatically versatile product that can be worn around the neck and head in a variety of ways either as a neck scarf, face mask, balaclava, headband, scrunchie, beanie, bandana – to name but a few – and is thin enough to fit perfectly under any type of helmet. Original Buff is made from a high quality polyester microfibre that insulates to keep you warm yet wicks perspiration to keep the skin dry. Buff is a big fan of licensed brands appearing on its garments; how does this draw customers? We have a number of licensed brands within our standard collection, mainly in the junior and baby section. Brands such as Spiderman, Batman, Disney, Hello Kitty, Disney Princess and Winnie the Pooh are all instantly recognisable and have strong appeal to the younger user. Among adult sizes we have National Geographic prints and Kukuxumusu, a fun range of cartoon characters. We can of course and regularly do customise Buffs for customers. We have a huge portfolio of corporate clients that have chosen to promote

TEL: 01707 852244 WEB: their own business using a Buff, including Microsoft, Castlemaine lager, Subaru cars, Triumph motorcycles – the list is endless. What packages and support can you offer retailers? That’s an easy one. We strive to cover every eventuality with point of sale that can fit into the tiniest space or the largest superstore. We can offer a simple counter unit, or for those where space is less restricted, we have floor stand and wall fixtures that can incorporate a DVD that continually demonstrates the versatility, uses and ways to wear a Buff. We have stickers, posters, event banners, and have even been known to create bespoke, one-off units if the potential justifies the investment. How is Buff progressing with the Merino wool fabric? The forward orders have been fantastic for Wool Buff and we have just commenced the winter deliveries to our customers. Most retailers and many consumers are already well briefed in the benefits that Merino offers as it has been growing in popularity in recent



years being used extensively in base layer garments. It is soft and luxurious, insulates yet wicks moisture, and is resistant to odour, UV protective, water repellent and flame retardant. It’s available in eight strong plain colours. Which shows will Buff be at this year? Still to go are: The Mongol Derby. Our ever so slightly barking CEO Jools is setting off on a 1,000km charity horse race across the Mongolian wilderness. Then the more mundane events: Southampton Boat Show, MTB Marathon Series, Glee, BNF, London Rat Race and the Outdoor Trade Show. Tell us about the Hides brand: As you know we are big into ‘multifunctionality’ so when we first saw Hides we felt it was the perfect complement to Buff. Not just a glasses lanyard the Classic Hide is a cleaning cloth, a glasses case and lens protector all in one and the H2O, made from high quality neoprene, will float if accidently dropped into the water allowing the user to retrieve their best pair of sunglasses or prescription lenses that otherwise would sink slowly to the ocean depths.

“Our ever so slightly barking CEO is taking part in the Mongol Derby, a 1,000km charity horse race across the Mongolian wilderness!” John Hughes, Buffera





































Let’s get statistical… 138

This month BikeBiz notes’s impressive marketing drive, grabbing thousands of Twitter followers through a single promotion. Plenty of businesses believe they have paid too much VAT... time to check your records?

Number of news stories posted on during July – a record amount of content.

1,500 plus

22% The percentage of councils Cyclescheme worked with prior to winning the tender to become the Government's Cycle To Work provider. (Source: Cyclescheme)

The number of Twitter followers action sports community website gained in a single day after announcing a competition on the networking website in July. (Source:



The claimed frame weight of what Merida believes is the world's lightest hardtail frame – the Merida O.Nine – which is now on sale in the UK.

The number of cyclists who took to the traffic-free streets of Manchester in a single day during August as part of the SkyRide.

13,000 plus 1891 The year fixed gear polo was invented, before shortly becoming an Olympic event in 1908. The sport is now enjoying a rebirth with the increasing popularity of fixed gear bicycles. (Source: 66 BIKEBIZ SEPTEMBER

The number of businesses that have contacted HM Revenue and Customs this year claiming to have paid too much Value Added Tax (VAT). (Source:

£6.5 million The figure for which JD Sports acquired the Canterbury baselayer brand in August.

69% of people who cycle in London have never had any cycle training. TfL has attempted to address this by offering £3 million worth of free training across all boroughs. (Source: Synovate research) BIKEBIZ.COM


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Email: jonathon.harker@


Britain’s Got Talent

Biking for the blind SPARKS Northern Ireland is looking for cyclists to take part in a 100-mile bike ride on September 13th to help raise funds for the charity Action Medical Research. Named after the legendary gentle giant, the Finn MacCool 100 ride starts at Belfast City Hall and follows the beautiful scenery of the coastal road up to Coleraine. The Finn MacCool 100 is now an annual event, organised by former Ireland rugby player Trevor Ringland and Olympic gold medalist for hockey, Jim Kirkwood, both of whom will be getting in the saddle again this year. Last year’s event raised more than £9,000. Registration fee for the event is £25 and the minimum sponsorship amount is £100. Drinks and refreshments made available at the rest stops, lunch and the celebratory BBQ at Coleraine are all complimentary. There is also a

bus provided to transport riders and their bicycles back to Belfast. The funds raised will support research to help babies and children affected by disease and disability. Action Medical Research is currently funding research into serious diseases and conditions, including meningitis, pneumonia and cerebral palsy. Our special appeal, Touching Tiny Lives, funds vital research to reduce pregnancy complications and premature birth, and improve care for sick babies. To register to take part please contact Jenny on 028 90622518, email or go online at finn_mccool. Jenny Hanna, Action Medical Research

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 win a full range of luggage from Oxford’s latest range, complete with a quick-release fitment, yellow rain covers and 12-month warranty.


I AM LOOKING for manufacturers who will make cycle clothing with my designs and logos on the garments. I’ve been working in the cycle business for two years, and am still quite young. I was wondering if anyone could give me a hand if they know of any manufacturers, or any other pointers to help me. My designs are on paper at the moment, and I’m not the best artist, but I’ve had some good ideas, especially for dirt jumpers. These are only early draft designs that can be improved on, but you can see what sort of ideas I have come up with. If any of your readers can help it’d be great to hear from them. I can be contacted at: Thanks, Luke Tovey, Biggin Hill, Kent

From the Forum... Opportunity for more UK manufacturing? I’ve been wondering lately with all these price rises how feasible it would be to start making stuff here. Hope, USE and a few others have done it. My motivation for this post is that our main supplier is adrift of some key price points moving into 2010 and each factor is external – currency, manufacture increases due to lower output from factory, cost of transportation, import duty. Is there an opportunity or are we just a bit too crap here to compete? 604xt

UK manufacture would not be immune from currency movements, duty changes and lead times. It would be almost exactly the same business model as an importer except the labour cost would be higher and productivity rate lower? RusselHW If you think it is going to be so expensive to manufacture products in the UK, then please explain to me how Germany is currently the world’s leading exporter with revenue exceeding that of the USA and

Japan and France combined. Cotterpin You could have flexible manufacturing so that you could change models made to reflect demand. Fairly easy with bikes because of the commonality of parts. You could also finish the bikes in the factory and sell direct to the public cutting out the importer/wholesaler/dealer selling methodology. I don’t buy the high labour cost/low productivity argument. DocB




k c a r T

this month: lake jump at eurobike

30 years at Clarks BY and large the bike trade is packed with enthusiasts and fanatics, so it comes as no surprise to find that lots of people working in the industry have notched up many years of service. But by our reckoning, Janet Oulaghan has probably notched up more years than most. This year the Clarks Cycle staffer

celebrated 30 years at the firm. Oulaghan joined Clarks Cycle Systems way back in 1979 as a cable assembler and has now gone on to become sales administrator for the firm. Her current role involves coordinating orders and manufacturing throughout the Far East. Congratulations, Janet.

Make a splash at Eurobike THE final preparations for the Eurobike bicycle event, starting September 2nd, are taking place, and this year the more adventurous among the trade will be limbering up for a spot of lake jumping. For the uninitiated, lake jumping involves willing (or unwilling) volunteers riding up a ramp aimed at a lake – in this case the Trade Fair Lake in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Riders then, perhaps unsurprisingly, jump into the


lake and according to acrobatic ability could bag an award at the short ceremony held after the event. The first-ever Eurobike Lake Jump will start after the show closes for the day at 6pm on Thursday September 3rd by the Rothaus Halle A1, West Entrance. We’re guessing you won’t be able to miss the big ramp next to the lake. If you tackle the watery challenge send us your photos.



Send your pictures to

• mother outraged by cycle nuts in seattle • dmr’s reynolds down and out

Streakers in Seattle CYCLISTS caused outrage across the Atlantic last month when naked bicycle riders took to the streets of Seattle, Washington State. The well-intentioned riders were cycling sans clothing to highlight the dangers cyclists face, but they managed to incur the wrath of unsuspecting onlookers not prepared for the sight. Local mother Marcy Hayes said: “I looked and there were naked men with their genitals hanging out. I’m yelling at my daughter to look away.” She added: “I just can’t believe this is allowed. I don’t understand what law would say it is okay.” But World Naked Bike Ride’s Daniel Johnson insisted: “We’re protesting indecent exposure to automobile emissions.” estimated that an eyewatering 60 naked bike rides take place worldwide every year.

Riding into casualty DMR rider Sam Reynolds took a tumble while riding over in Munich. 18-year-old Reynolds, pictured here in happier times, knocked himself unconscious and suffered an injury that kept him out of competition. He said: “I regret to inform you that while in Munich yesterday I had a bit of a crash in practice and woke up in hospital. I knocked myself out and dislocated my collarbone so wasn’t able to compete in the finals, which sucked because my practice runs alone would have been enough for a good result! “Ah well, could have been worse I suppose, should only be out for a few weeks, I hope.”


unquote “Actually, most adult cyclists do pay for the roads, even though they impose minimal wear and tear on them. The money comes out of council and income tax.” The CTC tackles one of the myths about cyclists – that they should pay ‘road tax’ – on its factsheet ‘Ten Common Questions’

“Cycling is one of the most effective treatments for stress and, in many cases, has been proven to be as effective as medication – if not more so.” Stress Management Society director and psychotherapist Neil Shah speaking to, August 10th “I don’t think I have ever ridden a bicycle which made me want to cycle less often. The ride quality and feel of this bike is terrible.” Mark Brown, writing about riding Britain’s cheapest bicycle on the Bicycle Shaped Object blog, August 1st “In the UK, I can count on the fingers of one hand the black elite riders I have known: the now retired rider turned


Sponsored by the brands of Moore Large 01332 274252 occasional Eurosport commentator Russell Williams being one; Dave Clarke another. Then I start to struggle. It's no better on the Continent; possibly worse. Cycling remains a conspicuously ‘white’ sport. “I'd like to watch Germain Burton race one day and win – and for his results to be outstanding, not because of his skin colour, but simply because of his speed.” Matt Seaton, the Guardian bike blog, August 10th “I witnessed a van courier driver verbally abusing a cyclist at a set of traffic lights, and at the next doing the same – but leaning out of his window giving a torrent of foul abuse, and then flicking a cigarette toward the stationary cyclist.

“I clocked the name of the courier firm, got the number plate of the van and wrote a complaint email to the company when I got home. So far so ordinary. But the bit that works is sending the complaint to the chief executive. All of these companies will have to register with Companies House and here you can find the name of the CEO.

“Not much later, I recieved an email from the CEO apologising and promising to take action, and a follow up from the press office telling me what they had done. I think it helps to copy in the Mayor onto emails too…” Stewart, TfL Cycle Blog, July 29th “I've just fitted this lovely Knog Speedo to my cross country rig. I've always known I like going fast on a bike, but this thing is a temptress! “I'm sure most people that fit these are all about the trip distance measurements and all that jazz, but to me there's just the one statistic – max speed.” Richard Cunynghame, Charge rider blogs, August 8th





A nice piece of cycle pie? Supermarkets want to add bikes to our grocery list. Surely, quality will prevail over cheap cost? The cycle industry definitely hopes so...

Rebecca Charlton Presenter, What bikes do you own? I own a Planet-X Stealth track bike, an old-school steel Simoncini, a Specialized Stumpjumper and Rockhopper, and a Specialized Dolce Elite. I’m most at home on my Planet-X, because it’s fuss-free and offers a smooth ride.

Pic © Sainsbury’s

Where’s your favourite place to ride? It would have to be Calshot Velodrome for the sheer speed and epic banking. It’s an experience everyone should try.

LAST month I was able to follow the Tour De France for a few days in the Alps, joining thousands of motorhomes parked in precarious positions along mountain lanes, with frightening drops only a foot away from the vehicles’ wheels. Previously, one could arrive the night before a stage and park up with no trouble. Furthermore, the year Stepehen Roche rode up Alp Du Eze, I arrived late evening and parking was not a problem. This year, however, to get a vantage position, one had to be there the morning of the day before a stage, and even then most bends had been grabbed by motor-homes from Dutch, Swedes, Germans, and Italians. I arrived for the individual time trial, in Annecy, the night before the stage, and it was impossible to park on route. Instead, we found a field, which was the first site in ten days where we found electricity. There is nothing like watching and waiting for hours to cheer riders on. It’s really just an excuse for an almighty booze-up around a barbeque with our fellow Europeans, and some happy, inebriated Welsh guys. It’s going to be interesting to see who the UK riders will be, if a Tour team is formed for 2010. I doubt the UK boys can afford to leave their teams, which evokes the question, who, with any tour experience, will be available?

COMING TO A SUPERMARKET NEAR YOU So, Asda and others believe they can sell cycles alongside groceries. It has been tried before and usually costs the suppliers dearly, unless they import direct themselves. The returns are a nightmare. The only sales that will have any measure of success will be small kids’ bikes at Christmas. The space taken up on the sales floor, and staff who will never be trained like we are in the independent shops, will cause shop management many problems. I have seen it all before. Pots, pans, stationery, – even screwdrivers and hammers, are easy to layout on supermarket displays, while cycles are somewhat different. I wonder why management believe cycles will bring more consumers into the stores. Will mum honestly pick up a bike with the baked beans? Of course not, she will go home and tell dad, who will have to take a look after work or on a Saturday morning. Yet he might go to the local cycle shop instead, unless of course he’s never had a bike and doesn’t know cheap from quality. Fortunately, because of cycling’s high profile at the moment, most kids know brands, and as the latest 'with it' trainers, most do not wish to be seen on a nondescript BMX or other bike. An advantage of Bike Hub is the education I hope the cycle officers are installing in the ride to school campaigns – the difference between junk and bikes of quality.

EDITORIAL: 01992 535646 | ADVERTISING: 01992 535647 | FAX: 01992 535648 Executive Editor: Carlton Reid

Sub-Editor: Gemma Messina

Editor: Jonathon Harker

Production Executive: Abby Fanger

Deputy Editor: Mark Sutton

Design: Kelly Styles

Advertising Manager: Carly Bailey

Business Development: Dave Roberts

Editorial Production Manager: Helen French


Managing Editor: Lisa Foster

Publisher/MD: Stuart Dinsey

What’s the biggest rush achievable on a bike? Knowing that you have complete freedom to transport yourself anywhere your legs will take you, and descending alpine mountains. (Not so much going back up!) Tell us about your job and your fondest memories: Interviewing Mark Cavendish before his first edition of the Tour de France in 2007. It was my first time covering the Tour and the buzz was amazing. Each day, I have the opportunity to interview some incredibly inspiring people, from the cycling industry and race scene, like Alberto Contador. I present a weekly show called The Innertube, and the highlight is seeing each studio guest take on the ‘Tacx Challenge’, which consists of 2.3km of painful hill climbing on a turbo trainer. Magnus Backstedt is the reigning champion – anyone fancy taking on the challenge? Have you always been in the cycle trade? Yes. I worked as staff writer and production manager across online cycling portfolios, including and I was then offered the opportunity to present at Cycling TV and have been here about two years now.




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BikeBiz issue44, September 2009  

For everyone in the bike business