Issue 47 | December 2009
FOR EVERYONE IN THE BICYCLE BUSINESS
IN THIS ISSUE: Raleigh special
Cycle stores say online growth is a ‘greater threat than supermarkets’ BikeBiz cycle dealer research underlines rocketing importance of the internet for the bicycle retail sector By Mark Sutton THE BikeBiz Retail Survey 2009 has revealed that cycle retailers nationwide fear the growth of online retail far more than any other type of direct competition. In fact, the increased rivalry from supermarkets selling bikes troubled just 6.3 per cent of cycle retailers, a figure dwarfed by the 27.8 per cent concerned that online retail competition is a threat to their business. But many cycle retailers are taking action in response to those concerns about the growth of online. Over a quarter of survey respondents revealed that
upping their online offering was something they were planning to invest in over the coming year. BikeBiz’s survey results also unearthed the fact that almost 40 per cent of retailers had seen growth in their online businesses. Cycle stores indicated that product scarcity was as likely to cause their business harm as any competition. Following a summer of shortages, particularly of mid to high-end road bikes, many manufacturers were forced to bring forward 2010 models to cope with the demand. Road bikes seem to have been in such favour that 64.5 per cent of survey respondents said that
this was the one segment that had notably seen an increase in customer enquiries. Early indications from the BikeBiz forum do, however, highlight that we're set for another Christmas of high BMX bike sales. Significantly, the clothing, helmets and accessories market appears to be a real moneyspinner for the nation’s stores, with 59 per cent of dealer respondents stating that £10,000-plus is made annually off the back of these sales. For all the feedback from the BIkeBiz Retail Survey 2009, as well as additional analysis, turn to pages 32 and 33.
Halfords hails multi-channel for driving profits By Jonathon Harker HALFORDS has reported a rise in profits – and an increase in multi-channel sales – in its half-yearly financials. Online now accounts for 5.2 per cent of the retailer’s sales and multi-channel grew by a staggering 50 per cent for the retail chain. The firm also saw spend double by customers who research online and then buy in store – from £21 to £49. The results, which covered the 26 weeks until October 2nd 2009, saw profits rise 1.7 per cent, thanks largely to the leisure
sector (including Halfords’ cycle business) – offering further proof of cycling’s ability to perform despite trading in a recession.
cycle sector. Through it we can offer more choice. For instance, this autumn we launched 2,000 new bike parts online.”
“We see online as a key area of development for our business – particularly in the cycle sector.” David Wild, Halfords Halfords’ David Wild explained to BikeBiz: “Halfords.com is one of the 50 most visited online sites in the UK and we see it as a key area of development for our business, particularly within the
While the rise of online is traditionally seen as a threat to physical retail in some quarters, Halfords was keen to stress that online complements its physical retail offering, most obviously
with its Reserve and Collect service – which now represents 80 per cent of Halfords’ multichannel activity and recently topped one million orders. To capitalise on the service, Halfords is set to launch a further, similar service – Order and Collect – where customers will be able to order product online and pick it up in stores that don’t stock the product. 80 per cent of online orders are now collected in store. “Great customer service has been at the heart of our success. Knowledgeable staff, expert advice, professional fitting services and after-sales support
are supplied though a friendly and accessible store environment and an intuitive web interface.” Halfords added that online is also providing a greater chance to connect with customers: “The web means we can serve our customers better – through product information, customer question and answers, video content and email.” The importance of online to Halfords at the end of the decade could hardly be more different than ten years ago. The national retailer only launched its online store in 2000, which at the time had no bike presence.
INDUSTRY OPINIONS P12 MYSTERY SHOPPER P18 CORE SHOW P23 OFF TRACK P60
23rd - 25th February 2010 Pre-Registration Now Open! Madison is pleased to launch the 2010 iceBike* event to our customers. Registration is now open via the event website www.icebike.co.uk.
More on show, in a bigger space than ever before including new brands like Pearl Izumi. New on-line registration system and event website to get rid of show entry queues. Two open invitation parties on us, come along and enjoy the entertainment. Full schedule of useful business seminars including the return of Jay Townley. Some fantastic special offers, exclusive to iceBike* attendees!
Visit www.icebike.co.uk to pre-register now Stick the dates in your diary and leave the rest to us!
STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE
MOBILE.BIKEBIZ.COM DECEMBER ISSUE 47
Raleigh does heritage chic for 2010, Bobbins Cycles launches a new store and more...
INDUSTRY OPINIONS 12
OFF THE RADAR 14
RETAIL SURVEY 2009
We asked for your thoughts and findings from the year and you responded – the full list of results starts over on page 32...
While the net has been with us for some time now, it still presents challenges to the trade – namely revolving around pricing and service.
2PURE INTERVIEW 2pure boss George Bowie reveals what drove the distributor’s impressive start to the year and what’s coming up in 2010
Are current electric bike sales sustainable on the continent? We look at what it means for the UK trade...
REVIEW OF THE YEAR
BikeBiz charts the highs and the lows of 2009 in our Review of the Year. We’ve got all the headlines, scandals, sales and celebrities...
CORE BIKE PREVIEW
WHEELS, TYRES, PUMPS
REGULARS MYSTERY SHOPPER
BikeBiz’s undercover reporter heads to London in search of hardtails and good service...
VAT and BMX are two of the topics that are getting you talking this month...
Manders is in at ETRA, while Paligap and 2pure bring in new faces to bolster their teams...
Cycling goes to the pictures and Wiggins gets involved with a Revolution...
We cover the latest from Rock ‘n’ Roll, Corsair, Kryptonite, Gamut, SKS and Focus...
IT’S THE end of the first decade of the 21st Century (that’s if you started counting with 2000, but that’s a whole other issue). And what better time to look back and see how the cycle trade has changed since those days of worrying about the millennium bug? Having spoken to the trade, including BikeBiz’s executive editor Carlton Reid, the consensus is that some of the biggest changes over the last decade include the rise of the super-IBD – like Evans Cycles and Edinburgh Bicycle – and also increased co-operation throughout the trade, as with the likes of Bike Hub. The decade has also seen the industry benefit from having an ambassador with the ears of the Government in the shape of Philip Darnton. But one thing stands out above all as having the changed the industry most significantly – the rise of the internet.
Carlton Reid gets his teeth into the dangers of social media and advises cutting cussing...
Whether you ignore it or live on it, the ‘net has provided cycle retailers, distributors and manufacturers new and direct ways of communicating with – and selling to – customers. After sifting through the vast BikeBiz archives (which now span over ten years, fact fans), one quote shone out as summing up just how far things have changed. Back in 2000, Halford’s then marketing director Lindsey Walker told BikeBiz: “The plan is to launch a small online store at the beginning of June  in conjunction with a third party. However, this will not include bikes.” Yep, the UK’s biggest retailer of bikes didn’t have a website ten years ago. How quaint. In the unlikely event that you’re doubtful about online’s impact on the cycle trade then you need only look as far as our Retail Survey (see our cover stories and page 32). Clearly, online presents huge challenges whatever the sector. The survey respondents see online as a threat – far more significant than that posed by anything else. But encouragingly, many of the survey respondents are planning to take on the internet challenge by ramping up their online efforts. And while the ‘net has been with us for some time now, it still presents controversial challenges to the bike trade – mainly revolving around pricing and servicing. Heck, even Rupert Murdoch seems to be struggling with his online empire at the moment. So has the rise of online been the biggest thing to affect the cycle trade over the past decade? Surely, yes. The real question is: has the trade made the most of it and has it dealt with its challenges? On that one, the jury is still out.
Jonathon Harker, Editor
Raleigh snaps up new component brand Affix set to feature on Diamondback builds and also as aftermarket items from 2010 By Jonathon Harker RALEIGH has picked up distribution for new component brand Affix, which will be sold aftermarket and come fitted to the new Diamondback 2010 BMX range. The deal follows a flurry of news from the Raleigh stable – not least the signing of cleaning brand Mobi and the news that it will provide a nod to its heritage by using the traditional Heron’s Head logo in 2010. The Affix 2010 range includes a fixed/free hub that changes
between states in seconds, to a ‘360 Hydro Stem’ smaller than most conventional designs. But the firm promises that it has taken a new approach to accepted designs, bringing innovation to established products, resulting in technology ‘never seen before’ in the cycle world. Affix has its roots in a special patented BMX stem created two years ago (pictured left). The huge success of the stem led to its adaptation to the mountain bike sector. The new Affix bush Bottom Bracket system was designed to make the BBs for BMX stronger and lighter and the new Diamondback 2010 BMX range is set to be fitted with Affix components – including the Hero Alt model. “Because of this co-operation with Raleigh and Diamondback, we were thinking that no other distributor can fit better with the Affix brand,” said Affix’s
Thomas Göring. “Raleigh is one of the best known companies, especially in the UK, and we are really happy that this way all the Affix parts will become well known and widely available.” Andy Parker, Raleigh product manager, added: “Affix is a truly unique brand that we had to have in our portfolio. The majority of companies stick to standard designs and principles for their components because it’s easy. Here we have a company that wishes to challenge the rules of old and embrace today’s most advanced technology. “In 2010, Affix will be launched and I am confident that its designs will eventually become that new standard of component design.” As revealed last month on BikeBiz.com, Raleigh obtained the exclusive rights to distribute Mobi’s pressure washer system.
The firm promises that the fully portable washer will become a must-have item for cyclists, and won’t destroy bikes. Raleigh also
“Affix is truly unique and as such we had to have it in our portfolio. The brand embraces technology and design ideas.” Andy Parker, product manager, Raleigh announced it would be doing heritage chic in 2010 by using its famous Heron’s Head logo. Raleigh UK MD Mark Gouldthorp said of the move: “Returning to the traditional logo is the best way to show the company’s pedigree and its historic commitment to Nottingham. All our partners across the world will now use this famous logo.” Raleigh: 01773 532 600
Expo 2010 to ride into Sopwell House FISHER OUTDOOR Leisure’s Expo show is set to get a brand new venue next year. Expo 2010 will take place at the luxurious Sopwell House Hotel in St Albans between Sunday February 7th to Tuesday February 9th. Previously, Fisher’s Expo was held at Edgbaston Cricket ground in Birmingham. The Herts-based distributor said that customers will be receiving invites shortly and will be asked to register their attendance online. “We look forward to welcoming all of our customers to Expo 2010,” enthused the Fisher Outdoor Leisure CEO, Richard Allmark. “With a fantastic range of new products and brands on
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display, it will be an excellent opportunity for our customers to meet with our dedicated staff and talk about how we can further develop our business
commuter cyclists. Kansi is also to be supported with Fisher’s own in-house service and will be sold by specialist bike retailers on a ‘pick-up in store only’ distribution
partnerships over the next 12 months and beyond.” Allmark revealed that Expo 2010 will be the first chance for dealers to see a number of new brands from the firm – including folding bike Kansi. The fresh folders is set to appeal to a wide range of cyclists, as well as being dedicated to the needs of
agreement, meaning online competition won’t be an issue for dedicated stockists. The CEO added: “We’re thrilled to be hosting our event at the beautiful Sopwell House hotel and know that customers who join us will have a wonderful experience.” Fisher Outdoor: 01727 798345
Main pic: Affix will be fitted to Diamondback BMXs from 2010. Below: Raleigh returns to its traditional logo
Hotlines takes early Ghost stock Three-tier margin system revealed based on commitment Full range in stock and in depth by February 2010
BIT OF EVERYTHING: The Ghost range covers all age ranges and several sectors
Case BMX launches Free-of-charge magazine to be mailed to retailers with a Profile Racing account Casebmx.com launched alongside it RETAILERS with a Profile Racing account are soon set to receive stock of a brand new BMX magazine launched this month by Mike Netley. The ex-Ride BMX employee’s first issue should be landing with around 300 retailers in the UK early in December. Copies are also available on request to stores with a 4Down Distribution account. All sectors of BMX will be covered, aside from racing, which Netley concedes recently launched Fast Lane is covering well. He told BikeBiz: “Case’s editorial content will largely revolve around the UK and the various scenes within, though the magazine will be chiefly
made up of contributor articles, so content will come in from all over. “We’ve got some great contributors lined up too, with even niches like flatland covered. In fact, we have SouthSea Skate Park co-owner and flatlander Effrain Catlow contributing to each issue. Netley continued: “The thinking behind Case is really to offer an alternative to what’s already on the market. I’ve wanted to do my own thing for a long time. The magazine is reliant on advertising, so the first issue has been funded by myself. Now something’s in print, I’m hoping to draw further industry support,
Mike Netley By Mark Sutton
as plenty of companies have expressed an interest in what Case is looking to achieve.” Casebmx.com has been launched to sit alongside the magazine. An online store has also gone live as part of the website, with a Case branded t-shirt now on sale. www.casebmx.com
FOLLOWING on from the recent announcement that Hotlines is to carry the Ghost brand, a threetier margin system has been revealed for dealers looking at various commitments. Full stock is due at the end of February, although Hotlines has already received some lower-end complete builds. Hotlines’ Andy Gowan told BikeBiz: “We will also be stocking a comprehensive range of branded cycling attire, casual gear, luggage, water bottles and a few other bits.” The Ghost range is one of the more diverse brands on the
market, offering bikes suited to most disciplines, ladies’, kids’ and all at various price points. The margins on offer begin at 30 per cent for a relatively low commitment, up to 35 per cent for a 50-plus bike stock-up. Illy Anastasi, general manager at Hotlines, said: “Ghost Bikes has an amazing array of models for consumers to choose from and I am sure we can work with its team for Ghost to become one of the UK’s leading bicycle brands. Our aim is to bring quality brands and quality service to our dealer network and this business model has given us phenomenal growth over the last four years.” Hotlines: 0131 319 1444
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 7
CYCLE SHORTS The Ride Journal to produce wool jerseys The Ride Journal’s publisher has announced that it is making branded wool jerseys, which will be available soon. Issue three of the journal is now in stores.
IMG to bring in Sunday completes Sunday BMX completes will be available early next year via IMG. The brand is bestknown for making stand-out products decorated in a variety of bold colours.
On-One begins work with carbon For 2010, On-One is to begin working with carbon fibre and has announced a frame and carbon 29-inch rims. Production samples are due towards the end of December.
Cotic switches Soda production Lynskey is to manufacture Cotic’s long-awaited Soda, with an initial batch of just 32 frames arriving in around three months, with rolling orders following. Cotic’s warranty is fully supported by Lynskey.
London 2012 cycling events shift expected The IOC is expected to announce soon that there will be an equal number of cycling events for men and women in the next Olympics. This means some men’s events will have to be dropped in favour of introducing women’s races. Sprint, team sprint, keirin, team pursuit and omnium are expected to be the chosen disciplines.
Sustrans says: ‘Free your bike’ The charity has created a bespoke information pack designed to coax people to cycle over the Christmas and New Year period.
For breaking news visit:
www.bikebiz.com 8 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
Bobbin Bicycles: ‘Cycle chic is still a growing business’ Business outgrows its second premises inside two years 15 year lease signed at larger store, which “should hold the business” through anticipated growth By Carlton Reid AT THE end of November, Sian Emmison and Tom Morris, founders of Bobbin Bicycles of London, formally opened their new shop. It’s their third premises in two years, as they have outgrown their former premises each time. Now, with a basement, a back-yard, and a lightly trafficked square behind the Islington shop for customer test runs, Emmison and Morris feel they’ve secured the perfect property. They’ve signed a 15-year lease, confident their take on ‘cycle chic’ is at the base of a long growth curve. One of the guests at the launch party included Amy Fleuriot of female cycling clothing brand Cyclodelic. She was wearing one of her own cycling snoods, an £85 scarf made from Mongolian cashmere wool. “The maker can trace the yarn back to the farmer, so we are thinking of producing labels showing the actual goats which produced the wool,” said Fleuriot, famous for getting her products into TopShop earlier this year.
There were also stalwarts of the Tweed Run, the cycling event where riders dress in tweed suits, some of the garments being cycling specific, from the hands of Guy Hill of Dashing Tweeds. His suits – famously worn by Gary Fisher – are veined with retro-reflective yarns – and cost a bomb. Sam Safa of Bronx was also at the event. He’s the sourcing agent for Bobbin Bicycle’s ownbrand, Dutch bikes, all produced in Taiwan. Bobbin has sold one thousand bikes to date, including Pashley Princesses and Electra Townie Dutch bikes. The shop operates an appointment system for customer test rides, a throwback to when the business premises weren’t public-facing. The new shop is close to Sadler’s Wells, near the Angel tube in fashion-savvy Islington. So, who’s buying the bikes? “A small army of retro girls, Euro city-slickers, models and mature country folk,” said a Bobbin press release. Bobbin bikes have featured in countless style magazines.
Bobbins not only sells bikes, it also offers a variety of bicycle acessories to the consumer
Bobbin has sold one thousand bikes to date, including Pashley Princesses and Electra Townie Dutch bikes.
As well as bikes, Bobbins sells accessories. Knog Frogs sit cheek by cheek with products not found in a trade bike shop, such as bicycle helmets fashioned to look like bowler hats or deerstalkers, a ‘Hello Sailor’ collar with retro-reflective bands, or the shop’s own tweedy spats. There’s a famous set of 1950s photos of Audrey Hepburn looking chic, riding a classic roadster in heels and a flouncy dress. She would have felt at home at Bobbin Bicycles. www.bobbinbicycles.co.uk
Pronghorn seeks a UK distributor “Pronghorn Racing is a small and innovative company that likes to challenge the norm and do things differently.” Jeremy Cook, Pronghorn Racing
Pronghorn’s drive to locate a UK distributor is part of the firm’s increased presence in Europe
PRONGHORN Racing has told BikeBiz that it is looking for a distribution partner to accelerate its growth in the UK. The Danish mountain bike company manufactures alloy and carbon full suspension, hardtail frames and complete builds. It is now aiming to increase its
presence across Europe in the coming years. Pronghorn said it’s builds are packed with technology. The manufacturer claims to have developed ‘the fastest rear suspension technology for Cross Country (XC) racing in the world’. The unique top tube
placement of the rear shock on some builds also protects it from the elements and gives the rider easy access to the lockout feature. Jeremy Crook, European sales manager for Pronghorn Racing, said: “Pronghorn Racing is a small and innovative company that likes to challenge the norm and do things differently. We have had a great start in the UK and are now looking to form a partnership with the right distributor. Our bikes need to be ridden to be believed, but don’t just take our word for it, you can see some of the great reviews we have received by visiting our website www.pronghornracing.dk.” For more information on becoming a distributor for Pronghorn contact Crook at email@example.com, or call 0871 231 9966.
It’s been a wheelie good year, says the CTC The UK’s national cyclists’ organisation has had an amazing 12 months, with membership reaching record levels. Nick Fish documents the growth, the campaigns and the benefits to retail… IN THE spring, CTC’s New Vision for Cycling was published. It calls for a doubling of cycle use in ten years and explains how and why this can be achieved. Then the Government’s draft ‘Road Safety Strategy’ backed CTC’s call for a target to halve the risks of cycling within ten years. In the summer, CTC president Jon Snow launched the ‘Safety in Numbers’ campaign in Parliament, which proves the more people who cycle, the safer it becomes. One of our major campaigns this year was the launch of ‘Stop SMIDSY’ at the Cycle Show, where you may have seen SMIDSY the lion wandering around. It is a campaign to address the far too common attitude that simply saying: “sorry mate, I didn’t see you” to a cyclist somehow erases an act of bad driving. CTC’s campaign team is calling on all cyclists to log their experiences of bad driving at the Stop SMIDSY website www.stop-smidsy.org.uk. Its overall aim is to encourage more people to cycle, by making it safer. GETTING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ON BIKES A major part of CTC’s work is charitable. Our main aim is to get more people to experience the joys and benefits of cycling first-hand. In 2009, we secured around £10 million of funding for a range of new charitable bike projects and we are also working with organisations like the Forestry Commission and Age Concern. The latest project is Bike Club, which CTC set up, in partnership with charity UK Youth and informal learning experts
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ContinYou. Using funding from Cycling England, we’ll be helping groups of young people to set up cycling projects. Each Bike Club will be different, ranging from BMXing and off-road riding, to maintenance courses and bikeinspired creative projects. The goal is always for children to not just ride, but to make the most of all the learning opportunities cycling offers. We want to ensure that all young people, including those with disabilities, those from poorer backgrounds and those from all ethnic groups, have the chance to learn from cycling. Bike Club attracted the attention of supermarket chain Asda, which is donating nearly £1.5 million that has been generated through its Pedal Power fundraising campaign. This funding will enable Bike Club to expand to other UK locations, including projects in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. CTC is expanding, and has doubled its number of staff in the last two years. It now has 32 cycling development officers in various locations around the UK, who help and support thousands
“Eighty-four per cent of noncyclists intend to ride more, after taking part in the Workplace Challenge.” Nick Fish, CTC
A flyer for the CTC’s campaign ‘Stop SMIDSY’
of cyclists. This year’s CTC Cycle Champions programme reached 13,000 new cyclists at 13 different locations, and will help even more next year. We’re also involved in getting more people to ride to work. Following the success of the CTC Workplace Cycle Challenges in Swindon, Colchester, Darlington, Somerset, Woking and Wolverhampton, we’re expanding our highly effective behavioural change programme to even more areas. The Workplace Challenge results show it is the best way to get non-cyclists to ride to work. Eighty-four per cent of noncyclists intend to ride more, after taking part in the challenge. Half of the participants cycled to work, with many opting for the first time to take a short cycle ride instead of driving. Since acquiring mountain bike training company OTC, just over a year ago, CTC MTB sales are up 30 per cent and there is now a range of new courses, including maintenance workshops and skill training lessons.
Since it began over 130 years ago, our organisation has always been a cycling club and in the last year we’ve changed the way we structure our groups. They used to be known as District Associations and were organised by geographical area. Now, if you want to form a new CTC group, all you have to do is find other like-minded cyclists and you can create a cycling club that does what you like. BENEFITS FOR OUR MEMBERS Over 200 dealers in the UK offer a ten per cent equipment discount to our 63,000 members. If you would like to add your shop to our retailer listing please email Mark Waters: firstname.lastname@example.org. SUPPORT CTC CTC is getting more and more people on bikes, because it is good for health, the environment and, of course, it is good for the bike trade. So please support CTC and make the UK a better place to cycle. To get involved please email Nick Fish: email@example.com
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 11
How was it for you? The end of 2009 is in sight. But has it been a first-rate year or one to forget? Jonathon Harker and Mark Sutton ask the cycle industry what they made of it all… recorded. Sixty-three thousand cyclists are now part of the CTC family, making us the UK’s largest ever cycling organisation – and we are still growing.” NICK FISH, CTC
William Butler Adams
“Highlights for Zyro during 2009 were securing the Dahon distribution and winning the BikeBiz P&A Distributor of the Year Award. These both validate our belief that we provide the very best service to both our retail and supply partners in the UK cycle industry.” CHRIS DAVIS, SENIOR COMMERCIAL MANAGER & ANDY BUDD, SALES DIRECTOR, ZYRO Dominic Langan
“The main highlight and lowlight of recent times has come from the weakness in the pound. On the one hand this has assisted us to be increasingly competitive; our prices have only risen by around three per cent, as opposed to the 20-plus figure that non-UK made brands have tacked on to retail prices. “On the flipside, the weakness of the pound has also been detrimental to our gross margins. It has really hit profitability hard. Historically, the exchange rate has only seen gradual shifts. Having it fluctuate so wildly has meant re-evaluating prices and stock levels on a much more regular basis. Before now, there has only been one year in our history where prices have shifted more than once per annum.” WILLIAM BUTLER ADAMS, BROMPTON “Looking back over 2009, here at CTC – the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation – we’ve had an amazing year. We reached record membership levels, as the highest level of cycling for almost two decades was
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“A lowlight of 2009 was the Government’s car scrappage scheme – a disastrous knee-jerk reaction to the recession, which ignored congestion and climate change, and made no attempt to enhance people’s travel choices.” PETE LIPMAN, SUSTRANS POLICY DIRECTOR “This year has just flown by. Despite the economic ‘brown stuff’ grenade that exploded all
over the place, hitting several fans and creating more creeks for paddle-less canoes than the OS could ever map, we all seem to have made it through. “The year has been challenging and not in traditional ways, but in completely new ways. The rapid pace at which the pound weakened created issues we have never had to face before as a management team. There was no history to look back on and no way of knowing how it would affect customers, products and performance. “There were times when it was like driving at night, at speed, with no lights. It was scary, but we have come through all that and now, if anything, we have a heightened sense of awareness and focus. We are closer to the business than ever before. We have always been very self critical as a business, but now we beat ourselves up even more than we used to, yet above all we are now truly excited about the future we have ahead of us. What a year!” DOMINIC LANGAN, MD, MADISON
OFF THE RADAR
Sounding off on safety BikeRadar.com editor Jeff Jones tackles safety concerns for the swelling numbers of cyclists and, er, chocolate... BEFORE I start, I have a confession to make. I wanted to write about chocolate. But as editor of BikeRadar.com, I felt duty bound to focus on something more serious: the battle to make cycling safer. Well at least you’ve read this far. I’ve been in the UK for three years now, having formerly been based in Belgium and Australia, and have been impressed at how big cycling is in this country. This is despite the miserable climate and a transport infrastructure and legal system that has not been designed to accommodate cyclists. And the good thing is that we know it’s getting bigger. The Cycle2Work scheme and the relative cheapness of using a bike to get around, the Department of Health pushing cycling as an ideal way to get fit and cut obesity and the blossoming success of British cyclists in all disciplines of the sport – it’s all contributed, meaning that despite the recession, the bike industry is a pretty good place to be. BUT THERE ARE GROWING PAINS... For would-be or current cyclists, safety on the roads is a big concern – a showstopper for many. Riding a bike is easy. Riding a bike safely in traffic requires a good deal of skill and concentration. That takes time to learn and unfortunately there’s not a lot of room for error. Even just being aware of
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the dangers and making sure you can be seen is a good start. How about free (well, Government-funded) cycling proficiency training courses and reflective ankle bands with every new bike purchase? Prevention is cheaper than cure. Getting more people to ride bikes will also help, although the most recent accident figures from the DfT – when taken in isolation – seem to show the opposite. Serious cycling accidents and deaths jumped 19 per cent in the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same period last year, whereas participation increased by just 12 per cent. But stats shouldn’t be taken in small doses like this. Year-on-year, the increase in serious cycling injuries was only four per cent, and there’s been a net decrease since the mid ‘90s. But this isn’t good enough, especially as pedestrian, motorcyclist and car driver casualties all fell by between six to eight per cent, while overall road traffic dropped two per cent last year. WHAT’S HAPPENING? The CTC suggests the spike could be a result of a skill lag: new and inexperienced cyclists are bearing the brunt of the deaths and injuries. And a small proportion may be bringing it on themselves by jumping through red lights. That could be verified by sifting through the data (I wish my deadline wasn’t in half
“We’ve all got roles to play in the safety issue, from campaigning for safer roads and better laws to making safety kit that people will want to ride in. It’s a battle that is being fought on many fronts.”
an hour). Or it could be that motorists are more frustrated or more distracted in these dire economic times. Or drivers of heavy goods vehicles and buses need to be taught to look out for cyclists. Or a combination of all the above. That’s not even taking into account more general safety measures like speed limit reduction in built-up areas and better cycle lanes. And how about a change in the law to make it the motorist’s fault in the case of a collision with a cyclist or pedestrian? It’s then up to drivers to prove otherwise. It sounds radical but it is possible. This is how things are in the cycling-friendly
Netherlands (among other European countries) and it hasn’t crippled them. We’ve all got roles to play in the safety issue, from lobbying and campaigning for safer roads and better laws, to reporting on all the issues, to making safety kit that people will want to ride in. It’s a battle being fought on many fronts but we can already see progress. There have been shifts in thinking by policy makers in Government, who are starting to recognise that the bicycle is not an outdated piece of technology. It’s one of the most brilliant machines ever invented and will be a key part of a greener, healthier, happier society. Alongside chocolate.
By Jeff Jones, BikeRadar.com editor
Pure and simple Following reports of 67 per cent likefor-like sales in the first two quarters of 2009 – and picking up Pedro’s, Ibis, Di Marchi and Chamois Butt’r – Jonathon Harker speaks to 2pure director George Bowie about building brands…
2pure has already told BikeBiz that it saw impressive sales in the first two quarters of 2009. But what drove the rise? We committed to developing our sales team at the end of 2008 with the appointment of Marco Librizzi as sales director. It was obvious that we needed to step up our communications with our customers, which led to close collaboration between our sales, marketing and product departments. This enabled us to flow the appropriate information more frequently to our customer base. Combined with our existing brands’ performance, it’s been at the core of our growth. Do you expect this development to continue? We forecast this growth rate to continue and have invested further in the past two months, employing two external territory
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managers, as well as bolstering our product department.
in terms of back-end supply chain and customer support.
indication of the detail we go into when forecasting.
2pure recently exited three brands and then picked up four more – what’s the reasoning behind all the activity? We have a philosophy to work with ten cycling brands with a
How did the firm’s results compare with expectations at the start of the year? We take a lot of time to evaluate each brand and category within the brand before forecasting. It is
What have been the star performing sectors for 2pure in 2009? Road? Commuter? As a distributor, we measure each brand’s product category as opposed to industry segment. Our brands have their own positioning and predetermined market segment. It is our responsibility to work with each brand and market it to that segment as if we were the brand. We are lucky that each of our core brands performed very well this year. However, we do see the commuting and road sectors as higher growth areas.
“We forecast this growth rate to continue and have invested further, employing two managers, as well as bolstering our product department.” George Bowie, 2pure certain criteria. We evaluated our current portfolio and realised we had some incompatibility within the brands, but at the same time opportunities presented themselves. Our portfolio is really strong from a brand, category and product position, as well as
important that we set realistic and achievable stretched targets as these impact heavily on each person’s income within the business. So to say that we are only seven per cent ahead of the targets agreed by everyone in December 2008 would be an
How have dealers reacted to the new brands? Each brand has brought something new to 2pure. We look for products and brands
George Bowie, director at 2pure
that add value to categories rather than erode existing dealer sales. As such Pedro’s’ environmental policy, Ibis’ carbon philosophy (and bike of the year), DeMarchi’s return to its roots as a high-end quality manufacturer of Artisan cycling apparel and Chamois Butt’r’s – user friendly product approach to sensitive areas all qualify as unique. As such, dealers have welcomed these additional brands while repositioning 2pure as a supplier. How does 2pure stay ahead of the competition? We stay focused on our brands, customers and improving on what we do internally to support this. We do not focus on what our competitors are doing. It is more important to be aware of the market and invest in your business resources, than to worry about what another
distributor is doing. We do, however, watch our brand competitors and offer feedback to our suppliers on what is going
the business, which revolves around customer service. At the start we invested in a software system that provides us with a
“We stay focused on our brands, customers and improving on what we do internally to support this. We do not focus on our competitors.” George Bowie, 2pure on in our market. Do what you do already, but better… What are the key factors behind 2pure’s success? Our business is about building brands. This means we have to envelop ourselves in their ethos, all ten different philosophies, but it is the only way. This allows us to then work on the back-end of
fully integrated system from CRM, reporting, finance, warehouse, purchasing, B2B, marketing, communication and internal visibility. This has enabled us to average a 96 per cent fulfilment ratio during this year, as well as improving on our communication skills with our customers.
This has seen us be rewarded by dealers with increased commitment and spend. 2pure is a relatively young company. Has the trade changed much over the three years? We’re young at heart, with 140 years of cycle trade experience between our modest sized team of thirteen. Three and a half years have passed by in the blink of an eye, but the most obvious trend has been how the industry has become more professional without losing its passion and personality. It is no longer just a hobby, but a business catering to an increasingly wide audience. What is going to be the big story for 2pure in 2010? It is a secret. Come and find out at Core Bike.
How did you find Cycle Show? The trade day was very worthwhile. It was fantastic, for us, to talk to dealers about their businesses and, in turn, show them our newest brands. Can you reveal what 2pure will be showing at Core? We will have representation from all of our brands as well as some overseas visitors from the brands. Oh, and that secret thing mentioned before. Is there anything you’d like to tell the trade? We would like to say thanks for your support over the past 12 months, we would love to hear how we can improve and what you would like to see from 2pure in the future. We will be at Core Bike, we will also continue to support lots of events next year, so stay in touch and we will see you soon.
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 17
Having narrowly avoided being run over by a speeding Aston Martin in the financial district, as well as being pursued by someone clearly going a bit crazy en route to one store, Mystery Shopper dislikes London. However, was the experience redeemed by cycle stores fulfilling the search for hardtails?
18 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
E1 Cycles, Aldgate
Cycle Surgery, Spitalfields
FIRST impressions count and sadly, if I were a buying customer, it’s likely that I wouldn’t have spent long in E1 Cycles as there were no staff members to be found. I browsed the bikes for a few minutes before hearing a noise towards the back of the store. Following the sound, I found two mechanics tucked away in a back room and managed to grab the attention of one for a moment. The experience was redeemed by the assistant who, despite acknowledging there was little they could do in terms of a mid-to-high-end, off-road hardtail, did explain the lower-end stock. I was told the workshop had previously built custom bikes, which may better suit my needs and spend. Having been given a guided tour of a £300 Claud Butler, I asked if any high-end builds could be ordered, to which I was told only if it’s a Raleigh or Claud Butler. When asked about the correct frame size for a six-foot person, the assistant assured me that a 20inch frame would be fine, although I personally felt this to be a few sizes too big. I had earlier been told the store only had 20 and 21-inch sizes in stock.
PERHAPS a little out of the way, this Cycle Surgery is probably only known to locals, but it’s a well-laid out, tidy and spacious store. On entry, I browsed both the hardtail and full suspension models ranging from £600 to £800 and was approached by a staff member shortly afterwards. The employee evidently spoke from experience when he warned that a proper full suspension build for tough XC riding would cost from £1,000. I then turned my attention to the comprehensive range of hardtails. The enthusiastic staff member recommended an Orange, though did sensibly add that it’s always worth trying before you buy. I was then shown to a number of Marin bikes and Specialized builds. My needs were further met when the assistant explained that the bikes could be modified to suit my usage, and included explanations of extra fittings such as mudguards. Based on my six-foot height, the assistant suggested a frame size of 17 to 18 inches, dependent on which suited the length of my leg. His information reassured me that he had been properly educated in bikes. Top marks here for the store, the staff and the service.
Evans Cycles, London Bridge BASED on first impressions, this store wins hands down. The window display was evidently dressed to lure enthusiasts in: it had a stylish Charge Plug and Macneil’s new 24-inch wheeled cruiser. As if that wasn’t enough, Mystery Shopper noted a floor pump chained to the front door for those with puncture difficulties. Once seen to, the assistant did explain that due to its central London location, off road wasn’t the store’s speciality, but did recommend a Waterloo store that could help. He proceeded to demonstrate the few bikes that matched my criteria. Having shown me a £799 Specialized bike, I felt the assistant had done enough to secure a sale. He advised me to browse the chain’s website for more choice, following this with a reminder that the store could order in any bike featured online. Having had a thorough check over of a suitable bike, including removal from the rack for Mystery Shopper to climb aboard, I left feeling as though the assistant had correctly educated me in sizing up the right bike.
Evans Cycles, Canary Wharf
On Your Bike, London Bridge
LOCATED in the heart of London’s financial district, this store is conveniently located outside the tube station. I began browsing some of the hardtails before catching the attention of a staff member, who immediately led me to a selection of bikes suited to my brief. Of those suggested, the assistant began to highlight one model, removing it from the rack. I hinted towards another bike, although this suggestion was either ignored, or not picked up on. When asked about full-suspension models, the assistant recommended sticking to a hardtail with the quoted price range of £600 to £800. This was followed with correct advice about the frame’s size and a few of Evans’ seemingly drilled-in sales finishers, including the offer of a six-week service. When I asked about the possibility of modifying the bike to better suit my needs, the assistant went quiet and was unsure of what to say. Overall, being one of the few stores to remove a bike from the rack and offer a test ride, I felt the assistant answered the majority of my questions well and could secure a sale.
FROM the outside, customers may have no idea just how large a store On Your Bike really is. Once inside, you are greeted with two floors packed full of a comprehensive range of bikes covering most sectors. On entry, Mystery Shopper noted other customers being seen to swiftly, so allowed plenty of browsing time before attracting a staff member. With the assistance of what seemed to be an enthusiastic biker, I was quickly pointed to a number of bikes spanning my quoted money to spend. With catalogues in hand, the employee continued to stress that a bike should be sized correctly to each individual and although he pointed out his preferential ride, he did correctly assess that it may not be suited to me. Having spent 15 to 20 minutes going into detail about the various uses of hardtails versus full suspension, my price range and modification, among other topics, I felt educated enough to be sure of the single bike that I would choose to take away. On Your Bike deserved the sale based on the sales experience and the diverse stock.
Summary THE nation’s capital has become a haven for the chain store in recent years. The majority of Cycle Surgery’s stores are located within the city, as are many of Evans’ stores. The independent retailer, unless carrying a famous name such as Condor Cycles, is gradually losing presence. This is the first time Mystery Shopper has covered two examples of a chain store under one review. Both branches of Evans Cycles performed well. However, the London Bridge branch offered its customers far more in the way of service. Both stores have trained staff well in sales techniques, as discussion about after-sales service was present. Of this month’s independents, On Your Bike was by far the better shopping and sales experience. The sales assistant took time to listen and injected a little passion of his own. He was also restrained enough to make a solid recommendation tailored to my needs.
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 19
Could e-bike boom become an
e-bike bubble? Sales of electric bikes have surged again in the Netherlands, but there’s been a retail channel shift. Will this impact on sales of e-bikes in the UK? Carlton Reid finds out...
20 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
“THE E-BIKE craze is unsustainable,” says Marc van Woudenberg, creator of Amsterdamized.com, a blog aiming to show how normal cycling is in the Netherlands. He’s seen an increasing number of his compatriots buy e-bikes, but he’s not convinced the market can be maintained at that rate. And the latest sales figures hint at why this may be the case. Whereas the overwhelming number of e-bike sales in the last two years have been via independent bicycle dealers in the Netherlands, mass market retailers are now muscling in. This generally leads to price crashes, and quality can often suffer. There is a similar scenario in the US, where Best Buy and Walmart have started selling e-bikes. However, the e-bike beacon has long been the Netherlands. The latest sales totals look good,
but the shift to mass market is sudden, albeit not terribly surprising given the bumper ebike sales in the Netherlands for the past three years. Dutch dealer association BOVAG reports that 41 per cent
market share. Independent bicycle dealers make up an impressive 86 per cent of the Dutch bicycle market, by turnover. By volume, the IBD share is reducing from 77 per cent in 2008 to 70 per cent this year.
“The electric bike will be a standard product, not a short-term trend. In 2008, 100,000 e-bikes were sold. I believe that will quadruple within three years.” Mathias Seidler, Derby Cycle of Germany more e-bikes were sold in the Netherlands during the first half of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. There were 75,000 sold through IBDs, and 30,000 were sold by big-box retailers, supermarkets and DIY stores. Dutch IBDs have done well from the e-bike, even putting a percentage point on the overall
German bicycle dealers have also done well out of e-bikes. “The electric bike will be a standard product, not a shortterm trend,” believes Mathias Seidler, CEO of Derby Cycle of Germany, owner of the Kalkhoff and Focus bike brands. “In Germany, in 2008, 100,000 ebikes were sold, but I believe
that sales will quadruple within the next three years.” Specialist bicycle dealers in the US and UK are still wary (especially given the market penetration by Best Buy and Walmart). This could be about to change. Trek, the leading US maker of enthusiast bicycles sold only via bike shops, has introduced Ride+, a line-up of electric city bikes for 2010. Who’s going to buy them? Trek’s e-evangelist Eric Bjorling said: “We’ve identified the following categories: Assisted Fitness, Increased Mobility/Equalized Speed, Cargo Capacity, and Sweat-free Commute. Buyers are typically a little older, which makes sense given the price tag. “One of the largest reasons for buying an e-bike has been a husband or wife who wants to ride with a more bikeexperienced spouse.”
E-bike consultant Ed Benjamin of the US believes the sales figures from the Netherlands show that American and UK bike shops have been too slow to electrify: “What I’m seeing in transportation-
orientated markets – examples being China, Japan and the Netherlands – is that people understand what the electric bike can do. In America and the UK, a very small percentage of the population are into sport bicycles, but a very large percentage of the population need to get from point A to point B every day. Cultural acceptance is happening, pushed hard by fuel price hikes, and in turn by green issues.” Benjamin, co-author of Electric Bikes Worldwide Reports and co-founder of the Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA), predicts the global market for e-bikes will more than double by 2012: “I often wake up at night wondering whether I’m being too aggressive in my forecasting, then I think of the Chinese market where sales doubled every year. Half of the Chinese market for bicycles is now made up of electric bikes. Ebikes will replace most of the world’s bicycles.” Christopher Cherry, assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, agrees. His PhD thesis was on China’s e-bike industry. He lives part of the year in Kunming, China, and has seen a radical shift away from the battery-free bicycle. “Kunming has an estimated 700,000 e-bikes, up from about 180,000 in 2006. Traditional bicycles are nearly extinct.” Bike industry stalwarts don’t think e-bikes will swamp sports bicycles in Europe, but are expecting the e-bike sector to blossom, whether the pedal-only purists like it or not. Shimano is now working on e-bike parts, which is a significant move from the world’s biggest cycle component maker.
US IBDs shun e-bikes A major US supplier recently held an online poll behind a trade-only firewall. The poll asked IBDs about e-bikes. The majority said they weren’t part of their business model. Electric Bikes in your shop? Already a success for my shop 2.6% Trying a few in my shop now 11.0% Considering it for the near future 11.0% Waiting a bit longer before trying 18.5% Tried once, may bring it back 8.4% Not interested/not my business model 39.9% Tried it already, and never again 8.7% Total votes: 346
As manufacturers produce lighter and lighter e-bikes – with batteries and motors all but hidden away – it will become harder to tell who is using muscle power alone. “The electric bicycle is going to evolve and improve in ways we probably don’t appreciate today,” said Benjamin. “I like to think of the e-bike as a human-electric hybrid.” But if mass market retailers stuff up (and many are poor at safely selling standard MTBs, never mind electronically complex e-bikes), then the market for e-bikes could collapse. On the other hand, there’s money to be made in the e-bike market right now but many IBDs are still playing the long game. At the recent Interbike trade show in Las Vegas there were a great deal of new e-bike exhibitors and bikes from respected global brands such as Sanyo, but American IBDs aren’t rushing to order in the numbers that many predicted. Interbike marketing manager Rich Kelly said: “I have to wonder if the specialty bicycle dealer channel will be seen as the place to go for e-bikes in the future or if it will be served by others as well in a significant way? These could be motorcycle dealers or mass merchant electronics dealers like Best Buy. “I know there has been a debate in the bicycle community about whether e-bikes should be considered bikes or essentially the equivalent of motorcycles that happen to run on batteries. Designed the proper way, I believe that they can fit into the bicycle category.”
Josh Hon of Dahon with the Dahon Boost electric folding bike
Carlton testing the YikeBike
“There’s been a debate about whether e-bikes should be considered bikes or the equivalent of motorcycles that run on batteries. Designed the proper way, I believe they fit the bicycle category.” Rich Kelly, Interbike
Ed Benjamin, e-bike consultant
A look inside the Light Electric Vehicle Association The Light Electric Vehicle Association now has over 125 members spanning 22 different countries. Corporate members such as Trek, SRAM, Dahon, Currie, DK City, EPS/BionX, 3T Cycling, ID Bike, Tokyo R&D, Fallbrook Technologies, Gazelle and Fairly Bike have all chosen to support the growing association, which is less than one year old. To date there is a well developed website that is packed full of information LEVA companies and consumers will find of interest (www.levassociation.com). A sign-up form on the website gives access to twice-monthly
electronic newsletters highlighting current LEVA events around the world (the past twenty can also be found on the website). The most popular LEVA activity to date are the Member Networking Dinners
held in conjunction with major trade shows. For 2010, the dates have already been set and can be found on the organisation’s website. Next year LEVA events will coincide with the Taipei Cycle Show, the China Cycle Show, Eurobike, Intermot, and Interbike. At Intermot, a special LEVA pavilion will be established to help LEVA member exhibitors increase their exposure to potential customers and suppliers. Sid Kuropchak Executive Director Light Electric Vehicle Association LLC www.LEVAssociation.com
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 21
DESIGNED, TESTED & MANUFACTURED IN BARNOLDSWICK ENGLAND
The new benchmark XC brake
Complete brake only 281g (inc. all ямБxings) www.hopetech.com 01282 851200
CORE BIKE PREVIEW
It’s going to be a
Core-ker! Gathering 16 exhibitors under one roof in an intimate environment, Core Bike 2010 promises to be more essential than ever for the cycle trade. Jonathon Harker and Mark Sutton provide an early look at what dealers can expect at the Northamptonshire-set show…
2PURE DEBUTED at the Cycle Show in October, 2pure is once again going to give the trade a chance to ogle its newly added Ibis brand. The latest edition of the flagship Ibis Mojo uses the best in technologically advanced design, engineering, materials and construction to bring you an elegant and efficient ride suitable for a wide variety of terrain and conditions. In short, this beautiful frame is a rider’s dream and highly sought after with bikesavvy consumers. Featuring 140mm of travel in an ultra-light yet super tough carbon chassis, there is little on the trails that can match the Mojo. The DW Link suspension offers up a controlled
BUFFERA system that not only allows owners to bomb singletrack, but also gets them back to the top with ease. Available in four colours, and a raw carbon with a choice of build kits, there is a Mojo for everyone. At Interbike the Ibis Mojo was voted best full suspension, all MTB, of 2009 by the readers of MTBR.com for the third year running. As at last year’s show, Crank Brothers is bound to be the centre of attention. The Cobalt wheels are joined by the Sage freeride wheels, Opium downhill wheels and Iodine all-mountain wheels. Each of them carry the brand’s two-year warranty and have a ‘built tough’ reputation, so dealers need not fear returns. For example, the Opium downhill rims feature an uninterrupted central rib – resulting in an amazingly strong, yet lightweight wheel. The rims are tubeless compatible and are 24mm wide. The hub utilises six oversized pawls with alternating three-pawl engagement. Butted Sapim stainless steel spokes feature across the range.
BUFFERA has begun to expand its popular SueMe line, which was previewed at last year’s show. The autumn 2009 range currently being sold features a number of well thought out items for the working cyclist. The SueMe WorkPants come in sizes ranging from 32 to 38 in either a standard or long leg length. One of the first features customers may be attracted to is the comfort provided by the 100 per cent organic cotton, which is treated with a low-impact carbonic finish for a softer feel on the skin. The fabric weight is designed to give optimal balance between cool and warm weather wear. Designed for work, rest and play, the 3D cut and fit incorporates a preshaped knee while engineered and repositioned inside leg seams avoid rubbing and wear. The resulting flat panel crotch and inside leg gives improved fit, durability and comfort. For the more casual look, SueMe has also
created a hooded sweatshirt, which comes in sizes small to extra large for men and small to large for women. Again, soft durable fabrics are used and all printing is done via waterbased inks that stay soft and age well with the product. Details include two rear zip pockets with zip closures, a zipped leg pocket, two large front pockets, wide belt loops, a SueMe branded metal stud waistband closure, zip fly and, finally, a discreet printed branding on the inside of the waistband. The flagship Buff product will of course be on show, though even the SueMe brand has its own printed Buff garment.
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 23
CORE BIKE PREVIEW
CHICKEN CYCLE-KIT JET BLACK’S brand new turbo trainer range will be one of the highlights of the Chicken Cycle-Kit booth come January. The brand’s greatest appeal is the impressive margin for a product range of trainers not typically known for profitability. Chicken Cycle-Kit will dedicate part of its booth to Sapim, highlighting its growing acceptance among mountain bikers. Sapim already supplies most of the big names in road wheel production with a substantial part of their spoke requirements. Hope has also decided to fit Sapim to some of its top-end wheels. To have such a prominent and respected UK manufacturer fit Sapim is a clear indication of the growing importance of this Belgian spoke brand.
CITRUS-LIME Sapim works closely with Rigida and thus the Dutch and Belgian companies share a certain synergy – specialising in a high degree of manufacturing know-how. Sapim will willingly check out any OEM wheels laced with Sapim, in order to offer customers the best build available. Retailers can already benefit from the preferential terms offered for sets of Sapim spokes and Rigida rims. Retailers should note that discount changes at Chicken Cycle-Kit mean that more dealers will achieve ‘Elite Status’ in 2010 following the reduction in the annual sales target from £25k to £20k of invoiced turnover. Many brands list product reductions in price, as Chicken becomes more competitive with an increasingly diverse portfolio. CITRUS-LIME is back at the Core Bike show and will be demonstrating its integrated EPOS, e-commerce and stock control system. At Core Bike 2009 – the company’s debut showing at the event – Citrus-Lime launched its workshop module, which calendars each job and tracks it from start to finish, records each part used and any labour extended and automatically emails or texts customers when the job is complete. Since last year, the workshop module has been updated as part of Citrus-Lime’s commitment to continual development, with improvements made based on feedback from independent bike dealers and new features added in response to requests. Full demos will be available at Core Bike. Citrus-Lime will also be demonstrating its Supplier Integration Module (SIM) for the first time at Core. The SIM brings upto-date and accurate stock availability
with pricing data from suppliers direct into dealer’s EPOS systems. The ability to have this data at the point of sale provides IBDs with an easier way to take special orders, to update their pricing and to add new products to their stock file. Citrus-Lime MD Neil McQuillan tells BikeBiz that the firm has enlisted the help of the trade in putting the module together: “We have been talking to most of the main distributors about how we can integrate with their systems to provide IBDs, with the data they need and have made much progress. The ability to quickly find this data not only helps the IBDs but allows the disties to sell more product too.” Demonstrations of the Supplier Integration Module as well as CitrusLime’s fully integrated EPOS and e-commerce system will be available at Core Bike.
CORDEE NEW CORE exhibitor Cordee is set to bring a range of the latest cycle-specific books to the dealer event. Hot off the press, Brompton Bicycle covers one of the UK’s famous bike brands and tells the fascinating story behind the unusual and popular folding bikes. The book will be published on January 15th – only days before the show opens. Written by an expert on the subject, Brompton Bicycle covers a brief history of folding bikes and puts the Brompton in the context of previous developments. The book also details the story of how the Brompton came about – from a sketched idea by engineer and company founder Andrew Ritchie, to a bike with major sales throughout the world today. Brompton specials also feature in the book, converting for use by children and multiple riders, for example. The title also includes tips on caring for and repairing
Bromptons, making it the perfect companion and an essential for fans of the folding brand. Also being showcased by Cordee is UK Breaks with Bikes, a book published by Max Darings – the brains behind Rough Ride Guides. Publishing in December, this mountain biking guidebook covers 100 routes to the best riding in the UK’s holiday destinations. The seventh in the series, the title will have the unique ring binder design which allows routes to be taken out and used individually. Each is printed on waterresistant paper.
Through the book Darkins is aiming to get people out riding the best trails with the minimum of fuss. Richard and Jane Robinson – the brother and sister team that own the company – will be at the show alongside sales representative Matt Cooke with details of best sellers, stock recommendations and many other new titles. The firm told BikeBiz that it prides itself on its retail experience and product knowledge and matching range to dealers’ customer bases. The firm is also launching bespoke-designed shelving options at Core. The metal, powder-coated in smart, matt black shelves are designed to fit into standard slatboard in one metre spans.
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 25
CORE BIKE PREVIEW
EXTRA CLOTHING, folding bikes and cycle computers are among the highlights set to appear at the Extra display in the Northamptonshire hotel. Recent signing Alpinestars has an extensive line of mountain bike-focused clothing for 2010, including the MTB Techstar longsleeve jersey – a multi-panel jersey with aero mesh ventilation panels and unobtrusive shoulder seams for use with BNS. The jersey is panelled to fit in riding position with multi-panelled polyester microfibre construction, while ventilation is taken care of with aero poly mesh inserts. A wrap-over ergonomic collar and shoulder panel design has been created to avoid interfering with any neck brace system. The jersey also features sublimated design with Lycra piping. The Jango folding bike lines will also form part of the Extra line-up. Boasting intelligent folding frame design and the comfortable handling of a full-sized bike, the Jango Flik is designed to fold into a compact size for easy transport or storage. The Flik is also reported to feature frame geometry with handling qualities
FOX similar to full-sized bikes. With a comparable wheelbase length and placement of rider controls is set to ensure a familiar, comfortable and fun cycling experience. Extra will also showcase the O-synce range of portable micro electronic products at Core Bike. Running the whole gamut from cyclometers to watches and GPS navigation devices, the O-synce combines the principles of precise German engineering with a dash of Italian design. The range aims to keep simplicity high on the agenda and works on a ‘less is more’ principle, with a flexible modular product line-up.
jacket, meanwhile, is a new upper body suit for the gravity set with hard shell plastic protection covering the back, shoulders, chest, and arms, with a mesh ventilated chassis for maximum comfort when railing the berms. Fox will also be showing off its 2010 Dirt Shirt collection, which uses a unique bamboo fabric that is wicking and antimicrobial. The firm has adorned these shirts with t-shirt graphics from its sportswear range, combining high performance with street appeal.
ISON HOPE IS still knocking top-notch products out from its Barnoldswick base and there will be plenty of exciting new bits to be seen come January. The new Race X2 brake is perhaps the biggest development and product in the 2010 line-up. The Mono Mini X2 Pro has been in the range for some time now and promises to take the lightweight brake market to the next level. Enter the Race X2 caliper. This is an allnew master cylinder assembly, with refined CNC machining and top-of-theline, race-ready specification with a weight of 280g including bolts. Since introducing its pre-built wheels some two years ago, the range has steadily increased. Now, for 2010, Hope has taken that a step further with the introduction of four road wheelsets including 50mm carbon wheels. The manufacturer now has in-house capabilities with a state-of-the-art custom wheel-building machine and a dedicated department taking care of every aspect of wheel production has been set up too. Hubs are hand-built, then hand-laced into the extensive rim range. The CNC lacing, tensioning and truing machine then builds the wheel to within .30mm before each unit is hand-finished. All carbon wheels are hand-built throughout.
26 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
FOX’S ‘designed and tested by riders, for riders’ 2010 mountain bike range will star at the Whittlebury Hall show. The 2010 collection was designed with one goal in mind – to create the ultimate collection of riding gear that serious mountain bike enthusiasts will embrace. Fox says: “We’ve taken great care to dial in our products down to the smallest details. From our selection of performance fabrics, strategically placed mesh venting, and stretch panelling in critical movement areas, to our detachable sunglass/goggle wipe on our shorts and our audio interface design (featuring smart routing for headphone cables) – every detail speaks to functional performance when you’re on your bike.” The range includes innovative new ideas, twists on some old favourites and top performing legacy products. The V3R helmet is among the range highlights. Fox has taken its bestselling V3 helmet and re-engineered it specifically for the bike market, trimming weight by using carbon fibre in the shell lay up. Other range highlights include the Launch Pro kneepad. The soft shell pad comes with a hard plastic knee insert and features ergonomic design for comfort and stability when charging hard through the roots and rocks. The Titan sport
ISON will again be showing nearly all of its brands at Core Bike, including Identiti, Halo, Gusset, Society, Genetic, ODI, TSG, Renthal, KHE, Salsa, Surly, MRP, White Brothers, Dia Compe, Passport, All-City and Rohloff. Fibrax, Weldtite and Schwalbe will also feature. The firm will have global brand managers in attendance to answer questions, including John Fleck from Surly and David Gabrys from Salsa, as well as Ison’s own sales staff. Many of the existing ranges have been expanded for 2010 and Ison anticipates showing dealers its most comprehensive collection yet. Halo wheels has added to its success and popularity in the MTB market with its collection of fixie models, which have already become
bestsellers and been lauded by the press and riders alike. For 2010 the brand will be bringing out a new rim and wheelset. The Aerowarrior is a fixed gear freestyle specific rim designed with today’s rider in mind. Available in bright colours and as complete wheelsets, these look set to follow the success of the Aerorage and Aerotrack wheels in the market. Identiti is also dabbling in the singlespeed with a new Fixie freestyle frame (the Persona) and fixie freestyle forks – the FFX. Rider input, including from Chris Delia helped design the products. But it’s not all Fixie, as Ison has revolutionary new helmet design on show from TSG – the Kraken. Having revolutionised the ‘piss-pot’ helmet with its Superlight helmet they’ve taken another step forward with this new design.
CORE BIKE PREVIEW
JIM WALKER JIM WALKER is set to show a plethora of its exclusive brands, including models from Sunn, Eddy Merckx, De Rose and Argon 18. Sunn’s 2010 line-up boasts great choice from great value hardtails through to World Championship-winning downhill bikes, XC, freeride and all mountain. The award-winning Kern and the phenomenal Radical BOS-equipped frameset are also set to feature. Eddy Merckx Cycles boasts a completely new line-up for 2010, notably seeing an expansion of the womenspecific AFX and EFX ranges. Two aluminium models – the AFX and AMX bikes – also feature and fall into the allimportant Ride to Work scheme price bracket. A key model from the line-up is the carbon EMX-3 which recently scored a near perfect nine out of ten from Cycling Weekly.
DeRosa will be another focus brand for Core. Blending artisan craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology and chic Italian style, the DeRosa has relaunched the Merak carbon. The range’s flagship has been improved still further for 2010 with the addition of the King 3 RS, which boasts a mix of Toray’s finest 46T and
MERIDA MERIDA is heading to Core following a period of impressive growth and growing dealer sign-up. The firm stresses that it does not have restrictive contracts with minimum commitments though. “The philosophy has always been about a longterm business, and not short-term gains.” Following that growth, the firm has brought David Webster on board as product and training manager, and he’ll be on hand at Core. Merida UK general manager Chris Carter says: “Merida can claim some of the most hightech bikes on the planet, as tested scientifically by the German bike press, so the appointment of David is essential to help dealers and the public understand the facts about our bikes." In terms of product, Merida UK is set to bring 0.Nine to Core – a bike termed an object of desire. The bike takes the title of stiffest and lightest production hardtail from little brother the Carbon FLX, both of which are used by the Multivan Merida Biking team. The 0.Nine uses unique patented construction techniques which help deliver some startling statistics: a 200g weight saving over the Carbon FLX, stiffness increase of 33 per cent and, according to Merida, a comfort increase of 100 per cent for one of the most successful racing frames ever. The hardtail range offers a standard 40 per cent gross margin across the board
28 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
60T fibres to improve rigidity, comfort and weight. It also allows the customer a full customisable option on geometry, BB selection and headtube standards. The halls of Whittlebury Hall will also see the latest from triathlon specialist Argon 18. The E-80, E-112 and E-114 bikes are ideal for the TT crowd, while the
superlight carbon Gallium Pro, Gallium, Krypton and the aluminium Radon are ideal for road riders. The Electron is a Track bike, while the carbon Arsenic is perfect for Cyclocross. Jim Walker’s presence at Core will also feature components and clothing from Campagnolo, Northwave and Fulcrum.
PALIGAP and Merida tells BikeBiz that its competitors often claim their frames are Merida-made. Carter says: "None of the claims are true, but it does make us smile. The factory is very much focussed on the brands which it has an investment in, and now turns away many well known names in order to concentrate its R&D efforts on our brands.” The popular Ninety Six was a key line at the last Core show, but this time looks set to play second fiddle to the new One Twenty range – lightweight but capable full suspension bikes and featuring the One Twenty 400D (priced at £1,099). Complementing the complete road range from £450 alloy bikes to £4,200 carbon will be the Time Warp, a unique Triathlon/TT bike. Merida’s chief R&D man Juergen Falke – a full ironman competitor himself – noted the effect that riders have on bike aerodynamics and their differing positions for a ten mile time trial and a 180km ride. As a result, the firm has developed cunning modular head tube technology that allows riders to use one bike for both events. And aside from bikes, Merida will also be bringing a host of other brands, including Alpina Helmets and Eyewear and Birzman Tools to Core Bike 2010. Both brands were picked up this year and are set to be profiled in January’s BikeBiz Core Bike guide.
PALIGAP’S Core line-up includes bikes from the Kona, Litespeed and Quintana Roo brands. The firm will have a selection of 2010 bicycles and components from Kona, including the new clothing range. On the bike side, the Abra Cadabra suspension system will be explained in detail to visiting dealers and the distributor will be showing a selection of the road and commuter range from the well respected bike brand. Litespeed’s new carbon range of bicycles will also feature – including the C1, C2 and C3, all of which are available now from Paligap. The range has been through two solid years of design and development with the same rigorous testing and product evaluation the firm invests in its titanium bikes. Peter Hurley, CEO of American Bicycle Group, enthuses: “We are thrilled to introduce a line of carbon bikes that truly lives up to the Litespeed name and our long legacy of design innovation.” The entire 2010 Quintana Roo
bicycle range will be on show at Core, including the Eurobike Gold Award Winning CD01 Frame. Hurley had this to say of the prize-grabbing bike: “Quintana Roo is the only brand in the world that exclusively manufactures dedicated triathlon bikes. The Eurobike Gold Award recognises the design, development, and rigorous testing and product evaluation procedure that went into developing the CD01 frame.” Among the other brands on show from the distributor at Core are PowerTap, Saris and Sombrio. The PowerTap tech and sales guys will be at Core 2010 to explain the benefits of training with Power and how to sell and stock the range at a retail level. The Saris Solo rack will be on show too, and Paligap will be taking orders on the single bike Bones rack, which it calls a unique product at a great price. Meanwhile, Sombrio has a whole new range of product lines – Freeride, Epic, Kid’s and Girl’s – on show at Core.
CORE BIKE PREVIEW
SILVERFISH WITH the addition of two new fresh brands, Silverfish has an expanded portfolio to take along to the Core Bike show this year. From Alicante comes Mondraker Bikes. New to Silverfish and also to the UK market, the brand has already made a winning impression on the World Cup DH circuit. The new Summum, which is touted as being the must-have race machine for 2010, will feature alongside many other full suspension and hardtail builds. Each of the full-sussers is built with the new ‘Stealth’ tubing and are based on the high performing Zero Suspension System. The mountain bike range begins at just £369.95. The second new brand to be added to Silverfish’s portfolio and displayed at Corebike is EVOC. The German firm
SIWIS produces high quality riding and trail backpacks, which feature a unique CE rated spine protector all built into an ultra stylish, lightweight, but ultimately functional package. RaceFace provides dealers with plenty of reason to visit the Silverfish display. The new Respond range adds a highly competitive price point to the brand’s stable, while the new Deus range of crank and components should stir those dealers specialising in cross country. Also new for 2010 comes the carbon fibre SIXC crank and bar. RaceFace has taken its years of experience to design carbon products ready for the AM rider. But it is not just the hard goods that have people talking about RaceFace, as the brand’s range of armour and soft goods are always popular. If all of this is not a reason to visit Silverfish in the Monza Suite, then remember SDG, Turner and ITS Tyres will also be on display with their 2010 offerings.
SIWIS, headed up by company owner Si Watts, will be exhibiting at Core Bike in 2010, showcasing its internet solutions for bike-related companies online. Watts says: “Having worked in the retail environment and later as a rep for a major player at the time, what started as a hobby building websites for a few select customers has rapidly turned into a thriving business catering almost solely for the web needs of bike-related companies.” The firm offers bespoke web work, providing dealers with the chance to have a dedicated
system built to suit their individual needs, or to select the i-BikeShop etail system. This ready-to-go e-commerce solution features simple self management systems to make looking after the content of sites easy for novice users and computer boffins alike.
UPGRADE HAVING had since last year’s show to settle in with Upgrade, Kinesis is starting to perform and the brand’s tenth anniversary has brought further sales growth, with Decade proving a success. For 2010, Upgrade will introduce new frames, which will be available for the spring racing season. The new KM-810 carbon MTB frame is designed around a familiar racing geometry with a hint of trail in the angles, meaning the frame is ideal for the newer
breed of technical singletrack XC courses, found especially in the UK. The frame is a full monocoque design, has s-bend stays for improved comfort, is designed for a 90 to 100mm fork and weighs in at just 1,100 grams for the small size painted. The new year also sees the revamping of a Kinesis UK classic, the ever popular XC Pro, now on its third incarnation. The XCPro3 makes full use of Kinesis International’s vast experience in aluminium SPF forming, utilising the hot-
30 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
gas forming technology to produce the oversized down-tube for the new frame, saving weight and adding stiffness. The KR-810 road frameset also receives a fresh look with a new colourway for 2010. The Kinesis premier stockist programme continues and will be providing improved margins for shops to expand their Kinesis UK offering.
Atomlab founder Mike Flaherty will be on hand to share his passion and enthusiasm for design and riding. Flatherty’s new Pimp and GI suspension forks are now in stock with Upgrade and the full range of colours, including the stunning raw finish forks, will be on display. Also on display for the first time will be the new Trailking Slopestyle full-suspension frame. Built using Daytona cromoly tubing and specced with a Marzocchi Rocco air shock (providing 5.5-inches of travel) this is a seriously hardcore play bike.
WINDWAVE has been supplying the bicycle business with leading product for over 20 years and tells BikeBiz that it believes its 2010 line-up is its strongest yet. It promises that new products will focus on quality, performance and improved margin for dealers. Following Windwave’s signing this August, Lucozade will be appearing at Core with its range of easy-to-understand and great tasting products broken down into clearly defined needs. Dealers at the show will get to see the complete range of products from the brand along with some of the available POS. Marzocchi’s 2010 line-up is also set to feature at Core. The firm has gone back to its roots and re-introduced the tech that made the original bomber such a success. Improved designs and exotic materials mean the latest range is of the highest quality, with the best performing range to date. An exclusive limited edition fork is set to appear at the show. Meanwhile, FSA’s latest innovations include the updated K Force and SLK ranges and Windwave is set to continue its easy to achieve buy-in dealer packages to ensure the best price for the 2010 range. The show will also see the re-launched Vision, with some great Core wheel offers. Vision is available as an add-on to dealer’s FSA package, too. Corsair’s innovative suspension
frames will appear at Core Bike, as will new competitively priced build-up kits from the firm, which promise to make the transition from frame to bike as easy as possible. The Colnago range will feature heavily, as Windwave tells BikeBiz: “Pre-sales of 2010 Colnago range have been extremely strong and with huge consumer interest it has never been a better time to become a dealer. At Core we will have the complete 2010 range and a new show exclusive in the Colnago Master.” Colnago’s international sales manager, Diego Colosio, will be joining Windwave at the show, as will Mr Colnago’s grandson, Alessandro Colnago. Nokon, A2Z, Ice Toolz and the 201 Mace clothing range will also be showcased by the distributor at Core Bike in January.
BICYCLE RETAIL SURVEY 2009
Reports from the front line During November, BikeBiz.com asked the UK’s bicycle retailers to report back on the past year’s business. Mark Sutton and Jonathon Harker document a few market shifts… By what percentage has your annual turnover increased or decreased in the past 12 months?
By what percentage has your business' profit increased or decreased in the past 12 months?
30% or more: .............................. 21.1% +20%: .......................................... 23.9% +10%: .......................................... 26.8% Barely changed:............................15.5% -10%: .............................................. 9.2% -20%: .............................................. 1.4% -30% or less: ................................ 2.1%
MOST OF the retail survey respondents reported that their annual turnover had increased in 2009, with the majority seeing rises between ten and 20 per cent over the year. Over a fifth saw turnover top an impressive 30 per cent.
+30% or more: ............................ 9.7% +20%: .......................................... 22.8% +10%: .......................................... 32.4% Barely changed:............................24.8% -10%: .............................................. 8.3% -20%: .............................................. 1.4% -30% or less: ................................ 0.7%
ENCOURAGINGLY, profit appears to have risen alongside turnover in 2009. Only ten per cent of dealers saw profits fall, while almost a quarter of respondents saw profits stay roughly the same. Well over half reported profits rise over the year.
If you’ve made any cutbacks at all this year, where have they been?
Should you make a profit, where will much of the reinvestment cash go?
Staff numbers/cutting hours or pay: .................................................................... 37.3% Seeking out competitive utility bills: .................................................................. 44.1% Overhead costs via premises move: ................................................................... 14.7% Stock levels: .................................................................................................................. 52.0% Seeking cheaper courier options: .......................................................................... 27.5% Cutting bike stocks to focus on repair business: ............................................ 29.4%
STOCK levels bore the brunt of cutbacks in 2009, while 44 per cent of savvy dealers worked to cut utility bills and 27 per cent sought cheap couriers. Notably, almost 30 per cent ramped up the workshop at the cost of bike stock levels.
SHOP APPEARANCE and point of sale revamp was top of dealers’ priority lists for reinvestment of profit, with stock expansion closely following. Over a quarter of respondents were looking to invest hard-earned cash in developing online trade.
What portion of business does Cycle To Work scheme sales represent?
Are you selling more or less bikes on finance than this time last year?
More: ................................................ 8.9% Less: ................................................ 22.8% About the same: ........................ 68.3%
50% or more.................................. 1.4% 40% to 50% ................................ 1.4% 30% to 40% ................................ 2.1% 20% to 30% ................................13.3% 10% to 20% ................................ 28.7% 1% to 10% ................................ 34.3% No C2W business at all .......... 18.9%
THIRTY-FOUR per cent of respondents reported that Cycle to Work accounted for between one and ten per cent of their sales, while over a quarter said it made ten to 20 per cent of sales. Almost a fifth, however, said that they did no C2W business at all.
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Staff wage or hiring: ......................................................................................................23.4% New store: ........................................................................................................................14.9% Developing online trade: ............................................................................................26.2% Expanding stock: ............................................................................................................32.6% Paying off loans/supplier debts: ..............................................................................25.5% Store redecorate/point of sale revamp: ................................................................39.7% Other: ....................................................................................................................................7.8%
THE POPULARITY of buying a bike on finance continued unabated for the majority of bicycle dealers this year, while for almost a quarter the number had fallen. It was only the minority that had seen bike finance-based sales rise.
BICYCLE RETAIL SURVEY 2009
What percentage of the business is made up by second hand/reconditioned bike sales?
Is the workshop more or less important to the business than this time last year?
More: ............................................ 55.0% Less: .............................................. 3.6% The same portion: .................. 41.4%
All business: .................................... 2.1% 50% plus: ........................................ 2.1% 25% to 50%: ................................ 2.8% Barely changed:............................35.4% None: ............................................. 57.6%
DESPITE the credit crunch, it seemed that cycle consumers were no more (or less) eager to buy second hand. Well over half saw no sales in the sector, and 36 per cent recorded a largely unchanged number of second-hand sales.
What percentage of annual profit comes from the workshop?
1% to 20% .................................. 41.8% 20% to 40% ................................ 36.2% 40% to 60% ................................ 12.8% 60% to 80% ................................ 5.0% 80% to 100% ................................ 4.3%
WORKSHOP business provided a weighty portion of dealers’ annual profits over 2009, making up between 20 and 40 per cent of profit for 36 per cent of those surveyed. A hefty 42 per cent said the workshop generated up to 20 per cent of profit.
What is your biggest threat?
Supermarkets: .............................. 6.3% Online retail growth: .............. 27.8% Halfords: .......................................... 4.2% Own-branded chain growth: ....1.4% Other chains: ................................ 7.6% Price rises: ...................................... 4.9% Other independent stores:........ 2.1% Suppliers having low stock: .. 17.4% Overhead cost rises:.................... 4.9% I choose not to worry:. ............ 23.6%
WHILE 23 per cent of respondents chose not to worry, over a quarter identified the growth of online retail as the biggest direct threat to their business. The threat posed by Halfords and supermarkets was viewed as far less signficant.
Year-on-year, have you increased online business?
Decreased online business: ...... 5.1% No: .................................................... 39% Grown it slightly: ......................38.2% Grown it significantly: .......... 14.7% Doubled or more: ...................... 2.9 %
THE QUESTION of how online business had fared in 2009 split the survey respondents. Over a third found their online business remained the same, while a similar proportion saw online grow slightly over the period.
THE SURVEY bore out the fact that the workshop became increasingly important to the majority of cycle retailers in 2009. Less than four per cent said it was less important than in 2008, while 41 per cent said it was equally important.
What figure best fits your annual takings for cycle clothing and accessories?
£0 to £500: .................................... 5.6% £500 to £1,000: ............................ 3.5% £1,000 to £2,500: ........................ 6.9% £2,500 to £4,000: ........................ 4.2% £4,000 to £7,000: ......................10.4% £7,000 to £10,000: ..................10.4% £10,000 and above: ................ 59.0%
THE CYCLE clothing and accessories sector proved a significant driver of business for cycle dealers, with well over half telling BikeBiz that the segment contributed over £10k of their annual takings.
If you make a profit in this financial year, what percentage will be channelled back into the business?
1% to 10%: ..................................14.9% 10% to 30%: ..............................21.3% 30% to 50%: ..............................13.5% 50% to 75%: ..............................18.4% 75% to 100%: ............................27.3%
THE PROPORTION of profit set to be channelled back into the business was another question that sparked a mixed response. Significantly though, the most popular response was to put between 75 and 100 per cent back into the business.
Do you foresee growth next year? None forecast: ............................... 7.6% Depends on economic conditions: ................................................................11.8% Anticipate slight growth:..........27.8% I’m optimistic of growth and feel it to be achievable: .................................. 52.8%
MOST CYCLE retailers have a favourable outlook for the coming year. Over three quarters felt that growth was a realistic prospect in 2010, but a more cagey 12 per cent thought the economic climate would play a factor in 2010 performance.
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 33
2009 News of the (cycle) world Been stuck under a rock for most of 2009 and missed the news that has been turning the wheels of the cycle industry? Jonathon Harker takes a look at the stories that made the headlines this year…
THE YEAR kicked off to the glum news that the UK had officially gone into recession, but the cycle trade wasn’t going to let that get in the way. While the car manufacturing industry suffered at the hands of the economic climate, it seemed that cycling’s future was altogether more rosy. Bike production was predicted to outstrip car manufacture within a year, while a survey found commuter cycling was on the up and that motor traffic had declined for the first time since the 1970s. The number of bicycles on Eurostar also rose in the month that the industry prepared for a packed calendar of launches and shows. In slightly more frivolous news, there was something of an influx of celebrities extolling the virtues of cycling, from songster Robbie Williams to entrepreneur extraordinaire Sir Alan Sugar.
FEBRUARY GOT off to a frosty start when heavy snow disrupted the cycle supply chain. Matters didn’t much improve when new life was breathed into one of cycling’s longest running debates. A court case saw a judge question whether cyclists could be branded guilty of ‘contributory negligence’ for not wearing a helmet, provoking strong reaction and disagreement in the cycling community. February also saw the creation of the BSkyB professional British road cycling team, managed by GB Olympic performance director Dave Brailsford – who is planning to create the first British winner of the Tour de France within five years. Madison launched its B2B website at IceBike, we got a first look at Lambretta at Fisher’s Expo and fresh-faced BikeBiz Awards finalist Road.cc grew by almost 50 per cent.
WOMEN IN CYCLING was the talk of the trade in March. Not only did BikeBiz research confirm that women were in the minority in the trade, Sustrans launched female-specific website Bikebelles and Cyclodelic revealed details that its lady-loving cycle chic had entered the UK’s biggest fashion store at TopShop, Oxford Street. Elsewhere, the helmets debate continued to hot up with the CTC warning that helmets are being made ‘compulsory by the back door’. Hot Wheels delivered cycling to Center Parcs, Saddleback snapped up the Vredestein brand and the London Cycling Campaign scored a victory by helping to block a ‘lock it and lose it’ measure that would have made parking a ‘lottery’ for the capital’s cyclists. The industry also took the time to celebrate its up-and-coming rising stars in the BikeBiz ‘30 Under 30’ list.
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THE TRADITIONAL start, and end, of the financial year turned up a slew of good news stories for the bike trade, from Saddleback announcing 44 per cent growth, Halfords selling one million bikes a year and Giant predicting ten per cent growth in 2009. And while the Chancellor raised petrol duties in the budget, Sustrans felt Alistair Darling had missed the opportunity to back green initiatives like cycling and slammed his car scrappage scheme for encouraging the car dependence culture. In other news, Halfords ditched the Cycle Republic brand, BikeBiz’s web traffic hit a new high and the news broke that the UK was set to get ‘Cycle Point’ Dutch-style shops. April also saw the industry debate the future of singlespeed, and it turned out in force for the Taipei Cycle Show – topping previous records for visitors.
WHILE THE inaugural BikeRadar Live got off to a sunny start at Donington Park, headline-friendly London Mayor Boris Johnson revealed a ‘cycling revolution’ for the nation’s capital. Johnson announced that 66,000 cycle parking spaces were planned to take advantage of the 545,000 trips made by cycle in London daily and announced that the city would see a number of initiatives in the summer to drive people to bikes. May also saw the cycle trade consider whether it was doing enough to attract females, while Giant revealed that it would be opening its first UK brand store. The news from across the Atlantic was not so positive, however, with the US bike market reported to have dropped a huge 30 per cent in the start of 2009 – seeing the lowest unit sales in the country in 11 years.
JUNE MIGHT have brought the news that the economy had shrunk 2.4 per cent, but the story for the cycle trade couldn’t have been more positive. Surveys at home and abroad found that cycling was on the rise; Exeter saw cycle trips top one million, while Amsterdam measured more journeys made by bike than car in the city. UK Government figures reported cyclist numbers were at their highest in 17 years. And the month served up yet more statistics when Sustrans revealed that over a million cyclists used the National Cycle Network daily – the highest number of users in its 14-year history. Over 10k cyclists visited York Cycle Show during Bike Week, Raleigh outsourced Diamondback to KHE, and Press Camp launched. June also saw Asda unveil its ‘not-forprofit’ bikes – something that proved a hot topic for the trade.
BIKE HUB divvied up £100k between three projects in July, all of which were designed to increase cycle numbers. Bikeboost from Get Cycling of York, Age Well on Wheels from the LCC and DarloVelo of Darlington received the funding boost, while a Bike It style scheme for Scotland also got boosted by cash from the Bike Hub general kitty. There was further good news north of the border when the Scottish authorities announced they would be investing £15m on green travel. The month also saw Saddleback sign up to the Tour of Britain, while Halfords called for a tax break on children’s bikes. Dorel added the Iron Horse brand to its portfolio and Giant moved its ‘fastest bike’ – the 2010 Trinity Advanced SL – into production. The national press stepped up its cycling coverage too, with The Independent saying bike demand had tripled in a year.
THE CYCLE TRADE didn’t really get a ‘silly season’ this year, with a barrage of stories affecting the trade. The ACT/ActSmart reported record sales for IBDs in its sales survey and online got a boost too, with Wiggle racking up record summer sales. Fisher Outdoor Leisure announced it would be parting company with Dahon – and Zyro said that it would taking the folding brand on. But perhaps most significant of all was the news that UK bicycle imports were down in 2009 by a whopping 35 per cent for the first five months of the year. August also saw Dahon reveal details of an electric bike, Brompton headed into the US and Evans Cycles unveiled its 35th store. But thankfully, August did get its share of light relief when Lance Armstrong announced a series of impromptu rides via Twitter.
THE FOCUS was on Friedrichshafen in September, with a huge array of product launched and a victory for Karbon Kinetics and Gocycle’s electric bike at Eurobike. September also saw the formation of the British Electric Bicycle Association (BEBA), designed to give the promising sector a boost through education and a commitment to standards protecting retailers. The month also brought together the unlikely trio of Chris Hoy, Boris Johnson and Kelly Brook for London’s Skyride. Sustrans said Bike It must be expanded to hit targets for children cycling to school, while online cycle retailer Wiggle revealed that it had set its sights on being the leading global online cycling site. An unfavourable exchange rate led to many holiday makers embarking on ‘staycations’ rather than going abroad – boosting cycle holidays in the UK.
UNSURPRISINGLY, October delivered in events, news and announcements like no other month in 2009. The UK’s most significant bike event – Earl’s Court-set Cycle Show – was bigger than ever and housed the first-ever live BIkeBiz Awards. October was also the month that saw the Government further commit to cycling via the Cycle to Work Guarantee. By the end of October over 70 companies from the FTSE 100 had signed up to the cycle-supporting promise. The month also saw mammoth company Dorel add Hot Wheels to its inventory and the trade heard report after report of strong sales from UK firms, including 2pure, Moore Large and BikeBiz Award winner Zyro. On the other side of the coin, it was revealed that bicycle imports remained down for the country.
THE ATTENTION of Watchdog, the BBC’s consumerchampioning programme, focused firmly on Bike Shaped Objects in November – and stoked the fires of the debate in the industry. The BSO had proved to be an enduring subject in 2009, particularly after supermarket Asda released ‘not for profit’ loss-leaders in its stores in June. While Asda maintained it was bringing cycling to a wider audience, others slammed bikes in boxes for their potential safety issues and for putting the public off cycling. Will BSOs prove to be an enduring subject in 2010? Watch this space... Meanwhile, in other news, Madison significantly ramped up its ambitions in the clothing market by taking Pearl Izumi on board, sales rose again for IBDs and Halfords alike, and Black Horse revealed it would be leaving retail finance.
DECEMBER saw the results of the BikeBiz Retail Survey come in bringing the good news that, in the main, revenue and profits were on the up for the nation’s bicycle dealers. The survey also revealed that dealers were expecting a favourable 12 months ahead. Over half of the respondents said that they were optimistic of growth and felt it to be achievable in 2010. In other news, Bobbin bikes opened a new store, Raleigh picked up two new brands and Fisher revealed its Expo would be moving to Sopwell House, St Albans in 2010.
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 35
BRAND SPOTLIGHT BUFF
Fun in the
Buff Top products and a commitment to the great outdoors are just some of the bedrocks behind a successful decade-plus in the industry for funloving Buffera. The team tells Jonathon Harker more about its unique offering… SINCE forming over ten years ago, Buffera has grown from one brand to three and has broadened its focus beyond headwear to include clothing. That growth, which has been maintained over the challenging past year, has also brought about a warehouse move (with another one likely in the next 12 months) and the doubling of its staff over the last three years. Also, with a continual stream of messages from happy customers, Buffera looks stronger than ever. The busy firm has come a long way since its genesis on the snowy mountains of the Alps. Company founder Julian Peppit was snowboarding in the Alps when he bumped into the then marketing manager of Original Buff in Spain. Peppit liked the product, started to work with Buff, and ultimately set up Buffera to promote, market and distribute it in the UK and Ireland. And from there the firm has snowballed, with the popular line of products which are suitable for all outdoor activities, appealing to not just the cycle market, as Team Buff explains to BikeBiz: “Our appeal is growing among all outdoor activities after 13 years of grass roots promotion and investment. In triathlon we sponsor Tom Sturdy and Tom Curtis, two Loughborough-based Elite triathletes, and we sponsor the Sevenoaks Triathlon, too. “We also sponsor the Winlatter Duathlon, Sophie Coleman, and Tim McDowell,
36 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
professional Xterra triathlete, and we sponsored the British MTB Orienteering Team at the World Championships in Israel earlier this year. We’re also just finalising sponsorship with www.thetriathloncoach.com. “We try to support as many athletes and events as possible in all markets and these are evaluated against our overall plans. Involvement can range from a few prizes to our attendance with the whole Buff cavalcade including Winnebago, marquees, vans and the team. Some events are tiny, raising money for the village school, while others are
huge, like Mountain Mayhem and the UCI World Cup Downhill at Fort William.” The recently launched Merino Wool Buff is one of the firm’s latest key lines: “The Merino launched in the UK in August and so far has sold extremely well. We expect this product to appeal to the more fashion conscious as it looks great on, but it’s also functional and performs really well in use.” A slightly more unusual Buff product arrived this year, the Dog Buff. The team explains how the quirky product came about: “When you’ve heard consumers
“It might seem daft, but Dog Buff sells really well and people tell us how much their dogs enjoy wearing them.” The Buff Team
repeatedly say they’ve bought one for themselves and one for their dog you start to think...Team Buff carried out a little research, gave out 200 samples and got loads of feedback. There was such enthusiasm that Buff created two designs and so far sales have been amazing. “It might seem daft, but it sells really well and people tell us how much their dogs enjoy wearing them and of course there’s the safety angle. The reflective stripes are coming into their own now that the clocks have changed and people have to take their furry friends out for their evening constitutional in the dark.” This year has also seen a rise in copycats, something the firm addresses: “The lowlights would be the slew of cheap, poor quality Chinese copycats riding off the back of all the work we have put in building the category and trying to pass themselves off as Buff. The retailers that choose to stock these copycat products are supporting brands that have no real passion for the cycle and outdoor industries, and which don’t put anything back into them. The retailers would surely be better off supporting those who help the outdoor industries and the people involved in it.” BUFF BACKS BIKE RETAILERS Retailer support is a key part of Buffera’s offering, with the firm telling BikeBiz that it does as much as it can: “Our point of sale is designed to suit all shapes and sizes of retailer, from huge
rotating stands holding about 480 units to counter-top totem poles. Our TV/DVD demos also work well and are provided free to retailers who commit to the turnover – reordering is key as gaps in the stands tend to turn consumers off; for some reason they think the best designs have already gone. So a ‘pile it high, watch it fly, leave it low and it won’t go’ attitude is required in order to maximise sales.” The firm has retailer incentives too: “We have a trade website which has some exclusive offers and products, plus the carriage paid order is lowered on the trade website. We also provide a 2.5 per cent discount for orders placed online, so long as the product is paid for at the time of ordering.” Buffera offers a customised service, as the team explains: “Most products can be customised to show an event logo, retailer or brand name. These can either be for promotional use or for resale, but for retailers they’re a great way to reward loyal customers. Prices vary with the number of colours involved in the design and the size of the run, but we can print as few as 25. For further information, please email Maria@buffwear.co.uk.” Team Buff concludes: “We’d like to thank all the retailers who stock our brand and have believed in and supported Buffera in all that we are doing to promote Buff the brand and getting people into the great outdoors.” Phone: 01707 852244 Web: www.buffwear.co.uk
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 37
PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT Send your recruitment news to
ETRA elects Manders as new president Restructure at Paligap Panache Cyclewear appoints Pemberton 2pure recruits world champion MAURICE MANDERS has been unanimously elected by ETRA’s Committee to be its fourth president in succession to Nigel Hill. Manders is the manager of BOVAG bicycle and motorcycle businesses. He took up this job in 2004 and was appointed to represent BOVAG in ETRA in 2005. In March 2006, he was elected treasurer of the European trade association for bicycle, moped and motorcycle retailers. In the past four years, Manders has manifested himself in the ETRA Committee as a very active, vocal and constructive manager. In order to make ETRA’s collective voice louder and stronger, he believes it is fundamental to set up coalitions. Manders commented: “In the past couple of years, ETRA has
38 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
intensively searched after cooperation with all parties in our business. I believe the best way to protect and promote the interest of two-wheel retailers is by working together with all associations involved. “Together we should try to provide specialist dealers in Europe with a good perspective. In times in which the concepts green, health, mobility and sustainability dominate the daily headlines, two-wheelers need to be seen as an important part of the solution. We should fight for that together.”
PALIGAP has recently restructured its current sales team and from Monday November 2nd, long time technical/warranty and internal
account co-ordinator JOHN HOLLIER will be Paligap’s new area account manager for the South West. The distributor has also restructured the London and Home Counties area, which will now be serviced by sales director ANDREW BUTLER. REBECCA PRING will be taking over the internal account co-ordinator role, working alongside Hollier. A further internal account coordinator is currently sought for the Bristol headquarters. ANDY PEMBERTON has been hired by Panache Cyclewear, to its management team as vice president of sales and marketing. Pemberton will be responsible for retail and custom clothing business
PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT
People & Recruitment is Sponsored by Halfords
development, marketing and promotions for the Boulderbased cycling apparel company. Pemberton was most recently the publisher at VeloNews and while there he guided the publication and website to record sales and circulation performance. Prior to serving as publisher, Pemberton was the interactive director for Inside Communications, responsible for all of the firm’s websites. “Panache Cyclewear is a fresh and exciting brand with tremendous potential. I’ve been impressed with founder Don Powell’s vision since he launched the business a little over a year ago,” Pemberton said. “I love the entrepreneurial spirit and the underdog attitude of this growing company.”
Panache is distributed in the UK via Lambda Sports. ANTHONY STIRRAT has been appointed the role of business unit manager for 2pure. Stirrat is a proven project manager with extensive experience in hardware, software and integration. The majority of his projects have started at contract award, where he has been responsible for taking them through to acceptance and sign off. He has also worked on the development and roll out of training packages and has been involved in the set-up of support contracts for product delivery. “Team 2pure has been looking for a highly respected individual to work with in the Edinburgh
office – how we ended up with Anthony is beyond me,” said Marco Librizzi, sales director at 2pure. Stirrat also brings a wealth of experience from his years within cycling, having represented Great Britain at the 1991 World Championships, the 1992 Olympics and the1994 Commonwealth Games for Scotland, as well as achieving three World Cup medals and 32 National Championship medals. “2pure is a professional forward-thinking company with an excellent reputation for customer service. I am very excited to be part of the team. I always try to go the extra mile at work, but George always finds me and brings me back,” enthused Stirrat.
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 39
40 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
The trade’s guide to sourcing stock, up-and-coming IBDs and the very latest products
THOSE WHO reside in the UK just love to discuss the weather and I’m no exception. Come the onset of winter, I decided to attempt to ‘weather-proof’ my bike and, in turn, this has lead me to drastically re-evaluate the way I ‘review’ product. As a trade mag, BikeBiz doesn’t often rate product, as such. Though like any other rider, from personal interest, I’m always a fan of thinking about how a certain product alters the overall ride, whether it be in performance, comfort or coming to a conclusion on any number of critieria to which the PR blurb claims the product can conquer. A few months back, when the ground was hard-packed and the twigs and leaves still up in the trees, the greatest threat to any mountain bike was a light dusting slowly clogging up the derailleur cogs. However, the threat level changes in an instant with a little cold weather and rain. Naturally, when visiting retailers I ogle the bikes on show and increasingly I’m noticing that – given the 50/50 split of sun to rain in this country – there are too many builds showing up on UK shores that are ill-specced to withstand the duration and typical terrain offered by a British autumn and winter.
“There are too many builds showing up on UK shores that are ill-specced to deal with a typical winter in the UK...” I recently bought a set of tyres which are commonly specced on mid-to-high-end hardtails across many well known brands, many of which claim to be ‘tailored’ to UK riding. Having tackled a small ford on a ride not long ago, the tyre failed miserably and slid from under me with very little encouragement. Fair enough, I thought. I had put it through a test at the extreme end of handling. But when the same thing happens while turfing up small, damp logs at a steady pace through the woods, you’ve got to conclude the product definitely shouldn’t be featuring as standard on bikes geared toward the UK consumer. A common gripe with retailers on the BikeBiz forum is cheaply specced hubs on complete bikes. Any unsealed unit on a mid-priced bike could perhaps now be seen as a cut corner. On full suspension builds the spec problem is aggravated further with the aim of keeping costs achievable. Suspension itself is yet another sore-spot, as winter muck can easily force a consumer in for a costly suspension service. Obviously the pressure is on for designers to optimise performance, but if we’re to keep cyclists aboard bikes for life, this should be a long-term thing, not based around what works in summer in the mountains of Europe. It’s all too easy to be put off cycling by a winter in the UK. However, it’s not just the weather alone, there’s the fact that once creaking under the strain, it’s all too easy for the nonenthusiast to retire a bike to the shed for months at a time. There are upsides, of course, especially for those with a large workshop – you’ll be busy. Do you charge extra for dirty bikes?
IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE DEALER PROFILE
Yorkshire-based volunteer organisation Cycle re Cycle talks about the past 18 months of work and play...
WHEELS, RUBBER AND PUMPS
BikeBiz looks at what a handful of distributors can offer retailers seeking wheels, tyres, tubes and inflation product.
This month’s new products include an innovative new security system from Kryptonite, beverages, lubes and more...
42 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
Cycle re Cycle
Bring out yer bikes Telephone: 01274 779 003 Web: www.cycle-re-cycle.org.uk Opening times: Monday to Thursday 18.30 to 20.30
Yorkshire-set voluntary organisation Crank It Up has just opened its second Cycle re Cycle workshop, recycling unwanted bikes and encouraging more people to cycle more often. Jonathon Harker speaks to the project about how obesity fears led to its creation… Crank It Up’s second workshop opened last month. Was that in response to demand? Yes. Cycle re Cycle is only 18 months old and we originally had the workshop in Halifax. Through the support of the Bradford University Students Union we opened a shop in the university selling recycled bikes and parts. This brought us enquiries from people who wanted to help out but did not want to travel to Halifax – one of whom volunteered at the Bradford Resource Centre, which had an empty basement that we used. We are now fitting out two rooms to sell recycled bikes from. Despite being a part-time voluntary project, we have held approximately 130 sessions already this year. Both our Halifax and Bradford recycling workshops have received O2 It's Your Community Awards, with Halifax finishing in the top 15 nationally. Can you explain the relationship between Cycle re Cycle and Crank it Up? Crank it Up Cycling Opportunities for All is a voluntary project formed five
years ago with the aim to encourage people to cycle more, and to enjoy its health, leisure and environmental benefits. One of our greatest assets is a fleet of bikes to suit most people’s needs; we do this to exclude as few people as possible. We have too often seen young people riding bikes that are
the overwhelming evidence that cycling is actually the best way to fight it. Building on this we worked with older people, families, the visually impaired and schools/youth communities. We also provide on-road bike ability training in Bradford Primary Schools, and have worked with companies like Yorkshire
“Crank it Up, is a voluntary project with the aim to encourage people to cycle more, and to enjoy its health, leisure and environmental benefits.” poorly maintained and, on some occasions, dangerous. On a trip to the local waste refuse site, I saw a container full of bikes that were going to be melted down. This caused me to think that there must be something that could be done – hence Cycle re Cycle was formed to provide low-cost cycles. What was behind the foundation of Crank it Up? The voluntary project was formed due to the vast amount of publicity around obesity, and
Building Society, NCP and Yorkshire Dales National Parks Authority. We’ve also worked with projects like Action for the Blind, Henshaws College for the Blind, Federation of Disability Sports Organisations, Bradford Primary Care Trust, Bernardos and Age Concern, to mention just a few. How is the project funded? We charge groups for our sessions, but this does not cover our overheads. Funding has come from O2, Yorkshire Building Society, Bradford Primary Care
Trust, Sovereign Health Care, Emmandjay Charitable Trust, Tesco, Age Concern and Help the Aged. Does the firm get involved in other voluntary work in the cycle world, like Bike Week? We were part of Bradford Council and the CTC’s Bike Fest. We had a meeting with the local CTC Cycling Champions representative, who is interested in the pedalpowered fairground that we are building over the winter. Is there anything else you would like to add? We would like to thank all of our supporters and funding partners, but where do we start? It would fill BikeBiz if we thanked them all individually… I’d like to say a big thanks to Adam Hart, David and Aileen McGlynn, and to congratulate Aileen for breaking another world record. Thank you to all our funding partners, volunteers, cycling coaches, Bal and Mike and the Management Committee at the Resource Center, and those who will fund us in the future. If any shops in West Yorkshire have old stock that they cannot get rid of, we’d really appreciate it.
What is the philosophy behind the company? More bums on saddles enjoying the many health, leisure and environmental benefits associated with cycling. Is the firm staffed entirely by volunteers? The vast majority of our work is achieved by volunteers, but when we hold a cycling session we buy in a qualified cycling coach as the majority of our cycling sessions are during the day when our volunteers are at work. What common faults do the bikes have when brought to the workshop? Rust, which to a degree we can deal with, flat/perished tyres and gears that do not work anymore. What are the short and long term ambitions for Crank it Up? In the short term, we hope to have a super Christmas party for the volunteers. And, in the long term, we hope to gain funding so we can employ a full-time project development officer or cycling coach, and open another Cycle re Cycle workshop.
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 43
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WHEELS AND TYRES
High rollers Have you got some wheelie tough stock decisions to make? Trying to work out which tyres are best suited to a certain terrain and within a certain price point? Mark Sutton examines a handful of products that will keep your customers rolling…
Hope THIS YEAR, the Hope Hoops range of pre-built wheels has grown significantly. Adding to the hugely popular DT rimmed spec wheels, Hope has included Mavic and Stans No-Tube options. As a result, retailers may now order in over 25 different combinations of hub and rim builds, with a choice of spoke. The UK-based manufacturer has invested over £200,000 in the latest
Saddleback SADDLEBACK’S road line-up includes the best-selling Fortezza TriComp. Showcasing Vredestein’s technology and expertise in the field, the TriComp provides riders with outstanding ride quality and maximum grip for corners. The Curve Control System, which utilises the specific application of rubber compounds across the shoulder of the tyre for optimal performance, gives the tyre excellent wear. Also from the Vredestein stable is the Fortezza Quattro. Geared up to tackle the winter weather, the Quattro provides extra puncture protection for cyclists.
wheel-building technology, which has enabled it to keep building all in-house on this extended range. A dedicated team has been put in charge of the wheel building – doing everything from the hub assembly, lacing and running the machine, right through to hand-tuning the finished wheels and packing them ready to be shipped. Each range of hubs (standard flange, straight pull, three-bolt and four-bolt) has a DT Swiss, Mavic and No Tubes rim
Elsewhere, the Black Panther Xtreme is an all-new MTB tyre for heavy conditions with extra bite at the side of the tyre. It uses a TriComp X compound for super grip when accelerating and braking, and is great whatever the riding conditions. Saddleback: 01454 299965
option. The manufacturer also has XC, FR and DH spec rims with the appropriate spoke option. So, if you’re looking for a replacement wheel, a spare pair, an upgrade item – anything wheelwise, Hope has a combination and cost that will suit all your customer’s needs. If you would like more details on any of the Hoops products, then check out the Hope website at www.hopetech.com. Hope: 01282 851200
Jungle Products SYNCROS has launched its first-ever carbon monocoque wheelset for 2010. The FL carbon is intended for marathon and cross-country usage, it’s disc compatible via a six-bolt hub and the wheels are completely hand built.
DC Comp spokes are used to lace the 28-hole carbon clincher rims to the Syncros hub, which carries the brand’s own lightweight quick-release skewers. The retail price is £680 for the front and £750 for the rear. The front is available in either a quick release, or a 15mm axle version, weighing 600 grams and 621 grams, respectively. The rear weighs 747 grams. If you would like more information on taking stock of any Syncros product, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Jungle Products: 01423 780 088
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 45
With our 2010 AMR models, the dream of a perfect all rounder bike has become a reality! With Ghost Bikes under you, youâ€™re ready for any challenge.- demanding XC, long marathons or fast technical downhill.
Whatever you do - Do it with Ghost
AMR 7500 SPECS: FRAME : 7AC T6 DB SHOCK : Fox Float RP23 120 mm Boost Valve FORK : Fox 32FIT-RL 120 mm Tapered 15 QR BRAKES : Shimano XT Disc 180 mm DERAILLEURS : Shimano XT WEIGHT : 12.40 kg
INTRODUCING THE AMR RANGE FROM GHOST
For all dealer enquiries contact
Web: www.hotlines-uk.com [ S T R O N G P R O D U C T S ]
Tel: 0131 319 1444
WHEELS AND TYRES
Continental RETAILERS who have an account with any of Continental’s distributors, have access to a broad range of tyres, tubes, tools and even branded clothing. One of the brand’s latest developments is the Gator Hardshell, designed tough for 700c wheels. Sharing the bead-to-bead protection of Duraskin, the Hardshell casing also wraps around from one bead all the way to the opposite bead, making a complete three ply tyre throughout, while an extra wide Poly-X breaker belt under the tread extends into the tyre shoulder for even more thickness. This not only improves mileage, but lends yet another degree of puncture resistance. The Plus range has expanded greatly going into 2010 and now includes four tread patterns in order to cover more bikes and applications. With a trade price from £10.38 and retail price of
Seventies THE TWO Seventies own-branded wheels represent good value for money compared to many wheel builds on the market. Seventies is offering Pro-spec, ready-built wheels at an affordable price. Both the front and rear wheel builds feature 36-hole Sun Rhyno Lite rims laced three-cross and using highquality black spokes. The front has a Seventies small flange 10mm hub with sealed bearings for reliability, while the rear comes with a Seventies right-hand drive 14mm cassette hub and also has fully sealed bearings in both the hub and in the one piece nine-tooth driver. The weight is respectable too, with the front coming in at only 1,000 grams and the rear at
Bohle SCHWALBE’S extensive range is constantly improving and with tyre names such as Fat Frank and Nobby Nic, it has become a customer favourite. Silly names for rubbers aside, Schwalbe’s Marathon Dureme is one of the highlights that touring cyclists will be requesting this season. Its three-compound tread with Nano particles combines seemingly unattainable top performance grip, easy rolling and long life. The three mixtures are arranged in such a way to work in harmony: grip on the shoulders, durability in the centre tread and under this an extremely light rolling compound. Patented puncture resistance via clever design provides customers with plenty of protection on the road. The fibres of the High Density Guard are more densely woven than any other material used in tyre technology.
£24.95 for all tyres, the dealer margin is also very attractive. Designed for commuters whose single requirement is no punctures, the Plus range uses a heavy duty rubber casing and a softer elastomer belt under the tread to form a semi-solid construction in order to fend off even the sharpest of urban debris. This range also includes a high-visibility reflective sidewall for top-level safety. Continental: 01970 626777
1,199 grams. Both front and rear are available with black hubs and a choice of black, white or orange rims. The Seventies warehouse is well stocked with tyre choices too. Primo’s classic V-monster tyres are all-rounders that have been ridden by countless pro-riders over the years. They have a real grippy, yet fast-rolling tread and feature a sidewall, which is neither too thick, nor too thin, creating excellent balance between weight and strength. Federal Folding tyres take the wellreceived Federal Traction design and mixes them with foldable bead technology providing riders with a highperformance folding tyre at reasonable cost. Seventies: 0845 3103 670
For mountain bikers, Scwalbe has developed the Marathon Plus MTB. For the first time, the brand has transferred its ‘Flat-Less’ technology to its mountain bike range. The SmartGuard protection belt, made from highly elastic and special rubber, not only provides protection from shards of glass and flints that become embedded in the tire and can work themselves through a normal protection belt, but even a thumbtack cannot penetrate its special layer. Bohle: 01952 602680
The Cycle Division THE CYCLE DIVISION can provide for a retailer’s every wheel size desire. The distributor stocks Target Wheels, which covers pretty much every rim and hub combination available. Target Wheels, while reliable, are priced to allow the end user to walk out of your shop happy in the knowledge they’ve got a quality product, without breaking the bank. The close link The Cycle Division enjoys with Target Wheels allows for the speedy turnaround of special builds. This has been of particular benefit where Sturmey Archer is concerned. The Cycle Division has good stocks of these hubs and happily caters for the many diverse wheel
Paligap IF YOU’RE stuck for stock ideas for high-end road and mountain bike wheels, check out the latest offerings from Ritchey. The Superlogic Carbon comes in both a tubular and clincher option, as well as offering 20 and 24-hole builds, laced both radial and two-cross. As a top choice for many racers, the rims are made from defences grade carbon, ensuring they have lasting durability. The Scrim sidewalls do require dedicated brake pads, so be sure to have stock of those for add-on sales. Ritchey also takes care of the hubs, which are forged and CNC machined where
Zyro ZYRO’S extensive catalogue has plenty to keep customers on a roll, including products from Genuine Innovations, Panaracer and Zefal. Genuine Innovations has introduced its popular proflate in a shade of red. Its most technical cupped Co2 inflator has a weather-proofed nozzle that perfectly fits both Presta and Schrader valves. A unique pressure indicator shows when the cartridge is punctured and ready to inflate. Compatible with an economical 16 gram non-threaded cartridge only, one of which is included. Panaracer has teamed up with world-renowned downhiller, 4X rider
requirements this popular brand creates. The new S3X three-speed fixed hub is now available. Trade price is just £124 and interest has so far been high. There are two versions available via TCD: 120mm OLN (for track frames) and 130mm OLN (for road frame conversions). A variety of sprockets are also available for £1.49 each. The Cycle Division: 0845 0508 500
appropriate and carry titanium skewers for weight shaving and strength. For customers seeking a top-end mountain bike wheelset solution, Ritchey’s Superlogic range is extended with its carbon disc clincher. The rim has a 20mm profile, is 25mm wide and has a UD carbon monocoque construction. The manufacturing process ensures the rim retains no air within, and results in an immense lateral rigidity rim. Swiss centrelock hubs are laced and carry a forged quick release and cromo skewers. Paligap: 01454 313116
and freeride champ Cedric Gracia to develop a new range of mountain bike tyres for 2010. Gracia is putting all his knowledge into the tread design of the tyres, while Panaracer is developing new proprietary rubber compounds to work specifically with treads. The Japanese line will be a 2.35 all-mountain/4X tyre with an allnew combo compound that is soft in the centre to allow the knobs to bite and grip, and hard on the outside for durability and speed. Zyro will be taking stock of a 2.1 XC tyre with a unique tread design that cleverly uses CG’s initials to great effect for a fast-rolling aggressive tyre that’s as at home on a 4X track as it is on a Singletrack trail. These tyres will be in stock in February. Zyro: 01845 521700
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 47
WHEELS AND TYRES
Madison DT SWISS has recently introduced the innovative RR1450 Tricon road wheels and the XM1550 Tricon mountain bike wheels. Both share features such as fully sealed tubeless rim design, eliminating the need for sealant. Straight pull spokes are used, as are three-piece bonded hubs, preventing any loading onto the sealed bearings. For off-road customers, the XM1550 wheels weigh a reasonable 1,550 grams and are designed as a solution for aggressive trail and all-mountain use. The wheels are 30 per cent stiffer than the previous EX1750 wheels and are 200 grams lighter. They are also the first fully ‘out of the box’ tubeless mountain bike
wheelset that DT has ever produced. The mountain bike rim is 26mm wide, which is wider than most rims in the heavy trail riding category. XM1550 wheelsets also come with centrelock rotor mounts and six-bolt adaptors supplied with each wheel. The front wheel is available either as a 100x9mm RWS thru-bolt (for standard fork dropouts) or 100x15mm RWS bolt-thru. Stock is due toward the end of January and customers can expect to pay £899.99 for the XM1550 Tricon wheelset, or £949.99 for the RR1450 Tricon road wheelset. Madison: 0208 385 3385
Ison HALO has firmly established itself as a premium brand in the cycle wheel market. Historically known for quality hardcore jump products, Halo is also now widely recognised for producing many great products that cover all cycling genres. Within the range there are well-established products for road, fixed gear, XC, track, commuter and freeride. Next year will see the introduction of more coloured parts, offering more choices for the fashion-conscious customer. Halo is keeping black and white as its mainstay colours. With increased interest in colours and the popularity of the lightweight Freedom Disc heavy-duty rim, Halo is offering limited quantities in anodised colours with laser etched logos. These
MOORE LARGE announced at the Cycle Show that it has taken on BlackJack Wheels, which is manufactured by the reputable Rodi. The brand offers a comprehensive range of mid-to-high-end wheelsets covering road, cross-country, freeride and downhill. Assembled using Formula hubs and offering a wide choice of sleeved, pinned or welded rims, this handfinished range of wheelsets has something to suit every rider. Blackjack Wheelsets retail between £119.99 and £399.99, with one tubeless wheelset retailing at £529. Kenda tyres and tubes are also available from Moore Large, giving dealers access to the diverse catalogue, which covers everything from downhill to BMX.
WITH input from renowned bike designer Brant Richards, Nuke Proof has undergone some revamping on much of its range. Utilising materials, manufacturing and finishes normally associated with much higher price-tag brands, NukeProof offers some highly competitive products. The wheel line offers products to suit XC through to DH – offering race level weight and performance. The Generator XC 2 wheelset and the Generator Downhill 2 wheelset both retail at £299.99 and offer the Nuke Proof Generator sealed bearing hubsets built into Sun Ringle rims (23mm and 33mm width respectively). The hubs are fully rebuildable and employ alloy freehub bodies with 30-tooth steel
Kenda’s ‘King of Traction’ is a good example of a winter mountain bike tyre designed for wet, muddy and loose terrain. This model retails at £30.99. Aggressive knobs increase traction, but are spaced far enough apart for tread cleaning, while the dual rubber increases wet-weather performance. Kenda offers a variety of tubes including ‘Kwick Seal’, a flat stopping sealant, which automatically fills holes caused by objects up to one eighth of an inch in diameter. RRP is £5.99 to £7.99. Moore Large: 01332 274200
Raleigh RALEIGH distributes four different tyre and tube brands besides its own, including Michelin, CST, Dutch perfect and Diamond Back. All bases are covered from the smallest kids’ bike, through to performance road
48 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
and MTB. The most notable additions for 2010 are from Michelin with its longawaited performance MTB range. Michelin’s road range gets a make-over with the all-new Lithion Two, and the front and rear specific Pro Optimum to sit along-side the ever-popular Pro3 Race. Raleigh: 01773 532600
UPGRADE’S house brand, DMR, has developed the Redshift tyre and worked the design to be ideal for shredding the local riding spot in the looser conditions at this time of year. With widely-spaced, soft-compound tread, the Redshift is well suited to freeride and dirt. The £19.99 tyre is available in a 26-inch size and either two or 2.35inch thickness. Lezyne is constantly evolving its product and this year’s Core should prove no exception to the rule. The brand’s stylish Steel Floor Drive is one example and now comes with the nifty flip-thread chuck, only
come in just the 26-inch size, though offer both 32 and 36-hole rims. Halo’s Choir Master R-Series tyre is an ideal stock solution catering for freeride and dirt enthusiasts. A new supple carcass, carrying low height knobs with wider spacing, makes this an easy rolling tyre for hard-packed ground. Less resistance, plus extra grip in a lightweight package, also makes this an ideal race tyre. This item’s been tested by Team Identiti’s 4X racers on National and World Cup courses. Ison distribution: 01353 662662
ratchets and six pawls, making for super fast pick-up. All Mountain builds are available with 29mm width rims. Hotlines can also provide the trade with Michelin’s tyres and tubes. One such tube is the Airstop Butyl range, which retails at £4.50 and comes in all popular sizes, as well as some harder to track down sizes, such as 350a and 500a. Hotlines: 0131 319 1444
previously found on Lezyne’s more expensive floor pumps. The Steel Floor Drive is rated to 160psi, has a full wood handle for a classic look and comes in a range of four colours, all for a retail price of £36.99. If you’re seeking an inner tube solution, Geax brings something special to the table. The Geax MTB Ultralite titanium valved inner tube weighs in at a feathery 118 grams. With a butyl construction and available with a 36mm threaded valve, this is a true racers’ inner tube. Upgrade: 01403 711 611
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 49
EVENTS AND EDITORIAL PLANNER
January 2010 CORE BIKE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR: LUBES, CLEANING FLUID, TOOLS AND TRAINING Editorial Deadline: Dec 9th 2009
Advertising Deadline: Dec 14th 2009
To advertise call Carly Bailey on +44 (0) 1992 535647, or email her at email@example.com For editorial contact Jonathon Harker on +44 (0) 1992 535646, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
FEBRUARY 2010 IceBike Fisher Outdoor Expo Cycle Safety: Helmets, Eyewear & Protective Clothing Frames & Forks Editorial Deadline: Jan 19th Advertising Deadline: Jan 22nd
MARCH 2010 Media and Magazine Focus Electric Bikes Folding Bikes Editorial Deadline: Feb 19th Advertising Deadline: Feb 22nd
APRIL 2010 Bike Security Saddles, Posts, Grips & Bottles Clothing and Accessories Top 20 Independent Bike Dealers Editorial Deadline: Mar 12th Advertising Deadline: Mar 17th
MAY 2010 Energy and Nutrition Women’s Products 30 Under 30 Editorial Deadline: April 9th Advertising Deadline: April 14th
JUNE 2010 Complete Bikes Cycle Luggage Gears, Brakes & Chains
Sunday January 24th – 26th Whittlebury Hall, Northants www.corebike.co.uk
December 2009 TAICHUNG BIKE WEEK Saturday December 5th – 13th Taichung, Taiwan taichung-bike-week.com
BMX: Bikes & Accessories Cycle Computers: Heart Rate Monitors, Navigation and more Editorial Deadline: June 4th Advertising Deadline: June 9th
AUGUST 2010 Bicycle Lighting Complete Bikes Editorial Deadline: July 9th Advertising Deadline: July 14th 50 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
ZYRO OPEN HOUSE 2010 Sunday January 17th – 22nd Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate www.zyro.co.uk
BIKE ASIA 2010 Friday March 5th – 7th Singapore www.bikeasia.org
RALEIGH 2010 DEALER SHOW Tuesday January 19th – 22nd Eastwood, Nottingham www.raleigh.co.uk
TAIPEI CYCLE SHOW Wednesday March 17th – 20th Taipei, Taiwan www.taipeicycle.com.tw
CORE BIKE 2010 Sunday January 24th – 26th Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire www.corebike.co.uk
February 2010 FISHER EXPO 2010 Sunday February 7th – 9th Sopwell House, St Albans www.fisherexpo.co.uk
THE ORDNANCE SURVEY OUTDOORS SHOW 2010 Friday March 26th – 28th NEC, Birmingham outdoorsshowextra.co.uk BRITISH MOUNTAIN BIKE DEMO SERIES 2010 Begins Saturday March 27th Various locations www.britishxc.com
TWOO Thursday February 11th – 14th Basel, Switzerland www.twoo.ch
SEA OTTER CLASSIC 2010 Thursday April 15th – 18th Monterey, USA www.seaotterclassic.com
VELOBIKE 2010 Friday February 12th – 14th Kiev, Ukraine www.velobike.kiev.ua
ACTIVE BIKE AND TRIATHLON SHOW 2010 Wednesday April 21st – 24th ExCeL, London www.activebike.co.uk
Editorial Deadline: May 7th Advertising Deadline: May 12th
ICEBIKE 2010 Tuesday February 23rd – 25th Milton Keynes, UK www.icebike.co.uk
TRIATHLON CYCLING AND RUNNING SHOW 2010 Saturday February 13th – 14th Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey www.tcrshow.com
2010 MTB WORLD CUP Saturday April 24th – 25th Dalby Forest, Yorkshire www.britishcycling.org.uk BIKEBIZ.COM
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BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE CONTACTS BIKES AND ACCESSORIES Madison
MAINTENANCE 01908 326000
BMX PARTS AND ACCESSORIES Seventies
0845 310 3670
07789 075 818
Maxx Raxx Trading Ltd
0845 230 3799
01282 699 555
0117 972 4730
COMPONENTS Bob Elliot & Co Ltd
01772 459 887
RESPRAYS & REPAIRS
Pace Cycles Limited
01798 344 477
www.use1.com TRAINING SERVICES
0845 644 9424
0845 603 9254
Aylesbury Training Group
0161 230 6241
Cycle Systems Academy
08709 771 550
WATER BOTTLES FOLDING BIKES Montague
Wildoo Ltd 01730 711 140
www.montague-uk.com WEBSITE SERVICES
INSURANCE Cycleguard Insurance
I-Bikeshop.com 02476 851027
01798 344 477
LIGHTING Exposure Lights
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 51
COMPANY PROFILE BOB ELLIOT AND CO
TEL: 01772 459 887
You have been in business for 25 years – any highlights? The business has been growing gradually, but over the last few years we have seen dramatic growth. The company launched a new colour catalogue in 2008, which coincided with a move of premises to double our floor space. Looking back – this is probably our biggest highlight as it completed a fiveyear plan we had put in place earlier in the decade. Do you anticipate any growth in the next year? Business has been very good and we anticipate a further growth next year with our ever-expanding range. We have introduced about eight new brands through 2009 and they are all carrying forward into 2010 with our settled range, so we expect to have good stocks and an increase in business again. You picked up Lazer back in January; how important has this addition to your portfolio turned out to be? Lazer was a major coup for us and in the last 12 months we have started our partnership very well. We aim to
continue this growth through 2010 with Lazer launching its brand new Helium race helmet (used in the Tour de France with Team Katusha), its brand new Tardiz time trial helmet and also the brand's new Nirvana top-end MTB helmet. Which sectors are you seeing particular growth within? There are very few product areas in our portfolio that haven’t seen a decent increase throughout the last 12 months. Though, I would have to say our main growth area has come with the introduction of the new brands we have taken on, coupled with the increase we have seen within ranges, such as Science In Sport and particularly Schwalbe. Any plans for expansion in the works? We have some underlying plans to continue our growth by possibly increasing our workforce, increasing our floor space internally and by taking on one or two brands. One of which we have in the pipeline for 2010 and will be introduced gradually through the year. How busy we are will determine whether more staff members will be taken on, but we are certainly
BIKES AND ACCESSORIES
52 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org WEB: www.bob-elliot.co.uk open to the idea of more staff if necessary. Is there a reason for the number of UK manufactured brands within the catalogue? As part of our start-up we dealt with many UK manufacturers. Several of these have been working together with us for many years now and we have no reason to change. We would like to support the UK manufacturers as best we can and the quality of product and the prices are still good enough to be able to offer retailers a good margin and a reliable product. How can retailers open a trade account with Bob Elliot and Co? Retailers can contact us by all means – telephone, email or fax. If they have retail premises and are operating as a cycle shop their details are passed onto the sales representative for their area and the ball is rolling. The customer must place a carriage paid order for their first order and until references are returned – the customer will be trading with us as a pro-forma account.
“We have introduced eight new brands through 2009, so we expect to have another year of increased business...” Paul Elliot, Bob Elliot and Co
BMX PARTS AND ACCESSORIES
BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE COMPONENTS
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 53
54 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
RESPRAYS AND REPAIRS
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 55
BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE TRAINING SERVICES
56 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
BikeBiz focuses on a UK-produced energy shot, two brand new pumps from SKS, the revised Corsair Marque and the latest in bike security...
SKS Supershort and Aircon pumps Raleigh, Madison, Chicken Cycle-Kit Various
Gamut Dual Ring Madison 0208 385 3385
Kryptonite Modulus Madison 0208 385 3385
SKS has new products landing with its three UK distributors this year and here are two highlights. First off, retailers should take note of the £19.99 Supershort hand pump. This 103-gram pump offers a telescopic function and a clip-on T-Grip, all tucked within its 16.4cm length. The detachable aluminium body transforms itself quickly into an ergonomic TGrip and the reversible valve head can easily be connected to all valve types. Meanwhile, the Aircon is a reasonably priced, highcapacity power package with an output that makes it an ideal floor pump for MTB and trekking cyclists.
GAMUT’S latest chainguide solution, the Gamut Dual Ring, is designed to accommodate two ring set-ups with the proven protection of the P30 bashguard. The guide comes in all possible mount types (ISCG, ISCG05, BB mount) and does not require the use of adapters. Priced at £99.99, the new dual guides are a progression of those found specced on the 2010 Specialized Enduro and SX Trail models. CNC’d 6061 aluminum is the material of choice, meaning weights range from 146g to 154g, including the bashguard.
THE CREATOR of the U-lock, Kryptonite, has once again re-invented bike security with Modulus. The thinking behind the new system is based on the cyclist’s day, the many stops he or she may have to make and the variety of objects on hand to lock the bike to. The Modulus line of adaptable cable locks have an adjustable length with two locking ports. A ‘double dead’ bolt system holds both cables in place, while a spring-loaded mechanism allows the user to lock and unlock each independently. Each cable is constructed from 10mm braided steel and is available either straight or coiled.
Rock ‘n’ Roll lube and degreaser Silverfish 01752 843882
Corsair Marque Windwave 02392 505320
Focus Five Hour energy Focus (direct) 07592 871031
ROCK ‘N’ ROLL’S latest lube and degreaser has landed at Silverfish. With two new ranges, the brand is becoming an increasingly competitive solution to retail workshop and customer maintenance needs. The first of the new products is the new three-inone Bio-degreaser, which can be used to clean everything from chains through to hands and even clothes. Also available, the Absolute Dry lube is a chain lube ideal for all racers and commuters. Authorised dealers benefit from better pricing, a free website dealer listing and Silverfish B2B access. Email Richie@silverfish-uk.com for more details.
WINDWAVE has taken stock of the revised Corsair Marque – a build suited to the rider who requires more travel than offered by typical XC bikes, but who wants efficient pedalling and climbing characteristics. With over five inches (130mm) of high-quality travel, the Marque is a highly efficient machine for tackling challenging descents, but moves quickly on ascents too. As with all Corsair models, this frame features an adjustable head tube angle, and replaceable Maxle rear drop-outs. With optimal lateral stiffness and a lightweight swing arm, the Marque offers high quality suspension performance.
BIKE retailers can now stock new vitamin-B derived 60ml energy shot Focus. It packs in a bunch of bonus vitamins, including B6, B12 and B3, and is being marketed as a five-hour solution to crank up a person’s attention span, alertness and vitality. Sales and marketing director Karen Nunn says: “It’s produced and distributed in Britain and represents a healthier way to achieve an almost instant energy boost, as it is formulated with a highly effective mix of vitamin Bs and antioxidants.” The fruity tasting product makes a great impulse buy for those seeking a boost at £1.79 per unit.
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 57
29,942 The number of visitors to the Benelux bicycle show Bike Motion. That figure makes the show Europe’s second biggest in terms of visitors, just behind Eurobike.
Pic © Carlton Reid
Let’s get statistical… €71 The amount Bernard Kohl’s former manager, Stefan Matschiner, received from the auction of a polka dot Tour De France jersey signed by the banned cyclist.
96% of the population are misaligned in their fit to their bicycle.
£10 million Is the figure transport minister Sadiq Khan has put aside to help develop cycling infrastructure in the UK’s cycling demonstration towns, the Peak District and funding for Sustrans’ developments.
February 26th The date that Black Horse will stop accepting new finance business following the Lloyds Banking Group service cut.
66,000 The number of new cycle parking spaces Transport for London hopes to have installed at London’s main stations by 2012. (Source: TfL)
$1.25 million The amount raised at auction through the sale of just seven custom painted, one-of-a-kind Trek Madones. The money goes to the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s cancer research, awareness, and advocacy programmes. (Source: Trek)
58 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
3,000 Is the amount of signatures currently put to the Road Peace Number10.gov.uk petition calling for motorists caught using a mobile phone at the wheel to be banned from driving.
BikeBiz is keen to publish your opinions, whether they’re from letters, emails or via BikeBiz.com... Mail to: Saxon House, 6A St. Andrews Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG14 1JA
Email: jonathon.harker@ intentmedia.co.uk
From the Forum... All I want for Christmas is...a BMX?
For those who usually do a good Christmas trade with kids’ bikes – how are things stacking up this year so far? For the past couple of years, Christmas shopping started to really pick up in October. But this year…still waiting! Galabikeshop BMX has been mad for months, but other Christmas stuff just kicked off a few weekends ago. Moonunit BMX has been going great guns recently and we had a really good October. Other sales have been just ticking over and November seems to have quietened down a bit. But we’re still set to be up on last year. We don’t sell kids’ bikes in general and don’t go below £300 on adult stuff. Lukee
A VAT full of woe CAN ANYBODY tell me what they plan to do when the VAT goes back up? I have just worked out that on a £550 bike the price will now be £561. Is everybody going to put everything up in the shop on January 1st, as we will then be paying the Government extra? In this day and age, many shops cannot
take the hit on this. I can’t help but look at what they have done and I can’t see that any gain was made with the move on VAT at all. What does everybody else think? I would be interested to hear what other cycle shops are doing. Stephen Thomson, Highland Cycles
Over the last few years I have noticed the sales of kids’ bikes increase in the summer and die off around Christmas time. I think a lot of parents realise that a bike bought for junior at
Christmas won’t get used until spring, so why bother? Family cycling is on the up; parents realise (at last) that a £50 bike for their kid will not make a good day out for a family bike ride. Bikephil It was slow early on, but it kicked off fairly big recently. Sales doubled over the week. There must be a lot of nervous Christmas shoppers this year. Pareto September and October seemed slow, but actually equalled ‘08 so can’t complain. Many reckoned that November would be the boom month... well, I’m still waiting because it ain’t happened yet. The crap weather isn’t helping, nor all the crap being sold by JJB and Tesco. I keep hearing: “I can get a BMX for £60 there.” DreamMachine Christmas is not going too bad so far. We are in a shopping centre so we have to cater for the kids. Last Christmas was
very poor with nobody spending. This year we have had a lot of people putting deposits on bikes for Christmas and they have told us they made the mistake of getting bikes from supermarkets last year and they did not last three months. Shame! bikester Half term was great. I took deposits on all the BMXs we had in the shop – luckily stock arrived two days before half term. Then it started raining, and it’s not really stopped, so it’s gone pretty damn quiet. gearfreak It’s not really happening for us in the South East. Over the last few years kids’ bike sales have peaked in the last two weeks. The amount of deposits taken has dropped year-onyear. We find that people want to come in and take bikes away there and then. Thank God for Cyclescheme and the other salary sacrifice schemes. That’s our Christmas club these days! billward
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. The new Little Angel and Little Rocket children’s helmets complement Oxford’s existing Little Devil and Little Madam products. This month the lucky winner will win one of each.
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 59
Rollapaluza gets freaky for Muddy Hell ROLLAPALUZA and an army of volunteers spent October smoothing out the ‘singletrack’, as well as adding brand new floodlit features to the Herne Hill cross track. These included a new berm, hurdygurdy bumps, a double ramp and crowd favourite the hurdle in the bar tent. One thousand competitors and spectators sampled the unique atmosphere of a nocturnal cross race with added fancy dress, licensed bar and music. The cheap bar and authentic German hot dogs were
this month: ‘paluza goes to hell
1,000 competitors and spectators took part in October’s Muddy Hell
so popular that they ran out of beer and sausages just a few minutes before the end of the Senior race. “We knew it would be a popular event, but not this popular,” said Paul Churchill of Rollapaluza. Rollapaluza’s Caspar Hughes added: “We’ve been inundated with requests to repeat this event. We’ve already booked Herne Hill for next year when Halloween, once again, falls on a weekend.”
The drop off dropped off!
Twitter highlights bike movie potential to Hollywood EARLY in November, the cycling world temporarily went a little bit nuts via networking website Twitter. Under the hashtag #bikemovies, both trade and consumers alike battled it out to see who could come up with the best cycling film parody. BikeBiz’s @marksuttonbike joined in the temporary madness, though the best he managed were The Silence of the SRAMs and Straight outa’ Brompton. Here are ten of the best plucked from the web: The Texas Chainring Massacre – @frasermillar Trackstand by me – @Bazzarah The Devil Wears Lycra – @McBazza
60 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
HERE’S a shot of every rider’s worst nightmare. An epic failure of the ‘we’re totally screwed’ variety. BikeBiz staffer Mark Sutton and fellow Intent Media colleague Dan Bennett are regulars out on the trail, even as the nights draw in. What perhaps wasn’t sensible was chancing an adventure a few miles offtrack, in the pouring rain. Having battled through a
carpet of leaves, logs and twigs for some time, the inevitable happened. Up popped a stick large enough to lever Bennett’s derailleur hanger right off his trusty DMR Sidekick. The only tool both had omitted to carry was a chain breaker. Needless to say, it was a long walk home...
The Charge of the No Brakes Brigade – @Markbrown25 The Landis That Time Forgot – @Bikemovies Huffy the Vampire Slayer – @John_the_monkey SRAMbo – @CathWiggins The Importance of Being Ernesto Colnago – @Fatmanonabike Singin’ Indurain – @DeeDee315 Dynamo Another Day – @Spokesmen
Send BikeBiz your ideas for a cycle movie parody for a chance to have your ideas published in the January edition. Bonus points will be awarded for Photoshopped movie posters. BIKEBIZ.COM
Send your pictures to email@example.com
• wellington bags sunday times award • wiggins in a spin for revolution series
Sports awards honour triathlon star
Pics © Lee Irvine, Schpleep.Com
IRONMAN Triathlon champ Chrissie Wellington bagged the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year 2009 award last month. Capping a year where the popularity of triathlon has rocketed, the current world record-holder said she hoped it would lead to more coverage for the sport in the mainstream media. Wellington’s gain was Olympian Victoria Pendleton’s loss in the lead category of the awards. Pendleton won the prize back in 2007, but came third to the triathlon winner in ‘09. The world of cycling also saw Paralympian Sarah Storey pick up the
Start a Revolution
award for Disabled Sportswoman of the Year, while Elizabeth Armitstead narrowly missed out on the Young Sportswoman of the Year title. The ceremony took place at the David Beckham Football Academy near the O2 arena, Greenwich and the awards were voted for over four weeks at the Times Online.
track cycling event is set to continue through to February. For more head to www.cyclingrevolution.com.
The prestigious event drew sporting celebs, journalists and glitterati
Newton (left) and Wiggins are among the stars at Revolution
THE Revolution series got off to a rolling start in Manchester last month, with a host of Team Sky riders taking part in the event. The series attracts over 15,000 dedicated fans each season and this year the riders include Chris Newton – captain of the Rollers team, and Bradley Wiggins, cycling for the Slicks. Other riders include Jamie Staff, Ed Clancy and Chris Hoy. The DHL-sponsored
unquote “He picked up the iron bar, called ‘oiks’ after the girls and cycled after them. If you find yourself down a dark alleyway and in trouble, I think Boris would be of more use than Ken. He was my knight on a shining bicycle.” Film maker and climate change activist Franny Armstrong recalling how London Mayor Boris Johnson saved her from a girl gang, November 4th “Andrew [Ritchie] never gave up on his belief that he had
Sponsored by the brands of Moore Large 01332 274252 conceived a product that would add real value to people’s lives; years of knock-backs, refusals and false starts never dented his determination to make the Brompton a reality.” William Butler Adams speaking of the Brompton founder’s recently awarded Prince Philip Designers Prize, Nov 12th
London Mayor Boris Johnson
“It is a huge honour to stand up here and represent sportswomen. In terms of triathlon particularly, it is slowly getting the recognition it deserves. It is really being put
on the map and so many more people are taking it up. Hopefully this award will mean that the percentage of coverage in the mainstream media will increase.” Chrissie Wellington, Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year, November 3rd “This guide is an absurd waste of police time and taxpayers’ money.” Taxpayers’ Alliance campaigns director Mark Wallace on the 93-page full colour Police Cycle Training Doctrine guide.
“It’s Department of Transportation, not Department of Cars.” Frank Lewis, Scene & Heard news site, November 6th “In Africa, a bicycle is hope, freedom and survival. A single bike can carry up to five times the weight, go four times as fast and travel four times as far as a person walking and it can change a person’s life and a community’s future.” Michael Linke, founder of Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia, Nov 6th
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 61
OFF THE RECORD
IN THE SADDLE
Should employers snoop on their staff? Carlton Reid, BikeBiz executive editor, discusses social media sites... IN MID-NOVEMBER I did my first ever webinar. A whatinar? A webinar. It is an online, group discussion with PowerPoint slideshows. The subject was social media. The webinar was organised by ICLA, the International Cycling Law Association, based in the US. Along for the ride were a couple of lawyers, and Chris Matthews, global marketing integrations manager for Specialized. As you would imagine, the lawyers talked about slander and misrepresentation, all the downsides of social media. In fact, so did I. While I am a big fan of social media, I readily admit it can be a time sink. If you can get it right in your business, then it can be an excellent marketing tool, but use it ineffectively and it can be a waste of time and resources. Some US bike shops attract lots of extra business – or cement existing relationships – via Twitter and Facebook, but it can be hard work keeping up with all the social niceties online. But wait up, there’s another use for social media in your business. And that’s snooping. Keeping tabs on your competitors is clearly very easy if they’re on Twitter, but it is also a way of keeping up to speed on employees and to screen job applicants. Google ‘Cisco fatty’, to read about the female IT worker in the US who tweeted: ‘Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.’ Someone at Cisco saw the post, did a snarky one in return, and the IT worker found the job offer revoked. Because online witterings are open to see, and archived, it’s wise to think before tweeting. Feel strongly about race/religion/politics/your co-workers? Be careful what you write out there. Do you update with non-work stuff every ten minutes? Bosses (and spouses) won’t like that. Want to call in a sickie to attend a party instead? Don’t. Plenty of Facebook users have been caught out
BikeBiz editor Jon Harker shows us his Twitter feed
What services does Fusion Media offer? It offers effective media services within cycling, specifically in PR, events, web design, photography and journalism. Who are some of your current clients? We’re working with Sabbath Bicycles and Sleep Athlete on developing their PR strategies. I’m also providing event support for HotChillee, helped market the Nocturne Series, and became editor of Cyclosport.org.
In your opinion, what’s the biggest rush achievable on a bike? Coming around the lead rider in a sprint finish and raising your hands in the air. I’ve only done it once, but have been milking it ever since.
this way, with tagged and dated photos from their friends being their undoing. Like the odd tipple? Don’t tweet about it. And curb your cussing. A good rule of thumb is never post anything you wouldn’t want your mum reading (because she probably is). As an employer, should you ban social media sites? In October, IT firm Morse, estimated that the time workers spend on Twitter costs the British economy £1.38 billion a year. Philip Wicks, consultant at Morse, said: “Social networking can be a cause for good when it is used professionally, but I think organisations need to wake up – that is not the way it is always being used.” Your business – every business – needs a Social Media Usage policy.
Sub-Editor: Gemma Messina Gemma.Messina@intentmedia.co.uk Production Executive: Abby Fanger Abigail.Fanger@intentmedia.co.uk
Deputy Editor: Mark Sutton Mark.Sutton@intentmedia.co.uk
Design: Kelly Styles Kelly.Styles@intentmedia.co.uk
Advertising Manager: Carly Bailey Carly.Bailey@intentmedia.co.uk
Business Development: Dave Roberts Dave.Roberts@intentmedia.co.uk
62 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER
Where are your favourite places to ride? I live in West London, so I like getting out into the Chilterns. My fave pub’s in Beaconsfield, so near there.
Editor: Jonathon Harker Jonathon.Harker@intentmedia.co.uk
Editorial Production Manager: Helen French Helen.French@intentmedia.co.uk
What bikes do you own? I’ve got a new Specialized Tarmac Expert, a Specialized S-Works E5 as a training bike, a Giant single speed MTB and a Specialized Langster fixed to mess around on.
EDITORIAL: 01992 535646 | ADVERTISING: 01992 535647 | FAX: 01992 535648 Executive Editor: Carlton Reid Carlton.Reid@intentmedia.co.uk
Pic © Richard O’Brien
Managing Editor: Lisa Foster Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk
Publisher/MD: Stuart Dinsey Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk
Describe your average day at work... I’m at my desk from 9am to 6pm, but when running your own company you’re stuck to your BlackBerry. I travel a lot with articles and events. Recently, my office was in a team car from Land’s End to John O’Groats for four days. Have you always worked in the cycle trade? Yes, I learned so much working at Mike Vaughan Cycles, an IBD in Warwickshire. I started writing for Cycling Weekly as freelance before moving to London in January 2009.
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