Issue 50 | March 2010
New stylish, quality and functional British brand is launched... SEE PAGE 2
FRAME Triple butted alloy, reinforced BB shell, oversized tubing. FORK Lightweight carbon straight blade. COMPONENTS Shimano 105, Truvativ Elita compact chainset, external BB, FSA internal headset, Forme white ﬁnish kit. WHEELS Shimano WHR500.
FRAME Double butted alloy, reinforced BB shell, oversized tubing. FORK Lightweight alloy straight blade. COMPONENTS Shimano 2300, Truvativ Touro compact chainset, FSA internal headset, Forme ﬁnish kit. WHEELS Formula Sealed bearing hubs. DB alloy rims.
FRAME Double butted alloy, reinforced BB shell, oversized tubing. FORK Forme Carbon Fibre. COMPONENTS Shimano Sora, Shimano Octalink triple chainset, FSA internal headset, Forme ﬁnish kit. WHEELS Formula Sealed bearing hubs. DB alloy rims.
FRAME Triple butted alloy, reinforced BB shell, oversized tubing. FORK Lightweight carbon straight blade. COMPONENTS Shimano Tiagra, Truvativ Elita compact chainset, external BB, FSA internal headset, Forme ﬁnish kit. WHEELS Shimano WHR500.
FRAME Double butted alloy (FE technology), reinforced BB shell, oversized tubing. FORK Forme Carbon Fibre. COMPONENTS Shimano Sora, FSA white triple chainset, FSA internal headset, Forme FE technology white ﬁnish kit. WHEELS Formula Sealed bearing hubs. DB alloy rims.
For more information call: 01332 274252 | www.formebikes.co.uk
Issue 50 | March 2010
Tesco reveals its plans for the cycle industry and Ryanair cuts flights to Eurobike...
INDUSTRY OPINIONS 15
OFF THE RADAR 19
“So, just what is the state of the UK industry? Is it still beating the tough economic climate, or not?”
Fresh from a trip to Madison’s Milton Keynes-set show, BikeBiz takes a look at some of the key news...
50TH ISSUE Never ones to miss the opportunity for a spot of nostalgia, we take a look back at the first issues of BikeBiz magazine...
MYSTERY SHOPPER This month the intrepid undercover reporter heads to picturesque Canterbury in search of fixies...
EXPO 2010 REVIEW
BikeBiz takes a look at the new brands, products and announcements from Fisher Outdoor Leisure’s latest annual dealer show...
REGULARS BRAND SPOTLIGHT
BikeBiz shines the light on Eurobike-distributed Moda bikes, and the brand’s plans for 2011...
One reader responds to a BikeBiz.com story, while Forum members worry about Eurobike SPONSORED BY
New appointments for Moore Large, Zyro, CSG, IPC and the ACT...
The latest from SRAM, MaxxRaxx, Michelin and more over on page 66...
SO, WE’RE out of the recession, but what does the bike trade care? We’ve been immune to the downturn, right? Well, not entirely. There is plenty of news out there of bike firms exceeding expectations, including Continental and Abus in this edition of BikeBiz, and from the evidence we have to hand (and we have few agreed statistics) the trade is succeeding where others industries have been punished by tough conditions. It was the story we reported on time and again in 2009. But now it seems there is another side to that coin. ACT research has revealed that bike dealer sales have dipped, with tough and prolonged weather conditions taking their toll – and that’s without taking into account February’s typically poor performance (not available at press).
Carlton Reid says it’s time to ditch car parking spaces and give more space to cyclists...
Last month even saw the dreaded redundancy word being uttered across the trade, apparently with some justification. But perhaps it’s not surprising that even a usually strong retail environment has taken a few knocks after a longwinded recession and frankly rubbish weather. If I may head off on a tangent: recent stats from COLIPED make for sobering reading. Aside from a largely robust cycle retail market, UK manufacturing offers a stark contrast. From 2000 to 2008 bicycle production plummeted from 1,200,000 units to 28,000 in Great Britain, less than three per cent of what it was at the start of the decade. We’ve not got the 2009 data, but it’s safe to guess the trend hasn’t reversed. While it’s no surprise that UK bike manufacturing is a pale shadow of what it was (with a few exceptions), the figures make for hard reading. Just how well would bikes have had to do at retail in the 21st Century to have sustained UK manufacturers? But that’s just the way it is for the whole of Europe facing cheaper manufacture in the Far East, right? Well, no. GB is languishing almost at the foot of the table of bicycle production in Europe, never mind the world (see page 74). So just what is the state of the UK industry? Is the bike trade still victorious over the economic climate, or not? Despite the continuing stream of positive messages and results, it would be remiss to ignore the brutal reality that it’s still tough out there, and that the trade has to continue to make the very most of the opportunities it is afforded – whether it’s supporting Bike Week, continued involvement with Bike Hub, making the most of online or just continuing to beat the drum that the future of transport is two-wheeled.
Jonathon Harker, Editor
It’s ‘full steam ahead’ for Eurobike 2010 Ryanair has cut direct flights to show venue
Fewer flights to Friedrichshafen won’t stifle show turnout, claims Reisinger By Jonathon Harker DESPITE Ryanair cutting flights from the UK to Friedrichshafen from May this year, the organising body behind Eurobike isn’t concerned that it will affect attendance at the cycle trade’s key date in 2010. Eurobike is set to take place from Wednesday September 1st to 4th at Friedrichshafen, Germany. Eurobike project manager Stefan Reisinger
“We’ll publicise low-cost fares to Friedrichshafen for Eurobike trade visitors in our international publications. There’ll be enough free shuttle buses to Memmingen airport for British exhibitors and visitors to reach Eurobike comfortably and quickly. Furthermore, the Friedrichshafen fairground is easily accessible from Zürich airport, which is about 100km from Friedrichshafen by public
‘We have exceptionally large numbers of bookings and all of the world’s leading manufacturers will be there.” Stefan Reisinger, Eurobike assured BikeBiz that Ryanair’s withdrawal from flights to Friedrichshafen won’t be a problem for show visitors. He explained: “Ryanair has concentrated its network, and is using Memmingen as one of its larger bases, with plenty of connections to Britain and elsewhere. Memmingen is only 80 kilometres from Friedrichshafen, and there’ll be free shuttle buses to the exhibition site.” Reisinger added that there will be plenty of shuttle buses and transport alternatives for visitors and exhibitors from Britain.
4 BIKEBIZ MARCH
transport and free-of-charge shuttle buses, as well as via Friedridchshafen airport with connection via Frankfurt to several UK destinations. “The preparations for Eurobike 2010 are going full steam ahead. We have exceptionally large numbers of bookings, for the international bicycle trade show and the demo day on Tuesday August 31st. All of the world’s leading manufacturers will be represented, and the 2010 event will once again feature the full spectrum of bikes, equipment, accessories and clothing.” Eurobike: +49 7541 708-412
Tesco confirms it has Supermarket giant ramps up bicycle efforts with the opening of By Jonathon Harker FOLLOWING rumours of ‘mini bike shops’ being opened within larger Tesco stores in the UK, the supermarket chain has confirmed to BikeBiz that the rumours are true, and that it has introduced a ‘Bike Shop’ concept to several of its stores. Tesco revealed that seven outlets have seen the introduction of ‘Bike Shops’, including Chesterfield and West Durrington, and that the ‘shop within a shop’ is also offering to build the bikes it stocks by trained staff – thought to be the first time a supermarket has offered the service. A Tesco spokesperson told BikeBiz: “We launched Bike Shops in seven of our stores before Christmas. These stores had a specific area for bikes and offered the option to have the bike assembled. “They have been very popular with customers who have
Electric focus REISINGER confirmed that that Eurobike will be dedicating more space to electric bikes in 2010: “Pedelecs are the big news in the cycle market, and along with e-bikes they’ll have an even bigger presence at Eurobike 2010 than in previous years.” Increasing the presence of e-bikes at the show was a natural move, according to Reisinger: “This is the world’s leading bicycle fair, and LEVs are part of a growing trend, so we’ll be giving manufacturers, retailers, consumers and the media detailed insight into this technology and the synergies it offers. There’ll be more display space for e-bikes, pedelecs and LEV equipment, and direct access to a large test track. For the first time, Eurobike 2010 will also provide a proper chance to test fast pedelecs.”
appreciated having trained experts to help them pick the right bike and assemble it. Our West Durrington store is the latest to open with a Bike Shop.” The supermarket giant also confirmed that it might introduce ‘Bike Shops’ to other
The cycle trade has already voiced its concerns over the involvement of supermarkets in the cycle industry. Last June, Asda launched a range of British Eagle BSOs – Bike Shaped Objects – to widespread outcry from the trade, concerned that proliferation of BSOs would put
‘The Bike Shops have been very popular with customers...we will monitor what our customers think and we will look to see where else we can introduce them.” Tesco spokesperson Tesco outlets – depending on customer response to them. “We will continue to monitor what our customers think about our Bike Shops and we will look to see where else we can introduce them.”
consumers off cycling. Lidl also entered cycle retail in June when it stocked the Ultegra specced Stratos road bikes. Following rumours, Raleigh confirmed it hasn’t worked with Tesco on the ‘Bike Shop’ concept.
BikeBiz Bible: Deadline looms THE deadline for entries to the BikeBiz Bible is nearing, and companies from the trade yet to send in their details are being urged to email them to BikeBizBible@intentmedia.co.uk before the end of March. The BikeBiz Bible, in association with Silverfish, is the comprehensive A to Z listing of the UK bicycle trade. The essential resource will be sent to all BikeBiz subscribers free-of-
charge with the June edition of the magazine. Companies entered into the previous edition – from 2005 – will not automatically be entered into the new edition, so all companies wishing to have a free listing must send in their details. To ensure your company has a free-of-charge inclusion into the BikeBiz Bible, simply email your firm’s details to BikeBizBible@intentmedia.co.uk, including: company name, address, telephone number, web address (if applicable) and the category which best suits your business (retailer, distributor, manufacturer, etc). To find out more about advertising opportunities contact Carly Bailey on 01992 535647 or at Carly.Bailey@ intentmedia.co.uk
designs on bike trade in-store ‘Bike Shops’
Retail analysis VERDICT Research’s James Flower told BikeBiz that Tesco’s move on the bike sector was not out of character for the chain. He said: “I think the venture is typical of the grocer. It is flexible and can move in and out of any fast growing sector with ease. For example, a few years ago large displays of CDs were in every Tesco store, and now this sector’s growth has slowed, Tesco has visibly reduced the amount of space given to this category. “In terms of bikes, it has seen Halfords doing well, the success of the Olympic cycling team, and the general health and fitness trends and has moved into it. I’m not sure it will drive significant footfall – really only food drives footfall to most Tesco stores – but I’m
sure the venture will yield profits for it. “I think it is significant, but I can’t see it being developed much more in terms of depth and specialism. It could, however, certainly be rolled out into more stores where space allows. I think the offer will certainly stick to children’s and family leisure bikes sourced from the Far East. For example I can’t see, even in a number of years’ time, the latest offerings from Bianchi and Colnago being offered…” Flower did surmise, however, that other supermarkets could follow Tesco. “I believe they might, where they have space. Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s already offer small bike and accessory ranges in store as well as larger ranges online.”
Is cycle retail missing out on apprenticeships? Over £2k is being put on offer to retailers from the National Apprenticeship Scheme
£2,500 being offered for retailers that take on an apprentice Deadline to take advantage of the cash incentive looms at end of March By Mark Sutton
Halfords announces changes to bike staff FOLLOWING speculation over redundancies, Halfords confirmed to BikeBiz.com last month that it has made changes to its staff structure. Bike staff across its UK stores have been affected by the changes, though contrary to sources that have contacted BikeBiz, the retail chain has not confirmed that any redundancies would be made to cycle staff. One source told BikeBiz: “The majority of specialists are being made redundant within BikeHut, as well as other areas of the
store. The situation I’m faced with is knowing that 17 jobs are available, which an existing 30 staff members will be going for.” The retailer responded to BikeBiz: “Halfords is dedicated to providing the best possible value and service for our customers. “Our research shows customers appreciate Halfords’ expert advice and service, and want more of it. So we are making some changes to ensure the right level of colleagues are available to help at peak times. We are creating a new role of
BikeHut sales manager and will retain trained sales assistants to advise customers on the correct choice of bikes and accessories. They will build all new bikes and offer a full repair service. “We have also designed a clear career path for in-store colleagues, providing training and development programmes so they can progress with us.” Halfords said it will provide BikeBiz with further details of the changes to its bike staff in the near future. Halfords: 01527 517 601
THE ATG has told BikeBiz that retailers could be sat on a ‘pot of gold’, should they take advantage of a scheme by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS). But the deadline is fastapproaching – it’s on March 31st. The apprentice must be in employment by this point for the retailer to be eligible for the incentive, as the ATG’s Matt Goodrich explained: “If a retailer were to consider taking on a young apprentice (who must be aged 16 or 17) there is a cash incentive available to them. It’s a sizeable amount too – £2,500 – and the ATG will help retailers advertise the vacancy and even vet and interview candidates prior to the final interview with the potential employer.” The incentive comes as part of a drive by the NAS to get more young people into careers.
The grant comes on top of training costs, which are met by the NAS through ATG. An initial £1,500 is paid when the prospective employee starts and a further £1,000 after 12 weeks. Employers will pay the apprentice at least the minimum Apprenticeship wage of £95 per week, including off the job training. If the apprentice leaves early, the employer will be asked to repay a part of the grant. Oxford Cycle Workshop has already taken advantage of the scheme and said: “In the past, the trade has struggled to find trained staff to deliver service and professional mechanics’ skills. Apprenticeships within the bike trade, coupled with industryrecognised Cytech qualifications delivered by ATG training, offer bike shops an opportunity to get the staff in place to deliver a quality service.” ATG: 01296 737815
Sale figures inflating for Cambrian moves to purpose-built warehouse to cope with growing demand Cycle
F-At hits the road Farrelly Atkinson and road.cc moved offices at the start of March. You can contact them at Bath Brewery, Toll Bridge Road, Bath, BA1 7DE or on their new switchboard number of 01225 852554.
Manchester to host World Cup British Cycling is set to host the fourth round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classic at Manchester Velodrome next February. It marks the third successive year that British Cycling has hosted a round in the city, and will offer spectators the chance to see potential British Olympic medallists in action before 2012.
“We must have had a sponsorship request from almost every major UK road team to use Continental. That speaks volumes.” Shelley Childs, Cambrian Tyres
PressCamp goes electric BionX, the Canadian e-bike retro-fit specialist, will provide electric bikes to the select bunch of editors heading to the Utah-set Press Camp in June later this year. BionX wasn’t at the debut event last year and is the first electric bike firm to take part in the prestigious Press Camp gathering.
Memory Map rings the changes Memory Map has stepped into the iPhone app market with a navigation app for cyclists, including maps for the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. It links to the iPhone’s GPS to give real time positioning on fast scrolling maps, even while offline. Existing Memory Map users can transfer their V5 maps onto their iPhone.
Accell in ascendance Profit and turnover rose for European bike giant Accell Group in 2009. Profit rose 15 per cent to €32.7 million (from €28.6 million in 2008) and Accell cited demand for e-bikes as driving 25 per cent of turnover.
For breaking news visit:
www.bikebiz.com 6 BIKEBIZ MARCH
By Jonathon Harker CAMBRIAN Tyres, European distributor of tyre brand Continental, has recorded spectacular sales, seeing tyre figures quadruple since 2000. Year-on-year unit sales have increased 30 per cent for the firm since 2007, with the bicycle tyres market catching up with the firm’s motorcycle business. Cambrian bicycle brand manager Shelley Childs told BikeBiz: “It’s not only tyres, but our tube business has also seen a dramatic rise as we’ve strived to make the Continental brand more attractive both in terms of margin and depth of range. “Our motorcycle business across all seven major tyre brands is still the main breadwinner at Cambrian, but we are catching them up quickly.” The growing business has led Cambrian to move to a purposebuilt distribution centre in Aberystwyth, now just five miles from company headquarters.
Childs explained: “Being situated between two sites as we have been has been taxing on our staff, transport and deadlines, especially with the growth we’ve had. So, we’ve been planning the move for some time. We’ll be faster and more efficient and that can only be a good thing for our customers and the brand – which is fast becoming the UK’s favourite bicycle tyre label.” While road tyres are performing particularly well – reflecting anecdotal data from the trade that the sector is performing strongly – all areas are growing for the brand. Childs credited both its distributors for their work in swelling numbers: “Continental is definitely a favourite with the road market and has been traditionally. The MTB and City/Urban ranges are just as strong though, and the depth of the range in these areas means a dealer can stock Continental without worrying about missing sizes or poor margins any longer.
“Our wholesale partners, Madison and Jim Walker, are helping the brand in its growth and they must be credited for their efforts. Both wholesalers have fantastic B2B facilities and have invested time and warehouse space in the brand, meaning that we can deliver Conti to the dealer far quicker
Clarks gets to grips with growing site CLARKS Cycle Systems has started 2010 with a bang following the release of 60 new grips and brakes alongside a brand new website for OEM and aftermarket. Among the ranges is the new Skeletal hydraulic brake, offering the function of a high-end brake at a competitive price and the new CMD-8 mechanical brake for hybrid, city or mountain bike applications. All of the braking systems are supported by a comprehensive service tray that allow customers to either replace, service or upgrade the systems. Clarks has also introduced a wide range of handle bar grips to complement its growing brakes ranges. Clarks has included a wide variety of colours to take advantage of current market trends. The firm told BikeBiz: “Lockon grips as well as standard rubber grips are coming in a
wide range of colours which are already being specified by numerous OEM suppliers. “Colour is a big thing at the moment. We have spent a great deal of effort to provide the latest colours whether it is for a brake or gear cable, or colourmatching a hydraulic hose to a handle bar grip.” Other new products include coloured hydraulic hoses,
coloured cables, bicycle chains and bottle cages, even down to the humble ‘crimp on’ wire end cover which comes in all the matching colours too. The new product ranges are fully supported by Clarks’ comprehensive service line-up, as well as podcast videos which demonstrate correct fitting procedures and general maintenance guides.
Clarks is making increased use of online too with a new website. The portal – which you can find at clarkscyclesystems .com – is a growing facility for both OEM and aftermarket customers to access products and support offered by Clarks. The firm told BikeBiz: “Our website is becoming increasingly important as a tool to provide up-to-date information on our products, as well as a forum which allows discussion and access to future promotions and activities Clarks is involved in.” The new site was launched at the start of the year and lists full product specifications for all of Clarks’ range, as well as downloadable imagery and related documentation. The site also includes a blog section for customers and a forum for direct contact. Clarks Cycle Systems: 01827 382800
Continental brand tyre business is catching up with sales of motorbike tyres The Atherton clan has signed up to back the Continental brand
Velorbis ramps up the style for electric bikes Electric goes chic with new offering from sit-up-and-beg style manufacturer By Jonathon Harker
than in the past. If there is a product that is out of stock at the wholesaler then that product will be available at Cambrian Tyres, meaning 99 per cent of the entire Conti portfolio is always warehoused in the UK.” The firm has a multitude of sponsorship deals set up to promote the brand, including
with the Athertons off-road and with six pro teams, including Columbia, on road. “Every team wants them,” enthused Childs. “During the winter of 2009/10 we must have had a sponsorship request from almost every major UK road team asking to use Continental Tyres. That speaks volumes. We can’t sponsor
everyone, but we’ve partnered up again with some long term friends like Rapha-Condor-Sharp and Motorpoint, along with some new setups like Endura. “We are looking forward, as everyone is, to the season ahead both from a sales perspective and a sporting one.” Continental: 01970 833902
CTC’s York Cycle Show on track to be the biggest yet IT MAY still be months away, but preparation for the York Cycle Show – taking place on the final weekend of Bike Week 2010 – is well underway, with plenty of bike firms signed up already. The show organiser has told BikeBiz it is planning to top last year’s total of 53 exhibitors. Nineteen companies have confirmed already, six of which will be making their York Show debut. Among the bike-related companies signed up to the York Racecourse-set event are Dawes, Sustrans, Velo Vision, Lucozade, JD Cycles and Islabikes.
The show takes place on the weekend of June 19th and 20th, and features a number of attractions for visitors. They include the Trade Show and Exhibition, Arena Events, Catering and Bar, and the CTC National Rally and Camping Weekend. Organised rides ranging from 20 miles to 150km will also take place, as will a zero gravity stunt show, cyclists’ service at the Minster and the Grand Parade through the picturesque city. The full list of exhibitors already signed up to York Cycle Show includes: Cycle Promotions,
JE James Cycles, National Clarion Cycling Club, K2 Trading, Cuba Cycling, Practical Cycles, Scoot Cycling Holidays, Bicycle Books, Company of Cyclists, Velovision, Sustrans, Silver Ray International, Fibrax, JD Cycles, Spokeshirts, North Yorks County Council, Islabikes, TJ Cycles, Dawes Cycles and Lucozade Sport. To join the growing list, visit the exhibitors’ information page at www.yorkcycleshow.co.uk. Alternatively, contact show secretary John Taylorson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 07765 070120.
VELORBIS is to bring its own voguish style to the electric bike market with Elechic. The range, first revealed on BikeBiz.com last month, is based on an advanced electric driving system – a solution that allows all of Velorbis’ premium bicycle models to be transformed into electric bike versions. To have the electric kit fully mounted onto a Velorbis bicycle costs £1,500, in addition to the cost of the cycle. The move sees Velorbis join an increasing number of firms in the e-bike sector. A spokesman for Velorbis told BikeBiz: “We’ve had some amazingly positive responses from customers and passers-by to our Velorbis concept store in Copenhagen where the Scrap Deluxe-Elechic is on display. It seems to have the wow factor – people simply can’t believe that a lovely classic design can also be an e-bike. We’ve also had a lot of interest from the media and retailers on the back of BikeBiz’s teaser article online.”
The Elechic bikes are built to order, with lead times of four to six weeks. Branded the industry’s first ‘normal’ classic style bicycle with electric motors, the bikes blend e-bike functionality with Velorbis aesthetics. Elechic ranges go up to 85km (motor support 2) from 25km (motor support 10). Cavendish Cycles will be the flagship retailer in London, but Elechic will also be stocked by Velorbis’ global retail network and Holloway Cycles, Hatfield Cycles and Cardiff’s Reg Braddick Cycles. The Elechic system uses a Lithium-ion battery pack housed in a stylish casing and brushless motor for the front wheel, with an integrated controller for efficiency. A monitor with custom software is included, as is a unique iButton key to unlock the electric system. The display has two LED bars for battery condition and motor support, as well as a removable multifunction computer and adjustable motor support fixed near the left handgrip. Velorbis: www.velorbis.co.uk
Service, please! Mojo’s Tim Williams is no fan of turning customers away, but with peak servicing season round the corner, he fears that once again the bike backlog may get more than a little overwhelming. Here Williams preaches the worth of forward planning… “AH, I KNOW the weather is good and the evenings are light, so I’ll get my bike serviced and miss some riding time.” Each spring, as sure as the Welsh hills are full of lambs, (the more daring of which can be found running the gauntlet against MTBs at most Welsh trail centres), our service workload goes through the roof. You can always predict it by the weather; the first dry and sunny weekend of spring signals service work overload. As thousands of mountain bikers across the country start taking stock of their tired and worn bikes for the coming season of (occasionally) good weather and light evenings, it seems like, for many, no better time to get them serviced. For specialist service centres like us, forget the Christmas rush; for us it’s the spring rush. At Mojo we pride ourselves on our fast turnaround of Fox service work, so this is always a challenging period and it seems we’re not alone. We’ve been running a programme of dealer training, encouraging dealers to carry out basic maintenance procedures in-house to help them get bikes
8 BIKEBIZ MARCH
through their workshops more quickly without the delay of removing, boxing up and posting the suspension to us. Okay, it only takes us 48-hours to complete the job, but it’s still a delay. However, come spring it appears that a 48-hour
It astonishes me every year when someone pulls up at Mojo with a shock in dire need of a service and asks if he can have it back later that day as he’s booked a riding holiday. “Now then, sir, did you think of checking your bike over
“For specialist bike service centres like ourselves, you can forget the Christmas rush; for us it’s all about the spring rush.” turnaround is a very attractive option when there are so many bikes to be serviced. Our dealers seem to experience the same rush. Some dealers have reported their waiting lists to be up to six weeks long. LOSING TRADE? If a shop tells you it’ll be six weeks before you can get your bike serviced, the chances are you’ll go to another shop that will hopefully have a shorter list. We understand that we simply cannot expect people to wait that long as there is little choice in places to get high-end suspension products serviced.
before booking that holiday, the enjoyment of which depends quite heavily on the condition of your bike?” I suppose it’s just like the person who books a holiday abroad then realises their passport is out of date and then has a mad rush to get to the passport office. We survive this period each year by making sure we’re staffed to cope with the workload, although striking a balance between autumn/winter and spring/summer staff can be very challenging. As with most specialist services, it does mean
that we can’t simply employ summer technicians who are fully trained in suspension servicing, just waiting for our call. We are staffed for peak times so that Fox customers are off their bikes for as little time as possible. Come December, when most retailers are at their busiest, our technicians sit by their benches like expectant puppies waiting for service work to come through the door; such is their desire to get stuck in. FORWARD PLANNING Now, if only we could get consumers to think ahead and be less reactive about servicing and maintenance. The general response from customers when asked why they waited until spring for a service is that they thought they’d get winter out of the way and get everything freshened up for summer and the extra riding opportunities light evenings bring. “Okay, but by ignoring servicing all winter you have now worn out an expensive part of your shock, sir.” As the riding conditions worsen the service rate should really increase, rather than having customers wait until the weather improves.
I admit that in the past I’ve done this with drivetrains over the winter, but I’ve not been ignorant to the fact that when the time comes I’ll need new chain rings, chain and cassette. Throw in the deterioration of my gear shifting performance and I’m paying with performance loss, not just cash. By educating consumers about the need for regular servicing we could spread some of the work out over the rest of the year a little more evenly, helping both specialist service centres and LBS to maintain their level of service and reducing some of the extra issues that busy periods bring. A service in the middle of winter, including suspension, will give consumers better performance and most likely a cheaper service bill in the long run. Having come through one of the coldest winters on record, with snow affecting most trail centres, you’d think that this would be a perfect opportunity to get your bike serviced, right? When there’s little or no chance (or desire) to ride, why not get your bike serviced now instead of waiting for the good weather and light evenings?
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Wheelbase’s web-based portal links up smoothly with its physical store
Hand on the till Not convinced about the need for EPoS? Cybertill sales director Tony Woods presents a case study of how Lake District-based cycle retailer Wheelbase used technology to harness its business… SITTING between the Lakeland towns of Kendal and Windermere, in the heart of some of the UK’s best cycling terrain, is Wheelbase. The brand has been in existence for 15 years and the last four years have seen it move up a gear following an MBO. Year-on-year turnover growth, matched with increased profitability, has been acheived by the young management team led by MD Chris Herd and brothers Toby and James Dalton. Having previously worked for Wheelbase, they know it, and the biking world, from the inside, “plus cycle racing is my hobby,” says Toby Dalton, director. Boom time for bikes To cater for a growing market, Wheelbase has constructed an 18,000 sq ft store, housing one of the UK’s largest range of cycles, accessories and clothing under one huge roof. “Range is our USP, refined over the years to get the best mix,” says Toby. “We’ve looked at competitors globally and we
compare impressively. Our philosophy is that you can come in, see a bike in your size and colour, buy it and walk away that day. We also have a big race team and run a number of events every year. We’re very active and always worth a visit.” Investing in EPoS The MBO saw the new management team inherit a basic EPoS installation. “Our first job was to build on a good infrastructure and put new technology in place from the start.” Toby and his colleagues looked at the market and received a recommendation from an existing Cybertill customer in bike retailing. “We are quite a close industry, not too cut throat,” explains Toby. “What we found was that Cybertill is well proven in our sector.” Other factors came into the picture. “I do a lot of work from home, or on my travels. A webbased system, accessed from anywhere, is ideal,” offers Toby. He admits that, for a young
company, the Cybertill Managed Service is a boon. By removing the cost implications of having in-house servers, it allows Wheelbase to focus on developing business and not IT. In addition to its giant store, Wheelbase has invested heavily in its transactional website www.wheelbase.co.uk. “We weren’t initially multi-channel, but this is now very important and over the past year we’ve integrated both.” Wheelbase’s choice of Cybertill was influenced by its ability to integrate store-based and webbased trading into a single platform. The availability of Cybertill’s SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) interface, used to integrate an existing Wheelbase website into the new EPoS, has been critical. “It’s now all one seamless system.” Wheelbase enjoys complete integration through three tills in store and its website. Whilst accessible from the M6, the Kendal store is nevertheless a journey for most, so the website
is the company’s shop window and it is critical to have live stock management. When an item is sold through in store, it is deducted from the website stock so would-be purchasers get accurate information. “We’re a small business, but have to compete with a lot of large, very intelligent systems run by mail order people – on one tenth of the budget. Thanks to Cybertill, we’ve made this work. It’s a challenge to run a shop and mail order, but integrating stock and making sure both run together definitely gives us an advantage.” Keeping on top of stock Wheelbase has just employed a stock manager who will use the Cybertill system for more analysis, such as minimum and maximum stock levels, making stock management even tighter. The business also runs a second website – freeridesnowboards .com. This 80 per cent online business also integrates with the Wheelbase stock management
system and accesses stock that is held in a single warehouse. “We’ve been able to grow our business without growing our workforce,” observes Dalton. “We’ve seen increased sales and efficiency, plus we can be confident when we sit at a terminal that the product we are checking is in stock.” Customer service has improved thanks to the system’s live performance and stock management functions. Visitors to the site can be confident of stock being in store, or can order product for delivery. The system has a positive contribution to make to marketing and promotion, and Wheelbase has started to do more customer segmentation to support targeted marketing campaigns. “If you get the right tech in place, you can scale it with the business,” Toby Dalton concludes. “You only get out of tech what you put into it, and we’re doing our best to keep on top of what Cybertill offers.” www.wheelbase.co.uk
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Pic © Carlton Reid
Industry changing? Jonathon Harker and Mark Sutton ask the cycle trade for their thoughts on what the most significant developments in the industry have been over the last five years... “Cycle To Work has made the single most significant contribution to the cycle industry. It has led to cycles becoming a far more accepted means of transport, which is now a more viable and faster means of commuting around cities than ever before. “The combination of cycling becoming more appealing in terms of convenience, cost-savings and health, coupled with incentivising the occupation, has almost certainly enabled manufacturers to invest in advancements in the quality of bikes and components over the past five years. “C2W has aided consumers to pay more for products, which are better than they have ever been. In return, consumers and their employers are being rewarded in value for money and reduced CO2 footprint.” ANDY BUDD, SALES DIRECTOR, ZYRO “The growth of the internet has had a huge effect. It’s fair to say that the UK public has adopted shopping online quicker than lots of other countries. For me, the rise of ‘net sales have created some very big online shops. That’s put pressure on smaller IDBs, but we have seen
some of those expand their business with a creative approach. They offer great service, can talk to customers about individual needs and have been successfully organising group rides and holidays.” DAN JONES, MARKETING MANAGER, WINDWAVE “The sea-change of opinion towards cycling in central and local Government, which after the fantastic support of the trade and industry (through the Bike Hub Levy Scheme), has been instrumental in generating the £140m three-year budget for Cycling England and probably influencing Transport for London in investing £111m in cycling infrastructure in 2010. “The introduction of congestion charging in London and the C2W scheme have been key influencers which illustrate the swathe of goodwill towards cycle use. This, on top of the high profile success of the GB cycling team at the Beijing Olympics, having hosted the start of the Tour de France a couple of years ago, and perhaps that the leader of the opposition, current Minister for Transport, and the Mayor of London are all cyclists and proud of it, helps. There has never been a better time for
cycling; both the sport and the urban/commuting sector. “Folding bikes have been a major beneficiary of this growing acceptance and promotion, so much so that in a generally level market, the folding bike share has grown out of all proportion.” MARK BICKERTON, UK AGENT FOR DAHON AND VICE-PRESIDENT BA GB “Anti-dumping duty on China and Vietnam had a significant impact on product sourcing throughout Europe. Those that benefited were manufacturers in Europe, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and mid-tohigh end product from Taiwan. “Industry and Government-led pro-cycling policies have made a difference too, alongside DfT, BAGB, Bike Hub, Sustrans, CTC, and TfL, in providing a quality and safe cycling infrastructure for commuting and leisure. “Also, no UK major factory exists as a volume producer and only specialist component makers survive. Chinese economic growth has had an impact on commodity consumption, with supplies and pricing being carried into components.” DAVID MOAKES, RALEIGH PRODUCT MARKETING DIRECTOR
"Undoubtedly the positive media interest that cycling has enjoyed has done much to raise the profile of our industry. The terrific sporting success achieved by British Cycling's athletes is obviously remarkable, however the Bike Hub scheme, which was initiated by the BA, has also been the catalyst in seedfunding many projects now taken up and funded largely by Government which, in turn, established its advisory body Cycling England as a direct result of Bike Hub. All contributors to the Bike Hub scheme, whether retailers, of whom many are also ACT members, or industry suppliers, have felt the beneficial effect that this has had upon trade. Many companies within the industry have hardly noticed the economic recession as a result of the upsurge in cycling generally that, in part, is a result of increased Government investment on cycling as a sport and in cycling transport initiatives such as Cycling Towns and Cities and the provision of Bike It officers in schools." PHILIP TAYLOR, BICYCLE ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT "I think the introduction of the C2W scheme has had the
biggest impact. It's encouraged a lot of people who already cycle to buy more expensive, better bikes than they might have bought and it’s also encouraged a lot of people thinking about buying a bike to buy one." NICK FISH, CTC COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR “Along with the recently published Cycling Demonstration Towns’ results and the Government’s Active Travel strategy, the results from the DfTs Sustainable Travel Towns have just been released. They show what a difference can be made to the way everyday journeys are taken when given info about walking and cycling routes and public transport.Over five years, cycling increased by between 26 and 30 per cent across three towns, and there was a drop in car use. “The Sustainable Travel Town results show how spending existing budgets more wisely can make a huge difference. Two out of every five local journeys (that’s journeys less than five miles) are made on foot, by bike and by public transport, but we’re calling for this to be doubled to four out of five journeys by 2020.” ALLAN WILLIAMS, SUSTRANS’ POLICY ADVISOR
BRAND SPOTLIGHT ABUS
Get your locks on Abus’ area sales and marketing manager Axel Rosler speaks to Jonathon Harker about a booming commuter sector, and putting a bit of colour into the market… DESPITE having notched up a formidable number of years in the business of making locks, Abus – like most companies about 18 months ago – was concerned about just how, well, secure it was in the face of an impending recession. Axel Rosler, area sales and marketing manager for Abus, tells BikeBiz: “I think the whole industry was nervous. The financial crisis was in the news everyday, scaring consumers and at the end of 2008 nobody knew what would happen. “The Abus company works in a number of sectors. We are family-owned in the fourth generation with divisions in home security, industrial security and the like. It was good for Abus to stand in so many sectors as some suffered under the financial crisis more than others – like the motorbike business. Luckily, and surprisingly, the whole UK bicycle market, and in all other countries, was pretty much recession-proof.” In fact Abus enjoyed a hugely successful year in the UK last year, growing 38 per cent with distributor Zyro, due in no small part to a blossoming commuter market. With theft rising during times of economic hardship, demand remained high for security products too. But Abus, or August Bremicker und Sohne KG, is more than just about locks. The company also has a firm footing in the helmet and bag sectors too. Abus’ focus on the helmets side of the business reflects the rest of its product lines, as Rosler explains: “We’ve listened to UK retailers and found good
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solutions for them. We’re focusing on the kids, family and commuter cyclists because those are exactly the customer groups that are buying our locks. “Many of our competitors in the helmet business focus on the high-end road and MTB riders – and they are not so much our targeted consumer.” The introduction of bags to the Abus business also marks a shift for the decades-old firm, and the chance to bring its values to the bag sector. “Abus is an 85 year-old firm and has moved from being a very traditional company to a
“Abus is an 85 year-old firm that has moved from being traditional to a very lifestyle brand.” Axel Rosler, Abus lifestyle brand. As a company the quality of the product is very important, so whatever we create – helmets, bags and locks – is of a very high quality with safety uppermost. Safety and security in German is one word – it’s called Sicherheit. “So with helmets we integrated a special flashing/constant rear LED into our kids’ helmets and also on commuter helmets where visibility is so important.” Abus has been in the bag business for over 20 years. But why did a firm known for locks move into the sector? The reason is simple, as Rosler explains: “It started with the need to transport a lock. Many locks on the market at the time were not as cyclistfriendly as they might be – the problem was how do you transport a heavy lock? Cyclists had to use pannier bags but now we have innovative solutions like brackets, and bags with special
sections built specifically for locks. We’ve grown that over the last 20 years and now have seven different bag ranges, four of which are coming to the UK.” Abus also has its eyes on the changing needs of the market too. Following a booming commuter sector the firm has produced bike bags that won’t look out of place in the city. Likewise, Abus has produced a range of women-specific bags in response to the market: “If you look at the UK you don’t see so much womenspecific cycle product, especially bags. This is where we have been successful with the Lyria range which features modern designs, KLICKfix brackets and rubber buttons so they stand easily on the ground.” As Rosler touched on earlier, Abus has been tapping into an increasingly lifestyle-orientated bike market, colour matching products across different ranges. “We have just launched new chain locks in various colours. In markets like Japan, America and Canada we can see a lot of colour trends going on. The whole industry is developing into a lifestyle industry – if you think of fixie and singlespeed fans they like very colourful products. We’ve also found that colour matching is important to female consumers.” So with a bunch of new product lines reaching into untapped sectors, colourmatching strategies, an eye on developing markets and all off the back of a year that saw 38 per cent growth in sales, you’d probably expect Abus to be expecting good things over the next 12 months. And you’d be right. “We are looking very positive into the next year. We have invested further in new products, we have new lock and bag models and for us the helmet market in the UK has seen a really big increase. We are very positive about the future.” Zyro: Neil.Mountain @zyro.co.uk. www.zyro.co.uk.
Abus’ Axel Rosler shows off the firm’s new ranges, including colourful chain locks (top) and stylish bag designs (below)
OFF THE RADAR
Worst. January. Ever. As the UK emerges bleary-eyed from a winter that hit the bike industry rather hard, John Stevenson looks at the effect on the day-to-day running of the bike magazine world... “WORST. January. Ever.” That is how one dealer described the start of the year to me at Madison’s iceBike* show, adding that February was much better, because people seemed to have become bored of not spending money. As well as keeping customers at home, the lousy weather at the beginning of the year was a nightmare for magazines. A bit of rain doesn’t stop us testing bikes, but when the streets are paved with black ice and the trails are buried under a foot of snow, keeping up our test schedule requires dedication, merino baselayers and waterproof everything. In my bike shop days, wet winter afternoons were a chance to do those little jobs that had been neglected the previous year – like clearing out the pile of half-broken items that might get stripped for parts (throw it away, it never does). Or, if the boss wasn’t around, seeing which of us could record the
highest pedalling speed on one of those new-fangled cadence computers. But magazines don’t have odd housekeeping jobs to keep us occupied in the winter, and sub-editors take a dim view of writers goofing off. Magazines have to be published, rain or shine, and this winter, that has been a bit desperate. As I write, Mountain Biking UK’s Andrew Dodd has just escaped the office to head up to Scotland for a story that has been put off several times because of the weather. Snow in Scotland, who’d have thought it? Cycling Plus made life hard for itself by bringing its Bike Of The Year issue forward so that it would be on sale at the end of winter when people are thinking about buying a bike. That meant the writers had to ride fifty bikes in the worst of the winter, and photograph them. Somehow, they managed not to spend too much time sitting in the office in damp Lycra
“Cycling Plus recorded its twelfth consecutive circulation increase, cracking the 40,000 mark for the first time.”
John Stevenson is editor-inchief of the Sports division at Future Publishing.
waiting for the weather to improve to merely miserable. A blessing for everyone else’s noses, that. Photography is the killer. A great shooter can light a scene to pull the rider and bike out of the January gloom using modern off-camera flashes. If it is raining, flash guns tend to self-destruct and photoshoots turn into desperate scrabbles to get shots without destroying the camera equipment. We’re certainly not complaining though. Reviews must be written, so bikes have to be ridden and gear has to be used. That gives us a powerful reason to get out and ride at the time of year when motivation is hardest to come by. Even this January, I don’t think any of our crew would have swapped to a regular desk job. LANDMARK FOR CYCLING PLUS I can’t sign off without mentioning the biggest ray0 of light amid the winter doom and
gloom. Our road bike magazine, Cycling Plus, recorded its twelfth consecutive circulation increase, cracking the 40,000 mark for the first time, in the annual figures produced by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. I worked for Future Publishing when Cycling Plus was launched in the early 1990s and was involved in the first few issues. At the time, fat tyres dominated sales, Mountain Biking UK was forging ahead and road cycling was a littleregarded backwater dominated by club riders and time trialists. It is amazing how road cycling has come back into the forefront, and Cycling Plus, under Rob Spedding, has done a lot better than follow the market. This is largely thanks to Rob and his team’s understanding of its readers, and its creative approach to crafting an entertaining and informative lifestyle magazine that just happens to be centred around the cycling world.
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Tip of the iceberg Madison kept its cool through three days of the show. The goliath-sized distributor has once again given dealers further reason to up their custom. Mark Sutton seeks out a few of the hidden gems…
“At present, the Hump bag cover is our biggest seller. At £25, it can turn any bag into a high visibility item. We’ve sold 8,000 in the UK and expect sales to carry on at a strong rate.” Harry Cole, Madison
ONE of the striking things about iceBike*, as is the case every year, is that the vibe always feels productive. It’s all too easy to get bogged down at trade shows with the negatives of the business climate at present – supermarket competition, online discounting, customers misbehaving – but not here. Utilising an enormous doubledecker tent, the show presented enormous volumes of product to be taken in. With Red Bull on board, alongside Monster Energy, there was an energetic vibe to say the least, and with Gore, DT Swiss and Nitro Circus newly on board, customers were not short of product to ogle. Those new brand additions are just the tip of the iceberg, though. As is the case with the
UK’s wholesalers, many are beginning to focus on ownbranded product and Madison is no exception. Although not new per se, Madison has placed greater emphasis on its revamped saddle, pannier rack, glasses and clothing catalogue. With up to a five-year warranty, the top carrier racks can take up to 30kg in weight, making them ideal for touring. Madison’s saddle range has become quite extensive too. All the products carry the logo and the saddles are available for a variety of purposes and budgets, from comfort saddles for women, to top-end sports saddles for anyone. If your store is seeking a cycle-specific eyewear solution, you won’t go wrong with
stocking Madison’s simple range, which comes both CE and EU approved and includes a carry pouch and cord. Next door to the Madisonbranded goods at the show was urban commuter favourite Respro, which had also brought along some funky new gear. Respro’s main business revolves around pollution masks, including some tailored for cycle sport and commuting. If your store is in a built-up area where breathing in is to take a breath of exhaust fumes, then Respro is worth a stock investment. An item often overlooked is the brand’s reflective £12.99 sticker pack, which enables customers to tailor their clothing with 40 wash-resistant, reflective tabs in a variety of styled cut out
shapes. With these, a pair of gloves or standard shirt can be completely transformed into a commuter friendly item. Director Harry Cole tells BikeBiz: “At present, the Hump bag cover is our biggest seller. At £25, it can turn any bag into a high visibility item. We’ve sold 8,000 in the UK to date and expect sales to carry on at a strong rate. We’ve also introduced styled Humps now, such as our lit-up Chevron covers, which are available in a popular camo print design for £49.99.” Blackburn put on an impressive display of multicoloured Flea lights, which has fast become its flagship product. Now available, to complement the product, is a solar panel recharge kit, which
BIKEBIZ MARCH 21
works the same as a normal charger, via the USB plug-in. A little known fact about the Flea is that the lens is shrouded, making it ideal for those who wear glasses and may get ‘feedback’ from normal lights. Increasingly becoming a significant part of Blackburn’s business, the Turbo Trainer product is said to be selling out on arrival. Feature wise, Blackburn has thoroughly thought through the design of each model, allowing each trainer to be adjusted to uneven surfaces, such as some patio decking, all via a few minor adjustments to the base. As trainers go they are incredibly wide and stable. Varying wheel sizes can be accommodated, meaning owners can move from bike to bike. The mainstay of the business does still revolve around the pump range, with the Airstick SL emphasised to BikeBiz as being the major breakthrough. Weighing just 60 grams for the standard and 51 grams for the carbon version, the SL can reach very high PSI pressures with little effort, which given its tiny size is quite incredible. Retail price is £19.99. In terms of soft goods, there can now be no other source with as much of a comprehensive offering of cycle clothing than Madison’s. Nitro Circus was the only fresh addition, though this brand sits between the motorcycle and cycle business and covers only casual wear. Of the more technical garments within the double decker tent, Shimano, Pearl Izumi and Madison’s own line all had additions. The latter has
introduced baselayers, which appeared to be of particular interest to the many dealers who had asked the distributor to broaden its horizons on the stock introduced at last year’s show. These undergarments are for both men and women and sizes range from small up to XL. A special Meryl fabric is utilised in the baselayers, providing consistent thermal control, high wicking and anti-bacterial properties. As Madison’s own line, the price is favourable too, with the short sleeve coming in at £17.99, while the long is just £20. FOOTWEAR CATALOGUE Pearl Izumi’s catalogue was added to Madison’s range last year, along with a dedicated team to manage the brand. Pearl Izumi’s overshoe attracted a lot of attention. With a built-in light-up logo, the overshoe complements the extensive range of shoes that the brand offers. Baselayers were also present in the Pearl Izumi range. Shimano is not shy of a bit of clothing either. In fact, iceBike* displayed perhaps the largest viewing of the technical garments to date. A prime example of what Shimano can do with soft goods came in the form of the Windflex Gold jacket, which is made up of 52 per cent Windflex Gold polyamide, with the remainder polyester and other materials. The double-layered fabric sandwiches air, while the outer repels moisture. This results in a
“Cavendish is very particular about how he wants the front of the bike to ride, and the bar and stem are a major focus in this.” Aloys Hanekamp, Shimano real performance jacket that keeps the rider’s temperature consistent and protects them from the elements. Sizes small to triple XL are covered. Many dealers were pleased to see Gore Ride On cables now sat
within the Madison portfolio. For those that think a ‘cable is just a cable’, Gore’s Ride On cables have shaved 15 to 20 grams from some of its race offerings, which is a hell of a lot from something so simple. These shavings have not come from the cable itself though; they remain super tough. Expect to see shades of blue and red joining Madison’s B2B site in April. These sit on top of the black and white standard cables. On the ground floor, DT Swiss’s debut at Milton Keynes was causing quite a stir, mostly due to the brand’s suspension product. Starting at a competitive £650, the brand was keen to demonstrate how rigid it has managed to make its fork bodies, all the while pointing out that the internals are some of the most intelligent on the market at present. All forks with super-light magnesium lowers now come with a ‘Torsion Box’ bridge, which has made a significant difference in how rigid the ride feels up front. At £800, the brand’s prolevel cross country fork is currently the lightest on the market at just 1,250-grams. Full stock of DT Swiss products are expected in May, though the majority is in stock now. While on the subject of rigid front ends, Shimano’s off-shoot Pro business had Mark Cavendish’s own bar stem combination on display, as used to success in last year’s Tour de France. Pro marketing officer Aloys Hanekamp says: “Cavendish is very particular about how he wants the front of the bike to ride, and the bar and stem are a major focus in this. The bar will
be of a reinforced alloy, with internally splined construction, as opposed to carbon, which if involved in a crash, can be unpredictable afterwards.” Expect to see the Cavendish series appearing in stock at Madison in about three weeks time. CUT ABOVE THE REST Wheels Manufacturing stopped many dealers in their tracks with two products in particular. The first is a bottom bracket touted as an alternative to, for example, a Hope BB. Available with either a ceramic or stainless steel bearing and in five colours, the BBs cost £99.99 and £54.99, respectively. The second stand-out product was a tidy bearing press kit available to the trade for £149 and made from high-grade steel. Should customers want the same product, it also retails for £300. Of the bike brands under the Madison umbrella, Saracen proved to be the main draw, with two urban models taking pride of place, while the Ariel and Myst were also being drooled over. Retailers in built-up areas can take stock of the £449 Rush and £799 Fallout now, with the main differences between the two coming in the form of a hydraulic disc upgrade and Shimano Alfine specification on the latter build. Marketing manager and iceBike* organiser Will Fripp, tells BikeBiz that over 70 per cent of Madison’s customers were in attendance over the show’s duration, all of which will have been captured on the timelapse camera on the upper deck. Log on to the iceBike* site to see if you can spot yourself now.
Numerous products under the Madison brand caught the eye of many onlookers at last month’s iceBike* show in Milton Keynes
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BRAND SPOTLIGHT MODA
A new Moda transport Described by Eurobike as the ‘final link in the chain’, Moda is something the firm is particularly proud of. Mark Sutton talks to MD Paul Stewart about the brand’s British assembly, expanding the model range to reach new target audiences and dialling in the details… SINCE Eurobike’s launch in April last year, one of founder Paul Stewart’s main ambitions was to design, develop and market a range of UK-built bikes under his own label. Having come to fruition just five months later, Moda is now gradually appearing on shop floors across the country. As revealed on BikeBiz.com last month, the sharp upwards trajectory planned for the brand looks set to continue in 2011. Stewart comments: “We plan to market complete titanium bikes as well as frames sets in 2011. To complement this, we will also launch our own brand of aftermarket components under our Barelli brand. There will be some genuinely exciting products in the line-up, so dealers should keep an eye out for a launch date later in the year.” Eurobike is responsible for the design, manufacture and assembly of the range, along with its framemaking partner in Taiwan. The inspiration behind creating Moda was simply to put together a range of bicycles that the Eurobike team themselves would be more than happy to ride. Stewart continues: “We have taken good soundings from some of our key customers, though we’re all experienced riders, so our thoughts and ideas are apparent in many designs. We have a number of bicycles frequently out on test – not only with magazine riders, but with
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Elite athletes riding road and MTB too, and so far we have been extremely pleased with the response.” Feedback is invaluable to any brand, but has become
“Each Moda bike is hand-assembled by one mechanic and then checked again before it leaves us.” Paul Stewart, Eurobike increasingly important to Moda’s development ahead of submitting a team for competition at the highest level in the coming season. The finished product has, to date, inspired plenty of confidence in retailers. Stewart explains: “Each Moda bike is hand-assembled by one mechanic and then checked again before it leaves us. Bikes arrive at dealers already 99 per cent built, and ready to go after turning the handlebars and fitting grips or tape. Our carbon frames carry a two-year guarantee, with alloy frames at five years against normal wear and tear.” Asked what differentiates Moda from the market’s competition, Stewart is keen to emphasise quality control. “The key strengths of the range include
full assembly in the UK. We only use complete component groups that match and work. And along with this, all Modas come with American Classic wheels, which we think adds an immeasurable quality to the overall ride and feel of the bikes.” Going forward, Stewart believes that the diversity of the range will be one of the major perks of stocking Moda. Having delved into both hardtail and full suspension cross-country, road and track, the brand’s expansion plans will appeal to retailers in need of an all-round solution covering both women’s specific and junior models. Stewart tells BikeBiz: “We’ll soon have two junior road bikes for our up-and-coming stars, a 24-inch and 650. Then we will complement these with two junior Cyclo X bikes in the same sizes. Next, we’re looking to
provide bikes for the WXC ladies mountain bike team – our smaller sizes are ideal for competitive Elite lady riders. We’re also looking at adding some female specific models to the line-up, but this will be a 2012 development.” If Moda appeals and there’s a gap on your showroom floor, you could be in luck. Eurobike is seeking dealers in various locations, particularly in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The current ten-model range is set to expand by a further 18 bikes next year, too. At present, retail prices for complete builds begin at £999.99. Stewart concludes: “We’re happy to talk to prospective customers anywhere in the UK where we have not already got an established dealership. We can also arrange to bring samples and demo bikes so all staff members can see and ride the Moda range in the flesh.”
Moda’s Alto hardtail – it’s ready to ride on delivery to dealers
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BIKEBIZ MARCH 25
Racecourse 2010 York 19th - 20th June
N Huge Sales and Exhibition Marquees N Try Out Area N Mountain Bike Stunt Show N Grass Track Racing N Arena Events N Vintage Bikes N Cycle Auction N Day rides N Food and Drink Court N Childrens’ Entertainers N Contact:firstname.lastname@example.org
0844 736 8456 N Free entry to main arena N Adult entry to Sales and Exhibition area by £2.50 Programme YAccompanied U16s free) N Weekend Camping N Open from 10am daily
26 BIKEBIZ MARCH
PROFILE PENNINE CYCLES
Old as the hills Director Paul Corcoran tells Jonathon Harker what’s occurring in the world of BikeBiz Award nominee Pennine Cycles, ten years after taking over the decades-old business… WITH A heritage that spans over a century, cycling has naturally picked up a number of dealers that have been in the business for a significant chunk of time. One such dealer is Pennine Cycles (Whitaker and Mapplebeck Cycles). Established over a whopping 64 years ago, Pennine was founded a year after the end of the Second World War – making the shop older even than Ivana Trump. This year the shop is celebrating another anniversary – ten years of business under the stewardship of managing director Paul Corcoran and director Sandra Corcoran. Paul tells BikeBiz: “We’ve already got off to a good start in January despite the snow.” The Corcorans picked up the baton from founder of shop and bike manufacturer Johnny Mapplebeck. “He retired when we took over the business ten years ago at the age of 80 and moved across the Atlantic to Canada. He is now 90 and still living there,” explains Corcoran. Paul Corcoran, a keen cyclist himself, has roots outside the bike trade. “I found my way to Pennine Cycles when I bought a Pennine bicycle from my managing director over in Leeds
where I worked in the car trade, at Jaguar. I thought I had better find out who these Pennine people were and now I own the business after being asked to manage the shop. I gave up a good job with a pension, but this is the best job in the world,” Corcoran enthuses. Despite being situated on the backbone of England, worldwide trade is an increasingly important part of Pennine Cycles’ offering, as well as having local customers support the shop. Pennine Cycles is part of the UK Trade and Investment Passport to Export programme, which assists with business abroad, providing ongoing
“I found my way to Pennine Cycles when I bought a Pennine bicycle from my managing director over in Leeds.” Paul Corcoran, Pennine Cycles
support as well as initial help for budding exporters. Such is the success of its global reach that Pennine attended last September’s Milan Bicycle Show. The firm has been nominated twice as a finalist in the best Independent Retailer category of the BikeBiz Awards, but retail is just a part of what Pennine Cycles offers, growing from the proposition it was back in the ‘40s. Pennine’s hand in manufacture sees it create sought-after custom-built framesets in its Bradford workshop. The unique frames come with a raft of options, from colour scheme to choice of steel material.
Pennine Cycles directors Sandra and Paul Corcoran
The Pennine Cycles MD celebrated his 50th birthday in style last year, meeting up with Mario Cippolini at the start of the Giro d’Italia
Aside from retail and manufacture, the busy shop continues to sponsor the established local cycling club VC Bradford. Pennine jointly supports the club with Milan family business Stella Azzurra. At the start of last month, the Pennine Cycles team kicked back to celebrate that decade at the Café Corridor – with customers old and new, business colleagues and friends. Despite the revelry, the firm says it is looking forward to the challenges of the next decade as an independent bicycle specialist shop in Bradford, Yorkshire. Corcoran is following up the celebrations with a trip to Club La Santa for a VC Bradford Cycle Club training camp. “As a family business we offer a personal service and hope that people continue to recognise the expertise available and support their local bike shops. Sandra and I are both passionate about cycling. We aim to encourage and promote the pleasures and the benefits of bike riding. “We’ve got lots planned for the year ahead, and we’re looking forward to the next decade and continuing to make our Pennine frames at Bradford,” Corcoran concludes.
BIKEBIZ MARCH 27
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28 BIKEBIZ MARCH
50TH ISSUE RETROSPECTIVE
Back in the day It’s 50 issues and four years since Bicycle Business became BikeBiz, the first issue arriving in February 2006. Jonathon Harker takes the opportunity to leaf through the archive and look back at the headlines and the people from the pages of the first six editions… February 2006 NEWS: Despite being viewed through the mists of time, the front page of the very first edition of BikeBiz covered a topic that’s still just as relevant to the industry today. Cycle to Work was grabbing the headlines, with distributor Fisher Outdoor Leisure lending its weight to Cyclescheme, plugging the huge opportunity
it brings to the trade, and particularly IBDs. The industry was debating the merits of cutting VAT on bikes, while Hot Wheels stoked the fires of the women’s cycle market with new femalespecific brand ‘Summer’. MBUK’s founding editor, Tym Manley, also lamented the loss of the Bike Show.
PEOPLE: Will Fripp became Madison’s marketing manager, moving from his role as ecommerce manager for the distributor, while long-term MTB racer Nick Craig joined Scott as worker and rider.
working with schools across the capital. Sustrans research revealed that pedestrians and cyclists, and neutering the number of cars in retail centres, was positive news for retailers. In glum news Saracen Cycles went into administration, but not before Saracen Bikes was formed, purchasing stock, goodwill and intellectual
property rights of Saracen Cycles, and taking on warranty.
AND FINALLY: One story that could have come from any year covered the UK bike market’s
shocking lack of statistics. Phillip Darnton said: “It’s a source of embarrassment to admit to anyone that we do not know anything reliable about the size and evolution of the UK cycle market.” Plus c’est change.
Phillip Darnton and (inset) Tym Manley
March 2006 NEWS: While MPs warned of the possible extinction of independent retailers, BikeBiz looked ahead to London’s Gallic welcome for 2007’s Tour de France. Bike It, the national cycle-to-school project seedfunded by the cycle industry via the Bike Hub levy, extended into London for the first time in March, with two Bike It Officers
PEOPLE: Stan Mavis, co-founder and previous boss of Pearl Izumi, was snapped up by Sugoi for the role of president, while Nick Gritton – starter of UK distribution of the Shimanoowned Pro brand – moved on to look for new opportunities.
AND FINALLY: Readers may, or may not, wish to be reminded of BIkeBiz’s now executive editor Carlton Reid bravely tackling the eye-watering subject of comfort saddles that don’t restrict blood flow to the penis while riding. That’s dedication for the cause.
Pearl Izumi co-founder Stan Mavis
BIKEBIZ MARCH 29
50TH ISSUE RETROSPECTIVE
April 2006 NEWS: VAT relief for the cycle trade proved to be an enduring topic for BikeBiz magazine’s debut year, with the CTC calling for bicycle repairs to be charged with VAT at five per cent. The UK’s own Nigel Hill, of Sidcup Cycles, was elected for a second term of office as ETRA president – a term that only ended last year. Elsewhere, Mike Poyzer’s Nottingham bike shop,
Super Cycles, revealed that it would become a Cyclelife flagship store, Dahon joined the A-Team and Madison picked up distribution for Cervelo. The cycle trade voiced their opinions on the CEN regulations and when they were finally going to come into force. While the industry welcomed the introduction of the regulations, many feared the
new rules would bring confusion to the cycle industry.
the ACT launching ActSmart as a package incorporating a range of benefits for its members. Mark Brown, who has recently left the association (see page 49), said: “This is a powerful package, so it makes sense we invest in making sure every retailer understands what it can do for them. We have brought all our benefits and services together under a new brand name called ActSmart.”
PEOPLE: There was much activity in the recruitment sector for Fisher Outdoor Leisure, recruiting Martin Hawyes, Chris Raven and Dan Kidd. Elsewhere former Procycling managing editor Jeremy Whittle left to pursue newspaper journalism and a new book.
The Bicycle Association revealed it was to sell its Starley House HQ, while more controversial news saw British Cycling and the CTC apparently at loggerheads over their remit – something British Cycling CEO Peter King moved swiftly to debunk. June’s BikeBiz also asked IBDs what they had planned for Bike Week 2006.
PEOPLE: Rocket scientist Kuan Chiun Weng left Giant-partowned Composite technology Corporation of Taiwan. He owned 15 per cent of C-Tech until the move. June also saw the American Bicycle Group appoint Kirk Graham as European general manager.
Government all promote that it is cool to cycle. More exposure can only be good for sales.” In July BikeBiz also covered the £13.5 million Fisher Outdoor Leisure management buy out, with Gordon and Trevor Fisher handing over the reins to (now) CEO, Richard Allmark. He said: “My desire for Fisher to be the undisputed market leader in branded P&A distribution is stronger than
ever. The new Fisher will achieve great things, with our customers and suppliers benefiting from future plans.”
PEOPLE: Ian Morris resigned as director of Seventies to start his own BMX distribution company, while Ian Beasant became managing director for Giant UK. AND FINALLY: Two years before taking office as Mayor of London, headline-friendly Boris
Johnson showed off his bike friendly credentials. He was quoted (via the Guardian) as saying: “When Cameron’s Conservatives come to power it will be a golden age for cyclists and an Elysium of cycle lanes, bike racks, and Sharia law for bike thieves. And I hope that cycling in London will become almost Chinese in its ubiquity.”
Nigel Hill and (inset) Mike Poyzer
May 2006 NEWS: May brought the news that Cycle Show was sticking with East London-set ExCeL centre as venue, and would see 22 per cent more exhibition space than in the previous year. Cycle shared the front page with the birth of new distributor 2pure, rising from the ashes of supplier Raw Experience. And 2pure wasn’t the only new name of the month, with
AND FINALLY: Designer Sir Paul Smith got behind bikes when he
designed the official strip for the Twentyfour 12 Bontrager Enduro 2006. A keen cyclist himself, Sir Paul’s Paul Smith Jeans designed 100 limited edition stripe jerseys.
Jeremy Whittle and (inset) the ExCeL Centre
June 2006 NEWS: The summer of ‘06 brought news of a number of takeovers in the bike world. Magicalia, publisher of BikeMagic, RoadCycling UK and Shecycles.com, was bought by Exponent for £13m, while Aberdeen-based IBD chain Alpine Bikes was bought by the Tiso Group – an independent outdoor retail chain based in Scotland.
AND FINALLY: Bike Week statistics revealed that the
number of events planned had leapt from 1,406 in 2004 to 2,116 in 2005. Accordingly, 181,147 participants took part in Bike Week 2004, jumping to 300,754 in 2005.
Dr Weng and (inset) Starley House
AND FINALLY: British manufacturer Weldtite bagged a prize for exporter of the year in the North Lincolnshire Business Awards in July, beating competition from heavy hitters like steel giant Corus.
Graeme Freestone King and (inset) Weldtite
July 2006 NEWS: Cycling was in the media glare in the summer of ’06, running the full gamut from anti-cycling rants to hugely positive supplements and coverage. Madison MD Dom Langan was among the trade voices happy with the attention. He said: “The industry should be really pleased with the exposure. I think there is more to come as the media, celebrities and
30 BIKEBIZ MARCH
PEOPLE: Cannondale Europe brand manager Mike Cotty pedalled a huge 212 miles to set a new ‘South Downs Double’ record, and Graeme Freestone King created fk:marketing as UK agent for a range of road brands.
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Finger on the pulse? Are fixies really in fashion? And have retailers outside London got stock to offer to capitalise on the trend? Those are the questions Mystery Shopper asked the bike shops of Canterbury…
32 BIKEBIZ MARCH
DESPITE being situated on an industrial estate and having a shop front tucked away, Downland cleverly draws attention to its presence with some well-placed signage (see above). Less than a mile outside the city centre, it also benefited from plenty of cycle and car parking space. Once inside the light and airy shop, Mystery Shopper was swiftly approached by one of the two staff members who informed me that the store stocked three fixie-style bikes, all from the Felt brand. While none of the models were in store at the time of visiting, they were all available for order. After some prompting the staff member was happy to discuss the pros and cons of the fixie bike genre, including the legal requirements of fixies: “one brake is statutory for road cycling.” The staff member gave me details of the three models to take away with me. Overall, despite requiring some prompting the staff member discussed the genre at length and the store could supply the product required (on order). Surely an encouraging sign for a sector that is said to be niche and scarce outside London.
SET outside the Canterbury city walls on a busy bypass, Cyclelife enjoys a great location for picking up passing trade and for keeping in the mind of passers-by. The shop was, however, noticeably dark – almost to the point of appearing shut, in the opinion of Mystery Shopper. Inside the large store, however, the experience was far more illuminating. Products were displayed well with clear signage indicating price, though not with a great deal of info on bike features. After only a short while of browsing I was asked if I needed any assistance by a staff member who was busy working on a bike behind the rear counter. Sadly he advised that the store didn’t stock fixies, but encouragingly did advise me of some local shops that did and pointed me in the direction of one such dealer. Despite not stocking fixies, the friendly staff assistant was happy to chat about the sector and when I asked about their popularity he told me that there wasn’t that much call for it in Canterbury, with only a few local stores dabbling in the sector. He went on to discuss how the fixie scene was much bigger in London.
Halfords LOCATED on a sprawling retail park to the East of Canterbury – the city’s Halfords store incorporated a significant cycle section on the first floor. The sales counter was placed at the far end, meaning customers looking for service had to walk past the store’s entire bike display before being able to get any assistance – which clearly has both advantages and disadvantages. Products were well labelled and info-packed displays explained common features on the bikes in store. Two staff were working on a bike when Mystery Shopper approached, one of which informed that the shop didn’t hold any stock of fixies, advising there were models available at Halfords’ online shop, including at least one model from the Boardman brand. Despite having no fixie stock in store, the approachable staff member was knowledgeable and happy to chat about the genre.
JUST over the road from Cyclelife, Cycles UK is a busy store benefiting from modern premises and a great location. Placed slap-bang next to Canterbury bus station the store is sure to catch the eye of anyone waiting for a bus and wishing they’d opted for a bike instead of public transport. The shop name was emblazoned across the store too. The store was bustling inside, with an uncramped and well-laid out display of bikes that were easy to browse. Mystery Shopper was quickly approached by the proactive staff who sadly informed that the store had no fixies in stock. However, the friendly shop assistant said that they did get them in from time-to-time, but the infrequent appearance of the genre in store was down to the local market having yet to take to the sector in a big way. On the sporadic occasions that Cycles UK did have fixies in store they were usually put into the shop window – proving they were a draw for customers. The staff member recommended I kept an eye out or popped into the store regularly to see if anything came in.
ON A SIDE road between Canterbury High Street and a key car park for shoppers, Cycle Store had strong advice on the fixie sector, steering me to opt for a singlespeed model. The staff member Mystery Shopper spoke to advised that the singlespeed bikes are far less dangerous than a pure brakeless fixie and went on to advise that they were popular with some sections of the City’s student population, while some shop staff also rode singlespeed bikes. The staff member discussed the market, and advised that they were often expensive. As an alternative, the store offered a kit to adapt hybrid bikes into singlespeeds, informing me that the store’s workshop would be able to carry out the work. This was, he advised, a far less expensive entrance into the sector. When asked about the popularity of the sector, the staff member went on to list some of the key selling points of bikes in the fashionable genre – they are simple, there’s less to go wrong, and they are potentially less attractive to thieves. The friendly staff member provided plenty of advice on the burgeoning sector.
Summary IN ADDITION to the stores listed in this article, Mystery Shopper visited Canterbury’s JJB Sports, which held no bike stock at all. The visit revealed that there is a fixie scene in Canterbury (perhaps due to the city’s proximity to London), with several retailers serving the niche. Canterbury itself has a blend of ‘olde worlde’ shopping and modern retail facilities, with its cycle dealers inhabiting both of those worlds and generally offering good advice. All boasted staff members that were aware of, and informed about, the fixie scene, regardless of whether the store stocked relevant models. Downland, Cycle Store and Halfords offered relevant product, with Cycle Store providing the best in-depth advice. Overall, it was encouraging to see most of the stores offer stock (albeit intermittently) in the sector.
BIKEBIZ MARCH 33
Winds of change The industry is ever-changing and more on its toes than ever, so how is distributor Windwave shielding itself and its customers from price fluctuations and more? Dan Jones and Peter Nisbet talk to Mark Sutton about dumping duties, backup service and brand additions…
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How can dealers benefit from doing business with Windwave? Windwave has always been about strong technical brands such as Marzocchi, FSA and Colnago. As well as the ‘headline’ brands, Windwave also offers a range of high turnover, big margin supporting products such as Ice Toolz and A2Z. Will you be attending any further shows this year? As a founding member of the Core Bike group, the show and its dealer format are our top priorities. In addition, we will again be at the London Cycle show, Mountain Mayhem and Bike Radar Live. How has performance fared in the past year? What factors have contributed to any rises/falls in fortune? Our main threat is from currency changes. For example, Colnago, FSA and Marzocchi are all bought in euros and with the pounds’ weakness it has enforced price rises. However, with keen retail price pointing we’ve continued in growth.
To what extent does Windwave get involved with sponsorship and how does this benefit business? Windwave has always been involved with up-and-coming riders and has historically sponsored riders such as Steve Peat, Jason McRoy, Rob Warner and Chris Smith. This year we have kept our sponsorship channels with our component brands, but we’re also on board with the Pendragon/Colnago Premier Calendar team. This is an important move for Windwave as it places it at the forefront of the UK race scene. If anti-dumping duties on Far East imports end up being abolished in July, how will it affect Windwave’s business? The concern would be that prices of bicycles would fall. But prices do not need to fall, as in many cases bicycles are already too cheap. From a personal perspective, my concern is that cheap bikes mean at some point in the manufacturing process there may have been exploitation and poor working conditions.
Our focus is on brands and image and I believe we offer value for money. The reality is, unless we buy cheaper, we cannot reduce prices. We cater for the mid-to-upper end of the market; in this sector the public do not buy on price alone – they buy branded products for quality, proven performance and value for money. How has Tenneco’s takeover of Marzocchi improved your suspension business? Has this reassured dealers that Marzocchi’s on form again? Two years ago the automotive giant Tenneco bought Marzocchi; the fruits of the takeover are now being seen in the cycle division. It’s no secret Marzocchi had a tough time in 2008. However, Tenneco’s management and quality control has seen warranty cases drop to just 16 for 2009 and so far no reported cases for 2010 in both AM and OEM. Do any of our competitors have similar figures? It was hugely encouraging that the dealer reaction was so positive at Core. We now have some great products that are easy to
understand and, most importantly, that dealers feel comfortable with. Tell us about your suspension service centre... We have been the official UK service centre since we took on Marzocchi back in ‘95 and Windwave has a solid service team with lots of experience. We also have trade servicing rates, so we can offer dealers the complete servicing solution for their own workshop. Since its arrival, how has FSA’s Vision components performed? Is there demand for high-end, technical components at these price points? FSA is a fantastic company to work with as it is very professional and really gets behind all its brands. Vision was an acquisition and now there is a lot of focus on taking this brand forwards. It is high-end, so the product is fantastic. We’ve seen sales grow due to this brand by 50 per cent in the last year. The Pendragon/Le col/Colnago team will use the alloy and carbon wheels this season.
which, for successful brands, is always a problem. However, with products becoming more traceable this is fast becoming less of an issue as grey sources from OEMs can be stopped. Describe what A2Z can offer the dealer looking for small parts, tools and braking components backup: With A2Z Windwave can offer one of the most comprehensive disc pad ranges with a great margin, to boot. To supplement these we offer a range of disc brake adaptors, olives, banjos and brake hose – these are multi brand use so no matter what, A2Z will have the solution. We have also expanded A2Z’s range to include anodised QR skewers, head-set spacers, chain ring and bottle cage bolts. More or less every part is available in many different colours, which makes for great additional sales as consumers look to customise their bikes.
“Working with dealers both online and instore are the same – an open and friendly relationship is the key to a good working practice.” How does Windwave tackle online discounters – are IBDs protected against these? Working with dealers both online and in-store are the same – an open and friendly relationship is the key to a good working practice. The only issues Windwave has with discounting are generally related to the grey market
What marketing plans do you have for your brands in the year ahead? You seemed to be pushing Lucozade a fair bit at Core? Lucozade is an important new brand for us, and Core was an ideal opportunity for dealers to sample the complete range ahead of the early spring push and to meet staff from Lucozade. Our main marketing push for 2010 is to be direct with the consumer via more internet viral campaigns. We’ve also had great take up on Colnago demo bikes, something that is supported with an online advertising campaign directing consumers directly to the store for demo rides. Lucozade must have been a big scoop for Windwave – how did this distribution deal come about? This is a long story. I had the idea that Lucozade Sport was perfect for the cycle trade, but not available to retailers. So, I put a marketing plan together and approached the parent company, Glaxo Smith Kline. The hardest part of this though, was contacting the relevant person within this multi-billion pound goliath. It took several attempts, but by the time I met up with the right person it was soon evident that we would be able to work together to maximise
the potential of the brand to cyclists. Do you think the brand name will give Lucozade a kick start in the cycle trade? Yes. Lucozade is a household name and this counts for a lot as it is one of the strongest names in FMCG. There has been a long-term association with sport since the early sponsorship deal with Daley Thomson, though I believe that branching deep into the cycle trade can be very successful, because riders who are not sure about which sports nutrition brand to buy, will choose Lucozade Sport because they are familiar with the name and have confidence that the product will be safe and effective. You have just hooked-up with Traitor Cycles – is this in response to high demand for styled fixies in the UK,
Peter Nisbet or is this for something else entirely? Traitor came about after seeing the brand at Eurobike last year. Although tucked away on a small booth, its style and attention to detail really stood out over the sea of euro machines. After all the technical complexities of Corsair’s suspension designs and Colnago’s multi directional carbon race frames, for us it is really nice to be involved with just a bike company – and I say that with the greatest respect. Traitor has a great range of machines with fantastic attention to detail. It offers not only fixie or single-speed bikes, but also three-speed hubs, STI and disc brake models. Response from the trade at Core was tremendous and we are getting a lot of interest from the public. The first stock arrives in May.
Windwave has an abundance of stock that’s essential for dealers
BIKEBIZ MARCH 35
CYCLE TO WORK
C2W, working for you Pic © Carlton Reid
Want to get involved in Cycle to Work but worried about losing valuable margin? Rob Howes tells Jonathon Harker how MyCycle2Work.com is set to tackle dealer’s concerns about the scheme head on…
THE CYCLE TO WORK scheme, which allows employees to purchase a bike in a set price bracket tax free and pay for it via a salary sacrifice scheme, has been cited as one of the major contributing factors behind the booming bike market in the UK. Various companies facilitate the service, and the margin they take to operate it is a stumbling block for a significant portion of cycle retailers, something that MyCycle2Work.com addresses. “The independent bike dealer is missing out on the full value of the opportunity,” says Rob Howes from MyCycle2Work. “They passively accept someone else’s vouchers and have to give away ten per cent of their valuable margin.”
It’s not just margin that leads to untapped potential markets. Many small businesses find it hard to get involved in C2W. “We have always felt there was very little provision for the smaller employers who make up the vast majority of UK employers. Other scheme providers focus on bigger businesses. “Even the biggest voucher provider only has about 8,500 businesses on its books and that’s less than one per cent of UK employers. The missing 99 per cent are those 850,000 businesses who are smaller enterprises. Ironically, they are the most likely to run a scheme and be the easiest to deal with. “There are a million UK businesses that haven’t run C2W
yet, most of them local to an IBD and with interest in cycling; we think that offers IBDs the best opportunity in 2010.” MyCycletoWork, which supports brick and mortar businesses and those with online presence, addresses both of those concerns, according to Howes. GOING DIRECT MyCycle2Work.com offers an all-singing all-dancing web
“There are a million UK businesses that haven’t run C2W yet, most of them local to an IBD and with interest in cycling; we think that offers IBDs the best opportunity in 2010.” application for IBDs, including everything dealers need to go direct and offer Cycle to Work schemes to local employers themselves. Covering all the regulatory advice, online forms and mechanisms, the application handles the process from start to finish, and uses IBDs’ own identities. Howes adds: “It offers individual employer accounts, so the IBD can be sure its business will reap the benefits of its efforts.” “With MyCycle2Work.com, IBDs can easily create schemes
for any business. All the admin is automated and employees simply go into the IBD’s shop, choose whatever they want and the IBD inputs the order to the system. The employer approves the equipment and then pays the shop directly. We’ve also included business leasing for employers who want to spread the cost of acquiring the bikes.” “To get the IBDs off to a flying start we include a pack
which has sample approach letters they can customise and print onto their own letter heading. We also provide 200 names and contact details of local businesses. All they have to do is send them.” The firm behind MyCycle2Work is an old hand at operating similar schemes. “We have a huge amount of experience in building applications for salary sacrifice-type schemes. The first we built was for the computer industry, which was very successful and later taken up
by major PC brands such as HP, Acer and Fujitsu. We also designed and built the Halfords’ Cycle to Work platform, which has run schemes for some of the biggest organisations in the UK. “We launched Cycle2WorkNow.com 18 months ago. But what’s always been obvious is that potential customers like to go into their local bike shop, which by and large provides good service. We realised we needed a way to simplify the admin and regulations of C2W so that the bright people at the IBDs could offer it to local businesses. “To test if our idea was viable, we’ve been running schemes with chosen partner bike shops and the results were overwhelmingly good. So we took the radical step of turning our business model on its head. “We’ve given up Cycle2WorkNow.com and launched MyCycle2Work.com, which for the first time gives the IBD the chance to take control of C2W. Instead of waiting passively to accept someone else’s vouchers and giving up ten per cent valuable margin, they can begin actively marketing C2W.” To find out more, contact: 0207 183 1316, rob.howes@ CycletoWorkNow.com, www.CycletoWorkNow.com
BIKEBIZ MARCH 37
FISHER OUTDOORS EXPO 2010 REVIEW
2010 EXPOsed Boasting an expanding range of bikes, new brands and even tool organisers, the Fisher show served up a feast of products for dealers and the press. Jonathon Harker takes a look at what was on the menu…
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EDGBASTON had a good innings as venue for Fisher’s house show, but Sopwell House proved more than a match for the sprawling Birmingham-based venue. Attendees appeared bowled over by much of the new product too, with new lines from SRAM, Basil, Norco, Lambretta, Santini, and many more – including the trio of newbies Kansi, Vavert and Airace, while the warehouse tour and seminars also proved popular with show-goers. KANSI The brand’s debut appearance revealed the three models of the range: the 1twenty singlespeed, the 3twenty three speed and 9twenty nine. Priced at £499, £699 and £849, they are available in two colour ranges. Notably, the Kansi line-up features no model year, though it will be updated via generations and tweaked over the years. As part of Fisher’s commitment to dealers, when customers buy a Kansi bike they receive an incentive to register their bike online with a unique code – extending their guarantee – which cunningly
also reminds them when it needs servicing, cleverly driving trade back to the workshop. Customers registering online also receive a special customisation kit. The brand may be Fisherowned, but it is being promoted in its own right and will be rolled out around the globe, moving beyond being just a UK offering. It features SRAM components, while every part is serviceable, not rebadged. Kansi product manager Martin Hawyes says: “We’ve had insane feedback, which is great as no one has seen it before. It ticks all the boxes.” Kansi is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the number of bikes that Fisher has branched into. VAVERT One of the new brands on show at the event, Vavert – which as Francophiles will already know means ‘goes green’ – is another pitched at the leisure commuter cyclist. Each saddle has a matching grip to co-ordinate, while saddles and grips are also available for the sports market and comfort markets.
The leisure commuter range’s saddles feature ergonomic design for comfort, ScuffGuard abrasion resistant sides and a reflective rear badge. The grips from the same range are easy to install and remove, are ergonomically designed and are available in four colours. Much thought has gone into the packaging too, with an innovative space-saving saddle design. More innovative still, the grip packaging has the grips hung on pivotal plugs so that consumers can hold them in riding position without removing them. AIRACE Airace’s range of pumps and tools are exclusive to Fisher and includes track pumps, fit mini pumps, smart mini pumps and tool sets. The track pumps are highly stable floor pumps with high reliability gauges and long hose. Priced at £79.99, the Infinity AS Aluminium Shock and Tyre Floor Pump comes complete with an integrated shock pump adaptor, high pressure up to 300 psi and a shielded stainless steel tube.
On the mini pump side, the Fit H2 features a two-stage adjustable barrel for increased pressure and volume, while the Smart Jet G is a compact pump with precise in-line gauge. Airace’s tool sets are compact and precision-machined. The Airace 20-in-1 Ultra Thin Metallic Folding Tool Set includes a chain breaker, among a wealth of other tools, plus the all-important bottle opener. WATERLOO Waterloo is reportedly the world’s largest supplier of tool storage products and was the source of perhaps slightly unexpected buzz at Expo 2010. Seemingly one of the very few companies providing tool storage, its product range – including mobile and fixed tool solutions – was the subject of much chatter among the attendees. The firm tells BikeBiz that many dealers were buying the products for themselves, as well as for their business. The products range all the way from tool boxes, starting at £20, and move all the way up to fixed tool solutions at £10,000.
FISHER OUTDOORS EXPO 2010 REVIEW
The mobile solutions are ideal for dealers that work events or have a mobile business, while the fixed tool boxes are perfect for refitting workshops. The firm’s representative – Kieran MacCourt comments – that the response to the range had been fantastic and they were really encouraged by it. Notably, it is a sister company of Master Lock. MASTER LOCK One of its key products is the Street Fortum D Lock, offering top-notch Sold Secure Gold standard at just £34.99. Master Lock has also sought to fill a previously relatively untapped market – children’s locks. The devices support the steady selling kids’ bikes and accessories market and teach kids about the need to lock up their kit. Costing £9.99 and featuring a resettable combination, the locks promise to appeal to kids, bucking a market that largely administers to adult needs. Master Lock used the show to focus on padlocks too, pointing out that bikes are often far
better secured while out and about, yet at home they’re comparatively easy pickings. With waterproof padlocks and bolt cutter-frustrating octagonal designs the locks are a chance for bike dealers to tap into a wider market. Also, its packaging has been enhanced, enabling customers to literally get their hands on the product, something the firm has found to be a key sales tool. BSPOKE A year on from launching the bspoke clothing range, Fisher’s own range of commutertargeted threads featured at the show, and also includes accessories from the Transport for London-endorsed lines. Pitched as a versatile collection that fits into commuter life on and off the saddle, it includes the likes of the Holborn cycling jacket, which features a wealth of technical elements while looking like a non-cycling jacket. Similarly, the women-specific Angel three-quarter length jacket provides waterproof, windproof and breathable
functionality – as well as reflective branding to increase visibility at night – without appearing like a cycling-specific garment. BASIL Basil’s bag business has been booming over the past 12 months, showing a mighty 39 per cent growth year-on-year. The women and commuter ranges are among those that have been targeted for growth with a wealth of products designed to hit those areas. Basil’s Jada line-up is set to be more colourful and includes shoppers, double panniers and more. The Jada Mirte (pictured) shopping bag comes in Blueberry Purple or Marble Grey with a 16L capacity and waterrepellent polyester. Basil also introduced its Memories range, created with water-resistant recycled canvas. The Memories feature leather details and rain protective flaps. Bike baskets are staple sellers, and Basil has created a twist on the range with the Memoriesbottle basket. As the name suggests, the baskets feature
milk bottle shapes as well as everything else you’d expect. Basil’s kids’ range has expanded too, and has even stretched to incorporate dog baskets. With super short 14-day lead times, stock levels of the Basil product should never be a problem. SRAM Expo was the first chance to see SRAM’s well-publicised full MTB group set XX in the flesh, complete with revolutionary front shifting and hydraulic remote suspension lock out. Following up on SRAM’s carbon wheel range last year, it is now offering a complete wheel build. The new aluminium wheels are slim, lightweight and come in three varieties. The regular S27 Comps are priced at £399 a pair, while the S30 Al Sprint costs £599 a pair and the S20 Al Race will retail at £799 a pair. RockShox’s forks and shocks were on show, including Revelation, the 2010 Boxxer and the SID World Cup, while Avid’s 2010 line-up includes an expanded Elixir range. Truvativ now includes a bar, stem and seat post family.
NORCO Norco is bringing 33 frames to the UK, with 21 being new to the country and covering gravity, all mountain, trail, urban and BMX – the latter getting six new models following a huge sales success. Norco is on track to see a raised profile in 2010, largely through the new DIRT Norco World Cup Downhill team. LOOK Look is adding to Fisher’s bike offering, with the 986 and 996 MTB-specific frames debuting at Expo, joining the new 464 track frame. Retailing at £649, it is available as a fixie option. Eye-catching Troy Lee designs abounded at Expo 2010, not least of all with the D3 helmet, while the spring/summer and autumn/winter ranges of Santini’s high-end road garments featured the Defend Jacket and a vintage range sporting classic designs. One of Met’s star helmets was the Camaleonte – an urbanfocused product available in executive and standard models. Also on offer were Forte road helmets, Crackerjack kids’ helmets and off-road Kaos models.
BIKEBIZ MARCH 39
Bike Hub’s Belfast boost The levy-supported Bike It scheme is funding Jill McDonald to get more Belfast children on bicycles. She tells Carlton Reid that local bike shops are pulling their weight...
“It’s essential to get the support of local bike shops. The commercial benefits aren’t direct or overt, but those dealers who get it can see the bigger picture.” Jill McDonald, Bike It
BIKE IT is the hyper successful cycling-in-schools programme run by Sustrans, and originally seed-funded by Bike Hub, the bike trade’s levy scheme. Fiftytwo Bike It officers across the UK now get kids excited about cycling, boosting the numbers of children cycling to and from school. This can only be of benefit to local bike shops and some of them go out of their way to help Bike It. BikeDock of Belfast is one such bike shop. Owner Derek Armstrong donates sweat equity, providing valuable time from his staff to go into schools with the pro-bike message. Many of the Belfast schools plugged into by recently appointed Bike It officer Jill McDonald are in deprived areas, and cycle ownership isn’t high. As well as the standard discounts to pupils, BikeDock staff organise bike try-out and Dr Bike sessions to drum up
support for cycling, and increase cycle ownership. The shop is also helping out with a bike recycling scheme – not all bike shops are fans of such secondhand bike schemes. Unlike other Bike It officers, who are funded by Sustrans and a variety of trusts and some Government money, Jill McDonald is funded wholly by Bike Hub. Her position entails working closely with schools, but she’s also a vocal PR voice for cycling in the local press. She rolls out innovative and press-friendly schemes. In January she organised ‘Brighten Up Yourself’ day with Brooklands Primary School of Dundonald, Belfast. Two hundred and thirty children travelled to school as brightly as they could to highlight the importance of wearing bright colours whilst walking or cycling to school in the winter months.
At the same school, McDonald has also created a three-month reward scheme. Children who walk or cycle to school get given a raffle ticket. At the end of the three months the raffle tickets will go into a hat and prize winners will go on to get goodies donated by local bike shops. McDonald also does school assemblies, runs poster competitions, letter writing campaigns and has created an ‘I Love My Bike Day’ at each school she works with, teaming up with bike shops to deliver the technical aspects. Pupils are encouraged to look after their bikes, being shown how to wash and lube them properly. With the help of bike shops, children are encouraged to join a school Bike Crew, driving home the pro-cycling message. “It’s essential to get the support of local bike shops,” says McDonald. “The
commercial benefits aren’t direct or overt, but those dealers who get it, can see the bigger picture. It’s great to see the bike shop staff really getting stuck in. The kids appreciate it too.” For McDonald’s ‘I Love My Bike Days’, BikeDock has loaned two staff members, a mechanic and a try-out supervisor. “This adds a lot to my games and bike wash,” says McDonald. Three thousand, three hundred children have so far been involved in Bike It activities in Belfast. And that’s just in a single school term. With more bike shop support, Bike It in Belfast could have a huge impact on the levels of youth cycling in the city. The same is true in your area. Do you know who your local Bike It officer is? Get in touch! (In Scotland, Bike It is known as ‘I Bike.’) www.sustrans.org.uk/bikeit
BIKEBIZ MARCH 41
RISE OF THE SPORTIF
Sportives could go mainstream Cyclo-sportives are the in-thing, selling out in seconds. No longer just for the hard-core, they’re reaching out to the masses. Carlton Reid asks whether sportives could do for cycling what marathons did for jogging? PAUL VINCENT, tech editor on Cycling Plus and BikeRadar.com, says: “Specialized virtually invented the Sportive bike with the Roubaix range.” The Specialized Roubaix is noted for being a perfect bike for ‘sportif’ riders: cyclists who want to do long challenge rides, but want comfort, too. They sport slacker angles than pro bikes, with a bit more padding in the main contact areas. Capitalising on this specialisation on sportives, it makes sound commercial sense for Specialized to sponsor its own event. The Specialized Silverstone Sportive is to take place at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone, Northamptonshire on July 4th. Specialized MD Richard Hemington says: “Sportives are increasingly popular and we wanted to give riders a great landmark for a new endurance challenge.” But what are sportives? Some are rebadged existing rides, often with a charity element. The earliest – and still the quickest to sell out – is the Fred Whitton Challenge in the Lake District. Started in 1999 it is still the most challenging of the nation’s sportives, costing £40 to enter. Sportives such as the Etape Caledonia cost £56. This event made mainstream news last year when it suffered from tack attacks. It’s on closed roads, hence the steep fee. The features of a sportive now include a signposted route,
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often with GPX files for downloading to navigation devices; feedstations; broom waggon and other tech support; timing chips; and, of course, a challenging route – usually hilly – in a scenic location. Some have more trade support than others. The Fred Whitton used to be sponsored by Biketreks of Ambleside and is now supported by Saddleback, distributor of Felt bicycles, Zipp wheels, SRAM and Castelli clothing. The Northern Rock Cyclone in Northumberland is organised by Peter ‘Shimanoman’ Harrison, owner of Cyclelogical Cycles. TRADE VALUE Also known as Gran Fondos on the continent (and now in the US, too), cycle sportives are ostensibly group challenge rides, but a lead group is often out to ‘win’ the event. Winning the Etape du Tour of the Tour de France gains an amateur rider a year’s worth of bragging rights (and possibly even a life-time’s worth). Sportive riders often get virtual – or sometimes real – medals for fast times, but not every rider is interested in speed. Maurice Burton, Britain’s first black cycling champion (1973) and owner of De Ver Cycles of London, comments: “The guys in the shop thought I was mad ordering compact chainsets, instead of 53/39. But there are more sportive riders than racers.”
This is a view echoed by Martin Harrison of holiday company Trail Break. He is helping to organise the Great Western Sportive in Swindon on June 20th. He believes that, handled correctly, sportives could do wonders for the bike trade. “The Great Western Sportive is one of the headline events of a full weekend called the Great Swindon Bike Ride, which we are organising with support from the Nationwide Building Society and Swindon Borough Council. It’s a new project and a very conscious direction for us, not to move away from the traditional enthusiast markets in cycling, but to bring them together with grass roots and community cycling. “We have long thought that, however strong cycling is becoming, it is still far too fragmented. Road biking, mountain biking, family and leisure cycling, touring and BMX still very much pigeon-hole themselves away into their own structures and consider themselves quite separate from other cycling disciplines. “While the sportive market has undoubtedly boomed and created a huge new activity in cycling, we’re spotting some disturbing trends in the format. It’s being claimed and controlled by enthusiasts who want to see it grow, but in a way that suits themselves and as such, are unwittingly limiting its potential. Too many sportives have concentrated on appearing
“Sportives are the best shot that cycling has had in giving itself a marathon-like appeal since the MTB boom of the ‘90s failed to keep going.” Martin Harrison, Trail Break
bigger, harder and more racelike year-on-year, to appeal to the tastes of those who stage them, and to grab the easy and identifiable market. “In the process, they risk moving their appeal out of reach of the grass roots leisure market and, we believe, missing out on a boom that could dwarf what is happening at the moment. The parallel we draw is with marathon running in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Prior to this period, running a marathon was a byword for a superhuman activity, out of reach of mere mortals. With the launch of the London Marathon and the running craze that followed, a marathon become an inspirational but achievable goal for anyone who wanted to put in the training, whether they had run before or not. “Sportives are the best shot that cycling has had in giving itself an equivalent appeal since the MTB boom of the ‘90s failed to keep going. We think there is a great risk of sportives settling into an elitist form and the cycle industry will find itself looking back on a big missed opportunity. The challenge sportives face is to present that much more accessible appeal without losing their ‘big challenge’ inspirational value.”
Hold the front page… Who said print was dead? According to the cycle trade it’s alive, well and prosperous. Mark Sutton looks at the various avenues publishers are exploring in a new age of media...
ia Factory Med
THE HIGHLIGHT for Factory Media over the last year has been watching Mpora.com grow into an absolute Goliath of a website. It’s Europe’s largest action sports website, attracting 3.8 million monthly users. The MPORA network includes magazine brand news and feature platforms for Dirt, RideUK BMX and Dig. MPORA, in conjunction with Dirt’s coverage of the 2009
Fastlane LAUNCHED in January 2009, Fastlane is fast becoming one of the race scene’s premiere magazines. With backing from athletes like Shanaze Reade and having the Olympics just around the corner, Fastlane has set the trajectory for growth on a steep path. David Lane, editor of Fastlane, tells BikeBiz: “In 2010 I plan to bring in new distribution to boost our readership through Europe and the rest of the world, all while keeping a strong hold on our UK presence. We have also launched a team to represent us in the UK and Europe when we attend race events. I’m
44 BIKEBIZ MARCH
going to be genuine here – we sell a bit over 2,000 copies an issue. Although saying that, a lot of new readers buy all issues to date in one hit, bumping up back edition sales.” With long-term plans to see the magazine in WHSmith, Asda and the like, Lane’s
Downhill and 4X World Cup, set a new high for up-to-date online event reporting with daily highlight videos that reached 60,000 views. Building on this success, MPORA and Dirt broke new ground in 2010 with the introduction of a free, sixpart World Cup retrospective, entitled ‘Finally’ – that went live in January. MPORA will continue to grow in 2010, with new functionality
main focus is print expansion, although online will not be neglected. “The internet is of course another area the magazine is marketed very successfully in. It pops up on page one of Google under BMX magazine. Our team plans to bring lots of exciting stuff to the website.” Lane concludes: “Our readers love what we do. The riders picking up the mag range from kids to grown ups. I never imagined as a child that the magazines I would spend my days with my head in, I would then go on to make. To be honest if it all stopped tomorrow it wouldn’t matter; I have achieved something I’m very proud of. And so I should be.”
geared around community, a move into mobile with its innovative iPhone App, and further expansion into France and Germany with dedicated resources to cover these territories. With 2,000 new members signing up each month, and traffic growing threefold over the previous year, the network has become a key source for action sports news.
In print, Factory’s bi-monthly Bicycle Buyer has grown its circulation 45 per cent since its autumn launch and expects this to increase. Also, 2010 will see it acquire full listings at WHSmith, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. According to Factory, in 2009, Dirt Mountainbike was the only UK mountainbike magazine to increase circulation, with sales up five per cent year-on-year.
FOR A MAGAZINE that has been built on the back of a hugely popular mountain bike website, it was a shock for the Singletrack team to start the year without one at all. Singletrack publisher Mark Alker tells BikeBiz: “Having rapidly built and published a new website in the space of a few weeks, it’s been a huge pleasure watching its monthly site traffic not just rebuild itself from scratch, but exceed all previous records. “This January we doubled our website traffic of December 2008. Singletrackworld.com now reaches 300,000 mountain bikers monthly and delivers seven million pages, making it one of the most popular mountain bike websites in the world.”
gazine Rouleur ma This year Rouleur has gone bimonthly for the first time in its history, with a larger issue planned around the Giro and Tour de France. The publisher has also introduced a standard four-issue subscription charge worldwide, so no longer do readers have to pay postage and packaging surcharges. This is particularly beneficial to the magazine’s large following in the USA and Japan. Editor Guy Andrews tells BikeBiz: “Subscriptions are definitely our future, especially as we are a global publication and we are investing a lot of time and effort into developing the infrastructure behind this. It’s a tough job when you are a small publisher, but the subscription base is growing very rapidly and we have to keep up. This growth has meant that we could switch to a new distribution supplier and potentially to a better price too.” Retail stockists are fairly select, with those who support the mag financially being the main stockists, as well as a select few
The popularity of the web doesn’t mean that Singletrack is about to cut its print efforts though. Alker adds: “The new digital publishing revolution is taking shape, but instead of ditching paper for web pages, we are combining the best of both worlds. Subscribers can now access pages of extra features from audio and video clips to galleries and extended articles, to enhance the content of each issue. Our mag archive also gives subscribers access to our entire back catalogue of issues. It seems to be working – since the launch of our premier subscriptions in November 2009, our numbers have increased by 20 per cent.” Singletrack now has a distribution that includes
who continually express interest over the years. An additional two books are due to be launched from the publisher this year, as well as the annual photography edition. The first of the two titles is a biographical account by Michael Barry, called Le Métier – the name that professionals give to their trade. Andrews explains that the second book has taken years to come to fruition, but is something that he feels is a must see. “We’re publishing a photography book by Timm Kolln called Le Peloton. It is a collection of some of his portraits that have taken five years to assemble. It is a documentary on a generation of riders, from classic specialists to Tour winners.” Andres concludes: “It’s an exceptional body of work and will feature interviews with the riders too.”
WHSmith, Sainsbury’s and Tesco and is available in over 3,500 outlets in the UK. “Our Premier Club scheme is encouraging more readers to spend their cash at our bike trade stockists by offering them exclusive discounts and deals accessed by their Singletrack Premier Club Card (yes, we can thank Tesco for that brainchild). “Our first iPhone App is due out in the next month and the new iPad has caught our attention too. Our readers still appreciate the quality of print, but they don’t want to be restricted by it. Electronic delivery of our traditional magazine content through video, audio, web and mobile phone is a potentially huge area for continued growth.”
shing Future Publi HAVING held its circulation steady across its cycling portfolio, despite a general downturn in the publishing world, Future’s cycling magazines are in a strong position to grow, especially with backing from BikeRadar.com and a venture into events. Publishing director, Pete Stothard tells BikeBiz: “Future is an entrepreneurial business, so where we identify viable opportunities, we will go for them. This could be with new print propositions such as our Ride to Work bookazines aimed at the commuting market, events like BikeRadar Live, demo days, online initiatives, video developments and mobile apps. In terms of plans and developments, we’re committed to an ongoing programme of investment in products and marketing. In print we have already added our dedicated 37-page Buyer’s Guide to What Mountain Bike, and will soon be introducing a complete road cycling buyer’s guide with Cycling Plus. We’re also redesigning Procycling, which launches in April.” Interestingly, the ABC figures suggest road cycling titles are growing in popularity, with Future’s Cycling Plus clocking a 15.8 per cent increase in net
Velo Vision VELO VISION now sells 2,500 copies for an estimated 5,000plus readership, across 47 countries. It also attracts advertising from manufacturers, distributors and dealers as far afield as Australia, the USA and from many European countries. An extra 500 subscribers access the magazine via the full digital edition, which is now accessible on the go via the likes of iPhones and iPads. During 2009, the publisher also managed to knock out a bicycle buyer’s guide via SnowBooks of London. The Practical Bike Buyer’s Guide provides beginner-friendly buying advice across all utility
circulation year-on-year. Stothard attributed the growth to a couple of factors, one being the recruitment drive, which has given the portfolio far more resource worldwide. “Our success is underpinned by our constant product review process, and our global 24/7 editorial team, hence our recent international appointments. The internet has broken down traditional barriers, so we have responded to this by creating a distributed team all contributing to our websites to create constantly relevant and fresh content.” BikeRadar Live has further bolstered the way the trade views Future’s presence and dedication to the cycle market. Of the event, Stothard says: “We’re continuing to invest in the show. It gives us a fantastic opportunity to meet our readers, as well as allowing them to
cycling genres from urban commuting to folding bikes, to special needs cycling. In a move that drew interest from all over the industry, Velo Vision bagged world first reviews of both the highly anticipated GoCycle and Taga’s bike/child stroller. In partnership with Germany’s Spezi show, Velo Vision now has distribution to the show’s crowds, which total over 10,000 visitors from all across Europe. The publisher also runs a coach trip to the show, taking
engage directly with our brands and fellow enthusiasts. We’d like to see it grow considerably, but always maintaining that festival feel, with something to do for every type of rider. In five years’ time, perhaps we’ll have versions all over the world.” The trade itself is a key resource for feedback on Future’s portfolio and following BikeRadar Live, Stothard took on board some suggestions. “We listened to what both the trade and consumers said and as a result of some changes, the show will now be bigger and better. We have an extensive marketing campaign and working with organisations like the British Heart Foundation will ensure we reach a broader audience. These visitors come to BikeRadar Live expecting to be able to test bikes and equipment, and to buy top products. The event is a real opportunity for the trade to engage directly with consumers in an environment that excites people about cycling. We’ll support those working with us at BikeRadar Live with promotions in our magazine portfolio and online for months around the event, giving unrivalled support to our partners.”
readers there in a ‘rock band’ tour bus driven by one of its subscribers. Sadly though, the 2010 trip to the show is already fully booked.
BIKEBIZ MARCH 45
IPC TOWARD the end of 2009 IPC launched Cycling Active, placing 40,000 copies (unaudited) on UK newsstands. Starting out as a bi-monthly title, Cycling Active quickly picked up sales and is now a monthly. Cycling Active caters for all cyclists, from complete beginner to expert, with an informative and entertaining content mix of bike and tech reviews, health and fitness advice, how-to guides, routes to ride and what’s on info. The publisher also has been having increasing success with its summer Tour magazine. Available only during June, this title is Cycling Weekly’s hugely
CASE arrived in the summer of 2009, aiming to create a fresh and exciting BMX magazine for riders who have been in the game for a while. “That’s not to say that Case isn’t for everyone, though,” editor Mike Netley informs BikeBiz. “To sum up the product, it’s a large format of paper, with nicely printed (and large) photographs, easy to read and nicely spaced text, along with interesting designs and articles. From the unknowns, to the up-andcomers, the professionals in the spotlight and the veterans, it’s all covered.” Case is quarterly, with issue two ready to drop in late February. The third edition of the magazine is set to arrive in June with the fourth showing up in late September. Case
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popular unofficial and independent guide to the world’s biggest bike race – the Tour de France. Now in its eighth year, Tour magazine provides readers with a great value package of Tour De France info, history, star interviews, stats, facts and figures about the most eagerly anticipated event of the year. Flagship title Cycling Weekly recorded a positive outcome in the ABC figures, clocking a rise in net circulation of 6.7 per cent. Released every Thursday, the title is the longest running cycling title in the UK, now selling over 1.5 million copies per annum, which equates to around 4,100 copies sold per day.
readers can expect to see coverage from around the globe, from deep in the woods, to the competitions, local jams and unchartered scenes around the world. Case is UKbased, with ambitions to reach into Europe and the USA in larger numbers in the coming months. Netley says that ad revenue is vital for the title: “Case is free of charge, which means it is heavily reliant on advertising. I hope for the magazine to stay this way for as long as humanly possibly. “To be honest, I believe that there would be no future for Case if it had a cover price. That’s not to say the current magazines on the market are doing it wrong by charging, because they’re not. They are all great and do what they do very well – I’m just trying something new.” Netley adds: “I really didn’t want to help flood the BMX market by offering just another alternative BMX publication. In my view, Case is different.” Potential Case stockists should contact Profile Racing Europe of 4Down Distribution to get store copies.
Like every other audited mountain bike title, IPC’s Mountain Bike Rider held its circulation fairly steady, recording only a four per cent fall, which is far from significant given the economic conditions. Now published 13 times a year, the mag is targeted at the older off-road cyclist, containing mainly ride guides, workshop advice and product tests.
e LCC magazin
LONDON CYCLIST is the members’ magazine of the London Cycling Campaign – the charity that fights for cyclists’ interests in the capital. It has a circulation of 12,000 and has undergone substantial changes over the past 12 months, with major improvements to design, organisation, content and printing. It is also expanding in size due to increased interest from advertisers. Content is a lively mix of campaign and local group news, London interest and travel features, along with product and culture reviews. Recent campaign features have included strong analysis of cycling issues in Greater London such as road safety, HGVs, theft, the cycle hire scheme, Superhighways, and local and national elections. Under the guidance of former Mountain Bike Rider (MBR) magazine editor John Kitchiner, the product pages
have been expanded and feature in-depth group tests of bikes, accessories and clothing. There are also interviews with prominent London cyclists and information about LCC events and community projects. LCC will continue to develop London Cyclist magazine, alongside its companion website (www.lcc.org.uk), believing that the organisation is in a unique position to offer cyclists content that is region-specific and addresses their needs as cyclists, not just as consumers.
ABC: statistic breakdown In terms of circulation, the MTB magazine market suffered a is still in excess of 100k for the four ABC’d titles. Road cycling, Market overview according to the ABC Market sector name Sports: Cycle Sports – Mountain Bike Sports: Cycle Sports – Cycling
December 2009 average net circulation/distribution per issue
Total average net circulation/distribution by title within cycling Title and publisher
Cycle Sports, Cycling
Cycling Plus, Future Publishing Cycling Weekly, IPC Media 220 Triathlon, Origin Publishing
40,784 29,029 Average net circulation 21,210 (11,988 subscribers)
Total average net circulation/distribution by title within mountain Title and publisher Cycle Sports, Mountain Biking Mountain Biking UK, Future Publishing Mountain Bike Rider, IPC Media What Mountain Bike, Future Publishing Cycle Sport, IPC Media
December 2009 106,914 41,772 32,424 16,847 15,871
rnal The Ride Jou THE RIDE JOURNAL has continued to grow its readership, with each issue to date selling out. Editor Philip Diprose tells BikeBiz: “If we had plans for
world domination this would be the time to keep reprinting, but we’re happy to keep it manageable and slightly exclusive. “Our distribution network is continuing to grow at a perfect speed, with shops and small distribution companies from
across the globe getting in touch with us. “As always, we are nothing without our contributors and thankfully we are still finding, and being offered, fascinating stories that cover subjects not usually found in cycling magazines.” Issue four is currently in the works. Diprose adds: “It looks like number four will be the best Journal yet, but when it isn’t our best issue it will be time to stop. Issue four will also be bigger than previous issues.” All profits generated from The Ride Journal go to charity and with the increasing interest in the Journal, each issue to date has raised more than the prior copy.
slight drop. Nevertheless, circulation meanwhile, gained impressively...
December 2008 average net circulation/distribution per issue
+ 15.8% + 6.7%
biking December 2008
45,983 33,918 17,351 17,073
-9.2% -4.4% -2.9% -7.0%
AFTER launching this time last year, Triathlete’s World claims to be snapping at the heels of the market leader [Origin Publishing’s 220 Triathlon] and even outselling it on the newsstand. Editor Alison Hamlett tells BikeBiz: “In the long term, our goal is for Triathlete’s World to become the number one triathlon magazine. We are confident we can build on the success of our first year by growing our subscriptions base and boosting newsstand sales in 2010. “We’re also encouraged by the positive feedback we’ve received from those within the triathlon community. By targeting new triathletes and improvers, we feel we’re genuinely growing the market,” Hamlett concludes.
e CTC magazin
NOW in its 125th year of publication, the CTC’s magazine is today sent out to 46,000 members six times annually. Dubbed Cycle, the magazine has received numerous awards and is currently the highest circulation specialist cycling title. Technically informative with a fun slant, Cycle is consistently rated as one of the most important benefits for new members and the second most important reason (after CTC’s campaigning work) for members to renew their memberships. Having undergone a rebranding and redesign in 2005, the magazine has expanded its editorial content to include surveys. One such piece of editorial research found that of the magazine’s audience, CTC members own 36,661 touring, 33,656
commuting, 27,045 mountain, 20,454 performance road and 15,025 hybrid bikes. Combined with the CTC’s website and weekly e-newsletter, ‘Newsnet’, the
magazine delivers a unique communications strategy which adds value to membership and provides a vibrant and engaging shop window to CTC for new recruits.
gazine IMB web ma LAUNCHED to plenty of praise from the bike trade in August 2009, IMB magazine is a freeto-read bi-monthly online MTB magazine that uses Flash ‘page flip’ technology integrated with video and audio on the pages. The tech achieves a ‘magazine feel’ in an online environment. It is produced by Next Element, which has over four years’ publishing experience in the field of online publishing. Launched in August 2009, the magazine has quickly established itself as one of the publications to watch out for in the future. The content is aimed at all riders and there is no bias towards a particular style of riding. Instead, the journalism is broadly spread and the magazine aims to engage riders of all levels. The most popular feature is the technique section. Headed up by Richard Kelly, it includes in-depth videos, photos and text to help riders progress and improve. IMB also tests bikes and components, featuring full video tests of all the bikes it receives. The rest of the content is made up of interviews and features from
within the sport and around the world. Being an online magazine, the business model is a little different to traditional print media. The firm allows readers to access the magazine with just one click, with no need to pay, subscribe or give an email address. IMB magazine relies solely on advertising revenue rather than charging a cover price. This ensures a maximum number of readers and hits for the advertisers. IMB has gained over 22,000 readers per issue in just six months. The goal for the next year is to get that figure over 60,000 and beyond. With an impressive marketing campaign, utilising the team’s social network expertise, and of course a budget, the team is confident it will achieve that goal.
BIKEBIZ MARCH 47
PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT Send your recruitment news to
Three is magic number for distributors Trio of new recruits for distributors New editor for MBR CSG ups UK staff Mark Brown leaves the ACT
ZYRO BikeBiz Award winner Zyro has recruited a trio of new staff members, ROBIN PUPLETT, IAN PHILLIPS and MIKE HARPER. Joining as Altura brand marketing manager, Puplett has five years’ retail experience in sales, mechanics and marketing and created the corporate identity, bike and clothing designs for the London-based Quest brand. Puplett also worked as European marketing coordinator for the Analog Street wear brand, Gravis Footwear and most recently was retail marketing manager for Burton Snowboards. A keen cyclist, Puplett has ridden bikes including BMX, mountain, road, track and cross and raced full time for four years in UK and on the continent. He said: “My primary aim within Zyro is to develop an allencompassing marketing strategy to take the Altura brand to the next level. Altura already designs and manufactures innovative product, and has a proud pedigree of delivering premium service and now it’s time to develop and build its brand awareness further.” Ian Phillips has become brand manager for incoming brand Dahon, with over ten years’ specialist industry experience covering High Street and online retail, brand management import
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and distribution. He said: “I am undertaking the re-launch of Dahon in the UK by rebuilding retailer and consumer confidence in the brand. “It’s my objective to successfully manage the growth of the brand as consumers really begin to understand the benefits
“This is a great opportunity for me and I’m thrilled to be joining MBR and IPC media at such a busy time.” Matthew Hampton, MBR of owning a bicycle that folds, and not just another folder. “I am relishing this exciting new challenge within such a really fast moving, forward thinking company.” Finally at Zyro, new junior brand manager Mike Harper previously worked in geology for a multi-national consultancy. However, 20 years of road, mountain biking and worldwide cycle touring as well as Saturdays helping out in local
bike shops have equipped him with a sound knowledge of all things biking. “My aim at Zyro is to establish myself as a successful brand manager and continue to improve upon Zyro’s already excellent reputation within the cycle industry. “I’m excited to now be part of such a successful, forward thinking and award winning company.” IPC MATTHEW HAMPTON has been appointed as the new editor of Mountain Bike Rider (MBR), with effect from midFebruary. A journalist with more than ten years’ experience, Matthew started his career with the Daily Mail Group and spent the past two years freelancing for a broad range of media, including news and feature writing for mainstream consumer magazines, national newspapers, websites and the trade press. Regular outlets included Time Out and The Sun. He has also written for the Daily Mail, The Daily Express, Metro, The Observer, The Dallas Morning News and The Washington Post. Prior to freelancing, Hampton was features and supplements editor for three years at Travel Weekly, published by RBI, and he is also a keen and committed mountain
biking enthusiast. Keith Foster, publishing director of IPC’s cycling titles, said: “I’m delighted that Matthew has agreed to join us and look forward to working with him to drive MBR on to even greater success.” Matthew added: “This is a great opportunity for me and I’m thrilled to be joining MBR and IPC at such a busy time. We’ve already talked through some exciting ideas and I’m just looking forward to getting to work and out on the trail with the best team in the mountain bike business.” CYCLING SPORTS GROUP UK The newly formed firm has recruited two new faces to boost its UK presence: JEFF LOADER and ALASTAIR GRAHAM. Loader joins as B2B coordinator and his first task has been to launch Cannondale bikes on the existing CSG B2B site, which began running from midway through last month. ‘Jethro’ rides all disciplines of mountain biking as well as a little trials and even a unicycle. His last role was in the IT industry. Alastair Graham has joined CSG’s accounts department as accounts assistant. Graham moved back to Poole from London for the CSG job and used to shop at the old Hot Wheels shop in his younger days when a
keen roller skater and roller hockey player. MOORE LARGE The distributor has three new staff announcements for LAUREN SMITH, TOM LITTLE and JEANETTE SUTER. Smith joins Moore Large in the role of brand manager for the Barracuda, Freespirit and Bumper brands in a newly created role. The firm tells BikeBiz that the position was created to facilitate the long-term growth of its house bicycle brands, strengthening their image, awareness and profitability. Smith’s role encompasses all areas of product development, sales and marketing. Lauren’s previous position, held for two years was cycle coach for Cycle Derby, where her main focus was to get more kids cycling to school, more often. Lauren has also been racing BMX for 14 years, competing at national and world level, whilst managing Derby BMX club on a voluntary basis. Smith can be contacted on 07971 991644 or firstname.lastname@example.org Little, meanwhile, joins as cycle area sales manager, working throughout the Midlands, where he will be responsible for the sales of cycles to IBDs. Little is from a family of road and track cyclists and started road racing BIKEBIZ.COM
PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT
People & Recruitment is Sponsored by Halfords
aged 14 and is still a keen cyclist, currently racing 2nd category for Lutterworth Cycle Centre. He started work in the leisure industry ten years ago, after gaining a degree in Leisure Management. He then moved to Next where he was the 2003 winner of its Exceptional Service Award, judged out of all Next staff nationwide. Between Next and his new role he held two sales positions, one of which was in the leisure industry. Little can be contacted on 07971 991639 or email@example.com. Finally, after two decades with Moore Large Jeanette Suter has become cycle sales manager. Suter’s previous roles have seen her work in the customer services department, and later in
the telesales team. Her hard work led to promotion as telesales team leader from which she received a further promotion to sales office manager. Suter’s new role sees her take on responsibility for managing all cycle sales business through IBDs and co-ordinating of internal and field-based cycle sales teams. Suter can be contacted on 01332 274221/07971 549184 or firstname.lastname@example.org ACT/ACTSMART The organisation has been at the centre of a flurry of activity, with MARK BROWN leaving the ACT after six years of service and the appointment of four new staff: JONATHAN HARRISON, TONY JONES, KATIE REED and DONNA NORMAN.
Sales Manager – Bikehut Nationwide £competitive As a business, Halfords is continuing to grow...having been the leading provider of travel and leisure solutions for the past 100 years, we know that our business is only as good as the people within it. To continue to build our platform for growth, we have now created new opportunities by redefining our store management structures to enable us to maintain and exceed the customer experience we are famous for… As a Halfords Sales Manager, you are fundamental to the success of your store. You will have a specific accountability for driving sales, leading your team and will assume overall responsibility for the store on a regular basis. Our Sales Managers are energetic, positive, customer-focused, sales driven and passionate about what they do. They have the ability to lead and inspire their team to deliver great customer service. If you are as excited about the future as we are, join us by visiting; www.halfordscareers.com We are an equal opportunities employer.
We go the extra mile
BIKEBIZ MARCH 49
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The trade’s guide to sourcing stock, up-and-coming IBDs and the very latest products
RETAIL COMMENT CALL ME old fashioned, but what’s with all these ‘futuristic’ concept bikes that keep appearing all over the web? I can’t grasp, in an age where we’re striving to make the bicycle a mainstream transport choice, why there’s a need to make two wheels and a frame any more complicated or, worst of all, plain bizarre. Many are never intended for production, though a few wacky ideas have slipped through the net. I may well end up eating my words here, but will hubless bikes ever really work? If a bike were to be driven by a mechanism on the rim, how would it be sealed against dust and road grime? There’s no dodging the fact that the traditional bicycle is prone to wear and tear, perhaps even more so in the quagmire that is the UK. I feel the trade should be focusing on improving the quality of budget bikes, as opposed to designing bikes reminiscent of spacecraft from The Jetsons. Progression is fantastic, provided it actually is progression. Who would dare define an advance in today’s world though? The weight issue, for me, has reached and in
“I’ve heard rumours of 80 per cent return rates on some supermarket bikes. These do irreparable and unnecessary damage to the future of pedal power...” many instances surpassed its peak. There comes a point where you have to draw a line and conclude that the only way to make a bike go faster or air higher, is to have the rider work harder on their technique. A gram shaved here and there is generally negligible in a bike’s overall performance, no matter how much the manufacturers try to convince otherwise. So, where is progression needed for cycling to be taken seriously by the masses? In terms of design, bikes need to be aesthetically pleasing, but to prevent a return they must also be robust, even at the very bottom of the range. Supermarkets are the industry’s biggest rival here. While introducing many to cycling, I’ve heard rumours of 80 per cent return rates on some cheaply sold models. That does irreparable damage to the future of pedal power in this country, with many associating their shortlived and negative experiences with cycling in general. What can retail do about this then? The answer has to lie in quality stock and upselling the advantages of investing a little more in a bike purchase to ensure longevity. Your service, of course, has to be a direct parallel to that offered in supermarkets. Go the extra mile, offer a service after a few weeks and follow up on purchases to ensure all is well. As for concept bikes, it would be nice just to see something traditional with a modern twist. Is that so much to ask? Mark.Sutton@intentmedia.co.uk
IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE DEALER PROFILE
Cyclelife retailer Skinnergate Cycles talks to BikeBiz about achieving 60 per cent growth in two years...
For urban retailers, the folding bike is an essential stock item. BikeBiz documents some of the latest on offer...
Predicted to be one of the markets to take off in the UK this year, can you afford to neglect having e-bikes in stock?
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Under the skin Address: Brunswick Street, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1DU Opening times: Monday to Saturday 9.00 to 5.30, Sunday 10.00 to 4.00pm
Telephone: 01642 606520 Web: www.skinnergate.co.uk Owner: Grant MacIver
Proudly bearing a name that has been in the business for over three decades, Skinnergate Cycles’ owner Grant MacIver tells Jonathon Harker how customer loyalty and being part of Cyclelife has affected business…
“Since taking over the business two years ago we have grown almost 60 per cent – which has created some growing pains.” Grant MacIver, Skinnergate Cycles
How’s business generally at the moment? We had a very good summer last year, but we were disappointed when things came to a grinding halt during the bad weather. We are back on track again now. How many employees does the shop have? We’ve got four full-time and four part-time staff at the store. Does the store specialise in a certain sector? No. We have around over 170 bikes on display and that allows us to cover most sectors. You took on the Skinnergate name – what was behind that and how has it been? Skinnergate has been a wellestablished name on Teesside for over 30 years and was actually one of the original Raleigh ‘Five Star Dealers’. The reputation and customer loyalty in the area gave me solid foundations to build upon even
though we were opening in a new location.
The workshop probably accounts for 25 per cent of our business.
And did the previous customers come with you to the new store? Yes – from day one they came to the new shop. Some actually held off buying until we opened.
What sector do you tip for success in 2010? I think this year is going to be good for road bikes.
How long has the shop been a part of Cyclelife? We opened under the Cyclelife banner in March 2008. What was behind the decision to jump into the Cyclelife franchise? Having access to large advertising campaigns and a wide product range. Do you get involved in local events or initiatives? We will always try to support local initiatives run by Local Authorities and Sustrans. How much of the business revolves around the workshop?
What forms of marketing do you use to entice customers? In the past year we have done a lot of radio advertising and some local press adverts in addition to the Cyclelife national campaigns. And what are your short and long-term ambitions? Since taking over the business two years ago we have grown almost 60 per cent – which has created some growing pains. In the short term we need to finish off some of the changes we’ve been making to the shop layout and also to the presentation of stock and the website. For the long-term we may possibly look at acquiring another similar business which we can go on to build up.
What’s in a name? Skinnergate Cycles owner Grant MacIver started out in the bicycle retail business as a Saturday lad at Skinnergate in Bridge Road, Stockton. Working there while at school and college for four years, MacIver benefited from tuition from proprietor Tim Stephenson. Despite leaving the trade for a short spell after finishing college, MacIver remained passionate about cycling – participating in the Coast-to-Coast charity bike ride with a group of friends. One of his responsibilities was to purchase kit for the charity ride and, fortuitously, MacIver headed to Skinnergate Cycles to acquire those spares. While at the shop MacIver’s old boss Tim Stephenson revealed that he was looking to retire and move abroad. MacIver grabbed the opportunity to create a business of his own and, after numerous discussions, it was agreed that on Stephenson’s retirement Grant would open his store in Stocktonon-Tees and take on Skinnergate Cycles as part of his store name.
BIKEBIZ MARCH 53
iFold Zyro SELLING over half a million folding bikes each year, Dahon is the global leader in folding bicycles. It was founded in 1982, to provide and convince people to use eco-friendly, sustainable transport. In 2010 Dahon takes its revolution to the next stage with the Ios XL. The disc-equipped bike made waves within the media due to its BioLogic ReeCharge, which stores energy from the dynamo hub to power an iPhone or iPod. Dahon has also introduced the Boost – claimed to be the world’s lightest and most compact electric bicycle. To top off the range’s diversity, the Mµ EX is Dahon’s no-
Urban retailers will no doubt have little choice but to carry a folding bike or two. With that in mind, Mark Sutton documents what’s available to the UK’s shops and from which distributors… compromise speed machine, equipped with select top-end components, meaning it weighs in at just 8.8kg. Next up, the Boost is the hybrid of the range and, though an electric folder, doesn’t weigh in on the scales as expected. At just 19.6kg the bike is the perfect solution for urban mobility. It folds to the same dimensions as 20inch wheel folders and comes equipped with SRAM’s iMotion 3x3 gearing system, allowing the user to choose from nine different riding modes. What’s more, the sophisticated 250W motor and torque sensors add power in proportion to the force the rider applies to the pedals. For customers seeking a larger wheel sized bike, capable of tackling smooth singletrack, then the Dahon Cadenza XL is worth a mention. Equipped with Big Apple tyres and Shimano Alfine rapidfire shifters linked to an eight-speed internal gearhub, the bike is capable of much more than just urban expeditions. The build is stacked with additional benefits too, including a BioLogic PostPump. Zyro: 01845 521700
2X2 Worldwide 2X2 WORLDWIDE is to handle Montague’s distribution with stock becoming available from early spring. No tools are required to fold and unfold Montague bicycles. Customeers simply remove the front wheel and unlock one frame for quick release. This can be done in a matter of seconds, allowing the bike to be stored with ease in your car boot, closet, or anywhere else. As well as being the official mountain bike of the summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, the folding specialist has worked with none other than the US Marines on further developing product. In short, the bikes and the folding (FIT) system are proven. With four 700c models, including a single speed (with flip flop hub),
commute models and a top-end Tiagra specified model, the urban customer is fully catered for. The brand also offers the four 26-inch SwissBike models, which top out with an XO specified folding hardtail. Any prospective retailer who would like further information should contact email@example.com or contact the sales office directly. 2x2 Worldwide: 01827 331099
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Extra EXTRA has entered the folding arena with the addition of the Jango catalogue from Topeak. The Flik from Jango is designed to ride like a full size bike, with the three contact points – the grips, saddle and wheelbase – found in roughly the same place as those on a standard bike. For those with a taste for off-road and that need an all-round bicycle, Jango makes a full-suspension model that comes with the brand’s own LSD design air sprung damper with 70mm travel.
Jangos go from fully rideable, to a conveniently carried ‘shuttle’ mode in just two seconds, while the build can be folded into ‘storage’ size in just four seconds. The bikes come with a complete range of Jango and Topeak branded accessories to accompany and complete the design and look of the bicycles. All accessories have dedicated mounting points within the frame. If you’re interested in taking stock, get in touch with Extra’s Chris Walker on 01933 672170.
Fisher Outdoor Leisure KANSI is a new folding bike brand distributed by Fisher Outdoor Leisure. The distributor identified the folding bike category’s rise in popularity early on and having spent many years working with Dahon, is well versed in all things folding. Kansi offers a big catalogue of bikes that are appropriately priced and in continuous supply. Builds are of dependable quality and a readily available ongoing spares support programme for retailer and consumer support is available to all stockists.
Raleigh RALEIGH will offer a range of five folding models for 2010, with the Boardwalk Lite sitting at the top end and retailing for just £399.99. The Boardwalk Lite features a lightweight Dahon patented Fusion Technology sport frame with Dahon patented InSide handle bar system to give a weight of just 11.4Kg. The component package is designed to deliver performance levels to match more traditional larger wheeled bikes. Slightly lower in the range and for £100 less, the Boardwalk also uses Dahon Licensed Technology providing a
light alloy frame and easy-to-use folding mechanism. Shimano six-speed gearing offers the rider a fair range to get up and down steeper inclines with ease. For the slightly lower investment, the bike isn’t much heavier, coming in at 12kg, while still carrying alloy wheels, hubs and a folding pedal. For the minimum investment, your customer could take away the Raleigh Kompact at just £219.99. This model is more or less the same as the Raleigh Shopper, though does not come with the stylish basket as seen on the Shopper. Expect to see Shimano sixspeed gearing, folding pedals and alloy v-brakes on both models. Raleigh: 01773 532600
Moore Large ANNOUNCED in January, Moore Large has taken on the Oyama brand, which consists of 11 models over four ranges – urban, classics, pure and sports. Prices start at £299.95 and top out at £899.95, with a build at virtually every key price point. Haro Bikes and Premium Products brand manager Adam Garner takes on full responsibility of the Oyama range. Garner explained: “Growth in the folding bike sector in particular is reinforced by commuters forced to consider using folding bikes in combination with various forms of public transport to overcome the last few miles to work. Rising fuel costs, growing traffic
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The brand is not available online and offers dealers a healthy margin as a result. There is no model year, so there’s no need to reduce the stock nervously in the autumn, either. The end user is encouraged to go online and extend their warranty by registering on the consumer site. In return for this, the end user receives their Kansi box, which is essentially some colour-coded components and sticker sheets enabling the customisation process and thus giving the consumer further value within the purchase price. With three models, each in two colours, it is a tidy range with a just as rational spec story. The SRAM equipped bikes range in price from £499 to £849. Fisher Outdoors: 01727 798345
problems and ever increasing congestion charging policies are beginning to shape commuting patterns in the UK’s major cities.” For the maximum £899.95 investment, customers are getting a durable 6061 alloy 20-inch folder that comes equipped with mudguards, racks, chain guards Alex rims and a Tektro Vbrake among other things. Mid-range, Oyama offers a model called the Greenville, which features a stylish Brooks saddle and khaki tyres. An easily released clamp allows the frame to be folded in half, while the stem is also able to be folded in half, bringing the handlebar into a convenient position for carrying the bike on the move. Moore Large: 01332 274200
Strida ALL Strida models are well backed up with a comprehensive range of aftermarket accessories and tools. Designed specifically for Strida’s models, you’ll find kickstands, saddle bags, pumps, travel bags to accommodate a folded bike and lights. Though not utilising the geometry of a traditional design, the Strida range actually places the rider in a fast and ergonomic position - sitting straight up with the distance between the pedals, knees and hips in perfectly harmony. Within ten seconds you could demonstrate a full fold to the customer, tucking the bike into a small package that need not be carried. After folding you simply push Strida like a stroller. There’s no need to worry about dirty clothes either. The grease-free belt drive system keeps everything clean. The MAS is the firm’s newest model, named after Strida founder Mark Sanders. This model is standard equipped with the
Avocet AVOCET’S folding bike offering begins with two budget friendly £149.99 16inch wheeled builds – one singlespeed and one geared. The range then hits key price points right up to £239.99, which buys the customer a Shimano six-speed alloy frame with quick release fold. At the top of the range, the Safari SSE folder shaves a bit of weight and begins to introduce performance components, such as Shimano’s Revoshift gear levers and six-speed freewheel. The fold is simple, with quick release levers at the
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Schlumpf two-speed system, an ingenious Swiss system that allows the rider to switch seamlessly between the gears by just a touch of the heel. The MAS goes up to 25km an hour and is therefore the fastest Strida in the world. The black MAS has a sport saddle, special tyres and striking green coloured brake callipers. Mark Sanders’ signature features on the bottom tube. Trade orders can be placed via www.strida-europe.com.
stem and on the frame. Additional features include a kickstand, chromoplastic mudguards, a rear carrier and right-hand-side folding pedal. For customers familiar with Sturmey Archer’s gearhubs, the £199.99 Voss folder offers the firm’s three-speed gearhub with Rotary shifter. Again, within the price, customers are getting a kickstand and mudguards. To become a stockist of Avocet’s comprehensive, yet affordable range of folders, cycle dealers should contact Avocet’s national sales manager on 0161 727 8508.
A KEY feature of the Brompton is the compactness and practicality of its fold. With a little practice, this is achieved without any difficulty in ten to 20 seconds. The dimensions of the folded bike are: 585mm high x 545mm long x 270mm wide. Made up of hundreds of little pieces, the Brompton bike is full built in London with each batch leaving the factory strictly quality tested, with each main part traceable back to the highly skilled welders. Minor revisions are made to the Brompton design each year to meet with feedback and trends, though for the most part the iconic bike hasn’t changed much in its entire history, which has more than helped its reputation as a reliable bike with plentiful backup should anything go wrong. When folded, a Brompton stays locked together, making an extremely compact package little larger than its wheels. The folded package may be picked up without any risk that the bike will unfold reassuring when running for a train. There are no projections or loose parts with the folded package
Madison RIDGEBACK is the only brand within Madison’s extensive stable to offer a folder, with a model that is ideally suited to urban riders with travel plans. The Ridgeback Envoy is a tough yet comfortable Cro-Moly framed folding bike at a price that’ll soon be recouped on saved bus/underground tickets. For £379.99, the customer rolls away on a bicycle ideal for combining with a longer train journey and inter-city dashes. The seven-speed freehub will serve well for most urban riding and the supplied lightweight alloy luggage rack takes care
and, using the frame or saddle as a handle, it carries like a small suitcase, lightweight and easy to manage. The fold is designed to keep vulnerable parts, like lights and cable-runs, out of harm’s way and, by folding them in, to keep the greasy chain and gears away from clothing and luggage. Small rollers allow the bike to be pushed into inaccessible corners. If you’re interested in becoming a Brompton dealer, it’s well worth calling the manufacturer, as although fairly evenly spread in its UK coverage, there are still stockist positions open. Brompton: 020 8232 8484
of any shopping or work luggage. As an add-on sale, a tough nylon carry bag can be bought for added convenience. When folded, via releases at the stem and frame, the bike measures just 28 x 56 x 81cm. For a slightly lower investment, customers could take home Ridgeback’s Rendezvous. This is a great value urban runaround bike with a sturdy steel frame and 20-inch wheels, equipped with sixspeed Shimano gears and sold with a handy nylon carry bag which makes it much easier to carry around and board a train with. Madison: 0208 385 3385
905eco, 905se Sport, 905se City S, 906xc Tourer Long or Medium ranges from £999.00 to £2,499.00
906 Alpino Long range 50 - 70 miles £1,899.00 Medium range 30 - 45 miles £1,699.00
705se Long range 50 - 70 miles £1,399.00 Medium range 30 - 45 miles £1,199.00
706 Alpino Long range 50 - 70 miles £1,799.00 Medium range 30 - 45 miles £1,599.00 With a service record unrivaled in the electric bicycle world, Wisper offer the ﬁnest and most complete range of high quality electric bikes in the UK. Next day delivery on both bicycles and parts with full technical on line and telephone backup. For further information on trade discounts and area availability please contact;
805fe Long range 30 - 45 miles £1,219.00 Medium range 20 - 30 miles £1,019.00
Douglas Lawson 01590 681553 firstname.lastname@example.org www.WisperBikes.com
the ride of your life British Electric Bicycle Association Member
What’s all the buzz about? There is an ever increasing roster of bike names jumping aboard the good ship electric, but how do you know which to stock? Jonathon Harker plugs into the e-bike trend and looks at some of the latest available to UK bike dealers…
Batribike THE FIRM’S new lightweight folding electric bike – the Micro – was launched at the latter half of February in the NEC’s Boat and Caravan Show. A more compact version of the Batribike’s popular Lite model, the Micro is an incredible 9.5kg and comes supplied with a specially designed holdall ideal for the commuter market and perfect for a variety of niche sectors, including boat-based hobbyists. James Turner of Sailing Today praised the Micro as the best electric bike for the sailing enthusiast. The Micro boasts a range of up to 15 miles on pedal assist using the 14.4V lithium battery and the two-speed 120W high torque magnetic motor. The Micro travels up to 12mph and provides a smooth ride through a suspension bush and comfort saddle. Coming complete with coloured mudguards, the Micro also features an integrated front LED light, operated by
Moore Large MOORE LARGE has been distributing IZIP, the American bike brand, for over four years now and has an established network of stockists over the UK. IZIP is a subsidiary of Currie Technologies, which was a pioneer of electric bikes long before they were fashionable. IZIP now has an impressive line-up of truly effective transportation.
It will shortly be receiving an exciting new series of 2010 IZIP electric bikes which retail from £599 upwards. The new range features 200W, maximum speed 15mph, pedal assisted models and will be shown off at this month’s Moore Large product seminar. Interested dealers should contact IZIP brand manager Dave Kiddy. Moore Large: 07968547805 email@example.com.
the same magnetic chip key that starts the motor. Charge times run from three to four hours, and front and back wheels measure 12-inches and 14-inches respectively. Batribike: 01427 787774 firstname.lastname@example.org
BIKEBIZ MARCH 61
Parklife THE CULMINATION of two years of intensive research into electric bikes, FreeGo bikes all run on a 250W motor and a 36V battery with a motor control unit that limits the power output of the bike, giving the rider control over the ride, with a simple handlebar and stem adjustment for rider comfort. FreeGo says that the 24V and 26V batteries used by some competitors don’t have the range for substantial distance – unlike its 36V bikes. The electric range is available in traditional cross bar, step through and MTB all-terrain derivatives, with FreeGo also supporting the anti-tip/easy steer bikes and the folding electric bike.
The FreeGo electric bike line-up starts at £800 and goes up to £1,299 for the flagship Eagle Sport – the only bike in the UK with the long-range 16A battery, according to the firm. Distributed by Parklife, the FreeGo features a rechargeable battery and a hand throttle control – or mix of pedal and motor power for pedal assisted cycling. Parklife’s Roger Adams enthuses on the brand: “We believe the FreeGo range offers a great alternative form of transport – they are cheap to run, incur no road fund licence cost, no inner city congestion charges, no petrol costs, and very, very low maintenance costs. These e-bikes run silently, causing no noise pollution at all.” Parklife: 02392 475 895 email@example.com
POWABYKE’S X-byke range comprises of the X6, X6LS and the top-of-therange 24 speed X24, all of which work with a Lithium-Ion power pack and high-output 250W electric hub motor, quickly boosting rides up to 15mph, making hills and headwinds a, erm, breeze for riders. In fact, so handy is the X-byke range that Powabyke supplies police patrols and pizzadelivery companies. Aimed at commuting and getting around town, the mid-range X6 is available in 18 and 21-inch frames. It features six-speed Shimano gears with
Powacycle A NEW version of the Infineum is in the works from Powacycle, and set to appear in the UK by the summer. The model is already proving a hit in the ebike hotbed that is Europe, with substantial orders placed in Benelux. The new Infineum uses the same concept as the current version, including stackable batteries and high branded components, only this time the Infineum has been designed with a step through frame for ladies. Some of the key Infineum selling points include that clever stackable battery system – potentially giving the bike unlimited range. Each battery
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weighs 1.82Kg and is situated in the rear rack carrier and locked in place. Multiple batteries can then be added, with each providing between 25 and 33 miles of pedal-assisted travel. The Infineum features top-notch components, including Shimano Alivio gears and Rock Shox shock absorbers, enhancing peformance. The epicycle Friction drive motor is placed in the front heel hub, and so is easier to remove than a motor in the rear, where gears could get in the way. The motor itself is small and discreet, while the Infineum weighs around 18kg including battery and the electrics are easily serviceable. Powacycle: 01279 821 243 www.powacycle.co.uk
RALEIGH has big ambitions for the market – aiming to change the way electric bikes are sold in the UK. And when Raleigh Germany is selling 40k units of the Dover model per year, who can blame it? Only a select number of shops will become Raleigh e-bike authorised dealers, who will be able to stock Raleigh Dover Deluxe Premium models, and later in the year the VéloCité and Vélo-Trail models. Authorised e-bike dealers get free staff training, a free stand to carry two bikes and inclusion on a dealer database. Raleigh is launching an e-bike specific
EZ fire shifters, plus a lightweight aluminium frame. Charge time is a mere three to five hours and on the flat, with no pedalling, the X6 can hit a range of ten to 15 miles. With pedal assist the X6 can reach up to 20 miles. The unisex X6LS has a low stepthrough and comes in 15 and 18-inch frame sizes. The X24 Powabyke is the highest specc’d of the X-byke range. Coming complete with 24-speed Shimano gears and with mountain bike forks as an option, the X24 sports a 21-inch frame and a range that touches 25 miles. Powabyke: 01225 443737 www.powabyke.com
website in March too, directing buyers to their nearest Raleigh dealer. The Dover Deluxe is available in either a low-step unisex frame or a crossbar version, for £1,799, and comes equipped with the Panasonic Crank drive system. It differs to others as it drives through the bike’s own gears, as opposed to through the hub. Raleigh says this makes the motor far more efficient, able to climb up steep gradients and helps the battery last longer (therefore going much further), with a range of 50 miles on ecopower. Lower priced Vélo-Cité and VéloTrail, both built specifically for Raleigh, will be available later in the year. Raleigh: 01773 532680 www.raleighebike.co.uk
Reece TOSHIBA’S Super Charge ion Battery (SCiB) technology charges batteries in less than 30 minutes, making it ideal for the electric bike market. Happily the Schwinn Tailwind takes full advantage of the technology and those winningly short charge times. The Toshiba SCiB 5Ah 24V battery is linked up to a Schwinn Tailwind 24V 180W nominal, 250W max front hub, meaning that pedalling has rarely been so easy. Aside from the electrics, the Tailwind itself is constructed from a lightweight
Ultra Motor ULTRA MOTOR’S A2B Hybrid is one of the only bikes in the UK that uses the advanced TMM4 torque sensor from ID bike. The Hybrid is a pedal-assist e-bike, providing a boost for riders. With a maximum power assisted speed of 15.5mph, the Hybrid has a range of up to 30 miles, using a 36V/9.4 Ah lithium ion battery. Comfort comes via an Ultra Motor comfort saddle and suspension seat post and fork, with high quality components like a seven-speed
aluminium frame and has a front suspension fork to provide an allimportant comfortable ride. The Shimano Nexus eight-speed rear hub is clean and maintenance-free, and despite that it gives riders the gears to tackle any terrain. The Tailwind comes supplied with mudguards, skirt guard, movement sensitive lights, rear-wheel lock as standard and is available in both men’s and women’s frames. The Tailwind is priced at £1,599. Reece: 0121 622 0180 www.reececycles.co.uk
SRAM 3.0 derailleur and Avid BB5 disc brakes. Sporting a TIG welded 6061 aluminium frame, the Hybrid weighs 29.1kg with battery (which alone weighs 54kg). The display includes three modes (including speed) with auto backlight and a ‘state-of-charge’ battery icon. Speaking of charge, the A2B Hybrid gets loaded with juice by plugging into any 230 volt outlet. The A2B Hybrid battery charges up fully within four to six hours and hold its charge more efficiently than a leadbased battery to boot. Ultra Motor: www.ultramotor.com
BIKEBIZ MARCH 63
In No St w oc k
The Dawn of a New Era for Electric Bikes
£1195 Inc VAT
Wisper THE FIRST stock of Wisper’s European flavoured Alpino range are set to arrive in the UK shortly, with a few features setting them apart from the competition. Wisper’s David Miall tells BikeBiz: “The Alpino bikes were originally designed for the Dutch, German, Swiss and Danish markets, having 28-inch wheels, larger frames than the standard Wisper models and Shimano Alfine gears. “The demand has been such, however, that we have decided to start selling
these high specification bikes into the UK.” The Alpino comes complete with an LED back-lit computer providing riders with a speedometer, trip, battery condition, instant power use, and diagnostics. A 250W, power-packing, high-efficiency brushless motor powers it to reach from 50 to 80 assisted miles, driven by a 36V 14A Lithium Polymer battery. A 6061 hardened frame is joined by Shimano Alfine disc brakes and magnesium suspension with lock out. Wisper: 01590 681553 firstname.lastname@example.org
RECRUITING DEALERS - NOW! Salisbury LPX
Lithium Polymer Battery
£765 Inc VAT
Zyro DAHON’S Boost is touted as the lightest, most compact electric bike on the market and avoids the complaint sometimes posed to ebikes – that they’re built like tanks: heavy and cumbersome. The Boost combines electric power with the portable convenience of Dahon folding bikes, folding to the same dimensions as 20-inch wheel folders and weighing a 19.6kg. Kitted out with SRAM iMotion three rear hub and shifters, the Boost comes with Dahon’s Biologic branded components like the clever PostPump+ – a high capacity pump integrated into the seatpost, and the Biologic Arx handlebar grips with reflective end plugs. The Japanese engineered bike uses a lithium ion battery, brushless motor and smart charger for dependability, with the torque sensors adding power from the
250w motor in proportion to the force applied to the pedals. The Boost frame is constructed from 7005 butted aluminium alloy, custom-drawn tubing and the lattice forged hinge boasts patented Fusion and V-Clamp technologies. The 20inch Schwalbe Big Apple Tyres feature Kevlar RaceGuard puncture protection. The Boost retails at £1,999.99. Dahon even has a range of its own accessories ideal for the Boost, including the Stow Bag, the Luggage Truss and HoldAll Basket. Zyro: 01845 521 742 email@example.com
Lithium Polymer Battery
£765 Inc VAT
Lynx LPX 20”
Lithium Polymer Battery
£765 Inc VAT
01279 821243 www.
email: info@PowaCycle.co.uk Akhter House Perry Road Harlow Essex CM18 7PN JN-1470 15.4.09 Prices subject to change without notice. E&OE
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Ventoux taps into the roadies market with clothing designs, MaxxRaxx launches home storage device while Michelin goes wild with tyres...
Ventoux clothing Direct 0208 500 3893
Sram nine speed cassette Saddleback and Fisher Outdoors 01454 299965 and 01727 798345
The London Cycling Guide New Holland Publishing 0207 724 7773
VENTOUX clothing is inspired by the heroes of road cycling, for what is considered a fairly un-tapped market of casual clothing for roadies. It was thought up during stage 20 of the 2009 Tour De France, which passes through the legendary Mont Ventoux. This was where Bradley Wiggins secured a fourth spot, highlighting him as a future contender. One hooded top and a polo neck are also available. The ten t-shirt line carries a variety of designs and each one retails at £25, as does the polo, while the hoody retails at £35. Visit the online store at www.ventoux-wear.com or contact 0208 500 3898.
DETAILS of Sram’s new nine-speed cassette has now been released. Weighing in at a superlight 175 grams, the XG999 cassette employs Sram’s X-Glide and Xdone technologies. Sram’s nearest competition, Shimano’s XTR cassette weighs 224 grams. Seven of the nine cogs are CNC-machined together out of a single block of billet steel, creating an incredibly lightweight, precise and strong cassette. The open design aids in mud clearance, giving you cleaner shifting performance and longer component life. Availability in the UK has been scheduled for mid-March. Pricing is to be confirmed.
LONDON cycling campaigner Tom Bogdanowicz has teamed up with New Holland publishing to create The London Cycling Guide. Having provided technical advice to the London Cycling Campaign for years, Bogdanowicz provides an illustrated and mapped guide to cycling the city. The guide includes information on choosing a bike, urban cycling techniques, cycling with children, commuting accessories and tips on repairs. It retails at £10.99 and covers 30 leisurely routes over inner and outer London. Each route guide contains recommendations, places to eat and iconic landmarks.
MaxxRaxx wall storage Direct 0845 230 2799
Cane Creek Aheadset revamp Extra UK 01933 672170
Michelin Wild tyres Reece Cycles 0121 622 0180
MAXXRAXX has branched into home storage with the launch of its wall cycle storage rack. Holding two bikes, it locks tubes in place via its built-in steel cable and padlock, giving the added benefit of security. Another benefit is that it doubles as a work station, holding the bike firmly in place as users tend to the necessary repairs, service and cleaning tasks. MaxxRaxx’s wall cycle storage rack retails at £59 and is supplied with a wall mounting bracket, a 475mm support beam with ratchet, webbing strap and two cycle cradles. A built-in security cable and padlock are also supplied.
CANE CREEK has given its Aheadset offering a major revamp. With just 18 unique parts in the system, 11 different headset configurations can be assembled, from traditional models through to a ZeroStack for threaded or threadless 1-inch or 1-1/8-inch. Landing with distributors in April, the kit will include multiples of all 18 parts, allowing mechanics to configure any of the 11 different headsets. The six standard models will include threadless 1”, threadless 1-1/8”, threaded 1”, threaded 1-1/8”, integrated 1-1/8” and ZeroStack 1-1/8”. For threadless configurations, both the cone and crown race are the same part.
MICHELIN has launched its new series of tyres, dubbed ‘Wild’, covering a diverse range of terrain. For hardpacked ground the WildRace’R carries an effective tread block sequence that delivers high performance and puncture-resistance. The WildRock’R has thick tread blocks spanning the width of the tyre, enabling it to withstand the harshest conditions on rocky and muddy surfaces. The WildRun’R 1.40 contains a large volume of air ensuring maximum comfort, while the 1.10 features a high density puncture-resistant layer under the tread band and weighs a record-low 200 grams.
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BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE TO ADVERTISE IN THESE PAGES PLEASE CALL CARLY BAILEY ON 01992 535647
The BikeBiz Marketplace offers a complete marketing package of print, online and editorial visibility, allowing companies the opportunity to maintain contact with readers each month without the associated cost of full display advertising. The BikeBiz Marketplace, and its associated online version, has been designed to offer readers a directory of all products and services in the bike trade.
The standard package includes: A quarter page advert in each issue Regular editorial coverage in the dedicated column Company details listed in the online directory with web link Company details listed in the BikeBiz Marketplace Contacts To get your company featured here contact: Carly Bailey on 01992 535647 or
Your presence in this section ensures that your company’s details are easily found, keeping you one step ahead of your competitors.
firstname.lastname@example.org Marketplace Rates: Quarter Page £175 (minimum six months)
BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE CONTACTS BIKES AND ACCESSORIES
01454 313 116
BIKE MAINTENANCE Weldtite
Maxx Raxx Trading Ltd
0845 230 3799
01282 699 555
0117 972 4730
07540 351 530.
RESPRAYS & REPAIRS
Bob Elliot & Co Ltd
01772 459 887
Pace cycles Ltd
01723 867 919
01798 344 477
TRAINING SERVICES Cycle Systems Academy
0845 644 9424
0845 603 9254
WATER BOTTLES Bottle Sport
08456 602 9267
08709 771 550
0116 267 5145
LIGHTING Exposure Lights
01798 344 477
BIKEBIZ MARCH 67
COMPANY PROFILE RORY HITCHENS, ULTIMATE SPORTS ENGINEERING What advances in lighting technology have appeared over the past few years? I think we are all used to the LED revolution now, so really the big step up has been greater efficiency of the emitters. When we built our lights with the P4 LEDs in 2008, just about every area improved – brightness, burn time and cost. The customer at this point really got a big leap in technology. Currently, the trend is increasing the output from a single emitter, like the P7 in our Diablo and Toro models, however they do require more battery. Any plans to break past 1,000 lumens per light? Previously we said the MaXx-D was enough, but we’d all love a bit more really. It’s still too early to give any solid details, but I think it would be rude not to explore this area. How have you managed to double turnover winter-on-winter? With both marketing and a strong show presence – plus increased capacity and better delivery to our dealers. Our lighting range is second to none this year and with a third factory unit just for lights
TEL: 01798 344477
assembly here at USE, we’ve been able to deliver exactly what the dealers need.
EMAIL: email@example.com WEB: www.use1.com
What’s your best seller and what’s the demand for high-end lighting? Exposure Joystick is still the top seller in units. It’s such a great all-round product with a multitude of awards behind it. In it’s third year now, even the word Joystick has become common language in the trade and out on the trail. Despite being our most expensive, dealers love selling MaXx-D for its simplicity and allround performance at a price that is still well within reach for all cyclists needing a proper tool for the job.
Why should dealers choose USE? USE offers competitive margins and aims to give all its products a good marketing push. Exposure Lights have very much sold through for dealers, due to the consumer demand created in our marketing. We spend a lot of time face-to-face with potential customers throughout the summer at events and this converts to sales for the dealers come winter. There are staff purchase and demo light prices available. Customers often respond well to the opportunity to try before they buy with high-end lights. Group rides from shops are also encouraged in the winter – helping to sell bikes and other kit, too.
Is anything affecting business at present, or likely to in future? Yes. Costs sometimes go up from far eastern parts suppliers and the dollar rate has to be watched. We try to counter these rises with increased production. Manufacturing in the UK is not cheap, but we do have total control on quality and the level of service we can give to the customer is much better that way. It makes no sense for dealers to be tempted into cheap imports that offer lower margin and little, or no, after sales service.
The time trial product from USE is securing podiums all over. What is this down to? Aerodynamics. Weight is important, but nowhere near as much as the ability to cut through the wind at speeds up to 30mph. Kristen Armstrong, Olympic and World Champion, is a great example of how the appliance of science can win races against (on paper) very strong competition. She’s like Julia Shaw, who chose to race with Tula aero bars for their speed advantage (these riders are not paid by USE).
BIKES AND ACCESSORIES
“USE offers competitive margins and aims to give all its products a good marketing push.” Rory Hitchens, Ultimate Sports Engineering
BIKES AND ACCESSORIES
Contact Paligap to become a Quintana Roo Dealer
ing e ordero.uk .c p on->lin paliga ligapdealer www.pa
Quintana Roo Triathlon Bikes in stock
Call Paligap: 01454 313 116 www.paligapltd.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
68 BIKEBIZ MARCH
BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE BIKE MAINTENANCE
CLEANERS: WE’VE GOT IT
COVERED The ultimate range of mechanic approved total bike cleaners
• Dirtwash Bike Cleaner Cleans safely with minimum scrubbing 1 Ltr Spray 03028 5 Ltr Refill Tub 03031 • Citrus Degreaser Specially formulated to degrease oily parts 400ml Aerosol 03002 75ml Liquid 03017 1 Ltr Refill Tub 03022 250ml Spray 03023 • Metal Polish Unique formula polish suitable for all metals 75g Tube 02007 • Disc Brake Cleaner A heavy duty disc brake cleaning spray 250ml Aerosol 03029 • Chain Degreaser Machine Chain driven four sided brush action Machine and 75ml bottle of Citrus Degreaser 06017 BRANDS BY
WE ARE BIKE MAINTENANCE www.weldtite.co.uk
BIKEBIZ MARCH 69
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BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE RACKS
RESPRAYS & REPAIRS
Extra profits, immediate results... Sales training can easily double your business. If every customer who comes in to buy an accessory goes out with two, you just doubled your accessory sales. If every customer who comes in to buy a £500 bike goes out with say an £1000 bike, you did it again! If you have trouble getting the simplest techniques over to your staff so they sell well consistently, we will come to your shop and help you. Four hours later, every staff member will be confident in closing sales every time. Full literature is provided plus a handy guide “How to keep your staff selling” is FREE to every owner/ manager who books a course. Basic, advanced and managerial courses are available.
“I am amazed. All the staff got really turned on by Colin's ideas, they keep coming up and asking me why I'm not closing sales!” “I reckon I covered the cost of the training in the first afternoon. Everyone tried so hard. Totally recommendable.” “I really am impressed with this training. I have seen a marked improvement in confidence from the younger members and everyone is selling more. Don't know why every dealer in England isn't knocking on your door.” “The training was so easy to follow even I could understand it. I really like the way the techniques are explained so simply, anyone can do it.” One fee, no extras, progress guaranteed: Email email@example.com now, or call 07540 351 530 for full details. Colin Rees: specialist cycle sales training in the bike trade for 14 years.
London's first and only professional cycle mechanic training course. · City & Guilds accreditation · Comply with industry certification standards · Gain a fundamental knowledge of cycle mechanics A fully-equipped, professional workshop in Central London · Experienced teachers · Lots of hands-on learning · State of the art training material · Employment opportunities · On-going support and community Become part of a global growth industry. For information please contact: Telephone: 0207 6082577 Mobile: 07786 636771 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.cycle-systems-academy.co.uk The Cycle Systems Academy is very proud to be sponsored by:
Promo code: BB23Q
BIKEBIZ MARCH 71
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EVENTS AND EDITORIAL PLANNER
MOORE LARGE SEMINARS Tuesday March 2nd – 5th Moore Large HQ, Derby
BIKE SECURITY SADDLES, POSTS, GRIPS & BOTTLES CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES Editorial Deadline: March 12th
Advertising Deadline: March 17th
To advertise call Carly Bailey on +44 (0) 1992 535647, or email her at email@example.com
March 2010 MOORE LARGE 2010 PRODUCT SEMINARS Tuesday March 2nd – 5th Moore Large HQ, Derby www.moorelarge.co.uk
For editorial contact Jonathon Harker on +44 (0) 1992 535646, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
MAY 2010 Energy and Nutrition Women’s Products 30 Under 30: The Cycle Industry’s Rising Stars Editorial Deadline: April 9th Advertising Deadline: April 14th
JUNE 2010 EPOS focus Cycle Luggage Gears, Brakes & Chains Editorial Deadline: May 7th Advertising Deadline: May 12th
JULY 2010 BMX: Bikes & Accessories Cycle Computers: Heart Rate Monitors, Navigation and more Editorial Deadline: June 4th Advertising Deadline: June 9th
Bicycle Lighting Complete Bikes Editorial Deadline: July 9th Advertising Deadline: July 14th
SEPTEMBER 2010 Children’s Bikes and Accessories Carrier Racks Editorial Deadline: Aug 6th Advertising Deadline: Aug 11th
OCTOBER 2010 Clothing and Accessories Cycle Show Special Editorial Deadline: Sept 3rd Advertising Deadline: Sept 8th
ALTURA WHINLATTER MTB CHALLENGE 2010 Sunday March 21st Whinlatter Forest, Kewick whinlatterchallenge.co.uk THE OUTDOORS SHOW 2010 Friday March 26th – 28th NEC, Birmingham outdoorsshowextra.co.uk
THE BIBLE IS BACK!
TAIPEI INTERNATIONAL CYCLE SHOW Wednesday March 17th – 20th Taipei, Taiwan www.taipeicycle.com.tw
SEA OTTER CLASSIC 2010 Thursday April 15th – 18th Monterey, USA www.seaotterclassic.com ACTIVE BIKE AND TRIATHLON SHOW 2010 Wednesday April 21st – 24th ExCeL, London www.activebike.co.uk
2010 MTB WORLD CUP Saturday April 24th – 25th Dalby Forest, Yorkshire www.britishcycling.org.uk
May 2010 BIKEASIA 2010: THE GREEN PLANET Friday May 21st – 23rd Singapore Expo Hall www.bikeasia.org
June 2010 BIKE WEEK 2010 Saturday June 12th – 20th Nationwide www.bikeweek.org.uk ORIGINAL SOURCE MOUNTAIN MAYHEM 2010 Friday June 18th – 20th Eastnor Castle, Ledbury osmountainmayhem.co.uk CTC YORK CYCLE SHOW Saturday June 19th – 20th York Racecourse www.yorkcycleshow.co.uk PRESS CAMP 2010 Tuesday June 22nd – 25th Deer Valley, Utah email@example.com
July 2010 TOUR DE FRANCE Saturday July 3rd – 25th Holland, Belgium, France www.letour.fr
For more cycle trade dates: www.bikebiz.com/events
To be included in the 2010 BikeBiz Bible please email your business details to: BikeBizBible@intentmedia.co.uk or check for more details on Twitter: @BikeBizMag
For advertising opportunities contact Carly Bailey: 01992 535647 BIKEBIZ MARCH 73
Pic © Mark Lee Sing
Let’s get statistical… This months’ plethora of statistics reveal that Great Britain is languishing in 20th place as a European bicycle producer, manufacturing 28,000 bikes (yet buying over 3.5m) in 2008...
£2.5 million The figure the 2009 instalment of Nissan’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup generated for the local economy around Fort William. 18,519 people attended the three day event, the largest number to date.
The UK cycle market value Bicycle Sales (x1,000 units)
YEAR 2000 Bike sales
YOY % change
Great Britain’s bicycle production (x1,000 units)
YOY % change
Thanks to COLIPED and COLIBI for the above market information
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Italy: 2,380 Germany: 2,370 The Netherlands: 1,129 Poland: 1,116 France: 1,110 Portugal: 1,100 Slovakia: 600 Bulgaria: 562 Hungary: 500 Romania: 500 Czech Republic: 400 Lithuania: 400 Spain: 300 Belgium: 150 Greece: 150 Austria: 144 Sweden: 125 Denmark: 105 Finland: 30 Great Britain: 28 Ireland: 10 Slovenia: 5
60 The number of jobs set to be created by the new 40,000 sq ft-Decathlon store opening in Northern Ireland later this year.
5% The amount of Wales’ Road Maintenance Grant that will now be dedicated to maintaining on-road cycle paths. (source Sustrans) BIKEBIZ.COM
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 Mayor of London Boris Johnson appeared at the Cycling Revolution Forum
Show some support... LAST MONTH BikeBiz.com ran a story – ‘Bike trade to pay for audience with Boris’ – covering the Mayor of London’s brief appearance at the first Cycling Revolution Forum and highlighting that some in the industry were calling it ‘a chance to butter up the bike trade in order to flog them stuff’. This is one of the responses to the article:
BIKE TRADE to pay for audience with Boris? What nonsense. Also, how shortsighted can you be? I’m not so naive to think that politicians aren’t going to get whatever deal they can, but we’re so lucky to have transport movers and shakers behind cycling. You’ve only got to talk to them. Ben Plowden was probably part of the ‘slick’ approach to which the article referred. He’s been cycling for ages and waxes lyrical about his local bike shop and what it means for him. All the key people behind this event are regular cyclists – what on earth are we doing slapping them in the face for promoting our industry? As for Boris, we expected five minutes but got an entertaining 20-minute speech from someone who has been passionate about cycling for many years, and is now in a position to help the industry. Gift horse, teeth and looking are phrases that come to mind. Let’s encourage, not exasperate, them. John Simnett, Wizzbike
Star Letter Whether it’s a hand-written, sent-through-the-post letter, email or a comment made on the BikeBiz forum, the best letter of the month wins a prize from Oxford Products. This month the lucky winner will receive a selection of designs from Oxford’s now expanded range of Comfy (three pack) micro-fibre neckwarmers.
Email: Jonathon.Harker@ intentmedia.co.uk
...in response I THOUGHT the piece was fairly rounded, with comments from both sides, including the fact it was a great promotional opportunity for the bike trade. However, the sales pitch email from Chris Mather is as bald and bold as it gets. TfL was out to woo trade execs, which was perhaps why it excluded trade press from the meeting. The Mather email was forwarded by a trade exec shocked by the brazenness of the cap-in-hand.
Yes, working with TfL presents a great opportunity and yes, TfL is doing some amazing things for cycling, but it wasn’t very clever in the way it followed up after the meeting. Sell by all means, but be a bit more subtle about it. It was a classic bait-andswitch tactic from TfL but a lot of the execs told me they saw it coming. It won’t stop them supporting TfL’s initiatives but it’s good to recognise that with TfL there’s always going to be a commercial aspect to such meetings. Sincerity: once you can fake that you’ve got it made. Carlton Reid, executive editor, BikeBiz
From the Forum... Friedrichshafen flight fright Hi guys. I know it’s a long way off, but from May 2010 Ryanair is no longer flying to Friedrichshafen. Coolman Eek. That’ll make the journey less pleasant, if it’s possible to be less pleasant than Ryanair. A_Gent There are plenty of flights to Zurich plus free bus transfers, and even a pleasant train or ferry trip to choose from. Also, Eurotunnel has great deals right now if you want to drive. Wildoo Nightmare. Ryanair sent out cancellation emails at the end of last week so our flights went up in dust. The via Frankfurt route is still there but it’s a one-
stop option and looking at the stop-over time you have to go for a safe four and a half hours or try your luck with 50 minutes and hope you see your bag at the other end. I have had my bag not make it when exhibiting in Taipei and it’s no joke. There are lots of people booking this one though, and the price went up considerably over the weekend. I decided on a route to Zurich from Heathrow with BA – nice flight times and only £112 return – you can then either get the free Eurobike shuttle or train and ferry. Sadly, now Ryanair has cancelled the route and none of the remaining options are great, so it’s pick your best of a bad bunch. Scott_2x2
For more on this story turn to page four
BIKEBIZ MARCH 75
· expo boosts cash for charity
Phew, what a relief
Expo raises over £17k FISHER Outdoor Leisure’s Expo 2010 event in February raised a bucket load of cash for the Stephen Murray Family Fund through the generosity – and pedalling power – of attendees. Not only did the Expo see an auction at the Gala Dinner, where a range of signed cycling memorabilia was on offer, but Expo attendees and Fisher staff also took part in a Sunday morning charity
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ride for the cause. The plucky riders started at Sopwell House and covered 27 miles to raise funds. They were joined by Jamie Staff, Steve Peat and Tony Gibb. Also cycling were riders from Fisher’s newly announced sponsored teams – Endura Racing’s Davie ‘Wavy’ Lines and Sandy King, Team Dirt Norco’s Dan Stanbridge and Ben Reid, and Rob Barker, Lee Craigie and Ben Thomas representing Team Torq. Fisher sales manager, and brother of Stephen, Martin Murray, said: “The ride was enjoyed by everyone I spoke with and it’s really touching to see such a great turnout in support of Stephen.” The combined charity work raised a mighty £17,500 for the cause. At time of press there are still Stay Strong custom Santini jerseys available for those wishing to contribute to the worthy fund. To find out more contact Neil Batt on 01727 792618.
SPORT RELIEF takes place later this month (March 19th to 21st), but cycling has already got a look in with a celebrityladen cycle ride across the country. David Walliams (above), Fearne Cotton (right), Davina McCall, Jimmy Carr, Miranda Hart, Russell Howard and Patrick Kielty were all kitted out in Zyro and Altura brands, for training and the ride itself. Product from Altura, Abus, Minoura,
Cateye, Tortec, and Lupine were used by the eight riders. The cycling celebrities set out at the start of this month, and all being well will have finished their 1,000 mile ride by the time this issue hits desks, with coverage of the event set to be emblazoned across our TV screens in the lead up to the big event. www.sportrelief.com
CREDIT: Larry Hickmott, British Cycling
The Revolution is over VICTORIA Pendleton and Sir Chris Hoy took to their pedals for the final Revolution of the series (28) at the end of last month. Both represented GB in the face of a host of international talent ahead of the World Track Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. The appearance
was Sir Chris’ first race in the UK since the Manchester World Cup. This latest Revolution series, which attracts over 15,000 fans every season and is now in its sixth year, proved so popular this season that an extra afternoon event was created based around the National Madison Championships.
Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
· celebs gear up with zyro for sport relief · endura racing snoozes to win
Sleeping on the job
AS EVERYONE over the age of 25 knows, there’s nothing like a good night’s kip – sage words that double Olympic medallist Rob Hayes and the new Endura Racing team have taken to heart, as you can see (above). The Endura team will use sleepathlete’s range of sleep recovery products for sport this year, but the team has gone one step further and enlisted the services of leading professional sports sleeping coach (and sleepathlete MD) Nick Littlehales to help with their performance on the road. Littlehales has over 25 years’
Sponsored by the brands of Moore Large 01332 274252
unquote “ATB gave us a great bike and it was just what we needed. Bike crime over the past six months has fallen by 50 per cent as a result of these initiatives.” Sean Burridge, Guildfordbased neighbourhood police officer, speaking on a police sting operation targeting cycle thieves, Feb 17th “Cycling is growing at a staggering rate and we want to make sure women are part of this trend by creating cycling opportunities that fit around their lifestyles and needs.
experience in the field, working with plenty of pros, including the England football team. In between catching up on his Zs, rider/manager of Endura Racing Hayles said: “I’m really looking forward to getting hold of the sleeping products down at the camp in Nice. Sleep is a massive part of cycling. This is a big part of my strategy and hopefully it will be a big leap forward for the team as a whole.” We at BikeBiz have long championed the benefits of sleep breaks, often ‘recharging our batteries’ in motorway service stations.
"We need to understand what is preventing women from taking up our sport, so we would like to encourage them to share their views and experiences via our website.” Ian Drake, British Cycling chief exec, Feb 19th
trainers. I am confident that this strategy will achieve this, making active travel a genuine option for everybody." Sadiq Khan, Transport Minister, speaking on the publication of the Active Travel Strategy, Feb 22nd
"Active travel means a transport system where walking and cycling become the norm. “Instead of automatically reaching for their car keys, I want to see people feeling confident enough to jump on their bike or pull on a pair of
“I've had a few troubles with injury, but hopefully I think they're under control which is definitely pleasing. I'm looking forward to going into Copenhagen and hope to regain my jersey for another year." Victoria Pendleton, Feb 23rd
BIKEBIZ MARCH 77
OFF THE RECORD
IN THE SADDLE
Reclaim YOUR streets Think you need car-parking spaces to cater for customers? Maybe not. Build a ‘pocket park’ outside your store for a day and see what happens. Carlton Reid investigates this new craze... A BIKE-shop-cum-cafe in San Francisco has pulled off a coup. It has successfully persuaded the municipality to make a permanent no-parking zone in front of the store. Mojo Bicycle Cafe is to install decking, bamboo planters, tables and chairs in a spot that was previously two car parking spaces. To many retailers this seems the height of lunacy: everybody drives, even to bike shops, so it’s essential to have convenient places for customers to park. But is it? Retailers and cafe-owners of all types are finding out all around the world that getting rid of cars doesn’t necessarily mean you lose customers. In fact, the opposite usually happens. When localities become pedestrian and bike-friendly, they become nicer places to live, work, play... and shop. Bike shops really ought to be at the front of the queue when it comes to lobbying councils to make more room for people, and less for cars. Take baby steps if permanent pedestrianfriendly infrastructure seems too radical. Once a year or once a month, reclaim the car parking spaces outside your shop, and seek to rope in other retailers too. Sure, there will be retailers who view the world only through a windscreen, but spell out the economic benefits of less cars and you may convert them. There are many schemes to be inspired by. Reclaim The Streets might be too anarchist for some folks so check out Parking Day, an international campaign developed by Rebar, a San Francisco art collective. This is an annual day to reclaim parking spaces by filling them with turf, pot plants, deck chairs – there’s even a pedal-powered mini-park, complete with park bench, a tree and lush grass. It was a temporary Parking Day that inspired Mojo Bicycle Cafe co-owner Remy Nelson to ask the San Franciso planning department for a permanent ‘pocket park’. Nelson is vice president of his district merchant’s association and said other retailers will soon clamour for what he’s got.
“My shop is in the middle of a block and when I look out my front window, I’m usually looking at parked cars,” said Nelson. “The public is going to see the new scheme and they’re going to forget there ever was a parking lot there.” The space outside his shop will be covered in a decking platform, with planters and bike parking stands. The platforms are modular and could be installed in other locations, said San Francisco’s planning department. The city gave a grant for the platform. Perhaps your locality might too? That’s not just a hope of mine; it’s happening. City planners are waking up to the fact that storing people’s one-ton boxes, often for no charge, is becoming unacceptable. For a start, it’s expensive. The goal for a shopping area should be to attract the largest possible number of people, not the largest number of cars as they waste an incredible amount of space. Making life hard for motorists may seem stupid to many retailers, but making streets more friendly to humans, and less friendly to cars, can do wonders for till receipts. Lobby your council for permission to turf and humanise any parking spot in front of your shop – I wager you’ll not want to go back to having cars outside.
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
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78 BIKEBIZ MARCH
What bikes do you own? At the moment I own a Pinarello Paris road bike and a BMC hardtail mountain bike.
Where’s your favourite place to ride? My favourite place to ride is the Chilterns, but the best mountain biking centre would have to be Glentress.
Editor: Jonathon Harker Jonathon.Harker@intentmedia.co.uk
Editorial Production Manager: Helen French Helen.French@intentmedia.co.uk
MD, Chocolate Distribution www.chocolatedistribution.com
Tell us about your business background: I’ve been involved in the trade for years, but have run my own firm for four. I also have an equity stake in a lock manufacturer, which has been a great learning base for Chocolate. And I’ve had the pleasure to work with leading brands like Crank Bros, Lizard Skins, BMC, Yeti, Pearl Izumi, Pronghorn, Pinhead and NiteRider.
EDITORIAL: 01992 535646 | ADVERTISING: 01992 535647 | FAX: 01992 535648 Executive Editor: Carlton Reid Carlton.Reid@intentmedia.co.uk
Managing Editor: Lisa Foster Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk
Publisher/MD: Stuart Dinsey Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk
What spurred you on to start your own venture? As someone who has raced and worked in the cycling market I feel passionately about everything to do with two wheels. Branching out on my own and setting up Chocolate has been a life-long dream. The cycling market is a great place to work and the challenge for me is to make sure Chocolate becomes synonymous with great brands, products and services. What ambitions do you have for the business? In 2010 Chocolate Distribution is focusing on delivering value and market share for industry leading brands – Rolf Prima wheels and Nema International. Our priority will always be to ensure we are meeting and ideally exceeding our customers expectations.
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