Issue 37 | February 2009
exp 15th-17th February 2009 Meet Beijing Olympic Gold medal winner Jamie Staff! (Sunday 15th February)
Also Steve Peat (World Cup Champion), Jenny Copnall (British XC National Champion), Leda Cox (Arizona-Tucson Classic winner) & Charge Bikes riders will also be around during the show to chat and sign memorabilia! Expo 09 will showcase products from over 50 brands including Norco & WTB and the licence agreements of Lambretta & bspoke. Attend one of our seminars:
‘Where to focus our businesses over the next 24 months’ · Looking at the current and potential trading environment · Considering the economic pressures facing us · Category focus over the coming seasons · 11.30 am each day
‘Come and have your say’ · Gives you the chance to tell us anything that you think we need to do in order to make it easier for you to deal with us · Talk about all the areas of the business that you deal with and use · A forum that allows us to hear your feedback so that we can continue to improve the service we offer to the IBD market · 2pm each day
Visit the SRAM & Tacx stands for workshops, helpful info & demo’s. Online support & demo’s of Warranty online & B2B website. Take part in our Expo Challenges, with some superb prizes to be won! Receive your exclusive Offers & Promotions booklet and giveaway gift bag! And see our new brands launching at Expo 09 – see them first!
register now at www.fisherexpo.co.uk
FOR EVERYONE IN THE BICYCLE BUSINESS
BikeBiz FISHER INTERVIEW
CORE BIKE REVIEW
Richard Allmark discusses the restructuring of Fisher Outdoors’ distribution business, the upcoming Expo and the year ahead
Turn to page 19 for analysis, comment, new distribution deals and fresh product listings from this year’s show
There’s a lot going on at Madison ahead of this month’s house show. BikeBiz talks to MD Dominic Langan
Infineum e-bikes to run on sun By Mark Sutton ELECTRIC bicycle brand, Powacycle is currently developing a solar charger for the Infineum range of e-bikes, BikeBiz can exclusively reveal. The solar charger will be built into a module that can be attached to the battery in the luggage rack of the Infineum stackable battery system. While the bike is in use, the charger is closed and looks like an extra battery. However, when the bike is stationary the charger can be opened revealing three high efficiency polycrystalline solar panels which give a combined rating of 15W at 0.4A. Harlow-based Akhter, the parent company of the bike brand, has a strong background in battery technologies and solar panelling. Akhter chief executive,
Prof. Humayun Mughal is the mind behind the new technology and a patent is now pending. Powacycle MD Wazz Mughal told BikeBiz: "The idea came from our chairman who has a deep interest in solar panels as a result of him opening a solar panel manufacturing facility. The idea behind it is that we are always looking for ways to improve the range of an electric bicycle, and commuters could leave their bicycle outside in the sun for the majority of the day. “Instead of the bicycle just sitting there all day he thought it would be a good idea to harness the power of the sun to regenerate the battery.” The solar charger is currently in research and development, but Mughal added: “The electric
“Our chairman has opened a solar panel manufacturing facility as a result of his interest, and we’re always looking for ways to improve the e-bike.” bicycle market is continuing to grow, and we are continually looking for ways to improve our products and give the best to our customers. Our stackable battery system allows modular components other than batteries to be developed and attached to the bicycle.”
How the solar charged prototype looks – both stored and unfolded
CoreBike attendance up by 15 per cent
Event organiser Elaine Curtin and Core venue, Whittlebury Hall
ORGANISER of the Core Bike trade show, Elaine Curtin, has confirmed to BikeBiz that Core is more popular than ever, stating that footfall was 15 per cent higher at this year’s instalment. The bolstered figures have been helped by the three additions to the Core line-up – Citrus Lime, Jim Walker and Merida. However, gauging trade responses at the show, general consensus indicates that for shop managers and buyers in
particular, the show is simply unmissible. An incredibly busy post-show Curtin told BikeBiz: “I can say that feedback from exhibitors has been really positive and attendance was up at least 15 per cent year-on-year, with most key buyers making an appearance at the show and staying as long as they could." First time exhibitors Merida booked two rooms at Whittlebury Hall, an indication
of the brand’s confidence in the show’s ability to pull in crowds. Merida UK managing director Tim Buxton told BikeBiz: “Our showrooms were very busy throughout the weekend and into the week. We’ve converted some visitors into Merida dealers, so the show has definitely been worthwhile as we seek to grow our UK business.” Turn to page 19 for a comprehensive exhibitor-byexhibitor rundown of the show.
STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE
MOBILE.BIKEBIZ.COM FEBRUARY ISSUE 37
Updates aplenty as news emerges from CoreBike, Madison leaks IceBike launch info and more....
INDUSTRY OPINIONS 12
EVENTS 13 OFF THE RADAR
FISHER OUTDOORS INTERVIEW
CEO Richard Allmark looks back on a strong 2008 and anticipates this month’s Expo event highlights
COREBIKE 2009 REVIEW Another year, another highly beneficial CoreBike trade show. BikeBiz documents the highlights of the January event
RALEIGH DEALER DAYS A rundown of the product announcements made during the manufacturer’s event held at its Nottingham headquarters
BIKE FIT SCHOOLING
19 29 33
Carlton Reid goes back to school. Turn to page 33 to find out why this extra service could add to your till’s bottom line
PARTS AND ACCESSORIES
JLT insurance offers BikeBiz readers an exclusive money making and saving offer
“IBDs tend not to have squillions in back-up corporate funding. But with guerilla marketing their forte, their creative juices can flow more freely.” Going forward, differentiation will be key, as it has been forever and a day. But even more important will be creativity. This need not be expensive. Just think of Condor’s recent window display. Big white letters shouted ‘Closing Down Sale.’ Smaller letters underneath said ‘Don’t panic it’s only for refurbishment.’ Brilliant! This was both timely and dirt cheap. It generated lots of sympathy footfall from passers-by and was newsworthy enough to get coverage on BikeBiz.com (we also made a lot of people spit their tea over their keyboards when we sent the ‘Condor closing down’ story as a newsflash). IBDs are good at this sort of thing. With independence comes flexibility. Can you imagine a single M&S store being able to roll out such spatially-aware shock tactics? Independents tend not to have squillions in back-up corporate funding so might be assumed to be vulnerable in a recession. But with guerilla marketing their forte, a recession can make the creative juices flow most freely. And in a down economy every little helps. British Cycling’s David Brailsford calls the accumulation of many little advantages “[better] performance by the aggregation of marginal gains”. If a certain tyre offers a one per cent gain to Sir Chris Hoy, that’s one per cent to add to the other little advantages. Before you know it he’s commanding a 15 per cent advantage. The retail analogy is that big stores have might on their side, but not flexibility. IBDs can benefit from lots of little local advantages, but only if they identify them and put them into practice.
Carlton Reid, Executive Editor
REGULARS CHAIN REACTION
IBDS who took part in ACT’s ‘how’s biz?’ poll reported a higher than expected level of optimism. Sales in the final quarter of the year were pleasingly robust, with a like-forlike uplift of five per cent. Bike shops are bucking the downturn trend. The ACT even went as far as saying sales were “buoyant”. While mega retailers like Woolworths were closing after 99 years of trading, and even M&S was being forced to shut stores, IBDs were holding their own. There weren’t any high profile bike shop closures in the final quarter of 2008. That’s not to say some won’t succumb in 2009. Savvy observers fear that those IBD chains – and suppliers – now funded from outside the industry are most at risk. They were acquired in the boom times, and are highly leveraged, reliant on easy access to bank financing.
A reminder to always wear protection and a comprehensive guide to your stock options
Madison and Gelert hire in threes, while Rowena Henson bolsters Clarks Cycle Systems
An industry consultant explains why he thinks new testing standards will make little difference
A round-up of the market’s latest product due for shelves from later this month
Our regular columnist discusses the spring downtime and how to utilise a quiet shop floor
One in ten shops to close, but IBDs safe UK retail shocked by Experian prediction that 90,000 shops will be vacant in 2009 But bicycle retailers won’t be among those worst affected as independent retail struggles during economic downturn BY Jonathon Harker UK SHOP vacancies are expected to rocket to 90,000 by the end of this year – its highest ever level – but the good news is that bicycle retailers are not expected to be most at risk. The report, put together by global business services firm Experian, said that one in ten shops are expected to be empty by 2010.
While the bike trade is not immune to current economic troubles, it is far from being the worst at risk, according to research outfit Experian. “Although leisure retailers will also suffer from the slowdown in spending, specialist stores such as bicycle shops are not likely to be among the most at risk to failure,” Experian spokesperson
“Although leisure retailers will also suffer from the consumer slowdown, bicycle shops are not likely to be among those most at risk of failure...” The report follows a seemingly continual stream of downcast predictions and glum news headlines for the High Street over past months, not least of all the news that the country officially fell into recession during January, which was announced by the National Office of Statistics.
Bruno Rost told BikeBiz. “Regular bicycle users will still maintain and upgrade their bikes, whilst consumer awareness of green issues, rising living costs and Government-backed initiatives will help to sustain demand,” Rost added. Geographical location is thought to be a major factor in
Woolworths was one of the first victims of the economic downturn, yet bike sales are still stolling along...
how badly the vacancies will affect an area – with smaller market towns anticipated to be the worst hit. Those areas
currently have a vacancy rate of seven per cent, which is anticipated to rise to ten per cent by the end of February,
peeking at 15 per cent by the end of the year – equating to a total of 135,000 outlets nationwide.
Singletrack retains 90 per cent of web audience despite Xmas hack SINGLETRACK’S publisher, Mark Alker, has told BikeBiz that despite unhelpful police and insurance services, the hacker’s cloud has brought a silver lining. As reported by BikeBiz.com in December, the Singletrack website was wiped out, thanks to the malicious actions of a hacker. But the site is now back up and the firm claims that it has been touched by the response from readers and subscribers. Alker told BikeBiz: “Singletrack World version two is now live. Contrary to popular belief, we did have adequate back-ups of everything that was destroyed. Not only is it a new site built on completely new software, but already our website traffic is back to around 90 per cent of pre-hack levels. The new forum is faster and easier to use, registration is quicker and more secure and, although we did lose
6 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
ears, despite the hacker’s name and address being known and a breach of the Computer Misuse Act having been proven. Alker added: “We reported him to the police and were told that,
Singletrack publisher Mark Alker
The magazine’s insurance service escaped having to payout too, noting a contract clause that stated ‘physical signs of violent entry must be found to claim against property destruction.’
“The police said it was ‘not in the public interest’ to prosecute a hacker who took us down, along with a NHS webpage and cancer charity websites...”
our existing 31,000 registered users, we are currently rebuilding that user base at a rate of over
200 registrations per day.” Pleas by the publisher for police to take notice fell on deaf
as our server was based in the US, there was nothing they could do and the hacker had not committed a crime that could be prosecuted under UK law. We pointed out that the Computer Misuse Act states that not to be the case. We were informed a week later that it was ‘not in the public interest’ to prosecute the hacker, who also hacked NHS and cancer charity websites.”
Alker concluded: “Our subs services have also now been brought in house, having previously been handled by our distributor. This move means we will be able to integrate our magazine subscriber database with our website to allow magazine subscribers access to their subscriber information online as well as access exclusive subscriber-only website content.”
Madison to launch commuter CYCLE clothes range at IceBike show SHORTS Exclusive sneak peak at casual clothing line ahead of February 24th to 26th show BY Mark Sutton DUE FOR official launch at IceBike, Madison has shown BikeBiz its newly developed commuter clothing line. Designed for those who want casual clothing that doesn’t scream ‘I’m a cyclist’, the new line will consist of totally waterproof and highly breathable jackets, snug fleeces, wicking dry release mid layers, fleece-lined
be: “well thought-out performance clothing that is at home off the bike as it is on the bike, which means you won’t feel quite so conspicuous when you’re in the café, walking the dog or wandering around the supermarket. The result is affordable, well-designed, active clothing for active people. Stylish and comfortable, this range
Any Madison account can access the clothing, with no minimum order quantities or restricted dealer networks. Point of sale units will also be available and in stock from IceBike forwards, including freestanding units, catalogues, branded hangers, header cards, as well as a full schedule of advertising for this coming season.
“Users won’t feel so conspicuous in a café or walking around the supermarket. Yet, it’s designed with all cyclists’ needs considered...” soft shells, wind proof jackets, shorts, leggings, gloves, mitts and underwear. The entire range utilises plenty of technical features to give optimum performance without the need to stand out. According to Madison MD Dominic Langan, the range will
Madison could only reveal these detailed, yet zoomed in shots ahead of the February show...
stands out from the crowd and has an identity of its own.” The full range will be available to view and in stock at IceBike. Madison will also be launching with some strong opening offer prices, including access to free of charge, personalised clothing for shop staff.
Full cross-platform and internet browser functionality; Integrated image, video and logo media library; Live online chat facility with internal sales and customer care; More homepage news than ever before, also incorporating a live RSS feed from the BBC (world news), BikeBiz.com (industry news) and weather from Metcheck;
SMS notification option for when products arrive back in to stock; Customisable, schedulable
Italian-produced Agisko has put a call out to the trade asking for UK dealers to stock its ‘all natural’ hydration drink and energy gels ranges. Made from 100 per cent natural sources, these Agisko products have only been available in the UK via a small number of dealers. Interested parties should contact Andrew Holyoake on 01603 722794 or Andrew.email@example.com.
Halfords heads up the web charts Halfords jumped up no less than 20 places in the website rankings for January. The national retailer leapt up to 62nd position in the chart, which ranks websites on accessibility, performance, function and a number of other factors.
Bike buyers rely more on finance
Meanwhile on the web… THE MUCH-ANTICIPATED overhaul of Madison’s business-to business website will also debut at IceBike, with interactive demonstrations to the trade. Some 70 per cent of all transactions have been going through the distributor’s website during the past year, but as technology (and user numbers) has moved on there have been calls for an upgrade. A clean sheet will be started from March 1st, with much of the trade’s wish list ticked off within the new system. On top of the 24/7 access and other features of old, the revamp will include:
Agisko calls out to the trade
automatic data extract tools, for EPoS and Web population; A Windows Vista Gadget – so you can order and access B2B
The new B2B will hold more live RSS feed news than ever, sourcing from the BBC for world news, BikeBiz for industry news and Metcheck for the weather.
from your desktop, without the need to even log-in; Customer specific stock enquiry link strings allowing retailer e-commerce systems to interrogate Madison stock status on a real time basis; Product comparison facility, improved product data, zoomable product images, PDF customer presentable data sheets for each and every product in the portfolio; Easy access to product category lists direct from the homepage; Narrow down searching, refine search results by brand, category, colour, size and price range; More special offers than ever before, including special product kits and accumulators. The system has been subjected to rigorous testing since October 2008 and is currently in beta live testing with selected Madison customers. Daily seminars will be scheduled at Icebike, which takes place at the Milton Keynes distribution centre from February 24th to 26th.
Retail finance use leapt 26 per cent in 2008, according to figures from ACT. Finance accounted for 22 per cent of sales turnover last year, with the zero per cent interest rate offering significantly upping the final value of a transaction.
New sales director for 2pure Marco Librizzi has joined Edinburgh-based distributor 2pure as sales director. With 20 years’ experience of industry-related sales, Librizzi will be responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of sales strategies at the firm.
Correction BikeBiz would like to make a correction to the January edition. We listed the incorrect distributor for Topeak products – Topeak is actually distributed by Extra and you can order from 01933 672170 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, head over to Extra’s site here: www.extrauk.co.uk.
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 7
Zyro introduces brand new B2B site Distributor shows off new website at Open House event Some 200 retailers head to Yorkshire for show BY Jonathon Harker DISTRIBUTOR Zyro revealed a brand new B2B website at its North Yorks-based Open House event last month. Set to launch this spring, the new site – www.zyrob2b.com – will feature up-to-the-minute stock information and will operate as a fully-fledged ecommerce site. But the firm stressed that the new site will be an additional part of Zyro’s offering, not a complete replacement.
“We’re not trying to get rid of phones,” Jane Watson, Zyro’s marketing manager, told BikeBiz. “Dealers will still be able to order from us in the usual way over the phone. The website is an
additional, convenient service for our retailers.” A consumer version of the site will also launch this spring, mirroring the look and feel of the B2B site so non-dealers will still
“Dealers will still be able to order over the phone. The website is an additional, convenient service to cater for our retailers needs.”
be able to view everything on sales from the firm. The Open House event also saw Zyro launch its first ever trade catalogue – featuring every product the firm supplies. The 150-plus page catalogue, known as ‘The Orange Pages’, was rolled out to its dealer base from the middle of January. A whopping 200 retailers visited Zyro Open House week, held in Harrogate’s Rudding Park Hotel, with the event viewed as
a forum for retailers to give feedback on products directly to manufacturers and the firm. And while there retailers got the chance to provide input on the design of future products. Zyro also revealed to BikeBiz that the distributor would be significantly ramping up its marketing efforts in 2009 to support customers, including the creation of new seasonal catalogues for retailers and an increased marketing spend.
New products unveiled OPEN HOUSE saw Zyro give its new brands premiere with FSA, Prologo and Zefal. The firm exhibited its elite range of Prologo saddles and own-brand Altura’s Spring/ Summer clothing collection and luggage line-up. The full Camelbak range of products – including the new Integrated Hydration Apparel (the Racebak Series) – were also on show. Tortec’s never-before-
Abus’ 2009 helmet range was popular among dealers
seen patented technology, Abus’ new range of helmets and Powerbar’s ‘Ride Shots’ were all showcased. It also saw Panaracer’s full tyre range and Ashima’s patented Sintered, Semi-Metal and Organic range of brake pads, including revolutionary APVS and Pancake calipers. Minoura and CatEye workshops saw CatEye’s new Strada Cadence Computer.
Cyclescheme: A clarification and response IN MAY 2008 BikeBiz published a letter from Andreas Casalotti commenting on Cyclescheme. In his letter Mr Casalotti made a number of derogatory remarks about Cyclescheme’s business, products and services offered which were manifestly untrue. Cyclescheme would like to respond with the following statement:“Cyclescheme actively seeks and assists employers with setting up the Government tax
exemption initiative Cycle To Work scheme. It works with a number of partner retailers who choose to take part in Cyclescheme’s business. It then supplies the employers with a list of retailers who operate in its business scheme. As a commercial organisation, Cyclescheme expends considerable resource into finding new customers to join the scheme, some of whom would not have the resources to
provide their employees with access to the scheme without the involvement of Cyclescheme. Cyclescheme therefore increases its retailers’ customer base. Cyclescheme has not exaggerated nor overcomplicated the Government scheme. On the contrary, it assists employers by producing documentation, which complies with the scheme, thereby saving time and money. At all times, Cyclescheme
fairly represents to its customers that they are free and able to implement the Cycle To Work scheme themselves, should they wish to do so. Cyclescheme does not cause unnecessary paperwork. In order to comply with the Cycle To Work scheme it supplies hire purchase agreements. Vouchers are produced to securely manage the redemption of such against bicycles and safety equipment. Cyclescheme has a policy of
recycling materials wherever possible and is keen to conduct its business in a way that minimises any effect on the environment. Cyclescheme is the UK’s primary provider of tax-free bikes through independent bike shops. Through its experience of 25 years in the trade it has built up a strong brand identity and accumulated an excellent reputation for the service which it provides to its customers.”
GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT THERE
THI opens new production offices Taichung Province building to bolster manufacturer’s capabilities as it analyses new market opportunities BY Chris Keller Jackson TH INDUSTRIES, the power behind Full Speed Ahead (FSA), Vision, Gravity and RPM brands, is set to open a new production facility in Taichung Province, Taiwan during 2009. Founded in 1971, the company currently manufactures a startling two million headsets per year, making bespoke components for other brands, and developing standards for the cycling industry. Notable achievements include being an original member of the Taiwan A-team, the first Compact Crankset to enter production and also assisting development of the BB30 Bottom Bracket standard, which is gaining momentum within frame building communities due to its ease of construction, improved stiffness, bearing life and weight saving qualities. THI works in carbon, alloys, steel, plastics and ceramics
in manufacturing cycling components. Today, the company manufactures and sources from Taiwan and has bases in Italy
TH Industries has seen some declining of inventories and depressed orders for early 2009, with some cancellations for February. There is still, however,
Despite Europe and the US splitting its exports 60/40, the manufacturer is looking into the Chinese market and its growing sales potential. (Milan) and the US (Washington), with sales split 60 per cent in Europe and 40 per cent in the US. The manufacturer is also currently looking into the Chinese market for sales opportunities. The brand new facility is a significant step forward in the company’s global strategy, and the floor space alone almost doubles what is currently available in Taichung.
continued optimism as to the 2009 production season and the building work and investment going into the new plant is a clear sign that the economic slowdown is not affecting sales enough to be of any real concern. In speaking with MD Douglas Chiang, there is moderate lending from financial institutions (something the THI family normally shies away from), but
the benefits to this approach will undoubtedly lead to a truly modern production environment. The new green field site will offer a separate design and office block, along with a dedicated QC testing and development building, as well as the shell, which will house production. THI would not be drawn on how much investment has been put into the new site. FSA’s chainset assembly facility at work
Campagnolo seeks Pro-Shops across the UK VELOTECH TRAINING And Chicken Cyclekit are asking dealers interested in becoming Campagnolo Pro-Shops to get in touch this month. During CoreBike, Velotech’s Jeff Beach and Graeme Freestone King (pictured) presented a joint technical seminar with Chicken Cyclekit, discussing with dealers 20 to 25 potential openings nationwide. King told BikeBiz: “Campagnolo launched the Pro-Shop concept in 2003 and there are 18 existing stores nationwide already. However, this year the brand will be re-launching the concept alongside Chicken Cyclekit and Velotech. Candidate stores must be trained to either Weldtech
Platinum or Cytech level two. Additionally, completion of the two-day Campagnolo specific course is also required as it guides trainees through Campag’s unique components, such as the G3 wheel or Ergopower levers.” As a recognised Pro-Shop, dealers will become service centre branches for the brand’s product, thus customers will be referred to their nearest authorised dealer. King added: “To date there’s not been a huge push to appoint dealers. Campagnolo’s UK agent will make the final decisions on
candidates, and has chosen to work alongside Velotech Training as they need to ensure referees have plenty of experience in the workshop element of business and that they either have or can acquire the required level of technical competence.” “Applicants should make contact within the next four to six weeks,” added Beach For more information on a Pro-Shop’s role see www.campagnolo.com or contact Chicken Cyclekit on 01525 381347. Velotech’s website is at www.cycleweb.co.uk/weldtech
Contact Carly Bailey Telephone: 01992 535 647 Email: email@example.com
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Safety sells James Pickering, managing director of Cycleguard, shares the results of a recent survey carried out by Cycleguard and explains why this is significant for cycle retailers and others in the industry… GOOD NEWS for all cycle retailers and stores. Cycleguard’s recent ‘cyclist safety’ research produced some positive results for the industry, with opportunities for cycle dealers in particular. Here’s a snapshot of the results and what they could mean for your business: Cyclists motivated by fitness Typically in a New Year, people are making resolutions, and for most of us that includes a healthy diet and fitness. This is reflected in the results, which showed that 40 per cent of leisure cyclists have been
83 per cent compared to 2000 (Source: www.london.gov.uk). More reflective clothing is needed As more and more cyclists take to the road there are safety precautions to consider, in particular their visibility in the winter season of dark nights. Cycleguard’s research has revealed that more than a third (35 per cent) of cycling commuters feel unsafe on the roads. Cyclists in London feel the least at ease on the roads, with 44 per cent claiming to feel unsafe. Meanwhile, Bristolians
“40 per cent of leisure cyclists say they are now motivated to cycle to work. 29 per cent are motivated by the money saving merits.” James Pickering MD, Cycleguard motivated to start cycling to work as a way of keeping fit. Other commuters have been motivated by saving money (29 per cent), cycling being more convenient than public transport (11 per cent) and avoiding traffic (ten per cent). All of these reasons have already raised cycling levels by
feel the safest, with 75 per cent feeling either safe or very safe on the roads. Nearly 40 per cent still cycle without a helmet, over half do not use reflective clothing, and 30 per cent are not equipped with lights, providing a strong indication that road-safety messages still have some way to go.
This provides scope for better advertising of safety products, and with the right message, a lot more reflective clothing, helmets and lights can be sold too. Crosspromotions with bike sales may be one tactic to drive sales of safety accessories. Despite the dangers on the roads, only 21 per cent have personal accident insurance, while a mere 13 per cent have public liability insurance. Standard home contents
insurance policies may limit the amount of cover provided for bikes taken outside of the home and with a bike being stolen every 65 seconds (according to research by Halifax) it is important that customers ensure they are adequately covered. Cycleguard can provide website banners and leaflets to display on your counter; there’s no need to advise the customer or even hand them out. Just display them on your website, in
your catalogue or in your shop and receive a commission when a referred customer (who enters a unique code) buys an insurance policy. Cycleguard currently has over 900 cycle stores, across the UK, who benefit from this partnership and the recommendation of the ACT. For more information please email development manager Chris Vinton at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 02476 851086.
EXCLUSIVE: Five per cent off your shop insurance CYCLEGUARD IS offering all BikeBiz readers five per cent off their business insurance, courtesy of Cycleguard’s sister company Insurantz.com.** According to the firm, you’ll be surprised how fast and easy quotes are at the website www.insurantz.com - enter the promotion code 200034 to claim your five per cent discount. The insurer’s standard product offers public liability and employers liability with the
options to cover your stock, contents and buildings. If you buy contents cover Cycleguard also covers your shop front and signage as standard and provides £75,000 worth of legal expenses cover for free. Furthermore, you’ll be provided with a business support service for matters related to health and safety legislation and HR, particularly critical to those retailers employing staff. If your policy is not due for
renewal yet, use the contact form at www.insurantz.com to provide your renewal date and telephone number, and you’ll be contacted nearer the time with a quick quote. The five per cent discount will be honoured. Improved cycle shop insurance coming soon To further support dealer needs, Cycleguard has designed a new bespoke package of covers specifically for bike retailers, which is due for delivery very soon, so email to register at email@example.com. ** This offer is available until April 30th 2009 and is applicable only to shops/retail quotes.
There may be trouble ahead? What has 2009 got in store for the cycle industry? And how did Christmas 2008 compare with previous years for retailers and distributors? Jonathon Harker puts the pertinent questions to the trade… “CHRISTMAS 2008 saw respectable growth in sales against last year. Commuting and road will be particularly strong categories in 2009. I think 2009 has the potential for a further shake-down. Those who listen to their customers and reflect their wants and needs with an excellent range, exceptional customer service and offer great value will go from strength to strength. Whilst there is certainly growth to be had with general concern about the economy, health and the environment, we must remember that we are currently in the foothills of a recession. No cycle retailer can be complacent and wait for the much-heralded increase in demand to arrive at their store. Jeremy Miles
12 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
Furthermore, customers in a recession want much better value and demand greater service from any retailer they choose to shop with. We must remember that for many, we must work harder than ever to encourage them to part with their hard-earned money. No one can afford to be complacent about any of their customers – existing or potential.” Jeremy Miles, Managing Director, Edinburgh Bicycles “WHITE IS the new black this year and I think we are going to have a stormer in '09!” Mark Gouldthorp, Managing Director, Raleigh “IT IS very hard for a distributor to judge Christmas sales. We are a little detached from the timeline which reflects consumer spend at Christmas. In like-for-like sales over a sixweek period we were up 51 per cent on the same period last year. We have achieved this partly through our concerted
effort to focus on communicating with our dealers and promoting our brands through the consumer press. That increase is partly down to the fact that we moved in the first week of January 2008.
them. All of our brands are committed to the UK and we have also invested in great people to help us achieve our targeted growth over the next two years. We expect more people to be
dealers through a difficult time. This in turn will help the workshop side of a retailers business. However, there is little point getting up in the morning all absorbed in the broken global
“White is the new black and I think we are going to have a stormer in '09!” Mark Gouldthorp, Managing Director, Raleigh No one knows what 2009 has prepared for us, but our view at 2pure is that it is a time for hard work, working closely with our customers and suppliers, gaining market share and being able to be flexible and move quickly. It is a volatile market and where we can add some stability to the supply chain we will. In a lot of ways we are lucky that all of our brands are a long way from reaching market penetration – giving us an opportunity to continue to grow
riding their bikes this year. Maybe the high end spend will reduce, but people will be looking at inexpensive ways of staying fit and healthy, as well as entertaining themselves. At the end of the day hobbyists will want to spend money on their passion so although it might not be that expensive set of pedals, it is likely to be an accessory or item of clothing. Commuting is bound to continue to grow which will help cycling overall and support
economy. We will survive and most likely we will have to adapt too, but staying focused and serving customers with a smile will go a long way to the cycling industry not only surviving, but strengthening throughout 2009. This is the time to be very aware of your business functions and what your cash and margins are looking like.” George Bowie, Managing Director, 2pure
ICEBIKE February 27th to March 1st Milton Keynes, UK www.icebike.co.uk February 2009 FISHER OUTDOOR EXPO February 15th – 17th Edgbaston Cricket Ground www.fisherexpo.co.uk TWOO February 19th – 22nd Basel, Switzerland www.twoo.ch ICEBIKE February 24th – 26th Milton Keynes, UK www.icebike.co.uk
April 2009 BICYCLE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE April 15th – 17th Seaside, California www.bicycleconference.org SPEZI ‘09 April 25th – 26th Germersheim, Germany www.spezialradmesse.de
BIKE ASIA February 27th – March 1st Singapore www.bikeasia.org
CHINA INTERNATIONAL BICYCLE AND MOTOR FAIR May 4th – 7th Shanghai, China www.e-chinacycle.com
NORTH AMERICAN HANDMADE BICYCLE SHOW February 27th – March 1st Indianapolis, USA www.handheldbicycleshow .com
EUROPEAN HANDMADE BICYCLE EXHIBITION May 8th – 10th Schwabisch Gmund, Germany www.e-h-b-e.eu
March 2009 TAIPEI INTERNATIONAL CYCLE SHOW March 17th – 20th Taipei, Taiwan www.taipeicycle.com.tw
June 2009 YORK CYCLE SHOW June 20th - 21st York Racecourse, York www.yorkcycleshow.co.uk
INTERVIEW RICHARD ALLMARK, FISHER OUTDOORS
Fisher King Ahead of the company’s Expo later this month, Fisher Outdoors’ CEO Richard Allmark speaks candidly to BikeBiz about the restructuring of the business over the past couple of years, the major signings it announced last year and the turning of a corner, plus the highlights of this month’s Edgbaston event… Firstly, can you tell us how business has been for Fishers over the past year? Overall our year was successful (but definitely not straightforward); in fact it was a record sales year for us. We’ve grown revenue levels quite significantly in the past two and half years to the point where we have probably achieved an overall sales growth of between 40 and 50 per cent – and that’s in spite of all the challenges we’ve faced due to the changes we’ve been making. I suppose on reflection we’re pretty pleased with our topline figures. Are there any categories in which you’ve done particularly well over the past year? We’ve done well with the Sram brands. They’ve shown great inovation, which has been fantastic. I think we’ve embraced those developments and tried to drive the product lines into the
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market to achieve their fair market share levels – but there’s still a way to go. We’ve also done well with Dahon. That’s a category within
There are a few categories where we are not as happy with results, but we’re obviously working hard to develop our strengths thoughout the portfolio.
are working closely with the owners and looking to put things right for the future. This season, and over next few years, we will see some real changes and
“The restructuring of the business was very unsettling, both within the company and externally. We’ve turned the corner now, but change is the thing that unsettled some customers and some suppliers. We fully hold our hands up to that.” Richard Allmark CEO, Fisher Outdoors the commuter market that’s continually getting stronger. We’ve done very well with Look, Tacx and Smart, too. Tacx’s electronic and online training equipment keeps getting better every year and they have set the market alight – it’s been one of our biggest growth areas in the last 12 months. Lighting has also been growing well across the board and that should continue.
Which categories have you not been so successful with – or which maybe need more focus? We’re in the middle of developing a new strategy with helmets. Met has been a primary brand for a number of years but now, with it being a Europeanbased business, it has come under threat due to the exchange rates favouring USD purchased brands. However, we
developments with Met and expect it to grow well within the category. We feel we’ve turned the corner on this – and obviously the USD v GBP movement has helped us in that respect. You made some fairly big announcements last year. Is it fair to say that it was something of a pivotal year for Fisher?
In the last two or three years, with all the corporate, structural and people changes going on in the business, we’ve done a lot less of those kind of deals than in the previous five years. Probably from 2000-2005 we developed our brand portfolio quite significantly. But in the lead up to and following our buyout we were – and still are – heavily involved in restructuring and investing in systems and people change. This is a big part of what’s been going in in our business. So we couldn’t put as much energy into new product developments or new brand distribution agreements. In the last year we’ve started to build the momentum again. Particularly exciting are the two wonderful licensing agreements we’ve tied up with the bspoke and Lambretta brands. It’s genuinely exciting and interesting for us, as licensing is a new area.
RICHARD ALLMARK, FISHER OUTDOORS INTERVIEW
For 2009 we’ve also taken on Norco bikes and we’re launching WTB at the house show. So we actually have four very interesting new propositions for marketplace moving into this year. Going back to the restructuring you’ve gone through over the past couple of years, how challenging was that? And how unsettling was the process? It was very unsettling, both within the company and externally. Without a doubt the level of investment and restructing we needed to go through was way beyond what we’d estimated it to be at the point of purchasing the business in 2006 – to the point where we spent significantly more time and had to make substantially higher investments in systems because it was previously such a big area of underinvestment. Ultimately, the level of change and the effect it had on our people was probably the biggest impactor to the disruption to the business. 80 per cent of our staff is new. This created a huge knowledge and experience vacuum. We had to build new processes around systems from scratch. The timeline of that restructuring continued to grow once we realised that the levels of change and improvement were so much bigger than we’d expected in the first instance. Change management within the business has been the hardest thing we’ve had to do. We’ve turned the corner now, but without a doubt, change is the thing that unsettled some customers and some suppliers. We fully hold our hands up to that. But we’ve now got a great team building their knowledge rapidly. They are very passionate about the business and we’re getting that family feel back again, which we’ve been missing in last 18 months. I think we’ve got a very motivated and excited staff to take us through the next five-plus years. And I hope they all stay with us and enjoy the journey. I would really like to thank the staff for really being so committed through the change process and for helping us get to where we are now. That’s along with our customers and suppliers
for the patience and loyalty we’ve had from them. It’s been wonderful and that’s what partnerships are about.
commitment we’ve made and we’re really pleased to be working with them. Norco is a wonderful business with a great team of people and I believe that What response have you had the future should be strong and to the announcement about successful for us both. the bspoke clothing range? The Lambretta range covers The bspoke clothing range project complete bikes, but this is a has been really interesting. It gives unique, iconic brand and lends us a great opportunity to work itself well to a number of different with central Government/ areas. I think we’re going to have a Transport for London, which really lot of fun over the next few years understands and have their finger in terms of developing some really on the pulse of London’s interesting stylised urban, sporty commuter market. bikes, along with accessories and The marketing opportunties some apparel. Lambretta is a very we can get from working with big deal for us. I’ve spoken with a TfL and the exposure it will few other licensees and what’s provide us with is wonderful. really exciting for all of us is that What’s interesting about this the owners of the brand have just range is that it’s for people who signed a contract to launch ride up to maybe seven or eight Lambretta scooters again. miles to work each day. They just Production and distribution looks want ‘normal’ looking clothes set to kick off in 2010 so once again that will bring brand awareness of Lambretta right to forefront. In addition, these are global deals for us, so as Richard Allmark we develop CEO, Fisher Outdoors products with wider appeal, we that also offer the technical will look to distribute them outside functions of cycling apparel. the UK – but all in good time! We have, however, realised that it’s not as easy a concept to Any other highlights to look understand as we’d initially out for at the Expo? hoped. But we’re now getting One of the important things for some strong distribution listings us this year is to further develop and we’re looking at hitting the our partnerships with our market well with our launch in customers and our suppliers – March. We’ve got where we want basically trying to pull the supply to be, but it has been something chain together. of an educational process. We’ve got a couple of seminars lined up to this end. Our chairman, Due to resistance from retail? Alan Smith (who has been in retail People get used to what products for many, many years) and I will be are and what they do. If talking about the marketplace and commuter jackets are traditionally how we feel about moving forward £60 high visibility yellow, then over the next year or two in the that’s what people are used to. current climate. Alan has managed Changing the status quo isn’t easy, some very large corporations but we’ve been through a process through recessions, so he can offer of re-education and we’re happy great wisdom and insight. with where we are now. Meanwhile, one of our What’s great is that with the challenges is establishing gold TfL link, we have some strong standard levels of customer marketing opportunities and the service. Our sales director Mike chance to look at areas we Cook and customer service haven’t traditionally targeted. But manager Dan Kidd are holding a that is right for this brand. We’re two-way seminar on customer not aiming bspoke at the cycling service and ecommerce. fanatic, so we need to look at a And while all of our suppliers wider communications stratgy. will be proudly demonstrating their ranges [see right] we’re also Meanwhile, the Norco and expecting some special guests, Lambretta deals see you move including Beijing Olympic Gold into complete bikes this year… Medal winner, Jamie Staff, who Norco was the first full will be at Expo on Sunday traditional bike range February 15th.
“We’ve achieved an overall sales growth of 40-50 per cent over the past couple of years. We’re pretty pleased with the topline figures.”
Visit www.fisherexpo.co.uk to register LAMBRETTA Launch of the Lambretta brand with a special preview of the Lambretta Bike created by Fisher, the Li 126 WTB Launch of the latest brand added to the range, covering tyres, saddles and grips ROCKSHOX BoXXer launch. MET 2009 range of helmets SANTINI 2009 fashion and 365 range will be in stock Team Replica Kits AW09 fashion range BLOC New 2009 range including new cycle-specific styles and stand units
MAXIM New flavours and new handy tablet for hydration packs TROY LEE 2009 range plus T-shirt line BSPOKE Launch of clothing range with POS TACX First look at the new Bushido and demo of Fortius Google Earth VDO New X-Series MASTERLOCK New Gold Sold Secure DLock SCHWALBE New Ultremo R, Rocket Ron, Fat Albert Front and Rear, Marathon Plus/Extreme
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 15
OFF THE RADAR
The long and short of it In the first of a new column from the team at Future and BikeRadar, Mountain Biking UK’s technical writer Ian Collins would like to review his travel options please… USEABLE suspension first hit the mainstream mountain bike scene with, in my opinion, GT’s RTS. Here was a bike that you could pedal up, hammer down, and didn’t spend its life spitting bolts or weeing oil. This true allrounder saw victories in XC and DH racing, and was a great trail machine. And all this was accomplished with a meagre 2.5in of travel.
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It’s difficult to say whether our sport diversified so wildly due to the possibilities suspension provided, or whether the demands our diversifying sport placed on the bikes forced the many avenues of evolution. But what was key for manufacturers was that they could now produce a bike for each and every discipline, with many punters buying more than one bike. This rapid breeding ground for buzz words – with every niche being segregated and given its own unique moniker – is thankfully slowing, if only just before the Oxford English Dictionary of Mountain Bike Classifications is released. It seems the consumer is getting more savvy now, and realising their limitations as a rider. They don’t have the skill level
“So come on industry, let’s see some more imagination. Be sheep, not shepherds. If the consumer is going to have just one bike, let’s see a bit more choice for cyclists.” Ian Collins to justify a World Cup DH rig, or the fitness to have fun on an anorexic XC steed. With the aid of 18 years of technological advancement in suspension design, they could actually have one bike to use for everything. What is called for is a 21st century GT RTS. However, my beef is the way that suspension travel determines useage. Almost universally a 4in travel bike is lightweight XC oriented, 5in gets you a trail bike, and 6in is allmountain. Why is this? Allmountain is the newly applied label for the ‘do it all’ bike, but who decided it had to be 6in? Why not have a 4in allmountain bike? Nobody makes one. For the competent rider, 4in
is more than enough for nearly every situation, and often faster and more fun. It is certainly going to be more efficient on the up too. But if I want a 4in machine, I get a twangy frame, skinny wheels, tyres and bars and twitchy angles, which just doesn’t cut the mustard for railing berms, or going big. Such long travel also has the effect of anaesthetising the trail, doing all the work for you and quite often removing the feeling of speed that we all crave. A few years back, there was an argument that you should learn to ride on a hardtail, to gain those basic riding skills before progressing to suspension. I disagree with this, as a full suss bike is ridden very differently to a hardtail. However, a 6in sofa isn’t going to teach the rider any dynamic skills, other than how to get off and push up a hill. So come on industry, let’s see some imagination. Be sheep, not shepherds. If the consumer is going to have just one bike, let’s see a bit more choice.
CORE BIKE REVIEW
Core blimey! Attendance was up between 15 and 20 per cent, there were distribution deals aplenty combined with never-before-seen product and the chance for the trade to relax together. Mark Sutton reviews another CoreBike and looks at why the show has become an unmissable calendar date for dealers nationwide... THE CLUE is in the title. 2009’s instalment re-enforced the idea that CoreBike has reached a point where, from a trade perspective, the show is simply unmissable. Add to that Core’s highly-valued social gala event and you’ll at least leave with a few stories to tell when you return to the shop. With the addition of Merida, Jim Walker and Citrus Lime this year, there were even more reasons for dealers to make the trip to Whittlebury Hall – a venue which can not only accommodate the bike trade and its antics, but can offer a comfortable stay with all the luxury trimmings. One concern raised following the 2008 show, was that the addition of more brands could result in over saturation – or ‘too much to see in a one day visit’. There seemed, however, to
be no concerns of overcrowding as 2009’s event concluded. Pete Drew of Silverfish commented: “Over each day of Core our space has been consistently busy, and we’ve managed to catch up with clients, for the most part, during the day, or over a beer during the evening’s entertainment. The great thing about Core is that the setting makes for such a relaxed atmosphere, even when discussing business.” And this year’s additions were welcome ones. Merida booked two rooms to accommodate its comprehensive catalogue of bikes. Praising the venue, UK MD Tim Buxton said: “We’ve kept busy throughout and had some promising conversations with prospective clients, as well as signing a few dealers on the back of demonstrations. The show is an ideal platform in
assisting growth of our distribution base.” Of the other show newbies, Jim Walker Distribution debuted the Argon18 range, while Citrus Lime wowed trade members with its e-commerce system.
excellent and diverse mix of retailers attracted by multiple exhibitors under one roof.” Ahead of next year, there were whispers among the trade that the show will be capped at 15 companies. However,
“The great thing is that the setting makes for a relaxed atmosphere, even when discussing business.” Peter Drew, Silverfish Marketing manager Graham Houghton explained why Core was a must-attend event for Citrus Lime. “This is our company’s first bike trade outing, although we’ve been building a cycle-centric client base for some time. We chose to debut at Core because it has an
Silverfish MD Darren Mabbot confirmed to BikeBiz that it was only space constraints preventing interested companies taking part. He said: “There is a waiting list and plenty of companies have declared interest in becoming part of the CoreBike Group. Unfortunately,
unless we compromised by taking space from the dining hall, then it’d be very difficult to squeeze many more in.” Event organiser Elaine Curtin told BikeBiz ahead of the gala entertainment evening: “Early tallies show that attendance this year has jumped by 15 to 20 per cent. Dealers appear buoyant, although many are prepared to work a little harder this year. Registration jumped significantly in the fortnight leading to Core, suggesting that many were reluctant to leave their businesses. However as the weather took a turn for the better, dealers have come out in increased numbers to see what Core has to offer. Around 40 per cent of those who showed up during the weekend plan to stay on through Monday night’s entertainment.”
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 19
CORE BIKE REVIEW
So, what’s new? For many, the show was a chance to play catch up with brand managers on prototypes, prices and the workings of the latest tech kit. Mark Sutton documents the new distribution deals, the latest product and the new prices in this multi-exhibitor run-down from CoreBike 2009…
2PURE JIMI WALLETS is 2pure’s latest addition to a portfolio which gradually seems to be diversifying further into general outdoor use, as well as cyclespecific product. Great news for retailers with a broad, outdoorloving customer base. The plastic wallets are water resistant, can hold four cards and a removable plastic sleeve
with money clip. Like everything else in the room, the brand offers a range of colours and each is made from recycled plastic only. One per cent of each sale also goes to the One Percent For The Planet initiative. Clif Bars, also popular in the general outdoor market, has developed a women’s specific snack dubbed Luna Bars.
BUFFERA THREE BRANDS come under the Buff umbrella now – Sue Me, Buff and Hides. First up, Buff has begun using Marino Wool, a natural fibre, which works extremely well in base layer clothing. Available from August, the Marino Buff will come attached to a unique ram header card. Other Buffs have been upgraded too. Not only does the Spiderman edition now come in adult sizes, it also comes treated with polygiene, a bacterial control solution, which prevents build up of common mouth-to-material bacteria. New licences from the
Colour was the talk of the room and Crank Brothers’ latest had many drooling. The Champagne Cobalt wheels can be adorned with matching skewers, while Lizard Skins also had a rainbow’s worth of colour and a new grip – the ‘mini’ – a shorter grip available in lock on. One of the more unusual products in the room came
from SQ Labs, which developed a handlebar described as a ‘comfort bar’. The bar featured an unusually large backsweep (almost cruiser-esque), designed to target those leisure riders looking for a more relaxed pedal posture.
CHICKEN CYCLE KIT likes of Hello Kitty, National Geographic, Batman, Kukuxumuru and Disney are also on offer, and the reflective Buff also made a welcome return, integrating a Scotchlite strip for extra visibility. If you’re not familiar with Hides, the clever product turns into a case, or lens cleaner. Sue Me was still working with prototypes of most clothing, but the brand did reveal its adoption of the bamboo fibre. 70 per cent of the brand’s t-shirts are wicked from bamboo, while the remaining portion is made from natural cotton.
The main attraction among the Chicken Cyclekit product had to be the Troy Lee Selle Italia saddles. Reaching outside the firm’s traditional target market, the saddles range from £45 to £100 RRP and are aimed mostly at the off-road market. Five models are available under the exclusive saddle deal. Featuring scratch-resistant graphics, the higher the range you go, the tougher the features. The £77.99 Yutaak includes a Kevlar reinforced rear panel. POS was a hit too, with many dealers enthused by the Selle stand and low buy-in rate. Buy-ins of 16 or 28 saddles are
Chicken Cycle Kit’s Mike Catlin
available, both coming with the Selle tower, although the latter is on a lower rate per saddle. Also new, Ryde’s ‘Beasty’ wheel now comes with ‘tattoo’ graphics and is predicted to be a big hit as a heavy-duty, yet lightweight all-round wheel. Campagnolo’s 11 speed groupset was well known by Core, however Velotech training’s Jeff Beach said: “We’re using Core as a platform to talk to dealers about becoming Pro-shops and Campag repair centres. 25 to 35 dealers are sought nationwide and will be talking to prospective clients up until early-to-mid-March.”
CITRUS LIME E-COMMERCE and Epos expert Citrus Lime took its first outing in the bike trade at Core, impressing dealers with its highly organised retail packages. Of particular interest was the company’s ‘workshop module’, an Outlook-style booking system with scheduling features and price calculation software. The Epos system is able to save customer details, a
20 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
comprehensive purchase history and save receipts of previous transactions, eliminating the need for print-outs – although these are still available. Fine details like a customer’s service history and portfolio of bikes can be saved too. Even footfall figures can be documented – a great tool for seeing the true value of a customer. Perhaps more useful to store managers,
the system flags up due date reminders to make sure workshop deadlines are met. Specific service packs can be tailored then listed on the system too, keeping calculations straightforward. For the most part, the Epos can follow simple drag-anddrop commands and can draw up detailed daily, weekly and monthly reports.
An e-commerce package can also help those looking for a revamped or new web store. It can easily be synchronised with the Epos, so stock control is up to the minute and out of stock items can’t be ordered. Citrus Lime can provide demos online or in person.
Citrus Lime’s Grant Hadwin
CORE BIKE REVIEW
EXTRA LAST YEAR it was Paligap which signed a hatrick of distribution deals. This year it was Extra. Customers now have access to FibreFlare, YESS and Mule Bar. FibreFlare is, as the name suggests, a glow stick style fibre light running on two AAA batteries. The omni-directional
Extra’s Core line-up included Mule Bar’s Alex Smith who debuted the brand to the Core crowds
light clips virtually anywhere via a silicon attachment. The light has a 75 hour burn time and is visible for 300 metres. Canadian brand YESS manufactures chain tensioners and will bring four products to the UK this year. Suited to various uses, BMX and rigid specific models will be available, with the firm increasingly popular with OEM manufacturers. The distributor can now feed cyclists too. Mule Bar giveaways
FOX introduced much new kids-specific product, including a revamped range of helmets and protection. The new Flux helmet in particular comes in a new extra-small size. The Rampage full-face helmet made an appearance with a slimmed weight. Now weighing 1100g, the helmet can accommodate replaceable liners and retails for £95. The clothing line also saw fresh additions. The Sergeant and Blitz shorts are ideal for casual as well as trail use, as are matching jerseys –
HOPE continues to bolster its UK manufacturing facility and portfolio of product, revealing at Core that the brand was soon to invest in a wheelbuilding machine enabling it to take its offering of six complete wheels up to 27. And with plenty of anodizing equipment, expect to see any new product in a
mirroring many of the shorts’ designs. Fox goggles also returned, beginning at just £30 for a motocross inspired eye protector. BikeBiz was told the eyewear range was a consistent performer throughout 2008.
brand’s motocross division. Chainrings should be available within one month of BikeBiz landing, although delivery dates for all other products are yet to be confirmed. Sadly, Xtracycle’s latest models were stranded somewhere in California. Nevertheless, Andrews offered: "The response to the Xtracycle announcement has been positive." To round off two rooms of display, new product such as the KHE Astern hub was on show, alongside the popular freecoaster.
but also with a slow energy burn. At £1.39 per bar, with six flavours available, they contain fruit, chocolate and more. One per cent of each sale is donated to One Percent For The World.
variety of colours. The brand had brought along two new DH-specific stems set to take over from the 50 and 70 models. One of these is a Boxxer/Fox specific build. Two new hubs were also shown at Core – the Pro 2 and Pro 3 models, the latter being the high-end model complete with steel bearings.
ISON AS REPORTED on Bikebiz.com, Ison linked up with Xtracycle, the US-based ‘hingeless trailer’ manufacturer. Marketing manager Matt Andrews was keen to show off a second new brand, Renthal, although, as yet, we cannot go into too much detail about the deal. But you can bet that the product will be highly-reliable, while carrying little weight. On show at Core were various bars, stems, chainrings and Kevlar grips. The chainrings are manufactured from Ti-nitride, the same material used within the
were available and the organic Fair Trade bars are made with brown rice syrup plus other ingredients. The bars give off a ‘parachute effect’ of energy, where an initial hit is provided,
ARGON 18 got its first outing at Core and, to the delight of many dealers, emphasis was placed on the brands highlycompetitive value for money and respectable margin. And for those who thought that those prices couldn’t possibly stay fixed with the latest round of increases, the distributor confirmed that for the foreseeable future everything would remain as on the show price list.
The high modulus carbon frames pay particular attention to detail with features including washers to prevent any frame damage from attached components. Many dealers familiar with the brand were following its progress as it landed with Jim Walker. Also on display was the now exclusive Cyclus tools range, Iron Horses latest rigs, Northwaves’ progressing clothing and much more.
uneducated in the brand. Two rooms were needed to accommodate even a small portion of the range. But the highlights, as demonstrated to BikeBiz by UK MD Tim Buxton, had to be the world’s lightest full suspension production model, at 19.9 pounds complete, adorned with all the lightest, top
quality gear on the market and retailing for £7,499.99. And just a month down the line will be the launch of the world’s lightest nanocarbon hardtail.
MERIDA THREE YEARS ago Merida emerged under its own label and begun to seek UK IBDs. A big brand in Europe and the US, the UK market is now sharply in focus – hence the brand’s CoreBike presence. However, the company has been quietly selling in the UK since 1995 under a private brand label, so it certainly knows the market. With plans to grow its distribution in the UK, Core proved an ideal platform to demonstrate the ‘one-stopshop’ range to dealers
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 21
CORE BIKE REVIEW
PALIGAP QUINTANA ROO debuted its 2009 line at Core, showing off plenty of choice for stockists looking to diversify their offering. Last year’s other additions (Litespeed and Merlin) also made a return, having been specifically tailored to the UK market. Sombrio was a hit again this year having picked up and expanded on 2008’s trends – such as the flat peak cap – and worked in the design
influence taken from the company’s trail background. Kona’s clothing line-up, as designed by ex-snow sports industry designer Michelle Gault, also made a return with the introduction of plenty of new casual race jerseys in a wide variety of styles. There were no new brands for Paligap this year, but there was also no shortage of hot product for dealers to mull over on the drive home.
BIKEBIZ was gutted to be told we couldn’t photograph Evil’s latest downhill rig, despite it being a world first trade showing. The Revolt utilises the Delta suspension system designed by founder Dave Wevil, offers 203mm of travel via a two-stage shock system. This provides the bike with greater absorption of smaller bumps and also the capability to handle cliff drops via a huge coil shock. The frame has an extruded BB and absolutely nothing is
threaded into the frame, eliminating thread-strip. The frame also utilises a ‘flip-chip’ system, which raises and lowers the bottom bracket. Stock of the Revolt will land at Silverfish in April. Also from Evil, The Sovereign freeride frame and Faction jump frame were debuted. Another first showing came from the e.Thirteen brand. The SOS Plus is one of the new models, weighing in under 200g, yet retaining extremely high knock resistance via a
tough honeycomb structure. Top of the line is the LG1 – a 168 gram, one-bolt guard which also utilises the proven honeycomb build. RaceFace also announced two new colours for the Atlas crank – purple and red. In addition to this, a crank was launched for the cyclocross market. Almost meeting the freeride and cross-country crank in the middle, the Cadence CX is a great solution for both on and off-road use.
dealers by the time this issue of BikeBiz hits desks. Also in Upgrade’s room was the Lezyne product seen at Cycle Show, as well as a TRP, (Tektro’s high-end brand) which has made a big impression among cyclocross
fans. Upgrade is the UK service centre for all Tektro product. Atomlab had plenty of new product on show, including two new fork models, each utilising 60mm of travel. The Gi60 and Pimp60 are £199.99 and £259 respectively, with the latter having CNC machined, hard anodized lowers, reducing the final weight. Although low travel, the forks have a highly progressive spring weight, meaning they’ll hold their own under bigger hits. Another of Atomlab’s highlights was the UK debut for its hydraulic Gyro system (£165.00). This product has been available abroad before now, but is a UK first.
UPGRADE KENESIS UK has chosen Upgrade to distribute and design the new Decade range, which consists of three whole new frame builds – the Virtue, Convert2 (available from April) and the Tripster. The Convert2 frame is suited to the influx of singlespeeders taking over the streets at present and carries a changeable dropout – so should one of your customers desire a geared build, a vertical dropout can be applied. The Virtue frame is built from Tange Prestige tubing and is heat-treated to bolster the strength of the frame. The Virtue will be available to
WINDWAVE A2Z AND IceToolz were advertised at Core for ‘the best rate all year’, with dealers offered 50 pieces at the best rate with top-ups from them also on the cheap rate. BikeBiz found out that this was not just a show offer.
Windwave will be offering the cost-effective spares and tools at a good margin rate for the foreseeable future. IceToolz had a few new workshop tools, which as with the rest of the brand’s tools came in at a reasonable price
for specialist tools. Of the Unique goods on offer, the £24.99 retail four-crown remover was on show, something dealers and consumers alike will find particularly useful when dealing with heavy-duty forks.
Nokon also discussed customised options with the trade. Those conversations followed on from the manufacturer’s announcement that the brand could offer ‘national flag’ arrangements of the linked cable system.
John Hughes, Buffera “Core is a great platform for us to further develop Buff, SueMe and Hides within the cycle market. It’s exciting to see the trade’s response to our product”
Jeff Beach, representing Campagnolo “We’ve begun talking to dealers about becoming Campag Pro Shops, so the show is good for gauging feedback as we look to select 25 plus dealers.”
Simon Perry, Hope “Trade members steadily built up through the weekend leading to a manic Monday. Our staff were attending to customers non-stop.”
Grant Hadwin, Citrus Lime “This show has been Citrus Lime’s first outing in the cycle trade and the interest in the brand’s retail packages has been immense.”
22 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
Pete Drew, Silverfish “The great thing about CoreBike is that the room-by-room layout helps to create such a relaxed and social atmosphere for attendees.”
CORE BIKE REVIEW
THE GALLERY CoreBike wasnâ€™t just about new product and business deals, it was also a chance to relax and have fun with the rest of the trade...
s at the eightIson MD Lloyd Townsend made track other CoreBike while ), (left p set-u player Scalectrix ct their bowling attendees took the chance to perfe skills on the Wii
The Bungee Ru n was a popula r addition to the entertainment night, with the industry wastin g no time in showin g off their skill s with bungee cord an d velcro
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 25
CORE BIKE REVIEW
CoreBike 2009 gave the trade the chance to discuss the important and pertinent issues affecting the bike industry. A few beers later, however, and they just ended up shooting things and hitting each other (see below)
ntial some pote ... Bailey gets hts y g rl si a r C e h ’s iz in rs BikeB advertise
The Gala Entert ainment night saw Lase r Shooting, F1 Racing and Po le Jousting – with the Cycle Show’s Andrew Brabaz on ‘opening a ca n of whup-ass’ on Bi keBiz’s Mark Su tton (bottom right)
26 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
RALEIGH SHOW REVIEW
Followers of fashion Raleigh enthusiasts and prospective dealers alike were invited to the Eastwood showroom during January for a preview of the 2009 product portfolio. Mark Sutton reports on some stylish designs…
“We’ve got three full-time designers on board now. The ‘09 range places great emphasis on aesthetic attraction.” Mark Gouldthorp, MD, Raleigh UK
IT MAKES good business sense to have an account with Raleigh and most UK dealers will certainly have one. Whether it’s used occassionally, or is refreshed with orders daily, the company has all bases covered and is keeping an increasingly close eye on market trends. With a strong background in traditional leisure bikes, the brand has branched out in the past decade, venturing into downhill, folders, BMX, urban work bikes and more. And to complement the existing range of high-end bikes, Raleigh now distributes exotic carbon friendly brand Corratec. As MD Mark Gouldthorp puts it: “Raleigh has become a onestop-shop with 99.9 per cent of product available on demand. We travelled to Eurobike last year with the intention of bagging a new brand to satisfy the high-end dealer and, after some internal discussion,
decided Corratec would perfectly sit alongside our other bikes. There’s an opportunity for 30plus dealers in the UK to carry the brand, but we’ve filled some of those places already.” Design improvements to the entire range of cycles was perhaps one of the most striking and most commented on highlights of the visit. When asked if the striking lacquered colours and tidy graphics were purely experimental, Goulthorp said: “We’ve got three full-time designers on board now. In the past our resources in this department were a bit more limited, but the ’09 range places great emphasis on aesthetic attraction.” Indeed it does, but perhaps more impressive is the subtle touches tailored on the first points of contact. For example, a great deal of focus has gone on comfort features such as the saddle and grips. Great news for
those dealers keen to strike a sale from a good first impression. There was a far increased presence of commuter-style bikes with urban touches at the Eastwood show. Notably, influence appears to have come from the Dutch cycle market on some models, a style that many suggest is not only a hit with the image-aware customer, but with the practically minded too. Take the new ‘Elegance’, a £300 retail ladies commuter, complete with stylish basket, it’s ready for panniers and whatever else you wanted to mount on the rear rack. Moving with other trends, Diamondback’s BMX accessory range has taken note of Macneil’s pivotal saddle technology, utilising it in the latest saddle launch. Meanwhile, plastic pedals and stunt pegs find their way into the catalogue in time to catch the post-
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 29
RALEIGH SHOW REVIEW
Christmas upgrade rush that has so often been seen in the 20inch market. So were there any whispers of discontent at the show relating to the inevitable and nowpresent price increases? Gouldthorp responds: “There certainly would be trouble among dealers if the product had not moved on with the
end-user's feedback daily. Earlier this year we also worked with students at Loughborough University to inspire design ideas through fashion trends.” And it was time well spent. Aesthetically, Raleigh has considered every detail from frame graphics, to POS material. Dealers can now
Vaude clothing (far left) and Corratec’s unique 2Circle suspension (below)
“We’ve seen massive growth with 700C models. Notably, this gain has a lot to do with females seeking a bike with plenty of practical uses.” price. There has been no adverse reactions to our price increases – which are lower than many of our competitors – mostly because bikes have been cheap for too long. And secondly, the product has upgraded in terms of quality in line with any additional cost.” In any case, BikeBiz was reassured that Raleigh has laid out a detailed quarter-by-quarter business plan to ensure that, despite any problems caused by currency, the business will grow in value again this year. An estimated 45 dealers per day were attending Raleigh’s showroom, with around 80 per cent established main dealers or Cyclelife clients. “Our presence at the London Cyce Show in October has helped raise curiosity in the brands we carry,” explains Gouldthorp. “Feedback so far has been positive with many commenting that they were glad to have made the journey. I like to measure success by the amount of negative feedback received, whether constructive or not. Dealer feedback has played a huge part in developing our 2009 portfolio and rightly so – it’s our client’s who take the
download detailed price cards from the Raleigh B2B website. These serve as a fantastic self-selling tool for dealers with a high footfall. Gouldthorp was optimistic about other trends too. Of the reemergence of the traditional 700C bike he said: “We’ve seen massive growth with 700C models. These are the kind of bikes with plenty of practical uses and additional features. Women in particular, we’re told, are entering stores with only the consideration of how the cycle can practically serve their day-to-day needs. Budget seems less important if the bike can earn its keep.”
TRENDSETTERS: The Raleigh show was not short of eyecatching new product – for example, the super trendy ‘Elegance’ bicycle (right)
Cyclelife chalks up its 120th store During the January show, the seasonal uplift in interest in the Cyclelife scheme was evident. Raleigh MD Mark Gouldthorp told BikeBiz: "As was the case last year, January is the month when dealers tend to follow through on New Year's resolutions to renovate their businesses. During visits over the past few days, 15 candidates have signed up to become Cyclelife retailers – some
30 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
who had been considering the change for some time, others who could see the support was there and were just waiting for our approval." Raleigh has committed a large amount of marketing spend to support its clients this year. £50,000 has been set aside for a spate of national advertising beginning in March. Dealers were each asked to contribute £250 to
the pot for 50 ads in various national newspapers including comprehensive dealer listings, It means that Cyclelife franchisees get a lot of promotion for their hard-earned cash. The scheme now has 120 registered dealers nationwide. For more information on Cyclelife opportunities, contact Paul Wignall on 01772 532665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A fitting way to profit £175 to tell customers which £3,500 will fit them best: is bike fit science or the bike trade’s homeopathy? To find out, Carlton Reid attends the first European Cycle Fit School... IT’S STANDARD practice for a customer to straddle a bike, maybe take it for a little test ride and then, when mind made up, plonk down the cash. Okay, good, money in the till. But where’s the cash for a prepurchase cycle fit? In the US, cycle fit is a growing part of a bike shop’s repertoire. There are many methodologies available. It’s hard to ask for £175 for the ‘eye’, no matter how expert. Clients now expect to be measured, scanned, and videoed. Wielding an allen key to raise or lower a saddle, or adjust a stem, is one way to approximate a bike fit, but it’s not making you money. And bike fit experts say it’s not good for your customer either. Two years ago I had a professional bike fit. It alleviated some nagging back pain when I rode, and it was (sort of) fun to watch my pedalling motion on video playback and to hear, for the first time, buzz bike fit phrases such as "the body’s
kinetic chain of responses." I was also fitted with some shims for my cycling shoes, which made my pedalling less painful on one side. This fit was done by Phil Cavell of London’s Cycle Fit, opened in 2002.
2008, there are now other SICItrained bike fitters out there, and listed on the SICI website. This will boost the level of recognition of cycle fitting in the UK. Future classes are planned and Cavell wants more bike
“Passionate cyclists go to obsessive lengths in the chase for optimum performance and know how important a properly-fitted bike is to the competitive experience.” Cavell and business partner Julian Wall use the fitting methodology developed by the Serotta International Cycling Institute of New York state. SICI is an offshoot of custom bike builder Serotta. UK customers who want a SICI bike fit have, until now, had to visit CycleFit’s Covent Garden shop. However, thanks to the staging of the first European Bike Fit School in December
shops to take part. The December school took place over three days of intensive study. Sessions covered included functional anatomy, flexibility, cycling biomechanics, cycling injuries and niggles, cleat-position, foot-structure, frame geometry and fit, tri and time trial position and theories of aerodynamics, as well as fit business fundamentals. Pro cycle trainer Adrian
Bike Pain: A Study A BICYCLE isn’t an instrument of torture, but sit on it for a long time in a less than optimum position and pain will result. Typical complaints are bum soreness, tingling toes, hand numbness, lower back pain, and hamstring discomfort. Knee pain is often alleviated by moving the saddle fore or aft. Neck discomfort can be resolved by moving up the handlebars, or even fitting different sports glasses or removing a helmet visor. Lower-back pain can be lessened by lowering the saddle, or cycling with the spine in a ‘neutral position’, in other words not slumped. Saddle soreness is alleviated by getting out of the thing frequently when riding. But bike fitting isn’t just about pain, it’s also about
performance. Use of power meters in the bike fit lab can show how a change in position can alter performance. However, cynics point out this could be due to muscles being used in a different way, hence some initial improvement. Once muscles are conditioned into the new position, the power output goes back to the norm. Nevertheless, serious cyclists are becoming happier and happier to spend money on bike fits. IBDs who invest time, effort, money and training on becoming a local specialist could carve out quite a profitable niche. The bike fit session costs money, and the technician may be able to direct the customer to buy shims and bike parts sold by the shop.
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 33
Timmis was one of the six students on the first course. Tutors included Dr David Hulse, sports physician to the Tour of Britain; a former orthopedic surgeon; an expert in taking knees apart (and putting them back together); and Paraic McGlynn, SICI’s Director of Applied Cycling Science. McGlynn is based in the US but comes from Dublin. I asked McGlynn whether bike fitting was all smoke and mirrors, a pseudo-science. "That’s a common reaction when people have no knowledge or understanding of what they’re criticising. US stores had a similiar reaction but since they started to hear about happy clients, that’s all changed. Bike fit is something bike shops need to offer. “There is a bona fide science behind it. There are thousands of happy cycle fit clients out there. The techology and methodology is sound."
"Competitive cyclists are asking, should I have one?’ In the US, it’s not a question any more, if you love cycling, if it’s part of your life, you’ll have a fitting. "Every serious bike shop will have a fit methodology. "Customers like it because they’re having a light shone on them, and cycling is probably their favourite subject. You can take a bike fitting forward for a lifetime. It’s not cheap, but it’s not expensive. Spending money and taking time to investigate your body’s interface with a machine is a good thing." For McGlynn, the cost of a bike fit is a technological investment. "In every other sport, people are used to paying money to do it better. The golf industry has expensive swing analysis. Cycling is late to the table. You don’t just get on a bike and pedal any more. This is the right way to buy a bike." And if the US bike industry is
“There is a bona fide science behind it. There are thousands of happy cycle fit clients out there. The techology and methodology is sound.” CycleFit’s Phil Cavell agrees that bike fitting isn’t an alternative therapy. “It’s not homeopathy. It’s a marriage of applied science, biomechanics, and physics. However, there’s definitely a subjective element, an empathic element. This is because everybody’s body is different. "Bike fitting is now on a radar in the UK," said Cavell.
relatively late to the table, what about the UK? CycleFit’s Julian Wall said: “Bike fitting is a relatively new phenomenon in the UK, similar to where the US was ten years ago. Many UK bike shops, even at the high-end of the market, take a somewhat haphazard approach to the vital task of fitting their clients on their bikes. This can lead to cycling
Need To Know: Bike Fit Tech DURING A professional bike fitting, minute adjustments are made to the sitting position, adjustments measured in millimetres. ‘Cycling biodynamics’ can increase comfort, enhance pedalling efficiency, increase power output, and lower the risk of
losing valued participants or, worse, give a perception that our industry is uncaring or lacks professionalism." In the US, bike fit has been taken to an extremely high level by IBD superstars such as Paul Levine of Signature Cycles, New York. Levine uses the SICI system, as well as a blend of his own techniques. Signature Cycles is a destination retailer, with customers flying in from all over the US to pay to be fitted. Last year Levine was the winner of the inaugural Bicycling magazine’s ‘Excellence in Applied Science’ award. This award "recognizes bicycle industry retailers and innovators
repetitive-use injury. Appointments typically take two hours for an initial assessment and can cost £175+. Follow-up sessions (half hour or more) are recommended. The most up-to-date ‘bike fit labs’ use lasers, video cameras, and 3D computer imagery to
who provide exceptional service and education in the area of integrating the human machine with the quintessential humaninvented machine: the bicycle." Bicycling marketing director Zack Grice said: "Passionate cyclists go to obsessive lengths in the chase for optimum performance and know how important a properlyfitted bike is to the experience. High-end riders today are more demanding of their bikes than ever before - they train hard, eat right and balance busy schedules to get the most out of the sport, and they expect their bikes to help translate this dedication into power, speed and control.
show a client how to sit properly. Retül 3D motion-capture technology, for instance, uses light-emitting diodes placed at various key points on a cyclist’s body. Lance Armstrong’s trainer Chris Carmichael uses the Retül system. Others use the Dartfish video motion system.
We’re proud to honour shops that show this same obsessive dedication to helping their customers ride faster and farther by fitting them to bikes that perform as extensions of their bodies, and we hope that these awards will inspire all cycling retailers to deliver the best customer service possible to help the sport grow." Wheat Ridge Cyclery near Denver, is another destination bike fitting retailer. Marketing director Matt Boyer said bike fitting wouldn’t be impacted by the down economy: “If you’re a $15,000 customer, the recession isn’t going to stop you getting a bike fit if you really want one."
The Pioneer: Ben Serotta AT AGE 14, Ben Serotta managed a bike shop. Two years later he owned it. At 18, to better understand how to build bikes – his main passion – he moved to England to take a junior position at Witcomb Lightweight Cycles of South London, one of four Americans to make the journey (the others were framebuilders Richard Sachs, Peter Weigle, and Chris Chance). In 1974, back in the US, he founded Serotta Competition Bicycles. One of the company’s supra-industry creations was the
Serotta Size Cycle, an adjustable stationary bike that permits IBDs to make an extensive series of detailed measurements to customise frames. This was one of a number of bike fitting jigs which would be used in the ‘science’ of cycle fitting. In 1998, Serotta created the School for Cycling Ergonomics, the forerunner to the Serotta International Cycling Institute.
The next SICI European Fit School, to be held in London, will be staged on March 6th, 7th and 8th 2009 The 3rd annual SICI Symposium and Expo will be held on February 8-10th in Boulder Colorado. This symposium attracts 400+ attendees. www.cyclefit.co.uk www.serottacyclinginstitute. com
34 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
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INTERVIEW DOMINIC LANGAN, MADISON
Hitting all the right notes Business in 2008 was monstrous for Madison, quite literally. So what’s in store for 2009? Mark Sutton speaks to the company’s managing director Dominic Langan about the distributor’s ongoing dedication to growing the bicycle trade and the sport in general, plus its upcoming IceBike event... Looking back on 2008, how was business? Can you pinpoint any highlights from the past year? Despite all the media doom and gloom and the various challenges we faced during the year – such as the price increases from our suppliers at the start of the year due to raw material costs, followed later in the year by the collapse of the pound – we enjoyed much better sales growth than we’d budgeted. That’s something that continued the trend of the previous two years. There were lots of highlights for 2008, but from a sponsorship point of view, Rachel and Gee Atherton winning the World Championships and Chris Newton winning a bronze medal in China are certainly right up there and I was gutted for Shanaze Reade. From a business point of view, Icebike was certainly one of the highlights, as well as our first
“Clearly not all brands crossover between cycling, motoX and snow sports, but when looking for new brands to distribute this is certainly a major consideration. Thor, Monster and Ogio are the key crossover brands...” time presence at the London Cycle Show. We also added some great brands to our portfolio such as Garmin, Thule, OGIO, Giro Eyewear, Monster Energy, Wheels Manufacturing, Gamut and of course the recent acquisition of the Saracen brand. I went to visit Shimano in Japan a couple of times this year and both times have been fantastic experiences and the Shimano business is simply awesome – they are at the top of their game at the moment. Madison appears to have had a strong year in terms of expansion wise. Is there room for similar growth next year?
Madison has nearly doubled in size in the last three years, but I am sure 2009 will be a challenge and we can’t expect our industry to be immune from what is happening all around us. As a company we are very optimistic about the outlook and all sales trends remain very positive. We will be very cautious this year as that is the only sensible plan of action. I guess it all depends on the depth of the recession and the big concern is overall loss of jobs in the UK and the consumer’s ability to spend money on anything other than essentials. I wish I had the answer. For every negative about the current economic crisis, I
could try to match each with a positive as to why our industry could do well. But, I guess, only time will tell. The question every retailer wants an answer to: how to get hold of a Monster fridge? It’s really simple, just purchase ten cases in one go of any flavour combination you want and we’ll send you a fridge. And as to how the brand is going, well, the clue is in the name – Monster! Are you finding much crossover from the motoX side of the business - Leatt Brace for example?
Clearly not all brands crossover, but certainly when looking for new brands to distribute this is a major consideration. Thor, Monster and OGIO are the key crossover brands, although demand for Leatt Brace within the cycle market is still pretty minimal at the moment. For winter 2009, we are also the exclusive distributor for Giro snow helmets and goggles. We have crossover products suitable for the snow market too. While Madison is first and foremost a bicycle business – an always will be – we are creating a strong portfolio of action sports brands, as in many cases we are ultimately dealing with the same end consumer. What criteria must a dealer meet to open a Madison account? Any bona fide bicycle retailer can have an account with Madison.
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 37
INTERVIEW DOMINIC LANGAN, MADISON
What, if anything, is causing the business the greatest concern at present? I don’t think there can be a business manager in this country who is not concerned about the current economic crisis and what impact it could potentially have if it deepens. But other than this, I guess my concern is about the ability of the cycle market to handle the recent price increases because of the currency and what effect this may have on the sales mix of product. Judging the right amount of stock is also a concern. Will we have too much or too little? To be honest, that’s the same concern throughout every year. Has anything surprised you in terms of sell-through over the past year? And could you pick a product you will watch with interest this year? Garmin proved to be an absolute star in 2008. It caused quite a stir on the BikeBiz forum at the time, but it goes to show that despite Garmin being a product available from many sources, the IBD can still compete and flourish if the proposition is right. A project close to my heart is the all-new Madison clothing which we are launching at Icebike. This range has been in development for over a year and stock is finally arriving in early February. The focus for the range is for people who ride bikes but don’t necessarily consider themselves to be cyclists. The range is very technical with some subtle cycle specific features but looks as good when worn off the bike as it does worn on the bike. We have also spent the last year developing the new Madison B2B website – which we’re launching at Icebike. We believe it will seriously raise the bar for B2B in the cycle industry. Ultimate Pursuits will be laid to rest this spring and Madison.co.uk will be the new replacement. I am pretty excited about that. Must dealers pay on a proforma basis, or can credit schemes be made available? Most customers at Madison have a credit account and this is our preferred payment method, although all customers usually start their account with Madison on pro-forma and then move to a credit account once the relationship is established.
38 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
Madison’s house show, IceBike, is held this month from February 24th to 26th at the Milton Keynes distribution centre (below)
Madison’s complete bike range has a reputation for being reliable, with few warranty issues – but when they do occur, how efficiently are they dealt with? It hasn’t always been like that and from time to time things still do go wrong – bicycles are machines after all. Our bike brands are designed by experienced staff who live and breathe bicycles, plus we do a lot of thorough testing. Madison is full of mad keen cyclists and they are constantly out riding prototypes at the weekend and evenings. We make use of the Shimano systems engineering to ensure good transmission and trouble free set-up for the IBD. While we could definitely make more profit by cutting corners here and there we don’t want to compromise the quality. After-sales service is also key and we run a good team of qualified mechanics within our warranty department. They, in turn, are backed up by our customer care team. We do all we can to resolve issues quickly and for many years now we have offered carriage free shipping of any service spare for any brand we carry. We also hold a phenomenal stock of spares so there is a really good chance we can get a problem solved promptly. How many staff/sales reps do you employ? We currently employ 150 staff and during the summer we usually bring in some additional fixed contract staff to cope with the demands of distribution. On the road we have 12 Shimano and accessory account managers, plus a further three for bicycles, plus six staff in telesales. We also have three
“Madison knows that technical training is important within the trade. We have sponsored and continue to sponsor the ATG as they have proven themselves to be a solid and professional cycle training outfit with a core group of people who understand and enthuse about our industry.” account managers looking after the powersports accounts and three for snowsports. Are you seeking dealers for anything in particular? We want to deal with all bona fide cycle retailers, so we would encourage any retailers out there who do not have a Madison account to get in contact. In the case of our bike brands we often have opportunities for new dealers and, again, if you are interested then please either contact your account manager or simply give us a call. Can you tell us a bit about your support of the Aylesbury Training Group? Madison knows that technical training is a critical element within the service offering of all good bike shops and the method
of delivery is always the toughest part to organise. Our investment in training is there to back up the day-to-day needs of our customers and the industry to easily access good quality training and technical information. Through our investment we have sponsored and continue to sponsor the ATG as they have proven themselves to be a solid and professional training outfit with a core group of people who understand and enthuse about our industry while complementing this with firm teaching skills. With two static training centres in Aylesbury and Manchester, plus a mobile training centre currently based in Wales, the ATG’s training potential continues to be the best available in the whole country.
Can you tell us about your marketing plans for 2009? We are really delighted to have secured the Athertons for another three years with Shimano and Commencal and look forward to more success from this talented family. New for 2009 is the Plowman Craven Madison.co.uk road team riding Cervelo and Shimano and we continue our sponsorship of the successful Rapha Condor team. Icebike will be bigger and better this year and we will also be at the London Cycle Show again in October. We have a very full marketing agenda in 2009 of events and shows, but I don’t want to give too much away. So you’ll have to wait and see. Madison 0208 385 3385 To register yourself and staff for IceBike visit www.icebike.co.uk
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•Effective handling of stock – multi-location •Fully integrated online shop/e-commerce website •Full bar code support & operation •Control at sales order/POS •Purchase order processing •Sales order processing •Quotation & kit selling •Customer tracking & contact management •Advance payment/Christmas club •Integrated accounts with Euro and full multi currency support •Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet &Trail Balance •Stock forecasting, best sellers & slow movers reporting •Management reports •Trade Counter Facility •Portable stock checking & update •Batch update between branches •Live link operation between branches •Powerful marketing & direct mail facility •Workshop module with job tracking •Lost sales reporting •Customer Loyalty schemes •Customer order tracking •Graphic/catalogue support “We have been with •SMS Text Message Abacus since about 1989 now and during that time have seen our •Warehouse module business grow by an average 25% per •WEB links year. This is partly because Abacus helps •Email shots us by looking after many routine “The system works well, we wouldn’t want to consider running the business without it." Mike Eric Burgess Cycles Burnley
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stockordering tasks that we would ordinarily have to do manually, leaving us free to get on with running the shop and planning for the future. There are still many parts of Abacus that we are yet to use but as a business we would be lost without it.” Dave Quinn The Bike Factory, Chester
We have only just started with Abacus and already we don`t know how we managed without it. We cant recommend Abacus enough Alex Pink Roy Pink Cycles Newport Pagnell
"Probably the most cost effective all in one solution available on the market today. With constant improvements via regular upgrades the Abacus Software just gets better and better. A real business orientated solution and support package. "We have UK Mobility is pleased to been using the Abacus recommend Abacus." system for the last 6 years and have Steve O’Halloran grown with it. The latest 32-bit incarnation UK Mobility, is a joy to work with and the new Abacus Kent management team are flexible and genuine. The feedback that we give as a user is both “Having used Abacus welcomed and promptly acted upon and the results “Cyclesense have for seven years, virtually of theUser Group meetings are immediately been using Abacus for a trouble free, upgrading to the new noticeable in the frequent system updates. number of years and the support and 32 bit system has given welcome We have been able to reduce our developments from Nick and, speed & new features. stock holding by almost 30% more recently, Duncan & Bill Listening to their customers through user and significantly increase sales at the have been tremendous. groups, and now accelerating the same time. The workshop system The upgrades this year have been development of the software, puts is a godsend, increased efficiency superb and we are looking forward Abacus in a leading position as an and profitability here alone more to getting even more benefits EPOS supplier to the cycle industry.” than justifies the system costs." from the system.” Rob Turner Steve Coram David Stainthorpe Ben Hayward Cycles, Cycle Logic, Helston Cyclesense, Cambridge Tadcaster.
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BRAND SPOTLIGHT POWABYKE
Up your sales
throttle… Powabyke has just notched up ten years in business and on this anniversary there are both reasons to celebrate and cause to focus harder than ever on consistent sales. Mark Sutton talks to Powabyke MD Nick Child about a slow starter that’s picked up pace every year since its creation… It’s PowaByke’s 10th anniversary – could you pick any highlights from the past decade? We have sold circa 35,000 bikes. In the early days, people thought we were ‘proper bonkers,’ and I dare say, a few still do, but the sales speak volumes, both about the market and the products’ potential. Our second high point was when our ‘survey’ showed us that e-bikes were being used as a form of transport and not just selling as nothing more than a ‘trendy fad.’
“In the early days people thought we were proper bonkers. The sales volumes speak for themselves Nick Child though...” Managing Director, Powabyke
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Were there any low points? I think during the early days we suffered with some very high return rates and it was difficult to catch up on our perceived QC problems. However, it turned out that the customers were putting roughly ten times the annual use into the bikes than we could have anticipated and this was
the key reason we had the problems. Once we understood the ‘why’, we were able to permanently engineer our way out of the problem. The second real low point was when I found out Frank Curran was actually on the payroll. Up until then I thought he was just a Powabyke groupie. The electric market hasn’t always been as strong as it is now – how difficult was it to create an initial dealer base and begin growing the brand? Very difficult. In 2000 and 2001 we were visiting dealers and introducing the concept of ebikes. 70 per cent of the time we were refused entry on account of the bikes looking awful and were told that only ‘a overweight nut job’ (as one dealer put it) would buy an electrified bike. This started to change from about 2003 onwards.
The sector now seems to be being accepted by the average dealer – why do you think IBDs suddenly have confidence in the e-bikes ability to sell? Because a vanguard of IBDs have been leading and, indeed, creating the market. At a certain point in a new market you hit a critical mass and the majority begin to find that they can participate. I also think the new designs of bikes help. Obviously we have gone out of our way to create in the X-Byke a dealer friendly product. It’s also very profitable when compared to your average complete bike sale. Any plans to attend any of this year’s shows? We will be at the London Cycle show, January Heron Club event, as well as one of the big German shows towards the end of the year and probably InterBike in Las Vegas during September.
BRAND SPOTLIGHT POWABYKE
What growth have you forecast going forward? In the current climate we are being modest. However, we do see ourselves selling a very cheap form of transport and think sales will be strong and progressive. Any exciting new technology in the works? Yes – we have some really exciting stuf. But I can’t tell you yet, otherwise I will have to shoot all of your readers. How’s the 2009 range going so far? Have you had feedback? Simply brilliant. Feedback has been great and we have opened a lot of new accounts, and ‘reenergised' some old ones. We believe that this is all down to the strength of the new product. Tell us a bit about your pedal before power system: A common misconception is that it has something to do with extending the life of the circuit boards. It hasn't – it’s to save piles of battery energy. If you don’t ask the battery to haul you off the start line you improve the range. Imagine the improved MPG you could get from your car if you could pedal it to get started. It’s also a good safety feature that helps to prevent standing start ‘prangs.’ Can you imagine losing the 'family jewels’ by inadvertently turning on the throttle just before you mounted the seat properly. Ouch! Do you get many warranty issues? How and where are these dealt with? Not many – we avoided the problem normally associated with new products and reliability by selecting parts from previous bikes that we knew worked really well. For instance the motor. We have 12,000 of this model on the road, 5,000 of the throttle and even 1,200 of the battery. While not complacent, I also think our parts and technical team are second to none in terms of dealer support. Also our dealer base has grown in technical experience over the past few years and on most occasions deal with any problems quickly and efficiently. Has it been difficult sourcing reasonably priced li-ion batteries? Will these decrease in price going forward? It’s very difficult to say. The Chinese are producing cheaper product, but most of what we
The design of the e-bike has come a long way and has been a crucial factor in upping the appeal of the bikes for both consumers and retailers, according to the Powabyke MD
have seen is seriously toilet quality, and the supply is still low following the recent German fire that certainly put the product into short supply and squeezed the prices up. All the promising volume gains we have made in recent years have just been lost in the Sterling currency crash. If the world ever returns to normal, then yes the batteries will reduce in cost, but don’t forget Lithium batteries last for a very long time and, while the
capital cost is perceived as high, the running costs are comparable with SLA batteries. The public needs to be educated on the benefits of good quality batteries. Why should a consumer choose a Powabyke over competitor brands? Simply because it’s a good product. We want more business and we will always try to go the extra mile in customer service.
“If the world ever returns to normal, then the price of Lithium batteries will gradually decline. In the meantime, the public needs to be educated on the benefits of good quality batteries.” Nick Child Managing Director, Powabyke
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 41
PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT Send your recruitment news to
Three’s not a crowd for Madison and Gelert Both distributors hire a trio of staff Rowena Henson returns to take on global sales role at Clarks Cycle Systems Kurve hires Andy Brooke as sales and marketing manager ahead of range expansion ROWENA HENSON RENOWNED braking accessories manufacturer, Clarks Cycle Systems, has hired Rowena Henson to the position of global sales consultant. Previously, Henson has held two sales roles over a period of ten years. Most recently, she worked for TNT UK as a sales account manager for five years. While at TNT, Henson was nominated and drawn up in the shortlist of finalists for the National Sales Award alongside just seven others from across the country. Before taking her role at Clarks, Henson toured Australia for three months. "I landed back in England early January having travelled around Australia for three months. I was originally going to Oz on a year’s working visa, but cut my trip
42 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
short due to being head-hunted two weeks before my departure to work for Clarks. Tony Wright agreed for me to have the time in Oz while keeping the job open for me," Henson told BikeBiz. The role of global sales consultant will see Henson take care of the retention and growth of the brand’s customer base. She added: "I look forward to meeting with you trade members in the coming months to share your ideas and gather your feedback on Clarks Cycle Systems products and service. All feedback assists our manufacturing and supply. I will also be in Taipei at booth number M202 and M301 in March."
SIMON WILD, PAUL WAIN AND BEN SPURRIER Madison has made a flurry of appointments since the start of
2009 taking on Ben Spurrier, Paul Wain and Simon Wild. Wild joins the distributor as the brand manager for the recently acquired Saracen label. Wild spent four years as senior cycle product manager for Raleigh and prior to that was based in Hong Kong for Boots Retail and as a bike specialist in Halford’s Far East buying office. Wain joins as corporate and export sales manager, bringing a wealth of over 20 years’ cycle industry experience. Wain was previously national account manager with Tradewinds and prior to that, account manager at Raleigh for many years. He has represented Great Britain’s Cycling Team for several years, both for road and track racing at world level and was part of the ‘86 Commonwealth and the ‘88 Olympic Games Track Squad.
PEOPLE AND RECRUITMENT
People & Recruitment is Sponsored by Halfords
Simon Wild That’s all in addition to winning many domestic races and national track medals. Spurrier also joins in a brand managerial role, acting as assistant across various brands under the distributor’s portfolio. Spurrier, who previously spent two years as senior brand assistant at Pinnacle Bikes, has worked as race mechanic for Plowman Craven-Madison and
Paul Wain cut his teeth as workshop manager for many years before that. PHIL HEADEN, LEE ELLIS JONES AND DANNY PERKINS Gelert has announced the appointment of three new sales staff, all allocated to its cycle division. The roles will further develop representation for Canyon
Ben Spurrier helmets and accessories, as well as the new range of Halcyon Trekking bikes. Phil Headen, who has more than 20-years experience in the cycle business joins as the Southern area manager and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org Lee Ellis Jones takes on the role of area manager for Northern England and North
Wales. Jones can be reached on email@example.com Finally, Danny Perkins will take responsibility for all areas in South East. Perkins can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org In other news, a new showroom in the north is under construction, in addition to the London base. The second premises will be located in Widnes, near Liverpool. ANDY BROOKE Kurve has appointed Andy Brooke (right) as sales and marketing manager. The brand, which started in 2008, now offers a condensed range of two braking models down from eight. However, Brooke told BikeBiz: “We’re hoping to launch several new lines over the next year.” The direct-to-consumer brand
currently has a promotion on all silver brakes. Retail prices have been slashed from £199.99 to £149.99, plus free postage. Units are selling fast, according to Brooke, so if you’re after a set of high-end brakes contact him on email@example.com
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 43
RETAIL ONLY The trade’s guide to the best customer service, up-and-coming IBDs and the hottest products
RETAIL COMMENT Mail order firms are really testing the IBD’s grit at present, offering up to 20 per cent (and in a few cases more) off 2009 models. I have to wonder why on earth they’re making cuts so deep so soon. Is it even necessary? Last time I checked, demand was on par, if not outstripping supply. It’s one thing having a sale to shift stale stock, but needlessly discounting fresh bikes when each would sell at full retail? That’s surely reckless, even if you are shifting containers of the things. With prices now firmly up on the pre-Christmas figures, wouldn’t it make more sense to maximise profit on the models bought at cheaper prices? Studying the financials of CRC, Wiggle and others for the past 12 months, their year-on-year growth ranges between 30 to 45 per cent. Consider how many units that equates to, but I’d suggest you avoid picturing the market share split between IBDs, multiples, online and others. The strong are a whole lot stronger this year. It cannot be long before larger internet outfits hire a couple of competent mechanics to iron out the typical bike-in a box problems. It’s an idea many may laugh at –
I have to wonder why the internet retailers are making price cuts so deep, so soon. Is this really necessary right now? these e-tailers who care more about units shifted than profit per unit becoming as savvy as those managing independent stores. But what if...? Sure, they’ll never match the personal service associated with retail, but that’s not what the majority of customers are paying for. Ever heard the line: “But, I saw it cheaper on the internet...?’ What’s worse, consumers are comparing independent business to online retail and assuming traditional dealers are hiking prices. From the desk-bound research that I’ve done, kids’ bikes seem to be worst affected by price shagging, which I suppose is nothing new. What is new, however, is that the quality of these bikes from prices low-to-high has really improved in the last five years. Well, excluding a few… and sadly those will be the eyesores in your workshop. The difference between sinking or swimming in 2009 could rest on just a few decisions. IBDs will need to strike a balance between shifting stock before it goes stale and maintaining net profits through sensible margins. The peak time for cashing in on Google hits may have just passed, but it’s worth remembering that local custom will likely be tougher the next few months. And there’s no use in sitting tight and hoping things pick up. Fight back...
IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE HELMETS
Protection is big business, which is one of the reasons why distributors carry at least one helmet. BikeBiz takes a look...
We look at the gearing and braking to be adorned aboard frames and forks. BikeBiz collates the last product information
Fresh from the design board, BikeBiz lists the very latest products that are set to hit shelves nationwide
A2Z Lightweight Hubs Weighing only 116g for front and 228g for the rear and available in White, Black, Silver & XTR Grey. The price isn’t bad either. QR15 version comming soon!
Marzocchi 44 ATA Micro Featuring the new QR15 Axle developed by Marzocchi & Shimano, the 44 ATA Micro delivers unpresidented stiffness in a trail fork with no weight penalty; ensuring it fork will be this year’s must have fork.
£699.95 ssp £679.95 ssp
with QR15 with QR
A2Z Titanium Skewers Lightweight, attractive, and a bargain too. Available in Black, Blue, Gold, Red, Silver, XTR Grey, Orange & White.
Ice Toolz Crown Race Tool FSA 11 Speed Chainrings
Now works with all steerers up to 1.5”. You’ll never damage a crown race again.
Fully CNC machined and comming in both Shimano 7900 and Campag 11 flavours. Price start from just:
£34.95 ssp Call 02392 521912 or visit www.windwave.co.uk for more information
Don’t lose your head Safety conscious cyclists and concerned parents will always ensure that helmets are a staple part of a dealer’s offering. But with big things expected from the commuter sector and therefore an anticipated upsurge in cycling, helmets are set to be very serious business indeed in 2009. Jonathon Harker takes a look at some of the profit opportunities available for retailers…
Raleigh RALEIGH has unveiled a brand spanking new set of helmets for 2009, with fresh models, graphics and tech – and great features at value for money prices. The Extreme has a unisize dial fit, oversized
cooling vents and a flowery-designed helmet – all for £25.99 RRP. The Missile boasts all-new graphics, but has substance to match the style, including a micro shell construction and dial fit system in two sizes. Raleigh has also ramped up its Junior range, with the Rascal available in XXS, and the Burner BMX bringing BMX features to a smaller helmet. 01773 532600 raleigh.co.uk
Gelert GELERT’S Canyon helmets range come in a variety of price points in 21 different design and colour combinations. Running alongside the adult helmets are five Youth and seven children’s models, all sporting a selection of exclusive designs. The Canyon Cougar has a 22through flow air venting system, with five colour combinations, two sizes (54/58cm and 58/62cm) and a handy snap-on/off removable peak. The Canyon Ventura features an inmould Monocoque design with ‘Turntyte’ easy-adjust retention fitting, slide snap adjusters and three colour combinations. Included in Gelert’s youth helmet range are a Full Face Helmet, Street Helmet and Pad Set, Headcase BMX and Kid Cool youth.
Coyote Sports DISTRIBUTOR and manufacturer Coyote Sports carries a full range of helmets including lines for juniors and
The Canyon Kidcool helmet is made for toddlers and children. In a parent-pleasing move it has tough construction with extended neck protection. The child-friendly helmet also features six air vents, slide strap adjusters and four striking Kid Cool character graphics. 01766 510301 gelert.com
Nemesis NEMESIS has a full line-up of Catlike helmets, including the Sakana model, which was recently up for an award at the International Forum Design in Hanover. Those award-courting features include the use of an innovative Catlike-patented ‘Air Tube System’ technology. The clever tech both reinforces and lightens the whole structure of the Sakana, aiding safety and performance for riders.
adults, encompassing BMX and downhill-specific helmets. New this year is a Coyote ownbrand range that promises to be in stock by the end of this month (February). The new range will include helmets with new colour ways, designs and new models. Coyote also carries the Bellelli range of kids’ helmets – sure to go down well with protective parents. Head on over to the firm’s site (see below) for more details on the Bellelli line-up. 01617 278505 coyote-sports.com
The Sakana also features a generous 19 air intakes and uses dual flow technology. It benefits from in-mould technology and a removable visor. In fact, Catlike says it has packed all of its technical know-how into this compact helmet, which is designed for casual riders and MTB-addicts. 08709 502150 nemesisactive.com
Fox First up from Fox is the Rampage DH Helmet 20006. The head-protector comes in two new colours for 2009, including Matte Black and Matte Bronze. Based on the best-selling Flux helmet, the Transition Helmet 20005 comes in a new sleek Matte Black this year and aims to offer dirt jump and offer street riders a lightweight, performance helmet with ample coverage to protect in a crash. Also up from Fox is the Flux Helmet 20001, with an eye-catching new Punk Black and Re-entry Red colours added to the line-up. In a demographically pleasing move the Flux Helmet also comes in a new size of XS/S to accommodate the tiny heads of the young and small rider. 01914 876100 foxeurope.com
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 47
ISON ISON Distribution has a full line of TSG helmets including All Terrain models. The new All Terrain features a peaked mould for extra facial protection. Boasting a high impact ABS shell with a black EPS liner, the TSG is
Windwave WINDWAVE will be bringing the updated Mace helmet range to the trade for 2009, which boasts a better fit for a larger range of head sizes. Cunningly coordinated to match its own jerseys and gloves with new colours and graphics, it helps to
Hotlines Hotlines will be bringing new helmets from Rockgardn – including two limited-edition Warbird Series helmets. With paint schemes inspired by two of the most famous fighters of WWII, the US P-51 Mustang and the Messerschmitt ME-109. The former comes with DDay stripes and a redheaded Vargas girl.
Bob Elliot BOB ELLIOT is exclusively distributing Lazer’s range of helmets from January this year. The 2009 helmets are set to be initially delivered in February from Lazer’s children’s helmets through to the high-end road and MTB models,
Greyville GREYVILLE has announced that it will be carrying BBB’s freshly launched range of 11 helmets. The lineup includes product suitable for road, cross-country and BMX enthusiasts. The range covers prices from £8.50 (RRP £14.95) for children’s helmets and £59.00 (RRP £99.95) for MTB and road helmets.
48 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
ventilation friendly, sporting inside ventilation and 14 vents. Ison also has TSG’s hotly anticipated clear white helmets and the Staten Full Face in flat black gloss white or, for the less inhibited, in an eye-catching zebra stripe design. Also up is the Evolution Superlight and new Recon helmets. 01223 213800 ison-distribution.com
create a complete look, aiding retailers looking for co-ordinated merchandising. The distributor will also be bringing Mace’s C4 helmet to the trade. New for 2009 it’s a new take on the traditional old -school skate style helmet. Featuring a polycarbonate shell the C4 passes all of those crucial CE and CPSC safety standards and is available in two sizes. The Mace C4 also comes in two colours – matt black and also in an eye-catching hardwood style (left). 02392 505320 windwave.co.uk
Madison TWO Of Madison’s latest helmets are from the Giro stable – including the Remedy Zombie special. It features some unique graphics and detailing, including a zombie arm painted down the length of the visor, which when removed reveals a bloody stump of an arm underneath the helmet shell. Nice... It also boasts 14 vents and adjustable notool visor, plus a removable liner (retail
Zyro ZYRO has many new and redesigned helmets including the Aduro for men – an allrounder with 14 cooling vents and detachable peal. It also features dual compound ZoomPlus adjustment system. The Arica is the female version
Fisher Outdoors Appropriately, both use aircraft grade thermoplastic and retail at the £99.99 mark. The O Neal Fury is a classic Helmet that has had a nip n’ tuck for 2009, now weighing a mere 1100g – all for £79.99 RRP. Meanwhile the Azonic uses a built-in surround sound system making MP3 players easier and safer by not restricting outside noise. 0131 319 1444
including the flagship Genesis. The Lazer Genesis Road helmet features Rollsys and Coolmax – helping reduce moisture. A Rigidity Brace System (RBS) reinforces the helmet’s resistance against multi-impacts, while the helmet also boasts coloured straps and washable pads. 2009 will also see additions of brand new road helmet the Helium - the helmet used by Pro Tour Team Katusha. 01772 459887 bob-elliot.co.uk
The BBB Eagle helmet scored an impressive eight out of ten in a 220Triathalon magazine review and includes 24 air ventilation holes, adjustable straps, washable pads and reflective stickers at the rear. Coming in two sizes, the helmet has an easy to use twosided adjustment system. 01543 251328 greyville.com
FISHER Outdoors offers up a big range of helmets, including the Cosmo Nova3. With a total of 15 vents for top-notch air channelling and added graphics, the helmet has an RRP of £29.99 and comes in three colours fitting sizes 54cm-61cm. Next up is the Mythos Nova3 helmet, sharing many features with the Cosmo, and the Terra Nova3 helmet which has a brand new ‘soft touch finish’ with an impressive 21 vents and removable visor.
Bike X BIKE X Will be bringing the Sport Direct Vortex Cycle Helmet to the trade. Available in Blue/Silver, the helmet has 18 vents, anti-insect mesh and a padded chin strap, as well as a unisize headlock system. Bike X will also be distributing the Sport Direct Vento – a
Chicken Cyclekit CHICKEN CYCLEKIT’S range of Las helmets covers eight models – making them an easy-to-stock option for retailers. Retailers opening a 16 helmet order will get a free £100 Squadra model.
price is £99.99). Also up are the Bell Drop Special Editions (also at £99.99) in three limited editions. All fullfaced helmets, the ‘Flyin’ Brian Lopes helmet features artwork by Troy Lee. The black and white Manic version uses graphics lifted from the Bell Sports MX programme and the Moto8 MX helmet. 0208 385 3385 madisonb2b.com
of the Aduro, boasting all of the great features of the former. For youngsters, Zyro offers dealers the junior-aimed Chaox – a scaled down version of the Aduro and a brand new addition for 2009. Commuter specific helmets are also on offer from the distributor – the Urban-I and child-aimed Super Chilly – part of the Abus helmets line-up. 01845 521700 zyro.co.uk
New for February 2009 comes the Sine Thesis, with 360 degree ventilation and 20 per cent contact with the head when worn. The helmet features Gel O2 padding and ventilated Kevlar straps. It also boasts an integrated composite exoskeleton. 01727 798345 fisher outdoor .co.uk
Red/Black helmet with 21 vents. As with the Vortex, the Vento has antiinsect mesh and a unisize headlock system. The unisize headlock makes the helmet fit sizes 58-62cm. Finally the firm is carrying the Sport Direct BMX Skull and Cross Bones helmet. This eye-catching helmet has 11 vents and all the features of the Sport Direct range. Available in 5458cm, the BMX Skulls and Cross Bones brings some piratey goodness to riding. firstname.lastname@example.org http://bike-x.co.uk/
With good margins, and one or two sizes or colours per helmet, the Las helmets are also used by pro racers. The models on offer include the Victory, Chronometro, Squalo, Istrion, Kripton, Ottanta, Settantuno, Espirit II and the Fantastico. Chicken Cyclekit also offers a Las 12 helmet upright display for shop displays. Chicken Cyclekit chickencycles.co.uk
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 49
Scottish ambition Owner: Jeremy Miles Locations: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester Established: 1977 (Edinburgh) Telephone: 0845 257 0808 EDINBURGH Bicycle Cooperative first came on to the retail scene back in 1977 and has gone from strength-tostrength in the following 32 years, not least picking up a ‘Best Specialist Chain’ BikeBiz Award last year. From opening new branches in Scotland and the north of England, to ramping up its online presence and employing more than 100 people (some of whom have been working at the firm for 20 and even 30 years), Edinburgh Bicycles has stuck to the co-operative origins that it went into business with in the late ‘70s. After creating an online retail service in 1996 – back when the internet was still a relatively new proposition for most retailers and consumers – Edinburgh Bicycle went on to have an eye-catching start to the 21st Century. It took over Cycling World in Aberdeen in 2002 and the year after made its first step south of the border by taking over Newcastle’s Hardisty Cycles. The retailer then went on to open a brand new shop in Leeds in 2006 and then followed that up with another store in Manchester in 2007.
50 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
Recipe for success But what has given the firm the platform for that growth? And what makes a successful bicycle dealer? BikeBiz speaks to Edinburgh Bicycle’s managing director Jeremy Miles for his thoughts on the essential qualities for a successful bicycle dealer: “Enthusiasm is important – the
Web: www.edinburghbicycle.com Email: email@example.com Opening Times: Various
features, contributing directly to help make the business a success, according to Miles: “Edinburgh Bicycle’s inclusive worker’s co-operative structure is a key motivator for our staff. For instance, potential rewards like annual cash bonuses and free share awards are equally shared by all members. We hope that these rewards give
“Differentiation is important for every retailer. What can your store offer customers that local competitors cannot?” Jeremy Miles Managing director shop should have a buzz. Differentiation is also an important area for every retailer – what is it that you offer that your competitor does not?” Keeping an eye on the latest industry fashions is vital too, says Miles: “Staying abreast of market trends, or even helping create them is equally essential,” he adds. Edinburgh Bicycle’s cooperative structure gives the firm some pretty unique
co-op workers an incentive to offer exceptional service.” The MD believes that the retailer’s unusual structure has been key in attracting great staff too: “The co-op structure has a history of attracting exceptional workers – people who would not necessarily be attracted by work at a conventional bicycle business.” And that co-op structure means that staff members are involved with different parts of the business – as with the open
forums that allow every co-op member to have their say and influence working conditions. But it’s not just the co-op structure that makes Edinburgh Bicycle a successful business. Size matters too, according to the chain: “Successful retailers need to be large enough to enjoy economies of scale, but that needs to be balanced – retailers also need to be small enough so that each branch enjoys sufficient autonomy to feel connected to their local cycling community.” “Experience and knowledge of cycling and bicycle retailing is also important,” Miles tells BikeBiz. “Add the zip and zest of new recruits and you have a potent mixture of experience and youthful enthusiasm.” “We’re staffed by cycle enthusiasts of all disciplines – from triathletes to downhillers, BMXers to commuters.” Miles also believes that intelligently organised shops and a non-intimidating atmosphere have been vital in welcoming a broad spectrum of potential customers: “We aim to make our shops the kind where an enthusiast would feel at home and a complete novice would always feel
welcome and not patronised.” Miles tells us: “Stocking a world-class choice of bicycles and cycle equipment is important too – ours is the biggest bike shop in every city with an Edinburgh Bicycle Coop branch.” Preparing for tough times With difficult trading conditions ahead for retailers inside and outside the bike business, Miles tells BikeBiz how Edinburgh Cycle Co-op is going to face the challenges ahead: “Trying to maintain a consistent message of quality and value for our customers is key in turbulent times. “Other challenges we face are price volatility from supply and also dealing successfully with the shift in the make-up of the competition from IBDs to super IBDs,” he adds. “Edinburgh Bicycle is excited about the challenges that we face in the next few years as bicycle retailing emerges from the recession,” Miles concludes. “The opportunity to provide the bicycle consumer with an increasingly exciting and differentiated offer through a high quality chain of stores is one that we are relishing.”
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 51
PARTS AND ACCESSORIES
The bicycle framework The frame is perhaps the most personal part of a bicycle. The geometry, weight and size can determine the ride, after all. And not only that, it’s the first component on the drawing board when building a bicycle. Mark Sutton looks at the latest framework on the market, as well as some of the best gearing and braking solutions currently available to the trade…
Hot Wheels SNAFU is making headlines again. The brand has joined the increasing number of BMX manufacturers talking about entering the track arena and, come March, the complete aftermarket range will be shipping around the world. Snafu’s focus going into 2009 has been on slimming product down to ‘ultra light’ weights – which is why the brand’s forks and sprockets are both dubbed simply ‘Ultra Light’. The fork is machined from Japanese 4130 chromoly and double-butted, then tapered for bolstered strength. The one-piece steerer tube is riflebutted and accommodates a hollow alloy headset tension bolt. The 10mm
dropouts are laser cut and 4mm thick, while the unit weighs 887g and comes in black, blue, white, mag and orange. Sharing the ‘Ultra Light’ name, the sprocket is machined from solid CNC machined 7075 alloy and etched with logos. Sized from 25 to 39-tooth they’re in black, gold, silver and red.
Ison ISON carries a wide variety of frames, forks, braking and gearing from a variety of reputable brands. Surly manufactures a fixie favourite track cog, available in sizes ranging from 13 to 22 tooth. The unit is manufactured from CNCed cro-mo and then strengthened with a wear resistant 4041 material making it super-durable. The cog
Windwave IN STOCK now at Windwave, the Corsair Konig is a hardcore play bike for slope style and bike park use, offering 130mm of rear wheel travel. The Konig is a single pivot suspension design with two links connecting the mainframe and the rear swing arm to help stiffen up the back end. Each frame comes complete with a zero degree headset with the option of a plus or minus one degree headset enabling the frame to be tailored to a specific length fork or personal preference.
is ISO threaded (1.375x24Tpi) and fits both 3/32 or 1/8" chain sizes. The continually in-demand Identiti frames now include the improved purple P66. The frame has a modern ultra-clean BMX frame styling, together with an adjustable dropout system. In keeping with its ultra-clean street frame styling, this Maz designed frame also features an internal downtube/headtube gusset and also
The frame is available in regular or long sizes and in white or orange. A Roco Air R shock, headset, seat clamp and 12mm maxle are supplied as standard all for a retail price of £1349.95. Also from the distributor, the Marzocchi portfolio has always offered great entry-level suspension forks. New for 2009, 22 models are packed with user-friendly features, including an adjustable rebound damper. Two travel versions are available – 100mm or 120mm – while both versions are coil sprung and are adjustable via a mechanical preload.
utilises a 'Campy type' integrated headset with optional gyro tabs. The frame is made from heat-treated TAF 4130 steel and offers a diverse range of compatible cranks. Retail price is £275.
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 53
PARTS AND ACCESSORIES
The Cycle Division STURMEY ARCHER continues to build some of the world’s most efficient internal geared hubs. The range is vast and very affordable to those working to a budget. In the UK, The Cycle Division is committed to providing bike dealers with all their Sturmey Archer needs and support. The firm tells BikeBiz that all hubs and parts are kept in stock and backed up with knowledgeable advice. Hub gears and brakes are popular for their simplicity and low maintenance and it’s for those reasons that city cyclists and commuters are once again showing increasing interest in such benefits. Sturmey Archer can fulfill all gear and brake needs – three, five and eightspeed hubs;
front and rear drum brakes; coaster, roller or disc brake options; dynamo hubs; stub axle hubs and spares; cruiser and tricycle hubs and chainsets. New for 2009 is the wide ratio fivespeed and the latest user-friendly wide ratio eight-speed hubs. Also new will be the S3X three-speed fixed hub, which is generating plenty of excitement. There is no new release date yet because Sturmey Archer wants to be absolutely sure the product is perfect for that ever-changing demographic. When the models do arrive, the hubs will be available in four different colours and there will be two types of shifter (bar end and thumb).
Hope THE LATEST addition to Hope’s braking portfolio is the M4. The unit is CNC machined from a solid billet of 2014 T6 aircraft spec aluminium alloy – with a split clamp to allow easy set-up and choice of positioning. The model carries a redesigned piston, lever and
Hotlines HOTLINES’ recent addition of Lynskey has given the distributor a firm stake in the titanium frame market, something which has a dedicated following. And no wonder, as Lynksey's Pro 29 frame does justice to the brand’s reputation for quality. The frame is built from triple-butted, oversize tubing, which minimises weight while ensuring strength and rigidity under power. The Helix downtube gives enhanced resistance to both bending and twisting forces. The curved top tube allows for greater clearance, which
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Upgrade THE DESIGNERS behind Upgrade's house brand, DMR, have spent a great deal of time focusing on fine-tuning the entire range for 2009. The proof is clear in the new Transition 24 frame, which has managed to shed around a pound in a year from its weight. Minor geometry tweaks have been made and the chainstays have been shortened, making the rear triangle look incredibly tidy. Removable under-seat V-brake mounts feature again, while the finished product has been given a fresh lick of paint with redesigned graphics. The tubing is made of high-strength 4130 Cromo, while the dropout holds a 14 mm axle hub. 10mm axle adapters and chain tugs for both sizes are included. The frame can also accommodate disc brakes. The geometry is best suited to either a rigid or short travel fork and
pivot assembly with external ‘on the fly’ reach and bite point adjustment dials. The new lever linkage eliminates freeplay giving a consistent, reliable feel to the brake. Further developments include bearing lever pivots for smooth use and increased lever ergonomics with a perforated lever for extra grip and feel. Also, a double-sided reservoir lid allows easy
is the bane of many a 29er. Sliding dropouts allow for the frame to be built with or without gears and also allows the wheel to be run close in behind the seatstay to reduce overall length and further enhance handling. Additionally from Hotlines, dealers will have access to the NS Bikes brand. The popular Suburban frame was a hit with dirt jump fans in 2008 and returns this season with a few tweaks. For 2009 the frame gets the following upgrades: the special NS Bikes offset butted downtube with integrated gusset. Also, all the mounts on the frame are flush with the tubes with absolutely no external gusseting, which gives the frame an ultra clean look. The geometry is also tweaked for 2009 on the 26-inch frame. The front end has been shortened and the rear triangles have also been cut slightly to make the bike more manoeuvrable.
retail price is £299.99. The distributor also handles Tektro’s range of braking equipment. One of the latest additions to the brand’s lineup is the Auriga Pro disc brake. At a wallet-friendly £74.95 (160mm version), the system combines a compact radial piston lever with a dual piston hydraulic system. The open setup uses non-corrosive mineral oil and a metal/ceramic pad compound. Meanwhile Auriga brakes come in either white or a satin grey finish.
bleeding. The master cylinder assembly is completed with a durable anodised finish to withstand weather, cleaning and general trail use, while a choice of either hi-tensile polyester reinforced or Goodridge stainless steel braided hose gives a sharp, solid feel to the system. Among other models, the classic Mini returns for 2009. Also machined from 2014 T6
Madison MANY of the frames found on the Genesis completes are available to buy individually. The Altitude 853, Altitude Ti, iO Singlespeed and burly Alpitude are also available for those wanting to go down the custombuild route. The Alpitude is the nononsense trail goat, the hooligan in the range.
aircraft spec aluminium alloy, the brake gives a progressively strong braking experience. The split clamp allows for quick adjustment and the custom carbon blade features lacquered-over graphics to stay clean and comfortable. Lever reach is adjustable via Allen key and the master cyclinder reservoir is integrated – which makes for easy bleeding.
Constructed from Reynolds 853 with geometry suited to 140mm forks, the Alpitude climbs as well as it descends. Also from Madison, Cervelo offers the only alloy frameset in the range for £880.84. According to Cervélo, this is the cheapest route to riding a real ProTour frame. In terms of braking and gearing, Shimano offers a whole bucketload of innovative new gear this year. One of the highlights is the wallet-friendly Shimano BR-M575 hydraulic brakes, for £48.93. The new BL-M575 Deore-grade hydraulic disc brake utilises Shimano’s first ever split-clamp hydraulic lever. The lever flip-flop was designed as a solution to the brake preferences of different markets worldwide, but should go down just as well with aftermarket consumers. They come fully bled (1000mm hose – front / 1700mm–rear) with both metal and organic pads, but without a rotor or adaptor.
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 55
PARTS AND ACCESSORIES
Cannondale CANNONDALE rider Aaron Chase has a signature model for 2009 dubbed ‘The Chase’ which promises to carry everything a dirt jump/freeride rider needs for trail slaying. The double-pass, smooth-weld technology of the all-aluminum frames will resist the hardest hits, while the short stays and tough chainstay yoke deliver explosive power transfer when sprinting to the next
Seventies SEVENTIES’ brands are full of potential for building a bike from the ground up, with a possible starting point the Subrosa Alameda frame – a model with a low stand over height and progressive geometry. The frame has a 76 degree head tube angle for the ultimate in responsive steering and ‘pop’. The seat tube link with the bottom bracket has a 73 degree angle, bending to 69 degrees at the top tube – allowing the frame a longer feel with the performance of a shorter front triangle and wheelbase. The MacNeil Blazer forks are said to be the lightest conventional BMX forks
Silverﬁsh YOU’RE SPOILT for choice this year with Silverfish's addition of Turner frames. As with last year, dealers can take stock of various Rocky Mountain and Cove models too. Beginning with the Turner 5-spot, buyers are given 140mm of travel, which makes for an incredibly versatile ride when combined with the addition of the dw-link for 2009. Descending with the newest 5-Spot will give the user the confidence to conquer multiple terrains with active braking and a perfectly engineered linkage ratio. Risqué brand Cove offers some old favourites for 2009. For example, the Hustler (retailing for £1495) is built to
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ramp. Cannondale's years of experience shaping, welding and testing aluminum make the Chase capable of being thrashed. Characteristic oversized tubing is lighter than previously, but stronger at the same time. And the double-pass welds are aesthetically attractive, while also less prone to cracking above, on or below the weld line – an important consideration for bikes that get abused.
on the market. Using 20/20 heat treatment they use less material while retaining strength. These forks feature tapered and butted legs, and CNC relieved minimal dropouts with laser cut logos and a one-piece machined steer tube where you’ll still find the internal crown gusset that was a MacNeil first. Seventies also handles the increasingly popular freecoaster hubs. The Federal adjustable freecoaster uses an Allen key to adjust the amount of ‘gap’ without being disassembled.
Fisher Outdoors FISHER Outdoors has some great solutions for those dealers covering the high-end road market. The Look brand has high value offers in its 2009 frame range, including the 596 TT frameset. The 596 TT package includes a Z Pro-team crank, complete with ZED Keo pedals and bottom bracket, three sets of elastomer blocks, a Look 'E post’ seatpost, indexed carbon stem – adjustable to various riding positions and an offset Aero fork weighing 490g. The monocoque frame (with an uncut seat tube) weighs 1,350g. At Fisher’s Expo this month expect to see plenty of new additions to the Rock Shox range, including the updated downhill-specific Boxxer model. SRAM’s Red range will also make an appearance at the Expo, providing a chance to check out the latest brake callipers, offering superior stopping power and modulation in a light, windcheating package. Based on a new, upgraded version of SRAM’s race-
balance the challenges of downslopes with the harshness of climbing back up. The Hustler comes with an adjustable Fox RP23 air rear shock on a four-bar linkage and lightweight Easton RAD tubing frameset designed for plush, efficient performance. The Rocky Mountain Vertex full carbon has taken another huge leap forward for 2009. Featuring Race Tuned Compact (RTC) geometry, the model has evolved during the brand's testing to be a top trail-shredder.
TO SHOW that SRSuntour is moving with the times, it has launched into the 15mm axle format in a big way, utilising a quick release axle, which comes with the 15mm specced forks. Greyville are bringing in three such models – the Axon, Epicon RLD15 and XC-TAD15 (with travel adjust). Greyville will have stock from early summer, including the much anticipated electronic lock-out compatible Axon model, a model that has shown that SRSuntour are serious about the continuing development of mid to highend forks. To back up this explosion of technical development, Greyville are currently signing up dealers to
proven skeletonized Dual Pivot design, they bring cold-forged alu arms, alloy pivot bolts and an easy-to-adjust padset plus maximum effectiveness at a low weight. High-precision bearings make power control and modulation both feather-light and weatherproof. Avid will be displaying its range of braking solutions at the Expo too. One of the brand’s most celebrated models, the Elixer disc brake, retails for £129.99 and is a great solution for customers looking for a low-maintenance highend stopper. The brake features a twopiece caliper with top-loading pads and runs on DOT 5.1 hydraulic fluid.
become SRSuntour service centres, with training provided by SRSuntour's European technical and service personnel. Phone Greyville on 01543 251328 for further information if you are interested in becoming a SRSuntour Service Centre.
Contacts: Parts and Accessories Hot Wheels 01202 732288 hot-wheels.co.uk
Hope 01282 851200 hopetech.com
Silverfish 01752 843882 silverfish-uk.com
The Cycle Division 0845 0508 500 thecycledivision.co.uk
Hotlines 0131 319 1444 hotlines-uk.com
Seventies 0845 3103670 seventies.co.uk
Windwave 023 9250 5320 windwave.co.uk
Cannondale 02380 391602 cannondale.com
Greyville 01543 251328 greyville.com
Upgrade 01403 711611 upgradebikes.co.uk
Madison 0208 385 3385 madisonb2b.com
Ison 01223 213800 ison-distribution.com
Fisher Outdoors 01727 798345 fisheroutdoor.co.uk
BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 43
Over the past few weeks a number of new products have rolled into retail. Highlights include limited editon Giro eyewear, Sombrio’s ‘09 range and an SKS pressure reader...
Ten Stories About Bicycles (1) CANDLESTICK PRESS Tel: 07500 180871 NEW publisher Candlestick Press has launched a poetry pamphlet based around the bicycle. Designed as an alternative to sending a card, the pamphlet contains ten poems and is sold with a matching envelope and bookmark, both of which are left blank so the buyer can leave a personal message. Ten Poems About Bicycles is perfect for bicycle lovers and poetry lovers alike. It covers many different aspects of the bicycle, from its early history, through some teething problems (mostly in the brakes department) and on to the vivid and often magical thoughts, affection and loyalty that bicycles have inspired in their riders and in poetry. All pamphlets are printed on high-quality textured paper. For trade orders, contact 0845 458 9911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MRP G2 guide (2) ISON Tel: 01223 213800 MRP has announced the G2 chain guide, the first model to go into production utilising MRP’s patented bash guard technology. The G2 showcases a fully integrated skid plate, boomerang, and lower guide design never before seen on a bicycle. The result is a nocompromise guide that is light enough for the most weightconscious racers without sacrificing chain retention, rigidity or protection of the chain and chainring. Retailing at £125, the guide is a high-end bit of kit, which is compatible with 36 to 40 tooth chainrings. The system is easy to install and adjust, also offering firm support should the guide take impact. The guide transfers energy from knocks
into the strongest part of the frame, as opposed to the bottom bracket bearings and crank spider. The kit is available in ISCG, ISCG ‘05 or BB mounting standards.
headed pressure reader with a digital display. The reader even allows the user to manually deflate the tyre. Additional accessories such as plastic tyre levers will also join the product catalogue.
Sombrio ‘09 range PALIGAP (3) Tel: 01179 825500 SOMBRIO’S 2009 line, as seen at CoreBike, is on its way to distributor Paligap. The Freeride Collection takes definitive trailinspired styling, subversive graphics, state-of-the-art functionality and combines it with serious day-in, day-out durability. The Rev Moto shorts and Clutch Moto jersey are just two woods-friendly garments from the line-up. The shorts are made from a four-way stretchwoven nylon, also utilising a weather treatment system to keep the user dry and comfortable. The laser cut waistband tension and AS velcro make the garment adjustable, while maintaining a tailored feel. Thigh vents allow breathability, while the entire interior carries a smooth mesh lining. As with the Moto Jersey, sizes range from small to XXL. The upper layer features a multi-panelled long-sleeve design, Maple sketch print and also carries a mesh lining, which allows underarm breathability. Prices for both are still to be announced.
DMR ‘09 range (5) UPGRADE Tel: 01403 711611 UPGRADE has taken stock of all the shiny goods under the DMR brand shown to the trade at Cycle. Among the range are anodised sprockets, seatclamps, posts, frames and stems. All of these are available in blue, purple, green, red and black.
SKS Airchecker (4) Tel: Various distributors (Madison, Raleigh, Chicken Cyclekit) AVAILABLE via Raleigh, Madison and Chicken Cyclekit in the UK, SKS will be offering a largely revamped and expanded range this year. The Raceblade and Shockblade guards make a welcome return, but accompanied by products like the SKS Airchecker – a double-
Giro Havic glasses (6) MADISON Tel: 0208 385 3385 THE GIRO Havik Grand Tour Edition glasses have landed at Madison. They’re already selling and there are 500 pieces available worldwide, so it’s essential to get orders in soon if you’ve a local Alberto Contador fan craving the latest eyewear. To commemorate Contandor’s historic achievement, Giro has created the limited edition batch based around its Havic model in each of the celebrated colours that represent the leader’s jersey for the iconic races in which he scooped top spot – yellow for the Tour de France victory, pink for the Giro D’Italia and finally, gold, representing Contador’s Vuelta a Espana triumph. The Havik’s sculptural Super Fit frame offers a comfortable, secure fit with helmets and is matched to an exclusive sevenbase Zeiss lens that offers a wide-open field-of-view and an exceptionally clear vision that riders like Alberto have come to love. A soft rubber nose pad and sleek temple tips position the Havik perfectly on your face, and deliver an amazing fit for true all-day comfort. The glasses will sell at retail for £139.99.
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 59
THE ALL NEW 2009 BIKE RANGE FROM SHOGUN
FOR THE WARRIOR WITHIN
Distributed by 2x2 Worldwide, Unit 6, Hall End Business Park, Dordon, Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 1SX Tel: 01827 331099 Fax: 01827 897113 www.shogunbikes.co.uk email: email@example.com
BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE TO ADVERTISE IN THESE PAGES PLEASE CALL CARLY BAILEY ON 01992 535647
The BikeBiz Marketplace offers a complete marketing package of print, online and editorial visibility, allowing companies the opportunity to maintain contact with readers each month without the associated cost of full display advertising. The BikeBiz Marketplace, and its associated online version, has been designed to offer readers a directory of all products and services in the bike trade.
The standard package includes: A quarter page advert in each issue Regular editorial coverage in the dedicated column Company details listed in the online directory with web link Company details listed in the BikeBiz Marketplace Contacts To get your company featured here contact: Carly Bailey on 01992 535647 or
Your presence in this section ensures that your company’s details are easily found, keeping you one step ahead of your competitors.
firstname.lastname@example.org Marketplace Rates: Quarter Page £175 (minimum six months)
BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE CONTACTS BIKES & ACCESSORIES
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01282 699 555
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RESPRAYS & REPAIRS Argos TRAINING SERVICES
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0870 442 8240
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FOLDING BIKES Montague
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I-Bikeshop.com 02476 851027
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 61
BIKEBIZ MARKETPLACE BIKES AND ACCESSORIES
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Electric Folding Chopper & BMX Style Adults Childs Traditional Special Needs
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Call 01622 815 615 for special offers on 20 inch alloy folding bikes and unicycles
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Fletcher IS, run by Brad Fletcher, exhibited alongside SiWis at Core Bike
Chicken Cycle Kit
Fletcher Internet Services
TEL: 01252 656148 EMAIL: email@example.com WEB: www.fletcheris.com
Cover & Page 2, 43
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The Cycle Division
What can you do for the typical cycle retailer? We will obviously discuss an individual business’s needs and from there I'll be able to draw up a range of content management and building services to retailers with web-stores. The services I offer are mostly on a freelance basis, but one of the more popular tasks assigned to myself is general homepage modifications, although I have half a dozen clients to which I am contracted to maintain their websites. The Fletcher IS service is all remotely done and there's no copyrighting, meaning every task I perform and complete on behalf of the client is wholly owned by the customer. So you're a one-man band then? At present, yes and I imagine I shall be for at least the next 12 months as the business establishes itself within the trade. Going beyond that I’m sure there will come a time when I hire staff support. Any plans for expansion? We're still a very young company, but our client-base is growing gradually. I would not like to grow at such a pace that I could not pay existing customers the dedicated time that is required to maintain great customer service. I like to be recommended by users of my service. Many of my existing portfolio will talk to prospectives about my service. How's business? It's good. We set up in 2006 and
CoreBike in January was the first time I've targeted a wider audience than my current customer base. I had hoped to have my feet firmly on the ground before offering further services to a wider audience. Offer any other services? I have performed newsletter production and distribution for a number of companies before now. This is all done in raw text (non HTML) so it'll never bounce when it hits AOL. And what about side projects? I work closely with SiWis, often performing contracted data input for the company. Tell us about your business background: I began in a customer service role and actually came into IT related work fairly late. On the back of the common dealer complaints about website maintenance and upkeep, I set up Fletcher IS. My motto from here on is: I'll be your extended, available, on-tap member of staff. I’m essentially a freelancer, but can be contracted depending on the work. How can dealers open an account with Fletcher IS? It’s simple. Either call me on 01252 656 148 or drop me an email outlining what kind of job you need doing via firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively, give my website a visit for a more in depth look at Fletcher IS. www.fletcheris.com
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 67
MY NAME is Kevin Shannon and in the summer of 2009 I will be leaving my home in Mobberley, Cheshire and embarking on a solo expedition to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle. The journey will take me approximately two years to complete. My route will take me through Europe, Russia and Siberia. I will then head south through Mongolia into China and continue down to South East Asia, crossing to Australia. Then I will travel to South America where I will head north until I enter the USA. From there I plan to head towards the east coast of Canada, travel to England and finish my expedition where I set off. This is the basic plan for my route, pending visas, political climates etc, and so is subject to minor changes.
During my ride I will be raising money for Combat Stress, which helps combat veterans with mental health issues brought about by serving time in the British Armed Forces. I'm writing to ask BikeBiz's readers for their help in raising more money and awareness for the Combat Stress cause. Any help is gratefully received and should be directed to Kevin@becauseitisthere.co.uk. Kevin Shannon
From the Forum... To bike show, or not to bike show? “Not really sure what to do this year. I went to every show last year, spent ten days out of the shop and about £500 to £600 on travelling and accommodation. Some reps were great and I felt like a valued customer; others were very hard to get to see. At best I was not treated well and left feeling it was a waste of time.” Winnie “Have you thought about going to Eurobike instead? You will see all the new products there, no-one is trying sell you anything and you can look about freely. You will see products you’ve never seen before or never thought about. You also get to look at the market from a more European point of view, which isn’t necessarily relevant, but you do come away with ideas that you just don’t see here.” Madman
“I – a small player – show up and seek to meet and talk to the top dogs eager to sell to me. Most of them know who they need to talk to at the shows and that’s mostly qualified by the size of the cheque book.” Timax “Anyone attending has to consider the current business climate in general and think about the costs involved to those show hosts. Show organisers are going to be more keen (and under more pressure) than they ever have been to cement relationships and achieve results. That will apply to smaller dealers as well as the larger ones. Now am I right to think that we should not underestimate the potential negotiating power available to those of us who might attend the shows?” Conor
World tour for Combat Stress
Testing times ahead? ON THE subject of the ongoing BS 6102 vs CEN standards testing and to air my opinion, the first question that should be asked is: of all the bikes with a saddle height greater than 635mm that are on sale in the UK at present, how many would actually pass BS 6102 testing? While the answer should be all of them, I am sure that a considerable number would fail on items such as noncompliant handbooks, pedals that fail before one-million revolutions with the obligatory 50kg weight suspended from them, axle nuts that are slightly down on their undoing torques, incorrectly marked or brakes that do not stop the bike within the specified wet braking distance. I am confident that many models that show the compulsory BS 6102 sticker have never been tested by a UK test house. I am also sure that some models which may have been tested were sent to the test house after receiving a great deal of ‘attention’ from the manufacturer or importer. In all honesty, larger wheel bicycles are comparatively easy to get through the 6102 test. The smaller the wheel size the more difficult. So how come there are bikes on sale that don’t comply? It costs somewhere in the region of £400 for a 6102 test, in addition to the trade cost of the bike (you cannot really sell it after testing). This isn't too bad providing the bike passes,
but it is an expensive way to find out that the container (or several containers) fail and the cost to get them to pass means reworking each one. Trading Standards officers are very busy people. They have to police all the products that are on sale, not only in shops and supermarkets, but street markets and the like.
“I just cannot believe that manufacturers, importers and distributors will be queuing up to get all models tested...” They are not just interested in product safety but also if the product is actually genuine. As with all local Government bodies they work within a budget and I'm sure they have to think at least twice before sending a bike off to a lab for testing. They probably have to be 100 per cent sure it will fail otherwise the money they have spent on the test fee, and all their time and effort, would be wasted. It would be interesting, to say the least, to find out how many bikes in 2008 were sent to a UK test house by Trading Standards – in my opinion, you could probably count them on the fingers of one hand!
What will be different when BS 6102 is withdrawn and bicycles have to comply with GPSR (in other words BS EN 14764, 14766 and 14781)? While I am not 100 per cent sure, I believe there is only one test house in the UK that has all the facilities to test bikes to the new standards. Also, I believe the cost of testing is somewhere in the region of £1,500 to perhaps £2,000 – very expensive. I just cannot believe that manufacturers, importers and distributors will be queuing up to get each model tested, especially as the test is far more arduous than the BS 6102 standard. What about Trading Standards? Will they be more eager to send cycles off for testing when the Pedal Bicycles (Safety) Regulations 2009 come into force? Providing the bike is marked as per the CEN standards showing its presumption to comply, then why should they spend a great deal more money, plus time and effort? Perhaps I am being too cynical, but it is my opinion that the new standards will not make any real difference to the overall safety of bicycles on sale in the UK. I believe that with many bikes, the only real difference will be in the numbers on the sticker that sits at the lower end of the seat tube. Instead of 6102, it will read 14766. Alan Bush, Bicycle Industry Consultant
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 68 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
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OFF THE RECORD
OFF THE RECORD
Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
Off the campaign trail... HAVING left office on January 20th, ex-president of the United States George Bush has been quoted by Dallasnews.com as saying: “I’m looking forward to finding mountain bike trails and mountain bike trail riders in and around Dallas. Trail-riding is going to be part of my routine.” The former most-powerful-man-onthe-planet took to off-road cycling six years ago following a series of knee problems. According to those who’ve ridden with him previously, the 62 year-old has an athletic 52 beat-perminute heart rate. Apparently Dallas has over 200 miles of trail suited to mountain biking and 23 maintained routes.
Insert ‘specs appeal’ gag here… Intent Media let rip during December for the annual BikeBiz Christmas party. Deputy editor Mark Sutton sported a funky new pair of glasses for the occasion, much to the apparent amusement of editor Jonathon Harker. We'll take caption suggestions for this photo and depending on how good/lewd they are, BikeBiz may publish a few in the next issue…
Ten riders, ten days and £25,000 for charity MARK WHITWOOD of ActiveSoccer.co.uk is seeking sponsorship for a charity bike ride departing from the Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona and finishing up (hopefully) ten days later at Anfield, Liverpool. The aim is to raise £25,000 for the Marina Dalglish Cancer Appeal.
Whitwood told BikeBiz: "We will be setting off from the Nou Camp on Thursday April 23rd and arrive at Anfield for Liverpool’s home match with Newcastle United in the Premier League (we will be getting publicity at this match). We hope to watch Barcelona play in La Liga on April 22nd.
“We have registered with the Dalglish family charity for the event to obtain an exclusive sponsorship number. We have also bought the website activebikechallenge.co.uk, which Just Giving will be featuring with links to aid online donations to the event."
unquote "You have to be very defensive when you’re riding in urban areas. When I ride I’m prepared for everybody to pull the worst possible manoeuvre on me. So if there’s a car coming up the side of me I think they’re probably about to overtake me and turn left. I never make moves unless I’m sure drivers have seen me – it’s best to get eye contact. You also shouldn’t be pushed into the kerb." Victoria Pendleton, writing in The Independent, Jan 1st "At my age, my limbs don’t come off and I don’t go round in circles, but I just love that riding feeling. Plus,
Sponsored by the brands of Moore Large 01332 274252 I love that aspect of going into the woods, getting back to nature, fresh air, riding with friends." Mark Noble of Deluxe talking to WideOpen Magazine in January
"Like most cyclists, when I acquire a bicycle I will spend some time and money to ‘dial it in.’ However, this bicycle was the equivalent of an unplanned pregnancy, and I was damned if I was going to spend a single red cent on my new bastard child. Furthermore, it was also vital to the Street Cred Test to evaluate the bike entirely as-is. (What good is a cheap
bike if you have to spend another $200 to make it ‘cool?’)" BikeSnobNYC blog, January 5th "Riding in St Petersburg, in winter, on my Brompton: some of the potholes were bigger than the bike, and the truck drivers made bendy bus drivers seem like considerate caring people who ride bikes in their spare time." Paul Robinson of Cycling England, January 1st
“If you’re a photographer I think you and I both know 2009 will be the year you get your gear properly insured. It’s happened a thousand times… Gent slurps out of a super fast rollback after doing a trick for the benefit of the photographer and hits the flash stand, knocking it and its contents to the ground and rendering the flash gun either useless or damaged.” ‘Cleggy’ on the Streetphire blog, January 5th
BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY 69
OFF THE RECORD
IN THE SADDLE
Spring into action... Spokesman discusses what retailers can do during the seasonal downtime. Should you optimise your site? Are you female friendly...? IT seems from feedback I’ve received that Christmas did happen for many cycle shops, and the gap between Christmas and the New Year saw consumers spending money. I believe we can escape the High Street’s trend of crazy 90 per cent off sales. This industry is not in trouble (well yet). The reason for the massive discounting is that large corporate stores are run on the treadmill – the margins are so tight, with the borrowing up to millions. Then there are massive rents to pay in the first quarter and overdraft repayments to meet on top of the slowdown in consumer spend; they’re all swimming against the current. Cycle retailers who are running efficient businesses should not be overstocked, having had some three months to purchase sensibly since the credit crunch hit back in September. We should see the slowdown in consumer spending not having a massive impact on us.
There will be some downtime in the weeks leading to spring. This is the time to really put your business thinking caps on. And cycling is still very much in the news. Chris Hoy, since winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, is still consistently racking up column inches – the Chris Hoy Kellogg’s promotion, the special edition BMX, the Knighthood and Bradley Wiggins’ biography is a bestseller in the shops. If you go back ten years, cycling was seen as a boring subject for newspaper sports reporters, whereas today every magazine will show a picture of a bicycle. We have to be one of the few growth industries, so there’s no need for doom and gloom as long as the business is run with some management input. There will be some downtime in the weeks leading into spring – time to really sit down and put the thinking caps on. I tend to do most of my thinking while riding on the bike. Peaceful country lanes, away from
Where’s your favourite place to ride? In recent years, having kids, my favourite place to ride is their favourite place to ride – parks, canal paths and places like that.
the desk and the phone – works wonders for the brain. A new Veto van with a full back wrap promoting the business will be seen almost 24/7 by the consumer and it is difficult to put a price on that type of advertising. With my wholesaler’s hat on, I believe my company is one of the very few that uses national advertising on a regular basis, and yes it does pay – it just takes some time to find the correct formula. And that secret I intend to keep to myself. A website is such an important tool in retailing; it does not have to be all bells and whistles or a selling site. It’s the new Yellow Pages – when did you last pick up a phone directory before ‘Googling’? And is your shop female friendly? It should be, with many mums and girls seeing the advantages of fitness. I wanted to buy a large wheelbarrow of 200 litres, double the size of a garden wheelbarrow. Surfing the web, the prices astounded me. £230 for a plastic bin bolted to steel tubing and a wheel with tyre and tube. Compared to the price of a cycle, we are still underselling our products. I say thanks for the ‘credit crunch’. It has taken this for suppliers to take a long look at their costings, and we are now seeing some sensible pricing. Let us keep it this way. One of the main reasons for failed cycle retailers is working on very low profit margins. The second, of course, is little or no business training. And that is yet another story.
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70 BIKEBIZ FEBRUARY
MD, Walkers Cycles What bikes do you own? I own a Dawes Hybrid - a great bike – and that’s it at the minute, although I have been meaning to get another mountain bike for the last two years.
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Can you tell us about your business background? I have been involved in the trade for 20 years, from our family’s retail involvement to wholesale. I have worked for Walkers for the last ten years and in 2002 my brother Nick (who has worked for the firm for the last 20 years) and myself took over the company from my trusty father who successfully ran it for 40 years, previously taking over from his parents. How’s business? I’m really pleased that Walkers is doing well, and has grown in most areas of the country. We have also had major increases in sales commitments from IBDs in recent years. I have to thank my father Mick for a lot really, especially for building the solid framework that Nick and I have been able to develop further in the last six years. In a nutshell, Walkers offers the dealers so much and can maintain a high level of service and stock availability too. Puncture repair or new tube? A year ago I would have said a new tube. But with the price increases on tubes, get the repair kit out.
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