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JUNE 2017




Register for your free pass today @CycleShow



NEC Birmingham 21 Trade & Press only 22-24 September 2017

oof Wattbike a Colnago g C nolo Condor kU Make sure you are part peak ange g Bianchi of the UK’s biggest bike k Sc ondraker Shim trade gathering of the ransition Lezy yseason on 21 September oria Look Boa Wattbike Tac Condor Hope p Bianchi Prim er Shimano ano C Lloyd Townsend, Ison Distribution n Lezyn zyne y Oak ard rdman Lima b cx SRAM Garm Co Cam e BBB Lazer Mett Topea p ukepro p M Garmin Isla a Colna Campa p B Lazer Met Me Topea p Stealth O Giro Camelback Cam TM Vitus Mo annondale Surly annon y cholas FSA kley y Deda Kiddi Bosch V Limar Dolan Ekoi b Nukep AM Garmin Isla Co Camp p e BBB Lazer Met Topea p Stealt mal Giro Camelback TM Vitu o Cannondale Surly y cholas F akley y Deda Kiddi Bosch Vitto mar Dolan Ekoi b Nukeproof p armin Isla Co Campagnolo p g r Met Topea p roof Wattbike Ta olnago g C agnolo g Condor Hop Register for your free tradeak USE h Orange g Bianchi Primpass today at itus Mondraker Shiman alo For time-strapped IBDs a visit to the NEC offers a rare chance to do business with all the leading distributors in the UK bike market. Cycleurope, Ison Distribution, Madison, &9'8FQJX<NSI\F[J?^WT+NXMJW(8, 'TG*QQNTY8NQ[JWƴXM:0+QN*]YWF:0(MNHPJS (^HQJ0NY:ULWFIJ37,>JQQT\FWJFQQ at the show among the biggest line up of bike companies and brands in the UK.

“ I would like to say a massive THANK YOU for putting on the best show I recall being at in years.”

The ‘show to end all shows’ is on the cards 2016’s record-breaking attendance is in real jeopardy again as this year’s show is the same \JJPJSIFXYMJƴWXYJ[JW;JQT'NWRNSLMFR and the city will be packed with over 45,000 cycling enthusiasts.


Women’s Cycling Hub After its rave reviews in 2016 the Hub returns with YMJ;JQT;N]JSYJFRFYYMJMJQRTSHJFLFNS




Top five tips 9


JUNE 2017

Cycleguard offers some advice on ensuring that your independent bike shop is covered in case of emergency


Britain’s Top 20 IBDs revealed


Brought to you by NEOS Cycling, BikeBiz’s list of the 20 most trusted IBDs in the country is finally available, as decided by the public


Generational learning: Part II


In the second part of the Millennial Mechanics series, Mark Hallinger imparts some more wisdom on younger generations of bike mechanics

66 Industry Opinions 34 Product Insight – Flaer

49 Sector Guides 67 Number Crunching

Packaging waste management


Laura Laker finds out what retailers’ biggest packaging irks are, and looks into solutions that distributors are using to make this a problem of the past

68 Team Profile 70 Spokesman BIKEBIZ JUNE


“In a hard news arena, sometimes print can’t compete with new technology. So, why should it have to?”

WELCOME LETTER A trade publication is like a shark IN WOODY Allen’s 1977 classic Annie Hall, protagonist Alvy Singer famously reflects on the nature of relationships: “A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies.” I feel this quite neatly sums up the nature of business, too. Of course, publishing is no exception (neither is cycle retail). Change isn’t something to eschew; it’s because of this that our team is in the process of shifting the approach we take to editorial output. I’ve felt for some time that we could be using the limited space we have to make a magazine that serves the trade even better than it already does. Periodical print publications have increasingly been reducing hard news output in favour of meaty, multidimensional features. By the time a monthly magazine has gone to press and mailed out, critical news has often broken across a variety of channels. Digital journalists, social media users, and contributors to the blogosphere will inevitably have already got wind of it. The fact is, the internet moves with greater velocity than snail mail. In a hard news arena, sometimes print can’t compete with new technology. So, why should it have to? We could be using this powerful medium to publish the kind of content to which it’s best suited. In light of this, we’ve replaced our news pages with editorials written by entrepreneurial industry members whose insight is of value to the trade on the whole. BikeBiz’s companion website is now your one-stop shop for the latest reports, and in subsequent issues, we will populate the magazine with even more inspiring, commercially-relevant points of view than ever before. This will mean interviewing high-fliers about business tactics, and giving pioneering trade members a voice in a larger conversation about the direction that the market is taking. We have every intention of making the print magazine your go-to tool to help you do your jobs in the most innovative and efficient ways possible. Hayley E. Ferguson Editor, BikeBiz




“The workshop is the heartbeat of a bike shop” Peter Kimberley, Cycle Republic, managing director WE ARE all at risk of having our shops perceived as nothing more than a selection of bikes and cycling apparel. But, as cycling retailers, we are all too aware that our roles extend well beyond this perception. All retailers are unique. We all seek to give customers an unforgettable experience when they engage with our brands, and to ensure this positive experience will resonate with them so they recall it to their friends, work colleagues and fellow club riders. Ultimately, as retailers, we are selling a trusted service – pivotal to this service are our workshops. Each of us has observed and influenced the industry, and played our parts in the ways that bike shops have changed in dynamic over the years. New ranges and disciplines have been introduced, interactive and technologically engaging displays have appeared, but the essence and the heartbeat of any bike retailer remains the workshop. Today’s retailers must ensure customers’ expectations of seamless convenience and flawless efficiency is met at every touchpoint across the brand. Customers’ demands don’t differ, whether shopping bricks or clicks, and certainly not when they are booking bike servicing and repairs. Gone are the days when a workshop is simply a space where mechanics turn spanners – now, it is a trusted team of both qualified

“Where workshops display first-class service, they generate customer trust and a credible reputation that sees footfall return time and again.”

and training technicians working in fully-equipped workstations. Where workshops display firstclass service, they generate customer trust and in turn a credible reputation that sees footfall return time and again. Each workshop should have its own personality, and every technician should seek to build long-standing and sustained relationships with their customers. In developing our own workshop strategy, I was adamant that customer ease and convenience was at the centre of our proposition. Every retailer is faced with the dilemma of how best to maximise the ROI of £/Sqft. I was keen not to lose sight of recognising the importance of the workshop, ensuring it maintains a prime location. The dynamic of the

Executive Editor: Carlton Reid

Sales Manager: Richard Setters

Managing Director: Mark Burton

Editor: Hayley Ferguson

Production Executive: Warren Kelly

Marketing & Circulation

Staff Writer: Kieran Howells

Content Director: James McKeown

Design: Dan Bennett

Events Director: Caroline Hicks

workshop has evolved over the years from a backshop operation, away from the sight of customers, to a prominent, highly visible and welcoming space for customers. In larger shops where we trade across multiple floors, we had to consider the needs of the busy commuter. To make the process easy for them, we built a workshop “drop-off point” on the ground floor. We also realised that a commuter who wishes to continue their journey may enjoy the benefits of a free courtesy bike while their own is being serviced and repaired, to minimise inconvenience. We aim to assist all cyclists, whether they ride an e-bike, a commuter hybrid, or an elite race bike, and to provide customers with an insight into bike servicing and repairs. Because of this, we host monthly events across our workshops. These events range from women-specific sessions to roadside maintenance classes. All groups are small and informal, with the objective of being engaging and informative so people leave with greater confidence and understanding of their bikes. In this new age of retail, don’t just compete on product and price. Unleash your secret weapon: your workshop and the fantastic teams that give your shop its DNA. Compete on service and convenience, and put the workshop at the heart of your business.

Editorial: The Emerson Building, 4-8 Emerson Street, London. SE1 9DU Tel: 0207 354 6002 BikeBiz is mailed FOC to 4,000+ trade addresses every month ISSN 1476-1505

©NewBay MediaEurope Ltd 2017 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without the express prior written consent of the publisher. The contents of BikeBiz are subject to reproduction in information storage and retrieval systems. Printed by Pensord Press Ltd. NP12 2YA.





“Looking back to look forward” Caz Nicklin, Cyclechic, founder IN MARCH next year, Cyclechic. will be ten years old! How did that happen? We’ve ridden high on the wave of the cycling boom and gripped on tight along the bumpy road of the recession. We’ve gone from kitchen table startup to recognised small business, and we’ve hopefully helped a reasonable number of people bring stylish cycling accessories into their lives. Sure, we’ve made some mistakes along the way, but on the whole, as a business, we’re doing what we set out to do. So the question is, as we pedal towards a decade in business, what’s next? How do you grow and develop as a small retail business when coasting on the straight and narrow is all too tempting? I was mulling this question over at the beginning of the year, when a rather dramatic development forced my hand into making some changes to the business a little more quickly than I had planned. My business partner of eight years decided to leave for pastures new. Whilst losing her was a wrench, and caused an insane increase to my workload, what began to occur to me when the dust had settled was that this is the perfect opportunity to change the way we do things, assess all those routines we’ve been stuck in, get some new blood into the company, and forge the right path for the future. Another dramatic revelation that came earlier this year was my pregnancy. Although I am thrilled, this has put a rather sharp deadline on things. There’s nothing like a growing bump in your tummy to motivate you, and the last couple of months have seen us relocate our office, hire new staff, meet new and exciting brands, look at


“Our market has changed since we started out, and it’s our responsibility to find out who our customers are, what they need and how we can help them.”

how we can improve our use of technology, and immerse ourselves in feedback from our wonderful, wonderful customers. Being customer-centric has always been hugely important to me, even in the early days of selling helmets from my flat; as an online business, you have to find a way to communicate and understand your customers even if you don’t meet them face-to-face. Our market has changed since we started out, and it’s our responsibility to find out who our customers are, what they need and how we can help them. It’s no secret that more people are buying online. But, the challenge as a small retailer is figuring out how to keep up with developments in technology and UX (user-experience), particularly for mobile, and providing a service that competes with the major players. It’s a challenge, too, to navigate the ever-changing world

of social media, to find the avenues that work best, and to work out exactly how to manage them. I am also finding value in “looking back to look forward.” Our blog is what gave us a voice in the early days and put us on the map. We plan to breathe new life into the blog and work with the many companies, brands and individuals doing great things in the bicycle world to get their stories out as well as our own. So, as our ten-year anniversary approaches, we have opted for the uphill climb rather than the leisurely canal path. But, as long as there is space for a stylish helmet, a set of panniers, and a baby, things should be okay. If you have an idea you’d like to share, or you’d like to contribute to the Cyclechic blog, get in touch:



From workshop to cycle café contents: are you sure you’re covered? Cycleguard offers five insurance tips for independent cycle businesses to consider...


WITH CYCLE businesses becoming more and more diversified, trying to find an insurance policy that covers your business and interests correctly can be a daunting task. That’s where Cycleguard can help. Bicycle shops are becoming increasingly multifaceted, with cyclists now enjoying pre and post-ride coffees, paying for bike fitting and repair services, and taking part in watt bike sessions. So, how do you ensure that the insurance policy you have to protect your business fully covers its specialist characteristics? When purchasing insurance for your cycle shop, it’s important that you consider your business in its entirety – including any features

that may require specialist cover. Just as you would build a custom bike, your insurance needs to be bespoke to ensure it covers the individual needs and requirements of your business. Around 3.5 million cycles were sold in Great Britain in 2015, with more bikes purchased than new cars registered. And, because cycle traffic has risen in the UK almost every year since 2008*, it’s clear that as a specialist trade, cycle business is likely to continue to grow. As a cycle retailer, you may be vulnerable to a number of risks and uncertainties. It’s important that you seek insurance that provides cover for all eventualities. BIKEBIZ JUNE 9


VALUE OF STOCK As a cycle dealer, your stock’s value, including specialist equipment, can be significantly greater than that of shops in other retail categories. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your items are valued correctly. Imagine a metal rack used to store bicycles unexpectedly breaks, and as a result, it causes damage to other products in your store. If your value average clause (value of stock) is incorrect, payments could be increasingly higher than expected, especially where items are not valued correctly. Some insurers offer policies that are average free helping to reduce this risk. EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS Demonstrations, workshops and cycle shows can all be great for business. But, are your items protected whilst exhibiting? There were two incidents recently reported – within the space of six months – of bikes stolen from the vans of exhibitors at cycle shows in Birmingham and London. Luckily, the affected exhibitors were covered. It’s always important to check that your insurance protects you against risks of this kind. GOODS HELD IN TRUST With businesses such as bike cafés emerging, and the commercial bike industry diversifying in a number of ways, specialist cover is required. For example, if you are repairing a bike in a workshop attached to a bike café, you will have additional liabilities with regards to the customer’s belongings, and goods held in trust. An accident could become a costly affair without the right cover, especially if the bike is specialist. SECURITY Between April 2015 and March 2016, 327,000 incidents of bike theft were reported in England and Wales**. That’s over 27,000 personal and commercial bikerelated thefts every month! Bikes are becoming more attractive targets to criminals, and as such, could be at greater risk out of hours than ever before. With seasonal stock increases and 10 BIKEBIZ JUNE

independent cycle business running as a year-round trade, this could be cause for concern. Having good security features installed may help to prevent such high-level risks, but could also reduce your premiums. CYBER LIABILITY At the moment, cyber liability is a hot topic for many industries. It’s a common misconception that hackers are only likely to attack large, high-profile organisations, with many smaller businesses unaware of the high-risk data breaches that could occur at their establishments. Regulations are also changing, requiring businesses to respond to all of their customers within 72 hours of a data breach. Many companies would struggle to comply with this, which is why there are products out there that can help you in your time of need. The commercial team at Cycleguard accesses products specifically designed to meet the needs of retailers of all sizes. We can guide you through the process of obtaining insurance, ensuring that the cover meets your specialist needs.

“Bikes are becoming more attractive targets to criminals, and as such, could be at greater risk out of hours than ever before.”

The Partnership Scheme aims to help cycle retailers generate extra revenue through the promotion of Cycleguard insurance to their customers, helping ensure cyclists have the protection they need, whilst also providing a business benefit to retailers too. To speak to a team who understands your business and provide free advice to cover your needs, please call us on: 0345 450 7171 or email us at: commercialteam@ To find out more about the Cycleguard Partnership Scheme and how we could work with you, contact us at:

WE ARE ABLE TO SOURCE A PRODUCT THAT INCLUDES: Q Average free policies. We remove the average clause to ensure you aren’t underinsured. Q Cover for catering and clothing retailing. Q Goods held in trust and goods in transit. Q Trade contents, including high-value stock and tools, and a 35 per cent seasonal increase in stock sum insured. Q Buildings cover. Q Public and products liability of up to £5 million and employers liability of up to £10 million. Q Cyber liability cover. Q Commercial legal expenses cover. As well as supporting retailers with their commercial insurance, Cycleguard also works with hundreds of independent cycle retailers across the UK, via the Cycleguard Partnership Scheme.

* **Crime in England and Wales report, Year Ending March 2016 Cycleguard is a trading style of Thistle Insurance Services Limited. Thistle Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Lloyd’s Broker. Registered in England under No. 00338645 Registered office: 68 Lombard Street London EC3V 9LJ. BIKEBIZ.COM

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Grease isn’t the word Chances are, you’ve not put as much thought into your workshop as you have into your kitchen. Jon McKnight discusses the options available to bike shop owners who want to inject a bit of elegance into the workplace… UNLESS YOU’RE still doing a roaring trade in penny farthings (and most bike shops aren’t) your customers won’t expect to buy a 21st century bike from a shop that looks like something Dickens would have recognised. Oily rags and parts scattered all over the place in Dymo-labelled cardboard boxes had a certain charm once, and still look quaint in nostalgic jigsaws, but they’re not going to impress a customer who might be spending the price of a small car on the latest racing bike. Just as Formula One pit-lane garages have evolved from oil-can-strewn Aladdin’s Caves with bits of engines hanging from the rafters into modern showpieces with floors so clean you could safely eat your lunch off them, today’s cycle shops are smartening up their act, too. You could be forgiven for thinking that the transformation of Britain’s bike shops is purely to keep the customer happy; after all, the better the image your bike shop projects, the more confident a customer will be in buying from you BIKEBIZ.COM

or entrusting you with the servicing of his or her bike. But there are direct benefits for you and your business, too. The quicker you can find the parts and the tools you need, the quicker you can be on to the next lucrative repair, improving your potential turnover. And while you probably enjoy exercise if you own or work in a bike shop, why would you want to waste time and energy walking from one part of a badly-planned workshop to another for eight hours a day? Some of your customers might, just might, enjoy watching you sitting in the middle of the shop with piles of cogs around you, asking your colleagues if anyone’s seen such-and-such a spanner or knows where a specialist part is, but the comedic possibilities tend to be overlooked when the customer’s in a hurry and you have others walking out of the shop because you’re too busy to attend to them. Efficiency is dear to the serious cyclist’s heart. You probably offer

“Just like a professionallydesigned kitchen, these modern bike workshops make the maximum use of every inch of space.”

them tips, too, telling them how this type of wheel or that type of helmet can shave vital fractions of a second off a race-time – efficiency is pretty handy in a bike shop as well. That’s why some of Britain’s more cutting-edge bike shops are investing in custom-built workshops – meticulously-planned workspaces in which there’s a place for everything with everything in its place. Just like a professionallydesigned kitchen, these modern bike workshops make the maximum use of every inch of space. They hide anything unsightly behind closed doors, and their layout is so well thought-out that you’ll have everything you need right at your fingertips instead of buzzing about from one place to another in your hunt for a tool or part. You can have drawers with shaped, cushioned inserts to hold each individual spanner in a set and make it obvious if one is missing, while the tools you use most will be immediately to hand. Just as the finest restaurants have BIKEBIZ JUNE 13

RETAIL ADVICE open-plan kitchens so that diners can see everything that’s going on as their food is cooked, Britain’s trendier bike shops are placing their new workshops in full view of customers so they feel more involved and can see how hard their technicians are working. The cycle workshops are the brainchild of Dominic Wishlade, an industrial designer who looked at a well-planned, fitted kitchen decades ago and wondered why no-one was doing the same for domestic and automotive garages. Initially aimed at home-owners who wanted to bring their domestic garages up to the same high standards as the rest of their homes, his Dura garage interiors caught the eye of household-name brands including Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Bugatti, Ferrari and Aston Martin who wanted them to smarten up their automotive garages. The trend has spread to bike shops, where owners can choose anything from a single cabinet or set of drawers to an entire cycle workshop designed specifically for the business. That can mean everything from floor to ceiling – including the floor and the ceiling! – with proper lighting and elegant steel cabinets that are built to last for years. Bike shops that want their workshop to be a showpiece can even have the cabinets and units painted in brand-specific colours (anything on the RAL spectrum), and Dura can do everything from design to installation. “Some bike shops we’ve supplied like the idea of their mechanics being on public show because it adds a bit of theatre to bike repairs,” says Dominic. “They’re proud of what they do and know that their customers will value them more when they can see what they’re doing. “The bike shops realise that if a customer’s thinking of shelling out thousands on the latest road bike, they’re more likely to buy one from a bike shop that’s well-kept, clean, and presents a professional image.” Which, as Dickens might have said, can make the difference between your bike shop being seen as an old curiosity or a place where your customers can have great expectations. 14 BIKEBIZ JUNE



How can retailers make a mark on security? National database BikeRegister is working with cycle retailers to help clamp down on bicycle theft. Find out how you can get involved...

BIKE RETAILERS, whether big or small, are now one-stop shops for all aspects of the cycling experience, including offering advice on bike security. The ease with which a stolen bike can be sold continues to encourage the theft of bikes, but retailers can limit their risk of buying or selling stolen bikes by encouraging customers to mark and register their purchases. James Brown, MD of BikeRegister (www.bikeregister. com), the national database used by all UK police forces to help reunite the thousands of lost or stolen bikes they recover every year to their legal owners, says: “Security marking and registering a bike helps police and retailers identify and verify the legitimate owner of bikes that have been stolen or are being resold.” Nearly 650,000 bikes are already registered on the system and over 250,000 searches are performed on the database every year. “If bike shops offered this service for all new bikes they sold and insisted on an ownership check before purchasing any second-hand bikes on our free BikeChecker facility, it would be a significant step forward in the fight against bike crime,” says Brown. In a recent case, a bike that was taken straight to a Cash Converters in east London by the thief, was 16 BIKEBIZ JUNE

“Security marking and registering helps police and retailers identify the legitimate owners of bikes that are being resold.” James Brown, BikeRegister

flagged as stolen immediately by suspicious staff members after using BikeChecker. Cash Converters quickly rang the police, who were able to contact the real owner and make arrangements to return the bike to him. They were also able to give the police a good description of the bike thief. PC Stuart Ford from City of London Police recommends bike marking to deter theft and organises bike-marking events in the City. “We also ask local bike retailers to tell their buyers to contact us if they want their bike marked and if they would like crime prevention advice around cycle security,” he says. “We get referrals and this gives us a good working partnership with our local bike retailers as well as cyclists.” Police budgets are extremely limited though, and the aim is to encourage more retailers to offer the service themselves. Natalie Cannon, operations manager at BikeWise, in the heart of Ickenham village, says: “We get a good turnout for bike marking events at our store. Our team of staff have also been trained to mark bikes, either at point of sale or when customers bring their bikes in for a service.” Natalie says customers seem to like having the opportunity to mark their bikes offered, and can really see the benefit. “We have definitely

heard stories from our customers that stolen bikes have been returned to their real owners due to the fact that they were marked,” she says. Meanwhile in Stratford, Warwickshire, local police have teamed up with Halfords to security mark cycles at point of sale. PCSO Dominic Bes-Jeary from Stratford SNT says: “Tackling cycle theft is one of our community priorities – we take it very seriously. Security marking cycles at point of sale should be the norm and we really feel that by working with Halfords, and promoting the scheme to other cycle shops in the town, we can dramatically reduce cycle crime.” Holly Probert from Halfords, commented: “Cycle theft is an issue all over the country and we are happy to do our bit to help. This is a fantastic scheme and by marking cycles we hope to help bring cycle thefts down and prevent cycle crime in the future.” BikeRegister Membership Plus Kits (RRP £12.99), Permanent Marking Kits (RRP £19.99) and Covert Marking Kits (RRP £29.99) are all available in retail packaging that is designed to appeal to the cycling community. To receive an additional five per cent discount on trade prices for bike marking kits, please call Lorna at BikeRegister on 01689 860757 and quote BikeBiz. BIKEBIZ.COM

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Supporting the Independent Bicycle Dealer

Kieran Howells presents BikeBiz’s annual Top 20 Independent Bike Dealers, as nominated by the public…



Our much-anticipated Top 20 IBDs list is back, and brought to you by NEOS Cycling, a distribution company set up with the goal of supporting the country’s independent bike dealers. “We have a growing portfolio of new, high-quality accessory brands exclusive to us and our IBD network,” says Richard Allmark,

managing director at NEOS Cycling. “We provide product ranges with attractive SRPs for the end user, combined with excellent profit margins for the IBD. Better still, there’s no volume commitment required to get our amazing prices. Exclusive IBD brands, supporting your profits and cash flow. NEOS Cycling is here for the IBD!” BIKEBIZ JUNE 19


BIKETREKS Andy Stephenson established Biketreks over 25 years ago. Starting out with just his van, Stephenson travelled around the country delivering parts to those who needed help with their bikes. His van soon developed into a small shop, which turned into a bigger shop in 2002, when

BIKE SCENE Bike Scene is based in the historic market town of Guisborough. Situated on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, the retailer benefits from the popular cycling routes around the surrounding hills, forests and moorland. As a core dealer for

many premier mountain bikes brands, such as Specialized, Orange and Santa Cruz, Bike Scene presents a comprehensive range. Being a mountain bikeoriented shop, the ten staff members are all knowledgeable MTB experts, and as such are dedicated to providing customers with the best possible advice.

CHEVIN CYCLES With three large stores in Otley, Skipton and Harrogate and each store offering a fully-equipped workshop and state of the art bike fitting facilities, Chevin offers a comprehensive customer experience. The shop’s success

C&N CYCLE Located in the iconic setting of Redhill, C&N Cycles sits in an ideal location, benefiting from its close proximity to the famous Boxhill cycling route and Central London. The shop was established in 1978, and is currently owned and operated by ex-shop boy and racing fanatic Damian Pittock. 20 BIKEBIZ JUNE

Biketreks moved to its current location in the old glass blowers on Rydal Road, Ambleside. Stephenson sold the business in 2016, and new owner Simon Hockings, who opened a second shop in Ings, has divided road and mountain across the two shops, allowing the business to specialise in these areas in greater detail.

C&N offers a vast range of services from fleet rental, to full workshop services, to bike fitting and sales. The shop stocks a wide array of accessories and clothing from brands such as Castelli, Mavic and SealSkinz, and offers what they call “quality personalised advice,” to its dedicated customer base.

CORLEY CYCLES Ex-National Road Race Champion Phil Corley opened his first store – the precursor to the current Corley Cycles – in 1979, in Great Linford, Milton Keynes. After two successful years of trade, he made the decision to move to a larger premises on Neath Hill, before

over the last 40 years has been built on offering access to top cycling brands and focusing its attention on providing the best possible customer experience. Chevin’s staff is on hand seven days a week to offer customers friendly, impartial advice.

opening the store in Stacey Bushes, which Corley Cycles has called home for the past 30 years. Voters noted that the shop boasts helpful and experienced staff, all of whom share a passion for cycling, which is complemented by the store’s large workshop, offering assistance from three full-time, qualified mechanics. BIKEBIZ.COM

Supporting the Independent Bicycle Dealer


CYCLEWISE Having started Cyclewise over 12 years ago, owners Rich Martin and Craig Scott have gone on to make the IBD one of the UK’s leading MTB coaching and leadership specialists. The brand’s services have been utilised by companies such as British Cycling, The Lake District National Park Authority,

CRITERIUM CYCLES Criterium Cycles was established in Edinburgh in 2013 by brothers Paul and Richard Bowker. From the beginning, the vision was to deliver high-quality customer

service and to strive to be the best bike shop in Edinburgh, if not one of the best bike shops in the UK. After just one year in business, Criterium Cycles was recurrently voted into the Top 20 IBDs, making the list in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and now in 2017.

DALES CYCLES Since 1912, Dales Cycles has been part of cycling in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. Growing from a small shop front to its current 6000 square foot showroom in the city centre, the shop has lived alongside cycling as it has

CYCLING MADE EASY Established in 2010, Cycling Made Easy caters to the emerging electric bike market. The specialist shop currently stocks over 200 electric bikes made by brands such as Raleigh, Scott, Haibike BIKEBIZ.COM

The Forestry Commission and both the UK National Mountain Centres. Cyclewise gained its permanent base at Whinlatter in 2008 when the owners opened their first shop at the trailhead of the famous Altura Trail. Six years on, the award-winning shop continues to grow from strength to strength.

and Gocycle. It is known for offering fair and unbiased advice about the e-bike sector, and runs test rides for its customer base. The shop’s dedicated following also nominated it for a BikeBiz Award in the Specialist Retailer of the Year category, securing it in the rankings of the Top 20 IBDs.

GIANT STORE SHEFFIELD With access to the Peak District and over 200 parks and woodlands, the customers of the Giant Store Sheffield are well placed to enjoy the array of mountain bikes for sale. Local patrons remarked that the Giant

navigated the fads and phases. Dales Cycles is still owned by the family that bought the business in the 1950s. It has been selling bikes and accessories online since 2006, and has built a strong reputation for fast delivery and efficient customer service.

Store’s best quality is its friendly and knowledgeable staff, who are happy to aid customers with servicing, repairs and sales. The shop also runs a range of events, including workshop evenings – at which the staff teach guests essential bike maintenance skills – and ladies evenings. BIKEBIZ JUNE 21

Supporting the Independent Bicycle Dealer


J E JAMES J E James Cycles is a family-run business that has been established for over 50 years. The shop is one of the largest independent cycle retailers in the country, with three large stores in the South Yorkshire/Derbyshire area of the UK. J E James stocks a

HARGROVES CYCLES First established in 1981, Hargroves Cycles is a respected cycling retailer in the south of England. The shop ensures that the products and services needed by cyclists are readily available at the best possible prices, supported by high levels of client

service. Customers at Hargroves Cycles can expect to gain impartial product advice from the highly trained staff who are passionate about cycling. Hargroves Cycles won the BikeBiz Award for Specialist Retailer of the Year 2015 and Best Retail Event of the Year in both 2014 and 2015.

PEDAL POWER Pedal Power Cycles has been an established pillar of the Scottish cycling community for over 40 years. Originally located in a small shop at the end of West Calder’s Main Street, it now occupies one of the biggest cycling retail floor spaces in the country with a

MICKEY CRANKS Mickey Cranks opened in September 2013 in the Whitney area of Oxfordshire, and has quickly established itself as one of the leading independent bike shops in the country. It stocks a broad range of bikes, parts and accessories by Cannondale, Giro, 22 BIKEBIZ JUNE

wide range of products, including a large selection of electric bikes from brands such as Haibike, Cube and Raleigh. Its reputation has been built on delivering high-quality service and providing customers with a welcoming retail experience. The shop is also a member of the Association of Cycle Traders.

Muc-Off and Specialised and more, priding itself on delivering a high level of customer service, which it backs up with a professionally-equipped workshop and Cytech-certified technicians. Mickey Cranks offers a professional Retül bike fitting service and specialises in fitting and supplying women’s bikes.

DUNX CYCLES Dunx Cycles advertises itself as the most easterly bike shop in the UK, giving credence to a concentrated and dedicated following in the local Lowestoft area. The shop caters to all of the traditional bike shop demands such as servicing, repairs, and

massive store spread across three floors in the centre of West Calder. Ex-mountain biking champion Jonathan McBain currently manages the shop. Pedal Power can advise on all aspects of cycling, from your kids’ first bikes right up to pro-level road and off-road bikes, accessories and clothing.

safety checks and has a vast retail offering. But, what sets the shop apart is its specialism in reconditioning second-hand bikes. Believing strongly in recycling high-quality parts, the shop thoroughly refurbishes the cast-offs and sells them on the shop floor, garnering positive reactions from its supporters. BIKEBIZ.COM

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Supporting the Independent Bicycle Dealer


TWEEKS CYCLES Benefitting from over 40 years of experience in retailing technical products – via mail order, in-store or online – Tweeks Cycles has come to embrace the many qualities that make up good customer service. This Wrexhambased destination store boasts

SPROCKETS CYCLES Since 2010, Sprockets Cycles has been serving cyclists all over Scotland. The shop is located just 20 minutes from Glasgow in Kilmanrock, Ayshire. Just along the A77 from Scotland’s biggest

city, Sprockets Cycles has just hit a major milestone. In August 2016, it opened a bespoke bike shop on the site of its previous store. The new workshop has been purposebuilt to handle several jobs at once, ensuring that the Cytechqualified mechanics don’t get backed up with jobs.

WESTBROOK CYCLES Established 25 years ago as a local shop selling and repairing bikes, Westbrook Cycles has seen signficant growth over recent years. Capitalising on the internet boom, the retailer set up an online mail order service in 2004, which has allowed the shop to provide a much wider range of products to many more

VELORUTION Velorution is run by Jonathan Cole, a serial retail entrepreneur, who has scaled premium consumer propositions in the past. In 2012, Cole saw the potential in urban cycling, and set out to position the Velorution brand to lead that market. Through his passion for retail and cycling, he has led Velorution to 24 BIKEBIZ JUNE

become an internationally recognised premium urban cycling brand, tripling the size of the business. As well as producing its own tailored Lumotwill tweed jackets and handmade leather cycling shoes, Velorution partners with over 50 brands from Pelago Bicycles, Schindelhauer, Gocycle, Van Nicholas and Nevi to Cooper, Meijs, Mission Workshop and ILE.

WHEELBASE Based in an idyllic Lake District National Park setting, Wheelbase’s primary customer demographic consists largely of either local bike enthusiasts or mountain bikers hitting the nearby trails. Whereas the business may cater mainly to mountain bikers, it stocks over 400 bikes across a

130,000 square feet of space, and is also home to a new cycle showroom. The retailer stocks a comprehensive range that is made up of children’s, BMX, jump, mountain, hybrid, road, triathlon and Time Trial bikes. It also has a dedicated ladies’ bike range with specific models in every style.

customers. A more recent addition to Westbrook Cycles is its GURU Bike Fit system, which allows its F.I.S.T.-qualified staff to expertly fit its customers to their optimum bike, and even help more seasoned cyclists reduce the risk of injuries. All of the Westbrook workshop staff are Cytech-qualified and strive to provide the best service and technical advice.

massive 16,000 square foot floor space, including road, MTB, hybrid and kid’s bikes. Over the last few months, Wheelbase has undergone a massive transformation, with an additional store based in Darlington, North East England representing the first additional venture in its 25-year history. BIKEBIZ.COM

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Of BCDs and Enya… Mark Hallinger offers a bit more advice on things younger mechanics should get a handle on as he struggles to learn disc brake basics…


MANY THANKS to those of you who noted that last month’s story on “generational learning in the shop,” was not masked “millennial bashing.” Well, maybe it was a bit. But laughing about differences and stereotypes is not always a bad thing. It’s often a good thing that helps you understand the very real perspective of others, even if gentle humour is the vehicle to learn and appreciate differences. One millennial colleague from my other life that pays the bills read the article and opined in a text to me – I like texts not Twitter of BIKEBIZ JUNE 27

MILLENNIAL MECHANICS course – that the story was “witty and informative and only slightly condescending to millennials without being too ‘get off my lawn,’” in tenor. But he admitted he understood only half of the article, as he speaks the languages of “pro audio”, and “broadcast production” from his work life, not “bike shop”. So does his opinion matter? He doesn’t even know what a PW-4 is. Once again, a plea. In the spirit of generational learning, I’d love smart-thinking, younger mechanics to make some suggestions on tips and tricks going the other direction. Not obvious things, but tricks you know that the average Gen X mechanic might not yet have figured out. If I get enough of them, I’ll do a story. I already have the headline: Teaching the Old Dog. Now, some housekeeping. I note that the structure of the first Generational Learning story included something obscure (Helicomatic hubs); something big-picture helpful (sheldonbrown. com); something practical (don’t use a blade to unwrap tyre bundles); something esoteric (install toe straps correctly please); and finally something funny but real (the fact that a 30ish head mechanic could not be reached by cell phone on his day off, but he responded right away to Snapchat). I like consistency. So it will be more of the same here. Structure and consistency make life easier. Like having your tools in the same place all the time, rather than distributed across three work stands. Like building ten of the same model bike in succession, using the same step-by-step procedure. The latter is a good practice that makes the unwrap and the silly little problems associated with any build easier to manage. I could do a whole article on the theme of consistency. Hmmm. But let’s do today’s work today and tomorrow’s work tomorrow, which is another good habit. The obscure: Flat sided rims There are things you will only very occasionally see in a bike shop that you should recognise: the obscure. When I was just a tadpole mechanic, I noted that some of the 27 x 1 ¼ tyres (which I would carefully unbundle without the use of a sharp knife) had something like 28 BIKEBIZ JUNE

A homemade note on a flat-sided rim warns the customer that the rim is not up to the task that the tyre says it is

“Inflate to 90-100PSI, 80 PSI on flat-sided rims,” written on them. This would have been the late 1980s, a good ten to 20 years after “flat-sided” rims had been supplanted by the much better “hook-bead,” rims. The former looked like a flattened-out letter U in profile, and the latter looked like a flattened U with a little inwardturning “hook” at the top. These hooks grab the bead of the tyre and allowed higher inflation PSIs. I knew what a “flat-sided rim” was because some kindly Baby-

“I knew what a flat-sided rim was because a kindly Baby-Boomer mechanic, who had lived through the transition, had told me before I blew a tyre off.”

Boomer mechanic who had lived through the transition of flat-sided rims to the more modern “hookbead” rims had told me about this before I blew a tyre off a rim through overinflation. This came to mind a few years ago when a young mechanic had twice blown a tyre off a simple repair and could not figure out why, as the tyre was seated well and he was only putting 100PSI in a tyre rated at 105. I looked at the rim, told him about how tyres used to spec lower pressures for these rims, BIKEBIZ.COM

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MILLENNIAL MECHANICS and then we got the tyres to hold just fine at 80 PSI. Then I wrote a little sticker on the rim at the valve so the customer wouldn’t blow the tyres off when he went to reinflate them in the future. And I made a note of it on the repair tag as well. I think I’ve only seen flat-sided rims on repair bikes three times in the last decade. Still, it’s good to know about this if you’re working on a 40 to 50 year old bike. The big picture: BCDs Here’s a big picture thing that makes a shop look more professional. BCD stands for bead circle diameter, and is a measure of tyre size far more important than 26 x 1 3/8 inches or 700 x 32. The bead is what a hook bead rim hooks on. Most of the time the “diameter x width” measure written in inches or metric on the side of the tyre will get you what you want. But if it’s an obscure size like on a folding bike or a kid’s bike or something that might be 650B or 26-inch and you can’t tell, look for a BCD number written on the tyre. If you look at a distributor’s website or order book, they’ll often have the stated size of the tyre (26 x 1 3/8) listed next to a bead circle diameter (590 in this case). Here’s where a knowledge of BCDs makes you look brilliant. In the US, at least, there are two wheels/tyres that say 26 x 1 3/8 on them, and they are not compatible. The 590 BCD 26 x 1 3/8 was used on (mostly British) three-speed bikes, and then by the 1970s on crappy department store tenspeeds. A 597 BCD tyre and rim was used on a variety of very common Schwinn three and five and even ten-speed bikes for a decade or three. Everyone assumes it was a way for Schwinn to sell its own tyres or control that long tail of occasional income. These tyres are not compatible. I once saw a highly-paid shop mechanic (who was also a car mechanic, I was told) trying to pry a 590 tyre on to a 597 rim. I set him straight, and was only mildly annoyed that he was making 50 per cent more than I was. I also had a shop manager chew me out one time for keeping the 26 x 1 3/8s of both sizes in the back of the store where customers would have to interface with shop personnel to get at them. My 30 BIKEBIZ JUNE

Freewheel removers should be displayed with pride even if rarely used. The first four readers who correctly identify the one tool on that post that is not a freewheel remover will receive a free RedBrickBikes frame sticker by year-end.

“Tubes are far more forgiving than tyres in terms of using the exact size.”

presumption was that we would get the customer the right tyre this way and not sell “British threespeed” tyres to a Schwinn owner and vice versa. A month or two after we had put the tyres on the floor, they went back in the shop where people who (presumably) know a bit can help a customer get what they need. Very few customers knew the 590/597 BCD issue, and it was it was usually just luck if they got the right tyres. I think I took three returns on these tyres in two months before we finally convinced the manager that

these tyres needed a level of shop interaction before purchase. This 590/597 problem may be a US issue, where Schwinns and Raleighs and Dunelts and Robin Hoods were and still are common, as they are tough bikes that last forever. I doubt that the UK ever saw an influx of Schwinns. But know your BCDs, or at least take the time to find a BCD on a rare tyre size like some of the 24-inch tyres, the weird folding bike sizes etc. And know that tubes are far more forgiving than tyres in terms of using the exact size. I once saw a BIKEBIZ.COM

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MILLENNIAL MECHANICS mechanic holding up a repair because he didn’t have a 27-inch tube. He had multiple 700 x 32 tubes he could have used, but he was concerned they wouldn’t work.

While I am sure aromatherapy techniques give great comfort to some, keep them out of the shop

The Practical: Stretching a bit Tubes that work on 700 x 32 tyres can also work on 27 x 1 ¼ tyres, as the BCDs are very similar at 622 and 630. Modern tube boxes are usually marked as such. At some point you will be unable to do a repair because somebody will bring in a kid’s bike that has an 18-inch tyre, and maybe you only have the more common 16 and 20-inch tubes in stock. You can make these work, just slightly overinflate the 16 or underinflate the 20 for the install process. You can do it, trust me. Inflate to recommended pressure once the tyre is firmly on the rim. Similarly, a 12 or 16-inch tube can work on a 14-inch tyre. I’ve also recently noted that plastic rim strips designed for old 26-inch mountain bikes can be stretched to work on 700 or 27-inch rims. It takes a small effort but they pop on and fill that rim channel very nicely. Not all plastic rim strips are that flexible, but it’s worth a try if the alternative is a half-done repair or sending a customer away empty-handed. Something esoteric: A freewheel story If an old bike has a two prong freewheel that needs to be removed, be very careful and consider getting somebody who knows the difference between a Suntour freewheel and one of the French or Italian two prong freewheels that exist from companies with names like Regina and Atom and Maillard. I’m not even sure that each of these continental freewheel makers had two prong freewheels – they surely had more modern-looking splined units in a variety of diameters from so small that a partial axle disassembly was required to nice and big and easy to deal with. They likely had both over the decades based on the massive collection of freewheel removers most old bike shops have. Last year I got a call from my main mass market shop asking if the vintage shop I was working at two days per week had a “Campagnolo freewheel tool” for a 32 BIKEBIZ JUNE

“A 12 or 16-inch tube can work on a 14-inch tyre.”

repair. I immediately told them that it was probably not a Campy freewheel, just a nice old Campy Record hub with some European freewheel on there they did recognise and with no visible name. But no, it was Campy, they said. Really? To my knowledge Campy made one freewheel out of aluminium (!) in the 1980s and I had never seen one in person. They were not around long as they were expensive, and the world had just started to shift to cassettes. And aluminium is a bad material for cogs. I told them repeatedly that just because it was a Campy hub did not mean it was a Campy freewheel but they insisted. Fortunately for them, the vintage shop I worked at also doubled as the US distributor for VAR’s very nice line of tools. And VAR still sold this tool. Better yet, I could just borrow the vintage shop’s remover as the likelihood of ever seeing another Campy freewheel was very very low. Wait for me, I said. They didn’t. A very young mechanic with more confidence than skill or knowledge attempted the job and butchered it, breaking the customer’s vintage Campy skewer in the process. This leads to a further tip: Use an old skewer to hold a freewheel remover on, not the nice vintage skewer that has survived 40 or 50 years so far. The customer took his wheel to another shop that got the freewheel off, which is

embarrassing. I fixed the skewer mess as I actually had access to a bin of 20 1980s Campy skewers at my other shop job, and bought one on the cheap. But what a mess. When the customer came to pick his skewer up, it was the first time I saw the wheel. Maillard freewheel, not Campy. I had that tool at home. When a customer comes in with a modern press fit bearing issue or an electronic shifting problem, I know what I don’t know, and pass this to somebody who might manage this better than me. There’s nothing wrong with admitting lack of knowledge on a subject and getting the right person for the job. Aromatherapy & Enya And a final note of humour from a very real shop. Aromatherapy machines have no place in the shop. Lava lamps, maybe. Dogs are fine. Cats even. But no aromatherapy, no Enya. The Kinks, yes. I have very distinct memories of Skip the Pagan, the mechanic in the first shop I worked at, explaining the song Lola to me on multiple occasions. Today, Lola is on the playlist of the piped in “music to buy bikes by” mix we listen to every day. Orinoco Flow is not. Mark Hallinger’s collection of freewheel removers has topped 20, although they are not displayed on a wall as they should be, but kept in a drawer. BIKEBIZ.COM


Performing with Flaer Chain performance system Flaer launched just under a year ago at Eurobike. Kieran Howells speaks with marketing manager Andy Parker about the inner workings of the business behind this premium brand… IF THERE’S one golden rule for keeping a happy, healthy bike, it’s cleaning and maintaining its componentry regularly. This is far from revolutionary news for most, if not all, of BikeBiz’s readership. In fact, I’d wager that this advice is dealt out on a daily basis in pretty much every bicycle shop in the world. There is nothing more disheartening to a cyclist than the distinct sound of a rusty chain, or a broken hub grinding towards you on a cycle lane. And, while the advice may be basic, navigating the wide selection of maintenance products on the market can be complicated for both retailers and consumers alike. This is, in some ways, both a blessing and a curse. In past years, bicycle maintenance simply meant rubbing grease on your chain and hoping for the best. But, as the market has progressed, so have the needs of the modern cyclist. Maintenance brands have been intuitive in producing targeted 34 BIKEBIZ JUNE

products for almost any bike or component under the sun – with popular brands like Muc-Off and Charlie the Bikemonger actually branching out into maintenance for cyclists themselves with the inclusion of scientifically formulated balms and lubricants – the latter’s aptly-named Happy Bottom Bum Butter comes to mind – added to their key ranges. This is great news for those in the know, as the correct application of the right product can literally be the difference between winning a race and being stuck on the starting line. On the other hand, one wrong move with a harsh formula and your brand new matte-finish frame could be ruined forever. These are the pitfalls of cycle maintenance – it doesn’t seem so trivial now. So what goes into creating the right product? This is the question Flaer parent company Scottoiler asked itself when devising the new products with which to enter the

“People didn’t see enough of a division between motorcycle and bicycle products, so we created Flaer.” Andy Parker, Flaer

cycling market. Flaer knew that in an already densely-populated sector, it would have to define itself as a market leader or face certain failure. As I discuss the history behind the brand with marketing manager Andy Parker, it becomes clear that the brand’s mission was never to create a range that could compete with the vast and comprehensive product lines offered by the likes of Muc-Off and Fenwicks, but instead to concentrate on one thing, and focus the entire power of Flaer on making it the best it can be. The brand settled on chain performance. “Flaer was born out of Scottoiler, which is our parent company. They’ve been in the motorcycle industry for 30 years, making chain performance systems. The brand decided that it wanted to enter the cycling market, because there are a lot of parallels between the two; they are both fueled by passionate enthusiasts who really care about BIKEBIZ.COM


“A hell of a lot of work went into researching exactly what the cycle market was looking for.” Andy Parker, Flaer

performance. We did a Kickstarter to raise funds for the project, but people really just didn’t see enough of a division between the motorcycle stuff and the bicycle stuff, so we created Flaer.” Whereas the company had valuable expertise on the production front, the shift from manufacturing motorcycle maintenance products to actively attempting to increase performance on bicycles was somewhat of a left turn. “A hell of a BIKEBIZ.COM

lot of work went into researching exactly what the cycle market was looking for; we did hundreds of tests with the University of Edinburgh early on. We also bought one of only three chaintesting machines in the world for really in-depth lab testing with lubricants in different conditions; what we found was a quite dramatic five per cent drop-off in performance if the chain wasn’t correctly treated.” While extensive research had been

“Here in the UK, we’ve partnered with Oxford, which was a strong match.” Andy Parker, Flaer

conducted into the quality of the product, I was interested in finding out how Parker felt Flaer was helping IBDs to actually sell. “The way we see it, if you sell even one [chain performance system], that’s one comprehensive product you’ve helped a customer find over a whole range of stock that could potentially sit on a shelf indefinitely. I may be biased, but I think that customer will definitely come back.” Flaer entered the market on the eve of a downturn that saw profits dip for even the biggest brands and distributors, which coupled with the murky future of post-Brexit trading saw many brands completely revise their business model. “It’s a hard one,” says Parker. “We’re still a new brand and whilst our distribution channels have grown recently, it’ll be a while before we know the full effects of the situation. Certainly our links with Asia, New Zealand and America will remain very strong. Plus, here in the UK, we’ve partnered with Oxford, which was a strong match.” Almost a year on from the announcement of Flaer’s exclusive distribution deal with Oxford Products, the pair have increased brand awareness and introduced the product to 15 UK stockists. So what appealed to them about the working with Oxford? “We felt that they were the best positioned to take our brand to market and build it. They’re a successful company, and we saw a lot of synergies. The people there are have also got a great track record,” comments Parker. “They’ve helped us build our brand in a number of ways. The first is just taking the product to the market. They’re helping us with getting in front of retailers, they’ve opened connections and have offered their expertise and support.” It will be interesting to see how the brand plans on moving forward. Will there be regular updates to the Revo Via unit and lubricant, or will Flaer apply the same level of focus to a different area of the market? “We’re already working tirelessly on creating the next version. We’ve got product plans in place and as far as we’re concerned, there are always improvements to be made. As far as other products go, I could never rule it out.” BIKEBIZ JUNE 35


Amped up for 2017

AMPS Electric Bikes is attacking this season with a whole new focus. Hayley E. Ferguson speaks with recent hire Jeremy Crook to find out what the distributor-slash-brand is doing to keep its tactics up-to-date... Why is AMPS focusing primarily on Wisper at the moment? We’re changing how we do business. When I joined, we were distributing Riese & Müller and Birdy. They’re going direct into the UK now. Most of our stock is gone. We’re still talking to a few other companies about distributing their products, but we felt we needed to focus on Wisper as a brand. That’s what we own, and we should be in charge of our own destiny, not just someone else’s brand that they can take away at any time. AMPS is still going to be there as the distribution arm, but the Wisper brand is going to be the dealerfacing part of the company. What have you brought to the table since you came onboard? While I’ve not been brought on to rebrand, I am helping to regenerate and push things forward. [Before I was hired] there was no real focus on the Wisper brand. The old catalogue was very informative, but didn’t sell the lifestyle. We’ve BIKEBIZ.COM

updated that, and have just modernised our website – it’s a lot cleaner and more mobile-friendly. We’re also making YouTube content to teach people how to look after the bikes. Where are you seeing the strongest market growth? We’re very lucky at the moment: there’s a big boom in the e-bike segment. We’ve not had to chase dealers – they’re coming to us. The electric bike market has grown very fast, but the e-mountain bike segment is probably stronger in the UK than anywhere else in Europe. That’s why we’re also looking at increasing the range. We’re very much an urban, city and trekking brand at the moment. We will be bringing on some new models – four mountain bikes and a cargo bike too, which we’ll launch at Eurobike. The whole UK market is changing as well. When I joined, a lot of dealers were not classed as a typical bicycle retailer. Some of

“We should be in charge of our own destiny, not just someone else’s brand that they can take away at any time.” Jeremy Crook, AMPS Electric Bikes

them sold both motorhomes and e-bikes. Traditional bike shops have now realised that a lot of their growth could come from e-bikes, so we’re now having more retailers like that approach us. I would say easily half of all UK bike shops are carrying e-bikes now. Our bestselling bike right now is the SE Folder. We weren’t expecting it to be as popular as it’s been, and have just had to buy another two container-loads. This time of year, a lot of people have got their motorhomes and boats out, and they realise that a folding bike fits nicely inside. Later on in the year, you see the crossbar and the step-through become more popular. We do a step-through, a crossbar, and a folding bike. I’ve got a crossbar myself, but we’re finding that 40 per cent of those buying the step-through frame are men. A lot of men who can’t get their legs over a cross bar anymore are finding step-throughs more acceptable to ride than before. BIKEBIZ JUNE 37

WISPER How many dealers are you currently doing business with? Where are they located? We’re at about 90 dealers, but are aiming for 150. Anywhere between 150 and 200 is the optimum number of dealers in the UK without having to assign people territories. Up north is not as strong at the moment. We are growing, but it’s not at as fast a rate. Our highest concentration of dealers is in the southeast. Devon and Cornwall are really strong, too. The demographic is made up of more retired people who have time to ride a bike, but may actually need an e-bike to manage. What are you looking for in a retailer? We’re always looking for dealers with good knowledge of the bicycle trade in general, and of course they have to have a workshop. It’s all about looking after the end consumer. I know there have been dealers who’ve phoned up and said “I’ve got a puncture, can I send the bike back to you to fix?” They should be able to do that themselves. Luckily, all our parts are standard, like Shimano gearing. A bike shop should be able to access all of them. How are you helping your dealers? We’ll be running a series of four dealer trainings this year. They’ll come to a seminar, and we’ll teach them how to look after the electronics. One in Sevenoaks, one in Bristol, one in Birmingham or Manchester, and one in Scotland. It’s teaching them what components are there. We also work closely with the Green Commute, and they’re pushing e-bikes at the moment. Consumers can buy on our website interest-free, but they have to nominate a dealer. A lot of shops can’t afford to do finance, so we offer an option where a dealer can still sell the bike on zero per cent finance. We try to take out all the hassle. The consumer goes onto our website, nominates a dealer, picks a bike, and we send the bike to the dealer. The dealer then makes the margin. It works really well for us. It’s becoming more and more popular. We did three bikes last week like that. One of the things we don’t like is that a lot of brands roll out year 38 BIKEBIZ JUNE

models, but all they’re changing is colours. Nothing’s really changing. The minute people perceive the old range to be out of date, the dealer can’t push the old stock, even if there’s nothing wrong with it. We’re trying to have a longer cycle so the dealer doesn’t get stuck with bikes. We want to grow with the dealers. The biggest problem that dealers have is needing to discount because whatever they’ve got in stock is in last year’s colour. A dealer might get stuck with a product – say he’s bought stepthroughs, crossbars, and folders, but for some reason can’t sell the folding bikes. We’ve got no problem, as long as the stock is in a good state, with taking it back and giving him replacements of what he is already selling. What is the main benefit retailers are seeing from stocking e-bikes? It’s a much more expensive purchase than a traditional bike, but the benefit to the retailer is that consumers are wanting to buy those at the moment, and you can make more profit from one big sale than three or four smaller ones.

“We don’t like that a lot of brands roll out year models, but nothing’s really changing. The dealer can’t push the old stock.” Jeremy Crook, AMPS Electric Bikes

How are e-bikes evolving? E-bikes aren’t like they used to be. When Bosch came to the market, they really pushed the sector forward. The last three years, the electrics are just a lot better. That’s one of the reasons we’re seeing renewed interest in e-bikes from dealers. When they first came to the UK, e-bikes were very crude and clunky. The wiring kept going wrong. Some people would sell a bike and see it another six or seven times because of faulty electrics. But the market’s moving at such a pace that electrics are now so much more reliable then they used to be. How do you mandatory e-bike insurance would affect the market? It would affect us, but I think it’s not a bad thing to make insurance on e-bikes mandatory. I feel that there’s going to be a lot more testing on e-bikes than before, going forward. There are a lot of bikes out there that don’t meet requirements. This will mean that there’ll be a standard companies have to adhere to. BIKEBIZ.COM

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Are distributors doing enough to tackle packaging waste?

Excess waste can be problematic for independent retailers in all categories, for both environmental and monetary reasons. Laura Laker finds out what cycling businesses have to say on this cumbersome matter… IN JANUARY, we published a survey showing that 80.95 per cent of retailers feel distributors could do more to reduce packaging. Following on from this, we’ve spoken to a few shops and distributors about the issues around packaging, the impact good and bad packaging has on shops, and what distributors are doing to cut waste and make it easier for shops. Is there a problem? Excess waste not only harms the environment, it’s expensive to dispose of. The Federation of Small Businesses estimates that waste management costs to businesses are between five and 20 times higher than the cost of disposal, accounting for around four per cent of turnover. BIKEBIZ.COM

What’s more, private waste disposal companies often charge by weight. While many distributors use recycled materials, and choose appropriate boxes and envelopes, others don’t. Some bike shops have reported distributors using enormous boxes for small, non-breakable items, and filling the space with “footballs” of clingfilm. This plastic cannot be recycled, in many cases, and takes up limited space in shops and workshops, ultimately ending up in a landfill. Shops, likewise, seem split on the issue. While some worry about the impact on the environment, and take steps to reduce, reuse and recycle, others do not see tackling waste as a priority.

“There are some distributors that use those packing peanuts. They get everywhere, like glitter.” Jenni Gwiazdowski, London Bike Kitchen

Jenni Gwiazdowski of London Bike Kitchen told BikeBiz: “Businesses pay for rubbish disposal, so the more waste distributors give us, the more packing we have to put outside. I have taken photos in the past and sent them to distributors, when they use massive boxes to send a little thing. “There are some distributors that are great [in this respect] but some aren’t: some of them use those packing peanuts that get everywhere, like glitter.” Gwiazdowski takes bubble wrap to a local pottery cooperative that can reuse it, but she’d rather distributors used less packaging, regardless of whether it is recyclable or BIKEBIZ JUNE 41














There is a huge variety between distributors: some reduce and reuse packaging, some use excessive/inappropriate packaging. Some problem areas include: Q Boxes that are too big, with large volumes of packing to compensate Q Overpackaging non-delicate items Q Excessive use of non-recyclable packing Q Inappropriate packaging, such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;footballs of cling filmâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been told one distributor does this!



Q Greater use of recyclable/recycled materials such as reusing boxes, old magazines, shredded paper


Q Appropriately-sized boxes to avoid unnecessary packing materials; distributors cutting boxes to size Q Only packaging things that are genuinely delicate, like wheels Q Use of envelopes for small, non-fragile items, like cables



Q Distributors responding to comments and complaints on packaging

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biodegradable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every time I get something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s packed poorly, it reflects badly on [the distributor]. I think these people have different values to me, and it puts me off ordering from them.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sometimes it feels that they just didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t care. [For example, if] itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a bunch of cable housing, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not going to get damaged in transit. Just throw it in an envelope. Instead, you get sent it in a box thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s way too big, then they throw in those pillows to take up the space.â&#x20AC;? Brixton Cyclesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Beck Lane says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some distributors will send products in a big box and pack it out with cling film; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s literally [the size of] a football. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annoying when you get that every week â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the 42 BIKEBIZ JUNE

number of bike shops they must be sending that to every week.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Obviously, for some products you have to use bubble wrap, like carbon-fibre bikes, but thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of stuff you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t [need to do that for].â&#x20AC;? Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperativeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ged Holmyard feels the industry has improved in recent years: â&#x20AC;&#x153;By and large we think most of the stuff comes to us fairly sensibly packed.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;For instance, Shimano [will pack] a derailleur or a freewheel in an almost 100 per cent recyclable cardboard box to protect and merchandise it.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Without being complacent about the problem of packaging, I would say the industry has moved on a long way. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot less old-style bubble wrap than there

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would say thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably too much packaging, because thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of waste at the end of the week.â&#x20AC;? Guy Pearson, Pearson Cycles



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was ten or 20 years ago.â&#x20AC;? Guy Pearson, of Pearson Cycles, says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would say thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably too much packaging, because thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of waste at the end of the week. We fill a van every week with cardboard. We end up usually getting rid of the larger stuff, via a private company that collects business recycling and waste. He sees it as an indicator of success, but recognises that there is an underlying issue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The more cardboard there is, the better we are doing. It probably is a little bit excessive, though.â&#x20AC;? So, what are distributors doing to solve the problem? Perhaps understandably, those with a proactive approach to packaging were the most keen to talk to us about it. BIKEBIZ.COM














CASE STUDY: EDINBURGH BICYCLE COOPERATIVE, WITH FIVE BRANCHES BETWEEN ABERDEEN AND LEEDS. Q EBC invested in a cardboard compactor, which can crush 40 bike boxes into the space taken up by four boxes. Q â&#x20AC;&#x153;We try to be box-clever: accessories and clothing come to us in cardboard boxes. We reuse the boxes to send out customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; accessories and clothing,â&#x20AC;? says Ged Holmyard.

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Q â&#x20AC;&#x153;We never buy boxes. We try and reuse as much as possible as part of our process. About once a week, we send a van-load of stuff to each branch. The boxes that come to us are constantly moved back and forth until they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t useable â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they probably get about a dozen uses until they are put in the compactor.â&#x20AC;?


Q Change Works recycles the boxes, making the process to EBC cost-neutral.













Ison Distributionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s managing director Lloyd Townsend explains that the company uses around 80 per cent pre-used cardboard boxes, and different-sized â&#x20AC;&#x153;air pockettypeâ&#x20AC;? envelopes for small, delicate parts. Resealable bags are used to separate â&#x20AC;&#x153;bulk item typesâ&#x20AC;? and reduce seepage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d hope that most of what we send out is either reused again or recycled,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Inevitably, we do have to buy some additional new boxes, but we keep that to a minimum, as new boxes arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cheap [for us or the environment].â&#x20AC;? Although Ison Distribution estimates they use more packing than most, like the boxes, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mostly reused from incoming deliveries. The packing staff cut down boxes to size, while scrap BIKEBIZ.COM





cardboard that canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be reused is recycled. â&#x20AC;&#x153;After 25 years of experience as distributors of small, high-end parts, there is a degree of trust given to our staff in the commonsense to provide the most appropriate protection to the goods in any particular delivery going out, whilst avoiding excessive waste of packing materials and space in the delivery networks that we use. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We will never be able to say that our staff get things right 100 per cent of the time, but, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to think that far more than most of the time, our conscientious staff (and our great freight partners) succeed in delivering the goods on time, and in good condition, with the minimum impact possible to

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We never buy boxes. We try to reuse as much as possible as part of our process.â&#x20AC;? Ged Holmyard, Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative

the environment,â&#x20AC;? he says. Antonio Fiore, retail marketing manager at Silverfish, says the company minimises packaging by choosing correctly-sized boxes and mailbags â&#x20AC;&#x201C; around 80 per cent of which are reused or made from recycled material â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and packing them with reused paper and cardboard. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where possible, we avoid using bubble wrap or plastic wrap,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we need to use padded â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;jiffyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; bags, they are sourced from a manufacturer using materials from a responsible sources as per FSC.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We rarely use new cardboard boxes. If we do, we source them from a local supplier accredited to ISO: 14001:2004 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a globallyrecognised environmental standard. BIKEBIZ JUNE 43


These boxes are typically for unusually-shaped or valuable items like bike frames, wheels, forks and so on. We even have our staff bringing in high-quality boxes from home for us to reuse!” Any scrap cardboard, and business waste, is recycled weekly, he says, adding that as lights fail, they “typically replace with LED” to save energy. Timothy Hodgson, operations manager at Moore Large, tells BikeBiz that in 2016, the distributor used 7,000kg of packaging, including boxes, jiffy bags, dispatch bags, and things like cable ties. Its packaging supplier of ten years is local, in Ilkeston, and provides an annual packaging report. The company’s main focus, he 44 BIKEBIZ JUNE

explains, is using the right packaging for the product, which he believes saves waste in itself. “We don’t cram boxes and bags full of packaging, because, I would like to think we use the right size for packaging. We aren’t that stringent on saving the environment, though we probably should be.” “If the packaging goes up, we are sending more product out. That’s a good thing, and relates to a spike in sales,” he says. “A couple of years ago, we trialled pillows and polystyrene chips. Some of our customers like them, but it always comes back to what the most sensible way of sending the product out is. We have tried these high-tech

“We don’t cram boxes and bags full of packaging, because, I would like to think we use the right size for packaging.” Timothy Hodgson, Moore Large

solutions, but for the amount of packaging we are sending out, it’s normally regular packing paper, or just a bit of cardboard. Our guys will always cut down the boxes to size. It’s going to cost you more in the long run to use more packaging; we make sure the package fits around the product as best it can.” “We don’t get any complaints. We’re sending out 3,000 to 4,000 cartons a day, satisfying 1,800 independent dealers; you would think somewhere along the line we would get feedback if we were doing something wrong.” We approached a number of other large distributors, none of which responded to requests for comment. BIKEBIZ.COM

01772 459 887




Distributors of great brands across the UK Find your Local stockist at: or contact us on: Tel: 01772 459 887


700c insurance: an interview with Jon Cockayne We caught up with 700c director Jon Cockayne to discover more about the insurance scheme designed just for independent cycle shops... JON, CAN you start by giving us an overview of 700c insurance? 700c insurance was launched in October last year – we identified that there was a requirement for independent advice and an insurance policy that really reflected the changing needs of independent cycle shops. Cycle shops are providing services that go beyond just selling bikes – they’re organising local cycling events, adding a café, going out to do repairs at sportives. So, they’re exposed to a much greater degree of risk. We recognised that a generic off-theshelf retail policy just wasn’t good enough for most independent cycle shops and worked with Hiscox (Best Small Business Insurer 2009–2015) to develop a bespoke insurance scheme – 700c insurance.

the phone, but prefer to visit the shop in person. We offer a no-obligation, face-to-face service because it enables us to get a better understanding of the business and the risks they face. By visiting a shop’s premises, we are often able to offer recommendations on improvements, such as security. What are the key challenges for 700c in 2017? Our priority is to meet and exceed the needs of our existing and prospective clients. We will continue to work closely with Hiscox to ensure our policy and service meets the evolving needs of cycle retailers. Because we tailor each shop’s policy, we believe we are in an ideal position to adapt to future changes within the industry.

“Cycle shops are providing services that go beyond just selling bikes. They’re exposed to a greater degree of risk.” Jon Cockayne, 700c We have a number of core covers that are provided as standard but, much as you would build a custom bike, the package can be adapted to fit each shop’s exact requirements and the individual needs of their business. Tell us a little bit more about the 700c team. We have a team across the UK – we pride ourselves on being knowledgeable and professional. One of the team will talk through a shop’s individual requirements, and can then tailor the insurance policy accordingly. They can do this over BIKEBIZ.COM

Our relationships with the sector help us to identify emerging risks and ensure cycle shops are protected. Cyber risks are clearly of increasing concern and starting to keep people awake at night. There simply isn’t a watertight insurance solution to this very serious problem. Nearly three quarters of small businesses in the UK suffered a cyber attack in some form last year, so whilst we’ve included “cyber cover” as standard in our policy, we continue to monitor the risks and insurance solutions. BIKEBIZ JUNE 47

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Cyclocross bikes and accessories





Check out our comprensive list of cyclocross products to get your tills ringing…


DISTRIBUTOR: Ison Distribution










CONTACT: 01353 662662





BRAND: Surly


BRAND: Maxxis


BRAND: Novatec

PRODUCT: Straggler 1x

PRODUCT: Empire VR90


PRODUCT: Force 1


The 1x Straggler uses SRAMs 1x11 rival drivetrain with Halo Devaura lightweight wheels, making it a nimble and comfortable cross/gravel bike. When you get tired of one set up, you can swap parts around and turn it into something else.

The Empire VR90 has a lightweight, laced, one-piece upper, an Easton EC90 full-carbon outsole, and molded Vibram rubber tread for relentless grip. The upper is made of breathable Evofiber synthetic upper for superb fit and support that won’t stretch out with wear or weather. The adjustable SuperNatural Fit foot bed lets you fine-tune the fit and arch support, for maximum pedalling efficiency.

The diverse terrain of a cyclocross race requires a unique solution: the Raze. A fast-rolling centre ridge with widely spaced side lugs sheds mud. The Raze’s slightly softer compound remains pliable in cold conditions, and the improved casing maintains integrity at low pressures. UCI compliant. RRP £42.99 (700x33c)

SRAM Force 1 is a gamechanging upgrade for cyclocross that has also expanded to triathlon, criterium, and other 700c disciplines, paved and beyond pavement. With a host of drivetrain options, all featuring SRAM 1x technologies, SRAM Force 1 is quietly simplifying the experience.

The CXD wheelset combines the best of Novatec’s road and off-road technologies: a shallow, lightweight tubelessready rim combined with durable disc hubs. 700c alloy rims are specifically designed for CX use with disc brakes. Oversized rear axle is both light and stiff. Fitted with Shimano/SRAM cassette body. Campag cassette bodies available separately. Weight: 1,425 grams/pair (tubular). RRP £399.




DISTRIBUTOR: Greenover Sports








DISTRIBUTOR: Ritchey International





CONTACT: 013 1319 1444



BRAND: The Thompson

BRAND: Lynskey

BRAND: Ritchey

BRAND: Panaracer

PRODUCT: R-9300 Gravel

PRODUCT: Cooper CX Titanium Frame

PRODUCT: WCS Evomax Alloy Bars

PRODUCT: RegaCross

The R-9300 Gravel designed by Thompson’s Aluminium 6061 Hydroformed Triple Butted Tubeset dressed with full carbon fork makes this bike lightweight yet rugged, and the 100 per cent Shimano componentry offers a super smooth, reliable gear selection and maximum stopping power. These features complemented with the recently-launched bolt-through Novatech Thirty lightweight wheelset make for a responsive bike designed to perform in all conditions.

The Cooper CX was designed for the rider looking for a multi-use frame that can handle cyclocross racing to daily commuting. With that in mind, you’ll find ample 42c tyre clearance for when things get muddy, but also full rack and fender mounts so you’re ready for the ride to work. Multiple finishes, etched graphics and even custom geometry are all available to order from the Tennessee titanium specialists. RRP £1,599.99

By combining comfort and performance, the Ritchey WCS Evomax Alloy bars are ideal for serious cyclocross pursuits. Made from triple-butted 7050 alloy, the WCS Evomax bars offer a shallow drop and short reach (120/73mm) with a four-degree sweep at the ovalized top section and a 12-degree flare at the drops. Available in 38, 40, 42, 44 and 46cm widths.

Panaracer’s outer seal tubeless structure reduces the chance of punctures even at low pressures. The outer seal method also reduces the chance of sidewall damage to the proprietary inner construction. Specifically constructed long vertical knobs and a low-profile design provide optimal transfer of muck while maintaining the ideal balance of rolling resistance and grip. A specially crafted ZSG Natural compound is used to match the rigours and demands of cyclocross for a balance in performance and durability.




PORTABLE OBSTACLES Action Sports Portable Obstacles are obstacles that can be transported, linked, placed, or moved with only one or two people. No fork lift required. In the world of action sports there is always an obstacle needed and Freshpark is the only company in the world that can do what it does!

WIZARD Available in Jet Fuel finish and Black in both 20.4 and 20.8

INDY Available in Jet Fuel finish Black and Red in 20.5


For the full range and prices visit or call 0161 727 8508 Coyote Sports, Unit 9 Shield Drive, Wardley Industrial Estate, Manchester M28 2QB Tel: 0161 727 8508 | Email: | B2B:

48$/,7<v5$1*(v9$/8( An extensive selection of mid range parts and accessories well priced to offer excellent value for money and good margins for dealers. Available for next day delivery on our easy to use B2B ordering system.

ABE-21501 Acor External Bottom Bracket (Shimano® Compatible)

ABR-21504 Acor Hydraulic Disc Brake Set (Incl. Rotors & Post Mount Adapters)

ASM-2901 Acor 1.1/8” High-Rise Ahead Stem (31.8 mm x 50 – 120 mm)

ABR-21103 Acor Dual Pivot Caliper Brake (Short Reach, Allen Key Fitting)


0845 1661983


The NEW Tiger Ace 27.5 HDR đ 6061 Alloy Frame đŏĂąġ,!! ŏ$%)*+ŏ(01/ đ Zoom Suspension Forks đŏ!(! ŏ.0.% #!ŏ đ Hydraulic Twin Disc đŏąŏ.)!ŏ%6!/ đ 27.5" Alloy Rims đŏąŏ+(+1./

R.R.P. £319.99 To become a retailer contact us by phone: 01683 220837 by email:










DISTRIBUTOR: Ritchey International


DISTRIBUTOR: Ison Distribution




CONTACT: 013 5366 2662

BRAND: Rapid Racer

BRAND: Forme

BRAND: Ritchey

BRAND: Surly


PRODUCT: Calver CX Frameset

PRODUCT: Cross-Check

The CX-Guard is a simple front mudguard that significantly reduces the amount of spray and mud thrown up into your face and eyes. It also stops the lower bearing seals from being hammered at high velocity, increasing their durability. A built-in cable relief section either side of the logo at the front allows you to use with either cantilever or disc brakes. Available in two colours. Designed and manufactured in the UK. RRP £8.49.

The superlight aluminium Calver CX frameset will be available from July, expected to retail at £500 and weighs in at less than 1.2kg. Forme has considered all aspects of typical British cross conditions by utilising unique tube profiles and geometry for superior mud clearance, FM disc compatibility, thru axles, full internal cable routing, and an external threaded BB. The product-testing phase involved a trio of ex GB level international athletes and current national champions.

PRODUCT: WCS Carbon Disc Tapered Fork 1-1/4”


Designed to meet the demands of modern cyclocross racing, the WCS Carbon Disc Tapered Fork represents Ritchey’s commitment to the sport. This monocoque carbon fiber fork features a 1-1/8” to 1-1/14” tapered steerer with an integrated crown race, post mount for disc brakes with a 140mm rotor (160mm with adaptor), 12mm thru-axle compatibility (15mm with adaptor), 45mm rake, and clearance for up to 42c tyres.



There is no such thing as one bike that can do it all, but the Cross-Check comes mighty close. It’s a cyclocross bike by design, but don’t be fooled into thinking that it has only one purpose. This jack-of-alltrades will do just as well getting you across the country as it does getting you across town. At home on the road, on trails, and on gravel, the Cross-Check will fit pretty big tires, or smaller ones if you like. It can be built as a geared bike, a singlespeed, or a fixed-gear.

DISTRIBUTOR: Tandem Group Cycles


CONTACT: sales@tandemgroupcycles. com BRAND: Dawes PRODUCT: Academy CX Available with either 24” or 26” wheel sizes, the Academy CX benefits from a lightweight Triple Butted frame, carbon forks, Shimano SORA 9spd drivetrain, Alex branded rims and Kenda tyres. Finished in a bright green colour, and weighing just 9.8kg and 10.18kg respectively.




Focus On: Q Women–specific bikes and accessories Q Cycle lights Q Chains, gears and cranks

Focus On: Q Road cycling bikes and accessories Q Bike trailers Q Car racks and bike boxes

Special: Q 30 under 30 – who are the industry’s rising stars? Q What’s new in the BMX market; products, services and trends

Special: Q Tech accessories pushing the market forward Q Cycle Show review



Focus On: Q Mountain Biking – bikes, protective clothes, forks Q Winter and protective clothing

Focus On: Q E–bikes Q Stocking fillers Q Bottles and gear

Special: Q Bike Loans: How to make money and who are the trailblazers Q Eurobike Supplement

Special: Q The top IBD innovators; stores, events and services Q The rise and rise of the trail centers

SEPTEMBER, 2017 – THE CHILDREN’S BIKE ISSUE Focus On: Q Child’s bikes Q Trailer bikes Q Helmets and accessories Q Indoor training and power meters Special: Q The Brit List: Ten firms innovating the bike market Q Top UK recruiters / Companies to work for / Talent needs for 2020

DECEMBER, 2017 – THE DISTRIBUTOR ISSUE Focus On: Q Wheels, tyres and inner tubes Q Cycle footwear Special: Q Get ready for 2018: Predictions, products and winners Q The distributor survey


DISTRIBUTOR: Ritchey International










DISTRIBUTOR: Solent UK – Windwave



CONTACT: 016 7059 3791

CONTACT: 078 0976 4983

CONTACT: 023 9252 1912

BRAND: Ritchey


BRAND: Simplon

BRAND: Colnago

PRODUCT: Swiss Cross Disc Frameset

PRODUCT: Addict CX 10

PRODUCT: Inissio Crosser

PRODUCT: Prestige CX

The Swiss Cross blends Ritchey’s deep cyclocross heritage with modern geometry and steel tubing. Handmade to Tom Ritchey’s exacting standards, the frame is made from heat-treaded, triple-butted Ritchey Logic CrMo steel, and includes a Ritchey WCS Carbon Disc Cross fork. Other features include a forged and machined head tube with integrated cups for use with drop-in headsets and full-length housing stops for use with cable or hydraulic brakes.

Weighing in below 1300g, the Addict CX Frameset is lighter than another disc brake-optimised cross bike on the market. The bike features excellent stiffness values combined with a race-driven geometry for immediate power transfer, direct handling, top-of-the-range integration and a handful of unexpected extras, all while maintaining an incredibly low weight.

Simplon Bikes are now available in the UK for the first time and the Inissio Crosser is the Austrian brand’s dedicated cyclocross bike. With hydraulic disc brakes and a Simplon designed thru axle system, the Inissio Crosser covers all the bases for the tough British CX season or gravel ride. The frame and fork is full carbon and the component spec can be personalised using the Simplon configurator tool on their website. Prices start from £3449 for an Ultegra equipped bike

The Colnago’s newly redesigned Prestige CX frame features a monocoque carbon fibre frame. Already known for its stiffness and agility, the new Prestige frame can also boast about its exceptional lightness and strength. The flat-mount disc brake system provides all the power needed for maximum control of the bike at all times. Internal cable routing offers a clean look worthy of note, and the 27.2mm seat post contributes to comfort and lightness. Starting RRP £1799.






Bike security There’s nothing like a bike theft to put a new cyclist off the sport. Maintain your customer-base with these easy upsells…















BRAND: OnGuard

BRAND: Hiplok



PRODUCT: Alarm Lock



PRODUCT: Mako Combi

OnGuard’s Alarm Lock comes with high-security locking mechanisms to secure both sides of the shackle. The 14-16mm shackles are hardened steel making them impervious to prying, jacking or cutting. The round profile gives the lock smooth edges, eliminating any leverage points. The shackles are fully coated, ensuring they don’t damage the finish or paint job of whatever you’re locking it to. The Auto Arm/Disarm Alarm comes with shock and movement sensors which set off a 120db alarm, alerting everyone to any would-be attackers.

Z LOK is the first secured, reusable zip-style tie that provides ultraconvenient added protection for use on car racks, with accessories and other outdoor equipment. This armoured, reusable tie is a cuttingedge concept in security with a multitude of applications to protect your bike. Z LOK is sold in pairs and is available in a variety of colours.

Thanks to innovative gravitation technology, provided the bicycle remains standing and connected to a fixed object, ABUS’ component protection offers outstanding safeguarding against theft of your essential bike components. Five different colours make the protection a real eye-catcher.

Squire’s Mako Combi integrated lock and chain (CN8/900) is designed for urban commuters seeking the ultimate in strength and convenience. The 900mm chain is made with the toughest hardened alloy steel – 80 per cent stronger than hardened steel – and there are no keys to lose with the five-wheel recodable combination lock offering 100,000 options. Plus, Squire’s patented TORQ DRIV technology ensures the lock cannot be accidently recoded. It’s the highest security rated combination lock of its type to achieve Sold Secure Silver.






DISTRIBUTOR: Chicken and Sons








DISTRIBUTOR: Direct to retailer


CONTACT: 019 0832 6032

CONTACT: 017 8477 0021

CONTACT: 016 8986 0757


BRAND: Kryptonite

BRAND: Datatag

BRAND: BikeRegister


PRODUCT: New York Fahgettaboutdit Mini

PRODUCT: Cycle PRO System

PRODUCT: BikeRegister

PRODUCT: Litelok

The New York Fahgettaboutdit Mini uses an 18mm hardended MAXPerformance steel shackle that’s designed to resist bolt cutters as well as an oversized, patented hardened steel sleeve for double security. Add that to the double deadbolt locking which provides extensive holding power and you can see why the lock was given Sold Secure’s highest rating with a full ten out of ten. Its compact size makes it easy to carry, meaning you have high security with you wherever you go.

Datatag’s Cycle PRO System, with tamper evident warning label, microscopic Datadots and permanent UV markings by which it can be identified, not only warns off potential thieves and deters theft in the first place, but also gives the police the easy means by which to identify the bike and return it to you. The easy fit, one-off low cost system lasts a lifetime and has no annual fees.

BikeRegister is the UK’s national cycle database and online bicycle identification and registration initiative aiming to reduce cycle theft, identify stolen bikes and assist in owner recovery. BikeRegister is used by every UK police force and is the preferred bike marking system of the Metropolitan Police Service. Bikes can be registered free:

Litelok is a new bike lock that is light, flexible and strong. It is made from lightweight, tough materials, and manufactured in Britain. Litelok has been independently tested by Sold Secure, achieving their highest security rating: Sold Secure Gold. Litelok is the lightest, flexible bike lock to have achieved a Gold rating. Winner of “Best Cycling Innovation” at the 2016 London Cycling Award.




TO ADVERTISE For more details and to advertise, contact Richard Setters on 0207 354 6028 or email


GET LISTED Email your updated details NOW to


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2pure 46c Bavelaw Road, Balerno, Edinburgh, EH147AE Tel: 0844 811 2001 Web:

Fibrax Ltd Queensway, Wrexham. LL13 8YR Tel: +44 (0)1978 356744 Web:

Moore Large and Co Ltd Grampian Buildings, Sinfin Lane, Derby, Derbyshire. DE24 9GL Tel: 01332 274200 Web:

Bob Elliot and Co Ltd Unit C4 Binary Court, Matrix Park, Western Avenue, Buckshaw Village, Chorley, PR7 7NB Tel: 01772 459 887 Web:

Jungle Products Ltd Unit 3, The Cedar, New York Mills, Summerbridge, HG3 4LA Tel: 01423 780088 Web: and

North Sports 38 Kingston Avenue, Neilston, Glasgow, East Renfrewshire, G783JG Tel: 07746 933795 Web:

Continental North Parade, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales, SY23 2JR Tel: 01970 626777 Web:

EBCO 5 Pegasus House, Olympus Ave, Warwick, CV34 6LW Tel: Tel +01926 437700 Web:

EDCO Components North Parade, Aberystwyth, Wales, SY23 2JR Tel: 01970 626777 Web:

M & J Distributors Ltd Unit A, Hanix Buildings, Windmill Lane, Denton, Manchester, M34 3SP Tel: 0161 337 9600 Web:

Pitbitz Ltd Unit 6 Thorpe Drive, Thorpe Way Industrial Estate, Banbury, Oxon, OX16 4UZ Tel: 01295 269333 Web: and

Mealor-Clarke Cycle Spares Ltd Unit 1, Eastlands Road, Leiston, Suffolk, IP16 4LL Tel: 01728 830 055 Web:

Raleigh UK Ltd Church Street, Eastwood, Nottingham, NG16 3HT Tel: 01773 532600 Web: and and

Met Helmets / Bluegrass 22-24 Ely Place, London, EC1N6TE Tel: 0207 1937 496 Web:

Reece Cycles plc 100 Alcester Street, Birmingham, B12 0QB Tel: 0121 622 0180 Web:

The BikeBiz Directory 2017 is out now, providing the industry with a must-have guide to the UK’s retailers, distributors, manufacturers and related businesses. If you’d like to find out more or require additional copies please contact or call him on 020 7354 6028




Schwalbe Tyres UK Ltd Schwalbe Centre, Hortonwood 30, Telford, Shropshire, TF1 7ET Tel: 01952602680 Web:

Silverfish UK Ltd Unit 3C and 3B Woodacre Court, Saltash Parkway Industrial Estate, Burraton Road, Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 6LY Tel: 01752 843882 Web:

Stolen Goat Unit C1E Threshold Way, Fairoaks Airport, Woking. GU24 8HU Tel: 01483 361146 Web:

The Cycle Division Unit 27 Gatehouse Enterprise Centre, Albert Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 3QD Tel: 01484 456137 Web:

ZyroFisher Ltd Roundhouse Road, Faverdale Industrial Estate, Darlington, DL3 0UR Tel: 01325 741200 Web: /




ASSOS 57 Farringdon Road, London, EC1M 3JB Tel: 0203 621 1555 Web:

Buffera Limited Cranbourne House, Cranbourne Road, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, EN6 3JN Tel: Tel +01920 460754 Web:

Met Helmets / Bluegrass 22-24 Ely Place, London, EC1N6TE Tel: 0207 1937 496 Web:




Weldtite Products Ltd Unit 9 Harrier Road, Humber Bridge Industrial Estate, Barton-on-Humber, Lincs, DN18 5RP Tel: 01652 660000 Web:

700c Cycle Shop Insurance Plough Court, 37 Lombard Street, London. EC3V 9BQ Tel: 0333 433 0827 Web:

Cycleguard Insurance Southgate House, Southgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1UB Tel: 0333 004 3444 Web:

Oneway Distribution BV PO BOX 12, 3000 AA Rotterdam Tel: 0031 10345 3510 Web: PowerBar UK The Hive, 51 Lever St, Manchester. M1 1FN Tel: +44 (0)161 641 0056 Web: Pinhead Components Inc Jasper Ave, Edmonton, Alberta. Canada. T6K OK6 Tel: 1-780 465530 Web: Red Industries Borough House, Berkeley Court , Borough Road Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire ST5 1TT Tel: 01782 824026 Web:

Bike Rental Manager c/o H W Fisher & Co Acre House, 11-15 William Road, London. NW1 3ER Tel: +33 4 66 03 14 32 Web:

Citrus-Lime Limited Lantern House, The Ellers, Ulverston, LA12 0AA Tel: 01229 588 628 Web:

Rozone Limited Queen Street, Darlaston, Wednesbury West Midlands. WS10 8JB Tel: 0121 526 8181 Web: Oxford Products Ltd De Havilland Way, Range Road, Witney, Oxon. OX29 0YA Tel: 01993 862 300

Visijax Cotesbach House, The Precinct, Main Street, Cotesbach, Leicestershire, LE17 4HX Tel: 07810 838934 Web:

The BikeBiz Directory 2017 is available to view online at





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NUMBER CRUNCHING 60% of British cyclists say they are deterred by safety issues.



50p the average household spend on bikes (The average spend on cars is £59.40)

of CO2 emmisions would be saved per year if five per cent of New York commuters travelled by bike.



376,000 bicycles stolen in the UK every year

ey rivers say th of British d ble driv ing rta feel comfo ists. next to cycl





The basics about the people you might be dealing with...

What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? Riding a double ascent of Passo Giau during a snow storm.

What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? Too many. From the Garden Route, to 17 Mile Drive, to the Mountains near Taipei.

Where do you like to ride? Mainland Europe, particularly France and Italy – or Kent if the weather is nice. MARK EASTON Describe your role at ASSOS: Sales Assistant at the ASSOS London Regent’s Street Boutique

What do you enjoy most about working at ASSOS? Meeting likeminded cyclists every day and sharing with them my knowledge of the kit.

Where do you like to ride? Wiltshire, near Stourhead. It’s tough, with no flat. I grew up there. RICHARD TODD Describe your role at ASSOS: I’m responsible for the UK and Ireland, from the path to market, to strategy, marketing, admin.

What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? Riding across Scotland last Summer – beautiful scenery, amazing weather, the dream!

What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? Riding the infamous Stelvio, Gavia and Mortirolo Where do you like to ride? Around the Chilterns where I live and in Mallorca.

Where do you like to ride? Anywhere that involves country lanes, coffee shops and cake. DALANY WATKINS Describe your role at ASSOS: I look after PR, marketing and events for the wholesale and retail side of ASSOS.

What do you enjoy most about working at ASSOS? I get a lot of enjoyment out of promoting a brand which is so well renowned for its quality products.

PAUL DEAN Describe your role at ASSOS: ASSOS London Boutique Assistant Manager

What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? Riding a 40km route around Windsor Great Park.

Describe your role at ASSOS: I process orders, provide back office support and manage customer service in the UK.

PHILIPP SCHWEDTHELM Describe your role at ASSOS: Managing our accounts: sales, product training, events.


What do you enjoy most about working at ASSOS? I enjoy the atmosphere at ASSOS, we’re a great team and work together to achieve our goals.

What do you enjoy most about working at ASSOS? Meeting new people and helping to promote ASSOS in any way I can, having been a fan of the brand for over 15 years.

What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? 300km audax through the English countryside enjoying the rain, wind, and many chocolate bars and sandwiches consumed.

Where do you like to ride? I like to ride around Windsor, Virginia Water and Ascot. KATIE HILL

What do you enjoy most about working at ASSOS? It’s great to be heading the team driving the success and resurgence!

Where do you like to ride? Surrey Hills. NIELSEN CERBOLLES Describe your role at ASSOS: I oversee ASSOS LDN’s social media as well as assisting customers with our products.

What do you enjoy most about working at ASSOS? Creating content for the ASSOS and talking about cycling all day with my colleagues.

What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? Transcontinental Race 2016 from Belgium to Turkey.

What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? Climbing the legendary mountain that is Mortirolo

Where do you like to ride? I like riding in the Mountains especially in the Dolomites. Even better when it’s sunny.

Where do you like to ride? I normally ride around Essex but, when I can, I hit the Surrey Hills.

What do you enjoy most about working at ASSOS? Working with a great team that is passionate about cycling.

PHILIP SMITH Describe your role at ASSOS: Store Manager of ASSOS London, Regent’s Street

What do you enjoy most about working at ASSOS? For sure the people, the ASSOS team really share my passion for cycling and delivering amazing customer experience.



SPIN CYCLING FESTIVAL AT OLYMPIA URBAN CYCLE show Spin London ran from May 12th to 14th at the Olympia London, attracting hipsters and cyclists from all over the capital. With a basement test-track almost as large as the show itself, the event boasted a progressive showcase of trendy brands. One stand-out product was Belgian new kid Ahooga, a folding bike with unique folding rear and front fenders and mudguards. Added touches included a DnB set, and a quirky art installation, marked only Bike in a Bed, depicting, uhm... a bike... in a bed. We’re still not sure what to make of it.

Stephen Holt, Commercial Director

CYCLE TO WORK DAY RETURNS FOR 2017 CYCLE TO Work Day is back on Wednesday, September 13th 2017. This year is the fifth anniversary, and the celebration of cycling will be bigger than ever. Cycle to Work Day has grown rapidly since its launch in 2013. Each year the event inspires thousands of working adults to cycle commute for one day, in hope that this will kick-start a habit of a lifetime. In 2016 Cycle to Work Day saw 45,000 cyclists pledge to ride over 675,000 miles. For 2017, we want to get even more cyclists involved, but we need your help. Cycle to Work Day wouldn’t be possible without the support from bike retailers. Last year over 1,000 retailers supported this national event, and we want even more of you to get involved for 2017. So save the date, and start thinking about what your store could do. Cycle to Work Day is a brilliant way to increase your sales opportunities. New and returning cyclists will be taking advantage of their cycle to work scheme ahead of the day, and will be ready to spend up to £1000 on a bike and accessories. Make sure you shout about your support of Cycle to Work Day to secure these valuable sales. Why not plan a community commute from your store on the day? This could be a great story for your local press, and might boost your PR activities. Or take advantage of Cycle to Work Day social media coverage; re-share our content and you could be trending with us on Twitter. As always, Cyclescheme will be on hand with ideas and incentives to help you leverage the event and get customers through your door. Look out for emails direct to your inbox and Cyclescheme B2B in the coming months. I hope we can count on your support.

Stephen Holt is commercial director of Cyclescheme, the UK’s leading provider of tax-free bikes for work. You can reach him on Twitter @cycleschemeltd




Show, don’t tell “Anything else I can get you today?” should be words never uttered in your store, argues Carlton Reid AFTER A ten-year gap I’ve recently got back into running. My trainers were tatty, so I figured I’d splash out on a new pair, especially as trainer technology seems to have progressed in, ahem, leaps and bounds since I last bought running equipment. I could have fired up Wiggle and got a close-out deal, but I value my knees, so didn’t rush into buying the first cheap pair I saw; I wanted to look around, get some expertise on board. I did some “gait analysis” research online but – given the fact I frequently rant about buying from IBDs – to buy the actual shoes I *had* to visit an independent running shop. In the end I bought a pair of Brooks trainers from Newcastle’s leading running retailer. I’m happy with the purchase, and got lots of the kind of advice good bike shops give. However, the sales person didn’t attempt any add-on sales. I was clearly new and gagging for it, and telegraphed this desire by also buying a pair of bonkers socks with individual toes (12 quid a pair, since you ask). But, I had to prompt the sales guy to get them for me (the shop website had shown they stocked them). For all the salesperson knew, I might not have stopped at socks and trainers. I might have been in the market for a full, high-margin wardrobe; I could have been upsold on a gilet, a running vest, perhaps a pair of shorts. Nada, nothing, not even a lacklustre attempt to get me to buy some gels. Some high-margin add-ons would have made my visit far more profitable, so I was

“Experts say that retail brilliance comes from surprise and delight, not efficiency and predictability.” disappointed there was no attempt to prise even more money out of me. And it’s not as though the shop was rammed – it was quiet, and I was clearly in no rush to get out of the door. I was willing the guy to sell to me, and yet he didn’t. I’m pretty sure you’ll have trained your staff to take every opportunity to get customers’ cash (you know that “Is that all?” is a passion killer). The example above wouldn’t happen in your store, but, meanwhile, let me ask you a question: would you value more retail training articles within these pages? I ask, because we used to do lots of them. The very first issue of BikeBiz (it was originally called BicycleBusiness, with BikeBiz reserved for the website) was threequarters bike trade stuff and a quarter retail stuff. Should BikeBiz revert to that

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model, and do more articles on non-bikie stuff? Or do you think that info is copiously available elsewhere, and therefore BikeBiz should stick to bike trade topics? Looking back at that first issue of July/Aug 1999, there were loads of articles on experiential retail and the latest trends in shop-fitting. There was a snippet about meeting Professional’s Nick Thake at the Retail Interiors Show (“I’ve never seen anybody from the bike trade here before,” he laughed). Fascinating stuff. To some. How about you? I’m selling to you right now. I’m asking questions in order to shape a product – this mag – so you’ll become more likely to “buy” it (i.e. read it). You don’t need to read my words, I have to make you want to read them. I do that by being at least moderately entertaining (I’m

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also available for bar mitzvahs) and reasonably coherent (jury’s out on that one). But you could just as easily go elsewhere for such opinions. In fact, you could be a bit of a trade-mag showroomer – reading a bunch of titles, kicking our virtual tyres, trying out our opinions before “buying” elsewhere. I have seconds to make you stop. And think. If I don’t, it’s all just random letters on a page. I have to offer up something intriguing, or you’ll hoof it. In short, I have to offer you serendipity – proffering thoughts and views that you might not have been expecting to read about today. But I’m not just talking about the mag here, I’m talking about what customers now expect from the retailers they’ll reward with their presence. Experts say that retail brilliance comes from surprise and delight, not efficiency and predictability. The key to using serendipity, they say, is to show, not tell. And this is more than just visual merchandising or an attention-grabbing windowdisplay. Been to a Costco store recently? Seen how many staff they’ve got offering food samples? Bet you snacked a bit, yes? And then bought? I have. What services do you offer on your website or only when people ask? How could you represent that in an in-store way? And how could you introduce not only related items to folks at the till, but unrelated items? Serendipity leads to sales. So, more of that sort of thing in the mag, or less?

© NewBay Media Europe Ltd 2017 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without the express prior written consent of the publisher. The contents of BikeBiz are subject to reproduction in information storage and retrieval systems.


FOR ALL YOUR CYCLING PRODUCT NEEDS We’re dedicated to providing our dealers a best in industry service, here are a few ways how we do that: Order up to 6pm via our B2B website for next day delivery Custom pallet service for orders over £250 24/7 payment through our B2B site Raleigh Academy – an interactive learning portal On-site experience centre New brands for 2017 including RSP Carbon Wheels, Fixit Sticks, Finn & Race One

Get in touch to find out how you could work with Raleigh Bike Parts • facebook/raleighbikeparts

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Vineeta Diels, Bosch eBike Systems

“The Cycle Show this year has been the best yet. ;NXNYTWJSLFLJRJSYNSH^HQNSLFSISJ\ bikes was higher than ever, as was the IJYJWRNSFYNTSYTGZ^+TW'NFSHMNYMJ show generated more leads than we had last year and has already produced traceable sales. It’s a great start to the season to have it as a springboard.”

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“The Cycle Show is a must attend event for cycling brands in the UK. The audience is a wide ranging demographic from across the UK and for Condor the show is also an opportunity for us connect with our retailers in the UK and keep them informed of new technologies on the bikes.”

Grant Young, Condor Cycles

BB137 June 2017  
BB137 June 2017