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Hayley Ferguson Editor

‘A movement of this kind could see unprecedented growth in consumer interest for e-bikes’

Carlton Reid Editor-at-Large Kieran Howells Staff Writer Dan Bennett Designer


Warren Kelly Production Executive

Doing the green thing

Richard Setters Sales Manager

MID-OCTOBER officially saw the news that Oxford council is the first to make plans that will start the process of phasing out petrol vehicles by 2020. In response to nitrogen dioxide levels which have risen above the legal limit, the city hopes to become the world’s first zero emissions zone. In the UK, we’re a bit late to the party – we really are miles behind certain other European countries in our willingness to take action to lower emissions and improve environmental sustainability. However, we do live in a hipster-driven, digital age where it’s becoming increasingly fashionable to be seen to be doing “the green thing”. Because of this, it’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination to predict that, following Oxford council’s announcement, we could see a sort of electrical arms race among wealthier boroughs across the UK, all hoping to take the take the crown of Greenest Borough by 2020. And, a movement of this sort could see unprecedented growth in, not only public support for cycling, but also consumer interest in bikes of the electric variety. If the industry plays this right, the end of hard times for cycle retail could be nigh.

James McKeown Content Director Stuart Moody Head of Operations Caroline Hicks Events Director Mark Burton Managing Director NewBay Subscriptions: The Emerson Building 4-8 Emerson Street London - SE1 9DU To subscribe to BikeBiz please go to bikebiz. com/subscribe. Should you have any questions please email FAQ’s can be found Please note that this is a controlled circulation title and subscription criteria will be strictly adhered to.

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Richard Setters

Warren Kelly

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DISTRIBUTION OPPORTUNITY Your chance to be part of one of the fastest growing e-bike brands. Distributors sought for the New Zealand designed Smartmotion e-bikes. For more information contact


The e-bike issue


What happened at the Cycle Show?


Laker on electric bikes


Product feature: cycle luggage

We speak to six attendees of the NEC-based event to hear their thoughts on the show, and find out what they launched there

Laura Laker speaks to some of the big names in the industry about convincing sceptical consumers, and profiting as an e-bike retailer

Kieran Howells takes the time to evaluate some of the most interesting cycle luggage products so you don’t have to

REGULARS 06 Industry opinions 22 Market analysis: e-bikes 49 Sector guides 43 Tricks of the Trade 76 In My Team: Raleigh 78 Spokesman




Electric Bike Corporation

Entering a fast-growing market by Keith Jepson, creative director, Max Bikes PR


e all know that the general cycling market is currently challenging. While economic conditions make trading difficult, we can be confident that this is a blip rather than a long-term trend.

perspective in the UK. The growth in the e-MTB market has brought younger, more tech-savvy riders into the scene and has helped open the market’s perspective. These advancements have made the sector more accessible to both dealers and consumers. Once there are “bottoms on seats”, e-bike sales opportunities are extremely strong. EBC believes that training and information are the keys to advancing this segment of the market. Working with key electric motor system manufacturers such as Bosch, Shimano and TranzX to deliver e-bike education, covering everything from hardware, to software, to computer Increasing interest in health and environmental diagnostics, ensures that the dealer is armed with sustainability, alongside the rising cost of transport, everything they need to sell confidently and to promote positions the bicycle as a viable long-term option for both the sector. Improved information, technology, aesthetic, travel and leisure. While we may not be amid the Mamil accessibility and pricing have also helped to hysteria of the 2012 London Games, halo build confidence in the market. E-bike events in the UK continue to cement core brands are now offering enormous enthusiasts and draw new blood. Studies ‘Increasing specific support to dealers, with specialist show that in hard times, people reach interest in technicians, in-house training and demo increasingly for leisure activities to escape the quotidian of daily life. health and days. EBC set out eight years ago to sell Despite this lull, one area of the market has sustainability e-bikes in the UK with quality reliable seen significant growth over the last three years: the e-bike sector. Independent positions the motor systems, full aftersales, spares and believing that without these in research conducted by the Electric Bike bicycle as a service, place, retailers would be reticent in giving Corporation (EBC) estimates that the viable long- over showroom space in this new market number of e-bike units in the market for 2016 was between 45,000 and 50,000, term option sector. The company saw e-bikes as a lifestyle choice, as well as a great business growing from around 20,000 in 2012. for both travel opportunity, and over the last three years Positive forecasting is showing a further 20 to 25 per cent growth per year for at least the and leisure’ has worked hard along with its partners in the market. E-bikes now feature strongly in next four years. many retailers’ offerings, and have become Presently, IBDs and multi-chains are an increasing revenue generator. seeing e-bikes as a genuine business They are no longer just a transport solution, but are opportunity, now with new revenue streams rather than now a ride choice. It’s cool to ride one, whether you’re just incremental sales. No longer are e-bikes seen as commuting, riding for leisure at the weekend, or smashing “cheating”, or just travel solutions for the grey pound customer. What has the market done to install confidence the trails like a weekend warrior. The future for e-bikes is looking really strong, with investment from major brands: with the dealer? this innovation, continued reliability and improved style is E-bikes have certainly changed, coming from a appealing to both the core enthusiast and new riders. much-improved tech, aesthetic, cost and supply

6 | November 2017


Electric bike technology

The e-bike market is moving at lightning speed by Lyle Metcalfe, managing director, VOLT Bikes


he e-bike market initially grew very slowly as a direct result of limited technology and clunky, poor-looking designs.

very similar across brands. Because VOLT is an e-bike only manufacturer, we’ve been focusing on developing and improving e-bike tech for almost ten years, and we not only invest heavily in our technology, we also invest heavily in our dealer channel. We like working with independent dealers because we know we can help A typical e-bike would weigh in excess of 30kg, assist you them make the most of this market opportunity. We’ve maybe ten miles (if you were lucky), and would, more also found it’s easier for a dealer to sell a bike if it’s often than not, be unreliable with very sketchy warranty backed up with lots of good independent reviews – support – all these things made bike dealers and that’s where selling VOLT is a no-brainer. consumers run a mile. Move forward ten years and a We are doing what we have always done since our global consumer demand for battery technology to inception in 2008, we’re building high quality, reliable, improve – mostly driven by the mobile phone market stylish and sensibly priced e-bikes. We are constantly – has now made it possible for e-bikes to achieve 60 to 100 miles on a single charge. Consumers demanded working hard and trying to make electric bikes better e-bikes which perform better, look better and are than the competition, by improving our technology and genuinely life-enhancing. It has always been our goal at constantly pushing the boundaries of e-bike tech. This VOLT to be the first to invest into the year we have just released our latest latest technology and to produce e-bikes e-bike drive system SpinTech™, which ‘We like that people would want to be seen on. We are a very technology-savvy society now, working with we developed in collaboration with two other major e-bike brands Eco-Ride and with social media giving the consumer IBDs because (Sweden) and Blix (US), and it’s complete visibility, if you don’t make a great product, you simply get left behind. we know we genuinely superb. We’ve also continued to invest heavily into our relationship E-bikes are here to stay: that has can help them with Shimano, as we truly believe they become increasingly apparent in the last make the best central crank motor make the three years. For small businesses to achieve in this sector it is important to most of this system available. They obviously believe we’re doing things right as they kindly embrace the technology and take time to market featured one of our e-bikes the “VOLT understand why consumers and businesses are choosing these over opportunity’ Infinity” on their stand at The Cycle Show NEC this September. Meanwhile, conventional cycles. we continue updating our designs by adding to our In terms of maximising sales, the dealers that focus ever-growing range of electric bikes. This December we on selling one or two non-conflicting brands are the will be unveiling the UK’s first folding Shimano STEPS ones who do the best and sell the most. Consumers become uncertain when too many options are placed in central crank e-bike with a CDX Carbon Belt Drive system, The VOLT Axis. front of them, especially given e-bikes quite often look We’d like to thank our dealers for believing in VOLT and for trusting us when we said we’d generate a lot of leads and sales for them. The market is growing fast – we’ll keep focusing on producing e-bikes that the consumers want the most. Whether you deal with us or not, we hope you’ve had a successful year – if you don’t already sell e-bikes, then give us a call.

November 2017 | 7


Looking in new sectors

An ageing population: making the caravan connection by Craig Surgey, director, Curveball Studios

8 | November 2017



ver the last decade, we have seen new cycle product trends duel in head-to-head battles, including those relating to wheel sizes, brake choices, and alloy versus carbon. And, despite historical references to electrically-assisted bicycles dating as far back as the 1890s, over the last three to four years, the industry has really seen the e-bike emerge as a serious category. . These days, e-bikes have become much more advanced – they are now available in all shapes and sizes, and have a multitude of uses.

people aged 60 or over is expected to pass the 20 In their infant days, the use of e-bikes was deemed as a million mark by 2030 (Office for National Statistics, form of “cheating”. More to the point, most enthusiasts wouldn’t even take an e-bike out for a test ride. However 2015). 36 per cent of people aged 55 and over are inactive compared to 26 per cent of the that time has come and gone, and population as a whole. nowadays, at demo events, you can see Above all, looking within new sectors enthusiasts give an e-bike a try and bring will be key for market growth in the future. the bike back with what is now known as ‘Above all, The Caravan and Motorhome Club the “electric bike smile”. E-bikes are looking (formerly the Caravan Club) is now without a doubt rendering cycling more within new looking to partner with brands for exciting as they single-handedly break down the performance barriers. sectors will be summer 2018 to support their three national cycling festivals in Scotland, A well-known retailer recently said to key for England and Wales. Over the last couple me: “We are good at selling to enthusiasts of years, the Caravan and Motorhome or frequent cyclists, but we struggle to market has recognised a rise in members reach the non-cyclist, the infrequent rider growth in the Club using bikes as a form of transport or and the senior cyclist.” future’ enjoying scenic routes with their The behavioural traits of e-bike families. These events are part of a users are making brands and retailers year-on-year plan to engage their reconsider their marketing strategies to membership with active lifestyle activities maximise engagement with these for all ages and abilities. emerging user groups. With a membership of over 100,000+ consumers at With the senior cyclist in mind, one of Sport an average of 55 years of age, this is a great opportunity England’s current initiatives is called “Active Ageing” for the market to engage with the over 55s, leisure and which, in a nutshell, is about getting the over 55s active. In the UK we have an ageing population – the number of family cyclists, and e-bike users. To find out more about these events, you can get in touch with alternatively give him a bell on 07872 561572.

November 2017 | 9


Evaluating the past to inform the future

Look how far we’ve come by Sue Coulson, director, Batribike


aving just reached the milestone of ten years in the electric bike business, I have found myself reflecting on the changes in design and innovation that the industry has seen in that time. When we first started Batribike, lithium batteries were just entering the market, motors were heavy and clunky and the complete design of the bike was only just starting to look more “bike-like”.

mainstream brands. A year down the line, at the recent NEC Cycle Show, and batteries were even less in evident than they’ve ever been before. Improvements in the way that cells can be packed to produce more compact and differently-shaped casings has certainly had an impact on the design of the bikes. It seems that customers are noticing and approving of new sleeker, more integrated designs. Gone are the days of bolting a big square battery to the frame and announcing: “It’s an electric We even had an entry-level bike with an SLA battery, bike!” and the battery weighed 15kg. The all-up weight Looking at trends I can see that eMTBs of most electric bikes is now not much are definitely taking a share of the market, more than that battery alone! but it is in the leisure and commuter We have seen huge improvements in ‘As far as sectors where frame design and hidden batteries. They have become lighter with the buying batteries are making an impact. With greater distances and better reliability. public are these improvements and further This has led to extended warranties. Motors have become lighter and more concerned, innovations will also come the electric road bike – something that has not really efficient and so have control systems. In it’s design and been possible before, due to weight and, the industry, these are the things that we notice and remark on, but as far as the style that they to be honest, some prejudice against the concept. But more people are asking if this buying public are concerned, it’s design notice first’ will be possible. and style that they notice first. That seems The old-fashioned designs and clunky to be what draws them to a particular technology of ten years ago have leapt model – specification comes later. forward and the future for electric bikes is assured and Last year it seems that there was another step change exciting – bring on the next ten years! in design: the emergence of hidden batteries into

Batribike launched its tenth anniversary centre drive bike, the TEN, at the NEC Cycle Show. The TEN is available in step-through and crossbar styles and features an in frame “hidden” yet removable battery in a choice of capacities. Batribike is seeking dealers for all its models across the UK. You can find out more by contacting Sue. 10 | November 2017

ZENITH WATERPROOF JACKET A perfect mid-weight soshell, the Zenith is a tough piece of kit for trail junkies

New 2017 Autumn Winter range now available Winter can be a time for building up base miles for the season ahead, but equally can be an opportunity to take saturated trails, improving your skill set and providing unique riding conditions. Charge your lights, layer up and embrace all that winter brings. The season isn’t over, it’s only just begun.


Futuristic ideas for new companies

I electrified my cycle startup by Martin Gershon, owner, Jurassic Electric Bikes


left the civil service with a kernel of an idea – to start a business offering guided day tours by bike of the glorious West Dorset countryside. Despite my best efforts to market the concept, the phone simply would not ring, and it was destined to be one of the many start-ups that fail in their first year.

explore, the four-wheeled option is far less effort. The nature of this demographic requires the bikes to be simple to use. Because of this, all our tour bikes have hub gears so people don’t have to unearth the mysteries of a derailleur. Automatic power and gear options please! We’re also hoping to see more lightweight e-bikes on the market in the near future. Customers in their fifties and above want e-bikes to enhance their lifestyle, and will be putting them up on racks behind campervans or stowed inside boats. Can your granddad bench-press 25kg? On a macro scale, there is no doubt that e-bikes are not only altering the way that people perceive cycling, However, we survived and prospered because of a but also the entire cycling industry. However, this is lightbulb moment. At a breakfast networking meeting, happening far more slowly in the UK than elsewhere in one of the other participants said, “Why don’t you try Europe. I believe the sector’s true using electric bikes?” potential will only be reached if I bought my first three electric bikes and distributors shortly afterwards, and with this “fleet” ‘On a macro manufacturers produce bikes better suited to their started to attract guests who could now scale, e-bikes core customer base. cycle up steep Dorset inclines they would The most common thing we hear from never previously have considered are not only sceptics is that electric bikes are attempting without the extra power the altering the “cheating”. I don’t argue with these people bikes provided. For the last six years I have anymore because, frankly, I have better witnessed first-hand how electric bikes way we things to do with my time. Electric bikes have transformed cycling for thousands of perceive allow more people to enjoy cycling more individuals. But, as a relatively new entrant cycling, but often, whether that’s a day out in the to the retail scene, I’ve become aware of a few issues that I feel need to be addressed. also the entire countryside, or just a ride to the shops to pick up the morning paper. For those with 99 per cent of the guests on our guided industry’ a medical condition, it’s not an tours are not traditional cyclists – that overstatement to say that electric bikes Lycra-clad species seen alone or in packs have the potential to be life-changing. At hoovering up the miles on their the end of the day, e-bikes allow people to do what they featherweight machines. We often meet people who haven’t been able to for years. Now that ain’t cheating. haven’t cycled for decades because, if they want to

Jurassic Electric Bikes’ award-winning guided tours explore the stunning Dorset coast and countryside. Routes have been carefully selected to introduce guests to the area’s spectacular landscapes and vibrant history. Their Weymouth showroom is open by appointment for people to view, test-ride and purchase the latest electric bikes currently available from Kalkhoff, KTM and Volt. For more information, visit or call Martin on 07796 135256 12 | November 2017



CHARGING TIME 4-5 HOURS UP TO 45KM RANGE LOW STEP-OVER TUBE VELO PLUSH COMFORT SADDLE View our full range of E-Bikes online 0161 727 8508 | |

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“One of the biggest problems we have is customer perception. People think it’s cheating. I explain to them: You still have to pedal the thing – it’s not cheating.” Paul Kenchington, The Bicycle Chain


Don’t go for too many brands at once; choose a couple of good brands, spanning a variety of styles of bike and price range, depending on your customer base, and know the product well


Ensure you and your staff know the bikes well; from how they work, to how to charge the batteries, to the pros and cons of different models


Have somewhere customers can try out bikes – e-bike retailers we spoke to say it is vital for customers to understand what an e-bike feels like, if they’re new to the concept, and which style they prefer. This could be an off-road area or simply a quiet street


Don’t compare e-bikes to regular bikes – compare them to the bus, the train, the car, instead – this is a different market, potentially


Remember: e-bikes aren’t cheating – they can have a huge positive impact on people’s lives

16 | November 2017


Making the margin on e-bikes Laura Laker tells us why you shouldn’t miss out on the biggest trend this year In 2016 UK regulations changed to eliminate ‘twist and go’ machines from the definition of electric bike. Now, to qualify as an e-bike, the user has to pedal to activate the electric motor assistance. Known as pedelecs, these bikes are also restricted to 250w, and a top speed of 15.5mph.


-BIKES ARE the big story in the bike industry right now, and if you’re not seriously considering them, you could be missing out. While they’re commonplace in Europe – one in three bikes sold in the Netherlands has electric assist – in a recent survey of 2,000 UK commuters, conducted for Evans Cycles, 75 per cent didn’t know what an e-bike is. A lack of information and a little snobbery around e-bikes in the UK have contributed to this lag. However, there are signs this is changing, and for many retailers we spoke to, e-bikes now represent a major growth area. Steve Garidis, of the Bicycle Association, says e-bike imports to the UK have risen consistently in recent years, with 100,000 units predicted in 2017, up from 50,000-75,000 in previous years. Garidis says: “In countries like Germany and the Netherlands there has been a real explosion in the number of e-bikes being sold and we are nowhere near that level in the UK … but we are beginning to see that same uplift. “The value of e-bikes is about 12 per cent of the bike market now, and over the last 12 months that has been consistently rising.” Paul Stewart, of Moore Large, says the technology – and quality – have improved drastically from the early Far East e-bike models. “That’s what stalled the development of that market in the UK,” he says. “Improvements in quality enabled more specific e-bike shops to become established in the UK. Now the traditional bike shops are playing catch up because, as the quality improved, they want a slice of that.” Paul Kenchington, of the Bicycle Chain, with stores in Bridgwater, Taunton and Weston-Super-Mare, spent 20 years, on and off, trying to sell e-bikes before sales finally took off. “For a long time e-bikes were seen as this niche, weird thing,” he says. “Sales were trickling for years, now it seems the tap has opened – in the past 18 months to two years it has grown massively.


Riders aged 50 and above


Commuters of a range of ages looking to tackle longer journeys without getting sweaty


Those getting back into fitness after a break/losing fitness/gaining weight


Mountain bikers


Delivery riders who can double their deliveries with an e-bike


Disabled riders – 18 per cent of disabled cyclists own a cycle with electrical assist


Those with knee or joint problems


Holidaymakers taking folding e-bikes away in their caravans, for example


Riders of different abilities wanting to cycle together

November 2017 | 17


“E-bikes are a fantastic route into cycling for beginners, or for those returning to cycling” Victoria Pendleton

TRY IT AND SEE: All the industry experts we spoke to agree the best way to overcome misconceptions about e-bikes is to have a go. “Our view is there has been really generally quite low understanding of what an electric bike is,” says Steve Garidis. “I think people imagine it’s a moped.” “There’s really no substitute for trying one out. It’s quite difficult to explain what that feels like. You’re still cycling but it feels like being an Olympic athlete: you can go fast and longer, hills are less effort. The acceleration is quite fun, even for the most sceptical grown up!” Volt Bikes have their own test track by their London Bridge showroom that customers can use. James Metcalfe says: “We still have a very high requirement from people to test ride a bike; 90 per cent of people who come in want to try them.”

18 | November 2017

Laura Laker at the Cycle Show e-bike test track

“This August we were 50 per cent up compared with August last year.” Now prices have come down a little, e-bikes are accessible to more people. The next step, he feels, it is about improving e-bikes’ image. “One of the biggest problems we have is customer perception,” he says. “People think it’s cheating. I explain to them: you still have to pedal the thing – it’s not cheating.” James Metcalfe, of Volt Bikes, a British e-bike manufacturer established in 2008, describes a similar story. “We have been getting really aggressive growth year on year but we haven’t been pushing it aggressively, it’s driven by the market. Back in 2007 we would ring a bike shop and they would practically hang up on us; I think the industry was almost scared of them, they were generally not open to change.” WHO ARE E-BIKES FOR? E-bikes potentially have an enormous market reach, among those who have never cycled before, or whose cycling ability declines due to aging, illness, injury or a disability. They also help extend commuting range, and bridge the gap in abilities between riders who want to cycle together. In other words, there are a lot of potential customers. A large market for e-bikes is those aged 50 plus but James Metcalfe, of British e-bike manufacturers, Volt, says many customers are younger; some much older. “We had an 85 year-old buy a bike from us the other day. A lot of these older guys, keep their old bikes, and ride them as well. “We had a 98 year old customer a couple of years ago.”


“I think if you look at our cities and the way that we commute, the e-bike is an absolute godsend” Paul Stewart, Moore Large

“We get quite a lot of people who have had heart attacks, whose doctors advised them to get an e-bike as a way of rehabilitating. People say: ‘this is great, you’re changing my life’.” Many of his customers are the younger demographic, aged 30 and above, looking to increase their cycle commuting range – or ride longer distances in regular clothes, without getting too sweaty. Then there’s disabled riders. According to disability cycling charity, Wheels for Wellbeing, 18 per cent of disabled cyclists use some form of e-assist on their bikes. Kenchington says many of his customers are mountain bikers, aged 40 and above. “A couple in their 40s came in recently; he was thinking of buying a motorbike, but realised if he got an e-bike they could go out and have fun together. They spent £9,000.” There is huge potential for e-bike growth. Moore Large’s Paul Stewart says: “I think if you look at our cities and the way that we commute, the e-bike is an absolute godsend. Convincing the UK population to buy into it as they have in Europe is the big opportunity that we need overall in this country.” Garidis says: “I think e-bikes tackle all sorts of issues, be it participation or how difficult cycling is or worries about fitness or hills and whether I would be able to get home.” Garidis is among those would like the UK government to offer incentives for e-bikes as they do for electric cars.

WHAT THE FORMER PROS SAY Chris Hoy: “Initially I simply couldn’t see the point of e-bikes. I thought if you’re wanting to cycle and get exercise, just use a bike – and if you want to get around with a motor then buy a moped or a motorcycle. “But having actually ridden one, my opinions have changed massively. I think they’re great for people to commute on over distances that they might not be able to manage without the electric motor. I think they allow people to go out and enjoy riding their bike with people who might be stronger and faster, as they can keep up with ease. In short, they’re a really nice combination of using your own human power, your own effort and having a little bit of assistance too. I think once you’ve ridden an e-bike, you completely ‘get it’.” Victoria Pendleton who recently launched her own e-bike, the Pendleton

©Picture Credit: VOLT

THE FUN FACTOR Metcalfe says: “You should see the emails we get, all the time. Yesterday I had an email from a guy saying he had a really nice time in the Ile de Re with his wife. He said ‘we went to France with the new bikes, we are both very pleased with them and can see many years of fun ahead of us’. They are in their 70s. “We get hundreds and hundreds of emails and letters, from people saying thanks for their bikes, we love them.”

November 2017 | 19


“Ideally you want to have a low or no traffic space customers can sit on and ride them.”

©Picture Credit: Bicycle Association

James Metcalfe, VOLT Bikes

Somerby Electric Bike, says: “E-bikes are a fantastic route into cycling for beginners, or for those returning to cycling, as these provide a helping hand when it comes to conquering physical fitness challenges that would have remained a barrier with a normal bike. They really are a gamechanger. Lots more people and families will be able to get out and have fun on bikes, whether they’re for leisure, staycationing, or a more ambitious cycling challenge abroad. “The great thing is that you still get the burn and benefit from cycling but now with an added boost. And for commuters, there’s no need to get sweaty or change your clothes, so it’s perfect for cycling to work.” ADVICE FOR SHOPS Metcalfe says: “All the consumers that have bought bikes from us know more about e-bikes than the average person, they have been on forums, on BikeBiz, they have seen review videos. “My advice to the dealers is to choose one or two brands to deliver a better service, know the product really well and you will get less procrastination from buyers. “Ideally you want to have a low or no traffic space customers can sit on and ride them.” “For many people it could be the first e-bike they have ridden. From the dealer’s point of view you want to have an active interest in e-bikes. I have noticed there’s still a negativity around e-bikes, people in bike shops saying: ‘I wouldn’t want one’. “People need to have a sympathetic understanding of them. These bikes really do enhance people’s lives. People compare them directly against conventional bikes whereas we compare them with the tube, train, bus, or moped. Most of our customers aren’t conventional cyclists. It’s not just your normal bike customer, it’s everyone.” Jack Meek, of the Flat Earth bike shop in Hertfordshire, says: “You should also have someone who is confident with how the bike works. Too 20 | November 2017

many times people come to us who have gone to a major bike retailer and the staff don’t have the technical information. If customers want to know about battery charging rules, or how the motors work, and you don’t know that information, that knocks the customer’s confidence.” THE FUTURE – SPEED PEDELECS? In the future some believe speed pedelecs, or s-pedelecs – e-bikes able to reach 28mph (45kph) – will transform commuting by increasing cycleable distances. In the UK s-pedelecs are not permitted on public roads. In Europe, s-pedelecs are classed as mopeds, with tougher regulations on the bike’s construction, and helmets, insurance and a driving license are required to use them. Paul Kenchington would like to see similar rules introduced in the UK, to help people commute faster, and therefore further, by bike. Meek warns s-pedelecs must be treated carefully, though. He says: “As a business we feel speed pedelecs should only come into place where there is a decent regulatory system for registering them as an electric vehicle with rules and regulations on where they are and aren’t allowed. Mopeds aren’t allowed on public footpaths because if you can hit 45kph, it could be very dangerous for people walking. I think they definitely could have a place in the UK, though.”


The rise of the e-bike E-bikes are fast becoming a key focal point in the cycling industry. Kieran Howells discusses their rise with Fully Charged head of operations Dan Parsons


he rise of the e-bike is without a doubt one of the most fascinating success stories of the cycling industry. It started with a justifiably tainted mainstream perspective based on low-quality bicycles originating from unregulated Chinese factories. Then, the concept saw major investment at the hands of brands like Bosch, Shimano and Yamaha. Legitimacy has built slowly but surely through the cycling mainstream and, in the modern retail arena, e-bikes are fast becoming not just the fastest-growing sector of the industry, but one of the key items of interest amongst avid cyclists. So what does that mean for dealers? Well, if now isn’t the right time to stock e-bikes, that may be because the right time was yesterday. One company that got in on the ground floor is London’s e-bike exclusive emporium, Fully Charged. “Fully Charged was established in 2014 when founder Ben Jaconelli was forced to give up his car for a period and experienced the incredible benefits of e-bikes first-hand,” director of operations Dan Parsons tells me. “The thought of not specialising in electric bikes and offering conventional bicycles never even crossed our minds.” The decision to specialise in e-bikes benefitted the brand almost straight away; with customers coming from all over England to see the company’s carefully-curated range first hand. The trick, according to Parsons, is keeping the range cutting-edge and staying abreast of all the innovations in the fast-moving sector. “In our opinion, if a customer wants to receive specialist advice and support, then it makes sense to go to a specialist retailer, and business for us could not be going better. Our sales are up, we recently underwent a showroom expansion and further exciting growth plans are in the pipeline.” The cycling industry has seen similar emerging trends in the past, but not all have benefitted dealers in the long run. Even now, a similar swell of interest is forming around dockless bike share schemes across England, and whilst a flood of investment is on the cards, who knows where it will lead? According to Parsons, even if other trends fade, e-bikes aren’t going anywhere. “If the Asian and continental European markets are anything to go by, we have a huge amount of yet-unfulfilled potential here in the UK,” he says. “Whilst bike trends do come and go, we strongly feel that electric bikes are here to stay, with their technology improving and their

22 | November 2017


“The thought of not specialising in electric bikes and just offering normal bicycles never even crossed our minds” Dan Parsons, Fully Charged

acceptance increasing all the time. And whilst the younger generations begin to use e-bikes for commuting and leisure purposes, in an aging population, e-bikes will allow us to stay in the saddle for longer.” So what brands are on the front line pushing the industry forwards? “British innovator Gocycle, now offering their entry-level Gocycle GS, is going to be a popular choice at a more affordable price. Well ahead of its time, the Gocycle has always pushed the boundaries of innovation and technology and we are proud to be its largest and most experienced retailer. “Other brands of note include the German-made COBOC, which is taking integration to the extreme, producing beautifully-refined products with almost completely unnoticeable motors and batteries. Then you have brands like Moustache, Riese and Muller and Haibike offering the best of Bosch technology with ‘hidden’ batteries and the new in-frame Powertube. “The recent innovation and integration certainly helps remove any stigma associated with electric bikes of the past and their historically ugly battery and motor bolt-ons, helping make them more aesthetically pleasing and more acceptable.” If that’s the case, is now the time for dealers to make the move to selling a majority of e-bikes? “With the increasing number of drive systems and brands on the market, it is challenge enough to stay ahead of the customer, without having to consider a vast range of non-electric bikes, parts and accessories and apparel in the mix also. “We are constantly mopping up after some retailers, and see customers coming to Fully Charged complaining of issues with their bikes sold by non-specialist retailers, especially those with high staff turnover where knowledge retention is difficult and whose mechanics are not yet trained by the motor and battery manufacturers, as they simply aren’t able to provide appropriate assistance.” As industry leaders, I’m curious about where Fully Charged sees the industry heading in the near future, and where its place is in that. “We are forecasting considerable growth over the coming years,” Parsons confirms resolutely. “With exciting expansion plans on the cards, we look forward to continuing to innovate in this emerging market, building the profile and awareness of electric bikes and establishing Fully Charged as the industryleading specialist retailer.”

November 2017 | 23

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The Magpie Effect As the year draws to a close, our Secret Accountant gives us an updated analysis of this year’s financials


n otherwise cautious and prudent friend of mine bought an overseas property on a whim many years ago, seduced by the combination of a lovely holiday and the prospect of heady capital growth. He was sold a dream and didn’t ask too many questions, perhaps didn’t want to ask too many questions. Fast forward some years and the property is unwanted and hard to sell. The bike trade is the overseas holiday home, the venture capitalist investors the buyers of that holiday home. Their lovely holiday was seeing all the shiny bike stuff, the prospect of heady capital growth was the mantra that cycling is booming. Now take a look at this business: it’s a privateequity owned, 70-strong chain with waning growth, and with new management to try to turn it around. Sounds like Evans Cycles? No, it’s gourmet burger chain Byron Burger who on the back of making a profit of only £0.2m on revenues of more than £80m recently enlisted the advisory firm KPMG to work on a cash management plan, including shedding unprofitable sites. Evans recently reported losses of £6.6m (on sales of £143m), where’s KPMG to be found? £0.2m of profit at Byron is deemed unacceptable but a loss of £6.6m and a balance sheet shredded to pieces, with shareholder funds down to only £6.5m, is deemed OK in the bike trade? The appointment Fusion Media at the time of the poor results being published helped Evans to slip under the radar at first, with a more positive spin being put on the figures, but analysis of the accounts makes for worrying reading. It’s not just Evans. Wiggle recently reported another set of dire results. Wiggle Ltd made a pre-tax loss of £6.5m on turnover of £205.5m. Most striking was the gross profit margin of only 17.7 per cent, few businesses in any sector can ever make money on that margin structure. WiggleCRC is currently making a valiant effort to increase prices/reduce discounts but it is weighed down by years of trying to be the

cheapest, discounters like Wiggle are only as good as their last deal. As Evans, Wiggle’s balance sheet is decimated, with shareholder funds now down to only £13.4m compared to £30.9m two years ago. Whether the addition of CRC, boosting revenues to £357m, will help remains to be seen. The venture capital group Bridgepoint now has £180m invested in Wiggle, CRC and Hotlines through its Europe IV Fund. At least the Fund has other retail investments such as Fat Face (pre-tax profit of £24.4m on sales of £220.5m in the year to end May 2016, that’s more like it!) to compensate. Then look at Cyclesport North, owner of Ribble Cycles. The Dove family made a lot of money out of Ribble over the years before selling a majority stake in the business to True Capital in November 2015. Terry Dove left the business at the time. With accounts for the year to October 2016 still to be filed and presumably incurring late filing fines and with the CEO Jon Owen leaving in August 2017 only 18 months, it doesn’t look good. Contrast this with Planet X, actively managed by majority shareholder Dave Loughran. Planet X might not be everyone’s cup of tea in the IBD channel, courtesy of its rock-bottom pricing, but Loughran has really turned it around by slashing costs by 28 per cent last year, this despite a turnover increase of 9 per cent, to restore profitablility to a respectable level and growing the Planet X balance sheet by over 30 per cent. It’s his business and his money, when the going got tough he got stuck in and turned it around.

‘The bike trade is the overseas holiday home. The lovely holiday is seeing all the shiny bike stuff. The prospect of heady capital growth is the mantra that cycling is booming’

November 2017 | 25


‘‘The problem with venture capitalists is it’s not their money; the employees of CVs get paid regardless. dless. The ce is a lower usual consequence of poor performance bonus at the end of the year. That’s all.’ He came under a lot of scrutiny when redundancies were announced and when there were fire sales of stock, the rumour mill was running wild, but the impressive turnaround speaks for itself. The problem with the venture capitalists is it’s not their money, the employees of the VCs get paid regardless. The usual consequence of poor performance is a lower bonus at the end of the year, that’s all. I spent many years working in London as corporate advisory director of number of leading investment banks and, believe me, it certainly wasn’t a world of unadulterated superior intelligence, there were some frighteningly intelligent people but laggards in equal measure. VC money is decimating the bike retail trade, they’re sinking themselves and taking down IBDs with them, Halfords reckons there’s currently a net attrition rate of 10 per cent a year across the 2500 IBD channel. What’s the end game for the VCs? WiggleCRC could become part of a larger entity, it has a lot of turnover, a massive customer base and has invented in distribution (hello Amazon). It’s difficult to see an end game for Evans, its costs are just too high and fewer predators want retail assets as the high street continues to shrink, high street footfall having already shrunk by 22 per cent since 2007 according to Ipsos Retail. Evans’ model is simply not scaleable, economies of scale are insufficient to support peripheral stores. So, in summary, VCs are sinking the bike trade but it’s not their money. IBDs are being sunk but it is their money. My friend might strike lucky selling his holiday home but it’s a long shot. The influence of corporates is the thing. Over the years, consumers and manufacturers have grown to love the likes of Wiggle, Chain Reaction and Evans Cycles as the marketing and predatory pricing of these retailers has undoubtedly fuelled growth in recent years. The growth of Evans, as the self proclaimed number one specialist cycle retailer in the UK, is of particular interest. Although now a multichannel hybrid, with over 60 stores and an internet-direct business, at £135.8m of turnover Evans is the size of perhaps 400 midsized IBDs so exerts a considerable influence in the market. According to its recently-

26 | November 2017

published annual results, it continues to operate its ’price match guarantee policy’. These results were poor. Turnover increased (by 1.8 per cent) but gross margin slippage (from 37.7 per cent to 36.0 per cent) and an inability to contain administrative costs (5.7 per cent higher) caused Evans to slip deeply into the red. Operating profits of £1.7m in 2015 (not a lot in itself on £133.4m of sales) reversed to a loss of £2.0m in 2016. The headline loss was in fact much worse, at a whopping £6.5m, after £4.6m of exceptional costs, possibly kitchen-sinked by the incoming CEO Andy King, who arrived shortly after the end of the financial year, in order to help the comparative for 2017. Hopefully he likes what he sees at Evans. Jill McDonald arrived at Halfords as its saviour in May 2015 only to bail out earlier this year to take up a position at M&S. Having done such a great job at McDonalds UK as CEO and President of North West Europe, Jill McDonald looks to be one smart cookie…smart enough to turn around McDonalds and smart enough to get out of Halfords! The problem is contagion, with Evans dragging down returns across the whole of the IBD channel while at the same time hoovering up brands. Manufacturers are taking the easy option by signing up with Evans and letting Evans do their marketing; Evans’ admin expenses of £49m buys manufacturers a lot of market penetration. It’s a very short termist approach. Instead, to gain over the long term, manufacturers should be increasing their own marketing, working with quality IBDs who provide a consistently higher level of service and expertise, co-ordinating marketing campaigns, creating centres of excellence to include demo bikes and strong point of sale and providing strong account management including warranty support. When the proverbial hits the fan, as it undoubtedly will, manufacturers will be left with nothing – they need to start thinking of least a medium term strategy that invests in key small- to medium-sized IBD partners rather than pile-it-high retail multiples and internet players. The impetus for change probably needs to come from the more enlightened manufacturers; IBDs are currently too beaten up by it all to change the system.


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Cycle Show 2017: The verdict “Going forward, I expect all shows to be massively increasing their targeted marketing to consumers, particularly with stronger exhibitor brand messages for the exhibitors to entice visitors” Rory Hitchins, senior brand & marketing manager, Upgrade

Didn’t have the opportunity to get out to the Cycle Show this year? Just want to find out what other people thought? We’ve got you covered


ycle Show 2017, run by Upper Street Events and based at the NEC in Birmingham, well and truly cemented itself as a must-attend in the trade calendar this year. We find out from a number of attendees what they think makes this event so valuable to the cycle industry, what they imagine will happen in trade show organisation in the future, and what products they launched at the show.

November 2017 | 29


Rory Hitchins, senior brand & marketing manager, Upgrade THE FEELING was really good this year, possibly better than previous ones. Our stand design was more engaging and inviting, and we certainly did not feel down on numbers. The show’s official line is that they were very up slightly which is good considering Velo Birmingham – a large sportive – was on the same weekend. That must have sucked some attendance away. We were very happy with the engagement we achieved.

Antonio Fiore, retail marketing manager, Silverfish THE FOOTFALL and engagement at this year’s Cycle Show was once again very positive and was up on previous shows for our point of view. Our stand was constantly busy with consumers and the cycle trade, all of which were looking to gain further information and insight into the products and brands we had on display.

Going forward, I imagine all shows will be massively increasing their targeted marketing to consumers, particularly with stronger brand messages for the exhibitors to entice visitors.

There seems to be a very positive level of support for shows and events in the UK – we hope this continues to grow in 2018. I’m not expecting prices to go down, even if a show is successful, so really our added value has to come from marketing of the event and our opportunities within that, but that is something we have to work at, too. We invest heavily in the show guide, which is picked up by most visitors. Having strong and engaging tools like that are also a benefit of a successful show.

We were overwhelmed by the interest in the 2018 Mondraker and Yeti Cycles ranges which we displayed, and it was our first time showing off the new Knog PWR front light range which has already picked up magazine awards and pulled in lots of interest from consumers looking to prepare for winter miles. The Knog PWR

We launched our distribution of Challenge Tyres at the show. It was great to see such a positive reaction to the brand – in particular the in-season cyclocross tyres. Also getting a lot of attention were the Shuttle e-MTB from Pivot, the Aithein Evo road bike from Kinesis, carbon chainsets from Praxis, the Laser Drive LED rear light from Lezyne, and the new build on DMR’s SLED enduro-trail MTB. There was plenty of new to look at. And, as important as the products are the staff at any show. We enhanced ourselves with representatives from the parent brands so the public could talk to the source. International brand managers were with us from Challenge Tires, Lezyne Accessories, Pivot Cycles, Praxis Components, Reynolds Wheels and ISM saddle, plus our own staff from DMR and KinesisUK and it was clear to see this was appreciated by the public.

30 | November 2017

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Stuart Howarth, head of marketing, Zyrofisher THE NUMBER of people that visited the ZyroFisher stand this year was fantastic. Our stand grew by 50 per cent from 2016, and yet there were still times when you struggled to get from one side to the other as it was so busy with members of the public interested in our brands and products! It was encouraging to see the organisers extend opening hours into Saturday evening at the NEC – it gave ticket holders a little more time to learn about our brands. In 2018 we will be attending Core Bike and with the appointment of Upper Street Events to assist with the organisation of the show, we hope to see increased opportunities for our brands to engage with visitors. We had such a spread of standout products on display across the different cycling disciplines. These included the new Bell Super DH helmet, hydraulic road disc brakes for SRAM’s Red eTap HRD groupset, Zipp’s 303 Carbon Clincher Tubeless Disc Brake wheels, Selle Italia’s new full carbon SP-01 saddle and Giro’s new knit shoes, the Empire E70 knit.

Above: Bell Super DH MIPS Mountain Bike helmet Right: Selle Italia SP01

Paul Elliot, director, Bob Elliot WE FEEL this was our best Cycle Show to date. The footfall we received onto the stand seemed a lot more channeled than previous years, for one reason or another. We had very productive and constructive conversations across all the days. Every year, we see new faces at the show, but also familiar faces from previous years who come back to revisit us and check out new lines from within the brands we show. The Cycle Show supported the trade this year on the Thursday, as they have in the past. I’d like to see more incentives to entice customers to visit the show. The team working at the Cycle Show is always open to new ideas on this front, and I had extensive conversations with them this year regarding this. Maybe offering free parking, or drinks vouchers would help make the show more inviting and welcoming. I believe numbers were up significantly on the trade day, however, so things are moving in the right direction! We took a few new brands with us this year, to go alongside our existing strong areas of clothing. The brand which most people showed big interest in were our new Ravemen Ravemen PR1200 Lights. The key selling point is their DuaLens technology. Many people have had the experience of being dazzled by high lumen bike lights, and Ravemen believe that every rider also tries not to inconvenience others while enjoying the fun of riding. Based on such perception and being inspired by automotive headlights, the idea of applying a similar design to bike lights came to mind. Through the entire process of conceiving, designing, proofing, testing and adjusting, they finally made it! That means the world’s first bike light with a simulation of the design of automotive headlights is available. Combining high-quality, durable material with innovative design, along with the concern for riders and others’ safety which has been fused into their genes, Ravemen promise their products will be not only reliable and easy-to-use to improve your riding experience, but also a trusted companion that will earn you respect from others. People visiting the show were impressed with the price and the quality. Sales have increased significantly since the show, coupled with the darker mornings and evenings being the order of the day now.

November 2017 | 33


Carola Noordermeer, marketing manager, CUBE THE CYCLE Show was a huge success for us this year. A lot of consumers came to our stand to check out the new CUBE 2018 range. It was our biggest booth ever at a consumer show in UK. Our stand was constantly busy with all different kinds of cyclists. Most of them came to our stand to have their questions about the product base answered – especially e-bikes, clothing and accessories – and to find out where their nearest CUBE stockists are.

Ruth Schofield, head of trade marketing and events, Madison WE FELT that footfall was pretty strong this year. The trade day definitely felt busy, as did the Saturday. Engagement was excellent on the Ridgeback Kids test track, the mountain bike test track where we exhibited Saracen and Genesis and the Shimano STEPS E-Bike test track. All three of those demo areas were very busy throughout the show, which was great for getting people on our bikes. Elsewhere, the Mars Protein was constantly busy as was Elite and Shimano.

CUBE e-mountain bikes

At the BOSCH test track, our CUBE E-mountain bikes could be tested. We saw the bikes been out on the track the entire show. By far the CUBE e-bikes are the most popular bikes at the moment It was a good idea to give away free tickets to the sportive participants. That attracted an extra group of interested people. We do think other brands all have to come out and show their products together. Big brands in the likes of CUBE could attract more people to attend the show again. Our new shoes and road specific helmet have been giving a lot of attention. Our all new winter bike, the CUBE Nuroad, has been popular too. The e-road bike called the CUBE Agree hybrid has been launched and we can see there is a big demand on e-bikes. CUBE Agree Hybrid

In terms of trade shows for next year, I suppose we’d like to see a little bit of life and (as cheesy as it sounds) fun injected back into them. Make retailers want to come along and let them have a good time. It is something that we are certainly trying to do with iceBike* for next year which is why we are putting more effort into our evening entertainment this time around. Obviously we don’t want to lose sight of why we’re all here – to improve our businesses – but there’s no reason we can’t enjoy ourselves at the same time. There were plenty of new products for us this year. Both Pearl Izumi and Madison Clothing were exhibiting their new Autumn/ Winter ranges. Kärcher was demonstrating its brand new OC3 portable bike washer which went down a storm while the Garmin stand was constantly full of visitors throughout the weekend wanting to check out the latest Garmin Edge 1030. We also had brand new bikes from Ridgeback, Ridley, Saracen and Genesis so it was great to show them off to the world – the new Genesis Fugio and Saracen Ariel LT were particular highlights.

34 | November 2017

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WE ARE CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF BIKEBIZ AWARDS Now in their tenth year, the BikeBiz Awards celebrates the UK cycle industry and the people and companies whose hard work behind the scenes keeps the cycle world’s wheels turning. The event takes place on 23rd February 2018 and there are retail prizes to honour high achieving chain stores, local independent shops and giant online retailers; awards for the distributors and wholesalers; accolades for the brands themselves and also for those providing essential services to the industry, from training to advocacy and beyond.

36 | November 2017







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23rd November 2017 – Nominations close


7th December 2017 – Shortlist announcement


23rd February 2018 – The Bikebiz Awards

CONTACT US EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES Hayley Ferguson Editor, BikeBiz E: T: +44(0)207 354 6018

MARKETING ENQUIRIES Abby French Marketing Manager E: T: +44(0)203 871 7370

TICKET ENQUIRIES Johanna O’Brien Ticket Sales E: T: +44(0)203 354 6005

SPONSORSHIP ENQUIRIES Richard Setters Sales Manager E: T: +44(0)207 354 6028

November 2017 | 37


Luggage for life: Trends may come and go, but luggage remains a staple of any good bike shop. With a new season comes the need for updated kit. Kieran Howells looks at some of the most versatile items on the market today. AS THE BRITISH weather drifts into wintery decline, now is the time to persuade those foolhardy cycling commuters that frequent your store that the half-torn and ducttaped-up pannier bag that they’ve been using for two years just isn’t going to cut the mustard this season. Cycling luggage is always going to be a decent seller in bike shops, and its not just the rate at which your customers wear out older products that keeps the market afloat; according to the major distributors, adventure cycling is well and truly on the up in terms of popularity and sales. It comes as no surprise, given the current economic and political climate, that Brits are shunning exotic destinations and instead opting to pack the essentials onto a versatile bike and set off on a more local adventure. Couple this with the crippling congestion that dominates pretty much every major road running the length of the UK, and shoving your work laptop and a few essentials into a bike bag becomes one of the only viable options for effective daily travel. So, the sales are there. But what do people look for when picking out a new bag? Well, waterproofing is obviously one of the most essential elements. Along those lines, a decent clasp mechanism is just as essential. Rolltop bags seem particularly favoured by seasoned cyclists, whereas clippable pannier bags remain popular. Internally, organisation is key. Deciding what to stock can be a daunting task, but fear not; we’ve done the research so you don’t have to.

ORTLIEB DOWNTOWN The waterproof bike briefcase provides secure cargo carrying, plus reliable protection of files, documents and laptops up to 15.4 inches wide. The Downtown can be quickly mounted and taken off the rack single-handed, due to its fast-clip fastenings. It features an extrawide padded shoulder strap and additional carry handle for comfortable transport, whilst edge protectors and base feet on the rear and bottom ensure optimal protection of the users’ items. Two large 3M Scotchlite reflectors and a reflective ORTLIEB logo ensure safety in the dark and in bad conditions. Downtown can be mounted on the right or left side of the rack.

November 2017 | 39


BROOKS D-SHAPED TOOL BAG For those looking for build quality and elegance with their storage solutions, iconic seat manufacturer Brooks has you covered with the D-Shaped Tool Bag. The item has been part of the Brooks range in some form since 1910, but a lot has changed in that time. The modern offering features 0.4 litres of handy storage enclosed in a hand-stitched full leather outer skin with a folding top and a secure zip. The bag can be attached to a bike via a Sam Browne fixing for easy removal.

TOPEAK MTX TRUNK DRYBAG The MTX Trunk Drybag from Topeak is, as the name suggests, a completely waterproofed rolltop rack-mounted bag. Along with the outer 840 denier nylon waterproof fabric, the Drybag features semi-rigid EVA foam, which is specifically designed to minimise vibrations when riding, keeping stored items safe and secure. It’s capable of housing around 12 litres of internal storage in both the main pocket, and the waterproof-zipped front pocket for on-the-go essentials. For use on a pannier rack, the bag is MTX QuickTrack compatible, making secure fastening quick and simple.

OXFORD AQUA V20 The Oxford Aqua range bags are a regular sight on British roads due to their bright colouring and safety-conscious reflective detailing. The V20 model features a large 20 litre main compartment with a roll top and welded waterproof seams, and a secondary front compartment sealed with a waterproofed zip for essentials. Adding to the external safety features, the bag also sports a webbed loop on the rear, to which a tail light can be easily attached. The brand has also thought about comfort with the addition of two padded back panels, keeping any angular items away from the rider’s back whilst in use.

ALTURA NIGHTVISION RACK PACK Altura’s Night Vision Rack Pack presents an optimal alternative for those who don’t wish to wear a backpack whilst riding due to its seven litres of internal capacity and waterproofing. The bag is made primarily from hard-wearing P-Tec 600D Polyester fabric with waterproof patented Altura Dryline construction. It gets its name from the copious outer reflective trim which covers the sides, and also features a rear LED loop for added visibility. The bag can be secured firmly to the top of a pannier rack via three clips.

40 | November 2017

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Keeping the current flowing Page 44 This month, workshop expert Liz Colebrook explains why we need to appreciate how valuable electricity is, and the ways that e-bikes need to improve to keep the sector profitable


his month, our resident workshop and retail experts look respectively at the power of electricity, and the power of teaching your staff to sell properly


Shooting for the same target in retail

Our retail expert, Mark O’Dolan, offers some advice to shop owners who don’t set structured targets for their staff, and translating that into sales conversion

November 2017 | 43


Happiness by the kilowatt Trade in e-bikes, not BSOs Guru of all things two-wheeled Liz Colebrook talks the power of electricity and why the bike in e-bike is so important.


n the Scottish Island of Gigha, there are three wind turbines called Faith, Hope and Charity – the prized possessions of Britain’s first community-owned wind farm connected to the national grid.

The Islanders even own the island and, as a result, receive significantly higher returns on the energy generated by the “dancing ladies”. Why am I telling you this? Perhaps because we tend to take electricity for granted. We pay approximately 15 pence per kilowatt of electricity, but few of us know how much human power it takes to generate a kilowatt - pedalling a bike to the max for 20 minutes only generates about 120W so you’ll need to organise a mini sportive or keep pedalling for another full hour to boil that kettle! Appreciating electricity in this way helps me take pride in not wasting it, but when it comes to e-bike technology, what’s been happening since the bicycle met the battery and what still needs sorting? Giant was the first company to get it right in my honest opinion, with the Lafree Twist. This was back in the noughties. Due to high production costs, the Lafree went the way of the blunt-nosed lizard, and since then we’ve seen a successive stream of mismatched technology. I’m still seeing an abundance of small companies offering retro-fit battery packs to the quality bike market, many of whom appear to be looking the other way alongside 44 | November 2017

‘We pay approximately 15 pence per Kilowatt of electricity but few of us know how much human power it takes to generate a Kilowatt’

outstanding battery systems rigged up to an appalling array of bicycle shaped objects. It’s time for the two sides to talk. Surely we want great bike design meeting great battery design? It saddens me to see electric bike companies selling an extensive range of models where the rider is offered an upright position with hardly any body weight over the front end, and yet the bike features a suspension fork and a triple chainset. Moreover, it’s likely to be a low-end fork and transmission system that’s relatively heavy to meet a price point. At the other extreme, I see beautiful, sleek new designs with integrated batteries that are virtually invisible, but no mudguards, space to attach a lock, or luggage carrying options. You could be forgiven for thinking these bikes where designed just to fool the untrained eye. I think the ethics at large here are certainly worth discussing. It’s great that well-established businesses with a solid customer base see the growth of interest in e-bikes as an opportunity to listen and help guide a new generation of customers who are otherwise quite vulnerable to being manipulated. But are many of us still standing on the sidelines with years of cycling experience smiling wryly as new e-bike companies make rookie errors? The E-market is huge and surely it’s vital we get this right. It’s going to save the planet (and take some strain off the NHS to boot). But it takes two to tango. And if we don’t establish authentic ways to listen, advise and communicate at every level – with a little faith, hope and charity perhaps – how will we best serve the next generation of customer as well as our long time cycling customers looking for some e-ssistance? Liz Colebrook BSc OT BA, framebuilder

Only a few months into her first bike shop venture, Jenny at Ride Bikes in Ulverston serves another happy customer. Photo by Citrus-Lime Account Management Team member, Lizzie.

Ask us about our Entrepreneur Pack when booking a free demo of our simple, powerful and (now even more) aordable point of sale and stock management system, Cloud POS. ... or call 01229 588 628 (Mon-Fri, 09.00 to 17.30) or email your enquiry to


Engaging your staff Retail expert Mark O’Dolan discusses the positives of giving your staff structured targets. It’s more important than you think


t this year’s NEC bike show, I was one of the keynote speakers talking to retailers about improving sales performance per square foot

One of the topics discussed and recognised as a problem by business owners was selling skills. It’s always a popular topic and something we don’t take seriously enough. In many instances, I hear managers and business owners say things along the lines of: “We don’t like the hard sell. We like the customer to look around and feel comfortable,” or even: “We’re not very good at selling. It isn’t our thing, so we just say: ‘Hi, please let me know if you need anything’.” Here’s the thing. It actually doesn’t matter what the retailer thinks, it’s what the customer demands: a skilled and passionate team that can engage without making them feel uncomfortable. Asking a customer a closed question like: “Can I help?” and then getting a definitive answer such as: “No thanks,” is totally hopeless and massively reduces sales conversion. One of the most pertinent skills required by the sales team is the ability to get into the customer’s head to understand why they’ve walked into your shop. You have to ask yourself who they are buying for. What’s their level of bike knowledge? Do they have a vast budget or is it limited? The difference between online buying and making a purchase in your shop is the people – are we making the experience memorable for the customer versus the convenience of shopping online? 46 | November 2017

‘Asking a customer a closed question is totally hopeless and massively reduces sales conversion’

Conversion ratio – the percentage of people who actually walk into the shop versus who actually buy – is a critical key performance indicator. It should be measured daily, ideally, and at the minimum weekly. These results should be discussed at your Monday sales meeting and measured against your week previous, previous year and weekly budget. This must be shared with the team. The conversion rate is directly affected by poor or great engagement. It could be as high as 30 per cent or as low as five per cent, which is a prominent indicator for change. Chain stores inside and outside the bike retail market review the previous seven days of business and the conversion rate of each store on a Monday morning, and look for exceptions, both above and below average. This is a critical KPI that helps to understand success and failure, resulting in action to increase sales.

Are you doing this? If the owner/manager is not consistent with this review, then the team will not focus and will not perform to their optimum potential, thus are unlikely to increase or maintain a high conversion rate. This subsequently leads to lower revenue. A team performing badly in comparison to the average is a team likely to be without targets and lacking in knowledge and passion. Hopefully, not all three, but it all starts with targets and this is either a major failing or opportunity for retailers. Without targets, every day is the same and you lose the passion to achieve. Every Monday is review day to assess progress from weeks previous. If you are up on target then that’s great, but it’s important to ask yourself: why? If you would like Mark O’Dolan’s services to help your business grow, call 07951 022 907 or email


Here at Moon, we believe there is no compromise when it comes to lighting performance; that’s why our research and development teams are constantly striving for excellence. New to the Moon family is the Meteor Vortex Pro front light. Delivering an impressive 900 lumen output from a Cree XM-L2 LED, this quick to mount front light features an 84 degree total beam angle and a 17 degree spot angle. With multiple riding modes, the Vortex Pro is the perfect choice for both day and night riding.

• 1 x CREE XM-L2 LED • 900 lumen output • Day flash mode • Mode memory • Boost Mode


Electric bicycles 1












Overvolt Integrated

Sduro HardSeven 1.0 and 2.0 models

Corax 1.0

Mustang Comp Electric

Distributor: Raleigh Now R&D project leader at Lapierre, Nicolas Vouilloz collaborated in the development of these two new models: “The brief was clear. We wanted to offer our clients integrated e-bikes that look great and keep the Overvolt DNA, staying loyal to our MTB roots. We took inspiration from the technologies and geometries of our flagship non-electric bikes, the Zesty and Spicy, and the Overvolt carbon e-bike to ensure we achieved the same great ride feel.�

Distributor: Raleigh Sduro HardSeven 1.0 and 2.0 models are landing with dealers, the evergreen entry into the world of Haibike continues to gather e-bike converts and new riders alike. These models sport the tried-and-tested Yamaha PW System.

Distributor: Raleigh New for 2017, the CORAX 1.0 is designed to shred as fast uphill as it will down the trails, featuring 140mm of suspension travel, BOOST spacing, 27+ wheels, BOSCH CX drive and Shimano SLX 11spd gearing. Contact:

Distributor: Raleigh The Mustang Electric boasts all the same features that make adventure bikes popular, giving the user the ability to ride both on road and off-road but with the added benefit of electric assistance. Think less road bike and more ultimate drop-bar do-everything bike!

Contact: Contact:


November 2017 | 49


5 6







Rocky Mountain

San Marco Bioaktive



Altitude Powerplay C70

Trekking E-READY Reflective Gel

UCL 50


Distributor: Direct to retailer

Distributor: Direct to retailer

Distributor: Greenover Sports

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Rocky Mountain’s awardwinning, fully-integrated, electric-assist mountain bike that takes the Altitude’s handling and ride quality and adds a compact, powerful drive system. The new Powerplay drive system was designed in parallel with the frame, delivering ultra-short chainstays, optimised suspension kinematics, and a super-low centre of gravity.

The E-READY Reflective Gel saddle is designed for e-bikes and equipped with a rear handle to steer the bike when walking. Two reflective stripes have been added to increase visibility in the darkest hours and a layer of gel and high density foam provides extra comfort to the rider.

Concealed battery technology to Urban Leisure riding. The UCL/R-50 features a smart hydroformed down-tube hiding a 400wh battery and neatly concealing the TranzX M16i Centre Drive Motor. This is matched with a Nexus 7 speed hub gear system Tektro Hydraulic Disc brakes and headstock suspension

Designed for the adventures of off-road riding for the customer who rides on a budget and appreciates value for money. The MH-5 features TranzX the M16 GT Centre Drive Motor driving through a Deore 9 speed gear system with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes looking after stopping duties. Schwalbe tyres, Suntour Forks and a full complement of performance equipment complete the package.

Contact: martin@ / 01803 558885

50 | November 2017

Contact: www.zyrofisherb2b.

Contact: / 44 (0)1926 437700

Contact: / 44 (0)1926 437700




12 11









USR 55

Peak Trail


Hybride Kato S3.7+

Distributor: Direct to retailer

Distributor: Moore Large

Distributor: Moore Large

Distributor: Hotlines

This stripped-down roadster is designed for lightness and speed and features the TranzX M16 GT Centre Drive Motor matched to a Deore 10 speed gear system with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes to stop you efficiently . Headstock suspension gives you a little comfort for today’s road condition rounded off with a lean and sleek equipment pack.

Suitable for multi-purpose adventures with the stability of a mountain bike and the larger wheel/narrower tyre benefits of a road bike. A Bosch drive system and powerful battery is built into a frame capable of taking mudguards to keep you dry and pannier racks to help with luggage on longer adventures. The Peak Trail series retails from £1875 to £2275 featuring integrated cable routing, ergonomic grips, comfy saddle, multi-terrain tyres and 63mm suspension fork.

The Tern GSD is a bike for everyday life. Designed to carry two kids, a week’s worth of groceries, or 180 kg of cargo, the bike is only 180 cm long (the same length as a standard e-bike). The GSD is designed to be shared by a family, adjusting to fit mum, dad or the kids, which only takes seconds. The GSD is one of the few bikes equipped with Bosch’s latest Dual-Battery technology. You can connect up to two batteries for a range of over 250km.

Powered by Shimano’s Steps MTB motors, the Kato range of hardtails are available to riders in either 29” or 27.5” plus wheel sizes. The S3.7+ model here uses the later and comes equipped with Shimano throughout and a solid finishing kit, all at an affordable pricepoint.

Contact: / 44 (0)1926 437700

Contact: uk

Contact: / 0131 319 1444

Contact: uk

November 2017 | 51


13 14









Distributor: Direct to retailer

Distributor: Direct to retailer

eCare Maintenance Sprays

The European-built Batribike Alpha features the Danishdesigned ProMovec electric system. The high-torque rear motor, with three-year warranty, is complemented by Shimano Altus hydraulic disc brakes and Acera 24 speed gearing. Available in three colour options. Option to upgrade the display to mini LCD or larger centre LCD both with power boost twist grip (whilst pedalling). Option to upgrade battery warranty to five years. Transferrable warranties. Datatag fitted as standard.

This quintessentially Britishlooking bike with a hidden battery. It was a head-turner at the recent NEC Cycle Show. Built in Europe, it features the Danish-designed ProMovec electric system. A soft start front motor, with three year warranty, is complemented by Shimano Nexus 7 speed gearing. Option to upgrade battery warranty to five years. Transferrable warranties. Datatag fitted as standard.

Contact: 01427 787774

Contact: 01427 787774


Distributor: Weldtite With sales of e-bikes on the increase, so comes the need to maintain them with specificallydesigned products. With nearly 80 years’ experience in the bike market, Weldtite has launched a brand-new range of products formulated solely with e-bikes in mind. At its heart, the seven distinct products in the eCare range are maintenance made simple. Colour-coded caps and simple design mean even a novice e-bikes owner will have no problem maintaining their bicycle. Contact: 01652 660000 / sales@

52 | November 2017



21N-U2A3RY st


NEXT ROUND JANUARY 2018 Follow us on facebook or Twitter for the latest news and updates or visit:



Stocking fillers 1


4 3








Charlie the Bikemonger


Ultimate Bicycle Valet Kit


Happy Bottom Bum Butter

Distributor: Wildoo The VeloPac RidePac is a neat, padded zip case that fits most cycle jersey pockets, and is made using a waterproof zipper and fabric. Inside, you’ll find a mobile phone slip pocket, credit card sleeve and secure zipped inner pocket. It’s available in a range of six exclusive Spencer Wilson illustrations, as well as five plain colours and now a new range-topping leather version. They’re British made and available in custom designs. RidePac retails between £29.00 to £45.00.

Distributor: Evans Cycles (???)

Muc-Off has packed 13 of their most popular products for keeping your ride looking fresh and running smooth into this robust valet bag. Specialised compartments keep everything in one place. A built-in grit tray prevents you contaminating your brushes and sponges with the floor. This is truly cleaning taken to the next level.

This heart rate monitor tracks heart rate, calorie burn, built-in memory for heart rate and calorie data, rep counting with Wahoo’s RunFit or 7 Minute Workout apps and Beachbody on Demand, running analytics and more. Equipped with Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ dual-band technology, it connects to most smartphones, GPS watches and bike computers, and is compatible with most popular fitness apps.

Contact: www.zyrofisherb2b.

Contact: 0203 735 8835 / ben@

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Distributor: Ison Distribution, Bikemonger This chamois cream is made with 100 per cent natural ingredients, and is veganfriendly. It offers pain relief from clove oil, while vegetable glycerine and Egyptian geranium oil absorbs to lower dermis, all the way in to really repair your damaged skin It is antiseptic and anti-bacterial, with tea tree oil to stop you growing diseases in your shorts. Contact: 01929 475 833


November 2017 | 55

Convert to 1x11 in 5 easy steps with components 1

11 speed right-hand shifter


11 speed cassette Available 11/40T to 11/50T



Narrow wide alloy chainring

Spider for narrow wide crankset

Available 30T to 40T

(Inc. bottom bracket)

IN STOCK NOW 0845 0508 500 0845 0508 400


11 speed chain




7 8








Unior Tools

Bar Tape Endurance Classic

Zip Case - Bottle Cage Tool Bag

Spiced Mince Pie energy bar

Euro13 Multi Tool

Distributor: Extra UK

Distributor: ZyroFisher

Distributor: ZyroFisher

All fi’zi:k Bar:Tapes are made using durable, breathable and tactile perforated Microtex material including laser cut perforations meaning no rips or tears. All Bar:Tape kits come complete with two rolls of tape, two extra tape strips for the lever clamps, two finishing strips and two bar end plugs.

Vittoria’s Zip Case is a useful bag to keep an emergency repair kit i.e. Pit stop, inner tube, tyre levers, CO2 cartridge or personal items like keys, mobile phone, money etc. The bag fits comfortably both in a jersey rear pocket and in a bottle cage.

The new limited-edition Spiced Mince Pie TORQ Bar has been created especially for the forthcoming festive season. This unique bar shares the same formulation of multipletransportable carbohydrates and ribose, providing optimal energy delivery and rapid cellular recovery, of the other TORQ bars, but this time with a subtle hint of mixed spice and zesty peel.

Contact: 01933 672 170 / info@

Contact: www.zyrofisherb2b.

Contact: www.zyrofisherb2b.

Distributor: 2pure This multitool incorporates: - Hex wrenches 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 - Torx wrenches 10, 25 - PH1 screwdriver - Chain tool - Schrader & Presta valve tool The tool spindles are chromeplated with black oxide-coated tips to ensure the highest tolerance and greater durability. SRP £34.99 each Contact: Jake Law, 0844 811 2001 (extension 3)

November 2017 | 57










Primal Europe



Joe’s No-Flats

Panda Socks

Drivetrain Cleaning Kit


Cleaning Brush Set

Distributor: Cooke Components

Distributor: Cooke Components

Colour-match or contrast to get your ideal look. Supacaz laser-etched aluminum bar plugs are available in powder-coated and anodised colours. Finish off your bike with this piece of bling as a stocking filler for the rider who loves the little touches.

This three-piece brush kit for cleaning your bike is great for home or workshop use. It’s lightweight and compact for trail centre or post race car park cleaning. Durable bristles work perfectly with cleaning products, and have comfortable, sturdy handles. The perfect stocking filler gift for the rider who loves to keep their steed in pristine condition.

Distributor: Direct to retailer These socks are made from Advanced Air Transfer System Fabric. They are composed of 50 per cent acrylic, 25 per cent nylon, 15 per cent Spandex and 10 per cent Lycra. TECH SPECS • Mesh top • Moisture-wicking • Short cuff • Tall cuff, mid-calf height Contact: james.s@primalwear. com

Distributor: ZyroFisher With its simple mess-free application, Foaming Chain Cleaner clings to components, with very little waste. The Chain Cleaning Sponge scrubs all four sides of the chain. The long-handled Gear Cleaning Brush permits easy, safe access to all sides of cassette, derailleurs and chainset. Featuring both female and male cyclists, road riding and mountain biking, the packaging resonates with a wide audience, giving you many in-store display opportunities.

Contact: +44 (0) 1256 880 739

Contact: +44 (0) 1256 880 739

Contact: www.zyrofisherb2b. 58 | November 2017

01772 459 887




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


13 14











High Sock

PG350 Distributor: Direct to retailer

Classe Series Deep Winter Glove


Distributor: Direct to retailer A super comfortable medium gauge sock which can be used all year, thanks to Meryl Skinlife fabric, with a 18cm cuff height. Meryl Skinifeconstruction features breathable mesh top, compression elastic arch band and reinforced heel and toe, which combine to improve blood circulation and reduce muscle fatigue. Available in white, black, fluo yellow, deep blue, acid green, ferrari red, or fluo orange.

The PG350 is the next level in MTB Mudguardz, designed specifically to be as small as possible, with major mudstopping capabilities. It is designed with the racer in mind. This plastic mountain bike mudguard is for Fox 32, Fox 34, Fox 36, Fox 40 and Rock Shox Boxxer’s, Pikes, Revalations and most other forks. Stickers will be fitted as standard if the option is selected. A colour-matched sticker set is available.



Distributor: Direct to retailer The Deep Winter glove takes all the best features of the Cold Weather series and enhances them. With all the features you would expect from a winter glove – full insulation, waterproof, windproof – but with added Smart Touch technology and an improved wider Velcro cuff. Featuring 3M insulation to keep your hands warm without sacrificing flexibility, gel grips ensure you keep in control of your handlebars however cold, wet or icy the weather conditions.

Distributor: Moore Large The latest sock range from SaKO7 features new designs like “New York Sunset”, “New York Sunrise”, “The Pablo” and re-inventions of SaKO7’s classic designs such as “Off Kilter” and “Fade to Grey”. This season sees the addition of “Cest la Classe”. SaKO7 socks aren’t just known for their unique designs; they also have a reputation for durability, wicking, drying, and air permeability. Contact: uk

Contact: 01424 854411 / simon.

November 2017 | 61

Suntour is a brand name that’s been around for a good while but it’s not living in the past. In recent years high tech suspension forks have been introduced that rival anything else on the market, at realistic price points that offer dealers excellent margins. GREYVILLE ENTERPRISES

01543 251328


Bottles and cages 3


4 2






Deda Elementi



Anyway Bottle Cage

Gabbia Bottle Cage

Ninja Cage CO2+

Distributor: Chicken Cyclekit

Distributor: Extra UK

Podium Bottle 610ml – Dirt Series

The Gabbia cage is the latest item to be added to Deda Elementi’s accessory range. The Gabbia is offered in six colours, and features a unique mounting plate, which is particularly useful when fixing to smaller frames. The plate allows for the cage to slide backwards on the down-tube, giving more room for a bottle to be removed. The Gabbia cage is in stock now and available to order through

The Topeak Ninja Cage+ has a built-in CO2 inflator and cartridge holder that integrates neatly and securely below the engineering grade plastic bottle cage. Two cartridges and an inflator are included. The cage also has two tyre levers clipped to the sides. Also available without the cage to fit underneath existing cages.

Distributor: Greyville Enterprises A rider can fit a bottle any way using this variable angle design – from the top as normal, or from the left or right depending if the rider is left or righthanded. Manufactured from pressed aluminium and weighing in at 24 gr, this simple and very functional concept is typical T-One products, all designed and produced in their own factory. Contact: 01543 251328

Contact: alex.rowling@

Contact: 01933 672 170 / info@

Distributor: ZyroFisher New for 2018, CamelBak’s Podium Dirt Series is available in Olive, Stealth and Teal colourways. The Podium Dirt bottles include an integrated mud cap to keep dirt out, innovative self-sealing Jet Valve which eliminates splatters and spills, a removable nozzle for easy cleaning and a positive lockout for leak-proof transport. Contact: www.zyrofisherb2b.

November 2017 | 63














Camber Cage and Cinch Cage

Flow Bottle

“FLY” Cage

Distributor: Cooke Components

Distributor: Cooke Components

Ebb Sports Drinks Bottle

The VEL Flow Bottle features a premium lid with membrane valve and double lock. This super comfortable bottle is compatible with all cage types, stays clean and is easy to use while riding with the twist lock. There are seven lid colours to match any bike and cage combination, available in two sizes: 500ml or 750ml.

The new SupaCaz “FLY” Cage is Only 26g, in ten colours to match any colourway or decals. Bling for your ride and the perfect stocking filler. £59.99 RRP

Distributor: ZyroFisher The Blackburn Camber Cage features a flared mouth for easy bottle insertions while reinforcing side ribs improve stiffness and bottle retention. The Cinch Cage is Blackburn’s lightest cage ever with a firm grip to keep your bottles cinched down. Both cages are available in a wide range of colours and finishes. Contact: www.zyrofisherb2b.

Contact: +44 (0) 1256 880 739

Contact: +44 (0) 1256 880 739

Distributor: Direct to retailer Suitable for any sport or exercise, the Tenn Ebb Bottle’s soft push-pull nozzle creates excellent flow and is easy on the teeth, perfect for rehydrating during exercise and whilst on the bike. A screw-on top creates a watertight seal around the wide neck which allows easy access without risk of leaks or drips. Measuring lines assist with mixing up to the 700mlcapacity ideal for measured supplements or fuel powder. Contact: 01424 854411 / simon. – 01424 854411 / lauren@

64 | November 2017


◉ Dealer Opportunities throughout the UK ◉ Extended Credit Terms - Subject to Status ◉ Competitive Pricing ◉ Hub and Centre Motor Styles

◉ High Quality - European Built - UK Stock ◉ Industry Leading Warranty ◉ Free Training 01427 787774














Sense M

Endurance Bottle Bundle

MAX bottle series

BBC-39 DualCage

Distributor: Wildoo

Distributor: Windwave

Wildoo’s new MAX series bottles feature quality soft thermoplastic pulling spouts and wide-opening non-leak caps. For 2017, the minimum order quantity has been reduced to just 100pcs so even the smallest clubs, brands and teams can have their own branded bottles. Wildoo offers competitive pricing, and short four to five week lead-times backed up with experienced, efficient customer service.

This product tackles the limited space for a bottle cage on a full-suspension or small frame, with a right and left entrance alongside a top entrance. Whatever suits the situation!

Distributor: Bob Elliot Made in polypropylene, the Zéfal Sense M bottle offers a soft and odourless solution for cyclists. Its ergonomic control and flexible material make for an easy drink. The soft push guarantees a soothing mouth sensation. Available in two sizes (650 and 800 ml) and three colours, the Sense M is also fully customisable. Contact: 0177 459 887

Distributor: Hotlines This 750ml bottle comes packed with a bundle of High5’s energy supplements, including energy source, zero electrolite tabs and a couple of gels. Contact: / 0131 319 1444



66 | November 2017


14 15 13







K-Force Bottle Cage



Distributor: Windwave

Distributor: Moore Large

Distributor: Madison

This carbon bottle-cage weighs just 28g, is equipped with an alloy self-adjusting device and has no problem gripping a full bottle, ensuring it’s always held in place. The distinctive winged design and universal fitting makes this a great present for anyone seeking those marginal gains.

A unique collection of colourful bottles, which are also robust and easy to squeeze. Coming in 750ml size and made with food-safe, dishwasher-proof and biodegradable polyethylene. There are nine expressive designs to choose from – all feature high-quality, smooth plastic construction, with extendable and lockable spout and they are also easy to clean. Rie:sel products are designed and made in Germany.

In a world of marginal gains where every gram counts, nothing is left to chance and no stone goes unturned. That was Elite’s philosophy with the Fly bottle, half the weight of their popular Corsa bottle and the bidon of choice for ten World Tour pro cycling teams.


Contact: comms@madison.

Contact: uk

November 2017 | 67

In association with

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 Units 17 & 18 Park Valley Mills, Meltham Road, Huddersfield. HD4 7BH Tel: 01484 665055 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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70 | November 2017








November 2017 | 71





33 integrated, CNC machined aluminium complete BB Solutions


New 2017/18 trade catalogue available TELEPHONE

Bearing presses, Hangers and Sealed bearings • Now with double sealed Enduro bearings • Online BB Adaptor finder: •

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74 | November 2017



What are the biggest challenges to dealers selling e-bikes? 56% Pricing of product 6% Quality of product 9% Accessibility of information 29% Convincing consumers to invest Polls are conducted via twitter @bikebiz_online

What product developments do you feel are most urgently required for e-bikes?

32% 28% Frame weight

Battery life, durability



Quality of componentry

Improved aesthetic

“We have been getting really aggressive growth year-on-year but we haven’t been pushing it aggressively, it’s driven by the market. Back in 2007 we would ring a bike shop and they would practically hang up on us; I think the industry was almost scared of them, they were generally not open to change.” James Metcalfe, Volt Bikes – see page 16 for the full feature. November 2017 | 75

IN MY TEAM Raleigh’s creative team poses on a variety of bikes

Raleigh This month, we speak to Raleigh’s creative team about what it’s like to work there, who has the best one-liners, who’s the keenest cyclist, and what upcoming projects they’ve got planned Who’s in your team, and what do they do? The marketing team here at Raleigh is split into a few areas, so we have design and photography, digital and e-commerce, market intelligence and marketing, as well as events! Matt, Jonny, Oliver and Katelyn make up our design and photography team, whilst Mike and Joe form our events team. Tabitha and Elliott are part of our newly established digital and e-commerce team, alongside Rachel who will be joining the business in November. Michelle, Alicia and Natalia form the marketing team, with Dan working on market intelligence for the business. Guiding the whole department is Pippa who was our sales and marketing director, but has recently been named as managing director of Raleigh UK. Together, we form an incredibly tight-knit team that works closely on everything, from campaigns, to product launches, to dealer marketing, to consumer marketing to e-commerce. We also work across all brands, so Raleigh, Lapierre, Haibike, Diamondback as well as all our parts and accessories brands. We’re an incredibly busy team.

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Who’s your most passionate cyclist? Definitely our designer, Jonny. He cycles to work and travels around the United Kingdom cycling, as well as spending his weekends digging jumps in our hometown of Nottingham. What do you do to have fun as a team? Cycling, of course! As well as that, we go out most Fridays for a team lunch. We feel it’s incredibly important to spend time outside the office chatting about non-work related things, but also work things. It’s amazing how getting out the office restores your creativity.

“Everyone in our team has a pretty strong personality!” Alicia Wheatley, communications manager

Who’s the longest-standing team member? Our keen cyclist Jonny! He’s been here five years now. What are you currently working on? We’re currently working on our plans for next year and ensuring we go into January with a carefully thought-out strategic plan. As a busy but small team, we have to make sure we have considered plans to ensure we’re working efficiently and effectively. Christmas is quickly creeping up, so we’re

Front, on bike: Jonny Hindson, graphic designer; front, kneeling: Katelyn Playford, photographer. Left to right: Michelle Jakeway, marketing manager; Tabitha Morrell, digital content executive; Elliott Kirk, digital and e-commerce manager; Dan Oakley, market intelligence manager; Alicia Wheatley, communications manager; Natalia Downing, marketing assistant; Pippa Wibberley, managing director; Joe Mallinson, events assistant; Michael Kercel, events manager; Oliver Cox, front end developer preparing for that. It’s a key sale period for our kids’ bikes, so we’ve recently had a kids’ Christmas shoot and are busy creating assets for our campaign. We’re also investing in the digital side of the business, having launched our new consumer site earlier this year. We’ve implemented paid search and we’re also in the process of transforming our blog to make sure it’s a destination for really helpful content and also a hub for interesting Raleigh news, like our 35th anniversary Burner project and our Woody Harrelson editorial feature. The marketing and digital team is also working incredibly closely on an ongoing project to improve our email communications, both B2C and B2B. Over the last year we’ve managed to double our open rate and click-through rates across both channels and are starting to be able to track sales back. As we’ve just become the UK distributor for Lapierre. The marketing and the sales teams are working collaboratively to grow our dealer network and increase Lapierre’s UK presence. Parts and accessories is also super important to our business. We are constantly

developing as a business to deliver the best possible service to IBDs in the UK. We are proud to be only UK distributor to offer nextday delivery for orders placed as late as 6pm, and it is our job to shout about that as loudly as we can. Our Moon lighting brand is really going great guns right now. The in-house developed ad campaign for Moon has been so popular that Moon has asked to use it in other countries! Add to that launches of some amazing new brands to our stable like Grip Grab and Continental Tyres and you can get a sense of just how busy we are. Who’s the team joker, and why This is a tough one as everyone in our team has pretty strong personalities... Elliott, our digital and e-commerce manager has an incredibly dry sense of humour and always cracks everyone up! Oliver, our designer and front end developer is a bit of a dark horse. He’s very quiet but comes out with some cracking one liners. Dan, our marketing intelligence manager always likes to make sure we’re staying in touch with the real world and our marketing manager, Michelle, is just an all-round joker. She always keeps us entertained!

Key Brands: Lapierre, Moon Key Contacts: Communications Alicia Wheatley email: aliciaadcock@ tel: 01773532600 Marketing Michelle Jakeway email: michellejakeway@ tel: 01773532600 Web:

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Think happy thoughts It’s tough out there, but can Carlton Reid find something – anything! – to be positive about?


here’s an old joke: an optimist sees light at the end of the tunnel but a realist sees that it’s a freight train coming. We’re in tumultuous times, internationally and within the microcosm that is the bike trade. IBDs, even multi-generational ones, are shutting up shop, and even though the price-shaggers are still pilin’ it high and sellin’ it cheap they’re now not making enough of a profit to make it worth their while. Suppliers – too often in the past in cahoots with the price shaggers – are realising, too late, that it would have been more sustainable long term to have invested in the health of independents rather than putting all their cycle-eggs in one or three shaggershaped baskets. Not every brand has done dirty little deals with the devil, and it’s still possible to have a thriving bicycle retail business, but it’s now probably tougher to do so than ever before. In previous downturns there were always opportunities for savvy, cash-rich retailers. I know this because Randy Kirk told me so. His 1989 book, The Bicycle Retailer’s Guide to Getting Rich in the Recession, was a bible to some, but his “simple techniques for putting you on top during a downturn” boiled down to buying clearance stock and merchandising better, and didn’t contain anything about WiggleCRC, Chinarellos or Brexit. If Randy can’t help us, what’s there to be positive about? Demand, that’s what. China’s dockless bike-sharing boom is something to behold. (Check it out on, we’re all over the sector like a rash.) Chinese people are returning to bicycles. Many have never been on bicycles for transport. These millennials – millions of them! – are using

NEXTMONTH – Out early December. Year’s end: Predictions for 2018 78 | Novembr 2017

‘It’s still possible to have a thriving bicycle retail business, but it’s tougher to do so now’ Carlton Reid, Editor -at-Large, Bike Biz

Above: Dockless bike share shows that when push comes to shove, people really like bikes.

their smartphones to hook up with “free-floating” bicycles on street corners, and then paying a pittance for “last mile” journeys that they may otherwise have walked or hopped on public transport. Good for bike share companies; bad for street corners, too much clutter say detractors. But it shows that, when push comes to shove, people really like bikes. When – and if – the sector gets big in the UK it could be either another threat to IBDs, or an opportunity. A survey found that many newbies brought into cycling by bike-share ended up buying their own bikes. The light at the end of the tunnel might be a bike light … and you could be the one selling it, and a bike and a load of highmargin accessories.

All the latest news online at Our first-ever distributor survey

SG: Wheels, tyres and inner tubes; cycle footwear

BikeBiz November 2017  
BikeBiz November 2017