BikeBiz May 2016

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MAY 2016


ISSUE 124 MAY 2016

@bikebizonline |







p9 Putting the brakes on

p13 Reading the tea leaves

p22 Bike beside the seaside

We examine the state of the brake market with Shimano, SRAM and Magura...

Is the cycle café phenomenon down to its last dregs? We look to the future with three different types of cycle cafés...

Our man of mystery fends off unruly seagulls and heads to the streets of Brighton in search of good service. Will he be in luck?

This month is all about the nation’s local bike shops, with our Top 20 IBDs special plus the latest on the #supportlocalbikeshops campaign

p31 Is CWIS a swizz?

p24 Media backing

p51 Hungry? Grab a bar

p55 BMX

We examine the future of cycling in England

It’s not just shops that need support, argues our guest writer

Our nutrition guide has bars, gels and drinks galore

Fresh gear for the BMX sector from the key players




Crunch time for London’s cyclists ON MAY 5th 2016, London will vote for its new mayor, with implications for cycling in the capital and the rest of the UK. Thanks to previous Mayor Ken Livingstone and the outgoing Boris Johnson, cycling in London has been completely transformed, giving towns and cities in the rest of Britain an example of what can be achieved – in the year 2000, there were 11 cars for every bike in central London. In 2014 there were two cars for every bike. The approach to cycling by the new Mayor, likely to be either Zac Goldsmith or Sadiq Khan, is uppermost in cycle


campaigners’ minds. Boris Johnson has warned that his successor should not cut back on Transport for London’s cycling programme. He said: “The next mayor should pledge to at least maintain the current level of spending, and preferably to increase it.” Khan has mooted more segregated bike lanes as well as a walking and cycling bridge between the Isle of dogs and Rotherhithe. Goldsmith has proposed making Santander Cycles Oyster payment compatible and rolling out the hire bikes (first OK’d by Ken Livingstone) into four of London’s outer boroughs.

THAT IS a bit of a cheat headline, because every edition of BikeBiz is targeted in no small way at that biggest group of the nation’s cycle retailers – independents. But this issue we’re shining extra light on the world of IBDs and voicing our support for the #supportlocalbikeshops campaign. Dozens of bike shops have sent us pics of their staff in and out of the shop (plus a few shop dogs and a shop dummy, and why not?) which we’ve retweeted and reposted to our thousands of followers to help spread the word and message that if you don’t use your local bike shop, you’ll lose it. With so much of the trade dependent on IBDs and all that means – including keeping power out of retail’s big players so we aren’t left with a few supermarket-sized players calling all the shots – it is clearly in the interests of the wider industry to get behind the campaign too. But that’s not all! We’ve also got our annual Top 20 IBDs list (page17), where we shout out some of the finest examples of cycle retailing from the independent sector. Thanks once again to the many that gave us their opinions on and off the record, we couldn’t have made the list without you. Meanwhile our executive editor raises the issue of a buying group for independent bike dealers (page 74) and exclusive stats handed to us indicate IBD numbers are stable, despite a tough 2015 (page44). Then there are tips on how to compete with the big online players (page39 and 44) and how bike fit can boost your shop. Tell us what you think at jharker@

‘GROW MARKET AND PROFIT AT SAME TIME’ 200 DELEGATES took part in this year’s Outdoor Industries Association AGM this spring, which kicked off after an afternoon of activities including mountain biking. Sport England CEO Jennie Price provided the keynote speech, titled


‘From Insight to Action – a new strategy for community sport in England’, reminding delegates that brands can play an important part in growing the market and making a profit at the same time.



#supportlocalbikeshops Ben Hayward Cycles, Newcastle’s Cycle Centre, CycloMonster, Belhaven Bikes and many more have got involved with the bike shop-supporting campaign

Cycle shops get involved with #supportyourlocalbikeshop MOMENTUM IS STILL building up for the #supportyourlocalbikeshop social media campaign. Bike shops from around the country are helping to spread the message on Twitter, Instagram andFacebook and have sent BikeBiz pictures of their shop and staff which have then gone on to be shared online and in this magazine. The campaign grew up after Adrian Timmis, the owner of Staffordshire bike

shop Cadence Sport, took to Facebook to reveal how we could no longer afford to employee staff and cited ‘showrooming’ and customers heading online for much cheaper product as a key factor in his shop’s plight. It proved a huge talking point for the trade (the story gained 25 comments and over 1,400 Facebook likes). A diverse range of bike shops have got involved. Edinburgh Bicycle

Cooperative, Ben Hayward Cycles, Newcastle’s Cycle Centre, CycloMonster, Belhaven Bikes, Derby’s Bespoke Cycles, RQ Cycle

Centre, Pennine Cycles, Rustys Cycles, Giant Sheffield and Hull’s ECB are among the local bike shops that have taken part so far.

To keep up the momentum, take a pic of you and your smiling staff in your shop and tweet it to us, or place it on Instagram (or even email it to us and we’ll do the rest). Remember to make sure you use the hashtag #supportlocalbikeshops and tag us in @bikebizonline on Twitter or via bikebiz bikebizmagazine

THIS MONTH WE ASK THE BIKEBIZ TEAM: What was the last item your purchased from your local bike shop Executive Editor: Carlton Reid Editor: Jonathon Harker Answer: An inner tube, of course Staff Writer: Kieran Howells Answer: An inner tube

Design: Dan Bennett Answer: A new seatpost Sales Manager: Richard Setters Answer: A pair of waterproof gloves Production Executive: Elizabeth Parker

Content Director: Andrew Wooden Sales Director: Mark Rankine Managing Director: Mark Burton

Editorial: Saxon House, 6A, St. Andrew Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire. SG14 1JA Tel: 01992 515 307 BikeBiz is mailed FOC to 4,000+ trade addresses every month ISSN 1476-1505

Marketing & Circulation

© NewBay Media 2016 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without the express prior written consent of the publisher. The contents of BikeBiz are subject to reproduction in information storage and retrieval systems. Printed by Pensord.






SHORTS Halfords didn’t have such a bad 2015 after all In its full year results up to April 1st 2016, Halfords revealed that cycling was only slightly down (0.9 per cent). As a barometer for the cycle market, the stats appeared to show trading had levelled after what was widely reported as a poor 2015 across the industry.

Ikea to sell bikes in the UK Sources confirmed to BikeBiz that IKEA would be selling bikes in the UK as part of a global move to retail bicycles. The firm has 20 stores in the UK and will be retailing one model of bike, the Sladda, in 26 and 28-inch versions.

Lay-offs take place at Specialized Australia

Lightspeed runs first ‘how to make it as an IBD’ seminar

Specialized Australia has a new MD – Tony Smith, who replaces Sam Monardo. Ten other staff have been laid-off. Mike Sinyard, founder and CEO of Specialized, told BikeBiz that: ”We made some difficult decisions and let some talented people go. This was not easy... “We will continue to invest in marketing and in the supply chain [in Australia].”

Electric Evans One of the nation’s largest bike retailers, Evans Cycles, has got back into electric bikes, working with EBCO to bring e-bike brands to its stores in a six shop trial (page 47).

Hope releases carbon bike Hope Tech has unveiled its much rumoured bike. The HB.211 is a 160mm travel all-MTB/trail/enduro style bike. The brand did not rule out turning the bike into a commercial proposition.


AROUND THIRTY bike retailers came together for a seminar titled ‘How to make it as an independent bicycle retailer’ in London last month. The event, run by point of sale and eCommerce solutions specialist Lightspeed, saw industry names speak to the assembly, including Andy BIKEBIZ.COM

Kearney and Steve Simms of Brinks Cycleworks as well as Jef Sharp and Darren Sansom from Claud Butler Cambridge. Hosted in Lightspeed’s building in London Bridge, event partners PocketHighStreet and iZettle were also on hand to explain how they work with retailers to improve their firms.

Lightspeed said that the idea behind the meeting was to assist bike shops with handy tips and tricks to help gear up for business success, with talks from retailers sharing their secrets on how to run an bicycle business and provide an exceptional shopping experience.

Our hopes of providing you with an error-free mag were punctured when we realised we didn’t provide you with the correct sizing of Schwalbe’s Telford warehouse. The firm actually had a 17,000sq ft warehouse in 2008. Five years later it added around 8,000 sq feet to its present size of around 25,000 sq ft.

For breaking news visit: BIKEBIZ MAY 7


Discs (finally) brake free We bring Shimano, SRAM and Magura together to discuss road disc sales spikes, flat mount and a trend for simplicity. Jonathon Harker takes notes…

The UCI has given the OK to disc brakes in the 2016 season – do you anticipate a spike in sales during this racing season? “For sure we will see an increase, more like a “steep ramp” than a spike let’s say. New disc brake racing frames, gravel and all-road frames, and CX bikes are arriving with discs more and more every day. It will take some time as it requires all new equipment, but it’s coming pretty fast. We’ve seen the increase coming over the past 12 months and will see this continue to grow. We are well positioned to have hydraulic disc brakes at every price point in our range.” CHRIS ZIGMONT, SRAM Road Global Marketing Manager

SRAM slips the trade a disc


AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR, just when this edition of BikeBiz was about to go to press, and just when disc brakes were just getting started in road competition, the UCI suspended the use of disc brakes. Responding to injuries sustained by Movistar Team rider Francisco Ventuso at Sunday’s (April 10th 2016) Paris-Roubaix, reportedly blamed on a disc brake, the Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels (AIGCP) – which represents professional cycling teams – called for their suspension. The AIGCP was supported in the request by the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), which represents riders. The World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry, representing manufacturers, has issued a statement in response, asking the UCI to complete a full investigation, adding “the industry is confident that disc brakes continue to be one of the products of the future and will become an important part of road racing”. So for now the future of disc brakes in road cycling competition is not quite so rosy. Follow updates on for more braking news.


“Road disc brakes are already selling well, especially at the top end, so while more widespread use in the pro peloton may increase sales we’re already finding that road disc brakes have been well received.” MARK GRESHON, Shimano senior brand manager Madison “With the introduction of disc brakes to the pro peloton for the 2016 season you will naturally see a rise in sales of road disc brakes. However, we anticipate that this will then slow down and keep growing at a lesser pace for the next three years.” JEREMY CROOK, Magura Bike Parts Europe BIKEBIZ MAY 9


Discs (finally) brake free lead in this segment with the MT5e which has its own cut off switch built into the brake lever.” JEREMY CROOK, Magura Bike Parts Europe

Magura’s MT5e is tapping into the e-bike market

Shimano RS405

SRAM Rival 22

Shimano’s RT99-S disc rotor

In terms of trends, flat mount brakes look to be more widely adopted. What else is on the braking horizon? “Flat mount seems well adopted for some. Post mount is still quite popular with craft builders and frame makers working in materials other than carbon. We will need to see if flat mount offers all the flexibility in design and avoidance of fitment issues for builders. We also see a trend in simplicity. We’ve had great discussions 10 BIKEBIZ MAY

with bike makers large and small about the design possibilities that wireless shifting brings. There is considerable design flexibility when one doesn’t need to design around batteries, wires, brackets, and junction boxes.” CHRIS ZIGMONT, SRAM Road Global Marketing Manager “Flat mount will become the standard for road disc brakes, it was designed specifically for road bikes and it works well, both technically and aesthetically. We’re seeing more road disc wheels with Centerlock compatible hubs becoming available which means

disc brake users can take advantage of Shimano’s RT99 ‘FREEZA’ rotors which significantly help control heat, especially on long descents. With Shimano’s J-Kit hose connectors, hydraulic hoses can also be easily routed inside the frame for a cleaner looking frame design and also helps to keep hoses away from potential damage.” MARK GRESHON, Shimano senior brand manager Madison “At the moment the e-bike market is incredibly important as can be seen by the massive growth in Europe. At Magura, we will endeavour to keep the market

Finally, what other insights into the braking world can you share with the rest of the trade? “We can see disc brake applications extending beyond what people have imagined so far in regard to bike types or riding disciplines. Disc brakes make bicycles fully modern machines. They are safer, more enjoyable, better performing in all conditions, and frankly faster. The road culture is steeped in traditions that may take some time in adopting to or adjusting to the look, the installations and maintenance of discs. But once ridden, it’s really hard to go back. This we know.” CHRIS ZIGMONT SRAM Road Global Marketing Manager “With any new technology comes the naysayers but the simple facts of road disc brakes is that they not only offer improved braking – and by that I mean better modulation and control with less effort rather than outright power – but they also allow wheel technology to advance without the need for rims to be used as a braking surface. With the recent introduction of the new RS405 10 speed hydraulic disc brake STIs, Shimano now has a disc brake option for almost all levels of road bike.” MARK GRESHON, Shimano senior brand manager Madison BIKEBIZ.COM

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Has the cycle café had its day? Kieran Howells catches up with three very different cycle cafés in London for their take on the sector...

WHETHER A logical next step for a struggling industry, or just the latest fad, cycle cafés have spent the better part of the last six years sweeping the country. Logically, the concept of a place in which you can take a pit stop, get your flat tyre fixed and replenish your energy levels with a cup of coffee in a social environment seems like a stellar idea, but is the reality of running a cycle café truly as idealistic as it seems? We caught up with three of London’s premier independent cycle cafés to find out who they are, what they do, and whether the idea is transferrable to struggling bike shops.





Can you tell us a little about the company’s history? We opened in April 2010 and there wasn’t anything like this around when we started. I’d been in the bike industry for the best part of 15 years before we opened. One of my partners was in the café business and was very into the coffee scene. We’d been riding for a long time together and the concept was that by merging the two worlds, we could change the traditional bike shop environment that isn’t necessarily that welcoming.

LOOK MUM NO HANDS Sam Humpheson, Owner & Mechanic 49 Old St, Islington London

LMNH has been a fixture of Old Street since 2010


CYCLE PS Ian Patterson, Manager & Mechanic 179 Battersea High St, Battersea London

Can you tell us a little about the company’s history? We’ve been open two years, and we have a sister shop in Camberwell. Both shops have a very similar feel, they’re local community bike shops that care a great deal about giving good service. We are more like a clubhouse for the local community and that’s why there are video games and memorabilia everywhere. People can just come in, chill out and feel welcome. Does the shop have a strong community surrounding it? Having a community hub element is really important for our business. A lot of people will buy, sell and


MACHINE Vitas Zukauskas, Owner & Mechanic 97 Tower Bridge Road, Southwark London

Can you tell us a little about the company’s history? We started a little over five years ago, but just as a standard bike shop. It wasn’t even close to a coffee shop. This transition took place a little over a year ago. People always used to come in and ask where the best local places to have a coffee on their rides were. We were always pointing people elsewhere, so we thought maybe a coffee shop could be a great addition to the bike shop. Does the shop have a strong community surrounding it? I guess now we have two communities in one, there are people who don’t own a bike, and


trade here. Cycle PS is a nice, safe place to meet and maybe whilst they’re here they may buy a few bits too. People come because they like the way we run the shop, and hopefully because they like us too. We’re here because we love bikes and we love the community that invited us in. Do you organise events? The last major event we did was a scavenger hunt. Everyone was given three items to obtain and the first one back with the items won. So it’s fun silly events more than serious races. When you’re doing a serious race, the same people will always come out first, but with these kinds of fun silly events

they come in for lunch or a good coffee, and then the local cyclist community. We’ve had people coming back here from year one because of the service and reliability. So yeah, I’m really grateful for those people who believed in us from day one. Do you organise events? We’ve done quite a few events and we’ve had a few concerts in here too. We had our birthday party in here in December, and the same day we got a gift from our customers and our friends, they got us a projector and a screen too. So we changed the back to put in a screen, which we show races on now.

Does the shop have a strong community surrounding it? We were lucky in that we were

anyone could win. We like to be inclusive rather than exclusive. How is the café side of the business run? There are two things we take very seriously here and those are bikes and coffee. The guy who makes our beans is a rider in the local community. Cycling and coffee are intrinsically linked. If you’re going to ride with your friends you have to ride somewhere, and a coffee shop is a great place to go. Coffee culture goes hand in hand with what we do here. How successful has the concept been so far? It’s successful but it could be more

How is the café side of the business run? If you’re going to go 100 per centv on the coffee side of things, you have to do it properly, so we invested in a good coffee machine, we chose to not just get the cheapest beans, we actually have some of the best in London. You can do it right, or not do it at all. How successful has the concept been so far? The café very quickly attracted a lot more people trough the door, like four or five times more people. We got lots of people who would otherwise never come to a bike shop but who just want good coffee coming in. BIKEBIZ.COM


almost instantly accepted in the local community. Our customer base is incredibly diverse. Half our customers come here just because we’re a good café, but there are also people here getting their bikes fixed, and there are kids outside using the pump service all the time. Do you organise events? We were overwhelmed by the amount of people who came to us straightaway to put on events. We’ve had people coming to us with films and exhibitions and suddenly there was this whole group of people who were keen to do these things but didn’t have a space in which to do them. We’ve

had everything from speed dating for cyclists, down to the quite serious Tour de France talks.

“I think shops need to soften up a bit.” Sam Humpheson, LMNH How is the café side of the business run? You can’t just open a crap café and put a picture of a bike on the wall and call it a cycling café. When we launched there was a bit of an explosion in the London coffee scene that we were part of and we’re often featured in good

coffee guides. There’s also been a real boom in the popularity of the craft beer scene and we’ve always had a massive interest in that scene too. We have craft beers on tap and we’ve got a lot of support from independent breweries. How successful has the concept been so far? It’s interesting because this is my first time opening a business so it’s really great that it’s been a success. Pretty much straight away we needed to bring in extra staff, and not many bike shops ever get past that stage where the owners are constantly working their asses off. So that’s a very good place for us to be.

successful. In some days in the middle of winter we can really struggle, but in the summer when

“We like to be inclusive rather than exclusive.” Ian Patterson, Cycle PS the cycle to work schemes come out we do very well. The lows are low, and the highs are high. First and foremost, we just care about keeping going. Cycle PS consider themsleves a social club as much as a shop

Is the cycle café idea viable for struggling bike shops?

Is the cycle café idea viable for struggling bike shops? The concept is sound. Bikes and coffee are good bedfellows. It’s not going to work for everybody but bike shops definitely need to be a more welcoming space. I think shops need to soften up a bit. Engagement is important and community is a very big deal. Offer early and late drop-off, suddenly you’re a good option for fitting into people’s busy days. Having friendly staff is a massive need, and if you’re in the right location having a small café could work well. If you’re in a great location and you have a lot of room then I think providing some sort of a social

I think in the right circumstances the idea is definitely sustainable. There are too many factors to say that the business model is viable everywhere, but integrating into your local community is a sure fire way of building up a community around the shop. We take part in an event at a local school in which parents trade bikes that their children have outgrown, what we do is go along and fix punctures, make sure the bikes are in good condition and fix any small issues. We don’t make money at that event, but those parents will always come to our shop when their child needs a new bike, or if they need any repairs at all, which is great for business.

Machine is situated in the heart of Southwark, London

Is the cycle café idea viable for struggling bike shops? Yes and no. It’s a huge investment. If it’s a one or two man show, and they want to convert it into a café as well, then it’s a giant job. We opened only because we knew there was a demand for this in this area. It just won’t work if you have the same people who are fixing bikes making coffee. I think it wouldn’t work. Coffee really opened the gate for people who BIKEBIZ.COM

otherwise wouldn’t come anywhere near a bike. Bike shops can be very

“You can either do it right, or not do it at all.” Vitas Zukauskas, Machine closed environments but you don’t need to own a bike to come in here and be around the culture. BIKEBIZ MAY 15


You spoke out and we listened before putting together 2016’s Top 20 IBDs list...

THE BIKEBIZ INBOX is currently groaning under the weight of the dozens and dozens of bike shop customers who have been sending testimonials about their local bike shops and arguing why their local dealer truly belongs on this year’s Top 20 IBDs list. As usual, we’ve had a brilliant response and one that might even stir the hearts of the cynics of the industry (you know who you are). We’ve had tales of outstanding customer service, shops going above and beyond plus stories that will warm the cockles of anyone who is in doubt as to the value of the humble, local IBD. Sorry Wiggle, Chain Reaction, Wigtion or whatever we’re meant to call you now, but these next few pages will be filled with the pure unbridled


love that is directed towards the independent bicycle dealers of the nation. Sure, some of these testimonials were doubtless slightly prompted (apparently it is unreasonable to expect the entire UK population to be a regular reader of BikeBiz, so for sure some shops nudged their customers to contact us) but rest assured that we wheedled out the suspect entries and discounted the dubious and blunt emails that announced ‘this shop MUST be on your list’. Quite frankly we’ve been doing this for a while now and can spot that kind of thing a mile off. But enough of the pre-amble, read on for tales of retailing excellent in this year’s edition of the Top 20 IBDs…



Rutland Cycling

Belhaven Bikes

BELHAVEN BIKES The owners of Belhaven Bikes of Dunbar are praised for a can-do, smiling attitude. One punter said: “The shop helps the community and I don’t think that they get enough recognition. “Nothing is ever a problem for Colin, and every enquiry is met with willingness and enthusiasm.” The aforementioned Colin is also classed as a key man in the Berwick Wheelers set-up. The quirky shop’s community efforts are clearly a strength, working with local schools too. But it is the service that the shop provides that sets them up high in the minds of its customers. “It’s a great place to go for the bike chat, find out what is happening locally, advice on the best bike for you and the ‘no prob, just drop it off’ response to a cry for help with any bike malfunction.” BIKEACTIVE Decade old BikeActive is owned by two brothers, priding themselves on riding most of the bikes that the shop sells, adding weight to their in-store advice. Based in Stanstead Abbots, MTB is a strong sector for the firm, which via online has a wide reach with bike customers including up in Scotland. The walls of the shop are lined with signed jerseys from Fabian Barrel and Brendan Fairclough, among others. One of our secret pundits told us: “On the Enduro side of things, these guys are smashing it. Nick and Rob are a great brother-duo who ride as well as they sell!” BIKESCENE GUISBOROUGH Online retail is all about convenience, but customers are 18 BIKEBIZ MAY

well prepared to put themselves out for a decent bike shop, as one customer told BikeBiz: “It’s a 35 mile round trip for me which I average once a week. The journey is worth it as their advice, service and prices are the best I have found in five years of mountain biking. “They support the local cycling club, giving all card holders a good discount as well as sponsoring riders in competition and supporting events.” One touching testimonial reads: “I am 70 years old and all the staff treat me as ‘one of the lads’, offering time and advice for my continuing enthusiasm in mountain biking.” And going back to those long round trips, here’s another one of them: “Their customer service, quality of service, advice and range of products are exceptional. I am moving to Durham this summer but will be driving back to Guisborough for Bike Scene as I’ve grown to trust them with my bike.” CRITERIUM CYCLES “From the minute you walk in the door, regardless of how busy the shop is you are made to feel most welcome. The staff are very knowledgeable and will ask what I need and discuss all the options. At no point is the sale forced on you.” That will no doubt be music to the ears of the staff at Criterium, based at Dobbies Garden Centre. Here are some more warm words directed towards the shop: ”Criterium has created and sustained a growing community of interest for people of all ages who are keen to improve their fitness and get tips and techniques by providing regular ride outs during the week evenings. Riding with a

Criterium Cycles

group of folks is brilliant fun and the staff are encouraging, supportive and also help challenge each cyclist to achieve that little bit more. This social and community group connection is surely really important and from this grows loyalty of each cyclist to their local bike shop and a community of support for all types of cyclists.” Still a relatively young shop, Criterium has come a long way in a relatively short time, if these pundits are anything to go by. GIANT SHEFFIELD Lauded for being forward thinking, fantastic with customers and putting back into the community, Giant Sheffield clearly has many fans. Breeze Sheffield and the Sheffield Grand Prix are both supported by the dealer, which also sponsored the Womens Races at the Tickhill Grand Prix and it was their support that helped the event give equal status to Women Racing and equal Prize Money. There is support for mountain biking too and unsual events like social or quiz nights. We’ll spare their blushes, but a few of their punters named staffers individually for their hospitality, knowledge and going above and beyond. One punter said they “would win my vote in any customer service award category not just in bike shops”. GLOBAL BIKE This independent bike shop packs a powerful online punch. Based in Tattenhall near Chester (with another store in Crewe), Global Bike was formed back in 2009 and is a family-run business. One of our pundits told us: “They are never off the phone, doing BIKEBIZ.COM



Je James

whatever they can to help their customers get the bikes they want, and always for yesterday.” The shop supports local cycling with a road and MTB team. Our pundit added: “[They have a] personal approach to sales, a father-son duo head up the team and lead the store banter.” JE JAMES A famous and respected name in the trade, JE James Cycles is one of the northern powerhouses of the bike retail world. With three locations in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire (Rotherham, Chesterfield and Sheffield), JE James is a big believer in local events, including its own CycleFest and working with nearby Peak District National Park for a multi-terrain series of sportives. Last year the shop invested in a store refurbishment programme, not only putting in new flooring but also coming up with new store layouts and brand experience areas, tapping into those most modern of retail ideas. PROLOGUE This Harrogate-based independent bike shop features a workshop, cafe, treatment room for physio and sports massage, bike fitting, fitness testing and coaching. Prologue also holds organised rides every week including a ladies ride. In fact the shop has only been open for two years, but has, we hear, built up a great reputation and customer base already. The shop has branched out further than your average bike shop too, establishing a popular Business by Bike corporate ride package, with three corporate events booked in already for the fledgling offering. Then there are ‘reliability rides’ and the shop’s extremely popular Cafe Bash events which attract over 150 riders including some local unknowns by the name of Brownlee, Scott Thwaites and Tobyn Horton. It will come as little surprise that Prologue also has its own race BIKEBIZ.COM

team, a team of talented first year juniors which the shop is supporting as they aspire to become pro riders of the future. Prologue also hosts a circuit race series twice a year at a local airfield and holds races for all category of racer. The busy shop also hosts film nights, nutrition talks, bike maintenance classes and a host of other useful workshops too. RUTLAND CYCLING Rutland, you may not be shocked to hear, is regularly named as one of those dealers that, from a distributor’s perspective, is a “superb partner”. Clearly not resting on its laurels, the firm has had a huge 18 months, with store numbers now breaking into double figures following the Station Cycles takeover. The family-run business has recently opened stores in Peterborough and also back in Cambridge at the busy rail station. Not only that but it is investing in its online presence to great effect, is stepping into e-bikes and even manages to attract staff to work for them all the way from South Africa. It is perhaps telling of their reputation that they can manage to lure in workers all the way from another continent. SPOKES OF BAGSHOT How many bike shops do you know that offer Yoga sessions in the shop on Saturday mornings? While you’re mulling over that one, consider Spokes of Bagshot. Another young retailer, Spokes caters for all cyclists and cycling types. There are regular Sunday morning rides from the shop, catering for novices and racers alike (and everyone in between). There are dedicated ladies rides as well as mountain bike rides for beginners and intermediate riders in nearby Swinley Forest. We’re told the shop lays on free coffee and cake back at the shop afterwards. “I remember turning up and being made really welcome on a cold February morning with over 20 other riders,”


one of those local riders told BikeBiz. The retailer is also involved with a local charity (Sebastian Action trust) and is helping to organise a cash-boosting ride for the charity, supplying bikes for it.

Cycling Made Easy

SPROCKETS We’re going to hand this one straight over to one of the testimonials: “I wanted to take the time to nominate Sprockets Cycles in Kilmarnock to be included in the list. In my mind they deliver on everything an indie retailer should. It is easy to say most dealers have friendly service, but these guys go a step further, ensuring customers like myself feel confident in my purchases and leave knowing that there is never a silly question. “They have an awesome range of kit in store and do everything they can to get their customers involved with test days and organised rides. Being one of their customers really does feel like being part of an extended family.” Others have praised the shop for coming a long way in a short space of time, having earned a big local reputation for quality. SUNSET MTB Established in 1988, Sunset MTB is set in South Wales, praised for its service, friendly knowledgeable staff and fast response. BIKEBIZ MAY 19


Westbrook Cycles

Our secret selection of pundits said that the team are, in short: “Straight talking Cardiff based superstars. It’s a smooth running account, rarely a problem and always a delight to talk to.” TWEEKS CYCLES This Bikebiz Award 2015 winner is also featured in this month’s Dealer Profile (page41) and it seems there is no shortage of goodwill and praise for the shop from the trade, according to the testimonials we were sent. The retailer has a whopping great 130,000 sq ft destination store, with a huge range, efficient staff and processes, and of course a top notch online offering to boot. UBYK Oxford-set Ubyk cleverly mixes the online and physical retail experiences in-store, testament to the fact the retailer started out on the web. One pundit said: “They cherry pick product for their customers very effectively, identifying the hot picks and promote in their unique blend of online and in-store. They are a strong team that are good on communication. They sell road and mountain effectively, across all price points and riding styles.” WELLINGBOROUGH CYCLES There is a huge range of new bikes, parts, wheels, clothing and spares, all backed up with a team of quality mechanics at Wellingborough Cycles, we hear. With staff from the shop out on Saturday rides and racing locally, the shop is entrenched in the local cycle scene. Of course the shopping experience is key too, with the shop offering bike fitting 20 BIKEBIZ MAY


alongside servicing and indeed a friendly chat. This customer has an interesting story: “After a long stretch of not riding myself, I decided to get out on my bike again. The shop moved to new and larger premises and soon after the move I popped in for some spares and was told they would be starting some social rides from the shop on a Saturday morning. I decided to show up and give it a go, in the early days it was just a handful of us in all weathers out for a short ride in a small group. Over time this grew and then grew and then grew alot more. Some three to four years later, I still ride most Saturday mornings, there can be anything up to 75-plus riders, ranging from 1st, 2nd and 3rd cat road racers, mountain bikers, time trialers right through to almost total beginners. I have made many great friends from these ride.” WESTBROOK CYCLES “The only problem I have with them is that the wife will not let me go in there as there’s too much bike porn, not deep enough pockets.” That’s one testimonial for you. Other customers told us how the staff at the shop had gone out of their way to help and get their order right: “They assured me that the order had gone through and that I would receive my bike by the coming Wednesday. This came as a massive relief to me after I was let down by a previous national retailer. I asked for absolutely nothing other than the bike at full price. Westbrook and [staff member] Calvin proved that independent bike dealers are worth their weight in gold. They didn’t have to do what they did but they did. There’s nothing stronger than

word of mouth and Westbrook will definitely be given the thumbs up should anyone ask me for a recommendation.” WESTERHAM CYCLERY Mention of a cycle cafe may make certain members of the trade groan ‘not again’, but it certainly seems to be paying off for a number of the nation’s bicycle retailers, including Westerham Cyclery which has, we’re told, the all-important excellent coffee and cake. Westerham won praise from one pundit who singled out one of the owners for being super welcoming and going out of his way to help “be it getting something specific in or offering advice and support”. One customer told BikeBiz that they live in Tonbridge and will “go out of my way to use the Cyclery...a 25 minute trip each way!” Praise indeed. The aforementioned punter continued: “Having recently got into cycling in preparation for a challenge (Pembury to Paris in support of our local Hospice), Mark has, on his day off, taken my friend and I out on a ride to give us some coaching, which he didn’t have to do, especially as he is already very busy and has a family. We learnt a great deal and he has offered to take us out again soon.” Clearly that’s a big tick in the ‘above and beyond’ box. WET ROCK N RIDE This Hartlepool local bike shop is a family business – the husband and wife team operate across the workshop and shop, with the duo’s son helping with the servicing. The owner in particular is praised for being friendly and full of great advice, as well as offering multiple solutions at different price points to

help customers. The rider-owned shop regularly organises free guided rides at various spots in the North East. One punter told us: “[They are] always willing to try and fit things in last minute to get someone back on the road too. “This type of local bike shop adds value, inspires customer loyalty and is a pleasure to visit.” That nicely sums it up, we reckon. WHEELBASE Another of the big northern bicycle retail powerhouses, Wheelbase was praised by one of our pundits for having “the best location in the UK, with huge flowspace and tons of choice. “One of the best demo events on the calendar,” the pundit added, which is no little claim, but it does have plenty of weight: Last year it held its biggest Big MTB Demo weekend yet, with 300 people pre-booking rides on the 120 mountain bikes from key brands in the business. Ten guides, 20 store staff and six mechanics went into the big weekend. And 800 bike washes, no less. CYCLING MADE EASY Cycling Made Easy has made a name for itself in the electric bike sector, with sizeable showrooms in Surrey and Kent. Getting bums on saddles is key for e-bikes and that’s what the retailer is all about, offering demonstrations with no obligation and no traffic either. The shop has also been vocal in speaking up for electric bikes, banging the drum for the sector and writing columns for the media to sow the seeds for the industry. Suppliers in the sector also sing the praises of the pioneering shop. BIKEBIZ.COM

Working together like Clockwork

Just in time Drivetrain components


Brighton In this month’s Mystery Shopper, we set our sites on a city steeped in cycling culture, set to the backdrop of Southern England’s most iconic coastline.


FREEDOM BIKES LOCATED JUST outside of the main tourist thoroughfare, Freedom Bikes combines a meticulously neat and tidy exterior with eyecatching blue signage, making the shop a welcoming prospect for potential customers. The attentive staff noticed me straight away, and seemed genuinely interested in presenting me with the optimum bike for my needs. I was told that for inner city cycling, a hybrid bike was a must, due to the wider tyres and range of gears. He explained why a fixed gear bike, whilst being light and zippy, was essentially a terrible idea on the almost mountainous streets of Brighton, and recommended a mid-range Trek bike, which he said was of good quality and would require minimum upkeep.


“Brighton’s local cycling community has thrived through sheer determination and reigns victorious with a vast selection of bike shops.”

EVANS UPON ENTERING, I was greeted after a few minutes of browsing by a warm and enthusiastic young man who couldn’t have been happier to assist me. When I told him my criteria, he asked me a few follow up questions about my commute and riding habits and then whisked me off to look at a decent range of hybrid bikes. Unprompted, he talked me through the benefits and pitfalls of the different price brackets, explained the varying gear ratios, talked to me about what material each bike was made from and walked me through maintenance costs of disc brakes versus brake calipers. He even implored me to bring in any old bike I may have to receive money off.




CYCLE STORE EVEN FURTHER from the city centre, Cycle Store caters to the same demographic of locals and far less of the tourist trade than any of our other destinations. The storefront does little to draw you in despite being well kept. When I entered, both members of staff were busy serving other customers, so I didn’t begrudge them the ten-minute wait until the clerk finally offered me assistance. I laid out my criteria and was shown a range of reasonably priced bikes, although the clerk was quick to add that I was far better off investing in a higher spec hybrid bike due to future maintenance costs. He was helpful and easily approachable, and I felt confident in his sincerity when dissuading me from certain models.

UBYK UBYK IS well positioned in the heart of Brighton’s bohemian lanes. The shop’s chalky grey exterior and smart branding are an inviting prospect, and the contemporary feel continues inside. The large showroom is packed with a varied range of bikes, although most are on the higher end of the price scale. I browsed for about five minutes before being approached by a clerk who was happy to suggest a range of bikes that suited my needs, and walked me through the shop’s selection of hybrid bikes with a £300 to £500 price tag. He wasn’t as quick to denounce single speed bikes, stating that some people in the local area prefer them. He explained different gear ratios well, and was happy to offer a test ride.


THE RANGE of bikes on offer in Britain’s most vibrant seaside city is very much tailored to Brighton’s rather harsh and hilly terrain. The local cycling community has thrived through sheer abject determination, and reigns victorious with a vast selection of interesting bike shops located around the picturesque city. Whereas Evans’ impressive customer service deserves a special mention, Freedom Bikes just edged them out to be our Star Store of the day due to their impeccable customer service and impressive selection of bikes.

BAKER ST BIKES LOCATED ABOUT fifteen minutes form the city centre, Baker St Bikes has the feel of a shop targeted at the local community rather than the tourist market. The recent rennovation of the storefront has brought Baker St into the modern age. Inside, the space feels slightly cramped by the sheer number of bikes on display. A clerk offered me assistance after a few minutes of browsing and directed me to the hybrid bikes. Considering I told him I knew nothing about bikes, I was alarmed to hear him casually mentioning quite advanced Shimano bike parts, which could be confusing to novice riders, with the explanation of different gear ratios hard to connect with.



Spin PR is a specialist marketing and PR agency serving the cycle and outdoor industry

SPECIALIST MEDIA – IT’S BUSINESS NOT CHARITY… If brands stop financially supporting independent media, then powerful editorial – like box shifting reviews – will dry up, argues Dave Evans, managing director of Spin PR… EVERYONE KNOWS the allegorical tale of the wind and the sun competing to remove a man’s jacket. Aesop’s fable, just in case you’re not aware of it, sees the wind step up first but, the harder he blows, the more the man grips tightly to his jacket and ultimately the wind admits defeat. Whereas the sun shines hard and within seconds the man has removed his jacket. The obvious lesson to be learnt is you’re more likely to get what you want through kindness rather than force. As a PR man, sat between the major brands and specialist media this is a tale that I push towards both clients and journalists. However, the point of the fable is to demonstrate that genuine kindness works well, and this is a two-way street. Recently we have seen a monumental shift in the way the specialist media is compiled, produced and funded. Bolder publishing houses have done away with paper altogether, some have concentrated on ‘premium paper’ with a business model that reduces the reliance on advertising and up weights the cover price as a 24 BIKEBIZ MAY

meaningful revenue stream and the rest soldier on. Without a doubt, the media landscape is more competitive now than ever and publishers are having to grey the line that traditionally separates advertising from editorial in order to create additional essential revenue streams.

But, if the major brands stop financially supporting a quality independent media then titles disappear and powerful editorial, like reviews, will dry up. We’ll be left with a handful of bloggers who’ll say anything for a free bike and no one wants this, least of all consumers. Therefore it’s obvious

“The media landscape is more competitive now than ever.” Dave Evans, Spin PR I’ll state clearly now – I think this is a good thing. I no longer see a meaningful separation between advertising and editorial. I see supply and demand. Circulation numbers are not what they used to be and the argument for display advertising at a premium price is a hard one – even for the most competent ad sales exec – to argue. However, quality reviews with detail analysis reproduced in-store or on proprietary websites will sell product, and thus have significant value.

(to me at least) that commercially it makes sense to support and shore-up the excellent existing media rather than take them for granted and stretch them so far that they’ll eventually pop. The cavalier approach to negotiations I’ve seen from some companies shows at best little understanding and at worst scant regard for the efforts that go into publishing good content (whatever format). I’d openly support editorial priority (for inclusion not for review score up-weighting and preference)

to advertisers. I loathe the line often peddled by companies attempting to gain free reproduction rights for copyrighted editorial: The claim the retailer is helping to publicise the magazine amongst its customer base. Your customers already know the magazine, that is why you want to reproduce their editorial as a credible independent voice of authority. Brands need the media and this has to be recognised. As it was recently put to me by a reviews editor, “if your brands support our mags then our mags will support your brands.” He wasn’t selling out, offering to give better scores or preferential treatment, he was just explaining the stark reality of today, which I agree with, that the media has mouths to feed just like the rest of us. And before any brand or retailer begins to bleat about the need for ultimate editorial integrity and the ‘news value’ their products brings to a publication they’d be wise to remember Northcliffe’s view – “News is something someone, somewhere is trying to suppress. Everything else is advertising.” BIKEBIZ.COM

BOB ELLIOT Diego Rosa sporting a pair of NRC X1s

LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY Kieran Howells sits down with Bob Elliot marketing director Paul Elliot to talk about the company’s latest developments, and what the future has in store. FROM ITS humble beginnings travelling the country and operating out of the back of a small van in 1985, the Bob Elliott brand has grown exponentially to become one of the most reliable trade names in the British market. The man himself, Bob Elliott, realising the potential behind the brand moved to a permanent trading residence in Atherton, Lancashire where the company thrived for many years until Elliot ultimately transferred the whole operation to a far larger warehouse in Chorley, Lancashire. The company now runs a 24-hour delivery service, and seems to be going from strength-to -strength. We caught up with marketing director Paul Elliott about the past, present and future of the company.


You are regulars at the Taipei Bike Show, how was this year’s event? We find the Taipei Show to be a very productive one for our company. We have travelled there for the last few years and have built some really great relationships. This year was no different, and we’ve cemented two new brands, as well as meeting many existing contacts.

We’ve seen a lot of innovation and interesting new products at this year’s shows, are there any products in particular that you are exited about? As ever, across our expansive range of brands we have many new products arriving for 2016. One particular product that is making noises this spring is our NRC X1 Eyewear. They use Carl Zeiss

“We’ll be adding a couple of new brands through the summer” Paul Elliot, Bob Elliot It’s been a rocky year for the bike industry, how have the last 12 months been for Bob Elliot? 2015 was a year that seemed unsteady in the trade, but we feel that we more than held our own. It is something we had projected might happen the year before. We have had a very positive start to 2016, with numbers on the rise from the previous year.

lenses, and are worn by Diego Rosa from Team Astana. They are new to our collection this year and sales have been strong already. Available in five colours, and each model is named after a famous, tough climb for the riders. The white/red Alpe D’Huez is particularly attractive. Last June you revamped your B2B website, what new features

have been added and are there any more updates coming to the online system? The last version updates were massive in offering the customer much, much more. These changes have been very well received and we’ve seen a really large increase in traffic. We have a return rate of over 92 per cent with customers ordering more than once, which we would like to see continue to increase. Further changes to the site will take place this year, but they will be more cosmetic changes so the dealer might not notice that much change. One recent addition has been to offer the dealer the chance to select their delivery date (now including Saturdays). Can you tell us the origins of the Bob Elliot brand? How was the company started and how did it develop into the company that we see today? Bob Elliot himself started our company in 1985. He had been in BIKEBIZ MAY 27


Bob Elliot now stocks over 40 brands

the trade for a few years in different roles, with a range of different companies. He started visiting shops and selling from a kitted out van. Progressively over the years the company has grown to where it is now through moving to larger premises and taking on more staff. Our core aim has always been to provide the best possible customer service we can deliver, taking care of each customer as well as the next one. Our expansion is continuing now, as we have taken on more office and warehouse space in the last couple of months. How does Bob Elliot ensure quality service for its customers? We have very experienced and loyal staff that both know our company inside out and know the cycle trade inside out. They are the backbone of us being able to offer 28 BIKEBIZ MAY

customers technical support, general help and a friendly person to talk to five days a week. Our website is very user friendly as mentioned, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the customer’s convenience. We offer a 24-hour shipping

gives the customer a good quality product to sell. Why should prospective clients use Bob Elliot? Mainly for the reasons mentioned above. We stock over 40 brands, offer great serwvice and have sales

“You can expect us to continue to offer a great service.” Paul Elliot, Bob Elliot turnaround for the vast majority of our customers when ordering prior to 3pm. We try and ensure all brands we bring into our portfolio are of good, reliable quality, and we strive to ensure that each brand offers great value for money, which in turn

representatives all over the UK who can be on hand to support IBDs. What are the tried and tested classics that every shop should be stocking? We find that through the good and more difficult times,

consumables always sell well through shops. If general clothing and general accessories aren’t moving off the shelves as well as they can do – workshops tend to still be busy. We stock many consumables from tyres and tubes to cables and tools. What developments can we expect from the Bob Elliot brand over the next year? We’ve had a very strong start to 2016, and we’ll be adding a couple of new brands through the summer. We can’t say who the brands are right now, but we’ll announce more on that closer to their arrival. You can expect us to continue to offer a great service, hold high stock levels and offer the customer the best possible support from a UK distributor. BIKEBIZ.COM

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ANALYSIS: CYCLING AND WALKING INVESTMENT STRATEGY This is what a typical English street will look like once the government puts its new strategy into effect. Probably.

The future of cycling in England The government has finally unveiled its investment strategy for cycling in England. So should we be excited or predictably disappointed? Jonathon Harker asks the pundits and reads CWIS so you don’t have to…


Double cycling By 2025, the government aims to double cycling activity from 0.8billion ‘stages’ in 2013 to 1.6billion stages in 2025.


8-10 members will make up the newly announced Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Expert Committee

2 in 3

The number of personal trips which are within five miles.


The amount dedicated to Bikeability from 2016-2017 to 2020-2021 BIKEBIZ.COM

THE CYCLING and Walking Investment Strategy – CWIS for short – was published over the long Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Detailing England’s cycle ambitions up until 2040 it is a document that naturally should be of vital importance to the cycle industry. So how does it stack up? The self-stated aim for England is, according to CWIS: “to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey.” There’s plenty of ambition (see the statistic on the left, inset) and plenty of fine words, including: “We cannot afford not to grasp the opportunities available.” And: “Realising our ambition will take sustained investment in cycling and walking infrastructure”. But these are more than mere encouraging soundbites, as the Bicycle Assocation’s executive director Phillip Darnton points out to BikeBiz: “For the first time ever, cycling and walking have the same status as Roads and Rail in terms of a formal government strategy.” Placing cycling on the governmental agenda officially is

no small deal. CWIS will see the formation of a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Expert Committee that will meet once every two months to review strategy, create partnerships with local bodies and national businesses and also to help develop a second CWIS strategy. Muddy financial waters The financial backing for the CWIS ambitions is the major worry for

Cities, as well as Highways England and Access Fund). Things get altogether less straightforward with the remaining four sources – DfT local transport programmes, other central schemes supporting cycling, local body programmes and initiatives from the third sector and business. For instance, the DfT’s highways maintenance block has £3.8billion allocated between 2016 and 2021 but this funding is not ringfenced

“We cannot afford not to grasp the opportunies available.” cycle advocates. So what money is there for cycling? Helpfully the document attempts to pin this down but also inadvertently highlights the disjointed nature of cash for cycling. The cash comes from five sources; firstly there’s the Department for Transport (DfT) and its £316m (including funding for Bikeability and Cycle Ambition

and “local highway authorities spend it according to their priorities”, in the words of CWIS. Likewise, local and city programmes is by definition a mixed bag for the nation, with London getting a whopping £913million (2012 to 2022, subject to review) and Manchester also cited as a beneficiary (£42m through the Cycle City Ambition Grant). BIKEBIZ MAY 31



Are the signs clear for cycling’s future?

CTC’S CAMPAIGNS AND POLICY DIRECTOR ROGER GEFFEN: “Despite its laudable aim to normalise cycling and walking by 2040, this strategy’s draft targets suggest that, outside London, English cycle use would eventually reach Dutch levels by the start of the 23rd century, while its funding allocations mean even slower progress.”

BRITISH CYCLING’S POLICY ADVISER CHRIS BOARDMAN: “The Department for Transport has done some good work on cycling and walking, including developing processes to make it easier for local authorities to create infrastructure plans and identifying funding pots that could be used. But these are just baby steps.” “If the government won’t commit to £10 per head every year, this strategy is stalling before it’s even got started.”

“A MILESTONE FOR CYCLING” So in terms of finances, there’s the £316m dedicated to cycling, plus a largely unspecified share of various pots of money, apparently dependent on the inclinations of local governments (compare London with, say, Birmingham). It’s this that has worried pundits, who had hoped CWIS might define new funds for cycling – the circa £300m had actually been previously announced. Responding to the CWIS publication last month, Chris Boardman, on behalf of British Cycling, said: “The government’s own figures show that investment is barely at £5 per head. Cycling’s ability to tackle serious societal issues such as obesity cannot be achieved on the cheap. This consultation exposes the Prime Minister as reneging on the ‘cycling revolution’ he promised us three years ago.” The CTC’s Roger Geffen put it even more succinctly: “If ministers are serious about their stated aims, they need to reallocate some of their £15 billion motorway and trunk road budget towards cycling and walking.” (See top right) Another area of disappointment was that CWIS stopped far short 32 BIKEBIZ MAY

of bringing in a straightforward ‘Active Travel Bill’ for England, that Wales managed back in 2013 and now Northern Ireland is considering introducing. The Active Travel Bill makes it a legal requirement for local authorities to plan and deliver routes that link up hospitals, schools and shopping areas with traffic-free routes and cycle lanes. But not for England. While ultimately the lack of financial investment for the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy has been a bitter disappointment for those battling for cycling, there are a number of positives to come out of the strategy, not least that it – on paper – places a commitment and a target for the government on cycling, rather than a spoken PR-friendly soundbite designed to win column inches. The industry should keep one eye on the continuing story of CWIS – after all, if the government manages to achieve its aims stated in the document, the cycle market will have doubled in size. The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy public consultation ends Monday May 23rd 2016.

PHILLIP DARNTON, executive director of the Bicycle Association, gave BikeBiz his reaction to the strategy: “It isn’t exactly an exciting title, but the ‘Infrastructure Act 2015’ is a very significant piece of legislation for the long term future of everyday cycling in England. It requires the government – and all future administrations – to commit to three things to sustain and strengthen cycling. “First, to produce, and regularly update, a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS); then to set out funding to achieve that strategy, and thirdly to report progress to Parliament regularly. “For the first time ever, cycling and walking have the same status as Roads and Rail in terms of a formal government strategy. This really is a milestone in the recognition of the role of cycling in an overall long-term transport plan for the nation.

“The publication of this first CWIS is really something to be welcomed wholeheartedly. The draft sets a target of doubling existing levels of cycling across England, and indicates various possible sources of funding to do this. It also sets up a management structure to help ensure that what is planned does happen; and it should involve a wide range of people and organisations who care about the future of cycling. “So far, so very good. Everyone who believes in what cycling can do for our society – from reducing congestion to helping tackle obesity, from its environmental benefits to helping make more attractive streets, towns and cities – should acknowledge this major new initiative. “Of course, there are a lot of things still to work for – there are still many questions about the ‘how’ it will happen, and ‘where’ precisely will it all be funded. And it probably still needs a big political champion to make it all happen. But, make no mistake, CWIS ( despite its terrible acronym!) should be a real ‘game changer’ for the future of cycling.”





SELLE ROYAL The Scientia POS in-situ in Netherlands bike shop Sander Tweewielers.

ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY? Selle Royal reckons its Scientia POS helps to take the uncertainty out of connecting riders with a saddle that is going to be right for them on the bike. Jonathon Harker gets himself comfy… WHETHER THEY are hard core endurance riders that spend hours on the road or fair weather cyclists who enjoy a biking jaunt at the weekend, the perfect fitting saddle is a rider holy grail. Plenty of saddle brands will, of course, say they offer a perfect fit, but linking customers with a saddle that truly suits them is harder than it sounds: You may have a diverse range of saddles, but how are you going make sure a customer gets one that is right for them? Selle Royal is one of the labels to offer a retail solution. Selle Royal launched its Scientia ‘perfect fit’ saddles at Eurobike 2015 and they have been available to dealers since 2015 via exclusive distributor Raleigh. So how exactly does retail slot into the perfect fit saddle equation? BikeBiz asked Selle Royal’s marketing coordinator Monica Savio... POS is key to getting the right fit for a customer. Can you take us through how it works? The main POS kit comprises of a self-standing display with all nine 34 BIKEBIZ MAY

available saddle variants and a measuring stool. The Measuring Tool is also available standalone, either to supplement Flex Kits in smaller store or to add a second tool in larger stores. The stool is key as it enables the customers to accurately establish

they are going to be stocking the range? Yes, it’s vital for each shop to have the measuring stool and display as it’s fundamental for sales. It ensures customers have the best possible service and walk away with a product tailored to them.

“ We’ve placed Scientia POS in over 2,000 shops.” Monica Savio, Selle Royal their specific variation. This is done via a gel pad on the stool surface making contact with the seated customer and recording the position of their sit bones. A measurement is then calculated using the distance between the sit bones on the gel pad. This is known as the ischial variation measure. The readings then translate to three saddle widths: <11cm= Small, 11-13=Medium, >13cm=Large. Do shops need to have the POS if

The POS unit comes in two options to cater for a variety of dealership sizes. The ‘Advanced’ option comes with the Scientia Measuring tool as standard with the display box fully assembled and stocked with product right out of the box – the huge benefit being no construction time involved and no tools are required. All nine Scientia models are included and clearly displayed. The slightly smaller ‘Flexi’ option means dealers can choose two of

three sections of the full Scientia range that best reflect their typical customers’ requirements. These are delivered fully assembled and can slot right onto their existing walls. Bernardo Fiorini, Selle Royal retail specialist says: “Having the best products is great, and having a strong understanding of them is very valuable – but having the best thought-through Point Of Purchase material to present choices and benefits to customers quickly and easily, is best for everyone.” How has the reaction been? Across Europe, the reaction was excellent. We have now placed the Scientia POS in over 2,000 shops globally. As the season is building, lots of dealers have made preorders for the entire display unit. We would like the full POS unit and saddles to be available in over 5,000 shops globally within the next year. As customers become more familiar with the Scientia range, we would like to see it expanded to additional disciplines. BIKEBIZ.COM

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How do independent retailers compete with retail’s big players? Identifying USPs and installing incentives to grow customer loyalty are some of the ways shops can take on the retail big players. Citrus-Lime head of sales and marketing Grant Hadwin provides the tips…

NOT EVERY retailer has the bottomless pockets that the likes of John Lewis have so how do smaller retailers compete? Firstly you should look at what you do well and see what you can improve. You need a compelling commercial offering and in modern retail there are a few things you need to tick off the list which are relatively easy wins. Your retail business needs to be trading both in-store and online or at least be able to trade in-store and show what you have available in-store to buy on your website. Basically you need to be trading online or using your website to drive customers in store through the use of Click and Collect. Again you only need to look at John Lewis to see a good example of this, with 60 per cent of its trade happening in store, 20 per cent being traditional Ecommerce / Mail Order and the other 20 per cent being Click and Collect. So by these figures if you don’t trade online you have said good bye to 20 per cent of your potential business and if you don’t have the ability to offer Click and Collect then another 20 per cent will be gone and building a sustainable business when you have lost 40 per cent of your potential business is very difficult indeed. So arguably the most important thing in retail at the moment is to have the right commercial offering, but once you have invested right what other actions should you focus on? BIKEBIZ.COM

Q WHAT IS YOUR USP? It is essential that every independent retailer knows who they are in the market place and what their USP is. Arguably the biggest asset every independent has is the ‘people’, we all know people buy so making sure your staff are ‘specialists’ and can get this message across to your customers is vital. Q FIRST RATE, ‘PERSONAL’ CUSTOMER SERVICE The product knowledge needs to be followed up by first rate customer service: It is going the

loyal customers is essential, customers will come back to you if you give them a reason to. The benefits of a loyalty scheme are increased profit, increased average transaction value and improved customer satisfaction. They can also be used to attract new customers instead of offering discounts – you offer points which may or may not be redeemed again increasing profits. You can also use a loyalty scheme to increase brand awareness and capture data which can lead to more targeted marketing.

“As an IBD you have the opportunity to really get to know your customers.” Grant Hadwin, Citrus-Lime extra mile for your customers and making sure they feel appreciated. As an IBD you have the unique opportunity to really get to know your customers. When you build relationships with your customers you will add value to your business. By connecting with your customers you can learn about them and build profiles which can be used to build relationships and ultimately present your customers with products and service that are relevant to them. Q CUSTOMER LOYALTY Building relationships with your customer can be tough. Rewarding

Q BUILDING A BRAND AND SPECIALIST REPUTATION Brand awareness is key, having the right products and brands in-store and using them as an extension of your own brand. Brand loyalty is key as is ranging the right products, especially if you are perceived to be a specialist of your industry. Q RETAIL MARKETING Let’s face it, everyone now owns a smartphone and uses it to research virtually every hobbyist product purchased in modern day retail. However, this does start in-store with your cashiers picking up

customers details to build that database. Online newsletters are a key part of any marketing strategy, as it not only allows you to sell to customers who are interested in you and your products but connects with them through news stories and the like. When we first launch a site, we find the best way of driving traffic and sales to a website is through Google Shopping. Google is king when it comes to search and what do people do when they go online to find a product for the first time? They ‘Google’ it. So, I cannot stress how important it is to have your product in the shopping section of Google. By using some great online tools, backed up by good product knowledge, customer service and a strong commercial offering is the starting point for success. So how do independent retailers compete with the big players of retail? You need to take the best bits of their offering and improve it with something that they can never match: Your ability to build relationships with your customers, through high quality customer service, and specialist product knowledge. You can’t get away from the fact you need to be trading in-store and online. If you are not doing so then you are not on the right path to building a sustainable retail business and you are handing your business over to the larger retailers. BIKEBIZ MAY 39

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TALKING ALL THINGS TWEEKS Kieran Howells talks to Head of E-commerce Thomas Sloan and Sales Director Chris Turner about how Tweeks became an award winning industry player... Can you tell us about the history of the company? Demon Tweeks started in 1971 by a chap called Alan Minshaw. He was a keen motor racer and was sourcing parts for people and that turned into a business. It’s always been a family-owned and run business and it developed, grew and diversified. As we’re a wheels business we’ve always talked to lots of people who are keen cyclists too, and that developed into a keen interest in cycling, which has been going now nine years. What do you think is the key to great customer service? That’s easy, it’s what Alan set out to do forty-five years ago. There needs to be people on the phone, on the website and in person to make sure we have impeccable stock. It’s really simple, but it’s where most businesses fall down. We’ve seen the results of this, we rank a 9.5 on trust pilot and people are always talking about our wide offering and strong delivery. BIKEBIZ.COM

A lot of companies saw a large dip in sales at the end of last year, did that affect Tweeks? I think we’ve done very well in that time because we’ve given the customer what they want. We’ve actually seen increases. Getting the BikeBiz best independent dealer has boosted our recognition in the market as well. It really convinced our customers to trust Tweeks Cycles. We do see different trends in payment options. Things like

Tweeks Cycles make the move to such a huge space? We’ve actually been at this site for over twenty years, although we’ve continued to develop and expand it. When we moved here we only had around 60 people, we now have around 170 people, including a fantastic warehouse team. Our operations director has an aviation operations background, with really great discipline and the structure of the warehouse is really very

“We have impeccable stock. It’s where most businesses fall down” Thomas Sloan,Tweeks payment plans have taken off. People are spending their money more wisely across the board in the cycling industry. You are currently based in a generously sized 130,000 square foot warehouse. When did

efficient. We offer next day delivery in the UK five days a week, on any order placed before 4pm. Our warehouse also houses our showroom here in Wrexham. It’s our statement to the local community, to let them know that they can come and feel the product

and see it in person. To not do that and purely be online, you might be servicing the majority of customers but you’re still missing out on a vital part of the offer. Is that human element in service important when you were setting up the online side of the business? Definitely, yes. You’ve got to have great, well informed staff in all stages of the operation. We have knowledgeable people in the offices giving customer service and warehouse floor, who have all actually tested the products and know about them. On the website we’ve also got people who are real passionate cyclists, so that when they’re out there on the website interacting with our customers or when they are writing customer-facing copy, they know all about the cyclists’ view. It helps the process because these are the people who are using it every day. BIKEBIZ MAY 41

BIKE SHOP TOOLS PICTURED: Guru Fit in Leisure Lakes, Daventry

How to generate revenue with bike fitting services How do you become a “fit first” retailer? Morten Kristiansen, general manager of Guru, has tips on how to overcome the obstacles of implementing a new aspect of service in retailers’ daily businesses… CYCLING HAS seen tremendous growth – British Cycling membership has doubled since 2008 to 50,000 – it is terrific news for bicycle retailers looking to grow. Online shopping is gaining traction and no bike shop owner underestimates the need to drive consumers into their shops. The challenge is to gain the competitive edge and transition successfully into 21st century bicycle retail. Thriving in the UK bike industry are shops that have adopted a fit first philosophy; providing sizing and fitting services to every customer. Service and good relationships build growth; fitting is an opportunity that really connects a rider and staff member, which in turn solidifies sales. Using the latest tech UK shops are also running management tools to know how much financial gain there is from offering sizing or fitting. Tools such as these provide data from fit revenue, increased P&A, bike sales and investment in staff education. Chris Boon, owner of TRI UK, provided a sizing service to the 42 BIKEBIZ MAY

consumer before buying a bike from his booth at the 2016 London Bike Show: “In two days my team sold 35 bikes. 30 were closed using the Guru bike fit system and fitting. All our customers have total faith that they have bought the right bike through experiencing the Guru Fit System and our qualified staff members. We need a second Guru just to keep up with demand.”

take the concept of a good fit for granted. Within cycling, fitting has for many years been for the privileged and informed few, often entailing a multiple-hour cumbersome process. In modern retail, a more simplistic and efficient fitting or “sizing” should be the primary focus for the average retailer. It is critical for bike retailers to recognise that the majority of

“Thriving in the UK bike industry are shops that have adopted a fit first philosophy” Fit and personalisation is so intrinsic to our daily lives that we overlook the significant role it plays in everyday tasks. We manipulate desk chairs, driving position and shoe sizing to personalise fit, just to name a few. Even tying shoelaces is an act of personalised fit. We constantly make minor adjustments to make our lives easier and more comfortable to the point that we

customers expects service and advice an internet browser does not provide, but they are still looking for an efficient spend of their valuable time. Sizing a bike to a rider in an efficient, technology driven and repeatable way is perhaps the most important part of a bricks and mortar offering. And it should be applicable to all bikes.

Nothing about bike fitting and why we do it is shockingly new, what is new is these services are not just for the elite cyclist or an injured athlete. Crunching the numbers at Guru, this is a winning formula as our data shows closing rates of a bike sale after a fit is upwards of 90 per cent across our global dealer network. That is significant especially when on average our shops are doing 20 to 25 fits a month globally. In addition, we have found that the key to a successful fit first approach is to analyse the data surrounding fitting. Each of our retailers have access to complete usage data reports on their fit system plus global and regional usage reports. Perhaps even more important, the customers data is saved for future marketing and sales use. Westbrook Cycles, Leisure Lakes and Tri UK are all top IBDs who have adopted a fit first philosophy and overcome obstacles of implementing a new aspect of service in their daily business and won. BIKEBIZ.COM


Average UK shopper spends £6,000 online ActSmart and i-BikeShop say why – and how – bike shops should be on the ‘net… TRADITIONAL BUSINESS models based in bricks and mortar shops have evolved and many retailers are moving to multichannel operations. This is no surprise, as the average UK online shopper spends more than £6,000 a year online. Businesses with an e-commerce channel are virtually open 24/7, allowing customers to browse and purchase at a time to suit them. With UK consumers likely to shop online, it’s essential for retailers to explore their options. But e-commerce websites are expensive and time-consuming, right? Wrong. There are solutions available to help get your business online – for less than you may think. Most retailers will have an online presence, which can help to show customers who you are and what you do, but the addition of e-commerce will help to increase sales. Si Watts, the man behind i-BikeShop, suggests having a ‘real-time’ e-commerce site can provide your customers with the

information they need to decide whether yours in the shop for them. “There will always be individuals capable of buying online, taking that bike from its box and assembling it correctly. They will continue to extol the virtues of buying in that way. But for the majority, walking in store and walking out with their dream ride is more important. To gain that sale, however, those consumers need to

know that you have it in stock when they require it. A website is the perfect tool to furnish them with that information – particularly if it is tied in “real-time” to an in-store stock system like Seanic Retail.” With the rise of click and collect, customers can buy online at a time and place to suit them. However click-and-collect can only be operated with a site that carries real time stock information. Alongside click-and-collect, online retail finance applications are growing quickly too. Whether because of ease or the appeal of not having to hand over details face -to-face and stand the potential embarrassment of rejection – online Ride it away finance applications now account for more purchases on finance than in-store. ACT has recently teamed up with i-BikeShop to offer bike retailers the opportunity to get online with a membership discount available, saving you £125.

I-BIKESHOP KEY FEATURES Q Half price set-up for any new Standard or Premium site – save £125 Q Free access to the bike central database for one model season with a new Standard or Premium site – save £400+VAT Q Free integration with Ride it away (V12) retail finance included as standard Q Shopping cart as standard and optional secure server, allowing the site’s visitors to order online Q Upload unlimited products into unlimited categories and showrooms – all managed by the retailer Q Mailing list to maintain contact with current and prospective customers Q Automatic system elements to keep your homepage fresh with little or no effort from you Q Unique professional design

Stability in independent cycle retail after all Data from the Local Data Company and BIRA shows that despite difficult trading in 2015, independent cycle shop numbers have not been adversely affected, writes Jonathon Harker… THE NUMBER of independent cycle shops opening and closing in the UK has remained static, with equal numbers opening and closing in 2015. These statistics from the Local Data Company were released to BikeBiz as part of a wider look at the state of the independent retail nation with BIRA (British Independent Retailers Association). While independent cycle shop numbers are largely static, chain cycle shop numbers increased by a modest 1.5 per cent last year. The steady numbers of IBDs showed the strength of the sector compared with the overall health of independent shops in the UK. The number of independent shops opening has reduced from 11 a day in 2010 to just one a week in 2015. The statistics revealed that independent shop numbers grew just 0.11 per cent (+117) in 2015 versus a peak of growth of four per cent (+1,436) in 2010.


Retailers large and small have proved vulnerable in recent years

In 2015, 34,288 independents opened while 33,812 shut. In 2014, 69,207 opened while 34,324 closed. Greater London saw the biggest decline in independent shops, down 347 units. The South West saw the largest change in fortune with a net increase of just +27 units in 2015 compared with +231 in 2014.

“Independents are a key part of our High Streets and this is seen both in the fact they represent a majority (65 per cent) of the units but also the diversity and vibrancy they bring along with their direct connection to local economies,” said Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company. “Whilst the numbers remain positive the dramatic decline in the growth of

independents from eleven openings a day to just one a week reflects the challenges many independent businesses face. A number of factors are at play but one of the major factors has been the move of many ‘High Street’ anchor retailers such as Next, M&S and River Island moving from the High Street shop out of town retail parks. These moves result in lower footfall volumes as people follow them out of town, which has a big impact for the smaller retailers left behind.” Michael Weedon, deputy chief exec of BIRA, said of the report: “Right under our noses great shifts in the composition of our High Streets continue to develop. “But within the figures we see a powerful rebalancing away from product based retail towards service providers, leisure operators and convenience operators.”



IS THE UK SHOWING SIGNS OF FULFILLING ELECTRIC POTENTIAL? Industry pundits seeking any telling signs of a surge in the electric bike sector here in Britain had plenty of encouraging portents to mull over this month. Are we at the tipping point...?

Evans back in electric bikes AFTER 25 years of being ‘in and out’ of the e-bike market, Evans Cycles has teamed up with specialist distributor EBCO to offer electric bikes to its customers. EBCO announced that Evans had joined its shop network with a six store strategic trial, with a view to rolling out to more outlets during the year. Rutland Cycling was also named by the distributor as having increased its electric bike stocks. Evans Cycles’ Joel Natale, commercial director of Bikes & Own Brand, said: “Evans Cycles has been in and out of the e-bike

market like many others over the last 25 years. Having been burnt previously it made sense to partner with suppliers we trust who could support their brand and our stores like EBCO. We can all see the rise of e-bike use and the maturing of the market in Europe, as such it felt like the right time to re-enter the e-bike market.” According to EBCO, the move equates to “proof positive that electric bikes are earning their position in mainstream cycling and have reached that important tipping point”. publisher enters the electric field

E-bike pilot government report due this summer F-AT (Farrelly Atkinson) is launching an e-bike consumer site this spring, aimed at guiding consumers through the market with expertly written buyer’s guides and features as well as in-depth reviews of the latest bikes. Editor Dave Atkinson said: “Anyone who’s visited Eurobike over the past decade has witnessed the explosion in electric bikes on the continent. While we’ve lagged behind a bit in the UK, the next few BIKEBIZ.COM

years are going to be when the e-bike market really takes off, driven both by the practicality of electric bikes as a transport solution and also their desirability as a leisure product. “If time really is the new wealth, e-bikes help you cram more fun into limited time, and the technology is evolving and maturing. Now is the time to dive in, and we’ll be there to help consumers make an educated choice.”

THE GOVERNMENT’S £700,000 pilot into e-bikes closed in spring and electric sector pundits are eagerly anticipating the official report this summer, which promises to have implications for electric bikes. Eleven projects across England were part of the DfT-funded Shared Electric Bike Programme, with an aim to explore which places, people and journey purposes are best suited to pooled electric bikes. The pilot funded projects around England, including a cash injection for cargo delivery bike firm

Sponsored by

Outspoken in Norwich and Cambridge (see BikeBiz issue 118, Nov 2015 and pictured above). Other projects benefiting from DfT cash were Oxford Hour Bikes, New Forest PEDAL and Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre. Ahead of the report’s publication, the government has – encouragingly for the assisted market – said that it will continue to promote the use of EAPCS (Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles) “building on the lessons of the pilot for use by workplaces and educational facilities”. BIKEBIZ MAY 47


Talking electric with Lapierre With the e-bike market stirring up the industry into a frenzy of supporters and those that question its UK potential, Jonathon Harker talks to cycling stalwart Lapierre about their take on the electric bike sector... Lapierre says the e-bike market is ‘growing exponentially’

What factors did the Lapierre Overvolt designers have in mind when they created the range? AT LAPIERRE we apply the same logic to the e-bikes as to our non-electric range. The bike needs to feel good to ride, and correspond to the intended user’s needs. So with the Overvolt MTB range we aim at a fun playful ride that is as close as possible in feel to our standard MTB range. What makes a great e-bike is one that you get on, take a first ride and finish smiling. It is about more than the pedalling assistance, but also the handling and ride feel. What do you think the Lapierre Overvolt range has that the competition doesn’t? Quite simply our experience gained in 70 years of business and notably our experience in making mountain 48 BIKEBIZ MAY

bikes since the 1980s. Most e-bike riders are looking for the same thing as most non-ebike riders, they just want a little assistance on pedalling. To get the best feeling e-bike we use the same OST+ suspension system on the Overvolt FS as the Zesty and Spicy range.

We’ve always relied on pro riders for product development and have exactly the same strategy for electric bikes. On the Lifestyle range, we aim more at stability and security to make users feel at ease.

“E-bikes could be the key to getting more people out of cars and on bikes.” We then adapt the platform and the parts specced to the specific needs for e-bikes, due to the greater power delivery and speeds attained. We also have a large pool of testers, including Nico Vouilloz feeding back to us and helping us continuously develop products.

How do you see the e-bike market in five years? It’s growing exponentially and that is set to continue for some time. Bikes are going to continue to improve and feel more and more like “classic” bikes. A lot also comes down to the battery and

Sponsored by

motor technology. Batteries will become longer lasting, and then start to reduce in size and weight, enabling longer rides and a lighter overall bike, as well as a better weight distribution. Racing is also picking up and we are seeing a growing participation at the e-bike races. We also now have a specific Overvolt MTB team, and expect this to grow. On the urban side, electric bikes could be the key to getting more people out of cars and on bikes. Anyone worried about the effort of riding or arriving hot and sweaty at work can be put at ease and use an electric bike to get around. An arduous commute becomes more easily achievable and fun also. We see this as the future of urban mobility. Lapierre is available to the trade via Hotlines BIKEBIZ.COM


Recipe for success With customers wary of e-numbers and exactly what ingredients are used in what they’re chomping on, nutrition product suppliers have had to raise their game in recent years. Jonathon Harker chews over what today’s market has to offer…

ZYRO There are three new products in Torq’s 100 per cent natural range, including a Chew alternative to its gels, a Recovery bar and Torq’s Hypotonic – the brand’s answer to the electrolyte tablet. The Chew is Soil Association certified 100 per cent organic, packing in 30g of multi transportable carbs, in pineapple or mango. The Recovery bar builds on the successful drink, with a 3:1 proven carb mix.

POWERBAR 01727 798345 (Fisher) Powerbar has a new formula for the Energize Bar, but in terms of fresh product there are the Gingerbread and Salty Peanut flavoured Energize bars, again using natural products while packing in Powerbar’s trademark mix of carbs, C2Max.

MADISON MuleBar’s range is also heavy on the natural ingredients and the core energy bar comes in a wide variety of flavours, from Summer Pudding to Apple Strudel. The brand has also launched updated gels, made with Himalayan crystal salts and coming in five flavours: Apple and Cinnamon, Coffee and Guarana, Cherry, Salted Caramel and Lemon, Guarana and Ginger.





0844 811 2001


Energy and protein bars, waffles, gels and chews...Honey Stinger has them all. Also playing on the natural food angle – as you might expect for a brand named after the stuff bees make – the Colorado-based brand is distributed in the UK by 2pure.

Skratch Labs’ natural nutrition products includes the Hydration Mix which replaces the fluid and electrolytes lost in exercise, made with real fruit. Skratch has also launched all-natural Fruit Drop Energy Chews, delivering a hit of carbs and sugar.



01773 532690 (via Raleigh)

OTE has a handy starter pack containing products across its range to get you going. The wider line-up include powdered energy drinks, carb boosters, caffeine gels, hydro tabs, protein bars, recovery protein drinks and plenty more.

52 BIKEBIZ MAY Clif’s recent launches include the Coconut Chocolate Chip Clif Bar and a Mocha flavour Shot Gel. The bar uses natural products and joins six Clif Bar flavours in the UK. The Mocha Shot Gel packs coffee with choc, which you doubtless knew, but adds 50mg of caffeeine to pack a punch. Two other flavours are available.


01772 459 887


E O H S D A O R II .I 5 FLR F-1 SRP ÂŁ79.99 Ref: FLR F-15.III

Find your Local stockist at: or contact us on:, Tel: 01772 459 887


Off The Chain This month Kieran Howells takes a look at the best new products from the world of BMX including recent releases from WeThePeople, SNAFU and ODI.



The new Diamondback Script 20”BMX is aimed at the mid range market, with a retail price of just £300. 4130 Cro-mo main tubes make up the main frame, giving the Script the same geometry as the Diamondback team bikes.


The new updated RACEKOR sprocket from TLC Bikes (RRP 39.99) is machined from 7075-T6 aluminium, for maximum strength, whilst remaining lightweight. The sprocket comes in 25 tooth only, and was designed by team rider Callum Argent.

The latest in Haro’s retro series is the 1985 Freestyle handlebars (RRP £59.99). The re-issued bars are crafted to mimic the classic pair, and are made to the exact specs of the originals. The bars are comprised of 100 per cent chromoly straight gauge tubing.



WeThePeople’s new Supreme Casette Hub (RRP £96.99) has been a long time in the making. Made from 6061-T6 alloys, the hub shell houses three high quality sealed bearings and a full IGUS bushing driver system. The whole hub weighs in at 391 grams.


Made from ultra durable 7075 alloy, the Snafu V2 BMX Stem (RRP £79.99) comes in a range of colours including black and ‘Jet Fuel’ (a high polish rose tinted metallic finish). The stem comes in 52mm making it suitable for most frames and handlebars.





The Brave uses D30 inserts, which enables it to withstand double the number of impacts compared to normal composite helmets. The Brave features an MX-style visor and moulded ribs on the shell to keep goggle straps in place when riding. RRP is £199.99.

ODI’s latest offerings include the Longneck Pro BMX grips (RRP £9.99). The grips feature an open-ended design to accommodate bar plugs, and are constructed of ODI’s own grip soft compound. The ribbed design aid comfort, whilst increasing grip.



The Segment JR celebrates the classic film series with high gloss Star Wars graphics.The eight internal segments are connected by a reinforcing skeleton, which sits flush with the exterior hard shell. The helmet features Bell’s own FormFit technology. RRP is £31.99.


The Moto 20XL bars (RRP £59.99) are designed for lightness and strength, whilst retaining durability. The seven series all-aluminium modular bars are complemented by a bolt on cross brace, cutting down on welding bulk and making the bars just 638g in weight.





International Sales Manager Competitive package, with great benefits

Do you have a passion for cycling and international travel? Is so, this could be the job for you as International Sales Manager. Weldite manufacture the world’s most comprehensive and innovative range of bike maintenance products. They work closely with, and support, leading race teams who use their products and feature regularly in leading magazines all over the world. As International Sales Manager you will develop the existing customer base in 46 countries, but also develop new opportunities around the world through research and market information. This, in conjunction with the company sales and marketing strategy, will combine to ensure maximum market penetration is achieved for the Brands. DUTIES WILL BE TO: X Initiate and manage marketing programmes for the business in conjunction with the agreed strategies. X Develop promotions for the distributors and then implement these in conjunction with country specific offers to increase sales on highlighted products. X Promote the Weldtite Brands at International Trade shows and Distributor house shows, which may include some weekend working for which time off in lieu would be agreed. X Work to develop an excellent understanding of all the company’s products and brands, and endeavour to be aware of all competitor activity within the bicycle market both nationally and internationally. X Initiate and strengthen loyal customer relationships and ensure excellent standards of service are maintained and achieved in conjunction with the marketing initiatives. For more information and a full role outline, please contact Becki Moore at Emmerson Kitney on 01482 628808. To apply send an up to date CV to

Please note all 3rd party application will be forwarded to Emmerson Kitney, as we are working exclusively and retained with the client.


Braking up Could it be a big year for the braking category, buoyed by disc brakes being used by pro riders on the road? Jonathon Harker looks at some of the various braking options available to stock…


01978 356744


01525 381347

Miche’s Primato brakes are a great ‘made in Italy’ upgrade for customers at an affordable price, with a strong dealer margin promised for stores. Many OE customers choose Miche brakes as a quality, Italian alternative to the bigger brands, we’re told.


01353 662 662

Fibrax has been manufacturing brake pads here in the UK (Wrexham) since 1902. The friction material is mixed then poured into a 200ton pressure compression machine, then glued to the backing plate and painted, bonded and grinded to precision.

Dia Compe offers a choice of over 130 rim brakes, plus north of 130 levers, with cables, spares, hoods and more from the all-encompassing range. Ison also carries Fibrax (left), Fire Wire’s reusable cable ends and Genetic, as well Volume and Demolition.



See below

Carried by Amba, i-ride and Scoop, Koolstop created the first cycle brake pad with internal frames and an air cooled heat sink, plus the famous salmon coloured compound. The firm has recently developed special compounds for electric bikes.


Shimano’s braking line-up includes new Tiagra-grade disc brakes (BR-RS405) with hydraulic calipers, with four road disc brake models to choose from. Sitting under the 105 and Ultegra, they are designed with a flat mount brake caliper.





The Box Eclipse V Brake comes in two arm lengths (108 and 85mm) in cold forged 60661-T6 aluminium. Both have 35mm of vertical brake pad adjustment. The Box Genius Long Reach Lever have a built-in spring return, relatively rare for a lightweight lever.

Formula’s R1 racing brakes are ultra-light, with titanium hardware, Kevlar braided hose and composite reservoir cap. The Italian brand’s R0 is more powerful, taking a WC DH level brake system and making it light enough for the enduro and trail markets.



via Fisher and Raleigh

SRAM’s all-new Rival 1 delivers 1x to the road, gravel and tri markets, with cassette options from 11-25 to 10-42. Meanwhile, Level takes DH WC winning-tech and packs into a smaller, lighter package, with braking optimised by DirectLink lever design.


Magura’s MT8 Next XC/AM brakes is a full carbon two-finger brake lever, streamlined with Carbolay and weighing just 299g (£209.99). The MT2 Next Brakes are for everyday riding, using Carbotecture tech to keep it light, with carbon construction.


TO ADVERTISE For more details and to advertise, contact Richard Setters on 0207 354 6000 or email


GET LISTED Email your updated details NOW to






p54 Brompton boss gets honoured


Will Butler-Adams is to become an OBE. We caught up with him en route to Buckingham Palace.


Show business

p34 Innovation Lab

p62 Soho Bikes

Who is innovating at the London Bike Show?

p66 Urban bikes

We speak to the months-old London business

SEPTEMBER 2016 Children’s Bikes, Trailer Bikes, Helmets & Accessories Indoor Training Clothing & Accessories: Winter & Reflective OCTOBER 2016 Regional Spotlight: The Midlands Cycle Show issue: Extra distribution NOVEMBER 2016 Cycling Media Awards 2016

Products to cover your noggin for the road, MTB and beyond

03 BB109 EditorialCover_fina l.indd 1

ISSUE 112 MAY 2015

@bikebizonline | facebook.c





DECEMBER 2016 Retail Survey 2016



p25 Chicken rides the wave

p47 X-treme apparel

BikeBiz paid a visit to Chicken CycleKit, which has been making the most of the road cycling wave

We get down to the nitty gritty with some of the sector’s big names…

AUGUST 2016 Eurobike issue Regional Spotlight: North England & Scotland

p71 Helmets

Folders, city bikes and more are covered in our round-up

Are there too many nutrition brands in the cycle market?

Includes Women of the Year Supplement

p50 Go-Ride What has a year of bike industry support achieved at the Go-Ride grass roots?

What is Fisher Outdoor Leisure doing to back independent dealers?

p17 Energy to burn

JULY 2016 Women of the Year issue: Extra distribution Cycle Lights Drive Train: Chains, Gears & Cranks


We bring you reports and previews from a huge range of bike shows, including Core Bike, the Bike Place, iceBike*, the Bike Show, Bike Expo, Claud Butler, Dawes Cycles…a London nd more


JUNE 2016 Cyclocross Bikes & Accessories Regional Spotlight: London & South East


p48 Fisher lines up Zipp support

Verona-based X-bionic is seeking a bigger presence in the UK. We headed to their factory to see the gear first-hand

Made in

Includes the BikeBiz Directory 2017

the UK

Regional Spotlight: Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland

British manufacturers big and small are covered in our special feature, as are the highlight builds from the Bespoked UK handmad e bike show, starting page 44.


JANUARY 2017 Core Bike Show issue: Extra distribution Bike Place Show Issue: Extra Distribution

p61 Cycling celebs

p53 In a Spin

Velorution is the place to be to spot starry-riders, it seems...

p14 Head-to-toe

A brand new location for this month’s quirky Spin London

p75 Women’s cycling

Giro is pitching its full apparel line-up to the trade

We round-up bikes and P&A pitched at female cyclists

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@bikebizonline | facebook.c






p13 Eurobike previews

FEBRUARY 2017 London Bike Show issue: Extra distribution Made in Britain: Manufacturing Special



p27 Pumped up

p35 Northern exposure

Find out how SKS turned into a €50 million company as BikeBiz is let loose in the brand’s head quarters in Sundern, Germany

BikeBiz was among a select bunch of UK cycle journos that made it to Eurobike’s new preview media days in Austria

Businesses in Scotland and the North of England speak out in this month’s spotlight


It’s new products galore and more show coverage than you can shake a mini pump at, including pre-Eurobike previews, brought to you from across the world (well, Europe and the US)…

p8–9, p13–p24, p27–2 8 and p48

MARCH 2017 Innovation Lab special Cycle Media Focus: Magazines & Websites

p51 Hub and Spoke

Harlow’s social enterprise has become a focal point for locals



Our guide to some of the latest lights for dealers to stock

Cameras and other gadgets now available to retailers


Some of the latest bikes and clothing built for off-roading

03 BB115 EditorialCover_fina l.indd 1


APRIL 2017 Regional Spotlight: Wales & South West

@bikebizonline | facebook.c





p11 The BA’s A-Team

Includes Brit List supplement




p26 Fabric unpicked

Bicycle Association boss Paul Stewart tells us why the BA is reaching out to the industry to strengthen its ranks

Didn’t go to Eurobike? We bring you new product from GT, Cannondale and Fabric, only without the flights

p53 You be the judge


How do you plead? Guilty of not getting around to judging the BikeBiz Awards? There’s still time!


MAY 2017 The UK’s Top 20 IBDs Energy & Nutrition


Cycle Show 2015 is set to be the biggest yet, meanwhile Core Bike debut, proving the UK Live has an impressive trade’s appetite for cycle events shows no sign of fading…

p19–29 & p36–42

p8 Out in the country

The UK’s largest outdoor trade show takes place next month.

p49 i-ride around

The Velodrome Tour is back. We went along to i-ride’s show

p63 Winter clothing

It’s cold ‘oop North and ‘daan South too. Time to layer up

p73 Children’s bikes

There’s life in the kid’s market yet with plenty to stock in

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ISSUE 110 MARCH 2015

@bikebizonline | facebook.c


Want to advertise in any of these issues? Contact Richard Setters 0207 354 6000 or email




p41 The show’s not over




p16 Most Excel-lent bikes

Bike Expo rounds off the early show season off. We provide a preview of what to see at the revamped Manchester event

p61 Assisted sales We’ve something of an electric bike extravaganza this month, with a

BikeBiz trawls the London Bike Show for hot new product and fresh deals. Also includes scooters.

sector guide, opinion and news.

Hold the front page It’s been a big 12 months for the cycle world’s media, with takeovers and launches galore. We wrap up the deals and go in-depth.

Want your company or product to be involved with any of these features? Contact Jonathon Harker or call 01992 515307


p13 Raleigh your resources

News from the b

p24 Pearson’s Cycles




NEW PRODUCTS This month Kieran Howells talks about a versatile triathlon bag from Elite, a brand new shackle lock from Oxford, a new easily stored jacket from HOY and the long awaited Eagle groupset from SRAM

ELITE TRI BOX NEW FROM Elite comes the versatile Tri Box sports bag (RRP £119.98). The Tri Box was designed to house and organise triathlon gear, and includes a pull-out shoe bag with sewn-in towel mat. Other features include binding on the lid to securely store a helmet, a side panel pocket designed to fit two large

OXFORD SHACKLE 14 water bottles and a zipped front pocket for valuables. The bag can be secured via external zips on all sides, making it completely collapsible and adding versatility to the design. The outer skin of the Tri Box is made from waterproof treated material, and includes two wide arm straps, making it easy to transport.

THE OXFORD Shackle bike lock features a myriad of improvements on previous models. The heavy duty U-Lock features a 14mm hardened steel shackle which is coated in soft rubber ensuring that it won’t scratch the user’s bike frame when applied. The unit also features a shock resistant rubber coated

lock barrel with a covered locking mechanism. An included carry bracket can be secured to the user’s bike frame to transport the lock with ease. Also included in the package is a heavy-duty cable, which can be used to secure the wheels to the bikes frame. The lock comes supplied with a set of three keys. RRP is £49.99



THE MUCH-anticipated SRAM Eagle groupset is available in two varying models. The eye catching gold titanium nitride finished XX1 (RRP £1173.00) has its sights set firmly on the cross-country racing market, with the XO1 (RRP £1005.00) groupset aimed more at the trail riders market. With twelve gears and a ten to fifty

THIS NEW jacket from Vulpine (RRP £119.00) is designed around the concept of being easily rolled up and stored until needed for those long rides through fastchanging weather. Available in both black and an eye-catching shade of red, both colours feature reflective branding on the front and back making the


tooth cassette on both, the real differences come in the form of the new super light, fully carbon chain set on the XX1, whereas the XO1 features the same foam core chain set seen on older group sets. Both sets feature a range of notable improvements including thinner chains and a new chain ring, designed to decrease wear.

jacket appropriate for night rides. The Portixol jacket is optimised for comfort and efficiency, with an angled neck specifically designed to keep rain out. It’s extremely light, and uses a highly breathable 2.5 layer lightweight Ripstop fabric with under-arm and shoulder vents to keep the rider dry and aerated. BIKEBIZ MAY 63










In association with




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

ANSMANN UK e-BIKE centre, Unit 12, RO24, Harlow Business Park, Harlow, Essex, CM19 5QB Tel: 0870 609 2233 | Web:

BOB ELLIOT AND CO LTD Unit C4 Binary Court, Matrix Park, Western Avenue, Buckshaw Village, Chorley, PR7 7NB Tel: 01772 459 887 | Web:

PITBITZ LTD Unit 6 Thorpe Drive, Thorpe Way Industrial Estate, Banbury, Oxon, OX16 4UZ Tel: 01295 269333 |

I-RIDE 7-8B Mid Sussex Business Park, Ditchling Common Industrial Estate, Folders Lane East, Ditchling, Sussex, BN6 8SE Tel: 01444 243000 | Web:

JUNGLE PRODUCTS LTD Unit 3, The Cedar, New York Mills, Summerbridge, HG3 4LA Tel: 01423 780088 | Web:

CONTINENTAL North Parade, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, 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: CYCLEMILES 9 Queen Anne’s Drive, Havant, PO93PG Tel: 02392 455 355 | Web: MAXXIS TYRES Unit 3 Cobalt Centre, Siskin Parkway East, Middlemarch Business Park, Coventry, CV34PE Tel: 024 7688 9775 | Web: DYNAMO COVER Drake House, Plymouth Road, Penarth, CF64 3TP Tel: 0333 358 33 20 | Web:

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

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

FISHER OUTDOOR LEISURE LIMITED 8/9 Brick Knoll Park, Ashley Road, St Albans, Herts, AL1 5UG Tel: 01727 798345 | Web:

MDI LIMITED Unit 4, Wellington Point, Amy Johnson Way, Blackpool Business Park, Blackpool, FY42RG Tel: 01253 343090 | Web:

MEALOR-CLARKE CYCLE SPARES LTD Unit 1, Eastlands Road, Leiston, Suffolk, IP16 4LL Tel: 01728830055/01728605970 Web:

MERIDA BICYCLES LTD Unit 13, Nottingham South and Wilford Industrial Estate, Ruddington Lane, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7EP Tel: 0115 981 7788 | Web:

If you’d like to find out more or require additional copies please contact or call him on 020 7354 6000

MOORE LARGE AND CO LTD Sinfin Lane Industrial Estate, Sinfin Lane, Derby, DE24 9GL Tel: 01332 274252 | Web:

NORTH SPORTS 38 Kingston Avenue, Neilston, Glasgow, East Renfrewshire, G783JG Tel: 07746 933795 | Web:

PALIGAP LTD Unit 2 Danbury House, Great Western Park, Armstrong Way, Yate, Bristol, BS37 5NG Tel: 01454 313 116 | Web:

RALEIGH UK LTD Church Street, Eastwood, Nottingham, NG16 3HT Tel: 01773 532600 Web: |

REECE CYCLES PLC 100 Alcester Street, Birmingham, B12 0QB Tel: 0121 622 0180 | Web:

RUBENA Unit N & M, Tyburn Trading Estate, Ashfold Farm Raod, Birmingham, West Midlands, B24 9QG Tel: 0800 281413 | Web:

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:

The BikeBiz Directory 2016 is out now, providing the industry with a must-have guide to the UK’s retailers, distributors, manufacturers and related businesses. DISTRIBUTION AND WHOLESALE









THE CYCLE DIVISION Unit 27 Gatehouse Enterprise Centre, Albert Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 3QD Tel: 01484 456137 | Web:

HARDNUTZ Unit 8 Rocheview off Millhead Way, Purdeys Industrial Estate, Rochford, Essex, SS4 1LB Tel: 01702 530090 | Web:

VELOTECH SERVICES LTD 26-27 Western Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 0AH Tel: 0845 475 5339 | Web:

WINDWAVE Unit D2 and D3 Heritage Business Park, Heritage Way, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 4BG Tel: 02392 521912 | Web:

MAVIC Theta Building, Lyon Way, Frimley, Surrey, GU16 7ER Tel: 01276 404870 | Web:

WELDTITE PRODUCTS LTD Unit 9 Harrier Road, Humber Bridge Industrial Estate, Barton-on-Humber, Lincs, DN18 5RP Tel: 01652 660000 | Web:

ZYRO LTD Roundhouse Road, Faverdale Industrial Estate, Darlington, DL30UR Tel: 01325 741200 Web: |

BIKE SOUP 55a North Wharf Road, London, W2 1LA Tel: 020 7298278 | Web:

THE CYCLE SHOW 58 White Lion Street, Islington, London, N1 9PP Tel: 020 7288 6733 | Web:

ASSOS 57 Farringdon Road, London, EC1M 3JB Tel: 0203 2862225 | Web:

BUFFERA LIMITED Cranbourne House, Cranbourne Road, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, EN6 3JN Tel: +01920 460754 | Web:

MAXXIS TYRES Unit 3 Cobalt Centre, Siskin Parkway East, Middlemarch Business Park, Coventry, CV34PE Tel: 024 7688 9775 | Web:

MET HELMETS / BLUEGRASS 22-24 Ely Place, London, EC1N6TE Tel: 0207 1937 496 | Web:

MITAS Tyburn Trading Estate, Ashold Farm Road, Erdington, Birmingham, B24 9QG Tel: 0800 281 413 | Web:

X-BIONIC Trerè Innovation s.r.l. Unipersonale Via Parma, 70 C. 46041 Asola (MN). Italy Tel: +39 0376 718623 | Web:

CYCLING SCOTLAND 24 Blythswood Square, Glasgow, G2 4BG Tel: 0141 229 5350 | Web:

insuring the UK’s cycle retailers

CYCLEGUARD INSURANCE Southgate house, Southgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1UB Tel: 0844 826 2297 | Web:

ONE WAY DISTRIBUTION Tel: 0031 10345 3510 | Web:

QUELLA Unit 1 & 2 Breckenwood Road, Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire, CB21 5DQ Tel: 01223 782 039 | Web:

BikeBiz Directory 2016 is now available to view online at DARE2B Unit 8-9 Mercury Park, Mercury Way, Urmston, Manchester, M41 7LY Tel: 0844 811 2939 | Web:


ROZONE LIMITED Queen Street, Darlaston, Wednesbury, West Midlands. WS10 8JB Tel: 0121 526 8181 | Web:




2WT Ltd 63 Baddow Hall Crescent, Chelmsford, CM2 7BX Tel: 07885 788203 Web:

All-City 6400 West 105TH Street, Bloomington, USA, MN 55438 Tel: 1-888-4AC-BIKE Web:

2x2 Worldwide Unit 6, Hall End Business Park, Dordon, Tamworth, Staffs, B78 1SX Tel: 01827 331099 Web:

Always Riding Ltd Riverside Business Centre, Haldone Place, London, SW18 4UQ Web:

4 Down Distribution Unit 6 North Ridge Business Park, Haywood Way, Hastings, East Sussex, TN35 4PP Tel: 01424 433 074 Web:

Amba Marketing (UK) Ltd 5 Budlake Units, Budlake Road, Marsh Barton, EX2 8PY Tel: 01392 829903 Web:

50cycles Unit M, Little Moor Lane, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 1SF Tel: 01509 217775 Web:

Andy BrayAgencies T/A 36 Middlecroft Lane, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 3DJ Tel: 07896 124968 Web:

Assos 57 Farringdon Road, London, EC1M 3JB Tel: 0203 2862225 Web: ATB Sales Ltd Whitworth Road, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, TN37 7PZ Tel: 01424 753566 Web:

A Action Cameras The Light Box, PC127, 112 Power Road, London, W4 5PY Tel: 02089657680 Web:

# 2 Wheel Distribution GmbH & Co. KG Erich Blum Str. 33, D 71665 Vaihingen an der Enz, Germany Tel: +49(0)7042289000 Web:

Action Cameras Limited Unit 36 Park Royal Business Centre, 9-17 Park Royal Road, London, NW10 7LQ Tel: 020 89657679 Web:

2 Wheel Electric Haskins Garden Centre, Mansbridge Road, West End, Southampton, Hampshire, SO18 3HW Tel: 02380476929 Web:

FREEGO ELECTRIC BIKES 3 St Denys Rd, Southampton SO17 2GN Tel :0800 077 8711

SEE.SENSE (LIMEFORGE LTD) Sketrick House, Jubilee Road, Newtownards, BT23 4YH Tel: 02891 800536 | Web:

Active Life Logistics The Barn, Structons Heath Farm, Great Witley, Worcestershire, WR6 6JA Tel: 01299 890101 Web:

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


All Round Wheels (Wholesale) Ltd Unit 020 Gracechurch Centre, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B72 1PH Tel: 0121 354 5451



Ansmann UK e-BIKE centre, Unit 12, RO24, Harlow Business Park, Harlow, Essex, CM19 5QB Tel: 0870 609 2233 Web:

Atom Cycles Unit 2, Kirkburn Industrial Estate, Lockerbie, DG11 2SE Tel: 01576 203611 Web:

AOB Distribution 57 Exeter Road, Kingsteighton, Newton Abbot, Devon Tel: 07596 100615 Web:

Autostrada Engineering Forge Farm, Forge Lane, Footherley, Staffs, WS14 0HU Tel: 01543 483155/483225

Assess Todociclismo S.A Mitre 972, San Jose, Guillen Tel: 054-261-4456639

Avocet Sports Ltd Unit 7 and 8 Shield Drive, Wardley Industrial Estate, Worsley, Manchester, M28 2QB Tel: 0161 727 8508 Web: (B2B) and (Consumer)

Assist Creative Resources Ltd Unit 7 Ash Road South, Wrexham Ind Est, Wrexham, LL13 9UG Tel: 01978 664743 Web:


Axel Imports Ltd 4 Wimborne Road, Poole, Dorset, BH15 2BU Tel: 01202 785864 Web:
















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NUMBER CRUNCHING Are more IBDs opening than closing? And how do independents compare with cycle chain stores? We’ve got the statistics, plus a whole lot more, in this month’s numerical round-up…

£28,000 A new £28,000 legacy programme has been announced for the recent UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Manchester. The cash will go towards giving youngsters life skills and to encourage them to be active and healthy in their lifestyles.

125 nYeElectAriRc bSike

Coulsdo de Easy Cycling Ma showroom chance, covered, by be used recently dis to d t site use n e rr s cu s it that r cyclists a ng place fo e Th . o as a meeti g 125years a far back as d on St ted the fin ra b le ce p o cal sh ay with a lo George’s D e. v intage rid


That’s the level of the payrise agreed by cycle courier firm eCourier and the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, bringing couriers into Living Wage territory.


r now has ove Decathlon re o its UK st 20 shops in new shop in a h it w er. portfolio, this summ g in n e p o g in Crawley d n is also exte d n Decathlon a ck li C shop’ its ‘shop in roject with p ct e ll Co Asda.



r of IBDs The numbe ng in the d closi opening an d static, with aine UK has rem (approximately e b rs , equal num ng in 2015 g and closi in n e p o ta ) a 6 D l 12 to the Loca according n, chain compariso y B y. n a p m Co creased numbers in cycle shop .5 per cent a modest 1 last year.


In what is being touted as a first for cycling, the prize money for the UCI Women’s WorldTour event at Prudential RideLondon 2016 will be the highest ever offered for a women’s one day race and will match the prize money offered at the world’s richest one-day men’s race the following day.



IN THE SADDLE Mike Anderson,

ALL TERRAIN GO ALL OUT FOR NEW BIKE FITTING FACILITY YORKSHIRE CYCLE retailer All Terrain Cycles has invested £30,000 in high tech bike fitting at its superstores in Salt’s Mill, Shipley and in Wetherby. The new bike fit studio boasts a fully adjustable jig so the shop can assess and easily adjust every part of the rider/bike interface, whether that’s crank length, saddle angle or handlebar width. The jig can also be used to replicate the geometry of a specific bike, so that customers can try different sizes of bikes even if they’re not in stock. Bike fit technician Chris Williams, who has worked for All Terrain Cycles for five years, will be among the experts using the flash new kit at the retailer.

Press officer Madison & Sportline How many bikes do you own? Four. Well, five if you count a knackered old MTB. And I’ve got one of the new Ridley Fenix SL framesets on order as well which will make it six. More than enough to get me in trouble with my lovely fiancée, that’s for sure… Where are your favourite places to ride? Top of that list would be the Gloucestershire countryside as it’s where I grew up, and nothing feels like riding on home roads. Outside of that, though, it would be Belgium. Riding in Flanders is fantastic, actually getting to ride the courses of all my favourite races to watch on TV. The ability to do that is one of the things that makes cycling unique. What’s your role at Madison and Sportline and what does it entail? I’m press officer which means that, basically, I look after press requests and enquiries. I work with journalists to make sure that they have what they need for all types of content, whether that’s features, reviews, photoshoots or whatever. How long have you been in the trade and how has it been making the switch from editorial to PR? Most of the last five years I’ve been a journalist, writing for 220 Triathlon and RCUK, so I’ve been around for a while. But making the switch has been a little surreal – I’m now the person that I spent years pestering for products and information! Seriously though, it’s been pretty good. The setup here at Madison is excellent and everyone’s done their best to help me fit in straight away. What are you working on at the moment? We have loads of new stuff on at the moment. Lazer’s Revolution is a great lid that we’ve been getting everyone to have a ride in, the new Madison clothing range we showed at iceBike* is nearly here and Pearl Izumi’s latest kit is in stock too. Loads of fantastic stuff, and now we want to make sure everyone sees it! How can the trade get in touch? is the best place


WELSH CYCLING TEAM GETS PRIMAL FOR BRAND NEW KIT PRIMAL WILL become a familiar sight to all those following the Welsh cycling team at the National Championships this summer. Primal is the new kit supplier for the team and will provide jerseys for road, track, cyclo cross, BMX and MTB disciplines for all age group categories. Ergonomically cut and designed to fit close to the body without restricting movement, the race cut jersey comes in SpeedPro lightweight technical material and has been optimised for comfort and streamlined for better aerodynamics. The first time the riders will be able to compete for one of the sought after jerseys will be at the Welsh Cycling Road and Time Trial Championships on June 4th and 5th 2016 in Powys. Primal’s Welsh profile was boosted still further this year when it became official clothing supplier for the large scale Velothon sportive.



Stephen Holt, Commercial Director

HARGROVES UNVEILS PLANS FOR THIS YEAR’S CYCLE FEST WITH SUMMER just around the corner, bringing wall-to-wall sunshine, cyclinghungry customers and complaints about the heat, Hargroves Cycles will be one bike shop reaching out to potential customers with a demo event. The QE Cycle Fest is not just your average demo event, having bagged a few BikeBiz Awards and attracting customers far and wide, it is one of the biggest of its type in the UK. It all takes place at Queen Elizabeth Country Park which is handily central to the shop’s catchment area and also offers miles of dedicated trails for riders of mixed capabilities. The festival commences by opening the gates to the campsite for the early arrivals at 3pm on Friday May 13th and the festival will finish at 5pm Sunday May 15th. There’ll be over 120 bikes available to test over the weekend.

UK BECOMING ‘SMOBIE NATION’ AA PRESIDENT Edmund King has warned the nation of the rise of a diabolical new threat to the nation, the smobie – or smartphone zombie. Happily, the roadside maintenance firm’s boss hasn’t been directing his comments at two wheeled riders (only) but all pedestrians, cyclists and driver “zombies [who are]…suffering from ‘smartphone oblivion”. King said: “When on the move our brains have much to take in and using technological gadgets means that we can’t always concentrate on so many things at once.” King defines smartphone oblivion as “when we walk into traffic; don’t hear the truck or drive cocooned from the outside world.” In the statement he picked out drivers who wear headphones at the wheel too, which called BikeBiz’s mind back to that Australian study that found that cyclists listening to music or podcasts while riding hear more ambient traffic noise than motorists listening to an in-car stereo or even listening to nothing at all.


BOOST YOUR BUSINESS WITH LOCAL EMPLOYERS CYCLE TO Work Alliance research has shown that over 50,000 employers offer a cycle to work scheme. There are many more employers that are looking for solutions to offer their employees a range of benefits. Getting more local employers signed up to cycle to work is a way you can both boost your business and help them. Firstly, they can save up to 13.8 per cent in National Insurance contributions, a great way to impress the boss by making a saving for their business too. Secondly, companies are always looking for ways to encourage their workforce to be healthier. And last but not least, employers also see the scheme as a way to improve their image as a great employer and to attract and retain the best employees. There’s an incredible more-than-two-million VAT or PAYE registered businesses in the UK. Don’t forget, the number of employees they need to sign up as an employer to Cyclescheme is just one employee (and don’t forget to offer Cyclescheme to your own staff and save money yourselves, free of any charges). So a large part of the working population cannot yet get a bike via a cycle to work scheme. As an IBD, you are ideally placed to sign up new cyclists and local employers. Encourage your store visitors to take a copy of Cycle Commuter magazine or a Cyclescheme flyer to give to their boss – you can order them via the Cyclescheme B2B. The B2B is packed with tools to help you in selling the scheme to new employers. Make the most of this amazing benefit as it’s going to be around for a good while yet!

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



United we stand, divided we fall Something needs to be done about the flat market, but what, asks Carlton Reid? Could it be an organisation representing both retailers and suppliers? “THANK GOD it’s not just me, then!” Those were the words of a bike shop owner as I told him he wasn’t alone; pretty much the whole of the industry is currently flat. The market for new bikes is down by at least ten percent, year-on-year. Even cycle usage is down, with sales of tyres – always a good barometer of use – also down by ten percent. As I pointed out last month (“Funding advocacy is an investment in the bicycle industry’s future”, BikeBiz April 2016), the industry is always tumbling down the troughs that follow every peak, and of course, the industry is, ahem, cyclical so another boom will be along in two or three years. This isn’t very helpful for the present. Now, you could re-read your well-thumbed copy of The Bicycle Retailer’s Guide to Getting Rich in the Recession (Randy Kirk wrote that in 1989 so it doesn’t yet know of ChainWiggle), or you could dream of founding a buying group for independent bicycle dealers. Mmm, buying groups, remember them? Euretco tried. Laurie Sedman and his Consortium of Bicycle Retailers tried. The idea never seemed to take in the UK, even though IBD buying groups are big in Germany and the Netherlands. To work, they require suppliers to play ball, to want to give up margin to a larger body. UK suppliers didn’t play ball with Euretco’s Bikeforce in 2003 or with the other versions of the similar format before and after then. So, if buying groups can be discounted (geddit?) what’s the alternative? How about a buying

“The Bicycle Association ought to accept retail members, and shops ought to join.” group but without the buying bit? A group, then, a collection of like-minded bike shop owners. How likely is such a collective? On paper, pretty unlikely, but the threats faced by IBDs are common ones, and it would be in everybody’s interest to pull together. Ah, but there already is such a collective I hear somebody mutter, and that’s the ACT. But is the “Association of Cycle Traders” really a collection of bike shop owners? Does the ACT part of ActSmart have anything to

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do with cycle traders any more? In Anne Killick’s day the ACT was a body of (often bolshy) bike shops, which held a boisterous AGM. It was from this loose collection of bike shops that Cycletech was mooted (by old timer Albert Shucksmith, RIP) and launched. But that kind of ACT is long gone. Some may not mourn its passing but it was the only cycle trader collective we had, and it’s now a business services outfit that, er, acts for other retailers too, such as the huntin’ n’ fishin’ crowd. This transformation of a historic cycle trader’s organisation into a business support biz is a good thing for many, because in this day and age where else would you be able to shop around for deals on retail insurance, credit-card processing or electricity supplies? No, the collective required today

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isn’t a reformulated Association of Cycle Traders, it’s something broader. Bike shops and suppliers have an obvious interest in common: bikes. There ought to be an organisation that represents the interests of all of the businesses involved with cycles; those that sell them, source them, make them, those that write about them. The Bicycle Association ought to accept retail members, and retailers ought to join. Back in the day it used to be an old boys’ club, with a wood-panelled boardroom in a Coventry HQ – that building was sold long ago, and the BA is now run by a thrusting young fella – Steve Garidis – who has revamped it for the better. He has roped in others, too, including for the all-important but unheralded tech standards service. The BA has a great many member benefits including, critically, the sharing of market data. The org also lobbies for the continuation of C2W and has been beavering away on e-bike regs so they are appropriate for the UK. (It doesn’t offer retails deals, so there’s no conflict with ACTSmart.) I’d very much recommend that bike shops join the BA as associate members or – even better – I’d urge the BA to create a retail membership category. A Bicycle Association with both supply and retail members would be a powerful body, especially in the corridors of power. The Government loves it when industries pull together. BikeBiz has just joined the Bicycle Association; there’s nothing from stopping other cycle mags and associated businesses joining, too. It’s time to unite.

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