Jagwire interview: '2013 will be a big year for us'

Mark Sutton
Jagwire interview: '2013 will be a big year for us'

We almost didn’t get this interview with Jagwire, thanks to a light-fingered type pinching a laptop en-route to Eurobike. Thankfully, director of sales and marketing Ketty Kuan knows Jagwire’s product inside out and was able to answer our questions twice over. Here she tells BikeBiz how Jagwire’s helping dealers boost their margins on the shop floor and in the workshop…

Give us a brief history of Jagwire and its rise in the bike business:
Jagwire started producing cables in 1991 when it was apparent there was room for a high quality, yet value priced cable provider in the cycling world. Jagwire filled this niche and has since built a brand around this idea. The company has grown and now provides cables to some of the largest brands in the world, while simultaneously developing a strong name as both an original equipment option and as a primary choice in the aftermarket.

Last time we spoke Jagwire’s main growth stemmed from independent retail accounts – is this still the case?
That’s right, our dealer base continues to grow. Also, as existing dealers become familiar with our product line and the benefits presented within, like colour customisation options and our range of tools, we see a second tier of growth as more of our product line is adopted in a shop. 



Do you offer workshop cable reels in order for dealers to maximise their margin?
Absolutely. We offer workshop rolls of cables and housing. For 2013 we will offer 30-metre rolls of our popular coloured housing. We also offer complete Do-It-Yourself cable kits that include everything required for a cable service. A smart dealer can use these to enhance their service centre’s profitability with these DIY kits by completely ringing out everything associated with a cable service. We’ve found many shops don’t realistically charge for parts like ferrules, donuts and cable tips. While this seems inconsequential, it can really add up over time. The DIY kits come in a variety of colours, so they help a dealer start the personalisation conversation with a customer by showing that there are options other than black.

Jagwire is best known for its braking product, but also makes tools – what’s available?
Jagwire has expanded from cables and housing into a number of product categories, one of which is tools. We produce tools that complement our product, so you won’t see a headset press from Jagwire, but you will see bleed kits, hose cutters, barb presses, cable cutters, and new this year, a cable tip crimper.



What OEM work does Jagwire do if any?
Jagwire works closely with some of the best bicycle brands in the industry. Look closely at a Giant, Specialized, Felt or any of a hundred top-tier brands and you can spot the Jagwire logo on housing.

How big a part of the market is customisation down to the fine details – coloured housings and brake pads?
A large portion of our aftermarket business is supplying the mechanic in the workshop with black housing and stainless steel wire. Not exciting, but necessary. However, we are experiencing robust growth with products designed to be stocked in the front of a bike shop, in particular items like coloured housing kits or end cap packs that allow a rider to customise their bicycle. We’ve known for a long time that bicycles serve as a form of self-expression and we have tailored our products to make it easier to do so.

What aftermarket products and point of sale is available to dealers for 2013? Any new products?
2013 is a huge year for the Jagwire brand. We are rolling out a new logo that tells the story of our innovative, quality products that look tremendous. The new logo reflects certain maturation on our part that can be seen in our growth and our product development. In conjunction with the new logo we have updated all of our packaging. The new packaging does a tremendous job of describing the benefits the customer will experience, because of all of the technical details present in our products. In the past we’ve listed the technical details rather than explaining why they are useful.

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>Last time we spoke Jagwire’s main growth stemmed from independent retail accounts – is this still the case?
That’s right, our dealer base continues to grow. Also, as existing dealers become familiar with our product line and the benefits presented within, like colour customisation options and our range of tools, we see a second tier of growth as more of our product line is adopted in a shop. 

What’s the end-user asking for – lighter cables, or stronger cables?
Really what the end-user wants is something that rides better than they are anticipating when they buy the product and also something that lasts. That’s why you see advanced coatings and anti-contamination systems on our products, it’s all for a quality long-lasting ride.
Of course, we are always trying ways to make things light and stronger, but it should never come at the expense of functionality.

What can you offer the dealer in terms of brake pads and spares? Anything they may not find elsewhere?
We offer disc brake pads for just about any brake a shop will see come through its doors. We also offer options on backing plate materials and pad compounds. All of our disc pad options are available with a steel backing plate and a semi-metallic pad compound, which balances quiet operation with good stopping power. For a sub-set of brakes we offer an aluminum backing plate, which is about half the weight of the steel pads. This is great for cross-country applications. We also have an aggressive, high-power sintered compound available for some brakes.
For road brakes, we are introducing a carbon surface compatible pad for 2013, designed to work well on a variety of popular carbon rims.

Do you have any product suited to fit with the many hydraulic splitters now featuring in particular on cyclocross bikes?
We chose not to develop a splitter sort of product, but our hydraulic hose will match well with some of the popular options. However, our compressionless Kevlar reinforced brake housing makes mechanical disc brakes feel amazing. If the run of housing is continuous then the system is sealed and ideal for cross. Our Road Pro XL kits feature everything you need for this sort of upgrade.

www.jagwireusa.com

Tags: moore large , manufacturing , jagwire

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