January marks the beginning of a new calendar of trade events, of which Core Bike is a trade favourite and for good reason.
This year’s instalment will bring about the introduction of new exhibitors such as Saddleback, One Industries, Endura and Mojo, as well as the inevitable broadening into pedal assisted, electrically charged bikes with the addition of the E4 group. Expect to be able to meet with representatives from Wisper, Storck Raddar, Hero Eco and EBC when the show opens this weekend. There may even be a few test rides available to attendees during the duration of the show.
Storck Raddar’s Ian Hughes told BikeBiz that he believes that 2013 is the perfect year to join the party as the UK market matures. He said: “All E4 members have contacts in the Germany market, whether that be manufacturing or distribution and have witnessed the growth over the years, Germany went through exactly the same process of market awareness, marketing communication and route to market around four years ago, in the same way the UK is now. History has also shown that savvy independent bike dealers who are early adopters have been very successful in the new market segment they adopt.”
Many will have fond, albeit perhaps fuzzy, memories of the evening entertainment put on by the organisers in prior years and this year we’ve a return to the popular bungee run, bucking bronco and games room format that formerly provided visitors the chance to wrestle their colleagues, or business rivals. No wrestling this year, sadly, though everything else returns.
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Alternatively, the rural country roads around Whittlebury Hall provides ample space for a ride should you prefer to wake up feeling fresh the following day. The Whittlebury Hall spa is also open to visitors and their partners for those in need of a wind down after trawling the aisles all day.
There’s plenty of promise for the show debuts of new brands and products, as is the case every year. BikeBiz recommends a visit to Ison’s room where we hear rumour of several new labels from the mountain biking market, as well as some new techy gadgets. We may say no more.
Furthermore, Citrus-Lime, profiled in our December magazine, is preparing to debut its mobile eCommerce solution, as well as ‘click and collect’ modules. The firm will also be looking to do business with other suppliers at the show as part of its stock integration module in which real time stock readings are relayed from the distributor’s shelves direct to all Citrus-Lime clients. If you hadn’t already heard, Citrus-Lime will be gifting new customers who sign up at the show a new iPad, particularly handy if you like to manage the shop on the move.
If you hadn’t already read all about it in our interview with 2Pure managing director George Bowie, Core will provide the first proper look at what the merger with Chocolate distribution has done to broaden the distributor’s already significant stable. Bowie also told us that, while it’s a struggle to fit everything in as it is, there will be a new brand addition to look out for in the form of Black Mamba gloves. Designed and manufactured for cycle maintenance where standard disposable gloves are unable to provide the resilience needed, Black Mamba are up to the jobs where other gloves would simply disintigrate. Offering three times the puncture resistance of standard latex gloves, they’ll even survive a tangle or two with cassettes and chains, as well as providing resistance to chemicals that can break down latex gloves.
I-ride has put on an impressive display every year since its introduction at Core a few years ago. Displaying the best bikes from Eddy Merckx, Argon 18, as well as product from Dueter, Northwave, Thompson and Token, among others, i-Ride’s room is one that always has something to get pulses racing.
This year, with the signing of a distribution deal with Prologo, the CPC saddle line will be sure to draw lots of attention at Core 2013.
The ‘thousands of mini volcanoes’ that grace the new range of CPC saddles and gloves are a technology that has been used by the military in gloves to improve grip when abseiling from helicopters and in Formula 1 drivers seats to reduce the effect of vibration on nerves and blood flow in the driver’s legs.
Fulcrum’s 2013 MTB 29er range, which has already received excellent reviews, will be on display and they offer technologies including 2:1 rear spoke lacing for extra drive side rigidity and convertible QR/15 front hubs. The Fulcrum 29er range starts from only £199 at retail price.
Does 1,400 lumens, dual CREE LEDs, a £149 price point and up to three hours battery life on maximum burn sound like a very competitive light? The brand new Gemini Duo is carrying on the brand’s strong performance into 2013 and the entire range of lights will be on display.
Representatives from the firm will be on hand to answer any questions bike dealers may have about each label on show at Core.
Hot on the heels, or wheels, of the announcement that Chicken Cyclekit is to dazzle us all with the spectacular and literally unmissable Monkey Lights brand, the distributor is quietly preparing to debut a number of other new products.
On the complete bike front, Chicken’s stable will exhibit the Cinelli Saetta Race Cut, Strato Wired, Very Best Of, Mash CX SS and Laser bikes. Meanwhile, the room will also provide a first look at the Dedacciai Strada Scuro Ltd Edition, Super Scuro RC, Ran and Supercross V Brake bikes.
On to components and accessories, WD40 will introduce the rebranded three-in-one, perfect for keeping the new KMC X10SL DLC chain fresh, which is also set to be debuted. Jet Black’s Smart Release system has been added to Dynometer and Fluid Hydrogel bike turbo trainers, adding to the value for money credentials of these two popular turbos.
Most will have given the Campagnolo EPS test rigs a spin by now and will know how crisp and reactive the system is. Chicken Cyclekit will once again show this product alongside Bora chainsets, TT and Cyclo Cross gear systems and Triple chainwheel group sets. Deda Elementi has perhaps the greatest offering of new goods to exhibit, with early looks at the Superleggera bars and stems, a Metal Blast profile bar, Zero 2 stems, RSx seat posts. The display will also include Edg, F14 and TT carbon forks.Selle Italia’s new SLR Monolink team edition saddles, alongside a revamped Flite product are to be shown too.
Cordee is returning to Core Bike for the fourth year, taking the opportunity to meet customers, talk to new accounts and showcase the most popular and recent titles covering the cycling world. Cordee has been supplying the outdoor trade with maps and guide books at home and abroad for over 40 years, so you’re in good hands if your store has space for some outdoors-y literature.
The distributor’s cycling catalogue has over 500 books and maps covering, mountain biking, road racing, triathlon, training, racing history, special interest and the ever-popular narrative. Sourcing and hand-picking titles from publishers both big and small from all over the world, Cordee brings your store the best picks from the action sports world, going as far as to offer niche cook books targeted at the snacking cyclist, among other quirky titles.
Borne of the unrivalled success this year of British Cyclists at the Tour de France, there’s Bradley Wiggins books aplenty. Also not to be forgotten is The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton, which served to reveal the biggest scandal in recent cycling history. On a more positive note, Merckx 525 has been released celebrating the 65th birthday of the great man himself.
In conjunction with Ordnance survey Cordee is offering an extra an extra five per cent off OS map orders placed at the show. Also available are numerous maps from Sustrans documenting the long distance cycle routes around the UK. If you are an existing customer or fancy a chat about the possibility of adding books to your current product range, visit Cordee’s room at Whittlebury Hall and ask for Richard and Jim.
Windwave will once again be situated in the Lounge and will be exhibiting full product ranges from BBB, Colnago, Dainese, FSA, Gravity, Ice Toolz, Marzocchi, Morgan Blue, Nilox, Nokon and Vision.
For 2013 the firm would like to show visitors what Windwave can do for your shop, and as such will divide its booth in to three distinct zones, retail, workshop and back room. The retail zone is designed to highlight all brands and their point of sale options, all presented in a manner to help maximise your store’s sales potential. On display in this retail zone will be the full product ranges from BBB, Colnago, FSA, Morgan Blue, Nilox and Vision.
The workshop zone will highlight all products that are available in a workshop format plus all tools, technical docs and accessories that will help you to make the most of your workshop. In addition, a member of staff will be performing ‘how to’ demos such as Nokon Cable and FSA bottom bracket installation throughout the day. There will also be opportunities to try out tools from Ice Toolz and BBB and receive a free technical DVD from FSA.
The back room is an informal area where you can get hands on the latest products from Dainese, or check out the video capabilities of the Nilox HD action camera. Windwave will also have suspension testing rigs so you can try the multi-award winning Marzocchi forks first hand.
In addition to POS and Core bike promotions the distributor will offer an attractive staff purchase on most items.
Founding member of the Core group Silverfish has always had a strong presence at the Whittlebury show, with managing director Darren Mabbot and the rest of the team always keen to meet dealers enthused by the mountain biking market and more.
Race Face always has a notable presence at the exhibtion and beyond the Atlas product discussed in our last issue, dealers with Fox Kashima product in stock wouldn’t go far wrong taking on some of the Kash Money Ltd Ed bar and cranksets, which perfectly match the unique Kashima product.
Also on display from Race Face will be the latest range of Armour and guards, which offer function and performance so your customers can keep riding even when the weather turns and the trail starts to bite.
Mondraker’s revolutionary Forward Geometry has been making friends and has certainly made an impression on riders around the world. With longer top tubes and wheelbase lengths coupled with near inline stem the system improves handling on both the ups and the downs and puts riders in full control. With models from 120mm through to World Cup winning DH bikes Mondraker’s range is looking like being one of the most popular 2013 and dealers will not want to miss out. Do not fear though as Mondraker still offer their large range of bikes in standard geometry meaning there is a bike to suit nearly every rider’s style, needs and price.
Not all cycle dealers will be familiar with Endura’s operation, with the firm supplying direct from its base in Scotland. Acknowledging the variety of competitors on the market and the struggles many retailers face in maintaining just the right amount of clothing stock Endura allows dealers to try new styles, colours and categories without any risk in these difficult financial times by offering stock rotation.
No more sale rail with Endura, the brand says: the bike wear manufacturer removes the waste of space and profit that the sale rail is for dealers and keeps the clothing area looking good with only season specific items. Stock rotation means that the retailer can simply return all Endura stock that is in saleable condition to the
company. In exchange the dealer will fully be credited for the returned product, and that credit can be redeemed against alternative lines of the retailer’s choice.
Also at Core, Endura’s new bike luggage range is definitely worth a closer look. The range includes seat packs in two sizes, a roller kit bag, 18L and 25L back packs, and a jersey wallet. Each luggage item has been designed specifically for cyclists and is packed with practical details. For example, the multi compartment roller kit bag not only features internal cycle specific compartments for helmets, cycle shoes, gloves and eyewear, but also holds a removable laundry bag and cycle shoe bag, and even boasts a handy fold out changing mat.
It’s been busy this year at Polaris HQ. It’s not every year a business turns 25, so 2013 is to be a special year, according to those behind the brand. At Core the clothing label will be pulling back the sheets from its ‘secret weapon’ for Spring/Summer 2013, the Venom Range.
Going back to the drawing board, staff have once again dug out the tape measures, dusted off the sewing machine and put the kettle on. The result, according to Polaris, is 100 per cent worth a look if you’re seeking for a clothing line to fill the rails in 2013. The Venom range focuses on style and mixes this with top of the range fabrics and the latest garment technologies. Take the Venom Pro Bib Short for instance, Polaris told BikeBiz that it had spent a lot of time cutting and measuring the panels to make sure the fit was ‘just-right’, before focusing its attention on the pad, arguably the most important part of a short. It took almost a year of extensive testing to find the right pad for this short, but good things come to those who wait, and in this instance only a top of the range Italian gel pad would satisfy testers.
With the Venom Mitt, the brand has used the latest technologies to laser cut and bond mesh panels at the back of the hand, this allows the excess heat to escape without the discomfort and irritation of having stitching and seams against your skin. It’s simple things like this that take the time, but it’s simple things like this that change a product from being merely good to being undeniably great.
Ignoring the clothing for just a second, retailers will also benefit from a new point of sale programme nationwide with branded fittings, header boards and slat wall options.
A little bird has hinted to BikeBiz that there will be a number of new labels joining the Ison Distribution portfolio in the near future and Core will likely be the location to find out more, so be sure to Drift by…
It wasn’t so long ago that further fresh link ups were revealed at the Cycle Show in Birmingam, so if you missed out on that show, let’s recap. First we’ve BMX trails brand Deluxe, the brainchild of Ride UK magazine founder Mark Noble. This label is totally dedicated to the dirt jump scene, so you’ll now have access to Shimano DX inspired pedals, various stems and lightweight sprockets, soft goods, frames and a limited number of complete bikes too.
Also from Noble, the &Forks label also joins the Cambridge firm’s stock, bringing about a label entirely dedicated to making a strong fork for various BMX applications. North Shore bike company Banshee is once again available in the UK and Ison will have the entire range of full suspension bikes and frames on display.
Ison will also once again be exhibiting new products from the quality brands they distribute such as Halo, MRP, ODI, TSG, Renthal, Surly, Salsa and Identiti.
Electric bike brand collective E4 is to appear at Core Bike, bringing power-assisted bikes and demonstrations of each brand's bikes to the trade exhibition for the first time.
Consisting of Wisper, EBC, Storck Raddar and Hero Eco, the addition of electric bikes is a timely one, with the second Bicycle Association meet on pedal assist bikes having taken place last month (see page 42 for more).
Ian Hughes MD of Storck Raddar said “We have seen more interest than ever from consumers and independent bicycle dealers, especially at the recent Cycle Show in Birmingham. One very switched on dealer whose HQ is in Scotland last year sold more e-bikes than 29ers and women’s road bikes.”
Hughes went on to say “We [E4] can offer dealers at the Core Bike exhibition some really solid advice about products, different customer types and servicing etc. This will ensure dealers get a good return on their investment and because we are much more e-bike focused than the larger bike brands we can offer the highest level of support.”
Further to Core, the electric bike group plans to make 2013 a boom year, with appearances including The London Green Fair at Regents Park, Blenheim Palace Cycle Fair and the Cycle Show at the NEC in Birmingham.
E4 are title sponsors of the upcoming Bookazine being produced by Future Publishing in June 2013 which is positioned as an ‘Essential Guide to Electric Bikes’ aimed at consumers and available through Futures’ network of distributors and High Street stores.
The current e-bike market in the UK is believed to be circa 25,000 bikes, where Germany, that has seen flat sales of road and mountain bikes over the past year, has seen an increase in e-bike sales from 250,000 to almost 400,000 in the past year, with forecasts of around 500,000 for next year. www.facebook.com/e4bikes
Having broken attendance records many years on the trot, Core is expected to once again be bigger than ever, so demand for catering, transport and hotel rooms is bound to be stretched. It’s for that reason the organisers are asking that businesses get in touch now.
Core Bike strongly recommends that all members of the trade wishing to visit Core Bike pre-register. By doing so and gaining attendance approval now, you will be guaranteed entry, plus a lunch will be available to you on your chosen attendance day.
To register, head over to the official site at www.corebike.co.uk. For any requests of overnight accommodation at Whittlebury Hall, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
For further regular news and updates, Core is found on social networking site Twitter via @corebike2013.