Our much-anticipated Top 20 IBDs list is back, and brought to you by NEOS Cycling, a distribution company set up with the goal of supporting the country’s independent bike dealers.The list was voted for by the general public and the companies themselves, and is presented in no numerical order.
“We have a growing portfolio of new, high-quality accessory brands exclusive to us and our IBD network,” says Richard Allmark, managing director at NEOS Cycling. “We provide product ranges with attractive SRPs for the end user, combined with excellent profit margins for the IBD. Better still, there’s no volume commitment required to get our amazing prices. Exclusive IBD brands, supporting your profits and cash flow. NEOS Cycling is here for the IBD!”
Bike Scene is based in the historic market town of Guisborough. Situated on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, the retailer benefits from the popular cycling routes around the surrounding hills, forests and moorland. As a core dealer for many premier mountain bikes brands, such as Specialized, Orange and Santa Cruz, Bike Scene presents a comprehensive range. Being a mountain bike- oriented shop, the ten staff members are all knowledgeable MTB experts, and as such are dedicated to providing customers with the best possible advice.
Andy Stephenson established Biketreks over 25 years ago. Starting out with just his van, Stephenson travelled around the country delivering parts to those who needed help with their bikes. His van soon developed into a small shop, which turned into a bigger shop in 2002, when Biketreks moved to its current location in the old glass blowers on Rydal Road, Ambleside. Stephenson sold the business in 2016, and new owner Simon Hockings, who opened a second shop in Ings, has divided road and mountain across the two shops, allowing the business to specialise in these areas in greater detail.
With three large stores in Otley, Skipton and Harrogate and each store offering a fully-equipped workshop and state of the art bike fitting facilities, Chevin offers a comprehensive customer experience. The shop’s success over the last 40 years has been built on offering access to top cycling brands and focusing its attention on providing the best possible customer experience. Chevin’s staff is on hand seven days a week to offer customers friendly, impartial advice.
Located in the iconic setting of Redhill, C&N Cycles sits in an ideal location, benefiting from its close proximity to the famous Boxhill cycling route and Central London. The shop was established in 1978, and is currently owned and operated by ex-shop boy and racing fanatic Damian Pittock. C&N offers a vast range of services from fleet rental, to full workshop services, to bike fitting and sales. The shop stocks a wide array of accessories and clothing from brands such as Castelli, Mavic and SealSkinz, and offers what they call “quality personalised advice,” to its dedicated customer base.
Ex-National Road Race Champion Phil Corley opened his first store – the precursor to the current Corley Cycles – in 1979, in Great Linford, Milton Keynes. After two successful years of trade, he made the decision to move to a larger premises on Neath Hill, before opening the store in Stacey Bushes, which Corley Cycles has called home for the past 30 years. Voters noted that the shop boasts helpful and experienced staff, all of whom share a passion for cycling, which is complemented by the store’s large workshop, offering assistance from three full-time, qualified mechanics.
Criterium Cycles was established in Edinburgh in 2013 by brothers Paul and Richard Bowker. From the beginning, the vision was to deliver high-quality customer service and to strive to be the best bike shop in Edinburgh, if not one of the best bike shops in the UK. After just one year in business, Criterium Cycles was recurrently voted into the Top 20 IBDs, making the list in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and now in 2017.
Having started Cyclewise over 12 years ago, owners Rich Martin and Craig Scott have gone on to make the IBD one of the UK’s leading MTB coaching and leadership specialists. The brand’s services have been utilised by companies such as British Cycling, The Lake District National Park Authority, The Forestry Commission and both the UK National Mountain Centres. Cyclewise gained its permanent base at Whinlatter in 2008 when the owners opened their first shop at the trailhead of the famous Altura Trail. Six years on, the award-winning shop continues to grow from strength to strength.
Cycling Made Easy
Established in 2010, Cycling Made Easy caters to the emerging electric bike market. The specialist shop currently stocks over 200 electric bikes made by brands such as Raleigh, Scott, Haibike and Gocycle. It is known for offering fair and unbiased advice about the e-bike sector, and runs test rides for its customer base. The shop’s dedicated following also nominated it for a BikeBiz Award in the Specialist Retailer of the Year category, securing it in the rankings of the Top 20 IBDs.
Since 1912, Dales Cycles has been part of cycling in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. Growing from a small shop front to its current 6000 square foot showroom in the city centre, the shop has lived alongside cycling as it has navigated the fads and phases. Dales Cycles is still owned by the family that bought the business in the 1950s. It has been selling bikes and accessories online since 2006, and has built a strong reputation for fast delivery and efficient customer service.
Dunx Cycles advertises itself as the most easterly bike shop in the UK, giving credence to a concentrated and dedicated following in the local Lowestoft area. The shop caters to all of the traditional bike shop demands such as servicing, repairs, and safety checks and has a vast retail offering. But, what sets the shop apart is its specialism in reconditioning second-hand bikes. Believing strongly in recycling high-quality parts, the shop thoroughly refurbishes the cast-offs and sells them on the shop floor, garnering positive reactions from its supporters.
Giant Store Sheffield
With access to the Peak District and over 200 parks and woodlands, the customers of the Giant Store Sheffield are well placed to enjoy the array of mountain bikes for sale. Local patrons remarked that the Giant Store’s best quality is its friendly and knowledgeable staff, who are happy to aid customers with servicing, repairs and sales. The shop also runs a range of events, including workshop evenings – at which the staff teach guests essential bike maintenance skills – and ladies evenings.
First established in 1981, Hargroves Cycles is a respected cycling retailer in the south of England. The shop ensures that the products and services needed by cyclists are readily available at the best possible prices, supported by high levels of client service. Customers at Hargroves Cycles can expect to gain impartial product advice from the highly trained staff who are passionate about cycling. Hargroves Cycles won the BikeBiz Award for Specialist Retailer of the Year 2015 and Best Retail Event of the Year in both 2014 and 2015.
J E James
J E James Cycles is a family-run business that has been established for over 50 years. The shop is one of the largest independent cycle retailers in the country, with three large stores in the South Yorkshire/Derbyshire area of the UK. J E James stocks a wide range of products, including a large selection of electric bikes from brands such as Haibike, Cube and Raleigh. Its reputation has been built on delivering high-quality service and providing customers with a welcoming retail experience. The shop is also a member of the Association of Cycle Traders.
Mickey Cranks opened in September 2013 in the Whitney area of Oxfordshire, and has quickly established itself as one of the leading independent bike shops in the country. It stocks a broad range of bikes, parts and accessories by Cannondale, Giro, Muc-Off and Specialised and more, priding itself on delivering a high level of customer service, which it backs up with a professionally-equipped workshop and Cytech-certified technicians. Mickey Cranks offers a professional Retül bike fitting service and specialises in fitting and supplying women’s bikes.
Pedal Power Cycles has been an established pillar of the Scottish cycling community for over 40 years. Originally located in a small shop at the end of West Calder’s Main Street, it now occupies one of the biggest cycling retail floor spaces in the country with a massive store spread across three floors in the centre of West Calder. Ex-mountain biking champion Jonathan McBain currently manages the shop. Pedal Power can advise on all aspects of cycling, from your kids’ first bikes right up to pro-level road and off-road bikes, accessories and clothing.
Since 2010, Sprockets Cycles has been serving cyclists all over Scotland. The shop is located just 20 minutes from Glasgow in Kilmanrock, Ayshire. Just along the A77 from Scotland’s biggest city, Sprockets Cycles has just hit a major milestone. In August 2016, it opened a bespoke bike shop on the site of its previous store. The new workshop has been purpose- built to handle several jobs at once, ensuring that the Cytech- qualified mechanics don’t get backed up with jobs.
Benefitting from over 40 years of experience in retailing technical products – via mail order, in-store or online – Tweeks Cycles has come to embrace the many qualities that make up good customer service. This Wrexham- based destination store boasts 130,000 square feet of space, and is also home to a new cycle showroom. The retailer stocks a comprehensive range that is made up of children’s, BMX, jump, mountain, hybrid, road, triathlon and Time Trial bikes. It also has a dedicated ladies’ bike range with specific models in every style.
Velorution is run by Jonathan Cole, a serial retail entrepreneur, who has scaled premium consumer propositions in the past. In 2012, Cole saw the potential in urban cycling, and set out to position the Velorution brand to lead that market. Through his passion for retail and cycling, he has led Velorution to become an internationally recognised premium urban cycling brand, tripling the size of the business. As well as producing its own tailored Lumotwill tweed jackets and handmade leather cycling shoes, Velorution partners with over 50 brands from Pelago Bicycles, Schindelhauer, Gocycle, Van Nicholas and Nevi to Cooper, Meijs, Mission Workshop and ILE.
Established 25 years ago as a local shop selling and repairing bikes, Westbrook Cycles has seen signficant growth over recent years. Capitalising on the internet boom, the retailer set up an online mail order service in 2004, which has allowed the shop to provide a much wider range of products to many more customers. A more recent addition to Westbrook Cycles is its GURU Bike Fit system, which allows its F.I.S.T.-qualified staff to expertly fit its customers to their optimum bike, and even help more seasoned cyclists reduce the risk of injuries. All of the Westbrook workshop staff are Cytech-qualified and strive to provide the best service and technical advice.
Based in an idyllic Lake District National Park setting, Wheelbase’s primary customer demographic consists largely of either local bike enthusiasts or mountain bikers hitting the nearby trails. Whereas the business may cater mainly to mountain bikers, it stocks over 400 bikes across a massive 16,000 square foot floor space, including road, MTB, hybrid and kid’s bikes. Over the last few months, Wheelbase has undergone a massive transformation, with an additional store based in Darlington, North East England representing the first additional venture in its 25-year history.