BikeBiz Award Winner Interview: Gocycle

The winner of the first BikeBiz Product Innovation Award, Gocycle has been picked up by some of the biggest names in retail...
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Founder Richard Thorpe tells BikeBiz about the blood, sweat and tears behind Gocycle…

How does it feel to be a BikeBiz Award winner?
The whole team here feels honoured to be recognised by this cool award.

Gocycle has been praised for its looks, not least because of the way the individual parts form the aesthetically-pleasing whole. How many years, sweat and tears went into that design?
I left McLaren Cars in 2002 to start the company – and we launched the business in April 2009. My three and a half year old son was developed in nine months to the day with just the occasional pat and rub on the stomach...

Can you explain some of the innovations used in the Gocycle?
The top three innovations include magnesium injection moulded frame and wheels – this is different from dirty die castings and produces no SF6 ozone depleting gases. We are actually the first company in history to injection mould a magnesium bicycle frame and wheels – which gives us affordable and equal performance to carbon fibre.

Secondly, we have a patented cleandrive system which is practically the only product multispeed enclosed chain drive with side mounted wheels. This means fixing a rear flat tyre is a non-greasy and easy job. Thirdly, patented pitstop wheels – front and rear are the same and easy to fix a flat.

What was the reason behind retaining production here in the UK?
We have had our fair share of start-up production teething troubles, and being based in the UK means that we can correct these issues quickly and also means we can service our customers with spares also.

It’s been a big year for Gocycle at retail, in 22 Evans Cycles stores, and also in key John Lewis and Best Buy shops. Are you planning to get Gocycle into other big name retail names?
Not sure we can do better than John Lewis and Best Buy – but we will try!

What's next for Gocycle and Karbon Kinetics? Can we expect a Mk II, or a range? Accessories?
We certainly have big plans to build on the exciting and breakthrough Gocycle G1 platform. Expect lighter weight, lithium batteries, quieter motor drive, and improved quality in 2011. Further accessories, luggage, and in 2012 again there will be more improvements and expansion of the product family. It only gets better from here!

Did the Eurobike showing open doors for the brand?
Definitely, winning the 2009 IF Gold Award – and this 2010 BikeBiz Award – always helps in all aspects of our promotion and brand image.

What were your highlights of the year?
Recently, this BikeBiz Award, to be honest, is a fantastic positive to our team. It is a real challenge to introduce new technology into this highly competitive marketplace – and to also be manufacturing here in the UK challenges us further in many ways. So to be recognised by BikeBiz is oil on the cogs and a big boost.

And have you got any predictions for 2011?
More people will be using bicycles for transport – that is for sure.

Anything else to add?
A baby: nine months. A Gocycle: nine years...

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