Brighter colours, range extensions, more complementary accessories… the Dawes Cycles 2015 product road show had plenty for attending dealers to examine.
Dawes’ move into the ‘proper bikes for juniors’ market saw it bring out the Academy range this time last year. This time around the Academy line-up has a vast array of new colours for 2015 but minimal tweaks made to the bikes themselves. If you cast your mind back the range was initially a subtly coloured affair – but now there are new decals and fresh Academy logos.
Dawes Cycles’ own Gary Conway told BikeBiz that uptake on the range has been good and there will be cyclocross and mountain bike models added to the range later in the year, reflecting Dawes belief in the sub-brand. The range has seen a few spin off accessories too, specially tailored to fit the smaller sized bikes. There’s even a hydro pack for juniors.
Academy has been furthering its name by supporting the British Tri Trust – which aims to engage children in triathlon to improve health, self esteem and develop social skills.
Dawes’s heritage offering has grown this year with the introduction of the Carnaby, an upgrade from the popular Duchess model, sporting a steel frame, vintage style fork and Nexus 3 hub. The Duchess models themselves have a wider range of colours this year.
The brand new Camden bikes got a few admiring glances at the show, combining classic looks and a fancy paint job for a simple ride, complete with mudguards, an alloy rear carrier and other ready-to-go features.
Another eye catcher at the show was the Classic Galaxy 531. This Reynolds 531 double butted chromoly touring frame comes with old-school fork blades, bar end gear levers and steel toeclip with leather covers. In British Racing Green this £1,799 bike is not shy of standing out and will nicely suit a shop window or two.
It’s fair to say that Dawes has been keen to push the boundaries of the Galaxy range lately. This year Galaxy tops out with the Ultra Galaxy Titanium (£2,799).
Dawes is not best known for its road offering, but this time its Giro line-up has been broadened with more expensive models that top out with the Alto Carbon (£1,199.99). The Alto eschews the Dawes head badge and comes in a matt black frame with a dash of red here and there. Other slinky details include a hidden back brake to complete the pared-down road look.
In another example of Dawes pushing its own boundaries the firm has released a British version of the US cruiser. Sporting a shorter wheelbase and tighter geometry than North American cruisers, the colourful rides are ideal for those making a statement. Speaking of colours, there are plenty more in the MTB and younger bike ranges too, helping show off bikes even in darker shops.
As hinted above, Dawes’ accessories have expanded but only to complement its ranges better with more applicable product, typically for the touring and heritage markets. That includes a universal pannier and a luggage range that now has three items – a rucksack, pannier and shoulder bag.
Sticking with bags, Chicago’s Po Campo has been with Dawes for just over six months so was debuting at its show. Crucially, the range was designed as a bag first, then being bike-ready second, overturning what probably 90 per cent of the rest of the trade does.
Dawes basket offering has expanded too. Last year there were three options that have now been joined by two lidded versions, which come in a shade more expensive. Basket liners are available through the firm now too.
Summing up, to our eyes, the Dawes Cycles range is looking broader than ever, with more tailored, complementary accessories. Dawes covers road, MTB, heritage bikes, touring bikes, British cruisers, tandems and bikes that reach beyond its traditional pricing ranges and apparently a desire to embrace more corners and niches of the industry.
This report first turned up in the February edition of BikeBiz, which you can read online or download for free.