Distributor Moore Large has always been a key investor in the future of the mountain biking market.
As part of our on-going research into the medium and its ever-increasing popularity, we talked to brand manager and expert of all things MTB Joe Poyzer about the key points in mountain bike history, and where it's all heading.
What are the key progress points between the creation of mountain biking and now?
I think there are too many to mention but I can indicate where the greatest spikes of popularity have been. I think the industry saw a huge growth in sales when frames went from steel to ‘reliable’ alloy. I can remember quite a few issues with early alloy frames not lasting too long but once that was sorted, it seemed as though everyone suddenly needed a new bike.
Progressive suspension platforms and wheel size’s have been the big movement in the past five to seven years, but I would say one of the best things about MTB is its splinter groups that have formed so quickly; from DH, enduro, trail, dirt jump, XC race, family, steel hardtail etc, there are so many options for people to move about in. People can pick DH for a few seasons and then decide that Enduro is more their thing – thus another bike sale. Riders of these groups have become more transferable over the past few years we find.
How is the mountain bike market for Moore Large at the moment?
It’s fantastic! The need for a dedicated MTB brand such as Polygon shows that. Well-priced alloy hardtail models have been a staple diet for so many of our dealers over the past few years. Going into the more specialist category like DH we have had a great success.
What are the latest and most exciting things happening to mountain bikes?
If I were to be biased, it would have to be the arrival of the new Polygon Squareone. Its thrown the rulebook out of the window and rides like nothing I have ever tried. It’s like a monster truck going downhill giving you the confidence to ride 20 to 30 per cent bigger things than you would normally ride and climbs like a tractor making any obstacle easy to ride.
Are there any other brands or products that are exiting you at the moment?
O’Neal is a brand that is starting to pay more attention to trail riding then before which is going to be a huge door opener for us. It has started producing technical wear and its soft goods have become very fashionable at reasonable prices.
What do you think attracts people to mountain biking?
I think it’s the quick adrenaline fix more than anything.
Will there always be a massive market for it or do you think it has the potential to go out of fashion like BMX?
BMX never went out of fashion! There was huge surge for BMX five years ago, as kids wanted them to get to school and back. I think a lot of the new MTB riders are cyclists now and will stick to two wheels in some way or another. It’s a different age group who have taken up MTB – I think they will stay around for quite a while. How much they carry on spending in that sport is the mystery though.
There's been so many fads throughout the years, how do we know what will remain a key innovation and what won't stand the test of time?
I think the only thing that will stay the same will be the wheel shape!