Vroom Scooters Ltd. of Wales is the exclusive importer of Kickbikes from Finland.
“We see the possibility that Kickbikes could become a mode of transport for some people, particularly in cities where cycle routes are becoming established, and attract people for whom the combination of straddling the bicycle, wearing special clothes and being far off the ground are all unattractive and where standing on a low footboard, no greasy chains or maintenance and the ease with which one can simply step off the scooter might be attractive,” said Peter Sheterline, co-founder of Vroom Scooters.
“Scooting is a significant sport in continental Europe where riders compete for a European cup, clubs and recreational use is established, predominantly in France, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Denmark and Finland, but also in Spain and Italy.”
The International Kicksled and Scooter Association is trying to get kick-biking and kick-sledding introduced as Olympic sports.
There are said to physiological arguments that favour kickbiking over cycling, both as aerobic exercise and muscle workouts based on the continuously changing body position whilst kicking and the lack of stress on any particular part of the body. Some runners and cyclists are said to cross-train on Kickbikes.
Expert kick-bikers can sustain speeds of 20mph. An English kick-biker crossed America two years ago (and was supported by number of bike trade companies who supplied touring kit to support his tour).
Vroom Scooters anticipate selling Kick-bikes initially through chains and mail order companies, hirers and outdoor centres as well as via their website.
“Whilst we will set up partnerships with IBDs, make display model offers and recruit agents to show Kickbikes around, we feel our primary objective is to let as many potential buyers see and use one to develop a demand,” said Sheterline.
“We don't want initial sales to IBDs, followed by a subsequent slow demand build-up to put IBDs off!”
Those IBDs that do take the plunge will get 30 percent margins on the three Kickbike models,
the first stock of which lands in July. All three models are based on the same frame. The Millennium Racer (£229.99 retail) is the speed model, and the City Cruiser (£189.99) is the utility model, and is fitted with a wire shopping basket.
Sales to the public generated from Vroom Scooter’s website will be sent out with attached coupons for redeeming at registered IBDs, said Sheterline, and these would pay for basic assembling of the kickbikes.
Vroom Scooters will have demo Kickbikes at the York Rally (22nd-23rd June), Lancaster BikeFest (1st-5th August) and the Cycle 2002 at the Business Design Centre in London on 26th-29th September.