Accelerade and Burley got their first Core outing with Extra this year with the former debuting an interesting solution for athlete's looking to achieve their target race weight.
Forza Bars from Accelerade are a new calcium and protein bar designed to be a hunger control tool for athletes prone to snacking. When combined, calcium and protein create an enzyme, which tells the brain that you no longer need to eat. Though the effect can take around three hours, the solution works in much the same way cheese and crackers supresses the urge to eat. The science comes from the minds who developed the world reknowned Atkins diet. A Forza bar will set customers back £1.39 and comes in either choc/peanut or cranberry and nut.
Extra had invited Burley CEO Michael Coughlin to give Core's crowd a deeper insight into Burley's product and on the back of scooping a Eurobike Gold Award, Coughlin was keen to discuss the Travoy trailer.
The Travoy is a foldable, yet super-tough trailer that has an anti roll mechanism built in. In fact, the trailer has such a reputation that Burley's customers have posted videos to YouTube of their attempts to roll the Travoy. None, other than Burley's own engineers under extreme testing, managed to do so. Pitched as the perfect commuter trailer, the system has plenty of add on potential for the retailer, with numerous bags tailored to varied uses. There's waterproof roll ups, grocery bags, laptop bags and more, all of which clip on via a convenient click on and off system. Further to this, a rain cover is available for the trailer, as are adapters should customers want to attach their own bag.
Fi'zi:k revealed a line of three shoes in both men's and women's versions, available from April. In what might be an industry first, sailing cloth has been used within the line, as well as kanagaroo leather and of course, carbon fibre. The shoes have moldable insoles, which thanks to a link up with ski boot market leader Sidas, can provide customers a tailored fit, without having to sit for any longer than five minutes.
Visitors to Windwave's booth would no doubt have told about some of the margin boosting packages that spares brand A2Z have added to the line. Any store handling off road bikes in particular should check out the 20-pack of replacement disc pads in varied options now available. The bulk buy options cover all major brake brands, including Shimano, Magura, Hayes, Hope, Avid and more. With this solution, dealers can pay off the box within just four services when compared with individual packaged retail priced pads. The remaining 16 sets of spare pads are therefore "pure profit", according to Windwave marketing manager Dan Jones.
Bulk packages are also on offer for those who do a lot of 'bling business'. A2Z do package individually some bolt kits, but also sell a 'Candy Box', which holds 7075-T6 chainring and granny bolts in six colours .
Nokon Cables has also made its line far more efficient and thus profitable for dealers, going from 20 SKUs to just three. Now available in nine colours, the product packaging has had a redesign complete with cutout, enabling the consumer to see a visible section of cable.
Jones also told BikeBiz of Traitor Cycles progress, stating that those dealers now with stock are giving good feedback. The Luggernaut was flagged up as a particular winner, available as both a singlespeed build and a three-speed Sturmey Archer hub gear build. Made from retro-styled Columbus Thron Tubing, carrying a lifetime crash replacement and two-year defect warranty, the Luggernaut frame and fork is a steal for £349.99. A singlespeed build comes in at £699.95 and the Sturmey option at £749.95.
Windwave official commenced distribution of the BBB line on the last day of Core, dedicating a whole room at Whittlebury Hall to the diverse and comprehensive line.
Supplier integration is Citrus Lime's greatest advancement since the last instalment of CoreBike. Now working with numerous large suppliers, the firm revealed version two – a more user friendly, less technical approach to running a web store efficiently.
Neil McQuillan of the 'Clicks and Mortar' specialist said: "We've already got dealers reporting doing very good money with the new module. The whole user interface is a lot simpler and massively increases the speed in which product updates can be taken from a supplier's website and uploaded quickly and accurately to a dealer's website. The upgrade effectively means the store can click 'update' in its back end and stock updates can be applied straight away. We're constantly looking for new suppliers to work with and as long as stock data can be provided in a reasonable format the process is incredibly simple.”
Citrus Lime will soon launch a micro-site that will demonstrate the module's capabilities.
Many will have read about James Cracknell's collision with a lorry in Arizona back in July. While attempting to complete seven marathons back-to-back, the athlete was knocked off and amazingly survived, but according to his doctor, this was likely down to the one of a kind helmet the rower turned have-a-go-at-anything athlete was wearing.
The particular model was the Alpina Pheos, a carbon reinforced unit, which absorbed the brunt of the crash and thanks to the lowered back on the helmet, prevented much of the damage that could otherwise have occurred. As such, this helmet is now a proud part of Merida's stable, though that's not all Alpina had to show off. In what the firm claims is a first, Alpina's in-molded high modulus EPS carries a dial fit system, something neglected in the world of 'piss pots' until now.
Further to this, the German eyewear and protection firm has revealed what it says is the 'most aerodynamic time trial helmet available'. Though only a late prototype, the vented helmet is due on the market in the coming months carrying a retail tag of £400.
Birzman is another of the few brands under Merida's UK distribution portfolio, but one that is excelling. Having scooped seven different design awards at Eurobike – the most ever by one brand – retailers are urged to check out the various tool cases and workshop tools, as well as the line of products best-suited to the casual mechanic. Of the Eurobike design winners, Birzman were particularly pleased to be awarded recognition on its consumer facing Damselfly chain tool and heavier duty Dragonfly tool, which wouldn't be out of place in the busiest of workshops.
Buff was represented by several staff at Core and BikeBiz caught up with one of its fresher recruits, ex-sponsored athlete and long-time Buff representative Tim McDowell.
McDowell was kind enough to model a number of new items, which should keep customers interested once the Dog Buff demand dies down. The first of these new items was what Buff described as its Multifunctional Jacket. Made from a material Buff has kept top-secret until now, McDowell said: "The membrane is made from four-way stretch material which carries a waterproof value of 1,000 metres, meaning it is easily capable of use on ski slopes, let alone tackling the British weather."
The jacket carries a few nice practical touches such as a window in the sleeve, meaning watches or wrist-mounted computers can be seen without rolling up the cuff. Though barely noticeable, the jacket has a hood rolled up into a Velcro sealed collar, thumb loops placed within to prevent arms riding up and 3M Scotchlite strips. Other details include minor detailing on the jacket's interior – Ordnance Survey graphics on the men's and floral on the women's. Stock is due on March 1st and retailers can place orders for the £130 unit now.
The firm also had a new take on the traditional Buff line debuted at Core. The Hood and Hoodie Buffs are designed to be a "hood add on" for garments lacking the feature. The Hood buff makes use of Gore windstopper fabrics to shield the neck and head.
Many at Core were said to be surprised by the diversity of Cordee's business, which focuses on travel and adventure sports books, a large portion of which are cycling specific.
Among the latest releases and moving very much with the times, the book distributor has stock of David Henshaw and Richard Peace's detailed look at e-bikes in the aptly named Electric Bicycles. At £12.95, the guide details the advantages of going electric, chapters on history and development, classic models, the future as seen through the eyes of those immersed in the industry and more.
Cordee also flagged up Spring Classics as a title that road retailers in particular should consider adding to their stock. Through the title's 224 pages, publisher Velopress draws on L'Equipe's top writers and historians, pulling together hundreds of newly restored photographs from European competition dating back to the 1800s.
Cordee's Richard Robinson told BikeBiz: "We can assist cycle dealers in choosing which books would best suit their store and clientele, just drop us a line to discuss your needs.”
Cordee also carries a wide range of cycling travel books, including Vertebrate Publishing's Mountain Biking area guides and Family Cycling titles.