Nearly two years on from forming a small distribution outfit focused on unique and exotic product, Eurobike's Russ Masters has taken time out to tell BikeBiz its time to consolidate some sterling growth achieved to date and bring a few new dealers on board.
BikeBiz: Eurobike, though still young, is a growing name. How do you feel the first two years’ business have gone?
Russ Masters: Eurobike Ltd is about to complete its second year and we feel that we have ‘turned a corner’ in terms of recognition. We are extremely happy with how the business is growing. When myself and Paul set out we had a clear goal in mind and I would like to think that we are totally on that target still.
What’s next for Eurobike – any predictions for the next two years of business?
For the next two years we really need to build on the initial success and response to the brands. We have always set out to have a five-year growth plan for Moda Bicycles in particular and this is on track.
There have been a few brand additions that some may not have heard as yet – can you fill us in on Bebop and Ultimate Ceramic?
Our most recent addition to the brand portfolio was the acquisition of Be-Bop pedals, which we spied at Eurobike (Germany) a year ago. We were taken by several aspects of the brand, notably the weight, and ease of use. This combined with a neat and concise model range fitted the existing brands well. Ultimate Ceramic Bearings was a product that was introduced to us and had instant appeal, anybody seeing this product for the first time remembers it. Again, much like Be-Bop, the fit with our business was instant, as we are always interested in brands that have an exclusive and exotic side to them.
Tell us about the feedback you’ve had to the Moda line through recent shows:
Feedback for the Moda brand has been superb. We had a booth at Eurobike last year and the interest from the UK dealers was extremely positive. Overseas dealers from as far as Australia and New Zealand, came on the booth and went through the range with much interest, as a result of that show we have sent product to Holland and Belgium.
We took good forward orders at our UK shows for 2011 stock and our dealer base has increased accordingly.
What was the thinking behind branching out into titanium?
Our recent launch of titanium models has had pleasing success. We were careful to choose the right manufacturing partner to supply our frames and we are delighted with the results. The attention to detail is outstanding and we not only supply complete bikes in road, track and MTB, but can also supply frame kits, something that gives us an edge.
Now the bike line covers a variety of categories – how do you progress?
The Moda range, in the future, will start to diversify into a longer-travel freeride bike, as well as a women’s specific range.
Is the Cycle to Work price bracket as important to the Moda line as it was in the early days?
The Cycle to Work scheme, although very important, has not been our range driver. Our bikes start at £999 and building a bike around this price point is crucial. Our ‘Rubato’ and ‘Bolero’ models hit this price squarely and we believe them to be the best value for money road bikes shoehorned into the sub £1,000 bracket. We simply like to build great value for money bikes that perform.
How much of making a Moda come to life is done in the UK?
We use the tag line ‘UK Born Bikes’ and this is the philosophy behind the brand. Each model is solely designed by us, with input from all over. This is then translated to our frame supplier.
Once we have received the frame in the building we then go into the build process here in Derby. Everything from here on in is done in-house. We spec the bikes carefully, catering to our customer’s needs. If a dealer has a preference on a build with chain set, or stem length, this is adjusted and sent out accordingly. This flexibility is something that we really want to shout about as no other brands can offer this level of service.
Are you still recruiting dealers to carry the bike line?
We are still pursuing dealers in areas not yet covered and welcome trade enquiries. Eurobike maintains its stance on dealing with dedicated independent bike shops, as we strongly believe this is where the future of the trade lies.
American Classic now has its own production, can you tell us more about the benefits of this?
American Classic does indeed have its own production facility and because of this they can offer complete control over not only the design, but as importantly the quality control.
American Classic continues to grow and gain positive feedback. Comments such as ‘lightest’ and ‘fastest spinning’ have been common from journalists recently. As far as the consumer comments, they repeatedly report on the value for money package. 29ers particularly are flying out the door at present as the consumer looks for an upgrade to the bikes for 2011.