Can you tell us a bit about Pace’s history?
We fell into the mountain bike business in 1987 – at least that was the date stamped on the first frame assembly jig. By the 1980’s we had a small design business. I used an early mountain bike for dirtbike training, which soon became a rolling prototype for some funky ideas for mountain bike parts such as bars, forks and other components. High-grade aluminium was sourced from Sponden, the renowned road-racing motorcycle frame manufacturer and the first iconic square tubed Pace evolved shortly thereafter.
We dreamed up a bunch of ideas including the first threadless headset, downhill bikes, xc bikes, clothing and components. And carbon fibre suspension forks, too.
And a bit about your partnership with DT Swiss?
Cathy my wife (now co-director since 1996) and I had been developing the company as a niche fork manufacturer, but that industry was heading more toward OE mass production – a direction we weren’t interested in.
I still had ideas for frame designs and started to develop our unique Freefloater design. I liked the DT Swiss shock and we developed a working relationship with DT, which ultimately lead to DT purchasing the suspension ‘division’ from Pace. Pace is still a UK independent business with two arms – Pace Cycles and DT distribution and servicing.
How can dealers take stock of Pace product? What’s the account criteria?
We have two simple programmes – dealer and stockist – so any dealer can pick up the phone and order anything. He need not have an account and will have an attractive margin. However, should the dealer want to become a Pace frame or DT suspension stockist, then we offer an improved margin for a smaller stock commitment.
As with any imports business, extremely poor exchange rates are a major concern. So we’ve developed an aggressive dual strategy. Taking a Pace frame as a first example – we’ve given the customer more choice (colours and shock options) included an anodized finish (FOC) and at a time when most of our competition has dramatically increased prices – we’ve reduced the SRP without cutting dealer margins.
Secondly, we’re developing an innovative range of UK made components – all CNC machined and beautifully made which will compete head on with expensive imports.
Are there any expansion plans in the pipeline?
Pace recently moved from the original factory site and we are just getting established into two new units on the fringe of the North York moors.
Are warranty issues handled in-house?
Yes – in all cases and with all our brands and products. Additionally, we are the official Service Centre for both DT Swiss and Scott suspension (supporting Nude and Equalizer 2 products). We carry full spares back up and handle all warranty issues here in the UK, so the dealer now has the confidence that these products have local UK support which is fully factory backed.
TEL: 01751 432929