To kick off, let’s have some stats. Now an annual fixture, CSG’s house show for 2011 played host to seven international brand experts, over 200 of the distributor’s customers, some from as far afield as Scotland and two new brands – Muc-Off and Sugoi – joined the party, while other established labels diversified away from traditional offerings.
Beginning with a brand the distributor’s co-director Russell Merry describes as one of the “tremendous success stories” from the portfolio, Xposure products, while an entry level brand, now has sub division and second SKU, dubbed Infinity.
Still based around Xposure’s on-a-budget ethos, Infinity fills the gap between entry-level and top-end components with a slight increase in the ‘bling factor’ popular with BMX riders, though not to the extent where simple components such as stems and sprockets end up out of reach to the pocket money budget buyer. Among the ‘first looks’ was a new £35 handlebar, a new stem with colour co-ordinated bolts and sprockets in various colours – all of which will be landing during September.
Cannondale too are diversifying deeper into components and accessories and Ride the Revolution held the UK debut of a much extended line of components, tools and accessories.
Among these, and a particular item of interest to many dealers present, were the US-made SL Hollowgram crankset, retailing at £799.99 and available in two 7075 T6 double ring arrangements.
Plenty of Cannondale’s accessories debuted at the show will land with the Poole distributor in January. Among that delivery will be the IQ line of cycle computers ranging from £29.99 through to £59.99, a multi-tool called the Kitchen Sink compiling 13 of the most commonly used trail tools, as well as a chain breaker and a Mavic spoke tool, among others.
Bike wise, brand manager Mike Cotty indicated that if dealers are looking for a hot tip on big sellers in the 2012 catalogue then they’d not go far wrong securing a few Cannondale CAAD8 builds at £750 retail price. The aluminium frame is potentially the lightest aluminium-framed build found in the sub £1,000 price bracket, says Cotty. What’s more, it makes for use of a super stiff BB30, revamped vibration dampening chainstays and if your customer is seeking upgrades there’s always a Tiagra spec build at £949.99 or a 105 option at £1,049.99.
For the most part, however, dealers were fondling the brand’s helmets – first spotted at PressCamp earlier in Summer. These in-molded designs span £29.99 through £69.99 in £20 jumps between models.
“A stronger parts and accessories business is certainly on the horizons for Cycling Sports Group,” confirms Merry. “Bringing on Muc-Off, the leader in their territory, is the first step toward this. Aside from these developments, there’s plenty more to shout about, including Mongoose’s strongest ever orders for BMX, topping 28,000 units arriving in the country this year.
“Then there’s Xposure, which this time last year was solely a UK brand. Today it’s distributed in more than ten countries with major territories such as the US and Australia doing good business. I’d imagine this is largely down to the majority of the BMX market not having endless budgets for top-end components. Xposure fills this gap well, with no compromises on product.”
Touting the newly developed trade-exclusive web domain – csgb2b.co.uk – as a driving force in keeping the turnover fluid, Merry tells BikeBiz that year-on-year, this avenue to purchasing product has increased five-fold.
Not too much to report from the Mongoose line, despite massively increased numbers arriving on UK shores. That is unless you’re looking for a 120mm trail bike to fill a gap in your stock. If that sounds of interest, grab the Mongoose Slayton when it arrives later this year. Two builds, the £1,600 Comp and £2,300 Expert will be available, comprising a tapered headtubed frame and fork set up, SRAM 2×10 gearing and Rock Shox rear shock among other features. Downhill and freeride is also bolstered with refinements to the freeride-suited £3,999 Pinner and downhill ready Booter.
The new frame designs have dropped some weight over last year’s builds through improved tube profiling and CSG UK’s influence on design has made the build much more UK trailcentre friendly.
GT has redeveloped its popular Avalanche, dropping between two and three pounds from the overall bike weight, all while building in forged dropouts and a host of other tidy features into the bike.
It was the brand’s expanded 29er platform that turned many heads, however, with the Zaskar leading the charge with a carbon build, due October and retailing for £3,299. Finishing kit here is all good stuff, with brands such as Fox, Shimano XT, DT Swiss and Formula all contributing.
A full suspension build, retailing at both £3,299 and £3,999 depending on spec will also land shortly, bringing with it 100mm travel, thru axles front and rear and much more.
Back to BMX and sticking with top-end kit, Eclat had a number of hidden gems which in-house BMX expert Chris McCardle says: “Seems to be drawing increased interest from the mainstream retailers, who have been until now unfamiliar with BMX.”
Among these you’ll find a new Jason Phelan approved, slim-profile plastic pedal, called the Slash. Spotted Specced on WeThePeople’s new Envy build at £899.99 was Eclat’s newly designed Berzerk deep section rim, said to be one of the toughest available at present.
Finally, the brand’s worst kept secret, the two-piece Onix crank with investment casting at both ends, was debuted.
For a further look at Cycling Sports Group’s latest products, visit the firm’s trade portal www.csgb2b.co.uk.