In a jam-packed show season, Paligap took time out between Eurobike and Cycle Show to put on its own dealer show. Unlike previous affairs, the Bristolian distributor held the event at its own HQ – something made possible by its move to new 20,000 sq ft premises last November. So, set on home turf Paligap unveiled the latest product lines from its brand portfolio, covering Kona, Torq, FFWD, Ritchey, Saris, Sobrio and the rest.
Expansion is the word on Paligap’s lips this year. Keen to shake off the misapprehension that the firm only distributes Kona, Paligap has ramped up its parts and accessories offering with three new brands: MCipollini, Brev M and Silca. The firm is keen to add to its line-up too and tells BikeBiz that it is actively looking for new brands to continue to grow its parts and accessories offering.
IN WITH THE NEW
The MCipollini brand, featuring apparel and a bike range, is not only new for Paligap but also new in itself, teased a year ago at Eurobike.
Headed up by Mario Cipollini himself, who launched the range in person in the UK at Cycle Show, the line-up includes two models – the RB1000 ‘champion’s bike’ and the RB800 racing bike. The high-end lightweight carbon monocoque rides are handcrafted and big on the small details, according to the firm. Both are Italian-designed and manufactured in Florence. The garment side of the brand is more extensive. Aimed at the performance market (with an appropriately high price tag) the high performance technical garments are pro-fit and designed by Cipollini himself. The range features seasonal clothing (Snugline Winter).
Brev M is another new brand for Paligap, tapping into the ever-growing stylish fixie sector. Sporting seemingly endless colour options, the component brand is pitched at being relatively inexpensive and provides durable (and cool) parts. The eye-catching range from the US includes handlebars, grips, saddles, chainrings, crankarms and more, virtually all available in multiple colour options.
Silca completes the trio of brands new to Paligap. In fact the firm has been around for 93 years, over the course of which Silca has kept production in Italy and has grown to include plenty of day-to-day consumables.
The range includes pumps, CO2 cannisters, bottles, cages and plenty more. Paligap promises to carry spares for the products too, so items like the pumps are fully rebuildable.
But it’s not just about the new names. MCipollini, Brev M and Silca’s products sat alongside the latest from firm Paligap favourites like Fast Forward at the show. The FF range, handmade in Holland, now includes the F4R Carbon clinchers, and the new lightweight F6 rim. Paligap revealed it is looking for potential dealers to sign up to the prestigious brand.
Proving that retro clothing is not, erm, a thing of the past, Solo’s latest clothing range is infused with that popular old school look. The ‘race-bred cyclewear’ range is headed up with eight short-sleeved jerseys, but also includes shorts, socks, leg warmers and bags.
The ever-popular CycleOps range offers good margins and only a minimal commitment by dealers – ideal for the trainers which are lifetime products. Sporting a quiet, road-like feel the range complements Paligap’s DVD lines. The range features real rides designed for training, sprinting, climbing, mountain biking, etc.
Meanwhile, Torq has added to its performance food line-up with the intriguing Rhubarb and Custard gel. Following on from that new and rather unusual flavour, the firm has also launched the Mint Chocolate Torq Recovery. Paligap’s accessory line-up has also been bolstered by new additions from the Sombrio clothing brand and from Muc-Off.
Speaking of favourites, Paligap stalwart Kona also has a thing or two up its sleeve for the new season. Following its tent-tastic showing at Eurobike, the Kona’s bike prices are all ready for the change in VAT at the start of 2011. The range also now features head badges in various different iterations depending on the genre of product, i.e all the MTBs share the same headbadge.
The Kona range has aimed to provide more bang for buck in 2011, with many models now featuring branded components and higher specs, but without a significant price rise.
Significantly for the sector, Paligap will be stocking three electric Kona models this year: the Electric Ute, the Token and the Ticket. All feature 250w motors that have a 100 km power-assisted range.
Beyond e-bike lines, Kona’s mountain bike cross country hardtails are pitched as being stiffer, with enhanced trackability and compliancy. The Fire Mountain (£500) remains a key model, now boasting those aforementioned branded components from Shimano, an FSA headset and Rockshox Dart 1 forks. The Lana’I has also seen its specs go up (with a Shimano crankset), but only with a modest price rise (now £350 rather than £310).
Cross country hardtail Blast now boasts a new frame with integrated headset (£700), while the Caldera (£1,000) features an FSA headset, Mavic rims and an WTB saddle among other names. In the cyclocross sector, Jake has had a major revamp. Its price has increased by £100, but the enhancements are many, including a new frame, integral head tube and tougher forks. The Major Jake is Kona’s first full carbon cyclocross race bike, featuring BB30 bottom bracket, Ultegra shifters and an FSA cockpit.
Other highlights from the Kona range include the significantly revamped Kula Gold, and commuter lines like the Dew Plus (now sporting hydraulic brakes) and the Dew Deluxe. Meanwhile, the Band Wagon has dropped £70 (now £500) and sports a new shiny frame that should look pretty eye-catching under streetlights.
Paligap: 01454 313116