Since the turn of the year, distribution giant Madison has been introducing trade and consumers alike to the ‘Adventure’ line – a line of entry-level bikes supplied near fully assembled by trained mechanics.
So what’s different about Adventure’s cycling product? For starters, it’s quite a streamlined range, seemingly revolving around the family day trip. There’s a small, but tailored line-up of bikes for the kids, mum and dad, with add on accessories such as child trailers. It’s the family bike excursion optimised and the bikes are simple too, designed to last and require no special servicing. As a bonus for the dealer, each bike is supplied 95 per cent assembled, by Cytech mechanics at the factory source.
Starting at £129.99 for the 16-inch wheeled kids bikes and going no higher than £259.99 for the gents 26-inch MTB, the bikes are beginner cyclist orientated, though revolve around tough alloy frames. For toddlers, retailers can also take on a selection of brightly coloured Adventure Zooom scoot-along bikes at £89.99 each.
Brand manager Phil Hammill adds: “We have paid particular attention to all the contact points of the bikes such as the saddle, grips, shifter and braking system. We anticipate that Adventure will be the first experience of riding a bike in a long time for many buyers. We want them to have a good experience and not throw the bike in the shed because of a poor quality saddle.”
Moving on, Thule drew BikeBiz’s attention to its G6 rear door-mounted rack, which replaces last year’s G5, as well as the new Slide Bar roof rack. The highlight feature of the G6 is a foot-operated tilt mechanism, which makes accessing the boot with bikes on board a doddle.
It was the Slide Bar that drew the most attention. Capable of holding four bikes when equipped with ‘532’ carriers, the roof bars slide up to 60cm each way on rollers, so there’s no need to lean over the car to mount bikes.
Neil Sellers of Thule tells BikeBiz: “Three sizes of slide bar are available ranging from £190 to £220. The 532 add on retails for £50 a pop, giving dealers plenty of opportunity to upsell. If a store has space, we’ve some great point-of-sale units this year in sizes from one metre wide, to full on four metre wide units. Dealer training and a listing on Thule’s website also comes with some packages.”
Aside from hard goods, Memory Map has a money-making, risk-free opportunity that many dealers may have missed. That comes in the form of online trail finder service trailzilla.com, where dealers can become an affiliate and earn commission from weblinks. By placing a small banner on their website, retailers can earn 25 to 30 per cent of any resulting sale of mapping.
With 5,000 users having registered in the first three months, the site’s popular too, making it a great point of reference should a customer ask about local routes.
The firm’s more traditional product has a new flagship item too, thanks to the introduction of the Adventurer 3500. This 3.5-inch wide mapping device comes fully loaded with GB maps and comes boxed with a silicone protection sleeve and quick-release bar mount.
Groupsets aside, Shimano has picked up on dealer grumbles about basic workshop and shop floor extras such as cabling. There are now several colours of workshop cable reel, as well as packaged units for road bike gear and brake systems.
Road specialists should also take note of the new C35 wheel, pitched as an “all-round, do everything” road wheel. Striking a balance between weight, aerodynamics and stiffness, customers will be able to take home a wheelset for just £1,800.
Furthermore, the RS80 C50 is new to the line and pitched as an Ultegra level wheel, but sub- £1,000 a pair. In fact, a wheelset will only cost £900 and the rear wheel holds a titanium freehub body.
Kryptonite’s Don Warren (pictured story lead) had made a special trip to the UK to meet retailers and discuss the firm’s link up with Bike Revolution.
The partnership has materialised in the form of an ID tag system, which when applied to a bike, creates a permanent, scannable link to an online registration of the bike and owners details. Thieves could attempt to remove the tag, of course, but it’d be incredibly slow work thanks to a sticker that ‘chips’, as opposed to peeling off. Even if the thief were to be successful in damaging the barcode, a ‘Pulse ID code, found below, would also have to be removed to prevent identification.
Once registered online, a customer can use social networking links to make everyone aware of their bike and its status. Bike Revolution tags are now in stock at Madison.
Another of the firm’s quirky products was the interchangeable sheaths that now allow owners of the Mini Five and Seven D locks to customise theirs to match their bike. At £4.99 a pop, dealers can offer these as an add-on purchase on all Mini locks sold.
Horizons are expanding for Blackburn meaning dealers can for the first time pick up a range of Blackburn branded saddlebags, panniers and grocery bag solutions – some developed alongside specialists Rixen and Kaul. Starting at £12.99 RRP and rising to £30, the saddlebag line and ‘Strap Wallet’ are now in stock with Madison. Blackburn’s wallet is designed for those who don’t get on with saddlebags and would prefer something to snugly fit in a jersey pocket. What’s more, for fans of Blackburn product, the wallet is designed to accommodate the Airstick SL pump and Toolmanator multitool.
A spokesman for Blackburn also revealed to BikeBiz that the lock range currently debuting in the US may eventually find its way to the UK as the line expands.
Stockists should also be aware that the popular ‘Click’ light, debuted at last year’s iceBike*, now comes in ten colours. The Flea 2.0 USB light has also been updated to include an LED that indicates how much power remains.
For the majority of iceBike* attendees, this will have been the first viewing of the Pacific Outdoors line in its entirety. For those who don’t know much about the brand, there’s a few differentiating features, such as you’ll not find any stitching within the line. Waterproofing is key and as such, joins are ‘welded’ together at 170 degrees.
Three types of bag fit into Madison’s portfolio – Expedition panniers, the City range and a line of lightweight solutions utilising a thinner version of the waterproof material employed on all other product.
As you’d expect, the City line caters for the cycle commuter and as such has all the appropriate internal pockets for laptops, MP3 players and the like. The Expedition line, again does what it says on the tin, providing a durable and resistant line suited to long days in the saddle.
The majority of stock lands with Madison in mid-April, so retailers should keep a close eye on the distributor’s B2B, if interested.
Science In Sport
There’s one new item in the diverse Science In Sport line that was tried and tested by the iceBike* faithful – the Smart 1 powder mix, designed for use in water bottles.
Having been developed alongside pro tour teams like Saxobank and Team Leopard Trek, the blend revolves around caffeine and is best used to drive the metabolism of carbohydrates in order to keep the rider alert.
Two flavours, Green Tea and Lemon, as well as Berry are now in stock with Madison, retailing at £10 for a 500-gram tub, or £1.67 in pre-mixed gel form. Point-of-sale support is available on request.
The full seven model line of Giro shoes, in all sizes, were on show to iceBike*’s crowds, giving anyone who has not yet had the chance to sample the Retul-developed ‘Supernatural Fit Kit’ a chance to see what all the fuss is about.
Supplied with the Prolight SLX, Factor and Code models, a Giro footwear customer takes away the three-size footbed altering kit, (pictured top right, page 25) meaning the fit within either shoe can be tailored to the contours of the foot.
Simon Fisher from Giro’s soft goods division told BikeBiz that next year will bring many more women’s specific goods too. “Next year the line broadens past the current one model – the Espada – which this year is the only women’s shoe.”
Visit BikeBiz.com and search Giro shoes for a detailed spotlight on the brand, that was originally run in the February issue.