Manchester-based bicycle maker Insync Bikes is throwing its weight behind Local Bike Shop Day in celebration of independent stores – using cycling to strengthen health during the coronavirus outbreak.
Insync is an official supporting company of the national day – coordinated by the ACT – this year takes place on 2nd May and aims to celebrate the community and culture that is independent bike shops, giving them a chance to show what makes their offering stand out.
The brand sells its bicycles through a network of around 400 independent bike dealers nationwide, a number it is looking to expand upon.
Industry veteran Eddie Eccleston, who is Insync’s head of European operations with 40 years of experience in the bike sector, said with the coronavirus it will be ‘important to do everything to keep people fit and healthy, improve general immunity which cycling can do and also support the retail market which is likely to be hard hit’.
“During this challenging and worrying time for the country, and the world, we hope cycling can provide an alternative form of transport away from mass gatherings and also a form of exercise which does not involve being in close contacts to others,” he said.
“We await official advice but we hope Local Bike Shop Day can show cycling can be part of the solution to keep people fit and healthy in mind and body as well as underline the importance of supporting smaller businesses in the crisis.
“Throughout my career, IBDs have been fundamental to the industry and they should be treated with respect especially now when retail could face a downturn. At Insync, we continue to see a key market in retail bricks and mortar bike dealers. It is very important that our customers are supported nationwide and can receive face-to-face advice from passionate, knowledgeable bike specialists.
“The IBD network can offer a service you cannot receive online, they can advise on a wide range of bike-related questions as well as offer support for repairs, which is a critical part of the buying and aftercare process. A digital concept like click and collect works best when the bike dealer is on-hand to offer expert advice.”
British Bicycle Motocross racer and track cyclist Shanaze Reade, who is a brand ambassador for Insync, is encouraging the industry and public to support Local Bike Shop Day, saying she had always had ‘strong relationships’ with local bike shops.
She said: “I think it’s super important to support your local bike shop. The shop in Crewe I used when I starting racing was super supportive towards me. They would sponsor the local regional events at Crewe.
“As a club, we all used the local shops and they would be extremely flexible to help fix the bike when it was broken, and even did workshops on how to fix different components on the bike. Still today when I’m home I pop in and have a catch up over a good cuppa.”
Insync chose two IBDs to launch its new bike ranges in 2020. Its IBD-only initial range of 13 bikes under the Coyote brand was launched at Devereux Cycles in Sale, Manchester, while Bolton-based Ebike Capital was the setting when it unveiled its Lectro range of e-bikes.