This year Holland’s own Koga is in the UK via distributor Maxtrack. The distributor’s timing is good, with the Accell-owned Koga picking up a red dot design award, launching a new website and the KMC-Koga team playing a leading role in the UK’s first ‘Battle on the Beach’. Maxtrack’s Rob Montgomery explained all to BikeBiz…
Maxtrack took over distribution of Koga in February. Is stock now in place?
Yes, we hold a range of stock and demo bikes here in the UK, both for dealer support and brand promotion. Koga also holds back up stock in Holland, which is constantly replenished and accessible online, and their prompt two to three day delivery service is excellent. Clearly lines sell out from time to time, so we do recommend that dealers plan orders to avoid disappointment. Koga also offers custom built bikes – an online service called Signature – which is for people to specify the components they want on a bike unique to their own needs.
What has been the reaction from shops?
Koga, which was formerly known as Koga Miyata, has always been well respected for quality, design, and reliability, and there are no obstacles to overcome - you just need to be ready and able to take on the brand. We have had a very encouraging response, but it takes time to get round to people so we welcome enquiries from anyone who has not yet heard from us.
And what are Maxtrack’s ambitions for Koga in the UK?
We are promoting the Koga brand and appointing Koga dealers, with a view to becoming a major brand in the UK. It is one of the most respected names and a market leader in Europe, known by some as the Bentley of the bike world. Koga ranks right up there for innovation, and in performance at world-class competitions, including the Olympics and Tour de France. There is a lot of work to do, but we relish the challenge. Their race bikes, city bikes, trekking bikes and e-bikes really are second to none. Koga is an exceptional brand with a very passionate and focused team behind it which is evident when you spend time with them. They are now part of the Accell group and have their own qualified mechanics assembling all the bikes.
Koga recently scored a Red Dot design award for the Kimera road premium. Is this a bike that will be stocked in the UK?
Sales on this model are strong right now, but we will endeavour to get as much stock as we can for the UK dealers. Key selling features are Internal cable routing compatible with Shimano Di2, Carbon rear drop outs, press fit bottom bracket, tapered head tube, replaceable rear derailleur hanger, light weight racing saddle, 27,2mm seat post and the Koga designers have achieved a drastic improvement in comfort and aerodynamics without sacrificing the bike’s much claimed stiffness to weight ratio.
Can you tell us a bit about the tech within Koga’s electric bike line-up? Any MTB hybrids?
There is no MTB hybrid in the e-bike range as yet, but Koga’s 2014 ebikes comprise of two drive systems perfectly suited for city, urban and touring use. The first is the ION drive, which has been around since 2003 also used by Gazelle, Sparta, Lapierre, and Ghost. It is a tried and tested rear hub, magnetic drive system, which is completely silent. It is like riding on a magic carpet it’s so smooth, available in four battery sizes from 300wh to 600wh. There’s also the Bosch mid crank drive system, added when it became available three years ago. Both drive systems are available in cross bar and step thru frames.
Once again Koga offers the very best e-bike for those who are looking for the very best in terms of design, technology, comfort and durability.
What kind of dealer support is available? Training? After-sales support?
Dealers can expect full support from the factory and from Accell’s EBSC (Electric Bike Service Centre), and also from us at Maxtrack covering all aspects of training, sales and warranty support. Koga has very good point of sale material, online ordering for spares and warranty work with Maxtrack providing additional support.
The KMC-Koga team played a big role in the first Battle on the Beach. The phenomenon is pretty new to the UK, do you think it can run and run?
Koga has a strong competition history and that still continues today. It was fantastic to have Martin, Stefan and Karen from KMC-Koga over here competing. We got to spend a lot of time with them and saw first-hand how professional they are in their approach to the competitive environment, yet at the same time very approachable and willing to share their knowledge. As far as beach racing goes here we do have some suburban beaches to race on and Matt Page from A Cycling showed the cycling community what can be done. During the event I could not believe the comments coming from those that competed. Comments like “this was the very best race I have ever done” to “event of the year” and “definitely a future classic”, so I would say beach racing, mixed with some off road sections as it was in Pembrey, has a very good future ahead.
Maxtrack: 01531 890955