CoreBike 2009: Product Round-up - BikeBiz

CoreBike 2009: Product Round-up

For many, the show was a chance to play catch up with brand managers on prototypes, prices and the workings of the latest tech kit. BikeBiz documents the new distribution deals, the latest product and the new prices in this multi-exhibitor run-down from CoreBike 2009…
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2pure
Jimi Wallets is 2pure’s latest addition to a portfolio which gradually seems to be diversifying further into general outdoor use, as well as cycle-specific product. Great news for retailers with a broad, outdoor-loving customer base.

The plastic wallets are water resistant, can hold four cards and a removable plastic sleeve with money clip. Like everything else in the room, the brand offers a range of colours and each is made from recycled plastic only. One per cent of each sale also goes to the One Percent For The Planet initiative.

Clif Bars, also popular in the general outdoor market, has developed a women’s specific snack dubbed Luna Bars.

Colour was the talk of the room and Crank Brothers’ latest had many drooling. The Champagne Cobalt wheels can be adorned with matching skewers, while Lizard Skins also had a rainbow’s worth of colour and a new grip – the ‘mini’ – a shorter grip available in lock on.

One of the more unusual products in the room came from SQ Labs, which developed a handlebar described as a ‘comfort bar’. The bar featured an unusually large backsweep (almost cruiser-esque), designed to target those leisure riders looking for a more relaxed pedal posture.

Buffera
Three brands come under the Buff umbrella now – Sue Me, Buff and Hides.

First up, Buff has begun using Marino Wool, a natural fibre, which works extremely well in base layer clothing. Available from August, the Marino Buff will come attached to a unique ram header card.

Other Buffs have been upgraded too. Not only does the Spiderman edition now come in adult sizes, it also comes treated with polygiene, a bacterial control solution, which prevents build up of common mouth-to-material bacteria. New licences from the likes of Hello Kitty, National Geographic, Batman, Kukuxumuru and Disney are also on offer, and the reflective Buff also made a welcome return, integrating a Scotchlite strip for extra visibility.

If you’re not familiar with Hides, the clever product turns into a case, or lens cleaner.

Sue Me was still working with prototypes of most clothing, but the brand did reveal its adoption of the bamboo fibre. 70 per cent of the brand’s t-shirts are wicked from bamboo, while the remaining portion is made from natural cotton.

Chicken Cyclekit
The main attraction among the Chicken Cyclekit product had to be the Troy Lee Selle Italia saddles. Reaching outside the firm’s traditional target market, the saddles range from £45 to £100 RRP and are aimed mostly at the off-road market. Five models are available under the exclusive saddle deal.

Featuring scratch-resistant graphics, the higher the range you go, the tougher the features. The £77.99 Yutaak includes a Kevlar reinforced rear panel.

POS was a hit too, with many dealers enthused by the Selle stand and low buy-in rate. Buy-ins of 16 or 28 saddles are available, both coming with the Selle tower, although the latter is on a lower rate per saddle.

Also new, Ryde’s ‘Beasty’ wheel now comes with ‘tattoo’ graphics and is predicted to be a big hit as a heavy-duty, yet lightweight all-round wheel.

Campagnolo’s 11 speed groupset was well known by Core, however Velotech training’s Jeff Beach said: “We’re using Core as a platform to talk to dealers about becoming Pro-shops and Campag repair centres. 25 to 35 dealers are sought nationwide and will be talking to prospective clients up until early-to-mid-March.”

Citrus Lime
E-commerce and Epos expert Citrus Lime took its first outing in the bike trade at Core, impressing dealers with its highly organised retail packages. Of particular interest was the company’s ‘workshop module’, an Outlook-style booking system with scheduling features and price calculation software.

The Epos system is able to save customer details, a comprehensive purchase history and save receipts of previous transactions, eliminating the need for print-outs – although these are still available. Fine details like a customer’s service history and portfolio of bikes can be saved too. Even footfall figures can be documented – a great tool for seeing the true value of a customer. Perhaps more useful to store managers, the system flags up due date reminders to make sure workshop deadlines are met. Specific service packs can be tailored then listed on the system too, keeping calculations straightforward.

For the most part, the Epos can follow simple drag-and-drop commands and can draw up detailed daily, weekly and monthly reports.

An e-commerce package can also help those looking for a revamped or new web store. It can easily be synchronised with the Epos, so stock control is up to the minute and out of stock items can’t be ordered. Citrus Lime can provide demos online or in person.

Extra
Last year it was Paligap which signed a hatrick of distribution deals. This year it was Extra. Customers now have access to FibreFlare, YESS and Mule Bar.

FibreFlare is, as the name suggests, a glow stick style fibre light running on two AAA batteries. The omni-directional light clips virtually anywhere via a silicon attachment. The light has a 75 hour burn time and is visible for 300 metres.

Canadian brand YESS manufactures chain tensioners and will bring four products to the UK this year. Suited to various uses, BMX and rigid specific models will be available, with the firm increasingly popular with OEM manufacturers.

The distributor can now feed cyclists too. Mule Bar giveaways were available and the organic Fair Trade bars are made with brown rice syrup plus other ingredients. The bars give off a ‘parachute effect’ of energy, where an initial hit is provided, but also with a slow energy burn. At £1.39 per bar, with six flavours available, they contain fruit, chocolate and more. One per cent of each sale is donated to One Percent For The World.

Fox
Fox introduced much new kids-specific product, including a revamped range of helmets and protection. The new Flux helmet in particular comes in a new extra-small size.

The Rampage full-face helmet made an appearance with a slimmed weight. Now weighing 1100g, the helmet can accommodate replaceable liners and retails for £95.

The clothing line also saw fresh additions. The Sergeant and Blitz shorts are ideal for casual as well as trail use, as are matching jerseys – mirroring many of the shorts’ designs.

Fox goggles also returned, beginning at just £30 for a motocross inspired eye protector. BikeBiz was told the eyewear range was a consistent performer throughout 2008.

Hope
Hope continues to bolster its UK manufacturing facility and portfolio of product, revealing at Core that the brand was soon to invest in a wheelbuilding machine enabling it to take its offering of six complete wheels up to 27. And with plenty of anodizing equipment, expect to see any new product in a variety of colours.

The brand had brought along two new DH-specific stems set to take over from the 50 and 70 models. One of these is a Boxxer/Fox specific build.

Two new hubs were also shown at Core – the Pro 2 and Pro 3 models, the latter being the high-end model complete with steel bearings.

Ison
As reported on Bikebiz.com, Ison linked up with Xtracycle, the US-based ‘hingeless trailer’ manufacturer. Marketing manager Matt Andrews was keen to show off a second new brand, Renthal, although, as yet, we cannot go into too much detail about the deal. But you can bet that the product will be highly-reliable, while carrying little weight.

On show at Core were various bars, stems, chainrings and Kevlar grips. The chainrings are hard-anodised and should be available within one month of BikeBiz landing, although delivery dates for all other products are yet to be confirmed.

Sadly, Xtracycle’s latest models were stranded somewhere in California. Nevertheless, Andrews offered: "The response to the Xtracycle announcement has been positive."

To round off two rooms of display, new product such as the KHE Astern hub was on show, alongside the popular freecoaster.

Jim Walker
Argon 18 got its first outing at Core and, to the delight of many dealers, emphasis was placed on the brands highly-competitive value for money and respectable margin.

And for those who thought that those prices couldn’t possibly stay fixed with the latest round of increases, the distributor confirmed that for the foreseeable future everything would remain as on the show price list.

The high modulus carbon frames pay particular attention to detail with features including washers to prevent any frame damage from attached components. Many dealers familiar with the brand were following its progress as it landed with Jim Walker.

Also on display was the now exclusive Cyclus tools range, Iron Horses latest rigs, Northwaves’ progressing clothing and much more.

Merida
Three years ago Merida emerged under its own label and begun to seek UK IBDs. A big brand in Europe and the US, the UK market is now sharply in focus – hence the brand’s CoreBike presence. However, the company has been quietly selling in the UK since 1995 under a private brand label, so it certainly knows the market.

With plans to grow its distribution in the UK, Core proved an ideal platform to demonstrate the ‘one-stop-shop’ range to dealers uneducated in the brand. Two rooms were needed to accommodate even a small portion of the range. But the highlights, as demonstrated to BikeBiz by UK MD Tim Buxton, had to be the world’s lightest full suspension production model, at 19.9 pounds complete, adorned with all the lightest, top quality gear on the market and retailing for £7,499.99. And just a month down the line will be the launch of the world’s lightest nanocarbon hardtail.

Paligap
Quintana Roo debuted its 2009 line at Core, showing off plenty of choice for stockists looking to diversify their offering. Last year’s other additions (Litespeed and Merlin) also made a return, having been specifically tailored to the UK market.

Sombrio was a hit again this year having picked up and expanded on 2008’s trends – such as the flat peak cap – and worked in the design influence taken from the company’s trail background.

Kona’s clothing line-up, as designed by ex-snow sports industry designer Michelle Gault, also made a return with the introduction of plenty of new casual race jerseys in a wide variety of styles.

There were no new brands for Paligap this year, but there was also no shortage of hot product for dealers to mull over on the drive home.

Silverfish
BikeBiz was gutted to be told we couldn’t photograph Evil’s latest downhill rig, despite it being a world first trade showing. The Revolt utilises the Delta suspension system designed by founder Dave Wevil, offers 203mm of travel via a two-stage shock system. This provides the bike with greater absorption of smaller bumps and also the capability to handle cliff drops via a huge coil shock.

The frame has an extruded BB and absolutely nothing is threaded into the frame, eliminating thread-strip. The frame also utilises a ‘flip-chip’ system, which raises and lowers the bottom bracket. Stock of the Revolt will land at Silverfish in April.

Also from Evil, The Sovereign freeride frame and Faction jump frame were debuted.

Another first showing came from the e.Thirteen brand. The SOS Plus is one of the new models, weighing in under 200g, yet retaining extremely high knock resistance via a tough honeycomb structure. Top of the line is the LG1 – a 168 gram, one-bolt guard which also utilises the proven honeycomb build.

RaceFace also announced two new colours for the Atlas crank – purple and red. In addition to this, a crank was launched for the cyclocross market.

Almost meeting the freeride and cross-country crank in the middle, the Cadence CX is a great solution for both on and

Upgrade
Kenesis UK has chosen Upgrade to distribute and design the new Decade range, which consists of three whole new frame builds – the Virtue, Convert2 (available from April) and the Tripster.

The Convert2 frame is suited to the influx of singlespeeders taking over the streets at present and carries a changeable dropout – so should one of your customers desire a geared build, a vertical dropout can be applied.

The Virtue frame is built from Tange Prestige tubing and is heat-treated to bolster the strength of the frame. The Virtue will be available to dealers by the time this issue of BikeBiz hits desks.

Also in Upgrade’s room was the Lezyne product seen at Cycle Show, as well as a TRP, (Tektro’s high-end brand) which has made a big impression among cyclocross fans. Upgrade is the UK service centre for all Tektro product.

Atomlab had plenty of new product on show, including two new fork models, each utilising 60mm of travel. The Gi60 and Pimp60 are £199.99 and £259 respectively, with the latter having CNC machined, hard anodized lowers, reducing the final weight. Although low travel, the forks have a highly progressive spring weight, meaning they’ll hold their own under bigger hits. Another of Atomlab’s highlights was the UK debut for its hydraulic Gyro system (£165.00). This product has been available abroad

Windwave
A2Z and IceToolz were advertised at Core for ‘the best rate all year’, with dealers offered 50 pieces at the best rate with top-ups from them also on the cheap rate.
BikeBiz found out that this was not just a show offer. Windwave will be offering the cost-effective spares and tools at a good margin rate for the foreseeable future.

IceToolz had a few new workshop tools, which as with the rest of the brand’s tools came in at a reasonable price for specialist tools. Of the Unique goods on offer, the £24.99 retail four-crown remover was on show, something dealers and consumers alike will find particularly useful when dealing with heavy-duty forks.

Nokon also discussed customised options with the trade. Those conversations followed on from the manufacturer’s announcement that the brand could offer ‘national flag’ arrangements of the linked cable system.

For more CoreBike news and analysis, click here.

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