In the Saddle with Storck Raddar's Ian Hughes

Short and sweet interview with firm's MD gives firm reasons for stocking Storck
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What bikes do you own and where’s your fave place to ride?

I own two Storck Road bikes, a Fascenario 0.7 for summer riding and a Scenero for Winter. A Storck Adrenalin Mountain bike and Storck Multiroad Carbon City bike. We often take a couple of Raddar Pedelec bikes out to ride for fun with friends at the weekends, as there are so many trails and paths around the Newcastle area where I live. You can hook up to the Coast to Coast route and ride out to the east coast without touching any busy roads.

On my road bike, there are so many beautiful roads in the Northumberland area with rolling hills and fabulous countryside. I have to say that would be my favorite places to ride locally. There are a couple of places that stick in my mind from further away. When we did Lands End to John O Groats a couple of years ago, riding over Rannoch moor in Scotland was pretty spectacular. After a very wet ride up through the first part of Scotland, the weather broke to clear skies and spectacular scenery over Rannoch moor. Also the ride up and over the Co de la Bonette during the Geneva – Nice trip was pretty awesome, especially the descent.

Tell us a bit about your business background:

Self taught really, there were a few people who I admired in Business and learned a lot from them. Working for a Swiss Company like Scott Sports for 15 years was a good experience in terms of working to a business plan. Sometimes I felt it was a bit anal, but it made you think about your actions and consequences and the impact it would have on the business. This (Storck Raddar UK Ltd) is my own business venture and funded by me, so that brings a new dimension and challenge. I really enjoy Sales and Marketing, that’s the fun side of business and building a brand. But equally happy sitting through spread sheets of figures, cost and numbers etc.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest rush achievable on a bike?

Going flat out downhill on my road bike, tucked down on the bars descending the co de la bonette.

Why should dealers choose Storck over competitors?

Quite simply, Markus Storck. Everything he designs and makes are done so with incredible precision, thought and detail. His integrity shines through. Function is THE key word for Markus. It’s no surprise the amount of design awards he has won in recognition for his bikes. Markus has huge respect from the bike trade and consumers alike.

Can you highlight any big sellers, or well reviewed models in the 2011 line up?

The Raddar Multitask and Raddar Multiroad have both won ‘Best of Test’ in the German e-bike consumer magazine ElektroRad. They quote: “A brilliant motor concept. Great handling characteristics (with and without engine support) silky smooth support – adjustment, fine sensor technology. The sporty Storck Raddar outperforms all e-bikes we’ve ever tested ! Conclusion: The best e-bike in Germany.” These two models are the ones that are most popular right now among UK Dealers. All Storck Raddar e-bikes conform to current legislation and UK law.

Tell us a bit about the Storck electric bike:

The Raddar pedelec bikes are quite unique. Swiss built motors with patented torque sensor in the motor which provides the most smooth, seamless power assistance in the e-bike market. The motor is noise free and vibration free. Quality lithium polymer battery pack and a simple system that the rider can adjust the amount of power assistance they wish via a handle bar mounted lever. The range on a single charge is between 40 to 100 km. All the Storck Raddar bikes are built from the Multiroad and Multitask collection of City / Hybrid bikes. This means they handle and ride just like a normal Sporty City bike. The Cosworth partnership (which I introduced) will bring a whole new bunch of ideas, electronics technology and engineering to Storck Raddar e-bikes. Cosworth are very keen to help develop more efficient e-bike systems using their vast experience in F1 electronics and engineering. This is a really exciting time.

How has uptake of the Ebike been among retail?

The uptake among Specialist e-bike shops that I have visited has been 100 per cent. It’s a different story with IBD’s, but that’s what I expected. E-bike sales and the market in the UK is a few years behind what we are seeing in Europe, particularly Germany. There are a number of reasons for this which has been widely discussed here before. Consumer education and Dealer education will help move the market forward, understanding the wide variety of customers who would benefit from a pedelec bike. It’s not just older folk. I have ridden with the most die-hard roadies who poo poo’d any form of electric assistance on a bike and got them on a Raddar pedelec bike. It took no more than around ten minutes riding for them to understand, firstly, how much fun they are to ride and secondly, how a pedelec bike can compliment their riding. How much quicker from a standing start they are, great for riding in the city, and you don’t get sweated up during your ride.

The UK has huge potential for e-bikes. It’s had a bumpy start with cheaper low quality e-bikes and generally poor service over the past few years. There are a number of quality e-bike brands coming here with good service and experience. Storck Raddar are the first real Premium e-bikes to come to the UK market. I’m looking forward to the challenge to help grow the e-bike market in the UK and build the Storck Raddar brand.

How can retailers interested in carrying Storck open an account? Any criteria to meet?

My plan is to work with and support Dealers who understand the e-bike market, or see the potential in the e-bike market and help them grow their business in this sector. Dealers don’t have to be electronics wizards or have loads of diagnostic equipment to be a Storck Raddar Dealer. Sales, after Sales and warranty back up from me will be second to none. I will only be supplying bricks and mortar business, not internet only business. Dealers interested in becoming a Storck Raddar Dealer can contact me via e-mail at ian@ian-hughes.com, via the new website www.storck-raddar.co.uk or phone 0771 5005626.


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