Weldtite is a British brand that has been around since 1940.
It started out making puncture repair materials for the British Military and since then its puncture protection range has expanded, incorporating the latest technologies to meet and exceed the demands of today’s cyclists whether they ride tubes or tubeless. The business moved to Barton-upon-Humber in the 1980s, having received support from the Government, and has been there ever since.
“This year will be our 80th anniversary,” Dan Leather, marketing manager, tells BikeBiz. “It’s an achievement that we’re proud of. Puncture repair is what we’re probably best known for across the world,” he continues. “It’s not a stretch to say we’re the world leader in puncture repair. We offer very different lines, different qualities and we do white label for many brands.”
But in the last 20 to 30 years, Leather says the focus has widened to the lubricants, tools, cleaners and general bike maintenance. “We offer a full range of lubricants, cleaners and tools. Anyone who rides a bike is almost certain to have come into contact with at least one Weldtite product at some point, which is quite unique,” he says.
Made in England
Unlike many brands, Weldtite manufactures the lion’s share of its products in the UK, at its factory on the banks of the River Humber in North Lincolnshire.
“It is a big deal,” Leather says. “You don’t get ‘Made in England’ that much anymore. All of our puncture repair kits are made in England, as are our range of lubes and cleaners. It’s always been a part of our makeup to produce as close to our domestic market as possible. Transporting products from the Far East has a cost in terms of environmental impact. The true cost of carbon embodied in a product is only now being understood and challenged.
“We see our local production capability as vital to combating CO2 emissions and let’s not forget, our puncture repair kits prevent tonnes of rubber inner tubes, potentially millions of tubes each year, being sent to landfill. Obviously Brexit’s taking place at the moment but we believe UK manufacturing is well placed to react. There are price benefits for our consumers too so it does put us in a strong position.”
Investing in the factory, the brand recently upgraded its liquid fill line, also has the benefit of reducing the business’ environmental footprint – an issue Leather says gets a lot of attention when Weldtite is working on its large product range.
“We have recently reformulated our Bike Cleaner, it’s now biodegradable while offering the same great cleaning performance,” he says.
‘One giant leap for bike cleaning’
Jet Blast was launched earlier this year – after officially premiering at Eurobike, where Weldtite’s stand was packed during the trade days. It features a powerful jet spray that makes short work of removing muck, grime and oil, the company says.
Testing against the competition is part of an ongoing process by Weldtite to provide industry-leading product quality. Weldtite says it will not bring a product to market unless it knows it is the best it can be, the best in the market or as good as the best.
For example, in Weldtite’s lab, the brand’s Red Devils Self Seal Patches stayed firmly attached to inner tube samples under load longer than the cumulative time of ten competitor patches, Leather says.
It is clear that designing products with the consumer in mind is important at Weldtite. “The mantra for Jet Blast was all about making cleaning easy for the consumer,” Leather explains. “Put simply we want to ensure riders spend more time riding. The high-pressure cleaner is strong and it’s very effective at removing muck and grime – it dries very quickly too. Initial sales have been fantastic, we sold out of the first batch at Eurobike!
“Jet Blast is the first product that we have launched under a modern new livery. That’s important because it’s the first step in our brand transformation programme spanning over 1,000 products. While many riders know us and respect us for puncture repair, they do not always associate us with TF2, Jetvalve – our CO2 range, Pure or Dirtwash, Adie or Cyclo, let alone BikeBits or eCare! That’s the journey that we’re on, connecting with our consumers and making the brand more recognisable to the end-user. This was the theme to the Eurobike stand in September and the feedback we received from domestic and international consumers and distributors was very positive.”
Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling
In very recent news, Ribble Pro Cycling has announced Weldtite as a new team sponsor – to form Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling who will compete at UCI Continental level next season.
The team announced the partnership earlier this month, saying: “The investment and support that Ribble Cycles and Weldtite are providing will be instrumental in allowing the team to continue to develop and progress. It is important to us as a wholly British team to bring in a British based company that reflects our core values.”
“That was quite a big one for us,” Leather says. “The partnership works really well. Being another long-standing British company, Ribble is on a similar journey and doing very well. Its bikes are in high demand and it has a fantastic range. We are very excited to be supporting Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling in 2020, particularly at key races in the UK like Tour de Yorkshire and The Tour of Britain. The team’s ability to ride aggressively and secure results means both events are brilliant platforms to increase consumer knowledge of Weldtite’s product range in the UK.”
Weldtite’s international reach, the brand achieved Export Champion status in 2019, will also be supported by Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling in 2020. The team will race across Europe and Asia, as well as in the most prestigious road races in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
So looking to the future, what else can we expect from Weldtite?
“Over the next five to ten years, we have ambitious growth plans,” Leather says. “There’s a lot of potential to grow in the UK, which will be driven by our new UK sales manager, Ed Smith, who has many years of experience in the domestic bike market. The potential for overseas growth is also evident and I am delighted to report that we are working with new partners in new territories in South America, Europe and Asia. There are challenges for sure but it will definitely be an exciting 80th year for Weldtite.”