BikeBiz Awards 2022 in association with ArmaUrto: How the judges and winners reacted

BikeBiz hears from all 15 winners from this year’s BikeBiz Awards in association with ArmaUrto

This piece first appeared in the December edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here

This year the BikeBiz Awards returned with a bang, as the team here at BikeBiz doubled our efforts to celebrate the outstanding work being done across the cycle industry. We have made some key changes to this year’s awards, which were held virtually on Friday, 4th November, the most notable of which is the reintroduction of a judging panel.

Following feedback from the industry, we decided that the best way to decide the winners for the 2022 BikeBiz Awards would be to consult a select, expert panel of cycling industry figures – ranging from retail business owners to charity leaders. I would like to extend an enormous thank you to our 11 judges (who also abstained from voting in any category their organisation was nominated in), who lent their time, experience and knowledge to help make this event the biggest BikeBiz Awards to date.

Alongside the judging panel, we have also expanded our range of awards with the introduction of five new trophies – Specialist Distributor of the Year, Best Shared Transport Provider, Micromobility Retailer of the Year, Micromobility Brand of the Year, and the BikeBiz Diversity Champion Award. We have also introduced five overarching categories for the awards, covering the key areas of the market – Brands, Distributors, Retailers, Inclusivity, and Micromobility.

While most of our awards were decided by the judging panel, we still put two key categories out to the wider cycle industry for a vote – IBD of the Year, and Woman of the Year – while the BikeBiz Diversity Champion was chosen by us here at BikeBiz. All of these changes have been made to ensure the 2022 awards are reflective of all the brilliant work being done in the cycling industry, and to acknowledge the new and exciting developments in the micromobility, inclusivity, and advocacy areas.

I would like to thank all our readers for nominating, voting, and generally spreading the word about the awards, and I would also like to extend a huge thank you to all of the nominees who put themselves forward to take part in the awards, as well as our shortlistees and our winners. The BikeBiz Awards exist to celebrate the stand-out efforts of individuals and organisations from across the bike trade, but the event would not exist without the support of everyone who got involved, including our sponsors – ArmaUrto, the Bicycle Association, and Bikesey.

So without further ado, let’s get on to the winners…
Alex Ballinger, BikeBiz editor

THE BRAND AWARDS

BIKE BRAND OF THE YEAR – RIBBLE CYCLES
“This is a very proud moment for Ribble, winning the title of Bike Brand of The Year is made even more special as we celebrate our 125th anniversary. This award is a testimony to the incredible work put in to building the brand, business proposition and the R&D to create our range of world-class bikes – well done to our amazing and very talented team who have worked so hard to make this happen. Thank you BikeBiz for recognising our endeavours and continuous drive to be a leading premium cycling brand.” – Andy Smallwood, CEO

What the judges said…
“Ribble Cycles impresses not just because of a wide range of bikes each developed with an eye for detail and performance, but also because of the focus on great customer experience and ensuring riders at any point in their cycling journey feel able to talk to someone from the brand to get advice and recommendations.” – Aoife Glass, MBR digital editor

Some of the Altura team during BikeBiz’s visit earlier this year

P&A BRAND OF THE YEAR – ALTURA
“The Altura team are honoured to be the BikeBiz P&A Brand of the Year. This award is recognition of the team’s dedication to providing quality and innovation for the past 25 years. As a brand we strive to design and manufacture performance cycling products that enable people to enjoy riding bikes in comfort and with protection from the elements, and can’t wait to see what the next 25 years brings.” – Amy Spencer, head of Altura

What the judges said…
“Altura offer a solid range of products and supported by a great distributor and account manager. The clothing range offers good quality but at good prices for the consumer but also great deals for IBD buy-ins.” – Kate Warner, Pedal Revolution managing director

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – BO
“We are delighted and grateful to be nominated and win in the BikeBiz Awards. Establishing Bo as a new entrant to the sector has been a work of passion by a small and exceptional team, this recognition means a great deal to everyone involved.” – Oscar Morgan, CEO

What the judges said…
“The ethic and mission of Bo to provide light electric vehicles to the market to encourage a switch from large vehicles is admirable.” – Eddie Eccleston, LEVA-EU chairman

THE DISTRIBUTOR AWARDS

BIKE DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR – MOORE LARGE
“We are delighted to have won Bike Distributor of the Year at this year’s BikeBiz Awards, especially coming so soon after the management buyout in April. Moore Large has always been determined to give its customers a compelling combination of great bike brands at competitive prices, backed up by the highest levels of service and support. We are especially proud of the success of Forme and Tern, and their ever-increasing popularity, after we focused our attention solely on a B2B selling channel working closely with IBDs to help us grow these brands. The whole team here at Moore Large is thrilled to have their efforts recognised by this accolade.” – Adam Biggs, director

What the judges said…
“The team at Moore Large have delivered in a time of great change for this famous company and a time of great challenge for the UK industry.” – David Middlemiss, Bicycle Association associate director

P&A DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR – MADISON
“We are delighted to be recognised in the BikeBiz Awards 2022 as the Parts and Accessories Distributor of the Year. Madison is passionate about being the best it can be and works hard to ensure we have and keep the best brands in the world and offer our customers the best service we can at all times. It is always great and highly motivating to receive an award, so a massive thank you to everyone who nominated us. The entire team at Madison very much appreciate it.” – Dominic Langan, CEO

What the judges said…
“Madison focuses on ensuring supply of major, including affordable, brands.” – Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK CEO

SPECIALIST DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR – ADVANCED BIKES UK
“Our vision for Advanced Bikes UK is simple: Inspiring people to change their habits and go cycling sustainably. Winning this award solidifies our belief that we can create positive change, through offering such innovative and sustainable e-bikes that are born and built in Germany. We appreciate the recognition for our mission to make a difference. We are super proud to receive this prestigious award in the infancy of our distributor journey. We can’t wait to celebrate the win together with our growing dealer network as well as show the industry we are here and we mean business!” – Adam and Sophie Browne

What the judges said…
“Advanced Bikes UK demonstrates a passion for helping people and the planet, with the circular economy at its core, while also providing detailed audience insight and logistics that sets it up for success.” – Aoife Glass, MBR digital editor

THE RETAILER AWARDS

IBD OF THE YEAR – INSPIRAL CYCLES
“We’re totally chuffed to win the best independent bike dealer award and are very happy to get recognition for everything our experienced team have worked so hard to achieve. Our high street shop is in a small, disadvantaged town in North East England which is working hard to reinvent itself through tourism and leisure. County Durham is one of the least populated areas of the UK but we are blessed with such a wealth of riding over the moors, down the dales, along the disused railway lines and in nearby Hamsterley forest. Inspiral Cycles has been trading over seven years and has grown rapidly from two to eight staff and from a tiny shop to four times the size of our original premises in that time. It’s been far from plain sailing over recent times with a great deal of uncertainty for many businesses but we know our staff are dedicated to getting the right result to make our customers smile. This award will certainly give us a boost and we’re looking forward to whatever comes next. Cheers BikeBiz!– Gary and Fiona Ewing and Inspiral Cycles team

OMNICHANNEL RETAILER OF THE YEAR – HARGROVES CYCLES
“We are very grateful to receive the BikeBiz Award for Omnichannel Retailer of the Year. It is a reflection of the dedicated team behind the business that puts in the hard work day in and day out.” – Tom Dodd, MD

What the judges said…
“Hargroves represent the very best of independent omnichannel retail: great customer experience in-store and online from a business that has adapted to the headwinds of contemporary retail.” – David Middlemiss, Bicycle Association associate director

BEST RETAILER SERVICES – GREEN COMMUTE INITIATIVE
“The whole team at Green Commute Initiative is absolutely thrilled to have won this award for a second time. We strive to offer a top-class customer experience to all our Cycle to Work Scheme clients; the end users, their employers and not forgetting, our wonderful bike shop partners. This is reflected in our industry-leading TrustPilot score and now recognised once again by the BikeBiz judging panel. We are proud that our scheme model strongly and successfully challenges the traditional providers and their practices. Winning this award reinforces our belief that fair play is the way forward. Thanks again from a very delighted GCI team!” – Joanna Flint, marketing director

What the judges said…
“GCI is the best cycle scheme initiative available for all parties involved. The administration aspect is quick and simple with minimal commission costs to the retailer, and with no limit on value opens up the option of e-bike purchases.” – Kate Warner, Pedal Revolution managing director

THE INCLUSIVITY AWARDS

WOMAN OF THE YEAR – KIMBERLY COATS, TEAM AFRICA RISING
“I am honoured to be selected as BikeBiz’s Woman of the Year. There are so many women and men who are as passionate about helping African cyclists receive the opportunities they so deserve as myself. This award is a special moment I will use to continue drawing attention to the needs of African cyclists – primarily the women of African cycling. The journey is long, but we are moving towards a day when African cyclists will be represented in the peloton and not the exception.” – Kimberly Coats

CYCLE ADVOCACY AWARD, IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE BICYCLE ASSOCIATION – CYCLING UK
“Cycling UK’s mission is to get millions more people cycling, and an important part of achieving this goal is through our campaigning and advocacy. It’s therefore great to see our work recognised by the panel of BikeBiz judges. A large part of Cycling UK’s success is down to our members and the many thousands of others who support our campaigns. This enables us to play the long game – for example with our work on the Highway Code which took more than a decade – and campaign on the important issues which will make a difference in getting more people riding.” – Sarah Mitchell, CEO

What the judges said…
“The successful campaign Cycling UK to get changes to the Highway Code made illustrates what can be achieved with enough support, will power and persistence.” – Aoife Glass, MBR digital editor

A WCCC ride
(credit: ale.b.photography)

DIVERSITY CHAMPION, IN ASSOCIATION WITH BIKESY – WOMEN OF COLOUR CYCLING COLLECTIVE
“Winning the BikeBiz Diversity Champion award means a great deal to the Women of Colour Cycling Collective, as it acknowledges the hard work done by our volunteers to create and run the collective and deliver projects to inspire others. The award is also an encouraging signal that the cycle industry as a whole is slowly waking up to the fact that diversity is actually great for business, providing a wider customer base than athletic white men. We would love more support from the industry so we can offer even more help to reduce the financial barriers many women of colour face in attending cycling events, training and gaining qualifications.” – Victoria Hazael, one of the WCCC Trustees

What the BikeBiz team said…
“Diversity and inclusion in cycling has long been behind the times, but the tide is turning thanks to the work of wonderful organisations like WCCC. Through its grassroots efforts to promote the countless benefits of cycling for underrepresented groups, WCCC is helping to change the face of the cycling landscape for the better. For that reason, the BikeBiz team chose WCCC as our Diversity Champion for 2022 – long may their essential work continue.” – Alex Ballinger, BikeBiz editor

THE MICROMOBILITY AWARDS

BEST SHARED TRANSPORT PROVIDER – TIER MOBILITY
“It is great to see recognition from a judging panel that spans the cycling industry and feels like a validation of the approach we have taken since launching in the UK 18 months ago. Our mission is to ‘change mobility for good’, making it easier for everyone to choose more environmentally-friendly ways to travel. While our current e-bike model is the most sustainable we have developed to date, there is always room to improve and we will continue to develop our technology and operations to maintain our position at the top of the industry.” – Fred Jones, regional general manager, Northern Europe

What the judges said…
“Tier has been expanding rapidly around the world, and is a leader in e-scooter and e- bike rental. While the full potential of shared micromobility has not yet been reached, Tier is well placed to transform our cities with its coverage, advocacy and safety.” – Alex Ballinger, BikeBiz editor

MICROMOBILITY RETAILER OF THE YEAR – FULLY CHARGED
“We are over the moon to have won Micromobility Retailer of the Year. We’d like to thank all of our customers who continue to show their support for our growth, our partners and suppliers in keeping us fully charged and fully stocked, but most importantly of all our team who continue to work tirelessly in helping promote the benefits of a greener, cleaner and, let’s face it, far more fun form of transport here in the UK!” – Ben Jaconelli, founder

What the judges said…
“Fully Charged is clearly passionate about helping and engaging with its audience. E-bike rental for NHS key workers and Neighbourhood Nurses is an impressive endeavour.” – Aoife Glass, MBR digital editor

MICROMOBILITY BRAND OF THE YEAR – BROMPTON BIKE HIRE
“Everyone at Brompton Bike Hire is absolutely delighted to have won this award. I would like to thank the small, but incredibly dedicated Brompton Bike Hire Team, as well as everyone at Brompton Bicycles who empower us to continue in our mission to get Britain cycling. We were set up 12 years ago with a single goal, to get people to give cycling a go. We have the UK’s most extensive network of hire bikes, from Elgin to Portsmouth, and have cut our rental charges to encourage even more communities to try cycling. We’ve got exciting plans for the future and cannot wait to roll them out.” – Julian Scriven, managing director

What the judges said…
“Brompton Bike Hire is a company that has a vision and reputation to expand in providing bikes where the greatest demand is required. The locker scheme at rail stations is a classic example.” – Eddie Eccleston, LEVA-EU chairman

The BikeBiz Awards 2022 judging panel:

– Alex Ballinger, BikeBiz editor
– Aneela McKenna, Mòr Diversity founder
– Aoife Glass, MBR digital editor
– Chris Battin, ArmaUrto director
– David Middlemiss, Bicycle Association associate director
– Eddie Eccleston, LEVA-EU chairman
– Irene McAleese, See.Sense co-founder and CSO
– Jessica Hall, Tier head of cities, UK and Ireland
– Kate Warner, Pedal Revolution managing director
– Richard Bowker, Criterium Cycles director
– Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK CEO
– Will Fripp, Extra UK CEO

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