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Can anyone else remember their first bike?
Somehow my first adventure on two wheels escapes me, but if there’s one thing I’m certain of it’s that it was nowhere near as impressive as the current options for kids on the market.
My first ride would have been back in the mid-90s, before the popularisation of balance bikes, before the introduction of the enormous range of kids’ bikes now available across disciplines, and long before the quality we now see from many children’s bike brands.
While parents today can still opt for the £100 supermarket bikes that you or I might have grown up on, an increasing number of bike builders are offering something else – longer-lasting, well-designed, well-built machines, all at a higher price point than ever before.
More choice can only be a good thing, both for consumers and for the market. Children’s bikes and accessories may not offer the same profits as top-tier road bikes and £100 jerseys, but there is a wider importance to kids’ bikes, as I learned in my recent interview with the team at British bike brand Forme (p13-14).
Getting kids on quality kit at a young age could help create the next generation of bike riders
– lifelong consumers of quality cycling products. Providing a brilliant customer experience to a family buying a kids’ bike could also inspire a family into their own cycling adventures, and may be the deciding factor in guaranteeing their return to your store.
But of course a good bike won’t be the only factor in a child’s relationship with their bike. In this country we still lag behind other nations when it comes to infrastructure safe enough for kids, despite the defiance of some parents who admirably refuse to be intimidated by car-dominated roads on their trips to school.
Elsewhere in this month’s mag, senior staff writer Rebecca Morley recounts her visit to the new UK office of high-end cycling kit brand Maap, to hear about the importance of the British market (p7-8), and we hear from specialist chain The Electric Bike Shop about its continued growth (p44-45).
This month we also delve into the importance of workshop training in prisons, in a new feature, ‘Tales from the Workshop’. If you have your own eye-opening story from the workshop floor, be sure to share it with us.
We hope you enjoy.
Alex Ballinger, editor
In this month’s edition of the BikeBiz magazine…
Style, innovation, performance
Rebecca Morley visits Maap’s new London office to find out more about why the apparel brand has moved its European operations to the UK
The next generation
The kids’ bike market is evolving rapidly. Lee Flanaghan and Josh Charteris from Forme Bikes sat down with Alex Ballinger to explore this changing corner of the bike trade
Stand out from the crowd
Rebecca Morley speaks to Raleigh UK’s Stuart Atkins and sports technology student Katie Lawrence about how work placements can help bring people into the cycling industry
‘My philosophy is straightforward – I don’t like to exaggerate’
The story behind California-based manufacturer Enduro Bearings, its new focus on the UK, and its industry-defying price drop
Geared for change
Classified Cycling, the Dutch innovator in hub gears, has been rapidly expanding its network after introducing the Powershift. Mathias Plouvier, CEO of Classified, explains why he believes this is the innovation that has been lacking in cycling tech
How times have changed
Karen Gee, founder of kids bike news website Cycle Sprog, looks back on a decade of change in the children’s market
Create the unexpected
Ultracyclist, brand ambassador, and content creator Ricardo Torrao talks to Alex Ballinger about how online personalities can support your business
Five minutes with… Vizirider
After being knocked off his bike, Simon Sibia was inspired to improve road safety through his own brand of wearable LED cycling accessories, Vizirider
Product partner advertorial: Developing success
The desire to innovate, to question, problem solve, and to create drives the team at product development company Designworks Ltd, says co-founder Peter Rickett
The curse of content
Nick Barthram, founder and strategy partner at brand consultancy Firehaus, explores how brands and retailers can avoid stagnating through their online content
Taking the leap
Inspired by one brand in particular, Piers Riley decided to leave behind his lucrative engineering job to set up his own cycling distributor. This is the story behind One Ride
While acceptance of e-bikes has been slower in the UK than the rest of Europe, businesses like The Electric Bike Shop have carved out a place as e-bike specialists. Commercial manager Iwan Jones explains how the chain hopes to continue its rise
“If we made a difference to that one person, that’s enough for me”
Graeme Freestone King, director at Velotech Cycling, shares an encounter with a man who completed his Velotech Gold Certificate while in prison
Product partner advertorial: Huffy reveals key lines for Summer 2022
Top US bike brand showcases must-stock bikes to get kids out and active
New products and sector guides
All the latest developments in the market, plus a spotlight on brakes and children’s bikes and accessories