BikeBiz talks to owner Helmut Berns about the resurgence of handmade steel and the progress of Citec and Intec

Catch up with Sonic Cycles

BikeBiz: How has business been in recent times?
Helmut Berns, Sonic Cycles: Last year was one of the best. This year I noticed a slower start, but since the start of April things have picked up and are looking very promising with a lot of new dealers opening accounts.
While at the Bespoked cycle show in London I was reminded of the beginnings of Sonic Cycles. All those young, and some not so young, enthusiastic frame builders nearly made me feel nostalgic. Sonic Cycles started as a bespoke frame building service in the heart of London.

With a resurgence in handmade steel frames – are you not tempted to fire up your welding torches again?
Tempted only in as much as I still have a soft spot for steel frames and still think this material offers a great deal of satisfaction both for the builder and the rider. Both my bikes are made from steel, one an original Sonic racer with mudguards, the other a Veloheld. However, setting up a frame building business with associated costs would not be feasible at this point.

Any plans to expand Sonic Cycles?
This kind of thing is always driven by demand and Sonic Cycles can be quite flexible in this respect with good support from the manufacturers.This year for the first time we’ll be at ExCeL’s Prudential Ride expo.

Are there any products that you think dealers should be aware of from your brands this summer?
TUFO still has a unique product with its tubular clinchers and this year has added its first open clincher, which is probably the lightest clincher on the market at sub-150 grams.

CITEC also keeps innovating. Their latest wheel set, the CX8000/63, combines their proven reliability (five year guarantee against spoke breakage) and the latest aerodynamic insights into a wheel set weighing1,580 grams.
As to the next big seller, I believe CITEC wheels have huge potential.Increasing numbers of end-users are looking for quality products at a reasonable price and CITEC wheels fit the bill. I should also mention INTEC custom frames and bikes. The ‘custom’ bit refers to the fact that all bikes/frames are painted to order and bikes are available with a choice of equipment options. I am currently setting up to better feature this new product line.

Are there any promotions your dealers should be aware of?
We are running a promotion with CITEC, whereby new dealers can get a set of ‘Demo’ 3000 S Aero wheels at cost when they order two other sets from the range at an initial 10 per cent discount. Across the board typical margins are around 80 per cent.

How can a dealer open an account with Sonic Cycles?
Simplicity itself, there is the site where dealers register and run their account.
New dealers run on a pro forma basis, with card payment or bank transfer as options. Virtually all dealers opt for card payment.

Tel: 020 7243 2848

In other news...

ACT calls for united front in demanding changes to how Cycle to Work is implemented

The Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) has been approached by a large volume of cycle …