BikeBiz talks to Pendle Engineering’s Martin Robson about UK manufacturing and the growth of trail centres…


Tell us a bit about Pendle’s history. How long have you been in the business?
Pendle Bike Racks was established in 1989 by Pendle Engineering. The range has grown over the last 20 years to offer products that carry nearly any bike on almost any car. We also make six and 12-bike trailers as well as a range of stands and holders for storing bikes at home. We have extensive design and manufacturing facilities, allowing us to make everything ourselves.

How is business? Has the recession affected you this year?
Many people seem to have stayed at home for holidays this year, so we’ve been helped by them deciding to take their bikes with them.

Pendle is one of the few British manufacturers in the cycle trade – what advantages does this have for Pendle?
It gives flexibility to have a wide range of products that we can make and develop at reasonably short notice. We design, develop and manufacture them ourselves so we have as much control as possible. As well as obvious quality advantages, there’s an increasingly important environmental advantage to products that are made locally rather than shipped from the Far East.

Do you create bespoke racks?
Yes. We often get requests to produce modified racks for certain types of vehicles or bikes that won’t fit our normal range. We recently produced a 27-bike rack that was installed inside a large trailer for a touring holiday company. One of the advantages of designing and making everything is that we have the flexibility to take on these projects.

Pendle’s products are often praised for quality of construction and value for money. Are those the kinds of comments Pendle is happy to be associated with?
Absolutely. We aim to make products that are strong, simple and safe. A lot of time and effort goes into making products that we are happy to use ourselves.

Have you got any new ranges coming out?
We’ve just launched a two-bike version of the Tilting Wheel Support Rack which was launched at the start of 2009. We’ve recently spent time fine-tuning our existing product range, making a few tweaks to improve the products themselves as well as the instructions that come with them. We’ve also put a lot of effort into our new website, improving and updating our fitting compatibility guide to help customers choose the right product.

We’ve also included a trade section on our e-commerce site so that dealers may place their orders online rather than needing to phone or fax.

Do you have any plans to distribute your product abroad?
We’ve been on the lookout for new export opportunities for a while. We already sell in Dubai and have sold products to individuals within Europe.

What are your predictions for 2010?
Hopefully the economy will pick up again and we will be well placed to gain from it. With the continued growth of trail centres as riding destinations there will continue to be a demand for transporting bikes there.

TEL: 01282 699555

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