BikeBiz speaks to Madison's Will Fripp for a preview of this month's iceBike*, featuring GoPro, Ridgeback, Saracen and much more

iceBike* sneak peek

Due to dealer demand Madison has added two extra days to iceBike*, so the show will now run from July 19th to 21st, followed by two extra days on Monday July 25th and Tuesday 26th.

Can you explain why Madison has brought iceBike* July back again for a second year?
Basically, following the immense popularity of last year’s July event, iceBike* July combines all the smaller previously held mid-year, next season launch events, into one bigger show. It is clear in today’s busy business environment it is becoming less and less easy to expect our customers to spend time visiting many events. iceBike* July brings all our launches together into one big ‘must attend’ event, held just before the start of the busy summer holidays.

February’s iceBike* saw record attendance – what are your expectations this iceBike*?
We were actually shocked by the turnout at last year’s July iceBike* and again at this year’s February show. We are very grateful that our dealers have come to value these events. We put our heart and soul into them and making them a worthwhile visit for all concerned, so it’s great that more and more dealers are attending. Event-by-event the growth is brilliant. An investment of one day to see all the new bikes, clothing, accessories, parts and more is definitely something most progressive cycle retailers now seem able to come to terms with. As registrations to date show this iceBike* is gonna be another corker!

Can you reveal some of the highlights?
There is plenty of what to expect at the show on the site, including new bikes from Ridgeback – the Dual Track, a 12-inch kids bike, a road commuter with discs and the Velocity and Comet with second colours. Genesis will launch the Madison Track at the show, which will also see a full suspension prototype, a 29er and the Day 01 Alfine 11.

iceBike* will have a UK ‘first look’ for Hydrapak’s new accessory range and packaging. Consumers will be able to ‘upgrade’ their tired old bladders for what are widely regarded as the ‘best on the planet’, while dealers will be eligible for a new freestanding POS package. Electron’s new Pico Super 2 is a super bright bright compact 1W rear light. Pitched as a commuter’s dream, it’s the brightest rear light ever in the Electron range and one of the brightest on the market at this price.
Adventure will reveal two new colours of Zooms; Noddy Nose red and Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle green (not actual names of colours). iceBike* pre-orders will be delivered from September.

Dealers coming to iceBike* will see a revolutionary new product from Cycraguard. We can’t talk about it yet, as we are in the middle of all the patent applications, but this product will revolutionise the world of mudguards as you know it. It will dramatically reduce the time it takes to fit a traditional mudguard, offer unparalleled protection against the elements and, of course, comes with CycraGuard’s lifetime warranty.

With British Triathlon announcing record membership growth of 15.7 per cent in 2010/2011, triathlon products are in demand like never before. Profile Design will present entry and mid-range level suits at iceBike* to address the requirements of new and accomplished swimmers in the growing tri market. Dealers can book a slot to learn more about effectively selling wetsuits, with workshops led by Thorsten Frahm, Ironman athlete and Profile Design European manager.

Elite will present limited edition Arion Tricoloré exclusive to July’s iceBike*, celebrating 150 years of Italian unity. This limited edition version of the best selling Arion training roller is made in Elite’s Veneto factory with stylish red, white and green rollers. It couldn’t be more Italian if they were carved from Parmesan and delivered by Ferrari. Every Arion Tricoloré will also include two Corsa bottles with an exclusive celebratory design (£6.99 each) for the same price as a standard Arion. These will only be available to customers who place their orders at iceBike*.

Respro’s ‘must stock’ range of award winning high visibility accessories will again be on show in time for dealers to make their choices for the coming autumn/winter season. And, in a shock surprise, Cervélo will attend summer iceBike*.
We look to help retailers plan their next season range plans at iceBike* and we will have a fantastic offer pack (as always) to help boost margins and more than cover the cost of a day from the business, attending iceBike*. Every brand on show will have one or more offers on the table.

Will new brand GoPro feature? Why is Madison so excited by this brand?
Yes, of course. We will have a significant showing for GoPro and will be able to display all we have planned to promote the brand, including a fantastic in-store POS offer.

GoPro is exciting because of the size of it. It’s the world’s number one. Check our YouTube and see how many results and views have GoPro tags – its mega. It’s a simple range, simple proposition and a high yield brand from a small footprint and relatively low investment – especially when compared to bikes.

How important is it to pre-register?
If folk need hotels in particular, we obviously need to know. The more we have a feel on numbers, the better we can cater for folk. We basically want to ensure we deliver visitors needs. Above and beyond the more boring operational side – it simply speeds the whole process up for everyone; register online – print your ticket, scan in and your done – no queues – that’s the goal!

Do you expect many dealers to take part in the BBQ and Bike ride this year? What was participation like for the ride last time?
We definitely expect more people to do the company bike ride, in fact we know it as folk are busy signing to come now. It’s not a scary ride – more of a jaunt – in fact last year some staff even did it on bikes they had built up themselves – frames and all.
Everyone had a great time and after the ride you simply come back to the event and we have a BBQ and free bar – sit out in the sun (hope I’m not tempting fate here) and relax. Check out Madison MD Dom’s Video of last year at

More generally speaking: how’s business? Settled into the new facilities now?
Growth has been staggering this year, with the budget growth expectation for the year exceeded in the first five months. New premises, new warehouse management system – a huge programme of investment planned and were only half way through – new ERP system and automated picking are still to come, among other innovations to further increase our service and efficiency.

And how has the B2B iPhone app been received by dealers?
Really well, no really. We have 528 active app users and over 1,800 logins in the last month alone. A new version is currently in development with better iPad compatibility and a load more features.

Beyond iceBike* what is next for Madison? Any new brand signings in the works?
Madison has many new brands in the ascendancy like Pearl Izumi, Giro footwear, Saracen, Genesis, GoPro, Madison clothing and more – things are flying. There is always new stuff in the pipeline of course, especially with new exciting stuff happening in own brand ranges, huge investments in this area, in new experienced talent and in tooling which will take us on to the next level. Things are never dull, with several international shows in the months ahead for outdoor, cycle and snow I’m sure there will be more to come.

We’re also making a bigger investment in own team sponsorships, The Madison Saracen team model has worked really well for us and we’ll be looking for more opportunities like this. Both Genesis (for the second) and Saracen (for the first year) will be at Eurobike – making inroads with our own brands into Europe and the wider market.

We also have our first account manager based in Europe, who started this year in France and is making good inroads.

There is loads more on the site and all customers will get regular emails with event news as we can release stuff. There is lots more to come between now and the show, so keep an eye out!

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