This month Schwalbe’s own product promoter Tim Ward gets in the saddle…

IN THE SADDLE: Tim Ward, Schwalbe

What bikes do you own?
My main road bike is a Principia utilising one of the original Danish built alloy frames. My latest is a Cube cross bike – not that it’s improved my results! Finally, two old classics: a ‘70s Jack Hearne that I was given and my pride and joy mid-eighties Major Nichols. I’m hoping to enter it in this year’s L’Eroica ride in Tuscany.

You’ve just joined the Schwalbe team…
My title is UK sales promoter, but product promoter might be more accurate as I won’t be selling products directly – that will be through our network of wholesalers as before. I’ll link with Schwalbe and the retailers to provide product information and support, along with tech backup and promotional assistance.

Tell us a bit about your business background:

I’ve spent the last 14 years in corporate sales with Volkswagen cars in Solihull and Birmingham. Over the years I built up many transferable skills in the business and customer relations, which I can bring to the cycle industry – combining my job with a passion for cycling.

Why should retailers choose Schwalbe?
It’s a long-standing, family-run business that is passionate about one thing: bicycle tyres. Unlike some other brands, we are not the bicycle tyre division of a larger organisation that does everything from a tyre for a tea trolley to one for a Jumbo Jet. The focus is purely on bicycle tyres, along with associated tubes, small scooter tyres and wheelchair tyres. Schwalbe is all about product range quality, innovation, dealer loyalty and an enthusiasm for all things bikes and cycling.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest rush achievable on a bike?
I guess it’s when you get something just right – nail it so to speak. I don’t just mean scaring yourself half witless on a DH course (not part of my repertoire I have to say) but getting a technical bit of off-road riding just right or perfectly pacing yourself up a climb. For a feeling of sheer gratification there’s nothing quite like licking along at 40kph in a bunch on a sunny day on the countryside.

In your opinion, what’s the best product of the past five years?
From a purely self interested point of view I’d say our Nobby Nic mountain bike tyre which is a terrific all rounder – and even better with the further enhanced 2010 version. Other than that; even though you can’t really see it, I think the Campagnolo Ultra-Torque crankset through axle is pretty impressive.

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