MiRider on its new facility, hand-assembled bikes and its expectations for 2022

BikeBiz hears from MiRider sales director Matthew Higginson about how the company has grown in the last six months

This piece first appeared in the February edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here

We spoke to you in mid-2021, how did the second half of the year progress for MiRider?
The year progressed strongly for us, ultimately achieving the ambitious forecasts we had set. There were many drivers for the growth that we experienced, the main ones being continual stock availability and the strengthening and attraction to the brand.

Other factors were a clean sweep of glowing industry and tech reviews, strong social media campaigns plus continual investment in new accessories and special editions. All combined, this saw an influx of new dealers to our network, which now totals over 100.

You recently moved into a new facility in Wigan, how has this impacted your business?
The new facility has allowed us to structure the business efficiently and more importantly enable the ability to up-scale storage and production as required for 2022 and beyond. 

Having the showroom and test track features in the same building allows us to host new dealers as an introduction to the brand, for technician training or new product open days. Having our sales and customer service team under the same roof means communication is efficient and helps to keep customer service levels extremely high.

Why is it so important to the business and consumers that your bikes are hand-assembled?
This is a critical element to the business as a whole, especially as a relatively new brand to the sector. Having the ability to hand-build a bike from the frame outwards not only allows us to spec the parts and components exactly how we want them, but it also makes our quality control extremely high.

The bikes pass through several stages of inspection before, during and after assembly. It then undergoes test rides by the builder and production manager before it is detailed and packaged to the best possible standards. Our five-star rating on Trust Pilot is a testament to our product but also our efficient service and distribution. 

Each technician has their own build sticker which is signed by them and acts as their seal of approval which takes pride of place on the crossbar, so the rider is always reminded of the personal touch.

What challenges and opportunities have you identified for MiRider in 2022?
There are always challenges to overcome, however our management team has 20-plus years combined importing, distributing and brand development experience, coupled with an enviable motivation to succeed. The supply chain issues in the cycle industry are pretty well covered. 

This leaves MiRider with the ability to seek out and deliver on opportunities in the industry, in which there are lots. Our strategies are to continue our brand awareness and marketing further with attendance at several national exhibitions supported by extra social media content.

As well as our drive to grow the traditional professional bike retailer network, we are also looking to mimic this within the motorhome and caravan sector as this has become a key marketplace for our product. 

Offering an off-road tyre has really stood us apart to adventurers who want a convenient transport option and that extra fun factor along trails and canal pathways. To broaden our dealership base, we are launching a second model which presents an industry first for folding e-bikes.

The new model features a sophisticated crank-based gearbox system with belt drive which allows the hub motor to stay at the rear, retaining the excellent weight distribution, balance and traction of the standard bike without the dirt and adjustment issues of a traditional derailleur.

The bike also benefits from hydraulic brakes, large LCD screen with phone charging port, lightweight pedals, sports seat and wider bars for additional added stability. It comes with the same two-year warranty as the MiRider One.

You previously mentioned sales targets for MiRider, how did reality compare to expectation in 2021? Will you be updating your sales expectations for 2022?
As a relatively new brand in this sector, it has been difficult to forecast sales, however the pandemic certainly accelerated our early sales targets, which has resulted in 100% growth year on year since 2019. 

Our 2022 expectations are significantly higher than the 2021 results which can be attributed to a rapidly growing market for folding e-bikes, a growing dealership base, having a product which heads its class in every publication and MiRider’s very high service standards.

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