If you went to the show you can take part in a survey of the event here.
Moore Large’s Todays Cyclist show in the final days of February played host to product debuts and seminar presentations from product managers and principles from the brands in the distributor’s portfolio.
Knog’s own Hugo Davidson was amongst those bringing dealers up to speed with the latest from the quirky brand, which has scored a sizable business grant from the Australian government. Any British brands up for a grant from the coalition?
Already a highly visible player in the lights market, Knog has upped its game in the sector with the Blinder range. It was six years ago that Knog released its silicone light range and since then, Davidson tells BikeBiz, all the feedback has been channelled into the Blinder range, itself a year and half in development. The front and rears set you back around £35 each (please do contact Moore Large for the exact pricing) with 80 lumens in the front, 44 in the rear. They’re USB chargeable and use a lithium polymer battery, possibly a first for the trade, says Knog.
Knog’s Blinder range doesn’t mean an end to the silicone line-up, however. The firm has sought to differentiate positioning for the Blinder line-up, which uses an aluminium anodised frontage.
A New York artist has been drafted in to put together the marketing for Blinder, marking a bit of a departure from Knog’s in-your-face, yet tongue-in-cheek marketing. Packaging has been designed so dealers can take them out of the box and demonstrate them without knackering their all-important display. It is recycled too.
Knog’s locks were also a key attraction at the show. POS innovation include the ‘Deli’ which hangs Knog’s Sausage locks like, well, sausages in a deli, saving a ton of space and, says Davidson, boosting sales in some dealers by three to five times more. Re-jigged packaging also means the Sausage locks have shed much packaging.
Lake’s international sales manager Patrick van der Heijden highlighted two lines in particular from the Lake portfolio. In fact the brand is set to be one to watch. Van der Heijden tells BikeBiz that following Lake’s acquisition by a Dutch investor (who is to concentrate on Lake before it eyes further purchases, BikeBiz learns) the firm is determined to knuckle down to the task of becoming the ultimate high end brand of its type, “using the best materials” and with plenty of innovation. The ink is barely dry on the deal – being signed six weeks prior.
Speaking of materials, Van der Heijden informs BikeBiz that if you’re after high performance leather, kangaroo is the type of choice. The leather is used in Lake’s custom cycle shoe CX401. Using the Boa lacing system and that highly expensive kangaroo leather, the CX401 is, of course, mouldable to the wearer after five minutes in a 90 degree oven (not a microwave, informs Van der Heijden). Simply take out (with gloves), insert foot and do a minimum amount of moulding. And you can always have another go if you want thicker socks under the shoe, etc.
Another existing product from Lake being put under the nose of dealers is the MTB boot. It’s not sexy, claims Van der Heijden (it takes all types), but it really does the job with a highly grippy natural rubber sole and double closure to keep the wet away from the foot (Velcro and Boa lacing). The firm is also touting custom shoe designing. One of the very few brands to offer this, Lake can, customise shoes with club colours, union flags or whatever takes your fancy.
Like Lake, Science in Sport (SiS) has also been purchased in the last 12 months. This will herald some significant changes in packaging and POS, but a cagey SiS staffer swore us to secrecy on any details beyond that. It’s all happening in April, so look out for that.
The show also saw 4ZA, of Ridley fame, plying its wares. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind for 4ZA, which as you no doubt are already aware has been launched as a standalone brand. Central to the ethos is the all-important three tiers of product: Stratos, Cirrus and Cirrus Pro. Whatever the tier, the product will match. So, if your customer only wants to stretch to a Cirrus Pro saddle and is sticking with Cirrus bars they won’t look out of place together on the bike.
Simplicity is part of 4ZA’s brand ethos too. Sober, simple graphics and a vow to not create a ten saddle range, for example, choosing instead to pack all the features in to a few products. The wheels have, product manager Yannick Christians tells us, been particularly popular with dealers at the show.
Vangard is a company that puts moisture management at the heart of most of its range. While fashion has been pushed behind performance for Vangard (though stylish baselayers are thin on the ground, to be fair) the firm has decided to break with tradition for a special retro line of shirts, jackets and a cap. Why? Because the Giro D’Italia, no less, is starting in Denmark and Vangard’s own humble home town this year. Aside from the retro lines – which “attracts old riders and 20 somethings alike” – Vanguard has a new line of Merino base layers.
Moore Large’s British bike brand Forme goes from strength-to-strength. Launched in March 2012 the brand started with 35 bike models, hit 40 this model year and next year will reach 56 models – a significant gain for such a young brand. “That’s what is required to make it a creditable brand,” the firm says.
Next year we can expect to see a premium youth range and the brand’s entry into the 29er canon. Road bikes will expand too – hitting price points as high as £4.5k for the very top end.
Value for money, a lifetime guarantee and the brand’s British credentials (with frames named after local tracks and areas) are all selling points Moore Large is keen to emphasise. If you’re in doubt as to their popularity, stock arrives in March and they’ve already sold out of them.
ML is looking for bigger commitments from dealers, “now the brand is better established and people are asking for it by name”. The distributor is investing in POS – mats, t-shirts, hoodies, you name it – to make an impact with the brand.
Kenda is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and – incredibly – its 35th year working with Moore Large. Can any other distributor claim to have worked with one brand for as long as that? Answers on a postcard, please.
To celebrate ML is offering dealers a free tube for every tyre ordered in the basic range, a move heartily welcomed by dealers at the show. As for new product, Kenda is produced ‘mid-range tyres’ for mountain bikes.
Limar has tinkered with its ‘world’s lightest helmet’ 104, renaming it the Ultra Light+. It retails at £129.99, comes in a MTB and road version and weighs 175g for the medium (53 – 57). Limar’s eyewear is now in second year with ML too. A concise range is available with stockist deals – contact Moore Large for more details on those.
Polisport’s new seat designs will be available only to its exclusive distributors, and with a widening range ML has grasped the mantle with the brand. The new Guppy Maxi and Mini are packed with features including a five point belt which can be adjusted at groin level and cushion. Style sets are available so colours can be customised to a degree too. Polisport’s Koolah line is the new entry-level seat with high-sided protection on side and details like big foot straps for kids, while brown and cream colour options are available within the range. For more details or to find out what else was at the show call the firm directly.