Despite reputation as a mainstream brand, Raleigh says it is finding its punters are increasingly interested in its niche lines

Raleigh notes rising interest in niche cycle products

E-MTBs, e-trekking bikes and a singlespeed belt drive cyclocross bike were among the more niche products garnering interest on Raleigh’s Cycle Show stands last month.

The firm told BikeBiz it had been using the NEC show as a testing bed to gauge reaction to ideas as well as showcasing the coming year’s bikes and accessories.

Raleigh’s Singlespeed belt-drive cyclocross model, the RX SS1, was among such lines. "The reaction was stunning," said marketing manager Ben Hillsdon. "We sensed a demand for such a product from talking to people at CX races so we thought we’d get a prototype ready for the show. It was a big hit and that has allowed us to more accurately gauge the demand for ‘niche’ products like this one."

An area more familiar to Raleigh, the kids bike sector, saw the brand expand its quality performance line: “We’re obviously well known for our kids bikes so it’s a natural progression to expand that sector for the growing number of kids looking to take part in competitive cycling.”

Meanwhile, Haibike’s wide range of e-MTB and e-trekking models lured the crowds, the brand said: "Haibike has very rapidly put itself at the top of the tree for its focus on high end development. The association with recognised household names like Yamaha and Bosch (on the SDURO and NDURO models respectively) has given the brand an added boost. Over on the test tracks it was the brand everyone was queuing to test ride."

Elsewhere Raleigh had new colour schemes for its Voyager ranges on display, as Hillsdon explained: "Yellow is an on-trend colour across several different categories for us this year – road, ‘cross, leisure and kids bikes. We turned to social media to see what people are talking about and it was encouraging to see people talking positively about the new colour schemes for the off road comfort lines."

From stablemates Diamondback, colours were also a noticeable feature with day glow orange and hard tail carbon. New ground came for Diamondback too with the introduction of a sleek looking aluminium cyclocross bike. “We’ve designed it for the rider looking to use it for multiple purposes – it’s equipped to tackle any street, single track, mud field, sand pit, staircase, hurdle or inclement weather between the starting gate and the finish line, or home and the office” Hillsdon added.

As well as the bikes, this year saw Raleigh unveil its new brand identity, which also included its accessories distribution brand Raleigh Bike Parts. "We’ve been able to bring all our brands in under one umbrella and explain to the consumer that we’re much more than a bike brand – we also represent over 50 high quality parts and accessory brands too – and the new bike parts logo reinforces that."

In other news...

ACT announces this year’s Local Bike Shop Day to take place in April

Local Bike Shop Day has been announced to take place on Saturday, April 29, by …