BikeBiz takes a look at some of the stories that made the headlines this year

Review of 2011: Riots, Pendleton’s Cycletta and 29ers

What a 12 months. Familiar bike shows became bigger than ever – step forward Eurobike, Core Bike, iceBike*, Expo and Interbike – while other shows for the trade also cropped up around the country – including the London Bike Show, the Scottish Bike Show and even Gadget Show Live’s Professional day.

Was it a sign that the bike market was booming in 2011?

While anecdotal reports said that retailers were finding bike sales slow in 2011, the year saw 2010 sales info trickle in with some encouraging statistics. Bike sales reportedly rose by seven per cent to 3.6 million units, while accessories sales hit the £853m mark.

But how well 2011 has fared we’ll have to wait and see.

Things were far from rosy on the aptly named front lines of bike retail in August, when riots across the country, predominantly in London, saw bike shops targeted by looters, affecting multiples and independents alike.

On happier matters, 29ers became not so much a trend, but a seemingly indispensible part of a bike range this year. Filling the halls of Eurobike and Interbike, Genesis, Whyte and Transition were some of the many brands to introduce 29ers to their lines this year, with the likes of Cube’s 29er offering going into double figures, and Merida telling BikeBiz some of its 29ers were among the most sought after bikes in the brand’s history. But what else went on in 2011? Read on…

l London Bike Show makes its debut at ExCeL, London
l Bike fall in shop in Ireland sees girl awarded €10,000
l VAT rises to 20 per cent
l The Albion BMX mag created by ex-Factory Media staff
l Global bike comms agency Shift Active Media forms, representing Colnago, fi’zi:k, FSA, Santini and Orange
l Work begins on Kent’s Cyclopark facility
l UK economy contracts

l Northern Ireland Assembly members vote in favour of bill to force cyclists to wear helmets
l Specialized teams up with the CTC to report potholes
l Cyclists get behind calls to stop the National Forest sell off
l Bob Chicken MBE sadly passes away
l London Cycle Hire sees ten million kms ridden on Boris Bikes – the equivalent of riding to the moon and back 13 times
l Spanish dealers launch anti-Chain Reaction Cycles site
l Singletrack celebrates a decade in the trade
l Kona reveals it will go dealer direct in the UK

l 2010 statistics are revealed to see bike imports jump almost 25 per cent, tempered with a sharp year-on-year decline in December
l Race Face confirms it is to be liquidated
l Over 260,000 school children begin the Bike Hub-funded Big Pedal
l Factory Media buys BikeMagic and from Magicalia
l Bikeability Scotland launched
l ‘Dangerous Cycling bill’ proposed in Parliament
l Victoria Pendleton voted one of the most influential women of 2011 by Red Magazine

l Gadget Show Live launches its first-ever trade Professional day
l The first Scottish Bike Show takes place
l Norman Baker MP refuses to wear a helmet while cycling, prompting a minor media storm…
l …while motoring organisation the AA distributes free helmets and high vis vests to cyclists
l Having trouble getting a ticket to the Olympics? The scarcity of tickets hits the headlines in April
l Phillip Hammond MP summons Cycling England chief to a meeting, months after he axed the quango. Perhaps he was having second thoughts?
l BikeBiz Award winner Cycling Plus reveals its redesign, and Future reveals MBUK revamp

Tune in tomorrow (Thursday December 29th) for the second half of this retrospective…

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