More new brands than you can count on one hand, plus revamps and fresh ranges.

Show round-up: Fisher Expo 2012

There’s an image gallery for Expo 2012 here.

In-house brand Eastway – named after the old East London cycle track – was among the brands debuting at Expo. In fact it was more a preview, with prototypes on display after only months in development, marking the first time the brand had been on show. The final versions are set to arrive in stock from June.

But what about the bikes? The Eastway range encompasses bikes for roadies, commuters and cross racers. Top of the line-up is the RD 1.0 D, a carbon road bike unconventionally using disc brakes. Further down the line the range switches to aluminium frames, while similarly there is a hierarchy in the components used as the range progresses in retail price.
If you were at the show and passed on your feedback, you might well have a hand in future developments for the bikes which will be, likely, branching further into mountain bikes too, the distributor tells BikeBiz.

Another brand new to the Fisher fold is Carrera Eyewear. Carrera has a lifestyle and sport division and has arms that reach into the likes of sailing, running and golfing, but the firm is aiming to raise its profile in the UK and US alike, having appointed a major US distributor and Fisher in the UK. Alongside an investment in sponsorship, the brand is bringing a seven-strong product range through the distributor initially. Prices range from £89.99 to £159.99 and glasses come with interchangeable lenses. Models at the higher end incorporate Carrera’s patented nose clips, which adjust vertically as well as horizontally, for “the best fitting sunglasses”. Open, virtually frame-free lenses are available alongside full-framed versions, as are quirky folding sunglasses.

Multiple-award winning Yepp child seats, have scored prizes from Eurobike and Red Dot as well as a Netherlands Baby Innovation Prize in 2011. The brand has been garnering all this praise for an eye-catching line of child seats for bicycles. Made from a similar material as Croc shoes, the material is durable, comfortable and easy to clean, as any Croc wearer will be aware. The range includes innovative add-ons, like wind screens and soft guards to protect the head of a child nodding off. Five point harnesses prevent persistent children from standing up on the seat, while the bracket – which stays on the bike – is easy to separate from the Yepp seat and fit onto another bike that has a bracket. The Yepp range comes in five colours and is in stock now. The brand was created by the man behind BoBike who actually left the bike industry for two decades, after which he returned and came up with the Yepp concept.

Another new in-house brand for Fisher is Union 34. Pitched at urban cyclists the range includes luggage initially, with clothing – too new to appear at Expo – in the works including hoodies amongst other garments. But back to the luggage, the line-up is for use on and off the bike. For example the Stripe rucksack has an intelligent fixing system linking it to Union 34’s own seatpost bracket (or to a rack). When taken off the bike a pad means the rucksack is comfortable when on the back too.

The water resistant range has high vis waterproof covers that can be pulled over the bag for inevitable rainy conditions. The Union 34 luggage range is available to customers from April.

Fisher’s other own brand – folding bike range Kansi – has been given a welding upgrade, providing top quality connections as part of a brand relaunch. 

US-based DZR shoes was actually dreamt up in the Alps and boasts shoes made of either leather or vegan-friendly material. Lots of design has gone into the DZR soles, Fisher tells BikeBiz, not least with its co-moulded power plates – metal reinforced Nylon shanks so the shoe can handle plenty of force on the pedal. Despite that strength the range has been designed to be able to be worn off the bike, with enough flex in the sole to be suitable for walking. Likewise cleats are recessed enough not to click incessantly while the wearer is walking. The DZR line is available in April.

Aside from brand revamps and new arrivals, fresh products from existing brands were also in the Expo mix, including Virtual Reality software from Tacx. Compatible with all Tacx trainers, and being shown off at Expo with the Genius – the software includes four virtual worlds for cyclists to get to grips with. Cunningly avoiding the solitude of training, the software allows riders to compete against online rivals worldwide. Not only that, virtual private races can be set up online too.

Elsewhere, SRAM Red was an obvious attraction, as was SRAM’s tech centre sessions for mechanics and other interested parties. The recently launched RISE MTB wheels also made an appearance, with the carbon 60s retailing at around £1,500 and the aluminium 40s for less than £500. There is also an extended 29er line-up from the brand.

Other news from the show saw a revised line of packaging from Vavert, now cleaner in design and eco-friendly too. In conjunction with that, Fisher is expanding its Essentials campaign, making use of that new packaging. The distributor is pushing the bread and butter line of products at ‘everyday low prices’.

And finally, a few words on Fisher’s new business-to-business site. Soft launched at Expo, any dealer who wants to can now log on to the site and use it. The boffins at the distributor tell BikeBiz that navigation has been improved and that its much faster than the old B2B site.

A key point about the new site is pricing information. Dealers can now see promotional pricing online and even get their sales history data from the site too. Fisher is looking for dealer feedback, so don’t be shy.

There was much more at the St Albans-set Expo that we haven’t got space to cover here, including the Weldtite manufactured Pure range, the official 2012 GreenEDGE Team Kit from Santini and more. Find out more about all of those from Fisher Outdoor Leisure directly, on the number below.

01727 798 345

Fisher has branded the 2012 event its ‘most successful Expo ever‘.

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