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REVIEW OF THE YEAR


Baristas


Coffee: As a nation we can’t get enough of it – just look at the number of Costa, Starbuck, Nero and independent coffee shops on your local High Street (CoffeeBiz, anyone?) but the UK bicycle industry has been getting in on the act in a big way too. For every two ‘new bike shop openings’ we seem to get one that includes a coffee/bar element. There’s a joke in here about stimulants and cyclists, but there’s also a serious point about wise shops building up a sense of community around their retail offering. If you’ve already got a cycle club attached to your shop, what about investing in a decent coffee machine too?


MBUK


25 years in the print and cycle business is nothing to be sniffed at and Mountain Biking UK (MBUK) celebrated its quarter century this year. Tym Manley and Chris Turner launched the title in 1988 and the current team celebrated with a bumper edition of the mag included a guide to the 100 best bits of bike bling ever. They also got a willing volunteer to ride a bike out of a plane at 6,000ft. Hope his suspension was up to the job.


IBDs


Anecdotally, BikeBiz has received more reports of bike shops opening in 2013 than ever, but are the streets of Britain really seeing more and more IBDs launching? Turns out you don’t have to take our word for it – according to stats from the Local Data Company, independent bike shops have grown four per cent in the top 500 town centres over the first half of 2013. The data company, together with the British Independent Retailers Association, found a 13 per cent net rise in independent bicycle retail numbers in the first half of 2013.


Privateer


…or should that be the mountain bike magazine reading public? This year Gruppo Media announced it would be shelving the acclaimed MTB mag Privateer indefinitely. Issue 18, out on November 15th, was the final issue (for now at least) with Gruppo concentrating on sister mag Rouleur. We haven’t put our copy of the last issue on eBay, honest.


Steady financials


The weather has been all over the place this year, skewing financial results the trade-over. A harsh prolonged winter followed by the best summer in years has given forecasters of weather and bike sales alike an unenviably tough time. The likes of Tandem Group, Halfords, Evans Cycles and many more that don’t share their financial stats all cited those spates of harsh weather over 2012/2013 as hitting their financials negatively. Happily, the summer seems to have redressed the balance for many. The poor weather of 2012 also hit events in 2013, with the York Cycle Show facing cancellation after an off-puttingly rain- soaked event last year put off some potential exhibitors (though it’s hoped to return next year).


26-inch MTBs


A contentious one this, but one prime cycle retailer told us that the market had been reluctant to jump aboard the 29er trend initially, but there was no such similar reticence with 650B, which UK consumers have been giving the enthusiastic thumbs up to. All of which seems to mean the humble 26-inch wheeled MTB stalwart is set to move down the pecking order. If you disagree let us know at BikeBiz@intentmedia.co.uk


BIKEBIZ.COM


BIKEBIZ DECEMBER 37


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