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OFF TRACK


Let’s get statistical


How does the government think cycle usage will fare over the next few decades? How many bikes has Cyclescheme sold since 2009? And how much should be spent to increase cycling? All these questions, plus a few others, are answered in our latest statistical glut of figures from the bike biz...


Steve Toll, Founder and CEO of ISM Saddles


What bikes do you own and where’s your favourite place to ride? I own a Trek, Specialized, Cannondale and Quintana Roo... I have way too many bikes: My wife and I have 13. We ride them to get some lunch, though for leisure I like riding in Florida as we’ve got excellent trails here. The trails by Lake Michigan are a favourite too, where I rode as a little boy.


Tell us about your background in the business: When I worked as a police officer in the ‘90s, my wife and I used to ride regularly. One Christmas she bought me a bike and we would ride the Tampa Bay area. My comfort would deteriorate on longer rides, so that’s where the idea came from. I was sitting in the bathroom reading and I realised how much more comfortable I was. My brother made the first sample from a design I sketched, welding up a plastic model. Over the years we perfected the design, though it has always been a noseless design. The first models looked a lot like a toilet seat.


Tell us a bit about the science behind ISM’s saddle: I learned about a German eurologist called Dr Frank Sommer who I think now works at the University of Hamburg. He’s noted for his work with accurately measuring blood flow, so in the early days he was a big part of shaping our product. We went after the tri market first as it’s more accepting of new ideas – the regular road market is a more traditional. Now we work with physicians and road cyclists in Tampa who consult with us and help shape our ideas.


You’ve built a strong reputation in the tri world – do sales come easy nowadays? Our athletes sweep the podiums on a regular basis and that translates to sales. We’ve had people call and ask which saddles our athletes use before ordering.


Anything big in the pipeline for 2014? We’ve always got new bits in the pipeline, we’re always listening to customer feedback in order to work out what’s next. At Interbike we introduced the Berkley cruiser saddle. Two of the first test riders said it was a sofa for the bicycle.


Which shows will we see the brand at in 2014? We’ll be at Interbike, Eurobike and, in the UK, the London Bike Show in February. We’ll also be with the Upgrade guys at Core Bike.


86 BIKEBIZ DECEMBER BIKEBIZ.COM One third – 1/3


30 per cent of people split their commute between cycling and another mode of


transport, including trains, buses and cars (Source: Cyclescheme)


362,582


The number of bikes sold through Cyclescheme since 2009 (correct at time of press)


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