Get The Feelgood Factor
Quieter roads, lots of summer sunshine and a global drive towards health and wellbeing have seen sales soar at world class Ribble Cycles
It’s January 2020 and globally-renowned Ribble Cycles are about to introduce an exciting new concept to their slick website – the ability to experience a one-to-one guided visit of their showroom from the comfort of the customer’s own home.
Fast forward just a few weeks later and this innovative virtual tour, along with Ribble Cycles’ development of world class bikes and the company’s agile response to lockdown, have seen sales rocket by 300 per cent.
Commercial Drector David Stacey recalls: “Like everyone we were expecting it to be a tough time. But, in business terms, it soon became evident that it was a perfect storm for Ribble Cycles.”
“From the moment furloughing began, people had time on their hands. The whole of the North West was enjoying day after day of sunshine and when the government messaging began to focus on exercising outdoors most people saw cycling as a great opportunity to improve health and wellbeing. They became more adventurous.”
“Bricks and mortar showrooms were forced to close so cyclists started looking online and that’s where Ribble excels, so the launch of our live video chat and tour couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Always looking to the future, Ribble launched this feature as they wanted to offer their customers the ultimate online experience when choosing every aspect of their customised bike: “We are at the forefront of cycling and ahead of the game – we were looking at what our customers would want next.
“However, while lockdown presented some considerable challenges it also enabled our existing business model to be ready for these challenging times.”
As all Ribble Cycles’ bikes are assembled by hand at the company’s headquarters in Preston, mechanics and technicians worked together in close proximity, so the first challenge was to create a safe working environment for all employees: “Our colleagues are all so committed, they went above and beyond what was expected. They were brilliant,” enthuses David.
The success of Ribble Cycles’ lies in their innovative approach and ingenuity. Individual bike customisation and direct-to-consumer sales is, and always has been, the DNA of the brand.
Throughout its 123-year history, Ribble Cycles has survived two World Wars and the Spanish Flu – and it continues to flourish. Over the years it has grown its collection of premium bikes, responding quickly to change. From ultra-lightweight electric bikes to award-winning race bikes, the company has become a global player in the cycling world.
The easing of lockdown and the need to avoid public transport, has created a huge surge of interest in bikes right across Ribble Cycles’ range.
Add to that the government’s announcement to improve cycling infrastructure and cycle-to-work incentives, people across the UK are wholeheartedly embracing the cycling culture.
“As a company we welcome the government’s commitment of £33.5m to the North West to create more safe cycling spaces including cycle lanes and incentives for those who want to cycle to work. Many are jumping on the cycling trend as it has so many advantages, from economic to health and wellbeing,” adds David, who advises on key points to look out for when buying a bike for commuting:
• Choose a bike that is comfortable and the right size for you. Ribble bikes can be tailored to each individual person.
• A bike that can accommodate panniers or luggage is vital if you’ll want a change of clothes when you arrive at work.
• Choosing a bike that can accommodate mud guards is important. You will appreciate it as the seasons change.
• Consider security and where you will lock and leave your bike when you get to work.
• An e-bike is perfect for commuting. They are incredibly flexible and you can turn the assistance on or off at the push of a button. Fancy a nice easy ride into work, but a more challenging ride on the way home? At a push of the power button and you can select how much assistance you receive. The range depends on fitness and weight, but typically an e-bike can go 60 miles on one charge – perfect for an easy commute!
• Taking into account your budget – find out if your employer is part of the government’s ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme as it could make a big difference financially.
• At Ribble Cycles we encourage people to think about versatility. Want to ride at the weekend with your family as well as the commute? Perhaps a hybrid bike might fit your lifestyle better than a road bike. For this reason, The Ribble Hybrid AL e is one of the most popular bikes among commuters.
David concludes: “This is a really exciting time for cycling. People are enjoying their commute, avoiding public transport and, of course, they are discovering some of the lovely lanes and trails right here on their doorstep in the Ribble Valley.”
To find out more go to ribblecycles.co.uk and chat to the experts at Ribble Cycles
363 Leach Place, Walton Summit Centre
Bamber Bridge, Preston PR5 8AS