Racing bike specialists aim to speed up growth of business

3 November 2015

Richard Maxwell of Race Scene based in Barnsley - This photo was supplied by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more information, please visit www.capitalbmedia.co.uk  A Barnsley specialist racing bike shop which sells to cycling enthusiasts all over the country aims to move its business up a gear in 2016.

Race Scene sells bespoke bikes which are built, customised and serviced on-site in its own workshop. And it is the exclusive UK supplier of several high-end Italian cycle manufacturers.

The store is now refurbishing its retail space and launching a new website as part of a strategy to attract new sales in the growing market for premium cycles. Its developments are being backed by Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC), through Enterprising Barnsley, the business development arm of Barnsley Council.

Race Scene owner Richard Maxwell said: “We have seen a ten per cent growth in sales year-on-year since we set up the business 18 years ago and would like to up that to 20 per cent next year and going forward.

“We already enjoy a wide-spread customer base for both entry level and elite racing bike machines, with about a quarter of our customers based in South Yorkshire, but the rest travelling here from all over the UK, even as far afield as Scotland and Dorset. We’ve also sold bikes to the USA and Australia.”

The profile of this established Barnsley business was raised further when the media spotlight fell on this region for the Grand Depart in 2014 and the Tour de Yorkshire this year. Barnsley town centre also hosted the British Cycling National Circuit Race Championships this July.

Richard said: “Yorkshire and Barnsley are certainly well known in the world of elite cycling. And in purely practical terms we are happy to be based here as we are pretty central in the UK and just a few miles from the M1 – buyers from all over the country do find it easy to reach us.”

Race Scene seeks to increase sales on the back of the increased participation in serious cycling as leisure activity in the UK. Research published by market analysts Mintel last year indicated a growth of interest in cycling at all levels and forecast a 22 per cent increase in sales of high-end bikes over five years, with the total value of this UK market reaching a £909 million by 2018.

Richard estimates that 80 per cent of Race Scene customers are cycling enthusiasts who ride for pleasure and fitness with the occasional ‘sportive’ event, whilst about 20 per cent race competitively.

He said: “It is good to see more people are getting involved in the sport at whatever level they are at. Cycling is a great way to lose weight, feel better, keep fit and get outdoors. If people are keen to invest, our bikes aim to give them the very best ride for maximum comfort and performance.”

Race Scene has built a strong reputation for its expertise in supplying high quality frames – from Italian manufacturers such as Somec, De Rosa, Casati, Pinarello and Ciocc - and designing and delivering made-to-measure bikes in their industry-accredited workshop.

Each of these sales involves one-to-one appointments with the customer to take measurements, make ergonomic assessments and discuss their requirements. An understanding of the individual’s fitness, ability and where they will ride also guides the correct gearing choice. The Race Scene team then build the bike to precision specifications; and then maintains and modifies it as it is used and the cyclist’s fitness develops.

The specialist shop, based on Sheffield Road, employs a team of four and sells more than 200 bespoke bikes a year.
Richard said: “The great majority of our customers don’t tend to pop in and pick up a bike – though we do sell a few like that. The vast majority of sales are for bespoke high-end bikes.”

Enterprising Barnsley has supported Race Scene with online marketing and business development. Its shop modifications will improve product display space.

Kevin Steel, Enterprising Barnsley’s business development manager at BBIC, said: “Richard and his team are absolute cycling enthusiasts and it is great to see their expertise attracting customers from all over the country to spend money here in the Barnsley economy.

“Given Yorkshire’s high profile in the world of cycling now, it is good to see an elite Barnsley cycling business pursue ambitions for growth.”

Notes to editor

For information about Race Scene, please contact them on 01226 291888 or info@racescene.co.uk

For more information about Enterprising Barnsley business support, funded by Barnsley Metropolitan Council and delivered by Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC), contact Kevin Steel on tel: 01226 249590 or ksteel@bbic.co.uk

For details of Mintel’s research: http://www.mintel.com/press-centre/social-and-lifestyle/going-up-a-gear-britains-cycling-enthusiasts-trade-up-to-better-quality-models

BBIC is committed to assisting economic regeneration in the Barnsley borough. It aims to stimulate, promote and encourage the development of innovative technology and knowledge-based businesses in order to create jobs and economic growth.

Additional media contact: Steph Pollard on 01226 766900 or steph@capitalbmedia.co.uk

This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more details about our PR services, please visit www.capitalbmedia.co.uk

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