WHERE HAVE ALL THE BIKES GONE?
Over the past 12 months, we've sold out more times than we can remember. In part because of the pandemic and its stress on the global supply chain, and in part because our customers (you guys) have been singing our praises more than we thought possible.
Here's a quick rundown of how we ended up here and our plans for re-stocking.
RE-INVENTING THE (KIDS') WHEEL
Like all the best British inventions, our story started with an engineer in his garden workshop. Andy was a keen cyclist with two young, but growing, kids.
No sooner had he taught them to ride on their first bike, but they were on to the next, which brought about a host of new problems (learning the geometry of the new bike, out-grown bikes piling up in the shed) and expenses!
So, with a background in motorsport engineering, Andy set about designing a bike to solve this problem and welded up early prototypes that live on in our HQ today!
With the first prototypes test-ridden by his own kids Andy decided to make the vision a reality.
This required a designer that could not only create a brilliant product, but a product that could be taken in to mass production. Greg joined the team to make this happen and, between the two of them, Andy and Greg set about refining the design and navigating the international supply chains needed for bicycle production.
Bikes proved to be complex beasts: Over 200 separate parts, each requiring their unique design, tooling, materials and expertise to produce, must all come together at the same time to be assembled in to a finished product.
So, with a sophisticated supply chain established and a small UK workshop, warehouse and team in place, we said ‘Hello world’ in 2018 with this website, and launched PINTO and SKØG.
We put our bikes in front of as many potential customers, reviewers and industry experts as possible and nervously awaited their critiques. And to our relief, the response was brilliant!
Before we knew it, we were selling bikes worldwide (in fact, our very first customer was in Germany, before we’d even established a delivery network there)! With international patents on our unique growing frames, first-time riders from all over the world were taking to two wheels with ease.
We started winning awards and five-star reviews left, right and centre. We were honoured, proud and excited and already being asked to launch bigger siblings of PINTO and SKØG.
RACING TO SCALE
By early 2020 we’d found our stride and launched two new models, KAPĒL and HÜTTO. Our customers were loving the bigger bikes just as much as our original models and our team had grown too.
We were sending out more bikes to more brilliant customers than we could ever have foreseen when we launched, just 2 years earlier.
With very little marketing budget, we were reliant on referrals from existing customers to fuel our growth.
Fortunately, our customers love our product and our service (and for this we have to give credit to our team) and in 2020 word was spreading quickly - great for our small brand. Every day we got busier and we tried our best to keep up.
And then Covid-19 struck. Though a period of great hardship and loss, many families reconnected with their environment and love for the outdoors. With this, demand for our bikes surged again and we sold out multiple times over!
BUMP(S) IN THE ROAD
2020 didn’t go to plan for anyone but we consider ourselves incredibly fortunate that we were in a position to ride the cycling wave. However, this ‘viral growth’ has put immense pressure on the global supply chains that we rely on, and they’re now overloaded.
And, of course, 2021 started with a couple of its own potholes too (we’re looking at you, new EU trading rules and you, Suez Canal!).
And this has, sadly, left us struggling to get the parts we require to build our bikes; a trend we forecast in to 2022, too!
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
But, the good news is we’ll soon have a fully-stocked warehouse again, ready for the team to immediately assemble and send straight out the door.
And so, ahead of its arrival, we’re going to be opening up pre-orders, exclusively for our existing customers and our pre-order waiting list.
It’s unlikely we’ll have enough bikes for everyone who wants one this year. But, by pre-ordering, you’ll be guaranteeing a bike from this stock drop.
So, if you’re looking for a Black Mountain in 2021, stay tuned and join our pre-order waiting list below!