BikeBiz meets Robin Corder from West Midlands distributor Velotech
This piece first appeared in the September issue of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here
How was the first half of 2022 for Velotech?
2022 sees Velotech Services Ltd in its 15th year of distribution, but before that, thanks to my cycle and triathlon training, I was an agent for the first Rotor component crankset. The RS4X crankset had eight bearings and thanks to elliptical engineering, the arms skipped dead center.
The QRings followed and Velotech never looked back and went full steam ahead to brands such as Etxeondo clothing, SPIUK with all their innovations, RH+, CEEPO and USN tri bikes, but with all those who are behind us, we now work with five brands and act as an agent for Parlee Bikes.
2022 has arrived following a shocking winter, leaving us stocked up and unsure of how to plan for the next few months. Suppliers continue to demand orders and, as usual, cash flow is a bit unbalanced.
We had worked hard to provide the trade with easy access to cranksets and chainrings, and this paid off in January with a strong increase in sales declining in February, but recovering for a stable first half.
Sales to Internet brands have been difficult as the high stock scenario of some slow-moving goods affects warehouse space. These companies’ post-Brexit euro sales are slow as European customers are reluctant to order from the UK.
Rotor has also recently completed the takeover of its integrated electrical products supplier to now integrate it fully in-house – this will strengthen all on-road and MTB electrical supply channels with new products under development.
Shops are now starting to see us as a power solution with the Rotor modular crank system offering. Our newest release is Close the Gap, a small Dutch brand providing innovative and sustainable items, made in Holland and growing for us.
What do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities for the rest of the year?
In the future, we will see lots of stores with lots of bikes, and not necessarily the right kind of bikes. ‘Not enough customers’ is also quoted to us. This won’t change in the short term, in fact possibly getting worse as bike brands pressure stores into now-undesirable pre-order stocks.
Our message to trade revolves around availability – Rotor have their manufacturing center in Madrid giving us access to product in four to eight week manufacturing cycles. Our stock is always good and Rotor is priced to compete with replacement items such as chainrings and bottom brackets for all standards.
Stores always tend to rely on us to stock items and at present it is difficult to get stores to stock items once our stock is visibly good.
What are the upcoming projects for Velotech?
Velotech will continue to move forward to support grassroots racing by supporting local leagues with safe racing based on CX and MTB. At the same time, we also support the women’s team Pro Noctis-Rotor as a co-sponsor.
Our social media continues to be strong with plenty to shout about as we strive to innovate the way we market all of our brands.