In a series of Blogs we are going to look at our Cycling100 charter and dig into each one of the elements. First up is the selection process and where it all starts.
China has traditionally been the factory that OEMs go to for their latest products. So how do you dig beneath that surface and find which Chinese companies are doing something which is not just a copy or rebadged open mould etc.
Contacts are key and one of the partners in Cycling100 is a key player in providing information through his video channels. He works with these brands as they seek to increase their exposure in the Chinese market.
The Shanghai Bicycle Show - provides a showcase for manufacturers of all sorts of amazing products. A lot are making parts for other OEMs but a small number are innovating and show off their new wares at this show.
Old fashioned leg work by searching through the internet and Taobao/TMall the home of all things for sale in China. Its algorithm gets it right and you suddenly get shown a new product and think that could be interesting. We can purchase it and test even before approaching the brand.
The team here then look at and ride the products to see how they perform. We are also keen to hear from the designers, engineers and business owners to get a sense of their passion, innovation and direction. I interview each one to see who they are, how they started their business and what is their vision. Who would have guessed the Vortex founder was a PHD in Civil engineering and SEKA founder was a bike fitter and trainer with Specialized before they both started on the road to building great products. We also explore their product pipeline as we are not interested in a single product. All of the brands we are working with have an active pipeline of new and exciting products.
Who are “the team” - well it is a wider group of trusted cyclists. Some work in the Cycling100 business but the majority are cycling professionals or media. All the products on sale will have been put through their paces by this team usually for an extended time period to ensure there are no surprises for us and you the customer. And when we test we do that in the many different places we have in China from crowded meg cities to 20km climbs an 40km (yes you read this right) descents. Check Instagram out for pictures in the future.
Tapping into this vast pool of talent that can then utilise the same factories as the Western OEMs is amazing. I strongly believe we will see new ideas which could not come from a traditional OEM - there are no barriers to the imagination.
Cycling100 will continue to search out new products and brands to bring to consumers all over the world. In curating this way we believe our difference is clear vs other channels.
So join us on our journey either through our emails, social media or Youtube as we publish more content and discover new brands.