BikeBiz hear from MiRider Sales Manager Matthew Higginson on the company’s growth over the past six months
This piece first appeared in the February edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here
We were talking to you mid-2021, how was the second semester for Mid Rider?
The year went well for us, finally reaching the ambitious forecasts we had set ourselves. The growth we have experienced has been driven by many drivers, the main ones being continued stock availability and brand building and appeal.
Other factors have been a complete sweep of rave industry and tech reviews, strong social media campaigns as well as continued investment in new accessories and special editions. All combined, this has seen an influx of new dealers into our network, which now numbers over 100.
You have recently moved into a new facility in Wigan, what impact has this had on your business?
The new facility has allowed us to structure the business efficiently and, more importantly, to increase storage and production capacity as required for 2022 and beyond.
Having the showroom and test track in the same building allows us to welcome new dealers for an introduction to the brand, for technician training or open houses on new products. Having our sales and customer service team under one roof means effective communication and helps maintain extremely high levels of customer service.
Why is it so important to the company and consumers that your bikes are assembled by hand?
This is an essential element for the company as a whole, especially as a relatively new brand in the sector. Having the ability to hand build a bike from the frame out not only allows us to spec parts and components exactly how we want them, it also makes our quality control extremely high.
Bikes go through several stages of inspection before, during and after assembly. It then undergoes test drives by the builder and production manager before being detailed and packaged to the best possible standard. Our five-star rating on Trust Pilot is a testament to our product but also to our efficient service and distribution.
Each tech has their own build sticker which is signed by them and acts as their seal of approval which takes pride of place on the crossbar, so the rider is always remembered for the personal touch.
What challenges and opportunities have you identified for Mid Rider in 2022?
There are always challenges to overcome, but our management team has over 20 years of combined experience in importation, distribution and brand development, coupled with an enviable drive to succeed. Supply chain issues in the cycle industry are covered quite well.
This leaves MiRider with the ability to seek out and seize opportunities in the industry, in which there are plenty. Our strategies are to continue our awareness and marketing by participating in several national exhibitions supported by additional content on social networks.
In addition to our desire to grow the traditional network of professional bicycle retailers, we are also looking to emulate this in the motorhome and caravan sector, as this has become a key market for our product.
Offering an all-terrain tire really sets us apart from adventurers looking for a convenient transportation option and that added fun factor along trails and canal lanes. To expand our dealer base, we are launching a second model called G3, which features an industry first for folding electric bikes.
The G3 features a sophisticated belt-drive crank gearbox system that allows the hub motor to stay in the rear, maintaining the excellent weight distribution, balance and traction of the standard bike without dirt and the adjustment problems of a traditional derailleur.
The G3 also benefits from hydraulic brakes, a large LCD display with phone charging port, lightweight pedals, a sports seat and wider bars for increased stability. The G3 comes with the same two-year warranty as the MiRider One.
As such, this model opens up opportunities for higher specification but also demonstrates our ambitions and ability to react to market demands.
You mentioned earlier sales targets for Mid Rider, how does reality compare to expectations in 2021? Are you going to update your sales forecast for 2022?
As a relatively new brand in this industry, it has been difficult to forecast sales, but the pandemic certainly accelerated our early sales targets, resulting in 100% year-over-year growth since 2019 .
Our expectations for 2022 are significantly higher than the results for 2021, which can be attributed to a rapidly growing market for folding electric bikes, a growing dealer base, a top-of-class product in every publication and to MiRider’s very high service standards.