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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

New Batribike 2017 Range Launched at Cycle Show

The Cycle Show at the NEC in Birmingham is our most important show of the year. This time we were delighted to be launching not just one, but SIX new models. The new range of electric bikes for 2017 have really stepped up a gear, all are being manufactured in Europe. The superb quality of finish and the high standard of components certainly marks them as being top of the range.

As a family business we are all very hands on, this means that we are there to build the stand before the show opens. Our stand design is very modular so that we can adapt it to various locations and spaces. This year we had a new fabric graphic for the rear wall and we were absolutely delighted with the look when it went up.

The new bikes have the Batribike logo embossed on the frame before painting. Everyone at the show remarked on how great this looked. To complement this feature we had a similar effect on the front of our desk and on the cover of our new brochures. Look out for them in our dealers very soon.

The completed stand looked great and we had plenty of room to welcome visitors. In addition to the stand we also had one of each model in the test ride area where visitors could try out the bikes on the outdoor track. The bikes were kept very busy during the show.

The new range of European built bikes have been in the planning and design stage for over 18 months so it was brilliant to be able to finally announce our plans and to show off what we have been doing.

The Quintessential with 10.4 Ah battery "hidden" in the leather saddlebag
The Omega (step-through) and Alpha (crossbar) come in a choice of 3 colours
Thursday is the first day of the show and is a trade day. It was fantastic to see so many of our existing dealers had come to see our new bikes. They had travelled from as far afield as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as from all parts of England including Cornwall in the very South West and Northumberland in the North East.

Visitors to the stand kept us busy for the whole show

We were busy on the stand and in the riding area for the whole of the show. Apparently visitor numbers were up again making it the busiest in the show’s history! What was especially nice was that all the people we spoke to really appreciated electric bikes and were interested to see the latest designs.

The new Batribike Delta hardtail MTB was very popular
The Batribike range for 2017 is manufactured in Lithuania by Baltik Vairas using a Danish designed electric system by ProMovec. We continue to be the first and only electric bike company in the UK to fit the Datatag Stealth Pro security marking system to all of our bikes. We will also be offering the one month free electric bike insurance backed by Lexham Insurance that we launched last April. We believe that we have a unique and outstanding package on offer with the new bikes.

Manufacturing of the new bikes is about to commence with the first batch arriving in the UK before the end of October. Look out for the European built electric bikes on our website and look for them in shops very soon.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Batribike at Countryfile Live

The Batribike Team has been at Countryfile Live this weekend. The sunshine, blue skies and soaring temperatures set the scene for a fantastic event. We were invited to be on the Datatag stand to show a couple of our bikes and to promote the Stealth Pro Cycle system that we fit as standard to all our e-bikes.
One of the huge ancient oak trees that are all over the Blenheim estate
After a bit of discussion Ralph and I agreed that the best plan was to stay on site in our caravan if that was possible. Thankfully there was an exhibitor camping area and we arrived on Wednesday evening before the show start on Thursday. We were so glad that we had made this decision once we realised just how many cars were trying to get in and out of the car parks every day. We were certainly lucky to avoid all that queuing, and we got a lovely walk across the site.
The Batribike Falcon and Storm before the show opened on Thursday
Being at a show like this is always enjoyable, we get to see past customers who like to come over and chat about where they have been on their Batribikes, we love to hear their stories. We also enjoy talking to potential new customers, we are passionate about our e-bikes and it is good to tell everyone about them.

All four days of the show were busy with at least 25,000 reported visitors every day. Everyone I spoke to was having a great time with so much to see. That is one disadvantage for us when working at a show, we don’t get much time to look round. We did manage to sneak out a couple of times and saw some great craft activities going on. There was everything you could imagine from dry stone walling and hedge laying to willow weaving, and on a smaller scale, painting and pottery to knitting.
Big Knitting with broomsticks!
The vintage Big Wheel looked stunning against the blue sky
Stripey deckchairs were all about the site  for visitors to take a rest
Opposite our stand was the ‘Farming in Action’ area with huge modern tractors and machinery on display. In the arena vintage tractors towing bailers were demonstrating old farming techniques. We didn’t even get as far as the main arenas with their various animal displays.
Hay turning
Hay bailing
On Thursday and Friday the stand was visited by members of Thames Valley Police, they actively promote security marking and believe it is important in reducing crime and aids in returning recovered property. The Datatag team were able to demonstrate the different systems to police cadets who were doing some training at the show.
Discussing Batribike and Datatag with Robin Heywood of Thames Valley Police
The only downside to the show was the poor mobile phone signal we had on our network. This made it impossible to post to social media during the event. However thanks to Helen from communications at Thames Valley Police, I was able to use her signal to post some pictures to Twitter and Facebook on Friday.

On Saturday we were delighted to meet Adam Henson, a Countryfile presenter who has become famous for Adam’s Farm, where he protects rare breeds of farm animal. Adam took time out of his busy schedule to come down to the Datatag stand. He told a visitor to the stand that he has the system fitted to all of his tractors.
Discussing Batribike with Adam Henson
He was very interested when we told him that Batribike is based in rural Lincolnshire and said that he was very pleased to hear that we fit Datatag as standard to the Batribike range of e-bikes.

After the show closed that evening we went to the “Craven Arms” pub area of the show and had a stone baked pizza that had been cooked in the side of a Land Rover! We sat in the sunshine in the deck chairs in front of the BBC sound stage listening to live music with a cold drink and a pizza – what a great end to the day.
Land Rover pizza oven
Sunday was another busy day with lots of visitors, everyone was enjoying the sunshine and the show. When it came to the end of the day it seemed like nobody wanted to go home, that surely is the mark of a good event.

Thanks to everyone at Datatag for making us welcome on the stand, we had a great weekend.

Friday, 24 June 2016

BAGB (Bicycle Association) Meeting

On Wednesday Ralph and I represented Batribike at the BA (Bicycle Association) meeting in Birmingham.

There was much talk of how the whole cycle industry here in the UK was faring. It was acknowledged that whilst some areas were flat there was an increase in sales of MTB's, and electric bikes continued to have the most growth.

2015 has proved to be a good year for electric bike sales and many in the industry have applauded the increased visibility the product has had, with more outlets than ever having electric bikes in stock and for demo.

At the end of the meeting Philip Darnton OBE, Executive Director of the BA, made a presentation to Alan Cater, retiring Technical Manager. Alan has worked tirelessly on standards and technical matters for the BA for 47 years. An outstanding achievement and testament to his dedication to the industry and the nitty gritty of technical standards.

The meeting was followed by a reception in the Club Room of the impressive Old Joint Stock Pub where further speeches and thanks were given.

Alan Cater (left) and Philip Darnton.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Vintage Bicycles

I was lucky enough to be out and about in the Norfolk / Suffolk / Cambridgeshire borders at the weekend and snapped some pictures of vintage and possible antique bicycles.

At Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse there is a museum of Norfolk life with all all sorts of farm transport. I saw these two lovely bikes hanging from a threshing machine.

This trike looks very ancient and more than a little wobbly!

Houghton Watermill was leased to the Youth Hostel Association for many years after it stopped working. It is seen as the backdrop for one of a series of cigarette cards depicting family cycling.

Taking young children out with you when you are cycling is nothing new as shown in this image from the 30's / 40's I wonder what they would make of the trailers and cargo bikes of today.

This bike was tucked away in a corner inside the mill and even though it is a vintage bike it looks very much of the style that has come back into fashion. All it needs is a battery and a motor and it would make an ideal electric bike.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

More Lindsey-West Bikes Arrive at Batribike Warehouse

We have had an exciting couple of weeks with new Lindsey-West models arriving from Europe. These electric bikes are new ex factory stock that have been branded for Lindsey-West. These models have been on sale elsewhere in Europe. The batteries have all been re-celled in Germany and come with a 2 year warranty.

We have a lovely variety of bikes with both step-through and crossbar style frames. Some of the bikes have continental coaster style brakes that are very common in Europe but not so well known in the UK. Sometimes called a back pedal brake they are extremely easy to use and give great confidence on hills. When I had my first ride with this style of brake I was a bit unsure as to whether I would like it but I have very quickly become a convert. I am sure we will begin to see more of this style of brake in the future.

The bikes have hub or deraiileur gears, dynamo powered LED lights, side stand and mudguards all fitted as standard. Check out the full range on the Lindsey-West section of the Batribike website.

The weather was kind when we had some of them stood out on the grass for photos.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Out and About with Batribike

The Batribike team recently attended electric bike demo days in the South. We were invited demonstrate our range of electric bikes at open events in Exeter, Bude and Torbay.

The far South-West is a significant distance from our base just north of Lincoln so it was great to be able to visit some of our other stockists in that area too.

Heading over the Tamar Bridge into Cornwall
First stop was Top Gear Electric Bikes at Penryn near Falmouth. It was great to chat with Peter and to personally deliver the latest 2016 leaflets.

Whilst we were there, almost at the very tip of Cornwall, we took a quick trip out on the Pendennis peninsula.

The next day we were at Route 2 Bike Shop at Topsham near Exeter. The weather was glorious. As well as demonstrating the bikes I managed to take a few pictures of the bikes looking stunning on the quayside. Thanks to Liz for looking after us so well.

The EU built Lindsey-West in front of the "Lighter"
The Lindsey-West electric bike on the quay
The Francis-Barnett in front of the "Lighter" 
The Francis-Barnett vintage style electric bike on Topsham Quay
Wednesday was not quite as sunny but the welcome was warm at Bude Bikes. With the gazebo up and the flags out there was a festive atmosphere. Lots of people took the chance to come down and test ride a range of the electric bikes on display. We were gratified to hear the oohs and aahs of excitement as they rode off on the test ride route. Thanks to Neill, Neil and the other Neil, so convenient that we can’t get the names muddled!

At the end of the day when the shop was closed and we were all packed away I thought it might be quite nice to just pop down to see the Atlantic. It was a rather nice evening, one of the bonuses of visiting our stockists is getting to see more of our great countryside.

Evening on the Atlantic Coast

Our final demo day in the area was at Torbay Scooters and Bikes in Paignton. The weather had taken a bit of a turn and I have to say it was quite chilly. The shop is sited on one of the main routes through the town and so we were not only talking to customers that had come especially for the event but also to those who were just passing by and were intrigued by electric bikes. Thanks to Steve and Tony for their welcome even on such a dull day.

On Friday we were heading away from the west but continued along the south coast to Bournemouth. Colm at the e-Cycles Centre was pleased to see us even though we arrived with the torrential rain – so no pictures here!

And then we were off to do battle with the M25 and home for the weekend. A brilliant week thanks to our fantastic Batribike electric bike stockists and to all of those that came to talk at our demo days.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Free electric bike insurance

We have been getting enquiries about electric bike insurance both to our main offices and via our dealers. Previously we could point customers to an insurance that was arranged through BEBA the British Electric Bicycle Association, however since the amalgamation of BEBA with the BA (Bicycle Association of Great Britain) this was no longer available.

We are always looking at ways to improve the package we offer and it seemed that electric bike insurance was something that matters to our customers. We looked at what was out there and talked to some insurance companies.

I like Lexham Insurance, they have a similar ‘family company’ attitude to Batribike and they specialise in two-wheeler insurance. The instant quote system on their website is very easy to use and is not Postcode weighted. I like this simple easy to use approach.

I met up with Andy Goodson the Sales and Marketing Director at Lexham and we discussed what was possible.

I think that the package we have come up with has all the important features and benefits that our customers are after. We are delighted that we are able to give away one month FREE electric bike insurance with every new Batribike, Francis-Barnett and V’Lec from 21st March 2016.

At Batribike we understand that an electric bike is for many a considered purchase. When we are out and about at shows we talk to customers and potential customers about their concerns. What we hear a lot is that they want to know how to keep their bikes safe.

There are ways of making it more difficult for those unscrupulous people out there to take or pass on your beloved ebike. We have been fitting the Datatag UV “Stealth” PRO Cycle System to all the bikes in our model range for two years. (We are the only electric bike company in the UK to be doing this.) The Datatag marking system makes it almost impossible to remove all the identifying marks on a bike making it much more unattractive to thieves.

The Datatag system is recognised by Lexham Insurance and they offer a 10% discount on premiums for bikes fitted with this system. This discount is available to all Batribike customers with the Datatag fitted, so even if you purchased your bike before the free insurance start date you can still benefit from the discount.

I believe that with the free electric bike insurance and the fitted Datatag Batribike is offering an excellent package alongside a quality electric bike with excellent warranty and UK backup. At Batribike we are very proud of our brand and are always striving to produce the best product in our price range.