Insync Bikes welcomes decision to class bike shops as ‘essential’ as it unveils plans to make 50,000 bikes for UK market

Manchester bike brand Insync Bikes has welcomed the government’s decision to allow bike shops to continue trading during the second national lockdown as it unveiled plans to build 50,000 new bikes between now and Christmas.

Insync Bikes, owned by India-based Hero Cycles, the world’s biggest bike maker by volume, said it was the correct move to include bike shops in England in the list of essential retailers allowed to remain open.

The business, which has its Global Design Centre in Manchester, has urged independent bike shops to get in touch to ‘block their forward order’ to cater for the demand fuelled by the upsurge in cycling in 2020.

Bike shops will be able to open their doors between Thursday 5 November and Wednesday 2 December, along with the likes of supermarkets and garden centres. With gyms and leisure centres closing their doors, bikes will be among the few ways people can exercise. 

Insync’s head of business Gopal Krishan said Hero is ‘pulling out all the stops’ to make the 50,000 bikes at its factories in India, Sri Lanka and Europe in response to the unprecedented demand for bikes following the coronavirus outbreak which has driven bike sales up by 63pc (see notes to editors).

The bikes will be mainly in the affordable range of £150-£600 which are the most sought after, a mix of children’s and adult steel and alloy models. He added all the bikes are being designed at Hero’s the new £2m Global Design Centre in Newton Heath, Manchester.

He said: “We are delighted the government has recognised the vital role cycling played in the first national lockdown in improving physical and mental health, a legacy we have seen continue through the numbers of commuters exchanging their cars for bikes ever since.

“Allowing bike shops to remain open, as essential retailers, shows the significance of this form of exercise and should boost further the industry.”

The new bikes will be available through Insync’s 400-plus UK dealers, and the brand is looking to partner with more independent stores, many of which have struggled to keep up with the increased demand.

Krishan said: “It has been a very tough situation for the bike industry globally with supply chains and parts being severely disrupted. However, through our parent company Hero Cycles we have the facilities, manpower and the supply chain network to make these bikes.”

The massive effort is, in part, being driven by processes and supply chains being put in place for Hero’s Cycles planned new 100 acre Cycle Valley in Ludhiana, in the Punjab region.

“This will be the biggest and most advanced bike making centre in the world,” he said. “We plan to have all the suppliers and parts in one central location to de-risk supply chain disruption and share innovation between cycling industry’s leading companies. Ultimately we want to have capacity to produce around 9 million bicycles and ebikes each year adding a further 60pc capacity to our operations eventually reaching around 8pc of global production share.”

Hero Cycles Limited

Hero Cycles Limited was founded in India in 1956. It is the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world by volume producing 19,000 cycles per day and 5.2million per year. This represents one out of every 20 of the world’s bicycles. Hero Cycles has manufacturing units in Ludhiana (Punjab), Bihta (Bihar) & Ghaziabad (UP). It is part of the Hero Motors Company which employs circa 8,000 staff.

The company exports to more than 70 countries through a network of circa 250 suppliers and 2800 dealerships. Its bike range includes road bikes, hybrid bikes, children’s bikes, electric-bikes, mountain bikes, BMX and roadster models. Hero in India also manufactures automobile components like chassis for cars, safety components and transmission for motorcycles.

In August 2015, it acquired Manchester based British brand Avocet Sports with 51pc stake targeting high-end bicycle market in Europe and now has full ownership. In 2015, it also acquired Firefox Bikes – India’s largest premium bicycle brand with an established presence Pan-India through a network of 160 outlets. In 2016, it acquired a majority stake in Sri Lanka’s leading bicycle manufacturer BSH Ventures, further boosting its manufacturing capacity. As part of major expansion plans across Europe it launched the £2million Hero Cycles Global Design Centre (HGD) in Manchester, UK, in January 2017. In November 2019 the company changed its name from Avocet Sports Ltd to Insync Bikes Ltd.

Hero Cycles is ISO9001 & ISO14001 Certified from BVC of UK and recognized by the R&D department by the Govt. of India.

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