"Were delighted to become the sole distributor for BH e-bikes in the UK - and we're here to revolutionise the market"
Scott Snaith, cycles
UK e-bike retailer 50cycles has signed a landmark partnership with industry heavyweight BH in a deal potentially worth £20million over the next four years.
Long-running 50cycles, headed by founder Scott Snaith, was one of the very first to supply electric cycles to the British market upon its inception in 2003.
And the firm, based in Loughborough, Leics, will now become the sole distributor for BH’s e-bike and Sports range in the UK in what Snaith describes as a ‘revolutionary’ step forward.
Spain’s BH, headquartered in the heart of the Basque region, has a pedigree going back more than 100 years. A regular team in the Tour de France and 70 years of competition has helped BH remain on the cutting-edge of design and innovation.
Pro cycling team Fortuneo-Samsic rode BH bikes in last year’s Tour. They will on this year’s event with Andre Greipel’s Arkea Samsic outfit.
And 50cycles’ Snaith revealed BH’s commitment to quality and future product developments means he’s excited for the future.
He said: “BH as a brand has a cult following in Europe and there’s a growing number of devotees here in the UK who cannot wait to try the latest models. This season’s e-bike range is the strongest line up we have seen in 15 years of business.
“If you’re not already familiar with BH, I would urge you to get acquainted as their dedication to precision quality is second to none.
“BH is well known for its cutting edge road bikes, but we’ll be showcasing some of their much-sought after performance trail bikes, commuters and tourers – all part of BH’s e-bike range.
“We’re delighted to become the sole distributor for BH e-bikes in the UK and we believe it’s a partnership worth between £10m and £20m over the next four years, with the potential to become market leaders in year five across both the e-bike and sports range.
“I hope that’s going to make everyone in the industry sit up and take notice because we’re here to revolutionise the market as we work with closely with BH to improve what feels like a disjointed industry.”
Some of the key bikes that will feature in 50cycles’ BH range includes the full-suspension ATOM-X Carbon Lynx 6 PRO-SE (£6,895), which comes with Fox forks and a huge 720Wh battery and the latest Brose S Magnesium Motor.
The ATOM-X Cross-Pro (£3,995) is a roadworthy commuter, touring and courier e-bike which can achieve a massive range and has an optional GPS tracking device and a purpose built smartphone app.
Meanwhile the folding Easygo Volt (£1,595) features a high performance 250W rear motor as well as four assistance levels.
Snaith says he’s also tackling the elephant in the room when it comes to e-bike purchasing in the UK – the industry-standard long waiting times for customer deliveries.
He added: “We will disrupt the e-bike industry in the UK by resolving the current supply chain issues by closely working with BH to ensure that we all operate a lot smarter not harder.
"With some rival retailers it’s not uncommon for customers to wait 11 to 12 weeks between purchase and delivery.
“To me that’s a disgrace, and we want to give the market a kick up the rear.
“We want our customers to have the best possible experience, from ordering to the first ride, and a big part of that is delivering their bike as quickly as we possibly can so they can get out there and start enjoying it.”
BH – aka ‘Beistegui Hermanos’ – was first set up in 1909 manufacturing guns. But in 1919, after World War One, it began making bicycles.
By 1935 it was firmly settled in the Spanish scene.
The BH team had one of the best cyclists of the day in its ranks, Belgian Gustave Deloor (1913-2002) who won the first two editions of the Vuelta a Espana in 1935 and 1936.
BH has won seven Vueltas in total, including in 1986 with Alvaro Pino. In that edition the team Zor-BH also came first in the team classification.
BH bikes also featured in Roberto Heras’s record-breaking 2005 Vuelta triumph and Alexander Vinokourov’s success the following year.
Fede Etxabe achieved another historical victory in 1987 by winning the legendary Alpe d’Huez stage of the Tour de France and becoming the first Spanish cyclist to include his name in one of its 21 bends.
In more recent times BH has been the provider of several cycling teams, such as Liberty Seguros or AG2R.
In line with its success in sport, BH also grew and extended the frontiers of its activity.
In 1959, BH moved to a more modern and larger plant in Vitoria from which it has developed high-quality bicycles and components for all cycling disciplines: road, mountain, all-terrain, electric and even fitness, elliptical bicycles.
The technological innovations developed by BH – such as the NEO range, the Ultralight frames, the Global Concept and the Lynx double suspension for MTBs – has allowed the brand to continue being ahead of its time and offer solutions to the demands made by the two-wheel enthusiasts.
A spokesperson for BH said: “One hundred years later, the Beistegui family are still at the head of BH and continue to maintain the essence of a company that remains true to the values it was founded upon: innovation, research and technological development; social and environmental responsibility; dynamism, commitment, reliability and trustworthiness; and, above all, its passion for bicycles.
“And all this with the aim of continuing to offer sport and health products to the entire world.”
Snaith and 50cycles – which has stores in Loughborough, Twickenham and Shoreham, West Sussex – are no strangers to innovation, either.
Last year they launched their own creation ‘TOBA’, an e-bike which generates cryptocurrency tokens that can then be redeemed for goods and services worldwide.
Snaith has also been at the forefront of championing and defending e-bike usage in the UK, recently calling for the law which dictates motors must cut out at 15.5mph should be scrapped.
He’s calling for that limit to be increased to 20mph, making it safer for riders to both keep up with city traffic and to avoid dangers.