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Derby Cycle rides high Down Under

Manufacturing

GERMANY’S largest distributor of bicycles is enjoying success Down Under.

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Derby Cycle established a base in Adelaide, South Australia, in 2011 to capitalise on the growing popularity of cycling in Australia.

Cycles have outsold cars in Australia in the past decade and the popularity of electric bikes has grown exponentially in that time.

South Australia, home of the southern hemisphere’s biggest cycling race the Tour Down Under, and boasts scenic cycling trails along its world famous wine regions.

The state has been at the forefront of the sport’s rise in Australia through the establishment of a cycling and mountain biking trail network and a local bespoke bike manufacturing industry.  

Derby Cycle Australia is an umbrella organisation that consists of the Focus, Cervélo, Union and Kalkhoff brands.

Managing Director Graham Moffett said South Australia’s cycling culture had contributed to Derby’s success.

He said Derby had experienced “excellent growth” since establishing a base in Adelaide, the South Australian capital.

“We came from a relatively small company to one of the top distributors of bikes in Australia,” Moffett said.

“We distribute nationally out of South Australia and the major benefit is being in the middle of the country, getting good freight rates and easier distribution.”

Derby is responsible for a large proportion of Australia’s electric bike sales, which are being used to address the needs of people who otherwise struggle to ride.

“There’s a saying that cycling is the new golf and that very much rings true here,” Moffett said.

“With the state’s ageing population, and the demographic of 35-55 years being fairly affluent, being told by their doctor to get fit, not wanting to play golf or run, cycling has been hailed as the alternative.

“You have two types of markets for e-bikes. There are people who like to ride a bike but perhaps because of age or injury do struggle when they come to a hill, and a power or assisted bike will benefit them.

“Or the second group know as the commuting group. They benefit because they get to ride to and from work in the summer and not get sweaty. They also reduce their carbon footprint at the same time.”

Derby recently added Royal Dutch Gazelle to its inventory, which is the most successful e-bike brand in The Netherlands.

Its capital Amsterdam is considered the cycling centre of the world where nearly 40 per cent of all city commutes are done on bike.

“Electric bikes are growing globally, particularly in Europe and we are now lucky enough now to distribute two premium brands – Kalkhoff, the number one e-bike brand in Germany and Gazelle,” Moffett said.

“It will still take some time in Australia because there are still things to be done in terms of infrastructure to facilitate the growth but all sides of government seem keen to invest in building that up.”

In Australia, cycling tourism adds about AUD $2.4bn to the national economy and is continuing to grow.

There are about 1.2 million bikes sold in Australia every year. An estimated 3.6 million Australians ride their bike each week.

Adelaide is expected to have 25-30 per cent of inner suburban journeys made by bicycle within the next 20 years.

Bicycle South Australia CEO Christian Hague said the massive growth in cycling was a reflection of the South Australian government’s move toward building more infrastructure.

“Cycles have significantly outsold cars in the past decade, with about one in every two households in South Australia owning a working bike,” he said.

“It’s been the case that people weren’t riding much because there wasn’t anywhere to ride, but now with the increase in authorised trail development, there is a surge in participation rates.

“We are starting to see a lot more international names getting into that market and particularly provide services for increasingly popular electric bikes as well.” 

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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