Looking back at the last four years of BDOVELO with John McNaughton
As social isolation impacts on us all, we thought of revisiting some of BDOVELO's fantastic speakers and this week's contribution comes from John McNaughton.
John is a leviathan in the UK cycling industry and joined us four years ago at BDOVELO's season opener to share some pearls of wisdom about the "business of the bicycle". John outlined the journey he enjoyed with Raleigh and Brook's as well as the arrival of bicycles manufactured in the Far East and the consequent demise of UK based production facilities. John is now a Director of Moulton Bicycles based in Bradford on Avon. You may recall that he also posed the question,
‘’Who is the biggest player in the global cycling industry?’’ Answer…Shimano…and they don't make a single bicycle!!! Food for thought!
Roll the clock forward four years and John kindly shared the following "gems" with us,
"It was a pleasure to be invited to the opening meeting of BDOVELO some 4 years ago to give a short summary of the bicycle Industry with which I have been closely associated since 1965.
The bicycle market bears little resemblance to that of even 7 years ago when I left Raleigh after heading up their International operations. The markets around the world have now embraced e-bikes but also hire bikes (with the exception of Moulton bicycles which has stuck to its knitting, and along with Brompton are the only real survivors of OEM's - Original equipment Manufacturer - in the UK). More people are cycling today and while I approve of the e-assistance for those who otherwise would not be back on a bike there is nothing like the full cycling effort for the best form of exercising.
Let me tell a tale from Moulton's current largest market - Indonesia. We were visited by an orthopaedic surgeon from Jakarta who specialises on 'Knees'. He tells prospective patients that he can only do 50% of the job needed for a full recovery but won't embark on an operation without the patient committing to the other 50%, for the sake of his reputation. (S)he must exercise; that exercise can only be swimming or cycling (fortunately not many swim in Jakarta) and if cycling then it can only be on a Moulton as its dual suspension is best for the body. So he charges $30,000 for the op' - £15,000 for the knee job and £15,000 for a Moulton. I don't wish you a knee job but I do wish you happy cycling."
Thank you John and BUPA take note. John kindly submitted the attached photograph to demonstrate Moulton's high standing!
For those unfamiliar with Moulton bikes, here are a couple of links: