ChinaCycle aftermath, with Bicle – miniseries – eps. #1

A conversation with Selle Royal’s Roberto Bucci, Brand Director, and Lara Cunico, Marketing Manager

Bicle was present at ChinaCycle 2018, looking for interesting and innovative stories from brands and exhibitors. And not so surprisingly we’ve spotted many of them, which we interviewed during this year’s edition. In the weeks after we will publish a couple of those conversations. Episode #1 of this miniseries, will include Selle Royal’s Roberto Bucci, Brand Director, and Lara Cunico, Marketing Manager. Bicle asked them about the brand, latest developments and the future.

As we know, Selle Royal is a well-established saddle brand and is always aiming to anticipate with the best solutions on new developments within the bicycle industry. This in order to ‘’support cyclists’’. Their tagline proved itself to be right when we visited their booth at ChinaCycle. One wall was completely dedicated to their latest product: the eZone saddle, which is made to support the e-biker. When Bicle asked Bucci about it, he stated that:

We understood that the e-bike was going to occupy a huge part of the market. For us it was to understand how the use of the bike was changing in comparison to a standard bike. We started a project in order to understand this change, because we didn’t just want to react to a new type of bike. We want to understand, from a consumer point of view, if there is a reason to make a specific saddle for an e-bike. We wanted to bring a product to the market that the customer really wants.

After many researches and trial runs, the eZone saddle came to life. What makes this saddle so suitable for an e-bike? Well, the brand found out that the e-bike riding experience is different from a conventional bike. Test results showed that when the motor accelerates, the driver experiences a slight move, or push, backwards. For the driver not to slide over, the saddle’s rear needed to have an upward curve. Moreover, the saddle’s fit and padding needed to be changed since the legs are moving a little differently. Because of that there are different pressure points on an e-bike saddle than on a conventional one.

These kind of things are only found when putting real effort in it. But how to market a product that is as new as the trend it is responding to? The answer to that shows yet another sophisticated solution: talk directly to your end user. Cunico states that:

Because it is a new trend, we had to find a new way to communicate about it to our consumers. Although they may be caught by the trend, they are not completely aware of what driving an e-bike means, especially because there are many people who just approached this kind of mobility.

Another important aspect was the changing target group. Because e-bikes are a completely different ball game, the end consumer changes as well. According to Cunico ‘’these people are not only elderly, but also younger people, or people that have never moved by bike before. So we have a completely new scenario to talk to.’’ According to Bucci the e-bike is here to stay. By now, the game changer is no longer ‘’about a standard bike and an e-bike, but about the fact that the e-bike is gaining a lot more attention to the consumer than before.’’

Bucci even states that in the future, the e-bike industry will represent the way people move through the city. That might one of the reasons why Bicle sees crossovers happening between the automotive and the bicycle industry. It is by now starting to buzz around more and more. The car will eventually change that much that it may look completely different than we now know it, and so will bikes. There will be found common ground in LEVs.

Moreover, Bucci thinks that mobility will become more personal, and eventually, swdraharing will become huge. This development may even move up to the point where people share bikes, but use their own personalized saddle. However, according to Bucci ‘’e-bikes are the new game changers, not bike sharing.’’ So let us for now, focus on that. With this futuristic vision Bicle closes the second episode of the ChinaCycle aftermath with Bicle – miniseries. In the second episode we will speak to yet another super interesting brand. Want to know which one? Do stay tuned!