5 years old this week! What a year...
It’s our Birthday!
We’re 5 years old this week, but our 5th year was been quite unlike any other… Just like everyone else, Lockdown 1 back in March was quite a shock and we really didn’t know how a Pandemic year would unfold. With all racing cancelled, we initially expected a very challenging year ahead, which it was.
However not because of a drop in business, but a large increase and by May, it was difficult to keep up with demand. Turns out the best kids racing bikes & kit, are just the best kids bikes & kit anyway! Dealing with the surge was quite a task when 3 kids needed home schooling and our premises didn’t allow us to hire staff. All hands on deck! Whilst we did manage to dispatch everything on time, worldwide logistics understandably struggled under the load of the Pandemic.
Aside from building more bikes than previous years, our new clothing and component releases have proved popular this year too. It’s not all gone to plan and we have shelved some projects, as factory capacity in the cycling industry is currently under huge strain. By hook or by crook, our MTB project is just about on schedule for early 2021. Generally across the cycling industry, you should expect widespread price increases and continued shortages into 2021, as distribution and supply chain issues are set to cause a lot more disruption yet, even without a Brexit 'no-deal'.
But actually, 2021 does look a lot more positive with racing now seemingly able to cope with the new normal, as cyclocross events returning has shown. The new vaccines also look set to have a positive effect from Easter onwards in particular - which bodes well for Triathlon, Road, Track and CX racing next year.
The cancellation of racing this year has however influenced what the kids have been up to on their bikes, with Gravel Adventure cycling gaining more followers and a fair number of kids (ours included) learning more MTB skills, which is great long-term, they really should try everything and avoid specialising for as long as possible. Keep it fun!
Probably our biggest success of 2020 has been our hand-built HUP carbon wheelsets, the number of customers who come back to buy their 2nd set says it all. Yes, they really are the weights we list. Several existing models are now even cheaper, with 5 new models ready for release in 2021. Anyone who’s ridden them, knows just how fast they are. Nothing out there, even gets close.
Parents seem a little unhappy we don’t make enough kit for them? We're slowly addressing this ;-) The Adult range of HUP evo CX framesets (now up to 58cm) are already online, giving the same super-progressive geometry and light weight that the kids love - also making perfect framesets for gravel adventures. We do have more adult clothing (when we get a chance to upload it) available too. In fact, we have around 40 new products waiting to upload on the website, just not had any time to do it yet. More kit for Mums and Dads on its way...
Despite not being able to catch-up with many of our legendary HUP Ambassadors this year with no Pop-Up Shops (we’ve really missed not attending events across the UK!) they have still been busy with their swim, bike, run all year, which as been great to follow on the socials. A big thank you to all of you for your continued effort flying the flag. It’s not all about the winning, but we’ve been staggered by all the chequered flags for the HUP evo this year, both in the UK and overseas. The non-racing feedback and stories from parents on just how much this trail-blazing bike has helped their kids dramatically improve their cycling experience, has also been emotional at times. We are parents too.
To all our loyal customers in Europe, we hope to confirm any trading changes as soon as possible, including (if any) new Tariffs - just as soon as the ‘powers that be’ finish with their arguing.
So finally, a big thank you to the now sizeable #TeamHUP across the world for your support in 2020 and we wish you all a Merry Christmas, hopefully you can all enjoy a safe festive period, making your plans for a bigger and better 2021. Next year, we will continue to move the project forward, upping the game for the kids, overturning the years of neglect by mainstream brands and making the kit people want to buy. It's not rocket science ;-)
Linette, Kids Racing Ltd & HUP Competition Cycling
#KidsRacing #HUPcc #HUPbikes #HUPwheels #HUPcomponents