Another year over, Merry Christmas everyone!
That’s a wrap for 2021, another rollercoaster of a year. COVID seems to have thrown everything it could at us, the bike industry has not been the easiest place to operate in. Supply chain issues have made things a bit tricky this year, we think this will continue for at least another 2 years. When factory lead times jump from 12 weeks to 150 weeks, ensuring a steady supply of stock is quite a task!
Logistics were also disrupted this year. Despite dispatching pretty much every order same day or following morning, high levels of staff absence at sorting offices and courier depots has meant an increase in delivery delays worldwide. If it’s not the Pandemic, then it’s the Pingdemic. Inbound shipping costs have jumped 5-fold too, everything creating an upward pressure on prices. We doubt much will change in the short-term either, but we will continue to dispatch on time.
Brexit has tried to put a spanner in the works too, but our exports have still grown considerably this year. More and more UK retailers are now refusing to ship into Europe, due to the increased customs clearance issues. Whilst it has created more headaches for us, we do intend to continue supporting parents in mainland Europe in 2022, as we do worldwide. Regional customs warehouses will get the hang of it eventually, but they too are affected by staff self-isolation shortages.
We can’t quite believe it’s just over 2 years since we launched the first HUP bike! In that time (despite the 2020 season being heavily curtailed) we’ve produced well into four-figures now. 2021 has been a record-breaking year for our bikes and we’re proud to have made such a big difference to so many! It’s also been the biggest year for our hand-built carbon HUP wheels, nobody gets close and the results speak for themselves. We have 4 new HUP carbon wheelsets ready to launch next year too.
How are our bikes such good value? Well, despite a common misconception that we are expensive - high street brands producing the same quality are anywhere from £500 to £1000 more expensive - whilst the quality and design of the existing specialist Kids brand alternatives simply don’t compare, not even nearly. No $1 headsets or $2 bottom brackets here. Only the best and genuinely lightweight, by a long way.
So, how do we do it? We have no dealers and no distributors taking a cut. We only deal direct with factories and only sell direct to customers. We don’t have Affiliate Links from other websites, we don’t pay for marketing and we don’t pay fees to appear in ‘impartial reviews’ - hence why you won’t see our bikes on those lists (our most recent ‘special offer’ was a £5,000 fee and a demand to supply them with 2 ultimate spec bikes to ‘review’!?). All these things have to be paid for by you, rolled into the price. Despite this, you will still see them on the podiums though and our happy customers mean we believe we have an R rate of somewhere around 1.8 ;-)
Just 2 parents, doing what the bike industry could (and should) have done decades ago. Not everyone in the industry will like it, but our customers love it. 100’s of you have now joined the HUP club since we launched in October, we are supporting parents all the way! Thanks also to our HUP Ambassadors for flying the flag over the last year, who are now going into the HUP Club too.
This year our little #TeamHUP squad of first year U14’s had some epic experiences on the CX Nationals - it’s been great to put back into the sport they all love. Only 1 round left in Yorkshire. Well done Harrison, Finlay, Xander and Fraser for a great season representing Team HUP. Special mention to Finlay, who had an incredible opening round in Derby coming 5th (despite the seeding) but after a nasty accident on the way to school, had to end his season after just 1 round. He’s on the mend now and a strong character so he will bounce back - get well soon Fin.
Another special mention to CX beginner and race parent Paul Hendy, riding for Team HUP this season he has performed way beyond expectations as a rookie V40, finishing on the edge of the Top 20 on the last National round at Cyclo-park, easily the most difficult race of the year. We still giggle about his first ride of his 54cm adult HUP evo - stepping off his Giant, he could not believe the difference. Tempting to say it's ‘all about the bike’, but he does still have to pedal it ;-) Well done Paul, incredible results!
After 6 years, we’re only getting warmed-up. We have at least 9 new frames due for launch in 2022 (with another 12 in development) starting with our new HUP enduro hardtail MTB next month. It’s a special bike and has had a big impact on our 3 in-house testers this year, more than any other bike we’ve released so far, it’s proved to be the ultimate bike to build serious bike skills on. New groupsets and tech for your Gravel Adventures are coming soon too.
Finally, wishing a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all our new customers and those who’ve supported us since the very beginning! Let’s do it all again next year (maybe not the business relocation and 2 house moves though).
Best 9 photos? Might have lost count, oops…
#KidsRacing #HUPcc #TeamHUP #HUPclub #HUPbikes #HUPwheels #HUPcomponents #HUPevo #HUPenduro
Thanks to the talented photographers for their awesome images: Simon Howlett, Anne Tur, Mandown Media, Digital Downhill, JWDT Photography, Pitchside Photography, VeloUK, Bernard Marsden, SWpix, Sophie Day, Anthony Roberts and Dave Mackison.