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Chris Boardman to remain as chairman and design director following multimillion pound deal

Halfords, Britain’s biggest bicycle retailer, has bought Boardman Bikes for a reported sum of between £10 and £15 million. Former world and Olympic champion Chris Boardman, who founded the business, will continue to be involved with it.

The car accessories to bicycles retailer will continue to sell the Boardman Performance Series on an exclusive basis, while the premium Boardman Elite Series, which isn’t sold in Halfords stores, will still be available through independent bike shops.

“There are absolutely no plans to change this,” says Halfords, which adds that Boardman Bikes will be a standalone entity within the group and that Boardman himself will remain as chairman and design director, with Andy Smallwood as Managing Director.

Matt Davies, chief executive of Halfords, said: “Our investment in Boardman Bikes, which have been ridden by multiple Olympic and world champions, demonstrates our growing position as a
specialist cycling retailer.

“We have worked with Chris and his team since 2007; they have created one of the most important, fastest-growing and successful brands in UK cycling. We look forward to a continuation of the growth that both Boardman and Halfords have enjoyed with such a strong brand.”

Boardman added: “On behalf of Boardman Bikes I am delighted by today’s news. We look forward to building on the success we have had to date with independent retailers, in international markets and with Halfords.

“This step will take the brand to the next level and their backing will allow us to further develop our research & development and extend our award winning cycling ranges.”

Halfords did not disclose financial details of the transaction although Reuters, citing “a source close to the company,” reported that the deal is worth in the range of £10-15 million.

Last month, revealing its 2013/14 financial results, Halfords said that cycling had delivered “an absolute stand-out performance” during the year, with sales of bikes and accessories up 42 per cent in the final three months alone.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

17 comments

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 2 years ago
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I've said it before, I'll take them far more seriously as a bike store once they have cycle parking facilities as standard outside their stores

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gazza_d [459 posts] 2 years ago
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They do. At least the two I pop into occasionally have.

The one at South Shields also has a pump for free air now as well.

They can be quite handy for parts, especially as the web site has a much much larger selection than the stores, and can be collected from store within a day or two. Which is useful if you are out and deliveries from CRC/wiggle are inconvenient, or if you are buying lkit that you don't want the missus to know about (not that I would)

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alotronic [463 posts] 2 years ago
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Ker-ching!

Boardman delivers a masterclass on going from rider to brand name to entrepreneur. Many try, only a few succeed!

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mingmong [258 posts] 2 years ago
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A certain Mr Hoy may be reading this article with interest.

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Flying Scot [918 posts] 2 years ago
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mingmong wrote:

A certain Mr Hoy may be reading this article with interest.

I had understood that Evans owns the brand and that CH takes a royalty/ fee, as opposed to CH having set the thing up himself and it being distributed through Evans.

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gb901 [149 posts] 2 years ago
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Standards now to head south?

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NeilXDavis [122 posts] 2 years ago
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Only time will tell what effect this has on the brand. I for one have always liked Bman bikes - you can tell Chris has the eye for detail even on the existing range sold through Halfords. I own Elite & Halfords Boardmans.

The Elite range must stay with the IBD's - customers need the expert advice that Halfords staff simply cannot give, and of course moving this would damage the IBD.

My worry is that Chris will leave or have very little to do with the brand. My future purchases are on hold until I see how this pans out.

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NeilXDavis [122 posts] 2 years ago
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Thats correct - Ive no idea why he would be interested in this news either.

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james-o [235 posts] 2 years ago
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Flying Scot wrote:

I had understood that Evans owns the brand and that CH takes a royalty/ fee, as opposed to CH having set the thing up himself and it being distributed through Evans.

Evans doesn't own the Hoy brand. Chris Hoy set up the brand and a partnership between Evans and Hoy to produce and retail the bikes was developed after that. Very similar to how Boardman and Halfords have worked in the past on the Halfords-ranged models, as far as I understand it.

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brooksby [1274 posts] 2 years ago
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gazza_d wrote:

They do. At least the two I pop into occasionally have.

Mine too. The Halfords at the Eastgate Centre in Bristol has four bike stands next to it (which are usually empty).

My nearest Evans, in the middle of Bristol, doesn't have any bike parking (and is on a three-lane one way system full of buses and HGVs). Mind you, it doesn't seem to have any customer car parking, either.

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Beaufort [270 posts] 2 years ago
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It won't - and shouldn't - be long before there are stand alone Halfords Bike stores. Quality will begin to improve then until they are up there will the experts, like Evans !

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ped [229 posts] 2 years ago
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Beaufort wrote:

It won't - and shouldn't - be long before there are stand alone Halfords Bike stores. Quality will begin to improve then until they are up there will the experts, like Evans !

They used to have standalone stores. In fact they had two different brands of them: Bike Hut and Cycle Republic. They closed them down 5 years ago.

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Initialised [307 posts] 2 years ago
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mad_scot_rider wrote:

I've said it before, I'll take them far more seriously as a bike store once they have cycle parking facilities as standard outside their stores

It's a bike shop, why would they have a problem with you bringing your bike in the shop?

It always annoys me that the bike stuff is upstairs, make the motorists take the stairs instead!

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Dr_Lex [300 posts] 2 years ago
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mad_scot_rider wrote:

I've said it before, I'll take them far more seriously as a bike store once they have cycle parking facilities as standard outside their stores

True, but even if there were such at the one near me, I prefer to shoulder my bike and carry it through the store to the bike section on the mezzanine - staff are ok with this.

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notfastenough [3682 posts] 2 years ago
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Initialised wrote:
mad_scot_rider wrote:

I've said it before, I'll take them far more seriously as a bike store once they have cycle parking facilities as standard outside their stores

It's a bike shop, why would they have a problem with you bringing your bike in the shop?

It always annoys me that the bike stuff is upstairs, make the motorists take the stairs instead!

There's a cycle surgery near me - it hadn't ocurred to me that the climbing section is on the ground floor, and the bikes upstairs!

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cinelli Dave [10 posts] 2 years ago
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Whatever happened to the deal where Halfords were going to retail Pinarello? Several LBS in my area dropped the brand when it was announced.

Well done Mr Boardman - hard working, knowledgable, professional and now I dare say quite wealthy!

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Must be Mad [511 posts] 2 years ago
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