Canyon, the direct-to-consumer bike brand based in Germany, has paused shipments to customers in Great Britain and has stopped accepting orders entirely from those in Northern Ireland, citing uncertainty caused by Brexit. The company, headquartered in Koblenz, says that the move is a temporary one and insists that it has been taken “to avoid delays to your orders,” although in practice it seems that is exactly what will happen.
Since the southeast of England entered Tier 4 measures on Sunday morning, both print and broadcast media have shown huge queues of lorries building up in Kent after France closed its borders to traffic from the UK.
While that is primarily affecting goods leaving these shores, it does provide an indication of the potential delays to inward goods come the New Year, especially in the event of a no deal Brexit and the associated checks and paperwork involved.
Canyon, which has prepared an FAQ on its website for customers, said: “The UK’s Brexit transition period ends on 31st December, so we’ve put extra processes in place to ensure your bike can be ordered and shipped without any issues.
“Due to the uncertainty and potential bottlenecks at the border, we are temporarily halting shipment of all bikes from 19th December until at least 11th January. We want your order to be tracked accurately and any hold-up at the border will challenge our ability to do this.”
However, notwithstanding the pause in shipping bikes to customers in the UK, people here can still shop through the brand’s website.
Canyon said: “Despite stopping shipment, we will be taking orders throughout the transitional period. Once you have placed your order, you will receive confirmation by email.
“As soon as we’re able to ship your order, we will again notify you by email along with payment details. Bikes that have a dispatch date beyond 11th January will be unaffected by the temporary pause on shipments.”
It also reassured customers that they would not incur surprise additional costs, saying: “All duties and tariffs are included in the price of your bike which means you’ll never have to pay any hidden fees when your bike arrives on British soil.
“Canyon will handle all customs and import documentation further easing the process for you and getting you riding as soon as possible.”
It cautioned, however, that “E-Bikes are affected due to the battery’s classification of dangerous goods as well as the heavier weight and increased dimensions of the box.
“It may take us beyond the 11th January to work through the additional process for these bikes and we apologise for the extended lead time to your order. We will keep you updated on the progress in our FAQs.”
Canyon continued: “As we make these adjustments, we regret that orders and shipments from our valued customers in Northern Ireland cannot be placed at this time. We are working hard to implement processes that will enable you to order your new bike as soon as possible. Updates about this can be found in our FAQs and in the meantime, deliveries to Ireland and Great Britain are still possible.”
Canyon added: “Our dedicated UK customer service team are on standby to take your questions throughout this transitional period, so please feel free to reach out using our live chat feature or browse our FAQs. The team will also be taking care of all aftersales care including guarantee and warranty related queries as well as crash replacement and servicing. We continually strive to offer the best service levels in-house within the UK and we look forward to seeing you out on your new bike as soon as possible.”
Aaron Budd, UK head of sales and marketing at Canyon, explained in an email to road.cc the background to the decision to pause shipments from last Saturday until 11 January, saying that it was “to safeguard our customers from any ambiguity or doubt on the shipping process and ensure we could still get their bikes to them with confidence. A small window of disruption is necessary to make sure we can make some changes at our end to any open orders and we are all set to get this actioned very quickly in the New Year.
“For any customers who have an order in that was expected to ship before the 11th of January we are working to process these as a priority to minimise the lead time for their order, and our dedicated UK customer service team are on hand to answer any more queries in detail, should the customers need it,” he added.
“We have an excellent well-planned strategy in place and we’re extremely confident that as the situation becomes clearer we’ll be able to service the UK consumer better than ever.”
Meanwhile, another German brand, Rose Bikes, has said that it can no longer accept any orders at all from customers in the UK, and will cancel existing orders that had not been shipped prior to last Sunday.
It said: “Due to the Brexit and the withdrawal from the EU domestic market without a Free Trade Agreement from the 01.01.2021, we can no longer fulfil any orders from the UK. Already ordered goods, that can be shipped until 20.12.2020 will be send out. Orders that cannot be shipped until this date will be cancelled.
“If your goods can not be shipped, our customer support will contact you via e-mail. Unfortunately we feel compelled to not fulfil UK orders currently, we hope to be able to ship to our UK customers soon again. Thank you very much for understanding and for your loyalty and support.”
The company had said in September that it would only sell parts and accessories, rather than complete bikes, to customers here, although at that point it blamed the fact that “In the UK, bicycles are constructed differently than in the rest of Europe: The market standards and laws in Great Britain, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland clearly convey that the front brake lever must be mounted on the right-hand side of the handlebar and the rear brake lever on the left-hand side. For the rest of Europe, it is the exact opposite.”
At the time, it added: “With the technical complexity of our bikes increasing, we are facing the ever-growing challenge of being able to offer affordable Rose bikes with a high level of quality and safety. And because we want to shorten our delivery times for our customers, this summer we decided to gradually shut down the configuration of bikes, so that we are able to maintain our usual standards. Installing the brake cables and brake levers on the opposite side would require the type of special solution for the UK that we simply can’t realise right now.”
As we reported earlier this month, the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future relationship with the EU, as well as global logistics issues resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, is already causing concern within the UK cycling industry, with Brompton warning that it may have to temporarily halt production at its West London factory due to parts being held up in the supply chain.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.