By Simon Smythe
Wattbike, the British smart bike company, is calling on the prime minister to do more for UK businesses who are being hit with surging costs for shipping and materials due to the pandemic, after being forced to adjust its prices.
As of next Monday, as of next Monday August 2, the price of the Next Generation Wattbike Atom will be increasing by £100 to £1999,99.
“We’re seeing shipping container charges 850 per cent higher than normal and, whilst we’re not the only industry affected, this simply can’t go on,” said Wattbike CEO Rich Baker.
Baker says prices will have to rise across Wattbike's range.
“At this rate, it’s inevitable that prices will rise across all imported goods and we’ve tried everything to avoid putting our prices up, with little help coming from Westminster.
Wattbike, which designs, manufactures and supplies bikes for leading athletes and teams - as well as thousands of everyday athletes at home - has seen demand soar during the pandemic but says it, and other manufacturing businesses, have been largely forgotten amidst spiralling costs within international shipping and parts.
Baker said: “We’re calling on the prime minister to intervene in the ongoing international shipping chaos on behalf of manufacturers, consumers and businesses up and down the country who are bearing the brunt.”
Wattbike saw demand for its indoor bikes rocket when the pandemic triggered a cycling and home-fitness boom, with lead times stretching to 14 weeks at one point. The company says it has now managed to scale up production and has brought lead times back to a couple of weeks but has had to absorb unprecedented shipping and parts hikes.
“During the pandemic the message to everyone was keep exercising, stay fit and invest in your health," said Baker. "We’re now calling on the government to make sure that Wattbike can continue to offer our products at competitive prices and help keep the nation fit.
“So we really want to see Boris get on his bike on this issue, for the good of all British consumers. We’ll even reserve him a Wattbike to build his fitness for the challenges ahead.”
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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