Tuesday Treats 112: Blazing Saddles

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Your once a week dose of retail therapy from Singletrack’s Premier Dealers, stockists and advertisers.

Tuesday Treats gives you a quality serving of independent bike retailing and a chance to win big in this week’s prize draw.

This week, we revisit Blazing Saddles.

Another week, another celebration. This time, it’s our local Singletrack Premier Dealer, all round good guys and expert bike fiddlers Blazing Saddles, who are currently sitting on top of the bike shop world. They recently returned from the trade’s ‘Bike Biz’ Awards ceremony as the UK’s ‘Star Store’. John and Anna at Blazings provide the update…


What’s changed since we last checked in?

What’s changed? Loads of things quite frankly. We have a brand new shiny website, new staff, new lines and new ideas.

Oh, and winning this Bike Biz award! Being awarded ‘Star Store’ this year was a lovely bit of recognition. It means a great deal because following a visit by a ‘mystery shopper’ we were selected for our outstanding customer service, a wide range of stock and detailed product knowledge. The sort of stuff we’ve been banging on about for years: DNA stuff.

bike biz
The stuff of champions

Personally, we got to experience a neat trip out to the NEC in Birmingham, hobnobbing it with cycling celebrities (and other media types ;)) but the best bit was dropping in on Cannock Chase for a pedal. It would have been rude not to, eh?

We’ll have to watch the price of fame though, we’ve already been mistaken for Blazing Saddles, the famous Wild West Hoe Down Band …

hoe down band
Not to be confused with the Blazing Saddles ‘hoe down band’. Alrighty!

Congratulations! It’s great to see you getting the credit you deserve. So, do you have plans to compete against the big onliners?

We have something no huge company can compete with, and that’s a tried and tested relationship with our customers. We’re in the heart of a great community of bikers, in a fantastic cycling area for road and mountain bikers alike.

Beautiful Calderdale. Come and ride with us

We’ve got a well-stocked shop and, a bit like a TARDIS, we’re much bigger on the inside. Buy a bike from us and we’ll make sure you pick the right bike for your biking needs, plus of course you get to actually sit on the bikes and try before you buy.

Online stores can’t offer that level of customer service. We have fantastic Cytech qualified mechanics and offer a full range of bike servicing and repairs. New bikes get their first service free of charge and we’re always here in case of that last minute purchase or repair emergency.

What has been hot, product-wise this summer?

Bikes really! Le Tour coming through town caused a bit of a bike buying frenzy and not just road bikes either, although the Specialized SL4 Expert with its Di2 electronic shifters flew out of the store. As well as our trusty Specialized, Orange and Surly MTBs, we’ve introduced the Ridgeback range, which include hybrids and kids bikes too.

Narrow Wide Chainrings have been the ‘in thing’ among those looking for innovation: we stock Hope, Raceface and Gamut.

The Cyclescheme has enabled a lot more people to purchase a new bike, and we’ve seen a lot of smiley faced customers come in brandishing their certificate.

What’s in store now?

We have a new winter weight 260 merino just in, new Bell (GoPro ready) Super helmets, and the 2014 Blazing Bike Sale is on! Specialized MTB and road bikes, Orange MTBs and Ridgebacks are all reduced to make some room for the new 2015 ranges. Judging by the way the sale’s going so far, it won’t last long! Details of all our ranges are here.

Blazing’s tardis stored goodies on show

What about this new wheel size?

Yes, 27.5″ are pretty popular now and not just for the indecisive! It looks like it may well end up being the industry standard, with small advantages over 26’’ and less of the disadvantages of the 29ers.

Shop Manager Allan shows off his skills on this ‘new’ wheel size they’ve been banging on about! …oh

Which product/brand does every staff member have on their bike?

This time of year, we’re all polishing up our Exposure lights and pulling on our Specialized winter tyres, ready to hit the trails. The Diablo and the Joystick are our favourite lights, with wheels set up with Purgatory and Butcher – the tyres of choice.

Planning ahead, what does 2015 look like?

Blazing Saddles began in 1994, so it’s our 21st Birthday next year – the time’s flown! It’s been really satisfying to see the business grow and to do what it set out to do: offer honest advice about bikes, and provide products that people want that’ll get them out riding their bikes and loving it. We’re hoping to get everyone involved in our celebrations, so check out our website for details in the new year.

Product-wise, cycling can seem like a very male dominated area, but women make up a large percentage of our customers, and we’re now stocking an even wider range of women’s clothing and shoes; Endura, Specialized, Icebreaker Merino and Funkier, as well as more women’s specific bikes. We’re a very women friendly shop!

STOP PRESS: In 2015 we will not only become Brompton and Orange MTB Demo Centres, but also a Specialized Demo Centre. This is very exciting for us and means that our customers will be able to make an informed choice about the right bike for them.

This might be obvious but what brand of tea bags do you use? 

Yorkshire tea of course. Now’t else comes close.

Lastly, what do Singletrack Premier Subscribers get from you guys?

Premier Subscribers benefit from 10% off parts and accessories, plus 5% off bikes (excluding sale items).

Tuesday Treats Prize Draw

Click here to win this week’s prize!

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