Tuesday Treats 147: Charlie the Bikemonger

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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: Charlie the Bikemonger

A very popular fixture on the treats roster, we know we can rely on Charlie Hobbs for plenty of chat and opinion/wisdom. A bike dealer, distributor and Singletrack blogger, he’s full of it!  …

This bike dealer, rides! Unmistakably Iceland…

So what new in Bikemonger world then Charlie?

Ah man, so much is going on. Do you remember a few years ago how I escaped the office world of human cubicle cages, sacked my employer, had a few pints and fixied my way home laughing like a madman?

I then built this nice little business, it was playful and manageable a bit like having a puppy. Well my puppy has grown into a bloody great soppy St Bernard and its jumping around the place, being cool and cute, stealing hypothetical picnics and still needs a lot of training. I have recreated my old job, but this time it’s all cool.

Product… and trail testing. (Iceland images courtesy Dirty at drunkcyclist.com)

So what are you actually doing?

We have a trade division where I supply the UK bike shops with cool stuff like 45NRTH and Swobo. We have other brands coming on board. You see being a bike shop keeper ain’t easy, and hell do I know it. Some distributors just don’t understand that… I do.

A go-to guy for the fat bike market, especially. He’s been pedalling it for years

My American partners initially find it odd that you can be a distributor and a retailer. However when you are doing both you are hands on and sympathetic. Throw in a background of brand management and marketing, and you get a guy who knows how to look after your brand.

45NRTH you say?

Yeah, 45NRTH. These guys have been making fat bike tyres and footwear for cold conditions for years. Their boots really can’t be beaten. What’s more the new ‘Wolvhammer’ looks damned cool (Look I have to cram at least one pun in). It’s rated down to -18c. When I first saw it I knew I had seen my new winter cycling adventure boots. But with a Vibram sole I had also found my new dog walking and standing around at cold races boot. These will be my hiking to the Square and Compass, in the snow boots.

45NRTH’s ‘Wolvhammer’. Your next winter sole savers

45NRTH also have the all new ‘Japanther’. This is somewhat more UK spec, rated down to -3c, and especially designed for cold wet conditions. There’s a few pairs out for test so keep yer eyes peeled and geez… if only there was a cold damp island full of cyclists! These are also available in 3 bolt roadie cleat soles by the way:

Remind us, what offers do you promote to Singletrack subscribers?

We offer subscriber’s a free fresh cup of lovely Chris King Coffee if you visit the shop. Valid until we run out, then it might be crappy instant temporarily.

Click here to win this week’s prize!

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