Evans Cycles

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About Evans Cycles

1. A London independent bike shop & framebuilder

In 1921, the first shop of F.W. Evans Cycles opened on the Kennington Road in south east London. Trading from this site for thirty years, F.W Evans Cycles built up a strong reputation as a quality cycle shop. It became particularly well known for building its own frames and bikes, earning an award from the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) for ‘The greatest improvement in cycle design, construction or equipment during the year 1925’.

The business was purchased by Joseph Smith in the 1950s. At the time, the shop sold a range of cycles and toys, but during the seventies Joseph handed the business on to his son, Gary Smith, who developed the shop into a specialist cycle retailer.

After more than 50 years of trading at Kennington Road, re-development of the site saw the store relocated to The Cut in Waterloo in 1977, where the shop continues to trade today. Indeed the latest re-incarnation of that original Waterloo Cut store recently won the Retail Week Enterprise Award for Store Design of the Year in 2013.

During the 1990s, Gary worked with Mike Rice, then the Croydon store franchise owner, to reunite all the previously franchised stores under the umbrella of F.W. Evans Cycles (UK) Ltd. During this time, the Evans Cycles Mail Order catalogue was launched, enabling Evans Cycles to supply a wider range of products to a much larger audience. This major innovation required the opening of a central distribution centre, which was established in Leatherhead, Surrey. Within a few years, the growth of a new type of retailing – eCommerce - led to the Evans Cycles website also being launched.
Joeseph and Gary Smith in front of the F.W Evans van, around 1960

2. A national independent, specialist retailer

As the established stores began to go from strength to strength so did the popularity of cycling. This gave Evans Cycles the confidence to expand further, opening two more stores in West London, (West End and Holborn) in 2001.

The business continued to prosper and soon out-grew its original distribution centre in Leatherhead, relocating to a distribution centre of 50,000 square feet in Gatwick, Sussex, which is still the company’s base today (although this has now grown to 125,000 square feet with further plans for expansion on the horizon!)

With a large and modern distribution centre in place, the company was able to expand more rapidly and opened between two or three stores each year until 2006 when the company opened a record six stores. In 2004 Evans Cycles tested the water with a store location outside of its core “heartland” of the South East of England – in Castleford (near Leeds), Yorkshire.

The success of that store led to Evans Cycles going well and truly national so that today we have over 50 stores located around the UK from Glasgow to Plymouth

The business invested in systems to grow its eCommerce operation, and now provides leading edge multi-channel services – including the ability to ‘Click and Collect’ in any store nationwide.

The business also operates a number of schemes relating to the government’s Cycle to Work scheme, promoting cycling through tax incentives on the cost of a new bike and / or safety accessories. Learn more about that here

Launched in October 2006, our own Pinnacle brand offers a range of bikes which have proved extremely popular with our core customers. The FWE brand of accessories and parts was introduced in 2013.

In 2013 we were also pleased to launch the exclusive HOY bikes range; working in collaboration with Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy to design and develop an exciting collection of road, commuter and track bikes. This range continues to evolve and grow, most recently adding ‘proper’ children’s bikes to the collection.
Sir Chris Hoy and a HOY Napier runner bike

3. Who's Who

Trading as Evans Cycles, our registered parent company name is Evans Holdings Ltd. (registered office: Camino Park, James Watt Way, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9TZ). Evans Holdings and its subsidiaries are a private limited company (Evans Cycles Holdings Ltd. Company number: 6474505).
In 2008, a majority stake in Evans Cycles was aquired by Private Equity Firm, Active LLP. Management and the Smith family are the other shareholders.


Chairman – Nick Evans


Nick Evans is a Partner at Active Private Equity Advisory LLP, and led the Evans Cycles investment process in 2008. He is also Chairman of Rapha Racing and Leon Restaurants. He has worked in management roles at a number of retailers: Shoe City, Cotswold Outdoor, Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland.

Nick has been known to ride up a hill or two, but likes the flat.


Chief Executive - Nick Wilkinson


Nick joined Evans in May 2011. He was previously Chief Executive of Maxeda DIY, living in the Netherlands. Past roles at Dixons Retail, McKinsey & Co and Unilever mean that Nick brought with him a wealth of experience in growth, performance and innovation. Nick also serves as a Trustee on the Boards of 2 charities: Age UK and The Pennies Foundation.

Nick has been an enthusiastic mountain biker since the 1980s, and still has the bikes to prove it!


Trading Director – Mike Rice


Mike has been part of Evans Cycles since the eighties when he owned the Croydon franchise. From the 1990s he oversaw the company’s development and growth. His main focus is now the company's trading, merchandising and logistics operations.

Mike is a keen cyclist and he has won many titles in the past. From the age of 11 he was competing in almost all cycling disciplines including road racing, time trials, hill climbs, cyclo cross and track, winning over 75 races including the London Junior Sprint and Pursuit titles and the South of England 20km titles on the track.


Chief Financial Officer – Jonathan Blanchard FCCA


Jonathan joined Evans in March 2012. He has 16 years’ experience at Board level working in fast growth private equity backed businesses. He was previously the Chief Finanical Officer of Radley & Co, a position he held for 6 years, .Prior to Radley, Jonathan worked for 3 years at Eagle Rock Entertainment and 5 years at Braitrim Holdings,

Jonathan is very keen on outdoor pursuits – cycling, running, skiing and golf. A Brompton is his daily bike of choice


Non-Executive Director - Mark Smith


Mark Smith is the Finance & Operations Director of Sweaty Betty. He was previously the Retail Director of Evans Cycles


4. Our Values

We are a progressive business, excited to look to the future and introduce innovations both in terms of what we are able to offer our customers, and how the company is run

We have 3 core values that help to inform and guide us:


  1. Sharing Our Passion

    We believe that riding a bike really is one of life’s great pleasures and are always passionate and enthusiastic to our customers. We pride ourselves on our bike knowledge, but will always be accessible and friendly to new riders.

  2. Quality Makes It Better

    We will always strive to offer a high quality customer experience and strongly believe that quality products help you get more joy from riding. We believe that quality advice should be available to all cyclists and will always measure our quality by asking ‘would you recommend us to a friend?'

  3. Doing What’s Right

    We only sell products and services we believe in and act with honesty and integrity at all times. We’ll do everything possible to help our customers with a problem and will treat others as we expect to be treated ourselves.


5. Our Stores

Our stores are the heart and soul of our company. Almost all of our store colleagues are enthusiastic cyclists themselves, and extensive training ensures the highest levels of technical ability and knowledge. We pride ourselves on giving customers the right information to make informed decisions about their cycle and accessory purchases.

Our award winning stores are a haven for cyclists. They are the place where you can test ride any of our bikes. They all offer a full range of service and repair facilities. They offer a wide selection of bikes, parts, accessories and clothing and all the stores can order you any of the vast selection of products available on our website for next day delivery or collection.

We also offer maintenance classes, women's evenings and free advice and know-how. To find your nearest store click here


6. Our Gatwick Campus

Evans Cycles offices and distribution centre are located on the Manor Royal Industrial Estate in West Sussex, just south of Gatwick Airport. The site near Gatwick has a large trade counter stocking all products available through Evans Cycles.

The site houses five warehouses, including a dedicated mail order workshop where bikes are built and inspected prior to being dispatched to internet and mail order customers.

All central support functions operate from the site. This includes Accounts, Human Resources, Customer Service, Design, Marketing, Buying & Merchandising, e- Commerce, Ride To Work, Finance, IT and Estate Management. The site is also home to the Evans Cycles Contact Centre which operates dedicated teams for sales and customer support (call us on this number +44 (0)1293 574900).


7. Evanscycles.com

Evans Cycles has operated cycle stores since 1921, but we’ve also serviced the nation’s cycling needs as a specialist mail order retailer, promoting our products in cycling magazines and in our own catalogues for decades too.

In 1999 we joined the information super highway with our first transactional ecommerce website. Little did we know the future of retailing would revolve around an online presence.

Since it’s inception the Evans Cycles website has been in a state of constant evolution, adding features and functionality to keep pace with our customers, sophisticated online shopping needs, at the same time expanding our range to have the most comprehensive selection of cycling goods on the internet.

Unlike other online only cycle retailers, we’re able to combine our nationwide network of stores with our website to offer a Click & Collect service – savvy shoppers very much like this option as it provides the convenience and choice of online shopping with the service of dealing with cycling experts in-store.

Today the Evans Cycles website delivers to 100’s of countries worldwide as well as serving UK customers.


8. RIDE IT organised rides - Sharing our Passion

For us, owning a quality bike and the right accessories is just part of the story. When it comes to enjoying cycling you’ve got to get out there and feel the wind in your hair!

Launched in Spring 2008, RIDE IT is our very own series organised mountain bike and sportive road bike events.

The Evans Cycles Ride It series of organised road and off-road rides has been designed to take the hassle out of weekend riding for our customers.

The rides are non-competitive with an emphasis on having fun with other riders, riding in new areas and sampling some of the best off-road and road riding that the UK has to offer. Find out more here.


9. Timeline

This story was last updated on 21/08/2014

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