Evans Cycles

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About Evans Cycles


1. Evans Cycles - The History
2. Recent expansion
3. Current ownership
4. Senior management
5. Ride2Work
6. Mail order and e-commerce
7. Head office facilities
8. Positioning
9. Range of products
10. Our own bikes
11. Ride It
12. Timeline (store openings, expansion)

1. Evans Cycles – The History

The first shop was originally known as F.W. Evans Cycles and was located on 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 and in particular building its own frames and bikes.
In 1925 the company was presented with a silver plaque by the Cyclists Touring Club (The CTC) for ‘The greatest improvement in cycle design, construction or equipment during the year 1925’. The award was given for design and low cost production of a rear wheel dropout.
The business was eventually purchased by Joseph Smith in the fifties. At the time the shop sold a range of cycles and toys, during the seventies Joseph Smith handed the business on to his son Gary Smith who turned the shop into a specialist cycle retailer. After more than 50 years of trading at Kennington Road the site came up for development so the shop was relocated to Waterloo at 77- 79 The Cut, where the shop still trades today and continues to be one of the most well known stores in London.
During the nineties, Gary worked with Mike Rice, the Croydon store franchise owner, to bring the other franchised stores under the control 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. It required the need for a central distribution centre that was established in Leatherhead, Surrey. This also coincided with the growth of a new type of retailing and the Evans Cycles web site was established. 

Joeseph and Gary Smith in front of the F.W Evans van, around 1960

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2. Recent expansion

As the established stores began to grow from strength to strength so did the popularity of the sport and activity of cycling. This gave Evans Cycles the chance to expand further opening two more stores in West London, located in the West End and Holborn.

The business continued to prosper and soon out grew its original distribution centre in Leatherhead. In 2001 the head office and distribution centre re-located to a new 50,000 square feet unit in Gatwick, Sussex, which is still the company’s base (although this has now grown to 125,000 square feet).

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 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 pace of growth is continuing with 8 store openings across the country in 2007 with expansion expected to continue at the same pace over the next few years.

In addition to the store network, Evans Cycles also have a large Direct Sales business consisting of e-commerce sales, mail order and phone sales and Business to Business sales. The Evans Cycles manufactured bike has moved on over the past two decades but things have come full circle with the company now having developed its own complete range of bikes, under the Pinnacle brand. This range launched in October 2006 and is going from strength to strength.

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3. Current ownership

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 Active LLP. The Smith family along with Managing Director Mike Rice retain a minority investment within the company.

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4. Senior Management

Chairman – Nick Evans

Nick Evans, introduced the Smith family to Active LLP and he led the new investment in 2008.

Nick has an impressive track record of performance improvement at store and other multi channel retailers such as Shoe City, Cotswold Outdoor, Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland and also has cycling / sports sector experience.

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, a retail business owned by KKR in the Netherlands. Prior to this he worked at Dixons Stores Group, McKinsey & Co and Unilever. He serves also on the boards of 2 charities: The Pennies Foundation, and Age UK Trading.

Nick's been a keen mountain biker for over 25 years, and having lived in the Netherlands for the last four years has experienced first hand the positive imapct cycling can have on individuals and communities.

Managing Director – Mike Rice

Mike has been part of Evans Cycles since the eighties when he owned the Croydon franchise. In 1993 he became the Managing Director of Evans.
The office he worked from in the early nineties is still in existence at the back of the current Croydon store. Mike's focus today is on all of the company's buying, merchandising and logistics operations - including the development of our private label brands. 
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. Now he is teaching his kids to ride!

Chief Financial Officer – Jonathan Blanchard FCCA

Jonathan joined Evans in March 2012. He has 16 years’ experience at Board level working in exciting, fast growth private equity backed businesses. He was previously the Chief Finanical Officer of Radley & Co. a position he held for 6 years, during which time that business grew very successfully. 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.

Non-Executive Director – Gary Smith

You’re now more likely to see Gary out on his road or mountain bike clocking up around 250 miles a week rather than being in the boardroom!

Non-Executive Director - Mark Smith (previously Retail Director of the Company)

Mark has a number of cycling accolades which cover both on and off-road disciplines.
Mark’s 2007 Mountain Mayhem team came a very respectable 39th, whilst he has also achieved 49th place in Morzinne-Avoriaz, one of the toughest French Sportives in the mid nineties, in 1994 he achieved Gold Standard in La Marmotte. Mark rides everywhere on a Pinnacle Folding bike (come rain or shine) and has been known to dabble in Cyclo Cross.

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5. Ride2Work

In 2006 Evans Cycles introduced the Ride2Work programme taking advantage of the governments’ green transport tax savings. The Ride2Work programme packages up current legislation into an easy to implement and use system for employers wishing to pass these benefits onto their staff.

Employees can obtain bikes and accessories from Evans Cycles and save up to 42% of the cost through Income tax and national insurance contributions savings.

The employer and employee are in a win/win situation as there is a healthier, happy workforce. The participating company also benefits as it reduces their national insurance contributions.

Ride2Work has been beneficial for a large and diverse number of companies.

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6. Mail Order and e-commerce

A Mail order service has been a part of the company since the eighties starting in the basement of the Croydon branch.

An ecommerce website was launched in 1999. The website was recently redeveloped again in 2008 into the site you see today.

At the end of 2006 the Evans Cycles website was given the top ten Hitwise award, success which has continued every year into 2009 when the Evans Cycles website was also recognised as a ‘Web Icon’ by industry journal Retail Week.

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7. Head Office Facilities

Evans Cycles head office and distribution centre is 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 the products available through Evans Cycles.

The site houses two warehouses, the bike warehouse includes a dedicated mail order workshop where bikes are built and inspected prior to being dispatched to internet and mail order customers.

All head office functions operate from the site. This includes accounts, human resources, customer service, design, marketing, e- commerce and estate management. The site also houses the Evans Cycles call centre which operates dedicated teams for sales and customer support.

Evans Cycles is the only UK cycle retailer to be given permission by CyTech and ACT to allow in house training for the industry's qualification for cycle mechanics and technicians. A dedicated in-house mechanical training suite is on site. This ensures the high level of quality and ability of the Evans Cycles mechanics throughout the company.

As well as mechanic training, extensive staff training takes place at Head Office, this ensures the highest level of technical ability and knowledge can be passed onto our customers both in store and through our mail order service, giving customers information to make informed decisions about their cycle purchases.

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8. Positioning

Evans Cycles positions itself as the UK’s largest quality cycle retailer, providing maximum choice and value to the UK’s cycling consumers. We are passionate about cycling, in all its forms.
Where possible Evans Cycles tries to make sure the company operates in a green way. All printed materials are made using paper that is sourced from sustainable forests and prints using vegetable based inks. Customer mailings are sent where possible without a plastic wrap.
All cardboard is recycled. Head office and stores promote a policy of separating paper from litter waste for recycling.

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9. Range of Products

There are a number of different style bikes that Evans Cycles stocks to meet the demands of the cycling community:

  • Cross Country Mountain
  • Full Suspension Mountain
  • Jump
  • Touring Road
  • Leisure Road
  • Triathlon
  • Road Racing
  • Commuter
  • Folding
  • Hybrid
  • BMX

The company stocks a complete range of accessories including clothing, helmets, shoes, accessories and components.

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10. Our own bikes

When Mr F.W. Evans set up his bicycle workshop in the early part of last century, he manufactured a range of touring bikes.

In the seventies the frames were produced by frame manufacturer Chas Roberts, who had his original workshop in Croydon close to one of the early Evans Cycles stores. In many magazine articles from the seventies and eighties journalists would boast ‘I’m on an Evans’. The Evans bikes with their steel frames can still be seen around the U.K, a testament to their robust high quality.

In October 2006 Pinnacle Bikes were launched, after a number of years in development. The Pinnacle range is developed by and is exclusive to Evans Cycles.

The bikes are developed by the in house team in conjunction with engineers based in the United States and the Far East.

Pinnacle bikes are developed specifically for U.K riders with attention to detail.

The Pinnacle range includes bikes from entry level hybrid bikes through to top spec mountain bikes.

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11. Ride It!

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.

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.

Taking place twice a month throughout the UK there’s always a ride close by as well as rides further afield in exciting iconic riding areas.

Every ride has 3 or 4 pre marked routes designed for all riders from family groups to those that take their cycling seriously.

Saturday is the off-road ride, taking in local bridleways and byways to offer between 12 and 35 miles of riding depending on the route you take.

Sunday is the road ride, a scenic ride on the UK’s back roads and country lanes. Distances range from 15 miles for families all the way up to 90 miles for those looking for a challenge.

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12. Timeline


1921 F.W Evans Opens store in Kennington High Street  
1925 F.W Evans receives award from CTC for innovative design  
1950’s Joseph Smith acquires F.W. Evans  
1960’s Gary Smith Develops Evans Cycles into a specialist quality cycle store  
1977 Original Store In Kennington Road Moves to Waterloo Cut  
1980’s Evans cycles continues to produce a number of notable own branded cycles  
1984 Woking store opens under franchise  
1985 Kingston store opens under franchise  
1989 Wandsworth store opens under franchise  
1990 Croydon store opens  
1996 Waterloo Road store opens  
1999 An ecommerce website was launched  
2001 (Feb) West End Store opens  
2001 (Oct) Holborn store opens  
2002 Evans Cycles relocates to new warehouse and offices at Camino Park, Gatwick  
2002 (Oct) Clerkenwell store opens – as a service centre only  
2003 (Mar) Crawley store opens  
2003 (May) St. Paul’s store opens  
2003 (Aug) Victoria Store opens  
2004 (Feb) Fenchurch St. store opens  
2004 (May) London Bridge store opens opposite station  
2004 (June) Castleford Leeds store opens first  
2004 (Sept) Clerkenwell is refurbished and becomes a store  
2004 (Sept) Woking store refurbishment  
2005 Fulham branch opens  
2005 Milton Keynes store opens as part of grand opening of Xscape centre  
2005 (Sept) Spitalfields store opens and becomes largest bike showroom in London  
2006 Ride2Work programme is introduced  
2006 (April) Glasgow store open inside Xscape centre  
2006 (April) Kendal Branch is openend  
2006 (May) Wandsworth store is relocated to larger premises on the High Street  
2006 (July) Manchester Deansgate store in opened  
2006 (Sept) Canary Wharf branch is opened  
2006 (Oct) York branch opens as a concession store inside outdoor retailer Blacks  
2006 (Oct) Pinnacle Brand is launched  
2006 (Nov) Long awaited Brighton store is opened  
2006 (Dec) Waterloo Cut branch receives refurbishment  
2007 (Feb) Chiswick store opens on the Chiswick High Road  
2007 (April) Nottingham branch opens  
2007 (May) Hendon store is opened  
2007 (May) Gateshead branch is unveiled  
2007 (June) Clapham store is opened  
2007 (July) Bristol store is opened in city centre  
2007 (August) 2nd Manchester store opens in the Chill Factore  
2008 A majority stake in Evans Cycles was acquired by Active LLP  
2008 The website is redeveloped  
2009 (April) Birmingham store is opened in city centre  
2009 (June) Chalk Farm and Notting Hill stores open in the UK's capital  
2009 (November) Reading store is opened  
2010 (April) West End Store, Mortimer Street opens in the UK's capital  
2010 (June) Brentford Store opens in South London  
2010 (June) Crouch End Store opens in North London  
2010 (July) Lakeside Store opens in Kent  
2010 (August) London Central Workshop opens  
2010 (August) Leeds CyclePoint opens, offering storage and servicing to city commuters  
2010 (October) Leeds City Store opens  
2010 (October) Wimbledon Store opens  
2011 (January) Guildford Store & Workshop opens  
2011 (March) Liverpool Store opens  
2011 (September) New store opens inside the Manchester National Cycling Centre  
2012 (April) Edinburgh Store opens  
2012 (July) The long awaited Cardiff Store opens - our first in Wales  



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This story was last updated on 26/03/2014