The past three years have been challenging for the bike industry - and Handsling is no exception. Covid lockdowns, parts shortages, and shipping delays have all caused significant disruption.
As an independent company with loyal and understanding customers, Handsling has had the flexibility to negotiate these hurdles. And now we look ahead to a year that kicked off with an exciting team sponsorship and will continue with new frame launches and a move to a purpose-built headquarters.
2023 began with the announcement of headline sponsorship of the DAS-Handsling Women's UCI Continental team - the top ranked women's team in the UK. Read more HERE on how the move is part of Handsling's objective of supporting the development of women's cycling, giving young racers a platform to prove themselves at elite level. Handsling has also renewed its sponsorship of Chaney Windows & Doors Cycling in the US.
The pandemic severely delayed plans to launch new frames. These projects are now back into full swing, with a TT frame and two track frames in the pipeline for 2023. As a brand with a proud heritage in track racing, it's exciting to be launching dedicated pursuit and sprint track frames. These will complement the endurance-focused TR3evo, providing UCI-approved frames covering a wider range of track discipline.
In September 2021, Handsling moved to a new premises in the Hampshire village of Oakhanger. It is a sign of our growth trajectory that in the final quarter of 2023, we will move to a new facility that is being purpose built for our requirements.
Located about 200 meters from the existing premises, a facility covering more than 14,000 square feet across two floors will contain multiple features designed specifically for bike storage and assembly.
Internal lifts and bike stair tracks allow safe transportation of frames and bikes. Specific zones will be devoted to secure frame and component storage. A bike building area will accommodate more than 32 technicians. Key operations including quality control inspection, bike packing and order dispatch will be enlarged in line with higher production. Other features include a courtyard, fitted kitchen, gym, conference rooms, and staff bike storage.
Customers will be able to view frames and wheels in a full height showroom with glass facade. Dedicated customer changing rooms and showers will be provided for those test riding bikes.
To celebrate Handsling's #raceproven heritage, a wall of fame will display jerseys signed by many of Handsling's sponsored riders past and present. Display of previous frame models will provide a nod to Handsling's racing history.
Investment in a bigger facility reflects Handsling's confidence in bike demand - specifically for high-end machines that are customisable and have the durability and comfort for everyday riding. Cyclists are increasingly seeking bikes that are built to their specific requirements on riding position, gear ratios, crank lengths, wheels, finishing kit and more, as opposed to off-the-shelf machines.
Handsling's growth is grabbing the attention of others in the industry. Close relationships have been formed with UK wheel manufacturers Parcours and Walker Brothers, Powershift makers Classified Cycling, and drivetrain specialists New Motion Labs.
Stay tuned for full details on all these developments, and much more to follow.