British cycling legend Chris Boardman has sold the bike company he helped create in 2007 to retail group Halfords, but will stay in place for the foreseeable future as chairman and design director.
The Elite range of bikes (which includes the AiRTT/9.4 Di2 we recently reviewed) is thought to be included in the deal, though the BBC reports that Halfords does not plan to sell them in its stores, suggesting that they will remain on sale with independent retailers. Halfords already sells the Performance range of bikes in-store, which retail for up to £1,800.
Commenting on the deal, Chris Boardman said: “This step will take the brand to the next level and their backing will allow us to further develop our research & development and extend our award-winning cycling ranges.”
For its part, Halfords says Boardman is one of the most important, fastest-growing and successful brands in UK cycling – praise indeed in a market which goes from strength to strength, as reflected by the fact bikes easily outsold cars in the UK last year (3.6m versus 2m, according to industry bodies). Boardman Bikes was named ‘Bike Brand of the Year’ in the 220 Triathlon Awards last March.
We’re following up with Boardman on what this deal means for the brand’s Elite series, B56 Project and future development – more as soon as we have it…