bikeZaar is an online Marketplace consisting of a global community of bike shop owners - skilled, experienced and knowledgeable human beings who dedicate their lives to running bricks-and-mortar shops.
Very simply, we provide technology that helps to empower them, supporting their efforts to compete online.
Working together enables us to offer the same benefits that have attracted consumers to buy from online-only retailers but also integrates the value and unique selling points offered by specialist independent high street stores. In other words, bikeZaar combines the best of both models.
More than in most sectors, cyclists need a local bike store for service, fit and advice etc. so it is important that we help support the bedrock of our industry. Shop with bikeZaar and you are supporting local independent retailers.
Kevin Griffiths Founder & CEO
bikeZaar Founder & CEO, Kevin Griffiths, has witnessed first-hand the challenges faced by the independent cycle trade.
Kevin’s family is steeped in cycling history, both in competitive racing and in business. His great grandparents opened a bike shop in 1915 that is still operating today.
Most recently, Kevin established several successful concept stores and ecommerce platforms whilst working with Yellow Limited, UK distributor of premium cycle brands including the likes of Pinarello, Assos, Rudy Project, Giordana and Corima.
Combined with an extensive background in logistics and technology, Kevin has a unique blend of experience giving rise to the belief that digital shopping could ultimately reinvigorate high streets up and down the land.
Alistair Brownlee MBE Non-Exec Director & Investor
Jonny Brownlee Investor
Living an active lifestyle has always been very important to us. We both believe that physical activity is not only good for our health, but for our minds as well. After our Olympic Gold and Bronze medals in London 2012, we had a massive opportunity to promote activity through inspiration and participation. The Brownlee Foundation has enabled over 25,000 kids do a triathlon for the first time.
Our very first sponsor (apart from our parents!) was our local bike shop. We both feel a real connection, and want to promote their continued importance as the hub of local communities. This is the main reason why bikeZaar struck a chord with us.
bikeZaar helps us to combine two things that we believe strongly about and want to support: ensuring the on-going sustainability of high street bike shops, which in turn helps to promote active lifestyles by making equipment and servicing accessible locally, encouraging more people to exercise, socialise or commute on reliable, comfortable, working bikes!
We are excited to be involved in the business and hope that everyone will use the service to continue, or start to live a healthy lifestyle.
Gareth Mobley Non-Exec Director & Investor
A keen cyclist and runner, Gareth founded and led the phenomenal growth of Solidor and DW3. Having successfully exited those businesses in 2017, Gareth is now the owner of an early-stage investment company, My Clever Group. Now focussed on the digital space, Gareth immediately recognised the potential of bikeZaar, and the opportunity that it provides for high street retailers of any size to participate and take a share of the growing online market.
Gary Aston Director
A social cyclist, Gary’s true passion is software and databases! His wealth of experience in the software industry is invaluable, helping to keep bikeZaar at the cutting edge of technical innovation and development.
CandiTV – Pinarello Racing Team
In 2008, through his technology firm, Kevin sponsored his father’s Pro Team, CandiTV. Riders included Malcolm Elliott and Russ Downing who, despite the odds, won the Tour of Ireland in CandiTV colours in 2009.
Kevin subsequently took a more active role in his father’s business in 2010 helping to evolve the business, launching The Bike Rooms retail stores and the Assos Factory Outlet along the way.
Towards the end of 2016, with his combined experiences in technology, logistics and the cycling industry, Kevin chose to pursue a new path and follow a dream that had been building for some 18 months prior (whilst out riding!).
Leaving the family business, Kevin chose to exploit developments in technology and ecommerce to find a better way to satisfy customer requirements but also to build in the value of the independent store network. The result: bikeZaar!
CandiTV’s Russ Downing, winner of the 2009 Tour of Ireland.
Picture credit: BBC
CandiTV’s Malcolm Elliott leading the field.
Picture credit: British Cycling
bikeZaar - The Family
The origins of bikeZaar have involved cycling from day one
Mum, as Bernadette Swinnerton, competed at the top level of the sport, winning the silver medal in the 1969 Women's World Championship Road Race in Brno, Czechoslovakia, together with 11 golds and silvers in the British National Championships, both on the road and track between 1968 and 1971.
Dad, Phil Griffiths, was selected for the Olympics in 1972 and 1976 and won a silver medal in the 1974 Commonwealth Games Road Race in New Zealand. He was one of the few British riders to have held the yellow jersey in the Peace Race. He was British Best All-Rounder five times and broke several "place to place" road records. Phil managed the ANC–Halfords team, the first British-based professional team to enter the Tour de France. On retiring from racing he started in the importing business, setting up Yellow Limited, and working with many of the top brands as their exclusive UK distributor for cycle clothing and equipment.
Kevin’s great grandparents founded Swinnerton Cycles in Stoke-on-Trent in 1915 and in 1954, grandparents Roy and Doris Swinnerton took over and developed it into a very successful bike shop. After 36 years working together, 7 children, 22 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, they retired and passed on the baton to the next generations.
Roy started club cycling with St. Christopher’s Cycling Club back in 1939 and Doris joined shortly afterwards. They married in 1950 and began to take on major local organising and official roles, being a part of all that was going on in the North Staffordshire cycling scene for many, many years. Doris also participated in the formation of the Lyme Racing Club and was its first president.
In the 1960’s, both Roy and Doris helped with the formation of the Newcastle Track Association and the North Staffordshire Cycling Association which bought all clubs together under one umbrella. They ran the Newcastle Track League throughout the 1960's and well into the 70's.
In 1970, Roy and Doris helped form Stoke Athletic Club Cycling div which had a lot of success on the national racing scene. Roy himself had been a National Grass Track Champion and N. Staffs sprint champion for 18 years. He managed international racing teams and was the GB mechanic to Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World championships.
Bernadette Swinnerton, Women's World Championship Road Race, Czechoslovakia, 1969
Roy Swinnerton, National Grass Track Champion
Picture credit: The Sentinel, Stoke on Trent
Kevin’s aunts and uncles were also fairly competitive!...
Mark Swinnerton – Was the highest placed British rider in the 1980 Tour of Britain. He won the Essex Grand Prix and represented Britain on many occasions around the world.
Paul Swinnerton – A prolific track rider in the 70's, he won over 300 track and road events in one year, 1978, and in 1979 he was National Kilo Champion. In 1980 he entered the Guinness Book of Records by gaining the world speed record on rollers, riding at 109mph unassisted. In 1981 he was National Sprint Champion and in 1983 won the National Tandem Sprint Championship partnered with Nigel Bolton. Paul competed at the world championships on many occasions.
Catherine Swinnerton, now Catherine Earley – won two National Road Race Championships and over thirty national championship medals in her 12 years competing at senior level. She rode the first ladies Tour De France and was pipped on the finishing line on the Champs Elysees, almost winning the final stage. She competed in many world championships on both the road and track. Catherine also rode the first ever ladies' cycling Olympics in 1984 in Los Angeles where she met future husband Martin Earley.
Martin Earley – Turned professional in 1985, joining the Fagor Team with whom he stayed until 1987. In 1986, he won the fourteenth stage of the Giro d’Italia. In 1987, he was part of the Irish team at the world Road Race Championship that ended in a win for Stephen Roche. He then rode for Kas and the Dutch PDM team of Sean Kelly. The highlight of his carrier was a stage win in the 1989 Tour De France, when he broke clear of three riders 750m from the end of 157 km stage from Labastide-d Armagnac to Pau. Martin competed in a total of eight Tours. He now practices as a physiotherapist in Hilderstone, Staffordshire.
Margaret Swinnerton, now Margaret Herety – Won many track and road events, including the ladies star trophy series and was also short-listed for the 1984 Olympics. She represented GB in three world road race championships between 1979-1983.
John Herety - currently manager of Team JLT-Condor, is a winner of the British National Road Race Championship, the Manx Trophy and a stage in the Tour of Britain. He rode in the 1980 Moscow Olympics and joined the French team, Athletic Club Boulogne-Billancourt, Europe's most successful sports club with fellow British riders Sean Yates and Jeff Williams. He also rode for Mercier and had success in the Grand Prix Pino Cerami finishing second. In 1985 John joined the British-based professional team Ever Ready and then the Percy Bilton team alongside Bob Downs and Steve Joughin.
Bernard Swinnerton – raced from 1975 to 1988. During this time, Bernard was the divisional Schoolboy Sprint and Pursuit Champion, Junior Sprint Champion, a member of the winning Senior Pursuit Team and twelfth in the National Junior Points Race. On the road he was fourteenth in the National Road Race Championship and competed in star trophy events, also representing GB in Germany.
Frances Swinnerton, now Frances Mayer – competed on the track, road and time trials.
Tony Mayer – Tony was the Junior National Pursuit Champion. He was selected for the 1980 Olympics alongside Paul Swinnerton. He won silver in the junior team pursuit at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane and Gold in the team pursuit at the Oceanic Games. He also won no fewer than fifteen National Championship medals.
The next generation also ride and compete but this list is already too long! Suffice to say that Kevin Griffiths's huge family have always been in the bike game and the bike trade.
Martin Earley, Alpe d’Huez, Tour de France 1989
Picture credit: Irish Post
John Herety, celebrates as manager of Rapha Condor, Tour Series 2011
Picture credit: Cycling Weekly