Iconic American brand Intense Cycles has announced that they'll now be selling their bikes directly to consumers in the UK, cutting out the independent bike dealer network in a move that's significantly reduced prices across the range.
In terms of the price savings, the entry-level Foundation builds will now start from £3000, Expert level bikes from £3750, Pro bikes £4900, Elite builds £6000 and the tip-top end Factory builds from £8000 - the latter previously costing a cool £10000, representing a saving of 20%.
Sales, servicing and warranty will now be handled by Intense Cycles UK, which will warehouse and dispatch bikes directly to customers. As well as offering a shock pump and toolkit, free postage and a no-quibble 14 day return period, Intense Cycles UK is also promising to "tune the suspension on your bike specifically to your weight and riding style meaning you will get optimum performance from day one."
That's undoubtedly good news for consumers looking to save money on a bike but it's likely to be less popular with their current bike shop stockists, with many now heavily discounting their current stock. The brand only gained Saddleback as their exclusive UK distributor in April 2016.
As belts tighten across the industry, this is undoubtedly something we'll be seeing more of, as manufacturers seek to increase margins by moving themselves closer to the end customer. It's worked very well for the likes of Canyon and YT Industries, but it also comes with a risk, with less face-to-face contact between customer and brand.