Describe the company – the elevator pitch …
Sona Bikes are an independent bicycle company. We design and hand build all our bikes at our Dublin HQ and we offer free next day delivery to anywhere in Ireland. At Sona, we are all passionate cyclists and have designed a range of bicycles that are of premium quality, aesthetically striking and at a market leading price point. We offer fixie & single speed bikes, urban 3 speed bikes and 16 speed road & hybrid bikes, ranging in price from €399 to €649.
How are you different?
At Sona Bikes, rather than picking an off the shelf bike, you have the ability to customise your bike. You can choose from 10 frame colours, a range of handlebar types, wheel options and a choice of accessories. The bicycle market is flooded with big name brands which people are bored of now. Sona Bikes offer a fresh alternative and are designed and built locally by passionate cyclists.
— Sona Bikes (@SonaBikes) January 31, 2017
Why will the company / product do well?
Cycling in Ireland continues to rise in popularity and participation. Whether that’s commuting to work or competing in races, all the figures indicate that cycling has never been as popular as it is today. With the introduction of the Bike to Work Scheme in 2009 and people’s heightened awareness of healthy living, cycling is appealing to a much broader market. We have single speed, 3 speed and 16 speed bikes that will appeal to a large segment of the population and our prices are accessible to most budget conscious customers.
Where are you based?
Sona Bikes are an online bike shop but we have a showroom in Dublin 1, where customers can see the bikes and arrange a test ride. This is by appointment only and if someone wishes to see our range of bikes, they can contact us at [email protected]
— Sona Bikes (@SonaBikes) February 1, 2017
When was the company launched?
Sona Bikes was launched at the end of 2015 where we initially were focusing on the student market through the promotion of the Cycle to Campus Scheme (www.cycletocampus.com). 2017 sees our first full range of bikes which we have designed in-house.
What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?
The style and range of our bikes, together with the price points attracts a wide range of customers across different demographics. We have a strong presence in the 2nd and 3rd level student market, the bike to work market and the entry level lesisure/fitness enthusiast. As well as marketing to the general public, Sona Bikes also distributes to other retailers such as Cycleways on Parnell St and are currently seeking other shops to stock their range. In addition to these two sales channels, we have a number of corporate clients that we offer our services to. We have companies who buy a fleet of Sona Bikes to allow their employees get around the city with ease, go between multiple buildings in business parks or to use as promotional tools and corporate gifts. We will tailor a corporate bike package to suit our clients’ needs and they have the ability to customise our bikes with their logos.
The Sona Urban-3 with Take-Away Tray getting ready to ship to a happy customer pic.twitter.com/VpN9Iu1BNY
— Sona Bikes (@SonaBikes) December 12, 2016
Tell us about your team?
We are a small team of 3 people with a combined 60 years experience in the bicycle industry. Paul Norton is the driving force behind Sona Bikes and looks after designing the range of bikes and also the sales and marketing of Sona Bikes.
What are you long term plans for your product / company?
We are aiming to expand our range of bikes and price points in 2017/2018 in order to widen our target audience and increase our brand awareness. As well as growing our customer base, we are aiming to increase the number of corporate clients and we aim to be in upwards of 20 shops across Ireland come Summer 2017.
What are your favourite tech gadgets?
Being bike geeks, we love to be able to track our data when we’re out riding and to analyse our training when we get home. Having a GPS enabled bike computer like the Garmin Edge 520 helps capture this data and the likes of Strava helps us view this information on our computer, phone and tablet.
What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?
Smart bikes are the next big thing in the cycling industry. A smart bike will have a fully integrated system that you can interact with while out riding and even give you a heads up display on a visor connected to your helmet! The smart bike will capture all your data and connect seamlessly with your smart devices and even adapt to your riding style and preferences! But all this will come at a price so we’re not there just yet but who knows, in a few years we could all be riding smart bikes!
How do people get in touch with you?