ZEG Confirms Market Dominance with New Partnerships
COLOGNE, Germany – The annual ZEG (Zweirad Einkaufs Genossenschaft) show, which took place July 21 – 24 marked the opening of the international trade show season for model year 2018. The smooth integration of the brand and factory Kettler last year which turned ZEG from a retailer organisation into an OEM also paved the way for a new approach towards developing partners. The first examples were presented this weekend in Cologne.
ZEG developed in cooperation suspension fork producer SR Suntour and Magura a fork and frame integrated version of the HS hydraulic rim brake, the HSi. The main advantages are the easy handling while wheel changing, the tool free adjustment, the improved rigidity and increased braking power. ZEG is specifying the brake on both, e- and regular bikes of their brands Hercules, Pegasus and Wanderer. For model year 2018 both the brakes and the fork are exclusively delivered to ZEG. From 2019 on, the system, including fork and brakes, will be available for other, non ZEG, brands too.
Monkey Link connectivity
A second exclusive cooperation presented to the ZEG affiliated retailers is the Monkey Link system, ZEG’s answer on the increasing connectivity of e-bike and bicycle systems. The system comes standard on nearly all e-MTB’s in the Bulls, Kettler and Hercules 2018 ranges. Monkey Link is an open standard and makes it possible to fit additional accessories like bicycle lights and fenders with a light on an e-MTB. Monkey Link is connected with the battery. For the bicycle lights, Monkey Link already found a partner in Supernova, while the fenders come from SKS.
Integrated battery system
The third exclusive partnership had been announced recently and was presented to the ZEG affiliated retailers for the first time in Cologne: the integrated battery system of Komenda. The system includes Shimano’s E8000 MTB motor in combination with the new ‘snake pack’ battery developed by the Taiwanese battery manufacturer SMP Simplo. As this consists of six cell packs connected by joints the opening in the lower tube can be reduced to only 8 x 14 centimetres. As a result, the lower tube’s reinforcement can be limited while it maintains its stiffness. The frames will be manufactured for both Kettler and Bergstrom brands at Astro, but the assembly is done by each company. While Komenda will distribute in Switzerland this system on its Bergstrom bikes, ZEG will take it to the market on its Kettler e-MTB’s.
Open to non-ZEG retailers
ZEGs announcement earlier this year that the show would be open for non-ZEG affiliates and suppliers did not spark a lot of response. In the past, the dealer cooperative had a strict policy at the entrance of the venue; only ZEG members and a group of pre-registered people were allowed to get in. Although the doors were open to all pre-registered trade visitors this year for the first time, not many non-ZEG members took the opportunity to visit the show. Also for exhibitors there were no new ones at the show who are non-ZEG supplier. While the corridors don’t show many people during opening hours, the exhibitors know and confirmed that about each visitor means a potential customer making it a highly attractive event.
Nevertheless, the whole event was limited to one hall, just like in the past years. Only the test track was moved to another location outdoor providing much better testing facilities for, particularly e-bikes. The ZEG get together means more than visiting booths, it is also the dealer cooperative’s annual member meeting, a mega industry dinner with more than 1,500 attendees, and most important a networking opportunity for the German industry and lots of international ZEG’s suppliers.