“As always, we were looking for new products that make sense for our customers, the distributors and retailers and to provide consumers with new solutions that improve their biking experience. As a brand, we have clear ideas about that. We combine these with the trends and insights we gather from our OEM team, the suppliers and our office in Taiwan and our network in the market”, says Christopher Müllenhof, Contec’s marketing manager.
“Despite the difficult conditions due to the corona pandemic, we managed to develop innovations and launch them on time.”
Dropper seatpost with suspension
A very nice innovation is the Nara Air DLX. This new dropper seatpost has an integrated suspension. “The Nara Air DLX for e-bikers was primarily created to bring more comfort. Not only while riding, thanks to the suspension and ergonomic seating position. But also before and after the ride, when bikers get on and off the bike. Lowering the saddle makes it easier and safer to do so. The air suspension offers a smooth ride in all conditions and at all heights. The preload of the suspension is easy to adjust with a shock pump. In a few minutes the job is done.”
Contec also sees the growing popularity of gravel biking and bikepacking. “Because you often don’t know in advance exactly how long you will be on the road and what you will have to endure, we have created Mile Grinder bags for bikepacking. Our range includes typical bags for handlebars, frame and seat post. And also practical accessories that encourage you to ride further and longer. All Mile Grinder bags are made of water-repellent material. They do not damage the frame and can be mounted without tools.”
The FastAir TL series has been expanded, it includes now the FastAir TL valve. This is a tubeless valve that eliminates the need for an air compressor, booster or specialised tubeless pump. The FastAir TL range has become an ecosystem in itself. In addition to valves it also contains tubeless rim tape, tools and sealant. Contec wants to make it easier for cyclists to decide to ride tubeless.
Resistant to crisis
Contec has expanded the range at a turbulent time for the bicycle industry. “2021 was certainly not an easy year for all bike shops across Central Europe. We had to deal with lockdowns and saw a rapid increase in consumer demand, while supply in many categories was and still is scarce. We also found it difficult to get all the necessary parts and accessories to where we needed them in time. Despite the Suez blockade, harbour closures and the limited availability of containers, we managed to get sufficient stock available and to meet the needs of many bicycle shops that work with us and that have benefited from our procurement strategy,” says Müllenhof.
“This would not have been possible without Hartje’s even more extensive warehouse in Hoya, Germany. This has enabled us to maintain the amount of stock needed to cover such crisis situations. The demand was mainly for spare parts such as brake pads, brake rotors, chains and e-bike sprockets. But also for important products from our portfolio, such as our Drop A Gogo dropper posts, DLUX alternator, e-bike lighting and bicycle tools and pumps.”
New look shop-in-shop system
Contec has also been working on marketing in the past year. In particular, the shop presentation has been updated. Müllenhof: “Together with our colleagues from the Hartje retail marketing team, we developed a new look for the Contec shop-in-shop system. This provides a warmer atmosphere in shops and more opportunities to display products and accessories beautifully. Bicycle specialists can get a good impression of this in the Hartje Bike Experience Center in Zutphen, the Netherlands, where there is a demo set-up. We will also take part in Bikemotion.”
This article is sponsored by CONTEC