Renowned South African mountain-biker Erik Kleinhans showcased the Canyon Bicycles brand to the media at the Mont Marie Wine Estate in Stellenbosch yesterday.
Canyon Bicycles were initially introduced to the SA market in February and as marketing manager for the brand in the country Kleinhans organised yesterday’s event.
“The objective of the event was to reveal to the media the processes behind Canyon, both in general and in South Africa,” Kleinhans told In the Bunch today.
Apart from providing them with details about the brand’s bicycles, members of the media were given a chance to test-ride some of them.
Canyon’s headquarters are in Germany and the brand felt it necessary to establish a presence in SA, Kleinhans said.
Through online marketing the brand had seen “quite a lot of sales in SA since February”. But that was largely done via the headquarters, which underlined the importance of establishing a physical presence in the country.
“It was important that people were able to test-ride the bikes so they could get a feel for them and their appearance,” Kleinhans said.
He said throughout the day guests at the event had the opportunity to ride the brand’s six different categories of bike – three road, two mountain-bike and one gravel.
Kleinhans said he was the “man on the ground” for Canyon in the country. His job entailed making the “processes smoother for customers” ordering bikes.
The Stellenbosch resident rode for Canyon for three years and currently manages the Canyon Topeak Factory Racing marathon team.
“Halfway through this year they [Canyon] spoke to me about the SA market and said they were happy with the sales.”
But, he said, discussions began some two to three months ago about looking after their clients in the country.
Kleinhans said at present he managed everything from his home. A technical service company in Stellenbosch assisted with customer service.
“We have plans to grow the business and have bikes on display on a more regular basis at a fixed venue, but in the short term we want to make sure we can do more for the customers in the country.”
Kleinhans said he would be showcasing the brand to the general public for the first time during the Wines2Whales over the next week.