Phew, 2021 was a challenge hey? The positives are we managed to get out and race and ride and lockdowns feel so 2020! For Even Strokes last year brought many challenges for our fledgeling business some we had done well with others we had to learn from to make sure it didn’t happen again. Logistics seem to be a pain now for every business out there and with COVID and how carriers are now operating with basically leaving a parcel on a doorstep and taking a picture it caused many problems with deliveries going missing. We managed to have three different couriers last year, with one unable to complete our contract and over £3,000 worth or orders stuck in depots. We are still waiting for these to return after 6 months, who would run an online business hey? Well, these are the challenges we have had to deal with whilst trying hard to deliver for our customers. So, 2022 delivery will increase from £0 to £3.99 for any orders under £39.99 to cover the extra cost of having to insure each package.
We have tried numerous methods to increase customer loyalty, from reward points through to freebies but we have settled on a discount code for our returning customers who come back again and again. This seems to be favourable and works, with our sponsored riders using codes keep a look out for them and you can bag a discount. Don’t worry though our main focus is going to be keeping as many products in stock in our warehouse and making sure our customer service is as good as it can be. We’re still a very small team with three members of staff and two are part time but we work hard for our customers.
We moved away from Fox and Talon. Fox is a great brand however its always difficult competing against Fox, they have their own website and they run powerful marketing campaigns that direct customers to their own website. Love the brand but sucks for a shop when you are competing against the brand you are buying from. Rob Sartin sold Talon earlier this year which was a real shame as Rob built the brand up over the past 10 years to new heights, the new owners came in and changed elements of the business that were not agreeable, so we stopped buying from them in May 2021.
Fox and Talon are no doubt two big brands, but this presented us with an opportunity to start thinking about the business and what the long-term future would look like. So, we decided rather than just selling brands we would work with the brands to market them in the UK, this way we control our own destiny (as much as you can) so we signed deals with Just1 Racing from Italy and Kite Parts, also from Italy. Just1 are one of the fastest growing MX companies out there and Kite have been winning multiple championships over the past 5 years through their product sponsorship of RedBull KTM teams in MXGP, Star Racing Yamaha program in the US, plus many others.
So let us break down our premier brands we will be focusing on in 2022:
Asterisk are one of the original brace brands and I (James) still own my original brace with the tie lace at the back and it’s still going, not bad for a £300 investment. Asterisk has evolved over the years tweaking an already good brace with each revision, the Ultra Cell 3.0 is by far the best brace they have ever built. In 2021 we sold over 200+ braces and had one return on the 3.0 which is a testament to how bullet proof these braces are. The Carbon C1 brace is around £80 more expensive but is sleeker and lighter than the Ultra Cell 3.0 and is just awaiting the CE Certificate after being given approval in Europe. Asterisk are constantly developing and expect some developments in products in 2022.
In a market over saturated in kit and having to compete with 200+ shops just in the UK with Fox, Troy Lee, Thor, Alpinestars etc everyone is competing over the same brands. Just1 are one of the fastest growing businesses in motocross currently and they are only just celebrating their 10th birthday. Just1 started out as a helmet company sponsoring an up-and-coming rider called Tim Gajser in 2012 and since then they entered the gear market in 2018 sponsoring many MXGP riders. Now the company had progressed into Enduro and mountain biking offering complete ranges for athletes that are high quality supported by a huge amount of R&D. February will see 500 sets of, 500 helmets and 200 pairs of boots arriving from Just1 to Even Strokes and we are currently submitting our 2023 order.
Another Italian company and this time a group of exquisite wheel builders! These guys have been dominating motocross and supercross championships over the past 5 years and it’s an incredible amount of wins they have attained. The hubs are all made in house, top of the range aviation grade along with spokes crafted in Italy, the wheels are a work of art and finished off by the best rims out there, Excel. Two versions are available the elite and the sport, both Excel rims but the Excel One rim being less expensive and more suited to your club and national rider. It doesn’t stop there though, Kite produce Triple Clamps, Foot Pegs, Hoses, Levers, Brake Discs and Bling Bits for your bike.
When Jeremy Mcgrath a serial winner, Eddie Cole a serial entrepreneur and Scott Septovik the guy who brought Monster to Supercross join forces you know that the product is going to be good. Chad Reed, Adam Cinciarulo, Cameron Mcadoo, Nick Wey, Conrad Mewse, Ben Watson are some of the athletes using ARMA and the brand has just exploded. It’s helped having a multitude of talented and famous motocross riders using the brand, but if you ask each one why it won’t be about money, it’s because the product works. They have taken no shortcuts in finding the essential ingredients that help athletes perform no matter what sport you are in. Zero refunds, multiple orders from the same customers because the product works, riders can focus longer, fatigue less and remove those ‘day after’ aches. Grab a sachet from £2.99 and give it a try.
If you were to walk around an MXGP paddock or Supercross pits it would be hard for you to find a team that doesn’t use ProX parts, they even produce parts for OEM’s! Pistons, Brake Pads, Chains, Sprockets, Bearings, Con Rods, Valves, Shims, Oil Filters, Air Filters, Brake Discs, have I forgotten anything else? We have over 10,000 parts in stock in our warehouse and we have access to over 30,000 products in that can be with us in 3 days. The Phoenix Tools Even Strokes Kawasaki team will be using the parts in 2022 and Charlie Frost the World Hard Enduro rider has been using the sprockets and chains in World events throughout 2021, the products and brand are good.
One of the most iconic brands on the motocross scene and producers of the worlds best motocross goggle. But they are just way more than a goggle company, Scott grips have been around for over 40 years and still one of the best grips out there. Scott also produces some cool gear and this year’s EVO range has been a huge seller for both adult and youth. Even Strokes will offer the full range of motocross, adventure and enduro clothing in 2022 and the Scott lifestyle, goggles and of course the grips!
We will also be supplying the following brands in 2022:
- Enjoy Graphics and Seat Covers
- NGK Spark Plugs
- Gaerne Boots
- Alpinestar Boots
- RFX parts
- Bell Helmets
- Fly Racing
- Syntol Oil
- Polisport Plastics
- 6D Helmets
- SAXX Underwear
- SA1NT Clothing
- Pro Clean
- Stance Socks
- Pro Carbon
2022 will also see more Even Strokes products reach the market and we will be offering Kit Bags, Goggle Bags, Back Packs, 3x3 tents and clothing. Well that’s a little overview of everything that has happened and we hope to support you with the best products, great prices and customer service in 2022.
Thank you for your support.