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EightyOneSpices is a small, but popular dealer supplier of high end boutique European bike components from some of the better brands that often go under the radar. They have a particularly strong range of German-based brands, which is no coincidence.
Their product range spans everything from frames and wheels through to rim tape and sealant. The only bicycle component EightyOneSpices does not cover is tires and tubes.
Company founder Krischan Spranz was born in Germany and has lived there for several phases of his life: as a student, competitive mountain biker and as a bicycle industry member.
German suppliers are appreciative of Krischan being fully fluent in both German and English as well as having an in-depth, first-hand knowledge of cycling, both as a competitor and being involved in frame and component manufacturing and testing.
Prior to founding EightyOneSpices, Krischan worked in product development at both Syntace and Liteville, two of the long-standing EightyOneSpices brands.
In fact, the seeds of EightyOneSpices were first planted before he even returned to Australia.
Krischan observed throughout the 2000’s that there was poor Australian availability of some smaller and lesser known high end brands that he wanted to use on his own bikes for competitive use.
From its foundation in 2010 until today, EightyOneSpices has remained tightly focussed on filling that gap in the marketplace and dealers throughout Australia have benefitted as a result.
The other friendly voice dealers might hear when they call EightyOneSpices is Emlen Wilson. Emlen has a strong history in retail bicycle sales and service, having previously worked for one of the largest bike retail chains in Australia. He has an in-depth understanding of the challenges stores face and provides excellent service to retailers.
When dealers call EightyOneSpices, they will either get straight through to Emlen or Krischan because that’s it, there is no one else!
Both are passionate about all things cycling. They ride a broad range of cycling disciplines themselves in their spare time including gravel, downhill and enduro. They love to hear what dealers are personally riding, share what components they have had great experiences with and generally exchange useful thoughts on all things bikes!
Here is a summary of EightyOneSpices’ main brands.
SQlab is EightyOneSpices’ biggest and fastest growing brand, as the range is applicable to the broadest range of cyclists.
Through SQlab, EightyOneSpices not only caters for those shops that focus on custom builds but every single bike shop throughout Australia.
SQlab make products for contact points between rider and bike: saddles, bars, grips and pedals, but saddles comprise their biggest product range. SQlab were the first manufacturer to introduce a sizing system for saddles where your sitbones get measured and an appropriately fitting saddle is selected. This concept has since been taken up by some other manufacturers, but SQlab remains the leader when it comes to the number of sizes offered per saddle model.
Their broad range of saddles is coherent and displays some unique features based on science to improve ergonomics. There are up to five sizes per saddle model, and sizes span from 11cm all the way up to 24cm to ensure everyone is covered. When a dealer decides to stock SQlab, their grip, handlebar and saddle requirements are fully covered.
Syntace is a small German manufacturer that revolves around an extensive testing lab where every batch of products is tested to the nth degree to ensure exceptionally good consistency and high quality.
Syntace prides themselves upon being able to offer a 10 year warranty on all their components. That’s both important to end users and is a great selling point for dealers. Syntace was one of the first manufacturers to pioneer the wider rims on mountain bikes, which have now become the accepted norm. Syntace products range from their best-selling carbon flexpost, stems, handlebars flat pedals, gravel and mountain bike wheels, to rims with both alloy and carbon options.
Syntace products are light, strong, packed with clever, sensible features and have an incredibly long lifespan with an exceptionally small return rate.
Liteville is Syntace’s forward thinking frame brand. The current range consists of the H3 hard tail, the 4One gravel bike and their 301, the do-it-all all-Mountain / Trail / Enduro bike which is currently in its 15th revision.
Liteville continues to build upon existing, well proven and tested designs, further refining them. Their frames are aluminium, as they strongly believe in using the materials that are best for the application at hand. With aluminium, they can make the lightest, strongest and stiffest frames for the application.
TUNE is renowned as one of the all-time go-to names when it comes to ultra-lightweight components. They have been making some of the world’s lightest bicycle components since 1989. Their Speedneedle saddle is one of the most iconic TUNE items, starting at just 78 grams.
Having been in production for 20 years so far, a 20 year anniversary Speedneedle, which is aptly named the Speedneedle 2020, is offered alongside the original model. It has a little more covering and weighs a tad more, but the original is still a strong product in the range.
TUNE’s core competence is wheels and hubs. As such they make a hub to cover most applications including hubs for Cannondale Lefty forks. TUNE wheels cover road disc and non-disc, MTB XC and gravel. Despite having some of the world’s lightest components, their aluminium wheels range does not break the bank, well priced in the $1,100 to $1,500 range for a made-in-Germany wheelset, built by hand.
OPEN Cycles has been pushing the envelope when it comes to gravel bikes, receiving multiple Design and Innovation Awards for the UP (Unbeaten Path) and WiDe (Winding Detours). It is one of the core products that Emlen and Krischan enjoy supplying, as every OPEN build is so individual. Just a frame can be supplied, or a large range of components from the broad EightyOneSpices collection can be added to complete your customer’s dream bike.
Please don’t confuse Formula with the Taiwanese OE hub supplier Formula Hubs!
Formula is an Italian market leading suspension and brake manufacturer with both motorcycle and MTB heritage.
Formula’s suspension, namely the Selva Forks and their MOD coil rear shock, has unique points of difference to improve user performance, like CTS (Compression Tuning System) valves, that put suspension customisation into the hands of the customer.
Formula’s Cura range of brakes come in two-pot and four-pot models. Both have been designed to use mineral oil since 2016 and have grown in popularity immensely since this change. They have become very easy to work on, and service intervals have grown. The current range is much more user friendly and at a lower price point than what people may commonly remember from the earlier DOT fluid brakes like the R1 and The One.
INGRID components is a small Italian drivetrain component manufacturer, with the aim of ‘filling the gaps’ and bringing some nice 1990’s CNC flair and passion to bland looking modern bikes. The range covers cranks, cassettes and a soon-to-be-available rear derailleur. INGRID cranks cover road, XC, Gravel and Gravity in a range of lengths and three standard colours plus a range of custom colours. INGRID cassettes aim to either increase the range from the standard big-two brand offerings or provide improved step size between gears. Of course, all of their components fall into the lightweight category.
Crossworx is a relatively young German company, launched in 2019 by owners Chris and Kiwi, both with extensive previous experience in the bicycle manufacturing industry.
Crossworx aims to make ‘Made in Germany’ bikes with a focus on sustainability and short manufacturing turn-around times, predominantly manufacturing in-house and using local suppliers. Their stand-out bike is the Dash 29, a 155/170mm travel 29er enduro bike with which EightyOneSpices expects will do quite well in the Australian market.
This is not the full range of EightyOneSpices’ brands, but it gives you a great idea of how comprehensively they cater for niche ranges that can give your store a point of difference from your competitors.
To tap into the deep well of Krischan and Emlen’s product knowledge and first-hand user experience, please contact them on (08) 8557 1800, visit eightyonespices.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org