It would appear that the fallout from the tumbling global financial markets continues to impact upon the average mountain biker, with the little-reported news last week that Ay Up, the Australian no-nonsense bike light company, has ended its UK distribution agreement.
This will perhaps be more of a hindrance than a disaster to non-domestic owners and potential buyers, but with the Australian dollar suffering against other world currencies, Ay Up’s UK arrangement has clearly gone beyond economical and strategic sense.
It’s not unusual in the current climate for a company to want to consolidate its operations and keep a tighter rein on its distribution and, accordingly, Ay Up have now reverted back to their original strategy of distributing from Australia and processing all orders in Australian Dollars.
As eluded to above, for the average UK customer, this certainly means a longer lead time on orders, but with the product range unaffected and the still great line-up of simple lighting solutions, dare I suggest it is business as usual Down Under. The falling Aussie Dollar will lead to some cost savings for domestic clientèle, but according to Ay Up’s international delivery estimates their MTB package will still set back the UK buyer 245 notes (at current exchange, including taxes) against the £250 the same set cost me last year from the UK. However, you could argue that with the rising cost of bikes and parts generally that this now represents an even better deal than judged at face value.
Ay Up, perhaps a bit like our very own On-One, are great exponents of a small company, selling a quality brand (with a cult(ish) following) directly to those who want a no-nonsense, value for money product. Let’s hope all is well with our Aussie cousins.