Wiggle & Chain Reaction to Relaunch Under the Frasers Group

Mar 22, 2024 at 10:08
by Ed Spratt  

Wiggle and Chain Reaction will be relaunched under its new owners after the brands and IP were sold earlier this month.

After the purchase of Wiggle, Chain Reaction and its in-house brands at the start of March for a reported price of under £10 million, Frasers Group have announced it will be relaunching the e-commerce sites at some point next week.

bigquotesWiggle and Chain Reaction are well-established names among riders in the UK and across Europe and the acquisition of both brands is consistent with our ambition to become the no.1 Sporting Goods retailer in Europe.

It also brings with it the opportunity to work with respected partners through the highly admired, award-winning product lines that Wiggle and Chain Reaction had built. We are excited to explore partnerships with suppliers or distributors looking to expand their offering or an organisation looking to get a foothold in the market by leveraging some established names.
Russell Merry, Managing Director of Wheels for Frasers Group

One big question since the acquisition has been on the future of the in-house brands such as Nukeproof, Vitus and Ragley. In its press release announcing the e-commerce relaunch, Frasers Group said: "Alongside the e-commerce relaunch, which is due to take place next week, Frasers Group is looking to create commercial partnerships to enhance and expand these own-brand lines through development, sales, licensing, and international distribution opportunities."

We asked for further clarification on what this might mean for the brands and were told the Frasers Group is interested in further development for all of the acquired in-house brands and will be looking for commercial partners who could license the brands and keep producing new products.

Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,165 articles

  • 50 0
 As someone who worked for WiggleCRC including Vitus Nukeproof and Ragley I can guarantee you no staff remained. Whatever garbage they come up with now will be completly different to what it was before just with our bloody badges on it. Makes me mad!!! Its the people behind the brand that truely make it what it is.
  • 10 3
 Noted. Will pass that on to anyone who will listen.
  • 4 0
 Well, they just relaunched the Web.
As someone who worked for Evans Cycle I can confirm its exactly this same s#!t as on EC website since Mike owns it.
No Nukeproof, Vitus or proper bike parts hubs etc. Its like someone just copy and paste with Chain reaction logo Frown
Even my 18 years old account not working as they didn't move this over...!

Just wondering who will deal with warranty if my Fox 38 or e-bike which I purchased few months ago fail...?

Definitely its not CRC I did love and use in a past.

Big thank you to everyone who used to work for CRC in a old good times!
  • 1 0
 @allbiker: I seen the new sites there, tbh glad they are using the old Wiggle logo haha That rebarnd and website "upgrade" for Wiggle and CRC was a embarrassment, was asked for feedback on the new sites and thats the feedback I ave then haha

It's a bit mad to see those bikes on the CRC site at £150 quid, Muddy Fox. No doubt Nukeproof, Vitus and Ragley will go down that route as I cant see Evans getting into product development for those brands.

In regards to your fork, I would reach out to Silverfish with your receipt for any warranty claims, I believe they are still the UK supplier for Fox Suspension.
  • 37 0
 So basically there looking for factories to manufacture NP and Vitus for them. Which begs the question why they don't just go back to factories that were been used before.
  • 14 0
 Beat me to it. Perhaps the new company already has bad blood from the past with those factories? At this point, they're just talking in circles and if those brands aren't made with the same molds and same skill set as they currently are made, they will be totally different brands
  • 45 0
the factories didnt get paid, or paid in full.
So they move on to the next factory, that might be needing work, cause they expanded, and now things have slowed down.....
And on goes the cycleWink
  • 37 1
 @bman33: yep, I assume theres unpaid bills. So no moulds, jigs etc. So NP and Vitus are likely to turn into catalog frames with badges slapped on. So basically sports direct is making another muddy fox brand
  • 3 1
 Maybe because as others have said, the bills weren’t paid at the original factories but maybe because they won’t be using the Nukeproof etc designs at all and it will all be catalogue bikes with their brand on.

Interesting to see how this goes.
  • 20 1
 @justanotherusername: neither brand exists really. All staff are gone including engineers.
  • 3 37
flag onawalk (Mar 22, 2024 at 11:21) (Below Threshold)
 @AlanMck: the brand is bigger than those that created it....The brand is all important, and is never really gone
  • 2 1
 I don't think that's it - if you license the brand, aren't you taking over operations? So you'd become the new sales and marketing arm of the brand? Basically, you'd pay Frasers a fee (annually, or per unit sold) for the use of the name 'Nukeproof' or 'Vitus'?
ETA: but yes, unpaid bills at old factories will see new factories, new moulds, and new designs...
  • 4 0
 That statement of owed funds back in Jan listed I think 3 factories owed over a £1mil each
  • 15 0
 The way I read it they are not looking for factories to produce the bikes. They are looking for someone to license the names from them and then handle everything else from manufacturing to customer service. Basically someone can rent the name from them and produce whatever bikes they want under those labels.
  • 10 0
 @briain: So no change then. For example, the Vitus Rapide = Flybike 936, also sold direct to consumers as Carbonda 936. Same thing goes for other models.

To the point made in the Taipei edition of the podcast - Chinese / Taiwanese companies are starting to cut out the agents / brands and sell direct. There are a few already doing it, I think we can expect to see a lot more.
  • 4 0
 @boybiskit: often the layups (if carbon) are not the same though. Good point either way
  • 1 0
 Because £££
  • 6 0
 There seems to be a bit of misunderstanding regarding the debt here. New-Nukeproof*/Frasers doesn’t owe the factories anything, the debt remains with the old company. This means the factories have the option of not working with the new company (newco) and the debt remaining, or they do with the newco and at least make money from keeping supply going to them.

It’s still a shitty situation for the supplier, but likely better than debt + no further work. There’s also the interesting question of who owns the tooling, and how the newco could access that (likely the factories now due to the u paid debts)

*and other brands
  • 4 0
 @boybiskit: I don't know about their drop bar frames but the last Sommet, Escarpe, Mythique and eMTBs were in-house designs.
  • 2 0
 @salespunk: yup. Which seems insane. If the first crack at it goes badly it’s over. And who would license a name if they didn’t own it? Why do all the work to rebuild a brand and not have security? You’re starting fresh anyway - just start from scratch.
  • 7 0
 @onawalk: I disagree to be honest, to me the important bit of the brand is people behind it and their goals and design ethos. The only thing left is the name, which at the end of the day is basically a piece of paper.
  • 1 0
 @boybiskit: is there an equivalent to the most recent mythique?
  • 3 0
 @briain: Nooooooooo.
Make Muddy Fox Great Again!
  • 1 1
 @onawalk: Do you work for Fraser Group? Then I am not surprised that you are brain-dead.
  • 2 0
 @SolomonReed: Thats a $hit thing to say to someone you know nothing about
  • 23 1
 Will the CRC website be less utterly horrific than it was before?
  • 45 0
 It couldn't get any worse than it was tbh. I personally loved the feature where you selected in stock items, and then it showed out of stock items too because why the fuck not.
  • 27 0
 @wbro74: I found it really useful to know they had no pairs of size 13 shoes left when what I searched for was an 11spd chain
  • 1 0
 Used to be able to notify about out of stock items, then they omitted that... for some reason?
  • 3 0
 Since they're only licensing the name, and not the actual people and products, with the original site being that horrible and the designers gone, that's a yes.

Probably the only positive with them not using the original staff.
Not the original product designers = bad.
Not the original website designers = good.
  • 18 4
 What genius way to push customers back to their LBS! Well done!
  • 9 0
 i bought my latest 2 bikes from bike shops but was 700km away, Hard to find a decent shop with proper brands with an underpaid mechanic that knows wtf he is doing.
  • 8 0
 ......Get ready for Nukeproof, Vitus and Ragley badges adorning poorly made crap from the cheapest bidder. Any old sh*te will do, as long as M.A. can pile it high and make as much profit as possible. He has a track record of this. GRRRRRRRR
  • 7 0
 I have to say evan’s website is crap. They gifted me a £100 voucher a couple of months back. Took me ages to find £100s worth of useful good value thingies there.
  • 4 0
 Think I have spent that amount on fivetens there this year!
  • 3 0
 @theboypanda: Last time I was in Brighton I popped into their shop and bought a few pairs at low prices. The shop felt like a jumble sale though...
  • 2 0
 Apart from that, they eventually gave me £50 after a new bike was delivered in an awful state after months of complaining and it didn't even work. I then spent months with them to try and get it working but it never did. Luckily the financial ombudsman sided with me and I got it back. Never again will I buy from the Fraser's scam group.
  • 7 2
 I’m glad I got the Nukeproof Horizon saddle just before they shut down. It’s ultra-low profile in combination with a switch from Raceface to Oneup dropper, let me go from a 150mm dropper to 180 on the same frame. I probably could have done 190 but didn’t want to risk it. Big upgrade to the riding experience.
  • 15 0
 …point being that the Nukeproof folks made some great products and it’s a shame that they’ve been disbanded.
  • 4 7
 My cats breath smells like catfood...
  • 1 0
 Mine has just gotten a tear on the corner and I wish I had a spare. Thinnest saddle I could find with a reasonable price.
  • 3 0
 @AndrewHornor: I’ll pour one out for your fallen comrade.
  • 3 0
 Nukeproof components were amazing value. Premium products at reasonable prices. I currently own one of their stems and handlebars. Mate owns saddle and wheels, another one has been using their clipless pedals for years... no complaints really, just well performing parts that look good and don't break the bank. I was sure I would end up with one of their hardtails at some point, too late now.
  • 10 2
 After Brexit, my buying from Chain went down from 100% to 0%, sorry it was a nice e-shop before.
  • 6 4
 Mine too. Despite being British I now almost order nothing from the UK...
  • 10 12
 @korev: i live in the uk and order nothing from the uk its a shithole
  • 6 2
 @Compositepro: Why not move?
  • 2 2
 @Compositepro: so you import everything you need from abroad?
  • 2 6
flag thewanderingtramp (Mar 24, 2024 at 17:33) (Below Threshold)
 @orm1972: OK boomer
  • 7 0
 Cool, I can't wait to buy my giant Nukeproof mug!
  • 3 0
 No it should surely have enough space to advertise sports direct and njkeproof
  • 3 0
 Trust me guys from experience, delete your bookmarks / apps for Wiggle and Chain Reaction.

The good times are gone. Now there will be completely non existent customer service and poorly manufactured goods.

Another name bought out to rely on the reputation for some more desperate sales. It only works short term.
  • 14 0
 The good times went years ago when CRC merged with Wiggle.
  • 3 0
 CRC website now directing you to evan cycles. If you search nukeproof on evans website there are a few items saying "coming soon".

I get the horrible feeling that Mr Ashley is going to destroy the in house brands but I really hope some buys Nukeproof to run independently.
  • 3 0
 They're about to release a Schwinn Axum clone with a Ragley badge on it, aren't they? (Actually that's kinda optimistic, the design will be worse than what the Axum uses won't it.)
  • 3 0
 Yeah that’s not the worst case scenario.
  • 5 2
 Another big question is, will the creditors from Wiggle remain unpaid?

Same as it has happened with Orange Bikes. UK insolvency law and administration process regulation are a joke.
  • 2 0
 If similar to the US, then nobody will be paid. Frazier bought the brands free of previous debts which are discharged during the BK process.
  • 4 0
 CRC Wiggle as it was no longer exists. Frasers bought the brand names, the remaining stock and that's about it. So no, CRC WIggle's creditors won't be seeing a penny.
  • 2 0
 Yup looks like licensing.

Someone else to make etc. After all none of the NP etc team now exist. Everyone's gone. So they are looking for someone to be external.

As mentioned it'll be a rebranded Evans platform.

Apart from tredz, merlin and the Spanish one? Tradeinn? I can't think of anyone decent now.
  • 4 0
 Leisure lakes and Winstanley are decent
  • 3 0
 Westbrook, Start fitness, Sigma, SJS, Pauls, Rutland.
  • 4 0
 @captainclunkz: Bike Parts, Tweeks, Bike Tart, Sorted Racegear

We’re not really in a bad place. It’s just that CRC/Wiggle used to be a one-stop shop
  • 5 0
 It'll be really slick, just like Evans........
  • 12 0
 It will literally be Evan’s website with a few stylistic changes, same stock, same pricing, same warehouse etc won’t it.
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: Plenty of cheap Fivetens then!
  • 3 0
 Maybe Walmart can license the Nukeproof brand and slap it on their bikes. Then I can afford brand new high end mountain bikes for my whole family.
  • 2 0
 About to make my 2021 NP Scout 275 frame even more worthless now aren't they?
  • 3 0
 He's only bought the names. It looks like the teams behind Nukeproof and Vitus are completely gone. The good times are over. It's either 2nd hand or more pricey brands now.
  • 1 0
 Its all to to do with the generation of riders coming up, and the base that there using to promote themselves, things like social media and tiktok are ruining our sport, they'll only ride what they thinks cool
  • 2 0
 reminds me somehow on iron horse ... there was a massive sell before they gone completely out ... my first proper MTBframe Smile
but otherwise sad ending
  • 1 0
 What about the warranty of the products that we already bought? Ive bought a nukeproof frame just before the CRC to collapse. Now site is working again, but my profile does not exist there, thats not fair at all.
  • 1 0
 I wonder if they'll still be Europe only. I still need some bolt kits for my "just in case" spares kit.

(Assuming they even bother to support the now "old" bike frames.)
  • 2 0
 Betd, seems to be manufacturing hangers for nukeproofs might be doing other parts aswell
  • 3 0
 Im sure i read somewhere frasers group are now selling.trek
  • 3 0
 Feck Mike Ashley, he's a fecking scumbag.
  • 2 0
 Things we don't need: More shitty catalogue brands.
Things we need: Grim Donut Forum edition aka the Grim Forum.
  • 2 0
 We will see Nukeproof or Vitus made in Cambodia soon, just like those Muddyfox junk.
  • 2 0
 So I wonder if we all get paid now?
  • 2 2
 As a Nukeproof fan.. glad to see they will continue. I just hope they don't start making lame bikes like GT that end up at Dick's sporting goods.
  • 10 0
 The name will continue, the brand is dead.
  • 5 0
 It won't continue in any worthwhile sense. Just move on to a new brand and remember the good times.
  • 1 0
 Guess what brand sports direct sells.....
  • 1 0
 The chainreaction site is back up. Seems like all Nukeproof and Vitus stuff is gone
  • 1 0
 Yes, but my profile does not exist
  • 1 0
 Does this mean I’ll get a new solumn frame?
  • 1 0
 The Solum was reintroduced back in 2022. You might have missed that boat.

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