Introducing Strider Bike
Strider Bike UK, set up by Karen Wood in 2010, is a Leamington-based business specialising in balance bikes. The six different models are designed to help anyone aged 12 months and upwards learn how to ride a bike. As the name suggests, they teach balance, but also coordination and perhaps most importantly, confidence. Learners can then move to standard bikes, although some prefer to stay with balance bikes.
The Strider brand was founded by Ryan McFarland, a dad in the USA who wanted to teach his kids to ride a bike but struggled to find one suitable for the job. They were all too heavy and complicated.
When Karen reached the same stage for her kids she had the same problems. That’s when she discovered Strider – you could say the rest is history. She was so taken with the family-focused brand that she quit her corporate job and set up Strider Bike UK. Karen’s husband, Gary, later joined Karen in 2015 to support the growth of the business and they’ve been operating as a family-run business ever since.
As Karen explains:
“It’s the passion behind the brand that makes it so special – everyone involved in Strider are parents and there’s a real focus on family and lifestyle – a world away from the corporate role I was in before. As a family business, our kids are very much involved and once a year we all go to the USA for the Strider global meeting. All the families get together and go out on their bikes. It’s anything but traditional!”
It’s not just bikes, either – Strider Bike also has instructors and coaching across the UK and Ireland, together with a race series. The aim? To get kids riding with confidence.
As Karen says:
“Kids turn up to Strider events at 18 months old, but by the time they’re five their concentration and confidence has skyrocketed, helped by being able to ride alongside other kids. We have youngsters competing in BMX World Championships having started out with Strider events, and that’s just one example.”
A rapidly growing business with a lack of storage space
When Karen first set up, she was storing all the stock at home. But the business grew quickly and within six months the stock had outgrown the house. Fed up of bikes taking over the lounge, Karen looked for storage facilities and that’s how she discovered Squab Storage – just one mile from their home.
Strider Bike started with 25 sq. ft. of storage space at Squab, which has grown into the hundreds eight years on!
‘The best thing about Squab Storage is the flexibility – we can scale the storage space as needed. If we have a particularly busy spell, we just increase our storage space. Then, if we’re having the odd quiet spell, we can scale down – so we’re only ever paying for the storage we’re actually using. It’s the best option for us because it means we don’t have to hire our own warehouse and all the overheads that go with it,’ explains Karen.
How Strider Bike manage their business using Squab Storage
Deliveries are made to Squab every few weeks.
‘Another perk is the fact that large deliveries can be made. We hire three to four of the Squab team to help with unloading which means we don’t need to hire our own warehouse staff. While we pay a little more per hour, that completely outweighs the cost compared to if we hired our own staff,’ says Karen.
The bikes are sorted daily by Gary. Some are packed onto pallets to be sent to trade customers, but most go on DPD collections every day. Aside from the bikes, they also store equipment for events.
What are the benefits?
We asked Karen about the benefits of using Squab’s commercial storage:
‘It does what we need it to do. The storage is safe and secure which means we don’t wake up worrying about it at 3am. It’s flexible in terms of space usage but it also allows us to be flexible – we don’t need to be on-site all the time. There’s staff available to help and nothing is too much trouble, not to mention it’s always clean. We know Squab is there to help us grow and, as a family business themselves, it’s a success story for us both.’
What’s next for Strider Bike?
Look out for the new 14x bikes being launched for ages 3-7 which convert from a balance bike into a standard bike.
We look forward to seeing the award-winning Strider Bike empire continue to grow!
Find out more about Strider Bike UK via any of the following ways:
Strider Bike UK website
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