Engineering and Manufacturing

Potentially lucrative deal allows cycle maker to peddle its wares aboard

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 22 June 2020 7:32

A designer and manufacturer of specialist bikes from Gloucestershire has just ridden away with a deal allowing it to supply one of its newest products abroad. 

Its ingenious bespoke machines, which have brought joy to thousands in the UK already, have just won approval in the Norwegian National tender. 

Tomcat Special Needs Innovation Ltd is no ordinary bike maker – building its machines with individual customers in mind, creating unique models unlocking cycling to many who might have thought it would never be possible. 

The recent win is for its ingenious Tomcat Rotor and its teenage stablemate the Arrow Rotor, which won what is called ‘class 8’ (handcycle with electric power-assist) in the Norwegian National bike tender.  

Similar to our NHS, the Norwegian NAV (Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration) is the Government body that supplies fully funded assistive aids to users throughout the country. The evaluation of the tender was based principally on quality, user suitability and price. 

Bob Griffin, managing director and founder of Tomcat SNI Ltd, called the market “potentially lucrative”. 

"There aren’t any figures/research that I can give you to back this up I’m afraid. However, I can say that there are currently around 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK. Two thirds of them are regular users,” said Mr Griffin, whose business has won Queen’s Awards for its work. 

“This is the primary market that the Rotor will appeal to, however,that’snot to say that itwon’tappeal to non-wheelchair users too (think of people with arthritis or muscular dystrophy etc)."

Pictured: Jason Davies.

As with all things cycling the business has seen an uplift in sales through the lockdown as well as people have embraced the joys of pedal-power in numbers. 

“We have definitely seen an increase in inquiries, mostly servicing trikes that have been gathering dust in a garage. Sales have been fairly level at a time when we expected them to drop,” he said. 

Last year the firm, which employs and estimated 14 staff plus two freelance assessors mad an estimated 500 bikes. The machines have found their way to as far away at the Philippines.