157 – Go Nice Places Do Good Things with Sonder Bikes
David Hanney – Co. Owner/ Director & Neil Sutton – Sonder Bike Designer
On today’s episode #157 we are chatting with David and Neil from Sonder Bikes about building a bike brand that is very much aimed at the UK trails and the UK rider. Their bikes are well priced, built in the UK and look awesome.
The Sonder bike range is very impressive and covers mountain, gravel, adventure and road bikes, but of course we are mainly chatting mountain bikes. It was great timing to get David and Neil on the show as the Sonder crew have just released their new Evol full suspension 150mm travel enduro style ride, which we chat about on the show (find out more Here).
We chat about all things Sonder, including their distribution chain, their environmental responsibility and sustainability outlook which they take very seriously, their customer care which plays a large part in their vision for the brand, their bike range, their new steel hardtail and about being one of the first (if not the only) bike brand to be a Certified B Corporation. Plus much more.
Thanks for being here. Enjoy the show!
- Why Sonders parent company Alpkit decided they needed a bike brand
- How David’s past history helped him find the right market fit for the Sonder brand
- What the plan for Sonder was from the start and why it was not profit focused
- How Neil came to be working at Sonder and be designing bikes
- How Neil and David decided on what factories to use in manufacturing their frames
- Why the happiness of staff and staff facilities can make or break a deal with a factory for Sonder
- How they keep an eye on quality control and make sure their products are always of the highest standard
- What Sonder offers in their bike range
- Why and how Sonder keep their price points very competitive
- Why Neil decided to design a steel hardtail
- What their new Evol 150mm travel enduro style bike is like and why they decided to produce it
- How you can get your hands on a Sonder bike and try it for a weekend
- How to find out more about the brand and what they are upto
Sonder is part of the Alpkit family who have been trading since 2004, mainly as an online store. They now are the proud owners of four retail brick and mortar stores, but would still do a massive amount of their turnover via online sales and their very nice website. Alpkit was born out of the love for the outdoors and from day one have always held their environmental responsibility and sustainability responsibilities at the forefront of what they do and why they do it.
These responsibilities are simply not an add-on for Alpkit. They have introduced things like their Alpkit Foundation, which has donated over £300.000 to help people, groups and schools remove barriers in getting outdoors and experience wild places. Alpkit also donates 1% of sales and at least 10% of annual profit to support grass roots projects, and they didn’t stop there. They also publish a Sustainability Report, promote a Circular Economy Recycling adjective and have been awarded as a Certified B Corporation.
The amazing thing about all of this is, they have carried this amazing vision and sense of responsibility for the outdoors (and let’s face it, our playground), into the Sonder bike brand. I really don’t know of any other bike brand that has been awarded the Certified B Corporation label (find out more about it Here).
I am impressed with Sonder and not just with how they look at their production chain from start to finish and how it affects the people, villages, animals and the environment involved in that process, but also because they don’t use this sustainability tag to rip you off. This was one of the reasons Alpkit was started, to bring you and me, their customers top quality product at the correct price and I am glad to see that this ethos has also made it into their Sonder bike brand.
So please join David, Neil and myself as we chat about Sonder, their bikes, their build process, what they have planned for the future, and why you should go check them out!
Enjoy the show.
To Connect with Alpkit & Sonder Bikes:
Sonder Website: alpkit.com/pages/sonder
Alpkit Website: alpkit.com
Facebook Owner’s Group: www.facebook.com/groups/848972648575572
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Thanks to David and Neil for coming on the show and telling us all about the Sonder brand. I look forward to seeing them on the trails.
And thanks to you for tuning in and being part of the show!
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show.