Founded by Andy and Sarah Wigmore in 2004, Saddleback represented the culmination of a childhood dream that has since seen a small cycling start-up transition into an established bicycle distribution business that has become one of the most esteemed names in the UK cycling industry.
Named after Blencathra, one of the Lake District's most iconic mountains, Saddleback began in the box room of the Wigmores' small semi-detached house. 12 years on and Saddleback is soon due to move into to a purpose built, 40,000 square foot facility – testament to the company's success and the hard work of its ever expanding team. Meanwhile, the family feel created by Sarah is still as much a core element of the business as it was in 2004.
As Saddleback has honed its position as the number one distributor of elite cycling products, some brands have come and gone, while others have remained close to our company ethos as the business has developed.
Saddleback's first brand was Felt Bicycles, who signed a distribution deal over tea and biscuits in the Wigmores' front room. It was the start of an extremely fruitful 11-year relationship and one that did much to solidify Saddleback's position in the UK market.
While Felt began Saddleback's relationship with elite cycling products, it was area manager Justin Hoy's own elite cycling pedigree that helped secure Saddleback's second brand – Castelli. Just breaking into the UK market upon joining Saddleback in December 2006, this most prestigious Italian cycling clothier has since become one of the biggest, most recognisable cycling brands in the world.
2006 was also the year that Saddleback first got involved with sponsorship of teams, the company creating the Saddleback Felt MTB Race Team – showing the commitment to performance cycling that remains today.
In 2008 Saddleback began its partnership with the Fred Whitton Challenge. The UK's toughest sportive, Saddleback's ongoing support has helped the event raise over £1 million for charity. That year also saw the creation of the Felt Road Race Team while Saddleback became a neutral service provider for the Tour of Britain, lending support to the professional peloton in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
Following a move to larger premises in 2010, ENVE Composites' distribution agreement with Saddleback started off 2011 in style, the proudly US-made carbon wheel experts fitting the high-end bill perfectly. The brand was soon complemented by Chris King, which became our hub-partner for ENVE in March of the same year, allowing our master wheel builder, Aran Large, to create the best road and MTB wheels on the UK market.
Arundel Bicycle Company was another brand to join the Saddleback stable in 2011. Like ENVE, this small-town US brand had made a name for itself by producing no-compromise performance orientated gear – in this case, bottle cages and riding accessories. Used by world-class teams such as Cannondale-Drapac, Arundel's designs are proved in cobbled Classics and Grand Tours.
Stages Cycling joined Saddleback in September 2013, up-ending the power meter market with its simple to use, yet feature-rich designs. Overnight, power measurement was available without the prohibitive price tag. Stages' sponsorship of Team Sky in the following years has only helped to further solidify the brand's position in the UK.
In the same month the following year, Silca joined Saddleback as the Italian-founded brand moved to Indianapolis in the US under new owner Josh Poertner. Peerless in its field, Silca's products embody high-end cycling with their heirloom quality materials – an ideal match for Saddleback's ever-more elite focused portfolio.
2014 also marked the start of Saddleback's partnership with UCI Continental professional team NFTO, which now uses Saddleback brands including Castelli, ENVE, Stages, Astute and Arundel. Two staff members – senior brand manager Richard Mardle and senior area manager Justin Hoy – are also members of the elite squad.
Astute Italia was the first brand to join Saddleback in 2015. A unique company amalgamating traditional Italian artistry with the most modern manufacturing methods, Astute's beautifully made saddles, all 100% made in Italy, set a new standard for low weight comfort and high-end performance.
2015 continued to prove exceptional for Saddleback as a long courtship with Sidi finally came to fruition in September. Undoubtedly the most prestigious name in cycling footwear, many of the sport's greatest riders have chosen to use these most beautiful racing shoes over the last 40 years, with Chris Froome being the latest Sidi-wearing Tour de France champion.
January 2016 saw Rotor Bike Components join our portfolio. The Spanish company's inexhaustible dedication to performance and impressive pro cycling palmarés make Rotor an ideal partner for Saddleback. The brand's continued innovation in chainring, crankset and power meter design makes them one of the sport's most esteemed names.
In the same month, Alchemy Bicycle Co also became part of the Saddleback family. Another made-in-the-USA company with a passion for high-end cycling and obsessive attention to detail, this custom carbon, titanium and stainless steel bike company offers beautifully made bespoke road and MTB frames ready to be built into truly special bicycles.
Armed with a passion to create a more balanced mountain biking and road portfolio, the next coup for Saddleback's brand team came in April when Intense Cycles came aboard. Undoubtedly one of MTB's most prestigious names, the southern Californian brand combines its rich history in the sport with industry-leading design. Intense's latest range of JS-Tuned bikes have received incredible critical response around the world.
Right after the Intense announcement, Saddleback had the opportunity to expand our partnership with Chris King, taking on the brand's headset and bottom bracket ranges in existing to our existing hubs distribution. With this most well-known and respected brand fully on board so soon after Intense, Saddleback was quickly a force to be reckoned with in the MTB world.
Things didn't stop there, however. At the start of September, we announced that Troy Lee Designs would be joining our portfolio from November. Quite simply the most recognisable brand in all of mountain biking, TLD's legendary combination of style, performance and protection makes this prestigious brand a perfect fit for Saddleback.