Major investments, an acquisition and a rebrand announced by e-bike producer
LEADER 96 returns to EUROBIKE 2022
Eurobike presented a unique opportunity for Leader to present the company’s rebranded look, as well as the modern collection of e-bikes that its R&D specialists have developed. The spectacular design of the 120 sqm booth area with an integrated track and illuminated platforms certainly attracted the eyes of visitors.
Major investment project
Two major projects were highlighted at the exhibition. Firstly, the company unveiled its latest investment project of a new 25,000 sqm factory for high-end e-bikes, with integrated eco-systems and a staff complement of 300. The facility is preparing to open early next year, promising a one-of-a-kind process organisation model ensuring lean, agile, and cost-effective workflow. With no operational stock and fully integrated Quality Assessment, the factory will be highly progressive in terms of supporting the operators, leading to a production capacity of over 250,000 e-bikes per year.
Acquisition of Leader 96
The second major project came directly from the business world. In July, global asset management firm, The Rohatyn Group, announced that it had completed the acquisition of e-bike producer Leader 96 from KJK Capital, establishing a partnership with Dimitar Zlatanov, the company’s CEO and member of the founding family. The ownership will allow Leader to rapidly accelerate its e-bike production and broaden its product offering to address burgeoning demand from customers across Europe.
Founded in 2002, The Rohatyn Group is focused on emerging markets and real assets, headquartered in New York, with a global presence in the US, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, India, and southeast Asia.
The WILD collection
According to a ZIV Market Report for trends in 2022, the e-MTBs are reaching 83% of the total sales of mountain bikes, exceeding (by 4.8 times) the number of the regular MTBs. Lower suspension, bigger tyres, cables integrated into the cockpit, and upgraded frame geometry are the features of 2022 – not exactly revolutionary but aim at a balance between quality of ride, a neat aerodynamic look, and fun!
The WILD collection is a highlight of this year’s MTB portfolio of Leader. Full suspension or hard tail, male or female-oriented geometry of frame, and a variety of speed options, the WILD models are unyielding in comfort and quality of design. With WILD HT10, one can easily achieve the desired work-life balance we are all striving for. It is perfect for commuting, and for up-the-hill or offroad fun. Unisex, ergonomic, and finely equipped for excellent performance. Assisted by a smooth mid-motor and lasting 13 batteries neatly integrated into the downtube, the model is multifunctional and appropriate for any type of ride.
No matter how rugged the road gets, WILD FULLY 10 is reliant and empowering. This original model is part of the new collection, which is developed to deliver an impeccable e-performance and high riding value. The amazing geometry of the frame is combined with SR Suntour fork, XCR 34 Boost travel and air shock, perfectly tuned to fit in a perfect composition. The e-bike is equipped with a Shimano Deore 10-speed system, widely tested and customer approved, while the Shimano hydraulic brakes ensure seamless control and poise on the road.
The City/Trekking collection, which represents the basic strength of the company, is further enriched this year with both more advanced and more economic models. The various frame designs range from classic to modern, popular, and authentic. The speed systems are offered from 7 to 11 speeds and batteries from 400 to 500Wh. A variety of handlebars, stems and forks are present as a final touch to the collection to attract the eye of the eager consumer.
URBAN series is 3in1 – innovative decision, reliable system, and smart assist. It presents a variety of e-bike models, all with excellent tech features and exquisite design. URBAN 8L model for ladies and URBAN 8H for men are the ultimate partners around the city. The 28” aluminium frame is carefully selected and combined with Zoom 860S fork to provide steadiness and comfort. Low step-through design help ease of mounting and dismounting. The mid-motor offers excellent assistance, and the Power Tube battery 13Ah 468Wh is exactly the solution for a stress-free urban ride. Shimano Acera 8 gears and the hydraulic Shimano brakes offer consistent optimisation and stopping power.
E-bike producer in Bulgaria
Founded in 1996, Leader 96 has over a quarter of century of experience in the production and distribution of bicycles, at present fully focused on e-bikes. The company continuously invests in production and warehouse facilities, totalling over 40,000 sqm, including a painting shop, wheel production, engineering, internal bicycle testing laboratory and training centre. Based near Plovdiv, the second biggest city in Bulgaria, and with the motorway only a few kilometres away, the factory is an impressive facility and a busy logistic centre.
With nine production lines, the factory capacity has reached 250,000 e-bikes per year, all according to European Quality Standards. Approximately 99% of the production is exported to Europe (Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, and others).