Former manager of the Spanish football team, Luis Enricocompete in the Cape Epic, the most publicized mountain bike event in the world, with a bike worth around €9,000 and which is also used by the Formula One driver Fernando Alonso and three-time cycling world champion Oscar Freire.
Luis Enrique’s model, a Kenta SL, gained value with his participation in the South African event, the most prestigious organized mountain bike event which concludes on Sunday. It’s a full suspension model that has shined in XCO World Cup events thanks to the MMR Factory Racing Team.
“The Luis Enrique effect has not been reflected in a market reaction. We are grateful that they have chosen our bikes, as with Fernando Alonso or Óscar Freire. Their image has added more value to the brand, it gives it more visibility , but it is not reflected in an increase in sales,” explains Alberto San Martín, General Manager of Sport Lifestyle of Machines Made for Racing (MMR)
“We are suffering the effects of the pandemic, for three years we have had many problems with the delivery of the material to assemble the bicycles. There was a boom in cycling, at the time everything was sold, but now we still haven’t received the ordered orders for two years. There are four suppliers and we’re all asking for material, so they’ve collapsed. The sale has stopped,” he explained in an interview with the Efe news agency.
The Asturian brand MMR had a turnover of 21 million euros in 2022, a figure that makes it the sixth powerhouse in the sector in Spain. However, the company, like the industry, is still in the throes of a recovery phase after the pandemic. In previous years, the aforementioned brand had revenues of 16 million in 2021 and another four million the following year.
San Martín is a businessman who is passionate about cycling and comes from a small family construction company where he has worked for 20 years and has 35 employees on the payroll. Of the turnover, 30 percent comes from exports to countries such as the Czech Republic, Benelux, Costa Rica, Italy, Puerto Rico and Chile.
“Sales are not proceeding, we have gone from selling everything to selling nothing, there are more bikes than demand, which forces us to follow a policy of discounts. People prioritize basic needs, such as food, electricity, gas, before free time,” San Martín told EFE news agency.
“The secret, quality bikes at a good price”
“The bikes we make are a high quality product at a good price. We work with aluminum and carbon frames, electric and gravel bikes, a mode that is getting a lot of traction, so we will be releasing a carbon model in April.” explained the manager, on the price of bicycles ranging from 3,500 euros to 8,300.
The bikes are assembled in Avilés, the company’s headquarters, while the frame and components come from Asia, mainly Taiwan, Japan and China. Then they are painted in Portugal, “in the most important factory in Europe”, which offers you “flexibility with the colors and in the delivery of the products”.
The director of engineering is the former professional José Luis “Chechu” Rubiera, who for years has contributed “his proven experience to the group and transfers his knowledge to the projects”. For his part, the 2008 Beijing Olympic champion, Samuel Sánchez, contributes his work as a global ambassador for the company.
Well-known Asturian personalities such as Fernando Alonso or Luis Enrique use the brand’s bicycles, as do rally driver Carlos Sainz or three-time cycling world champion Óscar Freire.
Asturian bicycles are currently used by the women’s MMR Mountain Bike team which competes in the World Cup and by the Caja Rural Seguros RGA professional team, which uses two models: the Adrenaline SL, which is ideal for climbing, and the Adrenaline Aero, which to speed and sprint.
By Carlos de Torres, EFE news agency
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.