Rumours are abound on the internet that Wiggle is set to buy its biggest competitor, Chain Reaction Cycles

Cycling industry website BikeBiz is reporting that online retailer Wiggle is set to buy its biggest rival, Chain Reaction Cycles, but will a deal go through?

Wiggle, founded in 1999, is owned by Bridgeport Capital, which bought the Portsmouth-based company for £180m in 2011. In 2014 Wiggle’s sales soared by 19 per cent to £168m and in 2015 it moved its warehouse operation from the South Coast to Wolverhampton.

Chain Reaction, meanwhile, has a much longer history, growing from a small bike shop – then named Ballynure Cycles – in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland, which formed in 1989. Since 1998 it has been known as Chain Reaction Cycles, with the website launched the following year.

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According to BikeBiz, almost 40 per cent of Chain Reaction’s sales come from outside the EU, including Australia and America. In the past few years, Wiggle has already launched websites in 11 different countries as it looks to expand its business, so the potential acquisition would strengthen Wiggle’s position worldwide.

Both Wiggle and Chain Reaction declined to comment on the speculation when contacted by Cycling Weekly.

Amendment: This article previously stated that Wiggle was founded in 2009, which is not the case. The company took the name Wiggle in 1999 but traces its history back to the 1920s with the Butler Bikes store in Portsmouth.

  • Gary Jogela

    Oh no, I like chain reaction a lot.please don’t let it happen someone!

  • Mungo Butterworth

    I can see this happening. There is an awful lot of money to be made in cycling these days. The executive set have realised that the health benefits to playing golf and tw@ing around the 19th hole are slim. Cycling is where it’s at and retailing over priced clothing, merchandise, as well as Taiwanese manufactured carbon frames at 5 – 10 times the importation cost is good business.

  • Chris Broome

    Wiggle currently compete against Chain reaction for business, if they buy CR then there is there will be no major competition against Wiggle and they can and probably charge what they want. It should not be allowed to go through.

  • barraob1

    I hope not, I use both and can get free delivery from chain reaction cycle’s, they also deliver to Dublin within a day if I order early. Wiggle can take 6 days from ordering to receive goods.

  • Andy

    Pity, They’ll be like Amazon soon. I like the small shops that used to be in ‘ cycling weekly’ yonks ago.