Amazon of Europe Bike Trail AoE Bike Trail
Amazon of Europe Bike Trail is a Danube Transnational Programme Project that joins the efforts of 5 countries (Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia) to establish an internationally recognized and sustainable flagship Cycling Tourism Product in the future 5-country UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube (TBR MDD).
The aim of the Project is Sustainable Economic Development of the region, based on Valorisation of Natural and Cultural Resources. We will implement a joint Integrated Solution for Sustainable Cycling Tourism, while preserving the Environment.
AoE Bike Trail Partnership:
© Zarja Šinkovec
To develop Amazon of Europe Bike Trail as a flagship Sustainable Tourism product and Unique Brand, the Project Partnership will firstly establish the Organisational and Information System, resulting in a joint Bookable Product with clear Unique Selling Proposition of incredible Riverine Landscapes. Based on Nature-oriented Visitor Guidance, existing Cycling Routes will be equipped with commonly designed Infrastructure (resting areas, info points), resulting in more than 1000 km of a joint Bike Trail along both sides of the rivers Mura, Drava and Danube.
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© Zarja Šinkovec
- Start date
- End date
- Budget in Euro
- Overall: 3176000
- ERDF Contribution: 2470100
- IPA Contribution: 229500
- ENI Contribution: 0
- Call number
- Call 2
- Environment and culture responsible Danube region
- Specific objective
- Foster sustainable use of natural and cultural heritage and resources
As demand for bikes surged, Amazon got in the way
After leaving his job in global business development at Amazon, Aaron Kerson used his knowledge of the platform’s sales algorithms to power up his new business. Pacific Northwest Components, launched in 2015 with his wife Emily, slowly became a success, selling handlebars, levers, and other mountain bike parts. But when the pandemic hit and a global shortage battered the bike industry, Kerson realized one company was causing a lot of problems: Amazon.
Now Kerson’s company is part of a slew of businesses turning their backs on Amazon and removing their products from the platform’s marketplace. In the last two years, brands like Nike, Ikea, and Birkenstock have pulled their merchandise, citing frustration with business practices, counterfeit products, and lack of access to customer data.
“Is this worth it?” Kerson kept asking himself as he decided how much of PNW’s limited stock to list on Amazon. The responsibility of running a small business had been getting to him: “The multitude of scariness just keeps getting bigger.” But he had to change something.
In June, Kerson removed all of PNW Components’ products from Amazon. He wanted to reallocate the inventory to independent bike shops in an effort to save an industry shell-shocked by the effects of the pandemic. It would mean that 20-30 percent of PNW’s sales would disappear overnight. But there were upsides to leaving Amazon, too; PNW would regain direct control of customer service and returns, much of which was ceded to Amazon.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected supply chains everywhere. By the end of March 2020, there was a global shortage of bikes and bike parts, while demand surged. Most bike manufacturing is based in Asia, and as the pandemic wore on, PNW parts that used to take 45 days to ship from Taiwan took up to 200 days to arrive. By the start of 2021, Kerson heard of bike shops on the brink of closing down due to such high demand and low inventory. Pulling his products from Amazon, he thought, could help those independent bike shops — and rid PNW of an ongoing frustration.
Amazon had been posing serious customer service problems for PNW.Shopping for bike parts is complex, Kerson says, because choosing the right item depends on specifics about the customer and their bike. Amazon offers no way to provide that kind of expertise, so the rate of returns is high.
Return fraud was a constant issue for PNW, too. Kerson says he had hundreds of fake items returned to him via Amazon. He’s opened boxes containing steel pipes, a Mr. Coffee coffeemaker, a high-end faucet, and once, a child’s Superman costume.
Another headache was maintaining participation in Seller Fulfilled Prime, an Amazon program where sellers ship products directly on a speedy timeline, rather than using Amazon’s warehouses. The pace was unsustainable.
“You need to ship out products the same day. You have to do that at a 99 percent success rate. You can’t have too many returns,” says Andrew Marshall, who handles PNW’s operations and finance. PNW ended up selling some products where more than half the sale price went to shipping, even before Amazon had taken its commission.
“For anyone who is a small or medium-sized business, it’s physically impossible, or unprofitable, to be doing all-week nationwide delivery,’ says Juozas Kaziukėnas, founder of e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse. “Amazon has effectively killed Seller-Fulfilled Prime.”
The alternative is to use Amazon’s in-house service, Fulfilled By Amazon. But that requires small businesses to cede control, selling wholesale to the company or using Amazon’s fulfillment centers and delivery systems.
PNW wasn’t the only business growing tired of Amazon.Kerson and his team asked buyers at every retailer who stocks PNW parts to remove them from their Amazon stores too, so that everyone involved could maximize their profits and not undercut each other.
“We set up these calls and we were not expecting them to go very well,” says Marshall, “As soon as we started talking about it the buyers were really excited.”
Turns out, Amazon wasn’t working for these bigger bike retailers either. “The only reason they were on Amazon was because they had to be, to compete to sell that product,” says Marshall, “They were also losing money on low-dollar items, but they were taking the hit just to get a chance to connect with that customer.” Some sellers were putting slips of paper in with low-value items, asking customers to buy directly from the store next time.
Unlike struggling bike shops, Amazon’s profits skyrocketed during the pandemic. The company’s annual revenue hit $386 billion in 2020, up 38 percent from the previous year.
These problems aren’t unique to the bike industry. Kerson is part of a growing movement of small-scale sellers frustrated with Amazon.
Sarah Ford, a former US Marine, pulled her Texas-based luxury boot brand, Ranch Road Boots, off Amazon in 2019. “I looked at Amazon as the world’s biggest mall. And I just wanted to get my boots on as many people’s feet as possible,” she said.
Ford quickly faced challenges after starting on Amazon in 2016. She had underestimated the additional costs of succeeding on the platform, like buying paid advertising to ensure customers found her products. This was on top of the commission Amazon took on every sale.
Amazon accounted for 50 percent of Ford’s sales when she pulled her boots from the platform.
“It took a couple of years to get that revenue back on our side. But I have zero regrets,” Ford said.
Kerson and Marshall hope PNW will be in a similar position soon. However, as Marshall points out, PNW could only make the decision to leave Amazon because they’d grown their business there in the first place. For small businesses just starting out, ignoring the platform might not be an option.
“A lot of the smaller brands are really forced into using Amazon,” says Marshall. “If they want to grow their brand, there’s really not any alternative.”
Since they left Amazon, PNW’s returns have already dropped, Kerson says, and sales from their website have increased. They’re selling fewer low-dollar items, but they’re optimistic they will regain lost revenue. More bike shops have asked to stock their items.
Kerson doesn’t shop on Amazon himself anymore. But from the windows of his house in Seattle, he can see their delivery vans coming and going, all day long.
Correction August 23rd, 3PM ET: Pacific Northwest Components was started in 2015, not 2017 as initially stated. 2017 is when Kerson began working on PNW full time.
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Amazon encourages employees to bike to work—with a new perk
We’ve long believed in the benefits of downtown offices for our employees, creating dense and connected urban campuses rather than isolated office parks in the suburbs. This approach helps us recruit great talent and stitch ourselves into the local community with projects like Mary’s Place and our Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund.
This was our strategy more than 10 years ago when we started planning our growth in Seattle’s South Lake Union. Now it’s the path we’re implementing in Bellevue, Washington; Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee—some of our fastest-growing corporate locations in the U.S.
One of the often overlooked benefits of this approach is sustainability. Employees can use public transportation to get to the office, and if they live nearby, they can walk or bike. In Seattle, more than 20% of our employees walk or bike to work and another 50% use public transportation or carpooling options—and we provide free transit passes to all employees.
As our teams get ready to gradually return to the office, we’re launching a new commuter benefit for our corporate employees in the U.S. to encourage green mobility: Amazon will pay for their bike costs.
“We are looking forward to welcoming our employees back to our offices and want to encourage them to rethink the way they get to and from work, so we’re creating new incentives to pick a greener way to commute—even if it is just one to two days a week,” said John Schoettler, vice president of Global Real Estate and Facilities. “Reducing our carbon footprint is a multifaceted effort that includes building urban and well-connected campuses, designing buildings that use renewable energy, and making it easy for employees to choose public transportation over their single-occupancy vehicles.”
Amazon employees who bike to work will receive a subsidy to cover associated costs, including:
- Bike leases: Employees can lease a take-home bike, including e-bikes, for a monthly fee eligible for reimbursement.
- Bike share: Employees can expense costs for dockless or docked short-term, app-based rental bicycles.
- Maintenance: Employees can take advantage of two complimentary tune-ups each calendar year.
- Bike parking: Employees can access bike parking at public transit facilities or offices without Amazon bike cages.
These bike benefits are available to all employees who haven’t signed up for ongoing parking in an Amazon parking garage. The new monthly bike subsidy ranges from city to city to correspond with local parking costs, which can be up to $400.
In addition to offering bike cages for employees to store their bikes, most of Amazon’s corporate offices also have showers for bikers to get ready at work.
“Cascade Bicycle Club salutes Amazon for providing its employees with an incentive to pedal rather than drive,” said Tamara Kim Schmautz, board president of Cascade Bicycle Club. “Transportation is the leading source of carbon emissions in Seattle and nationwide, so we encourage more employers to do the same as we all work to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, alleviate traffic congestion, as well as boost health and wellness.”
Amazon Prime Day cycling deals
Amazon Prime Day is an annual sale event across all global iterations of Amazon, the worlds largest online retailer. It's actually two days long, and while it typically takes place in July, the past two years have gone a little rogue. The 2020 event took place in October, and Prime Day 2021 was held in June.
The purpose of Cyclingnews' Amazon Prime Day cycling deals roundup is to collate the best deals (for cyclists, of course) available at Amazon in the lead-up and throughout the event, and rest assured, we only ever share deals that we would be happy to buy ourselves.
We pick out any genuinely good deals that help our readers save money on their purchases. We also highlight deals to avoid, and where you can find the same product at a better price.
Prime Day 2021 was held on the 21st and 22nd of June, so it has now come to a close, but it's not long to wait until the next big sale event. We can always count on Black Friday, scheduled for the end of November for discounts, and we'll be bringing you all of the best Black Friday deals then. Of course, if you can't wait that long, then we've compiled all of today's best deals in our roundup of cycling deals.
If you scroll down, you'll also find links to our category-specific deals roundups where we cover things such as Garmin deals, the best ways to get a cheapest Zwift setup and more.
The one - minor - caveat to Amazon Prime Day is that to get the best deals, you'll need to be signed up to Amazon Prime. There are a host of benefits for doing so (music, streaming, free delivery etc), but at £7.99 / $12.99 per month, it's only good value if you're going to use them. Luckily, for first-timers, Amazon also offers a free trial period, which will enable you to take advantage of the Amazon Prime Day cycling deals... just remember to cancel your trial before you're charged!
When is Amazon Prime Day 2022?
Of course, Amazon Prime Day cycling deals only appear when Prime Day is near, but that's not to say you need to wait another year. The Amazon Prime Day 2022 date is yet to be announced by Amazon but going by previous (non-COVID-affected) years, the likelihood is that Prime Day 2022 will run over two days during the middle of July.
However, there are rumours of a second Prime Day in October, as reported by T3, and then Black Friday will quickly be upon us, followed by the Boxing Day sales and then the January sales will have you covered between now and then, as well as our various deals roundups.
Want to find deals for yourself?
What were the best deals during Amazon Prime Day 2021?
GoPro HERO8 Black Bundle | 20% off
Was $349.99 | Deal price $279.00
The Hero8 is the former flagship camera from GoPro and it's still a truly brilliant action camera. As part of this deal, it came with a head mount, a 'shorty' tripod/handle, a spare battery and a memory card. View Deal
Garmin Instinct Esports Edition | 40% off
Was $299.99 | Deal price $179.99
A smartwatch designed for e-sports competitors, this device is originally for gaming enthusiasts, but it caters to cycling's esports brand of indoor racers, thanks to its ability to measure heart rate and advanced sleep metrics to quantify stress and maximise your recovery. View Deal
Smith Optics Attack Max ChromaPop Sunglasses | 42% off
Was $259.00 | Deal price $149.95
Cycling sunglasses and both fashion and function. They protect your eyes from the sun and wind, help you see, and they have to look great too. The Smith Attack Max ChromaPop look great and it's easy to swap to the included second lens for different lighting conditions.View Deal
Garmin Edge 130 Plus | 30% off
Was $199.99 | Deal price $139.99
The Edge 130 Plus is a high-powered, feature-packed cycling computer in an extremely diminutive package. Measuring just 41mm x 63mm x 16mm and weighing just 33 grams, it's a great choice for anyone looking for data but with an uncluttered handlebar.
Read our Garmin Edge 130 Plus review for moreView Deal
Garmin HRM Dual | 23% off
Was $69.99 | Deal price $53.95
With a battery that lasts up to 3.5 years, the HRM dual will take you through multiple years of training, both indoors and out. It runs using both ANT+ and Bluetooth, so you don't need an ANT+ connector for your Zwifting needs.
This price actually brought it below that of the latest Wahoo Tickr, making it a super-popular deal.View Deal
On-Guard 8001 Brute | 30% off
Was $74.95 | Deal price $52.37
The On-Guard 9001 Brute might weigh more than 2kg, but with its hardened steel shackle measuring 16.8mm thick, it's Brute by name and brute by nature. At 20.2cm x 11.5cm in size, it's plenty small enough to mount to your frame on the accompanying mount, or it can fit into your rucksack with ease. View Deal
Schwinn Skip 2 kids balance bike | 39% off
Was $79.99 | Deal price $48.99
With its 12in wheels, the Schwinn Skip 2 is the perfect first-time bike for boys and girls alike. They also feature adjustable saddle height to help with growing little ones. View Deal
Delta Cycle Leonardo Da Vinci single bike rack | 60% off
Was $27.27 | Deal price $10.75
Once fixed to a wall, this one-bike storage rack holds your bike aloft securely by encasing one of the wheels. It's fitted with rubber at the necessary contact point to prevent scratching, and it can store bikes up to 40lb in weight. View Deal
Finish Line E-Bike Chain Lube 4oz | 35% off
Was $11.99 | Deal price $7.78
Designed for the extra stress and strain that goes through an e-bike chain, the e-bike specific lube is a must-have for e-bike riders. This 4oz bottle is enough to last months - perhaps even years, depending on use. It was given a very handsome discount in the 2021 Amazon Prime Day cycling sales. View Deal
Huge deals on Gore cycling clothing | Up to 64% off
With a range of technical clothing covering all four seasons, Gore's clothing is considered some of the very best, and its technology is often licensed by other brands, which proves its credentials.
As part of the Amazon Prime Day cycling deals, Amazon slashed a host of Gore's running and cycling gear by up to 64%.View Deal
Apple AirPods Pro | 24% off
Was $249.00 | Deal price £189.99
If you want music whilst you ride, then the AirPods Pro are some of the best earphones for the job. With their ability to block out ambient sound, you can truly lose yourself in your Zwift workout. Or you can allow even more traffic noise in, should you ride with one earphone on the road. View Deal
Schwinn Balance kids balance bike | 31% off
Was £89.99 | Deal price £61.99
Ths Schwinn Balance bike is available in four colours - green, pink, blue and red. All four come with 12in wheels, a height-adjustable saddle, a padded handlebar and cushioned grips, as well as a wide footbed for confident cruisers. View Deal
Blink Outdoor wireless security camera | 45% off
Was £99.99 | Deal price £54.99
The Blink Outdoor wireless camera works in a very similar way to the indoor camera, but with an IP65 waterproof rating. What that means is you can keep an eye on your bikes, shed, garage or your home at all times, from anywhere in the world. You can speak through the camera via the app, and switch on motion alerts at set times. View Deal
Gore Wear C5 Opti+ Men's bib shorts | 50% off at Amazon
Was £99.99 | Deal price £49.52
These road-ready bib shorts are made for use in all conditions. They are fast-wicking to help with temperature management on hard days, but feature front-facing windproof panels to aid warmth when the temperature drops. View Deal
Gore Wear Men's C5 Jersey | 51% off at Amazon
Was £89.99 | Deal price £44.32
This C5 jersey is designed with road cyclists in mind. It features a skin tight aerodynamic cut, a slightly dropped rear for increased comfort when in a forward road position, and the just-above-the-elbow sleeves are on trend with the contemporary fashion preferences. The three rear pockets are accompanied by a fourth zippered pocket for valuables, and the full-length zip is cam-locked for easy one-handed use.View Deal
Muc-Off Ultimate Bicycle Cleaning Kit | 37% off
Was £54.00 | Deal price £34.13
In our guide explaining how to clean you bike, one of the most important pieces of advice was to ensure all the necessary tools, cloths and sprays are in one place so you don't waste time looking for it all. This kit from Muc Off solves that issue entirely, giving you a host of new cleaning products as well as a place to store them. View Deal
On-Guard 8001 Brute | 32% off
Was £41.99 | Deal price £28.07
With a hardened steel shackle measuring 16.8mm thick, this 2kg lock is Brute by name and brute by nature. It measures 20.2cm x 11.5cm, making it small enough to mount to your frame - mount included - or fit into a rucksack with ease. View Deal
CooSpo Heart Rate Monitor | 48% off at Amazon
Was £39.99 | Deal price £20.79
One of the best priced heart rate monitors we've come across, this option from CooSpo can connect via either Bluetooth or ANT+. It has a battery life of 300 hours, which is comparable to the best heart rate monitors available. View Deal
SealSkinz Unisex Waterproof All Weather Lightweight gloves | 50% off at Amazon
Was £35.00 | Deal price £17.36
Covering all bases imaginable, these gloves are suitable for men and women, and can be worn in all weathers at all times of day. They are 100 per cent windproof and waterproof, they feature a grippy PU palm, and their lightweight bulk-free design means you retain complete control of your bike. View Deal
Muc Off Nano-Tech bike cleaner 5L | 60% off
Was £34.37 | Deal price £13.83
A fully biodegradable formula complete with Muc Off's Nano technology, which is designed to break down dirt more quickly. This bike cleaning fluid comes in a 5L bottle, which can then be decanted into smaller reusable spray bottles. View Deal
Deals from everywhere else
Here at Cyclingnews, we're dedicated to providing you, our readers, with the best buying advice when it comes to bikes, cycling clothing, components, and accessories. Around annual events like Prime Day and Black Friday, we compile the best deals available so that once you've decided on your purchase, you can also find the best price.
However, you don't need to wait until big sale events to get great deals on cycling tech, we have a range of pages dedicated to providing you with great prices on great products.
For a broad-ranging roundup, our cycling deals guide is regularly updated with deals on everything related to two wheels. However, if you know what you're looking to buy, the following guides go into more detail on specific categories:
Alternatively, if you've got a voucher to spend, or you simply want to check out the best deals from a specific retailer, check out our retailer-specific guides:
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