Bristol bike maintenance biz grows US exports 250%

Tru Tension, a Bristol-based bike part manufacturer, has established itself in the US market with its range of maintenance solutions for bicycles, motorcycles, and karts.

Tru Tension was established by Chris Frappell in 2015 after he developed the Chain Monkey. This is a chain tension tool that bolts onto a chain and induces an arc into the chain. The company has since featured on Dragons Den in 2018 and expects to generate sales of £20m over the next five years.

Since 2016, the company has received support from the Department for International Trade (DIT) including grants to participate in overseas trade shows and has attended workshops focused on how to get into the US market. Exports now accounts for 25% of total sales after a growth of 250% in online sales in the last year to the US.

Chris Frappell, Founder of Tru Tension said: “DIT has supported us hugely during our export journey to the US. They provided us with a couple of grants to help us get the brand going in the US. Without these there would be no chance we’d be in the position we are now.

“If you’ve got questions about export its very easy to pick up the phone to DIT and get the information you need.”

“Export as quickly as possible. Domestic is great, but the international market is the slower burning but potentially more profitable side of the business. You can get big orders a few times a year with international trade which can really help your company grow.”

Paul Shand, Head of Trade for DIT in the South West said: “Tru Tension’s success in the US demonstrates the strong demand for high-quality UK good overseas, and it’s great to see them thriving and helping consumers over the world connect with nature during a challenging time.

“Trade will play an important role in getting our economy back on track and Wildlife World is a great example of how companies can look to lucrative overseas markets to boost their sales whilst creating more jobs.”