Two hundred and eleven, two-eleven…. No. It’s To Eleven, in numbers in written text and in English when spoken. A play on numbers and words for a reference that is close to our hearts, the mythical and eccentric fake documentary film « Spinal Tap ».

Why? We could be embarrassed but we’re not because in the midst of searching for a name for the company, we watched the film again just before parking our vehicle in an underground parking space, numbered 211. This may seem completely farfetched to you, but for us it makes complete sense and is nothing to do with the fact that you can ride bikes with 2 chain rings and 11 gears!

To Eleven is an analogy to that scene from the movie Spinal Tap, this compulsion to always want to go beyond the limit, to do a bit more than the established and referent 10.

So there you go, now you know. We will always do a bit more in terms of customer service, imagination, kindness and more with our products because that is how we are, and because it serves you. A bit more yes, but never too much.

… to eleven, it’s one louder !

THE BUSINESS

After 15 years working in various sectors – for the most curious amongst you, you can find out more on Linkedin – JP decided to give more meaning to his professional activity.

The cycling escapes of his childhood would guide his choices. A bike is the tool of freedom, the instrument of the most beautiful adventures and would therefore be at the centre of this new project.

Created in September 2015, 2-11 is a business dedicated to bikes as well as a consulting and coaching activity for VSE / SME managers.

We are a distributor for brands René Herse, Silca and Redshift Sport whilst simultaneously developing our 2-11 bikes, which is probably the reason for your coming to this site.

After a lot of work and many meetings, we have built a sustainable business, selected and / or designed products but also invested in our own model, based on the values ​​that drive us every day:

  • The humane
  • Economic independence
  • Frugality
  • Ecology
  • Pragmatism (Keep It Stupid Simple)

We are telling you all of this because it seems to us that some of you will be as sensitive as we are to knowing who you are buying from.

THE HUMANE

Entrepreneurship is a pretext. It’s the best way we have found to experience beautiful, intense, rich encounters. To be an entrepreneur is to choose: partners, suppliers, sometimes customers. Choose them for who they are and not just for what they do or don’t do. It’s about trusting people.

From the very beginning, the 2-11Cycles adventure has been a beautiful one, it has borne wonderful collaborations; fair, fruitful, honest and lasting. It is the same with our customers, whose satisfaction is our top priority. CUSTOMER SERVICE is probably what sets us apart the most. It is our greatest success.

ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE

The company was created with a share capital of 1000 euros in 2015 and has never taken out a single loan. We self-finance our growth and our inventory. We pay all of our suppliers upfront. Of course, this choice has consequences, which we prefer to see as opportunities such as developing operational methods, being clever and daring and measuring risks.

This is the price of our freedom, the price of our flexibility and agility. We can say no whenever we want and we can run our business without constraints or pressures. The company has been profitable and has been paying taxes since its first financial year.

FRUGAL

With us there are no oversized premises, no superfluous technology, no unnecessary machines or triplicate tools.  We reason in terms of needs above all and opted for a holistic vision of the company by planning our logistics right from the very start.

Our workshop-office is less than 20m2 and houses all of our consulting, distribution and bike branding activities.  We also have a 30m2 unit for surplus stock.This requires organisation and rigour, but it is more than enough space to deal with everything and even provides room for development.

Frugality is also a key to economic independence and is, of course, intimately linked to ecology.

ECOLOGY

How do you do your bit in a society that has used the word so much, in a bike industry that mixes environment and “Made in France”, with competitors who lie by omission, who hide, or even regulations that enable all of this.

What is ecology? How can we adopt conscientious and relevant methods and practices? How can a brand that has its products manufactured abroad highlight its low environmental impact?

Greenwashing?

We will try to keep it simple, or maybe not. In any case, we will tell you everything!

Our business is an economic activity, managed by one or more individuals. The environmental impact of the company therefore absolutely cannot be disassociated from the environmental footprint of these individuals in question.

JP has always been sensitive to the environment, particularly our every day environment. So much so that he quickly oriented his professional activities and his personal convictions in directions allowing him to act on the 3 most important points when it comes to environmental impact, namely transport, food and construction.

Far from big talk and above all far from wait-and-see behaviour, we are fervent defenders of personal and local action.

All our experiences and skills have been used in the implementation of the solutions and practices described below:

• The building that houses the workshop is also the main residence of its manager. No home-to-work trips. No intermittent occupancy of the premises.

• The building is constructed from bio-sourced and / or recyclable materials, in line with the passive house energy concept and therefore consumes less than 15Kwh / year / m2 (in this case 10Kwh / year / m2 despite being located in the Auvergne, at an  altitude of 820m).

• We travel little, or not at all to the trade shows. Meaning fewer kilometres, less CO2, less fatigue and more time to respond individually to clients and work on their projects.

• We do not use air travel; we have a partner in Taiwan who manages our activities there.

• We eat a vegetarian diet by choice (environment & health) and beliefs (no animal suffering). 30% of the vegetables consumed year round are produced directly on site. The rest is sourced from local organic and market gardeners.

• All of our Taiwanese products are concentrated within a 1.5 hour radius. Raw materials, tube manufacturing, frame-welding, phosphate and cataphoresis treatments, painting and packaging follow one after another in a flexible way, with a focus on limiting the transport of low added-value products.

• We currently transport the frame kits from Taiwan to France by air (series of 30 to 50 pieces packaged in the format of 4 frame kits / cardboard box) by utilising free space in the holds of airliners. A projected activity of 100 bikes per year should allow us to switch to maritime transport.

• We sort and recycle all packaging and waste related to the company’s activity. Faced with the absurd amount of packaging used by the cycle industry, this represents one or two visits to the recycling centre per week for the depositing of plastics and cardboard.

OK, BUT WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

Well firstly, it is above all the concrete expression of a state of mind, of an effort made on a personal and professional level, of a commitment to always do one’s best. In real terms, these measures result in a lowering of the company’s carbon footprint. Our experience in life cycle analytics ( past collaborations with Jean-Marc Jancovici) shows that beyond the anecdotal appearances that all these actions can have for the uninitiated, these choices and these measures are more positive for our carbon footprint than if we had chosen to produce our frames in France.

Made in France ?

Legally speaking, 2-11Cycles could display “Made in France” on its bikes. The regulations in force allow this, due to the added value brought to the finished product in France. We choose not to exploit this possibility. Firstly, because we are proud to have chosen Taiwan and its advanced know-how in the cycle industry and secondly because it looks very close to deception.

To refuse to give in to this marketing trend is to take responsibility for our choices and to accept the fact that the industry in which we operate is somewhat schizophrenic on the subject.

To build a complete bike takes more than just 8 tubes. It is a complex assembly of dozens of components, the vast majority of which are produced outside France, outside Europe or for which at least the raw materials are often supplied in Asia. The same is true of many of the specialist tools involved in the welding, assembly or building of our bikes.

Putting “Made in France” without any other detail or explanation seems risky to say the least and we want to believe that our discerning customers are informing themselves beyond these simple ready-made formulas. Our commitment to the planet is unequivocal and effective, our commitment to France translates into tax-generating activity. Choosing 2-11Cycles means choosing to support a company on a human scale: responsible and civic.

Keep it stupid simple

PRAGMATISM

It’s a hell of a dirty word, right? In a profession where there are dreams, adventure and passion, this is an expression that any marketer would like to do away with.

At 2-11Cycles, we cultivate pragmatism and offer you sustainable bikes; durable in their aesthetics, in their functions and easy to maintain. We test 100% of products before marketing them.

Pragmatism led us to Taiwan, the island of cycling where everything is organised to enable flawless quality and great reproducibility.

Pragmatism makes us choose the best suppliers rather than the nicest sticker. Our engineering background allows us to distinguish the essential from the superfluous, the useful from the accessory. We always favour function over form, and remain convinced that an object that works and performs correctly is necessarily aesthetically harmonious.

For our 2-11Cycles frame kits, we have retained a few working rules:

  • The right material in the right place (the right grade of steel, the right thickness, the right treatment, etc.).
  • Flawless corrosion protection (phosphate treatment + cataphoresis).
  • No internal routing except for the electrical wiring (easier to assemble, easier to maintain, lighter, less risk of allowing external agents to enter the frame).
  • No exotic or proprietary standards (a modification or an evolution must be relevant to you the user, otherwise we don’t implement it).
  • Production in small series of 10 to 50 pieces and availability visible on our online store www.2-11cycles.fr
  • Short delivery times; one week for our complete bike models, four to five weeks for tailor-made assemblies, including custom painting.
  • These guidelines allow us to offer you simple bikes, designed as tools or instruments, ready to post your best time or build your greatest adventure.

Our bikes are the best combination of versatility, performance and comfort. They will take you far and wide, sometimes quickly, but that’s up to you!

If you’ve made it this far but still have some unanswered questions, we’re always happy to talk face-to-face or over the phone, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.