Former Marine combats injury and starts bike business
Former Royal Marine, Steve McCulley was injured whilst on foot patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan but, during his two years of medical rehabilitation, he turned his love of cycle racing with the Royal Navy into a new career.
In 2011, Major Steve McCulley was commanding 175 men in Afghanistan when he was struck by an IED. Serious injuries meant he spent three weeks in a coma and then three years at the rehabilitation centre. Steve knew his injuries meant the end of his life as a soldier – and also of his passion for competing in cycling tournaments. So he decided to do the next best thing and put his energy into a bike business, LIOS Bikes.
Steve’s business aim involved a bespoke bike fitting service coupled with a personalised customer relationship. There are other companies that provide bike fittings but Steve offers a service for people who appreciate quality but may not have the time or experience to purchase or build their own bike. His workshop/office within the Fareham Innovation Centre includes elements of the LIOS’ sales process, offering an excellent shop window, as well as facilities for customers to be tested and bespoke fitted.
LIOS was the first business to take residency at the award-wining £5.3m Fareham Innovation Centre, which has 15 workshops and 24 offices.
Being situated in the south coast’s first Enterprise Zone has meant that LIOS benefits from a 100% business rate discount for five years, which is appreciated by start-ups, such as LIOS. Steve has benefited significantly from access to business advice and coaching from the centre’s on-site Incubation Director. LIOS continues to grow a very loyal and high value customer base. Customers become strong advocates for Steve and the LIOS brand, with several customers having purchased more than one LIOS bike. With continued support, LIOS are looking to develop other upmarket, trend-setting designs to increase each customer’s portfolio, and reach new markets.
“I cannot fault Fareham Innovation Centre. It gives me a professional frontage, one that is affordable as well. For the money, I have a superb workshop with a loading bay for deliveries, a receptionist, meeting rooms, kitchenette, and the support of the in-house Innovation Director.”
Steve McCulley – Director, LIOS Bikes