Mike Ashley's Frasers Group to relaunch Chain Reaction and Wiggle websites and look to continue MTB brands Nukeproof, Vitus and Ragley

Nukeproof Megawatt e-bike being ridden
(Image credit: Nukeproof)

After having laid off all their staff prior to being bought by the Frasers Group, owners of Evans Cycles, the Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle websites finally closed their cyber doors earlier this week. But the holding pages on both websites intriguingly promised new ventures coming soon.

Rumors have been circulating about what is coming next. Unsubstantiated theories have ranged from Frasers (owned by Mike Ashley) buying the brands just to shut them down – which would massively benefit Evans Cycles' online operations, to Chain Reaction and Wiggle being reborn in some form or another.

On Friday however, Frasers released a statement that sheds some light on what's coming next for the two websites and their in-house brands – Nukeproof, Vitus and Ragley.

The two retail sites will relaunch this week, though the exact details of what that entails still remains unclear. As for the likes of the bike brands Nukeproof, Vitus, and Ragley, or the clothing and component brands DhB, Lifeline Tools and Prime, Frasers are "excited to explore partnerships with suppliers or distributors looking to expand their offering or an organization looking to get a foothold in the market by leveraging some established names."

From today though, both the Chain Reaction and Wiggle websites are directing users to the Evans Cycles site.

The chain reaction cycles holding page

Chain Reaction's URL now has a holding page directing users to the Evans site (Image credit: Chain Reaction Cycles)

Here's the Frasers Group statement in full...

Frasers Group plc has announced the relaunch of Wiggle and Chain Reaction’s e-commerce sites, marking a significant step following the acquisition of the brands and intellectual property.

Frasers Group, which already has a strong position in the UK cycling market through Evans Cycles, secured the rights to Wiggle and Chain Reaction in March 2024, alongside the brand rights for their in-house ranges which include Nukeproof, Vitus Bikes, and DhB.

Alongside the e-commerce relaunch, which is due to take place next week, Frasers Group is looking to create commercial partnerships to enhance and expand these own-brand lines through development, sales, licensing, and international distribution opportunities."

Russell Merry, Managing Director of Wheels for Frasers Group, said: “Wiggle and Chain Reaction are well-established names among riders in the UK and across Europe and the acquisition of both brands is consistent with our ambition to become the no.1 Sporting Goods retailer in Europe. 

“It also brings with it the opportunity to work with respected partners through the highly admired, award-winning product lines that Wiggle and Chain Reaction had built. We are excited to explore partnerships with suppliers or distributors looking to expand their offering or an organization looking to get a foothold in the market by leveraging some established names.”

The brands acquired include Nukeproof, Vitus Bikes and Ragley, Prime’s components range, DhB clothing, Lifeline Tools, Mobi bike pressure washers and outdoor clothing range, Fohn.

The recent acquisition follows a successful year in cycling retail for the Group, with several new store openings for Evans Cycles, the launch of Evans Go, the introduction of a Cytech-approved bicycle mechanics apprenticeship scheme, as well as an online dropship program.

So far it's pretty vague, but it looks like the brands involved will have a future which is good news. We'll update this story as more details emerge.

Richard Owen
Editor, Bike Perfect

Rich has been riding mountain bikes for over 30 years and mostly likes hitting flowy yet technical trails that point downhill. A jack of many trades, he has competed in cross-country, enduro and long distance MTB races. A resident of North Devon, Rich can mostly be found pedaling furiously around his local trails, or slightly further afield in the Quantocks, the Mendips or Exmoor. 

Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox

Height: 175cm

Weight: 68kg