Allow us to take you on a trip back in time to a fairly non-specific temporal destination. Anywhere between about 1988 and 1992 ought to do it. Pick a mountain bike, any mountain bike. Marvel at the rarity value of aluminium frames, the plastic toeclips, the will-they-won’t-they stopping lottery of cantilevers. And, of course, the ubiquitous brightly-coloured Zéfal pump affixed to the frame by a couple of little plastic prongs and secured with a Velcro strap. Plus, if you’re really lucky, a zebra-striped water bottle.
Zéfal pumps really were everywhere back then. Although the Zéfal name only dates back to the 1980s – it’s a blend of the words “Zephyrus”, the god of the west wind and “aluminium”, fact fans – the company itself was founded as Poutrait-Morin in 1880. The original product range included such nineteenth-century essentials as footrests and lantern holders. It took a while for the company to begin making the pumps for which it would later become famous, what with having been founded before the invention of the inner tube. Indeed, we have Poutrait-Morin to thank for the ubiquitous Presta valve – there’s another one for your stash of trivia.
In more recent years Zéfal has been somewhat eclipsed by various relative newcomers to the portable inflation market, with its popularity in the UK perhaps not being helped by its reliance on a remarkable six different distributors. Now, though, it’s canned the lot and signed an exclusive deal with alphabetically-proximate distributors Zyro.
Aurélien Brunet, Sales and Marketing Director of Zéfal said, “We are confident that our new agreement with Zyro is a key move towards re-establishing the Zéfal brand in a market leading position in the UK cycle market.”
Zéfal Brand Manager Chris Raven said, “I’m extremely pleased to have been selected as sole partner, and very excited to be launching new Zéfal product, not previously available in the UK. This range is fantastic. With unique features and technology wrapped up in great new packaging, we’re set to blow the competition away! Our strategy is to grow the inherent pedigree of the brand, pitching to consumers of all ages and disciplines. Zéfal’s new products will now provide a naturally attractive merchandised display in store.”