As an importer and reseller of cycling products in the late 1980s and 1990s, Johannesburg entrepreneur Deon Retief spotted a gap for well-priced, quality bicycles in an industry dominated by international brands such as Trek, Cannondale and Giant. "It’s a very competitive landscape and it’s quite saturated. I travelled quite extensively and dealt with many retailers, cycle shops and resellers, and I felt that a lot of brands were overcharging," he says. "I knew that I could make the technology more accessible."

Retief’s belief led to the 2004 birth of Silverback in SA, a brand that offers lightweight performance bikes "at the right price". "We got a lot of love in the local market because we offered a high-quality product that was design-engineered, but at a fair price," he says. He soon expanded to Australia and Mauritius, and Silverback is now sold in 52 countries. The company moved its head office to Stuttgart, Germany, in 2010, and has offices in Cape Town, Dubai and China...

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