HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds’ worth of cycling gear will be going under the hammer today.

One of Brighton’s most upmarket bike retailers, Ubyk, closed its doors in Sydney Street in Brighton and at Abingdon Road in Oxford, without warning, in December last year.

Its remaining stock, worth more than a quarter of a million pounds, is up for auction.

The business went into liquidation at the beginning of January this year. Now North Lincolnshire-based industrial auctioneers Eddisons CJM are responsible for disposing of the stock.

Auctioneer Paul Cooper said: “Ubyk were about as high end as a bike shop could get. Their claim was that they sold some of ‘the world’s greatest bikes’ in gallery-like showrooms that were designed to show off their engineering magnificence.”

The bikes up for auction include some made by American company Parlee. Meanwhile the Cipollini carbon monocoque frame alone costs £10,000.

Paul said: “Even parts could cost a small fortune. We’ve got wheels that had price tags of £1,500 and lightweight saddles that cost £407. The seats weigh just a couple of ounces, but who pays £407 of their own money for a bike saddle? If I was that worried about weight I would get on a diet for a few days – but I suppose the riders who want this sort of thing have already done that.”

He said the liquidation is not the usual modern story of a high street retailer being undercut by online competition.

Ubyk initially started as an online business and opened the Brighton and Oxford stores later.

Paul said: “There have clearly been other factors in play, not least perhaps that selling bikes for £5,000 - £12,000 is not so easy. Following the start of the liquidation process it became necessary to vacate the premises, which is why everything has been moved up here. It may be a slight inconvenience but it is an online auction so interested Brighton people can join the bidding as easily as everyone else.”

The auction, which finishes at noon, will see more than 750 lots, including complete cycles, frames, forks, wheels, parts, helmets, footwear, clothing and ancillary kit. Paul said other auctions have seen cycles making half to two thirds of retail value, with equipment and parts going for ten per cent to 50 per cent.

He said: “If that is repeated successful bidders could make some substantial savings.”