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    Win Allen of Win's Wheels was last year's winner

    SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Interbike will hold the second annual Mechanics Challenge presented by Park Tool to test mechanics’ ability to complete several tasks at this year’s show. The competition will be prominently featured on the show floor with grandstand seating for spectators.

    “Having 100+ participants go through the Mechanics Challenge last year was fantastic and lots of fun. We’re honored to help put a spotlight on the wrenches who keep everyone on the road and trail every day,” said Eric Hawkins, president of Park Tool. “On behalf of all of us at Park Tool, we wish everyone good luck at this year’s event and hope to see a big crowd again at the finals.”

    After receiving some constructive comments from participants, the event this year will feature tasks that are more straight-forward. Last year’s winner, Win Allen of Win’s Wheels in Westlake Village, California, is set to participate and defend his title.

    The event will once again be directed by Eric Lepping, a team mechanic and race management veteran for more than 30 years. Staffing and judging each challenge station will be members of the PBMA, while Project Bike Tech will manage on-site registration.

    Each station will be timed by Gemini Timing, which will keep track of individual times on a leaderboard monitor throughout the event. Nine-time Tour de France racer and broadcast personality Frankie Andreu emcee the challenge.

    In addition to Park Tool, challenge sponsors include the Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association (PBMA), Shimano, Project Bike Tech and Gemini Timing.

    “Speaking on behalf of the PBMA, I am proud that the we will once again be providing a team of leading mechanics to serve as the officiating crew for the Interbike Mechanics Challenge,” said Brent Williams of the PBMA. “The Mechanics Challenge provides an unparalleled platform for professional bicycle mechanics to showcase their skills and problem-solving abilities in a competition format unlike any other, raising the both visibility and value of mechanical skills in today's rapidly evolving retail environment. We are also pleased once again to assist the team at Interbike and work alongside our presenting sponsor, Park Tool, in supporting this incredible event.”

    The Mechanics Challenge qualifying rounds will take place over two days on Wednesday, Sep. 20 from 10-5 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 21, from 10-2 p.m., with the top four competing in a semi-final round. Those four will tackle a new course, in a head-to-head, non-timed heat, for the chance to win prizes from Park Tool, Shimano and a three-night hotel stay for Interbike 2018 in Reno-Tahoe

    A limited number of time slots are available for those who wish to participate. More details on how to register:



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    WATERTOWN, Mass. (BRAIN) - Seven Cycles has released a new fork for mixed-terrain and gravel riders called the Matador. The new fork has clearance for a 700 x 45c tire or 650b x 2.1.

    Based on the success of their previous thru-axle fork, the Max 45, Seven designed the Matador  from the ground up and incorporating new features to improve handling for many mixed-terrain riders.

    Seven Cycles’ founder Rob Vandermark said, “We have this opportunity every day. We can incorporate our riders' experiences into new bikes on a very short timeline. The industry has only just begun to innovate specifically for mixed-terrain riding, and we think the Matador represents the next phase, incorporating some basic design improvements not available from any other fork."

    The Matador comes in a stock 55mm rake, which improves handling for most riders as well as minimizes toe overlap with larger tires. It's in natively flat-mount, but can be adapted for used with older, post-mount brakes. It also has fender mounts, for riders who will adventure in the rain, snow, ice and mud, the company said.

    “Forks are still catching up to frames in terms of options for riders trying to do long, off-road, mixed-terrain rides," Vandermark said. "Initially, cyclocross forks were the only option, and then a variety of disc forks hit the market, including several of our own design. Matador is, we think, the most contemporary design on the market now.”

    The Matador retails for $565 and is available for order both with a complete Seven build or aftermarket, as a stand-alone product through the Seven website. It comes with 12mm thru-axle dropouts and a 5.5cm rake. The steerer taper is 1.5” to 1.125”. The build height is 395mm, and it takes flat mount disc brakes with 160mm rotors.

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    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (BRAIN) — Silca has introduced a new version of its Tattico mini-pump with a wireless pressure gauge that connects to a smartphone via its iGauge app. 

    The company said the pump is ideal for bike tourists who want to optimize their pressure during a tour. It also is appropriate for cyclocross racers who can tailor their tire pressure while pre-riding a course, and for travelers who fly with their bikes to events and don't want to pack a floor pump with gauge. Silca said it chose the wireless design because it was more practical and compact than adding an analog gauge to the pump. 

    The gauge is isolated in a sealed, shock-proof and waterproof environment within the pump body. Silca said it is accurate to plus or minus 2 percent and reads to 0.5 psi. 

    Using the pump powers up the pressure sensor to begin transmitting data to the iGauge app, which is available for Apple and Android. Closing the app powers down the gauge's battery. 

    That Tattico pump features a 6061 Alloy barrel and gripping surfaces, a high-efficiency piston design, and a long extractable filler hose with locking presta/schrader chuck. It's capable of 120 psi, is 9 1/2 inches long and comes with a frame mount with retaining strap.

    Silca worked with Taiwan's Co-Luck Enterprise Co. to develop the gauge and app. 

    The Bluetooth pressure gauge uses a CR2032 battery. 

    MSRP is $120. Silca plans to start shipping the pump on Aug. 31.

    More information:

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    John Oldale (right).

    NOVATO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Marin Mountain Bikes Inc. has hired industry veteran John Oldale as its new international sales & marketing manager. He will oversee Marin distributor sales in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, as well as European marketing.

    Oldale comes to Marin with a career spent in the cycling industry, having started in London bike shops, in between doing summer sessions of riding and racing in locales such as Whistler, BC and Morzine, France. Upon relocating to New Zealand in 2006, he started as a warranty technician at Sheppard Cycles and worked his way up to a product manager. Four years later he was back in the UK as the marketing manager for Fox Head apparel. He then returned to the bicycle side of the business, as he became Marin brand manager at UK distributor Paligap.

    "As Marin grows, both domestically and internationally, it's creating opportunities to bring in additional highly talented staff," said Matt VanEnkevort, the CEO of Marin. "John is someone I have worked with for years and have a great deal of respect for. His experience, attitude, and skills will greatly benefit our customers, consumers, and our brand."

    Oldale said, "It is not very often that you get the chance to come and work with a brand who has so much history and is in the process of securing an amazing and exciting future. Combine that with working with one of the, if not the, most passionate and down to earth teams in the cycle industry, I am really excited about the future of the role and being a part of the Marin Brand."

    Oldale can be reached at

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    IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Shimano is adding two new products to its Deore XT group: a four-piston disc brake caliper and a new crankarm set designed for e-MTB use. Both will be available in December.

    The new caliper, BR-M8020, is intended for use on e-MTBs or regular bikes for riders who prefer more power. The four-piston design is said to offer 20 percent more power than the two-piston caliper.  It is compatible with the existing Deore XT M8000 lever. A set with lever and pre-bled hose will retail for $199 per wheel. The calipers seperately are $119.99 each. 

    The new crankarms bring Deore XT Hollowtech features to the STePS E8000 group. The crank, FC-M8050, will be available in a 165mm crankarm length to help e-MTB riders minimize pedal strikes while maintaining pedalling motion and motor assistance. 


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    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — USA Cycling has hired Gary Sutton as its new head endurance track coach in its elite athletics department.

    "Endurance track is an area of strength for the U.S. We are the reigning world champions in the women's team pursuit and earned two silver medals in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games," said CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall. "However, we have greater ambitions for the future and want to keep improving. Gary is one of the most experienced and skilled track coaches in the world, and we are very fortunate to have been successful in recruiting him to join our team."

    The USAC expects Sutton to "build upon the success of USA Cycling's World Champion team pursuit squad to achieve USA Cycling's goal of becoming the number one women's endurance track program in the world while launching a new men's endurance track program as well." Sutton reports to Jim Miller, USA Cycling's vp of high performance.

    Sutton most recently was the women's track endurance coach for Cycling Australia. Prior to coaching, Sutton was an elite cyclist who competed in the 1976 and 1980 Olympic Games and won the amateur World Championship in the points race.

    "Obviously, I am really looking forward to working at USA Cycling and being part of their renewed focus on high performance athlete development," Sutton said. "The U.S. has amazing talent and depth in women's endurance track, and I am excited to work with these athletes and their coaches. And the opportunity to build a men's endurance track program and work with Jim Miller and his high performance team is also very exciting for me."


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    Wikimedia Commons photo by Sam Sailor.

    NEW YORK (BRAIN) — For duty purposes, bike cassettes are once again being treated just like freewheels — exempt from all duty requirements, thanks to a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of International Trade.

    The dispute dates to June 2012, when the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service rebuffed Trek Bicycle Corp.'s formal protest over a Customs decision to reclassify cassettes and levy a 10 percent duty on them. Trek, backed by the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, challenged that decision in the international trde court. Five years and 14 days later, on June 19 this year, Trek won a stipulated judgment and Customs agreed to rescind the duty.

    What makes the case worth noting, besides the money involved, is this appears to be the first time a bicycle company has taken such a case to the Court of International Trade and won.

    In pushing the case forward, the BPSA put up $117,500 to help finance five years of research and litigation that would allow importers like Trek, QBP and others to get at least a partial refund on duty they've already paid.

    But more important, and dealers should take note, the court's decision trims 10 percent off the imported costs of all cassettes to be sold in the future.

    Adam Micklin, BPSA president and Felt's vice president of global sales and marketing, said the decision to back Trek's fight with Customs is an example of the "collective power" that the BPSA membership can wield.

    "Collectively we're much stronger. For Trek or QBP to individually do this would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars," Micklin said. While no one quite knows the financial impact of the ruling, long term it could run into the millions, he added.

    QBP legal counsel Matt Moore, Trek's Jonathan Fritz and, more importantly, lead attorneys Ted Murphy and Jon Foote at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Baker & McKenzie get the credit for the court's decision, Micklin said.

    Moore, a BPSA board member, has been following the issue for years. Trek was the first company to receive notice of the new duty from Customs, Moore said. Several months later, QBP got a similar notice, and soon after the BPSA put out a bulletin to its members.

    When asked how big a deal the victory was, Moore said, "It's a pretty big deal. It's the first time a bicycle company has gone to the Court of International Trade to resolve a tariff issue. And it's remarkable that it was successful."

    In general, the courts tend to back the government's position, so this is "fairly unusual," Moore added.

    Trying to pinpoint the decision's financial impact is difficult at best and depends on the company that has been importing cassettes and at what cost per cassette. Moore declined to discuss QBP's financial stake in the outcome.

    For the most part, distributors — and Trek has a substantial distribution arm — will benefit immediately since imported cassettes, much like freewheel sprockets, now enter the U.S. duty free.

    Companies that complied with the original Customs decision, filed March 18, 2011, have been paying that 10 percent ad valorem tax on every cassette. And most importers have passed the cost on to dealers through wholesale price increases.

    However, companies can now seek what is essentially a tax refund for at least some of the duty they have paid.

    The nub of the dispute centered on Customs' decision to reclassify cassettes under a different category in the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule. That decision hinged on the commercial meaning of the term "free-wheel sprocket wheel" and whether that term included newer multi-cog cassettes.

    Up until the reclassification, cassettes had been imported duty free under the same category as free-wheel sprockets, HT 8714.93.70, as well as several other categories.

    Customs subsequently decided that cassettes should be reclassified separately under HT 8714.99.80, which required a 10 percent duty. Customs, in its decision, cited various definitions used by the late Sheldon Brown and definitions taken from "Sutherland's Handbook for Bicycle Mechanics" to buttress its ruling.

    "These differences in design and functionality have led the bicycling industry to clearly distinguish and market clusters of the instant cogs as free-hub cassettes as opposed to freewheels," said Myles Harmon, director of Customs' commercial and trade facilitation division, in reclassifying the hubs.

    The court rejected that decision and cassettes will again be classified under the freewheel tariff code, HT 8714.93.70.

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    TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Giant Manufacturing, a bellwether company within the industry's manufacturing sector, reported a 7.4 percent decline in revenue to $887.9 million through the first half of the year.

    And net after-tax income also posted a significant drop to $39.3 million, a 29.5 percent decline, due primarily to unfavorable exchange rates, Giant said in a statement. For example, over the first half of the year the U.S. dollar had strengthened against the NT, up about 7.5 percent as of June 30.

    Giant's first half report follows on a weak 2016, when it posted annual revenue of NT$57.09 billion, a 5.5 percent decline from 2015.

    Nonetheless, Giant executives are modestly bullish about the remaining year. "Our own brand performance, both in Europe and in the U.S. market, have reported double-digit sales growth in local currency," Giant said.

    In Europe, continued demand for e-bikes is driving sales. In the U.S., sales remain focused on mountain bikes and road bikes with growth in both units sold as well as dollars, the company said.

    Giant has introduced its 2018 e-bike line to dealers in the North American market and the overall reaction has been positive, the company said. With model year 2018 products in the market, Giant is positive about its growth prospects for Europe and the U.S.

    The weak link in global sales for Taiwanese companies, including Giant, remains China. "Giant China's performance continues to suffer from soft demand and the popularity of bike sharing, which affected sales recovery in the first half," Giant said.

    China's infatuation with bike sharing has forced companies like Giant and Merida to close some company-owned stores as retail sales have plummeted, particularly for higher end models. Independent shops have also been hurt by a lack of demand brought on by bike sharing.

    Still, Giant said it believes its co-sponsorship of pro-cycling's Team Sunweb, and its performance in the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia, has elevated its global brand awareness and will drive future demand, especially for its carbon frames and accessories.

    "Looking forward to the second half of the year, Giant projects Europe and the U.S. will continue its growth momentum," the company said. However, it cautioned that unpredictable exchange rates as well as continued turmoil in the Chinese market would be of concern for the remainder of the year.

    "Nevertheless, Giant remains positive about its global position and manufacturing advantage and will be able to meet any challenges," the company said.

    However, Giant, like other industry manufacturers listed on Taiwan's stock exchange, has seen its per share price generally decline through the first half of the year. Giant's stock opened in early January at NT$205, closing June 30 at NT$174—a 15.1 percent drop. And by mid-August it was trading at NT$155 per share.

    Merida Industrial, a key competitor, saw its share price fluctuate throughout the first half, closing up 19.9 percent on June 30 to NT$163 from NT$136. But it had fallen sharply back to NT$136 by mid-August.


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    ORLANDO, Fla. (BRAIN) — Recumbent trike maker Catrike plans to double the size of it Orlando production facility. Catrike will also increase its production staff, the company stated.

    "Increased demand has led to us expanding our production capabilities," general manager Mark Egeland said. "Currently we have about 10,000 square feet, and we are going to double our production space. The additional volume will allow us to increase production, but also be more efficient and expand our use of lean manufacturing techniques. It is a significant investment, but one that will allow us to continue to deliver quality products to our dealers on time and in a cost-effective manner."

    The company said its revenue grew by 25 percent in 2017. That growth was fueled in part by the launch last year of Catrike's full-suspension, folding Dumont model and the release this March of an updated version of the company's Road model, the company stated.

    Catrike sells exclusively through IBDs, with a network of more than 200 dealers worldwide.

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    ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BRAIN) — The Mann Group has added a new workshop for bike industry sales reps to its Mann U offerings.

    "As retailers face more and more challenges, they are calling for their sales rep partners to be more competent, more prepared and more able to serve as business consultants to drive success for both of them," said Dan Mann, the founder of The Mann Group.

    Mann said the two-day workshop builds the foundations for reps to develop consistency, reliability, dependability and trust, which Mann said are the key attributes of a successful sales rep and retailer relationship. 

    "Graduates of the program leave with the confidence and skills to develop those relationships, equipped with the first-ever clear-cut process to both sell their products to the retailer and to influence the sell-through once the product is on the shelves," the company said. 

    The next Sales Rep Mann U will be held in Irvine, California, Nov. 6-7. Suppliers can schedule custom Mann U sessions for their reps by contacting Andrew Cunningham at

    More information:


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    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BRAIN) — Illinois has become the latest state to sign a new e-bike bill into law that designates a three-class system for electric bikes.

    The bill, SB 396, was first filed back in January, and finally passed both Illinois chambers and signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday.

    The industry was careful to position the model e-bike legislation as a noncontroversial, nonpartisan issue. That is important in a state like Illinois, where the Democrat-controlled House and Senate have been engaged in a bitter two-year battle with Rauner over a state budget and taxes. That fight has slowed the progress of other Illinois legislation.

    The bill passed the Illinois House with five dissenting votes, and the Senate with no opposition. Like its counterparts in other states, the Illinois measure creates three e-bike classifications.

    Class 1 and 2 e-bikes can go no faster than 20 mph under electric assist, and Class 3 e-bikes can reach assisted speeds of up to 28 mph.

    Class 1 and 3 bikes are pedal-assist only, while Class 2 bikes have throttles. The bill requires that these types of e-bikes be allowed wherever conventional bikes are allowed until local authorities prohibit them.

    Illinois becomes the most populated state after California to adopt the classification system, which should help e-bike advocates as they work with legislatures in other states to adopt similar legislation. One of the industry's most important targets is New York state, where e-bike bills have repeatedly failed.

    California, Utah, Arkansas, Tennessee and Colorado have all approved the e-bike classification system.

    Other states are on the horizon with active e-bike bills in Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin legislatures, according to PeopleForBikes.

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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association has sent a letter to its members informing them of updates to California's Prop. 65 warning label regulations. The changes go into effect Aug. 30, 2018.

    The new regulations require that companies now detail what specific chemical is contained in the product in excess of the allowable amount. Under the old law, companies could have a generic warning that a product contained harmful chemicals without detailing which ones. Not every chemical has to be listed, but those that a company is aware of and tested for should be.

    "Before, you didn't have to test for the hundreds of chemicals. If you knew there were three or four, you could use a generic warning label," said Matt Moore, QBP's general counsel and a BPSA board member. "Now you have to be specific about the chemicals in the product.

    "Not having a warning label when you need one is the most urgent matter — then having the right language," Moore said.

    However, 22 bicycle companies that were part of a group settlement in 2006 when litigation over lead content in cable housing and handlebar grips came to the fore are exempt from the new requirements. This group can continue to use the labels approved back then as part of the settlement, which included a safe harbor warning that greatly reduces the changes of future litigation, Moore said. The 2006 settlement also protected downstream customers of the 22 companies.

    Moore noted that many BPSA members were not involved in that settlement, however.

    The 22 companies in the settlement group were Chia Cherne Industry Company, Shimano, SRAM, QBP, Pacific Cycle, Trek, Giant, Specialized, Bell Sports, Raleigh, Cannondale, Cyclereuope USA (including the Bianchi brand), G. Joannou Cycle Co., Dynacraft BSC, Electra Bicycle Co., Felt Bicycles, Advanced Sports (including the Fuji brand), REI (including the Novara brand), Scott USA, Iron Horse Bicycle Co. and Kung Hsue She.

    Moore said online retailers have lagged on compliance with Prop. 65 labeling requirements. Amazon has been the subject of numerous lawsuits in recent years because it sells so many products, he said.

    "I think other retailers need to get up to speed by 2018," Moore said. "Website and any software changes take time. But websites need to change to be compliant."

    The recent revisions to Prop. 65 labeling took a couple years to reach their final form. The first round of the proposed changes wouldn't have recognized prior settlements, but that was thrown out after the OEHHA received initial feedback and comments.

    The 2006 settlement helped bring key BPSA members together to work collaboratively and share costs, Moore said.

    "Otherwise, each of the companies could have been sued individually and would have had to hire a defense firm and wasted resources," he said. Attorney fees per company could have easily added up to six figures.

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    NEW YORK CITY (BRAIN) — Phillip Lucas is transitioning to part-time consulting work with Velocomp, where he has worked for the past year. Lucas is returning to Europe to live closer to his family and work via his Netherlands-based consulting firm, Upshift Sports Consulting.

    Lucas said he will spend the fall trade shows welcoming and to responding to inquiries from new clients.

    UpShift Sports was the project that bought Lucas into his first collaboration with Velocomp in 2014, as well as with Eddy Merckx Cycles, where Lucas was VP of the U.S. subsidiary from 2014 to 2016.

    Lucas said, "I launched Upshift Sports on the tail end of the globalization of Rotor Bike Components to help companies achieve their international growth goals. I look forward to Eurobike and Interbike to find new brands that I can help with project, marketing, sales and general management needs."

    For more information on UpShift Sports and to contact Lucas, visit For more information on Velocomp visit

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    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The North American Bikeshare Association said it is frustrated by a decision to remove a Capital Bikeshare station from the White House grounds last week. The removal was reported on the Washingtonian website and elsewhere. 

    NABSA's executive director, Samantha Herr said, "Last week, President Trump removed the Capital Bikeshare station that was located inside the White House. The nine-bike station, which the Obama administration had installed in 2010, was a way for White House employees to get to the White House and to move about the grounds without a car.

    "This comes after the administration's proposed budget called for the defunding of several bicycling programs, including the TIGER program, which has traditionally developed and improved access to a variety of active transportation options – most notably for bike commuting."

    Herr referred to PeopleForBikes' statement in May that Trump's proposed budget was "A bad deal for bikes."

    "The North American Bikeshare Association joins PeopleforBikes in expressing our frustration in the lack of consideration for alternative transportation options throughout the U.S. We know that investing in projects that encourage the use of bikes for all people is imperative to the advancement of healthy cities and our nation, and it will remain the focus of the North American Bikeshare Association."

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    IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Bosch eBike Systems will offer free professional training onsite at Interbike next month. The training can be used to renew mechanic certification, which expires 15 months from the date of the last training.

    The Bosch Dealer Certification Clinic covers:

    • Service process
    • Removal and re-installation of components
    • Laptop diagnostic tool operation
    • Intro to Model Year 2018 innovations
    • Expert tips on system operation, diagnostics and correcting problems

    Bosch also will conduct a sales support class to help retailers enhance their e-bike selling skills. The class will cover revised content in a one-hour session with topics including:

    • The Bosch advantage: top five selling points
    • The four Bosch eBike systems and their target customers
    • Sealing the deal: how to conduct a great eBike demo ride

    Both classes are in the South Pacific D Room at the Mandalay Bay Exhibition Center

    The Dealer Certification Clinic is Wednesday,  Sept. 20 and Thursday Sept. 21 from 9 a.m.-noon. And on Thursday from 1-4 p.m.

    The Bosch Sales Support Clinic is Wednesday Sept. 20 from 1-2 p.m and 3-4 p.m.

    To pre-register contact (U.S. dealers) or (Canadian dealers) or dial +1-844-723-2453. 

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    SAN CARLOS, Calif. (BRAIN) — Beeline Bikes has opened a location in Fort Collins, Colorado, which will serve customers in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley and surrounding communities. The new mobile service franchise is owned and operated by Aaron Martin, an industry veteran who is a former director of sales at Niner Bikes and a former manager at and He also is a former sales manager at Cambria Bicycle Outfitter in California

    "I've spent 25 years in the bicycle industry, building a career around something I'm passionate about. I was thrilled to find a turnkey business opportunity with Beeline Bikes that allowed me to pursue my dream of owning my own business while staying in the industry I've known and loved my entire professional career," said Martin. "Fort Collins is a bike mecca with a high cyclist population, so I'm excited to bring Beeline's services to the enthusiasts in this area."

    Besides repair and service, Beeline of Northern Colorado will assemble and deliver new bikes purchased on the Raleigh Bikes USA and Diamondback Bikes websites.

    Beeline announced recently that it had sold five new franchise agreements in the first quarter this year, which will lead to 25 new vans in operation. 

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    HANOVER, N.H. (BRAIN) —Briko, an Italian brand best known for its ski helmets and eyewear, is now bringing its bike helmets to the U.S. market. The bike products were previously available only in Europe.

    Briko launched in 1985 as a ski wax supplier to the Italian national ski team and later added sunglasses, helmets and technical apparel to its product line.

    Briko helmets offer a protective system called Fluid Brain Science that mimiks cerebral spinal fluid. The Fluid technology is currently available in ski helmets and will be available in bike helmets for the 2018-19 season.

    Briko USA will import the Briko Gass, Ventus, and Fuoco bike helmets, which retail from $100-$160, as well as the Cyclope and Trident eyewear at $140 and $90 respectively.

    More information at

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    BREMBATE, Italy (BRAIN) — The German high-end component brand THM, which was acquired by 3T last year, is now distributing to European dealers via its own B2B sales platform.

    The company said the system offers retailers enhanced transparency of the order process and quicker fulfillment.

    "There's lots of pent-up demand for THM's wonderful products and with our new B2B platform we'll be able to fulfill that demand," said 3T's president, René Wiertz.

    "We're investing in building stock so that the high-end dealers throughout Europe who've been asking us for product will be able to order what their customers are asking for, with minimal lead times. ... THM is making some of the world's finest and lightest components. Their performance on our Exploro multisurface bikes has been flawless, and we expect demand to ramp up further with the debut of our 3T Strada all-purpose road bikes."

    Interested dealers can contact

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    PHILADELPHIA (BRAIN) — ASI's Kestrel brand is returning to the off-road market with a new carbon 29er hardtail, the MXZ, which will be available in two builds.

    Kestrel produced one of the first-ever carbon mountain bike frames in 1988, also called the MXZ. Two years later, the brand offered the Nitro, a full-suspension frame designed in collaboration with Keith Bontrager.

    The new Kestrel MXZ is a sub-22-pound cross-country racing bike.

    The MXZ Team model, retailing for $3,999, is outfitted with a RockShox SID World Cup, Shimano XT 1-by drivetrain and Shimano XT disc brakes.

    The MXZ Pro, retailing for $2,999, features a RockShox SID RL, SRAM NX 1-by drivetrain and SRAM Guide brakes.

    Both models are spec'd with WTB i23 TCS wheelsets, Maxxis Aspen 29 x 2.2 tires and a Ritchey WCS component kit. They are available in four sizes ranging from 15.5 through 21 inches.

    "We're incredibly excited to bring mountain bikes back to the line," said Brian Olowiany, Kestrel's global brand manager. "Kestrel built some of the very first carbon mountain bikes with the original MXZ and the Nitro back in 1988. We considered bringing them back over the last couple of years. Based on the number of consumer requests we receive, we knew it was a no-brainer."

    The company said Kestrel's new mountain bike line will continue to expand as interest grows. More information at

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    TUCSON, Ariz. (BRAIN) — Following what retailer Seton Claggett described as a brutal five-year legal battle with his bank, is closing.

    A court ruling forced Claggett into the decision to close his online and brick-and-mortar stores. Claggett founded with his wife, Debbie, in Tucson in 2000. It was a pioneer in online retailing in the triathlon industry, and grew to be one of the largest. The company operates out of a 32,000 square-foot warehouse, headquarters and retail facility in Tucson. had emerged from bankruptcy in June 2015, for which the Claggetts had filed in June of 2013, but the business has been embroiled in another court case with Bank of the West since 2012.

    "Here's the nickel version of a long story with a sad ending, and why we went into bankruptcy in the first place: We borrowed money from a bank on a five-year loan. They called some of it, an equipment line we drew on from October 2011 until June 2012, due within a few months, in October 2012. They threw me into special assets then disengaged and stopped communicating," Claggett said. "Then, they proceeded to sue my wife and me. We counter sued them because the bank lied to us and to QBP and misrepresented us."

    The lawsuit continued for more than four and a half years, and finally came to trial in May. A ruling was made late last week.

    "The judge acknowledged that there had been breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing and fraud on the part of the bank," he said. "That's what we went to trial for, and the judge said the bank had done all of those things but they did not find causation of how that damaged us."

    According to Claggett,'s third-party damages expert valued those damages to be between $5 and $8 million, which he said was probably conservative.

    "My attorneys did the litigation against the bank on contingency, so they covered all the fees and costs," Claggett said. "So we were all pretty shocked by the ruling. There's always a chance you're not going to win it; we were just hoping for even money and clean slate. But unfortunately, it went the polar opposite of that."

    Claggett also said that if the bank hadn't done what it had done, the equipment loan would have been paid off quickly. He owes bankruptcy fees of more than $500,000, other legal fees, and the balance on the original Bank of the West loan, which totals $1.8 million.

    Before the case ruling last week, Claggett said was having a good year.

    "It wasn't a sales thing, it was a bank issue. Our sales were fine and we were up double digits with our core vendors and were doing extremely well on the bike side," he said. "It's just unfortunate. I started this company with $1,000 and a dream."

    On Aug. 22, the Claggetts informed's 24-person staff of the decision to close the business and liquidate. Claggett said he let almost all of them go immediately.

    "But everyone is still here working. That's humbling as a business owner, but that's indicative of our company and our culture," Claggett said. "It's an amazing company with some amazing assets and some tangible assets. So you never know. Maybe someone will come and pull us out of the fire."


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