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    UPDATED: Trek calls suit "groundless."

    LOS ANGELES (BRAIN) — A company that claims to own the rights for the late comedian Chris Farley's intellectual property has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Trek Bicycles in a California court, claiming that Trek's Farley fat bike models capitalize on the name without permission.

    Farley died in 1997. The plaintiff, which says it owns and has licensed the Farley intellectual property, is Make Him Smile Inc., whose president is Kevin Farley.

    The suit points out that Trek Bicycle Corp. CEO John Burke lives in the same Wisconsin community — the Village of Maple Bluff, adjacent to Madison — where Farley was born. It claims the Farley and Burke families socialized and attended the same country club.

    A Trek spokesman called the suit "groundless," and said the company was surprised by the suit because the company was in discussions with the Farley family to resolves their concerns.

    "Trek has never used Chris Farley’s likeness, image or endorsement in connection to its Farley line of bikes."— Trek's Eric Bjorling

    While Trek marketing does not directly indicate the bike was named for Farley, the suit points out that bike magazine reviews regularly made the connection and says Trek never sought to correct the record.

    Trek officials were not immediately available Friday to comment on the suit, filed at LA County's Superior Court.

    The suit said Trek chose the Farley name because "they know Farley was well known to the specific and targeted generation of consumers that tend to purchase Fat Bikes, and that by creating an association between the 'loud,''fat,''Midwestern' Farley and the Farley Branded "Fat Bike" Products, they would be able to attract the attention of such consumers who immediately recognized the Farley name and its association with 'fat,''loud,''wide' and 'Midwestern' goods and services."

    The suit also alleges that a 2013 recall of Farley bikes damaged and devalued the Farley name.

    The suit said Make Him Smile notified Trek of its unauthorized use of the name In October 2016, and that Trek's attorneys responded in writing but did not indicate they would stop using the name.

    The complaint accuses Trek of common law misappropriation, false endorsement and California business code violations. It said it believes damages will be found to be more than $10 million and is also seeking legal fees, punitive damages and an order for Trek to stop selling Farley bikes.

    According to a Hollywood Reporter article, Make Him Smile Inc. lost a suit against an alleged cybersquatter on the ChrisFarley.com web domain because Make Him Smile could not prove to an arbitrator that it owned the rights to the name. 

    In the complaint, Make Him Smile said it has registered as successor-in-interest to Farley's property rights with the California Secretary of State. It said it has rights to "Farley's name, likeness, image, voice, persona, signature and other intellectual property comprising Farley's personal attributes (the "Farley IP")."

    According to the filing, the registration was made in June this year by Make Him Smile, whose president was listed as Kevin Farley. Chris Farley's younger brother Kevin is an actor. 

    Trek spokesman Eric Bjorling said, "Frankly, we were really surprised by this lawsuit. Trek has never used Chris Farley’s likeness, image or endorsement in connection to its Farley line of bikes. In fact, Trek owns a registered trademark for Farley for bicycles registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

    "Trek remains willing to try to resolve any concerns with the Farley family’s representatives in an amenable manner. If necessary, however, we will vigorously defend ourselves against this groundless lawsuit," Bjorling said.


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    BOULDER CITY, Nevada (BRAIN) — Visitors to Interbike's OutDoor Demo, which opens Monday, will be able to rely on on-course hydration from Infinit Nutrition, which has been named the official nutrition partner of the event.

    "We are very excited about this opportunity and are looking forward to being the official nutrition sponsor of these particular events. Having the venue in the dry heat of the desert gives dealers the opportunity to experience the clear differences between our premium hydration products versus the competition," said Michael Folan, the founder and CEO of Infinit Nutrition.

    "It's a unique sampling opportunity at the largest and most important bike show in the world and we are happy to be sponsoring the event."

    Infinit will be providing on-course nutrition for the entire OutDoor Demo and will be the official nutrition provider for the riders taking part in the Shootout on E-Mountain. Riders will be encouraged to take the "INFINIT 5 Hour Challenge" by scrapping the gels, bars, and salt pills, and fueling on nothing but the Infinit :GO FAR formula. GO FAR is the brand's cornerstone product, designed for endurance biking. 

    The OutDoor Demo starts at 9 a.m. PT Monday and concludes Tuesday at 5 p.m.


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    LAS VEGAS, Nev. (BRAIN) — The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association has released its first-ever Annual Report, an eight-page print piece to be distributed to all Interbike exhibitors and at the BPSA booth at the show (#L8).

    The report covers the 2016-17 fiscal year and details the organization's progress on its three major initiatives: e-bikes, tariffs and legislative issues.

    And for the first time, BPSA elaborates on its financial status, where their revenue comes from, and where it's spent. Also included is a breakdown of BPSA membership by numbers and by dollars.

    If you're not planning on attending Interbike, e-mail BPSA Executive Director Ray Keener, ray@bpsa.org and he will e-mail you the complete report.


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    RANCHO DOMINGUEZ, Calif. (BRAIN) — Imagine Interbike being the least expensive and best way to meet up with your dealer base and reach out to new dealers.

    Imagine year after year making good contacts at the show, writing pre-orders and finding people interested in what you have on offer.

    Sounds like a dream doesn't it? Not for bike suppliers that continue to go to the show, Interbike is the biggest and best way to spend limited marketing money.

    "It's why we still go and plan to go again in Reno. Its the most efficient way to meet the most dealers," said Wayne Gray, KHS Bicycle's vice president.

    "Which is what the value of a tradeshow has always been and what Interbike continues to be," he added.

    Interbike 2017 opened Monday with the Outdoor Demo at Bootleg Canyon, in Boulder City, Nevada. The demo continue through Tuesday and the indoor show opens Wednesday at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

    For the suppliers that invest in the show, they say it has been getting better and better for them.

    "Last year's Interbike was still a big success for us. We signed new dealers and many of our South American distributors attended the show," said Chris Cocalis, Pivot Cycles' president and CEO.

    "We had enough meetings booked with our entire sales staff that we were having to double book meetings. As long as we continue to see this same level of success and can keep the show costs in check then Interbike will continue to provide value," he added.

    As the larger suppliers have dropped out, the show experience is only getting better. There are fewer big brands to distract dealers and tie up their time. And fewer bike brands means they get more attention from dealers and media coverage.

    "I cannot think of a better event to roll out a new bike than at Interbike. I could never get the number of eyes that I do at the show," said Steve Boyd, Tern Bicycle's general manager for North America.

    "Even if I brought a Sprinter van and traveled all year showing off my bikes I could not meet the number of dealers I do in the few days of the show. It really is a great value to me," he added.

    David Reed, Bianchi USA's vice president of marketing and communications said every brand that pulls out brings more dealers to their booth.

    "We are happy being a dealers second or third brand, and with the big brands gone the dealers coming to the show are more open to what we offer," Reed added.

    And exhibitors agree the quality of the attendees is going up. Shops are trimming down who they send to just the owner and a buyer or two. So every contact is with a decision maker.

    "There maybe fewer big "A" level retailers now, but the "B" and "C" level dealers are focused and ready to do business," KHS' Gray noted.

    There are mixed feelings about the move to Reno next year, in part because it will be harder for dealers to get direct flights there. While most are committed to a presence at the show they may down size.

    Van Dessel Cycles had a great show last year and is looking forward to another great show. And it committed to Interbike's Southeast show Cyclofest as well.

    "We are a small relatively new brand and Interbike brings us a lot of new interested dealers. We do good business at the show," said Robert Vander Veur, Van Dessel Cycles' vice president of sales and development.

    While exhibitors are solidly behind the show, they like the rest of the industry, have to deal with a tough market.

    "Even if the attendance is down a bit, we have positioned ourselves well within the show and have done some things to reduce our costs," said Pivot's Cocalis.

    "I do think that a U.S.-based industry trade show has importance, and if Interbike does their job to make it a good value proposition for both the supplier and the retailer then the show can continue to have success."


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  • 09/18/17--13:34: Show time!
  • 2017 Interbike opens with OutDoor Demo
    Slideshow Image: 
    URL: 
    http://www.bicycleretailer.com/interbike

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    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — Qarv Imports is now distributing the Spanish mountain bike brand Mondraker.

    Qarv will offer Mondraker's downhill, enduro, trail, cross-country, and e-mountain bikes to select brick-and-mortar shops starting in November.

    Founded 11 years ago as the distributor of Rotor components, Qarv now offers brands including Rotor, Evoc, Enduro, and AbsoluteBLACK.

    "At QARV we don't sell anything that we don't ride ourselves," said Qarv founder and president Kervin Quinones. "While there's been a vacancy in the brands that we offer, without having a frame brand, we needed the right product and people behind the brand for us to want to bring them on board and that's what we found with Mondraker."

    Mondraker is best known for its Forward Geometry concept, which includes long front centers and short stems, something Mondraker began using in 2012 and is no common on trail bikes from many brands.

    "Bringing our bikes to the USA is a big step for our brand and we're glad to be doing it with the support of Qarv," said Mondraker CEO Miguel Pina. "It takes a lot of work to make the stars align just right and get success in our market and I believe that we have all of the right people involved to create that success in the USA."

    Qarv is retaining fellow Colorado-brand Uncommon Communications to handle media relations for Mondraker in North America. The brand will be attending consumer demos following Interbike, including the Vail Outlier Offroad Festival, Outerbike, Pisgah Mountain Bike Festival, and Outdoor Demo East.

    Sales contact: Kervin Quinones at kervin@qarvimports.com, or 866-391-0493.


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    The Shootout on E-Mountain on Monday.

    A calendar of events for Tuesday and Wednesday at the OutDoor Demo and Interbike Expo. 

    Tuesday, Sept. 19

    At the OutDoor Demo in Bootleg Canyon:

    8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Demo is open

    8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: The Shootout on E-Mountain. Retailers test and review eMTBs from participating brands, with the results published in Electric Bike Action and Mountain Bike Action magazines following the event. Interbike, Hi-Torque Publications and Bootleg Canyon have created a specifically-designed course for the test rides. Bootleg Canyon.

    Seminars

    9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: The power of influencing behavior: how you can get positive training results. Dan Mann, The Mann Group. Room: Islander EI.

    10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: The 10 commandments of management. Dave Fellman, Dave Fellman & Associates. Room: Tradewinds CDEF.

    11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Content marketing and the sales cycle. Nancy Shenker, The On Switch. Room: Tradewinds CDEF.

    12 p.m. to 12:15 p.m.: Welcome to Interbike fit symposium. Curtis Cramblett, Revolutions in Fitness. Wade Hall, Spokesman Bicycles. Room: Mariners AB.

    12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.: Nutz and bolts: pairing and adjusting components to bodies. Wade Hall, Spokesman Bicycles. Room: Mariners AB.

    1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.: Anatomy and biomechanics of the body. Room: Tradewinds A.

    1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.: Evidence-based bike fitting. Paraic McGlynn. Room: Tradewinds B.

    1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: How NBDA research will help bike shops and suppliers survive and thrive. Jay Townley, Gluskin Townley Group. Room: Tradewinds CDEF.

    2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Fit panel #1: bike fit and the racer — pro and amateur. Frankie Andreu, former pro cyclist, and others. Room: Mariners AB.

    2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: What's your problem? (Solve it in 30 minutes.) Nancy Shenker, The On Switch. Room: Tradewinds CDEF.

    3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.: Normative bike fit values – competitive versus non-competitive cyclist. Room: Tradewinds B.

    3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.: Sizing and quick fitting – selecting the right bike for you. Room: Tradewinds A.

    4 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.: When the foot smashes the pedal. Greg Robidoux, The Cycling PT. Room: Mariners AB.

    4:50 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Best fit practices: share your favorite accommodation. Room: Mariners AB.

    5:30 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.: Tying it all together – end of day fit panel/Q&A. Room: Mariners AB.

    After-hours

    6 p.m.: PeopleforBikes hosts its annual BikesPAC fundraiser. House of Blues.

    6:30 p.m.: Tern's 7th annual Interbike house party. 7560 Rancho Destino, Las Vegas, NV 89123.

    Wednesday, Sept. 20

    Early morning

    7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.: Industry breakfast. Brian Payne, founder, Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Bob Lucey, chairman, Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. First come, first served. Room: South Pacific Ballroom.

    Tech clinics

    8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Essential Shimano info. Room: Islander B.

    9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: Shimano Di2 customization and troubleshooting. Room: Islander B.

    10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: The do's and don'ts of the massively successful service department. Room: Shell Seekers A.

    10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Campagnolo model year 2018 technical info. Room: Tropics A.

    11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Shimano: road hydraulic disc brakes and flat mount. Room: Islander B.

    11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Re-invigorate your connection to your community and work with your local high school. Room: Shell Seekers A.

    1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Box Components drivetrain technical clinic. Room: Tropics A.

    2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Shimano: meet Ultegra R8000. Room: Islander B.

    3 p.m.: Tips to enhance your shop's productivity mini-seminar with Efficient Velo Tools' Brett Flemming. Booth 7292.

    3 p.m. to 4 p.m.: The future evolution of wheelbuilding. Room: Shell Seekers A.

    3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Bafang Motor technical training. Room: Tropics B.

    4 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Shimano STEPS e-bike components. Room: Islander B.

    Show floor Fun:

    9 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Coffee and stroopwafels at the Gu Energy Labs booth. Booth 8283.

    9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Delfast: e-bike giveaway. Booth 25272.

    9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: ISU Insurance Services of Westlake - e-Bike raffle. Booth 20272.

    9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Create our own AirChuck+ CO2 inflator head. Hundreds of color combinations available. Genuine Innovations. Booth 7255.

    9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Watch Slime's new tubeless tire sealant in action. Slime. Booth 7255.

    9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Support IMBA's Dig In Campaign by grabbing a limited edition IMBA Podium Hat for a $10 donation at the Headsweats booth. All donations go to IMBA's Dig In Campaign. Booth 13291.

    10 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Nelson Vails autograph session. Defeet. Booth 17263.

    10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Personal nutrition appointments with sports nutritionist at Gu Energy Labs. Booth 8283.

    10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Mechanics Challenge. Hall B.

    10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Thule fundraiser for Camber Outdoors. Booth 10287.

    11 a.m.: New bike fit technology demonstration by Paraic McGlynn featuring Motion MetriQ and Noraxon's latest innovations. Purely Custom Booth 10288.

    11 a.m.: The first 20 people at the Efficient Velo Tools booth will receive a Mulfinger Nipple Loader or a Safe Zone Helmet Mirror. Booth 7292.

    1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Meet the "legends of the road." Shimano Booth 5248.
    2 p.m.: Lizard Skins presents a large check to Geoff Kabush for the North Shore Mountain Bike Association as part of its giveback grips program. Booth 17236.

    2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Athlete meet and greet: Nicholi Rogatkin, American professional bike rider. Booth 22270.

    2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Ortlieb USA: bikepacking clinics with dealer giveaways. Booth 24221.

    2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Pure Cycles giveaways. Dealer lounge. Booth 26201.

    2 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.: Nelson Vails autograph session. Primal Wear. Booth 17246.

    3 p.m.: New bike fit technology demonstration by Paraic McGlynn featuring Motion MetriQ and Noraxon's latest innovations. Purely Custom Booth 10288.

    3 p.m.: Meet Nick Legan and get a free copy of Gravel Cycling while supplies last at 3T/THM. Booth 17227.

    4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.: Nelson Vails autograph session. Full Speed Ahead/Vision. Booth 20227.

    Retail seminars

    10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.: E-commerce and the cycling industry. Sarah Sternau, eBay. Room: The Forum, Hall B.

    10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Fighting the good fight: competing with cyber competitors. Room: Tradewinds CDEF.

    10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: After 40 IBD shows in 14 months, which IBDs are nailing it, and how? Dan Empfield, Slowtwitch.com. Triathlon Pavilion. Booth 8295.

    11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.: The true math of upselling vs. discounting. Sam Dantzler, Powersports Garage. Room: The Forum, Hall B.

    11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Strategies to win in a challenging economy. Tom Shay, Profits Plus.

    12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.: The secret sauce to hiring. Deanne Buck, OIWC. The Forum, Hall B.

    12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.: The (big!) future of draft-legal and gravel plus in the retail tri market. Dan Empfield, Slowtwitch.com. Triathlon Pavilion, Booth 8295.

    1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.: Mann U: Creating a sales environment (part 1). Dan Mann, The Mann Group. Room: The Forum, Hall B.

    1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Communication styles and sales: effectiveness through versatility. Room: Tradewinds CDEF.

    2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.: How to merchandise to your female customer and keep them coming back. Holly Wiese, 3 Dots Design. Room: The Forum, Hall B.

    3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.: Who sells on eBay, and where do you fit in? Sarah Brubacher, eBay. Room: The Forum, Hall B.

    3 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Behavioral standards: your way or the highway. Room: Tradewinds CDEF.

    3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: How to inventory right for tri in 2018. Panel. Triathlon Pavilion, Booth 8295.

    4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.: Why "can I help you" sucks. Sam Dantzler, Powersports Garage. Room: The Forum, Hall B.

    4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: If Patton ran your business: how to win the battle with your competition. Room: Tradewinds CDEF.

    E-bike education

    10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: The 2017 Electric Bike Expo Tour – more surprising discoveries. Electric Theatre on show floor.

    11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: The latest electrifying research on e-bikes and their health and transportation impacts. Electric Theatre on show floor.

    12 p.m. to 1 p.m.: The future of bicycling is electric. Charlie Gandy, Liveable Communities. Electric Theatre on show floor.

    1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: E-bikes: momentum in states to pass progressive e-bike laws. Electric Theatre on show floor.

    2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Building your e-bike business with Bosch. Electric Theatre on show floor.

    3 p.m. to 4 p.m.: ePerformance on the last frontier. Electric Theatre on the show floor.

    Supplier seminars:

    2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Manage the DTC shift and protect your vital IBDs. Chris Streight, Chuck Smith, Ryan Atkinson. Room: Mariners AB.

    3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: How to reduce delivery time to market and manage minimum order requirements in a slowing demand market. Skip Hess, Bob Margevicius, Lue Musselman, Michael Forte. Room: Mariners AB.

    Happy hours

    4 p.m.: Schwalbe happy hour. Booth 21227.

    4 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Haibike happy hours. Booth 21158.

    4 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Bulls happy hours. Booth 19187.

    4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: MarGUritas made with electrolyte tabs. Booth 8283.

    5 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Pinot & pints reception. Triathlon Pavilion, Booth 8295.

    After hours

    5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: Screening of Rebecca Rusch's movie, Blood Road. Room: South Pacific Ballroom.

    8 p.m. to 11 p.m.: CrossVegas. E-bike challenge is at 5 p.m. Wheelers & Dealers industry race starts at 6:30 p.m. Desert Breeze Soccer Complex.

     


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    LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Van Dessel has added a new limited edition model to its Whiskey Tango Foxtrot line.

    The new WTF 853Ltd will be shown at Interbike and is shipping now. It features a limited run of Reynolds 853 tubing with the same geometry and specifications as the standard WTF, but with straight tubed Reynolds tubing for higher performance and a significantly lighter frame.

    The frame comes stock with a full carbon fork and comes with matching custom USA-made handlebar bag, made of lightweight material so it can be stored in a jersey pocket, produced by Evan Murphy of The Fridge Goods of Portland, Oregon.

    The standard model WTF gets an update as well. It now features fresh new paint, a new 44mm headtube that allows for the included steel fork, as well as an optional tapered carbon fork – not an option on earlier models. The new WTF is now compatible with Lauf forks for suspension. The WTF is compatible with 650b x 2.25-inch MTB tires with its steel stock fork.

    Van Dessel also is re-releasing its singlespeed cult classic, The Country Road Bob.

    The new Country Road Bob features the same curvy lines as its first iteration. Out of the box it will include a single speed wheel, a fixed cog and lock ring for those wanting to run a fixed gear set-up.  It features a double butted 6061 frame and a full carbon fork, TRP Hylex RS hydraulic brakes, WTB 650b tubeless compatible rims and Byway Road Plus Tires.  For those who prefer gears, the Country Road Bob is compatible with a geared drive train and will come with a derailleur hanger for conversion to a geared bike. This is a bike designed to be used as a gravel grinder, commuter, fixed gear, winter, mountain bike single track, cyclocross race bike.

    Van Dessel founder Edwin Bull explained, “My main goal for the new Country Road Bob was to make it as absolutely versatile as possible while keeping the geometry and specifications well suited to cyclocross racing. All you would need to do to have a race-ready SSCX Nationals and SSCXWC bike is to swap out the stock 650b wheelset out for a set of ‘cross wheels.”  

    Tire compatibility is 47mm-2.1-inch on 650b wheels and 25mm to 45mm on 700c wheels.  The top tube and seat tube are designed for maximum clearance and mud shedding, as well as easy portage.  The Country Road Bob will be $1,499 retail, complete. Custom, matching frame bags will be available separately. 

    Van Dessel will be at Interbike at booth #20263. 


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  • 09/18/17--23:09: The Daily is on the street
  • Your link to the digital edition of BRAIN's Interbike Show Daily
    Slideshow Image: 
    URL: 
    http://read.dmtmag.com/i/875387-interbike-show-daily-day-1

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    New program will direct money straight to local IMBA chapters.

    LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — The International Mountain Bicycling Association is launching a new program at Interbike called the Dig In Campaign. It's a grant program that puts money raised through national efforts into the coffers of local IMBA chapters who have actionable trail projects. IMBA is nearing its goal of raising $50,000 to support the program and is looking to the bike industry at the show to join in.

    As part of Dig In, IMBA will distribute nationally raised funds equally among all participating chapters; provide turnkey marketing tools and a fundraising platform for chapters to use; and leverage its partnerships and reach to run a nationwide promotional campaign encouraging people to donate to mountain bike projects in their area.

    "IMBA recognizes that many great places to ride mountain bikes owe their existence to the tireless work of its chapters. These mostly-volunteer-run organizations put considerable effort toward moving trails from concept to reality, but the money needed to build trails is frequently in short supply. The Dig In Campaign is a fresh take on IMBA's old trail development and legal advocacy funds and is intended to help fill that gap," the organization said.

    The deadline for IMBA chapters to apply for Dig In grants is Oct. 6. Fundraising and promotional efforts run through Dec. 31. IMBA staff will vet Dig In applications, which are subject to final approval. Funds will be distributed in late winter, immediately after the campaign concludes.

    Aimee Ross, IMBA's director of brand development and Dave Wiens, IMBA's executive director, are at Interbike discussing Dig In and IMBA's 2018 programs and initiatives. They will be at the IMBA booth (#L21) during the show. 


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    BOULDER CITY, Nev. (BRAIN) — Riders have their own opinions of e-mountain bikes, but Interbike is giving them a chance to gauge the wisdom of the crowd.

    The Shootout on E-Mountain at OutDoor Demo is a dedicated e-MTB test ride track with a twist. After demoing a bike, riders fill out a short survey and say what they liked or didn't like about the e-MTB model they rode.

    Survey results will be published in an upcoming issue of Electric Bike Action magazine. As an added incentive, retailers are entered in a drawing for prizes every time they take a survey.

    The top prize is an eFlow e-MTB from Smartmotion.

    "This is a great idea, in my opinion," said Max McAllister, president of Traxxion Dynamics near Atlanta, after filling out a survey. McAllister is an experienced mountain bike rider, but said this was the first time he had ridden an e-MTB in a mountain bike environment.

    Participants filled out a short survey after riding electric mountain bikes to say what they liked and didn’t like about them. Electric Bike Action magazine will publish the results.

    "This is going to expose people who have never ridden e-mountain bikes to the whole idea. Let them ride what the market has to offer — this is a good sampling," he added.
    The Shootout drew steady traffic. Within two hours after OutDoor Demo opened, more than 50 riders had taken the survey. The Shootout is in full swing again today.

    "It's nice to get a big variety of thoughts on all these things and see where the industry is right now," said Tony Donaldson, editor of Electric Bike Action. The magazine plans to publish survey results in its February issue.

    Donaldson worked with Interbike to design the Shootout course.

    "I wanted a short loop and a long loop so people could get a variety of terrain," he said. "We wanted to have a good climb in there, which there is, and some fun descents and some flowy stuff so they could check out the suspension and get an idea of the power and weight of these things."

    Bill Summer of Webster Cog and Sprocket, a bike shop in northern Wisconsin, said he was looking forward to seeing a range of opinions on different e-MTBs.

    "When you've got this amount of people coming in and able to ride, it's giving everybody an opportunity to say what they think," Summer said.

    Many of his customers are retirees, and are beginning to get interested in e-MTBs.

    "Generally, with people that are close to retirement or retired, you've got one rider that's stronger than the other one, so e-bikes level the playing field."

    McAllister, of Traxxion Dynamics, is no casual mountain bike rider. On one calf he has a tattoo of the Specialized lightning bolt, and on the other a tattoo commemorating his participation in the Leadville 100 for the past three years.

    But he welcomes e-MTBs, which he calls a "great equalizer."

    "It's here. Let's not fight it. Let's figure it out and have fun with it," he said.

    McAllister acknowledged that he also has a business reason for riding lots of e-MTBs. His company services suspension systems for motorcycles and mountain bikes.

    "I can tell you the e-mountain bike suspension is going to take more abuse than a regular bike because you ride it faster. The average person will beat this bike because they can," McAllister said. "There's going to be accelerated wear on suspension components. That's very obvious to me."


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    Altum is Parlee’s stock bike line.

    LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Parlee started out as a custom framebuilder, then added Asian-sourced stock sizes. But when the company added complete bike builds to its offerings, it hit a hot spot for dealers.

    “We used to offer dealers an SBA build kit in a box, but ever since we added complete assembly at our factory, complete bike build sales are driving our business,” said Tom Rodi, Parlee’s sales and marketing director.

    “We can now offer bikes from a $4,000 Asian-built Altum with a Shimano 105 build to a $20,000 Zero, which are custom-geometry bikes made to order in our Massachusetts factory with custom paint and with a totally custom build,” Rodi added.

    Parlee’s bikes come in three model lines. Altum are stock bikes with stock graphics and stock builds. Altum LE are the same basic frames with custom paint whipped up in Parlee’s Massachusetts factory as well as custom bike builds. And the Z-Zero line is built entirely in Parlee’s factory with custom geometry, custom builds and custom graphics.

    “The LE builds are quickly gaining sales for us. It’s not so much the ability to order the paint and graphics, but riders these days want the ability to spec’ every little part, especially at this price point,” he said.

    Parlee’s expansion into complete bike builds also is winning the company international business and helping drive volume through the factory.

    Like all else road, Parlee’s Asian-built Chebacco gravel bike is where the action is these days, and the $3,999 Ultegra Altum Disc with R8020 hydraulic brakes is a very popular build. 

    “The Chebacco really took off for us lately and is what most dealers are interested in,” Rodi said. 

    The Chebacco has a 12-millimeter thru-axle, flat-mount disc brakes and tire clearance up to 40 millimeters. Internal housing makes for a very clean frame and allows the rear caliper to be mounted within the rear triangle.


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    With an eye on growth in North America, Focus USA returns to Interbike

     LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — The company is exhibiting both at OutDoor Demo (Booths D3140 and D2010) and at Mandalay Bay (Booth 21207) and sponsoring the first e-MTB Challenge at CrossVegas. Additionally, the brand’s founder flew over for the first time from Germany to experience the show.  

    Predominately known for its cyclocross and road bikes, Focus was founded in Germany in 1993 by cyclocross world champion Mike Kluge. The company designed its first e-bikes in 2010, and has been selling them in the U.S. since 2015.

    The German brand, which is owned by Dutch conglomerate Pon Holdings, recently appointed Dan Delehanty as the general manager of its U.S. business. Delehanty came on board July 1 and is tasked with growing Focus and sister brand Kalkhoff in the prized North American market. Delehanty comes to Focus USA after spending six years at BMC as director of sales. He has worked in the bike industry for eight years, and also worked in the automotive industry. 

    Prior to Delehanty, Focus USA hadn’t had a GM for a good four years. But Pon and Derby Cycle “take this market very seriously, see tremendous growth potential for Focus and Kalkhoff and will invest money to grow the market,” Delehanty said.

    “Our participation at Interbike shows that Focus is very serious about the North American market and sees a great opportunity. We are excited to be here. The last event in Vegas. I’m a little nostalgic. This will be my seventh Interbike and the last time in Vegas.

    “We consider ourselves a go-to for bike shops because we deliver on two of the major segments: pedal and e-bikes,” Delehanty added. “We don’t do e-bikes because it’s fashionable. In our lineup, e-bikes are absolutely critical. We consider it on par with pedal bikes. We see that side of the business growing and growing.” 

    To that end, Delehanty plans to expand his sales staff, which currently consists of two sales people he shares with fellow Pon brand Cervélo. But he expects to hire East and Midwest regional managers to help grow the e-bike business. 

    “One of the things that can hurt you in e-bikes is if you don’t have good inside sales and support for the shops,” Delehanty said. “I really want to focus on not only the sales side and increasing our sales, but beefing up our staff on the inside so when customers have questions we answer the phones.”

    Here at Demo and at Mandalay Bay, dealers will see a greatly expanded lineup of e-bikes from Focus and Kalkhoff, which is almost on par with its non-assisted lineup in terms of number of models. Among the highlights are its new e-mountain bikes, the Bold and the Jam Squared, which feature Shimano’s STEPS E8000 electric drive and a proprietary Focus-designed battery system called Tailored Energy Concept (T.E.C.), an adjustable dual-battery system that allows riders to carry as much energy as needed for the terrain and duration of a given ride.

    Focus is the first manufacturer given the nod by Shimano to develop a proprietary battery system. With T.E.C., riders can use the frame-integrated battery only, or attach the optional T.E.C. Pack to the top of the downtube, doubling watt-hour performance to 756Wh.

    “Our e-bike design philosophy is that they must look and perform just like regular bikes, with the only difference being that they have motorized pedal assist,” Kluge said. “Our T.E.C. system results in a slimmer and lighter e-bike, and with short chainstays and a low Q-factor (175 millimeters), the pedal position is the same as non-electric bikes, resulting in a ride that is agile and uncompromising.”

    At Bootleg Canyon, Focus has a fleet of Bold and Jam Squared e-bikes ready for retailers to demo. But it will also have its full line of pedal bikes, including its popular new Paralane, an all-road/adventure bike, for demo. 

     


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    MOAB, Utah (BRAIN) — Western Spirit Cycling, the organizer of the Outerbike demo events, is planning one for Bentonville, Arkansas for next October.

    Western Spirit plans four Outerbikes for next year: spring and fall events in Moab, an August event in Crested Butte, Colorado, and the new Bentonville event in late October.

    "Outerbike is focused on one thing: providing world class demo opportunities for riders. We are working to give riders across the country a chance to get in on the action, and the amazing OZ Trails in Bentonville will be a great compliment to Outerbike in Crested Butte and Moab," said Ashley Korenblat, the CEO of Western Spirit Cycling. "By adding new dates and locations, more cyclists will have the chance to try before they buy and meet the companies directly."

    Bentonville has built a worldclass trail system as it has developed a bike friendly community. The town hosted the IMBA World Summit last year. 

    The 2018 Outerbike schedule will be:

    Moab Spring Outerbike 4/6-8
    Crested Butte Outerbike 8/17-8/19
    Moab Fall Outerbike 10/5-10/7
    Bentonville Outerbike 10/26-28

    More information at outerbike.com.


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    Brendan Biggers.
    A Q&A with eBay's Brendan Biggers

    LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Online giant eBay is no foreigner to cycling. But here at the show, the company, which is synonymous with consumer-to-consumer sales, is making a bigger push for its two-wheel business. Aside from a 10x20 booth, eBay is the presenter of The Forum, a new on-floor area that features short presentations on small-business operations, merchandising, training and more. 

    eBay is also headlining several presentations on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday tackling topics like e-commerce and the cycling industry, who sells on e-Bay and where the IBD fits in, who buys on eBay, and how to sell on eBay.

    Despite Amazon’s online sales dominance, eBay is holding its own, especially over the past year. 

    The San Jose, California-based e-commerce giant, the ninth-largest internet company by revenue, has seen its stock price climb steadily since the end of last year from $27.39 on Dec. 1 to $38.30 on Sept. 13. Its stock, which in more recent days has hovered in the $30-$40 range, hit an all-time high of $66.29 in July 2015. 

    Through the second quarter of this year, eBay Inc. grew its revenue by 4 percent, or $2.3 billion. Gross merchandise volume for the quarter was $21.5 billion, up 5 percent on a foreign exchange neutral basis. 

    During the quarter the company added 2 million active buyers across its platforms for a total of 171 million global active buyers. For the full year, it expected net revenue to be between $9.3 billion and $9.5 billion, up 6 to 8 percent. 

    In the U.S. a watch is purchased every 4 seconds on eBay, a hiking/camping item every 6 seconds, a smartphone every 5 seconds, a TV, video or home audio item every 4 seconds, a tool every 11 seconds and a sports trading card every 3 seconds. 

    In the lead-up to Interbike, BRAIN reached out to eBay to ask more specifically about its cycling sales and plans to expand in the two-wheel segment. We connected with Brendan Biggers, who runs the cycling business on eBay. He directs the category and ensures the platform is working for buyers and sellers. Biggers has been at eBay for four years, spending the first few years in account management working with top sellers in sporting goods for the two years prior to his current role. 

    Q: What's the goal for eBay at Interbike? It looks like you're exhibiting as well as presenting a few seminars there. 

    A: Our goal for Interbike is a few fold. 1. We want to continue to be front of mind for cycling enthusiasts, so what better place to connect to the cycling community than Interbike? 2. We wanted to get involved in a way that allowed us to educate the industry on what eBay is today. 3. We want to meet with sellers and brands.

    Q: Can you give us a rough idea of how big the cycling category is for eBay? And is it growing every year? If so, by how much? 

    A: Here are some key stats: There are 200,000-plus cycling-related searches on eBay per day in the U.S. There are also 800,000 cycling-related listings on eBay in the U.S. at any given time. We’re very excited about the current performance of our cycling business and looking forward to what’s to come. 

    Q: What are the best-selling categories in cycling on eBay? What are the highest-growth categories? Are these the same? 

    A: Our top categories are bicycles and bicycle parts and components, which are pretty equal in size and represent a majority of our business. I’m really excited about our bicycle business this year and beyond because we’ve seen nice growth in all segments — value, higher end, new and used. The inventory coming to the platform from some of our bigger partners has been fantastic.

    Q: How many sellers of cycling products are there on eBay? How diverse is the “retailer” on eBay? 

    A: Roughly 30 percent of our active users are also selling on eBay, and likely fall into all customer types.

    Q: How big is the used bike category on eBay? And is that trending up?

    A: Used bicycle business represents about 60 percent of total dollars in bicycle sales. That number likely seems high because that condition is used by all segments from our consumer-to-consumer space up through large merchants, where we have sellers that focus on pre-owned. This breadth of selection is something that I think makes eBay very unique and a reason why I think we connect so well with the cycling enthusiast.

    Q: Do you have a trade-in program? And if so, how does it work?

    A: We partnered with Bicycle Blue Book and inserted a “trade-in” hub on-site, which allows for buyers to get a trade-in value for their current bike. They can then ship the bike to Bicycle Blue Book and in return get an eBay gift card for the trade-in value to buy a new bike. It’s a new approach for eBay, but we think there’s opportunity in the future.

    Q: Do you have any data on who's shopping on eBay? How much do they spend, on average? And how do you market to them? How can brick-and-mortar shops capture these sales? 

    A: We have more than 1.5 million active buyers in the cycling category, where the most active buyers in this category spend over $2,000 per year. We market to these buyers with dedicated email, as well as recommend specific items based on their search/browse activities. Brick-and-mortar retailers can find these buyers by becoming more active on eBay and selling their inventory.

    Q: What broad trends in online shopping are you seeing? And how can bike shops capitalize on them?

    A: I think the broader and ongoing trend in e-commerce is the buyer is looking for faster shipping, which we have an answer for with our new eBay guaranteed delivery program. I think this is a great way to show the eBay buyer that they can get items quickly, and any of our retailers should look to launch this in the fall.

     

     

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    Watkins in a photo released by the Sheriff's Office.
    Longtime friend at Interbike says Timothy Watkins was well-known and loved in the local bike community.

    LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — The Sheriff's Office in El Paso County, Colorado, has begun a homicide investigation after a longtime mountain bike trail advocate and retail mechanic was found dead Sunday.

    Timothy Watkins, 60, a mechanic at Old Town Bike Shop in Colorado Springs, had been missing since Sept. 14, when he went for a solo mountain bike ride near Limbaugh Canyon in Monument, Colorado. 

    A search team found his bike and a shoe Saturday evening. Watkins' body was found nearby Sunday morning. According to a Sheriff's Office press release, Watkins had been shot; the office launched the homicide investigation Monday.

    Watkins had been working at Old Town for just a month and a half, but was well known in the bike community for decades. He helped build and maintain miles of trails near Monument, said Brian Mullin, a friend and publisher of TheMTBLab, a mountain bike website. Mullin helped search for Watkins last weekend and is attending Interbike in Las Vegas this week. He said he knew Watkins for about 30 years.

    "Everybody knew and loved him, he was just such a sweetheart," Mullin told BRAIN. He said Watkins was married and had two children and a grandchild.

    Watkins' friends held a bike ride in his honor on Monday at Red Rocks Canyon near Manitou Springs.

    Mullin said riders are being urged to not ride alone in the area where Watkins was found.

     

     

     


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    Jared Fisher owns Las Vegas Cyclery, Moab Cyclery and touring company Escape Adventures. He’s vying for the Republican nomination in the Nevada governor’s race.

    LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Las Vegas bike shop owner Jared Fisher says his experience in retail and running a bike touring company — and the connections he has made in 25 years in those businesses — are a key advantage to his run for the Republican nomination for Nevada governor.

    The GOP primary is still almost 300 days away, and Fisher was the first Republican to officially declare his intentions. Early this month, he was joined by a much better known candidate, current state Treasurer Dan Schwartz. Attorney General Adam Laxalt is also expected to jump into the Republican primary race.

    Incumbent Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, can’t run again because of term limits.

    Fisher owns Las Vegas Cyclery and the RTC Bike Center, which is part of the city’s transportation system. He also owns Moab Cyclery in Utah and Escape Adventures, which runs multi-sport tours throughout the Southwest. 

    Fisher announced his candidacy May 1 just prior to embarking on a 1,400-mile bicycle “listening tour” around the state. 

    Fisher plans to attend Interbike for at least a day or two this week, wearing his retailer hat. If he wins the June primary, next year’s Interbike will be just a few weeks before the general election. 

    Fisher said that if he’s the GOP nominee, he’ll likely plan a campaign event or two around the 2018 Interbike, which will be in Reno. 

    “Maybe we’ll do something to mingle with the bike community up there,” he said. 

    For our Show Daily Q&A, we tested Fisher’s chops by throwing a fastball political question (for a Las Vegas retailer).

    Q: So what do you think of Interbike’s move to Reno?

    A: I suppose [the move] is OK. I think a lot of people come to Vegas because it’s Vegas. There’s a lot more to do in Vegas — I mean, Reno is much more compact. There is good riding there for sure. I really hope Reno is a big boost for the show. I don’t know if it’s going to change much, but you’ve got to change things up to see why your numbers are going down.  I’m fine going to Reno, I’ll be there. 

    Q: Are you looking to the bike community for support?

     A: Yes, that’s something I think will be beneficial in our run for governor. Very few people running for office ride bikes, but it turns out a lot of influential people ride bikes. I think it’s a great market and I’m definitely using it to my advantage.

    Q: What kind of influential people are you thinking of?

    A: Well, yesterday I did an interview with TJ Lavin [Las Vegas BMXer and host of MTV’s "The Challenge”], and we are doing another podcast with him. So we are reaching out to the BMX freestyle crowd. 

    Of course you have the road bike crowd, who tend to be a lot of doctors and lawyers. We see a lot of those folks in our store. The mountain bike crowd tends to be a little younger — some young families, who are really good for the campaign. The city riders tend to be older. We are reaching out to them as well.

    Q: Is there any danger you could lose customers because of your politics?

    A: I don’t think so in my case. Most people who know me know that I get along with Republicans and Democrats. Even though I am on the Republican ticket, I can understand and listen to people and I can discern between right and wrong and take other people’s opinions and see if we can work together to find a solution. I don’t see myself losing customers over this at all. 

    Q: This is your first run for political office. Have you been active with the Republican Party?

    A: Yes, I’ve been a Republican basically my whole life. As far as running for political office, I haven’t, but I think the talk going around is people want to drain the swamp. I’m not a part of the swamp, thank heavens. 

    Q: Some folks think your positions sound more like a Democrat’s than Republican.

    A: The reason is with my business in outdoor adventure I’ve come to respect and appreciate the great outdoors, so people assume I am a hardcore environmentalist. I’m also a big renewable energy guy. I truly believe that’s the future for our nation and a lot of people assume you are a Democrat if you believe in renewables. But I’ve run into many, many Republicans who share the exact same positions I share. I think there’s just a misconception. 

    Q: Is climate change the reason you support renewables?

    A: I don’t even talk about climate change anymore because it’s an old subject. It’s been proven it’s happening, and if someone can’t see the polar ice caps are melting at an astronomical rate, they are either stupid or blind or they’ve cut themselves off from the world. The reality is we need to take care of the problems that are resulting from climate change. That’s not a Republican or Democratic issue either. Every Republican I know is a strong believer that climate change is happening and that we need to do something about it.

    Q: Nationally a good percentage of Republicans don’t believe in climate change, including the president and some of his cabinet. 

    A: Well, I think some people are following President Trump and not forming their own opinions. And more importantly, as I’ve been running for office I’ve seen the most manipulated polls you’ll ever see. I’ve just been astounded. 

    Q: Did you vote for Trump?

    A: I don’t tell people who I voted for. But I will say I respect the presidency of the United States of America and I think it’s important that everyone in America does that. I prefer to focus on what I need to get down for the state of Nevada. I don’t have time to think about Donald Trump.

    Q: Did you support the Trump administration’s decision to review National Monument designations?

    A: I think the greatest gift ever given to Americans was the public lands. I don’t believe in cutting down or taking away the Antiquities Act. I think it’s there for a reason.

    I actually have a permit [to run bike tours] in the Grand Staircase Escalante [National Monument]. [The Monument] is really big. It may be too big, I don’t know. It’s massive. But I don’t think reducing its size is going to do anything good. If you are going to do something as president, then don’t use the Antiquities Act, but don’t undo what’s been done. Just move on.

    Q: How are you balancing running the business with running for the nomination?

    A: I’ve got great people. I’ve been planning this for a long time. I’ve got great GMs at both locations in Utah and Nevada and I don’t need to worry about the business, really.

    It kind of goes along with what I want to do in Carson City if I am elected. I think people do their best when they are given an opportunity to shine. I love to delegate authority to other people. If they are not doing a good job then you move them to a place where they can do well. 

    Editor's note: This Q&A was edited for length and clarity. The edited transcript was reviewed and approved by Fisher.

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    Reno's convention center.

    LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Interbike is moving to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center next year and to Lake Tahoe's Northstar California resort for its outdoor festival and demo. The RSCVA has nearly a dozen people here walking the show and manning its 20x20 booth, which is in the lobby area.

    "It's a big deal for us," said Ben McDonald, communication manager for the RSCVA. "We want to introduce people to Reno-Tahoe and drive awareness about the destination, the access to both with our flights, but also how it relates to Interbike and the proximity to good riding. There are a lot of miles of trails within driving of the convention center and hotel rooms. We want to address the misperception someone might have about Reno."

    Aside from its varied terrain, which goes from high desert to sierra, Reno will offer attendees a much more affordable stay, McDonald said.

    "We know flying here can be a little more expensive than flying to a larger destination, but once you get here things will be less expensive — hotel, meals and entertainment," he said.

    The other thing they want to hit home on: While Reno does have casinos, it's not strictly a gaming destination. "It's an outdoor recreation destination, and the best in the country," McDonald said.

    "And I keep hearing bikers like beer. We have a lot of new breweries — almost two dozen in the greater Reno-Tahoe region," he added. Most aren't just tasting rooms, but full-service restaurants.

    The RSCVA will be handing out visitor planners, destination highlight brochures and trail guides for retailers to start planning their trip now. Don't forget to pick up your bike maps and brewery maps.

    McDonald also said that aside from those amenities, the convention center has changed a lot since the last time Interbike was held there back in the mid-'80s. It underwent a $100 million remodel a decade ago, and it's getting ready to go through another interior refresh over the next six to 12 months that will include new paint, furniture and art.

    "We just upgraded the Wi-Fi system for the whole building, which was a $1.3 million investment to bring Wi-Fi up to 10G speeds to accommodate up to 25,000 people," McDonald said.

    For those who remain skeptical that Reno can house the industry's annual trade show, according to McDonald, the city has about 20,000 hotel rooms, a number that's disproportionate to the population size but allows the city to bring in large groups for special events.

    "The other main thing we're going to be driving home is that when you're here, this is your town," McDonald said. "Everybody in town is going to know you're here. You're going to be an important group in this community for the week. You take over."


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    LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Yamaha, known for its motorcycles and powersports products, is raising the curtain — halfway, at least — on a new, four-model line of electric bikes that it will launch in the United States and Japan early next year. 

    Yamaha is displaying only prototypes at its booth at the Interbike show this week, and won’t publicly disclose spec and other details until a formal product introduction later this year.

    Company officials call the Interbike presence more of a “brand launch” than a product launch, and those looking for detailed information will be disappointed.

    At Interbike, interested retailers can learn more specifics under a nondisclosure agreement so they can include Yamaha in their 2018 buying plans. The company said it is not publicizing details on the line so as not to step on the introduction of the line later this year in Japan.

    Drew Engelmann, sales and marketing director, said Tuesday that the e-bike line consists of four models: The Urban Rush is a drop-bar road bike; the YDX-TORC is a hardtail mountain bike with 27.5-inch wheels; the CrossCore is a 700c fitness hybrid bike; and the CrossConnect is a 700c recreation and utility bike.

    All will be Class 1 pedal-assist bikes, which means they will not have throttles and will be capable of assisted speeds of up to 20 mph.

    The launch is unusual in many ways. While the U.S. e-bike market is largely driven by European brands and specifications, the new Yamaha e-bikes were born and raised in the USA.

    “It was a U.S. project that studied the market and proposed to bring electric power assist bicycles to the United States,” said Rob Trester, manager of Yamaha’s New Business Development Division. He said Yamaha conducted extensive consumer research before deciding to launch the e-bikes.

    Trester said Yamaha’s background in such products as motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides, snowmobiles and WaveRunner watercraft convinced it to focus on the U.S. for the e-bike launch.

    “In some ways from a Yamaha global perspective, the U.S. market is sort of the place for outdoor recreation,” Trester said.

    Engelmann said Yamaha will sell through IBDs and e-IBDs. 

    “There is a reawakening of bicycling in the U.S. right now. I would hesitate to say that it’s because of e-bikes; however, there are more non-common consumers coming into bicycle retail looking for power-assist bicycles now than ever before,” Engelmann said. “E-bikes are now giving the retailer the opportunity to win the test ride again.” 

    Yamaha’s mid-drive motor system is currently spec’d by several other brands in the U.S. and Europe, including Haibike and Giant. Engelmann said Yamaha will continue offering the drive as an OE product.

    Yamaha has the potential to give e-bikes a significant boost. Its brand name is well known, and with $16.5 billion in global sales last year, Yamaha has the deep pockets to support a national rollout.

    Its current mid-drive line has been well received, and because of its extensive corporate presence in the United States, Yamaha already has a built-in service and support network.

    E-bike service centers will be in Cypress, California, where the e-bike staff is located; and Kennesaw, Georgia, outside of Atlanta. Those offices, along with a third location in Wisconsin, will handle warehousing and shipping.

    Yamaha also offers in-house financing for retailers and consumers through the Yamaha Motor Finance Corp.

    While few Americans would associate Yamaha with e-bikes, the Japanese company says it manufactured the world’s first electrically assisted bicycle.

    Called the PAS, Yamaha introduced the bike in Japan in 1993. The original used a mid-drive motor and a shaft drive, along with a heavy lead-acid battery, and had a range of about 12 miles.

    Yamaha has sold more than 2 million e-bikes since, Engelmann said.

     


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