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    TAINAN, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Charles Wu, who founded KMC Group in 1977, has passed away at his home in Tainan. He died Sunday at the age of 77 surrounded by his family. A funeral date is pending.

    Wu launched his business, later named KMC, after buying two small second-hand chain factories. He built that company into a mini-empire within the industry making bicycle and motorcycle chains in almost a dozen factories located worldwide.

    Wu was well known by many industry executives who have worked with the company for years. KMC has distributors in dozens of nations, and more than 4,000 employees worldwide. Wu's son, Robert, is the company's president. Wu's daughter, Deborah, is vice president of sales and marketing.

    Arnold Kamler, Kent's chairman and CEO and a longtime friend of Wu, said the pair had become good friends over the years and often played golf together.

    "For many years Charlie would meet his close friends in Tainan and they would tee off at about 6 a.m. and play 18 holes, shower, and then get to the office at 9 a.m. He worked, in the old days, until 7 or 8 p.m. every night building his business," Kamler recalled.

    "Of course, as we all know, KMC has become the world's dominant producer of bicycle, motorcycle and garage door chains, plus they are owners of ProWheel, one of the finest producers of chainwheels," Kamler added.

    KMC makes chains for Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo, meeting the highest standards of compatibility for three very different companies.

    But the money and status that Wu earned over the years meant little to him, Kamler said. "I recall visiting him about 10 years ago in Tainan and he met me at the airport in a Nissan that was more than 10 years old. In fact, I think it still said 'Datsun,'" Kamler recalled.

    Bob Margevicius, a vice president at Specialized, has known Wu and his family for years. "Charlie Wu was an incredible leader, father, champion and a pioneer for Taiwan," Margevicius said. "I will never forget meeting him for the first time in Taipei. He was so gracious and welcoming, and I was just a young freshman in the business," he said.

    When Margevicius met Wu, he was still working in his factory and took the time to show Margevicius the finer points of chain manufacturing. "He was so humble and an inspiration. He taught me the value of relationships, kindness and how to listen," Margevicius added.

    Kamler, in a final note, recalled that Wu was always proud of his mustache. "It kind of made him look like the actor Charles Bronson and that also became his nickname. He was incredibly kind and generous and a credit to the human race. I will miss him," Kamler said.


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    Legislative meetings focused on TIGER and TAP programs.

    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — PeopleForBikes brought together 10 bike industry leaders for a women's executive fly-in earlier this week.

    "At PeopleForBikes we work year round to show elected officials about the power of the bike industry," said Jenn Dice, vice president of business network. "It is so much more powerful when we're able to bring the faces of the industry themselves, to tell their own stories."

    The executives visited their members of Congress for meetings focused on TIGER and TAP — two programs that help build bicycle infrastructure and have come under attack this year in Congress. The U.S. House of Representative defunded the TIGER program and approved the addition of the "Woodall Amendment," which could pull funding away from TAP and local communities' bike projects.

    "Federal investment in bike infrastructure helps our local governments build more places for bikes," said Amelia Kegel, marketing manager for Wisconsin retailer Wheel & Sprocket. "With more great and safe places to ride we can grow ridership and create more opportunities for our shops to expand and contribute to our local economy."

    Attendees of the fly-in included Taldi Walter, REI; Jessica Grenwis, Quality Bicycle Products; Isabella Burczak, Union Cycliste Internationale; Milissa Rick, Pacific Cycles; Stephanie Kaplan, Specialized Bike Components; Jennifer Naeger, Trek Bicycle Corporation; Milay Galvez, Advanced Sports International; Megan Duehring, Felt; Tracy Cameron, Shimano; and Amelia Kegel, Wheel and Sprocket.

    "Felt has a proactive leadership agenda in Washington, D.C. and we are proud to be part of the bike industry's work to move the needle for bikes," said Duehring, international operations coordinator at Felt Bicycles. "Meeting members of Congress and their staff face-to-face helps to build a relationship between our business and key policy makers. Through fly-ins like this, PeopleForBikes is ensuring our voice is heard in Washington."

    In addition to the meetings on Capitol Hill, this fly-in included a BikesPAC event, a tour of the REI flagship store in Northeast D.C., a guided bikeshare tour of D.C's bike infrastructure and talks from prominent women congressional staff and lobbyists.

    "The last three days have been immensely productive," said Milissa Rick, senior director of marketing for Schwinn and Mongoose at Pacific Cycle. "PeopleForBikes' women's executive fly-in has given my fellow attendees and me new ideas on how to engage our elected officials back at home and where we sell bikes in America."

    PeopleForBikes said it will continue to monitor the Woodall Amendment and proposed budget cuts to bike projects and TIGER.


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    Mariano Gon

    SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (BRAIN) — Ibis Cycles has hired Mariano Gon as the brand's new global sales director and Saris Mercanti as its new marketing manager.

    Gon has more than 25 years of experience in the cycling industry and was most recently the American sales director for Orbea. He previously worked with Ibis co-founder Hans Heim and COO Jon Forsberg at Santa Cruz Bicycles.

    "Mariano joining Ibis just made perfect sense," said Tom Morgan, Ibis' president and co-owner. "He already knows us - our staff and our customers. And nobody is better positioned to help Ibis drive its next phase of growth. We couldn't be happier to have him on the team."

    Gon said, "It was impossible to say no to Ibis. They have managed to maintain the essence of cycling, of authentic mountain biking, which we fell in love with more than 30 years ago... And we need to keep that essence as part of Ibis character. I have always been an advocate of the traditional dealer model around the world. Ibis is such a big family, and when you manage to transmit the meaning of riding and selling an Ibis bike to each of our dealers, everything turns so much easier." I

    Mercanti was most recently the technical editor at MTBR; before that she handled marketing and communications for Kali Protectives. Prior to both roles, she was an editor at BikeRumor.

    Morgan said, "Marketing has become an increasingly complex challenge - lots of possibilities, but few certainties. In Saris we feel that we have someone who not only knows bicycles and the bicycle industry, but she is also someone who is up to the task of navigating the ever-expanding maze of marketing technology."

    Mercanti said, "I'm incredibly excited for this opportunity. I've always admired Ibis products and look forward to working alongside industry titans like Hans Heim, Scot Nicol, Tom Morgan, and Roxy Lo." 


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Bike industry journalist, adventurer and mechanic Nick Legan has written a new book for VeloPress called GRAVEL CYCLING: The Complete Guide to Gravel Racing and Adventure Bikepacking.

    The publishe said the books "shares everything cyclists need to know to enjoy this glorious return to cycling's roots." Selections from the book can be reviewed at velopress.com/gravel.

    Legan brings his experience as a ProTour bike mechanic to this guide, offering detailed data on bike setup, gear selection, and how to build a dream gravel bike. He shares ride-saving tips and smart ways to make sure cyclists enjoy every moment and ride with confidence.

    Legan covers all the gear, bike setup, riding tips, course previews, and outfitting strategies cyclists need to enjoy gravel cycling with confidence. He profiles 18 favorite one-day gravel events from America and Europe and eight multiday bikepacking adventure routes. Legan shares colorful stories of the origins of gravel cycling in North America and its rapid spread to Europe, Asia, and South America. The full-color book includes more than 320 photographs.

    The 304-page paperback retails for $24.95. 

    For media copies, book excerpts, author interviews, marketing and sales, contact Dave Trendler at VeloPress at dtrendler@competitorgroup.com.


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    OAKLAND, Calif. (BRAIN) — HydraPak has hired Akimbo Communications to oversee the company's media relations in North America.

    "We are excited to work with Akimbo on strategic communications," said Morgan Makowski, the director of marketing at HydraPak. "Akimbo is known for its core relationships within the outdoor industry and we look forward to working with them to reach new fans through product and brand storytelling."

    Effective immediately, Akimbo will collaborate with the brand to communicate HydraPak's technologies and innovations, company stories and corporate initiatives, and promote its collection of hydration products.

    Founded in 2008 and based in Portland, Oregon, Akimbo Communications specializes in the outdoor, action sports and active lifestyle industries. Its client roster includes Smith, Dakine, Boa Technology, HydraPak, Assos, Priority Bicycles, and Brilliant Bicycle Co.

     


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    The Boogaloo events include races and demos, sponsored by Troy Lee Designs and Bosch e-Bike Systems.

    TEMECULA, Calif. (BRAIN) — The Boogaloo, a Class 1 eMTB race and demo event presented by Troy Lee Designs and Bosch eBike Systems, is heading to Southern California, following an earlier race at the Kamikaze Bike Games in Mammoth. 

    The race will be held Saturday, Nov. 4 at Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, on a course specifically designed for eMTB racers. "Expect near-vertical ascents, killer drops, obstacles, berms, and more that will take you and your eMTB to the limits of what you thought possible on two wheels," organizers said.

    An early-bird entry fee of $60 is available until Oct. 31 and includes use of a Class 1 eMTB provided by Bulls, Haibike, Raleigh Electric, and Specialized, set up to the rider's specifications. Riders will also get a custom Troy Lee Designs A1 helmet, number plate, fender and commemorative T-shirt. The fastest five will win a premium Bosch Power Drill. After Oct. 31, entries will increase to $75 per rider.

    The Pro Class eMTB race will take place immediately following the Amateur race, where pros will compete for a $2,000 purse and Bosch Power Tools.

    Free demos will be also be available before and after the race on a course suited for beginner riders. Bikes from Raleigh Electric, Haibike, Bulls Bikes and Specialized will be available. 

    More information at socalendurance.net/boogaloo.

     


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    E-bikes are hot topic; dates for TBW in 2018 up in the air.

    By Tom Kavanagh

    TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Taichung Bike Week drew some 470 exhibiting companies at five hotels in the city this week. Although the timing is late for U.S. product managers, Taiwanese vendors see it as their last chance to attract OE spec for the upcoming model year. 

    Bike Week has grown beyond its origins as an OE spec’ing event and now attracts large numbers of aftermarket suppliers. Exhibitors book space directly with the hotels, so the event is essentially self-organizing, said Pro-Lite owner Steve Fenton. Known as the public face of TBW, Fenton stepped back from the role over the past year due to health issues and pressure to run his own business. 

    The Taichung city authorities provide free shuttle buses and a welcome dinner, and local publisher Wheel Giant produces the website and show dailies, but the event remains highly cost-efficient for exhibitors, running on a non-profit basis.

    Sam Chou, sales manager at the Splendor Hotel, said that exhibiting at Bike Week is a third of the cost of attending Taipei Cycle, while products and pricing can be kept confidential. 

    This year, however, exhibitors noted that traffic was significantly down compared to last year, likely due to general market conditions, but there was unanimous agreement that Bike Week continues to be the most convenient and cost-efficient way to meet business partners.

    Electric bike suppliers were busy, with Bosch’s two meeting rooms booked every hour of the event. Parts and accessories aimed at the category in some way were everywhere, from lights to forks to e-bike-specific tires.

    “People want to see electric drives in a wider range of bikes, from city and trekking to e-mountain, so we want to have products for all these categories,” said Tom Suenaga of SR Suntour. “We see this happening in the U.S. as well. One area that’s growing fast is e-bike disk brakes, and our disk-brake specific forks are getting more popular.” 

    Terry Wong, project manager at Taiwanese e-bike supplier Darfon, said growth in the category is obvious. “In 2016 we were the only e-bike vendor here in the Splendor hotel, now there are many other suppliers here, and also a lot more inquiries,” he said. Darfon’s batteries and charger are the first to be certified under the “Approved by Shimano” program.

    Japan, the birthplace of the pedal-assist e-bike, is seeing renewed growth in electric bike sales, according to Keiji Taiga of P&A maker Crops. “The only category that’s increasing now is e-bikes, so we have to develop products for e-bikes, even in the aftermarket. In Japan, e-bike sales are booming — 700,000 units were sold last year. E-mountain is really growing now, so it looks like Japan and Asia is following Europe in this trend,” Taiga said. 

    Crops is working on GPS-enabled smart locks that integrate with e-bikes, which will launch in Japan next year, followed by Europe.

    The e-bike market in the U.S. also appears to be picking up momentum. Electric bicycle consultant Ed Benjamin said that, based on research that is not yet finalized, the U.S. e-bike market is up 30 percent or more this year. 

    Bafang and Bosch are the leading suppliers of drive systems, with both companies holding non-stop meetings during Bike Week. According to Jack Brandsen, GM of Bafang Europe, connectivity is one of the main trends. “Everyone is looking for what to connect and how to connect. Our strategy is to be flexible, but the limit is always serviceability,” he said. 

    Bosch’s Claudia Wasko said that while she could not reveal the specifics of upcoming innovations, “Integration is a strong trend, where everything is integrated in the frame. We call it ‘integrated design.’ In a couple of years it will be very hard to tell a conventional bicycle from an e-bike,” she said. Bosch launched its Powertube frame-integrated battery at Eurobike in August. 

    Another trend is smaller and lighter motors, and increasing range, which can be improved by using more efficient motors and new battery cell technologies. 

    Wasko also said connectivity for theft protection, navigation, fitness apps and so on is also in the works. “We have recently acquired connected bike startup Cobi, although we can’t talk more about it until we get final approval from the European anti-trust authorities in mid-November,” she said. 

    Although Taichung Bike Week has set its dates for Oct. 16-19 next year, Wheel Giant surveyed visitors on their choice of dates this week: The options were Sept 25-28, Oct. 27-30, and other. Whether an actual date change is in the works remains unclear. However, September would be a better fit for the earlier OE spec cycle, while the suggested October dates would be more convenient for companies who wanted to attend both Bike Week and the Taipei Cycle Show, which runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 next year. 

    The current dates mean that the two events are separated by 11 days. For some companies, this is a problem. Bosch’s Wasko said the dates meant their team would have to be in Taiwan for three weeks to attend both events, “which does not make sense for us.” 

    Some Bike Week attendees said that the date clash could result in more distributors coming to Taichung. Given the choice, many overseas firms prefer the cost efficiency of Taichung, but appear to accept that they’ll be at both shows. “So far our decision is to participate at both Taichung and Taipei. Our expectations for each event is different,” said SR Suntour’s Suenaga. 

    With the changes to the international show calendar and uncertainty about the final dates for Taichung Bike Week, Wellgo’s Jennifer Chen summed it up nicely: “Next year will just be chaotic.”

    For more coverage on Bike Week, turn to our upcoming December 1 print issue. 

     

     


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    Retail attendance continues to be highly regional at Interbike’s East Coast trade/consumer festival.

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BRAIN) — On what was expected to be the peak day of Interbike's second annual Fall CycloFest trade and consumer festival, cyclists lined up at the Specialized booth all day Saturday to try out one of the Morgan Hill, California, brand's dozens of bikes available for demo at host venue the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte.

    With a prime booth location next to one of the festival's two entrances, Specialized sent retailers out on 60 demos during Thursday's trade-only opening day. Friday's trade morning got off to a slower start, but once consumer hours kicked in just after lunchtime, Specialized staff worked continuously to get out more than 100 demos by day's end. Derrick Lewis, Eastern regional marketing manager for Specialized, expected to double that total Saturday, when the demo was open to the public all day.

    “We could have brought 100 more bikes and still not satisfied the demand,” he said.

    Most exhibitors returning to CycloFest this year said retail traffic was on par with last year's event, and that they seemed busier during the consumer hours through Saturday. (CycloFest continued Sunday with a pair of social road and gravel rides and a shorter public expo day.)

    Whether that busier atmosphere was the product of rising attendance or a smaller overall footprint and exhibitor count this year — just under 60 companies, down from 115 last year — or perhaps both, was unclear. Interbike said it will not report attendance numbers for either retailers or consumers this year because parent Emerald Expositions became a publicly traded company last spring.

    At the Pivot Cycles booth, sales manager Bryan Mason said he and his crew sent out about 30 demos on the opening trade day, in line with last year's count.

    Distributor Qarv Imports came to CycloFest this year as it introduces Spanish mountain bike brand Mondraker to the U.S. market. Kervin Quinones, Qarv's founder,  had hoped for more retail traffic during the fest's trade-only hours, but said he still had a number of productive dealer conversations.

    “The nice thing about it being somewhat slow is you have the time to really talk with people,” he said.

    “It was slower than I hoped, but the quality of people was really good,” Raleigh's Rob Kaplan said of the retail-only demo day.

    Flagging retail attendance on CycloFest's second trade day was a common criticism following last year's event. To boost traffic this year, Interbike opened the expo to the public starting at 1 p.m. Friday.

    Norco Bicycles' Terry Duran lamented Friday morning that his staff largely sat idle before the consumer hours kicked in. “It's open to retailers now, but there's no one here,” he said. “But if it's big (on Saturday) and we get all these bikes out, it's worth it. There are only two or three bikes out right now.”

    Niner Bikes' Lucas Perez said he sent out 10 demos from his 30-bike fleet Friday morning, but that activity picked up significantly as consumers poured in Friday afternoon.

    Santa Cruz Bicycles' David Frye said he saw about the same number of dealers as last year, and was anticipating a second successful year for the brand at CycloFest.

    “I saw a lot of comments last year that it was slow, but it was great for us. We put out more demos that weekend than we had all season long. We really had our heads down. As a demo event for brands that people want to ride, it's cranking. But for other things like clothing and accessories, nobody seemed to care too much,” he said.

    Based in nearby Columbia, South Carolina, distributor Hawley returned to CycloFest this year with a booth dedicated to bike care brand Muc-Off. Staff stayed busy handing out product samples before running out mid-day Saturday. “We've seen a lot more people than last year. We brought 600 sample bags this year, thinking it would be more than enough. We probably could have brought twice that,” Hawley's Matt Tagliaferri said.

    Exhibitors BRAIN spoke to during the two trade days said retail attendance was highly regional, drawing from the Carolinas and other nearby states, with a few outliers from farther away. Interbike had expected that regionality given retailer attendance at last year's CycloFest.

    “Florida is the farthest we've seen, and one guy from Connecticut,” Niner's Perez said.

    “We've seen several guys from Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia and of course Tennessee and South Carolina. But how far west are they coming from to get here, I don't know,” said Norco's Duran.

    “My sense is it's not drawing as much from the Northeast of mid-Atlantic as it did last year,” Kaplan noted at the Raleigh booth.

    Cooper River Cycles manager KC Hazelwood drove three hours from Charleston, South Carolina, to attend the second trade day after the store's owner attended the opening day. Retirees are a large part of his shop's customer base, so Hazelwood came to CycloFest to check out the variety of brands displaying e-bikes, particularly electric hybrids.

    “More people are ordering them online and bringing them in for us to build, so we figure why not have them in the store,” he said.

    Tim Comerford and a fellow employee of Spin Bike Shop drove nine hours from Lakewood, Ohio, for both trade days. The shop already carries Santa Cruz and Specialized as well as Focus, which also had a booth  at this year's festival.

    “We demo'd a lot of the stuff we already have so we can get more of a feel for it and also share that experience with our customers and tell them we rode those bikes in North Carolina, because where we're at in Ohio it's fairly flat,” Comerford said.

    He also attended as many seminars as he could during CycloFest's pre-demo morning education schedule, which included tech clinics from SR Suntour, Campagnolo and SRAM; sessions with POS provider Lightspeed; and a two-part Mann U program from industry consultant Dan Mann.

    “I did both Lightspeed and Mann U, and both were very informative because we do have Lightspeed. It wasn't selling one of their products; it was demoing it. I absolutely loved it,” Comerford said. “I definitely have a lot of tools to change our selling standards. So I have essentially a lot of ammo, so to speak, to back me up.”

    An avid mountain biker, Jesse Tomkins stumbled upon CycloFest last year when he came to the Whitewater Center to do his regular weekend ride on the facility's extensive trail network.This year, he came to the Friday and Saturday consumer days in search of his  next bike.

    “These are my go-to trails. But I also want to get out to Pisgah (National Forest) and do some enduros, so I'm looking for that one-quiver bike,” said Tomkins, who lives less than a half-hour away from Charlotte in Huntersville, North Carolina.

    On Friday's partial consumer day, he took out four different Rocky Mountain models. “I pretty much rode all of Rocky Mountain's line, so I'm kind of wiped out,” he said.

    Charlotte resident Jake Heinz also was on the hunt for a new bike, but found little in his price range to demo. He started mountain biking four years ago and has slowly moved up in price point, buying demo bikes from the Whitewater Center at the end of the season. Now he's looking for a new rig around $1,500. His local bike shop recommended that he go to CycloFest.

    “The unfortunate thing about the bike tents is that every bike for demo is super expensive. If you're looking for that entry-level bike or just above that, there's nothing,” he said. “Nobody had hardtails, that's one thing. All they have is full suspension. And I get it that they're going to demo their top-of-the-line bikes, but the first bike I rode was $9,000. It'd be nice to see a $2,000-and-under bike.”

    For more on CylcloFest, see the December 1 print edition of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.


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    PHILADELPHIA (BRAIN) — Dealers rushing to see the latest from their suppliers will not have to deal with consumer crowds at the Philly Bike Expo. For this year's show, Nov. 4-5, doors will open at 8 a.m. with the first two hours of the day reserved for dealers only. Consumers will be allowed in at 10 a.m.

    "We've had a growing number of requests to add some kind of industry-only aspect to the show. At the same time plenty of exhibitors are consumer direct and do not want anything like that," said Bina Bilenky, Philly Bike Expo show organizer.

    "We thought of doing a full day, but that doesn't work for everyone. Early hours for the industry seemed like the best compromise," she added.

    Those in the industry wishing to attend the show can do so for free as long as they sign up on the expo webpage.

    When the show started eight years ago it was held with 60 exhibitors at the Philadelphia Armory, a 10,000-square-foot venue. Today the show is at the Philadelphia Convention Center, with 180 exhibitors set to cover 103,000 square feet.

    "This is the first year we are holding trade-only hours, so I don't expect huge crowds of dealers. But I hope it catches on, as I'm willing to expand the trade part of the show in the future," Belinky said.

     


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    SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Raleigh Electric is partnering with the Los Angeles-based Bahati Foundation to auction a 2017 Redux IE e-bike. Proceeds will support the Foundation's philanthropic work.

    "We are very pleased to be able to support the great work that the Bahati Foundation is doing," said Larry Pizzi, Raleigh Electric's president. "I admire how Rahsaan (Bahati) has been able to use the bicycle as a tool to bring social equity, and give back to his community."

    To purchase tickets visit go.rallyup.com/bahatiebike.

    The drawing will be held on Dec. 22. Ticket prices start at $20.

    Rahsaan Bahati said, "The opportunity to work in the community that raised me is humbling and rewarding. Partnering with Raleigh Electric, who is an industry leader in the e-bike business, is even more humbling. To know Raleigh Electric shares the same vision for helping those who are less fortunate is exactly the partner we were looking for."

    The bike being auctioned has a retail value of $3,199.


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    SHERIDAN, Wyo. (BRAIN) — Foldaway Solutions LLC, the distributor of Oyama Bicycles, Uniche and BTP Bar Tape, has has hired industry veterans Barry Riemer and Ken DeCesari. Riemer joins as CFP and DeCesari is the new vice president of sales.

    Founded by Ken Fagut in 2015, Foldaway Solutions manages sales, marketing and distribution for these brands throughout North America. The company recently launched Oyama Bicycles in the North America at Interbike.

    Through his consulting firm, Prime Velo, Riemer also serves as CFO for NYCeWheels (New York) and is an on-call financial consultant for Nikola Pedals and the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition. He previously held the position of controller for Dahon North America.

    Prior to joining Foldaway Solutions, DeCesari was national sales manager for SockGuy for nearly 10 years.

    "This is an exciting time for Foldaway Solutions in terms of growth and impact, we can provide for a number of brands as they look to establish and grow market share throughout North America," said Fagut, who has held national sales positions with a number of brands, including Dahon North America and BionX International. "The addition of industry professionals like Barry and Ken to our ranks demonstrates that we are serious about assisting brands with all aspects of sales, marketing and distribution throughout North America.

    More information at foldawaysolutions.com.


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    Former Specialized tech director will lead BMC's global digital projects.

    GRENCHEN, Switzerland (BRAIN) — BMC Switzerland has hired Greg Dolder as its global director of technology. Dolder comes to BMC with extensive experience in both the tech and bicycle industries. Most recently he spent time software consulting, after departing from Specialized where he served as the director of technology from 2010 to 2016. Prior to Specialized, Dolder owned and operated a bicycle retail store in Southern California.

    As director of technology for BMC, Greg will lead definition, evaluation, and implementation of BMC's global digital projects and goals.

    "I'm excited to be part of the BMC family, and I look forward to playing a significant part in achieving our global digital goals," said Dolder.

    The company said it plans "to strengthen rider and retailer relationships through expansion and enhancement of its digital experiences. Dolder's addition to the team is the first step in this direction."

     


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    FÜRTH, Germany (BRAIN) —Crankbrothers has announced a new exclusive distribution arrangement for the German market. Cosmic Sports GmbH will now be the exclusive distributor in German territory with immediate effect, the company said.

    "Crankbrothers would like to thank Hermann Hartje KG for their successful support over the past years and wish them all the best for the future," the company said.

    "The new distribution set-up is motivated by the highly dynamic and fast evolving situation of the market. Given the market situation, and the passion behind the team at Cosmic Sports who are deeply rooted and engaged in core mountain biking assures Crankbrothers that the new distribution set-up will provide the best support to its network of dealers and provide the best service for its consumers," the company said.

    More information:  cosmicsport.de.


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    BROOKLYN, N.Y. (BRAIN) — Brooklyn Bicycle Co. is making its first foray in to the cruiser market with the introduction of the Brighton 7-Speed Cruiser. The brand now offers nine bike models.

    The Brighton model, named for the beach in Brooklyn, has an aluminum frame, Selle Royale cruiser saddle, Shimano 7-speed internal drivetrain with internal cable routing and the brand's "Pure Comofort Pedal Forward" geometry.

    It retails for $449.95.

    "We are constantly reviewing our portfolio for opportunities to help our IBD partners capture more market share and for our partners in warm weather states, this was a no-brainer," said Brooklyn Bicycle Co.'s president, Ryan Zagata. "This was an area we hadn't planned on going, given the saturation of this category, but upon speaking with dealers and customers, we became convinced that we could do it better than what was already available in the market."

    More information at brooklynbicycleco.com

     


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    NELSON, British Columbia (BRAIN) — Canadian distributor NRG Enterprises Ltd. has added CushCore, Ravemen, Melon and Julbo to its product offerings.

    CushCore is a new brand from Bend, Oregon, that makes tire inserts to help tubeless tires absorb impacts, reduces vibration and stabilizes the sidewalls to prevent air from leaking out. 

    "CushCore is excited to be working exclusively with NRG for distribution in Canada. Canada has become an important market for us, and we wanted to find representation by people who ride the gnarly terrain that has helped make us so popular in the region. NRG imports CushCore in bulk, so they can offer our products at lower cost and with a lot less hassle than buying from across the border." said Cush Core's owner, Adam Krefting.

    "At NRG we carry brands and products we personally like to use. Cushcore is the perfect example. We sincerely think it offers the best solution for many users who thinks tubeless tires is the way to go." said NRG/Lanctôt Operations VP Jean Cloutier.

    Ravemen makes front and rear lights ranging from 20 to 1,200 lumens and uses technology taken from the automotive industry.

    Melon offers fashionable helmets with in-mold construction and magnetic buckles.

    Julbo is 130 year old French eyewear brand that is offering a new line of photochromatic cycling sunglasses.

    "When I heard that Lanctôt (NRG's parent company since June) was entering the bike industry, I knew that we had a unique opportunity to synchronize our new product launching with the acquisition of NRG. Our new items are perfectly adapted to that market and especially to the specific Canadian light conditions," said Julbo's international sales director Pierre Burgelin.

    NRG/Lanctôt's operations VP, Jean Cloutier, said, "Julbo has been distributed by Lanctôt for 8 years now. When we heard Julbo's focus was switching more and more towards the various cycling disciplines, it was a no-brainer to add a selected offering at NRG." 


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Australia-based website CyclingTips.com has hired Caley Fretz to join its editorial team.

    Fretz leaves his position as senior editor at VeloNews, where he'd worked since 2010. He will join the existing CyclingTips U.S. team of editor Neal Rogers and tech editor James Huang. All three are based in Boulder.

    "I've long admired the talent of the CyclingTips team and the ingenuity of its work," Fretz said. "I'm excited to join them in telling cycling's best and most beautiful stories."

    Fretz and Rogers worked together at VeloNews for five years, where Rogers was editor from 2011 through 2015. Fretz was VeloNews tech editor from 2012 to 2015, and was promoted to senior editor in 2016. He's covered events such as the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, and 2016 Olympic Games.

    "I'm thrilled to be working alongside Caley again," Rogers said. "He's a talented writer and cyclist. We work extremely well together, and it's no secret that I had always hoped we would be part of the same editorial team again."

    At CyclingTips, Fretz will focus on products and lifestyle, gravel and adventure riding, and WorldTour racing, and will also manage the CyclingTips Podcast. His title will be senior editor.

    "I've long admired Caley's work and creativity and I'm thrilled to have him part of our team to further our investment and commitment to the U.S. market" said CyclingTips' founder and publisher, Wade Wallace.

    In recent months, CyclingTips has added industry veteran Steve Brawley, to manage commercial media sales, as well as Nick Ramey, to manage its Emporium online merchandise channel.

    Along with North American sales director Mark Gouge and Ella CyclingTips editor Anne-Marije Rook, Fretz becomes the seventh U.S.-based CyclingTips employee.

    Fretz will start with CyclingTips on Tuesday. He can be reached at caley.fretz@cyclingtips.com.


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Doug Emerson and Frank Banta called the Boulder Valley Velodrome their "field of dreams." Emerson and Banta built it, and cyclists came. Now the pair is seeking new owners who would take their dreams and make this Olympic-caliber velodrome a world-class venue.

    "What we've done so far is nothing short of helping create a re-birth of track cycling in America," said Emerson, who also owns University Bicycles in downtown Boulder. Banta is a long time cyclist and is well known in the community. He's a founder of the Buffalo Bicycle Classic and owns Frank Banta Construction.

    "All the heavy lifting is done. More than a decade has passed and Frank and I have reached the point in life where our priorities are shifting," Emerson said. "Grandstands, retail and office space, international events—you name it, people are asking for it. There's a demand. There's an incredible opportunity here for someone with fresh energy and the means and passion to invest," he added.

    The velodrome is located on 4.2 acres in Erie, a community near Boulder. The facility consists of a fully operational velodrome, ample parking, exterior lighting for evening events, a 5,050 square-foot bicycle storage unit, infield restrooms and changing rooms for cyclists. It is bordered on two sides by 10 acres of open space. And the velodrome is zoned and permitted for a future clubhouse and spectator stands.

    "It's going very well and we could putter along as we have been, but it would be better if we could get someone to take it to the next level," Emerson said in an interview. Emerson and Banta own the velodrome through Boneshaker Inc., LLC.

    "It's been quite a ride. As strong as our dream was at the onset, Frank and I could never have imagined the kind of place that it's become. It's magical, man, it's like a movie—two guys have a big vision and face some significant setbacks, but then the right people just seem to come along and the community elevates that vision into something people everywhere start to notice. People walk in or ride or watch a race, and they're hooked; they want to be a part of it," he said.

    "Over the last two years as word of mouth has traveled, ridership, club membership, sponsorship and revenue have surged," Emerson said, declining to offer financial details. "We want to discuss that directly with potential buyers," he said.

    Still, the velodrome has more than 200 members who pay $400 a year for a membership and many more certified cyclists ride on a day pass. The velodrome has 50 Specialized Langsters in all sizes for use at no cost, and members can pay an additional $125 per year to store their bicycle on site. "All you have to do to ride is show up with shoes, pedals and a helmet," Emerson said.

    Sponsors include Specialized and The Pro's Closet as well as some 30 other sponsors. The venue attracts advertising from a host of local breweries, real estate firms and restaurants. Track management offers classes, training sessions and welcomes spectators whenever the gates are open. The site is also available for special occasions such as weddings and other community events.

    The site is just west of Interstate 25 with easy access to Denver International Airport and Colorado's Front Range cities. Erie is one of the area's fastest-growing communities with a wide range of housing, employment, educational, shopping and recreational opportunities.

    .


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    OSAKA, Japan (BRAIN) — Shimano saw a slight increase in sales in its bike division through the first nine months of 2017, up 1.4 percent to 196 billion yen ($1.7 billion) over sales in the same period last year. Operating income in the division decreased nearly 5 percent over the period however.

    In a 3Q report released Tuesday, Shimano described a somewhat lackluster market for its bike components in North America, Europe, China and Japan.

    "In North America, retail sales of completed bicycles were approximately the same as the previous year's level and distributor inventories continued to be somewhat low," the company said.

    It said European sales were "somewhat soft," China sales were "lacking vigor," and sales in Japan "remained lackluster."

    It did say that retail sales of complete bicycles in South America showed "signs of recovery."

    "In these market conditions, there are high expectations for the next season in Europe because of diversification of bicycle types, including e-bikes. Sales of both the Deore mountain bike components released in May 2017 and the Ultegra road bike components released in June 2017 remained robust, and the additional Ultegra Di2 (electronic shifting system) and disc brakes released in August 2017 were well received in the market," the company said.

    Company-wide, Shimano reported a 1.8 percent increase in net sales for the first 9 months, with sales totaling 246 billion yen, up from 242 billion yen in the first 9 months of 2016. Operating income in the period was down 4 percent however.

    Shimano's fishing business saw a 3.3 percent net increase in sales, to 50 billion yen, as well as an operating income increase of 1.9 percent.

    For fiscal 2017, Shimano is forecasting net sales of 330 billion yen, up 2.2 percent from last year, with operating income of 63 billion yen, which is down 2.4 percent. The net sales forecast is unchanged, but the company revised down its ordinary income forecast by 3.2 percent, to 57 billion yen. It revised its basic earnings per share to 437.9 yen, down from the previous forecast of 454 yen.


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    HAIFA, Israel (BRAIN) — Everysight says it will begin shipping its long awaited Raptor AR smartglasses in February in the U.S. The company will begin taking pre-orders from U.S. consumers next month, with pricing starting at $499 for pre-orders. Regular pricing will start at $649.

    The Raptor AR features a heads-up display that projects ride information onto the back of the lens. It can connect to devices including heart rate monitors and power meters and can show speed, distance, maps and other information, as well as capturing photos and videos. The functions can be controlled by voice commands, a touch pad on the arms, a handlebar-mounted remote and a smartphone app. 

    Besides the glasses, Everysight will offer accessories such as a handlebar control system, RX frames, and tinted lenses.

    "Our legacy in AR Systems goes way back as being spun of out of Elbit Systems, the worldwide defense company leader in helmet mounted systems for fighter jet and rotary wing pilots. We have been working on consumer-specific AR technology for more than 15 years and long before Google, Apple, and Facebook, we saw and invested in AR's transformative potential to alter the way we receive and ingest real-time data and information from the world around us. Today, we are excited to bring Raptor to market and cannot wait to show off our upcoming product line-up for 2018 and beyond," said Asaf Ashkenazi, Everysight's CEO.

    More information at everysight.com


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