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    EUGENE, Ore. (BRAIN) — Rolf Prima has launched sister brand Astral Cycling to manufacture traditionally laced alloy and carbon rims for consumers and wheel builders at its Oregon facility.

    "When we made the investment to bring rim production to Oregon, we got immediate inquiries if we could make rims for other companies, but we were too busy building for the Rolf Prima line. Now that we have our feet under us, we are at the point where we can expand beyond making rims just for our own wheel systems," said Brian Roddy, owner of Rolf Prima and Astral Cycling.

    "Over the last 20 years building Rolf Prima wheel systems we've found there to be a lot of inherent benefits with paired spokes, but we know not everyone wants a pre-built wheel system and some prefer to build it their own way. There is a lot of room in the world for quality wheels and Astral can make those wheels happen. We've already done the engineering to make great rims and now we can share those rims for all wheel builds," he added.

    Astral's rims will be available in traditional lacing patterns and will come in a variety of spoke hole configurations. The entire line will also be tubeless-compatible and will include rims for most riding disciplines. Rims will be available through dealers, custom wheel builders and directly through astralcycling.com.

    Rolf Prima will debut the Astral line at the Philadelphia Bike Expo this weekend.


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    The Alchemy Arktos.

    DENVER, Colo. (BRAIN) — High-end bike brand Alchemy Bicycles is now offering consumers a 30-day ride-test guarantee on its Ready to Roll bikes. Customers can return the bikes for a full refund of exchange in the first 30 days. The guarantee is in addition to the brand's lifetime warranty on carbon and titanium frames. 

    "Let's face it. The typical Alchemy customer is buying his or her dream bike," said company founder Ryan Cannizzaro. "We are supremely confident they will love their new bike, and this program ensures that every customer is completely satisfied."

    Alchemy's range of bicycles includes titanium and carbon road, cross and gravel models, and a 160mm-travel full-suspension mountain bike called the Arktos. All of these models are covered under the 30-day test guarantee, as well as the warranty.

     

     


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    But officials say sales are rebounding in the fourth quarter following extreme weather and US retail challenges that disrupted business.

    MONTREAL (BRAIN) — Dorel Industries reported Thursday that third-quarter revenue in the division housing its mass-market and IBD bikes businesses plunged 18 percent due to factors including hurricanes and other extreme weather in North America, the bankruptcy filing of mass customer Toys R Us in September, and overall weakness in the global bicycle market.

    "This was a particularly tough quarter for lots of small reasons that added up to a point where we had a revenue decrease of 18 percent. We don't believe that the business isn't that bad overall, and we've already seen a Q4 bounce-back starting in October," CFO Jeffrey Schwartz said during Dorel's earnings call Thursday.

    Third-quarter revenue at Dorel Sports — which includes Cannondale, Caloi, Pacific Cycle, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose and Sugoi — totaled $205.5 million, down $45.2 million from $250.7 million a year earlier. For the nine months through September, Dorel Sports' revenue is down 10.7 percent to $628.6 million.

    The division's operating profit also declined during the quarter, down $5.6 million to just $200,000. For the nine months through September, operating profit is up $54.1 million to $15.2 million after Dorel boosted margins and cut operating expenses during the first half of the year.

    But the third quarter was "probably the worst quarter we've had ever in our sports business," Schwartz said.

    Martin Schwartz, Dorel Industries' CEO, said: "It was a disappointing quarter for Dorel Sports, which became caught up in the continued weakness in the global bicycle market. As a major player in the bike sector, Dorel Sports is not immune to the disruption in the North American retail environment, which this year was amplified by persistent inclement weather across the United States and Canada.

    "This was particularly true in the mass channels where Pacific Cycle has a leading position. Sales of bikes overall were down in both units and dollars at several of the large retailers," he added.

    Revenue also declined at Cycling Sports Groups, Dorel's IBD business, but the CEO said that decrease is largely attributable to a reduction in discounted sales as CSG improves its inventory management.

    Brazilian bike brand Caloi increased its sales volume for the first time this year during the quarter, fueled by the mass market, Martin Schwartz noted. "The fourth quarter is crucial for Caloi, and we believe we are positioned in mass to have a strong quarter," he said.

    In North America, Dorel Sports halted shipments of Pacific Cycle mass bikes and other Dorel products to Toys R Us after the retailer filed for bankruptcy in September. Dorel resumed that business during the fourth quarter.

    "In addition to bikes, we also ship a lot of battery-powered ride-on toys during the season. We have resumed shipping and we should see most if not all of that delayed stuff from Q3 going into Q4, so we don't know that we're going to actually miss anything for the year. But certainly it was just another headwind in Q3," Jeffrey Schwartz said.

    U.S. shipments not only of bikes, but also of Dorel home and juvenile products, were also negatively affected by storms that shuttered Dorel's Eastern distribution center in Savannah, Georgia, for a week, company officials noted.

    For Pacific Cycle, the reduced volume squeezed margins during the quarter, Jeffrey Schwartz said. "Our margin dropped, and it's strictly related to overhead absorption because of the sales volume," he added.


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    The bike swap meet and expo is now in its 28th year.

    DENVER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Organizers of this weekend's VeloSwap consumer bike swap and expo are expecting more than 8,000 attendees and 350-plus vendors, which include individuals, retailers, suppliers, teams and other groups selling used and new gear. Suppliers also will show new products and offer demos and instructional clinics.

    The one-day event is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the National Western Complex. 

    Advance tickets are available online at veloswapdenver.com and at all Performance Bike shops along the Front Range.

    "VeloSwap is a celebration of the cycling lifestyle, offering can't-miss deals for cyclists in the Denver area for almost three decades," said Reese Brown, the event's director. "It's truly the ultimate bargain treasure hunt for cycling enthusiasts, where people can buy, sell or trade gear, parts or bikes."

     The 2017 VeloSwap will feature an expanded EcoVillage, New Product Showcase, product sampling, family events and more.

    More information at veloswapdenver.com or facebook.com/denver.veloswap. The National Western Complex is at 4655 Humboldt Street in Denver.


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  • 11/02/17--17:04: VeloSwap Denver
  • Date: 
    Date:November 4, 2017 1:00 am
    Location: National Western Complex, Denver, Colo.

    "VeloSwap is a celebration of the cycling lifestyle, offering can't-miss deals for cyclists in the Denver area for almost three decades," said Reese Brown, the event's director. "It's truly the ultimate bargain treasure hunt for cycling enthusiasts, where people can buy, sell or trade gear, parts or bikes."

    The 2017 VeloSwap will feature an expanded EcoVillage, New Product Showcase, product sampling, family events and more.

    More information at veloswapdenver.com or facebook.com/denver.veloswap


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    Dealer Tour editors and sponsors spin along the West Side Greenway.

    NEW YORK (BRAIN) — It’s been more than five years since the BRAIN Dealer Tour visited New York City, braving the Big Apple’s busy avenues and steaming July temperatures to visit more than a dozen shops from Fort Lee, New Jersey — across the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan — over to Harlem and south to Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay neighborhood. 

    Like all our Dealer Tours over the years, we sought to sample a broad range of the city’s retail market — road, tri and folding bike specialists, a destination shop that draws fans from around the world, a tiny custom shop focused on classic steel road bikes, and a chain of stores said at the time to be the largest full-service bike dealer in the NYC metro area.

    So how much has changed in five years? Lots, it turns out:

    • NYC retail mainstay and longtime advocate Charlie McCorkell has added two more Bicycle Habitat locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, bringing his store count up to four in the two boroughs.
    • Seven-store chain Metro Midtown sold to Danny’s Bicycles, which now operates five locations in Manhattan in addition to seven stores north of the city in New York state and Connecticut.
    • Following the death of owner Bert Cebular in a paragliding accident in 2013, folding bike and e-bike seller NYCeWheels is now under the ownership of his two brothers but is being run by a family friend from Austria in a new space 10 times the size of the 250-square-foot Manhattan shop we visited back in 2012.
    • Brick-and-mortar and online seller R&A Cycles has consolidated its myriad warehouses around the city into a new fulfillment center that also houses its fledgling high-end concierge shopping service, R&A Black, and a new fit system and school still in development.
    • Sid’s Bikes has downsized from two locations to one, and former manager Mike McGinlay acquired the Manhattan store from longtime owner Allen Schulman last year. 
    • Gotham Bikes/Toga Bikes is down from three locations to one Toga store on Manhattan’s West Side.
    • Then there are the retailers that have gone away entirely: Adeline Adeline, a beautifully merchandised lifestyle boutique in Manhattan’s tony Tribeca neighborhood; Harlem family shop MODSquad Cycles; Swim Bike Run NYC, a high-end multisport retailer that was one block from the bike-crazed road loop in Central Park; and that classic steel bike specialist mentioned earlier, Bespoke Bicycles in Brooklyn’s trendy Fort Green neighborhood.

    Additionally, Bicycle Habitat’s McCorkell said that in Brooklyn and Queens last year, 12 stores closed but only two new ones opened. This year, five stores in the area have announced they’re closing, with no new openings on the horizon, he added.

    But perhaps the biggest change to affect the local retail market since our visit is the 2013 launch and subsequent expansion of New York’s bike sharing program, Citi Bike. The system now boasts 10,000 bikes and has sold more than 100,000 memberships. 

    Harry Schwartzman, a Brooklyn-based rep with Sport Tech Sales Group, noted that while Citi Bike may be creating more cyclists, retailers commonly say the program is eating into their sales, particularly for entry-level bikes. 

    “I think it’s been born out. At the time (before Citi Bike’s launch) I didn’t really share that view, but I do now more. Conversely, cycling in New York is a lot easier because of it. So maybe it’s just a long game and we’re still in the bad part,“ said Schwartzman, who served as ride guide for BRAIN’s New York Dealer Tour.

    BRAIN managing editor Toby Hill is writing an update story about the 2012 New York Dealer Tour, which will be part of a look back at several key markets the magazine has visited since it launched its first Dealer Tour in fall 2008.

    Retailers, area reps and others familiar with the NYC market should feel free to comment below or email Hill at thill@bicycleretailer.com with any tips or information. New bike shop or bike service openings, retail expansion, the effects of Citi Bike, new strides in advocacy — we want to hear it all.

    The look back at the BRAIN Dealer Tours will be featured in our December 1 issue, hitting mailboxes in late November.

     


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    VF owns Vans, The North Face and Smart Wool

    GREENSBORO, N.C. (BRAIN) — VF Corporation has signed a purchase agreement with New Zealand-based wool clothing company Icebreaker Holdings, Ltd.

    VF already owns The North Face, Vans, Smart Wool, Timberland and Lee. 

    According to a VF announcement, On a trailing 12-month basis, Icebreaker Holdings generated approximately $150 million of revenue. The transaction is expected to be completed early in 2018.

    Icebreaker was founded in 1995 and its entire product assortment is based on Merino wool, plant-based fibers and recycled fibers. 

    "Bringing the Icebreaker brand into the VF portfolio is a special opportunity," said Steve Rendle, the chairman, president and CEO of VF Corporation. "Its natural fiber focus is an ideal complement to our SmartWool brand, which also features Merino in its clothing and accessories. Together, the SmartWool and Icebreaker brands create an advantaged position for VF as a leader in the growing and underpenetrated natural fiber category. We will have unmatched capabilities that will strengthen our ability to create innovative and sustainable natural fiber products across our brand portfolio, especially in VF's Outdoor and Workwear brands."

     


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    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The National Sporting Goods Association and the National Retail Federation — along with the attorneys general from 35 states and the District of Columbia — have signed on to support South Dakota’s efforts to overturn a key ruling that exempts online retailers from collecting state sales taxes.

    The trade groups and AGs have filed Friends of the Court briefs asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear South Dakota’s case next year.

    Two years ago, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that the court made a mistake in its 1992 ruling on Quill Corp. v. North Dakota. That ruling said that Quill, an office products mail order company, did not have to collect state sales taxes in states where Quill did not physically do business. Two years ago, Kennedy invited opponents of the decision to bring a new case that would allow the Court to correct its mistake. The new case that the Supreme Court is being asked to review is South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., Overstock.com, Inc., and Newegg, Inc.

    The NSGA said the Quill ruling had created an “unfair sales tax loophole” that contributed to the decline in retail store fronts in the last 25 year, while costing states billions in uncollected taxes.

    NSGA and NRF, along with PeopleForBikes, also support federal legislation that would permit states to require out-of-state internet sellers to collect state sales tax. Proponents of that legislation estimate that nearly $30 billion in sales taxes go uncollected nationwide.

    Related: Washington Post article on Justice Kennedy's 2015 remarks


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    IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Felt Bicycles founder and long-time head of sports marketing Jim Felt will be departing the company he founded in partnership with Bill Duehring, the company announced Friday.

    Jim Felt recently had taken part in the sale of the company to Groupe Rossignol this spring.

    Felt, who had his start in the motorcycle industry, began welding innovative custom triathlon frames in the late 1980s and soon went to work for Easton Sports developing bikes under the Easton brand. He founded Felt in 1991.

    For several years, Answer Products manufactured and distributed Felt frames, but when Answer sold, Felt took back the brand and partnered with Duehring and Michael Müllmann to launch Felt as a complete bicycle brand in 2001.

    Today the company has more than 120 models in most categories, including road, triathlon, mountain bike, cyclocross and e-bikes. Müllmann, who owns the German distributor Sport Import and was the president of Felt Europe, planned to step away from the brand after the sale was complete this summer. Duehring stayed on and is now president of Felt Bicycles.

    "Jim has been a tremendous part of Felt's history and success these past 25 plus years and has and will continue to be both a colleague and a friend," Duehring said. "I wish him all the best as he prepares for his next professional adventure."

    Bruno Cercley, CEO of Groupe Rossignol, said, "At the first minute I met with Jim I knew our companies were built from the same DNA: racing, innovation, passion. I have been impressed by Jim's vision about blending the two ingredients that made this company so successful: outstanding product engineering capabilities together with racing commitment. I have a lot of respect for Jim, the human being and his incredible achievements. After we now take the company to new steps as part of our Group I wish Jim all the best in his new life and am sure we will find ways to stay connected and cooperate in different formats."

    Felt said, "My deepest thanks and gratitude to everyone that has believed and supported me all of these years. I started Felt Bicycles because of my love and passion for cycling. That love still lives in me. My relationship with my athletes, suppliers, distributors, dealers, employees, consumers and friends will never change or be forgotten. Thanks for the ride!" 


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    Slideshow Image: 
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    http://www.bicycleretailer.com/retail-news/2017/11/03/flashback-friday-brain-revisits-big-apple-retail

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    http://www.bicycleretailer.com/retail-news/2017/11/02/throwback-thursday-chicago-retail-scene-shows-stability#.Wfzy-RO3wUY

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    Slideshow Image: 
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    http://www.bicycleretailer.com/retail-news/2017/11/01/canyon-usa-adds-velofix-delivery-option#.WfzzXBO3wUY

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