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    CHICAGO (BRAIN) — The Chicago Bicycle Dealers' Association has released the names of finalists for the association's annual awards for Dealer of the Year, Supplier of the Year, and Sales Rep of the Year.

    Jim Kersten, CABDA's president and show director, said, "Folks have a lot of fun with the awards, and it's always a great thing to be recognized by your peers. And this year, I'm very proud to have such a wide variety of nominations; They are no longer just Chicago shops."

    Voting will begin in January, and winners will be announced at CABDA's annual Industry Party during the CABDA Expo in February. 

    The finalists are:

    Dealer of the Year:

    • Northwest Recumbents. Post Falls, Idaho
    • Barr Bike and Fitness. Clive, Iowa
    • Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles. St. Paul, Minnesota
    • Budget Bicycle Center. Madison, Wisconsin
    • Freeport Bicycle Company. Freeport, Illinois
    • Central District Cyclery. Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Supplier of the Year

    • Olympic Supply
    • Quality Bicycle Products
    • J&B Importers
    • Trek Bicycles
    • Midway Bicycle Supply
    • Highway Two

    Sales Rep of the Year

    • Ray Pecora - Olympic Supply
    • Dan Schroeder - Specialized Bicycles
    • Terry Elsen - Haro/Serfas/Feedback/Swagman/Lizard Skins
    • Terry Kardatzke - J&B Importers
    • Kyle Ervin - Olympic Supply
    • Chuck Sikora - Marin Bicycles/Serfas/Feedback/Lizard Skins
    • Al Robertson - Pure Cycles/SOS Socks/Kali Protectives Olympic Supply

     

     


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    LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BRAIN) — BikeExchange is offering monthly licenses for its marketplace software, for bike brands that want to sell bikes online to be delivered via their brick-and-mortar dealers — also called "click-and-collect." 

    BikeExchange began working with IBDs in Australia about 10 years ago, and later began partnering with companies to bring the technology platform, called Marketplacer, to about 20 other industries. The Marketplacer technology is what powers BikeExchange.com and CyclingTips.com.

    The new licensing program targets midsize or smaller bike brands that want to offer click-and-collect but lack the resources to build their own websites with the feature.

    "This technology isn't an industry disrupter so much as an industry enhancer," said BikeExchange USA's CEO, Matt Gordin. "It creates a complete solution marketplace where 'brand X' can sell direct to customers by fully embracing and featuring its existing retailer network. Orders are fulfilled via the retail network who ship direct to the consumer, allow pick up in-store or enable customers to inquire direct with retailers. It's the ultimate online sales solution at minimal capital outlay." 

    "It seems like such a simple concept — giving brands their own specialty marketplace. But as many failed attempts will reluctantly admit, actually delivering this concept requires colossal human resource, incredibly deep pockets and time that nobody has. We've already done the hard work, finessed the technology over years, and invested in the best of everything to get a product that just can't be matched. Our licenses make marketplaces affordable and scalable," said Gordin.

    He said the company's experience across multiple industries has helped it perfect product display, advertisements, booking services, and hosted content tools.

    Gordin told BRAIN on Wednesday that Marketplacer software licenses start at around $1,500 per month. The company introduced the licensing program at the trade shows this fall and he said it's already in discussions with several bike brands. Besides the base platform license, add-ons include access to search engine optimization and marketing experts, development support and customer support.

    For more information visit marketplacer.com or contact Jessica DiCostanzo, the company's vice president of business development in North America, at jessica@bikeexchange.com.




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    SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Lezyne products are now being distributed by Velocenter in Russia and Pukinn in Iceland. Both companies are the exclusive Lezyne distributors in their countries.

    Velocenter has been in business for 20 years. "We have great experience and knowledge of the Russian bicycle market, we have created a network of more than 40 reliable dealers, trained personnel, a bike store, two equipped warehouses, financial resources, reliable logistic and a customs clearance system. We are excited to begin business with Lezyne," said Tatiana Bogdanova, Velocenter's deputy director of purchasing.

    Pukinn was founded in 2000 as a distributor in the motocross industry. It then went into the street clothing/accessories market in 2006. Three years ago it added a cycling division. Family owned, Pukinn began operations in a small basement and has now grown to three import and retail stores.

    "By bringing in Lezyne we're adding a strong and respected range of high-quality cycling products to our distribution and retail company, " said Íris Ösp, graphic designer at Pukinn.


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    LYON, France (BRAIN) — Vélo Capital Partners, an investment group that has been studying the international bike market for several years, is launching a company, called véliSo, offering several technologies that combined would produce what the company calls "the world's safest bicycle."

    The technologies include electronic anti-lock braking, a 360-degree warning system, automatic emergency braking, and automatic electronic tire pressure management. The company wants to bring the technologies to the OE market, but is initially launching a Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that would give consumers an opportunity to obtain the technology directly.

    Vélo Capital Partners is owned and managed by Patrick Keating, an American now based in France who has worked with several investment firms in the U.S. and Europe. "Since 2012 we've been focused on innovation in the global cycling industry," Keating said in a statement this week. "In 2015 we decided to form véliSo to focus on solving the problems we identified in Cycling 4.0 with intelligent solutions. These problems require advanced technology with a convergence of electronics, software and telecommunications driven by advanced algorithms."

    The company calls the technology package the Mirage ARAS and it calls its bike that incorporates the features the véliSo V-1. ARAS stands for "Advanced Riding Assistance System," a variation on the Advanced Driving Assistance System concept used in the auto industry. 

    Keating spoke about the project's concepts at the Smart Cycling Conference held during Eurobike this year. 

    "Of course, this campaign and chance to be the first to obtain this advanced technology will appeal to the consumer market. But, véliSo intends to become mainly an OEM Tier 1 supplier of intelligent solutions," Keating said. "So, this campaign will give the global cycling industry a view of the next generation in advanced technology and validation of the market for it."

    There is more information on the technology at veliso.bike. The Indiegogo campaign is at indiegogo.com/projects/making-cycling-safer.

     


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — March Northwest, a company led by racer and coach Shaums March, will become the owner, operator and official provider of the International Mountain Bicycling Association's Instructor Certification Program, starting in January.

    March has been IMBA's lead instructor trainer and curriculum developer since IMBA purchased the rights to his International Mountain Bike Instructor Certification program in 2013 and transformed it into the current ICP curriculum at the organization. March Northwest is in the process of transforming the ICP into a standalone nonprofit organization, of which March Northwest will act as the official partner and provider for skills instruction. March will serve as its director of operations and oversee curriculum development.

    "Over five years, the ICP has grown to become a strong and successful program with IMBA. As we at IMBA continue to become laser-focused on our mission of great places to ride, we're pleased to pass the reigns to someone who has been so integral to the ICP's success," said Dave Wiens, IMBA's executive director.

    March said, "I am pleased to continue our work with a great group of instructor trainers who are committed to the success of our member. The ICP is devoted to upholding the industry standards for bike instruction through education and certification. We look forward to maintaining strong ties with IMBA."

    The ICP will continue as a standalone certification and be recognized by multiple organizations, including IMBA as its preferred mountain bike skills instruction provider. The certification standards will remain in place and the ICP will honor all current and lapsed IMBA ICP certifications, renewals and expiration dates, and continue to offer the ICP Level 1, 2, and 3 courses globally. Other specialty certifications and non-certification training will be added in 2018.

    A calendar of 2018 courses will continue to be updated at imbaicp.com/courses. Full IMBA press release is on the organization's website

     


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The National Bicycle Dealers Association announced Friday that Todd Grant's final day as president of the organization was Thursday, Nov. 30.

    Brandee Lepak, chair of the NBDA board of directors, said, "Recent sudden and significant income loss from our traditional outside sources along with our over-investment in capital spending necessitated substantial expenditure reductions," adding that "we appreciate Todd's service to the NBDA. His efforts representing and supporting independent bicycle dealers were appreciated during this disruptive period of dramatic change in our industry."

    Grant, who was named president of the organization in 2015, said, "It has been my pleasure to have had the opportunity to work for the National Bicycle Dealers Association for these past two-plus years. Representing and supporting the independent bicycle dealer in a time of such disruptive change in the bicycle industry is a mission that I fully believe in and is needed for a healthy industry and better cycling opportunities for all."

    "Given the sudden loss of income for 2018 changes clearly need to be made. This change is necessary for the NBDA to carry its mission forward," Grant said.

    "There are many good projects in place and many fine people on the board of directors, and people that work for or with the NBDA, to see these projects forward," said Grant. "Peers helping peers — that is the essence of the association."

    For the immediate future, the NBDA's board, which is composed of retailers, will be leading the 70-year-old association.

    Grant is a former vice president of sales at Niner Bikes, the former director of brand management and director of sales at Pearl Izumi, and a former regional sales manager at Raleigh America. Earlier, he worked in bicycle retail as regional manager for Bicycle Village, and service and operations manager for University Bicycles in Boulder. He  studied at the University of Maine and the University of New Hampshire, and received a law degree from the University of Colorado. He was chosen as the NBDA's executive director after a nationwide search coordinated by the Colorado-based search firm T. Malouf & Associates.

    During Grant's tenure as president, the NBDA purchased Barnett Bicycle Institute and launched its "Buy Where You Ride" and "Bikes Build ... " campaigns, conducted a specialty channel retailer research study, and continued and expanded its America's Best Bike Shops program. Earlier this year the organization closed its longtime office in Costa Mesa, California, and moved its operations to the Boulder area. 

    Bicycle Retailer & Industry News is owned by Emerald Expositions. It is operated under license by NBDA Services Inc., a division of the trade association. 

     


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    SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Fox Factory Holdings, parent company of the Fox bicycle suspension brands, as well as Race Face, Marzocchi and Easton Cycling, has acquired 80 percent of the shares of Flagship Inc., which does business as Tuscany Motor Company. Tuscany sells aftermarket packages for trucks, including modified Ford trucks repackaged as Tonka and "Special Ops" trucks. 

    Fox paid $53.4 million in cash for the shares in the Indiana-based company. The agreement includes a provision for Fox to acquire the remaining 20 percent of the business in the future. 

    "We are excited to announce the acquisition of the Tuscany business, which we believe presents a significant opportunity for Fox to further expand its performance defining aftermarket solutions," said Larry L. Enterline, Fox's CEO. "We look forward to further accelerating our off-road capable, on-road truck product category growth."

    Tuscany generated approximately $40.8 million in unaudited sales for the twelve months ended June 30, 2017. 


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    ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BRAIN) — Cane Creek Cycling Components is now shipping its Slamset, an ultra-low stack height headset the company introduced earlier this year.

    The Slamset is for riders seeking to lower their handlebars to stack heights as low as 2 millimeters without compromising bearing seal and proper preload. The headset also includes Cane Creek's new Hellbender bearing, a heavy-duty stainless steel sealed bearing.

    "The Slamset is an outstanding product for riders who are looking for a more aggressive position on their bike," said Sam Anderson, product manager for Cane Creek. "It's just one more way in which we are offering riders the opportunity to ride their bike their way."

    The Slamset is available for purchase as an upper cap asembly or as a complete headset in several models and dimensions. It's sold through Cane Creek dealers and consumer direct through the company's web site.

    More information: canecreek.com/store/headsets/slamset.


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    VENTURA, Calif. (BRAIN) — Zeitbike is now the exclusive distributor for Cycloc's bicycle storage systems and wall mounts.

    The UK-based manufacturer launched its SOLO product 11 years ago. Since then its designs have won mutlitple awards, from Eurobike, FX International Interior Design, IDA Design, D&AD, Design Week, Horners, and Metropolis Mag Awards.

    "Cycloc keeps re-inventing entire product categories and are doing so very creatively and functionally. We admire innovative brands like that, and importantly, Cycloc wall mounts are not only usable for various styles of bicycles in all sorts of positions, they are also affordable and well made. We know this is a big part of a successful product recipe that generate turns and excitement in an IBD," said Fritz Bohl, the founder of Zeitbike. "We are excited to partner with Cycloc to manifest their position in the U.S. and Canada as the leader of bicycle storage and wall mounts world wide."

    Shipping for all Cycloc products will be free with orders over $99 and also generate Zeitbike reward points as a redeemable rebate.

    More information at zeitbike.com or call 877-612-2212.


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    MORGAN HILL, Calif. (BRAIN) — The Specialized Foundation is offering a one-for-one donation program on all kid's bikes sales this month. For every Specialized Riprock, Hotrock, or Hotwalk purchased in the U.S. from Dec. 1-25, the foundation will donate a bike to Northern California Boys and Girls Club chapters affected by the recent fire disaster in the region.
     
    The foundation is also providing helmets with each bike.

    The Specialized Foundation was established in 2015 with the intention of introducing students to cycling's positive effects on academic performance, health, and wellbeing, with a focus on students with learning differences like ADHD. 

    There is more information on the foundation's website. The complete press release is below. 


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    An excerpt from the new manual.

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — The 12th edition of Barnett Bicycle Institute's Manual DX is a 600-page update to the existing manual, bringing the total manual size to 14,000 pages.

    The 12th edition update includes new sections on Shimano's Di2 mountain bike components, including 1x, 2x, and 3x drivetrains; Fox spring and damper upgrades; and SRAM 1x11 and 1x12 drivetrains. 

    John Barnett created the manual with the goals to write the clearest measurable procedures, to ensure repeatable results, and to help raise the bar on quality of service. 

    "As the author, it has been my life's work and my personal obsession to create the ultimate reference manual for the professional bicycle mechanic," John Barnett said. "Having a copy of DX at your workbench is the closest thing there can be to having a portal directly into the bike-technology part of my brain. Come on in, I guarantee you'll find more than you can ever have imagined about the amazing subject of bike technology."

    Each procedure in the manual includes a careful arrangement of written steps, photographs, and hyperlink functionality.

    Barnett's Manual DX is available for purchase online at bbinstitute.com/store or by calling the institute at 719-632-5173.

     


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    See video below.
    Company will connect online customers to dealers via service contracts rather than in-store fulfillment. 'The important thing is getting that customer into the store,' CEO says.

    TEMECULA, Calif. (BRAIN) — Intense Cycles on Monday launched a consumer-direct online sales program and new lower pricing aimed at helping the brand and its dealers better compete with mountain bike brands sold exclusively D2C on the internet. Intense calls it a "hybrid, IBD-centric" approach.

    Rather than fulfilling consumer-direct orders through its U.S. dealers and sharing the margin — commonly known as a "click and collect" model — Intense will ship 95 percent-assembled bikes direct to customers from its Southern California headquarters and will instead include a service contract with the consumer's qualified local Intense dealer. The service contract is free to the consumer, with Intense compensating the dealer for the contract. Intense declined to detail the dealer payment beyond characterizing it as "substantial."

    "The important thing is getting that customer into the store and getting them accustomed to working with that store and getting service. That's what we're trying to do: get them new customers," Intense CEO Andrew Herrick told BRAIN last week.

    At the same time, Intense is lowering its retail prices by 20 to 25 percent to bring pricing in line with brands selling exclusively consumer direct, such as Canyon, YT Industries and Commencal. Intense will sell to consumers at the same prices as its dealers.

    "'Click and collect' doesn't solve the pricing problem with Canyon and everybody else. It only addresses one or two reasons people don't want to go to bike shops. It hasn't addressed price," Herrick said. "What we're trying to do is get the dealer in the game, instead of them having to match prices online."

    Herrick said the moves are designed to help Intense and its retailers combat rampant consumer price shopping and a race to the bottom at retail that has badly eroded shops' margins, especially on high-end bikes.

    "The consumer is calling every bike shop in his area and seeing who will give him the best price. He runs an auction, because he's been running auctions for the last 10 years on eBay, he's been running auctions on Amazon or he's been searching to see who has five stars.

    The consumer is completely hardwired in a digital way, and we're running an analog business," he said. "The consumer does their research and they say, 'I've got a budget of this and I'm going to find a dealer that will sell for that.'"

    The company is calling the consumer-direct program Intense Rider Direct, and participating retailers are members of the Intense Rider Direct Network. Dealers must stock a minimum number of bikes per quarter to qualify. With the new retail and wholesale pricing, "we have created a margin structure where the dealer makes the same or higher than they are currently after being badgered by the consumer for a discount or to price match another price," Herrick said.

    For each consumer-direct sale, Intense will issue a service contract with the buyer's local Rider Direct Network dealer covering the bike's break-in period. The duration of the service contract varies depending on the size of the bike sale, ranging from 30 days for closeout bikes to 90 days on top-end models. Dealers can also choose to extend the terms of the contract.

    "It consists of anything that's not hardgoods-related. So all cables, all derailleur adjustments, all suspension setup. And the dealer will be expecting you with open arms, because we will already have bought the contract from the dealer," Herrick said.

    "We need a dealer to make something on every single transaction. So if you take the inventory risk and put five bikes on the floor and sell them, you deserve to make the margin. If we sell the bike, and we buy a service contract from you, you deserve to be paid well for two reasons: One, because you're providing service, and two, because you're displaying bikes on the floor to help us sell more bikes. But we're not in competition with you in any way," he added. "If the consumer gets on the phone and says, 'Hey, I'd feel much more comfortable buying from Joe down at my shop. Is he going to charge me more?' No, because the price is the same."

    Intense Rider Direct goes live internationally Monday on about 25 different geo-specific websites that can't be seen outside their home countries. In the U.S., Herrick has been visiting some of Intense's top retailers to gather feedback on the program. The company currently has about 200 U.S. dealers.

    At Squatch Bikes & Brew in Brevard, North Carolina, owner James Matty is bullish on the new business model.

    "After going over everything, everybody says, 'Margin this, margin that.' Well, margin has never been great in the industry as far as complete bikes or frames go. That doesn't concern me. What concerns me more is if we can have greater volume with people. And then if we all up our game with customer service, that's going to take the industry to the next step," he said.

    Matty also doesn't foresee Intense's move into selling consumer direct cannibalizing his bike sales — at least not to a great degree.

    "You've got a certain amount of people who don't want to come to a bike shop. They just don't. How is pulling a little bit of power from online retailers, taking it in-house and getting a little more power to the local bike shop going to hurt?" he said. "Those people weren't going to come in here anyway. If anything, they're going to come in here now and say, 'You're an Intense dealer. Intense shipped this bike to me. I'm having a problem with my rear derailleur.' Even though any bike shop could fix that, they're still probably going to come to the Intense dealer. It's going to be their first choice.

    "And the people who understand the service factors of dealing with a local bike shop, they're going to come to us anyway. They weren't going buy online. So as far as an adjustment in sales goes, yeah, there's going to be some. Will it be as significant as people are thinking about? I don't think so. I think it's going to help the local bike shop," Matty added.


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    LONGMONT, Colo. (BRAIN) — The organizer of the CrossVegas cyclocross race on Monday announced that longtime event title sponsor Clif Bar & Co. will follow the race to its new location in Reno next year, where it will be held during the week of Interbike, which also is moving to Reno.

    Race owner and organizer Brook Watts also slipped in that the event will be renamed RenoCross. 

    RenoCross presented by Clif Bar will take place on Wednesday evening, Sept. 19, at Rancho San Raphael Park in Reno.

    Watts said, "Clif Bar has been a significant sponsor since the race's first year in 2007 and the title sponsor since 2011. They have been a big part of our sustained success. It's remarkable to have such long-term sponsors for any event. And now they're making the journey with us 450 miles to the north to Reno."

    He added, "Although the backdrop will change from the glitzy Vegas Strip to the stunningly beautiful Sierra Nevada, the event will remain the same world-class event, supported by Clif Bar, that racers and spectators have loved for 11 years. RenoCross will still provide industry bragging rights for the Wheelers & Dealers, VIP hospitality for sponsors, opportunities for bike industry participation at all levels and top level competition among the pro women and men."

    Melissa Leebove, Clif Bar's regional marketing manager, said, "Clif Bar is thrilled to return as the title sponsor for 2018 RenoCross. We're excited that the new venue will not only introduce a new challenge to the 'cross racers, but also bring the incredibly spectator-friendly sport to the Reno community. Clif Bar has supported CrossVegas for more than a decade; we look forward to many more years of partnership in Reno and supporting cyclocross athletes with sports nutrition for sustained energy."

    More information at RenoCross.com


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    WATERLOO, Wis. (BRAIN) — Joe Vadeboncoeur, who has worked at Trek for 28 years, is departing the company at the end of December. 

    Vadeboncoeur started working in sales at Trek, covering a territory that included Utah, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Through the years he took on product management for Gary Fisher; all of the bike and aftermarket product management groups for Trek, Fisher, Klein, Bontrager and Electra, handling Asian sourcing and all product development; overall marketing; and in the past two years he was responsible for global retail, working with Trek retailers as well as managing Trek’s company owned stores around the world as vice president of retail. 

    “After 28 years at Trek, starting a new direction is a really exciting prospect,” he said in an email to BRAIN. “The world is full of opportunities and I am eager to see what those are. I do not plan to do anything for a while, as there are a lot of great bike rides calling. But, I am also not done with creating something new and chasing great opportunities.”

    “He’s been an enormous presence, from product and racing to retail,” Eric Bjorling, spokesman for Trek, told BRAIN. “Joe’s been amazing for so long. He’s made an extraordinary commitment to the company. We’re so proud of all the work he’s done. We wish him nothing but the best.”

    Bjorling said Vadeboncoeur’s departure does not signal a shift in strategy or any major company changes. “It was time for him to make a change and move on,” he added. 

    “Over and over again, I have been given the opportunity to build something up in areas that we didn’t already have a business or a structure,” Vadeboncoeur said. “That is what made the 28 years at Trek so exciting. It has been an amazing ride. Trek is an amazing company with integrity, heart and soul. It is a company that truly loves cycling and lives cycling every day. I am proud to have been part of developing that heart and soul.”

    Vadeboncoeur can be reached at his Trek email address over the next couple of weeks. 

     


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    CARLSBAD, Calif. (BRAIN) — Canyon USA has added Devin Riley as program manager for bikes, parts and accessories. Riley will be responsible for managing the day-to-day bike and P&A-related project work, working with Canyon product managers at the brand's headquarters in Koblenz, Germany.

    "With our history of German engineering and democratizing performance (bringing technology that was previously exclusive to the elite to more people,) plus our desire to build the best bike company, we are attracting great talent to Canyon," said Blair Clark, president of Canyon USA. "Devin is clearly a great example of the caliber of our employees and we are fortunate to benefit from his experience in product and marketing. Authenticity is one of our core strengths and Devin is a rider and racer in practically every discipline of the sport, so I look forward to him making his mark on the Canyon U.S. business."

    Riley was most recently director of marketing at BMC USA for five years. He previously was with Stromer Electric bikes and Montague folding bikes. He holds a BA degree in psychological and brain sciences from Dartmouth College, where he researched consumer decision making behaviors and competed in NCAA Div. 1 track & field. 


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    GOLDEN, Colo. (BRAIN) — Open is now offering a special edition of its New U.P. frame, painted in the trademark turquoise colors of Yeti Cycles.

    Yeti Cycles' owner, Chris Conroy, and Open's co-founder, Andy Kessler, are longtime friends who worked together at Scott-Schwinn in Colorado in the 1990s.

    "The beauty of working with Open is while we create radically different product, we do it with the same uncompromised focus and for the consumer who demands the best," said Conroy. "It was an easy choice to work with Open because we knew the product would meet our standards and the standards of our Yeti Freaks."

    The New U.P. (short for Unbeaten Path) is an all-carbon frame that combines the geometry of a road-riding position with the clearance for cross and mountain bike tires, up to 27.5 x 2.1 inches.

    The Yeti-inspired New U.P. frameset is now available to order through Open dealers and online. It retails for $3,200. More information at opencycle.com.


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    EUGENE, Ore. (BRAIN) — Rolf Prima has reach a multi-year partnership with the Race Across America (RAAM), naming the brand the Official Wheel for The World's Toughest Bicycle Race.

    The partnership will highlight Rolf Prima's road wheels, several of which were used by the Rolf Prima team in last year's RAAM, including the Ares6, Eos3, and Vigor models.

    "The diversity in product lines and handmade craftsmanship that goes into each wheelset are just a couple of the things that we found really attractive about working with Rolf Prima," said Fred Boethling, RAAM's president and CEO. "Also, the Rolf Prima Team raced RAAM and the products have been tested and proven to be star performers during the race. We are excited to help Rolf Prima bring their superior products to the ultra-cycling market."

    Last year Rolf Prima owner and president Brian Roddy led a four-person team on the 3,000-mile race.

    "It was clear that RAAM is a race where everything must work, and work well. There is no down time to fix your bike. I love this type of event — you bring your A-game and the best gear and you get after it. That's what makes RAAM such a great fit for Rolf Prima because it highlights the strength of our wheels. They have to be light, fast, and reliable — that's us," said Roddy.

    RAAM is now in its 37th year. Its 2018 edition is set to start June 12 for solo racers and June 16 for teams.

     


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    SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (BRAIN) — After nearly three years selling in the U.S., German consumer-direct brand YT Industries has set up a U.S. headquarters in this beach city. 

    Freerider Cam Zink had previously handled sales for the German brand, heading up the U.S. franchise for YT along with his brother. Zink was handling customer service, warranty, warehousing and demos out of Reno, Nevada. 

    In an email to BRAIN, Zink confirmed that YT Germany had set up its own U.S. headquarters and that the franchise agreement with him was over. 

    YT’s bikes ship 95 percent assembled with brake lines cut and bled, shifting set up and even with air in the tires. All a rider needs to do is bolt on the derailleur, put the wheels on, mount the stem and tighten it. YT provides all the instructions and guidelines in the box. The brand launched in Germany in 2006 and has gained market share in Europe and is making substantial gains in the U.S., according to sources. The brand has exhibited at the Sea Otter Classic the past couple of years. 

    Southern California has recently become a hotbed for European consumer-direct brands, with Commencal and Canyon setting up showrooms and offices in Carlsbad. With YT setting up in nearby San Clemente, consumers seemingly will now be able to visit and compare various brands in one fell swoop. 

    A phone call to YT’s San Clemente offices directed BRAIN to its email address. Expect more on this story once we’re able to talk to YT. 

     


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    LÉVIS, Québec (BRAIN) — Distributor Hawley-Lambert was among the supporters of last weekend's Big Bike Build in San Jose, California, where nearly 1,000 volunteers planned to assemble 2,500 bikes for a holiday season campaign. A dozen Hawley-Lambert employees planned to take part in the event, which TurningWheels for Kids' marquee annual charitable event.

    "TurningWheels for Kids is an organization I've personally supported for several years," says Pat McGinnis, the vice president of commercial at Hawley-Lambert. "The year-round work they do to get kids on bikes is relevant to our industry, and Hawley-Lambert's support of the organization adds meaning to the work we do — it reminds us of the freedom, independence and joy a bike brings to kids."

    Close to 900 of this year's Big Bike Build bicycles came from the company's EVO brand, including Rock Ridge kid's bikes in a custom silver and green color, Grand Rapid hybrid models and Palmetto beach cruisers. Through its partnership with TurningWheels for Kids, Hawley-Lambert has supplied EVO bicycles to the organization for nearly a year.

    "Achieving our mission of encouraging lifelong habits of exercise, outdoor activity and independence among children is much easier with the right partners," said Susan Runsvold, the founder and board member of TurningWheels for Kids. "Our ability to quickly and affordably source high-quality bicycles through the EVO brand, which Hawley-Lambert warehouses for us at no additional charge, has allowed our organization to maximize every dollar, which means more bikes for more kids."

    This past August, 250 EVO Rock Ridge kid's bikes were assembled and donated to kids in at-risk neighborhoods across San Jose through a partnership between the San Jose Sharks hockey team and TurningWheels for Kids. Through corporate builds like this and the annual Big Bike Build, the organization expects to give away more than 6,000 bikes annually. More information at turningwheelsforkids.org.


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    ROUSE HILL, Australia (BRAIN) — After 13 years with JetBlack Products, founder Trent Fitzgibbins has announced that he will be leaving the company to launch a new brand he has developed called M2O Industries.

    Fitzgibbins started in the bicycle business in 1998 as a national sales manager for British International, before founding JetBlack 2005. Just over a year ago he sold JetBlack and remained with the company as director of global sales and research & development. His association with JetBlack will continue as JetBlack has agreed to distribute his new brand's products to bike and sports retail channels in Australia.

    Based in Sydney Australia, M2O (short for "mountains to ocean") offers cycling and sports products. The brand is already sponsoring several road and mountain teams and arranged for international distribution.

    The product line includes anti-chafe creams and compression products specifically designed for cyclists

    More information at m2oindustries.


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