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    MILAN, Italy (BRAIN) — Pirelli has created a new website for its Pzero Velo tires, with an e-commerce section that functions in Italy, France, Germany, the Benelux and the United Kingdom. A company representative said the brand, which re-entered the bike market this year, is  not currently offering consumer-direct sales in the U.S. 

    Pirelli tires are distributed in North America by Hawley-Lambert.

    "At the moment the e-commerce is not available in the U.S.," said Arianna Busin of the Pirelli Velo press office. "But of course there is Pirelli's intention to gradually expand the scope of main markets and e-commerce. In any case, 'traditional' channels are always active," she said. 

    The new site, velo.pirelli.com/en/ww/road-racing-cycling-tyres, offers information on Pirelli's three ranges of Velo road tires, and has sections for its forrthcoming mountain bike and urban tire lines. The site also includes articles, including one on its cycling apparel line developed with Castelli, and an online magazine, VeloWorld.

     

     


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    The interscholastic racing association now has 22 leagues.

    BERKELEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — The National Interscholastic Cycling Association has announced the Oregon is the latest state to join the existing 21 NICA regional leagues across America. 

    Austin McInerny, NICA's president, said, "Marked by volcanoes, abundant bodies of water, dense evergreen and mixed forests, as well as high deserts and semiarid shrub lands, Oregon is a mountain biker's paradise! As such, we are confident that the newly formed NICA Oregon League leadership team will be extremely successful in helping Oregon's teenagers establish mountain biking clubs in schools across the state. Bringing NICA to Oregon will provide opportunities for youth to build strong body, mind and character through cycling as well as strong economic benefits to the communities that embrace the power of interscholastic cycling. With the addition of Oregon, NICA now has the infrastructure in place to serve just over 60 percent of the country's population; we are well on our way towards fulfilling our mission of providing every American teenager the opportunity to participate in NICA programming through a school or community based cycling team."

    Heather Wolfgang, NICA Oregon League Director, said, "We are so excited to bring the Oregon League to life! Our state has such an awesome cycling community already, and now with NICA's full support, we'll be able to get even more kids on bikes to embrace challenge, strength, grit, and camaraderie."

    NICA works with nearly 800 school-based teams, and over 14,500 students-athletes and 6,000 licensed coaches. The organization has been growing steadily since 2009, and enjoys average growth of 35 percent annually. 


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    MONTRÉAL (BRAIN) — Argon 18 has hired Tim McCulley as its USA director of sales & strategies. McCulley replaces Christian Lafrance, who takes the helm as director of business development for Argon's new subsidiary, Notio Technologies.

    The comapny said the hire is timed with Argon 18's focused efforts to create a stronger on-ground sales team in the U.S., with firm goals to support its current dealer network and expand the brand's reach in America. McCulley comes to Argon 18 from the 2XU apparel brand, where he was director of sales.

    "My passion in sport and business begins with quality products that will enhance an athlete's enjoyment and lead to a happier, healthier life. I am honored and excited to be a part of Argon 18's team as they lead the way into the future through development and innovation," said McCulley.

    Gervais Rioux, the founder and president of Argon 18 bikes, said, "We are fully committed developing bikes of impeccable quality which has led us to be known as one of the world's top brands. I trust that Tim's knowledge and experience will help us strengthen our brand in the US market and continue our company's presence." 

    "Argon 18 remains consistent in our growth across all three categories. In the sport of triathlon our numbers in the Kona bike count continue to increase year after year, a category we are fully committed to. In addition we continue our support at the World Tour level in cycling. As a Canadian company, we are proud to be partnered with Cycling Canada on the track. Our balance across these categories is driven by our R&D and will continue to drive our company forward," Rioux added.

    Claude LeBlond, the brand's vice president of global sales & strategies, said, "Tim's addition to the Argon 18 sales force is in-line with our strategy to better support and to get closer to our markets globally. Tim's decorum truly represents our brand value, and his experience and knowledge will greatly support the current growth of our company."




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    By Dan Sotello

    Editor's note: Dan Sotello was the founder of Onza, a parts and accessories brand in the 1990s. He is the inventor of the mountain bike bar-end and worked with several bike brands including Shimano, Specialized, Maxxis and Panaracer. For 10 years, he's operated a bike shop on Mercer Island, near Seattle, called Bike Lair. 

    Back in 1968, my career started as a proud Factory Trained Schwinn mechanic in Southern California. I can safely say this was the golden era for IBDs. Ever since, I've witnessed every great, surprising, and sometimes agonizing twist that IBDs had to endure to stay in business. And now I can honestly say, "This is the end of the road for IBD" ... Welcome, IBS: Independent Bicycle Service

    What the current IBDs need to do is bite the bullet, stop resisting and alienating online consumers and just face the fact that the internet is here to stay. Like it or not big bicycle brands sooner or later are going to cave into internet sales in order to survive, thus leaving stubborn IBDs high and dry.

    So sit back, have a few strong smoothies (daiquiris optional), and start thinking, "How can I turn this new thing called internet sales into a new and very profitable golden opportunity?"

    You don't have to die; all you have to do is change the "D" to an "S" for service, and you'll once again thrive and be very profitable.

    Just look at Tesla doing away with traditional dealerships and going consumer direct. Diamondback has also gone consumer direct with its so-called Ready to Ride assembly (which is OK, but still needs the professional IBS touch). And down the road, all online-bought bikes will need IBS service. My point is, IBDs are doomed and they need to change in a hurry.

    Think back to the '80s when market experts were predicting that internet sales were going to doom UPS and FedEx ... Huh?! Crazy as that sounds, that's what experts said, which made absolutely no sense to me. If you order something online, how is it going to get to your home? By magic? It's the same thing with owners of IBDs: Stop being so proud and stubborn. You don't have to die — all you have to do is change the "D" to an "S" for service, and you'll once again thrive and be very profitable.

    So let me suggest some ideas on how to transform from IBD to IBS:

    ONE:
    Think: Where did you make the most profits? Answers:

    • Service and labor
    • Quick bolt-on accessories (ie: bike racks, car racks, lights, helmets, etc.)
    • Fast consumables (ie: tires, tubes, grips, chains, cassettes, oils, brake pads, etc.)

    TWO:
    Think: What is expensive, sits around too long and makes little or no profit?

    • Clothing: too many sizes, colors, styles and gets dated quick. Always on clearance to make room for more new slow-selling inventory.
    • Complete bikes: huge risky investment, too many sizes, models, always on clearance, just to compete with online name-brand bikes.
    • By year's end IBDs basically break even with little or no profits to show for all that clothing and showroom bicycle investment.

    THREE:
    Think: Remember the countless awkward moments when once-loyal retail customers kept coming to your shop to install a component or assemble a bicycle they bought online.

    Face it, these are the three basic things you as an IBD have to deal with every day. If it looks unfair and you feel it's getting worse, then stop being a victim, take charge and find a way to meet with success!

    Start by taking the first steps to move away from being an old, stressed-out IBD and onto being a happy and profitable IBS.

    STEP ONE:
    Put yourself in your customer's shoes and try to think what would they like from your local bike shop.

    • *I wish they had real professional mechanics, because I've taken my bike back with the same problem six times and it just gets worse."
    • *I wish I could just go to my shop without guilt or being made to feel guilty for them to install my new components or build the new bike I bought online."
    • *I wish my shop would help guide me in choosing the best bike and/or components online, without any guilt."
    • *I wish I didn't have to drive dozens of miles from my local shop to a shop that is more online-friendly and welcoming."
    • *I wish I wasn't banned from my local shop when I asked to have my online bike assembled there." (FYI: It happens a lot.)

    STEP TWO:
    Grant these new online bike shoppers their wish: become a service-only, unbiased, true professional bike shop. Get rid of all your complete bike lines, because sooner or later they're going to get rid of you anyway, as they will have to go online to survive. Downsize and get rid of all slow-selling inventory, clothing, etc., and go crazy and stock up on the latest and greatest consumables, tires, tubes, racks etc.

    Now that you don't need all that room you can shut down half or more of your rental building. Or if you own the building rent out that other space. Take the overhead savings and invest in great mechanics. Just like good cooks make a hole-in-the-wall restaurant super successful, good mechanics do the same thing.

    Never guilt your online customers, ever! Even if they buy many things online using your guidance but never come to your IBS for service, don't worry. Sooner or later they're going to mess things up and need your services.

    No more low-wage inexperienced mechanics and charging pro prices to keep up with your overhead. Nothing scares customers away like poor mechanics.

    Set up a small, cozy but gorgeous, well-lit modern shop with lots of computer screens so customers can scroll through and shop on the internet in your IBS. To keep away loitering customers shopping on your screens, make it a clear policy on big signs saying, "Online customers welcome. Limit 1 hour per day!"

    The key to success with your new IBS is: fast, fast, fast turnaround service. No more "Sorry, we're backed up two to three weeks." Those days are gone. Offer absolutely guaranteed professional work, backed by a free, 30-day, no-hassle follow-up.

    Since IBS is about all service, get creative and make a day-and-night drop-off and pickup system whenever you're closed. Hell, start your own small-parts drone delivery service.

    Please, no tipping.

    Offer pickup and delivery service for a small fee, and use it as an incentive: Waive the fee if the customer accumulates a good amount of service fees.

    I know this sounds strange, but make it a rule: "NO TIPPING" (beer OK; see picture). I can assure you, an all-pro, fast-turnaround service shop will have customers so happy, most will want to tip their favorite mechanic. From experience, tipping can get ugly and out of control, eventually stressing out the customers. But the occasional beer and goodies tip is a great way to develop a serious customer relationship. Everyone will be talking about your funky no-tipping sign and policy. It also makes your shop look very honest. Great PR!

    STEP THREE:
    I think you get the picture. I'm sure these basic Ideas will get your juices flowing so you can come up with thousands of more new creative ideas to make your IBS even more exciting. 

    As for the threat of your distributor cutting you off, some might say you're no longer a true brick-and-mortar bike shop. (In other words, they like to see you always struggling to keep your head above water. I don't know why, but they do.) Just throw it back in their face and say you pay rent, taxes and their required insurance. Then ask them, how is it that all their goods end up online, on Amazon and eBay? (Ask them how come they supply those rolling bike shops, then step back and watch them choke.)

    Let your suppliers know that IBSs are coming like a tsunami and will be their new bread and butter as IBSs will be doubling or tripling their annual orders versus old IBDs.

    STEP FOUR:
    How to deal with mobile bike shops: Unlike your new IBS, these new rolling bike shops have only one mechanic, with basic by-the-book training at best. Meanwhile, your IBS has two or more mechanics who are very, very good at what they do. If you deliver great-quality work with a quick turnaround time, you'll develop a truly loyal customer base for life. End of story.

    I feel that after being in the industry over 50 years, I have the right to say it like it is. I can only hope this story will inspire and not anger IBDs. I know all this because I've been running a very successful IBS for 10 years. And I, like my loyal customers, love it.

    So like it or not, welcome to the new online era.


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    AUSTIN, Texas (BRAIN) — Triathlon Business International has announced the topics for one of the curricula tracks at next month's TBI Conference in Tempe, Arizona.

    The Retailers and Manufacturers track at the conference will take on topics developed by a committee of multisport retailers led by Trent Nix, the co-owner of Tri Shop in Dallas and TBI boardmember Richelle Love, the co-owner of Tri-It MultiSport, in Calgary, Canada.

    Topics on this track include:

    • Riskophobes Unite! "Retailers in our industry are failing left and right because they don't know how to maintain gross profits and customer service, sell from full shelves, while inoculating themselves from an increasingly cyclical and perilous landscape. Risk mitigation is possible; here are the strategies."
    • Why Consumer Direct is the Future; Why Consumer Direct is Not the Future "Which sales channel is your future as a manufacturer? Or are all channels your future? Are there pathways for consumer direct and B & M to work profitably?"
    • Nobody Wins the Race to the Bottom "The entrepreneur's graveyard is full of those who won on price. Let's talk pros and cons of minimum advertised pricing (MAP), team discounts, and premium brand management; with examples of brands and retailers who've won the MAP war."
    • Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: A Panel Evolving Business Models "A panel of retailers and vendors each emblematic of new and novel ways to structure their businesses talk about how they see the future shaping up and what they are doing about it."

    TBI president Dan Empfield said, "I've spent the last 15 years teaching bike fit to retail stores and advocating for them. My 15 years before that were spent as a manufacturer, selling to them. So, to quote Joni Mitchell, I've looked at life from both sides now. The IBD is as essential as ever, yet, the product and service delivery landscape is massively changing. We're going to talk about it candidly at our conference."

    The conference also plans curricula tracks for coaches/clubs and race directors. Coach/clubs topics were announced on Nov. 30 and TBI will announce the curricula for the race directors' track in the coming week.

    More information on the TBI conference is at triathlonbusinessintl.com/2018-conference.

     


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    The company also reported a 40 percent sales growth and has added 24 new stores in 2017.

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (BRAIN) — With a store count that continues to tick upward at a swift pace, Pedego's dealer event gets bigger every year. About 200 retailers are attending this year's event here Monday and Tuesday, including owners of the majority of its 113 Pedego-branded stores, as well as 10 prospective owners, other Pedego dealers and international distributors.

    To kick off the event, Pedego co-owner and CEO Don DiCostanzo introduced and showed a photo of every store, ranging from the company's first in Huntington Beach, California, to its newest in Leeds, England, which opened in November. Several retailers took a moment to share their story, including Pedego Boulder, which opened 32 days ago and has sold 31 Pedegos, and Nicole Zinn, owner of Austin's Rocket Electrics, who is set to open Pedego Austin early next year. Zinn attended the second Pedego dealer meeting in 2012 and was one of the company's first retailers, using its bikes for its hefty tour business.

    "When we attended the second meeting, we could all fit at about three tables. It's great to see how much the company has grown, and we're excited about our new store in Austin," said Zinn, who also recently moved Rocket Electrics to a new downtown space where she sells only Riese & Müller e-bikes.

    Pedego also hosted an industry roundtable on Monday. Navigant Research's Ryan Citron, Tony Donaldson, editor of E-Bike Action magazine, and Bicycle Retailer's Doug McClellan discussed several topics, including the current state of the market and predictions for the future. Citron shared some results of a comprehensive study his company conducted for 2016.

    "We came up with a more conservative figure for e-bikes sold in 2016," he said. "We interviewed all the major manufacturers and looked at sales numbers when we could get them. We figured out that about 160,000 e-bikes were sold here in 2016 so our numbers are bit lower than the 400,000 unit sales figure that's out there. But that's still 15 percent growth, and a means there is a lot of opportunity for Pedego and other brands. There is still a low consumer awareness — a lot of people don't know what an e-bike is, but that is changing."

    DiCostanzo said that despite increasing competition from more brands entering the market, both online and at brick and mortar, Pedego's sales in 2016 grew 30 percent over 2015, and the company added 20 stores. In 2017, 24 new Pedego stores opened and DiCostanzo said goal for this year was a sales growth of 30 percent.

    "But we didn't do that. We grew by 40 percent," he said. "So for 2018, our projection is to grow our sales by 50 percent and add 30 stores. We have 10 prospective dealers here, so we're already on our way."

    DiCostanzo also said the company's average selling price is also on the rise but that Pedego hasn't raised its prices. Average selling prices have increased from $2,135 when the company launched in 2011, to $3,148 in 2017. It has also expanded its range of Class 2, throttle-assist e-bikes in recent years to include a fat-tire model. Its best seller is the Interceptor cruiser, which accounts for 42 percent of its sales.

    Several new parts and accessories brands exhibited at the event, including new partners Thule, Brooks, Sena Helmets and several others.

    Pedego recently invested around $120,000 in its 40,000 square-foot headquarters in Fountain Valley, California, adding a new rack system that has increased the company's warehouse capacity.

    "It took about two weeks and we were open and shipping and receiving bikes the whole time. We can now hold about 5,000 bikes in just half of our warehouse," DiCostanzo said. "And they're in categories now, so are easier to find. We're investing this kind of money because we are optimistic we are going to grow this business a lot."

    The company also continues to add new staff, including industry vet Steve Lindenau, who has worked for Trek and most recently was CEO of BH Bikes and ran Easy Motion in North America. Lindenau began consulting for Pedego in June and was hired full time in September to manage international distribution.

    "Pedego was always my main competitor when I was at Easy Motion. So Don and I would grab lunch two or three times per year to catch up on stuff. That's how I got to know Don and Terry (Sherry, Pedego's co-founder)," Lindenau said. "Pedego does so many things well and that's one of the reasons I was excited to give it a shot. Pedego is in a good place to grow international sales, and we have the perfect tour and rental product so we'll be focusing on that part of the market."

     


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    The Civic Cyclery van at an event this year.

    SAN FRANCISCO (BRAIN) — Civic Cyclery, a brand-new retailer here, had its mobile service van stolen last weekend from outside the storeowner's home.

    The modified 2009 Mercedes Sprinter van was loaded with tools, supplies, some inventory and the owner's personal ski and bike equipment. It did not have any bikes inside and was not branded with store logos.

    The theft is a major loss for store owner Ben Brydon, who began prepping his business about a year ago and estimated he put 200 to 300 hours of his own time into modifying the van.

    "It's kind of killing me right now," he told BRAIN on Tuesday.

    Brydon, who worked for Velofix and other retailers before launching his own business, had planned to focus his new business on mobile service, including contract jobs. But he soon realized the business needed a brick-and-mortar home base, in part so he could secure accounts with wholesalers. So in August he opened a store near the intersection of Market and Taylor Streets in San Francisco.

    The store is centrally located, so it serves as a perfect base for mobile service. "I can get anywhere in the city in 10 minutes," Brydon said. The location also might see a boost when a protected bikeway — planned to pass directly in front of the shop on Taylor Street— is completed.

    Before the theft, Brydon kept the van parked near the store most days and had been going out on service appointments and pickups and deliveries every day. He had planned to start marketing the mobile service this month and was going to have the van custom branded; he's now thankful he didn't spend money on that job before the theft.

    The short-wheelbase van is gray with dual rear wheels and sliding doors on each side, an unusual configuration. Brydon had modified it with storage shelves, solar panels and batteries, and other features. The contents included a complete bike toolset with everything from frame facing tools to hand tools from Park, Pedro's and Abbey Bike Tools. It had an adjustable Efficient Velo Tools wall-mount workstand.

    The inventory included new shoes in boxes from Five Ten and other brands and some wheels. Brydon's personal equipment included some Lib Tech skis, Nordica boots and bike helmets.

    The van was stolen from outside his home in the city on Sunday, Nov. 26. Brydon said security camera footage shows it was taken at 2:45 a.m., but the footage does not give enough detail to identify the thief.

    Brydon said he and police suspect the van was stolen to be parted out. Because it wasn't branded with store logos, he guesses the thieves weren't expecting to find the bike gear inside and none of it has turned up.

    Brydon said he has personal insurance on the van and business insurance on the inventory and tools, but it's not clear yet whether insurance will reimburse him for his own labor he invested in modifying the van. It's also not clear he'll get reimbursed for the loss of his personal gear.

    Including the cost of the van, the modifications, tools and inventory, he estimated the loss totaled at least $60,000. He said that even if he gets the full reimbursement for the value of the van and gear, he doesn't have the time available now to do all the modifications himself.

    Brydon is asking that anyone who sees the van or any of the tools or inventory to contact police by calling 911, or call San Francisco police at 415-558-5400 and reference case 170-959-620.

    The store's website is ridecivic.bike.

     


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    ORLANDO, Fla. (BRAIN) — Catrike has released its new 700 model, which is now in production. An evolution of Catrike's existing speed-focused model, the updated 700 offers a low, aerodynamic body position and lightweight frame.

    The updated 700 features a 700c rear wheel with thru axle, a wide gearing range, adjustable boom, one-piece space frame, and an ergonomic mesh seat.

    The rear wheel is a Zipp Course 30 Disc. Other components include an FSA hollow carbon crankset, SRAM GX rear derailleur and AVID BB7 Road S disc brakes. Like all Catrikes, the 700 is manufactured in the company's Orlando, Florida, factory.

    MSRP is $3,950.

    Now through the end of December the 700 will be available in all standard colors along with limited edition Winter Heat colors: Alpine White, Blue Flame, Fire Red and Hyper Yellow.

    More information at catrike.com/700.


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    LONG BEACH, Calif. (BRAIN) — ACT Lab will be featured on the daytime TV show "The Doctors" to help parents this holiday toy-buying season, highlighting the problem of toxic toys.

    The show's producers approached ACT Lab to learn about product safeguards and to test a batch of toys for chemical, mechanical and safety compliance.

    A reporter visited the lab and interviewed Michael Baker, ACT Lab's head of global sales and marketing, while he narrated the demonstration of numerous tests.

    ACT Lab is an independent third-party laboratory conducting consumer product safety and compliance testing. It provides product evaluation, research and development, auditing, and quality control services. Its specialties include mechanical and chemical testing of helmets, bicycles, bicycle components and accessories, scooters, sporting goods, children's products and toys.

    The show will air Tuesday. Check your local listings for time and network.


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    CARBONDALE, Colo. (BRAIN) — Why Cycles announced Tuesday that it has moved company headquarters from Ogden, Utah, to Carbondale, Colorado. The titanium bike brand was founded in Ogden two years ago, offering four models of mountain, gravel and dirt jumper frames.

    "We couldn't be more excited to be in a town like Carbondale. The community, mountains, people, and trails combine for an energy that will foster and grow our company," said company founder Adam Miller, who co-launched fat bike brand Borealis Bikes in 2012 but sold his interest in the business in early 2015. He launched Why later that year with help from industry veterans including Jason Schiers and Ben Craner.

    "When the opportunity to move to Carbondale presented itself, we knew it would be a great fit for all of our employees and shop dogs as well. Why Cycles is eager to settle in to town and get to know our new community of fellow bicycle enthusiasts," Miller added.

    The Carbondale office will house a product showroom, sales and operations, and an off-site warehouse for inventory storage. Demo bikes will be available at the office for free test rides with advance notice. The address is 1941 Delores Way, Carbondale, CO 81623.

    Why Cycles sells its bikes through dealers and direct to consumers through its website. More information: WhyCycles.com or call/text 801-698-3678.

     


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    HOCKESSIN, Del. (BRAIN) — Design-savvy members of the bike industry are mourning Rich Roat, an internationally known design and typeface pioneer who died this weekend at age 52. The co-founder of House Industries was best known for his work for major brands including The New Yorker, Disney and Lego. But he also was a longtime cycling enthusiast who worked on a variety of projects in the bike world, including Bicycling magazine's logo, updated in 2016.

    Besides the magazine logo, Roat also designed graphics for Richard Sachs Cycles, the logo for the Velocipede Salon website, the Hampsten Cycles logo and the logo for Cinghiale, Andy Hampsten's tour company. His designs inspired many designers across the industry. House Industries also designed Bicycling's 2016 cycling kit

    House Industries, based in Delaware, even sells its own framesets, made by Waterford, as well as a variety of other bike products, modified with House Industries' graphics and fonts.

    Roat and partner Andy Cruz founded House Industries in 1993. Besides his love for cycling, Roat also was an active volunteer at the Hockessin (Delaware) Fire Company since 2001. He is survived by his wife, Sharon Huss Roat, and two children.


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    BATH, U.K. (BRAIN) — Play Sports Network, which produces the Global Cycling Network, Global Mountain Bike Network and Global Triathlon Network, is launching the Electric Mountain Bike Network in early 2018. Haibike and Specialized are among the network's initial sponsors.

    PSN has hired former Dirt Magazine editor Steve Jones as the presenter on the new network.

    PSN also announced that Matt Skinner has been promoted to the newly created role of content director across the Play Sports Group, working across both PSN and SHIFT Active Media, a cycling marketing and communications agency. 

    Simon Wear, the founder and CEO of the Play Sports Group, said, "The mountain biking landscape is changing and we want to pioneer that change. Bringing in a huge industry talent like Steve with his knowledge and experience will help propel this expansion into the e-MTB market with EMBN. He's an exuberant addition to an already incredible mix here at PSN and we can't wait to see that first episode."

    Regarding Skinner's promotion to a new groupwide role, Wear said, "Matt has been with the business since the early days, and having been a successful marketing and content specialist for many years, his unique experience of editorial and commercial positions him perfectly to take up this newly created pivotal position."

    Jones said, "PSN is highly ambitious and I'm excited to be a part of the mission to catapult the e-MTB market. Like all forms of cycling, e-MTB requires the rider to decide on the intensity of the ride. But more than this, e-MTB seems to foster a more sharing attitude; it also brings freedom, uniting downhill and trail riding. Like most people in the bike industry I've watched GMBN and GCN cut their groove. They've brought a width of content and a unique style and seem to be having a lot of fun with what they're doing. I cannot wait to get stuck in with EMBN."


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    BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (BRAIN) — QBP is launching the QBP Equity and Diversity Internship as part of its diversity intiative.

    The program will expand upon QBP's previous Women's Internship Program to include talented students who are members of underrepresented communities and identities and/or students with a demonstrated commitment toward advancing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    "Our past Women's Internship program was really well-received by the interns, so we're excited to expand the program this year to create more inclusivity in the industry," said internship manager Amber Maier.

    2018 summer interns will work at QBP side-by-side with QBP employees.

    Izzy Kimpegal-Anliker, a 2017 product management intern, said, "This internship has made a career in the bike industry seem a lot more possible. It's also opened up my eyes to the variety of jobs that exist within the industry." 

    Applications are open from Dec. 7 through Jan. 11. There are approximately 12 positions available across a variety of departments for high school and college students. The internship will take place from June 1-Aug. 17, 2018 at the QBP headquarters in Bloomington, Minnesota. For more details, check out the QBP Equity and Diversity Internship webpage


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    Jarchow.

    LOS ANGELES, Calif. (BRAIN) — Ergon USA has added Karen Jarchow to the brand's marketing department as assistant marketing director. 

    In addition to training and updating key Ergon retailers, Jarchow's duties include assisting with the brand's advocacy partnerships, attending key competitive events and working with the brand's public and media relations team. She'll also play a key role in the launch of Ergon's women's-specific saddle and the support of women's-specific events and programs.

    Jarchow is a pro mountain biker and member of Team Topeak Ergon. She also has worked for Uncommon Communications, the Colorado marketing company that counts Ergon among its clients.

    "Ergon's U.S. business volume has grown significantly; that maturation dictates increased responsibilities to our dealers along with a more comprehensive marketing plan," said Ergon USA's vice president, Jeffrey Neal, "Karen's arrival takes place at just the right time. A product expert already, we anticipate her hitting the ground at full speed and increasing our effectiveness on a number of fronts."

    Jarchow said, "Having ridden Ergon products from the very beginning I can attest to the emphasis placed on research-driven design, material quality and sustainability and the attention paid to pure aesthetics. Of course I'm thrilled about the new women's specific products, but from a broader perspective I'm even more excited to share their story of design, quality and attending to detail with dealers, partners and consumers."

    Jarchow is working remotely from Eagle, Colorado, and has already transitioned to the new position. She can be reached at karenj@ergon-bike.com.

     


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — President Trump's proclamation Monday shrinking two National Monuments in Utah jeopardizes at least 150 miles of roads and trails used by cyclists and could lead to the loss of protection for much more cycling terrain around the country, according to PeopleForBikes.

    "The President's attack on our public lands puts 150 miles of pristine bike riding at risk," said Tim Blumenthal, the president of PeopleForBikes. "We will continue to fight tooth and nail alongside our partners to keep this land as national monuments."

    Native American groups and conservation groups immediately launched court challenges to Trump's proclamation, which has been expected for several months. Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are working on legislation that would determine the future of the lands.

    "There are still 25 more monuments to review. It's a pretty terrible start."— Alex Lagemann, PeopleForBikes

    As for the 150 miles Blumenthal was referring to, he meant roads and trails in areas protected by monument status before Trump's proclamation but which would lose that protection if Trump's move is upheld. The roads — the Burr Trail, Lockhart Basin and Elk Ridge — are in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bears Ears National Monument. Both monuments were greatly reduced in size by Trump's proclamation.

    The remote areas don't see a lot of cycling use now, although Lockhart Basin contains some mountain bike trails and for years oil and gas companies have been eyeing that area in particular for drilling. Monument status put the areas on the map for many outdoor recreationalists, including cyclists, and that could lead to more visits and tourism development in nearby communities. Some groups say that kind of development would be more stable and profitable than resource extraction, besides the benefits of preservation.

    Cyclists on the Burr Trail last year. Photo by Meg McMahon.

    Before gaining monument status, most or all of the land was owned by the federal government and managed by the Bureau of Land Management or the National Forest Service.

    "The BLM and the Forest Service operate under a multiuse mandate, which could include oil and gas drilling, timbering, mining and lot of other options. Monuments are much more limited," said Alex Logemann, PeopleForBikes' director of state and local policy. 

    Logemann said the larger concern after Trump's announcement is that he will call for the removal of protections from other monuments. In April, Trump told the Department of the Interior to review 27 monuments; his proclamation Monday only involved two of them.

    "One of the things that's so alarming about the action he took on these two monuments is that he started out with such a dramatic land reduction. There are still 25 more monuments to review. It's a pretty terrible start," said Logemann.

    Many outdoor groups and outdoor industry suppliers are working to challenge Trump's proclamation in the courts. Companies like Patagonia, The North Face, REI and Arc'teryx are bringing public attention to the issue and raising money for the legal fight

    PeopleForBikes is focusing its opposition efforts on lobbying Congress and keeping cyclists and the industry informed, Logemann said.

    Utah's U.S. Rep. John Curtis has sponsored legislation that would codify Trump's proclamation as law. Curtis said his legislation would add law enforcement to what is left of Bears Ears National Monument, forbid oil and gas drilling and mining in the region and give tribes a role in managing the lands. Logemann said PeopleForBikes will focus on influencing that legislation and encouraging public input.

    After Trump's April order calling for the review, PeopleForBikes worked with other groups to encourage public comments. During the comment period, 2.7 million people contacted the Department of the Interior, with 98 percent of comments supporting existing national monuments.


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    By Dan Sotelo

    Editor's note: Dan Sotelo was the founder of Onza, the parts and accessories brand from the 1990s. He is the inventor of the mountain bike bar-end and worked with several bike brands including Shimano, Specialized, Maxxis and Panaracer. For 10 years, he's operated a bike shop on Mercer Island, near Seattle, called Bike Lair

    Back in 1968, my career started as a proud Factory Trained Schwinn mechanic in Southern California. I can safely say this was the golden era for IBDs. Ever since, I've witnessed every great, surprising, and sometimes agonizing twist that IBDs had to endure to stay in business. And now I can honestly say, "This is the end of the road for IBD" ... Welcome, IBS: Independent Bicycle Service

    What the current IBDs need to do is bite the bullet, stop resisting and alienating online consumers and just face the fact that the internet is here to stay. Like it or not big bicycle brands sooner or later are going to cave into internet sales in order to survive, thus leaving stubborn IBDs high and dry.

    So sit back, have a few strong smoothies (daiquiris optional), and start thinking, "How can I turn this new thing called internet sales into a new and very profitable golden opportunity?"

    You don't have to die; all you have to do is change the "D" to an "S" for service, and you'll once again thrive and be very profitable.

    Just look at Tesla doing away with traditional dealerships and going consumer direct. Diamondback has also gone consumer direct with its so-called Ready to Ride assembly (which is OK, but still needs the professional IBS touch). And down the road, all online-bought bikes will need IBS service. My point is, IBDs are doomed and they need to change in a hurry.

    Think back to the '80s when market experts were predicting that internet sales were going to doom UPS and FedEx ... Huh?! Crazy as that sounds, that's what experts said, which made absolutely no sense to me. If you order something online, how is it going to get to your home? By magic? It's the same thing with owners of IBDs: Stop being so proud and stubborn. You don't have to die — all you have to do is change the "D" to an "S" for service, and you'll once again thrive and be very profitable.

    So let me suggest some ideas on how to transform from IBD to IBS:

    ONE:
    Think: Where did you make the most profits? Answers:

    • Service and labor
    • Quick bolt-on accessories (ie: bike racks, car racks, lights, helmets, etc.)
    • Fast consumables (ie: tires, tubes, grips, chains, cassettes, oils, brake pads, etc.)

    TWO:
    Think: What is expensive, sits around too long and makes little or no profit?

    • Clothing: too many sizes, colors, styles and gets dated quick. Always on clearance to make room for more new slow-selling inventory.
    • Complete bikes: huge risky investment, too many sizes, models, always on clearance, just to compete with online name-brand bikes.
    • By year's end IBDs basically break even with little or no profits to show for all that clothing and showroom bicycle investment.

    THREE:
    Think: Remember the countless awkward moments when once-loyal retail customers kept coming to your shop to install a component or assemble a bicycle they bought online.

    Face it, these are the three basic things you as an IBD have to deal with every day. If it looks unfair and you feel it's getting worse, then stop being a victim, take charge and find a way to meet with success!

    Start by taking the first steps to move away from being an old, stressed-out IBD and onto being a happy and profitable IBS.

    STEP ONE:
    Put yourself in your customer's shoes and try to think what would they like from your local bike shop.

    • *I wish they had real professional mechanics, because I've taken my bike back with the same problem six times and it just gets worse."
    • *I wish I could just go to my shop without guilt or being made to feel guilty for them to install my new components or build the new bike I bought online."
    • *I wish my shop would help guide me in choosing the best bike and/or components online, without any guilt."
    • *I wish I didn't have to drive dozens of miles from my local shop to a shop that is more online-friendly and welcoming."
    • *I wish I wasn't banned from my local shop when I asked to have my online bike assembled there." (FYI: It happens a lot.)

    STEP TWO:
    Grant these new online bike shoppers their wish: become a service-only, unbiased, true professional bike shop. Get rid of all your complete bike lines, because sooner or later they're going to get rid of you anyway, as they will have to go online to survive. Downsize and get rid of all slow-selling inventory, clothing, etc., and go crazy and stock up on the latest and greatest consumables, tires, tubes, racks etc.

    Now that you don't need all that room you can shut down half or more of your rental building. Or if you own the building rent out that other space. Take the overhead savings and invest in great mechanics. Just like good cooks make a hole-in-the-wall restaurant super successful, good mechanics do the same thing.

    Never guilt your online customers, ever! Even if they buy many things online using your guidance but never come to your IBS for service, don't worry. Sooner or later they're going to mess things up and need your services.

    No more low-wage inexperienced mechanics and charging pro prices to keep up with your overhead. Nothing scares customers away like poor mechanics.

    Set up a small, cozy but gorgeous, well-lit modern shop with lots of computer screens so customers can scroll through and shop on the internet in your IBS. To keep away loitering customers shopping on your screens, make it a clear policy on big signs saying, "Online customers welcome. Limit 1 hour per day!"

    The key to success with your new IBS is: fast, fast, fast turnaround service. No more "Sorry, we're backed up two to three weeks." Those days are gone. Offer absolutely guaranteed professional work, backed by a free, 30-day, no-hassle follow-up.

    Since IBS is about all service, get creative and make a day-and-night drop-off and pickup system whenever you're closed. Hell, start your own small-parts drone delivery service.

    Please, no tipping.

    Offer pickup and delivery service for a small fee, and use it as an incentive: Waive the fee if the customer accumulates a good amount of service fees.

    I know this sounds strange, but make it a rule: "NO TIPPING" (beer OK; see picture). I can assure you, an all-pro, fast-turnaround service shop will have customers so happy, most will want to tip their favorite mechanic. From experience, tipping can get ugly and out of control, eventually stressing out the customers. But the occasional beer and goodies tip is a great way to develop a serious customer relationship. Everyone will be talking about your funky no-tipping sign and policy. It also makes your shop look very honest. Great PR!

    STEP THREE:
    I think you get the picture. I'm sure these basic Ideas will get your juices flowing so you can come up with thousands of more new creative ideas to make your IBS even more exciting. 

    As for the threat of your distributor cutting you off, some might say you're no longer a true brick-and-mortar bike shop. (In other words, they like to see you always struggling to keep your head above water. I don't know why, but they do.) Just throw it back in their face and say you pay rent, taxes and their required insurance. Then ask them, how is it that all their goods end up online, on Amazon and eBay? (Ask them how come they supply those rolling bike shops, then step back and watch them choke.)

    Let your suppliers know that IBSs are coming like a tsunami and will be their new bread and butter as IBSs will be doubling or tripling their annual orders versus old IBDs.

    STEP FOUR:
    How to deal with mobile bike shops: Unlike your new IBS, these new rolling bike shops have only one mechanic. Meanwhile, your IBS has two or more mechanics who are very, very good at what they do. If you deliver great-quality work with a quick turnaround time, you'll develop a truly loyal customer base for life. End of story.

    I feel that after being in the industry over 50 years, I have the right to say it like it is. I can only hope this story will inspire and not anger IBDs. I know all this because I've been running a very successful IBS for 10 years. And I, like my loyal customers, love it.

    So like it or not, welcome to the new online era.


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    BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (BRAIN) — QBP will hold its 2018 SaddleDrive event Aug. 20-24 at Seven Springs Resort, which is an hour away from Pittsburgh.

    The company said the new East Coast location has a wider variety of riding surfaces that are well-suited for QBP's bike brands and for riders of all skill levels. The distributor also said attendees will appreciate the venue for its layout, which ensures retailers are close to all the action.

    "This venue change will allow retailers to ride all of our bikes on the types of terrain they were designed for, which means they'll leave with a strong feel for which bikes they want to stock as well as how to best sell them," said Meghan Gess, QBP's events manager.

    SaddleDrive will include ride opportunities, one-on-one time with brands and sales team members, and in-depth educational opportunities. The event is invite-only; select retailers will receive invitations in April. 

     


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    REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (BRAIN) — Kenda Tire has promoted Sam Whitley to the position of North American aftermarket sales manager.

    Whitley, who had recently assumed the role of digital sales and marketing manager, will transition from B2C and into the B2B segment to service Kenda's wholesale accounts across the United States and Canada.  In addition to the new responsibilities, Whitley will continue to serve as the digital marketing manager.

    "Sam has proven a hardworking, dedicated and creative member of the bicycle team and is well-equipped to take on these new responsibilities," said Al Clark, the senior director of Kenda's North American bicycle division.

     


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    SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Interbike said it has completely revamped its educational content offerings for its 2018 show. Headlining the show's content will be keynote speaker John Venhuizen, the CEO of Ace Hardware Corporation.

    The show said it has invested heavily in its educational offerings for next year's show, which are being called "The IBD Summit at Interbike."

    Pat Hus, the vice president of Interbike, said retail attendees can expect a slate of new speakers, dynamic panel discussions, relevant subjects, and more tactical takeaways than ever before.

    "One of the ways in which we are going to reinvent the show is by bringing in higher levels of education and speakers," said Hus. "Our new retailer advisory board members were adamant that we needed to step up our game on seminars at Interbike. The only way to do that was to take complete ownership on that content and start curating all of it. We will still be working with the NBDA and others on specific tracks for the show, but we will be driving the overall direction moving forward."

    Interbike expo hours will start later than in recent years to accommodate educational events before the show opens; more on-floor education will be integrated as well.

    The show has more than 75 sessions slated.

    "This is the perfect opportunity to revamp and rebrand our new educational platform with a name that is synonymous with high level education — our IBD Summit," said Justin Gottlieb, PR & communications director for Interbike. "We are also exploring a number of new topics to help IBD's grow and succeed, which will be announced soon." 

    Venhuizen, who leads the world's largest hardware cooperative, has faced similar challenges to the bike industry and has found ways to succeed and grow in its 93-year-old history.

    Venhuizen said, "Ace's impressive string of store growth and consecutive increases in sales and in-store traffic is powerful evidence that our model — rooted in local entrepreneurialism — is agile enough to adapt and bend where needed, without ever breaking our conviction to fortify around the timeless retail principles of servant hearts and human interaction."

    He will lead a session titled, "The Battle for Relevance: How Brick & Mortar Businesses Can Win the Battle for Relevance and Consumer Preference," where he said he will share how Ace's 5,000-plus store owners compete and win against some of the biggest, best and well-funded companies on the planet.

    More details on Interbike's education and conference will be released in the coming months. Interbike Marketweek will take place in California's Reno Tahoe region beginning with a new consumer demo and festival in North Lake Tahoe, Sept. 15-16, followed by OutDoor Demo on Sept. 16-17,and then the Interbike Expo, Sept. 18-20.


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