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    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (BRAIN) — Liz Robert, the owner and CEO of Terry Bicycles, may make a bid to buy the troubled Vermont wool clothing brand Ibex, according to a report in Valley News, a local paper. 

    Ibex announced earlier this year it would stop sales to retailers, and then announced it was preparing to shut down.

    According to Valley News, Robert is partnering with a Vermont private equity firm to try to buy Ibex's assets in a bid to keep the business and its jobs in the state. Robert is also the former CEO of Vermont Teddy Bear.

    Ibex's owners have hired Hilco Streambank to auction the brand's intellectual property. According to the Hilco Streambank listing for the assets, Ibex had sales of $21 million last year, including $10.3 million in direct sales, $6.5 million in wholesale, $2.6 million in direct sales through its own retail stores, and $1.65 million in international and other sales. (A Hilco Streambank pdf brochure on Ibex is attached).

    "When I heard the company was imploding and the IP was up for sale, and I further understood there were folks from out of state that are interested in taking it over, I reached out to Vermont Works and other potential partners who could help put together a consortium to obtain financing and acquire the IP," Robert said in an interview with Valley News on Friday. "In doing that I would obviously leverage the operations and infrastructure I have with Terry Bicycles with the ongoing operations of Ibex."

    Robert acquired Terry Bicycles in 2009

    Ibex is continuing to operate with about 20 employees in Vermont and another 20 to 30 workers at its three company-owned stores in Boston, Denver and Seattle. Robert told Valley News that VF Corp. may bid for Ibex. VF Corp owns The North Face and SmartWool, and in November it purchased Icebreaker, a New Zealand wool brand.

    Robert told Valley News that Terry Bicycles and Ibex would make a good fit. "Not only is there operationally overlap, but there is a neat synergy in the customer base," she told the paper.


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    BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (BRAIN) — QBP has announced the 2018 winners of the women's bike mechanic scholarship.

    Thirty-two scholarship recipients will attend a two-week professional repair and shop operations class at United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Oregon, thanks to support from QBP and sponsors Michelin, Park Tool, SRAM, UBI, Jagwire, Ergon, Saris, Finish Line, Kryptonite, DT Swiss, Surly, Swiftwick, Dero and Stan's NoTubes. This year more sponsors joined the cause, helping to double the size of the program.

    The recipients were chosen because of their passion for increasing ridership among underrepresented groups and demonstrated commitment to the projects they're currently working on.

    The scholarship covers the winners' tuition and lodging and provides a small stipend to help defray the personal expenses of travel and meals.

    More information: The list of winners on the QBP website.

     

     


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    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The reconciled federal tax reform bill, which Congress is expected to vote on this week, eliminates a bicycle commuting benefit that allowed employers to reimburse workers as much as $20 per month for bike commuting expenses.

    The benefit had been retained in the House version of the tax reform bill, but eliminated in the Senate's bill. The reconciled plan, released by the joint conference committee on Friday, sticks with the Senate's elimination.

    PeopleForBikes and the League of American Bicyclists had campaigned to retain the benefit. According to PeopleForBikes, its supporters sent 3,500 letters to members of Congress in all 50 states, asking that the benefit be retained. It was estimated the benefit cost the federal government $5 million a year.

    In a web posting, the League's policy director, Ken McLeod, said, "This is obviously disappointing and a big missed opportunity to reform commuter benefits so that they better serve low and middle income employees who are usually not offered the current commuter benefits and provide incentives for reducing congestion by encouraging people to bike, walk, and take transit — rather than continue our current benefits that overwhelmingly subsidize car commutes for high income workers in congested cities."

    In a presentation on its website, the League argues that benefits for public transit and parking (retained in the tax reform) cost many times as much as the bike benefit, while discouraging biking, walking and car pooling to work.

    Although legislators have continued to make changes to the bill as late as Friday evening, it is expected to pass both chambers this week.


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    LINCOLN, Neb. (BRAIN) — Industry veteran Jay Thomas has acquired Champion System USA and has moved the business from Brooklyn, New York, to Lincoln, Nebraska. Thomas, who is the company's new managing director, is its former vice president of sales and marketing.

    "In my prior role I came to understand and appreciate Champion System's role as a pioneer in the custom apparel market; they truly set the standard for delivery, service, and programs," said Thomas. "I'm thrilled to work with our service and production teams to expand upon existing product and operational excellence, and to continue to set the benchmarks by which all other custom programs are measured."

    While Champion System in recent years has branched out from cycling and multisport to the rugby team, motor sports and netball markets, Thomas said he planned to return the focus to the cycling, running and triathlon custom apparel market in the U.S.

    Champion System Limited, based in Hong Kong, operates in 22 countries and owns several factories. Thomas said that in most countries, Champion System owns its subsidiaries, but the U.S. office and Australia offices have been the exceptions with local owners. Thomas and Champion System Limited acquired the U.S. office from Scott Kaylin and Morry Edelstein, who founded the company in 2005.

    Besides his history with Champion System, Thomas has worked for Trek Bicycle, Capo Cycling Apparel, and Pedros. He is the co-founder and former co-owner of Midwest Cycling, a six-store chain of Trek concept stores in Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas.

    Thomas can be reached at Jayt@champ-sys.com.


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    HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (BRAIN) — Finish Line Technologies has added HF Christiansen and Unicykel to its list of international distributors. HF Christiansen will be Finish Line's exclusive distribution partner for the Danish market while their subsidiary, Unicykel, will cover the Swedish market.

    "Finish Line is excited to work with HF Christiansen," said Hank Krause, the president and CEO of Finish Line. "Both companies pride themselves on their family-like, hands-on approach to business, where positive working relationships are valued above all else."

    HF Christiansen is one of the world's oldest bicycle manufacturers. It was founded in 1903 and now sells about 65,000 bikes per year throughout Denmark and the rest of Europe. HF Christiansen also distributes many leading brands to the Danish and Swedish markets.
    René Pedersen, purchasing manager at HF Christiansen said, "For Denmark and Sweden we see great potential still to be realized in Finish Line. At HF Christiansen and Unicykel, we're experts in commuter bikes and our aim is to expand the market for Finish Line from the traditional MTB and road segments to the users of all other bike types."

    HF Christiansen and Unicykel will begin sales of Finish Line products on Jan. 1.


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    PARSIPPANY, N.J. (BRAIN) — After a strong year that saw a big increase in dealers and sales, Van Dessel is moving operations into a new space inside Kent International's 60,000-square-foot warehouse in Parsippany. 

    Kent has been assisting Van Dessel in its growth, said Robert Vander Veur, Van Dessel's vice president of sales and development. He said Van Dessel now has about 78 dealers — twice its count last year. Sales were up nearly 40 percent this year. 

    "Kent has been very important in supporting and backing our efforts, not just so we can produce new models, but to provide better service to our growing IBD base," Vander Veur said. "We've increased our outside sales force with eight new reps. Hardly a sales army like larger brands, but we can begin providing our dealers with the attention they deserve," he added.

    Van Dessel has moved its inventory and assembly team to Parsippany, and the company added a few more assemblers. Every bike Van Dessel sends to dealers is assembled to order in-house.

    "Part of the feedback from dealers we are getting is that they really appreciate the no-pressure approach we take. Shops can just order one bike, a frame and build kit or just a frame — we don't care. And our a la carte build program gives them a unique bike that cannot be cost shopped," Vander Veur said.

    Vander Veur noted that as many larger suppliers have phased out their steel offerings, Van Dessel's steel sales have increased. Its chromoly Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and WTF 853LTD are top sellers.

    Vander Veur said shops appreciate the custom component sizing options and the ability to access a wide variety of build components for a new custom bike from one place.

    The company recently added Dirt City Cycle Supply in Edmonton, Alberta, to distribute to Canadian retailers, and it now has a Philippines distributor, My Next Bike in Makati, Philippines. The company is going to display at the CABDA show in February.

    "It's great having Van Dessel in-house," Kent International president Scott Kamler said. "We're happy to offer any assistance we can, fulfillment, warehousing, art needs — we're here to support their growth and keep the brand moving forward."

    Van Dessel's new address is 60 East Halsey Road, Parsippany NJ, 07045. Telephone is 973-543-2599.


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    DENVER, Colo. (BRAIN) — PepPod is now packing its effervescent, drink-soluble tablets in 20-count, single-packet boxes.

    PepPods are dropped in a drink of choice to provide amino acids, electrolytes, minerals and vitamins. The company said its new 20-count single-packet boxes are ideal for leaving in an office or packing away on a vacation.

    The company said the minerals in PepPods are "cold-water extracted from a prehistoric plant deposit — making them all natural and healthy — in a Utah mine. The minerals inside the mine were perfectly preserved and safe from erosion and farming, leaving it mineral rich."

    "We developed a unique, plant-based nutritional product that relied on four years of dedicated research," said PepPod CEO Jennifer Pearce. "By 2016, Colorado and neighboring states were refreshed by a tablet rather than cups of coffee or soda. We hope the whole world will make the switch to an easy to use, healthy energy source."

    PepPods provide amino acids, antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamin B complex, vitamins C and D and other minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. PepPods do not contain sugar or gluten, are non-GMO and are vegetarian friendly. They come in citrus or berry flavors, and can also be purchased in tubes of 10 pods or 30-count boxes, in addition to the new 20-count single packet boxes.

    More information at peppod.com.


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  • 12/19/17--12:25: Grinduro Quincy
  • For the fourth year running, riders will make the pilgrimage to Grinduro, the seminal mixed-terrain event where having a good time at the party is just as important as going fast in the race. 2018 will see a return to two classic venues: on July 14 to the Isle of Arran in Scotland, and on September 29 to Quincy, California, where Grinduro was born. With live music, a hand-made bicycle and art show, and a demanding course that combines pavement, fire roads, and singletrack, Grinduro brings all types of riders together for a weekend in the spectacular scenery. Registration will open at www.grinduro.com on 9am PST 2 January 2018 for Grinduro Scotland and 8pm 22 April 2018 for Grinduro Quincy.

    Grinduro is a combination of gravel road race and mountain bike-style enduro: one long loop of pavement, gravel, and dirt, where finishing times are based on four timed segments (each roughly five-to-seven minutes). As a testament to both the diverse riding skills required and the level of competition, past champions have included current cross-country pro Katerina Nash and former downhill professional Duncan Riffle, both of whom rode cyclocross bikes for their wins. But Grinduro is not just a bike race. It's a celebration of cycling with as much emphasis on the fun as on the ride, with excellent food, an impressive display of art and incredible handmade bikes, live music, camping, and a festival atmosphere.

    Registration will open at www.grinduro.com on 2 January 2018 for Grinduro Scotland (14 July 2018) and 22 April 2018 for Grinduro Quincy (29 September 2018.)

    Date: 
    Date:September 29, 2018 1:00 am
    Location: Quincy, California
    Image: 

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    OGDEN, Utah (BRAIN) — ENVE has announced the M525 G wheelset, which makes its M525 mountain bike rims available with road bike hubs, for use on gravel bikes. The M525 rim is a wide carbon hookless rim designed to reduce pinch flats. 

    The M525 G wheels come in 650b and 700c/29-inch configurations, with either Chris King or DT 240 hubs. 

    Enve developed the "Wide Hookless Bead" feature for mountain bike use and found that the M525 rim, used with mountain bike tires, improves pinch flat resistance by 60 percent. The company said the feature is even more valuable for gravel road riding. 

    "This technology is valuable considering that the number one cause of a mechanical on gravel roads is a flat tire. Lack of suspension and lower volume tires mean that tires must perform above and beyond to ensure you make it back home."

    The rim has a 25 mm inner width, allowing it to work with tires 32 mm wide and wider. The wheels weight 1,368 grams in the 700c/DT 240 configuration, and retail starts at $2,800. 

    More information at enve.com/products/m525-g or attached spec sheet

    File Attachment: 

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    LEVIS, Québec (BRAIN) — Hawley-Lambert said it has made several strategic staffing changes to best support vendor and retailer growth.

    The distributor's longtime director of product, Andre Trudeau, has transitioned to a new role as director of vendor business development. In this role, Trudeau will work to attract new brands to the company, while also working with existing brands to react faster to market trends.

    Filling the position vacated by Trudeau is longtime product manager Dave Savard. Savard will report to Pat McGinnis, the vice president of commercial, who said, "Our mantra is that we equip success, and that extends to the vendors and retailers we support. We are building deep relationships with brands, understanding their business as if it's our own. By more closely aligning product with sales and marketing, it allows us to better equip our retail partners with the brand knowledge they need to be successful."

    In another change, Brian McKinney joins the company as regional sales manager for the eastern United States. McKinney was most recently in brand management at ASI.

    "I've been tasked with focusing on growth in the Northeast and Midwest, and my priority is to first realign sales territories in these regions," said McKinney. "I've begun the recruiting process to reshape our sales team with professionals who understand how to sell and teach brands, while also understanding how to best support retailers in a changing marketplace."

    Another change is the recent promotion of Monica Davis to the position of e-commerce & national accounts manager covering the United States. An industry veteran of Michelin and Giant, Davis reports to Chad Smith, the director of national accounts. "Monica will work closely with select brands to facilitate their online and national accounts strategies. She will transition to the role once a replacement is hired covering her territory," the company said in a statement this week.

     

     


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    Editor's note: For more on the changes at the NBDA, turn to the January 1 issue of BRAIN.

    LAFAYETTE, Colo. (BRAIN) — Following the departure of its president, Todd Grant, in late November, the National Bicycle Dealers Association is looking to continue its programs but running on a tighter budget. The move to cut expenses is in response to income loss from its traditional sources and over-investment in capital spending.

    Brandee Lepak, NBDA board chair, said the board has made "substantial expenditure reductions" and is operating on a bare-bones budget.

    "Right now we are in a really great place," said Lepak, co-owner of Global Bikes, which operates four stores in the Phoenix metro area. "We're able to slash our expenses, we've protected our revenue stream, and we've gotten the association to a place that it can run on a bare minimum."

    The NBDA has one full-time employee, Sara Michaels, the operations and administration manager. It contracts out the publication of its newsletter, Outspokin', to an editor and graphic designer. Lepak said the board would eventually like to hire a new executive director — but at a lower salary that is partly based on incentives.

    The NBDA's primary income sources are Interbike, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, which the NBDA publishes, and the 71-year-old association's membership dues.

    At the same time that revenue sources declined, the organization spent its cash reserves to boost programs and make the organization more responsive to retailers. The board had instructed Grant that it wanted to tap into the NBDA's reserves and put some of that money to work.

    Grant boosted the NBDA's staff and launched or expanded programs such as the Profitability Project (P2). He also negotiated the purchase of Barnett Bicycle Institute from founder John Barnett.

    In 2017, the NBDA received about $130,000 less than it had budgeted from both the show and the magazine. While that was painful, it was overshadowed by the increase in the organization's spending.

    For now, the NBDA has enough cash to continue and Lepak said others in the industry are reaching out to the NBDA to help it through its financial difficulties. QBP, for example, has offered two top executives, Lori Richman and Todd Cravens, to oversee the three P2 groups that meet annually.

    The popular P2 programs bring noncompeting retailers together from different regions of the country, where they can delve into one another's businesses and learn from the others how to be more successful.

    Lepak said the association is bullish on BBI and expect it to be an important resource for bicycle retailers, as well as providing another revenue stream for the NBDA. BBI operates independently as a for-profit subsidiary of the NBDA.

    "I see more opportunity ahead of us now than I've seen the entire time I've been on the board," Lepak said.

     


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    STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — Smartwool has named San Francisco-based JAM Collective as its public relations agency of record. 

    JAM Collective said it will employ both traditional and emerging public relations outreach as well as bolstering the brand's social media marketing execution. 

    "We have admired JAM's work for years," said Molly Cuffe, director of global communications at Smartwool. "They are known to be incredibly creative utilizing both traditional and non-traditional communication channels effectively. We have watched them help brands scale by combining a thoughtful strategy with a fresh, modern PR perspective. We think JAM is the ideal partner to help us drive our next critical phase of growth through meaningful editorial and impactful partnerships."

    Julie Atherton, the founded of JAM Collective, said, "We've had a crush on the Smartwool brand for years. We love the spirit, heritage and energy of the brand. When we met with the Smartwool team, it solidified our interest in a long-term relationship with the company."

    Working alongside Atherton will be JAM's Deborah Pleva, Amy May, Sara Murphy, and July Zaleski. 

    JAM Collective specializes in public relations, social media, brand communications, and strategic partnerships, with clients including including Osprey Packs, OtterBox, Leatherman, Vasque, Vuarnet, Yakima Products, Inc. and Snow Peak.

    Smartwool, based in Steamboat Springs, is owned by VF Corporation. 


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    Seven states have passed e-bike bills and several more are close.

    IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Expanding trail access for e-MTBs, how to market e-bikes to grow category awareness, and overcoming lingering hurdles of selling e-bikes at traditional bike shops were among the key topics at the BPSA PeopleForBikes E-Bike Summit held at Shimano's Irvine offices last week.

    In its fifth year, the annual e-bike gathering drew more than 100 attendees, with both IBDs, e-IBDs, bike brands and battery/motor manufacturers sending staff.

    Rob Kaplan, vice president of Raleigh Electric, estimated that some 1,500 to 2,000 dealers sell e-bikes in the U.S. out of about 3,900 specialty bike shops. "And a lot of retailers are having good success," he said, kicking off a breakout that included table discussions on how to engage retail and gain IBD support for e-bikes.

    Some of the ideas that came out of that brainstorming session from attendees were:
    • Coming out with lower-priced e-bikes
    • Standardization of components (firmware and tools) on e-bikes
    • Doing "empathy training" for shop staff
    • Developing demo and ambassador programs for shop staff and customers
    • Targeted efforts from manufacturers to educate consumers

    Chris Cherry, associate professor at the University of Tennessee, shared some early findings from a 2017 survey of e-bike owners. The full report will be available in early 2018. Cherry said the research showed that two-thirds of e-bike trips were displacing car travel. "We're displacing a lot of vehicle miles traveled by car," he said.

    Not surprisingly, the survey showed that most owners are over 55 years of age, mostly male, of high income brackets and white. "You can say there's a big opportunity for a younger market," Cherry said. There's also a major opportunity for IBDs. Cherry said two-thirds of respondents bought their e-bikes from online sellers or from specialty e-bike shops. Only 16 percent bought an e-bike from a conventional independent bike shop.

    Most people go to the internet to research e-bikes before buying, then go to retail and test ride events. And brand name was not as important as price, type of assist or battery range, Cherry said.

    A panel discussed trail access, education and policy for electric mountain bikes at the BPSA PeopleForBikes E-Bike Summit held last Friday at Shimano's headquarters in Irvine. From left: IMBA's Dave Wiens, Haibike USA's Ken Miner, PFB's Leslie Kehmeier and Trek's John Riley.

    The summit also had three presentations/panels on e-MTBs and trail access. Dave Wiens, IMBA's executive director, delivered a tough message to a crowd of emboldened e-bike suppliers: "It's important that we're careful how we do things," he said. "I'd love to see mountain bike access as well as e-MTB access be healthy for long time in the future. It's important we have information, communication and collaboration and that we strike a balance between marketing and selling bikes and being responsible."

    Unlike with pavement e-bikes, where a three-class system is being adopted across various states to grant e-bikes access to paths where unassisted bikes are, on dirt the question of access is complex. While e-MTBs on U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land are treated as motorized vehicles, their access on state, county, municipal and other nonfederal land varies widely.

    It's such a new category that many park rangers and land managers haven't created local policies for them. And many riders, and retailers, are unaware about access issues or what local trails these bikes are allowed on.

    Leslie Kehmeier, who heads e-MTB mapping and research for PeopleForBikes, has begun cataloging trails that are open to e-MTBs, including OHV trails, on a database. She said there are more than 42,000 miles of trails across the U.S., and the database is growing daily. Most of the information is crowdsourced from riders and dealers. Kehmeier said e-bike suppliers and retailers can easily embed the map on their websites to let riders know where they can go.

    Aside from cataloging, Kehmeier is also leading efforts to educate and provide resources for land managers about e-MTBs. These have included land manager demo programs and working with them on "Where to Ride" campaigns and policies. PFB is also working on specific area guides and is working with IMBA on etiquette guidelines.

    The process of getting e-MTB policy about access in place isn't easy, with more than 2,000 land agencies to work with nationally, Kehmeier said. "There's a lot to deal with and a lot of people to provide outreach to and education. Policies have a process and require patience. And policies will start at the local level," she said.

    Photo: A map showing the states with three-class e-bike legislation for pavement bikes on the books. So far seven states have passed e-bike bills, and several others are close.

    IMBA's Wiens said that while the nonprofit has softened its stance about e-bikes to be supportive of Class 1 e-MTB access on nonmotorized trails, or bikes that are pedal assist only up to 20 mph, the group is also recommending creating a new category of trail classification for Class 1 e-MTBs.

    "We can tell the feel-good stories, but we have to understand that these bikes will be used in sporty ways too, so creating a different category would give land managers options. It's a common-sense approach," he said.

    Wiens said Moab is already doing something similar, using new classifications for UTVs (utility terrain vehicle) — which aren't ATVs or jeeps — but were appearing in greater numbers on trails. "The land management agency gave them a new category," he said.

    This new classification would be especially useful in certain states and regions where trails are already at capacity, he added. "The pool is getting full," Wiens said.

    As far as the industry's role in educating riders and dealers about e-MTBs and where to ride them, panelists agreed that the responsibility falls on suppliers and retailers to educate consumers, not just land managers or park rangers, to ensure riders aren't unknowingly poaching or riding illegally on trails not open to e-MTBs.

     


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    PORTLAND, Ore. (BRAIN) — Ruckus Composites, a carbon fiber repair company, has refreshed its branding for 2018, among other changes. The nine-year-old company also is launching its own podcast, planning a warehouse sale at its Portland headquarters, and unveiling a new three-tiered pricing system for repairs. 

    Shawn Small, owner and head engineer of Ruckus Composites, said, "We are thrilled to launch into 2018. Over the last year, we have grown our staff and expanded our facility, along with carbon fiber inspection technologies, to continuously deliver safe and reliable repairs. Our aim is to continually be the trusted resource for cyclists, shops and manufacturers."

    Ruckus said its new podcast, "Fiber Side Chats," is intended to dispel myths about carbon repair, inform customers about the right way to repair, and position themselves as the experts in carbon fiber bicycle repair. The podcast can be downloaded from ruckuscomp.com/podcast or is available through podcast apps. 

    The warehouse sale will be Jan. 20, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 3380 SE 20th Avenue in Portland. An assortment of carbon fiber bicycle frames (both previously-repaired and ready-for-repair) will be on sale at deeply discounted prices. As part of the sale, customers can purchase a ready-for-repair carbon frame, then jump in the repair queue that day. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a local advocacy organization, The Street Trust.

    Ruckus' 2018 price guide offers three tiers. Their $350 "Basic" package does not include finishing or body work, just a matte black paint at the repair site that is blended with the original color. The next tier "Modified" packages are $500-$600 and include base-color paint restoration but no graphics. The "Full" package starts at $600 includes full detailing and graphic restoration.

    More information at: ruckuscomp.com.


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    The new RadCity Step-Thru.

    SEATTLE (BRAIN) — Rad Power Bikes, a Seattle-based consumer-direct e-bike company, has announced its 2018 bike lineup, which includes its new RadCity Step-Thru model.

    The new model is similar to the company's RadCity Electric Commuter but uses a new frame featuring a 20-inch step-through height and sweptback handlebars, which the company said addresses the comfort needs of many of its customers. It retails for $1,499.

    Models in the 2018 lineup are updated with improved battery life; frame and handlebar redesigns; accessory compatibility including universal front rack mounts; new colors; and brighter headlights. 

    All 2018 models feature a partially integrated downtube for a more streamlined fit with the battery and a lower center of gravity.

    Prices are unchanged from 2017. All bikes are available now for pre-order and will be shipped to customers in January.

    "Since our start in 2007 we have delivered tens of thousands of e-bikes to our loyal customers, and we're excited to expand on the features and the construction quality that has made each model so popular. We've received a ton of positive customer feedback, and we have also garnered tremendous input for future enhancements," said Mike Radenbaugh, the CEO of Rad Power Bikes. "We've analyzed that feedback and used it as critical input to our 2018 model year refresh. We remain totally committed to our customers and our planet with highly sustainable electric bikes that are reliable, affordable and built to withstand just about anything."

    More information at radpowerbikes.com.


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    DES MOINES, Iowa (BRAIN) — The Iowa Bike Expo, scheduled for Jan. 27 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, has broken its own record for number of registered exhibitors. The expo has 93 exhibitors lined up for 150 booth spaces, increasing last year's total by almost 25 percent. 

    "We know we have a large audience," says Mark Wyatt, executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and show organizer. "We upgraded to a larger space, added a demo track, and worked hard to recruit more exhibitors."

    The Expo has added a TerraTrike Demo Track, and the Vandoit Floor Seminar Area. This is in addition to the Bike Law Iowa Entertainment Stage, Bikes To You Women's Lounge, and classroom areas for meetings.

    New vendors such as Ergon, Kryptonite, Orange Mud, HED Cycling, SKS USA/SQ Labs, Selle Anatomica, ABUS, AAA, and Po Campo are joining returning vendors including RAGBRAI, SRAM, Trek, Primal, NorthAmerican Cycles, and TerraTrike.

    More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the one-day event. More information at iowabikeexpo.com.


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    ST. CHARLES, Ill. (BRAIN) — Sigma's new Nugget II Flash features a refreshed design, improved features and a significant price reduction compared to its predecessor model.

    The rechargeable light has a claimed visibility range of 400 meters and a burn time up to eight hours, for day or night use.  It has a 1⁄2 watt high-powered LED and lateral visibility over 220 degrees

    "The Nugget II Flash provides great light distribution in a compact space because of its design and specially developed Fresnel lens. The light output is balanced, even and strong," the company said.

    The redesigned light is weatherproof and features an improved battery and charge indicator. Two battery symbols indicate capacity and while charging the indicator shows whether the light is fully charged or not. It can be mounted quickly on any seatpost with the included tab O-rings.

    MSRP is $24.99. A combo with the BUSTER 100 has an MSRP of $49.99.

    More information at sigmasport.com.


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Stradalli Cycle, a ten-year-old bike brand based in Florida, plans to open a small showroom and bike shop in North Boulder in February.

    Stradalli owner Tom Steinbacher told BRAIN the new store will showcase about 100 Stradalli bikes, as well as a small selection of Stradalli’s other carbon products, which include fishing rods, baseball bats, skis and snowboards.

    “I miss retail,” said Steinbacher, who took a break from spackeling the store’s walls recently to show BRAIN the new store, which is on Broadway a few hundred yards south of Boulder Cycle Sport’s North Boulder location.

    Stradalli is known primarily as a consumer-direct brand, although the company also operates a large store in Pompano Beach, Florida. The company also sells wholesale to a handful of shops in the U.S. and a few dozen stores in other markets, including Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Steinbacher’s native Germany.

    The brand specializes in carbon-framed bikes, including road, triathlon and mountain bikes. Most are sold outfitted with upper end Shimano parts, including Dura-Ace, Ultegra, Deore XT and XTR. Pricing is aggressive: one carbon road model, outfitted with Dura-Ace Di2 with hydraulic disc brakes, retails for $3,500. The company ships bikes to consumers unassembled or will pre-assemble them for a $200 upcharge.

    Steinbacher also is the founder and CEO of Demon’s Cycle, a motorcycle e-commerce site. He spends most of the year in Florida but is transitioning to Colorado, where he recently bought a house outside Boulder.

    Stradalli sponsors several bike clubs, amateur teams and men’s and women’s pro road teams, and Steinbacher said he’s looking forward to supporting groups in Colorado. The new store has hired two employees already and is interviewing mechanics. Steinbacher said the store will do bike assembly and repairs but he does not envision it as a full service bike shop.

     


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    TORRANCE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Pioneer's Cycle Sports Division has completed the move to a new facility in Torrance, California, that used to be occupied by Toyota before the automaker moved to Texas. Pioneer Electronics entered the bike business nearly four years ago with power meters, and the company has since added a sales rep force and tech reps.

    Russ Johnston, who heads the cycle sports business, said the company is up 34 percent in the number of bike dealers who stock its products, and sales are 140 percent over last year. This growth comes despite stiff competition in the power meter category, with 19 different manufacturers battling it out, he said.

    Pioneer built a new production site for its power meter kits at the new facility, and Johnston said Pioneer is close to launching online registration of product, which will enable it to offer free shipping to customers as well as automate communication.

    Pioneer's new office is located at: 2050 W. 190th Street, Suite 100, Torrance, CA 90504.


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