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    SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (BRAIN) — Gazelle Bicycles recently hosted a dealer event at their U.S. headquarters here to reveal its 2018 model line. The company also announced the addition of three independent sales organizations in the U.S.: GPM Sports Group, Tifosi Sales, and The Mansfield Group will represent the brand in the eastern United States. Gazelle plans to expand their sales team with complete coverage in the U.S. for 2018.

    Ewoud van Leeuwen, the manager of Gazelle USA, said, "We are pleased to work with the best e-bike retailers and continue to build strong partnerships in conjunction with our sales representatives."

    The Dutch brand is 125 years old. It is owned by Pon Holdings, the parent of Cervélo, Focus and Santa Cruz. Pon has a portfolio of brands focused on the e-bike, including Gazelle, Faraday, Focus and Kalkhoff.

    More information at gazellebikes.com/usa.


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    ASOLO, Italy (BRAIN) — Alpinestars' Andres Tech Shirt is constructed from a cotton and poly flannel main shell that incorporates a windproof layer on the upper chest and shoulders.

    The company said the material is quick drying and features a soft touch finish on the exterior. The jersey has anatomically profiled, pre-curved sleeve construction for riding performance, zippered water-resistant rear pocket, a front patch pocket with snap button, embroidered eyelets at armholes to improve ventilation. The jersey is reinforced with anti-abrasion printing on elbow area to minimize scratching and increase durability.

    It's available in sizes Small through XXL. More information at alpinestars.com.

     


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    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (BRAIN) — TerraTrike has donated more than $3,000 worth of cycling accessories to The Spoke Folks, a nonprofit bike cooperative based in Grand Rapids, the trike-maker's hometown. 

    "We love what The Spoke Folks stand for and what they're doing for the Grand Rapids community – approaching big societal issues all through the humble bike," said Mike Kessenich, the CEO of TerraTrike. "We applaud their efforts and want to support them in any way we can. Hopefully, this is the start of a larger collaboration."

    The Spoke Folks is a registered nonprofit that was established in 2012 to increase bicycle ridership in West Michigan and beyond. Martel Posey, the executive director of The Spoke Folks, said, "The donation from TerraTrike will help to make a lot of our customers bikes better vehicles of transportation and we can only accomplish this with other great organizations who support the work we love doing."

    The donation from TerraTrike consists of wheels, tires, shifters and other accessories that will go toward building bikes for community members at low or no cost. Last summer, The Spoke Folks helped fix 78 bicycles, provided 90 inner tubes and 86 brake cables to local youth.

    "This was an amazing donation," said Posey. "It helps us to replenish a lot of the parts that we have used during our busy season."

    In addition to providing community members with affordable bikes, The Spoke Folks also have a mobile repair truck they take to local events where they run workshops and give tips on bike tuneups. They also have an annual membership program so any local bike enthusiast can have access to their shop space with tools and knowledgeable staff on hand to help.

    More information at thespokefolks.org.


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    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (BRAIN) —  Through the end of January, Faraday Bikes will donate $100 from every bike sale to the Million Tree Challenge, a promotion organized by the One Tree Planted organization. Each $100 donation will result in 100 new trees planted. 

    The donations will be pooled via One Tree Planted to support Cal Fire, which administers assistance and replanting programs following the state's wildfires. A combination of California Redwood, Maple, Palm, Elderberry, Willow, Birch, Dogwood, Cedar, Giant Sequoia, and Walnut trees will be planted.

    Adam Vollmer, the CEO of Faraday Bikes, said, "We make a product that helps people stay active, explore their community, and ride their bikes as much as possible. That's all dependent on a healthy environment. We wanted to support this initiative to make sure California's forests are thriving for years to come."

    The "Million Tree Challenge" goal is to get 500 businesses to commit to planting 2,000 trees each. One Tree Planted estimates that 100 million trees will need to be restored after the last few years of wildfires and drought in California.

    Faraday Bikes was founded in San Francisco in 2012. In early 2017 it was acquired by Pon Holdings. 


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    WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN) — The League of American Bicyclists has announced that Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao will headline the opening session of the National Bike Summit. The Summit will be held March 5-7, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

    During Secretary Chao’s first year of service, the Department of Transportation issued a four-year strategic plan and advanced the regulatory architecture for the safe deployment of transformative transportation technologies, including autonomous vehicles, and has been involved with White House deliberations on a trillion-dollar infrastructure proposal. Chao has identified her top priorities as safety, innovation and infrastructure.

    “We look forward to hearing from Secretary Chao about her experiences in her first year, her plans for transportation in the coming year and how active transportation fits into those plans,” the League said in a statement on its website.

    Early bird registration for the National Bike Summit ends January 10, 2018. To learn more about the event and register, visit bikeleague.org/summit.






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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Dutch cyclist Thomas Dekker reveals the lifestyle of pro cyclists during the height of the EPO era in his book Descent, which is now available in English for the first time.

    Subtitlled, "My Epic Fall from Cycling Superstardom to Doping Dead End," the book is now available in bookstores, bike shops, and online. 

    According to the publisher, the book "reveals a sordid way of life full of blood bags, drugs, prostitutes, and money."

    The 224-page paperback retails for $18.95. Read the first chapter and learn more at velopress.com/descent.

     


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    RIVERSIDE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Jenson USA continued a long tradition of donating bikes to elementary school students in Riverside in its annual East Hills Holiday Bicycle Giveaway, held earlier this month.

    For more than a decade, students at two Riverside elementary schools have been chosen to be the recipients of the program initiated by the East Hills Business Council of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and Jenson USA.

    "Making a selection of the most worthy students to receive new bicycles is always a difficult task faced by school administrators and the teaching staffs," said Jenson USA's founder and CEO, Michael Cachat.

    This year, the selection process included a learning experience requiring students to write a short essay or draw a poster focused on the theme, 'Every Ride Is Epic, Where Would Your Bike Take You?" Students have no prior knowledge that they are competing for an opportunity to win a new KHS Free Agent BMX bicycle. The unveiling of 30 new bikes at each school is a total surprise to the students.

    During the presentation ceremonies at the school, Jackie Reseigne, Jenson USA's customer engagement/events specialist delivered a talk about bicycle safety and the importance of always wearing a helmet when riding. Helmets for each bike recipient were provided by Kali Protectives. The event also included a BMX bicycle tricks demonstration by Trevor Edwards.

     


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    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — Rocky Mountain Bicycles is recalling about 1,300 mountain bikes in the U.S. and 1,800 in Canada because of crash hazard due to brake housing that was not secured properly during manufacturing. No incidents or injuries have been reported to date.

    The recall involves all model year 2018 Altitude, Instinct and Pipeline carbon and aluminum mountain bikes in various colors. These models were sold at Rocky Mountain dealers nationwide from June 2017 through November 2017 for between $2,600 and $7,300. The model name is printed on a sticker on the toptube and Rocky Mountain is printed on the downtube. The Rocky Mountain logo is also printed on the head badge on the headtube. The specified platform family is also printed on the rear triangle of the bicycle at the seatstay.

    Consumers should stop using the recalled bikes immediately and contact Rocky Mountain at 866-522-2803 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, via email at info@bikes.com or online at bikes.com and click on Safety/Recall at the bottom of the page. Consumers can also contact an authorized Rocky Mountain dealer for free inspection and repair.

    More information: CPSC recall notice


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    SAN FRANCISCO (BRAIN) — Scoot Networks, which operates an electric vehicle share program here, has added a fleet of e-bikes to its program and is applying for the city's dockless bike sharing permit. 

    The new e-bikes will be accessed through the same app that used to access and ride Scoot's shared electric scooters. The company currently has 700 electric scooters in the city. 

    "Scoot's mission is, 'Electric Vehicles for Everyone.' Offering electric bicycles allow us to reach more people at a lower price point and give our current riders a new, convenient option for electric transportation," said Scoot founder and CEO Michael Keating.

    Eli Saddler, Scoot's head of external affairs,said the company is well positioned to meet the city's requirements for the dockless share permit.

    "Scoot has always worked closely with the city to make sure we are contributing to San Francisco's transportation goals. We look forward to meeting and exceeding the city's expectations for data sharing and providing affordable service to all San Franciscans," Saddler said.

     


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    OBERWANGEN, Switzerland (BRAIN) — Swiss e-bike manufacturer Stromer has retained the Lyman Agency to serve its U.S. and Canadian markets for 2018. Lyman will provide media relations other services supporting the company’s current and new models, including the new ST5 that will be introduced in the U.S. in 2018.  

    Earlier in 2017, Stromer separated from previous owner BMC following an investment made by a Swiss investor group. The company’s U.S. offices are located in San Diego.

    The Lyman Agency's current and past outdoor clients include ENVE, Mavic, Vanilla Workshop, Topical Edge, Mammoth Mountain and Snow Summit bike parks, Allied Cycle Works and the Haute Route.


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    POOLE, U.K. (BRAIN) — Muc-Off's new Grease Gun Kit easily screws on to Muc-Off Bio Grease bottles, allowing precise application of lubricant.

    The grease gun was shown at Eurobike and Interbike this year and is now available. More information: us.muc-off.com.


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    JERICHO, Vt. (BRAIN) — Non-profit organization Little Bellas has announced the launch of its eleventh season of mountain bike camps for girls. Registration for several Little Bellas chapters will open January 2, 2018. Little Bellas will operate programs in 15 states and get an estimated 900 girls riding mountain bikes in 2018.

    With a mission to empower girls, Little Bellas is committed to building confidence in young women at an age where statistically girls begin to lose self-esteem and participation in physical activity starts to decrease as a result.

    “The gender gap evident in cycling starts at an early age. Little Bellas is working to narrow that gap and empower young women to tackle obstacles and feel able to accomplish goals both on the bike and in life in general,” said Sabra Davison, founder and executive director of Little Bellas.

    About 10 percent of Little Bellas’ program participants require some level of financial assistance and the organization seeks donations and sponsoring partners to remove these financial barriers and provide an equal opportunity for girls nationwide.

    To illustrate the impact of the program, Camelbak created a video that demonstrates how Little Bellas is inspiring and creating life-changing opportunities for young women across the United States: https://youtu.be/TVdwZ-1lIxk

    For more information about Little Bellas visit, www.littlebellas.com.


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    SANTA ROSA, Calif. (BRAIN) — During the weeks leading up to Christmas, the staff at Performance Bicycle in Santa Rosa, California, logged some long hours building kids’ bikes. But this wasn’t to keep up with the usual holiday rush. It was to fulfill an order placed by celebrity chefs Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray, who donated 310 bikes to families impacted by the wildfires that raged in Northern California in October. The Tubbs Fire, which became the deadliest fire in California’s history, destroyed nearly 3,000 structures in Santa Rosa.

    Fieri, a restaurateur well known for his shows on The Food Network, is a resident of Santa Rosa. And he's also a cyclist who regularly donates bikes to kids in need.

    “Guy is one of our local guys. Everyone has a story of bumping into him,” said Tommy Merriott, general manager of Performance Bicycle in Santa Rosa. “He’s done these kinds of donations in the past, but usually through a big-box store like Target. This is the first time he has teamed up with a bike retailer.

    Merriott and four Performance staff members built 130 SE Racing and Fuji bikes and brought in additional help to assemble the remainder. Performance hosted a build night, which Fieri and his family, local firefighters and other volunteers attended to help finish the bikes in time for the holidays. The bikes were double-deck stacked to fill four PODS storage containers and delivered to four local fire departments.

    “It was such a huge project, and so rewarding. We had weeks and weeks of 12-hour days and lots of pizza parties at the bike shop,” said Merriott. “We had everything from 13-inch to 19-inch adult sizes and down to 20-inch and 16-inch kids’ bikes. We wanted to make sure we could get this done for the community.”

    Following the fires that scorched nearly 260,000 acres in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties in October, the communities affected have started to rebuild. Numerous fundraisers have been held, including several bike industry-supported efforts to help residents replace bikes and cycling gear. Merriott said that in the months following the fires, his store has been busy as some customers have had to replace everything.

    “That has helped eliminate some of the stress. But it is an awful situation. Some parts of town are business as usual and others you feel like you’re in a war zone. Everyone knows someone who was affected. Sonoma County is a real tight knit community,” Merriott said. “Everyone banded together and did everything they could. But one thing that has come out of it is that everything was reprioritized — in a good way. It helps you think about what you value in life."


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    JERICHO, Vt. (BRAIN) — On Tuesdsay, many Little Bellas chapters opened registration for girls mountain bike camps this year, the 11th season of the program.

    The nonprofit organization will operate programs in 15 states and get an estimated 900 girls riding mountain bikes this year.

    Little Bellas' goal is to build confidence in young women at an age where statistically girls begin to lose self-esteem and participation in physical activity starts to decrease as a result.

    "The gender gap evident in cycling starts at an early age. Little Bellas is working to narrow that gap and empower young women to tackle obstacles and feel able to accomplish goals both on the bike and in life in general," said Sabra Davison, the founder and executive director of Little Bellas.

    Almost 10 percent of participants require some level of financial assistance and the organization is seeking donations and sponsoring partners to remove these financial barriers and provide an equal opportunity for girls nationwide. To illustrate the impact of the program, Camelbak created a video (below) that demonstrates how Little Bellas is inspiring and creating life-changing opportunities for young women across the United States. 

    For more information on Little Bellas visit, littlebellas.com.


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    OGDEN, Utah (BRAIN) — Reynolds new Trail Rated wheels are positioned as a lower-priced alternative to the brand's Blacklabel models, with prices starting at $1,549.

    The new models are also available with six color options.

    The TR 307 S is the 27.5-inch model. It has a lifetime warranty, a 30-day customer satisfaction guarantee, and an asymmetric carbon rim with 30-millimeter internal width. The wheels are available with Boost or standard spacing, with Shimano freehub or SRAM XD driver. They weigh 1,560 grams per set. The Reynolds TR 6 Mountain hubs have Centerlock rotor attachments and a freehub with a six-pawl/5-degree engagement design. 

    The TR 309 S is the 29-inch model, with the same specs, price and features, but weighing 1,635 grams. 

    More information: reynoldscycling.com/collections/tr-s-mountain/products/tr-307-s.


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    High-end business sees a big monthly jump at wholesale.

    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The bike market jumped 7 percent in November as supplier shipments rose by $5.1 million compared with the same month in 2016. Shipments of e-bikes were up $4.4 million during the month and were responsible for most of the gain, but gravel, ’cross and 29er full-suspension bikes were up $2.7 million, $1.7 million and $1.3 million, respectively.

    November business was so strong that it lifted year-to-date wholesale revenues tracked by the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association close to 2016 levels. Through November, sales were off 2016’s pace by just 1 percent, while unit shipments were down 4 percent. That's a big improvement over September, when year-to-date sales were down 3 percent and unit shipments were down 5 percent.

    The numbers indicated dealers were counting on a strong end of the year, especially among their high-end customers. The ’cross bikes ordered in November were worth an average of $1,803, up $671 from a year earlier. Gravel bikes also saw a sizable jump in value, rising to $1,222 from $656 a year earlier. E-bikes and 29er full-suspension also saw a bump in value of about $200.

    Suppliers were even more bullish on the end of the year as inventory rose 7 percent in dollars and unit volume over what they had on hand in November 2016. Inventory of BMX bikes was almost double compared with a year ago, and e-bike inventory also was up.

     


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    PORTLAND, Ore. (BRAIN) — WTF Bikexplorers, described as "a community for women, trans, femme and nonbinary bicycle adventurers," is planning its first WTF Bikexplorers Summit and a ride series for 2018.

    "The Summit and Ride Series aims to support, celebrate and connect women, transgender, femme and nonbinary people who also identify as gravel grinders, mountain bikers, bikepackers, day-rider explorers, long distance road riders, bicycle tourists, backpackers converting to bikepacking and individuals looking to incorporate camping with biking," the group said.

    The Summit will be Aug. 16-19 at Whitefish Bike Retreat in Whitefish, Montana. The Whitefish Bike Retreat offers on-site camping, mountain bike trails, easy access to public lands and space for connecting with other W/T/F riders over campfires. Attendees will enjoy meals prepared by backcountry camp chef Tanesha Hartnagle. A full schedule of educational clinics, group rides, and interactive activities is being developed and will be announced soon, along with ticket sales information.

    Before the Summit, the WTF Bikexplores Ride Series will feature free, self-supported bike camping trips around the country. Specific locations, dates and additional details for each ride will be announced soon, with events planned for Arizona, Oregon, California, Vermont, and Montana.

    Additional information on the Summit and Ride Series can be found at wtfbikexplorers.com


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    SANTA MONICA, Calif. (BRAIN) — Bikeshare provider CycleHop recently launched an upgraded platform designed to connect users, system operators, sponsors and suppliers, and to help inform potential bikeshare customers on the latest trends and developments in the industry.

    Bikeshare.com features a directory of bikeshare systems and equipment vendors, bikeshare industry news and trends, sponsorship opportunities, job postings and more. CycleHop aims to help make launching new bikeshare systems more accessible for interested cities and companies.

    “The timing of the website’s launch will greatly benefit the industry as the number of bikeshare systems expands around the globe,” the company said. “Bikeshare.com gives users the ability to discover bike share systems available to them, whether it operates as a public, private or university system.”

    Bikeshare system owners will have the opportunity to claim an enhanced listing giving them the ability to add contact information, plans available, live station status, and other information. 

    Vendors can showcase products and promote their services on the site

    For more information visit bikeshare.com, or contact Sam Cawkell at sam@bikeshare.com.

     


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    Robert Fluhr
    Fluhr, the first U.S. importer of Giant-made bikes, led a multi-generational bike industry family as president of Beacon Cycle.

    LAGUNA WOODS, Calif. (BRAIN) — The first time Steven Fluhr attended the New York City bike trade show, he was treated like royalty. After all, he was accompanied by one of the kings of the industry in 1970s bike boom: his father Robert.

    "I felt like a prince walking around with Dad, because everyone knew him and people kept coming up to him," recalled Steven, who is now 57 and owns M&M Cyclery, with two Chicago-area stores.

    Robert "Bob" J. Fluhr passed away on Dec. 15 at his home in California at age 83.

    For many years he was president of Milwaukee-based Beacon Cycle, which had five warehouses at one point and was once the largest bike distributor in the country that was not a bike manufacturer. His father, Harry Fluhr, had founded Beacon after World War II. Bob and his brother Ed joined the company in the 1950s.

    While Ed focused on dealer relations, Bob was the master sourcer, and as the bike boom exploded in the 1970s he was ahead of his time in importing bikes and P&A from developing countries. Beacon brought in bikes from Europe and Japan, including Jeunet & Mercier from France, Sekini from Japan, Junker from Holland and Schauff from Germany.

    Beacon was the first U.S. distributor to bring in bikes from a then-tiny Taiwanese bike maker, Giant. The Giant-made bikes were sold under the Beacon label.

    His expertise was known worldwide. Fluhr visited China — two years before President Nixon's historic visit — to consult on establishing bike manufacturing there.

    Steven Fluhr remembers his father taking a call on Thanksgiving Day from an executive at Mattel, who asked for help sourcing a tire for a new children's scooter. "They begged him for help, and the day after Thanksgiving he got on a plane to Japan and got the tire made," he said.

    Bob Fluhr, bottom left, with son Steven at the 1980 New York bike show. The man standing on the left is Mark Lsai, the owner of Li Shin Rubber.

    Fluhr was also ahead of his time in hiring practices. In 1974, he hired Carolyn Meyer as a regional sales rep — she was likely the first female sales rep in the U.S. bike industry. Meyer went on to work for Diamondback, Trek and Schwinn, and retired last year. She kept in touch with the Fluhrs throughout the years.

    "I really do owe my career to Bob," Meyer told BRAIN this week. "He was just a soft spoken, kind man, who was a very good listener. And he was a man of great integrity," Meyer said.

    The Fluhrs sold Beacon Cycle to U.S. Industries in about 1974, and he stayed with the company as it moved to Chicago, while Ed retired. USI liquidated Beacon a few years later and Fluhr ran a manufacturer's rep business for a few years before retiring to California.

    Besides Steven Fluhr, who opened M&M Cyclery in 1988, the third generation of bike industry Fluhrs includes Samuel Fluhr, Bob Fluhr's nephew and Ed's son. Sam Fluhr worked as a sales rep for Beacon and now owns and operates Bikers Supply, a distributor in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

    He remembers his uncle as an innovator and a leader who had a big role in helping many retailers and suppliers get their start in the industry. He also remembers working in the business as a boy, helping make reflectors.

    "I remember him as a man who loved taking care of his kids. He would take us to the county fair, the state fair ... He was a typical bike industry guy: he started with a small company and it just grew," Sam Fluhr said.

    Bob Fluhr leaves his wife, Jackie, to whom he was married 57 years. They had three children, Steven, Brian and Debbie, and 8 grandchildren.

    A memorial service is planned for this Sunday, Jan. 7, at Pacific Views Memorial Park, 3500 Pacific View Drive in Corona Del Mar, California. The service is at 11 a.m. The family is asking that donations be made in Robert's honor to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.


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    New organization will give the bike industry a voice in vehicle-to-vehicle technology discussions.

    HERGISWIL, Switzerland (BRAIN)—The World Bicycle Industry Association has formed, with founding members from the Bicycle Association Japan, the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association based in the U.S., the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry and the Taiwan Bicycle Association.

    Helping give the bike industry a voice in discussions over technology allowing communication between vehicles was a key driver for the formation of the group.

    “Vehicle-to-vehicle communications are advancing rapidly and as an industry we were kept out of the discussion because we did not have a worldwide association. Now we do and we will be participating in these discussions going forward as e-bikes and light electric vehicles need to be a part of these discussions,” said Moreno Fioravanti, ‎the secretary general of the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association and an executive at Accell Suisse AG. Fioravanti was the driving force creating the world group.

    The WBIA’s main purpose is to join forces and to actively participate in the technical meetings at the United Nations facility in Geneva, as well as being a vocal member of Intelligent Transportation System meetings. The European Union is moving forward with its plan to use information and communication technologies in traffic management and enable various users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated, and smarter use of transport networks.

    “While we don’t have a similar system to ITS in the U.S., we know that many things developed in Europe get adopted here in one form or another. So it's important for the U.S. industry to know how things are developing,” said Larry Pizzi, who is WBIA’s second vice-president, as well as BPSA’s vice president and chairman of its e-bike committee and managing director of Raleigh Electric.

    The WBIA is a non-profit association which represents the bicycle, e-bike and bicycle parts and accessories industry at a global level. Its board of directors includes René Takens, chief executive officer of Accell Group and WBIA's president; Satoshi Yuasa, Shimano’s executive vice president, representing BAJ and WBIA's first vice-president; Pizzi; Michael Tseng, Merida’s president, who is the new group's treasurer; and Erhard Büchel of Büchel GmbH & Co., who is president of CONEBI.

    For more information the association’s website is wbia.ch.


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