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    IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — The high-end wheel brand Irwin Cycling is looking to grow its IBD business in the U.S. and will display at this month's CABDA show, for the first time. The brand also has retained PowWord Communications to assist in multiple areas.

    PowWord Communications will help with PR, marketing, channel development, and other branding responsibilities.

    Eric Chen, Irwin's product manager for North America, said, "We're excited to work with Tim Jackson and PowWord Communications. Tim's many years in the industry and different backgrounds will be helpful as we grow and expand."

    Irwin Cycling has been involved in the cycling industry for over 25 years, initially as an OEM supplier with in-house engineering, but is now creating their own brand presence with the wheel brand they launched in Australia in 2014. Irwin Cycling entered the North American market at 2017's Sea Otter Classic. The company said it is also looking to expand its product offerings beyond its current aluminum and carbon wheels lineup.

    Jackson said, "I'm really stoked to work with Irwin, and have been blown away by the quality of the products, so it's easy to get behind and support. I'm most happy that I'll be doing more than just the usual marketing stuff, and get to help in areas of product and broader strategy.

    "It's going to be very rewarding to put all the experience I've gained over the years into action for Irwin."

    At CABDA, Irwin will be offering demo incentives to retailers in attendance. Interested retailers can find Irwin in booth #635.


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    MUNICH, Germany (BRAIN) — Felt Bicycles has moved its European office from the company's former location in Edewecht, Germany, to a new facility in Munich. This move was part of the company's plan to align the Rossignol and Felt working locations to the same building in Munich following the purchase of Felt Bicycles by Groupe Rossignol in spring 2017. The new Munich office will be the brand's headquarters for all sales and marketing activities in Europe. Along with this move, Felt Bicycles has also announced some personnel changes to the organization's European sales and marketing teams.

    Albert Baques Arus will be responsible for Belgium, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Scandinavia, Spain and Switzerland. He can be reached at abaques@felt.de.

    Florian Schön will be responsible for Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia, the U.K., Ukraine and Turkey. He can be reached at fschoen@felt.de.

    Simone Hansen will be responsible for operations for Felt's new location in Munich. She can be reached at shansen@felt.de.

    There have also been some changes in the responsibilities for existing personnel.

    Martin Ohliger now takes care of all things related to warranty and will continue to be responsible for communications. Marc Schmiedtke and Heiko Böhle will be leaving Felt Bicycles at the end of January to pursue new opportunities. "Felt Bicycles cannot thank them enough for the incredible work they have produced and wishes them all the best for their futures," the company said in a statement.

    Lars Hjort remains Felt's European sales and operations manager, while Andreas Lieberherr will head up Felt's European demo program responsibilities and event organization.

     


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    ADELAIDE, Australia (BRAIN) — Kask has unveiled its latest aero road helmet model, the Utopia, at the Santos Tour Down Under race here this week. The helmet is being used by Team Sky, which helped develop it.

    The company said the Utopia offers the latest technology in aerodynamics and ventilation.

    Ylenia Battistello, Kask's cycling brand manager, said, "We are excited to extend our road helmet range and continue to push the boundaries even further with Utopia. We are really grateful to have such talented athletes on hand to test our products at the highest level, and have access to such hi-tech facilities in order to ensure design perfection."

    Carsten Jeppesen, Team Sky's head of technical operations and commercial, said, "When it comes to aerodynamics there is little that is more important than the helmet, but it's not just about aerodynamics – the safety of our riders is our first priority, and Kask share this philosophy. In addition to this our riders need comfort, breathability, temperature management and style, all of which to contribute towards optimizing performance. Working with Kask on the development of the Utopia has enabled us to hone in on many of these areas to produce a fully tested, well-rounded helmet, which proves to be a great addition to the versatile Kask range."

    To develop the Utopia, Kask tested 10 of the best road aero helmets on the market in the wind tunnel, and created a 3D scan for a computational fluid dynamics simulation. The helmets were tested at various speeds and yaw angles to reflect cross winds. At the end of the test, the drag data of Utopia versus the best competitor helmet resulted in a saving of up to 6 watts when riding at 50kph, the company said.

    Utopia uses a breathable and quick-dry padding, offering a 5 millimeter layer of fast-wicking material called Resistex that takes moisture away from the rider's head and moves it to the helmet's outer shell.

    The Utopia weighs 235 grams in a size medium. It uses Kask's Octo Fit adjustment system. It will be available in three sizes. Pricing information will be available in about a month and the helmet will be available at retail in the second half of 2018.


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    Stalking horse bidder has stepped aside as Niner requests a delay to negotiate with new bidder

    DENVER (BRAIN) — Niner has asked its stalking horse bidder — an investment group that had planned to purchase the company's assets on Wednesday — to step back as it negotiates with another potential buyer with a higher offer, company co-founder and president Chris Sugai told BRAIN Tuesday.

    "We received two other bids that are called non-qualfying bids because they didn’t conform to court guidelines. One of them requested more time for us to close, but it's a higher offer," Sugai said. He said Niner's lenders are in agreement with the change in plans.

    "They are happy to allow more time. We are headed to court tomorrow to get that finalized. ... This is not a bad thing for us."

    Sugai said Niner will ask that the court delay the sale until Feb. 28. 
     
    Niner Acquisition LLC, a group owned by three Colorado investors, had been working with Niner since early 2017, long before Niner's decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late November. According to Niner at the time of the filing, the company planned to reorganize under the protection of Chapter 11, and then sell its assets to the group.

    Niner Acquisition's three partners are also the principals in Colorado Basin Partners. The group made a stalking horse offer for the company's assets, and when no other qualified bids appeared by a deadline last week, was scheduled to close on the purchase Wednesday and bring the company out of bankruptcy before month's end.

    However, Niner filed a status update with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado on Tuesday afternoon indicating that the group had dropped the offer and Niner was now negotiating with two other potential buyers.

    "On January 16, 2018, debtor received notice that Niner Acquisitions, Inc., the approved stalking horse bidder, was no longer proceeding forward with its proposed purchase of the debtor’s assets. The debtor did not receive any qualified bids. The debtor did receive two separate purchase offers for substantially all of its assets. The debtor does intend to proceed with discussions in an effort to finalize an agreement with one of the proposed alternative transactions."

    Earlier Tuesday, one of Niner's secured creditors, West Town Bank & Trust of North Carolina, had filed a limited objection to the terms of the sale to Niner Acquistion. Niner owes the bank $3.1 million on a loan.

    WTBT did not object to the sale, but objected to the terms of the stalking horse purchase agreement, which called for the purchaser to first pay off  $2.75 million credit line that Niner held with PMC Financial Services Inc. 

    According to court documents submitted by West Town on Tuesday, both banks held collateral on their loans to Niner Inc. under terms of a 2013 agreement. WTBT holds a first position lien against Niner assets including equipment, fixtures, motor vehicles, and general intangibles including intellectual property. It holds a secondary lien on other assets. Meanwhile, according to the documents, PMC holds a first position lien against Niner's accounts, inventory and investment property and a second position lien against the assets where WTBT has the first position. 

    "This objection is styled as a limited objection because WTBT does not oppose the debtor’s efforts to sell substantially all of its assets as part of a coordinated auction process where all assets will be adequately exposed to the market. However, WTBT vehemently opposes the proposed distribution of approximately $3.5 million of the sale proceeds directly to PMC, as proposed in the sale motion, before this court makes a determination regarding the validity, priority and extent of WTBT’s secured interest against the sale proceeds," the bank's objection reads in part.

    The bank asked that the court put all sale proceeds in escrow until the issue is resolved. 

    However, a few hours later Niner filed its status update informing the court, the banks and other creditors that the stalking horse offer had been withdrawn. 

    Related stories


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    DENVER (BRAIN) — SloHi Bike has opened its second location in Denver, and it's in a space that has long been home to bicycle retail: the former Collins Bicycles building on Colfax Avenue, near Denver's City Park.

    Collins Bicycles was a landmark Schwinn dealer that opened in 1934. It closed in 2015 and the space was occupied for several years by Two Wheel Feel, another bike shop. SloHi owner Adam Williams said the location still has historic signage, fixtures and even paperwork from its glory days.

    Williams and his staff began remodeling the space in December, re-using or repurposing many of the historic elements, including some of the exterior signs.

    "The number of neighborhood people who have come by to ask us to maintain the old signs is crazy. This store is like a fixture on Colfax," Williams said.

    The location may be the longest-standing bike shop location in the city. The building is still owned by the Collins family that opened the bike shop originally, and members of the family still live nearby.

    Like the original SloHi, which is in Denver's Highlands neighborhood, the new store will focus on the urban market with Giant bikes and a selection of cargo bikes and e-bikes. The new location is about 1,300 square feet on the main level with the same amount of space in the basement. That's spacious compared to the original SloHi, a small store that's adjacent to SloHi Coffee, a coffee shop that Williams also owns and operates (that location was in the news last year when thieves drove a truck through its front door).

    Colfax Avenue has a colorful reputation, but the location is close to Denver's City Park, making it ideal for test rides and rentals.

    The neighborhood is changing rapidly due to Denver's growth in recent years.

    "I like this area because it's got a lot more culture and history to it than our other shop, which is in a newer retail area. Colfax has been here forever, and there's a nice mix of people, a lot of families that have lived here for generations. We know it's a neighborhood that can support a bike shop and we hope we can cater to all the people around here."

    Williams said bike geeks can waste hours digging through old parts bins and paperwork, including old newspapers and repair and sales records going back to 1938. In the mid-20th century, Collins Bicycle was something of a neighborhood fix-it shop, repairing lawn mowers and sharpening skates as well as fixing bikes.

    "We can kind of relate to that because we like to do other things than bikes, like tuning skis and snowboards," he said.

    The SloHi City Park location is being managed by Josh Erickson. SloHi held a soft opening last week and plans a grand opening for March 3.


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    ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BRAIN) — Industry Nine has released a line of three carbon road wheelsets with U.S-made disc-brake hubs. The wheels feature new carbon rims in three depths. Each of the rims is tubeless ready and has a 21mm internal width and a blunt-nosed shape that I9 calls a "Wide Format Aero Design."

    The shaping is intended to be stable in cross winds and to offer the most aerodynamic profile when used with wider road tires. The company has posted a description of its wind tunnel tests in a Google doc that is publicly available. 

    The i9.35 wheelset has a rim with 35mm depth rim. It weighs 1,355 grams per set (the rim is 380 grams alone) and retails for $2,350.

    The i9.45 wheelset has a 45mm depth rim. The set weighs 1,495 grams and also retails for $2,350.

    The i9.65 wheelset has a 65mm depth rim. The set weighs 1,550 grams and retails for $2,400.

    The i9.35 and i9.45 wheels are available now. The i9.65 will be available next month.

    The rims' tubeless-ready profile and wide inner width offer low rolling resistance as well as improved traction, comfort and lateral stiffness, the company said. The tubeless design features a bead channel and bead shelves that are optimized for secure tire retention as well as easy tire installation and removal. 

    The wheels have a 24-hole 2/1 spoking pattern. Hubs are available with Centerlock or six-bolt rotor mounting and with Shimano, SRAM XDR or Campagnolo freehub bodies. 

    Standard colors have black hubs and spokes and natural carbon finish on the rims. Custom hub, spoke, nipple and valve stem colors are available for an upcharge.  An upgrade to Enduro XD-15 Hybrid Ceramic bearings also is available. Mix and match wheelsets (with different front and rear rim depths) also are an option. 

    Custom rim stickers are available through Stikrd.

    More information: industrynine.com/road-disc.


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    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — Event organizers Haute Route has opened its North American headquarters here, on the west side of downtown Colorado Springs. The office is led by Haute Route's head of operations for North America, Micah Rice.

    "Colorado is the heartland of American cycling, making it the ideal location for the Haute Route North American headquarters as we continue to build premium amateur cycling experiences across the U.S. and Canada," said Rice. "We chose Colorado Springs because the city is home to several national and international sports organizations, the United States Olympic Committee and USA Cycling, not to mention countless sports-minded young professionals who could be great additions to Haute Route in the future."

    Tom Osborne, the president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, said, "The Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, in partnership with the Colorado Springs Convention Visitors Bureau and the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, is extremely pleased that our efforts were successful in establishing Colorado Springs as the headquarters for Haute Route North America. With over 60 national or international sports organizations located in our community, what better location than Olympic City USA for this organization as they grow and expand efforts to bring unparalleled cycling experiences to North America." 

    Colorado Springs will also host the final stage of this year's Mavic Haute Route Rockies, on June 29. The stage features a climb to the summit of Pikes Peak, which will bring riders to the highest point ever reached by the Haute Route.


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    PILA, Poland (BRAIN) — Thule Group has opened a new factory here, in western Poland.

    The company said the new plant offers increased production capacity on existing products as well as the possibility of production of newly launched product categories.

    The factory is 145,000 square feet.

    "With our new assembly plant, we will significantly increase both capacity and flexibility in the production of a number of traditional Thule products in the category sport & cargo carriers," said Magnus Welander, Thule Group's CEO. "At the same time, we expand our own assembly in the "Active with Kids" and "Packs, Bags and Luggage" categories. For example our new four-wheeled baby carriage Thule Sleek, that will be launched to consumers in the fall of 2018, will be finalized in the new factory," he said.

    Thule Group has had a factory for close to 20 years in the nearby town of Huta. The facility there is now the largest of the company's seven European production- and assembly facilities.

    The company has invested close to 80 million Swedish krona ($10 million) in the new factory, which will share key functions with the Huta facility. The new facility will initially employ 100, with the opportunity to expand the number of employees up to 500 employees in the future.


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  • 01/17/18--10:57: Upcycling
  • Denver retailer SloHi Bikes has opened its second location, this time in a space that has been home to bike shops since the 1930s. SloHi was careful to reuse and repurpose many of the store's fixtures and signs.
    Slideshow Image: 
    URL: 
    http://www.bicycleretailer.com/retail-news/2018/01/16/denvers-slohi-opens-its-second-location-historic-bike-shop-location

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    DENVER (BRAIN) — Advocacy group Bicycle Colorado has appointed Peter Piccolo as its executive director, succeeding longtime executive director Dan Grunig, who retired at the end of 2017.

    Starting in early February, Piccolo will be responsible for strategic planning, staff leadership and implementing initiatives and policies to advance Bicycle Colorado's mission of encouraging and promoting bicycling, increasing safety, improving conditions and providing a voice for bicyclists in Colorado.

    "Peter's vision for the organization, his entrepreneurial expertise, his strategic leadership skills and his successful organizational management background make him ideally suited to take Bicycle Colorado to its next level of growth," said Ella Lyons, Bicycle Colorado's board president. "We are excited to work with Peter to help us achieve our goal to make Colorado the nation's most bicycle-friendly state."

    Piccolo is a cyclist and an executive with more than 25 years of experience at both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Most recently, he served as executive director of innovation for Denver Public Schools. He also founded Outdoor Adventure for Kids, a nonprofit that introduces disadvantaged youth to bicycling.

    "I'm thrilled to be joining Bicycle Colorado when the organization is in such a strong position. Looking ahead, we have the opportunity to bring together the voices of everyone who rides a bike in Colorado, whether for recreation or transportation," Piccolo said.

    "Ask anyone who rides and they'll tell you bicycling changes lives for the better. My hope is that we can inspire even more Coloradans to do so — and our board, staff and I are excited to take on this challenge."


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    SQUAMISH, British Columbia (BRAIN) — Early registration has opened for the Whistler Bike conference, scheduled for May 23-25. The event focuses on digital marketing and is organized by Pinkbike.com and Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

    "Over three days you will grow your knowledge from our series of seminars, combined with a world class riding and dining experience. Expand your marketing expertise whilst enjoying all of the fun that Whistler can throw at you," organizers said.

    Early registration is open until Jan. 31 and gives a $200 savings.  

    More information is available at pinkbike.com/whistlerbike or contact Vincent Ready at vincent.ready@pinkbike.com.


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    LONDON (BRAIN) — Sports nutrition brand Science in Sport plc has announced 2017 sales were 28 percent above the year prior, hitting 15.6 million pounds ($21.7 million). SiS shares are traded on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SIS.

    SiS entered the U.S. market in 2016 and has invested in U.S. event and athlete sponsorship, including sponsorship of USA Cycling. The brand also sponsors Britain's Team Sky and has opened sales in Italy and Australia in recent years. 

    SiS has seen a 58 percent growth in consumer direct sales through its own website, counting sales of 4.6 million pounds through that channel last year. Sales through third-party online retailersgrew 27 percent to 3.9 million pounds. Retail sales including sale to distributors grew 13.8 percent to 7.1 million pounds.

    The company said it remains confident of continued strong growth in 2018. It will release full year results on March 21.

     


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The North American Handmade Bicycle Show has added the inaugural NAHBS Women’s Symposium to the seminar schedule for next month’s show in Hartford, Connecticut.

    The three-part women’s seminar series will feature several noteworthy and accomplished women in the industry, including Ellen Noble, professional cyclocross and road racer; Cait Dooley, product manager for GT Bicycles; Anne Hed, CEO of Hed Cycling; and Emily Kachorek, owner of Squid Bikes.

    “We’re excited to add these seminars to the lineup, as they are great subject matters and give women a platform to share their expertise and to inspire others,” NAHBS founder and president Don Walker said. “We’re always looking for ways to grow the sport that we love, and for new opportunities to support all of the people that make up this great industry — including women.”

    Both men and women are invited to attend the seminars. The topics are:

    • Cycling as Sport: How to Prepare for Your First Competition. Panelists will discuss their personal experiences around competing and offer tips on how to prepare, physically and mentally, for your first competition. (Friday, Feb. 16, noon to 1:30 p.m.) 
    • Careers in the Cycling Industry. Panelists will discuss how they paved their career paths and offers tips and ideas on building a successful career in the bike industry. (Saturday, Feb. 17, noon to 1:30 p.m.)
    • Adding More Miles. Panelists will discuss techniques and tips for adding more miles to your cycling routine, including bike fit, clothing, route planning and nutrition. (Sunday, Feb. 18, noon to 1:30 p.m.)

    NAHBS will also have a podcasting room that will be available free of charge to media interested in recording a podcast at this year’s show. The room will be available during show hours.

    NAHBS is being held Feb. 16-18 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. For more information on seminars, exhibitors and sponsors, visit the NAHBS website.


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    TEMECULA, Calif. (BRAIN) — Intense Cycles announced Thursday that CEO Andrew Herrick has left the company after four years and Intense founder and principal shareholder Jeff Steber has resumed the role of chief executive.

    Before joining Intense in early 2014, industry veteran Herrick had been president of Crankbrothers, where he worked for 11 years. When Herrick joined Intense, Steber moved into the role of creative director, focusing on design work.

    This December, Herrick helped launch Intense’s new “hybrid, IBD-centric” consumer-direct sales model, called Intense Rider Direct.

    “As we have now moved into the Rider Direct business model, it has become more important to me to ensure we reinforce the core authentic roots that made the iconic Intense brand,” Steber said in a release. “I have a renewed focus to lead the brand to fulfill its promise and retain the position as a true innovator and disruptor in mountain biking.

    “In making this change, I want to thank Andrew Herrick for his time and efforts to grow Intense and the Intense brand. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

    In a follow-up call, Steber told BRAIN that Herrick was a key player in Intense’s transition from domestic aluminum production to carbon fiber manufacturing overseas, growing sales of complete bikes, and was “a big architect” in conceiving and launching Intense Rider Direct.

    “I’ve learned a lot. I have to say that it has been a really good ride and lot of good things have happened for Intense. It gave us that boost we needed to get to the next level,” Steber said.

    But ultimately, Steber said he realized he wanted to be the face of the company again rather than work behind the scenes.

    “It’s a lot to do with me just deciding that at one point I thought I wanted to take a back role, but in reality I realized that I am big part of the heart and soul of the brand and I need to be more immersed in the brand,” he said.

    Reached Thursday afternoon, Herrick said of his time at Intense: “I came in to really try to help Jeff to the best of my ability. For the last four years we did a great project, and we went direct to consumer along with the dealer, which I think is a unique model, and I think it’s going to put Intense in a great place. So I think Jeff and the other shareholders are going to continue to make changes, and I encourage that.”

    Herrick said he has other interests he’s looking to pursue in the industry, but will take a break first.

    “I’ve got other dreams I want to pursue. I love the bike industry, and that’s certainly my intention, but I didn’t want to do that while I was still with Intense,” he added.

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    KENT, Wash. (BRAIN) — Late Thursday, Accell North America unveiled a new omnichannel distribution program designed to entice brick-and-mortar dealers to fulfill online bike orders, while requiring the stores to carry few — or no — ANA bikes on their sales floor. The company said the program is in line with current shopping habits and market realities and will help IBDs modernize.

    Accell North America is still in a restructuring phase triggered by the collapse of its sporting goods sales channel late last year, and it's no secret that its sales through the IBD channel have declined as well.

    But ANA was a bit ahead of other major U.S. brands in developing a robust online bike sales program and has learned a few things from those sales. One lesson has been that an online sales program without an IBD (or mobile service) element is far from ideal.

    “We’ve learned that the IBD is an integral part,” said Larry Pizzi, the head of sales for ANA and president of its e-bike business.

    While ANA offers “Ready Ride” assembly for consumers who opt to have bikes delivered directly to their house, a bike in a box isn’t the best option for all bike buyers, Pizzi said. Maybe not even for most.

    “For some people, like some enthusiasts of higher end bikes who have mechanical aptitude, it’s fine. But for the most part, it doesn’t work very well. It turns into a mediocre-at-best customer experience,” Pizzi said. “It’s sort of like the Ikea experience: For some people it’s OK, but for most people that’s a dreadful experience. So yes, we need a qualified retailer in the middle, be it mobile or brick and mortar.”

    That’s a problem because ANA has lost dealers in recent years as the top tier brands have locked up sales floor space. While some ANA stores have made money assembling online bikes, many have complained that online discounts have continually devalued the bikes in their inventory. Many also point to frequent restructuring chaos at the company in recent years.

    So the solution had to make it worthwhile for IBDs to fulfill ANA online orders in their stores, without requiring them to carry a lot of ANA inventory.

    The new program offers brick-and-mortar dealers three entry points:

    Tier 1 dealers are non-stocking IBDs who agree to assemble ANA bikes sold online in exchange for an $80 assembly fee plus a small percentage of the retail sale (3 to 7 percent, depending on price, with bikes over $1,500 earning the highest percentage).

    Tier 2 dealers need to stock a minimum amount of ANA bikes on their floor — about $5,000 worth — and earn 25 percent for fulfilling an online bike order. There is no need for the dealers to stock the models that are sold online, so shops could stock bread-and-butter Raleigh and Diamondback bikes while fulfilling orders for the brands’ pricier offerings.

    In a move that ANA said will eliminate dealer concerns about online discounts, the company will provide “price parity” across channels. It is adopting a minimum advertised price policy that equates MSRP with MAP and which is monitored by Oris, a third-party price monitoring service. ANA said it will offer dealers a chance to buy discounted inventory before its four planned online promotions this year and will give dealers access to end-of-life product that will earn the same kind of margins as inline product.

    The third program ANA is offering IBDs is the opportunity to buy a Beeline mobile service franchise. ANA owns a significant share of Beeline and the company said the combination of a mobile and brick-and-mortar business is stronger than either on its own. Beeline’s online scheduling and appointment platform can be used to efficiently schedule work in stores as well as in vans, Pizzi noted. And brick-and-mortar dealers who add a mobile component can gain new bike and P&A customers while offering a new service to their existing customers, Pizzi said.

    All three offerings help retailers build relationships with customers who are shopping in news ways, the company said. “This new model positions the retailer to actually prioritize and serve today’s connected end consumer — no matter what their interest or ability level — successfully,” the company said in a statement.

    Pizzi noted that many dealers are suprised when he shares ANA's online sales totals in their market. The company has invested in developing performance triathlon and carbon full suspension bikes under the Diamondback brand, in particular, and those bikes have received positive reviews from consumer media for their performance and value. Since few dealers stock the upscale offerings, most sell online. 

    Pizzi has been hitting the road since November, visiting dealers around the country, often accompanied by Beeline co-founder Pete Buhl and Neil Macc, Beeline’s chief innovation and product officer.

    He said that as he visited stores, the components of the new program began to jell.

    “I saw that retailers are facing the same challenges all over. You go into any market and you hear the same story over and over,” he said.

    “I started as an IBD myself, and I’ve really struggled to come to terms with the fact that the very business model that has brought the industry to the point it’s at today is no longer relevant. It was a huge relief to watch our new blueprint emerge over the past couple of seasons, and I cannot wait to offer this exciting way forward to IBDs across the country,” Pizzi added.

    Related links:


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    Here are the corrected links from our newsletter, plus some bonus links.

    LONGMONT, Colo. (BRAIN) — BRAIN switched to a new platform for its weekly e-newsletter two weeks ago, and we are still learning the ins and outs of the new system. That, combined with a late night finishing pages for our Feb. 1 print edition, led to a technical problem with the newsletter that went out this morning.

    In the newsletter, the links and headlines in the "From around the web" section were messed up. The links were broken and the headlines in the section were repeated from last week's newsletter. We apologize for the confusion.

    Rather than fill up our subscribers' inboxes with yet another email, we decided to post the corrected links here:

    For good measure, we can't resist adding in a few bonus links:

    And now that you know more about our newsletter, you can subscribe for free.


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    Gravel bikes gave the industry a boost in 2017.
    BPSA releases year-end wholesale sale data.

    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Supplier shipments of e-bikes to retailers increased by 16,757 units last year, only slightly more than the 15,883 increase in BMX shipments, but both categories were beaten by gravel bike shipments that grew by 19,268 units. Still this reshuffling of what bike shops were ordering was not enough to overcome falling shipments of road and mountain bikes — categories that traditionally drive the industry. — down 28,060 and 10,991 units respectively.

    Wholesalers shipped 2,299,413 bikes last year, a decade low.

    According to a Bicycle Product Suppliers Association report, the overall value of bikes shipped last year fell by $15 million, a 1 percent drop in business compared to 2016. Unit shipments fell by 4 percent, a shortfall of 90,875 units. Wholesalers shipped 2,299,413 bikes last year, a decade low. Only six categories posted growth: BMX, 29er front-suspension, 27.5 full-suspension, e-bikes, gravel and 24-inch. All other categories declined.

    The growth in e-bike shipments made the largest difference to supplier bottom lines, adding $26.9 million in new business as their average value was second highest at $1,978. Only the average value of 29er full-suspension bikes, $2,133, was higher. The increase in gravel bike business adds $26.9 million in new business, with the remaining four growth categories adding about $5 million in new business each.

    The 18 percent growth in BMX business, and a 25 percent growth in BMX unit shipments, is good news for a category that had been struggling a few years ago. Is this bump in business an indication of the balance bike bounce? Hundreds of thousands of kids are introduced to cycling every year on balance bikes and many move on to pedal bikes.

    So far these new BMXers do not appear to be replacing business lost to Baby Boomers retiring from the market, as adult categories like mountain and road shipments fell 2 and 10 percent respectively. Transit and fitness bike shipments fell 4 percent and lifestyle and comfort bikes fell 17 percent.


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    SANTA FE, N.M (BRAIN) — Willard Chilcott, a cycling enthusiast who envisioned and developed at least two major events in New Mexico, died Monday at age 89.

    Chilcott was a friend, riding buddy, supporter and mentor to members of the staff at Bicycle Retailer, which launched in Santa Fe in 1994. The magazine's staff sends our deep condolences to his family and friends in New Mexico and around the country.

    Chilcott became a cycling enthusiast in the late 1970s. In the early 1980s, after moving to Santa Fe from California, he launched the Santa Fe Century, which is still an annual event attracting thousands. He also spent years researching, mapping and promoting the idea of a bike tour along the Santa Fe Trail, from Santa Fe to Missouri. The 1,100 mile tour was first held in 1995 and held biannually over the next 21 years, limited to about 50 participants each year. After the 2016 event, Chilcott announced that year's event would be the final edition. 

    According to an article in the Santa Fe New Mexican, Chilcott was born in Pasadena, California. His early life in California included interests in business, politics, music and entertainment. In 1960, he co-founded The Ice House, a well-known comedy club in Pasadena that is still operating. He gave up his interest in the club in 1978 and moved to Santa Fe in 1980. 

    Besides the bike event, he helped found the Santa Fe Community Orchestra in 1982 and often played with the group. 

    Chilcott also organized European biking tours for friends. 

    He is survived by his wife Marilyn Fisher, his daughter Cynthia, sons Richard, Willard Jr. and John, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Family members told the New Mexican that Chilcott did not want a memorial service, so none is planned.

    More information: Santa Fe New Mexican | Legacy.com obituary

     


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    PLEASANT VALLEY, Mo. (BRAIN) — Chamois Butt'r is now shipping its products in new, more environmentally friendly Retail Ready Packaging that can be put straight onto the shelf or display hook with a limited amount of unpacking.

    "In doing research and analysis for this project, we determined that approximately 80 percent of the Chamois Butt'r POP displays were discarded into the trash or hopefully recycled. They were never used by the retailer or seen by the consumer, so it was wasteful," said Curt Shelman, the COO of Paceline Products/Chamois Butt'r. "This new RRP will be just one box that easily converts into a POP display, and will result in less packaging and waste and it will save time unpacking."

    The company said the new Retail Ready Packaging makes its products easy to ship, handle, identify, open and recycle. Chamois Butt'r 8-ounce tubes of Original, Her', and Eurostyle creams will ship in the new Retail Ready Packaging beginning in March.

    The packaging is printed with environmentally friendly ink and meets Sustainable Forestry Initiative standards. The products used in the manufacturing are from "Certified Sourced" fibers.

    For additional information visit chamoisbuttr.com


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    EUGENE, Ore. (BRAIN) — As part of an expansion of its outside dealer sales rep force, Rolf Prima wheels has hired Jonathan Perez to represent the brand in Florida and Michael Murphy to cover the mid-Atlantic region. Murphy will cover Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

    "We want to work as closely as we can with the dealers who have been supporting us and it is important to us that we are partnered with people who have strong experience with their needs," Rolf Prima's Brooke Stehley said. "We've been building wheels in Oregon for over 15 years, and to add team members who bring similar deep knowledge of the industry will be a big asset to us and our dealers as we all navigate the changing landscape."

    Rolf Prima will attend this year's CABDA expo, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, Sea Otter Classic, Interbike and the Philadelphia Bike Expo.

    Murphy can be reached at michael.murphy@podiumsalesgroup.com, and Perez at jperezfl1@gmail.com.


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