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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The International Mountain Bicycling Association is working with the National Ski Patrol to promote mountain bike patrols and patrollers. The agreement is expected to lead to IMBA's volunteer mountain bike trail patrollers being offered membership in the NSP.  The new partnership furthers the ski group's efforts to offer off-season patrol service to mountain resorts.

    “We are very excited to be partnering with IMBA,” said NSP executive director Meegan Moszynski. “In 2017, the NSP accepted the first official bike patrol into the organization. The NSP recognizes that bike patrolling is an important part of our focus on serving our mountain resort partners, and IMBA's experience with the National Mountain Bike Patrol and bike patrolling will prove invaluable as we work to further incorporate this important group of patrollers into the NSP.”

    IMBA's National Mountain Bike Patrol was officially founded in 1994 and now includes more than 50 volunteer bike patrol groups and 600-plus trained patrollers. These volunteers work with land managers, landowners and emergency personnel to assist at events, educate trail users and monitor trail conditions.

    IMBA's NMBP Advisory Committee, led by Wade Hartmann, has been involved in the partnership since talks began in late 2016.

    IMBA's executive director, Dave Wiens, said, "Working more closely with the National Ski Patrol is a great opportunity for IMBA, and vice versa. Broad, diverse partnerships like these strengthen opportunities for both sports and both organizations."

    IMBA and the NSP will be working over the next few months to set up a framework to offer IMBA's NMBP Patrollers membership in the NSP as mountain bike patrollers.


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    DENVER (BRAIN) — Organizers of the first combined Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, held last week, say the combined show attracted more than the sum of the two separate shows. It was the first OR show in Denver following the show's decision to leave its longtime home in Salt Lake City last year.

    Organizers said the show had over 29,000 total attendees, with more than 7,500 verified retail buyers. The show occupied over a half-million net square feet and covered all three floors of Denver's Colorado Convention Center, making it the largest show ever staged at the venue.

    "Denver exceeded our expectations as the new home for the first Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, reuniting the outdoor and winter sports communities for the first time in nearly 30 years," said Marisa Nicholson, vice president and show director for Outdoor Retailer events. "Retailers were able to see key product and trends for fall/winter 2018-2020 under one roof, creating an air of anticipation for what's next. The city of Denver and the state of Colorado laid out the red carpet for our exhibitors, our buyers from around the globe, and our team. We couldn't think of a better place to call home."

    Mike Adams, newly elected chairman of Snowsports Industries America and commercial director for winter sports equipment for the Americas at Amer Sports, said, "I was impressed with the scale of the show. It provided a close-up view of the blending of outdoor and winter sports. The retailers were exposed to both communities under one roof.

    "The comment I heard was, 'Why didn't they do this sooner?' People immediately understood the opportunity and the scale. We loved it and we are putting our deposit down for next year," Adams added.

    Outdoor Retailer will hold its Summer Market in Denver from July 23-26. That show will include water sports suppliers and other brands that didn't attend the winter show. Another Outdoor Retailer show is planned for Denver from Nov. 8-11, and then the second combined OR + Snow Show will be held Jan. 8-11, 2019.


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    BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (BRAIN) — Quality Bicycle Products is now expanding its distribution of Hayes Performance Systems' full line to Canadian bicycle retailers. The company said the expanded partnership will increase Canadian dealers' access to Manitou, Sun Ringlé, Hayes, Answer and Wheelsmith. This expansion will also improve product availability.

    "We are excited to offer Hayes Performance Systems to our Canadian dealers," said Aaron James, QBP's Canada sales manager. "The expanded product range combined with QBP's logistical excellence will provide more support to independent Canadian bike shops".

    QBP stocks more than 600 SKUs of aftermarket, service and support products from Hayes Performance Systems.


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — New for 2018, the Padrone Digital Double wireless cyclometer combines features from CatEye's Strada Digital Double and the form factor of the company's Padrone smart computer into one design.

    The Padrone Digital Double allows riders to view their speed, cadence and other ride stats on a large, three-row screen with up to four separate data displays. After the ride, the unit syncs to a smartphone via Bluetooth upload to post ride summary data on CatEyeAtlas, Strava, TrainingPeaks or other social fitness sites.

    For riders wishing to capture heart rate data, the Padrone Digital Double Wireless is upgradeable with CatEye's optional HR-12 heart rate sensor.

    MAP pricing is $110, and retailers can order from J&B Importers or direct from CatEye America.


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    FT. COLLINS, Colo. (BRAIN) — Big Shot Bikes, primarily an online seller of custom-colored fixed-gear and single-speed bikes, is looking for a buyer.

    Matt Peterson founded the company nine years ago, using his background in software engineering and product sourcing to offer bikes that can be ordered with the buyer's choice of frame, component and wheel colors. The brand later branched out to offer cruiser bikes and sales through bike shops, using a proprietary kiosk that lets dealers offer custom bikes on the sales floor. The company has also offered custom branded bikes for corporations.

    Peterson said Big Shot is debt-free and profitable, with average annual revenue of more than $600,000 for the past three years. It has sold a total of 20,000 bikes in its history, and its highest-grossing year was $1.8 million. Peterson is the sole owner and has been able to build Big Shot without bringing on investors or partners. He said the company will continue if he doesn't find a buyer, but he'd prefer to move on to new challenges.

    "I have other opportunities to launch more software-related ventures. ... I think I've built the business as much as I can on my own and it would be beneficial to hand it off to someone with more resources who can breathe more life into it," he told BRAIN this week.

    In a statement, Peterson said, "We have grown a fantastic bike brand based on a unique business model. As the original owner, I am proud of how far the company has come, and the role we have played in the mass customization field. ... This was a difficult decision for us, which we made after carefully assessing the needs of our business. We are confident that new ownership can build on the profitable foundation we established over these last nine years and steward this company into an even more successful future."

    Peterson declined to publish the asking price. The purchase would include the brand, other intellectual property and inventory — Peterson said it's essentially a turnkey business that could be managed remotely. More information is available by emailing Peterson at investors@bigshotbikes.com.

    Related stories:




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    MILWAUKEE (BRAIN) — Olympic Supply Company has added industry veteran Kyle Jaeger to its sales force as its Midwest sales rep, covering Iowa and Eastern Nebraska. 

    Jaeger brings nearly 15 years of experience into the field. In retail, he worked in several positions at Bikes to You in Grinnell, Iowa. Additionally, he has been the RAGBRAI charter director for five years and also runs his own bike ride, Tour le Brew, a bicycle brewery tour around the Des Moines area.

    "Unique, tenacious, energetic are the first three words I think of when identifying Kyle Jaeger," said Olympic Supply's president, Paul Goniu. "Iowa is filled with some of the best shops in the United States, and they deserve a representative that understands the dynamic of the territory.

    "Our team is unlike any other in this industry, and Kyle's values will blend seamlessly with our goal to offer the best service in the county."

    Jaeger said, "Olympic has been serving the Midwest for 70 years. Many family-owned and -operated shops have worked with them for generations. ... I am excited to share my knowledge and experience with shops to grow their brick-and-mortar locations."

    Jaeger can be reached at 641-990-6654 or jaegerky@osco.bike.


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    IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Starting April 1, Saris will begin distributing Bosch eBike Systems components and provide frame integration support to artisan bicycle brands in North America.

    "Since we began operating in North America in 2014, we've had many requests from smaller bike manufacturers to spec our systems on innovative e-bike concepts," said Claudia Wasko, general manager of Bosch eBike Systems for the Americas. "This new partnership means now we can fulfill this demand."

    Bosch eBike Systems currently works with 30 brands in North America on a wide variety of e-bike styles. The company said the Saris-Bosch partnership will give consumers access to a larger selection of brands and styles.

    "E-mobility is the fastest-growing segment of the bicycle industry," said Chris Fortune, co-founder and president of Saris. "We're excited to be part of the e-bike movement and the go-to distributor for smaller bicycle companies looking to add Bosch systems to their offerings. We feel fortunate to be working with Bosch — the dominant player in the space."

    Framebuilders and manufacturers interested in working with Saris to integrate Bosch eBike Systems into future bike designs can visit Saris at the 2018 North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Hartford, Connecticut, from Feb. 16-18.

    First launch for available products through Saris is scheduled for the beginning of July.

    For more information, contact bosch@saris.com.


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    SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Lezyne has announced its recent sponsorship of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association, joining its corporate booster club at the Elite Level.

    "It's awesome to be supporting a program that is helping develop the next generation of cyclists. Not only is the NICA organization encouraging kids to ride bikes, they are also growing the sport of cycling in the U.S.," said Dillon Clapp, Lezyne's worldwide marketing manager. "We offer a lot of cycling necessities for training, roadside repair and safety—it's a great fit for both Lezyne and NICA."

    In addition to financial support, Lezyne will provide custom products to NICA athletes, discounts on additional products and work with coaches to use its GPS units for training.

    NICA president Austin McInerny said the program teaches every participating student-athlete the importance of being prepared for and knowing how to handle basic bicycle maintenance and trailside repairs, making it critical for every NICA rider and coach to have well designed and reliable tools, pumps and related accessories, and Lezyne offers that with "outstanding bicycle products."

    "NICA is thrilled to have Lezyne's support towards our goal of providing every American teenager the opportunity to develop strong mind, body and character through participation on a school or community based cycling team. NICA and Lezyne are natural partners as both were launched in California and both share a commitment to setting new standards in what we respectively do," McInerny said. "Lezyne's product range shows that the brand has once again set new standards for the bicycle accessories market and we believe our growing student-athlete and licensed coaches will benefit from their innovative and well engineered products. Thanks to Lezyne for helping NICA continue to introduce a new generation to the wonderful world of cycling!"

    "Not only is NICA thrilled with Lezyne's well engineered and extremely durable bike tools, we are also excited to introduce our student-athletes to their innovative cycling computers which enable seamless integration with TrainingPeaks and Today's Plan programs allowing coaches to more closely monitor athlete's progress. Also, Lezyne's incredible bike light systems will help keep student-athletes visible while riding to and from team practices," McInerny added.


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    HELSINKI (BRAIN) — Sales in Amer Sports Corporation's cycling division — comprising sales by Mavic and Enve — were down 10 percent in local currencies in 2017, Amer reported Thursday. In the final quarter of the fiscal year, the division's sales were also down 10 percent.

    The company saw a 4 percent increase in sales across all its divisions last year. It attributed the decline in the bike division to soft OE order and high industry and retail inventories.

    The cycling division's sales totaled 134.3 million euros ($164 million) for the year, down frmo 150.2 million euros the year before.

    Within Amer's Outdoor segment, which includes cycling, the star last year was Arc'teryx, which helped Amer's outdoor apparel sales grow by 12 percent. The Sports Instruments division grew 1 percent for the year but got a big boost in the final quarter when Suunto introduced its new Spartan family of watches. Suunto sales were up 28 percent in local currencies in the final quarter.

    "We finished 2017 with a strong fourth quarter, driven again by our strategic acceleration priorities Softgoods, Direct to Consumer, and China," said Amer's CEO and president, Heikki Takala. "We continued to accelerate growth in Fitness and Sports Equipment. We also continued to make Winter Sports Equipment stronger, with solid growth and improving profitability. At the same time, in a turbulent market, we did have challenges to drive target growth, especially in Ball Sports and Cycling, and work remains to re-ignite them."

    In Septemeber last year, Bernard Millaud stepped down as president of Amer's cycling category and was appointed into a advisory role reporting to Takala. The cycling category is now led by Gary Bryant, it general manager.

    Amer planned a conference call with investors at 1 p.m. Finnish time Thursday.


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    BALTIMORE (BRAIN) —Custom kit supplier Athlos is launching three programs to raise money and awareness for PeopleForBikes. These include a 10 percent discount for any custom order that incorporates the PFB smiling bike logo; two limited edition PeopleForBikes cycling kits, with portions of each sale going to PFB; and a co-branded shop shirt, an Athlos Core-Tee featuring retailer branding and the PFB logo.

    "We are a small company, but supporting PeopleForBikes in their mission to unite riders, businesses, community leaders and elected officials is more critical than ever," said Dave Manchester, chief sales and marketing officer for Athlos.

    The cycling kits and shop shirts are available for purchase on Athlos' website, athlosports.com. Dealers should email info@athlosports.com for a wholesale discount code.


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    EUGENE, Ore. (BRAIN) — Rolf Prima Wheels has hired industry veteran Tom Kern as national sales manager, overseeing sales for Rolf Prima and its new rim brand launched this fall, Astral Cycling. Kern had recently been director of sales at Faraday Bicycles in San Francisco.

    "We worked with Tom as an outside rep back in the day, so it is great that we are coming full circle and getting the opportunity to work with him again," Rolf Prima owner Brian Roddy said. "His background as an outside rep and then as a sales manager at various companies will be a great addition to our team."

    Kern said, "I've watched the growth of Rolf Prima from afar through the years, and now with the addition of Astral rims it's great to be back on the team."

    Rolf Prima will be at CABDA and the North American Handmade Bicycle Show this month, and will also attend Sea Otter, Interbike and the Philadelphia Bike Expo this year.

    Related stories:

     


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) —  VeloNews is adding content from the cycling analysis and commentary website The Outer Line to the VeloNews.com website. VeloNews.com will publish new stories from The Outer Line as well as host its archives.

    The Outer Line was founded in 2013 by Steve Maxwell and Joe Harris to explore and propose solutions to the economic, governance, structural and ethical challenges inside the sport of professional cycling. They have published almost one hundred reports and detailed long-form articles covering these topics. Maxwell is one of the partners in Pocket Outdoor Media, the company that acquired VeloNews last year. 

    "Executives around the sport of cycling including team managers, federation officials, and financial executives refer to The Outer Line as the 'Harvard Business Review of the cycling world'," said Felix Magowan, the CEO of Pocket Outdoor Media. "Since Steve is a cofounder of both The Outer Line and the newly formed publisher Pocket Outdoor Media, merging The Outer Line into VeloNews.com brings a new perspective to our coverage of the business of cycling."

    Fred Dreier, the editor-in-chief of VeloNews, said, "Steve and Joe have written many articles for both our website and magazine in the past and we're looking forward to working more closely with them going forward. The Outer Line represents a new and different type of content for VeloNews, and we hope it will diversify and broaden our appeal, as well as our audience."

    The Outer Line can now be found at velonews.com/category/the-outer-line.


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    DALLAS (BRAIN) — Muc-Off has launched its new Luxury Chamois Cream in the U.S. market with 100ml-size bottles now available through distributor Hans Johnsen. Muc-Off's other U.S. distributors will be stocking 100ml bottles and 250ml bottles starting next month.

    Muc-Off said the cream does not contain any materials that are prohibited by WADA and is free from paraben and formaldehyde and is enriched with natural ingredients including aloe vera, witch hazel, shea butter, provitamins and sunflower oil. It said the "extreme skin lubricant " naturally reduces friction of your skin. 

    The cream is the first product from Muc-Off's Athlete Performance range to reach the U.S. market.

    Muc-Off's North American account manager, Tony Zanca, said, "Since our Luxury Chamois Cream launched in Europe there was immediate interest from U.S. riders and retailers. We are extremely excited to announce that it is now available in the U.S. market."

    The 100ml bottle's MSRP is  $14.99; the 250ml bottle's MSRP is $29.99.

    More information: muc-off.prezly.com/muc-off-launches-luxury-chamois-cream-in-us.


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    LEXINGTON, S.C. & LEVIS, Quebec (BRAIN) — Hawley-Lambert launched an online dealer staff training platform for all its North America accounts. Called HLC University, the platform is hosted on both the Hawley and Lambert dealer websites. The video-based training modules are designed to educate staff and set them up for success on the sales floor, the company said.

    "Good salespeople know their product and build confidence around what they're selling to a customer," said Pat McGinnis, the vice president of commercial for Hawley-Lambert. "HLC University is designed to give sales people the brand knowledge they need to successfully sell with confidence – to tell a brands story and to create raving brand ambassadors."

    The launch of HLC University includes more than 20 training modules from nine brands, including EVOC, Park Tool, SRAM, LOOK, Tacx, Muc-Off, BionX, Lezyne and Kryptonite. Each module includes a knowledge test that when successfully completed allows a shop sales person access to an employee purchase  program.

    In a statement released by Hawley-Lambert, Bernd Stucke, the managing director for EVOC, said, "The most successful EVOC retailers are those who have invested their time into understanding our brand ... What differentiates EVOC is a critical part of the brand story, and HLC University allows us to equip retailers across North America with the right information to be successful on selling our products."

    Retailers can login using their current credentials to access all HLC University content. The system will also provide owners or managers with analytics that allow them to track and monitor employee progress. The company expects to see a steady stream of content added as more vendors, including Saris, Campagnolo, Abus, Pirelli, Michelin, CatEye and others, are added this spring and summer.


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    SAN FRANCISCO (BRAIN) — Echos Communications will serve as the North American agency of record for Pirelli, the Italian tire brand. 

    "Pirelli is such a storied brand, and its return to cycling along with its rich history align perfectly with our agency passion and strengths," said Echos Communications' senior partner, Billy Sinkford. "We are thrilled to be working with the Pirelli team to support the brand's success in the North American market."

    Johan Molenmaker, global sales director for Pirelli Velo, said, "We are truly excited about this return to cycling and to be offering our tires in the US. ...  Our bike tires draw on a unique heritage of knowledge, technology, and sporting experience, and we needed a PR agency that could tell these stories in a very real and authentic way. Echos' track record is impressive and is the perfect fit for Pirelli. We look forward to growing our presence with the support of their team."

    Hawley-Lambert is distributing Pirelli bike tires in the US and Canada.

     

     


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    Vista Outdoor's Outdoor Products segment includes Bell and Giro.
    Company reports "no shortage of interest" in selling Bollé brand; offers little intel on Giro and Bell performance.

    NEW YORK (BRAIN) — Vista Outdoor, owner of the Bell, Giro, Blackburn, CamelBak and Bollé brands, continues to see a sales decline in its core ammunition and firearms segments. The company reported Thursday that sales were down 11 percent in its third quarter, which ended Dec. 31.

    In its 10-Q filing, its related news release and an earnings call, the bike-related brands were only briefly mentioned. The company did say its Outdoor Products division, which includes the bike, ski, and eyewear brands, saw a slight uptick in the quarter. Sales were up just 0.7 percent in the segment, to $295 million, but earnings in the segment were up 4.2 percent to $74 million. However, it's difficult to assess the performance of the bike brands because the Outdoor Products division also includes CampChef, Bushnell, and JimmyStyks. Vista said increased sales in its sports protection business were offset by decreases in the hunting and shooting accessories business that is included in the Outdoor Products division.

    Vista Outdoor's more troubled segment is Shooting Sports, which comprises its firearms and ammunition brands and where third quarter sales were down 21 percent, to $286 million. Gross profits there were down 47 percent, to $52 million.

    Vista Outdoor announced last year that it planned to sell off the Bollé brand, which is primarily an eyewear brand but which also offers bike helmets. In the conference call Thursday, CEO Chris Metz said the company had received "no shortage of interest" from potential Bolle buyers, but was still putting together a complete financial package so that it could start serious sales negotiations. 

    Metz said the company decided to sell Bollé because its business was "non-core to what we want to be, and we decided it would be more valuable to another brand that it was to us." He said the company was continuing to evaluate its brand portfolio with an eye toward exiting other categories that are non-core and he suggested there will be more information reorganization plans following the year-end report. 

    Related articles:

     

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    Shop services up 4 percent in same year.

    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Retail sales at independent bike shops reached $3 billion last year, down 1 percent from $3.1 billion in 2016, according to the latest point of sale data from The NPD Group's U.S. Retail Tracking Service.

    Dollar sales across complete bikes, bike accessories, bike parts and helmets/footwear/gloves were down for the year, while shop services were up 4 percent from $322.6 million to $336.2 million. Shop services represents tune-ups mostly, with shops putting in their hourly rate for service into their POS.

    The IBD channel accounts for about half of the total sales of cycling products, according to NPD data, with rest of market and IBD totaling $5.9 billion last year.

    Among the standout categories for 2017 were complete mountain bikes and e-bikes. Road bikes once again had a tough year. Average prices grew 4 percent across helmets/footwear/gloves and bike parts at IBDs, while they stayed on par with 2016 on complete bikes and accessories.

    NPD also tracks total cycling sales (rest of market), which includes online, outdoor and sporting goods stores. Last year, total dollar sales was $5.9 billion, down 3 percent from 2016. Complete bikes, bike accessories, bike parts, helmets/footwear/gloves were all down 3, 7, 3, 1 percent, respectively, but shop services were up 4 percent. This reflects growth of service outside of IBDs.

    Look for more highlights on categories and breakdown of subcategories in the March 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer, with commentary from NPD Group.


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    SAN DIMAS, Calif. (BRAIN) — Framebuilder Foes Racing has spun off a separate business offering lift kits and other components for Ford Transit vans.

    "For over 26 years Foes Racing has been in the mountain biking game handcrafting aluminum frames and has always had strong ties to the off-road racing industry. This week we are proud to announce the launch of TransitOffRoad.com, a website where consumers can explore and purchase accessories for the Ford Transit vans," Foes Racing stated in a release.

    Bobby Acuna, Foes' sales manager, told BRAIN the new venture is a way to diversify the business and offers a natural crossover due to the popularity of the #vanlife movement among people working in the bicycle and outdoor industries.

    Foes founder Brent Foes originally designed and fabricated items like a 2-inch suspension lift kit for the company's own Ford Transit van.

    "There was a general lack of accessories for these vans on the market, and TransitOffRoad.com will have Transit owners covered from rear door grab bars to a KC 20-inch light bar mount and many more ideas being brought to life as we head into the next year," Foes Racing stated.

    More information on the TransitOffRoad website


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    NORTH VANCOUVER, British Columbia (BRAIN) — Sombrio is getting into the custom clothing market with a customizable mountain bike jersey line. The company said the low minimum makes the program attractive for shops creating team jerseys as well as weekend warriors who want to kit out their crew.

    The Dorel Industries Inc. brand has outfitted mountain bike athletes in custom apparel, including Jill Kintner, Darren Berrecloth, and the GT Factory Race Team.

    Customers can start with a completely blank canvas and add their own art, or work with Sombrio's in-house design team.

    Custom jerseys will be available in Sombrio's Chaos Jersey for both Men and Groms as well as the Alder Jersey for Women. All jerseys will be made from the same Cool Wik fabric that is used across Sombrio's jersey collection and will be offered in a short-sleeve and long-sleeve option.

    The brand will also offer a Quick Design service, allowing customers to add personalization to an assortment of existing designs inspired by Sombrio's seasonal collection.

    For more information on Sombrio Custom, visit  sombriocartel.com/custom, or call Sombrio customer service at 888-637-1513 or reach out to a local Sombrio rep. 


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    OLDSMAR, Fla. (BRAIN) — Florida retailer BikeSport recently celebrated its grand reopening as a Giant Partner Store.

    “My goals were to have a better looking and more efficient store. The shop is small and I wanted the expertise offered by Giant on how to fully maximize and utilize the space we have,” owner Stephen Zaffiri said of his 1,200-square-foot location near Tampa, Florida.

    “The Giant Retail Partner program offered exactly what we were looking for. We have sold Giant and Liv bikes exclusively since our opening, so this seemed like a natural progression,” he added.

    Giant Partner Stores stock at least 80 percent of their floor space with Giant and Liv products. In return, partner stores receive assistance in store layout and design, fixturing, merchandising and retail support. 

    Mickey Singer, Giant account executive for North Florida, said, “The shop really hits a sweet spot in the community. Oldsmar is a smaller town on the fringe of the larger towns, and BikeSport has a great community vibe and has really grown from word-of-mouth. They are honest, straightforward, and have a real desire to help their consumers enjoy the ride.”

     


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