Articles on this Page
- 02/09/18--12:50: _Peter Sagan involve...
- 02/09/18--13:57: _TerraTrike says its...
- 02/09/18--17:00: _Nuun says it will h...
- 02/12/18--08:35: _Quirk leaves Rapha ...
- 02/12/18--08:53: _Finish Line's new t...
- 02/12/18--13:02: _New QBP Community G...
- 02/12/18--14:35: _Full Cycle gives it...
- 02/12/18--15:21: _Judge dismisses Poi...
- 02/12/18--15:50: _BicycleBlueBook.com...
- 02/13/18--08:31: _Shimano bike busine...
- 02/13/18--11:15: _SOLOS releases next...
- 02/13/18--11:26: _Paul Swift opens fi...
- 02/13/18--11:34: _Trump's budget elim...
- 02/13/18--13:26: _Snowstorm stops in ...
- 02/13/18--14:18: _Opinion: The import...
- 02/14/18--08:12: _PBMA launches mecha...
- 02/14/18--08:39: _Mountainsmith offer...
- 02/14/18--11:27: _Haute Route names W...
- 02/14/18--13:02: _CrankTank announces...
- 02/14/18--13:18: _Ben Coates joins PO...
- 02/09/18--12:50: Peter Sagan involved with two new gran fondo events in California
- 02/09/18--13:57: TerraTrike says its fourth quarter was up 25% as it adds key dealers
- 02/09/18--17:00: Nuun says it will hydrate 2 million athletes at events this year
- 02/12/18--13:02: New QBP Community Grant funds retailer initiatives
- 02/12/18--14:35: Full Cycle gives its espresso bar/tap room its own identity
- 02/12/18--15:21: Judge dismisses Poison Spider Bicycles’ trademark suit
- 02/13/18--08:31: Shimano bike business up 4.1% in 2017
- 02/13/18--11:26: Paul Swift opens fitting education company, CyclePoint
- 02/13/18--13:26: Snowstorm stops in time for CABDA start
- 02/13/18--14:18: Opinion: The importance of professional tech training is growing
- 02/14/18--08:12: PBMA launches mechanic certification
- 02/14/18--08:39: Mountainsmith offers Cycle Cube bike-specific storage bag
- 02/14/18--13:02: CrankTank announces first sponsors of Impact Media Summit
- 02/14/18--13:18: Ben Coates joins POC as North American GM
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (BRAIN) — Three-time world champion Peter Sagan is working with Bike Monkey, the producer of Levi's GranFondo, to promote two new gran fondo events in California this year.
The first event is May 5 in Truckee on gravel and dirt roads near Lake Tahoe. The second event will be pavement-centered and take place Nov. 3. The selection process is still underway for a host city for the fall event.
Sagan will participate in activities taking place on the days before and after each event in the host communities, raising awareness and support for the King Ridge Foundation, the Specialized Foundation, and local non-profits serving at-risk youth.
"I love California and am never there long enough. My time in the Tour of California is some of the best of my racing season," said Sagan. "I try to come here as often as I can. Not only does California provide some of the best roads and most beautiful scenery in the world, the warmth and friendliness of its people are second to none. I really feel at home whenever I'm there. That's why, together with Bike Monkey, I wanted to host an on-bike party in one of my favorite parts of the world. So, join me for a ride and an unforgettable experience and remember, cycling is fun!"
Carlos Perez, Bike Monkey's founder, said, "What Peter's said to us from the start is that his ride has to help people experience some of what he loves about California: the great beauty, the challenge, the strong cycling culture ... We're finding the places that best represent that and working hard to make sure Peter's classic, fun spirit comes across in them as well."
Both events will include post-ride festivals with music, beer, local food, and ancillary events.
The Truckee Tourism Business Improvement District has committed to hosting May event for two years.
"Truckee is a year-round destination with world class trails and a community that embraces cycling," says Colleen Dalton, brand communications director for the Truckee Chamber of Commerce. "Partnering with Bike Monkey and Peter Sagan on this event is a great fit for the culture of our Sierra Nevada town and we're ready to roll out the red carpet for all the riders in the Sagan Fondo."
The Truckee event will feature a long-course distance of 67.5 miles with shorter options available, suited for wide clearance cyclocross or gravel bikes. Additional details on the November ride should be released later this spring. The May event will be limited to the first 1,500 registrants, with registration opening Feb. 15. Registration and more information is at saganfondo.com.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (BRAIN) – TerraTrike says it closed its fourth quarter of 2017 with 25 percent growth over the same period last year – the best in the company's 22-year history. The privately held company did not release specific revenue figures.
The company said it added 38 new dealers last year, including Wisconsin's Wheel & Sprocket, which will carry TerraTrike models at all nine of its locations.
"Our ever-expanding dealer base really shows the strong interest from markets outside of our usual orbit," said TerraTrike's director of events and new dealer acquisition, Jonathan DeHate. "People are always looking for new ways to get outside and ride. And with TerraTrike you ride in comfort – that is always a good thing."
Jeff Yonker, TerraTrike's marketing director, said, "Our additional offerings hit the market like a ton of bricks last summer and as we hustle to keep up with the orders from our current dealers, we're also signing new contracts with many new dealers ... With Wheel & Sprocket's expansion and being added to all their locations, it's the icing on the cake. We need 'more cowbell' to really express how well things are going."
SEATTLE (BRAIN) — Nuun said it has expanded its event support in 2018 and reckons it will hydrate over 2 million participants in 2018 on race and ride events, as well as in fitness studios and festivals in North American and globally..
In addition to a variety of run and multi-sport event, Nuun is the official hydration sponsor of RAGBRAI, the NYC Five Boro Bike Tour, Seattle to Portland, and Ride London.
Nuun is also involved with various specility group fitness studios and has partnerships that include Flywheel Sports, Orange Theory Fitness, and Core Power Yoga.
"At Nuun our primary mission is to inspire everyone to move more," said Kevin Rutherford, Nuun's president and CEO. "The fitness, event and retail communities are on the front lines bringing this to life. We are so grateful for their continual positive change and allowing the Nuun team to share in this journey with them."
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (BRAIN) — Brendan Quirk, the co-founder of Competitive Cyclist and most recently the North American president of Rapha, is joining the Runway Group as cycling program manager. The Runway Group is a nonprofit backed by the Walton family; Quirk will be responsible for positioning Northwest Arkansas "as a leading region nationwide for the incubation and recruitment of cycling-related brands, an innovator in cycling infrastructure, and a bucket-list destination for bike tourism."
Runway Group was co-founded by Tom and Steuart Walton.
"Tom and I are thrilled Brendan is joining the Runway Group," said Steuart Walton. The brothers also are the principals in RZC Investments, which acquired Rapha last year and which is an investor in Little Rock-based bike maker Allied Cycle Works.
"(Quirk) will bring leadership and strategic thinking to our organization's cycling work across many formats, and we're thrilled to add another passionate cyclist to the Bentonville community," Walton said.
Competitive Cyclist was founded in Little Rock and was sold in 2011 to Utah-based Backcountry.com. Following the sale Quirk served as Backcountry's executive vice president of customer experience. He joined Rapha in 2015.
Quirk said, "Northwest Arkansas is setting an all-new standard for how cycling can meaningfully add to a community's quality of life," Quirk said. "The development of the Razorback Greenway allows residents of the whole region easy bike access to school or work or the grocery store. The Oz Trails network of mountain bike trails gives riders of all levels access to the sort of high–quality mountain biking you'll otherwise only find in Colorado or Utah. And the region is integrating cycling into the Physical Education curriculum in the schools to ensure all kids have access to bikes, regardless of income level. In Northwest Arkansas, the opportunity exists for cycling to touch everyone's lives."
"The nationwide cycling community is taking notice of the ambitious work underway here," Quirk said. "It's why events like the IMBA World Summit and the Outerbike expo are choosing to come to Northwest Arkansas instead of sticking to the Rockies or the West Coast."
"The folks working to build the cycling infrastructure and resources have already accomplished so much, and their momentum is superstrong. I'm thoroughly excited to join and help Northwest Arkansas achieve its goal of becoming the most desirable community in America for cyclists of all types, whether that means safely running errands on a bike, or trying to become a champion mountain bike racer."
HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (BRAIN) — Finish Line's Tubeless Tire Sealant solves problems presented by other sealants, the company said.
"We wanted to develop a sealant that wouldn't have any of the negative characteristics of existing latex-based sealants," said Hank Krause, the president and CEO of Finish Line. "By partnering with Multi Seal, a longtime leader in industrial and military tire sealants, we have created a sealant that significantly advances the technology for tubeless bicycle tire sealants."
The company said the sealant will not cure inside the tire once installed, so it doesn't need to be refreshed every few months to maintain effectiveness. Instead, the company said the sealant will last the entire usable life of the tire. The sealant contains no liquid latex or ammonia and is naturally non-toxic, hypoallergenic and safe for carbon fiber rims. The sealant cleans up easily with water. The company also said the sealant is not affected by the use of CO2 inflators.
The sealant uses DuPont Kevlar fibers called FiberLink. "FiberLink seals are extremely robust once they plug a hole. When a puncture happens, fibers rush into the wound and quickly stop air loss. As the tire flexes while it is ridden, the FiberLink mesh tightens and reinforces itself, creating a confidence-inspiring seal that will last ride-after-ride," the company said.
The sealant will be available in 1-gallon bottles for shops and rental fleets, as well as 4 ounce, 8 ounce, and 1 liter consumer sizes. All sizes will be available from Finish Line's domestic and international dealers in time for the 2018 season.
MSRP is $8.99 for 4 ounces; $14.99 for 8 ounces; $35.99 for 32 ounces and $139.99 for the 1 gallon container.
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (BRAIN) — QBP is launching a new grant program that will support bike shop-led initiatives to support their communities. The grants will support shop-led programs related to increasing ridership among diverse and/or underserved populations, youth ridership, bicycle infrastructure or educational programs.
"The fact that retailers are proposing and leading their own projects makes this grant program especially powerful," said Kim Marek, QBP's community grant director. "Local retailers know their communities best and will be able to have a greater impact because of that."
The grant pool of more than $30,000 is made up of donations from QBP's Dealer's Choice brands, which were matched dollar-for-dollar by the QBP Fund, QBP's charitable foundation. Individual award amounts will vary based on number of selected projects and project scale.
Dan Dittmer of Wolf Tooth Components, one of the Dealer's Choice brands, said. "What got me most excited about this grant is that it targets areas that are holding back the cycling community and it empowers people at a local community level to address problems and effect change."
The application period opened Monday and initial applications are due March 12. There will be notification of initial application results on April 2, and then the full application will be due April 30. The grants will be awarded on May 21.
More information at qbp.com/community-grant.
The Dealer's Choice brands that are supporting the program are: SRAM, Burley, Kali Protectives, Wolf Tooth, Wheels Manufacturing Inc., Ortlieb, Kuat, Swiftwick, Kryptonite, Stan’s NoTubes, NiteRider, WTB, RockShox, DT Swiss, Jagwire, Lizard Skins, Park Tool, Osprey and Five Ten.
BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Boulder retailer Full Cycle, which added an espresso bar and beer tap area to its Pearl Street location last year, has now given that part of its business its own name: The Tune Up.
"It gives (the cafe) an identity and lets people know it's a real, different business with its own hours and own employees," said owner and GM Russell Chandler. He said giving the cafe its own name also made it easier to list different hours for the area.
"There was some confusion from people thinking that if the bar was open until ten, that meant the bike shop was open, too," he said.
"The goal is to be seen as that great place to get together inside of a bike shop, as opposed to a bike shop that has a bar in it. Both are good, but we are going for more general appeal."
Chandler said that sales in the bike shop were up 5 percent last year, and up 13 percent since the cafe opened following an extensive remodel. That's in addition to sales from The Tune Up.
"There's been an uptick of foot traffic. People are coming in to the bar and they get interested in the bikes. It's increased our revenue per square foot, which helps us pay our rent, which is pretty expensive here," he said.
The Tune Up held a "Grand Re-Opening/Re-Branding Party" on Feb. 3. Besides the new name, the business has added a bit more food to the menu, with panini's, quiche and other items. Adding the cafe cut into the store's service area, so some repair bikes are now trucked over to Full Cycle's second location, in Boulder's Hill area, for service.
SALT LAKE CITY (BRAIN) — A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a suit filed by Moab retailer Poison Spider Bicycles against a company that sells merchandise under the Poison Spyder Customs brand.
The bike shop had charged that Tap Manufacturing, the parent company of Poison Spyder Customs, was infringing on its trademarks.
Both trademarks are named after the Poison Spider Mesa Trail outside Moab, which is popular with mountain bikers and offroad vehicle enthusiasts. Tap, a manufacturer and distributor of off-road parts and accessories, sells Poison Spyder Customs merchandise online and through four retail locations. Under its previous ownership, Poison Spyder Customs had been selling branded merchandise since 2003.
Judge Clark Waddoups said the bike shop failed to show that the companies’ marks were so similar that they could cause confusion, or that Tap was selling its products with the intent to benefit from the bike shop’s reputation. He also noted that the businesses sell to distinct consumer groups with little overlap. He said Poison Spider’s fame was limited to a niche following in the cycling community, which is not enough to demonstrate “fame” for federal and state statutes regarding trademark dilution.
On Monday Waddoups issued an order granting Tap’s request for a summary judgment dismissing all counts. Store owner Scott Newton has previously declined to discuss the case with BRAIN. BRAIN has reached out to the store's attorney for comment.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (BRAIN) — BicycleBlueBook is giving its IBD customers access to marketing assets through Promoboxx, a web platform used by several other major bike suppliers.
BBB's president, Ira Becker, said Promoboxx allows retailers to access materials from multiple suppliers through one site. Promoboxx allows retailers to send marketing materials directly to their social media accounts or to email campaigns. The campaigns also can be automated so that supplier-provided materials are automatically posted. The platform is free for retailers to access.
"We learned about the platform from several of our retailers that suggested adopting Promoboxx during an internal survey for ways to make our program more useful to their business," said Becker. "After seeing how easily a retailer can post and share brand-generated content on their social media channels with one click, we decided to invest in Promoboxx to further support our network. We currently have four campaigns on Promoboxx for our IBD retailers and are committed to a cadence of three-to-four new campaigns per month."
BBB has more than 1,400 Authorized Trade-In Partners, who accept and ship used bikes whose value is determined by BicycleBlueBook. The consumer gets a shop credit for the trade-in; the shop ships the used bike to BicycleBlueBook, who sells it through their online marketplace.
"Promoboxx is thrilled to partner with BicycleBlueBook.com," said Sonciary Honnoll, VP of customer experience and co-founder of Promoboxx. "The cycling industry is one that Promoboxx works closely with, and we are excited that BicycleBlueBook.com is committed to supporting its retailer base with digital marketing, which in turn will help bike stores grow their local cycling communities."
Existing and new Promoboxx retailers can access BicycleBlueBook.com content and campaigns by logging on or signing up at bbbpromoboxx.com.
BicycleBlueBook.com also announced that it has hired SmartEtailing to develop promotional campaigns and graphics to support its Authorized Trade-In Program.
OSAKA, Japan (BRAIN) — Shimano saw a 4 percent increase in net sales in its bicycle division last year, while operating income in the segment was nearly flat, down 0.8 percent, the company announced Tuesday. The component giant said sales of its Dura-Ace Di2 group and STEPS E8000 e-bike drive unit were "robust" while its Ultegra Di2 and the disc brakes it introduced in August were also well received. Bike-related sales were 270,206 million yen ($2.5 billion).
Shimano indicated that in North America, retail sales of complete bikes "lacked vigor" in 2017 and were about flat with 2016. However, the company said North American distributor inventory levels were lower than in the prior year, which presumably helped Shimano's sell-in to the distributor channel. The company does not release specific figures for its regional sales.
European sales started out the year sluggish but improved in the second half, eventually hitting the same level as in 2016, Shimano said.
In China, bike sales were below 2016, although Shimano said distributor inventory levels were appropriate. The company had similar things to say about its performance in Japan, Southeast Asia and South America, with no particular region turning in exceptional results.
Shimano's net sales across all divisions were up 4 percent to 335.8 billion yen, while total operating income was down 0.3 percent to 64.4 billion yen. Its fishing tackle division saw a sales increase of 3.3 percent last year, with an operating income increase of 2.5 percent. Fishing sales are about 20 percent of Shimano's business.
The company forecast a 6.3 percent increase in net sales in the first half of 2018 and a 4.2 percent increase in the full year.
"In the U.S., the economy will be upheld by a better corporate investment sentiment resulting from tax reforms and by recovery in personal consumption on the back of a good employment environment, but concerns exist that the increasing risk of global conflict and confusion in domestic politics will pour cold water on the economy," Shimano said.
WESTBOROUGH, Mass. (BRAIN) — SOLOS, a unit of Kopin Corporation, has announced the second generation of its Smart Glasses. The latest version adds running features and introduces enhanced software to facilitate real-time coaching and enable group communication.
The new version also adds the ability to listen to music.
"The first generation of SOLOS was designed with feedback from USA Cycling athletes and early adopters, and now we're using those insights to expand into running," said Ernesto Martinez, program head for SOLOS. "As experienced athletes know, when you look down at your watch, your form suffers; you slow down and this affects your finishing times. Add to this taking the time to scroll through features on your smartwatch, bike computer or music device, and those seconds start to make the difference between an average performance or your personal best. SOLOS lets you stay focused on the road and on your performance."
The new generation of SOLOS offers over five hours of battery life, horizontal and vertical display adjustment for a customizable view, earbuds and audio projection speakers positioned at the temples to improve the overall audio experience. The display's patented technology provides a large virtual image, yet is small enough so athletes can stay focused on the road ahead and simply glance at information as needed. Athletes can now control SOLOS using their voice to bring relevant metrics into view.
"We're thrilled with the new platform integrations and upgrades because they pave the way for expansion into many other sports and fitness markets in the future," says Tom Futch, the senior vice president of SOLOS. "The SOLOS platform provides athletes with an enhanced experience that moves beyond traditional wearables and sensors to now inform, inspire and guide them to achieve to their full human potential."
SOLOS is compatible with Android Wear 2.0 and a variety of BLE and ANT+ compatible running and cycling sensors, allowing athletes to use Strava, Training Peaks and Under Armour apps.
The new SOLOS Smart Glasses will be available in Q1 2018 for $499. More information at SOLOS-wearables.com.
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. (BRAIN) — Paul Swift has sold the majority interest in BikeFit Systems LLC and formed CyclePoint LLC. The new company is the exclusive educational provider for BikeFit Systems and will offer BikeFit Level 1 and Level 2 courses online.
The courses focus on the foot-pedal interface, and other contact points and include updated technologies (including the mobile BikeFit App) and up-to-date industry product information. Swift and CyclePoint still enjoy their partnership with F.I.S.T. (developed by Dan Empfield of SlowTwitch). Each F.I.S.T training offers one day of specific BikeFit Foot-Pedal training.
CyclePoint and BikeFit continue to jointly develop new BikeFit products. CyclePoint recently helped design and launch BikeFit's new sizing stem and updated Saddle Changer. Upcoming projects include new 2° Cleat Wedges for 3-hole pedal systems.
CyclePoint also continues to work with Katrina 'Kit" Vogel, MS, DPT, the director of education, to teach and further develop the BikeFit curriculum for both non-clinical and clinical classes.
Three or more classes are scheduled per month. More information at TheCyclePoint.com.
BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — President Trump's budget eliminates the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Program, which has supported bicycle-friendly projects. Trump's proposed infrastructure program also largely ignores bicycle infrastructure, according to PeopleForBikes. The organization said both proposals will face opposition from Congress.
"The president's infrastructure proposal seems to allow little (if any) room for new bicycle investments," said Jenn Dice, PeopleForBikes' vice president of business network. "It is frustrating that the president won't address our antiquated transportation network with a comprehensive proposal to modernize all modes of transportation. Bike infrastructure is cost-effective, focused on safety, and helps mitigate our growing congestion problems."
"The TIGER Grant program continues to enjoy broad bipartisan support in Congress," Dice said, "because members have seen its positive impacts in their backyard. The president is proposing to slash programs that provide important investments for improving our communities, and strengthening our economy."
"The elimination of the TIGER program wouldn't just hurt the $88 billion bike industry, but it would also inhibit innovative transportation projects that support economic development and healthy communities," Dice said. (Dice's $8.8 billion figure is from a 2017 Outdoor Industry Association study that includes tourism dollars generated by cyclists. The study is available here: outdoorindustry.org.)
"We look forward to working with our allies on Capitol Hill from both parties to ensure that our transportation policies support all modes of transportation and that they continue to fund programs, like TIGER, that are effectively building infrastructure in communities across America today."
CHICAGO (BRAIN) — After nine straight days of a winter storm that delivered record snowfall in the Windy City and caused nearly 500 flight cancellations at Chicago O'Hare and Midway airports over the weekend, the weather took a turn for the better as the industry descended into Chicago for the start the Chicagoland Area Bicycle Dealers Association show.
CABDA show director Jim Kersten said the next couple of days look good for weather as he hastily walked up and down the aisles of the Rennaissance Convention Center in Schaumberg, Illinois, on Tuesday afternoon. He said some 2,450 retailers had pre-registered to attend the two-day, midweek show. He expected to draw staff from 500 to 600 stores.
Larry Black, owner of College Park Bicycle and Mt. Airy Bicycle in Maryland, said, "It's the only domestic show we attend due to venue, timing and size ... Flights are affordable from all over. It still feels a bit regional but that's no problem — we like the cozier feel. The show is sized right for those of us who don't medicate but are affected by anxiety due to over-stimulation whether inside or outside the hall. We've met quite a few regionally located suppliers with whom we have been staying in contact."
This year, CABDA moved to mid-February and to a new venue. After being held at the Pheasant Run Resort on the outskirts of Chicago for its first three years, the show relocated to the Renaissance, which is closer to the city and the airport, and directly off the highway.
The larger convention space is a welcome change. In addition to wider aisles, Kersten said the new hall will house two indoor demo areas. E-bikes have become one of the show's biggest areas of growth with about 15 companies exhibiting this year, up from three last year. More than 200 exhibitors were busy setting up booths Tuesday afternoon.
In addition, Kersten greatly expanded the education offerings at the show, partnering with the Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association, which organized and scheduled the speakers, presentations and tech clinics. Forty-five sessions are planned over two days.
"They've tripled our seminar offerings," said Kersten about the PBMA. "One of the problems last year was that all the rooms I had were tiny and people were standing in doorways. Now we have banquet halls, and we'll be holding a lot more at the same time."
The list of speakers include longtime industry consultant Jay Townley, retail trainer Ray Keener (also BPSA executive director), veteran wheelbuilder Bill Mould and longtime service manager Brett Flemming, among others, who will cover a range of topics such as the future of bike shops, the business of fit, Amazon, wheelbuilding as a profit center, customer satisfaction training, challenges and opportunities in the bike market, online ratings and reviews, and more.
Brands including SRAM, Zipp, RockShox, Bosch, Shimano, Boyd Cycling, SR Suntour, Rotor, Stan's NoTubes and FSA will hold tech clinics on products, and the PBMA will provide an overview of its certification program.
Kersten said CABDA typically draws in shops from the Midwest. But he expects to see attendance grow from the Rust Belt. Over the past months he has promoted heavily with direct mail to 35 states and print and web advertising in Bicycle Retailer. And while the CABDA show has grown significantly every year, Kersten still runs it out of his home's living room, in addition to working retail and being a U.S. Army Reserve officer. His plate is full especially as the show begins to ramp up in the fall and winter.
Most exhibitors build simple pipe-and-drape booths, but several now bring the same booth they have at Interbike, including bigger and better displays.
Last year, CABDA introduced badges that could be scanned to provide some lead data to exhibitors. This year, the show is launching a phone app to help attendees navigate the floor and plan their visit.
By Jeff Donaldson
Editor's note: Jeff Donaldson is the general manager and school director at Barnett Bicycle Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Reading BRAIN's report on the latest NPD data should have given us all a couple of ah-ha moments. The report provides a foundation for a new conversation about the growing importance of service. The report cites small changes — overall sales down, service sales up. As a career mechanic, these small changes are very encouraging: If the overall income in bike shops is shrinking while service income is increasing, it means that service is seeing a larger share of importance within the full scope of a retailer's income. Please pardon some oversimplification here, but some repair shops were able to grow in 2017 and take a bite or two out of a $13 million pie. Exercising the logic can conclude that improving a service department's performance is a competitive opportunity.
How do we keep growing? One of the simplest answers is training. If you want to be competitive in anything, it isn't enough to do it, you must do it well. Having bike wizards on staff is a fallacy. The bicycle is a machine and it should be tuned and repaired procedurally. Mechanics can be trained in measurable and repeatable procedures, and that training will streamline processes, maximize the income-to-time spent on repair, and elevate the overall efficiency and baseline of quality of work that a repair shop produces. The endpoint here is that when a repair shop invests in a staff that has high quality training, that repair shop can expect to make more money.
On a slightly different arc, in the last several months here at Barnett Bicycle Institute, we are hearing from a growing number of shops that are having a difficult time finding qualified mechanics. We are also seeing that more of our graduates are already employed and not looking for job placement. This may be a good economic indicator, but it does present a problem that we all need to knuckle down on: workforce development. The future is coming, and it would be much better to be ready for it when it gets here.
While training currently-working mechanics is essential to ensure the health of our service departments now, our industry needs to look forward to the next generation. Training ground floor employees and supporting entry-level training programs is a smart move for sustainability. If your community is lucky enough to have a Project Bike Tech program, the solution is already there. Find that program and support it. These kids will be our workforce soon and having them supported through their program is essential to their professional development. Outside of high school vocational programs, look for training opportunities for your youngest, least experienced employees. The assemblers and flat-fixers of today will be the service managers of tomorrow.
There is a quiet stalemate happening around the question, 'who should shoulder the burden of training?' On one hand, in an economy where demand for talented employees is high, a mechanic that goes out of pocket to pay for training is making a smart investment to become more competitive. That investment will pay off. On the other hand, a retailer that provides training for its employees is proving that it is a progressive and healthy place to work, that it is interested in employee retention and in the professional development of its people. Additionally, the shop is showing its customers that it is serious about the value of quality service.
Which way is best? There are benefits to both angles, and I would encourage not nickel and diming the issue. The core point is that if service revenue growth continues, trained mechanics will be more in demand than ever. As industry professionals, adopting practices now to develop ourselves, our businesses, and our current and future workforce is critical.
CHICAGO (BRAIN) – The Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association is talking up its new certification program for members at the Chicagoland Area Bicycle Dealer Association Show this week, where PBMA president James Stanfill and PBMA board member Jenny Kallista from Appalachian Bicycle Institute are manning a booth.
The PBMA is launching the online certification for members here. It sent an email to mechanics and shop members last week with details of the process and links to the online exam. Only PBMA members are able to access the certification for now, which is free for them. Non-members will be able to take the test starting in June for a fee.
The certification for members consists of a 50-question online test, which Stanfill said focuses on bike safety, including questions on proper assembly, adjustment of brakes and drivetrains to ensure that nothing falls off and the bike is safe to ride. Mechanics have to achieve 100 percent on some questions and 90 percent on others to pass. Stanfill said this is the first-level, basic certification, but expects that the PBMA will develop more advanced levels of certification and testing.
The online test is hosted on Myagi, an online training site used widely by industry suppliers and retailers.
"We built certification with feedback gathered from multiple sources within the cycling industry — from educational institutions like United Bicycle Institute to companies like SRAM to shop service managers and everyday mechanics.This initial push into an internationally recognized standard is just the beginning," Stanfill said.
Stanfill noted that while an online exam may seem simple, the PBMA collects data about its members' current and past work and training, then pairs that data with the exam. The online-only pathway for PBMA members is only open until June.
Beginning in June, anyone wishing to be certified will start with the online exam and then be required to schedule an in-person hands-on test. The first tests will take place at the Interbike show in Reno this fall. The PBMA expects to announce a full schedule of available testing sessions later this year.
Once certified, mechanics have a continuing education requirement to remain certified. Mechanics must complete 20 hours of continuing education including supplier tech clinics or online training.
"This requirement isn't meant to be a hurdle, it's meant to ensure that mechanics we endorse as certified are up-to-date with the most recent technology," Stanfill said. The PBMA is facilitating continuing education by producing and hosting multi-day technical training workshops all around the country.
Schools supporting the PMBA's Certification initiative include United Bicycle Institute, TechnoCycle, Appalachian Bicycle Institute, Winterborne Bicycle Institute and Velotech Cycling Limited. The Association is also working closely with Project Bike Tech to graduate their high school students into the basic level of certification.
The PBMA currently has 1,000 individual members and is approaching 200 shop members. Stanfill said more than a handful of members have completed the test and gained certification since last week.
GOLDEN, Colo. (BRAIN) — Mountainsmith's 2018 Cycle Cube is a compartmentalized, breathable, bike-specific storage bag. It has room for clothing, shoes, helmet, glasses, and food.
It has an interior shoes and clothes with die-cut holes for breathability. It has multiple storage pockets and a padded eyewear pocket. It has padded tote-style haul handles and dual D-rings for a shoulder strap sold separately).
It fits into the Mountainsmith Zip Top Hauler. Total volume is 51 liters.
MSRP is $79.95.
More information at mountainsmith.com/cycle-cube.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — Haute Route has added global nonprofit World Bicycle Relief as a designated charity partner for all North American events this year.
Haute Route participants are encouraged to fundraise for World Bicycle Relief as part of their experience. All funds will go toward providing bicycles to people in developing countries where distance is a barrier to education, healthcare and economic empowerment.
"The World Bicycle Relief mission is all about the power of bicycles, a message that will resonate with Haute Route riders who share a love of the bike and understand the freedom that comes from two wheels," said Haute Route's North America chairman Alain Lambert. "We are excited to partner with World Bicycle Relief and help galvanize the cycling community around a bike-centered cause."
During online registration, Haute Route participants will have the option to select a one-time donation or fundraise in support of World Bicycle Relief. The global nonprofit will host a customized landing page for Haute Route athletes who choose to participate, providing tools and instructions to help them reach their fundraising goals.
"The spirit of Haute Route embraces possibility and our partnership with the series opens up new opportunities for World Bicycle Relief to reach even more of the cycling community," said World Bicycle Relief director of global marketing Ruth-Anne Renaud. "Haute Route provides riders with four world-class cycling events in North America along with a turnkey fundraising opportunity to provide more bicycles to more students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs in the developing world."
This year Haute Route has three new three-day U.S. events, in San Francisco; Asheville, North Carolina; and Cedar City, Utah, as well as the second edition of the seven-day Mavic Haute Route Rockies.
KETCHUM, Idaho (BRAIN) — 7Mesh, Orbea and Sawtooth Brewery are in the first round of sponsors announced for the inaugural Impact Media Summit. The event produced by CrankTank is this June in the Sun Valley, Idaho, area.
The three-day event will bring together media and brands and will offer mountain bike, e-MTB and gravel riding demo opportunities.
7Mesh, from Squamish, British Columbia, has committed to be the Apparel Title Sponsor of the event and will outfit the attending media with its new offerings. Orbea, the event's first bike sponsor, plans to release several new bike models at the event.
Ketchum-based Sawtooth Brewery has signed on as the official Impact craft beer sponsor. Sawtooth Brewery will also be the beer sponsor for the PeopleForBikes Draft Meetup to be held on the final evening of Impact, Thursday, June 28.
“We’re delighted to have such well respected brands getting onboard with Impact,” said CrankTank's vice president Adrian Montgomery. “This inaugural year promises innovative brands and products for media to acquaint themselves with during the quality experience we will deliver for all our attendees. To enhance the value of Impact, we’ve also strategically positioned the event ahead of Eurobike. This will give our brand partners the opportunity to engage media and get news of their innovations to consumers before the global show.”
Impact will announce additional sponsor brands and attending media in the near future. For information contact email@example.com.
PARK CITY, Utah (BRAIN) — POC has appointed cycling industry veteran Ben Coates as managing director for North America. Coates joins POC following 15 years at Trek Bicycle. In his new position, he will lead sales, marketing, customer service and operations efforts for POC's bike and snow business in the North America.
"Ben brings a set of skills and knowledge that can only be gained in over a decade of leadership at one of the world's iconic cycling brands," said Jonas Sjögren, POC's CEO. "At POC, we have many exciting years ahead of ourselves, and we are fortunate to have Ben leading the team in Park City."
Coates began his career as the head mechanic for the Gary Fisher Professional Mountain Bike Team. He has held multiple positions at Trek including team liaison and product manager. Most recently he was director of road, speed, cross and Project One custom bicycles.
"I couldn't be happier to join the POC team. With a bold mission to reduce injury in the sports that I love, joining the POC team and helping to further that goal is a unique and inspiring opportunity," said Coates. "Ten years ago, POC came in with a unique design aesthetic and an unapologetic commitment to its mission. I am extremely excited to be a part of a committed group of passionate skiers and cyclists doing something great for people in their sports."
Coates will begin his work with the Swedish brand on February 26, after he and his family relocates from Colorado to POC's U.S. headquarters in Park City.