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    THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (BRAIN) — The Rock Bar is a semi-rigid nylon and foam storage case that can attach to multiple locations on the bike — handlebars, downtube, toptube and even long seatposts.

    It is ideal for carrying small tools, tube, batteries, mini-pump, energy bars and more without being too bulky. Cyclists riding full-suspension mountain bikes in particular will benefit greatly as those bikes have few areas to attach gear bags, Rock Bar says. 

    In addition to serving as a storage case, the Rock Bar can be used as a training weight case, holding weights up to 7 pounds. Internal volume is 28 x 5 x 6 centimeters, with an exterior length of 32 centimeters.

    Suggested retail: $29.95.

    More information: sales@rockbarcycling.com or rockbarcycling.com


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    KETCHUM, Idaho (BRAIN) — CrankTank has hired industry veteran Chad Battistone as sponsorship sales manager for the consulting agency’s inaugural Impact Sun Valley Media Summit.

    The company said bringing Battistone aboard will allow CrankTank to focus on its core business around digital marketing, e-commerce strategy and CEO consulting while getting Impact Sun Valley off the ground. He will report to CrankTank vice president Adrian Montgomery.

    Battistone co-founded Bike PressCamp in 2008 with former Interbike show director Lance Camisasca and served as operations manager for the media event for nine years. He previously worked for Interbike, AMP Research, Felt and GT Bicycles.  

    “When Scott (Montgomery, CrankTank founder) and Adrian approached me to work on the Impact event in Sun Valley, it didn’t take much thought to say let’s do this,” Battistone said. “I’m stoked to be part of the crew building a new media event for the bicycle industry. Events are in my blood and the bike biz is my family, so this is more like going home than starting a new journey.”

    The Impact Sun Valley Media Summit is set for June 26-28 in the Sun Valley, Idaho, area. To inquire about sponsorship opportunities, contact Battistone at chad@cranktank.net. For media inquiries, contact Lars-Erik Johnson at lars@cranktank.net.


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    LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (BRAIN) — Yakima Products has formed an exclusive partnership with Quality Bicycle Products, naming them as the brand’s specialty bike dealers’ U.S. distributor. The partnership was announced at QBP’s annual Frostbike last weekend.

    "Yakima is deeply committed to its specialty bike dealers, and we’re constantly seeking ways to better meet their needs at every step, from product ordering to merchandising to the end-consumer experience,” said Ryan Martin, CEO of Yakima. “We believe this new partnership with QBP will streamline and enhance the entire experience, and enable dealers to easily add a valuable new dimension to their product line.”

    “Additionally, QBP and Yakima are aligned in terms of our shared partners and we look forward to amplifying our work with important organizations like NICA and People for Bikes through the QBP platform,” said Martin.

    “Yakima is a legendary brand that has led the way in the cargo management space for almost 40 years, and they continue to innovate and simplify how people transport their bikes and outdoor gear,” said Rich Tauer, president of QBP. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with a company that values specialty bicycle retailers as a core component of their business, and is committed to making bicycling accessible to everyone.”

    “As we enter our next phase of growth, taking control of the brand and distribution network is paramount. We’re confident this partnership with QBP will help us do so, as we further develop the most meaningful ways to engage with our trade partners and consumers,” said Jason McGibbon, vice president of sales at Yakima. “This includes creating specialty retailer programs, innovative merchandising solutions, establishing unique experiences for the consumer, and superior training and support for our sales associates.”


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    PORTLAND, Ore. (BRAIN) — Renovo Hardwood Bicycles has hired Kelsey Anderson as marketing manager.

    Anderson grew up in the Northern California mountain bike scene, racing enduro, downhill, dual slalom, cross-country, endurance and short track and culminating at the elite level on the U.S. National Downhill Team. After earning her journalism degree, she was recruited by San Francisco agency OutsidePR, where she worked for three years.

    “Kelsey has the skills, experience, heart and competitive edge to successfully represent our unique bicycle brand,” Renovo founder and owner Ken Wheeler said. “She rapidly climbed the professional ladder, managed and raced on sponsored teams, mentored aspiring riders, and has always been an ambassador for women riders. We are delighted to welcome Kelsey aboard.”

    Anderson said: “I’ve always been partial to forging paths. While Renovo has proven the credibility of its custom-made frames with customers over the previous 10 years, changing to only production bikes at this time is both a departure and a new beginning for Renovo, and I’m eager to contribute to its growth.”

    For all press and media inquiries, Anderson can be reached at kelsey@RenovoBikes.com.


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    Niner co-founders Steve Domahidy (center) and Chris Sugai (right) with former president George W. Bush after a ride in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 2010.

    FORT COLLINS, Colo. (BRAIN) — Niner Bikes has been acquired by investment company Emersion International Limited. Chris Sugai, co-founder of the brand, will remain as president and there will be no change to the Colorado-based team or the international distribution network, the company announced. 

    “We had been looking for an investor that would allow us to take advantage of what we’ve built as a company while providing the resources to maintain our competitive edge,” Sugai said in a press release. “EIL is a great fit for us because it recognizes our future potential and will enable us to operate independently.” 

    Sugai told BRAIN on Tuesday morning that the sale closes in two to three weeks and he couldn’t say anything more until then. “I’ll have a lot more to share after we close,” Sugai said.

    Niner currently has 31 employees, all located at the Fort Collins headquarters. No changes are planned for the Fort Collins team or its independent bicycle dealer and international distribution network, the company said in the release.

    “Our long-term growth strategy requires a partner with the resources to invest in R&D and better serve our customers and riders. We strongly believe in the growth opportunities in the premium, off-road cycling market. The investment of EIL positions us for future growth,” Sugai stated.

    “EIL was attracted to us because of our strong brand and record of success. Its investment will allow us to strengthen our presence in the independent bike dealer network, including in the international market,” he added. 

    Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

    Emersion International Limited (EIL) is a global holding company of outdoor brands. 

    Related stories: 

    Niner sale delayed as new bidder emerges: Jan. 16., 2018 

    No new Niner bidders appear, sale scheduled for next week: Jan. 12, 2018

    Niner assets to be sold this month: Jan. 5, 2018 

    Niner files for bankruptcy ahead of planned sale: Nov. 27, 2017

     

     


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    MONROVIA, Calif. (BRAIN) — BMX component supplier American Cycle Systems Inc. has acquired Bar Fly, which manufactures mounts for cameras, GPS units and other handlebar-mounted devices. The purchase diversifies ACS’s product line into the enthusiast adult market, the Southern California company stated.

    “ACS made its name with unique, well-engineered products that cater to niche markets,” ACS president Keith Stephens said in a release. “Cyclists of all disciplines are embracing technology and are looking for a competitive edge in every detail of their ride. Bar Fly products are a functional complement to popular electronics being used by competitive cyclists across the board, and I’m excited about its future with ACS.”

    Greg Hillson, former principal at Bar Fly, said: “When we were approached by ACS about a potential acquisition, Keith’s vision for growing the Bar Fly brand was compelling. ACS has a long history in the bicycle industry. In fact, my first mag wheels were made by ACS. After careful consideration, we determined ACS would be a perfect company to expand the Bar Fly brand and support our existing customers, distributors and partners.”

    The deal was brokered by Bell Lap Advisors, a provider of financial advisory services to businesses in the active lifestyle and outdoor industries.

    “This is a win-win outcome for ACS and Bar Fly, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring these groups together,” Bell Lap’s Russell Cree said. “The founders of Bar Fly have done a great job of creating a new category — premium aftermarket accessory mounts — and ACS has decades of experience in the industry to take the brand to the next level.”


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    Organizers announce summer edition to be held in Les Gets, France.

    MASSA MARITTIMA, Italy (BRAIN) — Ten brands and 16 journalists from global media outlets took part in the inaugural edition of Bike Connection Winter, a cycling media event presented by marketing and business development consultancy Bike Connection Agency.

    From Feb. 5-8, journalists talked with brands in private one-on-one meetings and went on test rides and photo and video shoots on Massa Marittima’s renowned trails.

    “The event proved equally valuable for established brands and media to reinforce existing relationships, as well as for new, emerging participants, who got to form new valuable connections,” Bike Connection Agency stated.

    Organizers also announced that Bike Connection Summer will held June 18-21 in Les Gets, France. For more information or to register for Bike Connection Summer, interested parties can email info@bikeconnectionagency.com.

     


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    WATKINSVILLE, Ga. (BRAIN) — Tifosi Optics has released its SWANK sunglass, combining a lifestyle silhouette and a vibrant color palette with many of the technical features found in the brand’s high-performance sports sunglasses.

    The lightweight frames are made from Grilamid TR-90, and hydrophilic rubber nose pads are soft for comfort and increase their grip the more the wearer sweats.  New Tifosi Glide technology helps SWANK slide on easily without pulling hair and ensures the glasses stay in place during activity.

    An integrated hinge keeps the frame sleek and helps them hold their shape for long years of use. Optical-quality, shatterproof polycarbonate lenses with 100 percent UV protection protect eyes from the elements while projecting style.

    SWANK is available now in nine colors, with four additional colors launching in June. Suggested retail: $39.95.

    More information at tifosioptics.com.


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    Company aims to open 25 locations in the next 18 months.

    DENVILLE, N.J. (BRAIN) — Voltaire Cycles Inc., the franchising arm of retailer Electric Spokes Company, has opened its first e-mobility franchise in Denville, New Jersey. The 2,700-square-foot showroom features e-bikes and electric scooters and skateboards.

    “After researching other opportunities in the electric bicycle market, we decided that Voltaire Cycles provided the best opportunity to grow and adapt as the industry evolves,” franchise co-owner Chris Caiazzo said. 

    Voltaire Cycles is focused exclusively on sales of light electric vehicles such as e-bikes, e-trikes and e-scooters. Its e-bike brands include Easy Motion, BESV, A2B and Big Cat.

    In a press release, the company said recent advances in lithium battery technology have helped personal e-vehicles capture the attention of new customers from a wide demographic range.

    “We see this as a golden opportunity. Light electric vehicles afford baby boomers easy access to bicycle trails, trips and tours. At the same, these vehicles also attract millennials who are using them for commuting and social enjoyment,” Voltaire co-founder and CEO Derek Mithaug said.

    The franchise company’s goal is to launch 25 locations in the next 18 months.

    “Our company’s training program ensures that all franchise owners fulfill the highest level of training and certification. This builds enormous self-confidence in the franchise owner’s abilities to effectively answer questions, troubleshoot issues, and most confidently participate in this new industry,” said Jamie Gilson, chairman of Voltaire’s board of directors. “There is no prerequisite for owning a Voltaire Cycles franchise. Entrepreneurs with limited to no background are ideal candidates because they are approaching the new industry free of any biases.”

    Franchise information is available at voltairefranchises.com. 

    For more on Voltaire Cycles, see the E-bike Market Report in the March 15 print edition of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.


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    SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (BRAIN) — Santa Cruz Bicycles has launched a new online education program, The Manual, to help dealers and retail staff sell and service the company’s Santa Cruz and Juliana bike lines and Reserve wheel line more effectively.

    “For years, our dealers have been telling us that our in-person tech and product clinics really help their staff,” said Santa Cruz retail marketing manager Garen Becker. “The problem is that between time constraints, breadth of product offerings, and staff turnover, it’s very difficult to keep staff properly trained up. That’s where The Manual and comes in.”

    Hosted on the Myagi online education platform, The Manual offers shop staff 24/7 access to instructional modules that include everything from intended-use scenarios to tech explanations and how-to instruction. The mix of videos and quizzes is designed to be entertaining and educational while slipping in glimpses of Santa Cruz culture, Becker noted.

    “Everybody from our CEO to people on the assembly line to our facilities staff rides bikes, which is why we use them as talent in our instruction modules,” Becker said. “In our Factory Settings videos, they tell the stories of the bikes really well because they live the story. Sure, it’s semi-scripted, but a lot of their personality and experience feeds the narratives as well.”

    In addition to Factory Settings, Santa Cruz will produce technology and brand videos biweekly to keep the content fresh.

    Shops can enroll either through their existing Myagi account or by contacting their inside or outside reps for enrollment instructions. Content is available in desktop format or by downloading the Myagi app from the Apple and Google app stores.

     


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Camber Outdoors has expanded its slate of Camber Exchange events, which connect individuals in the active-outdoor industries who share interests, career objectives and passion for the outdoors.

    Sponsored by CamelBak, Bell and Giro and locally hosted by Camber Outdoors partner companies, Camber Exchanges also provide an opportunity for hosting companies to showcase their employer brand to community members.

    “Year over year we have continued to build the Camber Exchange program to elevate the vision of ‘Everyone’s Outdoors’ through community engagement,” said Deanne Buck, executive director of Camber Outdoors. “We see value in expanding programming throughout new cities in the U.S. and into Canada with the support from our partner companies and Camber Exchange sponsors. Through Camber Exchanges, we are able to give leaders at our partner companies a platform for why and how they’re prioritizing women’s leadership as a business imperative.”

    The first 2018 Camber Exchange was held Tuesday, Feb. 20, in partnership with Outdoor Afro, an organization dedicated to celebrating and inspiring African American connections and leadership in nature, and was hosted at the Mountain Hardwear headquarters in Richmond, California.

    The first Camber Exchange to occur outside of the continental U.S. will be hosted by Arc’teryx in North Vancouver, British Columbia, on March 1.

    Camber Outdoors is slated to host 25 Camber Exchanges in 2018 in different locations across North America. The calendar is still being finalized, and will be posted to the Camber Outdoors website on an event-by-event basis.

    Camber Outdoors member companies interested in hosting a Camber Exchange can contact Camber Outdoors partnership manager Sallie Hoefer at sallie.hoefer@camberoutdoors.org.

     


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    SANTA MONICA, Calif. (BRAIN) — 2XU has expanded its partnership with USA Triathlon, making 2XU the organization’s exclusive cycling apparel partner. The company will continue to serve as the exclusive compression apparel partner and an official training apparel partner of the national governing body for triathlon.

    “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with USA Triathlon beyond just compression and training apparel to include team and custom wear for cycling,” said Kyle Martin, director of brand marketing and Communications at 2XU. “This alliance with USA Triathlon is an outstanding launch platform for our new, custom cycle range and a way to showcase our commitment to our triathlon heritage.”

    2XU will outfit members of the USA Triathlon and USA Paratriathlon National Teams with compression wear, cycling and training apparel. The company will also supply race R-shirts and other apparel giveaways at USA Triathlon’s four owned National Championship events: Duathlon, Collegiate Club & High School, Youth & Junior and Age Group (sprint and Olympic distance).

    USA Triathlon annual members will continue to receive a 20 percent discount on 2XU products, including compression tights, tops, socks and other training gear, and now including its full line of cycling apparel. A new co-branded product line will be available at usatstore.com.

    For more information, visit 2xu.com/us and usatriathlon.org.

     


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    SEATTLE — Consumer-direct e-bike brand EVELO Electric Bicycles is recruiting brick-and-mortar dealers in select markets for its new Demo Dealer Program.

    “The traditional retail sector has received a lot of bad publicity lately. We think the negativity is unfounded and we strongly believe in the spirit and the resilience of the IBDs and other industry retailers. They are the trusted experts in their communities and we hope to work with them closely through the new program,” said Alex Stegemann, EVELO’s director of sales

    For more than six years, EVELO has partnered with hundreds of bike shops across the U.S. to provide local service and repair. The company said the new Demo Dealer Program will enable EVELO to strengthen those relationships.

    “The EVELO Demo Dealer Program will be a low-risk and low-investment opportunity for a forward-thinking shop to start offering electric bikes to its customers or for a specialty e-bike retailer to supplement or expand its lineup,” EVELO managing director John O’Donnell said.

    For more information, visit evelodealers.com or call 877-300-7741.


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Ergon introduced its first women’s saddle with a women’s-only saddle demo and launch party at Sports Garage in Boulder in late January.

    Led by Karen Jarchow, Ergon’s U.S. assistant marketing director, the Boulder event was the first in a series of women’s tech and educational clinics focused on saddle and bike fit, featuring a hands-on presentation detailing the design process and attributes unique to Ergon's women’s line.

    “Our sales cycles are built exclusively on relationships, and women are not typically impulse buyers when it comes to gear,” said Elorie Slater, Sports Garage’s owner and marketing director. “If we continually focus on building the right environment with the right partners, the sales volume will follow.”

    Ergon’s Jarchow said: “We wanted to collaborate with a shop and owner who are connected and engaged with their community. The Ergon process of developing products is science-based and passion-driven. Aligning with groups with similar mind-sets was a deliberate approach that produced great results.”

    Ergon said its clinics are geared at providing women with the tools to make educated purchasing decisions. They also provide an opportunity for women to expand their own riding networks while meeting shop staff in a welcoming social environment, the company stated.

    Future events in the women’s saddle series include seminars at the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival from March 2-4, Sea Otter Classic from April 19-22, and a stand-alone event in Portland, Oregon, on a yet-to-be-determined date. 


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    GOLDEN, Colo. (BRAIN) — Colorado's Jefferson County has launched a one-year e-bike pilot program that will allow Class 1 e-bikes on natural surface trails and Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on paved trails within Jeffco Open Space.

    The Jeffco Open Space system includes 54,000 acres of preserved land, 28 parks and 236 miles of trails.

    During the pilot year, Jeffco Open Space will gather and log feedback specific to e-bikes as well as monitor for trail damage that could be attributed to e-bikes. The yearlong trial will allow staff to reassess official e-bike policy at the end of the 2018 pilot, officials said in an alert posted on its site.

    A Class 1 e-bike is defined as a pedal-assist bike equipped with a motor that activates only when the rider is pedaling, and ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches 20 mph. A Class 2 e-bike is a throttle-assisted bike equipped with a motor that may be used to propel the bicycle, and ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches 20 mph.

    Jefferson County officials said the pilot is in line with Colorado state regulations, which allow Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on paved trails. Colorado passed HB 17-1151 in April 2017, which defined three classes of e-bikes and required manufacturers to label e-bikes by class, and allowed the use of Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on bike or pedestrian paths where bikes are allowed.

    The bill gives local land management agencies the ability to determine e-bike use on trails under their jurisdiction.

    “The Jefferson County Transportation & Engineering Division recommends using the current state legislation for the use of e-bikes in Jefferson County right of way and county-managed paved trails and paths,” said Steve Durian, Jefferson County director of transportation and engineering. “Creating new regulations specific to Jefferson County that are different from those throughout the rest the state would create a confusion for cyclists using e-bikes to know and understand jurisdictional boundaries. E-bikes continue to grow in popularity and are becoming an effective way to encourage travelers to use bikes as an alternative to automobiles resulting in decreased traffic congestion and improved air quality.”

     


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    SQUAMISH, British Columbia (BRAIN) — The 7mesh WK2 women’s bib short is now in stores. The WK2 features Pull2P technology, providing the comfort and support of bib straps and the ease and simplicity of a pull-on. 

    The Pull2P retention system combines a supportive yoga-style waistband with softstretch bib straps. The straps are crossed at the back and located so the shorts can be pulled down for mid-ride pit stops without any unclipping, unzipping or undressing. 

    The WK2 includes many signature 7mesh technologies like Clean Finish Construction to eliminate chafe points, and raw edge leg hems with printed leg gripper for smooth and secure comfort. The matching WK2 Half Short evolves the original 7mesh women’s short with an updated fit, and both WK2 shorts use the women’s Elastic Interface Road Performance Max chamois launched in the original WK1.

    The WK2 retails for $150. More info at www.7meshinc.com.


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    PORTLAND, Ore. (BRAIN) — Benny Cruickshank has formed and launched a new marketing communications agency, Be Courteous Communications. The agency’s first clients include the Dutch brand Gazelle Bicycles and Boulder, Colorado-based RockyMounts. 

    Cruickshank has held marketing leadership positions at SRAM, Bell Helmets and True Communications. He most recently was the global communications manager and bike marketing manager at Smith Optics.

    “Taking the plunge into launching this agency has been humbling and gratifying,” Cruickshank said. “Be Courteous is uniquely positioned coupling my in-house brand experience with my agency experience, and I’m excited to work closely with my clients to build and deploy marketing strategies to accomplish their goals.”

    With both Gazelle Bicycles and RockyMounts, Be Courteous Communications will lead the development and execution of campaign calendars, manage day-to-day PR and media relations, and create and coordinate digital marketing efforts creating consistency across trade and consumer touch points.

    "Benny worked for us in our early days and we are happy to welcome him back to the RockyMounts' crew with his new venture, Be Courteous Communications,” said Bobby Noyes, RockyMounts founder. “His passion and understanding of marketing in our space will bring fresh concepts and better communication between our dealers, customers and RockyMounts."

    Ewoud van Leeuwen, Gazelle USA manager, added, “Benny’s marketing acumen comes highly regarded and respected, and Gazelle Bicycles is excited to add that expertise to our marketing efforts to drive brand and product awareness as we expand into the U.S. market with our electric bikes.”

    Be Courteous Communications will specialize in integrated brand marketing strategy and deployment, public and media relations support, digital marketing, experiential event and product launches, and influencer/ambassador programs.

    Cruickshank can be contacted at benny@be-courteous.com


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    Company forecasts flat sales of fitness products for 2018.

    OLATHE, Kan. (BRAIN) — Garmin reported Wednesday that fourth-quarter revenue rose 3 percent to $888 million driven by sales of outdoor, marine and aviation products. Revenue for the full fiscal year totaled $3.09 billion, up 2 percent.

    The company’s fitness segment, which includes cycling products, saw revenue tick up 1 percent during the quarter following declines the preceding three quarters. President and CEO Cliff Pemble said during an earnings call Wednesday that fitness revenue for the full year declined 7 percent “driven by the rapidly maturing market for basic activity trackers.”

    For 2018, Garmin is forecasting that fitness revenue will be flat “as growth in advanced wearables, cycling and children's trackers is offset by further declines in basic activity trackers,” Pemble said.

    For the fourth quarter, Garmin’s operating income rose 12 percent to $179 million. Full-year operating income totaled $669 million, up 7 percent.


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    TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Taichung Bike Week is moving to earlier dates this year. The show will be shortened to three days and be held September 26-28, 2018, just a week after Interbike’s Reno trade show and consumer festival.

    After the conclusion of last year’s event, the dates were up in the air. Wheel Giant surveyed visitors on their choice of dates with the options being Sept. 25-28, Oct. 27-30, or “other.” The earlier September dates would be a better fit for the earlier OE spec cycle, while the October dates would be more convenient for companies who wanted to attend both Bike Week and the Taipei Cycle Show, which runs Oct. 31 to Nov. 3.

    The new dates put Taichung Bike Week right after Interbike’s Reno show, scheduled for September 14-20.

    Taichung Bike Week began as an informal OE gathering where exhibitors rent hotel and banquet rooms and hold private meetings with product managers and others to finalize spec. Held in central Taiwan where most parts and accessories manufacturers are located, the weeklong event has grown steadily in size. Because of the convenient location, after discussions at the hotels buyers can go to suppliers’ factories for a tour and to hash out the details of purchases.

    In recent years Taichung Bike Week has attracted a number of aftermarket brands that want to show their latest wares, as well as distributors interested in growing their reach into Asian markets. It originally took place in December, but with each passing year, Taichung Bike Week has moved earlier and earlier. Last year’s show was Oct. 17-20 and drew close to 500 companies.

    After discussion between Taichung City government and the Taiwan Bicycle Association, and considering the opinions of companies in the industry, it was determined that the 2018 Taichung Bike Week would be shortened to three days and be held Sept. 26–28, 2018.

    Steve Fenton, CEO of Pro-Lite, had been the public face and unofficial organizer of Taichung Bike Week for years, but he’s no longer involved in the planning of TBW due to health issues and pressure to run his own business. 

    More information on Taichung Bike Week's website


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