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    Maier (left) with Smith.

    DAYTON, Ohio (BRAIN) — Huffy Bicycles has announced a new line of bikes to be sold exclusively through IBDs: Batch Bicycles.

    "I asked my team to find the white space," said Huffy CEO Bill Smith. "Dealers told me there are opportunities for incremental business, in between the high end of mass-market bikes and the low end of specialty bikes. Huffy is in a unique position to leverage its strengths and provide that. 

    "We're a well-run company with 126 years of bicycle experience and significant buying power. We don't carry overhead of mainstream IBD brands, such as the costs of a large sales force, catalogs, race team sponsorships and floor financing. We're able to make a well-spec'd product, and offer dealers great margins, without the need for minimum buys, presale commitments, inventory requirements or complicated discount structures," he added.

    Smith began a dialogue with IBDs after attending 2017's IBD Summit and Bicycle Leadership Conference. In a panel discussion at the IBD Summit, Smith said Huffy faced many of the same challenges as the IBD industry. He also began recruiting IBDs to act as Huffy warranty service centers. Huffy launched a new Service Center program in 2018.  

    Batch Bicycles is being run by industry veteran Bruno Maier, who rejoined Huffy and parent company United Wheels last year. The brand will launch five categories of bicycles at Interbike in September: a comfort bike, a commuter model, a beach cruiser, a mountain bike and kids' bikes, all made with aluminum frames and spec'd with Shimano drivetrains and double-walled aluminum rims.

    The company told BRAIN it will announce the bikes' pricing at a later date.

    "Batch Bicycles will be differentiated by product quality and by price," Maier said. "They are crafted with purpose, and we will streamline the cataloging, ordering and delivery process via a mobile app that allows dealers to order a single bike at a time, and have it shipped to their shop within two to three days."

    Maier, the managing director of new business for United Wheels, also was involved that company's purchase of Niner Bicycles earlier this year. While Huffy and Niner are both owned by Hong Kong-based United Wheels, the two U.S. brands are operated separately. 

    For Batch Bicycles dealer inquiries, please email info@batchbicycles.com.

     


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    SANTA MONICA, Calif. (BRAIN) — A potential buyer may breathe new life into popular bike rental platform Spinlister, which announced last month that it would shut down. The tech company, which launched as a peer-to-peer bike rental program and went on to offer a dockless bike share program and bike rental and demo management software for bike shops, has received multiple offers from companies interested in acquiring its assets, according to CEO Marcelo Loureiro.

    "Unfortunately, I can't speak right now ... I am currently under an NDA and I can't share any information at this point," he said in an email to BRAIN. "After our closing announcement we received multiple offers from companies interested in acquiring our assets or engage in partnerships to keep the service alive."

    Loureiro announced Spinlister's shutdown in a farewell message on the company's website in late March, and emailed retailers to tell them of the planned shutdown. At the time, he said the company wasn't able to raise new funding to keep the business going. Loureiro was an investor in Spinlister when it launched in 2012 and later invested further and became CEO.

    In its short existence the service signed up several retailers, who hailed it for its simplicity of use and integration with POS providers.

    "It was a great system," Joseph Nocella, owner of 718 Cyclery in Brooklyn, New York, told BRAIN this week. "They took a 17 to 18 percent cut from each rental, but we handled the pricing and didn't have to do a damn thing. We didn't need to run a credit card for the full deposit on a bike or other crazy things with rentals. It was a great way to post the bikes we had. The software was great and they were really responsive.

    "It was almost too good to be true," he added. "It integrated with our POS system, which is Litespeed. There was no downside at all. It's rare you get to say that. It was convenient."

    Other bike rental software companies have reached out to Nocella since. And bike rental software companies that BRAIN reached out to this week all said they've fielded a lot of inquiries from bike shops since Spinlister's announcement, as they try to find a replacement before the busy rental season kicks off.

    This is a developing story. Make sure to turn to BRAIN's May 1 issue for an in-depth look at the bike rental software market.


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    Show organizers say they have commitments from Cannondale, Pivot Cycles, KHS and other major bike brands.

    SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Registration for retailers, distributors and media opened Thursday for this year's Interbike Marketweek, Meanwhile, show organizers have announced a growing list of exhibitors for the event, which includes the Northstar Free-Ride Festival, the OutDoor Demo and the indoor expo, all in the Reno-Tahoe area from Sept. 14-20. 

    Cannondale, KHS Bicycles, Marin Bikes, Bianchi, Pivot Cycles, Haro Bikes, Open Cycle and others are among the bike brands that will be exhibiting at one or more of the Interbike Marketweek events, while parts & accessories brands like Wahoo Fitness, Thule, Park Tool, Abus, Garmin, Stan's NoTubes, Assos, SRAM, Canari Cycle Wear and others will participate as well. Early electric bike brands that committed include Raleigh Electric, iZip, Bulls, Yamaha Power Assist Bicycles, BOSCH, myStromer and more.

    "Many participants think, first, of the trade show Interbike offers — but make no mistake, we're vested in making decisions and bringing content to Interbike that help independent bicycle retailers survive and grow, and our partner brands are all equally vested," said Pat Hus, the vice president of Interbike. "The ROI from gathering, networking, learning, seeing innovations, testing new product and more — over the course of a few days — is hard to dispute. The value of face-to-face interaction is so important, and we're confident that the new Interbike experience will deliver an environment that's conducive to growing the business of bicycles."

    Organizers said this year's event, the first outside of Las Vegas in several years, will have increased focus on product demonstrations, enhanced educational content, and a "smaller-town feel."

    Hus urged all attendees to book flights and hotel as early as possible to take advantage of lower rates. The show also announced that it will be running free shuttles for Interbike attendees, on the following routes:

    • Between the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and the hotels in the Interbike block
    • Between the hotels in the Interbike block and the Reno-Sparks Convention Center
    • Between the Reno-Sparks Convention Center and the Northstar California Resort

    Attendees can register for Interbike Marketweek at www.interbike.com.

     


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    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (BRAIN) — VP Components will begin producing bicycle grips made from molded liquid silicone rubber (LSR) in a new production facility focused on applying the material both in and out of the bicycle industry, the company announced Wednesday.

    VP said its SiMO grips made from LSR will be a first for the bicycle industry. “SiMO grips will offer a significantly higher coefficient of friction in both wet and dry conditions without having to resort to sticky coatings,” the company stated in a release. “SiMO grips have a ‘soft touch’ feel on par with today’s high-end consumer goods and can be produced in many micro-finishes and textures to enhance both their look and function. SiMO grips are 10x more UV and Gamma stable than current materials. SiMO grips can match any Pantone color code and are nearly impossible to mark or stain, so they will stay fresh and clean for as long as they are in use- even in bright white.”

    LSR is used in the medical and electronics fields for its mechanical properties, non-toxic safety and unlimited color palette, according to VP. 

    Demo SiMO grips will available at next week’s Sea Otter Classic (Booth 866) for consumers, retailers and OEM product managers to try. “We will have two distinct lock-on grips to try, one  for MTB and another for city riding, as well as a third slide-on grip for general use,” VP stated. 

    More information about the grips and LSR tech is available at the VP Components website

     


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    BOZEMAN, Mont. (BRAIN) — Terrene Tires has added the Chunk 2.6 to its lineup. The trail tire will be available in 27.5-inch and 29-inch sizes in two different constructions.

    The 2.6-inch size complements Terrene's existing 2.3-inch Chunk model.

    "For me, Chunk 2.6 was the ability to apply five years of tire design and a lifetime of riding into a tire. It was everything that I wanted in a tire," said Terrene's designer, Anders Broste. "While it was what I wanted, it was also driven by feedback from the people I respect the most. Four iterations and feedback from many riders has resulted in a tire that I'm most excited for and proud of.

    "Control and confidence is what this tire was designed to inspire—all while pushing personal limits," said Broste. "From a design standpoint I wanted to make the transition time from center to edge shorter and give more support to the outer edges by increasing the block size and support to give confidence in cornering at speed. The center knobs were also beefed up to increase breaking and acceleration."

    Terrene makes each of its tire models available in two different constructions: Light and Tough. The Chunk 2.6 will retail for $75.

    More information: Terrenetires.com


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    LONG BEACH, Calif. (BRAIN) — ACT Lab, an independent third-party laboratory that conducts safety and compliance testing for the bike and outdoor industries, has added bike industry veteran Phil Bash to its global sales team.

    Bash previously worked at Polar Bottle as sales director, where he managed domestic, international, and custom/OEM sales. He has more than ten years' experience in the bicycle and outdoor industries.

    "Phil's supply-side experience with manufacturers in China, combined with his knowledge of consumer product compliance planning is ideal for this role," said ACT's president, John Bogler.

    At ACT Lab, Bash will manage key global accounts, with a special focus on China sales through ACT Taicang, the largest of ACT's Asia-based laboratories. The company additionally has labs in Long Beach, Calif., and Taichung, Taiwan, where it conducts product evaluation, research and development, auditing, and quality control services.

    "Phil will take charge of sales in China and help our existing and new customers with the critical testing they need, whether they are sourcing products in China for export to North America, Europe or other regions, or manufacturing and selling products domestically within the Chinese market," Bogler said.

    ACT Lab's sales team now consists of more than a dozen people worldwide.

    Bash is based in Boulder, Colorado, and can be reached at pbash@act-lab.com


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    New for 2018, Vittoria’s Velar road shoe.

    Editor’s note: This article appears in the festival guide for this year’s Sea Otter Classic, which starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. Visit bicycleretailer.com later this week for on-site coverage from Laguna Seca.

    MONTEREY, Calif. (BRAIN) — The Italian Pavilion returns to Sea Otter for a second year. The Pavilion brings Italian brands together to show their bikes, apparel, helmets, accessories and more — all in one place. Many of the products on display here are made in Italy.

    Eleven brands are exhibiting alongside the Italian Trade Agency, which promotes Italian manufacturing and design and connects brands with new business opportunities around the world. The ITA office in Los Angeles made it possible once again for these companies to make the trip to Laguna Seca. 

    “We’ve always gotten so many requests from companies to do Sea Otter, and last year our office finally said yes,” said Nighisti Egziabher, marketing/promotions officer for the ITA’s Los Angeles office. “This year, I could have filled more space if I had the budget. The companies really want to be at Sea Otter. It’s not a trade show, and Italian brands are used to interacting with the consumer because in Europe it’s common to go where the consumer is. So an event like Sea Otter is really attractive.”

    Vittoria (Booth 474) is returning to the Pavilion this year to show its Velar road shoe, which is new for 2018. It’s made in Italy with a microfiber upper with laser-cut nano holes for breathability, uses a Boa IP1 closure and is built on Vittoria’s new Forged Carbon Technology sole. The company said the FCT sole reduces weight by 28 percent compared with standard carbon soles, making it one of the lightest shoes on the market. The Velar is available now at Vittoria dealers in four colors for $499.99. While the company isn’t selling Velar models at Sea Otter, it has a full size run available for customers to try on and is selling some discontinued models at its booth.

    Italian e-bike brand Fantic (Booths 475-482) is at Sea Otter to show two new models, including the XF1 Integra Enduro 180 full-suspension e-MTB. Designed for enduro racing, it’s built on a 180-millimeter-travel frame with a 29-inch front wheel and a a 27.5-inch wheel out back and is powered by Brose’s new Drive S motor and Fantic’s 630-watt battery. It’s available at retail now for $7,990. 

    Also on display is Fantic’s carbon Passo Giau Carbon road e-bike. Weighing in at 28 pounds, the Passo Giau is powered by a Fazua Midmount motor and retails for $6,999. Size medium models are available now, with more sizes coming this summer. 

    Sidi (Booth 478) is also back in the Pavilion to show its new entry-level road shoe, the Alba Carbon. It features a Millennium 4 carbon sole and Sidi’s Tecno 3 Precision ratchet closure for easier on-the-bike adjustments, and an adjustable instep closure ensures a secure custom fit. It has an external, reinforced heel cup for a superior fit and power transfer. It’s available now for $199.99 in five colors. 

    Astute’s new Mud Line saddle was designed for long days on rough terrain. Astute Saddles(Booth 480) tested its new Mud Line saddle on the tough courses of the Enduro World Series. The Mud Line’s saddle construction combines all-new design templates with three international patents, using a lightweight nylon carbon shell and titanium rails. It also has specific padding and compact sizing, and Astute’s Bumper Defense System helps to protect the saddle’s premium microfiber cover. It’s available now for $189.99 in six colors. 

    Suomy (Booth 479) returns to the Italian Pavilion this year and is showing off its line of cycling helmets, including Gun Wind road racing helmet, which takes its name from the company’s winning motorcycle racing helmet. Like all Suomy helmets, the Gun Wind is made in Italy. It has 25 ventilation holes in variable directions to optimize airflow. The Suomy Minimum Contact System creates a gap between the head and the helmet for maximum comfort, and it has a bi-directional adjustment system with five vertical positions and an adjustable rear fit system with five vertical and two horizontal settings. Small and medium sizes weigh in at 230 grams, and large and extra large at 250 grams. It’s available now for $224.99.

    Italian travel company Tourissimo is exhibiting for the first time at Sea Otter at Booth 477. The company offers cultural, active vacations in Italy, with most of its tours done by bike. Tourissimo is promoting its Chef Bike Tours at its booth. These tours combine food and cycling, taking routes that visit significant production areas in Italy, engaging chefs and linking food and territory for riders of most cycling levels. 

    Each tour includes a chef-rider from North America whose role is to facilitate the understanding of practical and cultural aspects of local gastronomy, including celebrity chefs Mary Sue Milliken and “Top Chef” season 14 winner Brooke Williamson and her husband, Nick Roberts. Upcoming tours visit Sicily, Emiglia Romagna and Piedmont. Stop by the booth to see how you can eat and ride your way through Italy with Tourissimo.

    You can also see bikes from Cipollini, apparel from Alé and DMT footwear at Booths 483 and 484. Selle San Marco is displaying its saddles in Booth 473, and distributor Albabici will be showing an array of Italian parts, accessories and components at Booth 476. 

     

     

     


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    GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (BRAIN) — Mountain Racing Products has hired industry veteran Rob Aguero to its sales team. Aguero has previously worked for Pivot Cycles, Reynolds Cycling, and Magura USA in various sales and marketing-focused roles. He will serve as manager of sales and business development.

    The company said Aguero will focus on further accelerating MRP's North American aftermarket sales growth and expanding its OEM presence.

    "I look forward to having Rob as part of our sales team. We are seeing a lot of growth right now and want to make sure that we are not only driving that growth but are also focused on creating the most value for our current and future customers. Rob's experience and his natural talents will not only strengthen our internal team, but also increase the level of collaboration that we can provide to our customers. It's a fun time to be part of MRP and I am excited to work with Rob," said Tim Fry, the president and owner of MRP.

    "I've known Rob for over a decade and I'm over the moon that we'll now be working together to take MRP to the next level," said MRP's brand manager Noah Sears. "The suspension side of the business has been going gangbusters since the launch of the Ribbon fork and got a healthy shot in the arm following the "Suspension Product of the Year" Award we received from Pinkbike in December. To only say I'm excited by the prospect of what Rob's talents and connections hold for the line's sales potential is a gross understatement."

    Aguero said, "Both the team and products at MRP are highly respected in the industry and I feel privileged and excited to be a part of it all. I'm looking forward to meeting MRP's customers and fans this week at the Sea Otter Classic and getting to know the full staff in Grand Junction in the coming weeks." 

    Mountain Racing Products owns and produces MRP mountain bike drivetrain and suspension products, Kreitler Rollers, Tamer seatposts, and Power Grips pedal systems.


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    BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (BRAIN) — QBP has recently promoted Jessica Grenwis to fill its vice president of marketing role and hired Bill Schouman to fill its vice president of sales role. The company said the two will work closely together to further integrate QBP's sales and marketing initiatives.

    Grenwis has been with QBP in various marketing leadership roles since 2016. She has an MBA and more than a decade of marketing experience with her previous employer, Data Sciences International. She is also an avid cyclist and runner.

    Schouman comes to QBP with more than 20 years of sales experience in the bicycle industry including working at Trek, then Specialized for over 10 years and most recently working at Cervelo as the director of sales. 

    "Both of these hires have shown incredible leadership in their respective fields and possess the knowledge and drive that it takes to have a positive impact on how we do business with retailers and suppliers," said the president of QBP, Rich Tauer. "I see them both being great assets to QBP."


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    The Amer Sports brand also announces new positions for Pantone, Nielson, and Points.

    OGDEN, Utah (BRAIN) — ENVE has announced that Jeremy Venz will move into the position of managing director. He has served as the company's COO since July 2017.

    In his new role, Venz will oversee all day-to-day business operations. The company has also announced promotions for Jake Pantone, Scott Nielson and Ronnie Points.

    Sarah Lehman, ENVE's president, will focus on long-term strategy and company culture.

    "ENVE's goal is to be the most reliable partner to the industry and continue to deliver consumer-driven, innovative products and services, which is only possible with an exceptionally capable and talented leadership team," said Lehman. "Jeremy, Jake, Scott and Ronnie's years of operational experience, commitment to innovation, and track record of delivering best-in-class products and customer experiences, make us ideally situated to deliver on this promise."

    Before his time as COO, Venz was CFO and a founding member of the company. Before joining ENVE he worked for an international company as well as one included in the S & P 500 index. He holds a Master's Degree in Accounting and is an avid cyclist.

    Other changes for the company, which is owned by Amer Sports: 

    • Jake Pantone has been promoted from marketing director to vice president of product and consumer experience. He is responsible for product planning, strategy, marketing and consumer touch points. Pantone joined the company in 2007 and has been involved with product development, consumer service, and marketing.
    • ENVE's vice president of research & development and engineering, Scott Nielson, will assume oversight of quality. Since 2012, Nielson has lead the team responsible for designing and developing ENVE's product line.
    • Ronnie Points, the director of sales for North America, has been named ENVE's U.S. regional commercial director, overseeing industry, dealer and customer sales and service. 

    The company said, "In 2017 ENVE celebrated its 10th Anniversary and moved into a state of the art facility that allowed expanded production capabilities, testing, engineering, and prototyping all under one roof. Under Venz's watch as Chief Operating Officer, ENVE has seen significant improvement in lead times and deliveries. Looking to the future, he will be instrumental in maintaining the company's status as a market-leader in wheel and component technology, growing key industry relations, expanding brand reach in new markets, and continuing to be a major employer in the state of Utah."


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    LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (BRAIN) — Yakima Products worked with fellow Oregon-based company Poler Stuff to offer its new limited edition version of the SkyRise rooftop tent.

    The Yakima X Poler SkyRise is a new take on Yakima's tent, featuring Poler's signature "fuzzy camo" pattern.

    "We're longtime fans of Poler and their down-to-earth vibe, original style and Portland roots. Like Yakima, they're all about getting outdoors your own way," said Summer Henderson, brand director at Yakima. "It's been fun to combine our strengths and blend Poler's unique style sense with our rack design expertise. Together, the Yakima X Poler SkyRise is the ideal set-up for the ultimate adventure mobile."

    The SkyRise tent sets up in minutes and turns any terrain into an overnight home that sleeps three.

    The light tent body is made of 210d nylon, with a removable cover for a view of the night sky, plus a wall-to-wall 2.5-inch thick foam mattress. The tent has a tool-free vehicle mount, aluminum poles and included SKS Lock Cores to secure the tent to a roof rack. It includes a ladder and all hardware and retails for $1,600. 

    "We've been waiting for the perfect opportunity to partner with Yakima, and the SkyRise blew us away. It's our ideal for outdoor living: it's fun, eye-catching and original, and it makes you want to get out there," said Benji Wagner, Poler's founder. "It was really cool to collaborate with them and find a way to add some Poler flare to the rooftop tent."

    To celebrate the launch, Yakima and Poler are promoting a Spring Adventuremobile Giveaway. The contest runs through the end of May and can be found at yakima.com. 

    The Yakima X Poler SkyRise is available starting this month through Yakima and Polerstuff.com and Poler's company stores. at yakima.com and select specialty retailers, as well as polerstuff.com and the brand's flagship stores in Portland, Oregon and Laguna, California.

     

     


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    LEVIS, Quebec and LEXINGTON, S.C. (BRAIN) — Hawley has hired three new sales representatives covering territories in the Eastern United States.

    Covering Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Anthony Acierno comes to Hawley after a decade of covering the same territory for J&B. He can be reached at aacierno@hawleyusa.com, and via phone at 330-518-7043.

    Representing Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland, Jayson Cisak joins the Hawley team with years of bicycle retail experience in addition to account management experience from American Bicycle Group. He can be reached at jcisak@hawleyusa.com, and via phone at 757-323-6873.

    Rick Bartels brings over a decade of bicycle territory sales experience to the Southern Virginia and Eastern Carolinas region. Bartels has a history in the region selling Trek and other well-known brands. He can be reached at rbartels@hawleyusa.com, and via phone at 757-291-2672.

    "Anthony, Jayson and Rick bring a wealth of experience with them to Hawley," said Brian McKinney, Eastern Region sales manager for Hawley-Lambert. "As individuals they align well with our values and are each committed to providing the kind of service we seek to provide — service that equips our retail partners for success."


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    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (BRAIN) — Hi-Torque Publications has promoted Mountain Bike Action's Joe Mackey to managing editor. Mackey previously was assistant editor. In his new role Mackey will oversee editorial content on all of MBA's media platforms as well as build and maintain relationships within and outside the cycling industry.

    Brandon Castelli, assistant editor, is also assuming a larger role in content production and industry relations.

    These changes follow the resignation of MBA editor Mike Wirth, who Hi-Torque said is moving on to pursue other ventures.

    Wirth became editor of MBA in July 2014 following the departure of longtime editor Jim "Mac" McIlvain. Before joining MBA, Wirth worked for Fox Racing Shox and Titus Cycles, where he served as a key account manager and field technician. He has also run the service departments for several retailers in Boulder, Colorado.

    In addition to these changes, Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee Zapata Espinoza has stepped in to help oversee editorial content and will be contributing to MBA's efforts. Fellow Hall of Fame inductee John Ker will continue in his role as staff photographer and assistant editor.

    Long-time publisher of Mountain Bike Action Italy, Gian Paolo Galloni, will assume the role of tech editor of the magazine, as well as help expand MBA's worldwide presence.


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    Date: 
    Start:May 21, 2018
    End:May 25, 2018
    Location: Kansas City

    Bicycle Retailer editors will visit bike shops in the Kansas City region this week to learn about what's selling, how business is doing so far this year and learn about local and regional sales trends. BRAIN will be joined by sponsors for the week and report findings in its June 15 issue, as well as online and social media. 


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    EMMAUS, Pa. (BRAIN) — Leah Flickinger has left Bicycling magazine, where she had been editor in chief since last April, following a long career with Rodale.

    On social media, Flickinger said her last day at the title, now owned by Hearst, was Friday.

    "My position was eliminated after Hearst bought Rodale earlier this year, and though I could have stayed on in a different capacity, after 21 years at the same company, it feels like the right time to explore something new," she wrote on her Facebook page.

    Flickinger joined Rodale in its book publishing division, where she rose to senior editor. From 2007-2010 she served as deputy editor at Women's Health. She became Bicycling's executive editor in 2010 and took over as editor-in-chief when Bill Strickland, who previously held that role, was promoted to editorial director. 

    Her work has been recognized with two National Magazine Award nominations, as well as inclusion in The Best American Sports Writing.

    "I’m feel fortunate to have worked with so many incredible writers, photographers, and other content creators over the years who share my geeky love for storytelling in all its forms, and to have met so many fantastic people in the cycling industry who share my geeky love for bikes. Yeah, I’ll miss a few things. But I’m genuinely stoked to have had the opportunity to lead such a great brand—and I’m just as stoked to find out what’s next," she wrote. 

     


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    The Woom 2 14-inch-wheel model sells for $339.

    Editor's note: This article appears in the festival guide for this year's Sea Otter Classic, which starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. Visit bicycleretailer.com later this week for on-site coverage from Laguna Seca.

    MONTEREY, Calif. (BRAIN) — The big news in kids' bikes at this year's Sea Otter Classic is a host of new bikes with 26- and 27.5-inch wheels that allow kids beginning to outgrow their 24-inch bikes to have a slight step up in size but still keep kid geometry, kid-size components and kid-friendly light weight.

    And many companies are launching higher-end kids' mountain lines, generally priced $1,000 and up, that get lightweight air-sprung forks, hydraulic disc brakes, 1-by drivetrains and light 24- or 26-inch wheels and tires.
    "A lot of today's parents grew up during the growth of mountain biking. We now have a generation of parents who have been mountain biking their entire lives and they want to engage their children in mountain biking and know how important a quality bike is," said Jacob

    Rheuban, founder of Prevelo Bikes (Booth 318). The Southern California company is launching its upscale Zulu Series of bikes at the festival.

    Don't worry that these new bikes may price you out of the market — the lines are additions to bikes most of the companies showed at Sea Otter last year in the $200-$600 range.

    Frog Bikes' (Booths 906 and 907) Push the Limits line not only has upmarket 24- and 26-inch mountain bikes priced around $800, but also the Frog 78, a $540 lightweight 26-inch hybrid bike for bombing urban terrain.
    Cleary Bikes (Booth 327) is introducing two mountain bikes: the $840 Scout 24-inch and $860 Scout 26-inch. Both bikes get a butted chromoly frame, Shimano Deore 1-by-10 drivetrain, Suntour XCR Air Fork, tubeless-compatible tires and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. The $560 Cleary Meerkat is a fully rigid steel bike that appeals to parents who want a rugged ride for the kids with little to go wrong.

    "Kids deserve decent equipment, and parents will spend more for good gear when they see the value of the purchase rather than just the price. Our bikes last through three or more kids all the time. After the fourth year of use the original purchase price looks like a killer deal," said Jeff Cleary, Cleary Bikes' founder.

    The Early Rider T24 Works Edition aluminum hardtail is outfitted with a mix of SRAM and Ritchey components and lightweight Maxxis trail tires. It retails for ,299.

    Early Rider's (Booths 155 and 157) $1,299 T24 Works Edition is as high end as many adult bikes. The aluminum hardtail features a mix of SRAM and Ritchey components as well as lightweight Maxxis trail tires. The W16, a $549 16-inch mountain bike with TRP Spyre disc brakes and low-maintenance singlespeed belt drive, suits kids around 4 or 5 years old.

    And Early Rider's $399 U16 is a similar bike for mellower trails and the street — same belt drive but with rim brakes and a sub-9-pound weight. The company also offers a line of wood and alloy balance bikes.

    Woom Bikes (Booths 845 and 846) is back this year with one of the easiest model lines to understand: The Woom 1 is a $199 balance bike; the Woom 2 is a $339 14-inch-wheel bike; and the $369 Woom 3 has 16-inch wheels. The $449 Woom 4 rolls on 20-inch wheels and is the same price as the 24-inch Woom 5, while the $499 Woom 6 has 26-inch wheels. The company is also showing some new accessories this year like locks and lights to match its bikes.

    Islabikes (Booths 359 and 361) was one of the first brands to offer quality kids' bikes. Given Islabikes' history, it's not surprising it's one of the first to offer a bike built around 27.5-inch wheels for kids who have outgrown their 26-inch bike.

    The pavement-orientated Beinn 2, replaces the Beinn 26 and sells for $650. The company offers adult Beinns so parents can keep up with the kids, and all Beinns take up to 2.1-inch-wide mountain tires to head off road.
    Islabikes sponsors a kids' cyclocross race series that draws more than 500 racers ages 2 to 10 years. So if cyclocross is your passion and you want to introduce your kids to the sport, this is your company. Islabikes has a new line of 'cross tires in 24-inch, 26-inch and 700c sizes, perfect for its Luath Pro 24 and Luath Pro 26 kid-size 'cross racers.

    Islabikes' 24-inch Luath is ready for 'cross race duty.

    If you have a nice 26-inch mountain bike hanging in the garage seeing little use, a way for a parent to provide a high-end ride on the cheap for a kid is to buy a Trailcraft Cycles (Booth 426) frame like the $1,450 full-suspension Maxwell or $699 Big Mesa or $599 Timber hardtails. These framesets allow parents to swap parts off on older bike to a kid-friendly frame.

    The three frames are sized for 26-inch wheels and come in extra-small. The Big Mesa even takes a 26-plus tire or standard 27.5, for more tire versatility. Trailcraft's 140- and 152-millimeter kid-length cranks start at $80.

    "We also will be running a few limited-edition builds on the Pineridge 24 and Maxwell 24 with custom matching-color Stan's Crest MK3 wheelsets," said Ginger Rosenbauer, Trailcraft's owner.

    Most of these kids' brands are set up to demo this year. So let the kids demo the bike of their dreams along with you. There are a variety of loops to fit a variety of riding skills here at Sea Otter.

    Buddy Pegs, creators of art and story books featuring wacky animals riding bicycles, is holding scavenger hunts during the expo. So if riding a demo on the loops doesn't seem like fun, there is plenty going on for kids at Buddy Pegs (Booth 915).

     


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    2018 Wholesale Bike Sell-in by Category

    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The U.S. bike industry saw a slight uptick in wholesale sell-in in the first quarter, driven by increases in sales of e-bikes, gravel bikes, and BMX. The dollar value of the bikes sold in to retailers in the first quarter was $229 million, up 2.4 percent from the same period last year.

    In unit sales, the industry saw a decline of 9.3 percent in the quarter, with the steepest decline seen in the transit/fitness bike segment, which was down nearly 21,000 units compared to the first quarter in 2017.

    The numbers are from the Bicycle Product Supplier Association's quarterly sell-in report compiled by The NPD Group.

    As has been the case for several years, e-bike sales bolstered the report. Electric bikes accounted for 9.8 percent of all wholesale bike sales in the first quarter, up from 5.5 percent of the total market in the same quarter last year. Wholesalers sold in 11,562 of the bikes, worth a total of $22.4 million, or an average of $1,941 per bike. In the big picture, the high average price of e-bikes helped offset the unit decline in the transit/fitness segment, were the average unit price is just $311.

    Of the bike categories tracked, e-bikes have the third highest average price, behind 29-inch mountain bikes (average price $2,245) and triathlon bikes (average price $2,191). However, the 29er and triathlon categories are both relatively small and both were down in the first quarter, while the e-bike category was up 81 percent in dollars and 86 percent in units.

    Other subcategories that showed strength were road bikes the BPSa categorizes as "Other" and "Cyclocross," which includes varied multi-surface drop bar bikes (there is not a "gravel bike" category). Together these two subcategories saw $28.9 million in wholesale sales in the quarter, up from $10.1 million last year. Other road subcategories were down, with the critical Men's Road category down 15 percent in dollars and 25 percent in units. But thanks to the growth in Other and Cyclocross, the overall road bike category was up 12 percent in dollars and flat in units, totaling $68.6 million dollars.

    The mountain bike category as a whole was down 6 percent in dollars and 12 percent in units. Just two mountain bike subcategories saw growth: 27.5 inch bikes, up 9 percent in dollars and down 1.4 percent in units; and 29-inch/27.5-plus bikes, up nearly 50 percent in dollars, but still a very small category, with only 2,100 units counted this year. The overall mountain bike category totaled $77.3 million, still the largest of the major categories.

    BMX also continued its resurgence, with dollar sales up 38 percent and unit sales up 29 percent in the quarter. With an average unit price of just $244 and with 16,600 units sold, BMX remains a relatively small part of the pie, with the category's sales totaling $4.3 million.


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    SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Interbike has announced the initial wave of content and schedule for the IBD Summit at Interbike, the retail education track at the Interbike show this fall. The show said it sought to bring the same level of speakers that used to appear at the IBD Summit in its previous format, when it was held in Arizona in the winter. 

    Pat Hus, the vice president of Interbike, said, "We consulted with our Retailer Advisory Board, the NBDA and many others on the topics, and are confident that the sessions will be impactful for attendees. Our investment in education has grown substantially, and we encourage the IBD community to review the sessions and attend."

    Risha Grant, the founder & CEO of Risha Grant LLC, an award-winning diversity consulting and communications firm, will speak with retailers about marketing to a diverse and inclusive audience.

    Melanie DePaoli, an author and national speaker on topics about brand building, customer experience, and social media, will present her "Mastering the Social Media Experience" program for independent bicycle retailers.

    Richard Hadden, a leadership and management consultant who focuses on creating great places to work, will present a session titled, "How to Attract, Hire and Retain the Best Employees."

    David Mead is part of global, best-selling author Simon Sinek's Start With Why organization, specializing in organizational culture and leadership. He will present two sessions at Interbike 2018: Start With Why, followed by Leaders Eat Last – both of which will inspire the audience to take action and build a strong culture within their organization.

    "These five sessions alone are so relevant to my business and to many IBD's across the country," said Brandee Lepak, co-owner of Global Bikes and the NBDA's Board Chair. "It's great to see Interbike integrating The IBD Summit into the expo in Reno, as it gives more retailers a chance to learn from some incredibly impactful experts – but this time at no charge and part of the general curriculum."

    More information on these sessions including the education schedule to-date can be found on the Interbike website.

    Interbike Marketweek will take place in the Reno Tahoe region beginning with the Northstar Free-Ride Festival in North Lake Tahoe, CA, September 14-16, 2018 (with bike demos taking place on September 15-16). OutDoor Demo will run from September 16-17, 2018 for members of the trade, followed by the Interbike Expo in Reno, NV on September 18-20, 2018.

     


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    MONTEREY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Cane Creek Cycling Components will be showing off a new titanium crankset at the Sea Otter Classic expo this week. The company says the eeWings crankset weighs 400 grams, about the same as carbon cranks, but is stiffer and more durable.

    The cranks have a 10 year limited warranty and will retail for $999. 

    "Through the course of aggressive riding, you invariably hit your cranks against rocks and other trail features, which causes structural damage to carbon cranks and can lead to them breaking," said Sam Anderson, product manager for Cane Creek. "Titanium just brushes those hits off so the eeWings can withstand a lot more abuse than other high-end cranks and not end up structurally compromised or broken. At the same time, they are incredibly stiff so more of the energy you put into each pedal stroke makes it to the back wheel and helps push you down the trail."

    The cranks have a titanium 30mm spindle and are compatible with BSA73mm, PF92/PF89.5, 392EVO bottom brackets as well as PF30 and BB30 bottom brackets with outboard bearing configurations. The eeWings also include an new CNC machined aluminum preloader that is compatible with other high-end 30mm spindle cranks. The company said the preloader provides a more durable solution than the plastic preloaders on the market.

    "When we first set out to make a crankset we knew we wanted to create something that really pushed boundaries and deserved the ee designation," said Brent Graves, president and CEO of Cane Creek. "That meant not cutting a single corner, using the best materials regardless of cost and holding ourselves to the highest standards of testing and design, We've done those things and it's resulted in a truly exceptional product that we're all very proud of."

    The eeWings were developed in collaboration with components designer Craig Edwards and represent the first major expansion to Cane Creek's line of ee products. Edwards joined the Cane Creek team in October of 2016 as part of an exclusive deal for the company to take over manufacturing and distribution of his ultra-light eeBrake.

    In the 1990s Edwards designed the Sweetwings, a hollow steel crankset that has something of a cult following now.

    The new cranks come in a brushed titanium finish with a minimalistic laser-etched graphic on the face of the crank.

    "In addition to allowing the titanium to take center stage aesthetically, this simple design will allow riders to use Scotch-Brite or a similar abrasive to remove small scratches and blemishes that accumulate in the finish over time and use," the company said. 

    They will be available in late April.

    More information: canecreek.com.


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    CORONA DEL MAR, Calif. (BRAIN) — A celebration of life service will be held this Friday for Eli Eipper, a bike industry veteran who died April 7 after being struck by an alleged drunken driver on March 18.

    Eipper, who would have turned 35 on Monday, was a retailer and former territory manager and new business development coordinator at Highway Two. He also worked in research & development for Nuclear Pickle, a skateboard manufacturer.

    According to his CaringBridge page, Eipper and a friend were driving home late on March 18 on Highway 5 when they pulled over because of car trouble. They were standing outside the car when another car slammed into them, throwing Eipper down an embankment. The driver stopped and the friend was able to stop a highway patrol vehicle who took Eipper to a trauma center and detained the other driver.

    The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, friends make a gift to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers at madd.donordrive.com/campaign/eli-eipper.

    The celebration of life ceremony is at Pacific View Memorial Chapel at 10 a.m. Friday, April 20. A reception will follow in the Del Mar Room.

     

     


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