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    The Blue Moon bike museum.

    SYCAMORE, Ill. (BRAIN) — The Krate Fest — a celebration of Schwinn Stingrays and other classic bikes — has been around longer than Blue Moon Bikes, the retailer that hosts the event.

    “It started with three guys with three bikes, in Milwaukee,” said Matt Mutchler, the manager of Blue Moon, which opened in 2001. “The next year it was 10 guys, then 20 … it moved around the Milwaukee area for years before we took it over.”

    The 27th Krate Fest was getting going Friday night, with a traditional preshow get together at the store, which features its own collection of vintage bikes and Schwinn memorabilia. 

    On Saturday, the Krate Fest will take over two city parking lots near the store. There will be a swap meet with vendors of collectible bikes and parts, and a vintage bike show, with trophies awarded in several categories. 

    “I don’t want to say it’s huge, but we do get people from all over. Last year some guys drove up from Missouri, and this year they are coming back with more guys."

    He said Krate Fest is not about being a moneymaker for the shop; it’s just part of being in the community of people that enjoy the old bikes. 

    “We travel to shows around the Midwest. Everyone knows everyone,” he said. 

    This year’s Krate Fest may go in the record books for being the hottest. Mutchler said the forecast is for temperatures well above 100.

    Store owner Rod Griffis began collecting vintage bikes with his son, Mark, years before opening Blue Moon Bikes. 

    The store is in a three-story location. First floor is a typical small town shop, with new bikes from Schwinn, GT, Raleigh, Haro and Masi, as well as some used bikes. The second floor is a replica old-time Schwinn shop, and the third floor, which features a vaulted ceiling, is home to the store’s museum of about 200 bikes. 

    “We are just a small-town, mom & pop bike shop, without the mom,” Mutchler said. 

    More information: bluemoonbikes.com.

    Related articles:


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    Guide will ship with BRAIN's July 15 issue.

    RENO, Calif. (BRAIN) — What are the room rates for Interbike attendees at block hotels? What does it cost to eat in Reno? What are the transportation options? How far are host hotels from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center? These and more details will be covered in BRAIN’s upcoming Destination Guide for Reno-Tahoe, which will ship with Bicycle Retailer’s July 15 issue to help retailers plan and prepare for the Interbike show this fall. The Guide will also be available as a digital edition.

    BRAIN editor Lynette Carpiet recently completed a whirlwind research trip to Reno-Tahoe to prepare content and photos for the Guide, which will include detailed photos, pricing and transportation options.

    “After spending three and a half days in Reno, I can confidently say that it offers more than gaming hotels, tattoo parlors, and costume and pawnshops,” said Carpiet.

    LimeBike’s green and yellow bikes are sprinkled throughout Reno. In such a compact city, it’s an easy way to get around town.

    “Reno is a small city with the amenities of a large city against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada and beautiful Lake Tahoe. Reno has evolved greatly within the last handful of years. It will be refreshing to be in an outdoor-friendly city for a bike show.”

    While Reno was once considered a gaming and ski destination for tourists — and for many it still is — following the Great Recession the city put much more focus on economic development. Reno has drawn major distribution centers for companies including Amazon through the years. More recently, it’s attracted tech giants such as Tesla, Panasonic, Switch, Apple and Google through aggressive tax incentives.

    Along with those companies, a younger, educated demographic has moved in, pushing the city to expand not only its housing but its entertainment amenities. Entrepreneurs are opening hip bars, breweries and restaurants to suit this new influx of California transplants, and casino hotels are looking beyond slots and card tables to entertain guests, adding boccie ball courts, bowling alleys, climbing gyms, state-of-the-art arcades and fitness centers, fine dining and luxury spas.

    And outside of the hip bars and restaurants and artsy building facades, Reno also offers a growing young population a wealth of outdoor adventure pursuits. Whether it’s launching a kayak or floating down the Truckee River Whitewater Park in the heart of Reno’s downtown, mountain biking on the Peavine, Galena or Ballardini Ranch trails, hitting the locals’ favorite road bike loop out to Verdi, or enjoying the many parks and lakes, there’s plenty to do outdoors in this city, which sits at an elevation of 4,500 feet — not to mention 40 minutes away in nearby Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada.

    It’s also a cycling-friendly destination, and attendees will be able to get around the compact city center on the newly minted LimeBike share bikes sprinkled throughout downtown Reno and the Midtown district.

    The Reno-Tahoe Destination Guide will mail July 6. Advertising opportunities are still available. Companies should contact their local BRAIN advertising rep or BRAIN publisher Megan Tompkins at mtompkins@bicycleretailer.com for rates and specs. 


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    OCEANSIDE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Floyd's of Leadville chose the Race Across America team start here on Saturday to launch its new CBD Recovery Protein Powder.

    The recovery drink contains 27 grams of protein in addition to 25 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD), a legal anti-inflammatory extract from the cannabis plant. It also contains essential amino acids, 5 grams of sugar and 150 calories.

    "In addition to the softgels, tincture, and transdermal cream that we offer, we're excited to bring to market these great tasting Recovery Protein powders," said Floyd Landis, the founder and CEO of Floyd's of Leadville. "It mixes easily with water or milk, and really provides a smooth flow of nutrients to maximize recovery after exercise, and even to start your day off the right way with a protein drink."

    Each 500 gram bag retails for $39.95, and will be available to retailers and on the Floyd's website within the next few weeks.

     


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    The Vektron P7i.

    TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Tern has announced an upgrade to its Vektron folding e-bike lineup, with three new models.

    The new Vektrons are equipped with the latest Bosch drive system, a re-worked frame and riding geometry, and come with an "ultra-robust" rack similar to the rack on Tern's heavy duty GSD model.

    "The new Vektron is lighter, stronger, quieter, and more comfortable to ride," said Josh Hon, Tern team captain. "Andtwo of the new models sit at lower price points as well. No matter how good a product is, you can always make it better based on feedback."

    The new Vektron models range from $2,995 to $3,595.

    The updated Vektrons maintains the original's compact folding size and riding characteristics, and adds a number of improvements.

    The new Bosch Active Line and Active Line Plus drivetrains are smoother, smaller, lighter and more efficient than before, the company said. 

    The Vektrons feature a completely re-engineered frame and geometry. The cockpit is longer for improved comfort for taller riders. The frame has been designed with additional forged and machined elements for additional strength without extra weight. The battery now reclines backward, keeping the center of gravity as low as possible for improved handling. The updated Vektron also stands up vertically when folded, making it easier to roll around.

    The new Vektron rack has been strengthened and increased in size. This reduces flex for more secure handling. In addition, the center of gravity has been lowered, making it safer when riding with a child in a child seat.

    The Vektron also features the new and optional Bucketload pannier. Engineered to fit every configuration of the Vektron, it can be used even when the upper rails of the rear rack are taken by other gear, such as a child seat or a basket. The Bucketload folds flat when not in use or when the bike is folded. It is also sized to provide heel clearance without interfering
    when the bike is folded or being rolled. 

    "Quality matters when choosing a bike for transportation," said Hon. "With strong sales of the Vektron, it's great to see that consumers are recognizing Tern and Bosch as the top choice when they look for a portable e-bike."

    The three new models include the Vektron Q9 at $2,995, the Vektron P7i at $3,195, and the Vektron S10 at $3,595. Shipping to the U.S. starts in third quarter of this year. 

    More information: TernBicycles.com.


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    PITTSBURGH (BRAIN) — Carolyne Whelan has joined Dirt Rag Magazine as its new web editor.

    Whelan has an MFA in poetry and nonfiction and has written for ESPN online, Sierra online, Backpacker, High Times, and others. She was also a content writer for Eagle Nest Outfitters and RootsRated, and a former editor at Pink Pangea, an international women's travel site. She's also worked for bike shops around the country. She has relocated from New Mexico to Dirt Rag's headquarters in Pittsburgh.

    "I'm thrilled for the opportunity to take Dirt Rag's online platform in new directions to better serve our diverse readership and bring in exciting new content to elevate our mountain biking community," Whelan said.

    Maurice Tierney, the founder and publisher of Dirt Rag, said, "I'm very excited to have Carolyne on board ... The digital side of our media empire continues to grow, and she is the right person to take us to the next level."

    Whelan joins another fresh face at Dirt Rag, Brett Rothmeyer, who joined the magazine last October as digital strategist and lead photographer.

    "The creative energy at Dirt Rag HQ has noticeably increased with the arrival of Brett and Carolyne," said Dirt Rag's editorial commander, Eric McKeegan. "Brett's photography has already improved the look of the magazine, and Carolyne's input at editorial meetings has been stellar. I look forward to their continued contributions to the print magazine and watching them take our website to new heights."


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    John Georger

    PARSIPPANY, N.J. (BRAIN) — Kent International has hired John Georger as VP of sales for its Univega USA line. Earlier this year, Kent announced its plan to bring back the brand, an IBD mainstay. 

    Georger is an industry veteran who's worked at GT, Giant and, most recently, Felt, where he was national sales manager until January of this year.

    In his new role at Kent, Georger will be in charge of Univega's sales and distribution.

    "This is a historic moment for us as we will be producing all of our Univega USA bikes and e-bikes in our South Carolina factory," said Scott Kamler, Kent International's president. "I know there will be skeptics but they will quickly see that we will be building great bikes with IBD-level componentry. John knows and lives IBD and all key decisions will be made by him."

    "I wasn’t even done with my first meeting with Arnold and Scott Kamler when I knew this was a perfect fit for me," Georger said. "The vision they laid out is in perfect alignment with exactly what I believe the industry needs. We are going to help expand the reach of the IBD to a broader range of consumers and help our retailers build a stronger overall business. All of this with product that is competitively priced, sold strictly through the IBD channel and best of all, assembled in their factory in South Carolina."

    Georger added, “I have spent my career working closely with IBDs all over the country and look forward to continuing that work and helping our retailers become successful with this special brand."

    Georger will officially start in two weeks. He will set up shop for the office in Buffalo, New York. He can be reached at john@univega-usa.com or (716) 523-6592.


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    VANCOUVER, British Columbia (BRAIN) — Lululemon, which invested in the cycling clothing brand 7mesh Industries last June, will be offering a selection of the clothes in 24 Lululemon stores and online this summer.

    The stores will get a pop-up showcase featuring a 7mesh women's and men's cycling outfit consisting of Quantum Jerseys, WK2 and MK2 Bib Shorts, and Resistance LE Jackets. The same collection is now available at lululemon.com.

    "We're super excited to launch these retail pop-ups," said 7mesh's president, Tyler Jordan. "The opportunity to introduce our brand to Lululemon's worldwide legion of active, apparel-savvy fans is a dream for a small, independent company like ours. This is an excellent complement to our specialty retailer driven business."

    The 24 lululemon locations selected include seven in Canada and 17 in the US, including markets like Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, and Vancouver.


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association plans two new e-bike training programs for retailers. 

    The BPSA board approved the programs at a recent meeting here.

    First, the organization will work with Straw Hat Pictures of Arvada, Colorado, to produce an extension of its original Charged Up program launched in March 2017, with the new videos focused on the three-class system of e-bikes and increased e-bike sales, acceptance and use.

    For the first time, BPSA will create Charged Up content for consumers, to be rolled out for free use on supplier, retailer and advocacy websites and related social media and other marketing platforms.

    "We've passed great e-bike laws in 10 states and want to make sure that shop staff understand the distinctions among the three classes," said Larry Pizzi, BPSA's E-Bike Committee chair and president of Raleigh Electric. "Retailers are the first line of personal contact with a customer and play a critical role giving riders the right information and resources to understand e-bike laws."

    The second program approved at the meeting was an e-bike training program to be produced in conjunction with the National Bicycle Dealers Association and Barnett Bicycle Institute (which NBDA owns).

    The program will be called "Setting Up Your Shop for E-Bike Success."

    BBI general manager Jeff Donaldson said, "There are some definite differences in assembling, testing and servicing e-bikes. We want to give shops some simple guidelines to make it easy to get started and be more successful with e-bikes."

    NBDA chair Brandee Lepak said, "Retailers need great tools to help them embrace e-bikes without hesitation," said NBDA Chair Brandee Lepak. "We understand there is a learning curve with e-bike technology and we are committed to helping retailers become as seamlessly proficient as they are with all the products they sell."

    Both video programs will be shot in October and be available for staff training and consumer education in December.


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    WILTON, Conn. (BRAIN) — Cycling Sports Group has signed Aspire Sports to take over distribution of Cannondale, GT Bicycles, Fabric and Mongoose products for the 2019 model year, ending CSG's distribution through Mali Bicycle Technology.

    Aspire Sports was recently named distributor of the year at CSG's 2018 Taichung distributor show and has been distributor for CSG since 2001, servicing IBDs in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

    "We have great experience and knowledge of the Eastern European bicycle market. We understand the challenges facing IBDs in our region and at a global level. We are able to carry a large inventory and can supply retailers with product within 48 hours ensuring their inventory needs are met quickly and in a timely manner," said Marek Dolezal, principal of Aspire Sports.

    Seth Brosnan, CSG's director of international distributor sales, said, "Given the fast-evolving bicycle market, and the unique regional needs, this new distribution change will provide best-in-class support to Hungarian bicycle dealers. We're excited to continue the expansion of our partnership with Aspire, and to further support their efforts to increase CSG distribution, brand presence and cycling passion in Hungary

    "We'd like to thank Mali Bicycle Technology for their support over the years, and we wish them the best for the future," Brosnan added.
    Dealers can contact Aspire's Hungarian country manager, Janos Kanasz, at janos.kanasz@aspire.eu.


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    The Stages Dash

    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — China-made bicycle GPS units are expected to see a significant price increase in the coming months due to a 25 percent tariff imposed by the Trump adminstration.

    On Friday, the administration released two lists of China-made products subject to the tariff. Tariffs on the first list, of $34 billion in goods, will go into effect July 6. Cycling GPS units are on that list. The second list, of $16 billion in goods, will be subject to a public review before being enacted. E-bikes are on that list (see separate story).

    The dominant brand in GPS, Garmin, manufactures in Taiwan, so its product will not receive the tariff. Lezyne and Bryton also manufacture in Taiwan.

    Stages Cycling and Wahoo Fitness, however, have their GPS units made in China. A Stages executive is expecting his products to be slapped with the tariff starting July 6. Wahoo declined to comment for this story.

    Bernie Doering, Stages Cycling's senior vice president of sales and marketing, said the tariff would have a major effect on sales of the company's Dash GPS head unit.

    "We are looking at moving production of the new models out of China, but we still have a significant amount of inventory that is in process and nothing we can do about it," Doering told BRAIN.

    The Dash retails for $299.

    The Stages Dash is brought in under the Harmonized Tariff Code 8526.91.00, described as "Radio navigational aid apparatus, other than radar."

    It's not clear whether any other GPS-equipped fitness products might be affected; it depends on which Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) is used to import the product, and that can sometimes be open to interpretation.

    In the past, the 8526.91.00 code has been used to import Recon Jet smart glasses and goggles (now off the market). Non-GPS bike computers are brought in under a different code that was not on the list released Friday.

    Some other products that contain a GPS, such as Fitbits and the Apple Watch, also are brought in under different HTS codes (the Apple Watch, in any case, is made in Taiwan, and Fitbits are made in Singapore).

    The code, and the new tariff, does apply to some non-fitness devices such as GPS-enabled luggage and vehicle trackers. In the first quarter of this year, the U.S. imported goods worth $131 million from China under the code.

    The list of 818 Harmonized Tariff Schedules released Friday does not appear to contain any other products directly related to the bicycle market. Also, retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, enacted by the EU, China and other countries, do not appear to include any bike products.

    Prior to this, GPS units from China were subject to no import duties.

    The price bump at retail could be significant in a competitive market. An industry rule of thumb is that an increase in cost at the dock is multiplied three times at retail. Varying distribution models, margins and exchange rates can affect that, of course, but the rule of thumb would mean a product valued at $100 at the dock, hit with a $25 tariff, would see a retail price increase of $75, perhaps moving the price from $300 to $375.

     


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    The industry is scrambling after the Trump administration includes e-bikes on its list of proposed tariffs.

    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The U.S. bike industry has been drafted into the trade war between China and the U.S.

    Chinese-made e-bikes, which include bikes sold by Trek, Giant, Raleigh Electric, Pedego and other brands, would be subject to a 25 percent tariff under a proposal released Friday. The tariff, which could take effect in a matter of months, would increase the retail price of the bikes by hundreds of dollars, perhaps enough to make them uncompetitive with e-bikes made elsewhere, and dampening interest in one of the bike industry's most promising sectors.

    The electric bikes are included in a list of 284 product codes, representing $16 billion in imports, released by the Trump administration. The list will go through a public comment process, including public hearings, before the U.S. Trade Representative decides whether each product code should be subject to the tariff. The process is likely to take several months.

    Also on Friday, the USTR released a list of 818 product codes, representing $34 billion in imports, that it has already determined will be hit with the 25 percent tariff starting in July. That list includes at least some bike GPS units (see separate article on the GPS tariff).

    "It's going to be all hands on deck for the bike industry"— Katy Hartnett, PeopleForBikes

    The bike industry is developing a strategy to participate in the public comment process, while also lobbying the administration and Congress in hopes of getting e-bikes removed from the list.

    "It's certainly a significant cause for concern," said Katy Hartnett, director of government relations for PeopleForBikes. "It's going to be all hands on deck for the bike industry. We are going to need all the help we can get."

    PeopleForBikes is working with the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and other groups to develop a campaign to remove e-bikes from the list. The USTR will formally announce details of the public comment process on Wednesday in the Federal Register. Tenetively, a public hearing is scheduled for July 24 in Washington, and the deadline for written comments is July 31.

    E-bike brands are also looking at other options, including moving production and/or assembly from China to Taiwan, Europe or the U.S.

    Impact on a developing market segment

    E-bikes are one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. bike industry, with some suppliers reporting double-digit — or even triple-digit — year-over-year sales increases the past few years. About 10 states have passed industry-proposed laws regulating the bikes, which has encouraged sales growth in those states. 

    Some bike brands say a 25 percent tariff on import cost would be multiplied roughly three times, in dollars, at retail price. So an e-bike valued at $1,000 at Customs would be slapped with a $250 tariff, resulting in a $750 increase on the sales floor. Brands with nontraditional distribution models would not increase retail prices as much.

    "No one can just eat a 25 percent duty"— Larry Pizzi, Raleigh Electric

    Not all e-bikes come from China, of course. But Trek, Giant, Accell, Pedego and some smaller brands all manufacture at least some e-bikes there. Most of the sub-$1,000 e-bikes sold in urban markets like New York City are made in China.

    It's difficult to determine exactly how many e-bikes are imported from China, in part because there is not a specific Harmonized Tariff Schedule code for e-bikes. The codes included in the USTR list released Friday (8711.60.00 and 8711.90.01) also covers electric motorcycles.

    The whole situation is "frustrating and distracting," said Matt Moore, who chairs the legislative committee for the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and is general counsel for Quality Bicycle Products.

    "The frustration is that we all deal with a long horizon on product planning and sourcing and it's not easy to just up and change your manufacturer or assembler at the drop of a hat. It just doesn’t work that way," Moore said. "You've been planning for a product that's not going to be available for nine months or a year, and now you don't know if it's going to have a price that's competitive."

    Moore is working with the BPSA and PeopleForBikes on the subject. "This has the full attention of both organizations," he said.

    "What I would tell retailers is to be attentive and we're going to have to wait and see how this plays out. And we are going to do our darndest to try to get e-bikes off that list."

    Larry Pizzi, the president of Raleigh Electric and chair of the BPSA's e-bike committee, said his company is looking at options to move e-bike assembly out of China. He said many companies were already looking to do that because of the EU's proposed anti-dumping duties on China-made e-bikes. Those duties could be as high as 189 percent.

    "The good news from my perspective is that all the producers were already taking action because of what’s happening in Europe. They are scrambling to solve that problem so this (the proposed U.S. tariff) is just additive," Pizzi said. "No one can just eat a 25 percent duty."

    Don DiCostanzo, the founder and CEO of Pedego, said a tariff on Chinese e-bikes might slow growth in the segment, but wouldn't be catastrophic. Pedego makes bikes in China and Taiwan.

    "It would not price Chinese bikes out of the market, in my opinion," he said. "I don't think it will take effect, but if in the worst-case scenario it does, it is manageable from Pedego's perspective."

    He said one option for the company would be to ship unassembled bikes from China to the U.S. to reduce the import value of the bikes.

    Trek and Giant representatives did not respond to requests for comment on this article.

    Strategy in the works

    The USTR has shown that it's willing to remove some product codes from its lists. After the public comment period on the list released in April, it removed more than 500 HTS codes, representing $16 billion in products. The new proposed list that came out Friday is to replace those products, so there is still a total of $50 billion in goods getting the 25 percent tariff. 

    The industry is likely to argue that the tariff does not protect any U.S. manufacturing, because there is little or no domestic e-bike manufacturing. It also could point out the wide-ranging negative effects of the tariff — to suppliers, retailers and the public. While public comments go to the administration via the USTR, the industry also can lobby members of Congress who might be receptive and able to influence the administration.

    The lack of a specific HTS code for e-bikes may work against the bike industry putting up against none other than Harley-Davidson.

    Harley is gearing up to introduce an electric hog in 2019, and several U.S. companies are already making electric motorcycles here. Harley has been getting the brunt of the trade war recently, being slapped by increased tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and by retaliatory tariffs from the EU, China and India. The company might favor the proposed tariff to protect its forthcoming electric motorcycles from any future Chinese competition.

    If the tariff does remain on the list and takes effect in a few months, all is not lost. Individual companies may be able to then request an exemption, which could be a tidy way to separate e-bikes from electric motorcycles. It would be similar to how beer makers and other companies have requested exemptions from the 10 percent aluminum tariff the Trump administration imposed earlier this year (So far, none of those exemptions have been granted).

    Meanwhile, the larger picture is that all the tariffs, proposed and enacted, are weapons wielded in the trade negotiations between the President Donald Trump and China.

    The war has already escalated, with China retaliating with its list of $50 billion in U.S.-made goods that will be hit with a 25 percent tariff. Trump followed up Monday with a proposal for a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese goods. It's entirely unpredictable, but if and when peace is declared, all of the new tariffs could go away quickly, regardless of the bike industry's success or failure in its lobbying efforts.

    DiCostanzo, for one, thinks the trade war will lead to a more balanced playing field in the long run. "It may be opening up Pandora's box now, but a year from now I think we'll all benefit. You have to take the long view."

    File Attachment: 

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    ROMANO D'EZZELINO, Italy (BRAIN) — Selle San Marco is bringing its Supercomfort features, launched previously on its Aspide saddles, to the Mantra saddle line. 

    The Mantra Supercomfort is available in two settings: Racing and Dynamic. It also is available in wide and narrow widths.

    The padding in the Racing version features a layer of Biofoam and an extra layer of gel. These are combined with different variables of thickness according to the area of support, in order to optimize the part that makes contact with the hip bones. The central openinghas been completely redesigned. "This particular design prevents wedging and therefore reduces pain to a cyclist's most sensitive parts, an aspect which is particularly appealing to the women's market as well," the company said.

    The Racing version is covered in Microfeel (a breathable material that is highly resistant to abrasion), which features additional micro-perforations to improve transpiration and keep contact surfaces dry.

    The Racing version uses a Stealth Xsilite frame, made of materials containing silicon, titanium and carbon. The Dynamic version saddle frame is made of manganese.

    More information: sellesanmarco.it/en.


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    Photo: Tony Donaldson

    LOS ANGELES (BRAIN) — The Los Angeles Police Department has announced a pilot program, part of the department's Green initiative, that includes a fleet of 20 Bulls Sentinel e-bikes. 

    Bulls USA worked with the LAPD over a nine-month RFP process to build the bikes to meet the specific needs of the department's urban law enforcement and patrol division, giving LAPD the largest e-bike fleet in the nation. 

    The patrol bikes have a Bosch Performance Speed motor, aluminum frame, Magura hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm/200mm rotors, Schwalbe Super Moto tires, and a Rock Shox Poke fork.

    Bulls Bikes USA is the U.S. office of the German brand, which began consumer direct sales here in 2015. The company offers a wide array of e-bike and standard bike models in the U.S. 


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    PHOENIX (BRAIN) — Serfas has ended direct sales of its products to Amazon. The accessories brand said it will still allow its authorized dealers to sell through Amazon as long as they sell under the name registered on their dealer agreement and they follow the brand's guidelines and MAP policy.

    "Serfas has always been an IBD-first company and we will do everything we can to support that relationship," said Erik Braucht, the company's general manager.


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has signed a three-class e-bike law, similar to the industry-supported legislation enacted in nine other states.

    The Connecticut law varies slightly from the other states because it prevents local municipalities from allowing Class 3 e-bikes on bike paths, and helmets are required for all e-bike users.

    "These were the concessions we had to allow to pass the three-class bill," said Morgan Lommele, PeopleForBikes' e-bike campaign manager. She said PeopleForBikes and others will work to amend the language in the next legislative session. She said state Rep. Roland Lemar of New Haven was a champion of the legislation.

    The other states with three-class e-bike laws are Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.

    "Our Ohio e-bike bill is pending in the Senate but we are hopeful it will pass soon," Lommele said.

    More information: The Connecticut law

     


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    Photo: © 2007 Kjetil Ree. Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0.
    Some see the decision as a victory for mom-and-pop store owners; but a challenge for those with small e-commerce businesses.

    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that states may require online retailers to collect sales tax revenue from online consumers who live in their states.

    The National Retail Federation called the decision "a major victory" for retailers.

    “Retailers have been waiting for this day for more than two decades," said NRF's president and CEO, Matthew Shay. "The retail industry is changing, and the Supreme Court has acted correctly in recognizing that it’s time for outdated sales tax policies to change as well. This ruling clears the way for a fair and level playing field where all retailers compete under the same sales tax rules whether they sell merchandise online, in-store or both."

    The decision provides clarity that could lead to Congress passing legislation to create uniform national rules for collecting state taxes, to avoid a hodgepodge of individual state rules that would make the tax collection especially onerous for small e-commerce businesses.

    In recent years, brick-and-mortar retailers, including bike retailers, had supported federal legislation that would create a nationwide system to collect state taxes. Legislative action has been stalled while the Supreme Court was deciding this case.

    Many bike retailers sell online, but for most, it's a small percentage of their business, according to a 2018 BRAIN survey.

    However, one online retailer, Nick Martin, the owner The Pro's Closet, argued in a 2014 BRAIN opinion piece that a system to collect state taxes nationally would be a burden on small operations. 

    Many bike retailers do some e-commerce to complement their brick-and-mortar sales. A Bicycle Retailer retailer survey earlier this year found that  40 percent of retailers who responded do some online sales. But for 65 percent of them, online sales accounted for 5 percent or less of their revenue. The results were published in the April 1 issue of BRAIN.

    The court upheld a 2016 South Dakota law requiring some online merchants — those with more than $100,000 in annual sales to state residents or 200 transactions with state residents — to collect the South Dakota sales tax, which is 4.5 percent.

    The Court's decision was 5 to 4.

    The case decided was South Dakota v. Wayfair; South Dakota was suing Wayfair, an e-commerce retailer that does not collect state taxes. South Dakota took the case to the Supreme Court after Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who wrote Thursday's majority decision, had made comments indicating it was time to revisit the issue, which the court previously ruled on in the 1992 Quill v. North Dakota case.

    The Quill ruling had required businesses to collect state sales taxes only from residents of states where the business had a physical presence. Kennedy said that position was archaic, "unsound and incorrect" in the internet age.

    Kennedy also wrote that the concerns of small retailers, who do minimal online sales, could be dealt with by Congress or by a further court case.

    "Attempts to apply the physical presence rule to online retail sales are proving unworkable. States are already confronting the complexities of defining physical presence in the Cyber Age," he wrote.

    Later, he concluded, "Concerns that complex state tax systems could be a burden on small business are answered in part by noting that, as discussed below, there are various plans already in place to simplify collection; and since in-state businesses pay the taxes as well, the risk of discrimination against out-of-state sellers is avoided. And, if some small businesses with only de minimis contacts seek relief from collection systems thought to be a burden, those entities may still do so under other theories. These issues are not before the Court in the instant case; but their potential to arise in some later case cannot justify retaining this artificial, anachronistic rule that deprives States of vast revenues from major businesses."

    More than 40 states had submitted testimony in favor of upholding the South Dakota law. Some states that lack a broad sales tax, including New Hampshire, Montana and Washington, had submitted arguments to the court taking the opposite position. Besides the NRF, the National Sporting Goods Association and other retail trade groups had supported overturning the Quill decision. 

    Katy Hartnett, PeopleForBikes' director of government relations, said, "Online sales tax collection is important to bicycle retailers, who are heavily invested in communities across the country."

    A federal audit said states lost $13.7 billion in uncollected sales tax revenue last year.

    Many large online retailers, including Walmart, Target and Apple, already collect state taxes. Amazon collects state sales tax on items it sells directly, but third party vendors on Amazon are currently not required to collect the tax. Likewise, eBay currently does not require sellers to collect state sales taxes. 

    Watch for this story to be updated later Thursday with reaction from the bike industry. 

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    SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (BRAIN) — Gazelle Bikes has launched the CityZen T10 Speed in the U.S. The bikes features a Bosch Performance Speed mid-mount electric motor and 500Wh in-tube battery. It offers up to an 85-mile range.

    "We're proud to incorporate the CityZen T10 Speed into the line of Gazelle electric bikes available to the U.S. market," said Ewoud van Leeuwen, the manager of Gazelle North America. "As city centers become increasingly congested, more and more urbanites are turning to electric bikes as their preferred form of transportation. These customers desire an electric bike that is lightweight, easy to ride, and has minimalistic design queues. Our CityZen T10 Speed absolutely delivers for this performance minded rider."

    The 500Wh in-tube battery is a new Bosch product that integrates the battery with the frame. The motor provides pedal-assisted support up to 28 mph.

    Additional features include a Shimano Deore 10-speed drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes, an AXA Blue Line 30 front light paired to a Spanning Solo rear light and AXA Defender ring lock.

    The bike will be available in Matte Black and come in sizes 49 cm, 53 cm, and 57 cm. It will be available at retail on July 18 with an MSRP of $4,299.

    More information at gazellebikes.com.


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    WATERLOO, Wis. (BRAIN) — Trek Bicycle — which has already pledged $1 million to the high school mountain bike racing league — is expanding its planned donation program.

    The additional funding will support existing National Interscholastic Cycling Association leagues, establish a solid financial foundation for new leagues, and support the development of league coaches and directors.

    The company will continue to contribute $1 from the sale of each mountain bike tire to the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. It also will donate $10 from the sale of each full-suspension mountain bike. That program is expected to generate $1 million for NICA within five years of the program's launch in 2016. A large percentage of Trek dealers have pledged to match those donations.

    All existing leagues will receive $5,000 a year from the newly established funding structure.

    Trek will provide a three-year funding structure for all new leagues to provide capital during a league's formative years. This annual contribution will ensure new leagues launch with a solid financial foundation, the company said. Every new league established will receive $20,000 in the first year, with contributions of $15,000 and $10,000 in years two and three respectively.

    NICA will use the additional funding to help develop and support local leadership by creating NICA University, a learned management system, and host a national conference.

    "Throughout NICA's history, the most successful programs have been the ones with the most engaged licensed coaches and league directors," the company said.

    With an annual growth rate of over 30 percent, today more than 15,000 middle and high school student-athletes compete in 22 NICA leagues in 21 states.

    "Part of Trek's mission is to change the world by getting more people on bikes and NICA is the embodiment of that," said Trek Bicycle's president, John Burke. "Getting kids off of their phones, outside and on the trails, and helping them find a passion that lasts a lifetime is something we believe strongly in. NICA has a huge future."

    NICA's president, Austin McInerny, said, "We have big plans to strengthen communities through cycling and Trek's support along with their retailers is going to have a massive impact on so many kids and their families." 

    Those interested in founding NICA leagues or supporting existing leagues are encouraged to visit nationalmtb.org.


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