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    Second quarter sales were down from last year, but up from the first quarter as net losses outperform estimates.

    SAN MATEO, Calif. (BRAIN) — GoPro, Inc. announced second quarter sales of $283 million, down 5 percent from the same period last year, but up 40 percent compared to Q1. The company — which claims it holds a 97 percent share by dollar in the U.S. action camera market — said its gross margin improved over Q1, as well. 

    It reported a GAAP net loss of $37 million in the quarter, or $0.27 loss per share and a non-GAAP net loss of $21 million, or $0.15 loss per share. The net loss exceeded Wall Street estimates and shares were up nearly 20 percent in after hours trading Thursday following the earnings announcement.

    "GoPro is executing," said founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman. "We are on track; sell-through is solid in all regions indicating strong demand, and we believe GoPro will be profitable in the second half of 2018. Our plan is to exit the year with an improved margin profile we believe translates into a profitable 2019."

    Second quarter inventory decreased by $47 million from the first quarter to GoPro's lowest level since the second quarter of 2014.

    GoPro also celebrated two recent milestones. During the second quarter, it exceeded 30 million HERO cameras sold since the debut of its first HD model in November 2009. And GoPro has now sold more than four million HERO5 Black cameras, making it the best-selling GoPro in record time. The HERO5 Black reached the four million unit milestone three months faster than HERO4 Silver.

     


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    QUÉBEC (BRAIN) — On The Edge Canada (OTE), which distributes Pivot Cycles, Enve Composites and Rotor Components among other brands, is now distributing Chris King Precision Components.

    OTE's sales manager, Denis Lapierre, said, "We are delighted to be partnering with Chris King for the Canadian market and offer an additional channel for their products. We've been building our ENVE rims on CKPC hubs for 10 years and we always wanted to see this brand grow because of the quality and craftsmanship of their products. When the opportunity came, everyone in the office was stoked. Few brands have built themselves a reputation as strong as Chris King Precision Components. It is with great respect to their accomplishment and heritage that we are happy to distribute their product in Canada starting today. This addition further establishes OTE Canada as a premium wheel resource for Canadian IBDs."

    More information: otecanada.ca.

     


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    Ryan Hiscoe

    WALTHAM, Mass. (BRAIN) — Miso Partners, a sales and marketing agency, has hired Ryan Hiscoe as a sales representative covering Eastern New England.

    Hiscoe has more than 10 years' experience in the cycling, running and triathlon industry, working in multiple countries and capacities. Most recently he worked with Velocio Apparel and has prior experience with CSG selling Cannondale, Fabric, Sugoi and Sombrio. He has been servicing New England bike shops for the past four years after relocation to the US from the United Kingdom. Before that, he grew up in South Africa where he cut his teeth racing bikes.

    Miso Partners works with clients as independent sales reps, develops sales and marketing integrations, and crm pipeline optimizations. More information available by emailing info@misopartners.com


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    OCEAN, N.J. (BRAIN) — Frog Bikes has hired Mike McMahon as the brand's new Southern California sales representative.

    McMahon is the principal at Mike McMahon Sales and has been representing brands such Bianchi, Detroit Bikes and Nutcase Helmets in the region. He can be reached by email at mike@mikemcmahonsales.com or by phone at 714-746-5230.


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    HAMDEN, Conn. (BRAIN) — Velotooler has added a "white glove" bike delivery feature and Shopify integration, allowing bike companies and end-users to efficiently track bike assembly and delivery by Velotooler's independent mechanics and retailers.

    "Velotooler's exceptional white glove delivery is about exceeding the level of service expected by the bicycle customer," said Velotooler CEO Yahor Buben. "It's about the bike customer knowing who is the assembler and deliverer of his/her bike ahead of time and being sure of the professional skills level that has been displayed, tracked and reviewed by others. It's about the empowering the customer to set their delivery time, and if necessary reschedule it."

    After delivery Velotooler follows up to obtain the customer's feedback about the technical aspect of the delivery and the overall experience.

    Selected supplier partners who already use Shopify will get full and free support during the integration and will be able to use the Velotooler network of mechanics by shipping bikes directly to mechanics' verified locations. This process is fully automated from both ends requiring no staff to enhance the delivery process. Any questions or issues can still be handled via direct Velotooler communication functions. The customer will also automatically be informed of any delivery delays if they occur.

    Velotooler also has started working on implementing Shopify integration for suppliers' dealer network. This will allow these companies to manage discounts/margins for each dealer individually. On the Velotooler side companies will be allowed to add new dealers while accepting Velotooler mechanics on mobile.


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    MANCHESTER, N.H. (BRAIN) — The Bike Cooperative has recently added a number of new retail locations to its network. The newest members of the retail co-op are:

    • Race Pace Bicycles, 7 locations in Maryland
    • Bicycles Plus, 4 locations in Texas
    • Carolina Pedal Works, Hickory, N.C.
    • The Cyclery By Effy, Pomona, N.Y.
    • World of Bikes, Iowa City, Iowa

    "Bike store owners may be faced with more challenges than ever before, but that does not mean they cannot succeed in the current retail environment," said Tim Leaver, TBC's vice president of marketing. "The newest Co-op members are great examples of retailers that have become very successful in their own right, yet continue to look for ways to improve and grow."

    "That's where The Bike Cooperative can take successful retailers to the next level," said TBC vice president of operations Carl Michelakos, "by using our buying power to help them reduce their Amex processing costs, and drive more sales with our consumer financing and Ride Club automated customer follow-up and rewards programs."

    Michelakos added, "Our services work best for high-performing retailers who want to maximize their profitability, so adding more quality shops that recognize we can help them perform even better is both encouraging and rewarding."

     


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    BRIGHTON, Mich. (BRAIN) — KOM Cycling's Tubeless Sealant Injector uses a narrow injector that fits inside a Presta valve after the valve core is removed. Most other injectors fit over the outside of the valve stem. This design reduces drips and spills and bypasses the valve core area to inject the sealant into the tire, reducing the possibility of clogging the valve with sealant. 

    The injector comes with a valve core removal tool and the company said it works with most sealants, including Stans No Tubes and Orange Sealant. Retail price is $12.99.

    KOM Cycling, which also makes colored Garmin computer mounts, currently sells dealer direct and is looking for distributors. For more information email Austin@cyclingkom.com or visit cyclingkom.com.

     


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    RENO, Nev. (BRAIN) — The CyclePoint's Kit Vogel will be presenting at The Interbike Fit Symposium and the company will offer its Advanced Foot-Pedal Bike Fit class in Sparks, Nevada, on Sept. 21, the day after Interbike closes. The class will be conducted by CyclePoint owner Paul Swift. 

    "This advanced course is dedicated to hands-on skills working with cyclists and focuses on the foot/pedal (the foundation for all bike fits)," the company said.

    The class includes The CyclePoint's manual "When the Foot Meets the Pedal" and an online course hosted by MedBridge Education, "The Foot/Pedal Interface." The Advanced Foot-Pedal course is geared toward new or experienced fitters looking to add to their current repertoire of skills working within a shop, clinic, in their own studio, as a coach, etc.

    The location will be 1200 Scheels Drive, Sparks. The class is from 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pricing for this event $495 or sign-ups before Aug. 31 will be charged $460 and will receive a free pair of socks from CyclePoint. Each student is also eligible for a discount on one of BikeFit's Fitting systems

    For more information email info@TheCyclePoint.com, call 509-844-0107 or visit TheCyclePoint.com.


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    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The U.S. Trade Representative has approved the inclusion of e-bikes and e-bike motors on the list of $16 billion worth of Chinese products that will be hit with a 25 percent tariff starting Aug. 23.

    The USTR announced Tuesday that it had finalized the list, which it had first released June 15. After review and a public comment period, the USTR removed just five product categories from the list of 284 categories that was proposed. 

    The bike industry and consumers had submitted hundreds of comments opposed to the tariff and two industry members spoke at a public hearing in Washington last month. The industry argued that the tariffs would harm suppliers, retailers and consumers, stunt the sales growth of a blossoming environmentally beneficial product, and would do little to protect U.S. e-bike manufacturers, because there are almost none. 

    Chinese e-bikes previously had no tariff, while e-bike motors have a 4 percent tariff. 

    The USTR said its "exhaustive" investigation "found China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden U.S. commerce."

    The decision came quicker than expected, noted Alex Logemann, the director of state and local policy for PeopleForBikes. The next step for the industry is to petition for exemption from the tariff, he said. Individual companies and trade associations can ask for exemptions. The deadline to submit applications for exemption is Oct. 9 and Logemann said PeopleForBikes and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association will submit an application on the industry's behalf. 

    Another proposed tariff, which would apply a 25 percent duty on $200 billion in Chinese goods — including about $1 billion of bike-related products — is working through the system. That group of products initially had a proposed 10 percent tariff, but the USTR, at President Trump's urging, raised it to 25 percent last week. 

    The public comment period for that round of tariffs ends Sept. 6. Comments can be submitted via a form on the PeopleForBikes website or directly at Regulations.gov

     


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    SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Interbike has announced plans for the second installment of its short-form retailer education series, The Forum, which will be held each day of the tradeshow in the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

    The Forum, presented by eBay and held on the show floor in Hall 2, features retailer-centered educational sessions that are 30 to 40 minutes in length. The Forum's mission is to help specialty bike shop retailers grow their businesses by delivering timely and actionable information in an easy-to-access, drop-in format.

    Its 2018 speakers include Holly Wiese of the retail design and visual merchandising company 3 Dots Design, retail sales trainer Sam Dantzler, Ryan Atkinson of SmartEtailing, and Paraic McGlynn, a bike fitting instructor and business development consultant.

    "The Forum, which started last year, makes it possible to learn from the best in the business without even leaving the show floor. It's incredibly convenient," said Kent Cranford, owner of North Carolina's Motion Makers Bicycle Shop and a board member of the National Bicycle Dealers Association.

    "As a retailer, I think the content is right on the mark, and I really appreciate the fact that the sessions are only 30-40 minutes long."

    Sessions are scheduled at the top of each hour from 10-5 p.m. on Tuesday Sept. 18, 10-4 p.m. on Wednesday Sept. 19 and from 10-11 a.m. on Thursday Sept. 20.

    A selection of the sessions that will be presented in 2018 includes:

    • Overcoming the Challenges of Selling Apparel in the IBD
    • Promoted to the Phone — How to Train Your Sales Staff to Communicate with Customers Professionally and Effectively
    • Three Essentials of Bike Shop Marketing
    • How to Capitalize on the Clicks to Bricks Opportunity Presented to Today's Omnichannel Consumer
    • The Business of Fit — The "How" of Profitable, Sustainable Bike Fitting as Part of Your Retail Strategy

    A complete schedule is on the Interbike website at interbike.com/conference/the-forum.

    "The Forum is the only educational track of its kind," said Interbike's show director, Justin Gottlieb. "Its sessions are completely tailored to the IBD, and delivered by knowledgeable speakers in a totally accessible format on the show floor. We encourage all retailer attendees to drop by and learn something new at The Forum this year."

     


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The International Mountain Bicycling Association will celebrate its "Dirty 30" anniversary, October 26-28, 2018, in Bentonville, Arkansas, during the Outerbike demo event.

    IMBA will host special rides and a Saturday evening celebration at Outerbike. Everyone is invited, but space will be limited. Registration is available via Outerbike's website and all ticket price levels include IMBA's Dirty 30 Saturday night party.

    Bentonville is designated a silver-level IMBA Ride Center that has hosted the IMBA World Summit in the past.

    "IMBA's vision for the next 30 years is to catalyze and create more great places to ride close to home. Bentonville is a perfect example of where this is already happening and why we want that level of mountain bike access for every American," said Aimee Ross, IMBA's event director. "Mountain bike trails are taken seriously there and are a critical part of Bentonville's liveliness. Mountain biking is integrated into the community and, as a result, benefits the economy and improves local quality of life."

    Mark Sevenoff, the owner of Outerbike, added, "Outerbike is all about sharing the best brands in world class riding destinations. After attending IMBA's world summit in Bentonville, we fell in love with [the local] trails and now it has come full circle, as we bring Outerbike to Bentonville as our first east-of-the-Rockies venue.

    "Without IMBA, communities from Moab to Bentonville would have fewer trails, so we are thrilled to celebrate IMBA's first 30 years and look forward to helping with the next 30," Sevenoff said.

     


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    GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (BRAIN) — Squirt Lube has recently incorporated Squirt USA, Inc. and opened a facility here. The brand is now warehousing at the facility and plans to start manufacturing its lube there soon.

    The company, which started in South Africa, said the new U.S. operation will focus on better supplying current distributors and helping to promote the products and brand through events and the specialty bicycle channel.

    "We see tremendous potential in the North American market," said Dewet Marais, one of the founders of Squirt lube, and CEO of the U.S. company. "In addition to working with many of the local NICA leagues, we are supplying product to nearly 200 mountain and gravel events this year.

    "We have many wonderful connections with athletes, promoters and retailers in the U.S. from our many years of traveling to events around the country. We are excited to be getting much closer to the market."

    Squirt Lube, a 100 percent biodegradable wax-based lube, is available from BTI, Hans Johnsen, J&B and QBP.


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    UPDATED

    SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (BRAIN) — Ibis Cycles announced Wednesday that it is manufacturing size small Ripley LS carbon fiber mountain bike frames at its facility in Santa Cruz. The company has previously not offered the Ripley LS in a size small (it predecessor, the Ripley, did come in a small).

    The company has not manufactured a frame in-house since about 2000, when it closed its factory in Santa Rosa, California. 

    About four years ago the company began building a carbon fiber manufacturing lab at its headquarters. As it has experimented with production, Ibis developed a process that requires about 40 percent less labor time and also uses less energy. The energy savings is largely due to Ibis' new lightweight aluminum molds, which replace the large steel presses and molds used in Asian carbon fiber frame factories.

    Ibis said the resulting frame is 200 grams lighter than the Ripley small made overseas. About 70 grams of the weight savings is because the U.S.-made frame is unpainted.

    Roxy Lo with a small Ripley LS.

    Conveniently, the small Ripley fits Ibis designer and co-owner Roxy Lo. Besides the weight reduction, the new small frame was updated with a longer reach, steeper 75 degree seat tube angle, and clearance for 2.6-inch tires. Currently the company is manufacturing only the front triangle in the U.S. but plans to begin production of the carbon rear swingarm here soon. Like all Ibis frames for the U.S. market, they are assembled and packaged in-house. 

    Ibis' Scot Nicol told BRAIN the U.S.-made frame has the same retail price as the Asia-made sizes, but the company makes less money on them. "We've got it down to where there is a small amount of profitability or we break even on them."

    Demand for size small 29ers is low and Nicol said Ibis will be making "several a week" to start. 

    Nicol said the production is largely an R&D project but Ibis plans to eventually make a full model run domestically.

    "As we reduce labor time here and as Asian wages go up, the delta between the two becomes less and less and manufacturing here starts to look more viable ... any time we can be more in control of our destiny, that's good for the company."

    Ibis added staff devoted to carbon manufacturing about four years ago when the project began. Several of the new staffers are veterans of Kestrel, including Preston Sandusky, a co-founder of Kestrel who is now a production engineer at Ibis. "We have a nice little Kestrel brain trust," Nicol said. He said the company has not had to add new employees as actual production of the frame has got underway. 

    More on Ibis' U.S. manufacturing techniques on the Ibis website here: ibiscycles.com/support/technical_articles/carbon_lab


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  • 08/08/18--14:38: Retail membership model

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    Companywide sales were down 7 percent in recent quarter; executives discuss sell-off plans and potential impact of trade war.

    FARMINGTON, Utah (BRAIN) — Vista Outdoor sales were down 6.6 percent in its most recent quarter and in an earnings call Thursday company executives gave some insights on their plans to sell off its Bell, Giro and Blackburn brands.

    Companywide sales were $529 million in its fiscal first quarter, which ended July 1, down from $569 million last year. In its Outdoor Products business unit, which includes the bike-related brands and CamelBak (as well as hunting and fishing accessories, outdoor cooking, golf range finders and standup paddleboard brands), sales were $271 million, down from $290 million in the same quarter last year.

    In that division, the company said it experienced lower sales of hunting and shooting accessories and declines in sports protection and hydration due to “softness in the specialty channel.” Those declines were offset by growing sales in outdoor cooking, where Vista owns the Camp Chef cook stove brand.

    Vista announced in May that it planned a major restructuring and refocus that includes selling its Savage and Stevens firearms brands, its Jimmy Styks paddleboard brand, Bell, Giro and Blackburn, the Copilot bike baby carrier brand, and the Raskullz and Krashco helmet brands. It said it would retain CamelBak, Camp Chef, and Bushnell, as well as its ammo' brands.

    Vista had previously announced that it planned to sell its Bollé, Cebé and Serengeti brands, and in July it reached an agreement to sell them to a private equity group for $158 million. While those brands are primarily known for their eyewear, Bollé also sells bike helmets.

    In a conference call with investors Thursday morning, Vista executives said that with the eyewear brands disposed of, they will now turn their attention to selling the other brands, starting with Savage and Stevens.

    “We feel approaching the sales of these units in a sequential manner makes the most sense,” said Vista CEO Chris Metz. He said Vista has received interest from potential buyers of both segments.

    Following the Parkland High School shootings in February, some specialty retailers canceled orders of Vista products due to the brands' connection to the firearms industry and support for the NRA. Some claimed victory with the May announcement that Vista was selling off some of the brands, although the company said it began developing the restructuring plan months before Parkland and the protests. In May company executives said the canceled orders had little financial impact on the company. Vista did not mention the boycotts on Thursday.

    A spokesperson for REI, the largest retailer to cancel Vista orders, told BRAIN on Thursday that the coop's relationship with Vista remains "on hold."

    Vista also has been affected by the Trump administration's tariffs, both enacted and proposed.

    Commodity prices of steel and aluminum are critical for an ammunition maker, and Vista said the increased costs of steel were squeezing its margins even before a 25 percent tariff on imported steel went into effect in March. However Metz said the company has seen some ups and downs in commodity prices and has managed to lock into lower prices at times to mitigate the impact.

    Vista’s Bushnell brand imports rifle scopes from China that were included in the administration’s initial proposal of $50 billion worth of Chinese imports subject to a 25 percent tariff. Additionally, at least some Bushnell golf range finder GPS units are manufactured in China and were on the list, included under the same import code that includes China-made bike GPS units.

    The administration's final list removed two out of the three import codes involving rifle scopes. However, the GPS units remained on the list and that tariff took effect July 6.

    The next round of proposed 25 percent tariffs, on $200 billion in Chinese goods, will include helmets, obviously a critical part of Bell and Giro’s business.

    “I’m led to believe that just about everyone in the world sources helmets from the country of China,” said Metz on the investor call. However, he said, “helmets is a safety category and it’s hard for us to believe our government would want to put a tariff on a safety product … but it’s anybody’s guess as to what the administration is going to do.”

    Camp Chef also imports a variety of items from China that are on the list, including stoves, camp tables and dutch oven parts. Camp Chef's vice president has requested to speak at this month's hearings on the tariffs. 

    Related articles:


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    Representatives from Huffy, Specialized, QBP, ASE and Kent ask to speak at hearings on proposed 25 percent tariffs on a wide range of Chinese bike goods.

    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — Industry members have been submitting comments to the U.S. Trade Representative opposing the Trump administration's proposed 25 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese products, which includes at least $1 billion in bike-related products.

    This round of proposed tariffs includes all types of bikes, plus frames, wheels, helmets, tires, chains, hubs and more. It also applies to hand tools, fasteners and other products that are not specific to the bike industry but will impact it. 

    Executives at Huffy, Specialized, QBP, ASE and Kent Bicycle have asked to speak before the interagency Section 301 Committee at hearings scheduled for later this month. In addition, representatives or employees of Bike Friday, Kuat Racks, Kenda Rubber, Achieva Rubber and the North American Bike Share Association have all left comments opposed to the tariffs, although they have not requested to appear. 

    The five executives who requested to speak all submitted the requests on behalf of their companies and as representatives of either PeopleForBikes or the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association. They are: Bill Smith, the CEO of Huffy; Bob Margevicius, executive vice president at Specialized; Matt Moore, general counsel at QBP; Pat Cunnane, the president and CEO of ASE, the owner of Performance bike shops and ASI; and Arnold Kamler, the chairman and CEO of Kent International. 

    All the requests share similar language. For example Moore, who is a board member at BPSA, said he would "address whether the proposed tariffs on these bicycle product categories would further the U.S. Trade Representative’s goal of reducing the theft of intellectual property from the United States, and how a 10 percent tariff increase is likely to affect bicycle related businesses within the United States, including suppliers and distributors like QBP."

    Kamler, who has opened a bike assembly plant in South Carolina, said he "will focus specifically on the impact the tariffs are likely to have on companies like Kent that are working to assemble, produce, and manufacture bicycles in the United States." He said his testimony "will address the likelihood that higher tariffs on bicycle parts and components, primarily imported under Harmonized Tariff Schedule heading 8714, will undermine these efforts and make it more difficult to create domestic bicycle manufacturing jobs."

    Kuat's Bill Kaufman, who did not request to appear, wrote, "This proposed tariff increase will potentially cripple a growing business in Missouri." He said his company has grown to have 27 employees and that all Kuat's tooling has been created and is held at its partner factory in China. "We have built a sustainable, rapidly growing business in Missouri. We have achieved this through design, customer service and quality assembly from our partners in China. We are home to many young men and women who are achieving their goals financially and professionally. Before the proposed tariff increase, we had plans for continued growth to 40+ full time employees here in Springfield over the next few years. This tariff will have a negative impact on our business and stunt our growth as it will result in profit loss due to an increased cost for our product. Please consider a denial on this tariff, or at the minimum a gradual release allowing more time for businesses like ours to adapt."

    Currently there are about 15 comments visible on Regulations.gov that are from the bike industry regarding this round of proposed tariffs. However there may have been more comments submitted. There is a several day delay between submitting a comment and having it appear publicly on the site. The USTR will not post comments that contain private trade information and also weeds out those that appear to be coming from automated campaigns. PeopleForBikes said several hundred people submitted comments through the PeopleForBikes website in opposition to the earlier round of proposed tariffs, which included e-bikes. That effort was unsuccessful as the e-bike tariff was approved and takes effect Aug. 23

    Those who want to leave comments can do it via the PeopleForBikes website or directly at Regulations.gov. Comments are being accepted until Aug. 17. 


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    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — A new report shows that retailers — across all categories — are stocking up on Chinese consumer goods before the possibility of increased tariffs.

    Imports at the nation's major retail container ports have set two new records this summer and are expected to set another this month, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

    "Tariffs on most consumer products have yet to take effect but retailers appear to be getting prepared before that can happen," said Jonathan Gold, NRF's vice president for supply chain and customs policy. "We're seeing new record levels every month this summer. Much of that is to meet consumer demand as tax reform and a thriving economy drive retail sales, but part of it seems to be concern over what's to come."

    Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.85 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in June, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 1.6 percent from May and up 7.8 percent year-over-year. A TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

    July was estimated at 1.88 million TEU, up 4.4 percent year-over-year. August is forecast at 1.91 million TEU, up 4.4 percent; September at 1.82 million TEU, up 2.1 percent; October at 1.88 million, up 4.9 percent; November at 1.81 million TEU, up 2.6 percent, and December at 1.79 million TEU, up 4 percent.

    The June number set a new record for the number of containers imported during a single month, beating the previous record of 1.83 million TEU set in August 2017. The July estimate – which is subject to revision when the numbers become final – appeared to take the record higher and August should set yet another record.

    Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, covers the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Port of Virginia, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades, Miami and Jacksonville on the East Coast, and Houston on the Gulf Coast. 

     


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    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — There are more than a few surprises contained in VeloNews' recent Audience Study, which surveyed over 5,200 of the media brand's readers and online followers in what the magazine's publisher is calling "by far the most detailed media audience survey done in the bike industry in at least 25 years." 

    While most publishers survey their readers in hopes of showing potential advertisers how receptive their audience would be to their promotions, the new VeloNews study goes a few steps further, asking detailed questions about what its readers spend money on, how they shop and what they intend to buy next. 

    Among the surprises: while nearly all use the internet to find cycling information (on average 12.5 times a week), most (nearly 60 percent) still buy their bikes from their local bike shop. However, when asked what bike brand they intend to buy next, Canyon, a brand sold only online direct from the company, was the third most popular response, beating out many more established brands sold in stores. The most popular response was Specialized (34.8%), then Trek (29.4%), Canyon (23.3%), and Cannondale (20.8%).

    The study's respondents were unsurprisingly quite active cyclists: on average they said they rode 4.1 times per week. About a third of the respondents hold a racing license. Seventy six percent own a bike GPS unit and 44 percent own a power meter. The average respondent had $18,772 worth of bike stuff — including bikes, equipment, and clothing — in their household.

    Felix Magowan, the CEO of Pocket Outdoor Media, VeloNews' parent company, said the study proved his notion that readers of print magazines are more valuable to advertisers than readers who follow the same media brand through a website or social media. The study found that VeloNews' print magazine readers own more bicycles and spend 20 percent more on bicycles than its social media readers. And print readers own more bike stuff: they would need to spend 27 percent more than a social follower to replace all their cycling-related gear. VeloNews print readers earn 19 percent higher household income than VeloNews social followers.

    Brick-and-morter retailers might like print readers best, too, as the chart below shows. Print readers are more likely to have bought their most recent bike from a local shop (64.5%) than digital readers (58.5%). 

    However, Magowen said he found it "sobering" that high-end bike customers now spend far more on experiences, including travel, coaching and event fees, than on gear. About 87 percent of the respondents spend at least some money on bike-related travel. Among those who do spend on travel, on average they dole out $2,285 a year on costs including airfare, tour-company fees, hotels, gas, and rental cars.

    Nearly 60 percent of the respondents bought their last bike at a local bike shop. The next most common place to buy a bike was direct from the manufacturer, but that was a distant second place at 6.7 percent. eBay was the third most common source at 6.5 percent. Other sources included from an online or mail order company (5.7%), from a custom builder (3.8%), Craigslist (3.6%) or a chain bike shop like Performance (2.5%).

    Besides bikes, the study asked about the brands that respondents own or plan to buy when it comes to helmets, bike racks, wheels, suspension, tires, pedals, saddles, shoes, clothing, eyewear, stems and more.

    In some cases the information could be useful for retailers making buying decisions for the upcoming seasons. For most items, the study asked what brand they currently own and what brand they intend to buy next. For example, Saris CycleOps was the most commonly owned trainer, at 28.2 percent, but Wahoo was the brand most intend to buy next, at 53.5 percent. In other categories, the respondents were more loyal. For example Sidi is the most owned shoe (31.4%) and also the brand that most intend to buy next (23.9%).

    Pocket Outdoor Media's Dave Trendler said the study revealed another tidbit that IBDs can use: Facebook is perhaps their best channel for reaching customers. "65% of the core cycling demographic uses Facebook regularly," Trendler said. "Our audience also tells us that 1 in 3 core cyclists visits his local bike shop for more information on products they want to know more about. That’s a winning combination for IBDs.”

    The respondents were overwhelmingly roadies: 97.3 percent own a road bike, 68.4 percent own a mountain bike and 35.7 percent own a cyclocross bike. The fast-growing gravel bike segment has not penetrated VeloNews' reader base: only 21.8 percent own a gravel bike.

    The study was conducted by Attlesey Consulting, a New Mexico-based independent, third-party market research consultant. It drew from a sample of 5,200 reader responses to 74 detailed questions. The respondents were reached via campaigns on the VeloNews website, in its magazine, on its social media feeds and email newsletters, podcasts and videos. The report is available for download free at velonews.com/study.


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