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    Photos courtesy of Spokes, Etc.

    ARLINGTON, Va. (BRAIN) — In an emergency response trial held here recently, bicyclists were able to transport 1,250 pounds of water and 1,100 pounds of food over difficult terrain, showing how the vehicles can be put to use when needed the most.

    The Arlington Office of Emergency Management held a "Disaster Relief Trial" on Sept. 29, where participants were asked to complete obstacles and challenges using cargo bikes and regular bikes as the tools for disaster response.

    "We don't have a plan in place to use bicycles in the event of an emergency," said Samantha Brann, the deputy coordinator for Arlington Emergency Management. "We are using this event to learn more about the capacities of bikes during emergencies. This event was originally intended to help participants learn more about how bicycles could be an emergency preparedness, response and recovery tool for them, and encourage community members to better prepare themselves for emergencies."

    Spokes, Etc., a regional retail chain with a location in Arlington, supported the trial, which attracted about 70 families and individuals.

    "Most people associate bicycles with exercise, recreation or commuting," said Spokes, Etc.'s president, Jim Strang. "But during a major disaster, bicycles may be the only means that people have to escape danger or assist in the response when roads became gridlocked or damaged. We welcomed the opportunity to be part of an effort to help educate the community on how bicycles can be used during a time of need."

    The challenges included a physical barrier, a water crossing, rough terrain, and food and water pickups. Some teams accepted additional challenges, to relay a critical message, demonstrate use of a fire extinguisher, and pack a simulated wound.

    Participants had four hours to get through all the checkpoints. They received points based on completing the challenges successfully and transporting heavier weights of emergency supplies to the finish line. The top finishers received prizes.

    Arlington officials are surveying participants to learn how they will consider using their bikes in everyday and disaster situations.

    The Arlington event was modeled on challenges set up by Disaster Relief Trials, which has helped organize similar trials since 2014 in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Bend, Oregon.

    More information: disasterrelieftrials.com.


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    The Storck headquarters store in Idstein, Germany.

    By Jo Beckendorff

    IDSTEIN, Germany (BRAIN) — The high-end German brand Storck Bicycles has opened its consumer direct sales to most international markets, including the U.S., where the brand has about nine dealers but no distributor.

    Storck had launched its B2C site in Germany earlier this year. The new site offers sales to all countries except those where Storck has exclusive distributors, including Cambrian Tyres Ltd. in the UK and some further European and Asian country markets.

    Company founder and general manager Markus Storck said the new platform will be complemented by the Storck Store & Studio concept.

    "The changed purchasing behavior of our customers, the increasing shift toward the online business, and the success of our flagship stores and studios enable us to take this strategic step toward our new 4.0 sales concept. By making this move, we significantly contribute to the price stability of our products in the marketplace as well," Storck said.

    The flagship stores and studio offer consulting support and services such as measurement and seating position analysis, plus joint regional bike racing support. Storck said he believes deeply in what he calls the "look and feel" experience in connection with an online sales experience.

    Storck currently has no exclusive importers in Canada or the U.S., and no dealers in Canada. Markus Storck said he is working to convince his existing North American IBD partners to open Storck Studios in their shops. He plans to personally visit Alta Cycles in Concord, Massachusetts, next month when the store will open the first official Storck Studio in North America. He said he is in talks with other IBDs in the U.S. and Canada about opening studios.

    He said customers can choose to have their bikes sent directly to them or arrange to pick them up at a studio or store. Taking "possession of the new bike, which includes bike fitting, can be taken over a cup of coffee and during a congenial conversation. Fostering close customer relationships this way is one of the objectives of the new Storck 4.0 sales concept," the company said in a news release.

    According to Storck's marketing manager Mario Kuban the stores and studios will act as the brand's service hubs. The company headquarters in Germany will handle most warranty claims directly.

    The brand's online store at http://www.storckworld.com/" launched with notable novelties and attractive prices. For instance, the new 7 kilogram (15.4 pound) Fascenario. 3 Comp model with Shimano Ultegra and a carbon seatpost and handlebar will retail for $2,999. The online store also features the new Storck e-bike range including e-mountain bikes and e-road bikes.

     


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    Boulder, CO — Website and marketing provider SmartEtailing has hired Chris Bishop as Marketing Agency Manager. Bishop will lead the 20 person in-house marketing team that provides custom website design, website maintenance, and marketing for hundreds of bike shops in the US and Canada.

    Chris comes to SmartEtailing with over a decade of bicycle retail operations experience. He owned and operated the Trek Bicycle Stores of Columbus, a successful three store retailer in Ohio, for 11 years before selling in 2016. Previously, Chris worked with motorsports retailers on behalf of Honda and Polaris.

    "I've always had a passion for marketing," shares Bishop. "It was a key part of my success with the Trek Stores. Columbus is a super competitive market and we put a ton of energy into our website, email marketing, social media, events, and in-store experience. I'm excited to apply my ideas to a company with the scale of SmartEtailing."

    Brand building is a particular strength for Chris. "We had extra storeroom space at one of our bike shops so we started our own coffee roaster called Backroom Coffee Roasters, created a brand, and built up a pretty good business selling through local grocery stores and coffee shops. I think branding is a major opportunity for bike shops."

    SmartEtailing President Ryan Atkinson expressed confidence that Bishop can help retailers grow. "Chris' hands-on understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our retail clients makes him the perfect fit for our company. We want to align all of our marketing efforts with the business needs of our clients to make sure we are increasing sales for local retailers."

    Chris will focus on leveraging the rapidly improving SmartEtailing website software to attract more buyers for local retailers. Major initiatives for 2019 will include implementation of new online merchandising strategies and launching new local Google advertising for bicycle retailers.

    Chris has relocated to Colorado with his wife and three children. He went to college in Fort Collins and is excited to be back near the mountains.

     


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    BOULDER, Colo.  (BRAIN) — The Outdoor Industry Association has hired Patricia Rojas-Ungar to lead its advocacy agenda as the vice president of government affairs. Rojas-Ungar is currently vice president of public affairs at the U.S. Travel Association.

    "Patricia's deep public policy experience and proactive approach to issue advocacy are a huge asset for OIA and our efforts to advance the outdoor industry's positive influence on families and communities," said Amy Roberts, OIA's executive director. "Patricia will bring strong leadership and a proven track record to expand our government affairs work and deepen our industry's relationships with policymakers and stakeholders."

    In her new role leading OIA's Washington, D.C. office, Rojas-Ungar will manage OIA's overall government affairs programs including efforts to protect and fund outdoor recreation and lands, inform federal, state and local elected officials about the outdoor industry's outsized economic impact, support sensible and smart tariff reforms, and champion meaningful climate change mitigation strategies.

    "I'm honored to join OIA and proud to represent this extraordinary industry in Washington and across the country," Rojas-Ungar said. "The outdoor industry has long been a leader in sustainable business practices, responsible land and water stewardship, and product and retail innovation. I am thrilled to support the industry's continued growth and success."


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    ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BRAIN) — Industry Nine has signed a licensing agreement with Shimano to offer Micro Spline-compatible freehubs for use with the new XTR M9100 12-speed mountain group. All the freehubs will be produced at I9’s facility in Asheville, and will be available by the end of the year.

    Industry Nine said it’s the first North American brand to receive the license. Switzerland’s DT Swiss also offers Micro Spline freehubs. Shimano’s PR agency said the component giant is working with a small number of other brands on licensing agreements for Micro Spline but is leaving it up to them to make their own announcements.

    Financial details of Industry Nine’s licensing agreement were not immediately available.

    "We are happy to build on our relationship with Shimano and flattered to be one of the few brands offered a license for Micro Spline. This partnership allows our brand to continue offering all major axle and drivetrain specs — which riders have come to expect from Industry Nine,” I9 vice president Jacob McGahey said in a release.

    David Thomas, Industry Nine’s domestic sales manager, told BRAIN that Micro Spline compatibility was one of the most asked-about topics for the company at last month’s Interbike show.

    ”We like to be able to offer as many compatible options as possible for what mountain bikers are going to be seeing in the marketplace,” he said.

    Industry Nine will offer Micro Spline freehubs as an option on all current mountain bike wheelsets and hubs, and as a service component for any of its existing Torch series mountain hubs. Pricing has yet to be announced.


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    MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — WTB has added a 27.5 x 2.8 size to its Vigilante tread family. The company said the "the increased width provides a larger footprint, which translates to even more of the traction and confidence that has become synonymous with the Vigilante tread pattern."

    All levels of the Vigilante 2.8 feature WTB's TriTec Compound, a combination of three distinct rubbers for traction, support and durability. The base of the tread is supported by the firmest rubber, which also transitions halfway into the height of the knobs. This allows for the use of softer compounds on the surfaces of the knobs, while still providing a supportive base that doesn't fold under heavy cornering forces. The centerline knobs utilize a medium durometer compound to provide traction without sacrificing rolling efficiency or durability, while the outer knobs feature the softest compound to deliver maximum grip and slow rebound.

    The TCS Light version of the Vigilante 2.8 features WTB's new Slash Guard technology, which incorporates a protective nylon insert spanning the entire sidewall to provide extra protection without adding a significant weight penalty. 

    WTB suggests running the Vigilante 2.8 tire on a 35 mm inner rim width for optimal tire profile and volume, although inner rim widths up to 45 mm also fall within the recommended range. The Vigilante 2.8 is currently only available in a 27.5-inch diameter; WTB is working on a 29-inch version that will be available around February 2019. Depending on the casing and diameter, they are available with MSRPs ranging from $67.95 to $79.95. All levels of the Vigilante 2.8 27.5 are now in stock.


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    FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (BRAIN) — William Robert "Bobby" Hawley Sr., passed away last Thursday at age 87.

    Hawley was a bicycle retailer since his youth and went on to own several bike shops and founded the distributor The Hawley Company, which was later merged with Canada's Lambert. He was the father of longtime Hawley Company leader Steve Hawley. His sons William R. Hawley Jr., Mark, and David also worked for the family businesses.

    Bobby was the youngest of seven siblings and grew up in Massey Hill, North Carolina. 

    His dream of opening a bike shop dates to when he was 12. He bought four bikes from a man for $10 with money he had saved from his first job delivering and selling newspapers. He repaired the bikes and sold them for $10 each. Over the years he continued working, growing and saving money from his newspaper route to purchase land and build his dream. In 1964, with his wife Barbara, he opened Hawley's Cycle and Camping Center, which grew to five locations. 

    Bobby and Barbara married in 1952 and were life partners as well as business partners for 65 years. The pair traveled the world together, visiting more than 50 countries.

    "Bobby leaves a legacy of being a devout Christian who was very giving to his family, friends, community and church," the family said. "Bobby was a respected and successful businessman and entrepreneur. Methodist College named Bobby and Barbara Hawley co-recipients of the Small Business Excellence Award in 1997. Bobby loved attending UNC football and basketball games, traveling in his motor home, spending time with his grandkids, watching Hallmark movies, gardening, working Sudokus and jigsaw puzzles. He leaves us with wonderful memories, and his impact and influence on our lives will forever be felt."

    The family would like to thank the many friends for their calls, cards, visits, prayers and support over the last few months. The family would also like to thank Phillip Hall of Community Hospice for his compassionate care and love shown to Bobby. All of you are loved and appreciated.

    Services were held over the weekend. Memorial donations can be made to one of the causes that were close to Bobby's heart: Arran Lake Baptist Church, "All In" Building Fund, 1130 Bingham Dr., Fayetteville, NC 28304; Mack Roberts Evangelistic Association, P.O. Box 374, Dublin, NC 28332; Maurice and Vennie Hawley Scholarship, Methodist College, 5400 Ramsey St., Fayetteville, NC 28311.


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    IMBA's revenue and expenses in recent years.

    Editor's note: A version of this article appeared in the Oct. 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News

    RENO, Nev. (BRAIN) — Dave Wiens is a very fast guy. If you tried to follow IMBA’s executive director around Interbike, you’d find that out soon.

    The former top mountain bike racer spent the show stopping by virtually every booth, rallying industry support for the organization he has been leading since 2016.

    “I was there all three days and visited just about everyone. I got a very warm reception for IMBA and had some great conversations,” he said a few days after the show closed.

    While by no means IMBA’s only challenge, industry financial support is one area that needs shoring up. IMBA’s total revenue plummeted from $6.7 million to $3.9 million between 2016 and 2017

    A decline in bike industry support was a side effect of a larger loss, when longtime backer Subaru unexpectedly ended its funding in early 2016. That led to dozens of layoffs, salary reductions and other cutbacks at IMBA. “We lost a lot of contacts with the industry over the last one and a half or two years. At the same time, the industry was changing and going through a tough period of its own. When you lose those contacts, you lose funding,” Wiens said.

    Among the notable industry departures was Specialized, a big supporter of IMBA for decades and an “Elite Level” corporate sponsor (meaning the company donated more than $100,000) as recently as 2015. The company is not listed as a corporate supporter in IMBA’s 2017 Annual Report. Specialized has also reduced its support of PeopleForBikes.

    Specialized founder Mike Sinyard told BRAIN that his company has shifted its support to programs that help get kids on bikes, in particular the Specialized Foundation and the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. The company also has its own Soil Searching trail access program.

    "Specialized has long sponsored PeopleForBikes and IMBA — as a founding member of both organizations, we’ve always seen the value in what each brings to the cycling community. And while we still believe in the goals of both groups, we want to focus our efforts on areas that will shape the future of cycling,” Sinyard said (Sinyard also wrote about the decision in a recent BRAIN Guest Editorial).

    Wiens thanked Sinyard and the company for its years of support. “They’ve put a lot of money into mountain biking over the years and we thank them. We are going to focus on working with the willing,” he said.

    The Subaru pullout exposed IMBA’s deeper problems, which date to the launch of its Chapter Program in 2010.

    The Chapter Program set up membership revenue sharing between IMBA and regional chapters. By splitting membership dues with the regional groups, IMBA would support the groups and decentralize its organization. Individual chapter members would become IMBA members and vice versa, and IMBA bet it would wind up with more members, making up for the revenue it was sending back to the chapters.

    “That didn’t happen,” said Chris Conroy, the president of Yeti Cycles and IMBA’s board chairman. Although the Chapter Program might have had success in some areas, Conroy said, "From a pure business point of view, we wound up with less revenue.”

    Besides the declining membership revenue, there were other problems. The program offered a one-size-fits-all revenue sharing model to chapters, large or small. Many regional chapters didn’t see the upside of partnering with IMBA and thus lost contact with the group. Additionally, individuals were confused about whether they were joining one group or two, and the mandatory membership in IMBA felt to some more like a tax than a benefit.

    After much bloodletting and rightsizing, IMBA is now a more modest organization. It gave up its nice office on West Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado. Wiens works from his home in Gunnison, and his salary is about a third of that of the group’s previous director.

    Subaru's pullout — and maybe to a lesser extent the departure of Specialized — taught the group the value of diversifying its funding. It’s looking for a wider group of supporters across the bike industry, as well as nonendemic support. Within the industry, it’s looking to offer a broader array of sponsorship opportunities and it’s also revamping its retail program. It has also created and filled a new position: a grants manager, whose role is to find grant opportunities from nonendemic foundations as well as managing the grants IMBA offers.

    IMBA’s other major source of income is Trail Solutions, which provides bike trail design and construction. Trail Solutions contributed $1.4 million to IMBA last year, down from $2 million in 2016 and $2.1 million in 2015.

    IMBA ended the Chapter Program late last year, replacing it with IMBA Local. Instead of a revenue share with regional chapters, IMBA Local offers several tiers of support, for a charge. For example, IMBA can provide membership enrollment services, or send a trails consultant or government consultant out to help chapters on a specific program — for a fee. That allows IMBA to work with more groups of varying sizes, potentially increasing the total number of mountain bikers it supports.

    “Mountain bikers are mountain bikers, no matter what chapter they are in,” Wiens said.

    IMBA no longer offers individual memberships. Instead it counts participating chapter members as its supporters, and it solicits individual donations.

    IMBA Local and the elimination of the membership program was “an effort to clean up the confusion around the word ‘membership,’” said Kent McNeill, IMBA”s vice president of operations.

    McNeill, a former bike retailer, noted that younger mountain bikers are less interested in becoming members of an organization.

    “It just doesn’t resonate with them,” he said. “We can still offer supporters the same benefits, there’s just less confusion.”


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     MUNICH (BRAIN) —  BikeYoke says its new Divine SL internally routed dropper post was launched in response to riders’ requesting a shorter-travel post than the German brand’s predecessor, the 125- to 185-millimeter-travel Revive dropper.

    Designed for cross-country and marathon riding, the Divine SL has 80 millimeters of drop and comes in 30.9- and 31.6-millimeter diameters. The 30.9-millimeter version weighs 385 grams at its full 400-millimeter length, but can be cut down to 285 millimeters to tip the scales at less than 350 grams.

    The Divine SL has new internals integrated into a shell for weight savings. The mast´s lower is tapered on the inside and can be cut off to save extra weight.

    “We put a lot of attention to reliability and serviceability,” BikeYork stated in a release. “The Divine SL can be taken apart and serviced with basic tools and all service and spare parts will be available reasonably priced for end consumers. It’s a 10-minute job to do basic service — no oil spill involved, as you don´t need to open the hydraulic cartridge itself.”

    The post’s new Triggy X lever is designed for 1-by drivetrains and mounts under the handlebar via its own clamp or, with matchmaking adapters, can be mated to brake levers from SRAM, Shimano, Magura, Formula and Hope. A 2-by lever option is also available for riders running multi-chainring drivetrains, and can be mounted on either side of the handlebars.

    Suggested retail: $399, with delivery starting at the end of November.

    More information: bikeyoke.com.

     


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    Chicago, IL, September 16th, 2018: CABDA Expo announced on Wednesday that they are enhancing their commitment to training and education by offering scholarships to the upcoming PBMA Technical Workshop in Phoenix, November 5-8.

    Mechanics and other interested participants can save $100 off the $375 registration cost, and for those with true financial need, CABDA will pay for the entire registration. Registration includes a catered reception on Monday evening, lunch and snacks on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, as well as all workshop materials.

    This is CABDA's second sponsorship of the PBMA's regional tech summits. In June, Bicycle Retailer reported on CABDA's initial scholarship offer, after the BPSA rejected PBMA's grant request.

    "Our commitment to training and education should go beyond the dates of our trade shows and beyond the walls of our convention halls. We're going to help bring the training local and we're going to help subsidize the costs as much as we can." CABDA Show Director Jim Kersten said.

    CABDA's offer is open to any shop employee and even business owner, but both the event and funding are limited.

    CABDA's partnership with the Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association began two years ago and has grown considerably. PBMA now organizes and hosts the Education Series at both CABDA West and CABDA Midwest.

    "We need to invest in our people more than a couple days out of the year. And we should be doing it all across the country." Kersten added "We cannot do anything about tariffs or trade wars, but we can make sure that our shops are at the top of their game in every other category."

    CABDA West takes place January 16-17 at the Del Mar Racetrack near San Diego, will feature indoor and outdoor exhibits and demos. CABDA Midwest takes place February 13-14 at the Schaumburg Convention Center near Chicago.

    Interested mechanics and shop employees can register for the PBMA workshop at www.probma.org/phoenix.html. Use code "CABDAPhx" to save $100.

    Those wishing to apply for the financial aid scholarship should contact jim@cabda.com.


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    BAAR, Switzerland (BRAIN) — Piet van der Velde plans for his new cycling P&A brand to offer stable pricing at the upper end of the price spectrum, and said he aims to provide products worth the price.

    Van de Velde is a former product manager at Specialized, Cannondale and other brands, including the saddle brands Velo, Prologo, Selle Italia and Selle San Marco. His new Swiss-based brand, Ere Research, launched with a road tire line in the spring and will soon offer a line of saddles, as well. The saddles were designed by van der Velde and Dr. Roger Minkow, a longtime collaborator with Specialized.

    Ere hopes to have U.S. distributors lined up by spring 2019. For now, Ere tires are available in Europe, Australia, Canada, Taiwan and the U.K., although some U.S. consumers have been buying them via European online vendors.

    Van der Velde said the tire market is "a category in decay," with neither distributors nor retailers making good margins. He said Ere product design, technology, user experience and packaging is intended to help restore value, while its pricing policies maintain margins (he noted the European e-commerce sites Wiggle and ChainReaction are selling Ere tires at above MSRP).

    "When it comes to tires, seeing and feeling is believing," he said. "If (customers) can see and experience on the road the difference and then feel confident that this is the tire they need, they don't need to read four or five pages of convincing information," he said.

    Ere tire categories — road race, performance, gravel, wet conditions, aero/time trial, indoor trainer or 4-season — are visually distinguished by their tread design, so customers can tell a tire's purpose at a glance.

    Ere's Genus tubeless tires are packaged with sealant, a valve and extender and stickers.

    Tires are packaged in "an Apple-type box," complete with sealant and valve or a tube, a valve extender, stickers and a product card that explains the tread pattern and tire technology.

    "It sounds a bit over done when you are not used to looking at it that way, but the consumer expects this. We have to understand we are not getting away with a price tag wrapped around a tire anymore. People are expecting something different.

    "We've done some deep thinking about how consumers are experiencing products. Many distributors in the bike industry are thinking about what they want to sell, instead of thinking about what the consumer wants to buy."

    Besides the tire line, van der Velde is putting his experience to work by launching its saddle line this fall. Working with Minkow, who helped developed Specialized early Body Geometry saddles, van der Velde sought to offer a limited product line, uncluttered by the legacy models that many saddle brands continue to offer, instead offering what he calls "a clean and simple offering."

    The Ere saddle line is built on two shapes: flat or curved, for riders of varying flexibility. Each shape is offered in three widths and two nose lengths. Saddles also are available with a "Comfort Trigger," a small lever located under the nose that allows the rider to vary saddle flex on the fly. Ere saddles will retail for about $385 when they become available this winter.

    Van der Velde said Ere will add products in three new categories soon. The first is handlebar tape, the other two he's keeping under wraps for now.

    Ere recently announced that it was working with retired Swiss pro Fabian Cancellara, who will work as an ambassador and assist in tire product development, van der Velde said. "He's not going to be just holding up a tire and smiling. I expect to work with him on casings and tread designs as Fabian is probably one of the only few former pro's that has experience in all disciplines at the highest level. I've worked with him before and I know that I can expect honest feedback from him."


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    Company is expanding international distribution and sales through large retailers.

    RAPID CITY, S.D. (BRAIN) — Strider Bikes, launched in 2007, has recently sold its 2 millionth balance bike, less the three years after celebrating the sale of 1 millionth bike. 

    Entrepreneur Ryan McFarland was inspired to launch the company by his then 2-year-old son. Now, the brand has helped popularize the category and encouraged younger children to start bike riding.

    "It really was born in my garage out of necessity," said McFarland. "I went down the rabbit hole as far as I could go with what the market offered to get children riding. From tricycles to bikes with training wheels, I invested more than $2,000 into products that weren't designed with the child's success in mind. My solution was to create something my son could begin learning two-wheeled skills on from day one, and that required separating balancing from the act of pedaling in learning to ride."

    Strider has recently grown exponentially outside of the U.S. This year, the company has opened distribution in Israel, India, Spain, France and Germany, for a total of over 75 countries that distribute Strider Bikes. Next year Strider plans to increase its sales to major retailers, including Target.

    "I never envisioned this solution I was creating for my son would have grown to what it is today," said McFarland. "Now that I have seen how an amazing first-bike experience can impact a child's current and future success, I don't want to stop. So long as training wheels still exist — which severely hinder the learn-to-ride process — we're keeping the throttle pinned."


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    A Photo Studio + Brand/Content Agency

    SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Robin Sansom, former director of Blackburn Design, has launched a new photo studio and brand agency to service the needs of clients in the outdoor, cycling, fashion, and design industries. Dubbed Offsite Studio, the space includes agency offices and a fully functional photo studio to serve clients' content and creative needs, no matter how far reaching.

    Sansom has worked in product, marketing, and leadership roles for outdoor and cycling brands such as Kona, Yuba, Specialized and others. While at Blackburn Design, he led a significant restructuring and rebranding effort over the past six years, leading to a robust brand presence and a strong position in the market.

    "I'm lucky to have this chance to follow my passion in helping brands create a business strategy around their creative work," Sansom said. "I hope that I can use my experience to serve as the connective tissue between a brand's business and creative needs. We're committed to delivering compelling content that's just right for the client and beloved by consumers."

    Sansom's co-founder in the studio, Laura Cook, has a steeped career as a stylist in the photography industry. Cook will help to bring further depth to the agency's offerings and a diversity of clients to the business, ranging from local to global brands.

    Offsite Studio will have strong in-house capabilities, but will also access a trusted network of talented collaborators to further extend their expertise in services from photography and video to graphic design and illustration. Offsite will also offer innovative outdoor excursions that are designed to generate stunning content with meaningful stories in partnership with multiple brands. These trips will not only result in incredible visual assets for brands, but will do so with considerable efficiency at an economy of scale.

    More about Offsite Studios can be found at offsite-studio.com


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    NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, England (BRAIN) — Set to open in February, the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub will offer the cycling industry R&D facilities including two wind tunnels, 3D scanning tools for CFD (computational fluid dynamics) modeling, and a robot-equipped "bike efficiency rig" intended to provide accurate and repeatable testing of frames and components. The hub also includes office and workshop space for rent.

    The 26,000-square-foot facility is being launched by TotalSim, specialists in aerodynamic testing with roots in Formula 1 racing. It is located in Silverstone Park, a business technology center within England's "F1 Belt." Silverstone is also home to annual cycling industry distributor show The Bike Place.

    "We are aiming for this to be the best R&D center for sport in the country," said Rob Lewis, managing director of TotalSim. "What's more, it's going to be affordable to companies that previously could only dream of carrying out R&D at this level. We're inviting professional teams, bike brands and clothing manufacturers to make the most of facilities that until now we know have been the preserve of only the best funded national federations."

    The two new wind tunnels will consist of a sports performance tunnel optimized for testing cycling, winter and para sports equipment, plus a fabric development wind tunnel for controlled and repeatable testing of fabrics. Clients can bring their own experts to operate the wind tunnels or use aero engineers provided by the facility.

    More information: silverstonesportshub.co.uk.


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    CARLSBAD, Calif. (BRAIN) — Tom Kattus is leaving Campagnolo North America after 10 1/2 years as the company's general manager for North America. Kattus and the Italian company said the parting was amicable.

    "Tom joined the Campagnolo company in April of 2008 as general manager of Campagnolo North America and I joined the Campagnolo company in 2010. I've had the pleasure of working with Tom over the past 8 years and we have collaborated very well together," said Michele Cardi, the commercial director of Campagnolo. "We are very sad to see Tom go, but know he will continue to be an ambassador for our brand and he will do great things in his future endeavors."

    Kattus said, "It has truly been my pleasure and honor to work with the Campagnolo brand over the past 10 years. I've had a great team to work with in Carlsbad and Vicenza, and I have fostered great relationships and lifelong friendships with our distributors, OEM partners and dealers. I will always be grateful for the 10 years with this iconic brand, but it's time for me to close this chapter of my professional career and explore new opportunities.

    "I'm going to enjoy some time off with family and friends and will come back fully charged and ready for my next adventure."

    Kattus final day with Campagnolo was Tuesday. Michele Cardi will be taking over the position of managing director.


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    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — President Donald Trump has ordered the State Department to begin renegotiating the Universal Postal Union treaty, which allows China and other developing countries to ship products to the U.S. at very low rates. Trump said the U.S. is prepared to withdraw from the treaty if negotiations are not successful by early 2020.

    Small businesses, commercial shipping companies and U.S. manufacturers have said the postal program gives Chinese vendors a significant advantage, especially on small, high-value items including electronics and clothing. 

    Eliminating the cheap rates would be a start, said Pat Cunnane, the CEO of Advanced Sports Enterprises, owner of the Performance Bicycle stores and the distributor ASI.

    "Happy to have it," Cunnane told BRAIN on Thursday. Cunnane has been pushing for a reduction in the U.S. Customs de minimus, which currently waives paperwork and duty collection on shipments valued under $800.

    "The goal remains to reduce the de minimus from $800 to $50 (or use China's $8.00 value)," Cunnane said.

    The White House on Wednesday said the U.S. will work to adopt new rates "as soon as practical, and no later than January 1, 2020." It will also file notice that the U.S. is withdrawing from the UPU. "If negotiations are successful, the Administration is prepared to rescind the notice of withdrawal and remain in the UPU," the White House said in a statement.

    About 60 percent of packages shipped into the country are from Chinese companies, who often offer free shipping on consumer orders of small items. The shipping rates under the treaty are based on weight, not value. The treaty allows shipments of packages up to 4.4 pounds for as little as $5.

    The National Association of Manufacturers is among the trade groups that said it supports ending the shipping discount.

    "Manufacturers look forward to working with the administration to finally end the subsidy China receives from the U.S. Postal Service and to create an environment with fair and nondiscriminatory shipping around the world," said Patrick Hedren, a vice president of the trade association.


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    IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Lazer Sport NV is recalling some sizes of helmet models sold in the U.S. and Canada since 2015.

    The Shimano-owned brand has determined that in some cases, certain Blade, Magma, Elle and Jade helmet models do not pass roll-off tests under the CPSC standards. Lazer said that in rare circumstances, the strap anchorage may detach from the helmet during impact.

    It only concerns sizes XS and S of the CPSC helmets sold in North America.

    Lazer said it is unaware of any accident reports and said it considers the safety risk to be very low.

    The Lazer helmets affected in North America are only the following models:

    Model, Identification Code, CPSC sizes
    BLADE, LZB-08 XS, S
    ELLE, LZB-08 S
    MAGMA, LZB-08 S
    JADE, LZB-08 S

    No other Lazer helmets are affected.

    The models affected were sold in a variety of colors.

    A white sticker with model name, identification code and size can be found inside the helmet as shown at left. 

    Consumers are being told to contact the dealer where they bought the helmet as soon as possible to arrange for a free replacement. The replacement helmets for the Blade and Magma have new model names: BLADE+ and MAGMA+ and the replacement helmets have a new strap anchorage designed to meet the CPSC standards. They can be also identified by the new ID codes "LZB-081" and "LZB-181."

    For more information, in the U.S. call 800-423-2420 (8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.~Fri. PT). For Canada call 877-377-5211 (8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET).

     


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    The show says its OutDoor demo, educational offerings and other events were well attended and got top marks from attendees.

    SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Interbike show organizers said overall feedback was mostly positive from exhibitors and attendees at last month's expo in Reno, Nevada. While the show reports that retail buyer attendance was down about 28 percent, it said exhibitors remarked that although traffic was lighter than expected, the quality of the retailers they met with was high.

    "Overall feedback from exhibitors and attendees was mostly positive, reinforcing the fact that gathering the industry for quality face-to-face national engagement is beneficial to the health of our group," the show stated.

    Show organizers said they counted more than 5,000 attendees at the expo at the Northstar California Resort on Saturday and Sunday, plus more than 2,500 visitors on Monday, when the outdoor event was restricted to trade visitors. They also said Sunday evening's new Retailer Welcome Reception was at capacity with approximately 150 retail buyers in attendance.

    "As with any major change to an event, we have things to learn and refine in the future," said Justin Gottlieb, the vice president of Interbike. "The demo experience was certainly improved over (OutDoor Demos) in the past, with Northstar California providing an amazing venue, but we hate to see empty bike racks with attendees waiting to ride. While this may be viewed as a good problem to have, there's an opportunity for more brands to get consumers (who came from the Bay Area, Sacramento, Reno and beyond) and retailers from across the country, on their bikes at an epic venue. Now that we've gone through an event cycle, our sales team will be better prepared to show benefits and features of the event to industry brands."

    The indoor show marked the first time in years that Interbike had a convention center to itself, with no other trade shows in the same location.

    "Our tribe was together as one, and the vibe — starting with energetic music in the lobby and expanding to the new Open Air District and outdoor test track, which held 45 companies — provided a refreshing indoor/outdoor experience," the show said.

    About 3,000 test rides were taken and tracked using RFID technology during the course of the expo at The Circuit test track. More than 130 bikes were available.

    "While the attendance numbers were lower than expected, the new location offered a fresh experience to the industry during a time when change is needed," Gottlieb said. "As I said in my opening statement before the Industry Breakfast, the last few years in particular have been challenging for the North American market — but we are bullish about the future of our business. Interbike is going to invest in and focus on growing attendance — from retailers to distributors, product managers, sales reps and more, as this is our primary goal for the 2019 event. We also have several sizable changes in the works for 2019 that we hope to announce in the near future.

    "Trade shows play an important role in the business cycle of so many industries, as they bring valuable face-to-face interaction to all key constituents. We believe in the IBD and will continue to evolve our events to meet the needs of the bicycle industry."

    Gottlieb said the show's dealer and manufacturer educational content received some of the highest marks in the history of the event, and those events were very well attended throughout the week.

    The Industry Breakfast, with speaker John Venhuizen, the CEO of Ace Hardware, drew more than 800 people.


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    Swansea, Wales: Tredz Bikes, the UK market leader in performance cycling, has today announced the appointment Stuart Read as Head of Commercial.

    Read is an experienced hand in the bike industry, having developed an impressive career in various roles at Evans Cycles. Joining Tredz Bikes in November 2018, Stuart Read will be leading the buying team which works with some of the most prestigious brands in cycling including Specialized, Giant, Cube and Orbea.

    Tredz Bikes was acquired by the Halfords Group in 2016, announcing its ambition to develop and grow the retailer to better serve the performance cycling market.

    Alexander Bartholomew, Managing Director of Tredz Bikes said, 'Stuart is a fantastic addition to the Tredz Bikes leadership team. He knows the bikes, the brands and has a deep affinity with our own values of customer obsession, expertise and quality. I am delighted to welcome him on board at this exciting time for the business'

    Stuart Read said, 'It's really exciting to be joining Tredz Bikes, a business with a lot of ambition, drive and passion for the industry. I hope to continue and evolve the great work being done, adding my own enthusiasm and the experience I've gained from the last 15 years working with Evans Cycles. I am looking forward to the challenge, the opportunity to work with new brands and the expertise that I can learn from, not to mention the incredible riding the new location has to offer!'

    For more information about Tredz Bikes, please visit www.tredz.co.uk


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    TORONTO (BRAIN) — 3T is making it aero gravel bike, the Exploro, available in a new limited edition build with a Racing Green color frameset.

    The bike comes spec'd with a SRAM Force 1 drivetrain and brakes, 650b Discus Plus Pro wheels and WTB Byway tires. A 3T cockpit and WTB saddle complete the build.

    The Exploro Team Force Green is available in limited quantities now for $4,500. More information at 3t.bike/exploro.


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