Articles on this Page
- 11/12/18--08:47: _BIO-key launches fi...
- 11/12/18--10:59: _Through the Grapevi...
- 11/12/18--16:58: _Trek, Kent and othe...
- 11/13/18--09:54: _Pon Holdings makes ...
- 11/13/18--10:54: _BKool to ship new s...
- 11/13/18--12:18: _CushCore moves to l...
- 11/13/18--12:19: _7mesh names John Zo...
- 11/14/18--04:00: _New book examines h...
- 11/15/18--15:41: _One on One Bicycle ...
- 11/15/18--15:42: _Former BRAIN publis...
- 11/16/18--06:00: _ASE, owner of Perfo...
- 11/16/18--08:00: _Nothstein concedes ...
- 11/16/18--08:19: _Tenneco agrees to b...
- 11/16/18--10:03: _Enve introduces whe...
- 11/16/18--08:16: _Wahoo Earns Spot on...
- 11/19/18--08:41: _Lance Camisasca Lau...
- 11/19/18--09:38: _Ride Concepts build...
- 11/19/18--09:51: _Enviolo launches ne...
- 11/19/18--10:55: _BPSA and PeopleForB...
- 11/19/18--14:08: _Park Tool looking f...
- 11/12/18--08:47: BIO-key launches fingerprint/Bluetooth controlled bike lock
- 11/12/18--10:59: Through the Grapevine: BRAIN's print column goes digital
- 11/12/18--16:58: Trek, Kent and others look to Cambodia for production
- 11/13/18--09:54: Pon Holdings makes bid for minority share in Accell Group
- 11/13/18--10:54: BKool to ship new smart trainer in January
- 11/13/18--12:18: CushCore moves to larger headquarters in Bend
- 11/13/18--12:19: 7mesh names John Zopfi general manager for EMEA
- 11/14/18--04:00: New book examines how Cervélo disrupted the industry
- 11/15/18--15:41: One on One Bicycle Studio to relocate pending sale of building
- 11/16/18--06:00: ASE, owner of Performance Bicycle and ASI, files for Chapter 11
- Active Cycle, China: $4.4 million
- PT Insera, India: $3.3 million
- Vista Outdoor: $1.77 million
- Shanghai General Sports, China: $1.5 million
- Mizuki International, Taiwan: $1.4 million
- Todson: $548,000
- Highway Two: $423,000
- Marin: $409,000
- Garmin: $290,000
- Saris: $285,000
- Elite: $264,000
- Accell NA: $280,000
- Aptos: $212,000
- Louis Garneau: $204,000
- Wahoo: $202,000
- Pearl Izumi: $200,000
- Lezyne: $198,000
- Castelli: $196,000
- Vittoria: $159,000
- Fox: $149,000
- Clif Bar: $131,000
- Eliptigo: $200,000
- EN-R-G Food: $82,000
- J&B: $178,000
- Marin Bikes: $71,000
- Team Tibco: $35,000
- PeopleForBikes: $22,000
- PinkBike: $11,000
- Nov. 7, 2018: Dean wins US House seat in Pennsylvania
- Aug. 24, 2018: ASE consolidates Nashbar and Performance systems, closes Ohio warehouse
- Aug. 20, 2018: At tariff hearing, ASE's Cunnane proposes solution to unfair trade with China: de minimis reform
- April 18, 2017: ASE begins search for new Performance president
- Nov. 15, 2016: David Pruitt steps down as Performance CEO
- Aug. 16, 2016: ASI buys Performance Bicycle
- March 16, 2015: ASI buys Phat Cycles and Sterling bike brands
- Dec. 9, 2013: ASI says Calgary bike shop can use Roubaix name
- Dec. 13, 2013: ASI, Specialized and Cafe Roubaix in 'complete alignment' over trademark
- Sept. 23, 2008: ASI purchases Breezer
- Oct. 16, 2007: Advanced Sports Purchases Kestrel
- 11/16/18--08:00: Nothstein concedes special election for US House
- 11/16/18--08:19: Tenneco agrees to buy Öhlins for $180 million
- 11/16/18--10:03: Enve introduces wheelset and fork for fat bikes
- 11/16/18--08:16: Wahoo Earns Spot on Deloitte’s 2018 Technology Fast 500TM Ranking
- 11/19/18--08:41: Lance Camisasca Launches Event Consultation Services
- 11/19/18--09:38: Ride Concepts builds out US sales force
- 11/19/18--09:51: Enviolo launches new transmission system for cargo bikes
- 11/19/18--14:08: Park Tool looking for submissions for Community Tool Grant Program
WALL, N.J. (BRAIN) — BIO-key International, which has sold fingerprint-controlled locks through hardware stores and other outlets for several years, has now launched its first bike lock.
The TouchLock Bike is a cable lock that can be opened with a fingerprint or wirelessly via a mobile phone app. It initially is available through Amazon, but a company spokesman told BRAIN the company is exploring distribution options in the bike market and is open to talking to distributors and retailers.
The TouchLock Bike is offered in three versions; fingerprint (FP); Bluetooth only (BT); and fingerprint plus Bluetooth (Pro).
Mike DePasquale, the chairman and CEO of BIO-key, said, "BIO-key's TouchLock Bike locks are sturdy, intelligent and easy to use, leveraging the security and convenience of our biometric technology as well as Bluetooth communications. The user-friendly nature of our TouchLock Bike series makes it more likely that owners will lock their bikes at every opportunity, and by removing keys and combinations that can be lost or forgotten, we believe TouchLock provides greater protection against theft. Further, the flexibility of our solution enables users to enroll friends, colleagues and family for convenient TouchLock access wherever your bicycle may be."
"The U.S. launch of our TouchLock Bike padlock line via Amazon builds upon the excitement and sales momentum we have already initiated in Asia. We are excited to extend the reach of this product into the U.S. where we are optimistic about the sales prospects for the upcoming holiday season," he added.
More information at bio-key.com. BIO-key International, Inc. is traded on Nasdaq under the BKYI symbol.
Editor's note: The Grapevine column has been in every issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News since our third issue in 1992, when it shared a page with the latest news from Barracuda Bicycle Company. Now called "Through the Grapevine," it's evolved over the years from personnel news and gossip to news tidbits, to very much an editorial analysis and commentary column. While Barracuda is long gone, the Grape', as we call it here, remains in each issue, and will also be available on the website starting now.
The company you keep: My mama used to say that individuals should be judged by the company they keep. Think of that admonition as a dual warning: Be careful of the friends you make and keep a sharp eye on your friends’ friends. Not bad advice, really. With that said, let’s take a peek at the policies and predilections of Tom McClintock, who, it’s fair to say, inhabits the far right wing of the Republican Party and who claims to be a friend of the industry. I find McClintock an interesting politico, particularly so since Ted Stroll, the leader of the Sustainable Trails Coalition, has made common cause with McClintock — each wants to open federal wilderness areas to mountain biking. More on that later. Think of wilderness as akin to the Statue of Liberty. That copper statue is irreplaceable, much like our wilderness. Just as immigrants entered New York Harbor to free themselves from the strictures of a less hospitable homeland, we enter wilderness to free ourselves from the strictures of 21st-century life.
Keeping an eye on friends: Tom McClintock entered Congress in 2009 after some years as a California assemblyman and later a state senator. He took a stab at the governorship, but the Terminator terminated him. Today, he represents California’s Fourth District, strung out along the Sierra Nevada foothills from just north of Truckee to south of Fresno — the spine of California’s Central Valley. Depending upon how one looks at a map of the Fourth, I grew up on a farm that’s a speck in McClintock’s district. This district is as red as a split-open watermelon. The Fourth is also home to three national parks — Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia. I spent a lot of time in those parks. As a kid, I spent winter weekends shoveling snow at Yosemite’s Badger Pass, staying in heated tents near the village. Later, as a young newspaper reporter, I was tasked with keeping tabs on Kings Canyon and Sequoia. Not a bad beat. I spent a lot of time with park rangers and hiked and skied that pristine backcountry until my career shifted to the East Coast.
Pick your friend, pick your politics: In earlier times, we’d call McClintock a “carpetbagger,” having left White Plains, New York, for warmer climes and politics. After some book learning at UCLA, McClintock began his political career at age 23 — elected chairman of the Ventura County Republican Party. McClintock is a career politician who’s fed at the public trough most of his adult life, having won 15 out of 20 races for public office (I find his lifelong desire to keep his snout in the trough amusing given his conservative bona fides). So here’s a snapshot of McClintock’s 39 years of political history. At age 62, he’s earned a top rating from the American Conservative Union as the most conservative Republican in California. In almost 10 years in Congress, Govtrack credits him with just four pieces of legislation: He named one mountain peak and two post offices, and put four acres of public land in trust for California’s Miwok Indians. His ranking among conservation groups is near zero — surprise, surprise. And Planned Parenthood would give him a minus zero if it could.
STC and its political friend: A quick review of McClintock’s legislative track record should give Ted Stroll and his followers concern. He’s an avowed climate denier and signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity to fight any legislation that smacked of global warming concerns. He’s an anti-tax zealot and pro-gun to the max. He opposes same-sex marriage, favors logging in Yosemite, and backs oil drilling off California’s coast and everywhere else for that matter (think Arctic National Wildlife Refuge). And don’t even mention the word “amnesty.” No point helping anyone with Mexican roots. I could go on, but I’d say that’s a fair political profile of Ted Stroll’s friend.
You are who your friends are: Stroll and the STC membership have picked a loser to shepherd their cause to allow mountain bikers access to America’s wilderness. Of course, McClintock did have two Republican Utah senators, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, introduce a companion bill in the Senate. For those with a short memory, it was Hatch and Lee who led the shrinkage of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, garnering effusive praise from President Donald Trump. Stroll told High Country News (I am a former HCN board member) that the three legislators are simply taking a stand for mountain bikers on principle. “We’ve had extensive talks, and I don’t perceive that they have ulterior motives,” Stroll told HCN. Well, Ted, that’s just goddamn poppycock. Wake up and smell the oil, the minerals, and the trees that the likes of McClintock, Hatch, Lee and others would love to extract from wilderness areas. For them, mountain bikes in the wilderness is a stalking horse for bulldozers, fracking rigs, chainsaws and other extractive tools best left outside wilderness areas. So don’t listen to what they say; watch what they do. As for myself, I’d stay as far away from McClintock and his ilk as possible. My mama had it right: You’re judged by the friends you keep. And these are no friends of the bicycle industry.
Got a tip for our Through the Grapevine writer? Email Marc Sani at email@example.com.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Cambodia, already the biggest bicycle supplier to the EU, is making up ground in the U.S. market as well due to the recent tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.
Trek Bicycle plans to move production of at least 200,000 bikes from China to Cambodia next year, according to multiple sources who spoke with BRAIN at the recent Taipei Cycle show and elsewhere. The bikes are opening-price-point models with aluminum frames and will be made at the A&J (Cambodia) factory. Since opening in Cambodia in 2006, A&J has made bikes for Bianchi, Scott, Felt, Rocky Mountain, Norco, and Kona there.
A Trek Bicycle spokesman did not reply to multiple inquiries from BRAIN to comment on the move.
The production is being shifted away from Giant Manufacturing's facilities in China. Giant Manufacturing's Irene Chen said she would not comment on Giant's OEM business, but noted that the company is focused on e-bike and high-end traditional bike manufacturing and is seeing growth in those areas.
"The overall global economy and market poses many uncertainties due to the trade war between U.S. and China," Chen said. "Giant will continue to take leverage of its Asia and European production facilities, focusing on short supply lead time and global positioning to maintain its growth opportunities in this challenging market."
Kent International also plans to move a large share of its production from China to Cambodia in the next few months. One of Kent's major Chinese suppliers is building a new, 500,000-square-foot factory in Cambodia. Kent's CEO, Arnold Kamler, said the factory will begin shipping some bikes in September 2019.
"Assuming the 25 percent tariff takes effect, the idea is to move essentially all of our production from China to Cambodia," Kamler told BRAIN. He said that to comply with U.S. Customs rules of origin, the Kent bikes from Cambodia will have at least 35 percent of their value from Cambodian parts or labor and will have Cambodia-made frames and forks.
While most of Cambodia's bike factories are near the Vietnam border in the north, the factory that Kent is working with is in the south, near the nation's capital city of Phnom Penh.
Cambodian bikes are imported in the U.S. duty-free because of the country's Generalized System of Preferences status. Bikes from most other countries (including China and Taiwan) have been historically subject to a U.S. import duty of 11 percent. With the imposition of a 10 percent tariff on Chinese bikes in September, the tariff advantage over Chinese bikes is now 21 percent. Trump's 10 percent tariff is set to increase to 25 percent in January, furthering Cambodia's head start on China.
Manufacturers are also looking to Vietnam and Indonesia as alternatives to China. And production of higher-priced bikes is shifting back to Taiwan, although that country does not have the capacity or available labor to resume supplying all the brands that moved production to China in recent years.
Europe has been ahead of the U.S. in moving bike production to Cambodia, which is now the largest bike supplier to the EU. Most bike imports into the EU are subject to a 14 percent tariff that is waived for Cambodian bikes under the EU's GSP Plus program. Under GSP Plus, the EU even waives a 14 percent tariff on the costs of shipping bikes from Cambodia. The shipping cost tariff is collected on imports from most other countries.
In Europe, there are some concerns that the European Commission could end the GSP Plus status for Cambodia because of human rights concerns. And Taiwan still has the edge on Cambodia in exports of higher-value bikes and e-bikes to Europe.
In the U.S., importers began bringing in significant numbers of bikes from Cambodia in 2011, as shown in the graph at left. The spike in imports in 2013 is likely due to the decision by Specialized to move a significant amount of its adult and kids bike production to Cambodia that year. The following year, Specialized moved most of its adult bike production back to Taiwan, but continues to have kids bikes made in Cambodia.
Last year, Cambodia was a distant third, behind China and Taiwan, in supplying the U.S. with bikes, as shown in the chart at the top of the page.
Despite the tariff advantage and lower labor costs, manufacturing in Cambodia remains a challenge for a number of reasons. The country lacks an industry cluster, so many components must be imported, adding to the cost and lead times. The country also lacks a deep-water port, so exporters need to use smaller feeder vessels to get inventory out of the country, adding to cost and lead times. The country has at times been politically unstable and labor strikes have shut down some factories for weeks at a time. However, companies doing business in Cambodia say those factors are improving each year.
Marc Sani contributed with reporting from Taiwan.
AIMERE, Netherlands (BRAIN) — Pon Holdings, the parent company of bike brands including Santa Cruz and Cervélo, is making another bid to acquire a minority stake in Accell Group, the parent company of bike brands including Raleigh, Haibike and Diamondback.
Pon said Tuesday that is intends to offer cash for about 20 percent of the outstanding shares in Accell Group. Pon plans to offer 19 euros (about $21) per share.
Accell Group issued a news release saying it "has taken notice" of the offer and said its board will come up with a reaction in due time.
Pon said it had already reached an agreement to buy the shares in Accell currently held by Boron Investments. That would give Pon about 5.1 percent of all Accell's shares already.
Pon made a nonbinding offer to buy Accell last year that was not accepted.
Pon's offer of 19 euros per share is a 25.3 percent premium compared to the closing share price Monday. Pon said it will finance the offer with cash on hand.
Pon Holdings is one of the Netherlands' largest family-owned businesses, with nearly 13,000 employees. It's active in several markets, including automotive, construction vehicles and machinery, and the shipping industry. Its bike division, called Pon Bike, is the parent of Cervélo, Santa Cruz, Juliana, Focus, Univega (in some markets), Gazelle, Faraday, Kalkhoff and Union.
Accell Group's brands include Haibike, Winora, Batavus, Sparta, Koga, Lapierre, Ghost, Raleigh, Diamondback, Tunturi, Atala, Redline, Loekie and XLC. Accell Group and its subsidiaries employ approximately 3,000 people in 18 countries worldwide. In 2017, Accell Group sold about 1.3 million bicycles and recorded sales of more than 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion).
ST. CHARLES, Ill. (BRAIN) — Bkool plans to start shipping its new direct drive trainer, the Smart Air, in January.
The top-of-the-line model will retail for $1,199. The company said that compared to other premium smart trainers, the Smart Air is more powerful, simulates steeper slopes, and allows 6 degrees of side to side rocking motion for realistic out of the saddle riding.
The unusual design positions the resistance unit in the air, allowing the side-to-side movement, which also protects the bike from torsion.
The trainer is capable of generating up to 3,000 watts of power and simulating slopes up to 25 percent. Its power measurement system uses infrared sensors to provide +/- 2 percent accuracy. Bkool says the Smart Air is also one of the quietest direct drive trainers on the market thanks to its internal cooling system.
It has Bluetooth and ANT + FE-C. It's compatible with 12 mm thru axles and standard quick release axles. It's also compatible with Shimano or Sram 7-11 speed cassettes, 12-speed Sunrace cassettes for Shimano or Sram freehub bodies and 10-12 speed Campagnolo geared bikes, using Shimano, Sram, Miche or Sunrace cassettes.
More information: www.bkool.com.
BEND, Ore. (BRAIN) — CushCore has moved to a new and larger headquarters. The company remains located Bend, Oregon, but at 6,000 square feet the new facility is nearly three times the size of the previous location.
CushCore will share the new facility with suspension turning business Kreft Moto. This move allows both CushCore and Kreft Moto room to expand operations in an effective manner. In addition to the increased warehousing space, CushCore/Kreft have implemented Lean methodology and a Kanban inventory management system to ensure maximum supply chain efficiency.
Launched in February 2017 has seen rapid sales growth and partnered with distributors worldwide, the company stated. The increase in order volume along with a growing staff headcount warranted the move to a larger facility.
The new address is: CushCore Headquarters, 63003 Plateau Drive, Suite 1, Bend, OR 97701.
SQUAMISH, British Columbia (BRAIN) — 7mesh Apparel has appointed John Zopfi to the newly created position of general manager EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa). He has more than two decades of experience in the outdoor apparel business.
A trail runner, bike racer, sea kayaker and amateur boxer, Zopfi brings with him a well-rounded approach to sport anchored in a passion for all forms of cycling. After spending 11 years as a sergeant instructor in the Dutch Army, he followed his love of the outdoors into a career that has included nearly a decade with Patagonia, time working as a consultant and, most recently, a stint with Gore Apparel.
“John’s experience building and leading commercial teams makes him the ideal candidate to support the growth of our European business,” 7mesh CEO Tyler Jordan said.
Zopfi will work from his base in the Netherlands to help 7mesh grow its operations throughout Europe and beyond, starting Dec. 1.
“When I first saw the 7mesh brand I was very impressed with the way it proved that functionality, quality, fit and beauty can go together,” Zopfi said. “It's pure, inclusive and not bound by convention. I can’t wait to help more riders find and enjoy adventures in 7mesh apparel.”
TORONTO (BRAIN) — To Make Riders Faster is a new book by Anna Dopico, examining the launch of Cervélo.
"This is the story of two McGill University engineers, Phil White and Gerard Vroomen, two students who coincidently ended up in the same lab at the same time and began a conversation," the publisher said.
"That conversation quickly morphed into a business partnership that would forever change the cycling industry's ideal and idea of aerodynamics. It was an unlikely yet successful partnership of circumstance."
Dopico provides an inside view as White's wife, as well as a business and financial adviser.
To Make Riders Faster is a 256 page hardcover. It can be purchased from tomakeridersfaster.com. The book retails for $70 CDN and $53 in the U.S.
MINNEAPOLIS (BRAIN) — Gene Oberpriller has lived or worked, or both, in the historic building in downtown Minneapolis where his shop, One on One Bicycle Studio, is located, since 1989. He moved into a second-story apartment above a massage parlor, where he lived while racing bikes until the late ’90s when, as he puts it, “the money dried up and we all had to get real jobs.”
For Oberpriller, that meant working as a bike messenger, as an ad agency location scout, a sales rep, and finally, for Salsa not long after QBP purchased it in 1997.
“I was a pretty good ambassador at the time, a figurehead for Salsa. But we had a few dust-ups over direction. I didn’t play well, so I signed my release,” Oberpriller said. “I was the first to be hired and the first to be fired there after Steve (Flagg) bought it. Right then, we started the shop.”
Oberpriller, along with his wife Jennifer, who was QBP’s marketing director at the time, opened Gene’s Bicycle Junkyard in the basement below the massage parlor in 2000 as a small, one-counter service department.
The Oberprillers moved the business upstairs and renamed it One on One Bicycle Studio when the first floor became available in 2003. They gutted the 3,000-square-foot space, acquired a feral three-legged cat named Triker, who would eventually become a reluctant but cooperative shop pet, and added a coffee bar and café. Oberpriller said he took inspiration from a number of bike shops, including Over the Edge Sports in Fruita, Colorado, Sedona Bike & Bean and the Bay Area’s Robinson Wheel Works, which had a coffee shop next door.
“Jennifer and I and Hurl (Thomas Everstone) from Cars-R-Coffins, we brainstormed opening a shop like this. We loved to go hang out at coffee shops before and after riding bikes,” he said. “Five years later, we did it.”
The shop hosts art shows, group rides and impromptu DJ sets at the shop and around the Twin Cities. One on One’s building has a storied history in the Minneapolis music scene, with various bands from all over the country passing through and staying on the second and third floors.
The shop specializes in off-road riding, carrying Santa Cruz, Ibis, Yeti, Specialized and several others over the years. But it also carries a variety of city, road and adventure models.
“I was really fortunate. Minneapolis was just starting to gain a foothold in the cycling market, with Q here and the boom of off-road riding was fully happening,” Oberpriller said. “Our timing was great.”
The Oberprillers leased the space for 10 years before buying the 12,300-square-foot building.
But now, Oberpriller says it’s time for a change. He’s looking to sell the building and give the shop a fresh start in a new place.
“This location isn’t serving us anymore as a destination. There are demographic changes and changing consumer tastes. It’s becoming more gentrified here and it’s changing,” he said. “We saw it softening, especially this year.
“It’s come full circle. In bikes, it always goes in cycles. We are seeing road bikes decline, now off-road bikes are amazing. The city bike market is in total decline here. I’d call it saturation. Wakeman Massey, who started Surly, deemed it ‘transportation fascination.’ There are all these means to get around in dense urban areas: bike share, skateboards, electric skateboards, scooters of all manner, Uber, car share. People who have an old bike already, they don’t really want or need a new one for getting around,” he added.
But Oberpriller said the Minneapolis market is also in transition, at a time when there are numerous disruptions in the broader bicycle market. With great infrastructure, it’s a mature, established market that is also highly competitive. According to Oberpriller, there are about 70 bike shops in the metro area.
“With Erik’s and Penn Cycle, we are the biggest Specialized and Trek network in the country I believe,” he said. “But there are so many disruptions, and so many brands. Do we even know how many bike brands there are?”
One on One has built its business around service and test riding, and Oberpriller said he currently has dozens of demo bikes because he prefers not to stock many new models. The shop is currently located about three miles from a 12-mile singletrack.
“For the past two years, we’ve been highly resistant to keeping new bikes on hand. We’ve sold the same number of bikes for 10 years. It just moves around the categories,” Oberpriller said. “So then you’re focused on a level of service, and we do what we can to take care of everybody. We’re all in the hospitality business. For us, you’re buying into our culture, like going to a small restaurant or brewery. … The days of the grumpy bike shop owner or mechanic, those days are over.”
Oberpriller said he’d like to bring One on One back to its roots, yet create a new shop in a place where it can be a community destination. He doesn’t yet have a timeline because a move is contingent on the sale of the building, which is listed at $1.3 million.
“We’d like to move further south or north, staying on the river. We do have our eyes on buildings, a few solid things we are looking at. Real estate deals take forever. I’m thinking something will happen in February, after we get through the winter,” he said. “I love this business, the people and the enthusiasm. But it’s time for a change. It’s kind of run its course. It’s exciting because you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (BRAIN) — Crankbrothers has hired Megan Tompkins as its new global marketing director.
Tompkins has a media background and most recently was the publisher of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, where she led the magazine’s expansion into digital publishing. She also has extensive knowledge of the global cycling industry, having served in sales and marketing roles at Shimano and Specialized. She currently sits on the board of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association.
“I’m excited to be part of an authentic brand with amazing product, design and engineering. There is tremendous opportunity to expand the Crankbrothers brand by engaging riders and including them within the brand. Our goal is to communicate with consumers through modern means and traditional ways by supporting our retail partners,” Tompkins said.
Crankbrothers CEO Gaspare Licata said, “We are happy to have a leader as experienced and talented as Megan on the Crankbrothers team We are confident she will be a great asset to our team and will be an important contributor to Crankbrothers international development.”
Tompkins will be responsible for developing the global marketing strategy, managing brand communications, and overseeing PR, sponsorships and events. She is based in the Crankbrothers office in Laguna Beach, California, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (BRAIN) — Advanced Sport Enterprises, the 2-year-old company that is parent to the Performance Bicycle retail chain, Bike Nashbar and distributor ASI, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday morning. The move is likely to lead to the closure of at least 40 Performance stores in the coming months; the chain currently has 104 locations.
It also could dismantle one of this industry's most vertically integrated large-scale organizations, with direct ties from Asian manufacturing through to brick-and-mortar and online retail sales, as well as wholesale sales to other retailers.
ASE was created as the parent corporation after Philadelphia-based ASI acquired Performance and Nashbar in August 2016. ASI owns and distributes the bike brands Fuji, Breezer, SE Racing, Kestrel, Phat and Tuesday Cycles, and the component brand Oval Concepts. The entire organization has 1,944 employees, including 1,662 who work for the Performance retail operation.
Patrick Cunnane, the CEO of ASE, said the ASI distribution business is profitable but the company was unable to turn around the retail business, which has seen sales declines for the last six years.
"We tried to be more local and less national"— Pat Cunnane
"We were undercapitalized from the start," he told BRAIN. "We bought (Performance) because two years ago Performance was heavily in debt to ASI. If Performance had failed then, ASI would have failed. So we would have been in this same position but two years ago."
Cunnane told employees, suppliers and ASI's retailer customers about the plans on Thursday. Retail employees were told on a conference call that some stores would be closing within the next 60-90 days. Employees at some stores told BRAIN that they had already received liquidation signage from a third-party liquidation company. ASE has hired Gordon Brothers Retail Partners to conduct store closing sales.
Cunnane said the business has been listed for sale since May. "I've talked to many, many, many potential buyers." D.A. Davidson & Co., an investment banker, has been marketing the business to potential buyers, including "private equity funds and family offices, 17 strategic parties and seven liquidators," according to court filings. "Potential strategic buyers include both domestic and international bicycle wholesalers and 17 retailers, sporting goods retailers, and other consumer products companies," the filing says. Davidson prepared information to sell the entire company, its wholesale division, or some of its brands.
Chapter 11 protection will allow the company to renegotiate its leases. "When you look at the retail footprint of the business, it's sort of a perfect candidate for reorganization under the protection of Chapter 11," Cunnane said. "We will emerge with fewer retail locations."
He said that under the current store leases, 40 locations are unprofitable and are set to be closed. But Cunnane said leases on some of those stores could be renegotiated to make the stores profitable and more likely to stay open.
"We've been trying to renegotiate those leases since we bought (Performance)," he said. "It's hard to have any kind of leverage because we have about 100 landlords." Performance doesn't own any of its stores. The company owns its office in Philadelphia and its offices and warehouse in North Carolina.
Since the 2016 merger, the new leadership has made some successful changes at Performance, he said. Stores were given more autonomy to cater their inventory to their local market and manage their own social media, for example.
"We tried to be more local and less national," he said. Stores raised some retail prices to match the market and improve margins, and developed procedures to turn inventory better.
ASE was able to integrate the Performance and Nashbar back end systems and warehousing, but was unable to fully integrate the retail and wholesale back ends. "Sometimes you have to spend money to save money, and we didn't have the money to invest to achieve the savings we wanted," he said.
Under Chapter 11, ASE's assets will be auctioned off in parts or as a whole. Currently an auction is scheduled for Dec. 18. "That's the fact of bankruptcy and that's why we worked so hard to do this without bankruptcy, but we were unable to achieve that," Cunnane said.
The company would have run out of money to operate in January if it did not file Chapter 11, he noted.
Cunnane said Advanced Sports Europe GMBH, based in Germany, and Advanced Sports Asia, in Taiwan, will operate normally and are not directly affected by the Chapter 11 filing.
Fuji and the other bike brands are owned by ASI in the U.S. but generate total sales of almost $50 million outside the U.S., he said. "The brands will survive this," Cunnane said.
The filing will be seen as the latest in a series of bankruptcies of retail chains, from Sears and Toys R Us to Sports Authority and Sport Chalet. Cunnane told BRAIN he still believes retail chains can survive if they are not saddled with debt. Dick's Sporting Goods and REI, for example, appear to be thriving, he noted.
"For us, it was not one thing. It was not the bank, not de minimis, not the landlords. It was just a combination of factors in a difficult environment and being undercapitalized," he said.
In a news release, Cunnane said the business will continue as usual under the Chapter 11. "Orders will be fulfilled and Performance Bicycle stores will continue operating. Until the process of reorganizing our company before a bankruptcy court with counsel from Clear Thinking Group and Gordon Brothers is complete, I'm unable to announce any further actions. Employee layoffs and store closings are inevitable, but at this time I do not have enough information to announce those plans. My goal is to continue to work through this process and keep our business intact. My vision for ASE is to become a profitable, vertically integrated, omnichannel bicycle manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer."
Who owns ASE?
Jadeland Pacific Limited, a company started in 1998 to buy the Fuji brand, owns 55 percent of ASE. Jadeland is registered in the British Virgin Islands and Cunnane owns 24 percent of its shares. Ideal, a Taiwan bike maker, owns 17 percent of ASE. York Street Mezzanine Partners owns 21 percent and other minority partners own a total of 7 percent. In addition to his stake in Jadeland, Cunnane owns 3.1 percent of ASE's stock.
What does ASI owe, and to whom?
The company made five separate Chapter 11 filings Friday, which will likely be combined soon. They are for ASE, ASI, Bitech (the corporate name of the Performance retail chain), Nashbar Direct (Nashbar's e-commerce business), and Performance Direct (Performance's e-commerce division).
ASE's capital structure includes secured debts with First Lien Credit Facility ($37.9 million), Advance Holdings Loan ($7.4 million), Trade Creditor Loans ($37 million) and York Street Loans ($20 million), totaling $102 million.
Unsecured debts owed to trade suppliers include:
OREFIELD, Pa. (BRAIN) — Olympic cycling medalist Marty Nothstein has conceded defeat in a special election being held to fill a vacant U.S. House seat.
Nothstein, a Republican, lost his race for a full term representing Pennsylvania's 7th District. Results of that race were announced on Election Day, with Democrat Susan Wild taking the win.
But Nothstein had also been running in the special election in the 15th District, to fill a seat left open when U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent resigned in May. Nothstein was eligible in both districts because Pennsylvania redrew its districts under court order earlier this year. If he had won the special election, Nothstein would have filled the seat until the new delegation was sworn in Jan. 3.
Results were delayed in the special election until Thursday. Wild will now fill that seat, as well.
"I want to congratulate Susan Wild on her election victory and ask everyone to join me in wishing her good luck in her new role as the area's member of Congress."
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (BRAIN) — Tenneco Inc., a publicly traded U.S. automotive company with annual sales over $9 billion, has agreed to buy Öhlins, a Swedish suspension company that offers some bicycle products in addition to suspension for the motorsports industry. Tenneco is the former owner of Marzocchi, whose mountain bike assets are now owned by Fox Factory.
Tenneco is paying about $180 million for the company.
"Öhlins' technology team will allow us to rapidly grow our product offerings for current and future customers, as well as help us win a larger share of business in developing mobility markets. I am delighted to welcome the Öhlins team as an important part of our new Aftermarket and Ride Performance company," said Brian Kesseler, co-CEO of Tenneco.
Founder Kenth Öhlin will retain a minority interest in Öhlins. "I am proud of the Öhlins team and all we have accomplished over the last 43 years. We are excited to continue to deliver innovative technologies that can accelerate growth with the full strength and resources of Tenneco behind us."
The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. Öhlins has worked closely wth Specialized on some OE shocks in recent years.
OGDEN, Utah (BRAIN) — Enve has launched a new M Series carbon wheelset and Fat Fork designed for fat bikes.
The M685 is the latest addition to Enve M Series and features an 85-millimeter internal rim width in both 26- and 27.5-inch diameters.
The Fat Fork is molded in one piece from steerer to dropouts, has clearance for 5-inch-wide tires, and uses a reversible dropout chip that adjusts the rake of the fork to optimize handling with either a 26- or 27.5-inch wheel.
The M685 rim weighs 600 grams and is the widest option in the M6 Series of wheels. The wheels features Enve’s patented Wide Hookless Bead anti pinch-flat technology.
“We developed the new M685 rim and Fat Fork to deliver a better ride experience for performance-oriented fat bike riders,” said Jake Pantone, Enve’s vice president of product and consumer experience. “In the discovery phase of this project, we identified the need to keep the rim weight as low as possible without compromising terrain applications, and for a shape that helps shed snow and mud. When we rode the lightest weight rims on the market, their shallow and flat surfaces led to snow and mud accumulation that often added pounds of weight to each wheel. This insight led us to the M685’s rim shape, which features steep sidewall angles and a deeper cross section. This rim shape sheds snow more easily keeping the weight low in all trail conditions.”
Enve's new M685 wheelset and Fat Fork are now available for preorder, and will ship globally to consumers and retailers by the end of November. The M685 is available as a rim only for $999 or as a complete wheelset built with Industry Nine hubs for $2,800, while the Fat Fork will retail for $625.
Atlanta, GA, Nov. 15, 2018 — Wahoo Fitness today announced for thesecond consecutive year that it appears on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500TM, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America.
Chip Hawkins, Wahoo Founder and CEO, credits the growth of indoor cycling and the strength of Wahoo’s category leading products for all kinds of fitness enthusiasts with the company’s strong growth in 2018. “We’re very proud to be recognized for our strong performance in the fitness and technology sectors,” said Hawkins. “Wahoo KICKR smart trainers, ELEMNT GPS computers, and TICKR fitness tracking devices are category leading products that help thousands of people improve their fitness while enjoying every workout."
“Congratulations to the Deloitte 2018 Technology Fast 500 winners on this impressive achievement,” said Sandra Shirai, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and U.S. technology, media and telecommunications leader. “These companies are innovators who have converted their disruptive ideas into products, services and experiences that can captivate new customers and drive remarkable growth.”
“Software, which accounts for nearly two of every three companies on the list, continues to produce some of the most exciting technologies of the 21st century, including innovations in artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and robotics,” said Mohana Dissanayake, partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and Industry Leader for technology, media and telecommunications, within Deloitte’s audit and assurance practice. “This year’s ranking demonstrates what is likely a national phenomenon, where many companies from all parts of America are transforming the way we do business by combining breakthrough research and development, entrepreneurship and rapid growth.”
Overall, 2018 Technology Fast 500TMcompanies achieved revenue growth ranging from 143 percent to 77,260 percent from 2014 to 2017, with median growth of 412 percent. In order to be eligible for Technology Fast 500 recognition, companies must own proprietary intellectual property or technology that is sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company's operating revenues. Companies must have base-year operating revenues of at least $50,000 USD, and current-year operating revenues of at least $5 million USD. Additionally, companies must be in business for a minimum of four years and be headquartered within North America.
Bicycle industry veteran and long time event creative director Lance Camisasca announced today that he has launched an effort to support industry brands with his many years of experience engaging in retailer, media or consumer events. Lance recently made the decision that he should offer to the cycling industry his years of experience on how to create strong ROI and save precious resources when committing to any one of the numerous trade or consumer event offerings on the 2019 calendar.
“Often times a company’s event engagement is led by talented inside sales and/or marketing teams. Given the current state of affairs I am asking industry executives whether tackling the minutiae of event detail is the best use of their team’s valuable time and skills. When that sinks in I am finding some who wish to talk further about their next event strategies”, said Lance.
The first who saw the value proposition Lance was pitching was David Zimberoff, Vice President of Marketing at SRAM, ”Lance has a great knowledge of what it takes to plan and organize a first class event. Whether you need a regional sales meeting, or a national full scale product launch to media, Lance can take care of all the details you might need.”
Lance is seeking additional companies to add to his portfolio for events starting in 2019. Lance continues, “Whether it is B2B trade events, media launches or one of the important consumer events scheduled for 2019, I am interested in lending a hand. My broad and long experience in sales and marketing can be tapped into as well”.
TRUCKEE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Following its launch at this year’s Interbike, mountain bike footwear brand Ride Concepts announced Monday that it has assembled a U.S. sales force.
“We were focused on finding the best reps in each region who also align with our brand objectives.” Ride Concepts CEO Brandon Dodd said. “I think we found a great mix, and we are excited for them to represent our brand.”
Ride Concepts has appointed Adrienne Evans of Alpine Sports Marketing & Sales for Northern California; James and Brooke Nishida of Faction Sports Group for Southern California; Dean Kuzura and Eric Daignault of Pirtuk in the Pacific Northwest; Douglas and Nancy Ritter of DDR Sales in the Southwest; Rich Kuipers of Rocky Mountain Rep Group for Utah; Michael Blackmore in Colorado; Christopher Feltman of State of Mind for the mid-Atlantic region; and Steven Scherck of Midwest Reps for the U.S. Midwest.
For 2019, Ride Concepts will have a full line of mountain bike footwear with gender- and youth-specific lasts. Brand partnerships with Rubber Kinetics and D3O allow Ride Concepts to create shoe offerings tailored to specific applications.
“Reception has been great since Interbike and we’re looking forward to getting shoes into shops in the coming months.” Dodd said. “The integration of a solid rep force will allow us to build key relationships with valuable local dealers, and we’ll be seeking more dealers throughout 2019.”
AMSTERDAM (BRAIN) — Enviolo has redesigned its cargo stepless shifting system for the 2020 model year. The new heavy-duty groupset will be only available in a single piece axle version at a 10x135 dropout variant, which the company said will simplify the mounting process for bicycle manufacturers.
"The cargo groupset features durable and strong components that enable greater material strength and allow applications of up to 280 kg permissible vehicle weight," the company said. "To boost rider safety, an integrated brake disc mount of up to 203mm has been included through a forged housing. The shifting system is compatible with 500W nominal power motors, but as a part of the optimization, the output torque limit has been increased from up to 80Nm to up to 100Nm."
Richard Hilgart, the product manager at Enviolo, said, ‘With the new version, we are simplifying assembly, while reducing maintenance efforts. At the same time we maintain the power limits required for inner-city transportation.’
OEMs can already place sample orders with enviolo. Production of the new cargo internal gear hub will start in April 2019.
BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and PeopleForBikes are collecting data from the industry as the groups prepare to apply for exemptions from the 25 percent tariffs on Chinese-made e-bikes and e-bike motors imposed in August.
The groups plan to file an application with the U.S. Trade Representative for an exemption from the tariffs for e-bikes. They are gathering data before deciding on applying for a motor exemption.
"Our final determination on whether to apply for a tariff exclusion for e-bike motors will depend on the outcome of those data collection efforts. Tariff data collected to date from our members has not indicated that there are significant e-bike motor imports (separate from a complete bicycle or e-bike conversion kits) from China," the groups said in an email to members on Monday.
Individual companies may also apply for exemptions for specific products. The requirements for exclusion applications are on the USTR website. Applications must be received by Dec. 18.
So far the USTR has not announced an exclusion application process for the larger round of tariffs that took effect in September and affect most bike products from China.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (BRAIN) — For the fourth consecutive year, Park Tool is accepting applications for its Community Grant Tool Program, which is designed to help local nonprofit cycling organizations worldwide get the tools and repair products they need.
The Park Tool Community Grant Program will provide 10 nonprofit cycling-based programs with a tool kit and two repair stands.
Each of the grant recipients will receive more than $1,400 in Park Tool products including:
1 — Park Tool PK-3 Professional Mechanic Tool Kit
2 — Park Tool PCS-10 Portable Repair Stands
5 — Park Tool SA-1 Shop Aprons
In a new addition for 2019, one of the grant winners will also be granted the "President's Choice" award of an additional $1,000 to spend on more tools and repair equipment.
"It has been great to look back and see how our past Community Tool Grant winners have benefitted from the tools we've provided and all the people they've helped with properly working bicycles. We can't wait to review the applications and pick the deserving winners. We've been blown away each year reading the stories and applications. There are so many well deserving organizations doing such wonderful work out there and we're proud to be able to help in this way," said Eric Hawkins, Park Tool's president/owner and chief mechanic.
Applications will be accepted until Dec. 31 at parktool.com/form/community-tool-grant-request.