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  • 12/21/18--08:30: Amer Sports buyout has begun
  • HELSINKI (BRAIN) — The investor group acquiring Amer Sports has begun to buy up the company's outstanding and issued shares through a voluntary recommended public cash tender.

    The consortium, named Mascot Bidco Oy, includes Anta Sports Products Limited; FV Mascot JV, L.P., an investment vehicle managed by FountainVest Partners; and Anamered Investments Inc., an investment company owned by Lululemon founder Chip Wilson. The consortium began the offer Thursday. The acceptance period for the offer will expire Feb. 28.

    The tender offer document is available at ir.anta.com/en/news_amer and nordea.fi/equities.

    Amer Sports owns Salomon, Arc’teryx, Peak Performance, Atomic, Mavic, Enve, Suunto, Wilson and Precor.


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    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — PeopleForBikes and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association have submitted requests on the industry's behalf for exemption from the 25 percent tariff on Chinese-made e-bikes that took effect last summer. The deadline was Thursday for submitting the requests to the U.S. Trade Representative.

    The Trump administration has granted thousands of exemptions to its tariffs on aluminum and steel that took effect in March, but has yet to grant any for the later rounds of tariffs. The steel and aluminum exemption process is being run by the Dept. of Commerce, not the USTR. The USTR has not announced an exemption application process for the newest tariffs, which put an additional 10 percent duty on Chinese bikes and parts, increasing to 25 percent next year. 

    The trade groups' 15-page exclusion application for e-bikes summed up its request in four points:

    1. It would be easy for Customs officials to differentiate e-bikes from the electric motorcycles that are included under the same HTSUS code as e-bikes
    2. Shifting e-bike production out of China to other countries would not satisfy demand for the bikes in the U.S.
    3. The additional duties are causing "severe economic harm" to members of PeopleForBikes and BPSA as well as U.S. retailers and consumers
    4. E-bikes are not strategically important or part of China's stated strategic goals for its domestic manufacturing.

    The application went on to point out that between 2016 and 2018 there has been a steady decline in the number of bikes sold in nearly every market segment except e-bikes.

    Besides the request submitted by the trade groups, at least three e-bike importers submitted their own requests. Uber Technologies, which imports thousands of e-bikes for its Jump share bike program, was joined by Magnum Bikes Inc., a Salt Lake City e-bike importer, and Allco Manufacturing, an importer.

    Uber's request did not publicly reveal how many bikes it imports. The company did say that the duty "is causing disproportionate and severe economic harm to U.S. interests, while failing to address China's acts, policies and practices that are the intended target of the Administration's Section 301 action. The additional duty is also causing outsize damage to American innovation and competitiveness in the fast-developing and strategically important field of digital transportation platforms."

    Like the PeopleForBikes/BPSA request, Uber pointed out that e-bikes are significantly different from the electric motorcycles that are included under the same HTSUS product code.

    Uber also submitted a letter from four U.S. Representatives to the U.S.T.R. in support of an exemption for e-bikes. In addition to e-bikea, the Sept. 13 letter asked the USTR to refrain from imposing additional tariffs on Chinese bikes, bike parts and safety gear. The administration announced on Sept. 17 that the additional tariffs on bikes and parts would be imposed, but the safety gear (helmets and lights) was exempted as the representatives requested. The letter was signed by U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Mike Thompson, D-Calif., Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Dave Reichert, R-Wash.

     


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    GREENVILLE, S.C. (BRAIN) — After eight years catering to women cyclists, Pedal Chic owner Robin Bylenga will close her brick-and-mortar store in downtown Greenville on Dec. 30 and will shift her focus to online.

    In a release, Pedal Chic stated that the shop’s “original goal of making cycling more accessible and inclusive for women was achieved, making this the right time right to spearhead new approaches and pursue new opportunities in the cycling industry.”

    Bylenga said, “New trends in transportation and particularly in electric bicycles indicate that utilizing innovative methods to reaching the active cycling enthusiast can have a significant impact on the industry, and Pedal Chic intends to play a meaningful role in defining a 21st-century commercial approach to cycling, transportation and pedal mobility.”

    Pedal Chic had moved to downtown Greenville in February after operating since 2010 in a space a couple blocks away. It was named best women’s/female-friendly shop in the Interbike Awards for 2012, 2013 and 2015. In 2017, Bylenga launched a line of Pedal Chic-branded women’s bikes developed with U.S. manufacturer Kent International.

    Pedal Chic plans to launched a revamped website after the first of the year. “The online company will deliver breaking news, trends and new products from the best manufacturers in the cycling industry. The company is committed to ensure that longtime customers and supporters will have information on the exciting changes that will be occurring in the industry,” the release stated.


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    DURHAM, N.C. (BRAIN) — A U.S. bankruptcy judge has approved Advanced Sports Enterprises' motion to cancel its licensing and manufacturing contracts with Ideal Bike Corporation, a Taiwan-based manufacturer that has been a backer and manufacturer for ASE and its ASI division. Ideal told the court it will appeal the decision

    Rejecting the contracts means Ideal cannot use ASE's trademarks, including the Fuji bike brand and others. ASE said the move increases the value of the trademarks, which are among the ASE assets set to be sold next month.

    The move to reject the contracts was supported by the committee of unsecured creditors and by Wells Fargo, one of ASE's largest secured creditors.

    Judge Benjamin Kahn said there was no reason to doubt ASE's decision and its reasoning that freeing the trademarks of the license agreement would make them more valuable, meaning that ASE's creditors would eventually recover more of the money they are owed (ASE made a similar argument in asking the court to reject its licensing agreement with Specialized, which licenses the Roubaix bike model name from ASE. A hearing on that request is scheduled for Jan. 10.).

    Kahn's order bars Ideal from using any of the licensed trademarks or selling any bikes, parts or accessories with the ASI brands. 

    Following a hearing Thursday, Ideal's lawyers told Kahn they would appeal and asked for a stay on his order pending the appeal. Kahn has scheduled a hearing for Jan. 3 to consider the stay request.

    Under a manufacturing agreement that was set to run through 2021, Ideal had rights to distribute bikes and parts and accessories under ASI brands in Taiwan and China. Ideal also paid ASE $6 million for a licensing agreement that allowed Ideal to use some of the brands in Europe, Asia and Oceana for five years.

    In previous court filings Ideal argued that if the contracts were rejected, it would be forced to dispose of products it already built for ASE. It said it had $2.2 million worth of completed products ordered by ASE, as well as $5.6 million worth of partially completed products.

    It argued that if forced to dispose of that inventory, it would then make a claim against the bankrupt company for the full selling price of the inventory, which would increase ASE's debt obligations in the bankruptcy. In his order Thursday, Kahn said Ideal could file a claim for losses resulting from the decision but that claim will be treated like any other creditor's claim.

    Ideal invested $20 million in ASI last January, taking a 50 percent share in the company, which is a division of ASE and the owner and distributor of brands including Fuji, Breezer, Kestrel and SE Bikes. Ideal has a 17 percent share in ASE, and also is one of ASE's largest secured creditors, owed over $24 million according to ASE's most recent schedule of assets and liabilities.

    ASE was formed in 2017 as the parent company of ASI and the Performance retail chain. ASE filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 16.

    Performance is continuing to run liquidation sales at all 102 of its locations. All the stores remain open.

    The sale of all ASE assets is set for next month. The bid deadline is Jan. 11. An auction will be held Jan. 15 if there are competing qualified bids. Assets will be offered individually and in groupings.

     


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    VASHON, Wash. (BRAIN) — Charles "Chuck" Ivan Wurster, Jr., whose products helped create the current indoor cycling boom, has died at age 86 at his home here.

    Wurster was co-founder and president of Floscan Instruments, which made fuel monitoring equipment for marine and aviation applications. He was also the longtime leader of RacerMate, Inc., which made the RacerMate wind trainer and later the CompuTrainer and Velotron smart trainers. 

    Chuck was the son of Charles Ivan Wurster and Pauline Browning Wurster; he was born Aug. 25, 1932, in Oklahoma City. He graduated from Franklin High School in Seattle as valedictorian and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University in 1954 and a master's in science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1956.

    In addition to his wife, Natercia Wurster, Chuck's survivors include three children from his marriage to Constance Cover, which ended in divorce: Charles Ivan Wurster III, Kimie Kreidle, and Valerie McGowan. He also leaves a sister, Gay Wurster Stuntzner, and five grandchildren.

    He spent three years in South Africa (1963-66) with Standard Oil designing and building a fertilizer plant that was subsequently nationalized. 

    "Chuck said many times that one of his proudest life accomplishments was that the company could support 53 families, many of whom were recent immigrants to the U.S. He always treasured their talents, skills, and work ethic. Chuck had the unique ability of identifying his employees' useful talents regardless of their background, always seeing their potential for developing, producing and selling outstanding products," the family said.

    FloScan began manufacturing the RacerMate, the first wind-resistance stationary trainer, in 1975. The product was invented by Wilfried Baatz. The company launched the electronically controlled CompuTrainer in 1986. It later launched the Velotron, a stationary trainer for laboratory use. 

    RacerMate stopped production of the CompuTrainer in 2017 and Floscan and RacerMate were dissolved this year. SRAM bought the company's Velotron assets in April and was servicing customers from its Spearfish, North Dakota facility, where SRAM's Quarq division is based. 


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    BEIJING (BRAIN) — Ofo, the world's largest and best known dockless bike share operator, is struggling financially, in part due to demands for deposit refunds from customers in markets where Ofo has stopped operating. According to multiple news reports, company founder Dai Wei sent an email to employees on Wednesday acknowledging the cash flow challenges and mentioning that he had contemplating filing for bankruptcy.

    "Due to our misjudgement of the overall situation ... the company has been under huge pressure on cash flow throughout the year," Wei said in the email, which recipients posted to social media. "To return users' deposits, pay back to suppliers, and keep our business up and running, we had to turn every yuan into three. Countless times, I thought about cutting down the operation budget in order to refund users and pay our debts. I even considered filing a bankruptcy." 

    Chinese media reports that hundreds of people have lined up outside Ofo's headquarters, waiting in line to demand refunds of their deposits. 

    Ofo was founded in 2014 and by 2017, it claimed to be operating over 10 million bicycles in 250 cities and 20 countries. The company was valued at up to $2 billion at one point. But in 2018, it began to scale back, withdrawing from most U.S. cities and several other countries. In July it let go about 70 percent of its U.S. employees. In several communities, Ofo donated its remaining bikes to nonprofit groups after it pulled out, although photos of piles of scrapped bikes in Dallas and other cities drew media attention. In March this year, Ofo was either expelled or voluntarily left the North American Bikeshare Organization because of a dispute over policy. 

    Several of Ofo's bike and equipment suppliers have sued the company this year over canceled orders and late payments. Ofo's largest rival in China, Mobike, also has recorded losses this year. 

     


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    By Rick Vosper

    Let's Look at the Numbers
    The National Sporting Goods Administration (NSGA) defines frequent cyclists as people aged seven and up taking six or more rides per year. The NSGA data shows those numbers dropped 17 percent between 2000 and 2017, a loss of 6.8 million cyclists. But it gets worse.

    Here's a chart I've used before, updated through 2017. While active adult cyclists (blue line) have held more or less steady since 2000 (in fact 2017 shows an encouraging net increase of not quite 7 percent versus the 18-year average), the number of kids riding bikes six or more times per year (orange line) has dropped more than 40%. On a per capita basis, the percentage of kids lost grows to more than half.

    While we gained 700 thousand adult cyclists since 2000, in the same time we've lost seven and a half million children and teens. And all this while the number of obese kids in the US has quadrupled since the 1970s, with a 25 percent increase since 2000 alone.

    Do you detect a trend here? Me too. Of course correlation is not causality, but the conclusion seems inescapable that fewer kids riding bikes equals more kids getting fat.

    But that also means more kids riding bike can mean fewer kids getting fat. 

    So Here's the Windup ...
    That sound you hear is opportunity knocking — perhaps even pounding — at our door.

    The CDC estimates there are currently 13.7 million obese kids in the US. I think it's a fair bet many of their parents want them leaner and healthier and aren't entirely sure how to go about it. So we have a potential source of customers.

    At the same time, the industry already has products in place to appeal to those parents. Every large and medium-sized bike brand offers a range of IBD-quality kids' bicycles at different price points. Not to mention the growing number of kid-specific bike companies with excellent offerings. So we have a source of products to sell to those customers.

    We have a generation of retailers increasingly turning to family-oriented bike sales as a major revenue source. There are even more who'd be happy to get into that segment if families started showing up in their stores on a sunny Saturday morning with credit cards at the ready. So we have an established sales channel to reach customers who will want to buy our products.

    We also have a relatively new wave of PR/advertising companies with cycling backgrounds. Companies like SOAR and Hanson Dodge and True Communications and others. Smart people who came up in the cycling and outdoor sporting businesses, who truly understand our value proposition and who can take our case to mainstream American media. So we have a source of experienced marketers to help us sell both those products and the concept behind them. More about them in a minute.

    Finally, we have something we didn't have ten or even five years ago: a strong and growing network of support programs dedicated to getting kids on bikes for exercise, fun and transportation. Groups like NICA and Trips for Kids and Safe Routes to School. Not to mention an increasing number of bike paths and bike routes for them to ride on. So we have a developing infrastructure for consumers to use the products we sell.

    Put these elements together and we can effectively position bikes as the cure for childhood obesity.

    ... And the Pitch
    We need a dual strategy.

    The first part is the obvious message that cycling to school or with friends or family is fun and helps produce fit kids. Less obvious but just as important, is that it's also safe. Safe Routes to School knows safe routes to school (duh) and how to keep kids safe on those routes. Trips For Kids creates safe trips for kids. NICA creates a safe and fun racing environment for older, more competitive kids.

    The second part is to move the perception of kids' bikes away from being toys and toward being recreational/fitness equipment. Which is to say specialty retail-level equipment. You want to help your kid slim down, you need to make a (reasonably modest) investment.

    How We're Going to Do That: Building a New Generation of Riders
    That's where the PR companies come in. These professionals can get spokespeople from the cycling industry onto morning television and radio shows and into wide-circulation magazines. They can get pictures of celebrities and their children riding bikes together onto web and social media. They can get product placements in movies. And this PR will help get kids riding to and from school, kids riding with friends, and even better, kids riding with their parents who will drive an incremental increase in adult bike purchases.

    Even better, PR can accomplish all this for a fraction of the cost of "Got Milk?"-style advertising.

    So Who's Picking Up The Check?
    It's time for the industry to collectively recognize that twenty years of infrastructure-building masquerading as advocacy has literally done less than nothing to increase total ridership. In fact we've lost 7.2 million young riders who soon enough will turn into 7.2 million fewer adult riders.

    If nothing else, that's very bad for business and for existing cycling culture. We need to build a new generation of riders. And as an industry, we need to build a new generation of customers.

    Meanwhile we have more and more infrastructure accommodating fewer and fewer riders. The millions of dollars in federal and other grants People For Bikes currently administer are virtually all earmarked for infrastructure projects like bike lanes and bike paths. So funding to get more kids on (more) bikes more often — which is allegedly P4B's mission, after all — and onto those lanes and paths will have to come from other sources. Three of these might include industry companies currently writing checks for paint and path semisolutions, parents of the kids benefiting from bike-based anti-obesity programs, and our existing rider base of more than 35 million frequent adult cyclists who see the benefits both for bike culture and for their own families.

    It's a big win for obese kids and their parents, a big win for existing cyclists, a big win for infrastructuralists (more people riding on the infrastructure means more infrastructure funding) and a big win for the industry.

    And not incidentally, it's a big win for those of us who would like to see cyclists and cycling become heroes in the eyes of the American public.


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    Thousand Oaks, CA (December 19, 2018) – "No matter what happens between the U.S. and the Peoples Republic of China concerning trade and tariffs, bringing bicycle assembly and manufacturing back to America is a win-win for now and the future," said Jay Townley, resident Futurist for Human Powered Solutions, LLC (HPS), a New-Wave Consultancy to the Micromobility sector.

    "Before the 2016 election the reshoring of bicycle assembly and manufacturing began to find its legs with Kent International establishing Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA) in South Carolina and Detroit Bikes establishing a facility in Detroit, Michigan, along with several other start-ups and expansion or relocation of existing domestic assembly and manufacturing operations.

    "While still small in relation to the overall U.S. bicycle market that is import dependent, this future thinking reshoring movement has real economic legs to stand on because of growing trends in landed cost parity, and has attracted the support of Walmart, America's largest retailer, and the largest seller of bicycles to consumers," concluded Townley.

    Human Powered Solutions provides a complete suite of services to clients who are interested in relocating bicycle and ebike assembly and manufacturing in Southeast Asia or to the U.S., and in investing or partnering with Asian or American companies.

    "Our partners have unique skill sets and insights that have been developed over decades of hands-on experience in Asia and North America. Collectively we possess an extensive list of contacts and resources to form collaborative consulting teams that we can lead in crafting strategic and tactical solutions for clients who want to onshore or reshore in Southeast Asia or North America," added Bradley Hughes, a founding partner and HPS Managing Director.

    Anyone interested in learning more about the unique client services of Human Powered Solutions can contact Bradley Hughes at 805-901-9772 or brad@humanpoweredsolutions.com

    About: Human Powered Solutions (HPS) is a different kind of consultancy founded on a real need for the truth and a clear view of the future. HPS is the change leader in delivering the objective facts in an actionable way and doesn't believe in either management by hope or denial of the facts as a strategy.


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    The Bike Shop California is proud to offer the best value in electric bikes and regular bikes for every budget.

    LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, December 24, 2018 / EINPresswire.com / -- Andrew Smith, owner of the Bike Shop Santa Monica and winner of the Best of Los Angeles Award - 'Best Bike Shop- 2018', continues to serve clients throughout California with their bicycle needs, and has recently added another store to his successful chain.

    The Bike Shop California , known formerly as Palms Cycle, one of L.A.'s original bike shops back in the 1920s, closed in March of 2018 and was acquired by veteran retailer Smith, who has rebranded and rejuvenated the store's aesthetic and business outlook.

    The Bike Shop California is located at 3770 Motor Ave in Los Angeles, and is uniquely qualified to serve the surrounding communities of Culver City, Beverly Hills, Century City, Rancho Park, and West Los Angeles. It is proud to have a fully experienced sales and service staff with 15 to 25 years of experience in the bicycle industry. They offer the best value bikes for every budget, including a full selection of electric bikes. Their mission? That every customer leaves the store 100% satisfied.

    'Our goal is to make everyone feel welcomed and leave satisfied,' explains Smith, 'With over 20 years in the bicycle business, our uniquely qualified staff with over 120 years of combined experience can assist you with all your bike needs.'

    Having multiple years in the business, Andrew Smith has developed relationships with the biggest brands and manufacturers in the industry. The Bike Shop California is proud to offer the best value in electric bikes and regular bikes for every budget. Featuring world-class brands like YAMAHA, Bosch, Norco, Redline, HARO, Bulls, Raleigh, KHS, CIVI, PureCycles, Benno, HBBC,Surly, Salsa, AllCity, FREE AGENT, Manhattan, Biria, Virtue, Linus and more, with new arrivals all the time.

    His recent Best of Los Angeles award also brings prestige to his store chain. The 'Best of Los Angeles Award' community was formed three years ago and consists of over 4,400 professional members living and working in Southern California. It celebrates the best people, places and things in Los Angeles with a slogan 'No Ads. No B.S. Only the Best.'

    'After 12 years of service to the community,' concludes Smith, 'I am proud to continue our tradition of a full-service bicycle shop with the same dedication to the highest standards of customer service.'

     


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    Year-to-date figures through November show a 4 percent increase in dollars and a 9 percent decrease in units.

    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Wholesale bike sales dipped in November, down 14 percent over the same month last year in dollars, and 26 percent in units. Year-to-date figures through November show a 4 percent increase in dollars and a 9 percent decrease in units.

    The figures are from the Bicycle Product Suppliers Assocation's Sell-in Report, prepared by The NPD Group. The numbers represent wholesale sales by BPSA members to U.S. retailers.

    Wholesale inventory of bikes was up in November compared to the same time last year, up 2 percent in units and 22 percent in dollar value.

    Mountain

    In the mountain bike category — still the single biggest bike category in dollars at $361 million in YTD wholesale sales — YTD sales were down 14 percent in dollars and 11 percent in units.

    On the inventory side for mountain bikes, suppliers appear to have an excessive amount of 27.5-inch front suspension bikes on hand. They had $25.1 million worth of those bikes in stock in November 2018, up from $16.5 million at the same time last year, a 52 percent increase. Sales in that category have been soft in 2018 — down 17 percent YTD from 2017.

    Full-suspension 29ers also were well-stocked — up 56 percent over last year to $24 million and 14,000 units on hand. That may be of less concern as that category has seen growth in 2018, with YTD sales up 7 percent in dollars and 25 percent in units.

    Road

    Road sales were up 8 percent in dollars through November, and down 3 percent in units. The total road category had sales of $280 million YTD, making it the second largest bike category.

    Within the road category, there was a lot of fluctuation. The "Other All" subcategory, which includes gravel and some touring bikes, saw a sales increase of 94 percent YTD in dollars and 56 percent in units.

    All other road subcategories except cyclocross saw sales declines YTD. CX bikes were up 15 percent.

    On the inventory side, suppliers seem to be well-prepared for continued growth in the "Other All" subcategory. Inventory there was up 191 percent in dollars and 186 percent in units. Inventory in most other road subcategories was down, although in the relatively small "Performance Women's" subcategory, inventory was up 67 percent. That subcategory saw a 13 percent decline in sales by dollar YTD.

    E-bike

    E-bike wholesale sales YTD totaled $115 million, up 82 percent in dollars and 80 percent in units from the same period in 2017. However, the sales growth rate may have softened in November — for the month, sales were up 2.5 percent in dollars and down 5 percent in units. E-bike inventory was up 38 percent in dollars and 33 percent in units.

    Youth, BMX, transit and lifestyle

    BMX sales were down sharply in November (41 percent in dollars, 40 percent in units), but for the year, BMX is still showing a 13 percent increase in dollars and a 7 percent increase in units sales.

    In the Lifestyle/Leisure category, sales were flat at 2.2 percent growth YTD in dollars and a 4.1 percent decline in units.

    Transit/Commuter bike sales were down 13 percent in dollars and 35 percent in units YTD.

    Youth bikes (not BMX) saw a 3 percent decline in dollars and a 9 percent decline in units YTD.

    For the most part, inventory levels were in line with sales trends in those categories. 


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    LONGMONT, Colo. (BRAIN) — 2018 started out with news of Niner Bikes' bankruptcy, which ended with the company being acquired by Huffy Bicycle's owner. The year ended with news of the bankruptcy of Advanced Sports Enterprises, parent of Performance Bicycle and ASI — how that story will end is still uncertain, with an asset sale planned for early January.

    Those stories were among the most-read articles of the year. Other big topics were the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and the cancellation of the 2019 Interbike show. Here's the list of the top 20 stories of the year and the day they were each published:

    1. ASE files for Chapter 11 Nov. 15
    2. Emerald cancels 2019 Interbike Dec. 6
    3. Trump administration approves tariffs Sept. 17
    4. Rise of the 'Shreddy 29er' Nov. 21 
    5. Chain Reaction to stop selling Shimano in US and Canada Dec. 19
    6. Specialized recalls 6,000 road bikes Feb. 15 
    7. Homemade e-bike project catches fire, destroys home Oct. 9 
    8. BionX shuts down, searches for new owner March 2
    9. Tariffs force Light and Motion to go offshore Sept. 24 
    10. Harley-Davidson growth plan to include e-bikes July 31 
    11. American Classic closes factory, selling IP Jan. 5 
    12. Niner sold, now has same owner as Huffy March 9
    13. Vista to sell firearm and sports brands May 1 
    14. Park Tool sues Real World Cycling over tool color Sept. 6 
    15. Kentucky man convicted of selling counterfeit helmets June 11 

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    CHICAGO (BRAIN) — SRAM co-founder and longtime CEO Stan Day is transitioning to a new role as chairman of the company's board of directors as Ken Lousberg takes over as CEO. The change, announced to SRAM staff this fall, become effective Tuesday, Jan. 1.

    Lousberg has been COO of SRAM for the past 18 months. 

    And interview with Day and Lousberg about the transition will appear in the February issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News.

    Day has spent more than 31 years leading SRAM.

    In a statement, Day said, "It's been a thrilling ride. When we started we wanted to create and manufacture components that inspired cyclists. We began by making road Grip Shift that didn't sell very well, and then a mountain bike Grip Shift that took the market by storm. From six people in a dusty factory to over 3,000 global team members offering leading drivetrain, brake, and suspension systems. I am super pleased that Ken has joined the company. It is clear to me that he has the skill sets and experience base to help lead us to the next level. SRAM will continue to be a private company owned by the Day family and the management team. It will continue to focus its innovation and business within the bike industry."

    Lousberg graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in mechanical engineering and received his MBA from the University of Colorado. He has served in numerous senior executive roles. Before joining SRAM Lousberg served as the president of Terex Cranes and Utilities, which represented over $2 billion in revenue and more than 5,000 employees.

    "Stepping into the role of CEO is exciting. I feel honored to be asked to lead such a great team, in such a great industry," Lousberg said. "Stan and the leadership team have provided a great platform to continue SRAM's arc of growth and we will continue to focus on our customer's needs, leading product innovation, and maintaining our commitment to our global team and partners." 


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    By Norman Semmling

    Editorial note: Norman Semmling is general manager of ABUS Mobile Security, Inc. in Chicago.

    After a year filled with surprises and new challenges to our industry, I want to challenge each of us all to embrace new avenues and solutions in the new year. Over the last 20 years, I've seen the cycling industry from the floor of 19 Eurobike's, countless bike shops, both large and small, across Europe and for the last three years across North America. Three years ago, my wife and I left our home in Germany so I could become the General Manger of ABUS Mobile Security Inc., overseeing our cycling and motorcycle division for North America. Besides the change in location, I've also had to adapt to a different marketing and sales structure. Interbike was nothing like Eurobike; where my team spent countless hours writing preseason orders. The American consumer is much more varied and reaching them requires a different approach, especially for a new but growing brand. But, I also found that there were new opportunities that we did not capitalize on in Europe and with Interbike gone more routes open up to interact and support our retailers. It is my belief that the loss of the largest show in North America will allow suppliers, vendors, distributors and independent makers to support more local shows and shops.

    We at ABUS understand that the industry is experiencing struggles but believe that the future is not all doom and gloom. The loss of Interbike was a shock to us all but it was not the end for the industry. Over the last year I've spent almost 100 days on the road attending industry events and visiting shops. Only five of those days were for Interbike. The vast majority were smaller regional shows and dealer events that allowed me to meet with owners, employees, and in many cases our customers. We've attended shows in large convention centers to events that are in the parking lot of a single shop, races that attract international athletes and ones for complete amateurs. In 2019, we plan to expand the amount of shows we attend and the events we support. My challenge to the industry is to embrace these smaller shows and look for other opportunities to support shops. Their success is all of our success.

    Along with supporting events, we need to find new and expanded ways of supporting local shops. Over the last years we have done this through MAP protection in order to insure that our quality products have a quality price across the board. This involved countless hours by my team and a large financial investment, not to mention the loss of some dealers that weren't willing to adhere to our policy. We did this because we know it is the right thing to do for the success of the industry. The IBD should embrace brands that truly focus on enforcing a MAP policy.

    But this is also not a cure all. We, like others, see training and education as a benefit for shops and employees. My team and I have provided in-depth training to shops both online and in person. Shops that have taken advantage of this have seen their sales increase, as they are able to sell better products to their customers. In the coming years this will only grow more important as new products are becoming more complex. With these new products and the continuing growth of e-bikes, completely new customers will come to each of your doors. These customers seek out experts and it is our challenge to make sure every person is prepared to answer this call. There are many groups and companies that already provide great options, but this should be the goal of every supplier. It is your knowledge and skills that make great products, share that story. But it is also my challenge to owners and employees, to reach out and take advantage of these opportunities. We at ABUS know that this information resonates with everyone; dealers, employees, and all of our customers.

    We believe that if we can as an industry implement these techniques, the industry as a whole can grow. We believe this so strongly that we are continuing to launch new products into the North American market, including a full line of road and mountain bike helmets. With plans for even more in the coming years, it is not the time to rest but a time to expand and improve. To take what we have learned from the past and plan new courses and routes. One of the joys of cycling is exploring, let's all embrace that in the New Year. By not tying ourselves to the past we can all see growth in the coming years. With a hope for new events, products and customers we at ABUS wish you a secure and successful New Year.


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    DENVER (BRAIN) — In the latest Shift Up podcast, host Arleigh Greenwald is joined by Elorie Slater from Sports Garage Cycling in Boulder, Colorado. 

    Slater is the founder of the Women's Off Road Cycling Congress, whose mission is to improve the stream of information from consumer to brand and bridge the gender gap in cycling by simply servicing customer's needs better.

    BRAIN wrote about Slater and the WORCC in our December 2017 issue; a pdf of that article is attached.  

    This is episode is part of the Shift Up podcast micro-series, Bridging the Gap to achieve gender balance in cycling, sponsored by Quality Bicycle Products. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this podcast belong solely to the host and guest speakers and are not necessarily representative of the views, thoughts, and opinions held by Quality Bicycle Products (QBP).

    BRAIN is now partnering with Greenwald on the production of the Shift Up podcast. The first three podcasts of the partnership are below. You can play the podcasts from this page or you can subscribe via most podcast apps or Spotify.

     

     

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    BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Daniel Ellis Hanebrink died Saturday due to complications of leukemia, his family announced.

    Hanebrink was an innovator in BMX, downhill mountain and fat tire bikes, among other areas. 

    "Dan Hanebrink was one of those 'mad scientist' types, always one to break the mold — no matter what the discipline of cycling," said USA BMX's Craig "Gork" Barrette. Hanebrink, an early racer himself, was known for his company's triple-crown forks and wild mountain bike designs with 8-inch-wide tires. His company continues to offer bikes, both pedal-powered and electric, with similar tires. Hanebrink also was a leader in developing bikes for Gravity Powered Vehicle competitions in the 1980s (see related video on YouTube). 

    "He was a unique individual who left footprints throughout his life," his daughter, Jesse Hanebrink, said on Facebook. "Dad was irreplaceable in many ways and will be missed by everyone who knew and loved him. During his 80 years he was a visionary, and took on feats few would dare to venture. As his daughter I hope that he felt he had accomplished all he set out to do, as well as having a full life. Dad, we love you. I believe the journey you are on now will be far more adventurous than the life you led."

     

     


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  • 01/02/19--10:29: Sea Otter Canada
  • Date: 
    Start:July 4, 2019
    End:July 7, 2019

    The Sea Otter Classic, the world’s premier cycling festival has been a favorite cycling festival in North America for almost 30 years, and in 2019, it grows even more, expanding with Sea Otter Canada set to take place in Blue Mountain, Ontario, just 90 minutes north of Toronto. The multi-day festival, expo and race will showcase the best cycling in Ontario, with wild races, fun for the family, and tons of bike demos and opportunities to test out the latest and greatest cycling products. Whether you’re a roadie, mountain biker, downhiller or ebike lover, there will be exciting events for you.  

     


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    CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (BRAIN) — Handup Gloves' Flextop Flannel embodies the "ride in what you work in" mindset — designed for on- and off-the-bike comfort.

    Features include a cotton/polyester blend patch stretching from chest to back so the garment flexes as the wearer reaches for the handlebars; added length in the back for coverage; two-button cuffs; and a front pocket to stash cash, a snack or other small items.

    Sizes range from small to XXL, and the Flextop Flannel should be machine washed on cold and hang dried. Colors: yellow or orange.

    Suggested retail: $44.


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    Denver, Colorado —Alchemy Bicycles announces today that the company has streamlined its custom road-frame production and paint-order process and reduced its custom lead times by 30 days on average.

     “While our business has been growing on the stock road models,” says company founder Ryan Cannizzaro, “A considerable part of our sales are still custom. The problem for dealers and customers alike was the difficultly understanding all of the options and associated prices. With our new process, it’s much easier for a dealer to solidify orders and close sales.”

     The new ordering process has also improved internal efficiencies and as a result decreased lead times.

     “With the new process, there is much less going back and forth on designs,“ continues Cannizarro. “This has resulted in fewer changes late in the game, which has helped us optimize our scheduling. This is helping decrease our lead times on custom models in general. At this point, we are consistently delivering custom models in under 60 days.”

     Founded in 2008, Denver-based Alchemy not only produces all of its carbon, titanium and stainless steel road bikes in Denver, Colorado, but paints the frames at the company’s own Ethic Paint Studio, which is housed in the same location. Besides custom paint, the company also offers a suite of custom geometry options with all materials, including carbon. 

     ABOUT ALCHEMY BICYCLES

    Founded in 2008, Denver-based Alchemy Bicycles builds the finest road, cross and mountain bikes available. Blending old-world craftsmanship, attention to detail and leading-edge technology, each Alchemy frame is crafted by hand from carbon, stainless steel or titanium. For more information on Alchemy, please visit AlchemyBicycles.com


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    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Jan. 2, 2019 – Steve Kaczmarek, owner of Springs-based Borealis Fat Bikes announced today "Sales and profits in 2018 were up dramatically compared with 2017."

    "Borealis developed new sales and marketing strategies which proved to be extremely successful.""We focused on our dealer network and also sold into non dealer territories without compromising our dealer sales." stated Kaczmarek. In addition: "Borealis was able to offer a large inventory of items including our new Telluride, featuring a 27.5 wheelset and reduced Q factor, which added significant sales in 2018!"

    Borealis continues to focus on Fat Bikes and is committed to making the lightest and most technically advanced Fat Bikes in the world. Borealis remains the Title Sponsor for the Fat Bike Worlds which is hosted in Crested Butte, CO later this month.

    ABOUT BOREALIS FAT BIKES
    Borealis Fat Bikes was founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2013 and quickly became a leader in the fat bike industry. The company is dedicated to designing and producing the lightest and most technically advanced fat bikes and fat bike components in the world, and they currently operate in more than 22 countries with continued expansion planned for North America and around the globe.

    For more information about the company, products or to find a dealer near you, visit fatbike.com, facebook.com/BorealisBikes or call 320-FAT-BIKE


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    The top thirteen star-ranked helmets all feature MIPS Brain Protection System

    (Stockholm, Sweden) A range of helmets featuring MIPS, the world leading brain protection system, has featured prominently in the results of the latest helmet rating based on laboratory testing conducted by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the Institute for Highway Safety.

    The expanded qualitative testing results, including 50 helmet models from the previous 30, were released on December 13th and featured road, mountain, and commuter bicycle helmets as well as skate and snow helmets from the world's top manufacturers.

    The list of 50 helmets tested and ranked by Virginia Tech is located here.

    "After thousands of hours in research, testing, and development, we are very proud to see MIPS in all of the top 13 helmets in this test, says Johan Thiel, CEO of MIPS." This latest testing was the second time that Virginia Tech's star rating system was used. The star rating system was developed through multiple studies that were funded by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses from vehicle crashes . In the test, the top thirteen star-ranked helmets all feature the MIPS low friction brain protection system.

    T he leading helmets include models from MIPS brand partners Bontrager, Bern, Bell, Specialized, Giro, Lazer, Louis Garneau, Smith, Scott, and Rudy Project. "Our goal with these ratings is to give cyclists an evidence-based tool for making informed decisions about how to reduce their risk of injury," said Steve Rowson, director of the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab. Virginia Tech's helmet laboratory is also a leader in testing helmets for team and motor sports. All of the helmets ranked in the Virginia Tech star rankings are available for sale from speciality retailers.

     


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