Bicycle Retailer

Bicycle Retailer Latest News and Information

  • Bouchard-Hall stepping down as president and CEO of USA Cycling
    Bouchard-Hall will lead a "USA Cycling partner company." Bob Stapleton will step in as interim CEO.

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — USA Cycling announced Friday that Derek Bouchard-Hall will be stepping down as president and CEO at the end of the year. The organization said Bouchard-Hall will lead what the organization described as a "USA Cycling partner company" that will issue a separate announcement next week.

    USA Cycling's board chairman Bob Stapleton will serve as interim CEO as the board searches for a new CEO.

    Following a career that included the launch of two wireless communications companies, Stapleton has been involved in the cycling industry since 2002, most publicly as the owner of High Road Sports, the owner of men's and women's pro cycling teams that operated from 2007 to 2011. He currently serves on the Union Cycliste Internationale Management Committee and is also the director of the World Triathlon Corporation.

    Bouchard-Hall joined USA Cycling in 2015 following a career that included executive positions with the US Small Business Administration and the online retailer Wiggle.

    "Deciding to leave USA Cycling to take on a new role was the hardest professional decision of my life. I have loved serving the American bike racing community, and my heart will always remain firmly with USA Cycling," said Bouchard-Hall. "My professional career has focused on improving organizations and setting them on a new path. I am confident that I have done that at USA Cycling, and am proud of the team we have in place which will continue improving our ability to support our membership."

    Stapleton said, "The foundation for a brighter future for USA Cycling has been built. But we know that much work remains to be done. The next leader of USA Cycling must have that same sense of purpose and urgency to continue our progress. This will be a fantastic opportunity for the right person."

  • Factory LLC makes investment in Honey Stinger

    STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — Factory LLC, a Pennsylvania-based operating company, has made an equity investment in the sports nutritional brand Honey Stinger.

    Factory LLC has $250 million of capital to invest in food, beverage and pet health companies. Factory said its staff includes experts in sales, marketing, innovation and food science, operations, and finance. The company's 30-person team works out of a 40,000 square foot "innovation and scale-up facility" in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Among its previous investments was taking a $5 million stake in Mikey's Muffins in 2017. Factory LLC was founded by Rich Thompson, the former CEO of Freshpets and Meow Mix, and the founder and former CEO of America Italian Pasta Company. 

    "We are really excited to partner with Honey Stinger, a company that has established itself as one of the premier sports nutrition brands on the market," said Thompson. "Our partnership will allow Honey Stinger to broaden its reach through amplified marketing and distribution programs. Factory will also focus on innovation to expand the company's offering of great new performance-based products."

    Bill Gamber, Honey Stinger co-founder and president, said, "The Honey Stinger brand was born from a decades-long family tradition, so our passion for honey-based nutrition is deeply rooted.

    "We are very proud of the growth we have achieved and the career opportunities we've been able to provide to our team here in Steamboat. As we look to continue building on that growth, it is important for us to choose partners who understand the value of our heritage and share our passion for creating exceptional products. Factory brings the ideal combination of experience, expertise, vision and resources to help drive Honey Stinger forward."

    Gamber was also the co-founder of the outdoor company Big Agnes, also based in Steamboat Springs. 

  • Rad Power Bikes moving to new location in Seattle

    SEATTLE (BRAIN) — Consumer-direct e-bike brand Rad Power Bikes is moving to a new location in Seattle. The move will consolidate the company's offices, warehouse and retail store, currently housed in three different locations in the city.

    Rad Power is leasing 26,000 square feet of space in the new Woodland Business Center in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood starting Jan. 1, 2019. In addition to bringing together its various operations, the new space will also help Rad Power accommodate its growing staff, which has expanded from 20 employees at the start of 2018 to 80 today.

    "We continued outgrowing all our locations. Moving to this new space is to better accommodate our growing team and serve high customer demand," Rad Power co-founder and CEO MIke Radenbaugh told BRAIN. "Right now we have a nice size office in Seattle, but we filled it up months ago. So the new space ties in our retail store with our office space and warehousing all under one roof. When you go there there will be an outdoor electric bike charging station and parking area and maybe even a little organic coffee shop inside that will be a more experiential location."

    Rad Power launched in 2007 and went consumer direct in 2015, jumpstarting its sales growth. And 2018 has been an exceptional growth year for the brand, with sales on target to rise to $50 million from $20 million last year.

    "It's a high-value product with a strong support system backing it," Radenbaugh said of the Rad Power line, which covers a range from fat bikes for on- and off-road use to cargo and utility haulers. "It's a bike that really anyone can get into and enjoy and love. And more importantly, as you put the miles on, which goes by really quick on an e-bike, having a team to support every one of our customers in timely fashion has really been paramount for our growth."

    Fleet sales for the brand's utility bikes have also come on strong lately. "With our electric cargo trike, our bikes are now being used to haul 700 pounds of organic vegetables all over Vancouver, Canada. Those types of applications are what really excites us — providing products to support the transition away from a car-centric lifestyle."

    Rad Power's new address will be 1128 NW 52nd St., Seattle, WA 98107. Phone numbers will be unchanged.

  • Interbike reports retail buyer attendance down, but feedback positive
    The show says its OutDoor Demo, educational offerings and other events were well attended and got top marks from attendees.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Tom Kattus leaving Campagnolo after more than 10 years as North American GM

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

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

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

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

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

  • Strider sells 2 millionth balance bike, approaches $20 million in annual sales
    Company is expanding international distribution and sales through large retailers.

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

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

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

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

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

  • IMBA looks to shore up support — both inside and outside the industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Bobby Hawley Sr., founder of The Hawley Co., dies at 87

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Outdoor Industry Association names Patricia Rojas-Ungar its new VP of government affairs

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

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

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

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

  • Homemade e-bike project catches fire, destroys home

    HAMPSTEAD, Md. (BRAIN) — Maryland fire investigators say a 25-year-old man assembling a do-it-yourself e-bike caused a fire that destroyed a house.

    No one was injured in the fire, which started Sunday afternoon. 

    According to the Maryland State Fire Marshal, Robert Floto was loading lithium-ion batteries into the bike's battery pack when two of the lithium battery terminals touched, creating an explosion that caused other batteries to explode and ignite nearby combustibles.

    "Robert Floto was able to push the bike out the rear door to the exterior. Floto and his father attempted to extinguish the fire with multiple fire extinguishers; however the fire quickly spread throughout the room and into the house. Investigators consider the home a total loss," investigators said.

    They said the three-level single-family home structure was valued at $175,000 and the home's contents were worth $50,000.

    The two-alarm fire took firefighters about 50 minutes to control.