Bicycle Retailer

Bicycle Retailer Latest News and Information

06 May 2021

  • Updated tariff timeline: How we got here
    UPDATED Sept. 11, 2019

    BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Tariff news is piling up on the industry, making heads swirl from Washington to Long Beach to Boulder.

    To help you, and us, keep track, we have prepared a timeline, below. We'll have to keep updating the timeline as things develop. If you have a question, shoot it over to BRAIN’s Steve Frothingham at Sfrothingham@bicycleretailer.com or leave a comment.

    Pre-existing tariffs

    During the Kennedy administration the import duty on bikes was 30%. But in recent years most complete bikes have been subject to an 11% tariff; the rate for most road bikes is half that. Before the new Section 301 tariff imposed last year (see below), e-bikes had no tariff.

    Parts and accessories are generally subject to tariffs between 0-10%. The tariff on pedals, for example, is 8%, while that on pumps is 3.7%. 

    All the new and proposed tariffs in the news in the last year are in addition to the pre-existing tariffs. So for example the new 25% tariff on Chinese bikes, made official this month, is on top of the 11% tariff most bikes already are subject to, for a total of 36%.

    Many missed the news in September 2018, but there was a tariff reduction that month. President Donald Trump signed the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act of 2018, which reduced some of these underlying tariffs (in imports from all countries, not just China) without affecting the new Section 301 or Section 232 tariffs. For example, the bill lowered the rate on disc brakes from 10% to 7.5%, and the rate for unicycles went from 3.7% to 0%. It also slightly reduced the tariffs on some cycling shoes. 

    New and proposed tariffs, in chronological order:


    The U.S. tariff on steel and aluminum

    Applies to: U.S. imports of raw steel and aluminum from most countries
    Rate: 25% on steel, 10% aluminum
    Date proposed: March 8, 2018
    Date applied: March 23, 2018
    Type of tariff: Section 232, related to national security. (There's more on Section 232 tariffs on the Department of Commerce site)

    Annual import value of products, 2018: $40 billion
    Notable exclusions: Steel from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and South Korea (Argentina, Brazil and South Korea are limited by import quotas); aluminum from Argentina and Australia (Argentina limited by quota). Under NAFTA, Canadian and Mexican materials were exempt until May 31, 2018.
    Impact on our industry: Many U.S. manufacturers tell BRAIN that material costs — even for U.S. made steel and aluminum - have increased significantly. This put them at a disadvantage relative to foreign manufacturers, because only the materials, not completed products, are subject to this tariff. Some U.S. manufacturers favored an increase in tariffs on completed products because it helped reduce that disparity. 
    Status: Mexico and Canada continue to negotiate new trade agreements in hopes of eliminating the tariffs; with a Canada/US deal announced on May 17. The EU and the U.S. also continue to negotiate on this and other trade issues.
    Retaliation: Canada, Mexico, and the European Union each enacted retaliatory measures.

    Section 301, List 1 (GPS and bearings)

    Applies to: U.S. imports of a wide array of Chinese products, including GPS bike computers and ball bearings
    Rate: 25%
    Previous tariffs: GPS: 0%; Bearings: 4-10% depending on type.
    Date proposed: April 6, 2018
    Date enacted: July 6, 2018
    Type of tariff: Section 301 (More on Section 301 on the USTR website)
    Annual import value of all List 1 products, 2018: List 1 represented $34 billion in imports, out of an original proposal of $50 billion. List 2 (below) made up the $16 billion difference.

    Impact on our industry: Caused some GPS makers to move production out of China, usually to Taiwan. Raised costs of U.S.-made components that include Chinese-made bearings, and replacement bearings. Caused some bearing suppliers to move production or assembly out of China.
    Retaliation: China announced its own list of U.S. goods subject to new tariffs.
    Status: Still in place.

    Section 301, List 2 (Chinese e-bikes and motors)

    Applies to: An array of Chinese products, including e-bikes and e-bike motors.
    Tariff rate: 25%
    Previous tariff on e-bikes: 0%
    Type of tariff: Section 301
    Annual import value of all List 2 products, 2018: $16 billion
    Date proposed: June 20, 2018
    Date applied: Aug. 23, 2018

    Impact on our industry: Several manufacturers, including Trek and Pedego, testified against the proposal in Washington. The tariff had more effect on lower-priced e-bikes sold online and other channels. Sales statistics show the e-bike remained the fastest growing segment in the industry, despite the tariffs.
    Retaliation: China announced a second round of U.S. goods subject to retaliatory tariffs.
    Status: Still in place. Bike trade groups and brands requested exemptions, but the USTR denied those requests in January.

    Section 301, List 3 (Chinese bikes, parts and accessories)

    Applies to: Wide array of Chinese products, including most complete bikes and bike parts and accessories, plus other items the bike industry uses and sells, like tools and water bottles. 
    Notable exceptions: Helmets and lights were exempted for safety reasons. Cycling apparel and shoes also are not included. A variety of bike parts and accessories that are not elsewhere specified or included in the HTS import codes (NESOI, in importer jargon) fall under the 8714.99.8000 code. That code was NOT included in this round, but items under that code are subject to a pre-existing 10% duty. This includes about 40 types of products, including pump clips, bike radios and horns, kickstands, wide-angle reflectors, seatposts, toe clips, spoke reflectors and more. HTS 8714.99.8000 is included in List 4 (see below).
    Tariff rate: 10% starting September 2018, was set to increase to 25% on Jan. 1, 2019, but the increase was delayed. Now set to increase to 25% on imports that arrive after June 1.
    Previous tariffs: The 10% and 25% tariffs are in addition to existing tariffs on bike products, discussed above.
    Type of tariff: Section 301
    Annual import value of all products on List 3, 2018: $200 billion.
    Date proposed: July 17, 2018
    Date applied: 10% took effect Sept. 24, 2018. It increased to 25% on May 10, 2019, applying to imports that arrive after June 1.

    Despite the notable exceptions, this is a big, wide ranging list of bike stuff.

    Impact on our industry: Despite the notable exceptions mentioned above, this is a big, wide ranging list of bike stuff. Evidence: In 2018 the bike industry imported at least $1.1 billion in products on this list from China, representing half the industry’s imports. Since September, the 10% tariff has led to wholesale price increases of around 5% on these products, retailers said. Suppliers tell us efforts to re-source products and the uncertainty has been costly. The increase to 25% is expected to cause significant wholesale and retail price increases.
    Retaliation: China is running out of U.S. imports to hit with new tariffs in response. After the U.S.’s 10% increase in September, China announced new tariffs of 5-10% on $60 billion in U.S. exports to the country, including agriculture products and natural gas. After the announced increase to 25% in May, China said it would increase tariffs on $60 billion in other U.S. imports on June 1.
    Status: Negotiations continue.

    Section 301, List 4 — (Almost everything else from China)

    Applies to: U.S. imports of Chinese goods, including most or all of the bike products not included in List 2 or List 3.
    Tariff rate: up to 25%
    Type of tariff: Section 301
    Annual import value of all products on List 4, 2018: $300 billion.
    Date proposed: May 13, 2019
    Date to be enacted: Any time after June 24 in any amount up to 25%, on top of the regular rate of duty.

    Impact on our industry: Adds in most or all bike-related items that were not in List 3, including lights, helmets, unspecified parts and accessories, apparel and footwear. The industry is planning to submit requests to exclude bicycle products from this round of tariffs.

    Status: A public hearing was held June 17 at which the bicycle industry was represented. On June 29, at the G20 summit in Japan, Trump said he and Chinese President Xi had agreed to a truce and that the U.S. would not impose the new tariff on List 4. On August 1, Trump said Xi had not followed through in promises made in June and said List 4 would be hit with a 10% tariff on Sept. 1

    Status update Aug. 13, 2019: Trump announced that some products on List 4 will get a holiday shopping season reprieve and not get hit with the new tariff until Dec. 15. That included cell phones, laptops — and balance bikes. However, all other bike products on List 4 were set to still receive the 10% tariff on Sept. 1. That included helmets and lights, which were exempt from previous rounds for safety reasons. 

    Status update Aug. 30, 2019: The USTR announced the new tariff on List 4 would be 15%, not 10%, after China announced retaliatory measures. The 15% would be imposed on List 4a on Sept. 1 and List 4b on Dec. 15. The USTR also said the 25% tariff on Lists 1,2, and 3 would increase to 30% on Oct. 1, 2019.

    Status update Sept. 11, 2019: Trump tweeted that the increase on Oct. 1 would be delayed until Oct. 15 as a good will gesture.  

    Section 301, EU list

    Applies to: U.S. imports of products from the European Union, including some bike products.
    Tariff rate: Up to 100%
    Type of tariff: Section 301
    Annual import value of all products, 2018: $11.5 billion
    Date proposed: April 8, 2019
    Public hearing: May 15-16, 2019

    Impact on our industry: Applies to imports of EU parts, including sprockets and hubs.
    Retaliation: The EU has proposed retaliation that would include some sprockets and hubs from the U.S.
    Status: Matt Moore, representing the BPSA, was scheduled to speak at a public hearing about this proposal on Thursday, May 16. Comments were being accepted until May 28 at regulations.gov/docket?D=USTR-2019-0003.

    Editor's note: We've corrected our reference to the import duty on bikes during the Kennedy administration. The correct figure is 30%, not 50% as we had said. Thanks to James Longhurst, Ph.D., an associate professor in the history department at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse for nicely pointing out our mistake. 

     

  • Key bike component imports see a bump in March — but not nearly enough

    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — Figures released Wednesday show the industry received a surge of parts from overseas in March. Monthly imports of derailleurs, pedals, saddles, and other parts were at their highest level in at least 14 months, in some cases by large margins.

    Complete bike imports also remained at high levels in March and were higher than the prior two months.

    The increase, while welcome, is clearly not doing much to help bike shops get the repair parts they need.

    "Not at all!," said Christina Baanders-Decker, owner of Kansas City's Midwest Cyclery. "10 and 11-speed chains and cassettes: Nonexistent! Saddles... one or two here or there. Derailleurs, I haven't needed any. I stocked up," she said in a Facebook Messenger conversation with BRAIN. Baanders-Decker is a member of BRAIN's State of Retail panel.

    Baanders-Decker and other retailers said they struggle to get repair parts — low-priced, dealer-quality parts, especially those needed to repair older bikes. Retailers and wholesalers emptied their back shelves of those parts last year and have never fully restocked.

    Big surge

    As the charts below show, March was an exceptional month for imports of many parts. March pedal imports, for example, were valued at $5.8 million, 61% higher than the February imports, and more than twice the value of pedal imports in March 2020.

    The surge in March may have been a result of when importers placed their largest orders last year, suggested Patrick Hogan, the Bicycle Industry Research Manager at PeopleForBikes.

    "We know that sales began surging in March 2020... Once that surge became apparent, suppliers began to ramp up production. Because seemingly all suppliers had attempted to increase production within the same relative timeframe, many components have been on backorder for the past +/- 12 months. Finally, some of these items are making their way to the market," he said.

    Patrick McGinnis, the president of distributor HLC, said his company ordered heavily last August based on dealer demand and, given manufacturers' current extended lead times, those products are just arriving this spring.

    "It is really a matter of timing," McGinnis said. He said HLC is expecting to receive "very large" volumes from June through August.

    "I'm assuming other (importers) were seeing and reacting in a similar fashion," he said.

    For many components, U.S. Customs does not record unit imports — sometimes they record only the weight of shipments. That makes it difficult to assess how much of the increase is simply due to higher prices, a result of inflation, increased raw materials costs and other factors.

    But if you want to go there... the U.S. imported 200,000 kilograms of pedals and pedal parts in March — up from 135,000 kilograms in February. So the surge is not just in dollar volume.

    Where is it all going?

    The component import statistics do not count parts imported as part of a complete bike. 

    It's generally impossible to tell where the imports end up — some are bound for mass merchant bike factories, like Kent's factory in South Carolina. Others go to smaller upscale brands that assemble bikes in the U.S. Some go to e-commerce vendors including Amazon and some go to distributors who serve the IBD channel.

    But the origin of the component imports this March suggests, at least in some cases, that many are bound for the IBD market.

    For example, Japan, where Shimano makes some of its highest pried parts, supplied 35% of the derailleurs that came in in March (by dollar value), while China provided just 1.3% of the month's dollar value. Taiwan, where SRAM and other brands manufacture mid- to high-end parts, supplied 62% of March's derailleurs. Year-over-year, imports of derailleurs from Taiwan were up 75% while China's were up 60%.

    Shimano also manufactures derailleurs in Singapore, but no imports from that country show up in this month's report. It might be that Shimano ships its Singapore-made derailleurs to the US from Japan.

    Still small numbers

    The aftermarket and repair market is relatively small compared to the OE market, as these numbers suggest — all the (non-OE) derailleurs imported in March were worth $5.5 million, which equates to perhaps $16.5 million in retail value. Meanwhile the industry imported bikes worth $130 million at the port, roughly $390 million at retail. 

    Understandably, most parts makers supply bike factories with OE parts before filling aftermarket orders, which has contributed to the parts shortages. An exception is that some high-end upgrade products — too fancy to be spec'd on many complete bikes — are more readily available, as are some accessories that are not included with new bikes.

    "You can find $5 pedals or $500 pedals. Nothing for the majority," Baanders-Decker said.

    It's not just us.

    While the shipping and port crisis continues, U.S. ports still continued to process record numbers of imports. In the larger economy, the U.S. had record imports in March of $274.5 billion for the month. U.S. exports were also up, but the trade imbalance still grew. The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced Tuesday that the goods and services deficit was $74.4 billion in March, up $3.9 billion from $70.5 billion in February.

  • NRG/Lanctôt latest victim of ransomware attack
    UPDATED

    MONTRÉAL (BRAIN) — Raymond Lanctôt LTD and its NRG Enterprises division returned online Wednesday after a ransomware attack on April 30. All systems were shut down before any malware was loaded, the company said.

    Jean Cloutier, Lanctôt's vice president of operations, told BRAIN no customer nor any other company information was accessed. He said a few B2B orders placed between midnight Sunday and 1:30 p.m. Monday were lost. Dealers placing orders during that span should resubmit them.

    Lanctôt, which signed a multi-year agreement in November to distribute Mavic products in Canada, had its systems scanned and tested, with advanced software protection installed, said Cloutier, who added it took longer than expected.

    Cloutier said this is the first time an attack occurred, but the company experienced increased phishing attempts and gift card email scams in the prior weeks. It's not known yet where the attack originated, he said.

    J&B Importers experienced a ransomware attack last month that shut down its website temporarily, and KHS suffered a similar attack in February 2000.

    "I would definitely advise others in the trade that it's time to upgrade their defense to this threat," Cloutier said. "One more piece of advice is the need and importance of training to all staff, from shippers to managers, on how to spot viruses and phishing attempts and proper security do's and don’t's." 

  • Colorado city gets rad with Yeti and Pivot Streets

    FRUITA, Colo. (BRAIN) — If you want to live where mountain bikers feel welcomed, check out the new houses going up on Singletrack Street, Yeti Street, or Pivot Street in this town on the western edge of Colorado.

    It's unclear whether the owner of say, a Niner, would feel comfortable buying a house on Yeti Street, but the names are intended to strike a chord with the kind of young, adventurous families that Fruita hopes to attract, said Dan Caris, the city's planning and development director.

    "I think it's rad," Caris said. "Fruita is doing a great job balancing community and tourism... I'm tickled and elated that (the developer) is playing off that," he said.

    He said the street names were proposed by the developer, Maves Construction of Grand Junction. The city only reviews the names to make sure the post office can deliver to them without issue.

    Fruita is home to world-renowned mountain bike trails. The Grand Valley region — which includes the nearby communities of Grand Junction and Palisade — has been making a concerted effort for years to attract recreational brands and residents to relocate. Canfield Bikes and Rocky Mounts have relocated to the area in recent years; MRP and DT Swiss have had operations there for many years. 

    The Yeti and Pivot brands had nothing to do with the street naming. Chris Cocalis, the president and CEO of Arizona-based Pivot Cycles, told BRAIN, "The naming was a complete and awesome surprise for us.  We are super excited."

    Chris Conroy, the president of Golden, Colorado-based Yeti Cycles, said the street designation is better than a star on Hollywood Boulevard. "We had nothing to do with it but stoked it happened... I’d say for a mountain bike company to have a street in Fruita named after it is a much bigger honor than anything in Hollywood."

    The pandemic has turbo-charged growth in Fruita, a community of 13,000 residents, Caris said.

    "We have so many applications for residential developments and commercial developments... there's a lot of pressure right now," he said. 

    The bike-themed street names are in a development planned for about a mile north of downtown Fruita. The 37-home new urban-style development, called Dwell, will have a mix of single-family houses and townhomes. Homes will be in the 1,500-2,200 square foot range and the relatively high-density development is in line with Fruita's recent push to discourage sprawl, Caris said.

  • Schwinn sponsors LGBTQ+ advocate on Oregon bikepacking trip

    MADISON, Wis. (BRAIN) — Schwinn will partner with an LGBTQ+ advocate on a 363-mile bikepacking trip to amplify his inclusivity message in the outdoor industry.

    Mikah Meyer, who once visited all 419 National Park Service sites in a single trip, will embark on his bikepacking quest along U.S. Highway 101 on the Oregon coast on May 16. A novice cyclist, Meyer said he hopes to encourage others to try a biking adventure.

    Schwinn will provide equipment, food, and transportation. It also will have a film crew document the trip.

    "Schwinn's partnership sends a powerful message that you don't have to be a certain type of person to be a cyclist," Meyer said. "Just as Schwinn is showing through their various partnerships with diverse people and organizations, it is possible to be something other than the dominant image, and still be part of the community."

    Meyer recently founded Outside Safe Space, a program that encourages LGBTQ+ and diverse community support in rural and outdoor places. Outside Safe Space creates pins and stickers for outdoor industries to show support for inclusivity.

    "Mikah's vision to create a space where all people feel welcomed and encouraged is something Schwinn is proud to be a part of," said Samantha Kraemer, Schwinn brand manager. "We're hopeful the bike across Oregon trip is the first of many bike trips for Mikah."

    Meyer's passion for the outdoors was sparked at 19 after his father died. Because of their love for road trips, Meyer wanted to honor his father's legacy by completing his own road trip. That was just the beginning as he discovered the healing power of the outdoors.

    After many journeys, he recognized the opportunity to create a more welcoming outdoor space for LGBTQ+ individuals. This was the beginning of Outside Safe Space.

    Meyer will update his progress on Instagram.

  • Burton promotes Elysa Walk to Chief Business Officer

    BURLINGTON, Vt. (BRAIN) — Burton has promoted Elysa Walk, a former general manager of Giant Bicycle, to be the company's first Chief Business Officer. Walk was previously the snowboard company's SVP of Americas and International.

    In her new role Walk will oversee the business done in all of Burton's regional organizations, which includes direct-to-consumer and wholesale channels, regional marketing, finance and operations.

    "After six years of successfully leading various elements of Burton's regions, Elysa has truly earned her new position as Burton's first Chief Business Officer," said John Lacy, CEO of Burton. "With interest in outdoor activities at an all-time high and anticipated pent-up demand for resort travel next winter season, Elysa has the vision and drive to lead our regional teams to make the most out of the exciting opportunities on the horizon for Burton."

    "I am honored to receive the promotion to Burton's Chief Business Officer," said Walk. "I am most excited about helping Burton becoming closer to our consumer around the world and strengthening our regional organizations, specifically in digital and retailing."

    Walk had been with Giant for seven years prior to leaving to join Burton in 2015.

  • Bicycle helmet demand continues to fuel MIPS as Q1 net sales rise 48%

    STOCKHOLM (BRAIN) — Driven by continued global bicycle helmet demand, MIPS' net sales increased 48% year-over-year in one of the helmet technology company's best-ever first quarters.

    Net sales were SEK 83 million ($9.9 million), compared to SEK 56 million at the same time last year. Net income jumped 167% for the quarter, from SEK 12 million to SEK 32 million. Earnings per share increased 157%, from SEK 0.48 to SEK 1.23.

    "Historically, the first quarter has been dominated by the production of primarily snow helmets," said Max Strandwitz, MIPS president and CEO. "This was not the case this year, since most of our sales continued to support the increased demand for bicycle helmets around the world."

    Strandwitz added stock levels will continue to be an issue "at least for the rest of the season."

    MIPS placed more emphasis on marketing during the quarter, sponsoring additional athletes — including the Scott SRAM mountain bike team, and the Honda RC motocross team — with more athletes joining in 2021.

    MIPS' corporate headquarters is in Stockholm. Its stock is traded on the Stockholm Stock Exchange under the MIPS symbol. Stock quote at Marketwatch.com.

  • Discovery invests in Enduro Sports Organisation, producer of the Enduro World Series

    LONDON (BRAIN) — Discovery Inc.’s Play Sports Group is making an investment in Enduro Sports Organisation, which operates the Enduro World Series and the E-Enduro World Series. The company said the investment will accelerate the expansion of EWS events and create live and on-demand content.

    Discovery and Play Sports Group, through its GCN and GCN+ app, covers more than 200 professional cycling events across road, track, BMX, cyclocross, and mountain bike, producing over 2,500 live hours across 300 days in 2021.

    The Enduro World Series has more than 20,000 racers, 30 pro teams and 80 races in 25 countries. The events include amateur and pro participants.

    Simon Wear, the founder and CEO at Play Sports Group, said, "This is one of those great moments you dream will happen one day. I've had the pleasure of getting to know (EWS co-founder Chris Ball) and the team over the last few years – what a team – I have long been a fan of the Enduro World Series and the inspiring racing that takes place all over the world. They represent and foster an incredible mountain bike community.

    "This deal represents the binding of a number of great businesses EWS, GMBN, the wider Play Sports Group and the far-reaching platform of Eurosport all powered by the remarkable machine of Discovery. I am so excited to see what we will do together."

    EWS' founding members Chris Ball, Fred Glo and Enrico Guala will retain their seats on the Enduro Sports Organisation Board and will be joined by Simon Wear; Philip Smith, the CFO of Play Sports Group; and Nimesh Kataria, VP Finance – Eurosport, Discovery International.

    Discovery bought a majority share of Play Sports Group in January 2019. According to one media industry report, Discovery acquired the remaining shares in the company recently, although Discovery has not announced that. Discovery is traded on Nasdaq under the  DISCA, DISCB, DISCK symbols. 

    On Wednesday Discovery announced its first-quarter financials. Total revenues were $2,792 million, up 4% compared to the prior-year quarter. Net income was $140 million and diluted earnings per share was $0.21.

  • Cycling sales help increase Garmin Q1 revenue 25%

    OLATHE, Kan. (BRAIN) — Garmin Ltd. reported first-quarter revenue grew 25% year-over-year, boosted by demand for cycling products that included the release of the Rally power meter pedal series.

    The fitness segment, which the cycling division falls under, experienced a 38% jump in revenue compared to the same period last year. The Rally power meter pedal line includes an off-road model, a new market opportunity for Garmin.

    "Interest in fitness, health, and active lifestyle products has never been higher, and we believe that we are well positioned to capitalize on the opportunities ahead," said Cliff Pemble, Garmin's president and CEO.

    Fitness operating income grew 138% in the quarter, which also was helped by growth in advanced wearable products, including the release of the Lily smartwatch.

    Garmin's total revenue was $1.07 billion for the quarter. Fitness revenue was $308 million. In addition to fitness, Garmin had double-digit revenue growth in outdoor, marine, and auto segments. The Outdoor group was helped by the release of the Enduro, an adventure watch designed for endurance racing with up to 80 hours of continuous operation in GPS mode.

    Overall Garmin net income was $220 million, up from $161 million year-over-year. Earnings per share went up to $1.15 from $0.84 at the same time last year.

    Garmin's corporate headquarters is in Olathe. Its stock is traded on the NASDAQ under the GRMN symbol. Stock quote at Marketwatch.com.

  • Kitzuma Cycling Logistics now offers shipping service to IBDs

    ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BRAIN) — Kitzuma Cycling Logistics, which launched in December offering direct-to-consumer brands dock-to-door box-free bike shipping, has expanded its delivery service to independent bike dealers nationwide.

    Pilot programs took place at three IBDs that offer e-commerce: Motion Makers Bike Shop in Western North Carolina, Contender Bicycles in Utah, and PLAYTRI, a multi-sport retailer with stores nationwide. Kitzuma is now pursuing additional partnerships with other IBDs.

    "We love being able to offer the customer an option of delivery that doesn't risk their bike getting damaged or them having to figure out how to reassemble a boxed bike," said Kent Cranford, Motion Makers owner. "This has become our standard for shipping bikes. The customers have been very impressed with the service."

    An added benefit to the IBD is not having to box every online purchase, leaving more time for service requests and manning the sales floor, according to Kitzuma.

    "Our service is especially helpful for delivering e-bikes or unusually shaped tri/TT bikes, for which traditional boxed shipping is notoriously difficult," said co-founder and COO Chris Cosgrove. "We want to connect people who have bikes with people who want bikes, allowing IBDs to reach a much broader consumer market."

    Kitzuma reminds retailers without an online storefront of the benefits to shipping bikes to customers who live out of state. Because of the current inventory shortage, that shipping option can turn a local bike shop into a regional and/or national retailer.

    "Our initial test run went beautifully, and we're confident lots of other dealers nationwide will sign up soon," said Tony Eggers, Kitzuma co-founder and chief information technology officer. "That experience also helped us develop our new online portal, which makes it incredibly quick and easy for IBD clients to process their orders, track delivery, etc. The combination of top-end service and a user-friendly interface should be extremely attractive for bike dealers."

    American Bicycle Group — which owns and distributes Obed Bicycles, Litespeed Bicycles, and Quintana Roo triathlon bikes — is one of Kitzuma's biggest DTC clients. Kitzuma uses a spoke-hub appointment-based model with driver-techs trained to handle and set up bikes for the customer. Each bike is guaranteed against damage.

    For retailer information, email Kitzuma, or call 855-KITZUMA.