Hayes Bicycle Group has acquired Answer Products

Nov 3, 2006 at 8:28
Nov 3, 2006
by Tyler Maine  
 
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In another big move, the Hayes Bicycle Group has bought Answer Products (makers of Manitou suspension). Here's the little note that is floating around the industry to verify this report:

November 3, 2006

To our Customers and Friends,

Effective immediately, Answer Products will now be a part of Hayes Bicycle Group (manufacturers of the Hayes Disc Brakes, [L=http://www.sun-ringle.com/]Sun Ringle’ [/L]and Wheelsmith brands), a division of HB Performance Systems Inc.

Answer Products operations will continue as usual. For the time being, pending orders, production, contacts and everyday business will not change.

Best regards,

Joel Richardson




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65 Comments

  • + 6
 So now that you have avid/sram/rockshox , hayes/manitou, will put a lot of preasure of OEM deals for someone like Marzocchi and Shimano who do not have a suspension and brake offering together. The question begs to be asked....is Shimano/Marzocchi or Magura/Marzocchi coming next?
  • + 0
 Or even maybe Shimano/Fox, that would be imo a nice combo, and btw magura does have its own fork line-up like the WOTAN, THOR and RONIN forks.
  • + 0
 I think marzocchi and hope would merge before shimano and marzocchi. Marzocchi has more of a renegade type name, and shimano has a microsoft type name. So It would me hope in my view.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I think another merger is bound to happen like everyone is talking about. Especially since this year Rockshox has the totem. Up until now other they only had the boxxer as the closest freeride all around burly fork. It is a great fork for performance, but just over all shit kicking the marz and fox offerings were or maybe seemed better. Now with the totem now they can compete in all the areas. SRAM is the only company that can provide forks, brakes, bbs, cranks, shifters, derailleurs. Almost every part that a bike manufacturer needs. Pretty hard to compete with at the oem level.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 yea, thats what ive heard. but while everyone is talking about merger this and merger that, why not keep some cool, independant companies, keepin it real, as it were? big companies tend to take to long to inovate, because theyre so big, and they'll often sacrifice performance for afordability, so they can sell more, instead of the best that can be made. i vote that magura stays on its own untill its in trouble and needs to get bailed out. like rockshocks and manitou.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Ok, last comment. Anyone dissin on manitou suspension. You kiddies better remember where most of the new technology in suspension came from. Manitou circa early 90's. Anyone that has been riding since 90-91ish would have seen the impact doug bradbury made on the mtb scene. Now the new kiddies have only seen the 2000 and later stuff. Do some research.
  • + 0
 I've been around since the early '90s and started off on Manitou forks, specifically a Manitou 3. To address your assertion that Manitou made lots of tech advancements in the MTB suspension scene:

1. Bradbury did indeed popularize the aluminum stantion, uncommon in the days prior to the Manitou 2.

2. Manitou led the "elastomer revolution", but that turned out to be a technological dead-end. Air and coil that had existed prior to the "elastomer revolution" turned out to have been the better choices.

3. Manitou led the world away from sealed/oil-lubed forks (Rock Shox Mag 21, Marzocchi XC500) and toward scraper/grease-lubed forks. Rock Shox was stupid and followed with the Judy, but Marzocchi showed us the error of our ways with the first Bomber Z-forks and we never looked back.

4. Manitou added oil damping to a non-oil fork by pioneering the "sealed" damping cartridge (Manitou EFC). It sucked because it blew (been there done that) , but that didn't stop Rock Shox from copying that disaster into the Judy. Nobody does a sealed cartridge in a non-oil fork anymore.

5. Manitou was the first major company to commit to a thru-axle mount for a DH fork. For the longest time people were trying to get quick-releases to work with even inverted forks (!)

6. Manitou innovated the first integrated lower-legs/arch assembly. Even though it was three pieces bonded together, it was still revolutionary. One piece lowers are de rigeur today.

7. Manitou came up with TPC, but since other players had other damping setups that worked as-well (perhaps better), this is more of an advance for Manitou than for MTB suspension as a whole. This can be said for a lot of Manitou tech: interesting solutions, but nothing that forced forced everyone else to adopt an undeniable improvement.

I think if anything, Manitou's positive legacy from the '90s had mostly to do with fork structure, which was the biggest issue that most riders found lacking in the forks of the day. That said, most of Manitou's "innovation" in fork internals were revealed to be steps backward in light of what we use today, and also in light of established motorcross technology.

In other words, I wouldn't brag about Manitou's history. They were about as often right as they were wrong.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 gtrider257, not bro, dont push it with marzocchi. Its still one of the top makers of world cup class forks, and if Im not mistaken have more world cup wins than manitou. Even rock shocks isnt winning as many world cups (in downhill) anymore as they used to. Dont trash on one maker, and not the others. ALl forks have their ups and downs. All companies release good and bad models and have good and bad years. Thinking so close minded as the statement you just made makes me thing you need a little bit more education and less bias. You sound like a politition
[Reply]
  • + 2
 IMO many of the smaller frame and component manufactuers are at the leading edge of mountain biking and continually force the big boys to catch up technology wise. stable platform and VPP came from foes and intense/santa cruz and it revolutioned rear suspension design. look at sram kick start the big S over the past 2 years. mergers are finanically driven by economies in product development, marketing, finance, and supplier relationships. usually bigger doesn't mean better. look at thomson, chris king and mavic - not the biggest but certainly the recogized best in their niche. i would hate these sweet manufacturers to get gobbled up.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I wouldnt say that is 100% true. Specialized, cane creek, marzocchi, rock shox have all revolutionized mtb. Nothing wrong with big corporations. thats the only problem with canadians in my mind, too much socialism, less capitalism. Big companies provide many jobs, which boosts the economy. A boost in the economy makes people spend more usually. when people spend more, technology moves fasted, people buy better bikes etc. So big companies are good, but only to a certain amount. Microsoft in the computer world in my opinion is good and bad, just like shimano and specialized in the bike world
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  • + 1
 The ONLY reason big companies merge is so they can make more money. That should be obvious. They might be able to streamline production, or reduce shipping cost, stuff like that. This is the motivation behind the big mergers you see. As for the new parts coming out of some big name companies. Obviously rock shock has a bit more equity when it has a company like SRAM backing it. That is the positive side of things. However the negative side of things is when you start merging big names you start killing the little guy's. Race Face is a name that has been brought up in the above conversation. I ride Race Face and Saint right now... if you blindfolded me I wouldn't be able to tell you the difference. The reason I like raceface is it's made in NORTH AMERICA..... B.C. to be exact. The reason why I like Rocky Mountain bikes, Cove bikes, Santa Cruz bikes and etc. is because they're made in North America. The last thing I want to see is Mergers that result in more companies moving to Asia and cranking out lower quality product. Not that I don't think that welders in Vietnam are any worse than here. but it's nice to keep some industry here on this continent and the products and componants being pumped out by companies such as E-13, Dark Cycles, RaceFace and many more are Beautiful quality parts... and you can ride with the guy's making them. I dislike mergers for no real good reason, I just don't want "walmart" or "HomeDepot" bike companies... everything you need under one roof crap shoot. I want to ride the stuff comeing out of the one room shack in some industral zone in Organ, or Newyork, or B.C. Support some of the little guys.
And one last thing is, what kind of grass roots programs is a Hayes or Sram mega company going to provide??? They'll have a list of great riders but I doubt some 16year old wanting to race B.C. cup is going to be helped out much. Small companies support Small riders and help them acheave there goals and develop into pro's that we can all look up to. Small companies are a stepping stone in the bike industry and when you populate the industry with these mega mergers the little guy who has to charge $120 CND for a set of pedals will be destroyed. Case in point? how many mom and pop gas stations do you see around these days??? Thats my rant. Prop me to hell hahah.
  • + 1
 good stuff man. I like to see a bit of thought go into things around here. A+
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I just purchased some Manitou Stances and i was riding and i noticed a little movement in my head tube. I took the fork off and realized that the Steer Tube on the fork was really loose. I just hope Hayes is able to revamp Manitou into making quality products instead of low caliber products.
  • + 1
 its nothing to do with low caliber products. You probably rode with a loose headset. Other than that, if its pressed, theres almost no way it will come loose unless you didnt mount the race flush, tighten it right, or you just beat the piss out of it beyond what the fork is capable of. Steertubes will pull up on the crown when you tighten the headset, thus making it a tighter fit. A lot less chance of it ovalizing the crown where the steertube is pressed into. My buddy has stances and I have beat the living piss out of them. To hell and back. Done stair drops to flat, dirt jumped, did a few heavily rockgarden infested downhill runs. No problems. I just check on the tightness of everything before I ride. I know plenty of people running stances that are pro or near pro, no problems with any of them. But they also have a great mechanic building their bikes so that might help.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Whats going to happen to all of the riders manitou had on thier team? I assume that 90% of them didnt ride for hayes, so will they be dropped? and if so we will see some pros moving to other companies and making their products even better.
  • + 1
 well they said nothing will immediatly change, so I think the teams will ride for the same sponsers this season at least. I doubt that manitou would drop a good team anyways...
  • + 0
 i think they'd give the riders the option of either ride hayes brakes, or be dropped.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Mavic is too big to be bought. Magura makes their own forks. Marzocchi does not need a merger. Manitou forks are great, if you don't mind routine maintenance. I'd sooner run my Travis on the shore in the rain than my Fox 40 because Fox can't get real with a shore service station. Manitou lives! Quality lightweight forks, easily overhauled in under 20 mins. Clean 'em lube 'em ride 'em. If only they'd get rid of those lame black stantions... heh
  • - 8
 but manitou breaks a lot...
so if your fork breaks: oviusly it sucks!!!
  • + 2
 no company is too big to be baught. You need to go to buisness school if you think that. How did martin merge with lockheed aerospace? Both companies were larger than most bike companies put together.

It all comes with how the companies will end up, not the size they are to begin with. Money has no limits, hense size dosent matter
  • + 0
 they did....they're gold now like the everliving sherman line.... except in 34mm instead of 32mm Razz HAIL THE TRAVIS.
  • + 1
 and just to let you know, the dorado is the only proven world class fork thats been put to the test for numerous years. Now its gone, maybe the travis and slider will inprove so they atleast have somewhat of a chance against marzocchi. Even boxxers had to revamp and come out with a decent fork for 07 (which they did) (if they didnt marzocchi would have taken the crown another year)
  • - 1
 yeah maniyou sucks ass
  • + 1
 hcorebiker, you better remember where alot of the technology on your bike came from. MANITOU!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 well i did a maybe 5 foot drop WITH a landing and then i noticed it there. and so i went home and took it off and you can literally like move the steer tube. i brought it into the local bike shop and they said it wasnt my head headset, it was just a flaw in manufacturing
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I believe that this is totally for good and perhaps they are going in a similar direction as SRAM has gone. What do you guys think of all this?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 There really isn't another company that is ailing as bad as manitou was recently or rockshox was at the time of it's purchase. That's why manitou was bought, because they were in such financial trouble that they had to have someone bail them out. Shimano and Marzocchi are too big to merge, and shimano is too stubborn. Don't forget Marzocchi has their moto shocks too.
  • + 0
 What are you talking about. Manitou/answer had no money problems. no technology problems etc. Some forks had problems, but you have to remember answer products is the #1 company in the world for bmx race parts bar none.

The company was fine, they just wanted to broaden their horizons and venture into new products. Its nothing about being in debt or bailing out. Hayes wouldnt have baught them out if they were doing so bad. Its not worth their time. Dont spread worthless rumors. Thats what people on mtbr forums are for.
  • + 0
 Do you read Industry retailer? They just had an article 2 issues ago about manitous financial problems, and how they were changing things up.
  • + 0
 ummm, if you dont realize manitou is only a sub company. By you saying manitou it obviously shows you dont know what you are talking about. Manitou is not the company owner. Its answer racing. Answer products as a whole isnt having problems, its only the manitou branch.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Hey GTRIDER257. It really shows you never rode any good forks! Ignorence is typical with people like you!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 A little something to think about on the retail end....

OGC here in canada was the distributor for hayes up untill jan 1st 07'. They are currently still the manitou distributor. Will this now all change?

If it does, OGC will be hurting.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 i've ridden a ramge of forks from most of all the big brands and manitou are by far the worst. marzocchi are crude but reliable, fox are nice working but unreliable wih poor sealing, rockshox are a happy medium and manitou are crude flexy or overweight and have truly terrible seals and bushings. hayes however make reliable products that work so i think that hayes buying manitou (or answer/manitou if your really bothered) can only improve things.
  • + 1
 The main thing here, if you take care of your forks like you are supposed to, change the oil, seals, get scheduled rebuilds etc, you wont have the flippen problem with seals. Its common sense. People that dont understand this should read the instructions that come with the forks. The point is most people dont even come close to following the timeline of what should be done, hense why so many people have probelms. Ive had a set of rock shox on my specialized for over 10 years now, and the forks work like new. My 888's are from 04, and yet they look and perform like the 06's minus the damping improvements. Just fix your bike, keep it up and no problems. You wouldnt go 5000 miles over on changing the oil in your car, or changing an old worn head gasket now would you?
  • + 0
 i too have ridden a range of forks, and i must say that in my opinion marzocchi come out on top. take manitou, you say for them to work well they need regular servicing. with marzocchi you can get away with not regularly servicing them and they still work fine. then when they do need servicing they are easy to do. fox 40's for example have a habit of needing new seals all the time and being a bitch to service. we had a 4 sets of manitou travis triple 203mm on our hire bikes this last summer. after 2-3 weeks of solid riding in the french alps all 4 sets had a strange clunking noise. this is within the period of needing a first service. after a month or so 1 set came apart whilst riding a downhill course. the stanchions had come away from the lower legs? thats not safe. with marzzocchi you can be assured that you are getting a solid product that will last.
  • + 1
 No, marzocchis need the same service frequently. Not doing so is like not changing the oil in your vehicle. You will wear the hell out of the piston and inside of the fork. Oil gets dirty. Seal wise, yes, you can get away longer with running the same seals, but think , when you change oil, you change seals. Its like putting new oil in a car and not changing the filter. Sorry I keep relating to vehicles, its just the easiest way to get through to a lot of people.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Marzocchi is too big to merge with Shimano both are flying, look at Rockshox now after SRAM Rockshox has never been better, Manitou will follow Rockshox story, as for magura they dont need bailing so they shouldnt get bailed
[Reply]
  • - 1
 hcorebiker is right, manitou sucks ass. when they're out off the box they may be fine, that's why pro riders use them. But when you use your bike like you should do, these forks fail on long term. buy a Marzocchi these forks are tough!
  • - 2
 your absolutely ignorant.
  • - 1
 Watch unchained nwd or any nwd films. Manitou dorodos (carbon dh) jumping off 20-35 foot cliffs. CARBON. Not aluminum. CARBON. They dont break. If you dont want a crappy fork, dont buy a cheap low end. If you want a good strong fork, buy a good expensive one. DOnt expect to thrash out on a 300 $ fork. Expect to pay atleast 5-600 for one to thrash on. you get what you pay for. You wouldnt 4 wheel a stock s10 truck now would you.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I think it'll be good. Sometimes to make big advances with products more money is needed for R & D. Mergers help with this.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 f*ck marzocchi. i'd take my travis single over a 66 anyday. ur gay ass marzocchi products belong in the trash. it's a good thing hayes bought manitou, we not have 2 amazing suspension companies supported by two great "head" companies (maniotu, rockshox). and then there is fox suspension which is just a branch off of fox inc. marzocchi should just eat dirt. in my opinion i'd choose any suspension company over marzocchi......even rst......
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Magura is being spec'd on a large portion of the 07 specialized bikes from the factory. I'd say thats limelight enough.
  • + 0
 Are you sure about that? I just checked out the specialized website and at least the 3 bikes I looked at (demo, bighit, epic) were all specd with Avid....and guess what fork they are specd with? Rockshox. I think it reaffirms the point that a manufacturer wants a total solution from one supplier..and I bet that supplier can give better prices based on total volume in parts.
  • + 1
 i am lookin at the specialized page right now... and the demo 8 and the bighit fsr III are not spec'd with rock shox... so i wouldnt say that they are goin brand specific... and in the past specialized has been more prone to putting marzocchi forks on their bikes, then fox.... but it is not unreasonable to believe that rockshox could be taking their spots...
  • + 0
 My bad. I did not look close enough. It looks like they have Fox40 on the demo 8, RockShox Totem on the Demo 7II, 888 on the Bighit. Pretty mixed bag for front forks. Though all of those run avid brakes.
  • - 3
 i think specialized are never going to use magura or hope brakes because specialized take care most about that theirs bikes looks fashion with very nice components like avid and hayes... and magura and hope are not.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Looks promising. Hope it goes same way Sram did
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hope this will make manitou fork works and answer clothes nice! Or else , it is still POS!
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  • + 2
 I hope that its for good...like SRAM done with RockShox
[Reply]
  • + 0
 i think it'll work out really well, but it should be hayes,manitou,RACEFACE, sun rims, and a deraileur component company
  • - 26
 raceface sucks!!!
  • + 0
 Reply to redbullkid: RACE FACE rocks the world of bike componets. Diablous all the way!!!
  • + 1
 yeah raceface is awesome your a whore
[Reply]
  • + 0
 RaceFace is so big they dont need to merge
  • + 0
 He speeks part of the truth. Race Face sells allot of stuff and are plenty popular but it never hurts to merge.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 I vote shitmano and marzocchi coming next unfortunately.. Magura isnt a big enough brand to support marzochi, the demand isnt near as high as it is for shitmano
  • + 3
 Yes, but Marzocchi is a big enough company to support Magura. I also hope this will turn Manipoo around to be a better company, but looking at the quality of Hayes parts, I don't see it happening. I think Sram should buy out a wheel company like Mavic, than they would dominate.
  • - 2
 Totally agree with you. Marzocchi could push Magura into the lime light. They have awesome brakes but they don't seem as popular at least in North America. But Magura does also do some stock suspension stuff. Also since both are into moto, I wonder if there would be some issues with a merge due to that.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 Sram/Rock Shox for world domination....all their gear is top notch. Fox single crown forks own though. Oooooo the corporate mergers, so much drama!
  • + 0
 rock shox has come out with some nasty single crowns... i think rock shox will soon be once again the leader in the front fork market...
[Reply]
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