What's going on in the cycling industry this month? Industry Digest is a peek behind the curtain and showcases articles from our sister site, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. In each installment, you might find patents, mergers, financial reports and industry gossip.Curious about the inner workings of the bike industry? Bicycle Retailer and Industry News publishes two weekly newsletters, one on the industry in general and one devoted to e-bike news. You can subscribe free at https://www.bicycleretailer.com/newsletter
Appeals court upholds Ranger Trek trademark over Trek Bicycle's oppositionBy: Steve Frothingham // Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld the registration of the Ranger Trek trademark, which Trek Bicycle had opposed.
Christina Isaacs, a Washington state woman, had first applied to register Ranger Trek in 2016, for use on products that would primarily be sold in National Park stores. Trek Bicycle said consumers could confuse Ranger Trek with its trademarks, pointing out that Trek has marketed backpacks and other bags, and even lunchboxes, in the past. It argued that its bicycles are closely associated with parks.
Trek first appealed to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which upheld the Ranger Trek registration. Trek asked the board to reconsider, which the TTAB declined to do. So in February 2022 Trek appealed to the Federal Circuit. Trek disputed Isaacs' registration of the mark for use on backpacks, hiking bags, sports bags, travel bags, hats, jackets, and shirts. It did not appeal its use on other products including expedition journals.
Fox Factory completes purchase of Marucci SportsBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Fox Factory announced Wednesday morning that it had completed its acquisition of Marucci Sports, a baseball/softwall equipment brand that also owns the Lizard Skins and Oury grip and handlebar tape brands.
Fox bought Marucci from Compass Diversified (which previously owned Fox) for $572 million. The acquisition diversifies Fox outside its shock and suspension business. It also adds products that are sold to consumers, rather than to original equipment manufacturers as with most of Fox's suspension products for powered vehicles and bicycles.
"The acquisition advances Fox's position as a diversified provider of market-leading branded products with a proven ability to win over both professional athletes and passionate consumer bases, while positioning the combined company for future profitable growth," the company said. Marucci will be part of Fox's Specialty Sports Group, which includes its bike brands, Fox, Marzocchi, Easton and RaceFace.
New partnership aims to encourage US e-bike manufacturingBy: Dean Yobbi // Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
The co-founders of Propel Bikes and Vela Bikes announced Monday the creation of Bloom, a vertical integration partner for light electric vehicles, with its first manufacturing location in the Motor City.
Leading Bloom will be Propel's Chris Nolte and Vela's Justin Kosmides, who will collaborate with micromobility strategic partners to provide domestic contract manufacturing, assembly, delivery and servicing. Propel operates three e-bike retail stores, in New York, Delaware and California. Vela is an e-bike brand that began in Brazil and relocated to Brooklyn, New York, and now manufactures in Detroit.
According to Bloom, the company will offer partner brands improved control over supply chain and shorter production windows. Bloom's partnership with Newlab in Detroit's Michigan Central innovation district will offer "flexible, specialized manufacturing capabilities and world-class prototyping equipment."
Bloom will announce additional physical expansions next year.
Vosper: Top-ten bike brands have shifted significantly since 2010By: Rick Vosper // Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Make no mistake: when it comes to bikes, we are still very much a dealer-driven industry. Absent pure D2C labels like Canyon, the enormous majority of both brand prestige and sales dollars for most bike companies comes down to the strength of their dealer networks.
Of course some dealers are more desirable than others. But overall, you need a critical mass of retailers to cover all the major and minor markets in this country or you miss out. Overall brand success does not come from advertising. Not from race teams. Not from a website. Not even, solely, from how competitive your products are. At the end of the day, it's retailers that make the difference between a top-selling brand and an also-ran. Of course those other items I've listed also impact your appeal to dealers. But the bottom line is clear: Gain more dealers over time, your brand strengthens. Lose them, and you weaken. All of which makes the size of a brand's dealer network one good indicator of its overall health.
Christopher Georger's company, Georger Data Services, keeps track of those indicators. For more than a decade, GDS has harvested bike brands' dealer lists to see who's selling what. And periodically, he shares some of that information with BRAIN.
Britain's Pashley Cycles investing in e-transportation market, to start crowdfunding campaignBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Pashley Cycles will invest in the sustainable transportation market by starting a crowdfunding campaign to help support product development in e-cargo delivery bikes, electric assist leisure bikes, and bike-share products.
Manufacturing bikes since 1926, Pashley has an e-cargo bike in production, the ALECS, that is in advanced trials with delivery fleets, according to the company. It already is the manufacturer behind Britain's bike-rental systems in London and the West Midlands and is planning to launch a classic consumer e-bike in next year.
Launching in November through Seedrs, the campaign will help support Pashley's overall growth strategy.
"We're a business with our eyes very much on the future as we approach our centenary," said Adrian Williams, Pashley's chairman. "In an industry where 98% of cycles sold in Britain are shipped in from overseas, Pashley is very proud to do things differently. We build every cycle by hand at our factory in the Midlands, just as we have since the 1920s. At the very heart of our business remains excellence in British design, innovation, and quality UK manufacturing."
Continental names QBP its 'Preferred North American' distributorBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Continental Tire has named Quality Bicycle Products its "Preferred Distributor in the US and Canada," and the German tire company said QBP, which has been selling Continental products for more than a decade, will begin carrying a wider selection this fall. Continental also announced it is enacting a Minimum Advertised Pricing program this year.
Last week, California distributor Highway 2 announced that Selle Royal Group had become its sole owner; Continental had been a 50% partner in H2 before the announcement. H2 is no longer distributing Continental tires.
Selle Royal Group becomes sole owner of Highway 2By: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Selle Royal Group is now the sole owner of distributor Highway 2; the Italy-based group previously owned 50% of Highway 2 in partnership with Continental Tire.
Following the acquisition, Highway 2 will continue to distribute SRG-owned brands Fizik, Crankbrothers, Brooks England and Selle Royal. It also will distribute Knog, and offer 100% and ABUS. It will no longer distribute Continental tires.
CPSC Commissioner: New e-bike injury data 'really concerning'By: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
A new federal study of micromobility injuries and deaths found that injuries associated with all micromobility devices increased nearly 21% in 2022 from 2021.
Speaking at this week's PeopleForBikes' SHIFT'23 conference here, CPSC Commissioner Mary T. Boyle said, "For e-bikes, there is some really concerning data here." She added that the CPSC coding system doesn't have a separate e-bike code. "So my guess is that's likely an undercount."
The report estimated a total of 53,200 emergency room visits from 2017 through 2022 associated with e-bike incidents — about 15% of the overall micromobility injury estimate in the same timeframe. Since the study is based directly on emergency health records, there is no way of seeing if the injuries and deaths are proportionate to usage changes for the various micromobility devices, which include e-scooters, hoverboards and e-bikes.
Vista Outdoor sells ammunition business in $1.91 billion dealBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Vista Outdoor, which is planning on spinning off its outdoor sports business unit into a separate company this year, will sell off its shooting sports businesses first in a $1.91 billion deal with Czechoslovak Group a.s. ("CSG"). CSG is acquiring four factories and the consumer brands CCI, Federal, HEVI-Shot, Remington and Speer.
CSG is described as "a leading industrial technology holding company, operating within five strategic business segments, including defense, aerospace, ammunition, mobility and business." It is 100% owned by Czech billionaire Michal Strnad.
Kona Bicycles to stay in Bellingham as parent Kent Outdoors moves HQ to UtahBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Kent Outdoors, which acquired Kona Bicycles almost a year ago, is moving its corporate headquarters to Park City, Utah. Seawall Capital, the private equity owner of Kent Outdoors, announced the relocation.
Kent has agreed with the state of Utah to add 84 new jobs there in the next five years. Under Utah's business incentives program, Kent is eligible for up to a 30% state revenue tax credit. New jobs must pay at least 100% of the county average to qualify for the incentive.
Kona Bicycles will have employees at the Utah offices, but the company's product design team will remain in Bellingham, Washington.