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.
Drivetrain maker Classified Cycling raises $23 millionBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Classified Cycling has raised 22 million euros ($22.9 million) from an investment led by London-based Active Partners. Active Partners is a past investor in Rapha and retailer Evans Cycles.
Classified makes performance two-speed internal hubs designed to be used with standard single-chainring drivetrains with multi-speed cassettes. The hubs are shifted wirelessly. Other investors in the company include retired racers Tom Boonen, Anna Van der Breggen, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel.
Existing investor Bridford Investments Limited also participated in the new round.
Nukeproof comes (back) to the US with dealer/online programBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Nukeproof mountain bikes, components and accessories are available directly in the U.S. market again via a dedicated U.S. website and warehouse and a growing list of brick-and-mortar dealers.
The brand was launched in Michigan in the 1990s and was later purchased by Wiggle, the U.K. e-commerce retailer. After Wiggle and ChainReactionCycles were purchased by Signa Sports United, the company announced plans to return to the U.S. market with a hybrid distribution plan.
The brand now has a warehouse in Utah and its online dealer locator shows about a dozen U.S. stores.
“We’re super stoked to be able to serve U.S. customers locally,” Inga Kaufmann, Nukeproof’s director of marketing operations and U.S. brand manager, said in a press release.
Sea Otter exhibitor space 90% sold outBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Sea Otter Classic exhibitor space is 90% sold out with nearly 1,000 brands set to display at the 33rd annual event.
The four-day expo, presented by Life Time, is on track to exceed all sales records, according to event organizers. Several European, Australian, Chinese, and South African companies will exhibit. Nearly 40 e-bike companies also will be there. More than 1,000 demo bikes are expected to be available, according to organizers.
"Key venue changes, coupled with market shifts and pent-up demand have fueled substantial expo growth this year," said Sarah Timleck, expo sales director. "Facility improvements by Monterey County allowed us to significantly increase our expo footprint."
Timleck said brands are well aware Sea Otter draws consumers not only for cycling but outdoor recreation, too.
Operation Vicious Cycle defendant accepts plea agreementBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
A defendant in the investigation into a series of shop burglaries accepted a plea agreement, according to the Colorado Attorney General's Office.
The Boulder County deputy district attorney handled Tuesday's hearing in which Jason Quijada, 23, agreed to a three-year deferred sentence on the felony motor vehicle theft count and three years' probation for misdemeanor criminal mischief count. The Colorado Attorney General's Office partnered with the Boulder District Attorney on the case.
Considering Quijad's absence of adult criminal history, prosecutors said the sentence was in line with other lower level organization members, the attorney general's office said.
Rapha CEO steps down after less than one year at postBy: Andrew Hood // VeloNews
Rapha's CEO William Kim will step down, with Francois Convercey and Daniel Blumire taking over as joint managing directors, the company announced.
Kim said personal reasons were behind his decision, and he would relocate to Korea to be with his family.
“As you can imagine, this has been a very difficult decision for me to make,” Kim said in a note to Rapha staff. “Over the last year, I’ve grown to love the Rapha brand. Rapha is an amazing business, made of great people and a unique culture, a tight-knit community. You are each contributing to building a very special brand here at Rapha. It has been a privilege to experience how magical cycling is and I know you will continue to thrive and lead the industry.”
Kitsbow joins with Wefunder to begin community round of financingBy: Dean Yobbi // Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Kitsbow Cycling Apparel has emphasized community since relocating three years ago from California to the tiny textile town east of here in Old Fort. From helping with a mural project celebrating efforts to desegregate schools in the South to creating living wage jobs, Kitsbow quickly became a neighborhood business leader.
Now it’s further weaving itself into the community by announcing in September it’s gauging interest in a regulation crowdfunding round of financing through Wefunder, an online platform that connects start-ups and early-stage companies to investors.
“One of the benefits for a company like Kitsbow, as well as enabling them to raise from their own customers and community, we can put them in front of Wefunder’s investor base, and they’ve got some investments from our investment base as well,” said Jonny Price, vice president of fundraising for Wefunder. “Typically, a company might pull in two-thirds of the capital from people they bring to the round and one-third from the existing Wefunder investor base.”
FDNY agrees with NYC Council's lithium-ion billsBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
New York fire officials say they agree with five bills that the City Council is considering to address lithium-ion battery fires. The Council did not vote on the bills at a meeting Monday. A new citizens group calling for solutions to the charging fires held a news conference before the meeting.
One of the bills proposed by Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer would require the FDNY to develop an informational campaign to educate the public on fire risks posed by mobility devices powered by lithium-ion batteries. Thomas Currao, FDNY's acting chief of fire prevention, said his department is already doing that and would continue.
Another bill proposed by Brewer would prohibit the sale and assembly of second-hand lithium-ion batteries that have been assembled or reconditioned using cells removed from used batteries. Violators would be subject to a civil penalty, ranging from $200 for a first violation to $1,000 for each subsequent violation within two years. It would also prohibit the assembly of such batteries.
Cannondale announces new organizational structureBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Cannondale announced a new global unified organizational structure that will eliminate regional general managers and, the company said, leverage Pon.Bike to enhance operations and growth.
Marco Kind, Cannondale managing director, made the announcement Friday in a news release.
Eugene Fierkens, Cannondale Europe GM, will leave the brand but stay on to help with the transition. Cannondale sales teams will be led by Nick Hage and Frank van Dulmen.
Trek Bicycle and Bell Sports sue over cargo lost or damaged at seaBy: Steve Frothingham // Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
COVID-19, massive consumer demand, and the war in Ukraine have upset the industry's supply chain in recent years. Rough seas also played a part.
Bell Sports and Trek Bicycle are among the firms suing shipping companies over containers lost or damaged due to storms in the North Pacific in early 2021.
The Maersk Essen 051, a 366-meter ship, lost more than 700 containers when it encountered heavy seas off Mexico on Jan. 16, 2021. The vessel was en route from Xiamen, China, to Los Angeles. Trek is among more than 30 companies suing Maersk, the ship's operator, and other related parties for lost or damaged cargo on the Essen.
Bell Sports settles product liability lawsuit involving 'universal' pedalBy: Steve Frothingham // Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Bell Sports has settled a product liability suit filed by an Indiana woman who said her Bell Universal pedal broke off while she was riding, causing a crash and injuries. The suit said the woman suffered damages totaling nearly $5 million.
Bell's Universal pedal fits both ½-inch and 9/16-inch cranks thanks to included adapters that thread into crank arms; the pedals' non-standard axles then thread onto the adapters.
A jury trial had been scheduled to begin Dec. 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis. But on Tuesday both sides told the court they had agreed to a settlement. The court gave them 30 days to file a joint motion to dismiss the case.
A spokesman for Bell, which is owned by Vista Outdoor, said the company would have no comment on the settlement. Terms were not released.
Vittoria moving North American headquarters to Bentonville, ArkansasBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Vittoria Industries announced Tuesday it will move its North American headquarters to Bentonville, Arkansas, in December. The new office space will be inside the Ledger, a new six-story downtown building with bike-friendly amenities. Specialized is opening an experience center in the same building.
Karim Pine, Vittoria North America managing director, said the sales and marketing team will make the transition while the brand's warehouse will remain in Oklahoma City. Vittoria also will add six employees.
"Bentonville is becoming the epicenter of cycling in the United States, and we look forward to being part of it," Pine said. "This marks an exciting new chapter for Vittoria and showcases the investment in the U.S. market by the Vittoria Group."