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
E-MTB access depends on Class 1 and responsible useBy: David Wiens // Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Every day at IMBA, we’re hearing from a land manager, an IMBA Local partner, a local trail champion, or a recreation professional about e-MTBs. From questions about the class system, to identification, management, enforcement, speed, trail etiquette — while mountain bike trails and riding styles vary widely, we’re observing a common set of challenges with e-MTBs.
The three-class e-bike system our industry all knows well — Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 — was developed as e-bikes were gaining popularity, but before e-MTBs had much traction. Today, e-MTBs are a big deal. The industry is producing amazing Class 1 e-MTBs; there are all kinds of Class 2 e-MTBs; we’re starting to see Class 3 e-MTBs; and there is a growing contingent of e-MTBs and e-bikes that fall outside of the well-intentioned three-class framework. But are consumers aware of the three-class system?
Levisay will step down as head of The Pro’s Closet; Calandrella to succeed himBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
John Levisay, who has led The Pro's Closet for the past 2½ years, will leave his position as CEO at the end of this month to spend more time with his family. Paul Calandrella, formerly TPC's vice president of strategic initiatives, was named general manager and will be in charge of day-to-day operations.
"I am excited to continue to push us forward," Calandrella said. "I take the vote of confidence from our board to step in as general manager as a call to steward the team through our next phase of growth. Despite recent macroeconomic and industry headwinds, I know we have a team up to the challenge of building upon our already innovative business model."
Rocky Mountain buys its German distributor, BikeActionBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Canadian bike brand Rocky Mountain has acquired the German bicycle distributor BikeAction. Since 1988, BikeAction has been the brand's distributor in Germany, Austria, the Benelux, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia.
"Rocky Mountain has a rich history with BikeAction. When we began offering bikes internationally, Germany was the first market we expanded to," said Rocky Mountain's executive chairman, Raymond Dutil. "Since our early beginnings in Germany, BikeAction has always played an integral part in the internationalization of our product and design; driving us to have a competitive global lineup, including the notable progression of our E-bike offering, Powerplay. This marks a truly special milestone for both businesses."
Niner founder Chris Sugai joins Gates Carbon DriveBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Niner Bikes founder Chris Sugai has joined Gates as general manager of Gates Global Mobility.
"Adding Chris Sugai to the Gates leadership team signals our commitment to reach beyond the Gates automotive heritage and bring the best and brightest talent into the Gates family as we advance how the world moves," said Tom Pitstick, the chief marketing officer and senior vice president of strategic planning for Gates.
Schwalbe reports record sales in its 50th year in businessBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
The privately-owned company that owns the tire brand Schwalbe is reporting 2022 sales of 335 million euros ($359 million), up 20% from the year prior. It was a new company sales record in its 50th anniversary year.
The company said it expects a decline in sales in 2023 but said it is confident of success in the medium term.
Frank Bohle, the CEO of Ralf Bohle GmbH, the company that owns Schwalbe, said, "The past business year marks another chapter in the success story we have been writing at Schwalbe for 50 years now. This development makes me very happy. The basis for this is above all our high-quality products as well as our permanent innovative spirit."
Giant Group revenues up 12.5% in 2022 despite inventory challengesBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Giant Group's revenue was up 12.5% last year, to NT$92.04 billion ($2.99 billion) up from NT$81.8 billion in 2021. But group net income before taxes was flat compared to 2021 due to increased material and labor costs and a higher mix of OE (vs. branded) business. The manufacturer's net income after tax was down 1.5% to NT$5.84 billion. Earnings per share were NT$15.51 and the company's board approved a cash dividend of NT$7.8 per share.
"At present, the balance of the supply and demand of the bicycle market has yet to be normalized. The demand for low- to mid-end products has cooled down, but the demands for high-end and e-bikes remain strong," the company said.
Giant said inventory is high for low and mid-priced components, but high-end components are still in short supply.
Life Time revenues up 38% as fitness centers reboundBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Life Time Group Holdings, which owns multiple endurance bike events and the Sea Otter Classic, reported revenue of $1.8 billion for its fiscal year 2022, up nearly 38% from the year prior.
Most of Life Time’s business — 97% — comes from its 171 large format fitness centers in the U.S. and Canada. However, Life Time’s remaining revenue of $53 million came from cycling and running events as well as some other miscellaneous sources. Revenues in the "other" category was up 69% from 2021, when some events were not held and participation at others was hampered by COVID. Other income was up 188% from 2020 when most events were canceled.
Zwift lays off 15% of staffBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Virtual cycling brand Zwift is letting go 15% of its staff in its latest round of layoffs. The company also cut workers last May and November.
"After very careful consideration, we have taken the decision to make important changes to the organization. These changes mean we will regretfully be parting ways with a number of very talented colleagues. We are grateful for their contributions to Zwift and will do our best to support them in their transition," the company said in a statement to BRAIN.
Selle Italia forms NA subsidiaryBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Selle Italia will form its own North American subsidiary here and hired Justin Harvey to manage it. Current distributor Lucidity Business Development will end its relationship with the saddle brand March 15.
In addition to Selle Italia, Harvey will manage San Marco and idmatch.
"As a lifelong cyclist, I have always appreciated the comfort and innovation Selle Italia has brought to the market," Harvey said. "The history, craftsmanship and style in these saddles are world class, and I am excited to be leading the three brands, under the Selle Italia umbrella. My experience at Swix, Tecnica, and Levi's has prepared me to drive the sales and marketing for these brands in this important region. I look forward to working with our retail partners as we start this new phase of growth."
Outdoor apparel brand Rab enters the bike clothing marketBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
British outdoor brand Rab is launching its first collection of cycling apparel this spring. The collection aimed at off-road rides includes about 30 styles and will be available online and through a handful of retailers, the company said.
Rab is owned by Equip Outdoor Technologies, which also owns the Lowe Alpine outdoor brand.
The new cycling range, called Cinder, includes shorts, pants, jerseys, jackets and more.
Tim Fish, Equip's product director, said, "Off-road cycling adventures require immense versatility. Dealing with terrain, pace, and fickle weather. We have over 40 years of knowledge and experience crafting clothing and equipment to manage these conditions. This season we're introducing a new cycling collection, combining that experience with a finely tuned fit to enable adventure and exploration."
Workers at REI Cleveland store vote to join unionBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Workers at an REI location in Beachwood, Ohio, near Cleveland, have voted to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). It will become the third REI store that is unionized, following stores in California and New York.
Last month, workers at the store walked out for a few hours, forcing the store to close in a dispute over how many workers there would be eligible to join the union.
"Tonight, we can finally say that REI Cleveland is a union store," said Nick Heilgeist, a member of the REI Cleveland Organizing Committee and a Retail Sales Specialist at REI. "I love working at REI, and with a seat at the table, I know we can make it better for workers and customers alike. As new members of the RWDSU, we green vests are united in our desire to create more transparent and consistent policies and a workplace that will be sustainable for workers for years to come. As we enter contract negotiations alongside our union family in SoHo and Berkeley, we'd like to remind REI that we always 'start from a place of respect,' and we hope they will too."
2024 Eurobike scheduled for July 3-7By: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
The 2024 Eurobike show will be held July 3-7 at the Messe Frankfurt, organizers announced Thursday. Like the 2023 show (June 21-25), the 2024 event will start with three trade-only days followed by a weekend open to the public with events, race shows and demos for the public.
"The new Eurobike in Frankfurt is growing, has the wind at its back and the task to provide orientation and reliable planning to the international bicycle and light electric vehicle industry," said Stefan Reisinger, fairnamic's managing director.
Why Cycles now under Revel Bikes labelBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Why Cycles, a titanium mountain and drop-bar bike brand, will be consolidated into sister manufacturer Revel Bikes, streamlining production and resulting in consumer cost savings, according to the brand.
Why Cycles models will be under the Revel name, offering titanium and carbon-fiber mountain bike production. Revel will modernize the titanium models, with Universal Derailleur Hanger compatibility, future-proofing for upcoming drivetrains, and a lifetime warranty will apply to all Revel-branded titanium frames.
Pon.Bike breaks ground on Lithuania bike factoryBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Pon company officials buried a symbolic time capsule this week in the foundation of a new 40,000-square-meter (431,000-square-foot) bike factory being constructed here.
The new factory is expected to open in the summer of 2024 and employ 300 people initially, rising to 600 employees when it reaches full capacity. The three-story building will house bicycle assembly and painting workshops, a warehouse and administrative offices. When fully operational, it will produce up to 450,000 bicycles and e-bikes per year under the Gazelle, Kalkhoff, Focus and Urban Arrow brands initially.
Who is buying their bikes?
1. Tight inventory (as we've seen in the past 24 months)
2. If you HAVE to sell something asap and can't wait for FB Marketplace or PB Buy/Sell (unlikely)
3. Bike inspections: For consumer who don't have the bike saavy to do that themselves, this is a value-add. Problem is that most people have friends that can help out. Also, they charge a premium for this, not worth it IMO.
Class 1 - E-bike with pedal assist
Class 3 - obvious E-moto with throttle
Class 2 - the confusing legal nightmare of a grey area
...like I said; simple *facepalm*
Class 1 - Pedal assist up to 20mph
Class 2- Throttle or pedal assist up to 20mph
Class 3- Pedal assist NO throttle up to 28mph
Most "real" mountain bike brands don't produce Class 3 mountain bikes, closest thing would be a class 3 gravel bike. Most reputable brands also do not produce throttle assist mountain bikes.
It's a relief to ride in PC or Moab just to not have daily e-biker problems and overcrowding. This isn't me being a grouch about trail accessibility, apparently it's gotten so bad that multiple times last year I saw volunteers at local trailheads (unfortunately not CC) handing out schwag in exchange for a quick talk about what trail etiquette is and how to properly yield on e-bike friendly, mixed-use trails.
Got about a mile in through a couple muddy spots, then found mud puddles several inches deep, still being heavily trafficked. I regret my decision to keep going (what’s 2 more wheels gonna do at this point?) but my analog bike had a heck of a time spinning up, vs getting passed by dozens of e-bikes.
Motorbike, bla, bla, dirt bike bla bla, nonsense comparison, bla
Anyone working at a mid to large size company who isn't on the board of directors would most likely benefit from a decent union. Key phrase being *DECENT* union
Either someone lied to you, you're lying or thats the most nonsensical union ever.
Most unions won't touch anything resembling Gross Misconduct charges.
Willful operation of machinery under the influence will have the union siding with management, for the safety of the rest of their members.
This is my first union job. Before this I worked insane hours at two different mechanical contractors, bosses always trying to find ways to make me work more, or harder, while trying not to pay me for it, and giving any reason not to give a pay raise. Oh, and the benefits sucked. Example: one week of vacation a year...that you could only use in the winter. I STARTED my union job with two weeks. Also, no paid sick time. I came into work with the flu so weak that I could barely walk, and when I asked to go home I guilted into staying and at least trying. I curled up in the front seat of my van for the next hour to muster enough strength to pack up my tools. In another case I remember working on the roof during the rain with live electrical because it was either work, or go home unpaid (since I didn't have sick pay anyway). I packed up after getting a small enough zap to scare me straight unto taking the unpaid route.
My union has not threatened to strike in the 3 contracts I have been here for, though I did vote to reject the contract 3 years ago because it removed the pension from all new hires after that time, and I didn't support removing the pension from the kids getting hired in the future. The union as a whole voted for the contract, so no strike.
I am hoping this is my last ever job. Would be nice to retire in about 15 years with a pension plan.
I am an HVACR tech working at an aerospace factory.
What so ironic is that not only were they selfish, they were also stupid. One of the reasons ebikes are so widespread in europe is the pedelec, 250-watt class. If the industry would have created that classification, we'd all be better off and they would have sold a lot more ebikes a lot more quickly.
No I don't know the three-class system well, hopefully this article will make it very easy to understand in a succinct fashion.....maybe a table showing the differences, so the consumer doesn't have to do additional reading.
Did you by any chance tiickle the oracle with something like "3 class e-bike system"
this one has a coloured map for you, albeit youd need to live in the US for it to be applicable, but there is a quick breakdown of what the 3 class system is about.
Class 2 : even faster
Class 3. Woohoo ! Get out of my way! Nirvana!
Class 3 is the one you want.
Rode a gates carbon belt/pinion equipped Zerode Katipo recently. I liked it!
Well, it's been really hard to buy Maxxis tyres here for the last year or so
I beg to differ.
Were they acquired by private equity sometime in the last 10 years or so (Yes, it's that old. Still going strong.). That might explain it...